“Kindred Spirits, Always” (In Which I Discover How Much I Need Friends)

Well I had promised you a post today, and I even had one in mind that I wanted to write about. (Maybe I still will, and you can see it next week or maybe even get two posts in one week.) But it didn’t get written because I fell asleep and took a long nap. So originally I decided I would write it tomorrow, but since I’m lying in bed and can’t sleep yet, I decided I might write a different post from my phone (thanks WordPress app).

Tonight I am especially thankful for my friends. I’ve kind of gone through a rough depressive episode over the last few months, and I dealt with it by withdrawing from almost everyone but my immediate family. Maybe I needed that time completely to myself, but now I regret dropping out of the lives of so many that I cared about. Perhaps it could have made things easier if I was connecting with people the way I should have. We weren’t meant to do life alone, but in my dark days, I was trying to.

Slowly over the last month I have begun to reconnect with people and friends, whether that’s online on Facebook, by finally shooting them a text again, or starting to hang out once more. Friends are important, and they are a gift. I want to learn to be more real with them, to allow them to support me in my struggles and that they can let me support them as well.

It is worth learning to let people in. It’s worth learning to trust them, to trust they won’t run away when things get hard. Some of them really do want to be there for you no matter what…let’s learn to let them. And to be thankful for them.

I finally texted one of my dearest friends tonight after being silent for a few months, feeling so guilty for neglecting such a special friendship. I asked her to forgive me. She responded right away, starting with “Precious Katy…” and sweet forgiving words of love. She ended “Let’s catch up more soon ok? I love you… We are kindred spirits always.”

Her sweet response drew me to tears. That’s what I’m so thankful for: the blessing and gift of unconditional friendships and love. May we seek to be that, to cultivate it, and to hold onto it as we treasure it always.

Thank you to the friends who have always been there for me. You know who you are. I love you and am thankful for you.

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My Birthday

26. I am now 26. Crazy. Kinda feels like 25. Except I know it’s moving me into the latter half of my twenties. And that brings me back to “crazy.”

Today’s been an amazing day! I’m so thankful. I’ve had such happiness, gratitude, and joy. My parents texted bright and early to wish me a happy birthday. My friends/co-workers at DBU have made my day truly amazing. From gifts to hugs, to Chik-Fil-A lunches and cake, it’s been amazing. I really wish I could tell you how wonderful each one of them is, and how special they have made my day.

My sister has exclaimed all day about my birthday and how, for this one day, I get to be four years older than she is this year. We’re going to see a movie tonight after work also. She is amazing. She loves me more than most ever could, and she’s the reason I’ve made it this far. I adore her. It will be my joy to celebrate her birthday tomorrow, too.

After several weeks of deeper depression, I have been blessed to feel happy on my birthday. Thank you, Lord. It’s a beautiful gift.

In response to my last birthday wish post, I know of at least four women who have donated to Mercy Ministries in honor of my birthday. I’m SO thankful for that. The young women at Mercy deserve hope and healing; thank you to the women who helped contribute to that, including Catlin and Rachel.

In response to a my selfish birthday wish Tweet, I got a direct message from Jamie Tworkowski, founder of TWLOHA and a true hero of mine, that wished me a happy birthday. It’s one of the coolest things to happen to me today. AND shortly after that, Renee Yohe just followed me on Twitter. If you don’t know, she’s the story and inspiration behind To Write Love On Her Arms, or the “HER” in that title. I’m still floored. She’s been such a huge inspiration in my life.

So, I’m 26. My friends and family are amazing. I bought a birthday dress to wear today, and I felt pretty. My God gave me the blessed gift of life and happiness today.  So all in all…it’s a “crazy” day, in the very best way.

Summer, blogging, etc.

Here it comes: SUMMER!

Yes, the semester is ending, (my) finals are done, and the summer stretches before us. And my thoughts turn to the novel idea: “Hey, what if I start blogging more again now that I have time on my hands?”

And so here I am.

Granted, I don’t have anything specific in mind to write, so prepare for rambling. Granted, I have a summer class that starts May 31, so I really don’t have long to enjoy this “summer off” concept. But perhaps I can try to write a bit more. (I know, I tend to blog like a sputtering car: start, accelerate, sputter, die, repeat.)

It IS a good feeling to have those finals off my chest. I turned in my last one (essentially a six page essay/paper) tonight, after taking one online last night. I love the relief, the release I feel when those things are over. It’s as though suddenly I feel the lightness of something that has gone missing from my life: i.e., the stress of homework. It’s delightful. (As I’ve said, let’s all pretend May 31 and my summer class doesn’t exist.)

Today was also the last day of work for two student workers who have been in our office ever since I arrived at my job. They have become good, dear friends to me, and I’m sad to see them go.

Finally, I am learning to keep my eyes fixed on Christ. I had a rough weekend, but I am learning to focus on the greatness and might of the Lord over the size of my circumstances or struggles. He is my Ebenezer, my stone of help, and through His help I have made it this far. He is good, and I praise Him for His faithfulness in my life.

May you find Him faithful in your life this week in a special way.

