Sunday, April 2, 2017

Do you ever watch yourself and wonder?

I don't know if this is just a me thing. Maybe it's a you thing, too.



A couple of weeks ago, I was working late and I walked around the corner to get dinner. And I didn't take any phones with me. Yes, plural. All the phones. Nothing was in my pocket dinging, buzzing, beeping. A good 10 minute walk with none of this. A rare experience anymore. My phones are my constant companions. I am a slave to the little red notification bubbles. Must clear them all, stat.

Everything is urgent. Everything is important. (except that is a lie from the devil, but you know what I mean)

So there I was, walking down the street - just me and my thoughts. Like the old days. And you know what happened? Something came back that I haven't had in years, probably because of the phones I keep in my right and left pockets and can draw out simultaneously like a good cowboy in an old Western movie drawing his guns from his holsters.

I could hear myself think.

I used to have this running commentary in my head, almost all the time. Like one of those shows that's narrated like a character - Doogie Howser, Carrie Bradshaw style. It was one of the things that made me, me.

It came back, y'all. And it was great. It felt like sinking into a big comfy chair with a hot cup of coffee and the perfect light blanket.

I was watching myself walk down that street and I was proud. Head held high. I am doing this! I have overcome so much. I have earned so much. God has seen it fit to place me right here, right now. I get to do this life of mine. And it's good.

What a complete and total honor!

Note: since this grand revelation, you'd think I'd leave my phones behind for 10 minutes more often. That has not happened. But I have thought about it. And now I'm writing about it, so - progress.

Seriously, though - do you ever hear that commentary in your head? Do you ever watch yourself and wonder how you got here, how you do this? Do you let yourself star in your life? Do you realize you are doing this? You're rocking it out and you're making it happen and you're enough and you're doing a good job? Do you ever tell yourself that, instead of hustling for someone else to notice?

Because you are. You're rocking that school lunch assembly line and still getting to work on time. You're listening to and encouraging your husband like no one else can. You're a best friend. And this is it! This is our life! These are the moments we live for. They're happening right now. Don't miss them.

Don't rush through to the next thing, or panic because you don't know how you'll "do it all." In the wise words of Nike, just do it. One foot in front of the other. You've got this. It will lead to something more.

I recently saw a video a friend posted of how she transfers her husband into bed. You can watch it here.  He is a ventilator-dependent quadriplegic and getting into bed is a long process, and anyone who doesn't understand this spinal cord injury world may wonder how does she do it? 

I think those of us that live life with an extra (obvious) challenge are sometimes tempted to say, "we just do it because we have to." But there is more to it than that. It's an art. And that makes us artists.

The truth is you have hard things in your life, too. They may not be as obvious as a wheelchair. And you endure. You put on the big girl panties. You wipe the dripping mascara off your cheeks and press on. You hear the test results, swallow, pray, and plan the treatment schedule.

I encourage you to watch yourself and cheer yourself on. You wonder how you do it? Here's a hint: you're not alone. Also, all of this has a purpose.

Romans 5:3-5

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into hour hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Did you catch that? Sufferings lead to perseverance, which leads to character, which leads to hope.

I get that when you're in the middle of the suffering the hope thing is kind of hard to grasp. Believe me, I've been there! You can't skip a step! But I promise you if you persevere, you'll get to hope. It will float up. I know this, because it is my life.

The character part is key. It's not fun, but it's a necessary step in growth.

My prayer is that you'll be kind to yourself, keep going, and learn how much God loves you and see yourself in a whole new light.

There you go, that was stream-of-consciousness writing. I'm definitely rusty writing for an audience, but hopefully you see my heart and understand the message I felt led to share with you guys through this.



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Saturday Morning Post, 2017 Edition


I haven't done one of these posts in years. But, here I am on the edge of my gray couch. Coffee to my right, next to my journal and the 6-week Bible Study I've been doing since November. Classical music playing, Michael still sleeping and Brokaw content with his blankie.

Saturday Morning Posts are where I take a deep breath, the tips of my fingers hit the keyboard, and we just see what happens. In the words of a Presidential tweet, "Enjoy!"

I can see the Pentagon from this perch. Isn't that unreal? Michael and I just have to pinch ourselves sometimes. Last night we ate out and walked home. We love living in this neighborhood so much.

I love my new job. Yes, it's overwhelming. It always is in the beginning. Like Hope Floats says, "Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourselves at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will."

I had a tough week, emotionally. Well - I guess it was the last two weeks, really. The Facebook pregnancy announcements are killing me! I mean, there is even a giraffe having a baby! I hate that it stings. I am happy for my friends that they have achieved the gold medal. That they have new life on the way. I promise, I am happy for them.

