Because of What She Said

Day 21! (10 more days to go!!!)

You know when you hear a phrase and it sticks in your mind all day? It lingers, not always welcomed, like smoke from a candle puffed out.

“I want what God wants.”

She said this.
She who her husband has been diagnosed with acute leukemia 4 long weeks ago.
She who sleeps in his hospital room to be close to him.
She who remains mostly by his side.
She who loves and cares like crazy for her very sick lover.

“I want what God wants.”

How can she say this, I panic.
Again it creeps around my dense brain. I don’t understand how she can admit to this. Wanting what God wants? What if God doesn’t want what she wants?

day 21

That was over 6 months ago. Today, she and her husband are still on a journey to better health. Her husband is recovering from leukemia. The journey was hard. Still is hard at times. Just recently she shared difficulties with fresh tears. Each time she shares, the unseen vapor permeates – she wants what God wants. She doesn’t need to say it.

Intentional friends say real truths. Voicing their hearts with all vulnerability they risk openness. Intentional friends dig deep with each other. Granted her journey was/is raw and stressful. A spouse’s life on the line is never easy. But, what rich friendship established for sharing vulnerable, gut truths. What real emotional telling. What tender whisperings. Whether deliberate or not, her words etched a stirring in my soul that sent me searching to know my God more.

“Do I want what God wants?”

I’m not sure her words were intentional but they were intentionally used by God. Her soul bearing equalled my soul-searching. Don’t friends challenge each other? Spur each other on to good places? Her words, her life, were an esteemed example to me. Her hearts desire, vulnerable and surrendered, spoke volumes. God used her.

I wanted her desire.

To look me in the eye and breathe her desire assured me I was a trusted soul.  Intentional friends are safe places for each other. Her words were uttered on a trustworthy heart. Hearts that know with certainty, “This is a safe place.”

 

Intentional friends are that for each other. Safe. Welcomed without judgment. Honest and secure.
Intentional friends offer safe and trusted space to be real. 

 

>> Are you a safe place? Can others be real with you?
>> Do you have a safe friend that you can be real with?

 

 

Miss a post in this #write31days series? Click HERE to catch up!

The Night I Left My Cell Phone Behind

Day 20

Day 20

 

“Wait! I forgot my phone!” I said as we headed out the back door.

Who can’t relate to the freak out moment of forgetting your cell phone? We gotta have them. Always by our side. Always checking them. For me, ever since they have become more than just a phone I act like I can’t be very far from it. I don’t think I have phone anxiety. 

We were on our way to a birthday party. The fall evening was perfect for an outdoor party. Ideal for walking.

Spontaneously, I decided to just leave my phone buried in our house. “I can live without it for a short while,” I announced. I knew I wasn’t expecting any important phone calls. I locked the door and pulled it shut behind me.  The rest of the evening out, I didn’t think one minute further about my phone – except once or twice when I didn’t know the time or when I saw somebody else staring at their brightly lit screen. (And I may or may not have coveted for a brief second or two.)

Later when we got home, I was reunited with my cell phone. Disappointed, I looked at my screen. Only a couple of boring push notifications laced my screen. Nothing real heart warming. Bummer!

And, then I thought, “See, it’s ok to leave your phone for an entire evening. You don’t miss anything great anyway.”

My entire evening at the birthday party was soaked up with taking with people in REAL LIFE. Looking back it was such a fun night.

Jason and I have been on each other lately about putting our phones and iPads down to have family time. It’s frustrating to be eating a meal when one of us on mentally checking out on a screen or when we’re walking together and one of us is in their own little world with their phone. I could give many more examples… but, I think you get it. Each time we are nudged to free our hands it’s like getting pricked with a pin.

You know how it is when you’re at a party and just finished taking to someone and you have that moment of ‘now what?’ So instead of looking like a loser all alone you go on your phone and mindlessly start scrolling through Facebook or Instagram? Well, since I forgot my phone…. Guess what I did? I went and found somebody else to talk to! I was so cool! I left that party feeling like I had talked intentionally to so many people. And when it was time to leave, there were others I wished I could have talked to.

Our friends don’t want us to be physically present at a party. They want us to be mentally present.

Our families don’t want us to be physically sitting in the chair next to us. They want us to look and listen and be a part of them.

Recently I read somewhere that the proper etiquette for cell phones at a restaurant is to keep them out of sight and especially off the table. If you are expecting a phone call, keep your phone on vibrate and on your lap if you must so you don’t miss the call.

I think that should be etiquette for hanging out with friends. The most important person to be communicating with is the person right in front of you. I often feel like I’m boring or not important enough if I’m with someone and they are repeatedly glancing at their phones. I want others to think that Jolynn cares about me or likes me because I gave them my full attention.

