Posts filed under Ordinary Life

Come Together: A Prayer for the Peacemakers

I’m a private griever. 

I know, pretty shocking considering there are very few things I keep private on here… am I right? But nonetheless, it's true. I like to grieve alone, untouched, in silence (usually with a glass of wine and a bubble bath... can I get an amen?). 

I remember the first time I was able to verbally articulate wanting to be left alone during grief. 

At our church in Kentucky, an elderly lady named Inez had taken me under her wings. I would go over to her house and eat Breyer’s vanilla ice cream while she showed me pictures of her beloved family and friends. She would tell me stories and listen to my dreams, and in return I thought she hung the moon. 

Now Inez wasn't your typical calm sweet grandma. Y'all, that old lady was a pistol. I have memories of my dad preaching and Inez agreeing and disagreeing OUTLOUD in the middle of the sermon. There’s nothing like having your sermon interrupted (or corrected) by a woman in her 80’s. It also wouldn't be uncommon for her to stand up for me and my brother whenever my dad would call us out in church for talking or goofing off, “Now Pastor, you leave those kids alone. They’re good kids, you hear me? They’re just being kids.” And that would be the end of that. 

Some kids had superheroes, I had Inez. 

Not to mention, she had a bottle of cough syrup that she would straight chug in the middle of church whenever a coughing fit hit. Well, at least we think it was cough syrup. 

So like I said… HERO status. FOR SURE. 

When Inez passed away and dad announced it to the church, I wept. Honestly, I get teary-eyed even writing about it; I just loved that woman. I can remember my childhood best friend coming up to give me a hug and me stiff-arming her, “Do NOT hug me!!! I don’t like to be touched when I’m upset.” 

And that phrase followed me throughout my life as I eliminated community out of my grieving spaces. 

It’s odd because I am a touchy feely person. I love hugs. I love squeezing a friend’s arm or kissing a family member hello or goodbye. But when grief hits, I can’t handle being touched; it’s like sensory overload and all my people know that when tears start to flow, physical touch is not an option and I usually retreat.

This summer feels like a lot like that. 

I keep waking up hoping for peace only to be devastated by a news cycle… and honestly, I just want to retreat. 

The grief is just too heavy.

The discord surrounding racial tensions, police brutality, police being hunted and killed, ISIS, terrorism, and not to mention the political dialogue surrounding our elections has JUST BEEN A LOT.

There is a part of me that just longs for solitude and wants to yell, “LEAVE ME ALONE, I DON’T WANT TO BE TOUCHED.” That part of me wants to get off of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and yes, even this blog. There is a part of me that wants to just shut it all down and keep my head low and live my small life while ignoring what's going on outside my home. 

But I’ve learned that my instinct to retreat when wounded rarely turns out well because our stories, even the broken ones (ok... especially the broken ones), were made to be told. And our burdens, well... they were made to be carried together, never alone. 

I love the passage in Exodus 18 when Moses's father in law, Jethro, gives him some advice. You see, Moses was taking on the task of being judge for ALL people, constantly working and solving their problems. Jethro observes all of this and then says, "What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone" (v. 17-18). 

(I feel that way about our society right now. This is too heavy, too dark, too wearisome.) 

So what did Jethro tell Moses to do? 

Look for men who fear God and are trustworthy. People who don't take bribes. Find these people, team up to get the work done, and "you will be able to endure, and... people also will go to their place in peace" (v. 21, 23).

Endurance and Peace.

I think this is a timely call for our communities. We have to come together for the sake of peace. Jen Hatmaker was calling all Peacemakers to the table, and I'm no Jen... but I'm following suit. 

I don't have all the answers and I don't know what's next. But I believe that we can agree that we ALL are reeling from a devastating summer. And there is something beautiful (and God-honoring) about standing together with locked arms in the midst of our grief, even if we aren’t all standing in the same corner

So my post today is a prayer for all of the peacemakers. The liberal peacemakers and the conservatives. The black peacemakers and the white ones. The Latino peacemakers and the Muslim peacemakers. The rich peacemakers and the poor. To the #blacklivesmatter and the #thebluelivesmatter and the #alllivesmatter. My prayer is this...

