Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Beauty in Being Known: Take Two

We all have an inherent need to be known. Community. Camaraderie. Kinship. Kindred Spirits. Whatever you call it and whatever personality type you may be, none of us were created to be loners all the time.

I am an introvert by design and find it difficult to put myself out there, because extended periods of time with people, especially people I don't know very well wear me out. I am your classic "drained by others" kind of gal. I can make small talk. I have lots of experience with it. But if I am forced to chat inanely for hours or for multiple events night after night, I come home emotionally, mentally and physically blitzed -- desiring my pajamas (sounds like llamas), a cup of tea, a blanket and sometimes a dimly lit room.

On the other hand, I do find myself lonely at times and longing to be known by someone, anyone,(maybe not just anyone) but you know what I mean. I seek to find that person who will take the time to invest in me, figure out what makes me tick and be a student of the craziness that makes me  . . . well . . . ME!

As a direct result of the many moves I have made over the years, I have gotten to know a number of different people and they me. However, due to living places for less than 10 years a pop (sometimes as few as 15 consecutive months), I have sown broadly in the category of friendship without sowing deeply much at all. Acquaintances are great. But being recognized is far preferable to drifting around a community as a virtual vapor or feeling like you've donned your Harry Potter invisibility cloak every single day.

I guess that's kind of where I find myself these days . . .

Finding myself in this place again makes me appreciate those friends I have gained along the way who have taken the time to know me more than a little over a short period of time.

I ran across a book a while back that reminded me of one of those friends:

This friend knew I loved drawing and thought of me when she saw this book. I love it. I love that she knew me well enough to pick something she knew would touch my heart and leave a lasting impression I won't soon forget.

While I am ultimately glad for the paths that have been briefly crossed, my thoughts now linger on those relationships that have lasted a lifetime -- a far smaller and yet far deeper group overall.

I can't possibly discuss the beauty in being known without mentioning my dearest bosom friend of all time. ML and I have known each other for well more than half our lives. We went to see "Arthur" together, for goodness' sakes . . . in the theater.

We know everything there is to know about each other. We are the ones who originated this phrase below:

We do know too much (if that is truly possible in the presence of a lifelong bosom friend), and so much comfort comes from having someone know everything about you and like you anyway. ML is my favorite comedienne, my lifelong cheerleader, my sense of reason, my accountability partner, my sounding board, my shoulder to cry on, my closest thing to a sister, my friend.

She has been and forever will be the one who keeps me grounded while encouraging me to fly. She knows by the sound of my voice what mood I am in, and she can usually tug me out of a bad one in a way no one else can. She is my solid rock and my anchor, while I am her free spirit and tie dye-wearing hippie who chases rainbows and dances in the rain. She accepts me warts and all, and I do the same for her. We have witnessed and often prompted change in one another, but the beauty of being known is revealed in the assurance that change is not required or demanded in order for the relationship to be sustained. 

What happens to me when ML isn't available, when those closest to me physically can't assuage my level of loneliness, when having the people at Sam's Club greet me or driving out of my way for the crossing guards to wave at me just isn't enough in the "knowing me" department?

Hear me loud and clear here! I am NOT saying I turn to the Lord last. I am not saying He is a final result and that He doesn't walk with me through all the relational twists and turns in my life. He is the first One I turn to in all circumstances. I guess what I am saying is God assures me over and over again in His Word of His power to know me beyond the level of any of my earthly friends -- no matter the longevity or depth they may achieve.

Rest in that today. You are known. You are not forgotten. You are not invisible. You are His precious child, and He sees you regardless of where you are in any of your earthly relationships!

We can confidently pray like Hagar:
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. ~Genesis 16:13-14 (NIV)

Leaving a trail of beauty~


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #219

Squeaking in at the end of the day to check in and share how God is filling my thanks tank. Here's my short list:

  • Coffee
  • A full pantry (no one needs to know I haven't bought the bird yet, right?)
  • Space heaters
  • Warm socks 
  • Fleece-lined leggings -- an essential layer lately to keep down the shivers
  • Good reports at the eye doctor. 
  • Librarians who love their jobs and are eager to help when asked, plus a sweetheart of a teenage son who took out a book simply to make her feel like her suggestions were important even though it was not a book he would have chosen. 
  • Protection for my precious mom as she had her second knee replacement surgery and came through with flying colors. 
  • A new job for my girl working at Vera Bradley for the holidays. Hmm . . . Christmas presents?!?!
  • Seeing the joy in the face of a passerby as he joined in dancing to "Happy" with me and my younger daughter while were waiting in the car in front of the mall. 

So, how has God been filling your Thanks Tank this week? Please take a moment and leave a comment to let me know what you are thankful for in this season leading up to Thanksgiving Day!

