Tag Archive: love

Book Club: Heart Speaks to Heart

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1-59471-116-XSo… As a whole, what did you think? If you had to boil it down to one thing you took away, what would that be?  For me, it was the reminder that Jesus loves us with a depth and intensity we can’t begin to wrap our minds around. …And sadly, I neglect this love all the time.

 Ch. ONE

What’s one thing you came away with from chapter 1?

Here’s what stood out for me:

Whenever I pick up a book, particularly a Christian one, I open it up and my mind goes straight into learning mode. I make mental lists of what I need to change, do, add, take away, become etc. With the added need to blog about this book, my crazy and busy mind hurriedly turned to the first chapter and was smacked in the face with the opening words,

“Come to me…

Instantly I felt my heart soften and I had to put the book down and reorient my thoughts in order to receive what Nouwen had to say.

I felt chapter 1 spoke of Jesus coming to serve.  This idea still shocks me.  Perhaps it’s because I just started a new job, but I kept thinking about the way we do things in our world. There’s a structure in place for how we help each other. In a company for example, the people on the bottom work for the person at the top.  The CEO is ideally busy doing the most important things and everyone else is working on lesser tasks to help the boss reach his or her goals.

I got this image of a lesser employee, a temp maybe, stressed out, busy, and burdened by their job tasks. Things are tense at home, bills are adding up, and the temp is behind at work.  Suddenly, the CEO walks in during the week of a huge business deal.  Everyone is working like crazy to make sure things run smoothly.  As the CEO heads for his corner office, he pauses at the desk of the temp and says, “Hey, how can I help you? Is there anything I can do for you today? Any way I can lighten your load?”

It’s crazy, right? But that’s the image I get in Ch. 1. I feel like Easter is a big day for Jesus and He has the whole world in His hands. He has big important things to do. I opened the book, pen and paper ready to jot down the areas God wanted me to work on, but was instead met with an invitation to hand over my agenda and simply spend time with Him.

Come to me…and I will give you rest”

What? With everything you have going on, you, Jesus, want to help me? That’s embarrassing. You’re God.

What came out for you? Lots of excellent thoughts on Jesus’ perfect love as the only satisfaction for our longings, hurts etc. I’d love to hear your take away.


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Book Club: Tiger Lily

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9704a9cf0c98fc22c047240f629e8b08Book club due date- March 15. Today’s date- March 26. I’m late. I’m sorry.

Let’s get going. I’m going to do 3 separate posts for the 3 books so people can comment and get a discussion going on the books individually. Please, please reach out and talk to each other! It’s the only way this will work.

Tiger Lily

Overall, I enjoyed the book, even though it was sad. Anderson sure has a knack for showing the slow build of a relationship; it’s delicate nature, and painful demise. I thought Tink’s ability to read minds may have been a cheater way to do things, but satisfying b/c it meant we could see what Peter was thinking. What girl hasn’t tried to overanalyze the head of her crush, boyfriend, husband etc? This was the window in we all wish we had!

 

 

 

7514925Takeaways and Questions for you:

(Respond and comment on any you want and throw out some of your own!)

1. Did you identify with Tiger Lily? I sure did. It was hard to read at times. Were all readers meant to relate to her, or did some of you feel more like a Moon Eye or a Wendy? How so?

2. What did you think about the interactions between females in the story? I thought Anderson fleshed out the painful and subtle side of female competition well. Interesting how they were all wishing they were more like the other girls.

3. Ch. 1 explains faeries are mute and therefore great listeners. “You turn your attention, not to babbling about yourself, broadcasting each and every thought to everyone within earshot- as people often do- but to observing. That’s how faeries became so empathic. “ Pg. 3

Great stuff…convicting.

4. In the story, people stopped aging, “When the most important thing that would ever happen to you triggered something inside that stopped you from moving forward.” Pg. 163.

Anderson goes on to bookend the concept during her description of Tiger Lily’s broken heart, “It is just that she was fifteen once for the first time, and Peter walked across her heart, and left his footprints there.” Pg. 290

Tink also believed Tiger Lily may have stopped aging the moment she was happy and at home on the mountain with Peter. I found the concept very relatable, did you? Do you find your life sort of stops in certain ways at crucial moments when big things happen, painful and joyful?

5. Pick a side. Are you team Peter or are you team Pine Sap, and why? Everyone should answer this one:) There is plenty to draw from to support your idea, particularly in the final chapter. …Heart wrenching.

