2012. I'm tucked in the corner of a sweaty gym. It's Zumba day and I like to sneak in for the last twenty minutes of class to loosen up after lifting. I hope to disappear into the multicolored lights that stream from the ceiling, to dance without anybody noticing my awkwardness.
My friend in the front row doesn't share my sentiment. She sways back and forth to the music, not a care, and showing no interest as to whether or not anybody's watching. The moment is hers. She's free. Not one second of her seventy years is a match for the energy that pours out of her. I catch myself staring and forget my own steps. Smiling, I decide right then that I want to be just like her "when I grow up".
It's Sunday afternoon. 4pm. This picture depicts the current cause of anxiety in my household. Now a direct hit to Naples, my husband and I have family there. They chose not to evacuate before Hurricane Irma made its way across the Florida Straight.
“Have you talked to your parents?” I ask for probably the fifth time. “Nope, not yet. Seriously, Meg, you need to wait for them to call us,” he replies (also for the fifth time). Noticing my frustrated expression, he adds, “I’m sure your Dad’s fine too.”
Over the past week, we’ve gone back and forth with each of our parents over their plans to deal with the impending storm. Our get-out-of-town propaganda was promptly ignored, as we were outvoted. Every cell in the body wants to scream, “Do what I want you to do!” But at some point, the heart surrenders...
"Somedays she has no idea how she'll do it. But every single day, it still gets done." Unknown
My Kids Can Be Selfish and So Can I: Three Ideas for Building "Otherness" (And #GritUp Writer's Collective)
“The world feels lonely right now,” she says to me plainly. There aren’t any tears but she slouches, body casually sprawled over the armchair. I can tell by the way she shrugs that she doesn’t expect me to answer, it’s just that she needs somebody to witness the state of her life.
Witness. As in, “Will you vouch for the fact that I’m still breathing? Because I feel invisible…”
My beautiful friend—talented and kind, gainfully employed, volunteer extraordinaire—lonely. If it can happen to her, it can happen to anybody…
We say the wrong thing and stutter.
We say the right thing, but it’s not well received.
We get stuck without a response and freeze.
Our intentions are misunderstood.
And then it happens. Defensiveness moves in like a crouching tiger, ready for the kill.
It's August already. How did that happen? Time flies as the beach beckons, complete with an oversized umbrella and a glass of sweet tea. Many of us have been on the wedding circuit these past few months. Rather than traveling the Tour de Nuptiale, perhaps you've celebrated an anniversary recently. Summertime brings more than its share of opportunities to examine our own relationships as we lend our support to others'.
Last week we discussed the struggle and biblical significance of separation and divorce. I received feedback from you in response - from questions, to gratitude for “going there.”
A friend's comment stayed with me throughout the week. “Oh good,” she'd said. “I’m glad you’re talking about that because I never know what to say when somebody tells me they’re having problems.”
It’s a common struggle, and none of us enjoy foot-in-the-mouth moments. So here are seven easy, helpful (and fairly safe) things to say or do as a friend or family member confronts divorce.
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..."
Believer. Wife. Mom. Writer. Marriage and Family Therapist. Accidental Speaker. Crossfitter and Total Book Nerd.
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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