"What're you waiting for? I dunno! Something amazing I guess!"
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Posted by Rachel at 9:25 AM
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Today I'm thankful for...
Posted by Rachel at 3:02 PM
Monday, February 3, 2014
Starbucks has been my safe haven since I could drive. It's the place I go to think, to write, to dream, to study, to detox, to calm down, to get to know friends better, to draw close to Jesus, to observe, and more.
Friday, January 24, 2014
Today was a momentous day. Not because of something great, but rather some serious disappointment. The actual situation doesn't matter, but what matters is for the first time I let Reed down. Not myself in my lofty expectations...but I realistically let Reed down.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
When you think of hospitality do you think of women in your church who wear matching shirts or aprons and say hi to people as they enter a women's ministry event?
Perhaps you think of a hospitality table or tent at an event - that place that provides information and assistance on where to go, the things offered, etc.
Or maybe it is simply a word you don't think of. There's a
trend pattern I've been noticing in people - especially us married women. (And before I go here, I realize not everyone is this way. I realize some people excel at the things I'm about to talk on.) We seem to forget how much we need friends. We know our kids need friends so we have play dates, and as a result our friends are the parents of our child's friends. Or we acknowledge our need for friends, but do nothing to engage in purposeful time with them. We say hi to them as we pass in the hallways at church, uttering that all too familiar phrase "lets get together soon!". It comes from a sincere place, but frankly it probably won't happen. Because there's soccer (or volleyball, track, football, cheer, dance, puppetry, invisible swimming or any other possible extracurricular we can have our kids in), homework, work, projects on the house, cleaning the house, etc. Or maybe for us younger moms our lives are dominated by feeding schedules, nap times, bed times, squeezing in a bath and teeth brushing (seriously, no one gets both of those done on the same day right?!?! or am I alone?) and then finally settling in with the hubs to share a few moments of silence before we crash into the pillow and start the day again - when do we have time for girls nights or even lunch?
We're busy. I get it. I am too! However, it's time to do something about it.
- Thomas Disch
Maybe that's the key. To see relationships where none exist. For instance, in a week a friend of mine is coming over on a Saturday and is helping me declutter our guest room/office before my inlaws come in town. It's going to be messy and a true insight into the "clean" house she's seen several times before. But she will be a third party ruthless purger and I need that. So I'm letting down my pride and letting my friend in. It'll be quality time spent with, I'm sure, lots of laughter. Cleaning my clutter and working on a friendship - a relationship where none should exist. But it works!
Another friend and I have run errands around town before, kids in tow - mundane,
Or perhaps we need to get serious about our homes. We have these homes that we stress over keeping clean, that we decorate just so, that we spend time in - why not show it off? Even if the floor is dirty or the dishes aren't clean. Maybe we just need to invite people over - whether we have tons in common or not. What's the harm in having them once?
This is something Andy and I take pretty serious. That sounds silly - having people over and throwing parties really is serious business for us though. That's ultimately why we have a guest book at our entry way. It's two-fold: 1) it's fun! but 2) it keeps us accountable - if it's been a while since we've had people, or if its the same people that book serves a reminder to
Rereading this I wonder if this blog is all over the place...or if it sounds like I'm bragging. I'm not trying to. I fail miserably at friendships and creativity within those. I've let good friends fall by the wayside from time to time. But I am passionate about it!
We must get creative. Read the Bible - look at the lives of the disciples and the early church. The coolest thing that sticks out to me? They lived LIFE together. Not just fun exciting things. They faced hardships together. They went to wedding and parties together. They fished (grocery shopped?) together. They read God's word together. They didn't just get together for an organized Bible Study or fun event. They didn't wave at each other or only talk about their kids. They lived life together.
That's what hospitality looks like I think. That's what discipleship, evangelism, ministry, and at the base of it all Christ looks like. The ability to see relationships where none exist. There is no time like the present. We can do it. We as moms of munchkins or empty nesters. We as women, working or stay at home. Carve out time...whether it's 10 minutes dropping off cookies unexpectedly, an hour of pb & j lunches in your messy house, or 5 hour game nights. Let's get intentional. Let's get creative. Let's revolutionize friendships in our busy lives!
Friday, January 10, 2014
I'm not a very sentimental person. I don't cling much to the past, nor do I treasure every card I receive, every trinket ever given, etc. That's not to say I don't appreciate them. I do! I love thoughtfulness - it just means sometimes I prefer to hold on to the thoughts and memories rather than the stuff. I also am not usually a date person. I remember about 4-5 people's birthdays. I sometimes struggle to remember what year I was married in. Numbers just don't stick. Thankfully, I'm married to a man that is the total opposite of so many ways. He's sentimental, a pseudo trinket keeper (just look at his collection of concert and movie tickets he's collected over the years!!!), and a whiz at remembering special occasions. However, some things I do remember - and I write them here so I don't forget...
Today is 5 months since my brother's funeral. I won't forget that date. July 29, 2013 - August 10, 2013 was the longest 2 weeks of my entire life. We had just returned from camp the Friday before the 29th. I missed a call from Stephen on Wednesday or Thursday of that week - but I was in a session and didn't hear my phone. There was no way to call him back. He said he'd talk to me later. So Saturday we recovered and slept a lot. Sunday we had church and were pretty exhausted. Monday, July 29, I was awake and helping Andy get moving for work. Dad called Andy. We figured it was a computer question honestly. I remember Dad wasn't making much sense to Andy. I took the phone and Dad told me that Stephen was gone.
