Friendly, But Not Too Friendly


Photo Credit: Molly Des Jardin Flickr via Compfight cc

New neighbors scare me. Ok, maybe not scare, but definitely worry a little. We’ve lived here nine years and we know our neighbors only a little. Probably only two or three of them by name. The idea of meeting people all over again, of learning who is safe or who is friendly exhausted me.

I’m an introvert, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like people. But it does mean I like my personal space from time to time. When you live in the city and everyone is on top of each other, it can be especially hard to be an introvert because you feel like there is never a quiet place to get away and recharge, especially when that little house is filled with the voices not so little voices of three children.

I will miss the couple down the street who have a little girl my kids like to play with. The ones that we’ve built a casual acquaintance with, though we could never get organized enough to have dinner together, even after all these years. While we haven’t exactly been popular, at least most of our neighbors are friendly and kind. I hope the next place we live will be friendly too.

But maybe not too friendly.



Categories: 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, 31 Days of Real-Life Honesty, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Last One


He won’t remember this house.

The room where each of my children have slept, he being the last. With the map of the Hundred Acre wood and small Winnie the Pooh illustrations. The tiny room where there is only space for the crib and a dresser. The crib my sister and I slept in as babies and the dresser my father made for us. The tiny living room where all three of them learned to crawl, cruise and walk.

I wonder if he’ll learn to walk before we move, or after. Part of me hopes after. Because as much as I’m so looking forward to our new home, all those memories of the first will be left behind here. So it would be nice if one of those big milestones was in our new home.

He’s the last little one to be born to this house, and mostly to this family. It feels like a fitting time, in many ways, to find a new place, for the new life in the post baby years. Maybe I’ll feel a little less sad about it when he’s truly not my baby anymore.



Categories: 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, 31 Days of Real-Life Honesty, Writing | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

I Kept Dancing


I was early. I was ready to sit down and hop on social media while I waited for my teammates. But something told me to press play on the CD instead. It was a mix made long ago, I didn’t even know what all the songs were.

As the strains of the first one began, I started to move. But the top I wore today was a bit too small, and my yoga pants a bit too low. My belly kept hanging out. Immediately I felt shame. That I had chosen the wrong outfit, that my body was misbehaving. Fear that someone would come in and see me. I pulled my shirt down and continued. Even under my shirt I could feel my stomach jiggle, it was distracting me. So I blocked it out. As my body moved, I tried to focus, not on how my movements looked, whether they were graceful, creative or even attractive. But just on dancing without inhibition.

Let everything has breath praise the Lord, that means anything with a body can move in praise of him. If the trees branches can swing and the grasses sway, then a little belly jiggle shouldn’t slow me down. So I kept dancing.

Because every part of me is wonderfully made, even the parts that don’t look or behave as I wish they would. I have strong arms and legs, I’m able to move, to worship my creator. It’s been a year and I thought that by now things would be different. But they aren’t, and I can’t just keep waiting to live. This is the body I have, I need to learn to revel in it.

It’s hard not to have negative thoughts about my body. A few weekends ago we stayed in a hotel. The mirrors in the bathroom were large and for the first time in a long time I saw my whole body. I didn’t like what I saw, in fact it repulsed me.

So I try not to look. But I don’t want it to stop me from living. So that night, alone in the sanctuary I chose to dance, not to let the body I didn’t love hold me back and hope that eventually I’ll begin to like myself again.






Categories: 31 Days of Real-Life Honesty, Writing | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

They Learn from Me and Sometimes I’m Selfish Too


Photo Credit: Jonathan Rolande Flickr via Compfight cc

They go through life, so completely centered on themselves, these little creatures of mine. They are unable to see the perspectives and needs of others. I know it’s just because they are kids. I’m trying to teach them, which leads to lots of conflict. Because they don’t like my ideas. I find myself getting so frustrated with their inability to learn.

Because if I’m honest, I’m not that different then they are. I see things from my perspective and I like things my way. Now, I am the mom, which means that at least for a period of time, I do know better than they do. But I’m also still human. It’s easy for me to be as self-centered as they are. As an adult, I hide it better and I couch it in phrases like “I do all the work around here, I deserve to relax” and “Hey, I’m the mommy, sometimes I need stuff just for me.” Those phrases may be true, but the reality is portrayed more in my attitude.

It’s easy to feel like a martyr. After all, my little minions can truly be ungrateful and act entitled. But if I’m modeling my parenting after my perfect Father, I know I need to develop a heart of love and service toward my children. God, in his mercy, puts up with plenty of complaining and ingratitude from me. Yet He never holds it against me. I need to be willing to extend the same grace to my children that is available to me.

How else will they learn unless I model for them how to love with actions, even if you don’t receive appreciation in return.



Categories: 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, 31 Days of Real-Life Honesty, Writing | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Look Up


Photo Credit: ikewinski Flickr via Compfight cc

It can be so discouraging when we are waiting.

This year I’m the coordinator of a local chapter of MOPS. The theme is Starry Eyed, which I wasn’t crazy about at first. So I began to pray, and God brought to my mind the story of Abraham in the book of Genesis.

God took Abraham out under the night sky and promised him his descendants would be as numerous as the stars. Except that Abraham had no descendants and he and his wife, Sarah were well beyond childbearing age. The facts of his situation appeared to contradict the promises God was making to him. So this year, my take on the theme has been that the stars are a reminder of God’s faithfulness to us, even when our situations don’t seem to reflect that faithfulness.

Our pastor preached last week about ungodly beliefs that we may be harboring in our lives. He talked about discerning the difference between the facts of our situation and making unbiblical assumptions based on those facts. He gave the example of a young woman who said that everyone in her family gets divorced, so she expected that her husband would eventually cheat on her and the same would happen to them.

It can be so easy to allow our minds to spiral down into worst first thinking. We each have our own areas of untrue beliefs or superstitions that we carry. I liken it to looking down into the mud as we are trudging through the trenches, instead of looking up at the sky. It’s easy to lose our way and begin to the believe that there is nothing else out there for us, except the difficulties we see in front of us.

The stars may seem far off, but they represent the faithfulness of God, who always fulfills his promises to us, even if it is in impossible ways that we could never imagine.



Categories: 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes, 31 Days of Real-Life Honesty, Writing | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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