A time to dance

13 09 2010

As a native Michigander, I know my seasons.  Summer is slowly giving way to fall.  The cider mills are open, the humidity of summer has made way for crisp, cool sweatshirt weather and glory of glories: the long-awaited college football season is finally here.  Of course, summer provides the perfect segue to fall.  My summer nights and weekends were spent climbing the sand dunes up north, paddle boarding on Lake Michigan and the Grand River, tanning on the beach, running with the team, playing softball and grilling out at home.  Spring is a season or growth: kind of a mixed bag of rain, wind, up-and-down temps and running outside in shorts again.

But eventually, winter rears its ugly head.  Serene, white mornings give way to gray-brown slushy streets, treacherous morning commutes and an added inch or so of muscle tone in my arms from digging out of the snow to even start that treacherous commute.  Last winter also marked my initiation into my local urgent care’s Frequent Faller program: the injury of the month for December was a strained back that rendered me immobile for three days (thanks, Yoga X), January was the month of the concussion (much love, snowboarding) and February was ankle injury awareness month (caused by the running tumble you may have read about here).

The fact that winter seems to have some sort of vendetta against me is fitting, considering “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiates 3:1).  The darker, ‘winter’ seasons: “a time to weep…a time to mourn…a time to be silent” are a very real part of life.  In the midst of each of the ‘winters’ in my life, those seasons have seemed long and cold and are often marked by struggles, challenges and pain, but every winter is followed by a period of growth: spring.  It’s the proverbial snow shoveling, sliding, slipping and falling – and getting back up – that ends up shaping us into the people we are and were ultimately meant to be.  You can’t have your favorite seasons with the winter.

Fortunately, like every season, winter is temporary and unlike the Michigan weather, I think we have a degree of control over the seasons in our lives.  For example, we can choose to stop one wintry day from snowballing into a drawn out winter.  We can choose to shovel snow joyfully and to anxiously await the promise of spring, summer and fall.  Still, there will be times when we can’t stop the winter storms, we can only bear down and dig ourselves out while holding onto the faith that this too will pass. 

Last weekend, when the Michigan Wolverines scored their first touchdown of the season, John broke into a celebratory dance that included a range of shakes, shimmies and his signature dance, “the rabbit tail,” as the grand finale.  It was indeed “a time to dance” and John was ready.  I have watched John go through winters of his own and I admire the grace with which he bundles up and digs himself out.  He is always the one who constantly reminds me that life flows in seasons and he encourages me not to let even the longest, bleakest winter get me down.  That’s important to remember, because if you stare at your snow shovel too long, you won’t notice when it’s stopped snowing. 

There truly is a time to dance, a time to laugh, a time to love – and I’m thankful to have been blessed with someone to dance with.  As I anticipate enjoying every aspect of my favorite season, I thank God for bringing me through each winter and blessing me with plenty of time to dance.  What are you looking forward to about the next season in your life? 

A beautiful summer/fall day on the Grand River. I took this pic after returning to retrieve my forgotten paddle from my SUP trip Labor Day weekend.





Eleven feet MEANS eleven feet.

31 07 2010

This morning, at 7:30 a.m., I was happily paddling around Kent Lake, taking in the view from my long board.  In the early morning hours, the lake was serene and despite the cloudy skies, it didn’t rain and it wasn’t even 70 degrees yet.  I paddled to my heart’s content, which happened to be about two hours, before heading home.  To understand why this morning’s paddle was such a win for me, you’ll need a little background info.     

An 11-foot paddle board will not fully fit in the interior of a Ford Escape.  Not with the passenger and back seat down.  Not after any amount of wishing or praying and despite otherworldly levels of optimism.  An 11-foot paddle board will fit inside a Suburban – somewhat illegally – but with all doors and windows closed.  I don’t drive a Suburban though.  I drive a little blue truck-with-dreams.     

I had so much fun stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) at Silver Lake over the Fourth of July weekend.  So two weeks ago, after much a little contemplation, I decided to invest in my own board to enjoy some SUP fun a little closer to home.      

