Tag Archive: love

Guest Post: Aubrey Sampson: I Wish

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hope this morning finds you surrounded by love in some form: friends, family, netflix, pets (don’t bring them to me, I’m allergic) or, of course, your significant other.

I’m super excited about today’s post because it’s beautifully written by a very talented gal named Aubrey who’s working on a book about overcoming shame with Zondervan. While you wait for the fall release, check out her blog aubreysampson.com.

When I first read “I Wish”, I was both touched and convicted. Aubrey has an incredible way of taking an every day experience and revealing the heart of what’s going on inside. I thought Valentine’s Day was a perfect opporutnity to wrestle with the idea of contentment since the holiday often sets many of us up to fail. “I Wish” is a great reminder that we have everything we need to be joyful.

I Wish

by Aubrey Sampson

Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods and Disney’s latest production of the same title are bookended by two powerful words: I wish. The point is that wishing is cyclical. We wish. We receive. We wish again.

I’ve wished for a new kitchen for quite some time now, but the reality is that on a church planter’s salary new countertops and appliances are the stuff of fairy tales. To my surprise, however, for a Christmas gift, my husband went all heroic-DIY on me. He restored our kitchen cabinets, repainted the entire room, and even used some hardware store credit he’d been saving up to replace our 1980’s eyesore of an island light. It was an affordable way to make my dreams come true. The new kitchen looks gorgeous. I am in love. I am grateful. And yet…I continue to wish.

A few days following the unveiling of the kitchen, I began to think of all the little things I wanted for the new space. A circular rug would be nice. Some new coffee mugs would be cute to display. Nothing too grand or out of reach, really, but before I knew it I was hunting the internet incessantly for sales; ignoring my family to scour decorating apps for farmhouse-chic chalkboards, neo-distressed island stools, and kitschy kitchen dishes. At night while my household slept, I would tiptoe down the stairs to search, uninterrupted, through EVERY DESIGN BLOG THAT HAS EVER EXISTED.

And while there is nothing inherently wrong with online shopping, I began fixating on what I didn’t have, couldn’t afford, and desperately longed for. I wasted long hours placing household items into online shopping carts only to delete them in a moment of anti-materialist resolve, only to later add them again.

My wishing had mutated into obsessing, and I transformed from a sweet Sondheim fairy tale character into a nighttime Gatsby; surrounded by my new beautiful kitchen while staring out at the Other Kitchens just out of reach. And all of this was literally in the span of a week.

In scientific terms: Girl. Gone. Cray. Cray.

Incidentally, as swiftly as the wishing came, the shame followed. I hated myself for this covetousness, this greed. All around me neighbors are losing homes and jobs, and yet I’m daring to wish.

In his classic book, The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer writes, “There is within the human heart a tough, fibrous root of fallen life whose nature is to possess, always to possess. It covets things with a deep and fierce passion. The pronouns my and mine look innocent enough in print, but their constant and universal use is significant. They express the real nature of the old Adamic man better than a thousand volumes of theology could do.”

I think of my grandmother. Raised by share croppers in Oklahoma, a widow with four children, and still reeling from the residual impact of the Great Depression, Mamaw would deny every gift we tried to give her. “But you need a dishwasher,” we’d say.

“No I don’t. I have always washed my dishes by hand and will do so until the day the good Lord takes me home.” She wasted nothing and shared everything. She was a woman content to decorate her house with newspaper clippings, photos of flower bouquets or mountain scenery. She most certainly was not a woman possessed by Pinterest or owned by Overstock.com. Sensible Mamaw would never have wasted money, let alone a commodity as valuable as sleep, to pore over images of mid-century modern soap dispensers.

These are such first world problems, I know that. At the end of the day they are also Garden of Eden problems. I am Gatsby but I am also Eve. I dwell on what I don’t have. I’m discontent. I don’t believe God has provided everything I need. I wish.

And let’s be honest, right now my struggle happens to be with material items, but if it wasn’t, I’d be longing for other things: approval, accolades, affection.

“We either love wrong things or we love them in the wrong ways,” writes Jen Pollock Michel in her beautiful book, Teach Us to Want. “Instead of loving God faithfully, we devote our affection to trifles…We seek our good in something or someone other than our eternal husband, who is our God.”

