Tag Archive: friends

New Year

1
11
Posted by | No Comments

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 11.59.13 AM

I’m sorry I’ve been so MIA on here… I thought I’d do some reflections from 2014 and wishes for 2015 to fill in the gap and kick off a new year.

For the past few years I’ve picked a word, or rather, a word has picked me, to describe the year. I don’t usually do anything with the word except notice and smile at how well it fits the people, situations, and feelings I’ve experienced. This year, I thought I’d share 2014’s theme word on the blog- Peace.

At first glance, peace is a strange pick for my 2014 because it was anything but peaceful from the outside. I moved, ended a relationship, and finished final edits on the book while battling a health issue. In the words of my counselor, “It’s too much.”

Yet in the midst of lots of crazy, peace forced it’s way in to my life in more ways than one.

The quickest version I can spit out of what happened is that I was feeling bad for a long time- extreme fatigue, confusion, hair loss and cold… always cold. In June, my blood doctor (that’s what I call her) checked my counts and immediately started me on iron infusions three times a week. These were rough in that they took three- four hours and the medicine knocked me out, sometimes for the rest of the day.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

My general doctor found a tumor and recommended surgery. The first two surgeons I met with didn’t think they could remove it without messing up things in my funhouse. (Meaning I wouldn’t be able to have children in the future). I met with several surgeons and finally found one that I trusted.

Which was good.

Because an MRI he ordered came back and the tumor looked odd and possibly like cancer. He decided to do a more invasive surgery right away. The next day my blood count had fallen all the way back down to my pre-infusion levels and I got a picc line put in that I wore for the next couple of months. I went in for surgery the following week and thankfully it all went well. They were able to remove everything, keep the funhouse in tact, and there is no cancer. I was off from work recovering for a month and continued iron treatments. I got my picc line out in December and have resumed a normalishhh, slower paced life.

2014 was definitely a strange year for me. I’m still discovering and piecing together it’s significance. I learned and grew in several new ways and in no particular order, I’d say the following:

  1. I learned was forced to have patience. I used to go to the doctors once every three years. Once I started going every day, sometimes twice a day, it took over my life. You sit and wait, freezing. Then they call you into another room. To wait. And freeze. In a paper gown. The doctor eventually comes and you are no longer the smartest person in the room, even when the topic is you. You try and remember half of what they say and focus on not crying. You wait again for results and an open appointment slot and move slowly forward on in your journey. I had to learn to trust others and get on their schedule. It felt unnatural…but once I gave in, it was sort of peaceful and I grew to enjoy my new pace.
  2. I learned to do less. My brain wouldn’t work most days, either because of low iron or medication. I had to be ok with simply doing less. It wasn’t easy at first but it was a good opportunity to let go. Since I didn’t really have a choice, this, too, eventually felt peaceful.
  3. I was reminded that my future is not up to me. It was rough thinking about the possibility of never having kids, wondering what surgery would be like, and envisioning battling cancer next year. It was over the top and I discovered there is actually a peace at work when you are in the midst of chaos. It turns out when there is nothing for you to control- no details you can handle, no idea what to even begin worrying over… you just let it all go. For the first time, I truly felt like everything was completely in God’s hands and it was oddly a nice release.
  4. I am extremely grateful and impressed by doctors and nurses. I am a floored by modern medicine and how freaking smart people are. With all its needles and surgery and pills and ways of healing- it’s like magic. I think there’s a time and place for natural remedies and I hate how it’s become an either or conversation…. Im glad we have access to both.
  5. I became thankful for my own health and healing. I made a lot of friends and have extended family members who are fighting far more serious health battles than my own. Their tests don’t come back with good news, their treatments don’t always work, and they haven’t yet recovered. It makes me very sad, and sometimes guilty. I don’t understand how God makes these choices. It’s a heavy, heavy burden and I have a newfound respect for people fighting for their lives. While feeling the effects of the actual illness, it’s exhausting scheduling appointments, filling out forms, paying bills. It’s a full-time job getting well.
  6. I let go of trying to be cool this year. Not that I really was ever under the impression I was succeeding at it before, I just learned there’s an identity shift that takes place when you are sick. You used to see yourself as healthy, active, and young, and then all the sudden you are no longer all those things. It’s humbling and often embarrassing owning your new limits. It was hard to admit to others and to myself that I was broken. You try impressing a first date wearing sterry strips and a picc line. You’ll feel positively geriatric when you have to ask them to walk slower, sit on a bench, and ignore the fact that you’re about to pop a narcotic. … I had to let a lot go.
  7. I learned I am more loved than I imagined. I love my friends and family, but still put the expectation on myself that I need to give back to them. I guess deep down, I viewed it as a conditional love. It’s a two-way street and I have to make an effort to earn and keep them in my life. This was a time in when I clearly had nothing to offer anyone and it was uncomfortable. I remember a moment in the hospital while three friends were visiting and I couldn’t stay awake. I fought hard to keep my eyes open, feeling terrible they’d come all the way to see me. Right before falling asleep, I saw their faces and I could tell- they didn’t care. They truly didn’t. They weren’t visiting me to get something from me. They weren’t expecting anything out of me at all. They came to give to me, plain and simple. That moment, and several like it after, gave me peace. I try to wrap my head around the idea that God loves me know matter what I do for him… but it still feels like I have to do a lot for him most days. My friends and family were a tangible picture of that perfect and unconditional love this year. There’s peace in knowing you are loved NO MATTER WHAT. You don’t always have to earn it. You don’t always have to be in a place where you can reciprocate it. This is wild to me! I don’t think I’ll ever get over the love I received during this time. The meals, visits, carried out trashcans, texts, phone calls, cards, flowers… I still can’t even believe it.

