Category Archives: friends

Holding Space

Today I sat with someone who had experienced a devastating death in their family.  It isn’t my story to tell, but I had a few thoughts about it that I think are okay for me to share.

My hubby and I were just talking Sunday, before we knew of this friend’s loss, about food and how we take it to people when there is a death.  We often hear how this or that culture shows their love through food, but honestly, I think all cultures do.  Food is so central to life that it is the first thing that comes to mind when there is joy or sorrow.  My hubby pointed out how often the person who is grieving is not at all interested in food, but it is what we do, food is made, a plate is given, again and again no matter if the person has an appetite or not.

It’s what we know, it is at the core of our beings.

And suddenly, a few hours after this conversation, I was in that place of saying, “I want to bring a meal for them” when I found out about a loss.  In my offer, I found myself sitting with this family as they grieved today.  Turns out, in this particular culture, friends and family bring meals for three days and sit with the bereaved.  So I went with two other friends and brought my paultry offering of a casserole and brownies.  We ate, talked and just were, we held space.

I particularly just held space. I don’t understand the language of those I was with very much and I understand even less of the particular dialect of the mourners.  So I sat.

Today was day three, so the official time of sitting with the family is completed.  Grieving of course with not stop, really not for a lifetime, but for these three days, people came, people sat.  People held space for those who had lost someone they loved so very much.

Next time someone you know experiences a death in their family or circle of friends, pause, sit, hold space with them.  They will never forget it and you will be forever changed.


Words, Words, Words

I have a lot of words. You know it, we all know it–I have a lot of words.  I say a lot of words, I read a lot of words.

Last week the girls were reading something and it included the word dolt.  They were stuck.  I piped up and said, “oh that is an old word used to mean someone is an idiot or not very smart.”  They were impressed, so I thought, “hey–I should use this as a teachable moment.  “Girls, how do you think you go about learning all those words?”  They chimed, “You Mommy, we go to you to learn new words.”  Not what I was going for.  Yes, they learn a lot of words from me–some good, some bad, but the teacher in me was trying to get them to say, “by reading.  We learn words by reading.

Unfortunately, no matter how much we read or how many words we know, sometimes our words will fall short.

I feel things very, very deeply.  If you are someone I admire or that I feel a connection with, I feel it very deeply.  I don’t give those feelings easily or lightly and I want those people to know how much they mean or how valuable they are.

And words fail me.

I try to send little gifts or random texts to let them know they are being thought of, that they are important, and that they are valued.

Problem is, I don’t think that message always gets across; I think I end up coming across as desperate or needy and the thing is, I’m not.  Yes, I have those times, for the most part, I am ok.  I just want the people in my life to know they are valued in my eyes and more importantly, valued in the eyes of God.

We all need to know that.

We Went We Saw

Four years ago, we headed a few states over for a family wedding.  We did some camping along the way.

Turns out, I remember very little of it.

Patrice was one years old.  I don’t remember her being there at all.  Hubby tells me she was very good about camping and the wedding, but if you ask me, she wasn’t even there.

And sorry to my niece who was getting married, I don’t remember the wedding at all.  I am sure it was just lovely.  Really lovely, but you see, I was very sick with the postpartum depression and bipolar at the time.  Life at that time was really hard and so very foggy.

But time has passed and my meds are better…and my mind is allowing me to think and remember.

So this trip to a wedding was very different.  It was very nice.  We went to our nephews’ wedding and then headed to Lake Michigan to relax and even visit Chicago for a day.

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A waterfall in Wisconsin we visited with family before heading to Lake Michigan2016-06-08 07.36.48 2016-06-08 07.38.41 2016-06-08 09.24.22 2016-06-08 11.54.49 2016-06-09 10.28.58 2016-06-09 11.20.57 2016-06-09 12.29.25 2016-06-09 12.32.43 2016-06-09 15.09.42 2016-06-09 15.19.48 2016-06-09 15.50.44 2016-06-09 19.28.26 2016-06-10 13.37.00 2016-06-10 20.41.52 2016-06-10 20.53.07

Meeting another warrior mom was a huge highlight of the trip!!!2016-06-10 21.42.05 2016-06-11 08.21.03 2016-06-11 09.31.27 2016-06-11 12.10.21 2016-06-11 19.01.13 2016-06-11 20.51.33 2016-06-12 08.35.53This trip was fantastic and I am hoping to remember it for a very long time!!!

Another Mother Runner

Running has not been easy for a while now.  I’ve been dealing with desperate leg pain.

So I added compression socks.

Different shoes.

And felt some, not a lot, relief.

So I went back to my “soul” workout, PiYo.  I feel so strong even though I have a long way to go!

I began toying with and kind of decided to quit running.  Just accept it and walk…

Then this came from a sweet friend.

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She even got the book SIGNED for me.  I was blown away.  I immediately put the shirt on and had my daughter take some pictures.

Motivation in a little brown envelope.

Excuse while I go exercise to strengthen my legs!!!

And run.

When I Wrote

A couple days ago I wrote about how friendship had always been hard for me.  It was from my heart or at least what my mind has always told me.  It wasn’t to garner pity.  It was primarily an affirmation of a friendship I held dear.

But something else came from that post.  I received an outpouring of people refuting the lies I have believed concerning how people view me in friendship.  It wasn’t anything like I thought.  People came “forward” they didn’t run from my friendship.

I was so blessed by every single comment, like on my post, and words of truth.  Thank you.

Please know my original post was not written to discount friendships in my life.  I just honestly didn’t know I had so many.  I always assumed that most of the people I consider a friend do not hold in the same regard.  I pictured myself as a desperate woman people put up with, not as a friend.

