Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘life’s lessons’ Category

happy/dumb

beth and i have always said…we met each other at the wrong time.

we say this because we only wish we could have met each other sooner. our lives just didn’t line up quickly enough and it seems as soon as they did…they will be separated again.

i moved from iowa to texas four years ago. i started working for Fossil and met bethany on my first day…she even drove me to my welcome lunch and we stopped at starbucks before heading back to work (i mean, if that didn’t scream match made in heaven, i don’t know what did). that was four years ago (almost to the day) on september 10th. our bosses biggest mistake AND best idea was sitting us next to each other. it was their biggest mistake because we talked…all. day. long. i mean…don’t get me wrong, we were still super productive, but i guess no on else could talk so much and still get so much done, so i’ll just say we set a bad example. it was their best idea…because we got to talking about baking together….and one fateful night of baking butter cookies and gingerbread men eventually evolved into lazybird. and we all know it’s our coworkers that get the biggest reward of our lazybird efforts – the taste testing.

however, today….beth and her husband stephen are in a packed up car…headed to madison, wisconsin. we have labeled this situation “happy/dumb”

let me start with the dumb:

it’s dumb that i moved from the midwest to the south….and now you’re moving from the south to the midwest. someone flip flopped our schedules and i don’t appreciate it.

it’s dumb that i won’t see you every day:
i. will. miss. your. face. we have been extra spoiled cause we’re not only friends who bake together and play together…we’re also friends who work together – go to the break room together in the morning to get water and to corporate services in the afternoon just to take a moment away from the computer and chat about the craziness of our day so far…friends who can take hobby lobby lunch breaks or indian food lunch breaks….OR pedicure lunch breaks (dang, who’s gonna get lunch peddies with me?!) friends who, lets be honest, grew the closest when we were cube neighbors….and were then definitely separated from each other cause of our chattiness. friends who get excited together about the smallest things and talk so fast and finish each other’s sentences, leaving our other coworkers just laughing at the pace and/or subject of our banter.

it’s dumb that you come as a packaged deal:
you leaving = my boss leaving (cause my boss is your husband). i’ve been so blessed to have had a boss that supported me and challenged me and who’s goal was for my growth…his shoes will be impossible to fill. (sorry future boss, it’s true….you have a lot to live up to) and thanks to you…he’s been a boss who could handle my occasional breakdowns….since my emotions mirror yours.

it’s dumb that my rollerblades will gather dust:
it’s so easy to talk you into adventures (turbo kick, rock climbing, skating). we are not compatible in everything….but we are adventure compatible…and i can count on you to try new things…hence lazy bird skate club. i mean, who even owns roller blades these days besides me and you. who’s gonna roller blade with me?!…AND turn around to chase down the ice cream trucks, without hesitation or shame of being the only adults (in roller blades) surrounded by children in line for a bomb pop.

despite all the dumb….i am overflowing with happiness for you guys.

i’m so happy that this opportunity has presented itself.

i’m so happy for stephen’s new job and so proud of him….he’s so talented and deserving. even though i will miss him as a manager, i want the very best for him and you.

i’m so happy that y’all have the freedom to move…to adventure…to experience a new setting.

i’m happy that you’ll still be close to family and i can only imagine all the holiday get togethers that will ensue.

i’m so happy that y’all found a house…and it’s lovely…and the view is beautiful. you’re such an adult in madison.

i’m so happy that you’ll get to enjoy all the wonderful traits of the midwest. oh beth, you’re gonna love the natives….no more polite, soft spoken, i’ll only say what’s proper….midwest people are matter of fact, honest, blunt even….SO much more your style :)

i’m so happy you’ll experience seasons, and beautiful ones at that….yes there will be snow….but it will be quiet and serene….and you’ll have an excuse to bundle up and knit and make quilts. you’ll get fresh springs and crisp falls and summer days that will last forever. AND the temperature actually breaks with the sunset…ok…maybe i’m getting jealous now and if i keep talking i’ll have to move this up to the dumb category.

