So Thankful for Friends

“So, are we still good for you to babysit tomorrow?” I messaged my sister. I’d asked her to look after our one year old a month earlier and double checked with her again that things were still a go a week prior to this. You can imagine my shock and frustration when her response came in, “Oh, no! We are our of town. I’m so sorry. It was very last-minute and we had to go.” 

While I couldn’t wrap my head around what made it so necessary to go to the closest tour trap city near us, my frustration was still able to subside with each message she sent. I could tell she was genuinely feeling like a heal. I tried to let her know I want upset with her (because by now I wasn’t and thankfully hasn’t joined at it earlier) and immediately sent a text to one of my very best two friends to ask the last minute favor. 

I felt an urgent need to find a replacement as soon as possible, because my Dr. appointment the next morning wouldn’t really allow me to take a toddler, or at least would promise (let’s call it) an “interesting” experience that I wasn’t excited to have. I would be in that office over an hour and didn’t want to corral a teething tot while trying to focus on things there. 

I was so relieved when my friend responded, “Of course! I’d be glad to help you out.” She has two children of her own under 3 with another on the way, but she has always made it known that her doors are always open. And they have been! Any time this has happened to me before (and it has), my friend has always come through for me! She never takes money and always offers to do it again “any time.”

I only regret that sometimes my schedule keeps me from being so wonderful for her! To often one had to say no, but I will always say yes whenever I can! And hopefully, someday I can be as wonderful a reliable friend as she is to me. 

I thanked her over and over again for all her help and even thanked her kids for playing with our daughter. My friend’s oldest gave a very grown up “you’re welcome,” feeling her own important contribution. I don’t know if I’ve ever been so thankful for friends since our journey in parenthood began.

True friends are such a blessing. May we all bless their lives back as much as we possibly can!

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Trusting Again

‚ÄčTrust. As a small child I remember it being so easy to trust everyone in everything; my parents, their friends, our family, my friends, their family, leaders, teachers… It was a world where everyone looked or for the interests of others. A carefree world. That’s the beauty of childhood, I suppose. But, with each passing year, my view changed more and more as I slowly realized the hard, sad reality; that part of it humanity means that everyone will let someone down at one time or another. 

Sometimes the hurt from abandonment, deceit, or otherwise can be so great our trust in others is completely broken and we begin to doubt the people we can and should always count on. But nothing is ever so broken that it can’t be mended. 

Healing can take time, but trust can rise again, and with it will rise a new wisdom inside of you. A wisdom that can both protect you from being hurt that way again and even protect you from building walls too high or too strong. 

I’ve had my trust broken by others more than once in my lifetime. And it’s always been by someone I expected to be different, though later I realized why those expectations were unwarranted. You can see the warning signs if you are paying attention. What you choose to do with the broken pieces though is up to you, and will have a great deal to do with who you will become, or what kind of boundaries or prisons you create for yourself. 

Trust me, people, those prisons… Not a healthy place to put yourself. Boundaries are the answer, not the prison walls. I hope you will be and have been unlike past me, and choose to do the healthy things for yourself. 

Until next time, friends, treat yourself right! Blessings!

My 30 Day Challenge for the Facebook Community

You know that friend. You’ve been that friend. And so have I. Facebook gets addictive for everyone at least once it seems, and when Facebookers live to post about their lives, sometimes we can let things get a little too personal or out of control. And you know what I’m talking about there too! There is the angry at the world friend, the woe is me friend, the I’m broke, please give money friend, the obliviously and constantly inappropriate friend, and sometimes the friend who is all of the above. There’s even the friend that Ted Mosbey and the group from How I Met Your Mother might define as the Oh, Honey friend, but perhaps we shouldn’t count her, beside we’d be saying ‘oh, honey’ regardless of how much she posted. The list of negative friends seems to be a little endless to me.

These are often the friends that post the things that undoubtedly will bring me down, sadden my heart, and encourage me to do something better with my time. I don’t want or need their negativity. Sometimes the best answer is to delete them as a Facebook friend, but sometimes this isn’t an option. 

The constant flow of posts filled with (often pointless and unjustified) anger, the incredibly poor financial choices that end with comments with hidden requests for a handout, the neverending downright depressing posts from someone who refuses all helpful advice from even their counselors, and the belittling on social media of their husbands, children, parents and friends… It is just to much for me sometimes. 

So, which friend was I when I posted everything? I don’t know, but I’m not sure I want to know either. What I do know is that I’m working harder than ever to be the positive friend. 