So what am I taking in to 2015? So far this:

It’s a wonderful thing to let go. It’s peaceful when you throw up your hands and realize you can’t do it all, and you don’t have to. Crap is going to happen, and when it does, you’ll get through it. God prepares you and gets you through. He uses loved ones, strangers, and experts. You learn, you grow, and you’ll be glad it happened at some point. I think I’m actually getting better at knowing this truth in the moment. I am excited for what’s coming in 2015, and I know there’s a lot of work ahead for me…but I want to somehow hold on to my newfound peaceful pace.

What about you? Any reflections or hopes? I’d love to hear.

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-01-11 at 1.10.41 PM

 

Dec 8-The last night I had to coordinate my outfit with an IV…. I don’t miss the challenge.

Photo by Etsy.com

 

 

 


No Comments

Sara Lindsay Music

4
1
Posted by | No Comments

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 6.20.33 PM

Hey! Please allow me to introduce you to my lovely, talented, and warmhearted friend Sara. She leads worship in Long Beach and has just written her own full length worship album. She has a few days left on her kickstarter if you’d like to help support. I mean really… couldn’t we all use more quality worship albums by women?!:) Give her website SaraLindsayMusic a visit and check back to see when her album is available!

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 6.19.38 PM

 

 


No Comments

Drift

3
10
Posted by | 17 Comments

photo

“People do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”–D.A. Carson

This past month led me on a few unexpected trips. From Seattle to Northern Arizona, and a couple stops in between, I spent long hours with friends I don’t often see. Each place held the treasured privilege of hearing what’s really going on in their lives. In the midst of happy updates, we traded the stories you don’t see in Facebook posts and hide nicely behind Instagram filters. Nothing out of the ordinary surfaced, just the reality that life comes with really high highs and really low lows.

“It’s a fight. You have to constantly be working on the relationship if it’s going to make it.” “I’m really tired of trying to figure him out.” “I’m so confused.” “Sex isn’t what it used to be.” “I can’t solve this.” “It’s lonely” “He lost his job.” “I can’t take more rejection.” “If only we talked more.” “Why doesn’t he call?” “She was supposed to be my friend.”

People do not drift toward holiness. We drift toward compromise… disobedience… superstition…

After listening to my friends and reflecting on my own choices, I would add that we often drift toward good and important things- jobs, relationships, dreams, experiences and ministry. We drift unknowingly and we turn around to find ourselves living for these other things. We get hurt by them. We stress out over them. We expect them to solve our feelings of discontent, fear, unhappiness, and insecurity. It’s part of being human.

But in the end, we never drift toward Jesus.

It’s a constant battle to remember and believe He is our only shot at joy, peace, and meaning in the first place. It’s a struggle to simply trust Him with these other things. The good news is we can always find our way back to Him. We can have His presence today.

This song and Psalm have both helped me drift in a better direction lately. Hope they do for you, too.

press play

Psalm 34

I will praise the Lord at all times.
I will constantly speak his praises.
I will boast only in the Lord;
let all who are helpless take heart.
Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
let us exalt his name together.

I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
for those who fear him will have all they need.
Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry,
but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing.

Come, my children, and listen to me,
and I will teach you to fear the Lord.
Does anyone want to live a life
that is long and prosperous?
Then keep your tongue from speaking evil
and your lips from telling lies!
Turn away from evil and do good.
Search for peace, and work to maintain it.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
For the Lord protects the bones of the righteous;
not one of them is broken!

