December 27, 2017

What Your Hurting Friend Might Really Mean When She Says She's "Okay"

Oh, mama. I have such a heart-wrenching number of people in my life who have experienced trials and grief and loss lately.

Some of the losses are due to literal, physical death—unexpected, too-soon passings of people my sweet friends cannot imagine life without.

Some of the losses, though, have been caused by other kinds of death: the death of dreams or hopes or expectations of what would or could or should be. I’ve tried to check in with these women as they’ve journeyed through their seasons of sorrow—and admittedly, have done an unsteady job of it. Often, when I’ve asked how they are, they’ve answered, “I’m doing okay.” By which I understand they do not necessarily really mean "okay.”

From what I can glean from these brave friends and from my own experiences in OK-land, “I’m doing okay,” is sometimes just the easiest, most socially acceptable way of communicating, “I’m not good or fine. I’m something else, something complicated and messy that I’m not even sure about myself.”
I don’t pretend for one second to fully grasp what my friends mean when they say they’re “doing okay.” But I'm so honored to be over on Her View From Home, sharing a few possibilities that seem like they might honor the truth...

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December 14, 2017

How We Accidentally Started a New Family Christmas Tradition

Once upon a Christmastime, there was a busy mom who had A LOT to get done on Christmas Eve Day. She needed her children to be occupied with something that did not require her involvement, oversight, or assistance, so she suggested they plan an at-home Christmas Eve service for their family that night. 

The children disappeared into the playroom, and the mom disappeared into the kitchen. The mom got her work done, and later that night, the children “invited” their parents to a candlelit service in their living-room-turned-sanctuary. The whole thing turned out to be the best Christmas gift since the original Christmas Gift, and everyone lived (mostly) merrily ever after.

Of course, the mom in this little yuletide tale is me, and the children are my now-teenage daughters. What has become our traditional at-home family Christmas Eve service truly was born this way. I just threw the “go plan a Christmas Eve service” suggestion at my daughters without really expecting much. But year after year, they’ve surprised and delighted us with hand-written “programs” and welcome signs and decorative lighting and instrumental duets and readings and raps and dances and videos.

If you’re hoping to start a new family tradition that will become a classic, head on over to Confessions of Parenting, where I'm honored to be sharing a few things I learned from our very accidental success.

**This post may have been shared at some of these blog link parties.**