i’m happy that someday when you have kids…they are gonna talk like me! “you guys”, and “pop” and drawn out a’s and o’s. hah…it’s gonna be great!

and speaking of kiddos…i’m so happy that yall are at a place where a family is within reach. (don’t worry, i didn’t say it was happening immediately) you’re gonna be the best mom. oh man…and the most dramatic preggo….(it’s dumb that i don’t get to witness that, for my own entertainment)

so…who knows, maybe i attack lazybird from the south and you get it goin in the midwest and someday our paths will merge again. what i DO know…is that even though i got you for a mere four years….my life has been forever blessed by your friendship and moving across the country does NOT affect how much i love you or how important you are to me. just because i won’t see you everyday, doesn’t mean you wont be a part of my everyday life.

we laugh about all the things we aren’t compatible in….but to tell you the truth, it’s been our differences that have made us fit together so well. i needed you to take lessons in confidence and standing up for myself. i need you for your ability to small talk and ask engaging questions…for your interest in everyone and their life story. i need you for your structure, your planning and for your big dreams. and maybe, just maybe….you needed a little dose of my laid back, go with the flow. (just sayin)

happy/dumb

i love you SO much. BEST wishes in your new home! wisconsin….you better treat her right!

-L

Read Full Post »

we lazybirds have taken on a new project and we’re really excited about it. we partnered up with mercy street and started a baking club!
meet: “little birds”

i’ve been working with mercy street, in west dallas, for about two years now…so, when i started to think about how lazybird could bake with more purpose (other than simply fattening up our coworkers), it quickly dawned on me where i would love to be.

lets talk about west dallas….

west dallas is about a 15 minute drive from my apartment in north dallas. it is the 11th poorest community in the nation.

some other significant facts:
population of roughly 26,567.
family poverty rate: 37%.
infant mortality rate: 23%.
median household income: $26,776.
per capita income: $8,912 / year.
unemployment rate: 14.4%.

and for the kiddos…
school drop-out rate: 65%.
number of DISD students in 2009 scoring “college ready” on standardized test: 5%.
number of college graduates from west dallas DISD schools: 2%.

when you consider that highland park, one of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods, is literally 6 miles up the street, it’s obvious that west dallas is a community that has been pushed out and left behind. to be honest, it’s the kind of neighborhood you might drive through and immediately feel uncomfortable – lock your doors, try not to make eye contact, and pray for no red lights to hold you up. it’s the kind of neighborhood that brings judgment bubbling to the surface as well as pride and superiority.

lets talk about mercy street

mercy street is a non profit organization that settled in west dallas in 2003 with a goal of revitalizing a community through gospel centered love. led by founder trey hill, the mercy street staff uprooted their lives to be planted in west dallas…serving the community by living in, loving on and encouraging the community. as west dallas has fallen into a cycle of generation poverty and hope has diminished, mercy street moved in with a goal of raising up a new generation of leaders…to restore hope and dreams where they were lost, all in the Lords name and glory. mercy street’s staff live amongst those they serve and have become apart of day-to-day life. they inspire, they teach and they deeply love this community.

“Mercy Street’s about community transformation and we believe that community transformation happens primarily through relationship and not through program. We ask people to engage in the life of a child, and walk that child from the 4th grade through the 12th grade, believing that it’s in the long-term nature of the relationship where the real impact is made, not just in the child’s life but in the mentor’s life as well” -Trey Hill
____________

“The mission of Mercy Street is to raise up a new generation of indigenous leaders through Christ-honoring, mutually-transforming mentoring relationships that will bring about a positive, permanent change to West Dallas. Embedded within this mission is the idea that God will be glorified when different cultures collide. Statistically and historically speaking, the lot given to me through nature and nurture was to make money for myself, make a name for myself, and retire happy and wealthy. The lot given to my mentee, Lorenzo, through nature and nurture was to fail in school, impregnate a girl out of wedlock, commit a violent crime, and spend the rest of his life in and out of prison. Mercy Street creates a confluence of these paths in a mutually-transforming relationship that leads to God being glorified.” –Brett VanderMolen