Calamity will surely overtake the wicked,
and those who hate the righteous will be punished.
But the Lord will redeem those who serve him.
No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

8ab8248a3564ad331ad46b225a3178ed


17 Comments

Cell Phones

3
1
Posted by | 12 Comments

b45193b3e4318f12dd85341d57591273I liked this article from Huffington Post so much I thought I’d share it. A mom came up with a brilliant cell contract for her 13-year-old son. I found it convicting for any age. You can read the full article here as well as watch a TV interview.

Here’s what’s on her list:

1. It is my phone. I bought it. I pay for it. I am loaning it to you. Aren’t I the greatest?

2. I will always know the password.

3. If it rings, answer it. It is a phone. Say hello, use your manners. Do not ever ignore a phone call if the screen reads “Mom” or “Dad.” Not ever.

4. Hand the phone to one of your parents promptly at 7:30 p.m. every school night and every weekend night at 9:00 p.m. It will be shut off for the night and turned on again at 7:30 a.m. If you would not make a call to someone’s land line, wherein their parents may answer first, then do not call or text. Listen to those instincts and respect other families like we would like to be respected.

5. It does not go to school with you. Have a conversation with the people you text in person. It’s a life skill.

6. If it falls into the toilet, smashes on the ground, or vanishes into thin air, you are responsible for the replacement costs or repairs. Mow a lawn, babysit, stash some birthday money. It will happen, you should be prepared.

7. Do not use this technology to lie, fool, or deceive another human being. Do not involve yourself in conversations that are hurtful to others. Be a good friend first or stay the hell out of the crossfire.

8. Do not text, email, or say anything through this device you would not say in person.

9. Do not text, email, or say anything to someone that you would not say out loud with their parents in the room. Censor yourself.

10. No porn. Search the web for information you would openly share with me. If you have a question about anything, ask a person — preferably me or your father.

11. Turn it off, silence it, put it away in public. Especially in a restaurant, at the movies, or while speaking with another human being. You are not a rude person; do not allow the iPhone to change that.

12. Do not send or receive pictures of your private parts or anyone else’s private parts. Don’t laugh. Someday you will be tempted to do this despite your high intelligence. It is risky and could ruin your teenage/college/adult life. It is always a bad idea. Cyberspace is vast and more powerful than you. And it is hard to make anything of this magnitude disappear — including a bad reputation.

13. Don’t take a zillion pictures and videos. There is no need to document everything. Live your experiences. They will be stored in your memory for eternity.

14. Leave your phone home sometimes and feel safe and secure in that decision. It is not alive or an extension of you. Learn to live without it. Be bigger and more powerful than FOMO (fear of missing out).

15. Download music that is new or classic or different than the millions of your peers that listen to the same exact stuff. Your generation has access to music like never before in history. Take advantage of that gift. Expand your horizons.

16. Play a game with words or puzzles or brain teasers every now and then.

17. Keep your eyes up. See the world happening around you. Stare out a window. Listen to the birds. Take a walk. Talk to a stranger. Wonder without googling.

18. You will mess up. I will take away your phone. We will sit down and talk about it. We will start over again. You and I, we are always learning. I am on your team. We are in this together.

Great stuff, right? I liked 13, 14 and 17. What about you? Just recently, a friend told me her friends like to place their phones in the center of the table while out to dinner. The first one to answer a call or text owes the table a round. I like it! Let’s be together when we are together.


12 Comments

Emily Owens M.D.

2
22
Posted by | 14 Comments

Last fall I recommended everyone watch Emily Owens M.D. in my post about TV.  If you’re my friend in the non-digital sense, I more than likely forced you to watch it and then checked up to make sure you had. It’s amazing (if you are a late-twenties, early-thirties girl who appreciates smart inner dialogue and a love triangle between two very excellent candidates).

If you took me up on watching…. you know may or may not know….it was cancelled. CANCELLED.  It’s the worst and I don’t want to get into right now. I do want to know if you’re team Micah or team Will and why.

The upside to this post is my friend Morgan has a close friend named Kelly, whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years. She’s witty, an excellent writer, and hysterical. She also happens to be a writer’s assistant on Emily Owens M.D.  She also happened to have made me EXTREMELY HAPPY by sending over gifts from the show!

You guys.

I legitimately lost it. I was so excited. The only thing I could think was this must be what little girls feel like when they meet Disney princesses…

Here is what came:

photo-6

A really excellent clipboard that says, “I’M A MESS. BUT AT LEAST ALL OF MY STUFF IS PERFECTLY ORGANIZED.”

