You're not alone...
It's that time of year again! Does anybody remember little Ava? Does anybody HAVE a little Ava?
You're not alone...
Wedding bells echo, rings still carry their sheen, and picture frames grace the walls. It’s the making of a home. The promise of forever manifests in smells of fresh paint and dinners by candlelight. The honeymoon is but a memory, but the excitement of building a life remains. Exhilarating. Comfortable. Most couples never even see it coming.
Those who've experienced depression, anxiety, or other ailments understand the devastation these labels bring. “Anxiety” sounds like weakness. Maybe stressed-out is less threatening? We prefer exhausted to depressed and we’d rather describe ourselves as detail-oriented, instead of obsessive. The terms used in medicine sound impersonal, the exact opposite of the intimacy we long for in relationships.
God's in the business of miraculous healing, but He also charges us to be His “hands and feet..."
There are nine of us women. The colors in our eyes are varied - shades of chocolate browns, hazels, greens, and the brightest blues. Our bodies are agile, slow-moving, thin, tall, round, and petite. Our ages range from eighty-seven to eleven. We’re grandmothers, mothers, and young women waiting to discover the rest of our lives.
I call us family.
It's been quite a week here at the Gemelli house. I knew the day would come, but none of us are ever completely ready for detailed anatomy questions, straight from the mouths of babes. I've spent days, DAYS, fielding questions at the most random moments. It sounds like there's a little reproductive renaissance happening over at the elementary right now. I'm going out on a limb and blaming it on the fifth graders who just went through "Growth and Changes," and their little siblings who are all too happy to play "expert" for friends.
The three of us in the car:
"Mom, what's this called, specifically?" (Points to groin)
"Mom, where does urine come from?" (Their eyebrows raise as I sigh and answer the question)
"Mom, do girls' tubes work like ours? I've never seen you in the bathroom."
Hard to believe, son, because your fingers have been sighted reaching beneath the door and shouting questions through the gap on far too many occasions.
Regardless of the repetition and discomfort, these conversations are paramount - if for no other reason than to build trust. This week we're taking a look at current trends in substance use and intimate relationships.
Do you think you have a good idea of what our kids are facing? Let's find out.
Here we are. Face hidden beneath my straw hat, tiny dots of sun sneak through the spaces of the finely woven material. I'm sprawled on my back, half-daydreaming and eyelids heavy, when I feel his hand rest on my arm. It took a couple of days for my husband and I to discover our old "relaxed" selves, but we're here now. Present. Counting no time except beats between each wave lapping the shoreline. This is our view for the day and I'm convinced it's a glimpse of heaven.
We've discussed stress together in the past. We've explored topics like our brain chemistry, families, prayer tips, symptoms of stress, and stress eating. This time, I'm taking a different angle, so here are three (over-looked) reasons that you need to get away...
Please join me in welcoming speaker, blogger, Bible teacher, and mom, Andy Lee, to the Gritty Pearl. Full of inspiration and a vast knowledge of scripture, Andy's writing is sure to encourage you for the week to come.
She was desperate.
Sleep had evaded her, but the dark night sky gave way to a deep blue hue and the hope of a new day.
She could go now.
Though weary, Magdalene would be the first one to the tomb. She knew exactly where they had placed Him, and she had a job to do. She would prepare his body properly for burial with spices. At least that was her story. Perhaps though she simply needed to see him one more time. She needed closure.
But Mary Magdalene would not find a dead Jesus.
He never remembers when I tell him things.
Her stories are too long.
He interrupts me while I’m speaking.
She’s too detailed.
He’s distracted a lot.
She "always" wants my opinion, even when it’s a trivial decision.
He "never" needs my approval, he just goes and does it.
She expects me to recall things she told me when I was in a rush three weeks ago.
Some days marriage and dating feels like walking on clouds, and the very next, a sad country song.
Couples constantly navigate a gender-nuanced world when it comes to communicating clearly with one another. This week we'll consider a few ideas from the experts, so that our thoughts won't get lost in translation...
It’s spring break here in Wilmington and we’re entering week three (year-round schedule). Though I always dread the first few days of our routine change - the boys bickering over games, taking turns, and having constant "fairness" disputes - by the end we’re in sync, and I hate to send them back to class.
This time, the transition looks different. As our kids hit the books, my husband and I will slip away to celebrate our first ten years together. A gaggle of incoming family will be in charge at the Gemelli house so that a couple of tired parents can find rest under a palm tree or two.
Like many of you, the majority of my time is spent as mom, wife, and whatever else is asked of me. Over the years, it’s been easy to lose sight of the simple woman I’ve always been - a daydreaming daughter of God, enthralled with the dialed-down, simple life that used to come naturally.
Returning to her is a purposeful practice that I’ve adopted over the years. As I pack my suitcase and envision my impending escape from responsibility, I remember the words of April Lakata Cao. Her wind-through-the-hair reminder is one that I come back to time and time again. It's about the little things imprinted in our memories, the smells, the freedom, the mistakes, and living to the full.
Here’s hoping that you’ll be inspired to spend time with the you who gets lost in the shuffle too.
Light up the room,
When I was nineteen I had a jacked-up Jeep with big tires. I bought it that way, trading in my sensible, tan, automatic Corolla for a stick-shift Wrangler. To this day I don’t know what possessed me, but I drove that green monster off the lot, lurching and stalling along the way. (Did I mention I had no idea how to drive a stick?)
I never made it home. I ran out of gas on a hill and panicked when I couldn’t figure out how to stop from rolling backwards.
How often do we climb a mountain only to forget where we came from?
I've always loved birthdays. Excitement ensues the minute some of our feet hit the floor, with enthusiastic spouses or kid-tackles in the morning, phone calls and social media notifications.
In our family, the celebration begins at the crack of dawn. Our kids are stirred awake by the glowing flicker of candles at their bedside. Their first tasks of the day include blowing out candles and eating cake for breakfast. It's a glorious tradition!
This week I celebrated a birthday. 30 again, how about that! With pure joy, I see it as an opportunity to pass along gifts to you, dear online friends. A few of my favorite books will be flying through the post and landing on the doorsteps of three lucky readers.
Floating horizontal and weightless on the surface of the water, I barely blinked as clouds above me crept their way across the sky. There was no sound, just the muted ebb of water in my ears. My arms worked themselves back and forth, gently raising my head with each stroke. I wondered if I could rest like that forever in this personal lagoon, where dreams took root and conversations with God were as familiar as breathing. Some days there wouldn't be a single boat on the lake. Those were my favorite - not a ripple in sight to disturb the vivid reflections of a changing sky.
Daughter of God. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
PEOPLE I FOLLOW:
BECAUSE I LEARN:
BECAUSE I LAUGH:
Elizabeth Laing Thompson
Liz Curtis Higgs
BECAUSE I ADVOCATE:
Juli Slattery at Authentic Intimacy
BECAUSE I CRY (HAPPILY):
Inspiring Writing Groups:
Suzanne Eller's #LiveFreeThrusday
Holley Gerth's #CoffeeForYourHeart
Kelly Balarie's #RaraLinkup
Jennifer Duke Lee's #TellHisStory
Susan Mead's #DanceWithJesus