As a result of that one decision, I learned some very interesting lessons:     

  1. An 11-foot board doesn’t look that big on the internet, but eleven feet is really stinkin’ big in real life.  If I had a clone that could somehow balance standing up on my head, that would be about 11 feet.  That would also be ridiculous.  Or ridiculously AWESOME.
  2. Never “eyeball it.”  Based on my sophisticated visual calculations, an 11-foot long board will fit inside a truck with dreams.  Based on reality, it will not.
  3. I’m pretty handy when it comes to installing stuff – if “stuff” refers to roof rack cross bars and a ratchet system that will hold an 11-foot long board to a truck with dreams.
  4. I’m not as handy with a hack saw, but I do own one now.
  5. There’s more than one way to skin a cat use a hex wrench.
  6. Always have a plan B.  And C.  And D, just in case.

Everything, as it so often does in my life, worked out in the end.  I managed to find bars and racks to transport the board and install them.  As advertised, the system provided a rock-solid grip on my board at speeds up to 80 mph (I used an INNO brand surf and kayak rack system if you were wondering), which was great considering I had rehearsed several worst case scenarios in my head that all ended in chaos, property damage and jail time.     

In addition to the lessons I outlined above, I also learned that 67 degrees is too cold for John to be coaxed into a rental kayak for some paddling fun with his one-and-only.  He did manage to capture my clumsy launch on a video that features some shots of my behind from the most unflattering angle imaginable.  Dear John, thanks for that.  I am not ashamed of the board on my roof – or the junk in my trunk.  After my epic first paddle, we spent a good part of the afternoon working on my softball swing and the Tigs are currently up by four.  Considering the lead up, I’m chalking up today as a success.     

In this photo, one can clearly see that my 11-foot board is considerably longer than the interior of my little blue truck-with-dreams. Whatever. Don't dwell on that. Check out the awesome rack job.

 

Funny little side note for anyone who thinks Squirrel and I don’t look stupidly similar: Squirrel received the following text this morning from a co-worker who has never met me: “I saw this girl clearly ur sister this morning with a board on top of her truck. I looked at her and said OMG this has to be chelsey sister.”  So either we look alike or Squirrel’s coworker saw saw me and thought, “You know what idiots with long boards remind me of?  Chelsey’s family.”  Your call I guess.





I don’t need pictures to remember…

5 07 2010

…just how much fun I have with you.    

My mom has captured almost every significant moment of my life with photos – she’s captured quite a few insignificant events too.  It’s always fun the look through the bookshelves of photo albums and remember championship basketball games, birthday parties and graduations.  I finally bought my own camera last December before Kara and I went to the Bahamas.  While I enjoy taking photos, I’ve found that it’s more important to me to actually make a memory than capture one.    

This past weekend was the Fourth of July holiday weekend, which meant it was time for John and I’s second annual day trip to the Silver Lake  Sand Dunes.  After waking up at 4:30 a.m. and running 12 miles with the team, I came home for a quick shower and then headed for Michigan’s west coast with John.    

The weather was perfect – warm and sunny – and as you may have heard, road trips with John are always an adventure.  Early in the trip, he was already in rare form – dancing a variation of the robot to the Usher song, OMG.  As I’ve mentioned before, road trips are a great opportunity to learn more about your significant other.  For example, I learned John’s stance on cyclists who ride in the middle of the road: “Are they even allowed to be in the road?  You’re not Lance Armstrong.  This is not the Tour de France.  That’s a fake jersey!”  Once we arrived at Silver Lake several hours later, our first stop was the watercraft rental on North Shore Drive.    

Last year, we both rented kayaks and paddled all the way across the lake to the sand dunes.  This year, while John opted for the tried-and-true kayak and a securely-fastened life vest, I decided to take on the challenge of stand up paddle boarding.  This involved balancing on a surfboard and paddling from a standing position.  I was doing pretty well until the gentlest of waves rocked my board and tossed me flailing into the lake.  I’m sure John probably wished he had a few of my down-goes-Frazier-aquatic-style moments on film, but my camera isn’t waterproof.  I eventually got the hang of it and elicited stares from every passing motorist and pedestrian as I paddled along the shore near the road.  You don’t see someone standing on water, casually paddling down the beach every day.    

Some guy stand up paddle boarding in an exotic location like Hawaii where they have waves that are more than foot-high ripples made from jet skis and speed boats.

 

Instead of waiting on line to get a parking spot for Lake Michigan, we opted to go on the Mac Dunes ride, complete with a trip to the neighboring Whippy Dip to pass the short wait.  Just three words on the Whippy Dip: Chocolate.  Marshmallow.  Malt.  Along with a stellar uneven sun tan on my shoulders, we also had an up close bald eagle sighting over the wildlife area of the dunes which was special considering John’s plans of world domination as a bald eagle.    