It would seem I have been wrong for a very long time! And for once, being wrong has been a very good thing.  I am hoping my mind and heart will let me soak in this new perspective and move forward with confidence and love.

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Thank you again to each and every one of you.


Maybe Just Maybe

Friendship is not my strong suit.  It never really has been.  Growing up I had some fantastic neighborhood friends, but it didn’t quite translate into friends at school.

I was different.  I don’t think I was weird, but I did seem to repel people.  I was only sometimes invited to play with others on the playground.  I wasn’t very athletic.  I ran more slowly than anyone else.  My performance on the jungle gym was dismal and I just didn’t find the same things funny.  Honestly, I have no idea if I talked too much or too little.  Whatever the combo was, it didn’t garner me a  lot of friends.

Then I headed off to a couple different Christian schools.  Where I still didn’t quite fit.  Most there had more money than we did.  I was embarrassed, for the first time, that my clothes came from yard sales.

It made life more than a little lonely.

And caused me to grow up believing I wasn’t worthy of friends.

Insert an awful relationship where I was told often that I “didn’t know how to make friends, talk to friends, couldn’t keep friends and wouldn’t have any friends without him” and you had the perfect storm of self doubt.

There went all belief in myself as a worthy, capable friend that could be remembered and loved.

Thing is, I have close friends I have known for 30 years.  I have friends from 20 years ago that have come back into my life and we have built a fantastic relationship.  I have on-line friendships that include more than Facebook comments, they are built on deliberate efforts to reach out to me, no matter how ugly where I am looks.

Slowly, my heart is letting me believe that maybe, just maybe I have friends.  Maybe, just maybe, I am worthy of friends.

I see it in texts from out of the blue.  I read it in e-mails and Facebook posts.  I hear it in Skype calls from lands afar.

My heart dares to wonder, dares to believe that maybe that young child has outgrown some of the awkward, maybe that fiance’ was wrong.  Maybe I am not so easily forgotten.  Maybe I am not expendable on people’s friendship list.  Maybe they keep me around because they want to, not out of duty or because they just don’t know how to shake me.

A friend even chose to spend her day off taking me out to lunch for my Birthday last year

A friend even chose to spend her day off taking me out to lunch for my Birthday last year

I don’t know what it will take for me to shake the feeling of being a person people want to, and can, easily forget, but for the first time in a long time, my heart says, “Maybe, Just Maybe.”

Lovely Weekend

I had a truly lovely weekend. I got to meet two wonderful mamas I “met” months ago via #ppdchat. Yesterday my family and @sarahbeec met up mid way between our respective homes. To say it was a great first experience meeting an on-line friend in real life is an understatement. Our kids played great and our hubbies got along. I can’t wait for our next visit!

Then today I met up with @momgosomething. We had a wonderful time walking and talking. I hit on the everyday stuff, the hard stuff and a fair amount in between. I hugged her a ton of times and could have a ton more. We ended the visit with me gushing over how good scrambled eggs are when made with fat free half and half. And she didn’t look at me like I had just grown a third head. Looking forward to a long friendship!

Add to that, buying and comfortably, as I type, wearing a single digit size of jeans and life felt good this weekend. I had a few moments that reminded me how fleeting the good times can be, but I set some boundaries, protected myself a bit and came out able to say “Life feels good.”

Thank you @Sarahbeec and @momgosomething for being a huge part of that.

Don’t forget y’all that March 15 is

Please let me know if you would be willing to put my carnival button and short post together on your blog to get as many mamas, or women, as we are all the pride of a mother whether we have children or not, involved as possible. I would greatly appreciate it.

Multitude Mondays 175-179

I have a friend who is doing her family medicine residency at a local hospital.  She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met.  The friendship started with her and her hubby, who is also doing his residency, bringing us a meal after Patrice was born.  They go to our church but we had somehow not met them.  She was just weeks from delivering their first baby when they brought us dinner.  As we talked to them, I wondered how she kept up the schedule of a resident with being pregnant.  I couldn’t deal with all 40 hours of my week.  And how she had found time to cook for us, who were home with a new baby.  How did she find time.

I remember them sitting there, so politely, watching our kids be absolutely crazy.  They were nuts.  Caitlyn was talking a mile a minute, Sue was climbing all over me and Patrice and managed to fall off the chair arm onto the floor.  Tears ensued.  In the midst of that I forgot to even ask her if she wanted to hold the baby.  I told hubby after they left “good thing they are already expecting a baby or we might have scared them away from parenthood all together!”

But we didn’t scare them away.  She has become one of my closest friends.  We are so looking forward to their son’s first birthday in a couple weeks.  She has been a great listener through the postpartum depression.   She hasn’t shyed away from the hard that is sometimes part of being around me this last year.  But she also hasn’t seen me only as my depression.  We are moms.  We are friends.

We get to chat at rare lunches and dinners, sometimes via text message and every once and a while we find time for a play date.  Due to our schedules being very different, and hers being crazy demanding, we often don’t see each other.  And this week we definitely won’t.

This week she is in Haiti working with other doctors to help those who need medical care.  I am praying she has a safe trip; I know her skill and compassion will be a great blessing to those she meets.  Won’t you join me in praying for her and her team?  Pray that Dr. L would have a great week, learning, teaching, helping, blessing others.

175.  For friends, I am thankful.

176.  To those who have listened to me cry and struggle without judgement, I am thankful.

177.  Several have literally dropped what they were doing to come just be with me when things got very, very dark.  Words can never express my thankfulness.

178.  Beloved family members who took my girls in when I was hospitalized for the postpartum issues.  Our gratitude will last til the ends of our days.

179.  Text message upon text message truly kept me going when I saw no light in the darkness, no value in myself.  Thank you for seeing value in me.  Thank you for helping me fight for me.

Please join us in being thankful.