In an attempt to stop the madness, to honor my DIY husband, and more significantly, my Eternal One, I finally began asking myself some difficult questions about wishing: What would it look like for me to cultivate gratefulness? Can I give generously to others rather than hoarding in my online shopping cart? Can I enjoy beauty without becoming greedy? Can I learn to wish for the right things?

And the most essential question of all: Can I learn to be content with nothing, knowing I possess everything in Christ?

So I’m trying. I’m turning off the phone, keeping a thankfulness journal, practicing generosity, trying to find true rest. I’m not buying the rug or the soap dispenser.

Even so, something in me knows this: my true contentment will never be found by forcing my possessions back into their proper place. It will be through remembering that Christ possesses me.

Even in my “cray cray,” even in my shame, even in my wishing, I am his.

We are his. And he will be faithful to transform our desires and change the object of our longings. And at the same time, I believe that our wishing won’t end. In fact I don’t think the point of our Christian lives is to stop wishing. I actually believe God will help us to keep on wishing, because at the end of the day, all of our longings are designed to point to and be met in him. As Sondheim put it, “To be happy and forever you must see your wish come true.”

In other words, we will wish until we find the ultimate object of our wishes—Jesus.

 Photo by zazzle.com

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New Year

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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.

 

 

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

Photo by Etsy.com

 

 

 


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Cindy vs. Morning

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Hello there!

It’s been too long… As I berated myself for the hundredth time for never blogging, the fireman suggested I just start and not worry about coming up with something amazing. Then he sent me a blog idea- an entire blog devoted to coffee! I’ve reposted her Coffee vs. Tea post below:)

Will this post change your life? Ehhh..probably not. But it’s fitting since I’m starting at the beginning. What gets me out of bed every day? It’s not family, love, God, or my passions. I hopefully live for those things, but truly the one thing that gets me up is coffee. In my head, I make the same deal every single day- if I get up, I can have coffee. It’s my one tried and true habit.

I try to make it at home to save money, but some days end up at Starbucks to save time. At which point I regret my decision and silently curse the folks in front of me ordering decaf lattes, or worse- frappacinos. Don’t they understand 6am-9am is about survival? This isn’t Treat-Yourself-Time. It seems reasonable that they should be allowed in past 10am.

Anyway, below are the benefits of drinking both coffee and tea. Don’t you just love anything that tells you your daily vice is good for you?!

P.S. My favorite mornings are when the fireman surprises me on his way home from shift with a coffee delivery.

Not kidding.

What gets you out of bed?

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#IShouldveKnownWhen

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Thank you for your feedback on this one! I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing your horror stories. Below are 10 “IShouldveKnownWhens sent in by YOU!

1. Less than 20 min. into the first date, he asked me to train with him for a 1/2 marathon and wouldn’t take no for an answer.

2. He said he often forgets to eat breakfast. And lunch. Oh, and dinner, too. Huh??

3. He shared a bedroom with his sister.

4. He showed up to our date on rollerblades

5. I found out he was born in the 90’s.

6. Sent me a shirtless selfie.

7. Takes shirtless selflies.

8. Said he couldn’t drive at night b/c saltwater and sunlight had ruined his eyes

9. He told his friends we were together after our third date.

10. LOVED vikings. And told me about it.

Send your stories over:) Or use the hashtag #IShouldveKownWhen

XOXO

Cindy

Photo by We Heart It

 


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Top 25 Love Songs

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Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a list of love songs to celebrate with:) There are far too many to choose from but here is a few great ones.

