Thursday, January 30, 2014


I am Caitlin's Bee Bop. Caitlin, my lovely house mate, my stair-stumbling-love house mate. (Yeah, she's a knockout. I know.)
That's my girl. ;) Caitlin and I have the "big girl" jobs in the house. Meaning, we get up every morning before the sun rises to get ready to go into our offices by 7 a.m. Because of this, we have developed a little routine in the mornings. While she makes her breakfast, I grab my coffee, put on my coat and get situated before I walk to the bus. But before I leave, Caitlin and I always hug. In our house, we believe firmly in the daily hug quota (well, at least Caitlin and I do; we practice it the most). Therefore, Caitlin and I try to hug each other at least 7 times a day. Hugs are proven to be good for your health. Since you can't always hug your coworkers, I wait until I get home where I know my Caitlin's arms await me. And man, oh man, do we have some great hugs (they usually involve her cracking my back. Delightful!) 

BUT... this week, I have been spicing up our routine by singing Caitlin and inspirational morning song. Not an actual song, just one I make up. It's usually just the words "good morning, Caitlin" repeated several times to whatever goofy melody that comes into my brain. Caitlin stands there and stares at me, blank faced, no coffee in her system yet, and then starts to giggle. Without fail, as we embrace, she tells me: "You're a goober." Which... let's be honest, is true. I am! 

But today Caitlin blessed me!! As I sang my song to her she told me of another song - a legitimate song - that reminds her of me. I told her to send it my way and she did. I was falling asleep on my bus ride into work this morning and when my head snapped back up, I thought, "Okay, I need some energy, let me watch this music video." Oh, I am so glad I did. I instantly perked up watching this kindred spirit shake his tail feather, getting other people (of all kinds) inspired to to do the same. I instantly became HAPPY and now I can't stop smiling. :)

But ,Caitlin, you did too.

Caitlin, you are awesome. 
I treasure the ways you see me and know me and that I remind you of JOY. Thank you for seeing traces of me in this bee-boppin' music video. That makes me feel tremendously loved! You knew this would make my heart glow and it did! Get ready for the dance party that you know is coming. ;)

To all those reading, I hope that today, and every day, you feel HAPPY, that you feel like a room without a roof. And if you are struggling with joy in today that you remember the reasons why you ought to smile and still can despite the heartaches you face. Those reasons for joy are always surrounding us if we only take the time and have the courage to look for them.

Happiness to you! 


:: "Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof." ::

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I Must Have a Thing for Blondes ::

... Or maybe it's the month of January, particularly that fourth week, that has some connection with my May-Baby Heart. Whatever it is, this past week has been pretty humbling for me. It's been a Birthday-thon and there's more celebration on the way! Three major friends of mine had their birthdays this week, all blondes, all solid women of God who anchor my soul and represent home in my heart. My lifetime friend, my fated friend, and my unexpected-gift friend. Zuni, Kimmers, Brookie - this post is to you! Happy Birthday each of you. As I reflect on relationships this week in honor of celebrating you, I know my life would not be the same without you and God sovereignly intended each of you for me.