Rambling…->Community

Well, here I sit. I’m not really sure what I want to write about, but I felt like writing somehow. I had my Intro to Professional Counseling class (essentially an ethics course) after work, and we got out early–which is normally awesome! But I also have an 8:00 course…so…I went back to my office and am sitting here till my second class starts. Perhaps we’ll get out early, too, and I won’t have to stay till 10:30. *crosses fingers*

I was trying to think of some great, witty, insightful, and/or deep topic to write about. I got nothing. The closest thing I could come up with was community. Lots of us live within communities: we have neighborhoods, schools, office environments, church congregations, families, and many other things that would fulfill the basic definition of “community.” But I think, if we looked deeper, we find that we’re lacking more than we realize.

Do we just have people we encounter every day, or do we have people we experience life with? Are we surrounded by people, or do we surround ourselves with people we care about? Do we expect people to make time to get to know us, or do we take the time to get to know them as we also share of ourselves?

All this to say: life gets pretty lonely without community. And by community, I mean people with whom you can really dig in and plow through life together. It (life) can be hard. We need those people who want to be doing it with us. We need people with the same heart, similar purposes, and parallel values. We need people to walk along side us. And if we don’t have them, we need to start finding them. Because we all need someone beside us on this journey.

Or at least I do. How about you?

A few of my favorite things (from this weekend)

Quick list to give you an overview:

  • Being with my family at my university’s homecoming weekend
  • Seeing my sister
  • Visiting with dear undergrad friends, Melissa and Rachel
  • Laughing a lot and eating great food at Rosas with LaShay, John, and Daniel
  • Worshiping at Beltway Park Church again
  • Seeing my kids at the children’s home
  • Seeing the Sergeants, a dear family who is very special to me

It was a nice weekend.

Of all the topics I might choose

After my last post talking about regrets, I pondered what to write next. I pondered a cute and funny post to offset the seriousness of the last one. I thought about a hopeful, inspiring post to assure readers I wasn’t completely depressed. I mulled over posting a random topic, like my thoughts on a movie or on some trending issue. I considered telling a story from my childhood, or passing on some life lesson I have learned post-college. I have finally been able to keep up better with following others’ blogs, so I have tons of food for thought. And in the end, I could not settle on an idea to write about. Except, obviously, to tell you all the things I considered writing about but (also obviously) did not.

At this point in the post I was going to segue into recounting other interesting happenings in my life or at least into some witty ending. Alas, I can think of nothing. Really all I am doing is sitting on my couch, watching Criminal Minds, listening to the swishing of my washing laundry, and occasionally texting Scott. Tomorrow I get to wake up early, drive to Abilene, attend a doctors appointment, see my sister and other friends, and come back on Saturday.

And for the moment, that is the extent of the interesting things I can recount to you, and this is the wittiest of all endings I can come up with.

Precious relationships, past to present

I got the joy of enjoying several relationships that are precious to me over the weekend. First, I got to see one of my very best friends from college get married to a wonderful guy. Then Saturday and Sunday, I spent time with family members. Both of these things made me feel very blessed and reminded me of the importance of relationships.

Christina was one of my best friends from college. There was a group of six or seven of us who were all really tight throughout the 4 years of college, and we all hung out a lot together. Three of these girls have all been married, the earliest wedding being in 2005 and the latest being last December. This was “our” fourth wedding, and I was honored to get to be a part of it as the videographer/bridal attendant. It was so fun being in with Christina as she got ready for the wedding, to watch her walk down the aisle, to video the ceremony, to see the wedding party’s excitement as they gathered in the bridal suite right after the ceremony finished, to celebrate with them during the reception, and finally to see them off on their honeymoon. And as an extra special ending to the evening, I was so excited to get to catch Christina’s bouquet! 🙂 Making it even more special was getting to see, visit, and catch up with the other girls I hadn’t seen in a while: Kirstin (Christina’s matron of honor), Kelsey, Rachael, and Melissa. Of course other friends were there, like LaShay and Matt, so it was a wonderful evening overall.

Me and Christina at her wedding

Me and Christina at her wedding

Saturday and Sunday I got to spend time with family. I was there visiting with my parents and sister, of course; also in visiting that week was my aunt Eloise (visiting back in Texas from Massachusetts) and my uncle Stan and his family (who were visiting America for a month or two from Asia). My cousin Jenny was in town as well from where she practices law in San Antonio.  We got to have meals together and times just talking and laughing. It was good to be with family, quirks and all. I’m blessed with all the memories I have of my family. For example, I spent a lot of time with my younger cousins when they were all babies, toddlers, etc. I have changed their diapers (which I’m sure they appreciate me reminding them of), and now every single one of them is a teenager and taller than I am!

My sister and me with our younger cousins.

My sister and me with our younger cousins.

The weekend basically reminded me of the importance of relationships. There are some people in your life, both friends and family, who have irreplaceable places in your heart. Months or even years may go by, yet sometimes you can pick up with them again just like you’d seen them yesterday. There is a closeness that never loses its impact between people. When you have been an important part of someone’s life, that influence can never be erased. Somehow, you always have a bond. I’m blessed to be bonded to some pretty incredible people, both friends and family. So, to all of those special people in my life, I just want you to know I am thankful for you. Thanks for being a part of my life up to this point, for contributing to who I am; and know that I’ll always love you.