We spent the afternoon at the Railroad Park yesterday and had to head to Old Town and Fashion Square today. Everything is bright green from our recent rains, yummy backyard BBQ smells fill the air and the 75 degree temps have made it official. This is the perfect time to live here. We pay our dues with a long hot summer, but man, enjoying weather like this when many are covered in ice makes it so worth it. So often we live in a town and forget to take advantage of what it has to offer. As Terra and I passed so many cute quaint restaurants, ate ice cream in a unique famous little shop, I vowed to begin to really “live” where I live and discover what our town has to offer. And if I’ve convinced you to move here (wink, wink…) These people will be the best real estate agents you’ll ever find!
This morning we had to run into Phoenix for a little bit and Ty and I were on our way back “into town”. As we’re driving, I’m talking to him and I say, “We’re headed back home to where we live…Scottsdale.” And he replies vehemently…”No! Not Stotstaaaayle! We live at our HOUSE.” And he’s right. We DO live in our house.
I understand that this is a new concept for him and in all my motherly wisdom decide that this will be a perfect moment for him to learn something. I try to break it down really simply for him. I even put on my “SuperMom” voice and said sweetly… “You’re right Ty Ty. We DO live in our house…but our house is IN Scottsdale.” He wasn’t buying. “No! Not Stotstaaayle! We live at our HOUSE!” Back and forth for about three minutes till I finally gave up. “You’re right. We DO live in our HOUSE.” And he smiles smugly. “Yep. You’re right Mommy! Our house!” No lesson learned, no new information absorbed.
I thought about how essentially we both WERE right. He wasn’t wrong. He was, in fact, correct. But he held on so tightly to his “reality” his missed out on a larger “reality”. How many times in life does this happen to us? How often do we miss out on growing or learning or expanding our thinking because we limit ourselves to what we KNOW is true? How many discussions with friends, co-workers, spouses, enemies, even God end up with us smiling smugly holding on to our small “reality” having missed out on a greater “reality” due to our stubborn pride. I am embarrassed to say that it has happened to me more than once. And when I finally do see the big picture, for whatever reason, it’s painful to discover that I’ve missed out, held out and possibly hurt others holding on to my reality. What about you? Are you selling yourself short by clinging to a “reality” that may be true, but is keeping you from embracing a bigger picture “reality”? Your thoughts?
So some people are talented in music- gifted in voice or an instrument, some are amazing in art, some have dedication and commitment to training their physical bodies to do amazing things…like run marathons. Some are quick with numbers, and can take pictures, or write, or speak, or dance… Some people are pretty good in A LOT of things, and many have ONE area of expertise. While, I think I’m okay in a couple areas there is one gift that stands out. I don’t really know what you’d call it. About 10 years ago, I began to discover that I could finish people’s sentences pretty easily. Like they’d say, “Hey Noelle…” And I’d say, “What? You want to talk about the time in junior high when we called that guy and….” Usually when I finish sentences like this, the people who were trying to speak get this weird look on their face and kind of tilt their head and say…”How did you know?” I don’t know. I just do. I’m by no means a genius (although some tests might say…) and often I miss the blatant obvious- but for some reason- I just know things. Not really important things. Nothing that is going to change the world- at least most of the time…just random knowledge that I might not otherwise know.
Why am I sharing this? Each time I’ve found out I’m having a baby- I’ve had a weird hunch. Granted, I’ve not trusted my hunches- and had no scientific evidence or reason for taking a test…but all three times I’ve shelled out the money to take a test…I’ve been right. Not sure how I can use this gift to make some cash- but I’m working on that.
On January 26th I posted about how I thought good things were around the bend for me. Turns out I was right. At the time I had no idea I would find out in just a couple short weeks that I would be expecting our 3rd (AND FINAL!!!!) child. For those who care, late October will be the due date. For those who pray, pray like the wind that I’m healthy and not sick like the previous, yucky 8 months or so I spent each time I’ve been pregnant.
Turns out I was wrong about one thing on that January 26th post- Sushi will not be in my future. At least for 9 more months…and that my friends, is tragic.
You have a few gray hairs. You’ve changed a bit since those days when we were only kids. . .
I remember drawing hearts on my notebook with your name on it. Practicing writing my name with your last name. It’s funny how so much has come to pass- things I thought would only be dreams in a junior high diary.
I’m not sure what the next ten or twenty years holds….I know this year is going to be amazing. I’m so proud of who you are- your amazing heart, your adventurous spirit and your generous love. Your going to make an incredible dad…again….
I love you! Happy Birthday.
Many of you know that I grew up going to church my whole life. Always involved. I’ve probably missed a total of 20 weeks of church my entire life. Scary, huh? For a long time I took church really seriously. It was a sacred time, every week a time of deep consecration, a time of serious introspection. And then it happened.
I walked into a church in Tulsa, Oklahoma that changed my thinking forever. I went there with “serious” expectations. At the time my boyfriend (this hot guy named Brad) and I were working for a really great minister who taught us a TON. No joke. We took what we did seriously. It was inspirational. It was motivational. But that Sunday, I walked away from a service where I was challenged to love more, inspired by God’s grace and had heard a message equally as poignant- AND I walked away having had a FUN time. I mean I’m pretty sure I laughed harder in that service than I had in a LONG time. I felt refreshed in a way that I had never ever experienced before. I loved God in a way that I had never ever felt before. It’s kind of hard to describe it, but I felt like I had been given a license to be myself in church for the first time in my life. I know this sounds weird- and PLEASE don’t read any deep theological opinions in this entry- cause I’m not trying to be deep in ANY way. Just talking…or typing, rather… There is still the element of sacred, there is still the element of serious…and that will never change. But now I don’t feel like I’m one way in life and then I walk into church and become the “holy” or “serious” version of me. Now I walk into the building as “me” and participate in and celebrate what is both “holy” and “sacred” in a way that reflects who I really am.
That experience and the time I spent there taught me something about myself. I think God is fun. When I read the Bible, I see Jesus as the savior of the world- the savior of MY life, but also the one who knows that life is meant to be enjoyed, people should be able to laugh- heck, even laugh at themselves. The Bible talks about kids wanting to be around Jesus, people inviting them to their house for dinner, or to parties- aside from the sense of love that he must have exuded- he also must have been FUN. I’m absolutely sure of it.
So it should be no surprise to you that now that I’m involved in another church I still value that same sense of fun. The people I have met at my church, the environment that we’ve created together- with each person contributing what they have- have made my life better and FUNNER (Betsy, I know this is not a word.) This weekend we’re launching a new series that is going to be the epitome of FUN & my leg warmers are getting excited…
Each day you’re growing, learning to stand steady,
catching your balance in this crazy world.
Watching you figure it all out is the highlight of my life.
You love freely, you feel deeply, you walk proudly.
I love that.
I pray you never lose the confidence you have in the world around you.
That you keep the sense of clarity and innocence and wonder you have now.
I pray that your dad and I can live up to the great task of leading you,
while God shapes you…
…of loving you with all we have and witnessing the beauty of your life,
the magic of “you”.