After the ride, some of the lake traffic had cleared, so I decided to catch a few rays on the beach while John took a quick nap in the car.  The wind had picked up and all I got was earfuls of sand, so I walked down to the Little Point Sable lighthouse (the tallest working lighthouse in Michigan) and then headed back to the car.  John was asleep with the windows open so I leaned in and in my deepest, manliest voice growled “hey there, dark chocolate!”  He bolted straight up with an absolutely priceless look of surprise and horror on his face until he realized it was just me.  Win.    

We headed to what looked like the only full service restaurant in town for a perch dinner before finishing off the day with some go-karting.  It was during this time that John realized he is now officially too big for go-karting.  Not too old, too big.    

On the drive home we compared old school to modern hip hop with a little help from channel 50 on Sirius radio and John performed a rendition of Big Daddy Kane’s I Get the Job Done.  He also falsely accused me of “letting one rip” and rolled down the windows to let in fresh air, only to be slapped in the face with a gust of the same skunky farm smell that he had accused me of creating.  Sadly, nobody won that war.    

Another highlight of the trip home occurred when we took a wrong turn, causing John to unleash an impromptu reenactment of the scene from the horror movie Wrong Turn where the guy is driving along with his girlfriend and she is just talking to him and then out of nowhere an arrow “splits his wig” (John’s words) and kills him.  It was truly a cinematic little treat.    

All in all, our trip was awesome and even though I don’t have a single photo to show for it, I have a day packed with hilarious memories from what I consider two of the most beautiful places in the world: Silver Lake Sand Dunes and right next to John.    

Like any good Americans, we grilled out on the Fourth.  Not to brag, but I made the most delicious butter burgers, which John grilled to perfection along with kosher dogs, corn on the cob, kettle chips and the crown jewel of any good barbeque: strawberry jello dessert with a butter-pretzel crust.  If you have not tasted this, please request the recipe. You will not be disappointed.  We capped off the evening with sparklers and a fireworks show set off by John in the field behind my apartment.  Nothing like celebrating the birth of our nation with good old fashioned Chinese pyrotechnics.  The lack of photos during this part of the weekend is largely due to our desire to not create photos that may later be used as evidence by law enforcement agencies.    

Squirrel comes home today, John just strolled through the living room singing Bob Marley’s No Woman, No Cry and the Clawson fireworks are tonight, which means the good times will continue to roll.  Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America.  How did you celebrate?





Tackles or touchdowns?

23 06 2010

I don’t always have something of my own to share that’s funny, exciting, moving or positive and on those days, I do one of two things: I either don’t post or I post the words of someone who does have something positive to say.  Today, I’m doing the latter and this post has actually been a few days in the making.

This past Saturday, I attended funeral services for the father of my big brother Tony, one of my teammates on the StoneSteppers.  As the funeral was the day before Father’s Day, Rev. Dr. Steve Bland, Jr.’s message focused around the topic of fatherhood.  I happen to have a lot of mixed feelings on the subject of fatherhood, but nonetheless, Rev. Bland’s words were undeniably powerful and I wanted to share a particular story that stayed with me throughout the weekend and into this week.

Rev. Bland recounted a story about how his father was a supportive fan of all three of his sons’ athletic activities.  On one particular day, a young Rev. Bland was in the bleachers with his father, watching one of his other brothers play football.  His brother was getting rocked.  He’d get the ball, gain a yard or two and then, WHAM!  He’d get tackled by the defense.  Over and over again, his brother would get the ball and end up on the ground, the victim of a violent tackle.  And over and over again, his father would stand up clapping and saying, “That’s my boy!  That’s my boy out there!”

Young Reverend Bland couldn’t believe it!  Why was his dad claiming his loser brother?  All he was doing was getting knocked down – over and over again at that!  All he could see was his brother getting the crap kicked out of him and in his eyes, that wasn’t anything to cheer about.  But his dad saw something different.  Every time his son got the ball, he was getting just a little bit closer to the end zone.  His dad saw that his son was getting knocked down, but he also saw that although he was struggling, he continued to move toward the goal. 

Reverend Bland explained that in this case, life is just like football and each of us is just like his brother.  Life is hard.  We’re going to get knocked down sometimes and it will be hard to get back up and keep running toward the end zone.  Sometimes we’ll barely gain yardage.  Sometimes we’ll suffer a loss.  Sometimes we’ll question why we’re even in the game in the first place.