the heart behind mercy street has been such a beautiful thing for me to witness and to be apart of. it has changed my life, my perspectives, my priorities and my prayers dramatically. oh, how my previous judgement was transformed into compassion when i took the time to look into the lives and the history of this community. pride and superiority were replaced with deep affection, mercy and love…the first time my sweet mentee wrapped her arms around me. the people of west dallas are not so different from you and me. they are broken – just like you and me, they turn to unfulfilling and destructive habits – just like you and me, they are hurting – just like you and me and they thrive when they are cared for, encouraged and loved – just like you and me. externally, things might look different…circumstances and environment might be worlds apart….but internally…at our core…we are all the same.

i believe our hearts are inclined to love our neighbors….it’s just that sometimes it’s not revealed to us until we actually take action and open the door to our neighbor. once we take the time to get to know our neighbor on a deeper level, it’s hard to turn our backs on them.

lazybird + mercy street = little birds…

while mentors are mercy street’s primary outreach, they have also reached the community through tutoring, sports, dance clubs, bike co-ops, gardening, bible studies, etc. etc. etc….so why not a baking club as well?

my vision for volunteering at mercy street began as a prayer for direction in service. i was seeking out a place to serve and wanted to be intentional in using the skills God has gifted me with. i wasn’t even considering my passion for baking as a “skill”…and then one day it just dawned on me – maybe God blessed me with this passion…so that i could share it with someone else. i have such fond memories of learning how to bake with my mom as a girl….that it occurred to me that a baking club could be such a blessing and joy to the young girls of west dallas. i quickly contacted mercy street about starting up a baking club and was overwhelmed by the way God had been moving their hearts towards the same vision.

“Goodness -YES! I think you’re right – and just LOVE how the Lord moves people’s hearts and prepares their desires and gifts in such amazing ways! We have talked about this quite a bit here as well – but haven’t had the ‘leader’ to jump start it all.”

and…

“I was actually describing an idea for a “baking club” as a way to reach our kids using you as an example of someone who could potentially teach it when Annie forwarded me your e-mail this afternoon. Crazy. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and sharing mine too. “

so there’s the long story…

the birth of ‘little birds’. we are currently meeting once a week and chaotically…but joyfully learning how to bake….to take turns, crack eggs and sift flour. (and how to wash our hands…if we absolutely HAVE to lick some dough off our fingers)

our hope is to inspire some bakers in west dallas. we hope to provide a creative outlet and foster skills and talent that could even lead to a career.

but more than all that, our hope is to build relationships and pour out love and support on these children, for Gods glory.

and for you, the reader…

‘little birds’ means posts on simple recipes…we’re talking quick, under an hour, a fourth grader can do it….you have no more excuses – simple recipes. i hope you enjoy this adventure!

___________

there are many ways to serve west dallas, either specifically through mercy street or through a number of organizations that can be found here. serving at mercy street has been such a blessing and has had such a huge impact on my life. if you live in dallas, i would absolutely encourage you to pray about ways you could serve west dallas.

if you don’t live in dallas, i would encourage you to look around your own community. i believe that we are all placed exactly where we are with a God-given purpose.  there are people in our own backyards who need to be reached, and served, and loved. as i’ve learned with baking, if it’s something you love and have a passion for…it doesn’t feel like a burden or chore….it might even become your favorite part of the week.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

-L

Read Full Post »

courtesy of truche on Etsy…such a cute shop…go there now!

when i moved to texas three years ago, i was humored by ALL the state pride and rivalries everywhere you go. hook em? sic em? gig em? to me, it’s laughable and i don’t get it…or do i?

after moving here….a certain iowa pride started to bubble up in me. whenever i see someone wearing an iowa hoodie, i feel like i NEED to stop them and exclaim, “are you from iowa?!….i am TOO!” and then that’s about as far as the conversation goes. the same excitement holds true when i see an iowa license plate while driving….i have to hold back the urge to wave at them wildly as i pass (but only cause my car, tony, has a dumb texas plate now…and the wave just wouldn’t make any sense unless i could drive and slowly mouth i’m. from. iowa. too! but that’s just too dangerous in dallas traffic) and you better believe i enforce “purple pride day” at work whenever UNI (my alma mater) makes it into march madness.