To say it was surreal is an understatement. Those 2 weeks were. I was composed. I was together. I usually am in tough situations. Brace yourself and keep the weakness and tears at bay. But underneath it all was a current of disbelief, crashing with anger, and then washing away into unspeakable sadness. I immediately headed to Memphis without funeral clothes, without much of anything - without any idea of what would be involved.
Military stuff is annoying and structured but lacking in structure all at the same time. I wonder if that's what Stephen loved about it at its core. It challenged him but still gave enough room for unexpected results. Regardless, those two weeks I helped plan the funeral, helped be the point person for videos, picture slideshow, food afterwards, and was the media spokesperson. I was the shoulder for his friends, his girlfriend, and his relatives to cry on. They grieved, sobbed, blew snot bubbles - the works. I shed some tears, but basically held it together. Except for that one time in the funeral home. I felt like I was running and barely moving as I tried to get out of there.
One reason I think I didn't cry much was because I struggle feeling like I never knew my brother. As friends shared stories, some I recalled fondly but most I had no idea about. My brother and I weren't close. We didn't not like each other - we just didn't talk much. I always wanted to impress him from a young age. I think he found that annoying as children. As I grew up, went to college, moved out, got married, had a kid Stephen would make comments that he was proud of me, that I was doing things the right way. That meant more than he'll know. I hate that. I wish he had known. I wish I had told him. But Stephen was never much of a talker. He didn't like mushy stuff so I never pushed it. I can count on my hands the number of times he told me he loved me in my adult life. He meant it, but it just wasn't his style - just like actually ending a phone call by saying "bye" wasn't his style. He told me once he didn't like goodbyes.
I do remember as a kid playing with the neighborhood kids (all boys & all a few years older than me) one day. I wanted to play with them and they told me I couldn't. One kid said something rude and pushed me. Stephen went postal. He stood up for his little sister. It was awesome. It was one of two times I remember him doing that. Many times he was impatient. He was reckless. He was quick-tempered. I'm still processing my anger-stage grief over that. But Stephen could also be patient. So patient that sometimes you'd forget he could be a real jerk. :) I remember Stephen trying to teach me how to draw with perspective. I drew a mailbox on my picture of a house. It was very flat on the page, facing the wrong way but the best my 7-8 year old brain could figure out. He took the time and tried to show me how to get it. I still never fully got it (my art professor in college would readily agree!!) but I'll never forget him trying to teach me...and me wanting so much to get it right because I wanted to be like him. I remember him teaching me how to ollie on his skateboard. I was terrible at it but I remember being so thankful he took the time to teach me - I wanted to be like him. I remember in college Stephen went on ski trip with Andy and I and the college ministry at our church. It was an awkward trip and he only went because he loved snowboarding so much. And even though he loved snowboarding and I'm sure didn't really want to, he was so patient we me as he spent hours trying to help me snowboard. I was awful at it and never could do it. Eventually I sent him on his way to go enjoy the slopes. But I remember being angry at myself for not being able to do it - I knew I wouldn't be as good as him, but I wanted to be like him.
I remember him taking me to a concert one night. He stepped outside to take a phone call and missed the "no reentry" sign. When the bouncer
kindly made mention of rudely got in Stephen's face over the sign, Stephen was there looking up at him - standing toe to toe ready to rumble. But then I came out. I was kind of terrified and excited at the same time. The stories of Stephen fights were epic and I wanted to witness one! But Stephen stepped back, told me we were leaving. I never got to hear the band. I remember Stephen telling me he didn't fight him because he didn't want me to see that. I never told him I appreciated that.
It's funny you know. He was proud of me for "doing it right" and in many ways I am probably more responsible by the world's standard than he ever could have been. However, I wanted to be like Stephen - willing to travel or impulse buy at the drop of a hat. He worked so that he could play. He knew how to have fun and surrounded himself with quality people.
As it sinks in more and more, as it's 5 months since his funeral, I grieve silly things that no one else would get. I grieve for big things that I will probably only share with Andy. I grieve that Reed won't get to know the crazy, reckless, patient, loyal friend, of an uncle that he had for just a year and only saw two times. I grieve that he most likely won't have any cousins to play with. I grieve that I never got to see my brother finally settle down with someone who'd love him the way Andy and I love each other. I grieve for all the things unsaid. But I am so thankful for the memories. Some I haven't shared because they were just ours - whether he remembered them or not.
Don't leave things unsaid. Say them. Awkward or not. Tell those you love that you love them. That's how I'm going to commemorate 5 months since Stephen's funeral...by hugging my guys a little tighter and making sure they know how much I treasure them.
Posted by Rachel at 8:00 AM
Thursday, January 2, 2014
I saw this here and thought I'd give it a whirl:
A bad habit I'm going to break: interrupting people
A new skill I'd like to learn: distressing wood
A person I hope to be more like: Mary and sit at Jesus' feet more
A good deed I'm going to do: not quite sure, but it'll probably involve more surprise post-it notes of love for the hubs
A place I'd like to visit: I really want to do a whole trip up the New England coast
A book I'd like to read: I've tried 3 times - this year, I'd like to finally power through "One Thousand Gifts"
A letter I'm going to write: instead of one specific one, I'd like to do more handwritten thank you notes
A new food I'd like to try: quinoa
I'm going to do better at: giving my self grace, hopefully!
Posted by Rachel at 1:03 PM