The parable of the “Love Cakes”

Love is like a tray of cupcakes.

You wake up every morning with a silver platter full of your unique offerings and take it with you as you walk out the door.

One by one you share your love with those in your life:

your friends

your family

your co-workers

your significant other

even strangers..

and as you do

your  tray gets lighter and lighter until it’s empty

freeing up both of your hands

to live..

beautifully,

freely,

fully.

💜

Unless you don’t.

💜

You see some of us hold on to love

and we lug around our increasingly heavy tray

every

single

day..

and our hands are so occupied with the burden

and weight

of this unshared love

that it becomes impossible

to think of anything else

or serve anyone else

but ourselves.

💜

Then there are times when we are so focused on

one person

one passion

one problem

that we dump every single one of our love cakes onto this

one single area..

day in and day out and..

 until suddenly

what we thought was a healthy offering

becomes

a sticky, overwhelming, sickening pile

of unappreciated

goop.

💜

Love is like a tray of cupcakes..

 how are you going to share yours today?

 

 

 

 

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photocredit:13 – Drawing cartoons,Pinterest

Trusted enough to be “real.”

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I was able to spend some time with a wonderful group of women yesterday. We talked about grand babies that were due, vacations that were planned and Spring.

And then, like a soft breeze, the mood changed as one of the ladies began to share a painful experience she was dealing with..then another opened up..then another.  There were tears of sadness and solidarity; words of encouragement and prayer.

Later in the evening, I thought about what a solemn privilege it is to fully share in the lives of our friends..to be valued and trusted enough to be real.

friend2

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photocredit:blogger

 

 

The Sisterhood

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It took over a year to find a church that “fit” and a few months longer to plug into a smaller ‘life group.’

But the wait was worth it and once again I am floored by the instant acceptance and effortless bond among women who share a common faith and passion for God.

I don’t know where I’d be without this sisterhood.

 

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photocredit:Medha Servo Drives Pvt. Ltd

Tygas, Chynas & Hair- Oh My!

I was in the passing lane on 1-95 heading to Virginia to pick up my daughter from college.

My good friend and I were 10 minutes into a deep cell-phone discussion about the Kardashians; trying to figure out the relational maze that is developing thanks to the latest hook-ups and pregnancy. It’s a small and crowded circle they live in, those Kardashians..  I’m not sure a dog breeder with a good reputation would be comfortable with the familial “traffic patterns” pictured below. And you don’t have to be a wedding planner to know that it gets real complicated when someone is two things to the same person.. like a cousin and a brother. 😟

tree

Our conversation reminded me of a disturbing episode of “Parts Unknown” where Anthony Bourdain took a long, hot and horrible canoe trip up into a dark, tangled jungle to visit “old friends.” Not sure if he was in Vietnam or Borneo or wherever, but this group of people basically lived in a “long house” that looked like an abandoned 1950’s Holiday Inn – literally in the middle of nowhere. A high priest walked around the compound with a bottle of mystery booze dispensing it to the citizens as if it was holy water. At night, they all drank and danced in the “lobby” until they passed out on the floor. The whole thing was straight out of some meth-induced induced nightmare and I couldn’t help but wonder about the effects of possible inbreeding in such a small group of isolated people.

borneo

But back to the Kardashians whose own family tree limbs are frankly pretty tightly twisted. As my friend and I pruned our way through, revealing and discussing all the bad apples in their orchard, we were suddenly struck with a profound moment of self-awareness..

I mean here we were..two mothers… one of us (me) a fifty something, the other in her forties.. using words like Tyga, Chyna and Wiz and discussing the hair of some teen who dyes it blue and some ex-girlfriend who shaves hers off..

as if we really cared!

We started laughing so hard that I almost had to pull over to the side of the road.  The absurdity of it all, and the fact that we knew enough about these crazy people to have a somewhat long and semi-thoughtful conversation, was truly hysterical.

laughing

Thank goodness for friends with whom we can share both serious and really..really stupid stuff. It still makes me smile just thinking about our silly conversation..and it sure made the road trip go by MUCH faster.

 

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photocredit:www.huffingtonpost.com,medium.com,www.bbc.com

Roots

I was so worried I wouldn’t finish in time. The audio-book was good, but it had long, bloody and repetitive battle scenes that were a bit tough to slog through. Days would go by without me listening, then I’d go on a walk and “plug it in”.. only to realize after about twenty minutes of “pop, bang, crack, whiz” (and other war sound effects) that I’d somehow re-started a chapter I’d already listened to!!!!

The book is called Devotion by Adam Makos, and in spite of all the gory fighting, I do recommend it. ( I downloaded the book off i-tunes so my husband and I could listen on long drives.) It’s a true story about heroism, love and racism during the Korean war and I actually learned a lot.  This was also our neighborhood book-club’s selection for the month of April.

9781782395744

Yup.. our new, little neighborhood has a ladies book club.

So there I was,  perched on a bar stool at a local restaurant last night, surrounded by seven other women in “the club” discussing PTSD, Putin and our country’s changing sense of patriotism. Looking around, it suddenly struck me how incredibly blessed I was. My husband and I have moved about 14 times in our 32 years of marriage and with the exception of that ONE nut-job out in California, we have always had wonderful neighbors..always.

I am convinced that the good Lord has had His hand on our lives and has guided every step, every decision and every move…including this most recent one. And as I pulled the covers over my shoulders at around midnight and whispered my gratitude for having found new friends, I couldn’t help but feel that warm sense of being protected and loved.

I also felt something new..

roots sinking in.

mans-heart

 

 

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photocredit:www.allenandunwin.com,www.mulligansforlife.com

 

Missing the obvious

redpaint

I had just finished washing my brush when I saw the section I had missed.

I could not believe it!

How on earth did I not see that?  I had taken my time! I had looked it over before closing the can! It’s not like I was putting a subtle white wash stain on this little table..this was fire engine red paint!

I thought about other times when I had missed the obvious..my “lost” car keys sitting right in front of me on the counter, my “lost” reading glasses perched pretty on my head.. And while all these instances of missing the obvious make me laugh, there are other times when it’s a lot more serious.

A week ago a man my husband knew killed himself.  My poor guy tossed and turned for nights trying to figure out what on earth could have driven this husband and father to end it all. He kept wracking his brain to see if he had missed something-anything, but finally concluded that there must have been some deep, dark issue maybe none of his friends were aware of.

And that’s the way it is sometimes..people have struggles with drugs, struggles at work, struggles with family and no one really realizes the pain they are in- how hopeless they feel; they keep it so well hidden.

But other issues are obvious if we just slow down a bit and pay attention. Maybe a friend needs a hug and some advice, maybe a spouse needs to hear that he’s loved or forgiven, maybe a sad looking stranger needs a smile and a compliment.

It’s hard to make the time to keep our hearts open to others when our days are hectic and our to-do lists long, but in the end it’s so much better than looking back and realizing we were so distracted that we sadly may have missed something obvious.

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Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.