I was showering for work on Monday when I looked down at my tanned feet that I had painted a stunning shade of OPI “La Paz-itively Hot” the night before.  This might mean I’m super lame, but seeing my pretty little toes in a bright, happy color made me smile.  I thought to myself, Life. Is. Good.  And life is good right now.

But like anyone else, I’ve been tackled.  I’ve been knocked down.  I’ve lost yards.  I’ve wondered why I even bothered running for the end zone in the first place.  Do you know why you’re running?  It’s hard not to let challenges and struggles dominate our thoughts.  The fact is, we’ve been promised struggles.  It’s a matter of when, not if.  So the question is: Are you focusing on the tackles or the touchdown?





To Catch a Racist

7 06 2010

Being annoyed with John for throwing a firecracker in the bathroom while I was washing my face at the sink would be normal.  Being annoyed with all black men because John threw a firecracker in the bathroom while I was washing my face at the sink would be racist…or at least a really bad stereotype.  And racism sucks.  Of course, I’m not really annoyed with either John or black men because after I checked to make sure I hadn’t peed on myself in terror, the whole thing was kind of funny.  Kind of.  At least the weekend ended with a bang.   

This weekend was also supposed to end with the fried sugary goodness you and I know as elephant ears.  I passed the set up for the Birmingham Village Days on my way to work on Thursday morning and since I equate carnivals with elephant ears, I had already set in motion a plan to indulge in my favorite aforementioned treat on Saturday or Sunday.  Since Saturday turned into a movie fest with Squirrel and John, Sunday was my last chance.   

I googled the fair hours on my crackberry to make sure we had enough time.  My quick search took me to the Oakland Press’s pre-carnival write-up.  The fair closed at 9 p.m., so I had plenty of time, but what caught my eye was a comment in the section beneath the article.  “Betty in Bham” had posted the following: “ So nice we have a fair without all the thugs and undesirables like they have for Arts, Beat, and Eats. Who wants to go near Pontiac or Royal Oak? I can remember when both cities were nice but they are now so full of crime and unclean poors that they look how I imagine the inside of a Wal Mart looks.”   

Dang, neighbor.  First of all, I live in Royal Oak and it’s not exactly as if the Farmers’ Market is crawling with “thugs and undesirables.”  And unclean poors?  Seriously?  I don’t know what rumors Betty may have heard from her Bham posse that would cause her to compare Wal-Mart shoppers with the inhabitants of a leper colony, but I have been inside the Wal-Mart in Troy (because it’s the only local store that still carries Gillette Daisy 3 razors) and all the patrons I saw were reasonably clean.  Some even had money to buy groceries!  I wonder if Betty misses out on Tigers’ games because Detroit is run by blood-thirsty gangs and danger hides behind every corner.  I guess that means River Days in the D is out of the question.   

As we drove through Birmingham on the way to a late lunch, John and I discussed Betty’s comment – and not just Betty’s comment, but the plethora of racist, hateful, wrong and ignorant comments you’ll find on the comment page of nearly any mainstream news source or blog with a comments page.  While everyone is entitled to an opinion, it seems like many commenters use the protective anonymity of the internet to spew some of the most inflammatory content you can imagine.  For all I know, “Betty” could have been the old lady on the other side of our booth at Max and Erma’s, the one whose husband was creepily eyeing the behinds of all the waitresses who walked by.  Just sayin’.   

Now, I’m going to make a little leap here, so stay with me.  You know who else uses the anonymity allowed by the internet as a shield?  Child predators.  Of course, something had to be done about this, so Chris Hansen and Dateline NBC brought us “To Catch a Predator,” the show where Chris and his team would lure the internet creeps to what they thought was the home of an underage love interest and then reveal that o’l nasty was actually being set up and filmed.  Then comes everyone’s favorite part, where Chris would let the offender walk free – right into the handcuffs of the waiting police.  Cue the tackling and law enforcement awesomeness we’ve come to know and love.    

I’m not saying Betty is on the same level as a child predator.  She’s not physically harming anyone and maybe her life has been filled with a series of unfortunate run-ins with thugs, undesirables and those pesky “poors.”  All I’m saying is maybe it’s time Chris and NBC start production on “To Catch a Racist.”   

