Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Choosing


Joy? It's a choice...

...Choosing Joy.

It's how she chose to live her live. It's how everyone is choosing to remember her as she's partying in Heaven. 

Lucky. Duck. She's partying in Heaven...

Because as the book that Mary Carver penned from Sara's blog (linked above) discusses, it wasn't all sunshine and roses. Or even mostly sunshine and roses. It was real life gritty and uncomfortable. It was painful and messy and downright awful at times  most of the time. Sara chose.

She focused on the joy and the laughter and the family and friendships and community. She picked it. Just think...in the middle of all of it she picked to focus on the good and beautiful. She made a life for herself when others might have wallowed. She did that occasionally, but always came back from it because she never wanted to be "that person". She never was.

In the book from the blog, Mary does an excellent job of choosing posts which highlight Sara's keep on keeping on attitude and heart. From tv on Friday nights with her "sisters" to time out on the porch with her parents or shopping in her closet with Laura, Choose Joy highlights the ways that Sara was able to live. She chose life in the middle of her chronic disease. She chose to savor moments and memories and relationships. 

Yesterday the chicks and I were in the middle of real life. Real life is hard. It makes you feel all of the feelings and choose. It asks you to try. If you never try you can never choose...and if you never choose then you never grow. You don't feel the feelings. You never step out and change your circumstances. It's a very complicated circle. It's messy. It's life. You must choose to begin to try. Growth comes from choice

We've been given the opportunity to choose

What are you choosing today?



Friday, January 8, 2016

Stepping In

It’s been forever and a day since I last checked in (when I logged into this account it said two years and one day, to be exact). I’ve been preparing the girls to someday take flight, which has consumed minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and, apparently, years. It’s a process that is full of perspective and breathing and growing.  I’ll share more about the chickadees and their process in the future, but these next few posts will focus on different topics entirely.

To be honest, I’ve found it difficult to be in an online space without friend requests and boundaries. It’s vulnerable and open and real. I’ve been all of these things, but on a much smaller scale and with a limited audience, so please bear with me as I take baby-steps back here.

I am honored to be part of the Choose Joy launch team.  I am.  But honestly? This is hard. Glennon says all the time “we can do hard things”. I hard core adopted that mantra as I geared up to read. The hard is in no way based upon the writing or the promotion or any of it. It’s the topic, which just happens to be my dead friend. The one who made plans with me for the “highlight of our twilight” and had a wicked sense of snark and uncontrollable curly frizz. The one who didn’t make it to forty.  Yep. Her. Our Sara (I'm linking to a post YOU MUST IMMEDIATELY GO READ where she discusses her snark along with her philosophy of it being "all good" and also uses the term "freaking kidding me" which was ALL HER). The game she discusses? The one she played with Mama Jane in the waiting rooms at Mayo? We often play it in airports. So. Many. People. In. Airports. Yes, the girls and I share Sara's snark. As I review and share the book I'm going to guide you back to her blog. It was many of the best parts of her, the ones she put out for everyone to see, but it was honest and raw and real. She was real. Rereading the post I linked made me laugh and cry at the same time. True definition of sappy that she and NieNie discussed often. So, dear ones, we can do hard things. I proved it. I picked up the darn book and read it in a single sitting.


The book arrived for me to review and it sat under my Christmas tree for three weeks.  Three. Weeks.  Side note: A friend, Alece, refers to this, 2016, as her year of “badassery”. It’s not my word, but for all intents and purposes, I’m borrowing it here.  I’m reaching deep down into that word to rejoin this online community and review a book that was difficult for me to read. Laura Pederson and Mary Carver spent countless hours launching (Laura) and writing (Mary) Choose Joy. It took me that much time to gather the strength to read it. I'll be sharing parts of it here in the coming days. Welcome back, friends, I'm harnessing strength and rejoining this crazy wonderful word world.

Monday, January 6, 2014

800 Miles

I wrote this as the girls were at an intensive a few weeks ago and it didn't publish. It still holds true, despite the passage of time, so I'm hitting post. 

……...

I watch them walk into the building, 800 miles from their beds and books. No hesitation, no stutter in their steps. Confident. It’s what I dream for them, this peace. Completely assurance in who they are as people.

At home she’s different. Quiet, not in a crowd. Here, she shines. From one set of arms to another she goes, swallowed in embrace after embrace. I see her whole heart in her eyes, and mine teeters between bursting and breaking.  Here, she is home.

Never out shadowed, my little immediately finds a set of arms and dives into them. When she’s hugged she comes straight off of the floor. Home.

The warmth of this place isn’t limited to the girls. I feel it all around me. Wishing we had this in more spots but grateful for it’s presence here. I’m then kissed and hugged and all filled up too.

A few years ago Christmas was in a cozy condo in snowy Iowa. Today it’s here in these studio spaces in MA. As the girls have grown we’ve learned that home isn’t about where you are, it’s who you’re with. 


We’ve had adventures galore in the last twelve months, but the concept that home is wherever we find those we love and in the pursuit of our joy? That lesson we’ll hold close for this lifetime.