Tag Archives: friendship

Who do you say I am?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve met some amazing people and have had some great conversations. I’ve been asked “what I’m about, and what I believe in”, and when I answered, “I” didn’t always come out right. It almost felt like I didn’t know who I was but …. I know who I am.

I know what I believe. I know what I feel. I know what I’m good at. I know what I need to change. I know what I want to keep. I know that I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I know that not everyone understands me, and why I believe and or do the things that I do. I know that I am different, and I’m okay with that.

I also know that when people learn certain things about me, they change they way they treat me or how they respond to me and that makes me sad. We are not the same, but our differences shouldn’t cause walls to rise between us. Truth be told, the “thing” that separates us, probably isn’t that big of a deal. It could actually be just the thing that could make our friendship stronger. It could be the thing that we’ve needed to learn about ourselves. It could be the thing that sets us free.

So to clear up some of the “things” that people think they know about me, this is who I am.

I am a Mother. I’m really good at maintaining order when chaos tries to overtake my home. I know how to make my children laugh. I am raising AWESOME kids. BUT I quite often yell when I should probably just walk away. I don’t attend nearly enough school events or activities with my children. I most definitely don’t cook healthy meals everyday, and will, more often than not pass off take-out as dinner.

I am a Wife. I’m my husbands biggest cheerleader. I have made our home a safe and secure place to be. BUT I’m a terrible housekeeper and the piles of stuff all over my house will attest to that. I constantly blow the budget and am totally fiscally irresponsible. I am dramatic and pouty and not always a great partner.

I am a Business Owner. I have great ideas, and have no problem bringing my vision to life. I have a knack for finding cool things, at great prices in the oddest places. BUT I fly by the seat of my pants, and assume that everything will work out like it should. I am a control freak, and refuse to get help, even though I desperately need it. I keep terrible records.

I am a friend. I am loyal and trustworthy. I’m forgiving and a great listener. BUT I don’t take advice really well, even though I give it out constantly. I’m terrible at returning phone calls. I’m more known for cancelling than for showing up.

I am a born-again spirit filled Christian. I try desperately to practice what I preach. I love my neighbour as I love myself. BUT I don’t attend church as often as I should. I allow my children to believe in Santa Claus. I make mistakes every single day and don’t always choose the most righteous path.

I am many things. I love people, and music and eating out. I’m hilarious. I hate tomatoes but eat both ketchup and salsa with pretty much everything. I hate exercising and love sugar cookies. I am overweight. I am terrified of being locked or trapped in vehicles, airplanes, elevators, etc. I love Social Media, even when people get all crazy and say the dumbest things. Reality TV is one of my guilty pleasures. I am a hermit at heart.

What I am NOT. I am not a better mother than anyone else, and I most certainly don’t have all the answers. (PLEASE don’t be scared to talk to me, ask me questions or feel like I will judge how you do things). I am not “so Christian” that I can’t be bothered with people who are not. (You do not have to change who you are to be my friend. Our beliefs may be different, and that’s SO okay). I am not an expert in anything. (I am learning as I go, and I WANT to hear how you’ve made things work for you). I can not be summed up by a simple blog post. (And neither can you).

So the next time you meet someone and you’re faced with a trait that you don’t understand or maybe don’t even respect, take a breath and reach out anyways. Don’t let a judgment stop you from looking further. We all have some incredible stories to share, so please take the time to listen and hear them. The gifts that you may receive will be well worth the effort.

Thank-you for being a part of my life.

Unexpected Friendship in a Sweatshirt

This story starts with a Calgary Olympics hoody that I was selling on eBay, 12 years ago.

I’ve been selling things for a really long time and after a thousand plus transactions, I had never really ‘spoken’ with anyone until Deonna. For some reason, that sale started a conversation and that conversation became a friendship.

Over the years we’ve talked about anything and everything. She listened to me as a young Mom stressing about all the struggles of raising my special little boy. She told me about her children and eventual grandchildren. I filled her in every time we packed up and moved to a new house. She shared her retirement news with me and her excitement of moving closer to her daughters. I told her about all my new business ventures and the challenges that they brought me. I learned more about junior hockey from her than any of my Canadian friends and her love for the game was obvious. She was quickly becoming my ‘Portland Mom’.

Over the years, we also shopped for each other. She would be my drop-off for items that wouldn’t ship to Canada and I would send her a steady supply of Mint Aero bars. At one point, I needed to get sinus meds for high blood pressure for my Mom. Her sweet daughter after hearing that it wasn’t available in Canada, shipped the meds to me. Stuffed inside a teddy bear. She had assumed that they were illegal in Canada because we didn’t have them, so she was sneaking them to me. Deonna messaged me and told me that her daughter had opened the boxes and shoved the pills inside the bear, to warn me that there may be a problem at the border. There wasn’t. ūüôā We still laugh about that one and are thankful that our ‘smuggling’ operation was never discovered. LOL.

On our bi-yearly trips to the States, we’ve tried planning times and places to meet but it’s never worked out. She was either busy with her family or it was just too far for us to keep going. Our friendship was 12 years in the making and we still hadn’t met. But this year, we knew the trip had to happen so off to Idaho we went.

You see, last November, Deonna went in for some surgery and some very unexpected things happened. She suffered some huge setbacks and massive hurdles and spent the next 7 months in a hospital. She’s at home now, and I’m happy to report that every day, she gets better and better. I’m also mad that it took me this long to go and meet her, and am thankful for the opportunity that yesterday brought me.

It never should’ve taken that long and I’m sorry that it took a health scare to kick me in the butt to get there. Our arrival was a total surprise for her but an awesome gift for me and my family.