Sparks by Coldplay

Stolen by Dashboard Confessional

Make You Feel My Love by Adele

At Last by Etta James

Dreamlover by Mariah Carey

La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstong

Everything I Do by Bryan Adams (this one goes out to Amber)

Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra

When the Stars Go Blue by Ryan Adams

Into the Mystic by Van Morrison

So Are You To Me by Eastmountainsouth (Jody:)

My Girl by Temptations

She Lit a Fire by Lord Huron

Strawberry Wine by Deana Carter

San Francisco by Gregory Alan Isakov

Lover of the Light by Mumford & Sons

I Swear by All 4 One

For Me This is Heaven by Jimmy Eat World

It Matters to Me by Faith Hill

Fools Rush In by Elvis or UB40

Only Love by Ben Howard

California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco

Hoppipolla by Sigur Ros

To Be With You by Mr. Big


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Book Club: Paris Letters

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It happened again! That thing where random things connect perfectly:) On Saturday I was thinking I needed to find a new book to read. On Sunday my faithful reader-grandma-theologian friend, Alecia recommended Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod. Since February is the month of all things love and Valentines, what better time to read a real love story? (In stalking the author’s blog for a few minutes, it appears this is a story of how she met her man).

The book comes out tomorrow.  Coincidence?? No, it’s actually just the careful planning of her publisher. If you’re in, finish up by February 28th. I have a feeling this will be a quick read and the perfect way to enjoy the month:)

je t’aime!

Cindy


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Welcome

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Dear Hannah,

Please don’t let my first impression fool you. The fact that I set off the infant abduction alarm at the hospital and had to wear a SARS mask to meet you does not mean I came to harm you. Quite the opposite. I came because I love you and couldn’t wait to meet you. And truthfully, most of your encounters with me will be slightly awkward, but usually memorable. Buckle up.

I’ve never been an aunt before but based on what I know from my own aunts, my job is to show you the ropes, be your ally, and take you on lots of great adventures that your parents won’t approve of and your grandparents are too old to try. We can go anywhere you want to go. Unless you pick something lame. Then I’ll choose something else for us to do.

Who am I kidding? You hold all the power. You’re like a tiny ruler in the Johnson universe. We are all drawn to you and you can have whatever you want with a finger squeeze or a baby giggle.

The first thing you need to know is your mom is incredible. She was very sick in the beginning and she fought through it to bring you into the world. She loves you unconditionally and will be a wonderful and caring guide to you as you make your way through life.  Also, she bakes the best cakes. You came out 9lb 8oz. so chubbiness is not new to you. Eat the cake. You carry it well.

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Your dad is my brother. The rules state I can’t be too nice to him (especially in print) or it will explode his head. Between you and me, Mark is a great man. He’s the most generous, kind, and loyal guy I know. This will make for a wonderful father. You’re a very blessed girl.

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They say it’s ideal if you have 5 adults other than your parents to walk with you through life. You already have two sets of awesome grandparents, great grandparents, two uncles and aunts, a whole church, lots of friends, and I’m worth at least 2.5 …so you should be good to go! I can’t speak for everyone, but I think we all want you to know that Jesus loves you very much. He loves you more than we ever could and His love will help you grow up brave, kind, and good.

Welcome to the family! There is no getting out now!

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It’s Not What You Say, it’s How You Say It

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From time to time friends of mine send me articles on singles/dating. Let me just walk you through what happens when I get these:

Notification. Click. Cringe. Reluctantly read.

The absolute worst is when someone posts one on my wall for the whole world to see.

Notification. Click. Horror. Delete. Delete. Delete. Why is it so freaking hard to remove from my phone?! How long has it been there?!?!

In my right mind, I’m thankful friends take the time to pass them along. I need to be up to date. So please, keep sending… as emails.

Recently I was sent one called, “What Not to Say to Single People” posted on Relevant. Let me start by saying there are helpful ideas in her blog. My goal isn’t to attack it. I’m responding because it made me stop and wonder for the first time, why do Christian articles on singleness make me so uncomfortable?

I came up with the following: It’s the way Christians talk about singleness and dating. It’s not so much what we say, but how we say it.

Think about it; in the secular world the single life conjures up images of fun, freedom, excitement, choice, and strength. It’s hot and sexy to be a single girl. The single storylines we see in movies and TV aren’t tragic, but exciting. The plot ends when a girl gets married.

The storyline we get in church is that life can’t begin until we are married.  We usually only see the roles of wives and mothers played out. Christian single life paints images of tears, desperation, cat ladies, and awkward adults gathered around a bowl of church punch playing Catch Phrase.

Why is this? Both groups are talking about the same exact phase of life. (And both have misunderstandings to be sure) But why do Christians talk about it so differently? How can we talk about dating in a way that highlights the good parts about being single?

