Wednesday, September 17, 2014


I want to be an awesome neighbor.
I love my little town and I feel a passion for living in a purposeful way to connect with my neighbors, friends, and loved ones.  I want to know my neighbors' favorite dinners, their dogs' names, and their birthdays.  I want to encourage them, wave at them, cook for them, and help them have happier days.  As soon as someone moves into a house I can see from my front or back porch, I develop an automatic affection for them.  They become "my people."
But, I'm learning as time goes on that being a good neighbor is sort of...weird.
And the last thing I want is for my neighbors to call me the "weird lady in the yellow house."
When we first moved into this neighborhood, we had an automatic connection with two other families.  We were all homeschooling, stay at home moms.  Our kids were all around the same age, and they played together for hours a day, and since the children were so young and needed adult supervision, we three moms usually had many hours of summer chit chat in a day. 
Now a days, those neighbors live in different houses, and my status as a homeschooling mom has changed.  Most of the houses around me have new occupants, and I'm not even sure I really know some of my neighbors names.  And while I'm still at home, I'm a working mom, spending 10 hours a day caring for other people's children and the rest of the day caring for mine  (oh, and writing at naptime!).  Physically getting outside of my home with two toddlers and a baby takes work and planning, and everyone else has work and plans too.  Life is hard.  Being a good neighbor is tough.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is...I wish being friendly didn't seem so foreign in our culture.  I wish that being kind and inviting someone into your home didn't seem like such a risk. 
But, I'm a pretty brave girl, and I don't mind taking risks.  So, in a few weeks, I'm going to take a big one---I'm having a block party!  I tried it once, and it went okay.  I'm attempting again, and I hope that it will be awesome!  (I'm an optimist, what can I say?!)  So, my dear readers...I need input...If your neighbors were having a block party, what would you want there?  Any ideas, suggestion, and input are welcome and valued!  I just want to be a blessing to those we live around! 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Be You Bravely

                It’s not a metaphor.  I quite literally will not take the plunge.  At least a half a dozen times I’ve stood at the side of the pool, imagining what it would feel like to let myself step off the edge, and plunge deep into the waters.  I know logically, I have nothing to fear.  My body, naturally buoyant, would float.  Anyways, my husband or my friends are always there, ready to help me if something should happen and I start to drown.  I let me own children do it, over and over again, yet there is something about it holding me back.  I have thought about the fact that it may hurt, just physically jumping off the side, but pain has never held me back much.
                Even though there’s a part of me that is ashamed of myself for not allowing myself to just go for it, there is another part of me that says---if this was a metaphor, it would be a lie.  I am brave, fearless, heroic, and courageous.   I take risks.  I do dive in, metaphorically, anyways.
                I am living a transparent life, where I am in no way pretending I’m perfect.  Anyone who reads my blog or follows my Facebook page or comes in contact with me knows that I’m just a girl who loves Jesus very much who is trying to do the right thing, while being unsure of myself and how to overcome my sins.  I’m someone who tries to boldly extend grace, just the way it has been given to me.  Deep in my heart, I know my own convictions, and I do my best to live the way God has called me to.  That is rare and few people are honest enough to live life this way.  I am brave.
                Every morning, I wake up a woman who is prone to anxiety.  I get worked up about everything---from mice to nuclear bombs and spiritual warfare.  One of my first thoughts every morning is “I can’t believe I made it alive to live another day.”  I constantly wonder if I may die and what would happen to my children and husband and parents.  Who would ever love them the way I do?  I feel my heart race and my palms turn clammy and cold as my mind imagines what it feels like as death overtakes your body.  Yeah, I know I’m morbid, but these are my thoughts.  This is my reality.  I face and refute these fears every day, with the truth of God’s word.  So, even though I face fear nearly every moment of my life, I am indeed fearless.
                I love people.  I risk getting my heart broken everyday by juggling many valuable relationships.   I try to encourage, help, and hug whenever I can.  I overlook offenses that cause others to demand worldly justice. I also care for other women’s children day in and day out.  I keep those babies safe, hug them, love them, wipe their spit off of me, and carefully clean their bottoms.  I comfort them while their mommies are out changing the world in their own particular ways.  I’ve taken what most would consider a menial job and made it a passion, my mission.  In a world that often gives way to isolation, I’m committed to befriending, loving, forgiving, and caring for people.  Because of this, I am heroic.
                So, maybe the next time I go to the pool, I’ll jump off the side.  But, chances are, I never will.  And I’m mostly okay with that.  Because, I’m no coward.  I’m a bold woman who faces one risk after another day after day---and let’s face it---I can’t do everything.