Thursday, December 6, 2018

To the Friends Who Stayed

I wish I could tell you what it felt like to open the door and see Sophie standing there, bearing gifts of cream cheese frosted cupcakes, mocha hot cocoa, and flowers.

I wish I could explain just how strange life has been lately, sometimes a good strange, sometimes a bad. How this whole 2018 has been a study in letting go, starting again, and keeping on keeping on. 

What I've learned is simple: Some people leave, while others stay.

I've written a little about this on my The 25 Project blog, but there's more to say. As we enter December and start to anticipate the new year ahead, I also want to look back. This year, more than any other, I have had to learn that you can't keep everyone. I don't know if that makes sense? What I mean is, you can't keep everything the same as it is when you're younger. Friends grow up, grow older, grow apart.

The hard part of it is, you don't always know who is going to go,
and who is going to stay.

Maybe I'm just one of those whimsical, wistful souls who wishes everything could stay the way it was in childhood and everyone would always want to be friends with each other and let's just all hold hands and get along, THE END. But this is life, and so that's not the case. I get that now; I've accepted it. You can't have positive life change and new seasons without leaving the old seasons behind.

All this to say, it did a heart good to see my friend Sophie standing outside my door yesterday with her sweet soul and surprise treats.
It made me want to be a better friend.

It helps to remember that for every person that leaves, there will be amazing people who hang tight. There will still be people you can call on the phone laughing that tell you they love you even if you haven't talked in a while. There will still be people who want to go to emo concerts with you, or drive hours to see you even though it's been years since you hung out last. 

There will still be people who bring you cupcakes and a kind word.

What about you?

Have you experienced friendship changes as the years go by? How do you stay connected to your close friends? And what three things would you want someone to bring to your door?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Definitive Guide to Not Having It All Together

Lately, I've been trying to Keep Up.

Everything online seems to scream at me that I need the clothes, the #aesthetic, the fitness journey, the picture-perfect blog. Meanwhile your girl just wants to wear her favorite thrift-store cardigan and continue her family Christmas movie marathon (We've watched Home Alone and Christmas with the Kranks, if you're curious. Elf is up next).

It can be so easy to fall into thoughts of comparison and appearance-obsession, because that's what the Internet seems to invite.

But all I want is to use it to create something great and honest, even if that means bowing out of the social media and numbers game. I don't know why I even think about those things. My end goal is not to have an explosive social media following. I just want to share my thoughts and have a genuine connection with people, even if it's only a few. To me, that means more. 

But yo, sometimes it's really tough.

This morning in my car, my hands raw from the cold as I scrolled through my phone's cracked screen, I thought randomly of 2nd Corinthians 12:9. "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness." That really made me feel at peace. Because lately I haven't been wanting to be weak, I've been trying to be strong. I've been pretty anxious. I totally forgot that the Lord wants me to be weak, because then He can be strong through me. I also thought about that verse James 4:6: "But He gives us more grace."

So it's completely fine to not have it all together.

Which is good, because I definitely don't. A little while ago I was thinking about giving up with this whole blogging thing; it was just getting me down. But when I have moments of stillness like this it re-centers me. I remember how much I enjoy connecting with a person over shared words and reading someone else's thoughts. I've loved having honest conversations with some of you over things on my The 25 Project blog, and it means a lot that even one person would care to read my words. That makes me smile.

What about you?

Do you ever feel like you have to have it all together or chase perfection? How do you combat the social media/blogging numbers game? PLEASE GIVE ME YOUR TIPS. And for fun, what is your favorite Christmas movie and/or treat? I'm in prime Christmas mode over here, my dudes. 🎅

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Thanksgiving Day 2018

I wake up before dawn.

Somehow my body knows that this is what I want, to be awake before anything exciting happens. I always do this on holidays - on Christmas, my birthday. It's something about the thrill of it being a special day. I want to see the sun.

This Thanksgiving is no exception.

I wake before six, and already it is chilly, I can tell even when I'm still bundled in blankets. I get up, pull on a hoodie, run downstairs and out the door and down the block until four miles have gone by. The sky is soft with a smattering of clouds and Tom Odell is playing in my ear buds.

These are the things for which I am most thankful.

When my prayers turn to gratitude, I don't often thank the Lord for the big, grand things (though sometimes I do). Instead, I thank Him for sunrises, and cups of coffee with the morning paper, for my record collection and the smell of gingerbread body wash, and my daily bowl of oatmeal. For books.

Today is a sort of unusual Thanksgiving in that it is just my immediate family and I (mother, father, sister) gathering to share turkey instead of our whole extended family.

I won't see Lily or Edward or Curren or Kate or any of my little cousins, and I won't see my brother and his family out in Texas. It's been a rare day of lazing about as my family prepares food and we watch the parade and furtive bites of pie are nibbled.

I imagine Thanksgivings in the future when my sister and I and our husbands will meet up in cream-colored knit sweaters and cozy socks (COZY SOCKS!) for cups of coffee and pumpkin pie and an old John Hughes movie by the fireplace. This is my fantasy world, the future, but for now, I will be grateful. And eat all the pie!

What about you?

What has your Thanksgiving been like? Do you have any fun family traditions? What kinds of pie have you eaten today (I've had apple, pumpkin and chocolate mousse).