Can you tell your Grandmother?

My rule of thumb for the way I make decisions in my life stems from one little thing…could I tell my grandmother?

Not would she like it or would she approve. Simply, would I be able to sit down with her and tell her about it. Would the words even be able to leave my mouth?

This popped in my head all those times I wanted tattoos and piercings. In the way that I treated people. Certainly in the way I conducted my life with friends and men.

With everything if I could remember to ask myself that, then I made a pretty wise decision. We all mess up of course. Grandparents have a way of looking at you that is without judgment though.

Even when you find yourself doing something that they wouldn’t ever dream of. The time lapse between ages, can often find them proud of you and what you do with your liberties

My grandmother knows a lot about me. Reads my blog, follows me on Facebook and even sends an email from time to time. Despite the fact that I have smoked, gotten tattoos and body piercings nearly every message she ever sends tells me how proud she is of what an accomplished woman I am.

At 39, it is easy to make choices my grandmother would approve of. When I was 16, 18, 21 or even 25, it was a little more up in the air. I hope that my children can find their person like that. The person that they think about before making some big choices.

Wise #40in2020

As I get older I am both more set in may ways and more aware that my way isn’t always the right way.

I will never be wise enough. I seek to understand. Asking questions about anything I am wondering. I’d like to know how you feel and what makes you tick.

I want to understand more about how the world works. How people who love each other so much can have complete opposite thoughts on a difficult subject.

That it is in fact possible to respect a human being and be completely baffled by their thought process. Differences are part of what makes our world so wonderful.

I choose to try and understand them, celebrate them and gain wisdom from them. Rather than condem, belittle or automatically oppose!

Proverbs #40in2020

The book of proverbs is my favorite in the bible. The purpose of this book is for the gaining of wisdom and instruction. Learning more about how we should be living this life we were blessed with.

When we allow ourselves to open our hearts and our minds we can get guidance and gain understanding. Receiving special instruction for doing what is just, right and fair. Which I have been needing more right now, than I ever remember needing it before.

Every morning I read the bible. I have the bible app on my phone to make it easier. Though I have about half a dozen bibles on my bookshelf as well. I have been doing a special plan, Bible in a Year. I look forward to it every day and read my selected text before I do anything else.

Typically, I am doing another plan or even two concurrently. Right now, I am doing a 40 day plan on Proverbs with a good friend. In May, I did a 31 day plan through the book of Proverbs.

My heart and my soul need proverbs right now. My mind and my conscience need Proverbs right now. Most of my very favorite bible verses come right out of Proverbs. I save them to my phone so that I can go back and reflect on them. Sometimes, I even use them for the wallpaper on my phone when it is a theme that I need to remind myself of.

In my plan with my good friend, there is a “Talk it Over” section after we have done our readings. Today our reading was Proverbs 2: 1-6, but I read the whole chapter anyway. Then I concluded with this “Wisdom and Understanding. Admitting that we do not know everything. That we are always learning and growing. Seeking to understand without assuming that we already know is a very powerful thing.”

Head Goat

In the last couple of days of April, I saw a couple friends share about this “Head Goat” challenge that they were participating in. I thought about it, but I was like, “No, thank you.” Then one of my very good friends actually send me the link and said, “Hey, I am going to do this will you join me?” How could I say no?

I started running almost exactly 11 years ago now. As a way to lose baby weight, from having 2 babies in 17 months. I didn’t enjoy it when I started, but I grew to love it. It became my me time. A time where I could think about me, do my own thing and didn’t have to be a wife or a mom. I trained and trained and I ran my first half marathon just 5 months after I started running.

Since then I have done multiple 5Ks, 8Ks, 10Ks and 2 more half marathons. For the last few years I have tried to push myself to run and I just dread it. I do not look forward to it, it no longer motivates me or sounds fun.

At the beginning of our stay-at-home order, we started going for walks. We needed to get out of the house, we deserved to get out of the house, we had to get out of the house. So now, nearly every single day we take our dog and go for a walk. Anywhere from 1 to 4 miles, depending on the day and the mood of my children.

A few weeks in, I realized I love walking. Now, instead of mourning the loss of running, I am embracing the love of walking. I am not going to feel bad and guilty for not moving faster, I am going to be proud that I move at all.

Anyway, back to the Head Goat Challenge. The goal was to do a 50K in may, averaging out to 1 mile a day. I ended up doing over 70 miles in under 20 hours. That averaged out to about 17 min a mile. With most of the miles being with children and a dog, I am SUPER proud!

Today, I start a new challenge. Once again I will be walking the whole time and I am so excited for it. The Stay-Cay Your Way! The Double Coast challenge. Virtually moving from South Haven, MI to Windmill Point Light and all the way back again. 70 mins of moving every day from June 1 to July 4th. “Traveling” along Michigan coastline and stopping at lighthouses on the way! I am WAY too excited for this.

It has been a wonderful motivator during this very difficult time. Today is another beautiful day to get out and get moving! The community of participants is incredible and I can’t wait to see what this 34 day challenge will bring.