6. Did you like Anderson’s overall take on love? I felt she made a case for romantic love, that it can stick with you for a lifetime, but it’s not necessarily the kind of love you will build your life on. This is neither good or bad, it just is.

She (Tiger Lily) said she thought there were different ways of loving someone, and there were some she used to think were the most important and now she had changed her mind.” Pg. 287

Agree? Disagree? Relate to this?

7. What did you make of the juxtaposition between Tiger Lily, a girl who had trouble trusting b/c of tragedy in her past, and Wendy, a girl who lived a charmed life and could love easily?

What did you make of Peter Pan’s choice? Is this how it is in real life? Case by case?? Did it anger you as it did me?

Have at it!

41j42Jom2BLBTW- our next fiction will be Where’d You Go, Bernadette My friend Brittany says it’s hilarious and I could use a laugh after this last one:) Let’s try and wrap it up by May 1. How cute is that cover?


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A Valentine’s Story

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So I was all set to post a little cartoon video. Short and Sweet. Then a story happened that seemed a) too good not to share and b) oddly similar to pre-chosen video.

There are two things I know to be true about myself.

1. It is impossible for me to fly without something interesting happening. Usually, it leans more toward calamity than fortune, but either way, I ALWAYS have a story from my flights.

2. Seattle is my lucky in love city. I can’t go there without some small thrill. It’s the weirdest most frustrating thing. (frustrating b/c I live thousands of miles away and have less luck here)

So my story.

Sunday I boarded a plane for Seattle. In the row next to mine sat a nice looking gentlemen who seemed to notice me, too.  We did the eyes and the smile and the small stuff.  When we landed, he nodded  a goodbye.

Airports in general have a buzz about them, don’t you think?  So many people going so many places, it’s hard not to wonder, will I ever see this person again? I was pretty excited to see the friends I was visiting, so I rushed away to meet my ride, Amy outside.  Hug, dinner, run the next day, coffee, lunch, shopping, and eventually my last night in town.  We headed out to dinner followed by a drink at Kings Hardware. We walked in and there.he.was.

The guy from the plane!  #sleeplessinseattle #thisismyluckycity #ithoughtmyplanestorieswereover

photo-6

We chatted a little, both surprised to run into one another. He lives in Seattle. I don’t. I say I’m in town visiting and to see about a job. He says he hopes I move and that Seattle could use more girls like me. Smile. A friendly goodbye and I return to my friends.

Next day. Fly home. Layover in Oakland that reveals a Facebook message from guy from the plane!  He admits to typing my name and city in and finding me.

The rest? Well, none of your business:) I do have some boundaries.

Happy Valentine’s Day, everybody!

Before you start thinking anything along the lines of me being oh so suave, you should know (thankfully after talking with plane guy) I noticed my butt was wet when I stood up to use the restroom. What the heck? I couldn’t figure it out. Until I returned to my seat and saw that my jacket was also wet. Someone had spilled pickles on my chair. PICKLES! I sat in pickles. AKA the most stinky and gross food on the planet.

Not hot.

We called it a night.

XOXO, from Seattle

XOXO, from Seattle


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A Love Story

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Blogging has given me a new appreciation for holidays, mainly because they help me come up with content. In honor of Valentine’s Day, I asked my Grandma if I could come over and hear her and my Grandpa’s story.  Over a warm turkey sandwich, I listened in on parts I’d heard before, and a few details that were new to me.

Meet Viola Soule. Have you ever in your life seen a more beautiful name? She grew up in Pasadena and played violin for the Pasadena Civic Orchestra.  Quite the lady.

photo

Such a babe!

While Art Johnson was in WWII, his parents moved next door to Viola.  The day he came home from the war she was out trimming the hedge between their houses.  He stopped and talked with her and asked to take her out right then and there.  She said yes and they headed to the picture show that night.

Viola said she had an older spinster woman living on the other side of her house who left a sign on her lawn mower that read, “I took this out for a turn today and no one asked me out on a date!”

Grandma liked Grandpa right away explaining, “I enjoyed him a lot more than the other guy I was dating at the time. I could’ve married Art the next day ”

Grandpa, not so much. He moved a little slower.

Art, middle center. What a fox!

Art, middle row, center. What a fox!

They dated the next two years before getting engaged.  As my Grandma retold the story, Grandpa interupted to remind her that during their dating, he took off with his cousin to work a job in Illinois.  Viola looked bothered and said out of the corner of her mouth, “His cousin was a regular rounder.”