Picture this: Hansen and crew knock on the door of username “Junior58er” holding a large sweepstakes check.  The suburban dad and avid sports fan lets Hansen inside his home at the prospect of cashing in.  He offers Hansen lemonade and cookies.  Hansen exchanges some light banter and then, WHAM!  Hansen hits the guy with, “so, when you posted the comment, ‘School doesn’t work for black people.  Counseling doesn’t work for black people.  Laws don’t work for black people.  Jail doesn’t even work for black people’ (taken from actual comments on www.clickondetroit.com), just what did you mean by that?  And, in your opinion, is there anything that does work for black people?”  The guy looks around.  Crap.  How’d they find him?  Those comments were made by his alter ego, not the smiling, accepting guy his wife, kids and neighbors know.   

What if people were held responsible for their racist comments online?  What if Chris Hansen showed up at their home or their job to get a few comments on the hatred they spewed last week on that anonymous forum?  The internet is a double-edged sword: it can either promote transparency and authenticity or it can mask people’s true identities, allowing them to say and do things they know are not acceptable.  What do you think?  Would you watch “To Catch a Racist”?   

I never even got my elephant ear.  I didn’t have the appetite for it – and I’ll never have the appetite for stereotypes, disparaging remarks about my hometown or racist tirades – especially when they come from cowards who are only brave enough to speak on anonymous forums.   

To read about a recent controversial case where a newspaper was forced to disclose the names of anonymous commenters, click here… and spread the word: quit hatin’.     

"Well, hello, Junior58er..."





My Pure Michigan vacay

31 05 2010

Ah – home again, home again.  After a long weekend up north, I’d like to say it’s good to be home, but really I’d be lying.  Am I looking forward to the short work week coming up?  Of course I am, but going back to work this week means giving up days in the sun on the beaches of Lake Michigan, wearing flip flops everywhere and four-wheeling through the woods instead of commuting through metro Detroit. 

If you’ve never been “up north,” let me give you the rundown of how to properly enjoy a Pure Michigan vacation – or at least how I enjoyed mine. 

John, Squirrel, mom and I left for Jim’s (mom’s bf) cabin in Mesick Friday afternoon after pit stops for food and doubling back home for forgotten softball mitts.  The traffic was pretty much how you’d imagine it considering everyone else was headed the same direction we were.  We passed the time with a few rounds of car karaoke (including John’s epic renditions of Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber), a random trip through Shepherd, Mich. past mom’s old stomping grounds and a late evening nap for me.  We didn’t do much when we finally got there except for listen to John hint about going back out for food.  He compromised by taking a bag of pretzel m&m’s to bed with him. 

John caught in the act: eating pretzel m&m's in the bed!

 

The next morning, mom and Jim made pancakes and sausage for breakfast before we left for Sleeping Bear Dunes.  The last time I made the 1.7-mile hike over the sand dunes to Lake Michigan was in 2008 with the team.  It was cool and overcast then and didn’t seem like a death march by any means.  This year, it took John, Squirrel, mom and I an hour and eight minutes to make the trek (one way).  I think at least one of us came close to a heart attack and all of our calves were sore the next day (except for mom in some unfair and bizarre twist of fate).  Before heading back, we relaxed on one of Lake Michigan’s many beaches.  This one was fairly private since not many people actually hike the whole way to the Lake. 

John on the beach after the death march over the Sleeping Bear Dunes.

 

When we finally got back to the car, it was definitely time to eat and take it from me, if an up north restaurant ever has beer-battered blue gill as the dinner special, you should definitely go for it.  Joe’s Friendly Tavern in Empire gets four stars.  before going back to the cabin for the night, we stopped to take in the sunset at one of the roadside parks overlooking the Manistee River.  We wrapped up the night by hanging out around the bonfire in the backyard, where you could see the stars like you’d never see them in the city. 

John and I at the roadside park a few miles away from the cabin. He's wearing his new "I climbed the dunes" t-shirt from Sleeping Bear.

 

Sunday morning brought another hot breakfast and a trip to the beach in Frankfort.  John only agreed to go if he wouldn’t be “marched over any dunes like an Israelite” which was hardly a problem in Frankfort.  We spent most of the day laying out in the sun, people-watching (and listening), walking out on the pier and lunching at the A&W drive-in.  We hit up the Dairy Maid for soft-serve before heading back to the cabin.  Jim grilled out for dinner and then John and I rode the four-wheeler until it got too dark. 

Squirrel jumping for joy at the Frankfort lighthouse.

