The “Dream-Came-True” Blues

The first time I realized I was suffering from “Dream Came True Blues” (DCTB)  was a few weeks after our wedding when my husband gently asked me to stop buying bridal magazines. Not only did they take up half of our 600 sq. foot apartment, but at almost $9 per magazine, I was basically throwing away our Costco hot dog money. Oh, also, we were already married. Read More

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Beautiful Feet and A Broken Heart

Earlier this week I made a connection with a mother who adopted a child from Ollie’s orphanage. I had photographed her daughter while we were visiting the institution during our trip to bring our son home. Her daughter’s face “haunted” me, in a sense, when I first saw her and I have thought about her many times since that day. I was thrilled and thankful to hear she had been adopted and is now a part of a beautiful French family.

But then I begin to think about all the other children in thoseorphanage rooms. I had never seen them or thought much about them before that day. But now I know them. Now I have memories of them. I have their pictures on my phone because I can’t seem to muster up the will to delete the images. Those children and their realities have broken my heart.

I recently had a conversation with someone who said something to the effect of, “I never watch the News. Too many sad stories. It just depresses me.” It wasn’t the first time I had heard someone say that and, before I continue, she has every right to choose what she watches and doesn’t watch.  But there is something about the sentiment behind avoiding the News that makes me cringe a bit because I think the reality is, in order to have the “beautiful feet” that Paul talks about, we have to risk having our hearts broken as well.

If we are going to bring Jesus to the broken and messy and hurting world, we are going to see things and hear things and read things and will be painful. We need to know our audience, and that will cost us something.

Here is my challenge for you, today:

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Risking Home: Deborah Avinelis

My longtime and very dear friend, Deborah, graciously agreed to be my first “guest contributor” and what she has to say will not disappoint. There is so much goodness to be had in listening to and learning from one another. Our stories are important and need to be shared. So, without further ado, please enjoy and be blessed by my friend’s tale of risk. 


 

They say home is where the heart is. Sure, but I’ll tell you where home really is. It’s where you can wear your stretchy pants and make a mess and feel totally ok doing it. Home is where you feel comfortable and secure and you don’t have to worry about impressing people; that is home. I love home. I love the people in my home and I like the safety, security and familiarity of home. And I love when I have friends and family in my home because when my house is full, my heart is full. Ah home, what is there not to love? It’s hard to love when you have to move to a new city. It’s especially hard to love when you didn’t want to go to that city in the first place. And it’s always hard when you are in that new place and you have to make a new house, home.

I am not a risk taker. I like safe and familiar and I like to call it living wisely so I don’t have to face the reality that I’m a sissy.

The most adventurous thing I’ve ever done was work for a white water rafting company…as the nanny. I was not a river guide. I watched the owners kids. I was living in a tent for 4 days a week those two summers. It was pretty rough for this non-outdoorsy girl, but it hardly qualifies for risk and adventure.

It’s probably my fear of failure that drives my reluctance to step out, to try new things and to be the risk taker I admire in the women around me. Oh,perhaps it’s my worship of comfort? Either way, God in his goodness pushes me to places I would not willingly go on my own, for my good and his glory; and that is how I found myself as the new girl in town a few years ago.

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School Uniforms: A Failed Risk

I want to be a parent that supports my children in taking risks. I want to champion them as they step out and navigate who they are and what they believe. This “chronicle of risk” is about a time when I was young, impulsive, independent, and confident. I could be all of these things because I had parents who were safe and supportive, even in my impulsiveness. They guided me in my independence and allowed me to think for myself, even equipping me to stand up for my convictions when no one else would stand with me. I am so grateful for their guidance and partnership as I matured into womanhood. What a gift.

I recently read an article about a girl in Australia who “won” the right to add the option of pants to her school uniform due to her mother’s tenacity in fighting along side her daughter.  After reading the story, I so wanted to high-five this Aussie mom. I completely understood both her daughter’s frustration and the empowerment that comes with knowing you’ve got parents willing to get in the ring with you.

I attended a very small, private school during high school and uniforms were mandatory. I hated them, as did most of the student body over 12 years old. The school was Kindergarten through 12th grade and we all wore the same clothes. As a 17 year old, I wore the same things the 6 year old’s were wearing. I was bothered by this. In fact, during my junior year, I wrote a persuasive essay where I argued that allowing the upper classmates to dress like young adults, rather then the 1st graders in the portables next door, might create a desire for more mature behavior, and so, produce less disciplinary issues. It was a darn good paper. I know because my dad, who is an excellent writer, was my editor. He was just as excited as I was to see what change might come as a result of my essay. I get my “dreamer” genes from him. The results were I got my first “C” and a trip to the Principal’s office to discuss my irreverence.

Not joking.

But I didn’t let my crusade stop there. Later in the year, during the snowy winter months, I petitioned the school board to allow the girls to add pants to our uniform. Tights and Mary Jane’s can only go so far in 35 degrees and 6 inches of snow. I organized my thoughts, prepared my case, practiced my speech in front of my folks, and appeared before the school board at their monthly meeting. I was told “no.” Us girls needed to be dressed like “ladies.” Skirts were feminine. We were females.

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DIY: Killing Pride

 

Moving to a new city with three kids under seven (and one with anxiety issues) means it takes a ridiculously long time to settle in to a new routine. R to the I to the Diculous.  As we’ve been struggling to find our new normal pace of life, I’ve had a lot of time to be in my head. This is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a crazy world up there. I can go from a republican to a democrat to a socialist to wanting to move to a convent in about 4 seconds flat. Maybe I need to look into the Green Party. Are they still a thing?  Me and myself get into some nasty fights too. Inside my head is rarely a calm place these days.

All that to say, one of the things I’ve been rolling around up there is the relationship between insecurity and pride. At face value, they seem to be pretty opposite, right? I mean, when I think of an insecure person I think about someone who thinks they are not enough or who is always trying to compensate for a lack of something. I wouldn’t call them “prideful.” But what if pride feeds on insecurities? Like, as it’s primary diet. I can do some bat crazy things when I am feeling insecure. Based on some of the stories I’ve heard lately of broken relationships, I’m not the only one.

When we feel insecure we go into fight or flight mode. Here are some examples of hypothetical conversations you may have with yourself when insecure and in “fight” mode (I may or may not have had similar thoughts at one point or another. May or may not.) Read More