Intentional friendship involves full attention. When our minds are engaged with the people closest to us. When we are a part of the people around us. Don’t be confused and think that this means you have to talk or say something intelligent or funny or anything at all. Eye contact. Listening. Following along. All that is intentional. The loudest or most chatty doesn’t equal the most intentional.

My husband remembers things better than me. Perhaps that is because he is the one that is part of a group listening. He takes it all in, swallows every moment, every word and can give a full accurate character sketch of each person there. That’s one of the things I love about him. He listens. For real.

Let’s be intentional with our girlfriends this week! Let’s leave our phones in our purses, out in the car or in the kitchen drawer when others come over. Let’s put them away when we eating together, hanging out in the living room or at least in our pocket on vibrate when taking a walk together.

Let’s be intentional by being fully present.

 

 

Want to follow my series on intentional friendship? Catch up reading here.

A Prayer for Your Sunday

Day 19

Day 19

 

May you rise to meet the designer of your unfinished places, may you yield to his working in your life and rest in the unknown of where he is leading the beautiful creation of you.

The God of the victories is the same God of the valleys. Both don’t last forever. Both build so much history. History to look back on. That builds faith. Faith builds hope.

May the God of Hope wiggle into your every thought and crowd out your heart.

May you find restfilled contentment in the mess, joy in the midst of distress and a savior who cares if you let Him.

 

Will you let Him?

 

 

A Vignette: Moving Out From Comfort

Intentional 31 daysDay 18

This is a 31 day series on Intentional Friendship with the exception of WIWWednesday and Foodie Fridays. To not miss a post you can find my directory here. Others that have joined the Nester as I have are all listed here for your reading fix. Or you can click the link on the sidebar. Check them out! There are some super great reads over there!

 

 

image 4 day 18

Moving Out From Comfort

Intentional friendship is something that I had to cultivate, especially in the last 5 years. All my life I had no problem making friends. I had a good amount of friends and all sorts of varieties. I never questioned how to be a friend. When I was 26, I moved to Texas to continue College and my serious dating relationship. Texas and Pennsylvania ARE two completely different countries! Amen and Amen.

The friends I thought would ‘just happen’ when I moved did the exact opposite. Yes, we clashed. And for the first time EVER I was left wondering what the heck was wrong with me. I knew I wasn’t prefect but the normal way I related to others was so drastically different and so not working here. I found myself at every social engagement questioning everything I said, everything I did, my clothes, my facial expressions, and even my laugh. I was just a huge insecure HOT MESS!

Fast forward 5 years to today, I have friends here now. For the most part I would say I ‘fit in’. But I still have ‘those days’ when I just want to be close to my family and my roads and towns and stores. I like it here, in Texas. I have dreams and plans here. I have my little life that for the most part suits me. I do still yearn to move closer to a bigger town/city someday as we live out in the wide open country, though not necessarily Penn. For now this is where we are and I’ve learned to find contentment, for the most part – I still feel like I have to say that because I can’t honestly say I have ARRIVED and feel like I’ve always lived here, fit completely in and know how to communicate even at the local grocery store.

Because of my story, I’ve begun to think differently about relating and about friends. I’ve thought about my friends back home and what kind of friend I was to them. It’s made me think about what kind of people I gravitate towards. It’s made me think about my besties and what made us tight. What made us click? How did we connect? Did it happen in a day or over time? Because of my difficultly with making friends, I analyzed. so. so. exhaustively. very. much.

Moving away from your comfort zone will invite new soul searching and a fresh crying out to God. Growth and a dependence on God can emerge through a disrupted routine.
 I’m not just talking about literally moving but following Gods leading to move into different situations and seasons of life. 

My advice? Don’t move? Nah, I wouldn’t say that. God gives us valleys. We can’t escape them. They happen even when you don’t move. So move if God is calling you. God longs to lead us if we let Him. And if you do move away from your comfort zone, mediate on some thoughts God has prompted from my experience.

I’ll share them with you in short nuggets that are easy to digest.

 

1. Listen to your expectations and then let them go. It’s ok to expect certain things when you move. It’s not ok to hold everybody to your standard of what you expect. Because what if they are expecting something different from you than what you are expecting of yourself? Make sense? Know what you are expecting is going to happen when you move. Tell it to God. But then be ok if what you assume will happen does NOT happen. (We’re talking about relationships and making friends obviously)

2. Pray for others and yourself before getting together. I have found this to be extremely helpful (the few times I’ve remembered) It takes pressure off of yourself to perform or to be what I’m not. It gives me permission to be myself. It allows my heart to rest its insecurities and frees my mind to be fully present.

Communicating with God about what you care and how you feel about means so much to Him and so much more to your relationship with Him.

