Hello, How May I Fix You?

Standard

brokenheartblog

This is me.  I am a fixer. If it is broken? I feel the need to fix it…and if it can’t be fixed? Then I feel like I have failed those that I love.

I prefer to be called an “encourager” but I am finding that there is a vast difference in the two.

Fixer: To repair

Encourager: To inspire or support

The harsh reality is that there are just some things I cannot fix. There are some things I cannot change, no matter how much I desire to do so. There are some things that I am not permitted to fix, and those that I wouldn’t even attempt to fix. Therein lies the battle with the “fixers” and also the source of a heavy heart for those around us.

I am learning that it is much more difficult to be the encourager these days. When I am unable to “fix” things? I have always shifted to encouragement mode. It is important to me for my family and those I love to be happy. If they are not? Then, there just has to be some way to fix it. The more I realize lately? I just can’t. I want to. I long to. Again….. Hello, How may I fix you?

So what do I do? I will continue to encourage as softly as I can, treading lightly and fixing the things I can. I will struggle to reason the how’s and why’s of everyday with the things I will never be able to fix. I will quietly whisper a prayer on your behalf and hope that somehow it will bring you courage for one more day – strength to keep facing your giants.

If some days you find me less than encouraging? Give me a little time and know that I am getting my second wind. If time passes and you see the winds blowing the opposite direction? Be my compass. Sing my song back to me when I can no longer remember all of the words. Sometimes the encourager needs encouraging, and the fixers need fixing too.

One ship drives east and other drives west by the same winds that blow. It’s the set of the sails and not the gales that determines the way they go.” Ella Wheeler Wilcox 
My goal is to become more of an encourager than a fixer. Some things are just not up to me to fix, but I can always offer a word of encouragement. Do I always feel like encouraging? Of course not – but it’s the choice that I hope I always choose. Then, I can change my name tag to read “Hello, How May I Encourage You? …has a nice ring to it don’t you think?

Brand New

Standard

Landon2

There is nothing more precious than a brand new baby. The purest symbol of heaven that is in tangible form. A gentle reminder that life goes on, but more importantly, that all good things come from heavenly places. Life from above, wrapped in blankets and filled with love…a brand new beginning.

We waited throughout the night to meet him. Although we were just a part of the waiting area, it was the place we could support from a distance and love our family with our prayers and best wishes. We were excited and as patient as you can be while waiting to hear any news from the delivery room. It was family time. A time to reminisce of our own baby experiences, from the oldest to the youngest. Anxiously awaiting a new person into our circle of love.

I am now a Great Aunt, a role I hope to fill honorably as part of this brand new little person. I am anxious to hold him, but am happy to wait for my time.

I ride with my sister-in-law to the hospital, I can’t help but feel excited for her. She will become a grandmother for the first time. We are giddy and nervous all the same. (Thank you Teresa, for allowing me to be a part of one of your pivotal moments in life!)

Landon3

My thoughts are immediately returned to the Daddy to be – my sweet nephew. He was five when I married his Uncle. I can still see him sitting on the front pew at our wedding in a little blue suit, his legs dangling back and forth from boredom in his seat. Little would he know how much time we would later spend together after moving to North Carolina, where we knew barely anyone.

He became my fishing partner at times, a master pond turtle hunter, and my 4-wheeler buddy. His mother always had great birthday parties and I was often in the mix of those. He would stay with us on occasion and honestly, his Uncle aggravated him to the fullest extent he will tell you. As he grew older, the visits were fewer as with all growing kids. He doesn’t really know how much of a void he filled for us for many years, not having children of our own for 13 of those years. He was my buddy on many occasions.

I didn’t expect to feel the emotion I did when I saw my nephew come into the waiting area to give the family an update. He was now a grown man, soon to become a father for the first time. I only saw…my little nephew. I saw his anxiousness for his beautiful wife and the expectancy of that baby. I saw the same sweet little boy trying to be brave for his new little family. Yes, it reduced me to tears (I fought hard to conceal these). What I felt most? I felt proud of him, proud of the daddy he was going to be. My little nephew, no longer the little boy I considered him to be, but something entirely different. A brand new person he had become right before my eyes….and a brand new addition to my circle of love.

They will be fine as new parents. They will learn as we all have, make mistakes and make even more memories. They already have what they need most… love.

May God richly bless them on their new journey…

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Landon

Unconditional

Standard

441

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”  – Sarah Kay

Unconditional: without conditions or limitations; total: unconditional surrender.

Even the ocean knows this truth. Its actions do not depend on what it will get in return, but what it has to give, no matter if the conditions are favorable…like the quote – “no matter how many times it is sent away”  Love is about what we give, not what we get.

