Tag: friendship

If you’re happy and don’t post it…

So, two-ish weeks ago, I started the 100 days of happiness.

Last week was fu-u-ull: husband gone. Vacation bible school nightly. Insomnia. Summer-crazed children. Lots of work stuff. Super hot outside. And insomnia (because seriously… that is the worst).

But there were happy things every day.

But I got sick of posting on Facebook.

I have not posted a status since the wee hours of Friday… almost 4 days. And… and…

I don’t miss it.

Oh, I’m checking still. There are friends whose faces and observations I enjoy seeing. There are posts to make and moderate for both of my jobs. But… yikes. I just feel overloaded….

an abundance of digital communication,

an utter lack of real, substantive communication.

IMG_8341I acknowledge that I have gotten to the point in my life in which it’s easier to send a note than dial a phone, preferable to check a status than ask a question. And I feel convicted about it. Checking up on or in with each other is a poor substitute for doing life together, which is what I crave. Don’t you? When we post our pictures or thoughts we give the illusion of being part of each other’s lives, but sometimes, when we reach out to touch someone, we come up short.

I want to do better. And in the mean time, I want to clear up some of the clutter in my head… the posts that irk me, the ones whose authors I have to take a moment to even place, the posts that seem to seek to divide or incite. I don’t need all those words and all that tension added to the stuff of real life.

So, I am working on a Facebook break. No, I am not declaring I AM DONE or deactivating for a set time. I am just backing away, holding it at arm’s length, reading some books.

And in the mean time:

The #100HappyDays experiment continues. I am being mindful to observe those happy moments and happy things, even in the long, loud days. Things like:

IMG_8332– Randa’s utter enthusiasm in planning and preparing   a picnic for her friends on Friday.

– the way KK & Randa screamed and cheered and greeted their big sister Paige when she returned for a visit on Saturday.

– the way every mama in the room cried at the prayer of thanksgiving and life offered at a baby shower on Saturday.

– the way my husband appreciates my never-made-the-same-way-twice taco dip and my ever-growing baby bump.

– the stir fry I ate tonight.

– the fact that our childcare question for Sweet Baby has already been answered!

– a family dinner at Abuelo’s with all 7, er – almost 9! – of us.

– friends who dogsit

– friends who take our kids to the poolIMG_8333

– naps

House of Cards

– metaphors

– signing Randa up for her 3rd year of dance (this year: ballet and hip-hop!)

– comfortable shoes

 

All those things were observed. Some of them were verbally shared with others. None of them were “posted” anywhere until now.

It still counts, though. In fact, as much as I love sharing and interacting with people I cannot see in real life, I want to make my words count more. I want to shake off the laziness of The Virtual and the precision of The Edited and focus on the beauty of being human, spontaneous, and able to talk.

The thought of it makes me happy :)

day 15: their friendships

Friendship-Quotes-1Since I can remember, friendship has been one of the central forces in my life. And I have always struggled with it. I want to be great at it. And I want to be matched with people who are going to give it like I do. I love being in the throws. I want to run around together. I want to do life together. I want BFFs.

But grown ups have to adjust to friendship in different ways. You can’t responsibly drop everything to do all the things you want to do out there with everyone, and leaving my intimate friendships back in Illinois or scattered in other places has been a challenge. I want to hang on to them and try impossibly  to keep everything the same, and I also want to forge friendships here that are comfortable and feel lifelong, and that is hard-so-hard to do.

littlebffsEnter my children. It’s another absolute blessing they bring to me. I love to study how they do friendship. They each have a little of me in them: KK is fiercely loyal and wants everyone to like each other. Randa delights in the company of “her people,” and she loves big.

Tonight Randa has her BFF spending the night. As I tucked them into Randa’s bed, I looked up to see my little girl with the biggest smile on her face. She reached over and touched her friend on the cheek, reveling in the moment of togetherness.

It is one of the purest joys we can experience, but its season is short. We cannot keep friendships like we have as children, but I am grateful for the chance to watch my children have them. No drama, no complications… just slices of life shared and hands held and precious little giggles down the hall.

comfort and courage

I have a short confession to make:

I am comfortable. In my life right now, where I am, who is around me, what is going on…I like it. I enjoy it.

And then I see something like this:

comfort vs courage

…and I think, “Oh NOES! I need to stop being comfortable or something is going to happen to pull me right out of my comfort zone.”

Is that true?
I don’t know.

Is comfort with personal circumstances as opposed to all circumstances really a barrier to growth?
I’ll let you know…

After seasons of stress and turmoil, is it “ok” to have a season of ease?
That seems like a legalistic approach. Pretty sure God just wants us to pursue Him and He’ll give us what we need in all seasons (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…)

Is happiness a fleeting feeling I should let go of in the pursuit of true, deep down, God-given joy?
Heck YES.

I’m not sure if these questions make sense to anyone but me right now. I’ve been having fun mini-blogging #bestsummerever on my Facebook, enjoying the whole hammock-and-popscicles kind of life previously unimaginable in adulthood. But as always, that doesn’t reflect all my life. We still have stuff – you know: quandaries, issues, struggles, decisions. I still have hurdles – questions about where to go from “here” in various relationships and pursuits. In all that, though, I don’t want to apologize for finding peace. I don’t want to feel guilty for embracing joy. And I don’t want to worry that comfort – in my own skin – is a roadblock to growth as a leader.

So, I hope what the above means is “don’t be satisfied.” In my eternal quest to decipher whether my “drive” is God-led ambition or ego-fueled pursuit, I know that there is rarely a time when I am “all good” with staying exactly where I am. I need to improve my fitness, my parenting, my Bible study, my keeping in touch with people, my focus on The Moment.

Example: My pursuit of relationships lately has been interrupted by my pursuits in ministry. As a leader, I am called and expected to elevate my level of conversation. For me, it has always been easy to crack a joke, make a sarcastic comment, bond through negativity, or be a safe place for people to “be real” because Kelly, she’s been there. And while that last part might be a truth, the rest needs to go out the window. A leader, I am learning, values truth…in gentleness, in love, but over lies and over ease. I am also now just learning (’cause I already knew), but embracing the art of when to shut up! It takes courage for me to stand on this. I always want to be liked and approved of. I run from most conflict. But a leader cannot compromise integrity. So I’m not. And there are results of all kinds…

Comfortable? Well, being comfortable in myself is something I’ve worked on for 3 decades. I won’t be giving that up.

Choosing comfort over courage, or pleasure as an excuse not to grow and lead? Not going to happen.

Boldness and peace in one lifetime? Well, it feels right:

micah 6:8Micah 6:8
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
  And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.