 

3. Allow yourself to feel nervous or intimidated by others. What am I saying? Some people intimidate us. They do. What I’m offering is that you recognize it. Recognize in your heart how a particular person if making you feel. In other words, know what you are feeling. Give yourself permission to be intimidated. It’s ok to know you feel that way. Pretending you’re not intimidated or trying to cover up your feelings welcomes Mr. Comparison to the party. And we’ve all sat in that frustration camp, no?
So next time, whisper a prayer between you and God what you’re feeling. Invite God to the party and don’t walk in the intimidation alone.
(I need to read this one 71,894x!)

4. Listen to others. Listen to understand. Listen without trying to fix. It’s in listening and being quite that we hear more. Learn more. Love better. Listen to God’s spirit within you. He’ll tell you when to hush. Just listen.

 

I pray my words and story are a bit of an encouragement today, wherever you are at on your journey with relationships. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Happy weekending!

Foodie Friday: A Cup You Can’t Put Down

Day 17

photo 2

Shine down on me October Sun. It’s radiant rays boldly blaze through my panes of glass. Shine in and warm my walls. Warm my floor. Warm my senses desperate to slow down. As I snuggle in the couch, mug in hand, Bible in the other, it’s 7: 47 and I take in the glow of Autums’ flair alone. Husband just left, babe tucked in bed, it’s me and my God time. We’ve been separated but today we gather again.

It’s been a week. Yes, a week of family here. Visitors from Pennsylvania, my home country. It’s been good. It’s been real. It’s been relaxing. It’s been reacquainting. It’s been heartwarming. There is nothing like seeing ones own family when gone through deprivation. Because 24 hrs between each other does that. Because deprivation equaled refill-ation and then today exhaust-ation.

Warm my senses desperate to slow down. . .

When I think that I planned blogging through this month knowing that we’d have visitors smack dab in the middle of this 31 day series, I don’t know what I was thinking. I did write ahead a bit but sometimes it’s hard to push ‘Publish’ when the words aren’t resonating like the day they did when I wrote them. As I’ve written this month, I’ve invited the Spirit, God’s Spirit to lead me. I’ve been wanting to allow my heart to dance with the spirit as I write. Re-reading old words sometimes seemed, well, old. Oh, suspicious Spirit has taken hostage my brain and fingers as I write and re-write.

Or do I just like to write? Each time I sit down to update my blog for the day, I feel compelled and inspired to write anew. Just like today. Though I’m tired and worn, my fingers type. Though my eyelids blink heavily, my fingers type. Though I was just going to post a simple recipe and pictures, my fingers type. I think I like to write.

# # # # #

My subject for this month, Intentional Friendship.
Click image to see directory and catch up reading if you must.

Intentional 31 days

 

My subject on today, Friday.
Food.
Would you be ok if I talked about drink?
Not food but drink?
If I shared the recipe with you, would you be ok with that?

Since its fall and since it’s chilly, today I made myself a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

pumpkin spice latte

 Since it’s weathering in the 50’s.
Since our windows are open still.
Since our house and walls and floor are glacial.

I found this recipe from Nifty Betty for Pumpkin Spice Syrup.
It’s the perfect addition for coffee.
It’s what you need to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Make your syrup by clicking for recipe here. (It’s so easy, y’all!)

Or follow my easy-peasy directions below

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

Mix 1 cup water and 3/4 cup brown sugar and heat in microwave for 4-5 min. Add 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree and half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together well. Strain with a cheese clothe, small sieve if you have or next best thing. Store in an air tight container and chill.

photo 2

For the latte:

Mix 1-2 Tablespoons of syrup in your mug with half warmed milk and half brewed coffee. Top with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice.
OR
top with Salted Caramel Icing  <-  yes, please!!

photo 3

 

Happy Fall, Y’all!!!

Day 16


Hi! Today I’m only checking in to say that it’s been a busy one! I dutifully and sadly dropped my parents off at the airport.
It’s been lazy. Its been relaxing.
It’s been quantitative. It’s been qualitative.
It’s been miles. It’s been places.
It’s been MEMORIES!

Here are some delightful pictures on my phone. It’s not much. It’s so very random. It’s candid shots of our week together. Family love tank has been refilled to the brim and over flowing!

IMG_2508.JPG

IMG_2484.JPG

IMG_2505

IMG_2471.JPG

IMG_2467

IMG_2464.JPG

Group hug! “Good-bye!”

IMG_2512.JPG

What I Wore Wednesday!

Day 15

Spent the day in the beautiful city of San Antonio with my parents. They are visiting us in Texas from Pennsylvania. I am updating from my phone. Let’s quick squeeze a WIWW post!

This is my fashionable ensemble that I thoughtfully and quickly threw together this morning in the midst of getting ourselves packed and out the door. Lately I’m in a phase to be creative and resourceful with my closet. I haven’t bought clothes since August! Wonder how long I could go till I cave and cash in on a sweater this fall??….

IMG_2487.JPG

IMG_2486.JPG

IMG_2482.JPG

San Antonio is gorgeous and absolutely relaxing! You should go there! :)