Sunday, September 14, 2014

always good.

sometimes I need to write just to get the swirling thoughts in my head out. in one organized place. in hopes that they will stop swirling and form some profound conclusion. and while this rarely, if ever, happens, I think it helps me in some small way.

so this is really for me.

tonight I went a run around my neighborhood. I'd been avoiding this a little. the place seemed to hold memories a little too recent that made me feel a little too giddy at the time. and since those memories didn't turn out the way I had hoped, I wasn't in a hurry to relive them. but tonight I felt brave.

I ran and ran, feeling fine. and when the oxygen was lacking and my body wanted to cave, I stopped to walk. I walked by the pond where he told me about his childhood and we joked about the wildlife and I teased him for things done as a silly boy. and we laughed and held hands and I breathed in the moment deeply. a portrait of happiness and hope.

I refocused on the day and its glory. what a wonderful day. sunshine and a temperature most perfect for soaking up the season. early fall at its finest. and then flooding in -- a realization of the time and date and plans. plans for a country concert outside. for wearing boots and getting gussied up with our dates. plans thwarted by a short and difficult conversation.

and for the first time in awhile, I felt sadness and pain well up from hopes deferred. I blinked back salty tears, stared blankly into the fountain.

I don't like crying in public.

but then I saw, in a blur of tears and the spouting water and sunshine, a mix of multi-colored stripes. a rainbow. the emblem of God's promises.

my promises are still valid, child. I keep my promises. I am still good, and I love you. I have better plans. 

a still small voice. a still small reminder. that He's brought me so far and is always good.

He is good. His promises are good. and I believe He is a personal God who speaks to our hearts. our specific and individual hearts. He cares about our hurts and struggles, no matter how large or small.

He is good. always good.

Friday, March 7, 2014

lessons & learning

I turned another year older this week. birthdays never really seem to affect me too much -- I feel loved on by the wonderful people in my life for 24 hours, and then it's back to life as we know it. but because I feel like I've been struggling and growing and learning this year, I thought I would reflect a little and capture those thoughts.

I've learned that change is constant. that no matter how much I wish I could keep things the same forever, they will always be changing. and I can't control it, so I should learn to embrace it. and take the journey with God. who else better to be traveling with?

I've learned all experiences are different. moving to Alabama and moving to Columbus were completely different journeys. see above. different is different. it's not bad vs. good.

I've learned you have to ask for what you want and communicate what you need. people won't read your mind. even if you think it's obvious, it's probably not. be bold. be honest. be brave.

I've also learned you have to say no. have to set boundaries. I've been learning this awhile now, but it keeps coming up in new ways and new situations. you teach people how to treat you.

I've learned you can only control how you react/act in a situation. I can't control others, and I also shouldn't let their actions/reactions affect me.

I've learned that people won't always give you the same courtesy and respect you give them. this doesn't mean you shouldn't give it anyway.

I've learned how to be more honest and open and put it all out there. because...why not? you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. and I've learned you won't always get the response you want. in fact, the response might lay you flat. or you might get no response at all. this is the most heartbreaking. but you will walk away knowing you said what you needed to, did what you could, and have no regrets about the situation on your end. this will help you heal.

I've learned your closest friends don't always live in the same city. that transitions can be painful and lonely and leave empty spaces. I think this is normal. how you choose to fill those empty spaces is what's important.

I am by no means an expert and am still learning the above lessons. if you have any wisdom, shoot it my way. here's to another year of learning.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I think it's important to reflect on memories every once in awhile. especially when it's time to say goodbye. and while this of course always makes me cry, it's a good cry. the kind of cry that is cleansing and therapeutic. the kind of cries that you crave sometimes. 

my grandmother passed away this week. she was 100, so it wasn't tragic or shocking, but it has caused me to slow down and reflect. remember. 

she was a beautiful person. the kind of person that doesn't have a selfish bone in her body. the kind of person who is always smiling and lighthearted, no matter her circumstances. we had a wonderful visit with her at Christmas, and while she couldn't remember necessarily what she'd done the day before or had for lunch, she sat and laughed and talked with us. she giggled at her great-granddaughter, stumbling around and playing peekaboo behind the folding chair. she ate one of the buckeyes we brought her, because she is a female in our family, and we all get our sweet tooth from her. and when you're 100, you certainly don't need to watch what you eat. 

we used to visit her out in deshler when we were younger. she lived in the country on a farm, and my sister and I loved playing outside there with all that space. on one specific visit, grandma took us outside, and peered behind one of her bushes to reveal several adorable newborn kittens. oh how my heart filled with glee! she smiled at us as we picked them up and they clung to us with their tiny claws. a few months later, they had grown and could now run (...from us...I can't imagine why...). Em and I were so proud to have cornered one in the barn. looking back, we probably terrified the poor little thing. I remember just wanting to hold its fluffy little self -- we had the best intentions! 

grandma still had the dolls my mother and aunt played with as children, and Em and I always wanted to play with these. we'd sneak into the cold guest room and dig them out of the closet, bringing them out into the warmth of the living room to brush their hair.  

every Christmas, grandma got sheets of stick-on earrings. heart-shaped and glittery and sometimes, if we were really lucky, princesses. oh how I hated when my sheet ran out. 

then we'd all sit around the kitchen table as mom gave grandma a permanent, getting cookies & those delicious sugary wafers from the cellar. once the rollers were in, we could play cards. grandma was a card shark and never "let" us win. she'd always somehow get the best cards and just grin as she racked up the points. "can I be grandma's partner in euchre next, please?" it felt like Em and I always lost. nothing that more sugar wafers couldn't fix, though. 

we had a party for grandma this past October to celebrate her 100th birthday. she smiled and greeted everyone, ate cake, and told us that she didn't need "all this fuss". 

I will say my final goodbye to her, my last grandparent, on Wednesday. but I know she is happy and free and doesn't have to struggle to remember anymore. and I am thankful to have known her. thankful to her for raising such a loving and selfless daughter to be my mother. God is good. all the time. and she is up there with Him, now.