Hope Gleaned. Thoughts on Friendship.

There's more. But this is all I can muster up.

Life's so F U L L. Full of chaos. Full of change.
Full of garbage. Full of all the things we don't need. 
But it's also filled with things we do need. 
Filled with peace and love and HOPE

I have recently had the pleasure of having some very memorable conversations. Some of them were deep, some of them were awesome, and some were just raw life. I wrote a few days ago about my friendships and even since then things have blossomed. And I'm grateful. Some dear friends are going through some very intense times and I've had them on my mind. A LOT. But, I'm not worried about them, I know they will be fine. But they have certainly been heavy on my heart. HEAVY. The beautiful thing? Instead of being ready to run for the hills and pray they don't call me, hoping that they make it out alive without dragging me into their drama, I've been so drawn to them. I want to call them and text them and plan a sleepover just like when we were younger.

I used to think that the friendships you had as a kid would always be close to your heart... After all, during those awkward teen years, who could know you any better? They went through the highs and lows WITH you. Those were the years of my truest friendships. There were no boys to seperate us. No fiance's or husbands, no screaming infants or blabbing children. There were very few bills to pay and meals to cook (chips & salsa is considered a meal, right?). There were the endless hours on the phone and sleepless nights where we contemplated every possibility of the future. There were poems and singing, O glorious singing!

I was as real as I could possibly be during those years and I've carried away a wealth of treasure from them. But despite those blessings, as I began to navigate adulthood, I began to question whether or not that same level of depth could ever develop (or be sustained) later in life. They WERE close to my heart, but could that ever return to present-tense?

Recently, I've concluded that the beauty of childhood friends is not lost with the responsibilites of adulthood. It can be. It can mean that we push each other away. It can mean that we are more worried about the laundry and dishes than connections. It can mean not fully disclosing ourselves, our hopes, our fears. We can choose to stop asking our friends the big (read: heavy) questions. We can choose to hide our biggest failures and frustrations. We can hide behind a myriad of walls (jobs, spouse, media, activities etc.). We can, very easily, make sure we don't have time to invest in each other. We can pretend that things are so different and we are so different.
But we aren't. 
And we don't have to.
We don't have to go through the messiness of life alone. 

It takes guts to pick up the phone. It's hard to know how to start. Sometimes it's hard to tell someone how anxious, scared, worried, hopeful you are about your marriage, your baby, your finances, your family, your body or your future children. Sometimes we are so used to saying "Oh, I'm fine" and quickly citing the weather or how we lost our contact this morning. But what else?

Oh, I know. I know that it doesn't just come out. It doesn't just happen that you pour your heart out. Your heart has to be full before it begins pouring out. That stuff has to be brewing inside before it's ready. Timing is important and so is the vessel you're pouring it into. You can't just pour it into someone that you're not sure is really concerned. Your "sensitive material" can only be given to someone you know understands how precious it is. Someone that knows you're not nearly as strong or confident as you appear and won't ever throw anything back in your face. Someone that has, somehow genuinely invested her heart in you.

My husband has frequently reminded me of my own loyalties and of the HIGH value I place on relationships. It's true, but I've never seen it so vividly. Relationships are a HUGE vessel of change. They are the vessels of peer pressure and destruction as well as hope and redemption. Those positive relationships are the voices of warning when we are wandering and the encouraging words during our storms. They are so much more than the words in every self-help book or logical answer. They are the words and peace and hope and joy and love of our Savior in flesh. And without them... yes, I would be lost. LOST.



So, from time to time my dear husband has had a crush on a celebrity. There haven't been a lot, but every year or so he will be pretty eager to watch the newest movie that his "crush" is in. I, however, cannot think of any "crush" I've had on a celebrity lasting any longer than a movie we've watched. Until now. 

I <3 Jimmy Fallon. And although he is cute, I have to admit that my crush has more to do with my admiration for his humor. He's funny. FUNNY.

AND...In a couple of weeks Jon's schedule will change and he will no longer be coming home close to midnight. Which means I won't be watching "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" as I wait for him to arrive. The question is, will I start recording it?

If you'd like to see one of my recent favorite JF clips CLICK HERE.

Yes. I know it's ridiculous :)

Laugh & Enjoy!


Friends & Seasons

Our memories are often not reliable or accurate accounts of the realities we've experienced. I get that. But I've been reminded, with small little snippets of where and how far I've come over that last few years. Praise God for His provision and how He shows us how far He's brought us!

Throughout my school years, I was always pretty happy. I was fortunate enough to have some really great childhood friends and a stable journey through middle school. I never planned to meet my husband in high school, but I did. Unlike many others, I never really felt like I had experienced anything too socially difficult. But marrying at 19 and having my first daughter at 22 was a period of intense change. Change that, for the most part, I was eager to encounter, but could not have known how much I would be stretching and growing.

It was a time in my life where the friends that I'd always connected with were still out living richly exciting lives, spending their time with enriching experiences. They might have been considering others in terms of their weekend plans, but they certainly weren't waking to feed a newborn. My (slightly) older, friends from work and church were blessings in many ways, but weren't new to marriage or motherhood. They were great examples and sources of encouragement but not floundering around like I was. I remember times of extreme loneliness. I remember not feeling like there was anyone I could really count on or deeply connect with. Most of my single friends were immensely busy and those with multiple children were overly busy with their own families. I went through so many stages of mourning between 19 and 24 largely because I couldn't quite grasp all the changes that had occurred. I knew that I was where I was supposed (and had chosen) to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing, but it was also such a hard time. 

More than 5 years after my first daughter was born, my perspective (and circumstances) has drastically changed. A lot of the friends I had then are still there and the ones that were encouraging, still are. MANY of the friends that were out experiencing things that you do not experience when you're married at 19 with a baby at 22 are now married and a lot of them are starting families. A little part of me is jealous because so many of them are surrounded by other friends going through the same transitions with them. But really, truly, I'm just glad I've already gone through that part. I'm glad I can offer them support, empathy and prayers without having to travel that road with them. I have excitement for them that I wouldn't have had a few years ago. I can let them know that they aren't alone if they're overwhelmed and I can rejoice when they are high on life. And finally, I have friends that are single. Some of them have been through tough times relationally, and others are still continuing a journey that just naturally extended from college. They too, are near and dear to my heart even though I can't stage a "playdate" as an excuse to talk to them!

I'm so thankful for the broad spectrum of women in my life I can call friends. They are in so many different places and when they share portions of their journey, it allows me to appreciate my own. Don't get me wrong, I'm often sad that there's too little time in my (and their) schedule to see many of them very often, but their diverse worlds enrich mine. So over the last few years, everything that I felt was lacking in my friendships has been restored. Largely, I'm sure it's because of my perspective and maturation (I'm confident of this because, with few exceptions, most of my friends are the same). Regardless of the reason, I'm so thankful to have so many women to try to squeeze in some time with.