Tuesday, January 19, 2016

My people.

This weekend we were able to attend the wedding of friend. The great thing about this wedding, besides the fact that two great people got married, was that it brought together all of ‘my people’. You know those people, the ones that know you, like really know you. The ones that have walked through seasons of life with you. They are the ones you can have pointless conversations with and the next minute it has turned into a deep theological conversation. The ones that are for you.

We have all entered new seasons of life lately, the kind that takes weddings and big events to get everyone together. Not because we don’t want to. But because there is distance, jobs, or family, our lives are busy.

As we gathered Sunday evening at our old hangout spot we all realized we are in different places in our lives that we’d rather not be. I love what my dear friend Julie wrote:

Puppies, coffee, and these humans: some of my favorite things. Our Sunday evenings were almost always spent here with each other laughing, pondering, eating - beautifully ordinary stuff. As they always do, Time and Change have done their thing to us: new marriages, new states, new dogs, new churches, new friends, no friends, disease, sadness, exhaustion, loneliness, weariness, apathy - and we're all a little worse for the wear at the moment. To sit down with your people and to be "not okay" together matters. I desperately miss the ordinary, but this matters too.

No matter the time or distances or life changes. These are still my people. And we still walk together. 

Friday, January 15, 2016


My husband has this favorite pair of pants. Because he has had them for so long, they had become worn in the knees. Soon there was a hole. Then a really big hole.  So we went shopping for a new pair. As we walked in the store, off to the right, was a rack full of jeans. He walks over, and with a big grin on his face, he holds up a pair of jean with holes all over them. “What about these?!” I smiled and kept on walking.

We want our jeans to look already worn when we purchase them. We love giving our furniture the antique look. We purposefully break, rip, chip things in the name of fashion and design. 

A few weeks ago someone asked me how life was going. She followed it up with, according to facebook it looks like it is going well.  I smiled and said yes not wanting to get into the nitty gritty of it all.

This last year has left us a little worn. A bit broken. A little worse for the wear in some ways. There have been some good things, but it has been tough.

As much as we love our things looking worn, we don’t dare let the world know that our lives look the same way.  But we all need people who are willing walk with us in the mess.

If you are feeling worn today, there is light at the end of the tunnel. (I know, I know, worst thing to say to someone who is in the midst of it. But it’s there, I promise.) And besides, if you find a few more holes and another rip in your life, join the cool kids club! You're not alone. It's just adding more detail to masterpiece.

Monday, January 4, 2016


“Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a sliver of lightness on even the darkest nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich when it contains a splinter of sadness.
Bittersweet is the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, earthy.” –Shauna Niequist, Savour
I have tried for the last three months to put words down to process what we went thru this last year and I just couldn’t find the words until I read the paragraph above. 2015 was bittersweet for us.
Almost a year ago(!) Chet and I were standing under that giant oak tree as we promised one another “…for better or for worse, in sickness and in health…”.  We celebrated with our close friends and family on a truly perfect day. As I replay that day in my head and look at pictures, my heart wants to burst.
We have been given lots of practice in living out the words we said to each other. More than either of us ever anticipated. My health threw us a curve ball I wasn’t ready for. There were many dark nights where I couldn’t see past the tears because the pain and heaviness of my disease seemed like too much to bear. From holding me in the middle of the night because the pain woke me up, to spending each night in the hospital because I didn’t want to be alone, Chet has been my rock. He has seen my at my worst and loved me through it. He understood when many around us didn’t.
Chet and I have had several conversations about how our expectations for this year were quickly dashed as life happened. As I have grieved the loss of those things, we both can see ways this time has caused us to grow deeper together. The bitterness of pain and disease brought the sweetness of growing together with Chet.
It is a new year. And with that, I hope a new chapter in our story. I am learning to give myself and my body grace. We are still in the healing process.
I often think about that giant oak tree. It has worn and scraggly branches. It has seen decades of seasons. It has weathered freezing temperatures and unbearable heat. But each spring it pushes out new leaves. And its roots continue to go deeper. I pray the same for our marriage.