May we never retreat.
May we come together, united by our humanity rather than divided by our preferences or opinions.
May we be kinder with our words, tones, and posts. 
May we have grace for those who don’t. 
May we lock arms, and together pursue both justice and mercy.
May we be beautifully honest about our stories and be graciously receptive to others'. 
May we feel the freedom to not have all the answers, while still wanting to be a part of a solution.
May we listen before we speak, and when we do speak may the betterment of others drive our words.
May we know that we are all broken people in need of restoration. 
And May we all have eyes full of grace, compassion, and kindness toward our fellow man as we walk these messy steps of healing... locked arms together, never alone

Much love to you and yours. Praying for those of you who are weary today and want to retreat. Praying that we can come together and carry this burden of bringing PEACE to a broken society in JESUS' name together. 

Hugs (even for those y'all not wanting to be touched right now),

Family Photos - 2015

Y'all. It's snowmageddon here in the great state of NC. For all you northerners out there, that means we have about 1/2 inch of snow and ice... and it's supposed to keep going all day and night. WHICH MEANS, we're all locked in our houses for the next week. ;) For real though... Cinnamon rolls have been eaten, Pj's will not be taken off for a few days, and life is officially at a slower pace.

MOVIES::POPCORN::NACHOS::FAMILY TIME::SLEEP::REPEAT

I love a good snow day once a year... so let's hope this system comes and goes and then we get back to upper 50's lower 60's. #YESPLEASEANDTHANKYOU #SOUTHERNGIRL4LIFE

But all that to say, this slow snowy day means I have time to FINALLY document (aka BLOG) our family photos that were taken MONTHS AGO this past fall. I'll be honest I kept putting off scheduling our photos with the hopes that our sweet lil adopted baby would join our family, but as we got closer to the holidays I finally booked the FABULOUS furnished photography and boy am I thrilled that we did because we're still waiting on God's perfect timing for our newest addition! And I'm SO SO SO thankful we have these precious moments captured as a family of four.

So without further adieu, here are our family pics! Enjoy! And for those of you who are wondering which twin is which... pink vest is Felicity, purple is Noel. You're welcome. 

Much Love,

The Sassy Salmon

Posted on January 22, 2016 and filed under Family, Twinsies, Ordinary Life.

For the love of the FAIR.

Oh the NC State fair... how I love you. And this year was the year I finally got brave enough to take the littles out into the madness. Of course... I didn't do it solo. I called in the troops (aka grandparents). Plus I finally broke out my big girl camera... it's been awhile.. but I forgot how much I enjoyed it. I loved seeing the fair through the twinsies' eyes. So here are a few shots of our fun day! Enjoy!

Gdaddy & Kiki showing the girls their roots... 

This is what heaven is life for a child: cotton candy, popcorn, hobby horses, and people who adore them (aka give them the afore mentioned items). 

Really though, these girls love their grands. I mean... just look at them.

                                                                                        

 Not a single one of them is right in the head. 

Felicity Hope KILLING some cotton candy with Kiki. 

     

Noel Joy was ALL ABOUT some Gdaddy (& popcorn of course!). 

And it wouldn't be a trip out without someone peeing their pants. Please note, when I looked at the child with the obviously soaked pants and asked, "Baby, did you go pee pee in your panties?" I got a firm, "Nope." Oh ok. I'd believe you but that massive wet spot on your pants is telling me otherwise. Alas, a quick trip to the bathroom with Kiki to dry some pants! Always an adventure!

FairFe.jpg

Fe waiting in line for the Hobby Horses & then Fe with Kiki & Noel with Gdaddy. Someone was a little upset that the ride was over. 

fairfriends.jpg

And that night... we left the girls with the grands and had our own lil double date at the fair! Our church choir had a concert there that night... Which singing plus a fun double date with friends is just the best. And I will not tell you how much fried food I consumed, but I can tell you that most of it was smothered in processed cheese sauce. BOOM. Yes please and thank you. I also won't tell you that this wasn't our only trip to the fair. We are those people... and we're fine with it. #fortheloveofdeepfriedEVERYTHING

Much love,