and it’s not just me. i’ve been stopped before by strangers, when my car’s plate still read iowa, to exchange excitement over our common iowa bond. we instantly click because we understand each other and are probably tired of having to explain our roots. just cause we’re from iowa….it doesn’t mean we grew up on a farm and played in cornfields all day. it doesn’t mean we drove around town on tractors. and it certainly doesn’t mean we know a thing about potatoes…..cause idaho and iowa are NOT the same thing.

i’m not certain my path will ever lead me back to iowa…but i am certain, that leaving iowa helped me to love it more. the first couple snows (before it gets messy and annoying), the long looong summer days, the way it cools off at night, the beautiful colors in the fall, the smell of burning leaves…the way you can leave your car running at the grocery store while you run in (so you can keep the heater running) and it doesn’t get stolen….or being able to walk right in to your friends home…cause no one locks their doors….oh and sweet corn….mmmm…..that you didn’t even have to buy cause your neighbor brought some over freshly picked.

it’s true….i heart iowa….and i’m probably going to need this necklace. cause i’m from iowa, and i’m proud of it!

oh, and i heart this little guy too….his name is norm. hah!

-L

Read Full Post »

it’s a daisy!

i’m not gonna lie…i was really starting to believe that i had grown up a nice little flower pot of only leaves. don’t get me wrong, it was a beautiful bunch of leaves and i continued to love them dearly. i watered them and got them in the sun….i saved them from the freak ice and snow storms that hit dallas this winter….

and then one day…something different started to happen. a group of leaves were growing taller….and then another day, a teeny tiny bud developed…..and then another day….i got my very first bloom!

let’s rewind to the beginning. my sister gave me these daisies as a house-warming present last year (see: growing season)…cause daisies are my favorite and i was moving into my own place and losing her as my roommate (sad). in short, quite a few plans i had made had fallen through and living alone was the only option…and not an option i had intended on. but it was a new start and i wanted to make the best of it…so i went to ikea and bought a beautiful bookshelf and beautiful curtains and of course…i planted my soon to be beautiful daisies.

now, i don’t know much about gardening….so i just loved them with water, a spot in the sun and lots of verbal affirmation…but then (dum dum dum) tragedy struck towards the end of the summer. (see: weeding) so, post “weed attack 2010” i just did my best to keep them alive. i had never planted flowers before…so I wasn’t really surprised that the result seemed to be only leaves. i continued to take care of them as best as i saw fit and can’t say i was terribly disappointed…i was quite content with my little leaves. they marked a significant growing season in my life as well as a difficult weeding season and if nothing else my daisy leaves were a reminder that waiting and contentment are also important life lessons.

truth be told, in the past year God has really done some hard work in my life and on my heart. i have been isolated from the comforts i typically run to, challenged to surrender my own agenda and plan and pulled deeper into a desire to let my heart and will be aligned with the Lord’s. and He has been faithful. He has been faithful to sustain me in my isolation, protect me in my surrender and humble me and my stubborn, controlling heart.

it took nearly a year for those little daisy leaves to muster up a bloom….and it has taken all that time (and surely more) to begin to quiet my anxious tendencies. it has been a year of waiting with my daisies. a year of growing and resting and finding contentment in a plan that i certainly didn’t create for myself. it’s been in this change of pace and slowing down that i have learned to start letting go of my own agenda and began praying to be used in the here and now instead of looking forward to what is…or what i hope to be, around the corner. it’s been in solitude (something i hated the most) that i have learned what waiting on the Lords timing looks like, that my aim is to be dependent on Him alone and also what it feels like when “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads be beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” -psalm 23

and then that beautiful little bloom came around. how often have i been blind to the blessings in my life because they came quickly and as expected…or even worse, because i thought i brought them on myself in my own doing? oh, how sweet and special that bloom was to me after a year of waiting…and not necessarily even expecting it.

i am thankful for a God who didn’t turn me over to my anxious tendencies, but instead…a God who patiently sat me down and said…”stay here…i have you here, i want you here and i am with you here. that’s all you need to know. once your heart begins to settle down and you have rooted your identity in me, i can give you something beautiful…and it will be lovely. you can cherish it and love it freely because you won’t feel the need to rely on it…because in this time that i had you wait, you have learned to depend on me instead of the bloom.”

