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".
“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…
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'.
Want more faith and encouragement in your day? Be sure to check out all the great writers gathering for the #GritUpAndGo Writer Share directly following this post!
My hands are ripped, there’s chalk smudged across my midsection, and my mind is fried from a killer week of stress. Forget controlling my thoughts, they’re as powder-swirled and black as my t-shirt. There’s no more patience left for myself. I’ve given it all away...
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...
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.
It's March and body image has been creeping into our conversations. The vines are blooming here in Carolina and some of us will be heading someplace warm for Spring Break or family trips. Many of you have already been enjoying the sunshine (a shout-out to our southern hemisphere friends - savor these dwindling days of summer).
My husband and I are celebrating our ten-year anniversary next month with a vacation so, just the other day, I stopped into TJ Maxx. Wouldn't you know, I found a couple of cute bathing suits and didn't shed a single tear in the dressing room...
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