Being positive isn’t even that hard. You don’t have to only post words of wisdom, or encouragement, or even scriptures to be a positive friend (though I do like seeing those daily scripture posts, myself). Do you know what is required to be a positive posting friend?? It’s easy: just don’t be negative. By altering your thinking on how you word posts, you can easily go from the red zone into green. 

Instead of posting: I’m so upset with my loud neighbors for keeping me awake, you could instead post: my neighbors have been loud and kept me awake for X # of nights. Does anyone have suggestions for noise blocking during sleep that I can try?

See the difference? You may still be frustrated with those neighbors, but you at least aren’t sharing that negativity with everyone. 

Now, just to be clear, I realize we all need to vent sometimes about the crap we endure – no argument there! But please, choose your battles in negativity just like you should with family arguments. Not everything is necessary to share, just like not everything is worth fighting about. Everyone will be happier. 

And so, I’ve decided to try something different here. Most of us have encountered a 30 day challenge for this or that, but had there ever been a challenge involving your Facebook posts? Well, there is now!

I challenge you, whoever you are, whenever you read this article (even if it’s years after my post date), to do the following for the next 30 days:

1. Think before you write/post. What is it you are wanting to say.

2. Ask yourself “Is that a negative point of view?” 

3. And then ask “How can I be more positive/remove the negativity?”

4. Only post positivity. Nothing negative can be connected with your profile. 

At the end of your 30 days, feel free to come back and find me. I’d love to hear how the challenge affected your life or if it did at all. I hope you discover about yourself that you are already very positive, but if you learn otherwise, I hope the exercise can help you grow to be a more positive thinker. 

Life is so full of crap already. Let’s do what we can to lessen the burden.

This article was inspired by the word of the day prompt, subdued.

Hope Is Like a Candle 

A light in the darkness; a search for joy, truth, or freedom. Hope is like a Candle burning in the night. And hope’s flame will only die the moment we let it. 
Everyone has that single one most devastating event in their life. Mine took place in college. I knew during those hard, dark, cold months that if it wasn’t for my faith, I would have ended my life. I’m not preaching to you, but my faith was really the only reason I am alive today, writing this article, reading your stories, and enjoying the sunshine a only a loving husband and beautiful daughter can bring. 

My candle didn’t burn out. My flame did grow very small, but hope lived on. Hope that tomorrow things would change. Hope that tomorrow the pain would begin to fade. Hope that the sun would begin again to some through the darkest night I’ve ever known. Hope came through, and the sun did shine again!

If you are going through your darkest days right now, please don’t give up. Please hold on to hope for a better tomorrow. I know the pain can sell like more than we can bear, but you don’t have to carry it alone, and the sun is already shining for you, waiting for you to find your way back to it again. And the warmth it will bring your heart is with the pain. The strength you’ll gain is worth the pain. The help and hope you can someday bring someone else is priceless!

You are stronger than you know, you are braver than you realize, and your candle burns brighter than you can see. 

It will take time for healing to come and the pain to subside, but trust one who’s made it through the forest, and the valley, and the river crossing, etc… One day you will wake up and life will be bearable again. It starts when you allow yourself to begin thinking positively again about yourself first – especially if you need to forgive yourself, then life, then the way you can use this experience to help someone else, and last, the person(s) that hurt you. 

Still not preaching, but these verses have seen me through many a dark night, and I pray they can make your own candle burn a little brighter:

Romans8:24-25 (New American Standard Bible)

24For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

Oops, Clumsy Me

Clumsy

I was born clumsy. I spent my childhood stumbling around, tripping over my own feet, tripping over nothing at all! In highschool I decided I should just accept that I would always be the klutz of all klutzes. 

It was sometime after college I became aware that I was getting better. Oh, sure, I was still clumsy, but not nearly as much as I once was. I began to hope again that I’d grow out of it entirely, like a child eventually does that one hideous set of clothes their mom loves. Could it be? Oh, please, please!

Well, I’m here to tell you, chances are, you’ll never quite loose that little klutz living somewhere inside you. Not fully. No, that could will rear their head at just the perfect moment (i.e. most inopportune time), but it’s OK. Life goes on and good friends understand, even if they laugh with you about it then or later. Duke of us may need surgery after because, hey, or bodies aren’t getting any younger; but it still isn’t going to give the insecurity you probably felt in grade school and high school. 

So, even if you are like me and will always have some little piece of the clumsy old me inside, fear not. You are not alone. In fact, I’m willing to bet there are more of us out there than we realize. Should we start a club for klutz survivors?  Probably not, though it would be fun to see how many would join. 

Until next time, steady on, friends! Steady on!