Inside were a bunch of hilarious goodies.

photo-11

My favorite was the prescription pad.

photo-10

It’s hard to read, given my hurried iPhone non-photo taking skills, but the options for treatment are:

HUGS

A NEW CAREER

DATE WITH ANYONE

A WEEK OFF

A GOOD CRY

CHOCOLATE MILK

RETAIL THERAPY

A STIFF ONE

And my favorite part- Emily’s signature! I saw it, and probably shouldn’t admit this, but for a moment I thought she was real. Which would be great because I’d like to believe we’d be friends:)

Ok, that’s enough fantasy talk for one day. Kelly also sent this drink set and…

Kelly, anytime, open invitation, I’d love for you and I to put it to use in real life! THANK YOU for making my day!!

photo-9


14 Comments

DecemRED Giveaway Update

12
21
Posted by | No Comments

103653228894994061_ttK1JmcM_c[1]We are overdue for a DecemRED Giveaway update!:)  This time of year is insane, right?  I can’t figure out how moms get everything done.  Anyway, I’ve been wearing red lipstick literally everywhere I go for a little over two weeks now. Here are a few highlights:

Places I Loved It

  • Holiday parties
  • Meeting friends for dinner
  • Christmas shopping

The Riskiest Place I Wore It

  • Job Interview (although I did read wearing a splash of red increases your chance of getting hired b/c it shows confidence and strength.)

Places I felt Ridiculous

  • Hiking
  • Moving
  • Anywhere before noon

What I’ve learned

  • I look less like the walking dead in red lipstick
  • It’s a lot like high heels in that you feel pulled together all the time
  • It’s super annoying and has to be touched up constantly

Favorite Red Lipstick Moment:

photoMy level of red lipstick enjoyment  has everything to do with my environment.  There are places where a bold lip is appreciated, and places where it is not. In general, getting “dolled-up” for any type of  active sport is not ideal.  You can understand why I mentally had to prepare myself for wearing it to my sister-in-law, Jenni’s birthday party at a rock climbing gym.

When I arrived, I did my best to forget I had it on while searching the gym for the birthday party.   I’m  99% sure it was all in my head, but I felt like the sporty girls in their earth toned yoga pants were judging my bright red lipstick.  Once I found everyone, Jenni waved  a big hello and introduced me to her climbing friends.  They were all super athletic and the kind of  girls who are beautiful without makeup.  I should also mention that they are amazing climbers and I’m not very good…..I like doing things I’m good at……  I like looking the part…  I don’t think I’m alone in this.

photo (3)Feeling uncomfortable, I tried to explain myself right away and reminded Jenni about my blog challenge. Then she did the best thing- she said they’d ALL put on red lipstick for the climbing day! The others were into it and one girl admitted she’s secretly been wanting to try it for some time.  I gladly passed my tube around and the fun began!  Since we were all in it together, our bright red lips weren’t out-of-place and we all agreed we looked better climbing with it on;)  More importantly, I noticed the uncomfortable ice was broken, I made instant new friends, and felt closer to my sister-in-law.

Thanks to Jenni, what I thought was going to be my toughest challenge ended up being my favorite day of all!   It reminded me of a time a few years ago when my family took a trip to Alaska. Jenni and I decided it would be funny to wear bright lipstick with our sweatshirts to this fancy wine tasting thing.   Since neither of us wear a ton of makeup, we played it up and laughed at ourselves the entire time. It is one of my favorite memories from the whole trip.

photo (1)In nearly every story I’ve received this month, one of you mentions something about a prior fear or hesitancy over wearing red lipstick.  It turns out most of you have been waiting for an excuse or simply needed someone to do it with.  And like my new climbing friends, the challenge has given us the opportunity.

It’s crazy that something as small and insignificant as lipstick could bond people or help us make new friends, but I see it all the time.  It’s the moment in the silent bathroom line when one stranger says, “I love your shoes” and instantly we all start chatting and remember we’re on the same team.  It’s how as a female you know you’re “in” with a new a co-worker after she asks for some reassurance on her new haircut.  It’s not actually the clothes, or the hair, or the shoes that connects us, it’s the shared vulnerability.  We become friends when we admit our insecurities to each other.  With all the pressure to maintain an image, look perfect, and compete all the time, having another girl ask, “Do I look ok?” or say “You look great in that” truly goes a long way.

photo (2)Thanks for sending all your stories! My friend Bree even wrote a blog of her own about her day in red lipstick! Click here to read it.  It’s not too late to join in the fun! Hashtag #decemred on Instagram or post on facebook:) Each post gets you an entry for a 31 Bits necklace.

Also, I want to tell you that Jenni helps lots of men and women feel great about themselves every day.  She co-owns a fitness business called Rough Fit in Tustin that goes far beyond other boot camps by helping people make fitness a way of life.  My favorite part is that you are actually part of a team with other people and everyone rallies together to reach their goals.  If you are in the area and wanting to make some changes in the new year, definitely check them out!


No Comments