Blogging

Blogging is a really strange thing.

It gives you an opportunity to get to know someone well. You find out what they love and how they think. My favorite blogs tend to be food blogs: Joy the Baker, How Sweet it Is, Smitten Kitchen.

I love when my friends blog. Their entries tell so much more about their lives than any Facebook update. Check out Overlap and Love For Mutant Guts for sure.

My wonderful friend Tami just started a new blog called A Well Spent Life. Tami is contemplative and wise and wonderful and I’m sure her words will speak to many people.

So a letter today to my fabulous Tami, speaking of life updates and vegetarian food.

Writing

letters gets repetitive sometimes. It’s easy to talk about only the good things, to spread compliments and ask questions. I forget that sometimes people want to hear real information about what’s happening in my life.

Alyssa wrote to me. And asked me to write her back, telling her what’s going on. So I did. I told her about my grandma and my brother and the small house suddenly filled with pets and stress. But I also told her that with all this going on, I am still constantly reminded of the love that surrounds me.

That is beautiful. And Alyssa’s question helped me realize how wonderful my life is.

Artprize

Next weekend I’ll be traveling to Grand Rapids to see Artprize. This is a really cool thing that if you don’t live in Michigan you’ve probably never heard of.

I’ll also plan on seeing a terrible movie and laughing until I cry. I am so excited.

And this is all because Jen made it happen.

I love when people invite me to things. I feel like I’m often the inviter, and being the invitee just makes me feel loved. I especially love when our time together turns so special that it becomes a tradition.

Thank you Jen, for planning the best weekend.

Mail

Is so beautiful.

I’ve gotten some wonderful surprises lately.

 

 

I am thankful to have people in my life that send me things. And I am thankful to have people that tell me to fill their mailboxes and who appreciate it. Sending mail is just as good as receiving it when you know there is happiness on the other end.

This letter goes to Caleigh, who gets pumped when I get new stationary and who pours herself into everything in her life. This is sent with love and hugs and a wish and reminder to rest and take care of yourself… because you deserve it.

Apologies.

I am bad at communication.

I am bad at returning phone calls, or answering phone calls. I stare at the phone and panic and try to answer it exactly when the call goes to voicemail. Then I “forget” to check the message for at least a week.

I’m bad at staying up late and acting 25. I’m better at acting like I’m either 9 or 90, somewhere in that land where you go to bed early and wake up early and eat dinner at 4.30 and adore Disney Channel.

So apologies to Tiffany, who manages to not give up on me even in my disappearances. I will be seeing her TOMORROW and I LOVE that.

 

A letter to her, responding to the letter to me, on this gorgeous stationary:

Chicago seems to have its perks.

Friendship

I had time today to explore. I found the basement of a Hallmark store where gorgeous Crane stationary was hidden away waiting to be discovered.

I spent more money than I should and sat in Subway for an hour writing letters to people I love.

This letter goes to Katie.

Katie is my person. She just is. I adore her. And I will be seeing her next weekend which I am ecstatic about.

I love Katie and good stationary and new felt-tip pens in fun colors. I love fall days and exploring downtown Northbrook and ice-cold Diet Coke. I love ice cream and hanging out with kids all day and surprise shoe shopping with my momma.

I really really love Fridays.

Church

I believe in church. In God more specifically, and Jesus, and the Bible. I believe a good church can help us aim our lives in the right direction and grow into a strong and healthy community and help us to see things clearly.

I know that not everyone agrees with me. I see a lot of misrepresentation of what Christianity is all around me, especially in the media. Christians manage to bring attention to the hatred they spread. I believe this is the opposite of what we are supposed to be doing.

I could go on about this for a long time, and this is actually a tangent. What I started to say was that I believe in a good church. And I have been working hard to get connected in a community of people that are about my age and believe in similar things. The good and bad of this is that I’m doing this at Willow.

My family left Willow because of its size. My dad said that when he dies, he wants to have a pastor who knows him to give the funeral. As morbid as that sounds, he has a point. It is hard to be a part of a place that is so massive. If we don’t work to meet the pastors, you could easily go through your whole life without meeting them. I’ve been going to this church since second grade.

I decided to write to Bill Hybels today. I’ve actually been meaning to do this for a while. He’s giving sermons on wisdom lately which is something I’m passionate about and interested in. I have been inspired in services lately and I think he deserves to know that. I can’t condemn the pastors for not knowing me if I don’t let myself be known.

Dear Tiffany,

I missed your calls.

I owe you letters. And texts. And emails. And notes.

This is inexcusable.

I’m sorry that I have chosen to spend my time being busy. That business has gotten in the way of my responses.

Here’s a letter for you, and more should be coming. Thank you for the gorgeous cards and the heartfelt words. Thank you for not giving up on me when I’ve been unavailable and hard to talk to.

Thank you for being my friend, my oldest friend, and someone who has been so special to me over the years.

I love you girl.

Quitting

Sometimes quitting is the right thing to do.

There are so many times when we force ourselves to do something that’s too much or that we don’t love or that is wearing us out and we do it just because quitting is so wrong.

But life is short. Why should we waste it doing something we don’t love? Why should we use up every ounce of free time and every drop of energy until we get to the point that we are too exhausted to have a life?

It was hard for me to quit tutoring. But it was also right.

Here are some of the notes my students left me. They should write letters.

 

Today I wrote to Jen. Now with the free time I have I can build into that relationship and go visit soon. Those relationships are what make life worth living and are worth more than a paycheck.

 

Dear Caleigh,

Without a rant-filled conversation with you, I would still be overextending myself in my life to an unhealthy level. Your listening and wisdom helped me to make a better choice. Thank you.

Thank you for two-hour coffee dates at Caribou and fake owl sightings. Thank you for being honest and open and vulnerable in conversation and encouraging me to do the same. You are teaching me to be the kind of person I want to be and I am so thankful for that.

I know I owe you a letter and here it is, you fantastic woman.