 

Don’t Make Singleness a Thing

Honestly, I’m horrified by the fact that an article on on how to talk to singles even exists. (I realize I am writing one.) I’m sitting here feeling all-normal, when apparently people need help talking to me. Really? It makes it sound like we have some type of rare disease that requires special handling. I can’t imagine an article like this in a secular setting. Married or not married, it’s not as big of a deal outside the Church.

Don’t Make Singleness Everything

In my office, people talk about all kinds of things- sports, news, and job related issues.  At a Christian function? Forget it. I’m constantly fielding random questions about my dating life. Since the Bible is largely silent on romantic love, it seems odd that Church is the place I feel most pressured to answer for myself.

I don’t hate talking about my dating life and I’m grateful people care about what goes on. It truly is an issue of proportion. One friend wrote me,  “My pastor is CONSTANTLY commenting on how he’s praying for my future husband. However he never comments on how he’s praying for a better job or financial stability or something else equally worthwhile.”

My friend appreciates her pastor’s concern and prayers. It gets tricky when it starts to feel like the only thing people care about.

Don’t Talk About Singleness if You’re Married

I’m going to get burned at the stake over this one, but hang in there with me. Think, “I can talk about my mom, but you can’t.”

Just like finances, marriage, parenting, and dieting are often precarious and complex issues, so is dating. These are topics we build up to with people we put our trust in over time.  For some reason it’s socially acceptable for a married person to casually ask a single person how their relationship is going, but inappropriate for a single person to ask how a marriage is doing.

That being said, I have married friends I love talking about my relationship with. The difference is, I’ve invited them into it.

 

Don’t Treat it Like a Problem to Solve

My biggest concern with Christian single articles, books, and conversations is they typically come across as “how-tos” with lots of advice. This is off-putting because it presupposes the single person is unhappy being single, and unmarried because of a lack of knowledge or effort.

You can see how this would be frustrating.

The Relevant article said, “It’s important for those who are married to remember the struggles that come with being single and do their best to walk away from an interaction with a single leaving them feeling helped, not hurt.”

Do you see the top-down innuendo? While I appreciate the heart behind this, it’s uncomfortable to read your life as a “struggle” in someone else’s eyes. Also, it assumes I need help when I don’t see finding love as a problem to be fixed; I see it as something that happens when it happens.

The truth is, I like my life. I don’t like reading things that give the impression I’m unhappy because I’m not married. If you are married, how would you feel if most articles assumed you were depressed in your marriage?

The bottom line is no one fully understands love. Poets, writers, musicians, and philosophers have tried to capture and describe it since the beginning of time. Despite all efforts, we still don’t even have a solid definition.  Single people don’t like being talked to as if it’s something married people have figured out while we haven’t.

 

Don’t Go too Far with Expectations

Christians can be weird.

We somehow manage to get even weirder around the topics of dating and relationships. We don’t like grey areas. When you take a mysterious concept like falling in love, it’s tempting to want to put it in a standard sized box.  In this case, married with children by 26.

When a person doesn’t fit this expectation, our instinct is to want to fix, help, and give advice. Which is a bummer. My single friends and I don’t want to be fixed. We aren’t unhappy with all of life because we aren’t married. Sometimes we love being single. Like Saturday mornings, when no one bugs us or needs our attention. We look at the divorce rate and know marriage isn’t going to solve any of our actual problems. In the meantime, we pursue other things and enjoy our independence. Maybe we’ll get married at 40 or 50. Maybe we’ll love it. Maybe we’ll hate it. Either way, we want to decide for ourselves.

There are so many ways to live a life. I often wish I lived outside my Christian circles because there seems to be more space for things to look differently. Which is disappointing since Jesus is the ultimate includer of the outsider. Something about the way He spoke to people made them feel welcomed and validated. And at the end of the day, that’s how we all want to be talked to.

 (photo source unknown)

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A Good Woman is Hard to Find

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A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” (Prov 31:10 MSG) Or, in the NIV, “A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies”

I never thought too much about Proverbs 31 until my friend Aleica told me the story behind it. In the Hebrew, it is an alphabetical acrostic that Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, would have sung or recited to him. Each phrase is a character trait she wanted him to look for in a wife.

