Realizing You’re the One Who Can Change Things

Okay, so yesterday I was complaining about missing things and people. (Well, you might not think I was whining, but I heard the little childlike voice in my head stomping her feet and crying.) But then again this morning I heard the same complaints in my head. “We haven’t met any new people. We have no friends here. I miss our old friends and our old neighborhood and our old schools.”

Then I realized it was me who had control over this. I guess it was easier to blame everyone else for not magically falling into my life and exclaiming, “Yay! Let’s be best friends and I have a best friend for each one of your kids too! Isn’t life fantastic?!?” (Okay, I would probably punch someone who dropped into my life that spunky and upbeat…but you get the idea.)

In looking back at all of the friends we made when we lived in our old town, I realized we met all of those people because we were actively involved in something. Whether it was basketball, baseball, the PTO, the library, the park, our church, or even random people in our neighborhood, we met them all because we were actively doing something.

In other words, I’m going to shut up now and get out there and meet some new people. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it can be uncomfortable. Yes, I don’t really like awkwardly slinking away when I feel like a conversation with a total stranger turns boring or weird.

So here’s my challenge to you, go and actively make a new friend today. Maybe you say, “I don’t really need any more friends. I’m good.” But we were all created to be connected to more people so that we may learn from them, love them, and enjoy their company.

When You Miss Someone or Something

Longing for things and other people used to make me feel like I was weak. I felt like I should be able to do things on my own and not rely on others. I was proud. I was head strong. I was stubborn…to say the least. However now I realize I need to rely on others for so much of my life.

We recently moved to a new town where I don’t know many people. We haven’t really met too many neighbors, besides the obligatory Facebook page where everyone tracks lost pets and missing front door packages. The kids and I have gone to the park several times, but haven’t really made any friends there. We’ve visited our local library and have become familiar with the librarian, but not made any new friends.

It’s lonely moving to a new place. This morning, I started thinking about the friends and familiar places I miss about the town we knew.  Old habits started creeping in as I noticed myself thinking, “Stop! What are you doing? The past is in the past. We don’t live there anymore. We need to move on and think about where we are today and the life we are living now. No need to sit around reminiscing about the life we use to have.” (Yeah, my “inner me” practices tough love most of the time.)

But the truth is it’s good to miss people. It’s good to miss places. It’s good to miss familiarity. Because all of these things remind us that we have so much to be grateful for! I’m grateful I met so many wonderful people where we used to live. I’m grateful my children made tons of friends and knew the school faculty so well. I’m happy that we had people who embraced us into their lives.

I know I had this exact same loneliness feeling when we moved to our old town and it won’t last forever. But in the midst of these feelings, I wanted to acknowledge that it’s perfectly okay for me to be feeling the way I’m feeling.

Have you had any of these feelings too?

Give Us the Dirt (3)

(If you haven’t read the first part of this series, please go back to the beginning so everything makes more sense. Link here: Give Us the Dirt! & Give Us the Dirt! (2))

I wish there was a way I could skip over my entire teenage years and go straight to college and provocative living, but that started way sooner than college. When I was in high school, I had developed all kinds of bad habits already. I smoked cigarettes regularly on the weekends, even though I participated in every sport and was a good athlete to know smoking was bad for me. I drank every weekend without fail, even if it was only a beer or two I’d sneak from my dad’s Coors Light collection in the fridge. I lied about where I was going with friends on the weekend if I knew my destination was a place my parents wouldn’t approve of. I became sexually active with multiple partners and it almost became a goal to sleep with someone new regularly. I’m sure some of this behavior was typical for teenagers, but I also threw in another deadly habit as well…I drank and drove on a continual basis.

Growing up in the small town where I did, there was a hobby of sorts we called “backroading”. We would cram as many friends as we could into one vehicle, find someone of age to get us the booze, and then proceed to drive around town on all of the backroads we could find. Most of the time we were going well under the speed limit, doing 10 mph in a 30 mph zone. But occasionally my friends and I would wind up in the car with an idiot who had already drank too much and wanted to go fast! I must say that I’m lucky to be alive considering how stupid we all were. I do have friends I went to school with who weren’t so lucky. May they rest in peace.

