The day I decided I didn’t like fishing was the day my dad took me fishing for the first time. I was three years old. I was so excited to be going on this special trip, just he and I. I can’t remember where we went or whose boat we borrowed. All I know is we were at a lake surrounded by the tallest of trees that offered a nice reprieve from the summer sun beating down on the water. (Not that my little three-year-old self cared about such things. I was of the age when the heat would plaster my ringlets to my face, sweat dripping in my eyes, and I wouldn’t mind one bit.) I remember looking down at the boat from the dock. It was small, just your typical rowboat. I stood on the dock waiting for my dad to put all the fishing gear onto our tiny boat. After settling everything in its spot he took me into his arms and placed me on the wooden seat across from him. I mustered all my strength to hold on to one side of the boat as he rowed away from the shore, my body engulfed by my life preserver. But I didn’t mind, the anticipation of catching my first fish was killing me. I had no idea though that most of fishing is waiting.
It was December 29th, the end of another year gone by. In just a few days I would fly out to California for a sisters trip with Stefanie and Emily where we would visit Joshua Tree, hike to the Hollywood sign, stand On Top of the World in Laguna Beach, and ride a wooden roller coaster on the Santa Monica Pier. In the days leading up to 2016, I was beginning to feel the itch for something new. I had become a sort of serial hobbyist bouncing from one interest to the next as soon as the first sign of boredom set in.
But writing has always stayed with me. I've been writing stories ever since I was little. I began this blog a few years ago because I wanted to share my stories. It's just never been a hobby I've really invested money in like I've done with all those come and go hobbies. Thankfully you really don't need to invest money into writing, unless you want to take a class or attend a conference. Just your time. But because I never felt confident in calling myself a "writer" I never pursued taking it further. I'd write for a bit, blog for a bit, leave it for a bit, but I've always come back. It's never left me like the other hobbies.
Never heard of it? Me neither. Well, not before last week. For those of you who haven't heard about it (like me last week), the Liebster Award is an online award given from blogger to blogger as a way to recognize writers, letting them know how much their work is appreciated. It also allows followers to discover new blogs they may not have been familiar with before. What a neat concept, right?
I was honored and humbled after a friend from high school reached out and nominated me for this award! Thank you Meredith Nye, from Semi-Balanced Mama, for nominating me and being someone other than my mom who reads my blog! Go check her out, guys. She's been writing for less than a year but already has a huge following. I've really enjoyed seeing her journey in the blogging world!
Judas has been on my mind lately. Maybe it has something to do with Easter behind us, and the fact that he was the one who set Jesus’ walk to the cross in motion. I don’t want to give too much credit to Judas because ultimately the Lord’s plan would’ve played out with or without Judas, but his role is pivotal in the most amazing story ever.
I often wonder if I’m like Judas. Would I betray Jesus to the point of death? Would the lures of this world be enough to entice me to deny my Lord? Would I sacrifice my beloved to receive glory? My body wells up with goosebumps when I think about such things, but something inside me can’t help but ask these questions. Am I really like Judas?
I’ve been quiet through this whole thing. I haven’t really spoken my two cents yet. Maybe out of fear. Maybe because the words haven’t been there. Maybe I’ve been in denial this issue has really anything to do with me. But it does. Because it really it has everything to do with all of us.
Refugee. The dictionary defines the word as “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.”
Where we live, where we work, refugees constantly surround us. Refugees from Nepal and Burma, Rwanda and Liberia. We’ve come to love the people who we call neighbors. We can’t see ourselves living anywhere else. They have become home.
As our country decides whether to let any more refugees enter the USA, I can’t help but be thankful that they allowed the refugees in who currently reside in our neighborhood. What if we hadn’t met Moo, Mooku and Daykulay, Sui and Esther, Anisha and Sabina, Shalena and Hari? And then there is Mary, our daughter’s best friend. They play everyday, being so sweet with one another without ever knowing any different. Anna doesn’t know Mary’s family is from the mountains between Burma and Thailand. She doesn’t know what Mary’s parents and siblings had to endure to get here, to safety. She doesn’t know that Mary’s family lived in a refugee camp before flying on a big plane to welcome arms in the city of Charlotte. All she knows is that Mary is her best friend and that’s all that matters at this point. Friendship.
We wanted to provide a place for the girls to feel beautiful. Beautiful in their skin, beautiful in their hearts. We wanted them to see who they really are. Not defined by the world’s standards but defined by their Heavenly Father’s. He says his daughters are beautiful, he delights over his daughters with singing, he brings purpose to his daughters’ lives. We wanted them to really see it, really feel it.
Emily transformed Laura, Susan, and Jackie’s back patio into boho chic with sari’s she acquired from her travels around the world draped over twinkling lights, lit candles set in mason jars, and flowers delicately placed in tiny vases. We thought it be appropriate to provide hot chocolate and chocolate chip cookies—because, duh, what girl doesn’t love chocolate? And because we were going to share with the girls how they are daughters of a great high King, we planned to make crowns from ribbon and flowers.
Hey there, my sweetheart, my joy. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon and you’re supposed to be napping like your brother in the crib next to you. How he hasn’t come to yet bewilders me. I only say this because the clunking from your baby dolls hitting their mini cradle beside your bed is enough to wake even the deepest sleeper. But alas, his slumber hasn’t been interrupted. The noise must be a familiar occurrence to him as you avoiding sleep in the afternoon has become the norm and the phrase please read quietly has fallen on deaf ears.
You missed me peaking in at you a few minutes ago. My displeasure of you still awake left quickly as I took you in. You are breathtaking. I can’t believe you are mine, flesh of my flesh. I watched you ever so gently hug your baby and with the utmost care lay her down to sleep.
Then it struck me, why did you do it all so gracefully, so carefully, so lovingly?
And it’s because of me. Me.