Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Love my People

There's something that feels like pure and plentiful bounty when someone outside of my family makes a decision to love my people. The same is true within family of course, but the relationship feels more expected somehow when bloodlines are shared. But when someone who (doesn't have to) has a pure love and delight for me and mine, well my heart can hardly contain the goodness of it.

Mary and I have been friends for 22 years. We now have a lifetime of shared history. Her presence and care for me is threaded through every bit of the tapestry of my adult life. But there's something I prize above all of our common memories, and that is the way she loves my girls and Dirk. She is as much a part of our family as she would be if we shared a mother. We used to be housemates but now nearly 2,000 miles separate us. Still, we make sure we know what's going on in one another's days through scheduled phone dates, spontaneous texts, and visits to one another's homes. We were fortunate enough to have her with us last week with us and miss her presence already.

She's that dream house guest who doesn't feel like a guest. The one who helps themselves to what they need and helps out all the while. She requires nothing and brings everything. After she was here a week, Dirk said to her "You bring such joy to us, and that's such a welcome thing." Isn't that what we all hope for? To bring joy wherever we unpack our suitcase in someone else's world? May it ever be.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Baby, you look brave

Hey :)

Many of you know that I'm a member of Jen Hatmaker's Launch Team for her book For the Love, set to release in early August. I cannot say enough good things about this practical, hilarious and wonderful book. Getting to be an early reader has been a fantastic treat, but the community that has emerged from the group has been the most fun. There's so much more to say about it, and I will another time. But I will tell you that one of the sweetest benefits has been partnering with other aspiring writers and sharing ideas and encouragement. Bloggers within the group have invited those interested to submit posts on various topics and Guest Post on their blog. My new friend Kelly Johnson asked for submissions on the topic of bravery. I was all in and am thrilled to have the opportunity to share one of my posts on her wonderful blog.

Hop over to Grace Notes to have a look and check out her lovely writing style and winsome heart.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Who You are When no one's Looking

The girls' school offers an award every nine weeks. The Coyote Character Award is presented to one student from each class who exhibits outstanding character and leadership.

Ainsley has watched a few friends receive the award and though she celebrated with them, she very much wanted the award for herself. In explaining her longing she said to me, "Wouldn't you just be so proud of me?" I told her I was always proud of her and an award wouldn't make me any more so. "Yea, but wouldn't you be just extra proud of me then?" I told her it would be impossible for me to be any more proud, I love her for who she is and that's what makes me proud. She heard me but she didn't stop longing for that extra public affirmation. I mean like she sort of started an all out campaign for it. She asked me if I would ask her teacher for ideas on how she might reach her goal. Her teacher was gracious enough to tell me that she's always looking for leaders who do what they're supposed to do before being asked and helping others to clean up or helping them with their work. She also kindly told me that she had lots of wonderful students and basically, don't count on your kid getting it, gift giving Room Rep or not.

Truth is, the girl does have plenty of character and is a character:) I wanted so much for her to be awarded not so much because she is the most character-laden Kindergartner in the school, but because she wanted it. She wanted to be recognized for something in front of her peers. This is something I cannot relate to at all, except for the times when I always relate to it. I mean, this is what I be seen. To be told by people I respect that I am good at what I do. I wanted my girl to have that same affirmation showered over her.

So the weeks went by and Ainsley gave it her best go. Over many family dinners she recounted the ways she'd put her things away before her teacher asked her to or how she'd helped a friend with their work. She felt she was well in the running for the award and so did we.