Zunes. Let's start it off with my lifetime friend, Susanna Brockman, because let's be honest - she's a kick starter and that's how things should be. What can I say about my bestie? Well, first: she's not my bestie. She's more than that; she's my family. And after reading her blog post about her 30th birthday (and crying about it), I have decided, I need no stinkin' title with this awesome woman. We are beyond titles. She's my life and after this past Christmas at home I know that beyond the shadow of a doubt. Was it because I stayed up til midnight laughing with her and Rachel about epic goals and birthday-ambition lists? Perhaps. Was it because we did our nails with sticker art under Sarah McCallum's tutelage? Was it because we went out on the town and realized that we are grandmas and went home early? Was it when I went over to her house to say goodbye and she began to cry as I hugged her that I realized... there's something much more than friendship here? Yeah, it's probably all these things in conjunction with other moments from that trip. But it's not the sum total; that was only 10 days of our lives. I have known Susie B. for 10,950 days and the number only rises. But no, the events of Christmas time only made it perfectly clear to me how much I love this woman and her family, how I have always looked to them like my own. I know this woman is my sister because I have never known a day without her in my life. Our moms were pregnant together and gave birth to us, one after another (4 months apart) and I have never not been with Susanna. Until now, when six years ago our lives took us thousands of miles and oceans apart. And I am okay with that. My girl is an independent woman and I would have her be no other way. She's perfect to me, just like that. But I know we both have those moments where all we want is the other, where the only person in the whole world who would appreciate our actions at that moment is one another. It's who we are, it's what we do. It's how we roll, because of all we have been through and shared together. Slam books and Britney Spears. Oil wars and junior camp. I ... I never have to say anything with my Sus. She just gets it because she has always been there. Right by my side and I beside hers. We lived it all together thus no words are necessary. I can remember so many summers, so many moments, and even our first real fight. There's so much about my history that no one knows in it's depth but her just because it was lived reality to her as well. Susanna, the peace I find in your companionship is irreplaceable and so to you, I say, I love you; You are my one and only eternal friend. From the beginning of my life, Lord willing, to it's end, I pray you will always be there. I plan to always be there for you and nothing can take that away from us. And when we get to heaven's gate, I know I will see you there and we will start the eternal dance party (like we always have). We will remain the kindred, bosom friends we have always been from day one. But don't you worry, before all of that comes, you will be my bridesmaid. ;)
 I praise the Lord for your life - and our life - together. Always. Happy Birthday. "Keep smilin', keep shinin'. Knowing you can always count on me. For sure! That's what friends are for. In good times in bad times, I'll be on your side forever more. That's what friends are for."  

Kimmer Drex. Hello, my fated friend, my destined dame, my intended. You know the moment I speak of. :) I love sharing that story with people and it meant so much to be able to recount it to your family over Thanksgiving - our first meeting that felt so "random and by chance". But it was not. How faithful is God to plant a seed in the heart of those who will listen? How faithful He is to water it and let it grow if only we are brave. And how faithful He is to lead us to a moment that reveals how much He sees, how much He listens. How intentional, He is! I prayed for true friends and there you were. He knew we needed each other. He planted the desire in both of our hearts to be know one another and then surprised us with the gift. You are my sister, my housemate, my God-given peace. You offer me so much. You help me heal and you free me from the chains of my past. There is a balm my bleeding heart ached to feel after years of abuse and loss. You place that balm on my heart and seal my wounds the way God seals His chosen with His love and it blesses me every time. There are very few human beings alive that can instantly diffuse me. You are one of them. You disarm me with your love. And I know that's God reaching through you to me to whisper "Beloved, you are not forgotten. In fact, you are remembered and I will fulfill my promises to you." Thank you for being Him to me, Kimmie. I love you and I am so glad you are alive. Happy Birthday! Friendship with you reminds me that God doesn't act for one, but for all.
But if time were a vacuum and He decided to do this one thing just for me - bringing you into my life - I would never cease to give Him praise and I praise him all the more now. You make me a better bearer of the gospel. You are a forever friend. Thank you for sharing Idaho with me. And Gary. And teary goodbyes through acres of farm. Gunner. Papa Drex. KOHEN, and the whole lot. I was meant for them, because I was meant for you. And I know we only have many more wonderful memories to come. I can't wait to make them with you and make it we will. "I love you." "What? What did you say?" "I.Love.You." "Oh... I love you too!" ;)  

