Friday, July 1, 2016

Public Service Reminders v. 3.0

I had dinner with a sorority sister last month. We sat across from each other and talked about her two boys -gosh I adore her boy-mama heart-, her siblings, my family, and God. This is where I told her, I've been terribly mad at Him lately. I've been mad because we can't have kids. She froze. The waitress stood at the edge of our table. We ordered. 

And then we cried. We sat in the middle of a busy restaurant and cried for my dashed dreams, for biological babies, for the way life throws a wrench the size of Godzilla in our best laid plans. I wiped my eyes and said what I meant. I told her I know that He will redeem this. I said it through the ugly cry face I'm so good at making. She nodded and let salty streams line down her cheeks. 

No one's reacted to any of the horrible news of the last decade of my life in such a beautiful, honest way. No one's met me in the deep sadness with such ease. No one's warmed me so thoroughly. 

This is a public service reminder: Bad news won't be healed with words. It will be healed with community. 

Tears, a bottle of wine, and amazing food are all highly recommended. But maybe your sad friend needs a hike or a prayer or a letter in the mail. Maybe she needs a tub of ice cream and two spoons to share. Love your people well, love them without words and with lots of kind actions. 

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We went river rafting last month. It was an adrenaline-filled blast that exhilarated and terrified me. Before we got in the boats, we had a safety briefing. It covered all the bad things that could happen and the safest ways to navigate currents or rapids should you fall overboard. Our guide mentioned that swimming against the current is pointless and exhausting, so assume a safe swimmer's position and let the water carry you to an easy-to-swim place. 

Essentially, don't fight. If you fall overboard and you're in the middle of strong water, don't fight. Instead, ride it out, keep yourself as safe as possible, and watch for slower waters -because slower water will always happen. 

This is a public service reminder: Don't fight when life forces you to swim. 

Life's going to toss you overboard. The current is going to get wild and unruly, you're going to attempt to paddle and suddenly, you're soaked and scared and underwater. You're wearing a life jacket which will bring you up to air. Instead, lean in, let life's waters push you to safer shores. 

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I went to the dentist two weeks ago and I loved it. I used to hate the dentist because they always gave me trouble for my poor (read: non-existent) flossing habit. But then, two years ago, I became dedicated to flossing because I was tired of spending my time getting cavities filled. I haven't had a cavity since. 

But this isn't about cavities. This is about the hygienist deciding I needed a periodontal test (where they rate the health of your gums). She called in another hygienist and they got ready to go when a joke was made that they should just put in a random sequence of twos and threes. This is an indication of great dental health. I was flattered. They did the test. I got all twos and threes. This is all thanks to flossing. 

But this isn't just about flossing, it's about putting in the work and getting the reward. It just took me two minutes every night (unless I ate beef jerky, then I flossed midday) to reap the healthy gum, dentist bragging reward. But it took me years to get to the point of dedication. 

This is a public service reminder: Do the work. Do it now. Don't wait. 

Floss or paint or read or run. Blog or journal or bible study or walk. Do the work instead of putting it off because there's no progress without your dedication to the process. 

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