Originally I woke up on Sunday feeling tired from all the memory making we did on Saturday. I told you, this season is STRETCHING. lol I stood in front of the Keurig and watched the caffeine take it’s sweet time to fall into my favorite mug, while the kids each tossed around in their favorite spots on the couch. As I went back on forth deciding between a lazy day at home, and whisking them off somewhere for one more day of madness and fun before the week found us again, I got a spontaneous text invitation that quickly made the choice for us – despite the fact that my house was a wreck and there were lots of chores that needed our attention.
But, remember? I live for summer, so it’s not too often I will ever turn down a trip to the beach. My girls come alive there, and I always seem to come home more refreshed. So, I was grateful that my sweet cousin reached out.
The kids had a BLAST, and the empty beach gave my cousin and I a beautiful place to connect. In the last couple of weeks, we have had these moments in our relationship that sort of made us do a side head nod and question the meaning behind one another’s words here and there. I have learned this is extremely common in relationships. So much of it is natural as women, we get defensive easily…some women more than others, some of it is learning how to be sensitive to one another with our words and opinions, some of it is learning to give grace like crazy, and some of it is the way the enemy attacks friendships for women and learning to combat that. IT’S A LOT OF LEARNING. And I have seen it time and time again, it’s one of the biggest reasons I have grown to a place of wanting to cut to the chase and put all the hurt on the table in an effort to heal, rather than give the pain more time to brew. But I can’t place that expectation on everyone, we all deal differently, and there’s a really fine line between taking the time processing in order to chat in a healthy way, and letting an issue stir too long, I think we can all agree. Again, lots of learning. One thing that I REALLY love about my cousin, is the way that SHE processes her feelings and the things she is struggling with.
This isn’t the first time I have seen her do this, with me or with other people, but this time around, in this particular situation with us, it was really inspiring.As she begins to process, she writes it all out. The situation, the offense, the lie she is struggling with, and what she knows to be true about the person who has offended her. It’s a really cool process to hear her explain, and honestly I think it’s such a beautiful way to allow God to speak into these kinds of tangled messes. What she comes out with is a fresh memory of what is good and true about the other person, which gives space for loads of grace. In addition, the sorting allows her to figure out what exactly rubbed her the wrong way to begin with and discern if it’s coming from a place of insecurity or if it’s something that REALLY needs to be owned by the other person – sometimes it’s both. On top of that, my favorite thing is she always come out of it with an area of growth needed for herself, and that to me is GOLD. It is the coolest thing to watch her humility.
She is going to kill me for this, but she is such an inspiration to me. She dives into vulnerability even though it scares the hell out of her, she is quick to apologize, and even though she doesn’t hesitate to sharpen me when needed – she is always gentle and careful with her words. She thinks deep before she speaks, and I can learn a lot from her in this way.
We spent the day with our toes dug into the sand, comfy in our chairs – pouring our hearts out to one another. Laughter, tears, all kinds of refinement, and five wild children having the absolute best time running crazy in total freedom. It was beyond life-giving & completely worth leaving the dirty house to sit. The mess will always be here right? In this season of MAJOR growth, I am insanely thankful that God carves out these moments for us, that he designed us for relationship with one another, that he calls us to authentic living, and the way that he continues to teach me the value of slowing down.