Last week I joked with some friends about how odd it was that my “assigned” Bible readings for several days in a row dealt with the brevity of life, the … Continue reading Life and Death
I have to admit that I’m not upset about events and gatherings being cancelled over the course of the next month. News of each cancellation has brought some unexpected relief … Continue reading Time to Be Still
If you’re like me, you don’t like being told what you can and cannot do. I think it’s something with which we all struggle and it’s likely because we are … Continue reading Limits Bring Freedom
When we saw TobyMac in March, he said something that resonated with me. He commented about the length of time between his album releases and said that’s because he needs to live life between albums so that he has something to sing about.
When I wrote the one and only song I’ve ever written, I told God that I was okay with never writing one again because it took sending Tori to Heaven to have the inspiration and ability to write it. If that’s what it takes, I’m good now 😉
I’ve been mostly quiet on here for a while now because life hasn’t given me much content lately – which is perfectly okay! I am completely satisfied with life going smoothly, which it mostly has been (normal mother-of-twins ordeals aside).
However, as I blogged earlier this week, I’m now in a situation providing me with content…a situation I sincerely wish could be resolved but it’s out of my control at this point.
I’ve been sitting in silence, not pressing this friend to reconcile or respond, not offering further explanation as to my intent or my heart. Just waiting.
Someone recently used the phrase “sitting in the meantime” and I loved it. That’s where I am – sitting in the period of waiting for resolution. I’ve relinquished control (difficult) and am being still before the Lord, waiting for His guidance and for my friend to reach out IF they choose to do so.
And it’s challenging.
Because, in the meantime, I just want to fix things. I want to talk. I want to meet up for coffee and explain, yet again, that my words were not said out of anger but love. That there has to be a huge misunderstanding because I thought everything was good between us, but clearly there was some harbored resentment that caused this to blow up. That everyone makes mistakes and grace should be offered abundantly. But I can’t. Not until the other person reaches out.
I don’t like being in the meantime. There is no defined timeline, no rule book, nothing for me to accomplish except to wait and to pray, to work on my own heart and to ask God to use this to grow my own character.
Life will go on if this friendship ends, but not without some grief on my part. Unresolved conflict is so very hard for me to live with especially when I feel I’ve done all I can to live at peace with others (Romans 12:18).
If you find yourself – now or in the future – “sitting in the meantime” with no end in sight, run to the Lord. Read His Word. Trust Him. Remember all the great things He has done in your life and in the lives of others. He isn’t just watching from the sidelines – He is right there in the meantime with you.
I was in sixth grade when I realized the power of words for the first time.
For whatever reason, I decided to write a letter – a very mean one – to someone who was a friend of mine, a friend who had done nothing wrong. To this day I have no idea why I wrote it, but I have never forgotten the lesson learned. That girl and I were never friends again and because we had hung out in the same group of friends, it made my life so awkward. I still feel shame when I think back to how I made that girl cry.
It happened again in high school with my best friend. I decided that I didn’t want to be friends anymore (eye roll) and wrote a letter. Sigh. My parents kept telling me to stop writing letters and that was the last time, THANKFULLY. She and I are still friends to this day (31 years and counting) and our friendship is stronger because of it, I think.
I can’t go back to sixth grade or high school (THANKFULLY) but I’ve tried to be very careful with my words ever since. While I certainly still make mistakes, I do what I can to avoid having difficult conversations via text/email because of the inability to read tone. I choose my words carefully and use abundant emojis to convey my emotions.
Everyone has a lens through which they perceive and process life, and we all have our own “settings” and filters through which we process information; because of that, I also do everything I can to assume the best when others write to me and never assume that they are being rude, mean, or angry. I read the tone as being friendly unless proven otherwise. I don’t know what may be behind the words, I don’t know what mood they are in or what is happening in their life, so I choose to believe they are being kind.
This week I was reminded that I can only control my words and my responses. I was reminded that, as well-meaning and good as I may think my words are, they are up for interpretation by the receiver and the result may be less than ideal.
I have, yet again, found myself in a situation where I may be losing a friend because of words (but NOT with a mean letter like sixth grade or high school!) even though that is the complete opposite of what I want. And it has been devastating. Looking back, I can see why this person took what I said the way that they did, and I can also see how this could have been avoided entirely had I done it in person. It was just easier to text, so I did. And now we’re in a mess.
I don’t write this for pity (I made the mistake). I don’t write this for gossip (hence the lack of details). I write this to encourage you to stop having difficult conversations with written words. Pick up the phone. Get together. FaceTime. Hear the person’s tone. Assume the best. Be willing to accept feedback and constructive criticism from those who love you. Offer abundant grace to your imperfect friend/family member. Don’t allow friendships to be destroyed because of misunderstandings that could have been avoided.
I clearly still need to learn this lesson. Maybe this is why the Bible is filled with verses about using your words wisely.
