Saturday, July 22, 2017

Relationships

Relationships. 

Our lives are made up of relationships. We are friends, lovers, spouses, parents, children, sisters, brothers, employers, employees, teachers, students, etc. it's all about people, and how we relate to them.

The cutesy quotes abound if you do a quick search online:

“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”

“It's the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey.”

“Only those who care about you can hear when you're quiet.”

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself”

“Relationships don’t always make sense. Especially from the outside”

“When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You know that your name is safe in their mouth”

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”

Forgive me, I don't have the author of any of these - not that seeing it attributed to anyone on the internet makes it true. I saw the musical, Wicked, with my daughter and her friend last year. I love all of the songs, but this one, in particular, always makes me smile.

I want to always be the one in any relationship that makes the other person a better version of themselves. I want to be the encourager, the cheerleader, the one who can be trusted with the deepest of secrets, the dreams, the fears. I want the other person to feel that because they knew me, they have been changed, not just forever, but for good.

Partial lyrics, For Good, Written by Stephen Lawrence Schwartz • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

I've heard it said
That people come into our lives for a reason
Bringing something we must learn
And we are led
To those who help us most to grow
If we let them
And we help them in return
Well, I don't know if I believe that's true
But I know I'm who I am today
Because I knew you...
Like a comet pulled from orbit
As it passes a sun
Like a stream that meets a boulder
Halfway through the wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

It well may be
That we will never meet again
In this lifetime
So let me say before we part
So much of me
Is made of what I learned from you
You'll be with me
Like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way our stories end
I know you have re-written mine
By being my friend...
Like a ship blown from its mooring
By a wind off the sea
Like a seed dropped by a skybird
In a distant wood
Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
But because I knew you
I have been changed for good

Friday, July 14, 2017

Live, Laugh, Love

There are life events that cause us to stop and reflect. A near death experience. The death of a loved one. The birth of a child. A child leaving home. Certain birthdays…

As I climb “the hill,” ever nearing the half-century mark, I've been more reflective, and introspective. Realizing that you've already lived more than half your life, can do that…

I know people who have said to me, “I have no regrets.” I just want to say to them, “Really? Not even one???” I find it hard to believe that one could live, and never do anything which they regret. There are many things which I regret. I can't live life dwelling on them, but rather learn from them and move forward.

Recently, my sister shared a quote on her Facebook page it struck such a chord with me, that I saved it, knowing that I had to elaborate on it. Later that same day, one of my favorite a cappella groups came on, singing this song. I loved it, and must have listened to it a hundred times since. I know that it's unrealistic, and a bit fantasy-like, but how wonderful it would be to live this way! Not selfishly, always doing and thinking of only ourselves, but including ourselves, when we think and do. Sounds blissfully happy to me…
         

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Affection

af·fec·tion
əˈfekSH(ə)n/
noun 1. a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.

It is interesting to me the things that affect whether or not, or even how, humans demonstrate affection.

There are more definitions for love than could ever be written. God is love. He embodies all that love is. And He demonstrated that love by offering His only child as a proxy, the ultimate sacrifice, that would pay for my sins, and the sins of the whole world, whether we believe or don't, love or don't, accept the offer or don't. Just a completely selfless act, because of love. Unconditional love.

Love is so much more than a feeling, though there are many feelings that are evoked by love. But love, itself, makes us want to act.

How do we show love? I love my children. I would kill for them, and I would die for them. Beyond that, I'd do anything within my power to make sure they have not only what they need, but much of what they want. I want to always be the one to encourage them to follow their dreams, cheer for them when they succeed, help them regroup when things don't go as planned. Whether or not I agree with their choices, whether or not they are grateful for anything I've done or do, whether or not they even want a relationship with me. Because I love them. Unconditionally.

Physical affection was not something that I grew up with. It wasn't even something that I witnessed often, though Southerners are often more “touchy-feely” than other Americans. I've read about, and talked with some, in other countries, where it just isn't done. It isn't that they don't love. They just don't demonstrate it in the same way.

Not only do I love my children, I like them. I have affection for them, and enjoy physically expressing that. For me, from the moment my first child was born - actually before he was even born - I have felt that I cannot express my affection enough. Hugs, kisses, and most importantly, verbally expressing my love to them, has been a part of their lives, always. I do all that I can to demonstrate my love for them, in the hope that they will never question whether or not they are loved. Because how difficult would it be to believe that God loves us, if we never experienced love by someone that we can physically touch?

It's my hope that as my children become adults, and marry and have their own children, that physical touch, as well as verbal expressions of love, will be so natural to them, that their spouses, their friends, their children, will never even wonder if they are loved.

I do not question, nor am I judging, in any way, the love of those who don't physically express affection. It's just one of those ideas that has been rolling around in my brain, so it landed here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Waking the sleeping giant...

I cannot believe that it has been five years, but time stamps don't lie, right? How things have changed in this half decade...

Three children finished college and married:


Robert & Alyssa


Emily & Trevor


Mitchel & Emily

So many emotions in such a short time. I've miscarried two more babies, gained three "babies" via weddings, lol. I still have eight at home, with two graduating next spring. 

My dad's health caused him to need to retire, so I bought the diner. Some of the children work there, some have moved away, and some will work there in the future. I have big plans for that business - but they haven't been made public yet. 

That about brings us to today. There are bits and pieces to elaborate on, but those should be separate posts...see you soon.