2 Corinthians 3:16-18
But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

-L

Read Full Post »

God could have killed me today.

sounds a little dramatic, but it’s true.
(maybe you shouldn’t read this one mama)

since i grew up and learned to drive in iowa, i feel fairly confident taking my rear-wheel drive town car (tony) out on slippery roads…when necessary. i learned how to maneuver him through the slickest of terrains…how to correct him when he fishtails…and not to park him facing uphill unless i plan on backing out of the spot. when my dad gave me the car….he said,…”it’s not a car for northern weather, so be careful.” so, when i moved to dallas three years ago, i knew tony would be just as happy about the warm weather as i was.

dallas faces few “artic blasts” but when they do…it’s trouble. this is mainly because it’s not common and no one knows how to respond to it. the roads are bad and the drivers are worse. most businesses shut down and schools begin closing with just the predictions of snow in the forecast. it’s laughable to a northerner….but also terribly frightening. frightening because, where i once had confidence…i now have uncertainty and anxiety.

i drove to work this morning a total of four blocks to the interstate and then about fifteen miles to get to the office….the only office in dallas, that never seems to shut down. the roads were covered with ice….every bit of them, even the interstate. the news reported 60 sand trucks patrolling the major highways and overpasses. (sand…another thing i’m not use to as a northerner….we take our slick roads with salt, please) as i drove in, i was surrounded by about 20 other drivers…a drastically smaller amount than the normal rush hour holds, but still 20 too many as far as i was concerned.

to me, it looked like the sand was being mostly reserved for the ramps, bridges and overpasses….if there was more on the road, it had already been covered up with the snow that was blowing around. some people drove fast…and some people drove slow….most of them drove way to close to each other and me. there was fishtailing, panicked braking at the sight of ice, skidding and spinning across four lanes of traffic and slamming into a median wall….there was danger, life threatening danger…and that’s what makes an iowan…not so confident to brave the slick roads in texas.

not only were the drivers around me frantic, inexperienced, horrible winter drivers…but my own car was the most stubborn i have seen him in a long time. he fishtailed the whole way to work…up hills, across bridges…just for his own enjoyment?! i must have scared every driver around me to death with the amount of times my backside wandered into the next lane.

when i finally got into the office…hands still gripping my steering wheel at ten and two….i probably took my first deep breath of the drive…and immediately wanted to cry. i can’t explain it any better than just saying, i’m a girl…and sometimes that’s the only response i can muster. (for the record, i didn’t actually cry)

i got to my desk and pulled up the first assignment i could think of, just to dive into thinking about anything besides how i could have really injured myself on the way in to work today.

the first time i spoke out loud to a coworker, my voice cracked and my eyes immediately filled with tears…i was just overwhelmed….and didn’t know why these emotions were surfacing. it just seemed silly. i turned back to my monitor and put my headphones in and turned the music up…and took a few deep breaths to stifle the tears that were trying to make their way out of my eyes.

i finally made my way to the bathroom, to pull it together and thought…i could be at home, but i’m not….i could have died on my way here…but I didn’t. God gave me this day…and he protected me all the way to work. so, what should my response be? should I be upset that the weather is so horrible?…should I be mad that my office was open and I drove up here?….or should I be grateful that I have been given this day, ice, scary car drive and all…and was protected from harm throughout it? admittedly, i was feeling the former.