I’m still praying that things will resolve and that we can grow stronger because of this conflict. But, I also know that we live in an imperfect world with imperfect humans and that may not be the reality. So, while I am grieving this apparent loss, I’m also renewing my determination to be careful with my words and to never have discussions via writing when they can be better resolved in person.
Friendships are too rare and too valuable to be lost over misunderstandings. Be wise with your words.
Today I cleaned my kitchen. It took me several hours as I had to do tasks in short stints as the boys allowed, but it looks SO much better, and … Continue reading What Motivates You?
Today is the five year anniversary of a conference that changed my life unexpectedly. The five-year mark has made me feel reflective, and it has made me realize how much … Continue reading How Jon Acuff impacted my life in ways I didn’t expect
Last week’s sermon hasn’t left my mind much since I heard it. The focus was on 2 Corinthians 5:14-16, 19-20. “Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that … Continue reading The What or The Who (Not the Band)
This entire book process has made us laugh so many times because nothing has gone as expected.
But, our launch party was going to be smooth and perfect! The plans were set and everything was going to happen as we expected…
Or not 😉
When we arrived at the venue, no one was there to open it for us. We waited and waited, tried to contact the owners (who are out of town and this isn’t their fault at all!). It was cold and rainy, but we thought we could just do it in the courtyard outside the cafe.
Brennan’s sister, Kelly, had the idea to go around the corner to the movie theatre (CocoaPlex) to see if they could help, and they said we could set up in the lobby! 🍿 🎥 So we made a note (thanks, Gina!), moved our party over there, and had a great time! We had wanted a unique venue, and how much more unique can you get than the lobby of a movie theatre?! 😉 And, it was FREE, so we appreciated that!
We just happened to have a table in our van that worked well for signing books, and the bench in the lobby made a perfect display area.
As my book says many times, joy is a CHOICE, and tonight we chose to roll with the unexpected and make the most out of the evening…and it was GREAT. ❤
Thanks to all who came out to celebrate with us! Thanks to Karen for the amazing cupcakes! And huge thanks to CocoaPlex for allowing us to use your lobby!
It’s inevitable lately: when meeting new people who don’t know about Tori, they will ask if this pregnancy is my first.
Since I recently started a new job it’s happening fairly often. The first few times took me by surprise and I had to think quickly about how to answer: I could be truthful and tell them about Tori, or I could be mostly truthful since this is my first TWIN pregnancy and just say yes to avoid the uncomfortable truth.
So far, I’ve opted to just tell the truth, short and sweet, and allow the potential awkwardness (from their end) to exist. I look at it as an opportunity to tell others about Krabbe, about Tori’s amazing life, and about the faith that has sustained us.
In each instance, I recognize that I have a choice: I can be truthful with joy or I can be truthful with pain. I can embrace the joy we have found or I can be miserable.
I continue to embrace joy.
The title of my upcoming book is “Even So, Joy” which I derived from two sources: the song “It Is Well With My Soul” –
And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.
and Habakkuk 3:17-19 –
Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,
and there are no grapes on the vines;
even though the olive crop fails,
and the fields lie empty and barren;
even though the flocks die in the fields,
and the cattle barns are empty,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord!
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!
The Sovereign Lord is my strength!
He makes me as surefooted as a deer,
able to tread upon the heights.
The Bible makes it abundantly clear that things are going to be imperfect here on earth. Once sin entered the world, it was inevitable that life would be terrible at times. Things are going to go wrong, our hearts are going to hurt, and sometimes it will seem unbearable.
But, the Bible also makes it clear that it can still be well with our hearts and our souls no matter what comes our way because all of this is temporary. Imperfect life on this earth should make us desire the perfection of what’s to come in Heaven.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Cor. 4:17
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. – James 1:2-3
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. – Romans 5:3-5
Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) – Romans 8:18-25 (emphasis mine)
Our God is a God who redeems. He is worthy of all our praise, even when circumstances don’t appear to be praiseworthy. He knows the full story while we only know this current chapter.
You have a choice to make daily just like me; though our circumstances may be different, I know your life isn’t going perfectly.
Joy is something to be chosen and embraced in the uncertain times, in the “even though” or “even if” moments. For it is then that our faith grows stronger and we are reminded of God’s love, and the least we can do is share it with those who need it the most.
Always be real and genuine, of course, but always be pointing others toward the hope and joy we have in Jesus. It has been said that light shines brightest in the darkness, and this has certainly been proven to be true in my life. Our decision to choose joy after losing a child stands in stark contrast to the way much of the world would react. And that’s kind of the point. We should be different as Christians in this world.
I will continue to be honest and share that the twins are actually child two and three for us, not our first. I will embrace the potential discomfort and awkwardness that the other person may feel and I will point them to the glory of the Lord and the hope and joy He brings.
Even so, it is well with my soul.