 

On Monday, after some excellent French toast, John, Squirrel and I rode the four-wheelers to the dam and back before packing it up and heading back home.  

I can’t wait to go back up north.  There are so many places in both the upper and lower peninsulas that make great day trips.  The best part is, there’s no itinerary.  You don’t need to plan anything.  If you feel like going to the lake, you go.  If you’re too tired to wash the sand out of your hair before falling into bed, no one’s going to judge you.  And soft-serve two days in a row?  Perfectly acceptable.  Michigan is full of sandy beaches, inconspicuous roadside parks, majestic sand dunes and more dairy stands than you can shake a waffle cone at.  If you haven’t been up north lately, Pure Michigan is calling you.  Go get you some! 

The sun setting over the Manistee River.





Let your light shine…even accidentally

26 05 2010

One of my good friends at work has the responsibility to send out weekly customer service tips.  This week’s edition began: “Is it really Tuesday?  It’s time for another tip!  Trouble is, I really don’t feel like writing one.  Ever have one of those days?  What do you do?”  She went on to explain the importance of choosing to display a positive attitude rather than letting a negative attitude get in the way of success.  I think most people would agree that is good advice.  It’s also encouraging to know I’m not the only one who has an occasional case of the “I-don’t-wanna’s.”

This morning I was reading over some old emails.  I found one from John that he had sent the Wednesday before I ran my second full marathon.  The email brought to mind a number of different emotions.  We hadn’t been dating very long, but already John was a constant source of encouragement.  He already understood the mix of pressure and excitement I was feeling leading up to the big race.  Though he hadn’t run a marathon himself, he had witnessed the discipline, focus and training that are required to run 26.2 miles.  He found the perfect words for me – words that transcended running and bled into my life; words that had the power to stop me in my tracks and change my direction.  

As I read through the email and remembered how I had felt when I read it for the first time, I decided to pass it on.  I sent the following email* to my friend who just yesterday had a case of the “I-don’t-wanna’s.”

 Subject: Don’t feel like it?

Maybe you have seen this before.  John sent it to me before my second marathon, but it’s also really perfect for those days when we “don’t really feel like it.”

You are a part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. You have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. You’re a disciple of His and you won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still.  Your past is redeemed. Your present makes sense.  Your future is secure. You are finished and done with low-living, sight-walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.  You no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotion, or popularity. You do not have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.  You now live by faith, lean on God’s presence, walk by patience, are uplifted by prayer and labor by power.  Your face is set, your gait is fast, your goal is heaven. Your road is narrow, your way rough, your Guide reliable, your mission clear.  You cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded or delayed. You will not give up, shut up or let up. You will go on until Christ comes, and work until Christ stops you. You are a disciple of Jesus Christ.  BE LIKE THE MOON AND REFLECT THE SON.

The response I received: “Wow.”  Later that morning, she was telling another coworker (we’ll call her Kay) about the email.  “Forward that to Kay,” she said.  If forwarding the email was the only thing I was trying to accomplish at the moment, perhaps I wouldn’t have quickly forwarded the email to THE WRONG Kay.

Moments after hitting SEND, I send an email to the wrong Kay that basically consisted of sorry-I-sent-this-to-the-wrong-Kay-please-disregard.  In an attempt to shine light into the lives of a few people around me, I had accidently shined “outside the lines.”  Later, I got a response to my sorry-I-sent-this email: “I’m glad you did.”

When there’s something that changes you, something that defines your life and who you are, and you run after it with everything you’ve got, I think eventually you just start to bleed that.  Good or bad, encouraging or toxic, you bleed that something into the people around you whether you’re conscious of it or not.  You bleed it on purpose and sometimes on accident.  What are you bleeding into the people around you? 

Sometimes I’ve wondered how I’m supposed to shine.  When?  And where?  It’s so easy to let the whispers of “I can’t” or “I don’t feel like it” or “I’m not good enough yet” get in the way.  But if you really want to shine, even if you don’t quite know how, sometimes I think that’s when you shine the most – even if it’s just by accident.  Maybe the “wrong” Kay wasn’t the wrong one at all was she?  Be like the moon and reflect the Son.

Philippians 1:6

*The content of the email referenced above is a paraphrase of “The Fellowship of the Unashamed,” which was written by a young African pastor and found after he had been martyred.  What does it mean to you?  As always, you can leave your comments below.