Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Bosom Friend

The big 4-0 is right around the corner. I have been given the opportunity to meet one of my dear friends for a few days with no hubbies, no kids, no pets, no work…and the list goes on. Just her and me on neutral ground where nobody knows us and expects anything from us.

Ali lives in Oregon now. I met her on a summer project with Campus Crusade—now called CRU—more years ago than I care to admit. We worked together in a little t-shirt shop on the boardwalk in a crazy town in New Jersey called Wildwood. We hit it off immediately and through different time zones, have managed to keep in touch over the years.

Ali is the standard to which I judge all of my friendships. And they all fall short compared to her. While we have a lot of similarities, we are very different people. She’s tall and blond and gorgeous and sensitive. Her youngest child is the same age as my oldest. She’s the kind of friend I’ve gone months and even years without speaking to, but we are able to pick up the phone, share deep things and cry together (ok, it’s usually me who cries, but she GETS that)--just as if we lived next door to each other. She flew across country with a 2 year old and 2 month old—by herself!!!-- to be in my wedding. I flew across country to be with her when her daddy died.

As I look back, I’m amazed at the way our paths have gone side by side—even as far apart as we live. We both ended up in ministry. We both have many of the same personal struggles. She’s still the person I call when I hit a low point in my life and want someone to love me through all my insane-ness. While I feel I am pretty authentic, there’s a deepness to our authenticity with each other that is only surpassed by what I have with Brian.

So, after almost 10 years since being together, we are planning a trip halfway between her and me. And I’m giddy with the thought. We are still deciding on where and are looking for a fun, cost-affordable location, but honestly, it doesn’t matter where we go—we will do the same thing no matter what the scenery. We will watch a movie or two, quote Anne of green Gables, do some shopping, eat a bunch of snacks and pick up right where we left off—except now we will talk about our kids and the fact that her middle child is finally cancer-free and how our husbands just don’t always get our emotions—and hopefully reminisce about Marie’s T-shirts and big Bob. And laugh. And, knowing me, cry. And no trip with Ali is complete without pedicures.

Anne of Green Gables says it best “She is my bosom friend--my kindred spirit.”

Monday, February 13, 2012

The Impact of Lovepacs on the Royal Family

I wrote a post a few months ago about Lovepacs when it was in the beginning stages of becoming a reality to provide food for kiddos over the Thanksgiving holiday. Since that time, Lovepacs doubled in size for Christmas and also took care of kids for the extended weekend around Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

I, personally, have been blown away by the response of our community and God has used this to grow my faith in a big way. But, God, being God, doesn’t let me just sit and pat myself on the back. Every time I think I’m good on the faith-thing, He stretches me again. For spring break, our numbers have doubled once again—now there are over 200 kiddos the school counselors are requesting Lovepacs for. Over 200—in one tiny city alone!

Last night, we were watching a recorded episode of Extreme Home Makeover about a lady who started an organization that provided soup for hundreds of people. As they were describing what she does, one of my daughters said, “Hey—that’s just like Lovepacs!” While Lovepacs doesn’t make the food for the kiddos (which, knowing my cooking skills, I’m sure is a huge blessing to them), my daughter recognized the impact of what that one lady was doing and applied it to something that provided in the same kind of way in her world. I couldn’t have taught her this lesson if I had tried, but she got it—just by observing a community in action!

When we started Lovepacs, my main focus was on the kids in need, but what I have found is that it’s affecting the way my daughters look at their classmates. It’s made me see the best in people who aren’t “Christians” but respond to the need around them in their community. It’s provided a group of people that I now “do Life” with that I probably never would have gotten to know on this level. And the biggest thing it’s done for me personally is that it’s created an identity for my family—something we are “about.” Maybe even a legacy we will leave behind…

Lovepacs exists to be an expression of God’s love by serving children in need in The Colony and surrounding communities.

I truly think it does so much more and am blessed to be a part of it.

Lovepacs is currently collecting for spring break. To find out more details on how you can get involved, go to the facebook page at!/groups/192586644153403/.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Parenting Advice

I’ve said it before, but I don’t think I can say it enough, parenting is hard. No matter how many “right” things you do, there is always something that you mess us that comes back to haunt you. One of the things I love about my church is how they desire to help me, as a parent, through this time.

We held a parenting class last night for parents of 3rd and 4th graders, and the room was pretty full. I’m fortunate enough to get to work alongside some very talented, wise people who led in a relate-able, funny, but oh-so-true way. People who didn’t make the parents in the room feel like they were the only ones who messed up occasionally (or, as in my house, most of the time). Most of my parenting “A-ha” moments have come from mistakes I’ve made.

When my girls were little, I always felt like the playgroups were really more for parents than kids—we parents HAVE to stick together here.

If you could tell a parent of a child one year younger than yours just one thing, what would that be? What do you wish someone would have told you?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Seasons of Inconsistency

I’ve been pretty inconsistent lately with my blogging. I could make lots of excuses, but it all boils down to margin. I’m using my brain power on some things that take a lot of energy and my down time at home as been filled with keeping my head above water.

Seasons like this exhaust me. Seasons where I am doing some things by rote and unable to do the things I really love because the others HAVE to get done.

Do you have seasons like that? What do you do to get out of that spiral?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Car Conversations

"This song is my ego!"

You mean motto?

Yea, that's what I said.