We had a fabulous time visiting and hanging out with her family. From the time we walked in the door until the moment we left this morning, we felt comfortable and like we belonged there. It truly felt like I had come home to ‘family’.

Thank-you to her daughter Jenny for helping me pull off the surprise. Thank-you Jerry for letting us crash your house and for feeding us some of the best chicken we’ve had in a long time. The kids had a blast at the fall festival and look forward to hanging out with Bryant again. We had a very blessed and fabulous time.

Thank-you Deonna for buying that sweatshirt so long ago. Enjoy your chocolate bars, and no worries, more are on their way.

See you all next summer!

LAST DAY for you to do me a favour. Please for me at this link. My goal is to hit #25 on the list, the last of the best of the Top Mom Bloggers in Canada. Follow this link and vote now. Voting ends tomorrow. Thanks friends!! http://www.circleofmoms.com/blogger/mom-s-got-something-say?blogroll_id=110

Faith shouldn’t make you Crazy.

This post is different from the rest, but it’s something that I really feel like I must address. Agree or disagree, that’s totally cool.¬†Either way,¬†think of this as a challenge to do better.

Religion/Faith.¬†Why does it make so many people crazy, and mean and totally inappropriate? Why is it that people use it as a shield to hide behind while they throw stones and jabs at others? Why do people claim their own righteousness while lying about what they’re doing behind closed doors? Why do people believe that a proclamation of faith makes them more valuable than the others around them? Why do people insist on standing in a place of judgement when they themselves are not perfect? Why do Christian people spend so much time pushing Non-Christians away? Why do we continue to do these things to each other? I just don’t get it.

I consider myself truly blessed to have friends from all walks of life, with different belief systems and even some with no belief system at all. I’ve heard stories of people and their walks with God, and quite often their walk away from God. Many of my friends and acquaintances have switched their beliefs and now follow totally different systems than what they grew up with. Some have never heard any other “message” than what was taught to them when they were little. Many don’t really even believe in anything and just choose to do good. When I question friends and their choices, I’m always saddened to learn their reasons for not believing and/or walking away. It’s people. It’s almost always people. Stupid People.

I know what I believe and in my heart, I know that it is true and right. I know what I read in the bible, and those are the words that guide my life. I also recognize that there are many things in the bible that I accept as truths that lots of people don’t share with me. I’m also fully aware that lots of people feel that many of the principles and ideals taught in the bible are outdated and really don’t apply anymore. I know that the Bible has been interpreted many different ways, and that bits and pieces have been changed to suit different groups purposes and beliefs. I know all of that, and yet, I still believe.

What bothers me more than anything is when “Christians” act holier than thou and beat each other down in the name of their religion. Until we are perfect and without any sin in our own hearts and lives, we cannot judge. Ever. Do you not see that by judging so harshly that you’re pushing people so far into corners that they have to come out fighting? What is the point in putting people on the defensive? What purpose does that really serve? Please tell me where God is in that?

Am I suggesting that you turn your back on what you believe and throw your ideals to the wind? Absolutely not. What I am suggesting is that we listen to the people around us. If you don’t agree with what they’re saying or what they’re practicing, that’s okay. It’s your right to walk away, just as it is theirs. You do not have to support their causes, their political choices or what they practice at home. But you can love them in spite of your differences and be an example of what God has¬†asked us to do. Love one another.

God is about forgiveness and meeting people exactly where they’re at. God is about saving people from themselves and their silly choices and decisions. God is about loving your neighbour as yourself. God is not about judgement, discord or ignorance. If you’ve been affected negatively by “christians”, please know that we’re not all the same. God didn’t let you down, people did. Never forget that.

People mess up all the time. There are gossips leading churches.¬†Revered pastors have engaged in extra-marital affairs. Congregation members have met outside of church and engaged in illegal activities.¬†Political leaders make false statements.¬†Upstanding¬†leaders commit horrific¬†crimes. ¬†Those things do happen, but that isn’t God. That is people exercising their free will, a God given right. Unfortunately some people use that gift to abuse and mistreat others or to act with outright stupidity. God doesn’t make mistakes. People Do. There IS a difference.

If you are a Christian person preaching your faith to the world, watch your actions and your words. The world is watching you and judging you, EXACTLY as you’re judging them. If you want people to respect our rights to speak out for what we believe in, you have to respect theirs. If you want to be able to speak into other people’s lives, you need to leave the lines of communication open. Bashing¬†on others sexual orientation, statements of faith, seedy past or current lifestyle choices does not show the love of God that should emanate from within us.

On the flip side, if you are a leader in your community and are fighting for things that are important to you, please act the same way. As strongly as you feel, recognize that others are feeling just as strongly on the other side. Respect is a two-way street, we ALL need to remember that. There are many things that I will not sway on, no matter your argument or presentation of evidence. I ask that you respect them, and honor my choice to believe in them. We may not always agree, but I will honor your choices while I stand up for mine.  

Recognize that your words and actions can and will affect people around you. If you truly believe in something, share it with grace. We can still stand up for what we believe in without tearing others down. We can fight for our own causes, teach our children what we want, and choose our political leaders without ripping theirs to shreds. Frankly, if we stop judging each other, we¬†just might be able¬†to let some walls¬†down and be exactly who we’re meant to be.

*I am not perfect, nor do I claim to be. I’m not a bible scholar, a preacher or an activist of any kind. I am someone that struggles with being the best that I can be everyday. I mess up and I ask forgiveness. I work at being an example to my children and the world around me. I want people to always feel safe enough to share their lives with me. I want to do better.