God could have killed me today…but he didn’t. sometimes it takes a treacherous day…to remember how grateful i should be for every day. because my time is fleeting, I am a mist…here in the morning and gone with the afternoon sun. I have been praying lately for a better grasp of how quickly the days pass…and to have open eyes for opportunities and a grateful and trusting heart for God’s will for me. in hindsight, this morning’s experience put those prayers into practice…and while i can’t say i’m proud of how long it took to gain perspective….i am grateful for the lesson…and the grace and mercy that comes with it.

Psalm 39:4&5
“O Lord, make me know my end
and what is the measure of my days;
let me know how fleeting I am!
Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths,
and my lifetime is as nothing before you.
Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath! Selah”

-L

Read Full Post »

weeding…

i’ve been taking good care of my daisies. (there are still no blooms….so only i know they aspire to be daisies…well, and you)

i feel very fortunate to be located where i am, apartment wise. you see….first of all…my patio faces east. during a steamy texas summer, this seems ideal. plants get to enjoy a morning of sunlight….but by the time the temp has hit 100 and the sun is scorching down….my plants are nicely shaded. secondly, my patio also recedes into the building…and the roof provides an overhang that protects the plants hanging out on my patio ledge from drowning in any sudden downpours. (that is unless the rain is coming in sideways…but for the most part they are safe)

i’ve been watering them…and loving them….and that’s about the extent of my green thumb. i don’t really know what i’m doing…or what to be looking out for…all i know…is that someday they will become flowers.

well, out of nowhere…they really started to shoot up. i was a proud mama. i continued watering them and telling them how proud i was (anyone who knows me…knows i literally talked to them and squealed in delight at their progress…as it doesn’t take much to excite me and most inanimate objects develop personalities in my mind)….my subconscious noticed that one part of the plant was growing faster, stronger and differently than the rest….but i just went on being so proud of how well they were doing…when all the neighbor flower pots were dry, brown and dying.

B came over for a baking night a while back and exclaimed that she wanted to go out and check on my daisies (since i have been bragging on em). when she came back inside….she said…now, don’t be offended. (pause) i think you have a weed.

of course…the moment she said it, i knew exactly what she was talking about. that part of my plant that was growing the best…shooting up over the rest of the leaves….the part of my plant that i was extra proud of…..was a weed. how did i miss it?! how could i be so naive? :) together we marched out to the patio and pulled that sucker out by the roots….being extra careful not to harm the rest of the plant. oh how sad the daisies looked now….not quite so tall and strong….some crippled over (since the weed had been taking over most of the pot) arg!

i got to thinking about how i needed B to point out the flaw in my plant because i had become so proud that it made me completely oblivious. i feel like this goes hand in hand with why we need true-blue friends and community. sometimes we let our focus become so centered on one thing….that we look over the part of our life that needs to be weeded. or, if we’re in really bad shape, we’re actually proud of that part that needs to be removed….and don’t see the damage it’s really doing to the rest of our selves. by beaming over the growth of a weed….i was ignorantly risking the growth of the actual plant and setting myself up for the disappointment of spending all my time and energy bringing a worthless prickly-leaved weed to life…which was in no way what i set out to accomplish.

weeds will pop up everywhere…we are far from perfect. we’ll head down paths that won’t bring us joy and we’ll settle for the momentary over the eternal….but what i appreciate about the B’s in my life…is that i rarely head too far without being questioned. sometimes it’s easier to recognize the weeds and sometimes it takes what seems like forever to surrender, with much resentment and sometime regrettable responses. however, along the way it seems to get easier….to just stop….shake your head….admit what’s there….pull it out at the roots…and do your best to mend and grow the parts that were being crushed down by that silly prickly plant.

i’m so thankful to have honest friends in my life…friends who aren’t too scared to broach the tough topics (gently). you know someone really cares about you, when they are willing to risk an uncomfortable situation, defenses flying high….or even an argument to be loving enough to help you weed out your life so that you can grow stronger and more beautifully. on top of being thankful for true friends, i need to constantly be praying for a discerning and humble heart…one that is receptive to counsel and correction…quick to listen…slow to anger.

James 1:19-21 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

-L

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: