The woman stands in my dining room, swinging the baby cradled in her arms back and forth. Cooing at his chubby, round face, she begins to reminisce. She was too young when she had her first, she tells me—just out of high school.
She's a grandma now. Her eyes glaze over, though, as she describes the terror of telling her parents all those years ago. Run away. Change names. She would have done anything not to have to face them with the news.
My Kids Can Be Selfish and So Can I: Three Ideas for Building "Otherness" (And #GritUp Writer's Collective)
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'.
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.
For a new job. To be noticed. For the next stage of life. On the healing. For the apology. A thank you. For finances to fall in line. The pregnancy. On a new season. For the much needed break.
Over the past few weeks, there's been a particularly feminine focus here at the Pearl (sorry Charlie). These recent messages are in direct response to the stories of women who've recently participated in our local workshops and other community events. If you, too, share some of these struggles, be inspired. You're not alone.
There was this thing I was supposed to do years ago. I lost sleep over it, tossing and turning. You know those God-prompts that only come when He finally pins you beneath the covers, a captive audience? I argued. I diverted. I didn't want to draw any attention to myself or invite judgment with this writing-about-hard-things stuff. Counseling behind closed doors was plenty for me!
Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.
Moses and I would have gotten along just fine. My mostly-introverted self could be content wandering the desert, "watering flocks." I know many of you wish that you could disappear amidst the sand dunes every once in a while too. I hear you loud and clear when you say that you want to get away, but there's just one problem...
Valentine's has come on gone. For some of us, it was a love-filled occasion, and for others, just another day. Sadly, some of us might have received our welcome to the broken hearts club this year. If that was you, here's a empathic wince and an over-the-internet fist bump of solidarity. Regardless of how your 2017 has gone so far, we can all relate to the sting of walking away from a relationship, feeling irritated with a friend or family member, or replaying hurts from the past over and over in our minds.
Maybe you're having a rebuttal thought right now - I've never been one to hold a grudge. In fact, it wouldn't be surprising. So many of us miss the symptoms of unforgiveness that we never consider it to be one of the root causes of stress and suffering.
This week we're working to clobber those hidden woes, so here are a few questions that we can ask ourselves to begin...
Women (and men) of grit and grace,
I went and did it - looked not good enough in its ugly, lying face and submitted this article to Kelly Balarie's #FearFightingBook contest. It's my prayer that you, too, will be inspired to clobber any fear that lingers in your life.
If my words are an encouragement to you, I humbly ask that you'd vote for my submission. It's easy! Just click the button below and leave this number in the comment box at the bottom of the page:
Also, take some time to visit other entries. You'll be blessed by some great writers. Because of your vote, I could win the opportunity to learn how to improve every resource and word offered to you here at the Gritty Pearl.
With gratitude and truly nothing to lose,
She bought the bathing suit, but hid under t-shirts.
She knew the answer, but couldn’t speak the words.
She took the blame to get it over with.
She had a question, but didn’t risk the attention.
She tried the new thing, but made sure nobody was watching.
She dated the guy and sold herself short.
She made the friend but held her at a distance.
She changed herself when the world wouldn't change.
She hid. She shrunk. She conceded.
Invisible is always safer than the fear of being abandoned, attacked, or ignored...
until it costs a woman her soul.
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