Today, I'm over on Catherine Castle's Writer's Garden, talking about how I want to have the faith of carrots. Want to know what that means? Click here to read on.
When we started looking for a congregation to call home after moving to TN last summer, one of the biggest draws to where we ended up was that my daughter had made a best friend who worshiped there, too. Her friend is actually about six months younger than she is, but they were in the same Bible class at the time, so it was always exciting for her to see her. Their friendship remains, although they don't always remember that they're best friends when playing together. After all, they're both three, so it's still hard to share.
A few Sundays ago, we were on one pew and our friends on the pew behind us. All of a sudden, my daughter's friend gets carried quickly out by her daddy and there's a puddle of vomit behind us. My daughter looked back and whispered, "Where did she go?" I tried to quietly and succinctly explain that she had gotten sick and her daddy had taken her to get cleaned up. I was not expecting what happened next.
My daughter's face scrunched up, tears pooling in her eyes, and she started crying in the middle of the prayer. "But will she be okay?"
Later that week, she had a similar reaction when she found out another friend's great-grandma had passed away. Granted, she has just gone through that, so she remembers how sad it is, but still ... real tears for her friend.
When was the last time we reacted like that when one of our friends was sick or hurting in some way? Sure, we see the prayer requests posted on Facebook or the church power point screen, and we make some remark like, "Oh, that's so sad." Do we do anything else? I want to be more like my little girl who immediately wants to make sure her friend is okay, remembers to pray for her at bedtime, and even asks about her the next morning because she loves her so much. I need to remember to be more tenderhearted, open to "bearing each other's burdens," like the Bible commands us.
How about you? Have you let the busyness of life take over so that you don't have time to stop and actually care about people? Will you join me in trying to work on being more like a child?
Unfortunately, early in life, we learn words are powerful and can hurt quickly. We took my daughter to the playground last week. She was having a great time, running up and sliding down, wearing her grandfather out as he tried to keep up with her and her brother. Several other children were there, enjoying a semi-cool breeze in the evening, expending some more energy before bedtime. One little girl pushed mine out of the way at the top of the slide and said, "Big girls first." Of course, my little sassy one put her hands on her hips, leaned over, and said, "I am a big girl!" Her feelings were hurt when the other child denied such a fact. Come to find out, they were the same age, but we couldn't convince the one that my daughter was a "big girl," nor could we convince my child that no matter what someone else said, we knew she was. Something so simple, but something that must be learned.
Not too long back, I had been talking to another friend who likes to write. I admitted I was worried about a few of the contests I had entered a story in, and that I wasn't sure what the outcome would be. She shook her head and said, "But you're resilient." Resilient isn't necessarily a word I had ever considered as wanting to be. But the more I think about it, the more I appreciate what she was saying. No matter what happens in these contests or what the judges say (and the first results I got back weren't what I was hoping), I'm not going to quit writing because of it. I'm still going to pursue getting more stories out of my head and into your hands. I'm still going to blog and push and stretch and reach. This is all something I am now. Something I have had to learn along the way, because if I had had such things said about my writing in high school, I might never had made it this far.
Words are powerful. They can hurt. But they can also build up. Thanks to lots of good friends and family who have showered me with words to build me up, and thanks to the God who showed me that I am stronger than I think, the hurtful words don't puncture as deep anymore. I'm resilient.
How are you using your words to build others up? Have you ever had the problem of something using theirs to try and tear you down?
There have been way too many funerals lately. I'm sure there are always funerals going on. But it just seems like more have touched me more closely lately than ever before. Maybe it's because as I get older, everyone else does, too, and so of course there are more funerals. But where it hurts to lose someone like your grandparent, who you expect to not have around forever, it's almost unbearable to lose someone your own age.
My cousin lost her husband last week. A car wreck and he was gone. I was numb. It's not even like we talk much or stay in touch, but still ... she's family. And I just kept thinking, what on earth is she going to do? What would I do? She has three children who now don't have their daddy around. I can't even imagine. But it breaks my heart when I start to think about it. My husband is my right hand. We're raising our family together. He's the main paycheck. And he's the one who holds me when I cry. Or lets me talk about thoughts and ideas. Or assures me that whatever I just wrote isn't as bad as I think it is.
We have a rule that he always needs to come kiss me good-bye before he leaves to go anywhere, even if I'm still in bed because he leaves ridiculously early to go to school. On the rare occasion he forgets, my whole day is thrown off. Confronted by the sad news, I made sure to hug him a bit more when he got home. I tried to not gripe as much about little things that don't really matter. I snuggled him a few extra minutes before sleep. Because, even when he drives me crazy, I love him. And I am not ready to lose him. Maybe that means I need to work a bit more on my faith and my Christian attitude -- aren't we all supposed to be ready to celebrate whenever someone goes to heaven? Maybe so, but I don't want to face this world without him.
So, send up a prayer for all those who have lost loved ones recently. And give your own loved ones an extra hug. Cherish every moment you get with them because there will never be enough. And always kiss your spouse good-bye.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.