Brookie. But if this weren't enough, God had to flex His might of blessing one more time. Had to show His goodness to those who love him... Just to let me know I am totally safe, totally loved and moving in the right direction. I had just quit Seminary in an effort to get some my life on track. I had left my old church. I got dumped by someone who never really cared for me in the first place and I had just returned to Portland from a month long sabbatical in the safest place I know: Jan's home. I knew I needed to give church a try again. So with fear and trepidation I asked my housemate if I could go with her to her Presbyterian church. It may have been that second week, the details seem hazy now, but Sonja and I sat behind a young blonde and brunette. I felt bad because Sonja and I did what we always do every Sunday - sang every song that morning loudly and with fervor. Because of my volume, I always dread the moment when the person in front of me turns around after church. I fear the eye roll that says, "Can you take it down a few notches?". When the moment came, I steeled myself as the blonde and brunette turned around. But before I could even open my mouth, the blonde started speaking exuberant praise about our singing abilities and I was instantly at ease. This blonde had spunk, personality, joy and just as much passion in word as I had while singing. Yet she had a grace and a kindness I had seldom seen before. I walked away thinking, "okay, that was cool. But I am not quite sure what to make of it." In my wounded skepticism it seemed little more to me than the required church politeness. Little did I know that God had already set in motion an epic plan that would unite this blonde and I in our every day lives in the season ahead. Soon after meeting this woman, I started temping at M Financial, the company the blonde had worked at for the last five years. And all at once, in this woman, I had a Christian coworker, a small group leader, a regular coffee date and a companion. A daily companion who, I soon discovered, feels like me, thinks like me and lives like me. Too many moments I have shared with this generous woman thinking, "she reminds me of someone." Her feisty demeanor made me feel like I was experiencing dejavu. But then it hit me: "She reminds me of Susanna." And I thought, okay, I can definitely do this thing call friendship with her. 
And unbeknownst to either of us, unexpectedly, in the daily activity of life, Brooke became my number one, my confidante, my companion, my investment and she still is. Never have I met someone so generous and gracious. So freeing, someone... so like me. And this is the unexpected gift of Brooke in my life: knowing that I am not alone. Knowing someone gets me entirely. Total freedom and solidarity. I never expected to find that in you, Brookie. But... as you have taught me to see, God sends so many unexpected gifts, gifts be recognized, counted, and they are exactly what we need. Brookie, you are my unexpected-gift friend. I could count 1000 gifts from friendship with you alone. But here, in the now, I count you as my number one and I am honored we get to share every single day together. I praise God for your life. Happy Birthday!

January is a rough month for me. I struggle suffer from post-holiday-letdown among many other things. This 2014 January has proved to be no different. I am trudging through this month with lack of zeal, thinking.. "Soon it will be Spring. There will be flowers and I will have a lighter heart." But God stops me in my tracks this January and opens the heavy clouds over me with bursts of sunlight, three blonde rays of sunlight actually, and He reminds me: "Thou art blessed. Lift your head, mourning one. Take heart; thou art loved." How can one be sad when she has such beautiful friends decorating her life? 

Ladies, I have been struggling to think of what "gifts" I want to give you, disheartened that there is nothing in this world that could be enough. You deserve so much more than anything I could buy, make or create. Your presence are gifts to me and something I cannot repay. But I had to share my heart because it was bursting with too much joy and longing. Thus, this is my gift. My heart displayed through words so that the whole world knows how much I love you, singularly and collectively. You each make me a better woman and I praise God for sustaining your every breath. 

 :: Happy Birthday Susanna, Kimberly and Brooke! You make the world a better place to live in.  And I am glad I get to share life in the world that is to come ::

Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted." Matthew 5:4

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What Should I Do for My 30th? ::

Have a party?

Do something quiet?

My best friend who lives in London is having an awesome blow out (I wish I could go). I am always down to shake my booty, but alas, I am not quite sure that is the path I want to go down. It's going to be on a Friday and I am definitely going into work. I have an exclusive May 2nd birthday club that I have to partake in. But other than that, I am at a loss. 

:: What did you do for your 30th birthday? 
What would you do if your 30th hasn't come yet? ::

Post a comment and give me suggestions or tell me stories... I am trying to decide and I need inspiration! ;) I look forward to hearing what you guys share!