Posts Tagged ‘Random Thoughts’


Note: Yes, I know.  It’s been forever.  I have no excuses except that for me, blogging is something I am able to move around on my list of priorities.  While I miss the daily process of writing and connecting, life is full right now.  I imagine that at some point I’ll be back to write daily, but for now, a short thought about a lesson I recently learned …

In the eyes of the world I may never be ________ enough.

Smart enough…

Pretty enough…

Thin enough…

Productive enough…

Nice enough…

Assertive enough…

Good enough.

But no matter the outcome of whatever I do, I will be alright.

Because I am a child of God, wonderfully made, strong, and RADIANT.

And that is enough for me.



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Hi strangers!  I’ve missed you!

I’ve been keeping very busy since we last chatted.  Lots of cleaning, organizing, and decluttering going on in my house.  And even some exercising.  I’m not sure where this burst of energy came from but I’m going to ride it as long as I can.  It’s a great feeling to walk into a closet or open a drawer and feel the peace of an uncluttered, organized space.  Maybe that sounds too Zen to you, but I here to tell you it’s true.

But that’s not what I wanted to talk about today.

Today I’d like to take a moment and talk about what we do and who we are.

I love doing things to make people happy, put a smile on their face, or make them feel special.  I do these things because I want to show I love and care about someone.  It’s for them.  If you’re familiar with Gary Chapman’s work, you might say acts of service is one of my top love languages.  It’s how I express my love for others.  But if I’m completely honest with myself, there is some place deep inside me that believes if I didn’t do things for people, they wouldn’t like me.  Which I think comes from a little place that still believes I am not good enough to be liked for who I am.

This really hits home when someone is bothered by who I am.  I mean those things that I do or say without even thinking about them.  Or the way I do or say things.  I feel like it’s not what I say that bothers them (which can be easily fixed), but who I am (which is not so easily fixed).  It’s as if love becomes connected to things on its way out, but it becomes connected to me on its way in – or when it doesn’t come in.  I may have completely lost half of you by now and the other half may think I’m completely nuts.  Either one is okay.  It comes down to the feeling that I sometimes feel like people will love me if I do the right things, but won’t love me just for who I am.

Now don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t something that clouds my every thought.  But once in a while a crops up, and when it does, it bugs me.  I’ve come a long way over the years in knowing who I am and there are a lot of qualities about myself that I love.  I wonder, though, where I learned that it’s what I do and not who I am that people love.  And why that belief holds on so tightly.  When did my love language become my reason to be loved?

What do you think?  Do you have a hard time separating what you do from who you are?  If you took away those things would you feel as though there was enough left to be loved?  Or worth being loved?


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Why is it so hard to give up your old ways for new ones, even when it’s clear the old ones aren’t good and the new ones will be?

Why does what’s comfortable seem more appealing than what’s good?

Why do people (me included) cling to what we know even if it’s clear that something else would be so much better?

How do I move what I know in my head to what I live in my heart?

Those are my questions.


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Earlier this week, I announced that I was going to start a second blog to share pictures.  I decided to do this partly because everything you read about blogging says you should try to stick to a focused topic.  If you read Dendrochronology very much, you know I have a hard time doing that, so I thought adding one more twist might be too much.

But after a couple of days, I’m starting to rethink this.  Maybe devoting one or two days a week to pictures here would be ok.  So, I’m asking you, the people who have to put up with my randomness, what you think.  Does it make sense to have a second blog for pictures alone or would you rather just see them here?  Let me know what you think in the comments! 🙂


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I love to read.  So much that when I finish a good book I feel sad that I won’t be spending time with the characters any more.  But I usually have a very hard time getting to that point because … I have a terrible time choosing what books to read.  Such a terrible time that I’ll go days, even weeks, without reading because I can’t decide which one to dive into.

I know, I know, I can always start one and abandon it if I don’t like it, but that feels like such a waste of time.  I often find it difficult to make decisions about all kinds of things, but I eventually always get there – often because I have to.  But choosing a book – that’s all up to me.  No one is hurt if I put it off.

The more I think about this, the more I’ve narrowed it down.  I’m actually pretty good at choosing some types of books – mostly of the self-help, non-fiction, and historical varieties.  And I LOVE these kinds of books.  But sometimes I want to get away from reading things that make me want to change the world and relax with a book that takes me into the world.  That’s where I hit the wall.  Fiction.  I read book reviews, listen to what other people I know are reading, but I always find myself thinking that they can’t really recommend something if the don’t really know me.

