You have learned to wave and say hi and bye. We are all so smitten with you my love. So thankful to have you in our world.
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A good friend will see things in us that we can't see about ourselves - Bob Goff
We all need a friend like this. Someone to affirm us, when we can't see our true gifts and talents. To tell us that we CAN do it, when fear has overcome us. We need a friend to remind us gently of grace. Grace for ourselves. Grace for others. When it feels like we just aren't getting anything right.
We need people who are our true fans. Who cheer us on without any jealousy or envy.
Likewise, we need someone to look us straight in the eye and tell us when we need correction. When we are losing our way. We need people that can be honest and tell it like it is.
We need someone to pray for us. To hear us without judgement. To love us without conditions.
And we need to be this friend to others. In a world that is so "connected" through social media and technology, it is hard to find friends that are truly connected through the heart. But, the effort and time it takes to truly connect with people wins every single time.
In Florida, the transition from Summer to Fall is definitely more subtle than in other areas in the country. Sports and holidays are more indications of the season change than the weather. We are always grateful for the drop in humidity and look forward to the few cool fronts we will see in the months ahead.
Today, we welcomed Fall with a high of 89 instead of 99. We will live vicariously through everyone else's pictures of fall leaves and cute boots; while we spend more days in the sun with bare feet waiting for the cooler days to arrive.
It seems we never get quite enough daylight these days, but I sure do love the fall sunsets. The two of you love your impromptu play dates.
I want Thanksgiving to be a way we live within our home every day of the year. I want gratitude to overflow from our hearts always.
“In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
I notice that when our schedule gets too full, my whole demeanor can change. When I forget to give my days to God and try to do them on my own, I find myself stressed out and grumpy. Last Friday, was one of those days. It had been a long week filled with unusually busy days and unexpected changes from our normal routine. Many things had built up and I found myself impatient, using an unkind tone, and bulldozing through our home. And then there was this moment. I don’t know what happened prior to it, I don’t know what either of us said, but we both broke into laughter. We stopped what we were both doing and just enjoyed this time. It changed the whole day and was just what I needed to reset. I am thankful for the gift of laughter. I am so grateful that God created this way to revive our soul.
A love that reminds me to make every day count. Each day we are given with our loved ones is a gift. Never let our love go unknown or unspoken.
Today, you were playing with your cousin Cha Cha when Aunt BB stopped by unexpectedly. I was super excited to see her; I always love whenever we get time to visit. I noticed immediately that you began to act in an unkind way to your other cousin. In your own words, you explained that you were already playing with Cha Cha and wanted to play with her alone. You didn't want to share. I explained that this wasn't a nice behavior and I apologized to Aunt BB. I was embarrassed and disappointed that your heart was so selfish at this moment. It didn't take long before all three of you were playing and the conflict was behind us, but I have thought about that afternoon a lot. It really bothered me that you would act so unwelcoming. I never want anyone to feel left out or hurt because of your behavior.
This weekend as I was thinking about that afternoon, I came across a post by Lisa-Jo Baker entitled How To Get Over Cliques and Get Real Community. In her article, Lisa-Jo discusses how as women we often want nothing more than to be needed and invited in by other women. She shares how we often feel left out and not a part of the inner circle.
She shared this quote from C. S. Lewis. “The quest of the Inner Ring will break your hearts unless you break it.”
Lisa-Jo continues, “But friend, just blink. Blink and see that it’s a mirage. The illusion that there’s an inner circle we've been left out of; the lie that we've been left out on purpose. We’re built for friendship, yes. We have community in our bones. And when we’re desperate and blinded by the taunting mirage of the inner circle we will end up drinking the sand- angry, gritty, bitter and confused. We can fight to find a way in or we can love on the women where we’re at. We can obsess over who didn't talk to us or we can focus on the woman we’re talking to. We can keep looking for a seat at a more popular table or we can pass the bread basket and an introduction to the women sitting right where we already are. Everyone is on the outside of something. But that is only half the story. We are all on the inside of something often without even realizing it. Do you see? Blink. Do you see them? Your people. Look around. Wipe the mirage out of your eyes. Now, who do you see?”
As I read this, I thought about you, only 5, unknowingly creating your own “inner circle” of sorts and how damaging these behaviors can be the older we become. I thought about the many times I have felt left out of one “inner circle” or another. And then I realized all the times I have unintentionally left others out as well. Who haven’t I seen?
I really want you and your sister to grow into women that can be confident right where you are. Women, not seeking the inner circle, but loving everyone around them. There wasn't anything wrong with your desire for one on one time with Cha Cha, but Christ’s desire is for us to love all of those around us, not a select few, at a select time. This is a reminder to me to open my heart to each woman God has placed in my life right now. It is a reminder to me, the next time I feel left out, to stop and see who is already sitting next to me.
A few weeks ago, I decided to order Holi powder so you could have your own color war by the lake. It was so fun to watch you together; laughing, screaming and painting one another in bright colors.
As most mothers, I am grateful when I see y'all having fun together, and most of the time you do enjoy being together. You really are each other’s best friends, but the reality of life, with multiple children, is that there is also conflict. Big Sissy and Bubby, two and a half years apart, can be very competitive. Your battles have become a valuable lesson in our home about grace.
I love these words by Bob Goff, “Grace doesn't seem fair until you need some.” Often times, you will tattle on each other, pointing out mistakes or misbehavior; almost as if you want to see your sibling get into trouble. Yet, when the situation is turned around you see how hurtful this can be. We explain that God wants us to encourage one another, not seek out each other’s faults. He is the ultimate example of grace. I want you to see how beautiful life can be when we encourage one another. I want you to know the importance of giving grace always.
This is true for both adults and children. How often do we focus on how we have been hurt or wronged? How often do we genuinely give grace and forgiveness? I know there have been times that grace was not easy to give; but I have seen how freeing it can feel to demonstrate grace and to give love, even when it is not deserved.
I cherish these moments where you are blissfully enjoying one another. On days when I find you in the midst of conflict, I am reminded of the never ending need for grace. I know that as your mother, I must demonstrate this example of grace in our home. It’s always a blessing that God will continue to work on my own behaviors, as I mother the three of you.
The time change means soccer practice is now under the lights. I wasn't sure how I would like you having soccer practice for the competitive team twice a week for two hours each night, but I have really learned to enjoy this time at the field. Not only do I love to watch you play; but it has been good for me to have time to just sit, to socialize, or to read while you practice. I've really learned to find value in the times we are just still. Time to build relationships or time to restore ourselves are both wonderful things.
We had such a fun day yesterday celebrating my birthday and attending the church Fall Festival. At some point during the night, you all climbed in our bed. This morning you all needed some extra sleep. I loved seeing you each with you faces still painted; reminders of a fun evening. This time of year is so busy, but it is so wonderful to see you all enjoying the fun activities. Childhood is such a brief season and I hope yours will be filled with wonderful memories and traditions.
Every year you love going to the Fall Festival at church. You love getting to have an extra night to dress up in your Halloween costumes.
The subtle signs of Fall.