Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Wanna Be Friends?

Playgrounds teach me a lot about life & about the perspective I have on it.

Summer allows for a lot of lessons then since we’ve been to the park countless times.

With pebbles crunching loudly under her pink tennis shoes, she runs to my daughter without hesitation.  No fear of rejection.  Not caring what the answer will be….she asks ‘Wanna Be Friends?’ 

And off they went.  Laughter filling the air as soft clouds roll over head.  They swing & slide.  Pretend & play.  And a friendship is made.

Each one of them offers the other happiness in that moment.  In that place & time, their hearts are full. 

There is no worry of popularity or socioeconomic status.  They are blind to skin color and religion.  They don’t even ask if the other drives a Barbie jeep or an Escalade with 2 seats.  It doesn’t matter.

All they hope for is an afternoon filled with building castles in the sand & someone to catch them at the bottom of the slide.  They share juice boxes & goldfish crackers & when it’s time to go, they wave goodbye…with smiles that span from ear to ear.  They have showcased a sweetness that settles on my heart in a way that my much older soul has not felt for a while.

I have been hurt before by a lot of friends for a lot of different reasons.  And in that hurt, those protective walls go up to make a barrier around my heart.  Friendships become more complex & it shouldn’t be that way.

It should be as easy as just reaching out & asking the question….and then letting the afternoon take you somewhere magical.  Where it may not be castles in the sand that we build but a lifelong friendship that fills up our souls.  And when we fall & get hurt, when we need someone to catch us at the bottom of the slide…we know they will be there.  Even if we don’t talk on the phone every day or see each other but a few times a year because life & work & kids….happen in the meantime.

I have good friends now.  My heart is in a different place.  And at the end of each day now, I also smile ear to ear when I think of how blessed I am for the friends that I talk to on a daily basis & also for those that I see once in a blue moon.  When our KIDS are sharing juice boxes & goldfish on the playground as we catch up after way too long of not seeing one another.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Around The Corner

Today, I turned a corner.
The corner that shouts out ‘come to the other side…..we can’t wait to have you’.
I’m entering a new DECADE.
Another 10 down & who knows how many to go!

It’s always  these ‘monumentals’ that make you look back.
On life.
On love.
On things you can’t take back.
On dreams wished for & lost.
On the things you did right.
And the ones you did wrong.

Do I regret anything?
Would I change anything?
What has been good?
What would I like to forget about?

I haven’t traveled the world.  I haven’t sailed any seas or written a book or won a Nobel Peace Prize.  There are no plaques on my wall.  No trophies on a mantle.

But it’s been good!  It’s been really good!

I’ve learned so much.
I’ve loved a ton of people.
I’ve laughed myself silly…..alot!
I’ve shared good times with good friends in good places.
And I’ve shed buckets of tears.

I have celebrated BIG things!
And….I have mourned BIG things!

I have been blessed to watch people enter in to my world.
And….I have also held them when they have left my world.

I have made more friends than enemies.
I have made mistakes & bad decisions.
I have sought & fought forgiveness & learned that my heart is much better off loosing THIS battle!

I have eaten a lot of really good ice cream.
And drank lots of really good wine.
I have completed 4 half-marathons.
And ran some races that weren’t so much feet to pavement but heart to head.   Those races are much harder to train for!

I have kissed lots of frogs.  And been lucky enough to find a few princes.

I have loved on lots of children but NONE have moved my heart SO much then loving the 3 that sleep under my roof every night.  The 3 that I get to pray with & tuck into bed.  The ones that wrap their arms around my neck so tight every day.  The ones I get to teach & watch grow.  The 3 that I am blessed to laugh with & love on.  They are to me like….sprinkles on my favorite ice cream cone. 

I could live my life enjoying just the scoop of yummy chocolate ice cream melting down that sugar cone….but then you add the sprinkles….and it’s so much more amazing!!  It becomes something so much more….extraordinary!  And it’s delicious!

I have seen beauty with my eyes. 
Heard it with my ears. 
And felt it with my heart.

I have been so many things to so many people & hopefully made their world a little happier.   Their hearts a little lighter.  Their perspectives a little better.

I have experienced times that didn’t make me proud of who I was.
And I have done things that I was…so…very…proud…of!

Is turning 40 going to be hard on me?
No Way!

Now comes the good part.

I don’t need to worry about who my friends are or about ‘fitting in’.
I don’t need to lose sleep over things like boyfriends & college finals.  (atleast not my own!)
There is no more question about what I want to be when I grow up or what I want to do with my life…..because I am right where I want to be…..NOW!

Sure there are new things to ponder.

Hip replacement.
Crows feet.
Gray hair.
A shiny Cadillac that is on the horizon.  (but I have to get rid of the minivan first)
Getting shorter.
Where to buy a better bra since it’s ‘only down hill from here’.
Arthritis & joint pain.

But it’s gonna be good!

I will try to not worry so much but feel so much more.
I will appreciate the life God has blessed me with.
I will laugh & love & live so much more vividly (thanks to some good bifocals)

Turning this corner is good.
My stride is hearty but my gait is not so swift that I miss the goodness that surrounds me. 

 I won’t look back with anything but thankfulness for the roads I have traveled so far.  I only look forward to the restoration that this new decade will bring to this sweet, young soul!