On His Adventure~

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thursday Thanks Tank #218

Couldn't let today go by without taking time to acknowledge how God is filling my Thanks Tank this week:

  • The Gift of Life: I am grateful to have another year ahead to anticipate how God will use me and live through me! Having someone guess my age at 18 years under the actual number was just another perk to kick this year off in the right direction!! I am a young 48, I guess!
  • Friends Who Know Me: In a season of extended and seemingly never-ending invisibility, those who know me best are so important. I am so grateful for the enduring friendships that carry me through those days of feeling unnoticed by the masses.
  • Craftiness: Paint. Canvases. A birthday gift. In my mail today. I cannot wait to get started!
  • My Three Children: Oh, what would I do without these?! I am so thankful for their giggles, for their insight, for their real and genuine assessments of me and my sometimes eclectic style of dressing, and for their desire to keep step with me on our crazy journey together.
  • The Gilmore Girls: I know. I am often late to the party. I know this show has been off the air for more than six years. I just started watching via Netflix, and I LOVE it! Sure has been a great way to pass the time in the evenings when I am not watching The Voice or Dancing With the Stars.
  • Facebook: Not always all that thankful for this social media's presence in my life, but on my birthday it is a joy to see who takes the time to jot a quick or more detailed greeting. It isn't a substitute for tangible mail that you can open from a stuffed mailbox full of fun, but it is a neat way to reconnect and feel loved.
  • Singing: Having my parents call and sing "Happy Birthday" to me is the highlight of my day. I am 48. They have been singing to me every year from that very first celebration, and I am so grateful they still think I am important, special and worth taking the time to sing over. It is the only tangible, earthly comparison I can make to this verse, and I am so glad they model this truth for me: 
"The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:17

Thanks for stopping by and for celebrating life with me! If you feel so inclined, please comment and let me know how God is filling your Thanks Tank this week!

On His Adventure~

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Beauty Through My Eyes

Have a blessed Sunday everyone! May you feel super energetic this morning after that extra hour of sleep! Check back this coming week for more on leaving a trail of beauty in all sorts of unexpected ways. In the meantime, seek Him first with all your heart! 

On His Adventure~


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Beautiful Bringer of Peace

You are silly!

You are stunning!

You are fun!Where'd you get that big drink?

You are fun and add so much joy to every day!

You look lovely here. Thanks for letting me "mama" you so closely for 19 years. 

Finding it very difficult to articulate anything coherent today in the way of offering you wisdom or advice on your upcoming 19th year on this earth. My thoughts are muddling in my silly old bear's head stuffed with fluff and mingling with all the flashing images of you that rarely leave me where you are concerned. So, let's quickly play a round of "I Remember":
  • I remember when they first handed you to me at Baylor Medical Center. I looked down into your deep blue eyes and tried to figure out who this little person would be as I knew nothing of you yet.
  • I remember the first time I did something to make you cry, and I thought I would never live it down. It truly did hurt me too.
  • I remember the first time I saw my mom hold you. She instantly transformed into looking like a grandma, which was somehow just as amazing as you transforming a couple years later into a big sister after being my baby for almost three years.
  • I remember your first day of school and how dwarfed you looked by your backpack but how incredibly excited you were at your new adventure and all the people you were going to get to hug!
  • I remember your first dance class, play performance, church singing performance, Vacation Bible School.
  • I remember your first band aid, first cold, first hospital stay.
  • I remember your first sleepover, first trip away from me, first time to leave the country without me.
  • I remember it all, because I have been here for it all. I am thrilled to have been present for your life thus far and can't wait to see what the next step of your journey brings. Happy Birthday, my Darling Olivia!
I found this in the Facebook status of an acquaintance. I found it fitting for you today, precious daughter of mine:
Daughter, He delights and sings over YOU; He takes pleasure in you. He smiles over who you are, over who He made you to be. The longings He gave you are to bring His Kingdom to bear on this earth, to bring beauty to the spaces you inhabit, and to reflect His creativity. You are not one-dimensional. You are made in His image, the image of the creative, glorious, artistic, fun, smiling, holy God. What wells up in you brings Him delight, because He put it there for His pleasure. Accept His gifts to you. It is not because of your merit, but because He is pleased to give it to you. So smile dear one, He loves and delights in you, His daughter. (from Sarah Mae)

"The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." Zephaniah 3:17

Happy Birthday, dearest Olivia! I know feelings don't always accompany the reality, but the truth is -- you were chosen for this day by the Lord. He brought you to us, and I am forever grateful. Your name means it, and you have been from the very first day a "bringer of peace" . . . just like the meaning of your name.

On His Adventure~
Love Mama