I’ve read more books in the last year than I have in quite a while (well, books of my choosing – I read incessantly for the 4 previous years while I was in graduate school.)  I’ve found authors I love and read every one of their books.  I’ve found series that I love and run through every book in the saga.  But now, here I sit with several options staring me in the face – options I’m intrigued by, but unable to dive in.

I was wandering through the children’s section of the bookstore yesterday with my girls and saw several books I loved when I was in elementary school.  Books like Johnny Tremain, My Side of the Mountain, and Sounder.  I was struck with the urge to re-read them – in the hopes of loving them just as much.  I did something like this several years ago when I decided to read the books I was supposed to read in my high school literature class.  Turns out many of them were much better than their corresponding Cliff Note version – go figure.

So I’m seriously considering diving into Johnny Tremain tonight.  I really like the idea of traveling back to that silver smith shop in colonial America by way of Mrs. Geedy and my 5th grade class.

How about you?  How do you choose what to read?


p.s.  I’m well aware this whole issue is answered in a previous post I wrote – somehow, I just can’t bring myself to apply it to books 🙂

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For about the last 14 years, our house has had a kitchen cabinet shelf (or more) devoted to sippy cups.  Last week, I finally got rid of them (well, most of them.)  Since our girls are 14 and 12, I guess it’s about time.  Why have they stayed around so long?  Well, first, our kids used them for a long time – not this long – but way past the time time they needed them.  Because let’s face it, sippy cups are wonderful inventions.  Want a drink while you’re watching tv?  Sure, just put it in a sippy cup!  No spills!  Need a cup of water to keep by your bed?  Sure, put it in a sippy cup!  How did parents ever live without these models of vacuumy suction?

It’s been years since anyone has used one, but there they sat filling up a perfectly good kitchen cabinet.  It’s like they became a permanent part of our decor.  The funny thing is I never even realized they were taking up room.  It’s not like I saw them every day and thought, “I should really get rid of those.  We never use them.”  (Truth be told, there are plenty of things in my house I walk by every day and think that but never get around to doing it.)  The sippy cups were a fixture in our kitchen.

Then came that day last week when I opened up that cabinet and thought, “Why do we still have all of these??”  I started wondering when we stopped using them and I couldn’t really remember.  And before you knew it, I was all sentimental about our girls growing up.  Anyone who has kids knows it goes by so fast.  You try to mark all those important milestones – first smile, first step, first tooth, first day of school, first dance – but it’s those “lasts” that slip away without any fanfare.  The last time you give your child a bath, the last time you read them a bedtime story, the last time you walk them to the bus stop, the last time they play with their favorite doll, the last time they use a sippy cup.  And before you know it, you’re living with two young ladies and a cabinet full of unused sippy cups.

I guess the lesson here – as it often is – is to savor every day.  You never know when it will be filled with a last.


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Do you ever feel like you’re responsible for everyone and everything?  That it’s your job to make sure things go smoothly and everyone is happy?  Is this a mom thing?  Is it a me thing?

Where is the line between caring about someone or something and taking on responsibility for it?

I started asking myself this question recently.  I found that I have a pretty easy time answering the caring part.  I feel compassion when I see the destruction and pain of the people of Japan.  I feel compassion for people I know who are ill or experience loss in their lives.  I feel compassion for people who are forced to live in the midst of injustice.  When possible, I take steps to try and assist these people – by making donations, praying for them, making a meal, or trying to do what is right.

I actually have a pretty easy time answering the responsible part, too, I’m just not sure I’m correct.  I feel responsible for getting my kids up in the morning, making sure they have their lunch money, making sure their homework is done and turned in, cleaning the house, making sure everyone has clean clothes, my childrens’ behavior, choosing the right restaurant for dinner, choosing the right vacation, etc. etc. etc.   You get the picture.  Looking at this list, I realize I feel responsible for just about everything I’m connected to.  But I also realize this just isn’t true.

It’s not my fault if we go on vacation and the air conditioner in our hotel room breaks and it pours down rain every day.  So why do I take on the feeling of responsibility?  It’s not my fault if my kids walk out of the house in the morning without putting their homework in their backpack.  So why do I feel like it is?

When I find myself saying, “It’s my fault,” I need to stop and think about if I’m really responsible or do I just feel compassion for the person and/or the situation they are in?  Did I cause the situation they are in?  Could I have foreseen the situation and prevented it?  If the answer is no, then I need to let it go.  Of course, I can take measures to make things better, not because it’s my fault, but because I feel compassionate.

What about you?  How do you discern between responsibility and compassion?


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