Tag Archives: love

The Final Wednesday


For the past three years my Wednesdays have included these three lovely ladies. Our small group typically involves food including, but not limited to chips and salsa, strawberries (for me), gluten free brownies (for Hayden) and anything else chocolate. We have conversations covering an array of topics: family, boys and dating, friendships, God, self-image, smushes, church, youth group, social justice, the world, quarter stories, prayer, scripture, listening, culture and music. Sometimes these conversations are interrupted by urgent bathroom breaks (Katie), occasional text messaging (all of them) and frequent bouts of laughter. We make room for questions, tears, sadness, celebrations, dreams, hopes, doubts, cuddling and good hugs!

I see part of my high school-self in each of these young women and there are countless times I’m left thinking, eh, I’m 27 and I still struggle with that. Being a leader doesn’t constitute having all the answers, but it does involve a certain level of commitment. And for the past three years I have been committed to these girls–it has by far been one of the best commitments I’ve ever made.

I love them. Hayden, Katie and Jenna, you reminded me that sometimes love is simply showing up and saying, “I’m here for you.” It is choosing to be together and admitting that I can’t do life on my own.

Today was the final Wednesday, our final small group. And I’m going to miss them dearly!

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On My Left


Jen, has been on my left for the past nine years of my life. We met freshman year of college. She was dressed in pink and came to college bouncing with optimism. I was reserved and cautious and came to college with organized boxes and labeled zip-lock baggies. We were next door neighbors, but not friends right away.

In many ways I can not imagine someone more different from myself. Jen and I are opposites on nearly every letter of the Myers Briggs. I tend to be a determined, make-it happen kind of person and she thrives on the spontaneity of you-never-know-what-could-happen-today?!? I live in a world of realism while she inhabits the realm of possibilities. But oddly enough I believe it’s these very differences that have marked our friendship with such depth.

Our friendship has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination, but it has been one of the greatest sources of joy in my life. We have sustained the distance of being separated in countries miles apart and also the distance created when silence and hurt fills the very room you share. We have been through boyfriends and break-ups, annoyances and anger, and lots and lots of long conversations. We have learned how to argue well and disagree. Most of our fights tend to happen in the kitchen. And our best conversations take place sitting in the car. And somehow from these things we have come out stronger.

Jen knows me better than most because she sees beyond the surface. She has seen me at highest highs and lowest lows. She has witnessed some of my best moments and successes, and she has sat with me in seasons of depression, pain and tears. Jen has been the friend who sees through all my crap and names what is true and real. She has hoped for me when I forgot how. And she has consistently and patiently reminded me of who I am and who I can be.

Jen has taught me:

1. The importance of asking for help and meaning it.
2. How to really listen to others, and that real listening means putting down the cell phone and computer.
3. About the joy of mystery and surprises.
4. That most people don’t multi-task while they watch a movie.
5. To be honest with how I am feeling. And not just name the feelings, but actually be ok sitting with them and god forbid, feeling them.
6. Sometimes Damn it! is the most appropriate response.
7. That it’s ok to make mistakes.
8. That compromising does not in fact mean manipulating a situation to get half my way, and half your way; Sometimes it actually means letting go of “my way” altogether.
9. The beauty of asking questions, and not always giving answers.
10. Sometimes “just for fun” is the only reason you need.
11. The value in sharing eggs.
12. That the simple words “me, too” are sometimes all a friend needs to hear.
13. How to enjoy the unknown (although I don’t know if I’ll ever really enjoy the unknown, but at least how to be okay, with the unknown)
14. That good communication means I can’t just think about things, but I actually have to verbalize them. Friends, even good friends are not mind readers. (I know one day my future husband will thank her for this one!)
15. That life is more fun when adventure, play, and laughter are involved.
16. That difference is good and NECESSARY in our churches, friendships, schools and society.
17. That it’s ok to wear short shorts sometimes.
18. The importance of giving good hugs and giving them often.

A lot of who I am toady is because of the influence of this incredibly wise, beautiful, and tender-hearted friend.

Happy Birthday, Jen, my forever friend and neighbor for life!

She will probably hate me for posting this picture, but this is us freshmen year of college (notice the pink : )

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10,000 ways to say i love you


Last week I was strolling through one of my favorite bookstores trying to ignore all of the sentimental, and yes slightly cheezy, valentine books that are so conveniently placed on the table right by the checkout stand. I am still a firm believer that Valentine’s Day is a hallmark holiday that was created to boost greeting card and flower sales in between Christmas and Easter, but nonetheless I still happen to like this day of love. Maybe because cute cards and handwritten letters are my love language so any excuse to receive one or give one is well worth it.

On the table that day at the bookstore I saw this book, 10,000 ways to say i love you by Gregory J.P. Godek. Apparently this guy is some kinda of love master because I don’t think I could come up with 10,000 ways to say I love you, but I did come up with 10. So, whether you are spending today with the love of your life…or wishing you had a love in your life, enjoy these 10 little nuggets. And know that they can be done any day of the year, not just Valentine’s day.

10 ways to say i love you
1. do your _________ (fill in the blank: husband’s, roommate’s, sister’s, etc) dishes in the sink, even though they’re not yours.
2. give a foot massage
3. be a good listener
4. every now and then when you’re out to dinner with friends, take the check and say “i got this one” instead of diving it up 5 ways.
5. call. sometimes it just means more than sending a facebook message or having a texting conversation
6. learn someone’s favorite coffee drink and bring to them. just because.
7. let him choose the movie. and don’t complain about it after.
8. buy her flowers. and put a handwritten note inside. trust me on this one.
9. take your daughter out to breakfast- just the two of you.
10. Give good hugs- often.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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