relationships

spoon stories and the matter of value

I was learning to summon worth any time I’ve ever had to name myself instead of waiting for a title. Just like my mother. This week I was softly reminded of when my lessons began.

Taking out the taped up wooden box where my silver sleeps and opening it up last week made me woozy. It was too beautiful. Thanksgiving gave me the chance to put it to work, feeding people once more, but not before it took my breath away.

#cultivatecourageous · #write31days · Brave · relationships · Stories

What do you want me to say?

“Help me help you. Help ME – help YOU!”

We are both in a bind. I need relief. You want to give some. But both of us have no answers and, I’m sorry, but I am greatly disadvantaged at the moment.

I just can’t help you. You’re on your own. But wait ….

#cultivatecourageous · #write31days · Books · relationships · Stories

Is it okay that I’m not you?

The minute I learned I was having a second daughter, I was deliriously happy for my firstborn. ¬†I didn’t have sisters, but God let me make some girls to keep me surrounded by women.

No matter who your people are, the ones who get you and the ones who begot you all serve to form your identity – as different from them.

As soon as we are in school, boys and girls, we all start asking these questions, and sometimes they plague us for life.

“Am I like her?”

“Is it okay if I’m not?”

Yikes.  Flashback.

I have a stubborn memory of being teased at recess because I carried¬†a purse AND I wore it across my body instead of on one shoulder – of being shamed by friends in public who were close to me in private. ¬†We all want to belong, but need to be unique – the tension is consistent, isn’t it? ¬†That’s why “high school’s never over.”*. ¬†It follows us up the years even in our friendships, that¬†sensation of being torn when we stand out because the solidarity of sameness¬†is so powerful.

God has revised that memory for me to show me that I’ve always had a creative identity; I still like cross-body bags, and I still choose to love a wild bouquet of¬†people. I like originals. One of my favorite things about life in Christ is unveiling his fingerprints together. ¬†We don’t have to all be the same. ¬†Isn’t that fantastic?

Regarding the differences that reveal themselves as friends grow closer, what you really want to know when you hold an unpopular stance is, are you going to leave me now?  The people who have stayed in my life beyond the sticky early days are the people who are not intimidated by their own identity, so they can safely appreciate mine.

The big idea is this; dare to disagree.  It will help you skip right to real friendship.

Our anomalies¬†rattle the security of our bonds, but with every love we need to find a safe way to be ourselves¬†together. So stay in your lane and admire the view.¬† When a friend makes a choice that you’d never make, just smile and say boldly, “I love that about you!”

 *Prudie to her husband in a line from The Jane Austin Book Club
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#cultivatecourageous · #write31days · Glory · relationships · Worth

May I appreciate you?

I know a man who takes effusive joy in his appreciation. His full on enthusiasm about LIFE dips everything he does in conviction. He takes ordinary goodness and sticks a firecracker in it, then he stands back, hands clasped, to see what will happen.
And a mutual friend of ours told me this week that one of his favorite things to do is appreciate people. I was not one bit surprised.