This habit of drinking and driving set up the expectation in our young minds that we were invincible and even out of reach from the cops because most of the time no one was ever pulled over. I’m not sure if the cops knew what we were up to on those backroads and they just turned the other way, or if they genuinely had no clue we were all getting lost on country roads in the middle of nowhere blaring Kenny Chesney with the windows down going 10 mph.

There were several times when we went backroading that are memorable and no doubt have funny stories to be shared at a different time and a different place, but one story in particular rises above them all…and it’s definitely not so funny.

(To be continued…)

New Tests, New Trials

So I try to find things that are relatable for everyone that way we are all kind of on the same page. Well, one week ago we got a new puppy. And let me tell you, I wasn’t mentally prepared for a puppy.

Maybe most people can relate to the constant chewing, peeing everywhere, and piles of poop that come along with a housing puppy. I have raised a few dogs in my life already so I guess I was thinking I was a pro and told myself, “I got this!” 

Well, I don’t have this. This dog is straining my energy, the little tiny bit I had left after taking care of 3 kids this summer and keeping up with a house that seems to be always messy. He is constantly under foot and we are desperately trying to not step on him all day. He is a nuisance. He tries to chew on the kids. He has tried to eat my front door rug. He pooped in his kennel again last night and let’s just say it wasn’t fun to wake up to at 1:45 am this morning.

But even through all of that, we still love him. We may want to leave him outside for the remainder of the day at times, but his snuggles and kisses make up for all of the flaws.

He’s not perfect, so why was I pretending he would be? Why was I putting an expectation on him to be perfect, especially as a 9 week old puppy? 

Thanks for bringing me back to reality HP. I previously prayed for patience with the kids and I believe the dog is the answer to those prays. I’ve realized…it could always be worse!

Rain, Rain, Rain

It’s been storming here all night and even across a large part of our region yesterday. There was some flooding near my hometown, but overall not a lot of significant damage that I’m aware of. Rain has the tendency to be beautiful and destructive all at the same time.

For example, we’ve gone through periods of severe drought where all of the technology in the world couldn’t save what rain could help in just minutes. There have also been times when a lightning storms rolls in and I couldn’t imagine another way I’d rather spend my time on this earth than observing the magnificent natural light show before me.

So is the way of life…

We have times of great joy when things happen just when we need them to happen, there are times when we desperately pray that something will save us from the chaotic ways of a life we no longer understand, and then there is beauty in how the destructive ways of our lives have led us to the most beautiful outcomes we never could have imagined.

Thank God today for the rain…

It’s Friday, Oh, It’s Friday

I’m sure you’re wondering how I come up with these amazing, catchy titles for the daily posts I make. (HA, real clever huh?) But as silly as it may sound, I don’t normally know exactly what I’m going to say day in and day out. Many people out there in the blogosphere tend to harp on planning everything and making sure your entire year even has a title and a post months in advance. Well, I’m not those people. I’m not here to make sure my ratings are outstanding or even really to have millions of people reading my blog. I’m here because I’m just like you, my friends.

We are here to share, real stories about our real lives. We are here to encourage one another or perhaps even give some tough love when needed. We are here to be honest. We are here to be true to the people we are trying to become. We are here to embrace one another through the hard times and congratulate each other when we’ve reached milestones.

Keep it up, friends! You are doing a great job! Have a Fantastic Friday!

We All Need Some Grace

Ever since I got back to every day life and reality has had time to set back in from vacation mode, I realize I’m already starting to get down on myself. “School is right around the corner and there is so much that needs to be done. Meal planning, school clothes shopping, organize the kids’ clothes, organize the pantry, get the garage in order, and I’m sure tons of other things that need to happen!” Yes, these were all of the thoughts running through me head about 5:30 this morning. That would make anyone go crazy, right?

Well I’m glad I can realize when old habits creep in and I have the power to not let those old things take over my life. I’m not in control of everything around me, but I am in control of myself and how I choose to go into the new school year. I’m in control of how I spend my time each day and whether I should spend time worrying or spend my time in a more productive manner.

I feel that some people think the more stressed out you are (and the more public you are about it!) means you are more productive. I believe the contrary to be true. When you are busy getting things done, you don’t have time to complain about how busy you are!

None of us are perfect here! We all need a little patience and a whole lotta grace!