Love is unconditional when it endures despite unfavorable circumstances. It is a word that is often defined incorrectly. Unconditional love does one of the most amazing things, it separates the individual from her or his behaviors.  If it has to be “earned” on the basis of conscious or unconscious conditions being met? then you have misunderstood the meaning altogether.

Here are a few things to consider when defining unconditional love.

1.  Think of love as an action, not a feeling

2.  Always ask yourself, what is the most loving thing I can do for this particular person in this particular moment?

3.  Remember that love doesn’t mean making sure someone is always comfortable.. everything has a balance.

4.  Consider that if love is unconditional, it is given to everyone freely, including yourself.

5.  Forgive

6.  Allow yourself to reap the benefits

When love is thought of as an action? It’s something you choose, not something you do because you feel like it – or not. There are people who are capable of this action, regardless. Don’t let them go. There are people who are hard to love, we all have those to work on. Offering unconditional love in the most crucial moments of people’s lives will never manifest regret. Never.

If we give based on what we will receive in return, we will always be lacking. If we give because it’s a conscious choice, our hearts will always be full – unconditionally full… a gift to ourselves also.

The next biggie? Forgive…because we ourselves have been forgiven. Forgiving also has to be a conscious choice, an action on our part. I’m thankful for forgiveness by those who have given it to me tenfold. Why would I give anyone else anything less.

Unconditional love is not easy. It’s probably one of the hardest things you will ever attempt. But I can assure you, once you have received it for yourself? It is much easier to give to someone else.

One of my favorite verses.. the love verse. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8) Love is patient, Love is kind…… read it today.

When I am gone from this earth? I hope that the one thing that can be said of me, is that I “loved” even when it was hard and inconvenient, even when it was spoken evil of and misunderstood – even when the end result was that I received nothing in return.

Make it more of who you are, than what  you do. Unconditional love happens on the inside….inner workings of the soul.

Mother Teresa said it best….

At the end of life, we will not be judged by how many diplomas we have received, how much money we have made, how many great things we have done. We will be judged by “I was hungry and you gave me to eat”–“I was naked and you clothed me”–“I was homeless and you took me in.” Hungry not only for bread, but hungry for love. Naked not only for clothing, but naked for human dignity and respect. Homeless not only for want of a room of bricks, but homeless because of rejection.”

Country Roads Take Me Home

Standard

leaves3

It is no wonder that the smell of the crisp cool air and the view of leaves dancing to the ground always turns my thoughts toward home. The smell of apple pie spice and the comfort of pumpkin spice lattes. October, the beginning of another season. No longer do the scorching temperatures evaporate the air we breathe, but a fresh new wind begins to blow.

Although I now live almost 400 miles away from the beautiful mountains of West Virginia, she will always be my home. Sing me a John Denver tune? and I am easily brought to tears. Wild and Wonderful – it will always be the best description of my home state.

My mother used to say that you can take the girl out of the mountains.. but never the mountain out of the girl. She proved to be right as usual. I cannot honestly say that I have the desire to return there to live, but I have learned to never say never. It will always be my home.

I quickly learned that people in the south have as much of a fascination with my mountains as I do their oceans. Strangely enough, we sometimes dismiss the beauty that lives around us. I am guilty of this, taking the mountains for granted.

leaves1

The season of fall brings many memories of growing up. Who didn’t look forward to Friday night football games with your best friends? Huddled up together on the bleachers on the cold and rainy games. The best of friend time that lasted the entire weekend.

I can still remember the sounds of walking in the woods, climbing the hills with my friends or cousins….leaves scrunching beneath our feet. The only time I would do this, since I am terrified of the snakes in the summer!  We would stay up there all day and only come down when we noticed the sun had started to disappear, leaving only faint shadows of the paths we had marked. Then again, we never really feared getting lost. The hills were my backyard. I could climb to the top and still look over and see my mother swinging on the front porch. I don’t know if I could do it with my own child? Her only rule was that we didn’t start any fires and we didn’t stay until it was too dark to climb down safely.

leaves4

The photo above was part of my cousins backyard. I loved it here. Today, when one of the nieces posted this picture, I immediately thought “wonder where this beautiful picture was taken?” …. taken for granted once again. I can’t tell you how many times I have fished this pond, gigged frogs, skipped rocks, and many times watched family members be baptized here. But there it is…captured forever in this photo, part of my tapestry of love –  my memories come in like a flood. For humor? I do have to add that this was also the place of my first experience with a “hot” electric fence – took the fun out of my frog gigging for the night. (I told y’all it was not turned off)

Chances are not likely that I will see it at peak season this year…mid October, but I will dream of it as usual. My thoughts will automatically turn towards home when I am breathing the crisp North Carolina morning air.

Almost Heaven, West Virginia…. you still hold the largest parts of this mountain girls heart, even when I am sitting with sand between my toes. You will always be home.