I made a mental note to begin using that phrase.

Art insisted there was no commitment at the time and Vi chimed in with, “You’re right, I could’ve gone back to that old boyfriend while you were gone.”  They both smirked and moved on to the part where Grandpa didn’t love the job and came back to date Viola again and eventually get engaged.

It’s funny picturing them navigating the dating world so long ago.  Viola with her boyfriend she wasn’t thrilled with, and Art independent as ever. Somehow, things worked out and they eventually raised a family for which I’m very thankful to be a part of. They lived their lives and it all worked out when it was supposed to.

Like the letter from Steinbeck said, “Nothing good gets away.” In dating, it can feel  like everything is super fragile and crucial.  Lunch with Art and Viola was a good reminder that Lord willing, life is long and things have a way of working out when and how they are supposed to. It’s important to simply enjoy each day and take things as they come.

Grandpa developed alzheimer’s a couple of years ago and it’s been hard on everyone, especially my Grandma.  Before leaving lunch she told me, “You know, life has good years and bad years. You take the good with the bad and your Grandpa and me have had more good years than bad. That makes us pretty lucky.”

I like her perspective.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!


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A Love Letter: Father to Son

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33df5bc252fa59b399e65b9437c5af8dMy sweet friend Courtney sent me to Cup of Jo’s blog to read the letter below.  I loved it so much, I had to repost.

In 1958, John Steinbeck, author of East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, and Of Mice and Men, received a letter from his teenage son Thom, in which Thom confessed that he had fallen desperately in love with a girl named Susan at his boarding school.

Steinbeck wrote this wise and wonderful letter back to him the same day…

New York
November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so — only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another — but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens — The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.

Love,

Fa

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(Via Letters of Note.  photo of Steinbeck with his sons John and Thom in 1954, the letter originally appeared in this book. Images songofstyle and lettersofnote.com)

Aside from endearing, this letter reminded me what a tremendous role fathers can play in how we give and receive love.  What has your dad taught you about love? Are you a dad? If so, how do you have that conversation with your kids?


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THE BOX

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tumblr_mb0yhmlvIW1qzx5hdo1_500[1]I recently had to move some of my furniture and odds and ends from my brother’s garage to a storage unit. Having dumped it back in March, I wasn’t exactly sure what awaited me.

A couch

A TV cabinet

A dresser

The box

You know, THE BOX. The one you store your ticket stubs, Valentine’s cards, and sweet notes in after a breakup. The place where pictures go from frames, to a stack, and ultimately to their final resting place inside THE BOX. THE BOX gets shoved in the back of the closet where no one, including you, can see it.

As my brother, Matt, carried it over, he took one look at the pink hearts on the outside and asked, “Why not just toss it now?”

I really wanted to. I did. I did not want to take THE BOX with me to my next destination and have been happily free from the person’s face and handwriting lurking inside for some time. But….since I couldn’t remember the exact contents of THE BOX, I thought I needed to go through it. Peering in the lid, I discovered I hadn’t used THE BOX solely for the relics of a bad relationship. In the rush of moving I had thrown in my ihome and a few other random items. Knowing my dad and brother were waiting on me, I figured this wasn’t the time to sort out THE BOX. Isn’t this the kind of thing you do in your bedroom with sad music playing or something?

“Ugh. I’ll deal with it later at home” I told Matt.

Once everything was loaded, I drove my friend Tony’s truck while my dad and Matt followed. I looked to the front passenger seat and saw that someone had put THE BOX up front. Awesome.

“What are you doing here?” I muttered to it. Didn’t THE BOX know it wasn’t meant for the light of day, much less shotgun?

13581236346451970_AYeBCMCI_c[1]We arrived at the storage unit and the guys started unloading while I signed paperwork. Noelle and Kathy, the friendly employees, greeted me with mass amounts of small talk. Eventually one of them asked me why I was storing.

Oh, it’s one of those, is it?

Sabotage conversations. The kind you get sprung on you while trying to do normal things. Ex) doctor’s office: “When did you last have sex? Are you in a relationship?” Verizon Wireless: “Have you heard of our family plan? Isn’t there someone you could sign-up with??”

Why am I storing? Why is my life not together in such a fashion that I don’t need to shove it in some 5×7 unit? Well…given that THE BOX was fresh in my mind I wanted to blame my ex, an unattractive habit that springs up now and again. I blame THE BOX. Vicious cycle.