It's just, at the same time, it makes my emptiness feel so urgent. Like when you don't think your'e hungry but then you see an IHOP commercial and then you're like "oh dang I am starving and I need a giant stack of pancakes right now." Except it's not pancakes, it's this life changing opportunity to love like you never have before and this giant responsibility you feel like for some reason you haven't been trusted for. You haven't been picked for the team and it hurts, hurts, hurts. 

I think it was the Facebook announcements. But maybe it's because I wrote the check this week to continue paying off the IVF attempts that didn't work for us. Or maybe it's because I started my period, which every month seems like a cruel reminder of emptiness.

Whatever it was, I want it to go away. I want to be free from this. I want to be free to just be happy for people without thinking of myself. I'm praying for that. God, change the desire of my heart. Help me defer my hope.

I do believe God has a plan for us and our family. I do believe I am right where I am supposed to be right now. I'm so thankful for this new opportunity professionally. I want to use the talents and gifts He has given me for His purposes. I love that Michael and I have more time as "just us," and I want to soak up this season for every moment and memory we can.

I will continue to snuggle my baby dog, Brokaw.  I'll continue hoping. I won't stop dreaming. But it would be great if the emotional part of it could just work with me.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

5:00 p.m. Coffee


Currently having coffee at 5:38 p.m. in the tiny house. I made it in the tiny coffee maker. It's really not the best coffee, but it'll do. I had a 5:00 p.m. coffee the other day and the buzz was initially awesome, but then I was up all night and that was not so awesome.

I remember there being a lot of coffee when I was in DC before. There was the "Arlington" video with the Starbucks and the Starbucks and the Starbucks and the Starbucks. Y'all remember that?

I remember basically being a short, blonde ball of caffeinated energy with a White House hard pass, who worked and worked and worked and worked. I loved it.

I remember being a newlywed - overwhelmed trying to find my place in my new world. I remember coming into the role of "caregiver." This blog was kind of invented during that time.

I'm a different person now.

I've been back in DC for a couple of weeks. The novelty still hasn't worn off. There are memories at every turn. I am caught in the romance. This city, all that it represents and what it did for me years ago sweeps me off my feet once again. It's like living inside a high school reunion.

Yesterday, we interviewed the President. It felt great to be back at the White House. Like I'd never left, really. I'll never get over how cool it feels that they let me in. That I get paid to do this work. I love journalism. I'm so thankful for the opportunities it has given me to get to see, hear, and witness history.  After the interview, there was a rush to get clips out. The President made news. It was burning a hole in my pocket. So, I rushed back to the bureau and got into crank out mode, existing on the banana and blueberry muffin I had in the cab on the way back. 2:00 p.m. First time I'd eaten all day. I existed on coffee and adrenalin.

After producing the clips, I went to grab some real food. I walked by a restaurant that used to be McCormick and Schmick's. Now it's something else. But I remember the dinner I had there with Michael in 2012. We were out on date night and I had a big topic to discuss. I was ready for us to start trying for a baby. I wasn't sure what he would think. There was no logical way we would be able to make it happen, or care for a baby on our income at that time - so I didn't know how he'd react.

I just threw it on the table. He bit. And that was it. Cheers. We'd start trying. I left that McCormick and Schmick's bouncing on the inside. Full of hope and ideas. Possibilities. With no idea the road that was ahead.

I was gone for four years, chasing that baby dream. Believe me, I did everything I could think of to make it happen. Nothing, yet.

I didn't think I'd be back here. I didn't think we'd still be "just us." But - here we are. And maybe this is said in grief, and most people won't understand, but if I can't have a baby - being back here - doing this job - interviewing a sitting US President, that's a close second for me.

God has surprised me with His plans. So - I'm determined. I am going to completely live this life we get to have here in this city. Just us. I want to enjoy every bit of it. The journalism. The teamwork. The romance. The opportunities.

These are going to be good years. I just know it.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Back in DC

If it seems like the last two years swallowed me up, it's because that is the truth. What a challenging time! Most of it in a good way. And by "good," I mean the kind of good that totally sucks while it is happening... then you look back at old journals and realized God was at work on your heart the whole time.

How's this for a life curveball? I'm back in DC.

And - you know what? It feels like home. As I type this, I'm at the Panera Bread at Dupont Circle. (It will publish later, stalkers.) Jason Mraz plays in the background and there are a couple of college students behind me, talking about green energy across the globe, and a guy around the corner wathing videos on his phone in a way that makes me think he may secretly be getting video of me. Should I smile?

I'm back in DC. I'm back at CBN News, where I used to work - but in a different capacity. I didn't see this coming, but wow am I blessed to be here. I'm so excited for what is to come!

We are neck-deep in inauguration coverage planning and I love it. I love this stuff! But you already know that.

I didn't plan to come back.
I didn't plan on Myrtle Beach.
Sometimes, the plans come to us.

I know this much: His ways are higher than our ways. I know we are right in the middle of God's will. I just can't wait to get Michael and Brokaw here. After a season of hurt and loss and grief, I am looking forward to this season of us.