Support Local

During this time at home we have been working hard to support local businesses.

Every weekend we have ordered from at least one local restaurant. This has included a chinese restaurant owned by a family for our public school system. Local pizza establishments (not big chains found everywhere). The local bakery, bagel place and bbq joint.

In addition to that, I have not gone out to the grocery store in 11 weeks now. I have been ordering through SHIPT. Supporting a person who is working through this time to take care of themselves or their family members.

We have ordered tshirts from local companies that are donating a portion of their sales to local breweries. Bought our flowers from the family owned nursery in our neighborhood. Got the girls in our family headbands from a Michigan company who was donating a mask for each headband sold.

Once every couple of weeks we hop in the car to take a drive. I need to get out of the house. This usually has us doing curbside take out at some of our favorite local breweries. Helping to support so that after all this is over, we can go back, sit inside and toast each other that we made it through 🍻

We are doing what we can. It has been fun to try new places. Discover new food. All while putting money back into the community we love so very much!

God’s Kingdom Economics

“When the members of God’s Kingdom begin wisely valuing the things God values, it improves the condition of everyone involved in the system.” This was from the devotional in my Bible App this morning.

God values people, no matter their social, financial, or racial circumstance. Within God’s kingdom we are called to view people in a way other than “what can they do for me.” We are called to act and to give, without thinking about what we may see in return.

Proverbs 29:7 says, “The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.” We have a choice to stand up for what is right and just. Show compassion and love, without being consumed by make amends for our past and how it will balance out in the future.

When we are more concerned about ourselves than humanity, something has gone terribly wrong. Being worried about “what will this do for me” can very often take focus off the blessings and the beauty taking place in the moment.

Faith Over Fear

My trust is fully in him.  I have been hurt in the last few months when people post things or comment things about me living in fear.  Not usually me specifically, but people who are currently doing the same as me.

I mean, my heart genuinely aches when someone says that if we believe in the virus then we must not believe in the Lord enough. Not having enough faith in God and being a fairweather Christian. 

I can not for the life of me understand why my faith has to come into question because I am choosing to follow guidelines to keep people safe?

I do not live in fear, I live in faith.  I also am aware enough to know that God is encouraging me to be a part of the solution, not contribute furthermore to the problem.

My belief is that I have a God who is by my side all the time and who loves me. Therefore, I do not fear death. I do not fear living a happy, fulfilled life. Yet, there is also disease and illness in this world and God calls me to make changes to help the greater good.

My belief in God and my belief in this virus are not mutually exclusive. I do not believe that they have to be. I will continue listening and do what I can do to help during this time, as God has called me to do.

Friends for Life

I often take my inspiration for writing from my morning bible lesson.

Out of the 3 lessons that I am currently working through, friends was the theme in all of them. Isn’t it crazy when that happens? Reading from 3 different lessons, 3 different parts of the bible and they all have a similar focus.

I am 39, about to be 40 in a hot minute. When I am honest with myself, I would say that I have less than 10 good friends. Friends that would come running if something were wrong, offer me a place to stay and communicate with me on a regular basis.

This is MUCH different from 20 and even 30. I spent a little time focusing on a lot of relationships. Now, I spend a lot of time focusing on a few relationships.

This stay at home order has shown me EXACTLY who those people are. The ones that I feel like I want to check in with nearly daily. They offer me kind words, wisdom and even prayers.

I mourn friendships that I have lost. As I get older, I understand more and more it is about growth. Evolving through my life, means that I have outgrown or grown apart from friendships.

Many people have stepped into my life for a reason or a season. I think the handful that are still here at 40, will be around for years to come. They know my true self, they love it and appreciate it.

Distance

Everything in this world is crazy right now. It is confusing, surreal and everyone tries to pretend that they know exactly what the right choice is.

Well, I don’t! I do not know what the right choice is. I have been making what I believe are the best decisions for my children and my family, but who knows. Those choices haven’t come without questioning and emotions.

Tomorrow we will have our 3 oldest children here for the first time in 10 weeks. Where they live hasn’t been hit by this virus nearly as hard as the area where we live. Even though, legally we could have still had them every other weekend like normal, we didn’t feel that was the responsible decision.

So, I have a zero tolerance for people that are whining and complaining about how they can’t get a haircut or see their friends. We made choices to not see our children, our 13, 16 and 18 year old children. Yes, it was our choice. A choice for the greater good. The right choice, even though it was not easy.

10 weeks is a long time to go without seeing your kids of any age, I am certain. My Mom has a difficult time going 2 weeks without seeing me and my kids. It isn’t the same though, not the same as going 10 weeks without seeing your school-aged children.

I don’t know what is right and what isn’t. I haven’t been inside of a store in 9.5 weeks and not sure when the next time I will. All I am wondering is, when we are going out or complaining about what we can’t do, are we asking ourselves if it is necessary? Are we making the best possible decision for ourselves, but more than that for the people around us?

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