You can read this Description of a Good Woman here.

It’s interesting that God saw fit to save this ancient wisdom for us. He must still feel it’s important for men to look for these qualities, and for us as women to try and learn them. In addition to scripture, I’ve had the blessing of learning (well, attempting to learn) from my own mother. In honor of Mother’s Day, I’ve written the modern-day traits I’ve seen lived out by my own mom, following the order of Proverbs 31.

A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.(vs.10)

My dad trusts her and she has made his life better in every way.  She never tries to hurt, shame, or take from him. (vs.11-12)

She has always worked hard: as a special ed teacher, a mom of four, a neighbor, a friend, a servant in the church. (vs.13)

She has traveled the world- from Egypt to Australia, Europe to Latin America.  She was sport to backpack on her honeymoon and had to hitchhike her way home after getting lost in the mountains. Who is she!? (vs.14)

She does not get up early. She’s a rebel like that. She stays up late and makes sure everything gets done.  She is never moody. Her peaceful and loving spirit is what keeps our home together. (vs.15)

She feeds anyone who crosses her doorstep. Growing up, she stretched out my dad’s salary to feed 3 growing boys, my dad, and me. She silently prepared thousands of breakfasts, packed our lunches, and we had a home cooked dinner around the table nearly every night of my life. I believe most of who I am today was shaped at that table. Today, she hosts 30 people every Tuesday for bible study without batting an eye. (vs.16-19)

She extends her hand to the poor, welcoming anyone and everyone  into our home and church. She knows the name of every neighbor living on her street (in Orange County I might add), and makes a point to walk over with baked goods on a regular basis. She often invites them to church, even when they’ve turned her down before. She gets the life story of our grocery checker before we pay the bill. This used to embarrass me. It’s only now that I am appropriately astounded at the rare and powerful gift she provides others and the security she has in Jesus that gives her the courage to do so. (vs.20)

When you shop with her, she will buy you what you want:) It’s awesome. (vs.21)

She made our clothes growing up. I’m ok that she only does this now upon special request. (vs.22)

She brings honor to my dad’s name. Good choice, dad. (vs.23)

“Strength and dignity are her clothing” (vs. 25) She is strong. She gave birth four times without pain meds before it was hip. More importantly, she will not make me feel bad if I one day do the opposite.

“She smiles at the future.” (vs 25) Well….mom is a BIG worrier….But, she trusts my dad 100% to provide and be there for us.

She is the most kind, patient, and sacrificial person that I know. (vs.26)

She works hard is not lazy. (vs. 27)

My siblings and I love her dearly. (vs.28)

In a culture obsessed with beauty, my mom wears hardly any makeup and never has. I tease her for it but deep down I know watching her wake up every day truly satisfied in who she is, just as God made her, has made a lasting impact on me and how I view my worth.

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” vs 30.

I love you, mom.

And to all you moms out there, for all the different ways you live Prov 31 out in your own way, I hope you feel loved and celebrated!

 


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Book Club: The Gifts of Imperfection

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2545 THE GIFTS OF IMPERFECTIONI finished reading this a couple of weeks ago and haven’t been able to stop thinking and talking about it! My delay in posting has had more to do with figuring out how to curb myself from overwriting than anything else.

If you didn’t read this book, please, please do. You won’t regret it. The short recap is world renown researcher, Brene Brown spent 8 years studying shame and vulnerability.  During her more than 10,000 interviews, she realized there was a great divide between people who lived what she calls wholeheartedly (experience joy, peace, love) and those that don’t.  As she compiled lists of what made up wholehearted individuals, she realized she was in the “don’t” category.  This led to a personal breakdown and visit to a therapist. In the end, she believed so strongly in the accuracy of her own findings, she made huge changes to her own life as well as her family’s. The book is her story woven through her research.

Basically, I want to be her. My copy is so underlined, highlighted and covered in notes I can’t even tell you. I wish I could hit on every point…but no one, not even my mom would read that.

So, I’ll tell you about the guidepost I’ve spent the most time thinking about since closing the book. I’d love for you to share your favorite.


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