I figured they didn’t want to hear that. Noelle (male) was wearing a Santa hat and two, not one, but two, earrings with dangling Christmas ornaments. I didn’t want to ruin his jolly mood so I smiled and muttered something along the lines of “guy’s suck.” Kathy loves it. She says it’s their mother’s fault. I love it.

I went upstairs to help with the loading. Once the big stuff was in my dad and brother went downstairs to get the last load. When they came back up I noticed THE BOX was not with them. I wondered how that conversation went down and was glad Matt had to explain my box instead of me.

Finally it was time to return the truck keys and be done. I hopped in the driver’s seat and saw that it was literally just THE BOX and me in the car. I swear it was mocking me.

I got to my friend’s house, parked, and began walking down the street… carrying the damn BOX like a sick present to return the keys. How was something I foolishly thought I could privately hold on to now publicly on display for my friend’s and family to see? I hate THE BOX! I hate THE BOX!

Embarrassed, me and THE BOX rode in the backseat of my dad’s car like five-year-olds to go to lunch. Again, I wondered what my dad thought of my BOX.

111182684522100913_qeQiVzS2_c[1]I was pretty frustrated with myself by the time we reached the restaurant. While my dad ordered, my brother and I sat opposite each other at the table as my tears threatened to spill over. Matt took one look at my face and says, “Forget this. I’m throwing away THAT BOX! You don’t need this.”

Just like that, he jogged to the car, grabbed THE BOX and dumped it. Right there, in the restaurant trash can.
Love guys, so rational.

He had to go back and dig out my ihome, but other than that, I was free.

That stupid BOX. That stupid boy. Why had I held on to either one of those? Matt was right, I didn’t need it. All day I just kept thinking, why didn’t I throw that crap away a year ago?

Was it because I wanted to reminisce? Not particularly. Was it because I was hoping to get back together? Not a chance. Do I care about the items inside? No. So why, then?

The truth is, I was just avoiding the situation. I simply didn’t want to deal with it. Yet, had I just handled my business the first time, THE BOX wouldn’t have haunted my moving day. The whole ordeal would’ve been entirely avoided. Also, my holding on to THE BOX represented what I’d done wrong in the relationship… God, you’re super funny with this whole BOX day…I’m getting the picture. I held on to someone I shouldn’t have because I was afraid you wouldn’t provide someone better.

My friend Katy told me once that every time she’s broken up with someone, she has upgraded while her ex downgraded. I laughed and had to admit she was right about her own life, was unsure it would play out in mine….until it did. The one person I’ve dated since was an absolute upgrade in every way. Why had I doubted?

195484440045040489_UDD8JG1E_c[1]The whole experience has me wondering if there are other places I am doing this in my life.

Where else am I avoiding something I should take care of now?

What things have I convinced myself are private but are actually one situation away from a public debut?

Where am I clinging to less than God’s best for my life out of fear?

These are the places where sin has great opportunity to grow. Things like avoidance, laziness, fear, and a desire to control can hide out and stay around awhile. We don’t notice anything is wrong because they are often wrapped up in small things that aren’t inherently bad, like my BOX. A narrow definition of sin allows us to make deals with ourselves like, “Later. I’m waiting for the right time. It’s not that big of a deal…it’s just a few memories…a small habit… a little too much food…a love of things…a realtionship that needs to end….one that needs to mend….a website….bitterness I can’t let go of…I need to do things my way”

We shove these small items into BOXES in the back of the closet only to end up carrying them around later, often publicly. We make today’s problem tomorrow’s.

It’s fine I still had THE BOX, but it wasn’t good for me and there’s a difference. I don’t want to give past burdens space in next year’s closet. No more carrying around a BOX full of things that weight me down or hold me back or from what God is calling me to. What about you? Do you have a BOX?

This morning I find myself very thankful for God’s grace. My closet is full of this kind of stuff and He is mercifully patient about it. He doesn’t give up on me when I cling and petition to keep items out of fear and distrust. He helps me get better at tossing things out. He’s given me the kind of friends and family that will say, “Forget this! You don’t need it” when I can’t do it for myself.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect reviving the soul.
The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.
Reverence for the Lord is pure, lasting forever.

The laws of the Lord are true; each one is fair.
They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb.
They are a warning to your servant, a great reward for those who obey them.

How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:7-14

**PS I’m accepting dating applications for Matt. Email to Olivemepost@gmail.com.


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