Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Script for the Day

It was a typical Tuesday morning, trying to get the kitchen cleaned up before heading off to our weekly park date. As I was scrubbing pots and pans, a certain friend was brought to my mind. I wondered how she was doing this week. I should call her...hmmm, maybe later would be better. I was curious how her weekend went, if she was feeling more peace over her difficult situation. And then the phone rang: guess who, right? I invited her to join us at the park, since she was looking for some action for the day.

Nothing close to epic, but that scenario reminded me of how God orchestrates every single detail of our lives. He knows who needs to talk to whom, and how to hook them up for some time together. I've been thinking a lot, lately, about my relationships. Some that are good and growing, some that have waxed a bit distant. I'm realizing that it takes time to develop a good friendship. It takes having no agenda, other than to be a friend. It takes trust and some risk...but it's worth all of those elements for the stories that come into a person's life. Even when conflicts arise, its still worth it for what is gained beyond the initial tension.

It's even worth it for the role you might play in another person's story: maybe your the friend that opened the door for someone to meeting more new people...and you never become much more than that, but your character was vital to their success today. I don't believe there is ever someone that you are not supposed to meet. You may not like them much. Maybe they raise the hair on the back of you neck, beckoning every competitive bone in your body to put up a fight. But there is a purpose for the interaction...you just might not see it, yet.

Having been one of those needy people for awhile, it's finally come to my attention that a person cannot give much back until they've had much poured into their life. Sometimes it takes years, even decades, for recovery to happen. What is exciting is when you see a change. That person starts to look for ways to get involved, to give back to the community or their church. They become transformed from within. They are starting a new chapter in their life and moving forward, beyond whatever it was that was holding them back for so long. Now I understand why it is more blessed to give than it is to receive. Sounds kind of cliche, but it's true.

Awhile back, I wrote about how boring life had started to become for me. Not in busyness, but that it seemed to lack adventure and discovery. I recently went through a three month layer of grief over my mom's death--she died 2 years ago. It is easy to become despondent and negative over every aspect of life when you are in the thick of grieving. Apparently, this may be an annual thing for me. Spring is not a good time to be thinking of my mom, but it is the time of the year because of my kids' birthdays, back to back, then Mother's Day(crummy, again), and then June rolls around marking the anniversary of the end of her life, on earth. So many markers at once, so many missed events that she will never experience with us.

But now that I've come out of that, I can see that the conflict of my mom's passing was what has propelled me into writing...again. Every time I write, it is birthed out of some tragedy. It doesn't mean that I will always write about that specific event, but the event itself has a way of creating many thoughts and reflections. You become thrown into something that you didn't ask for and somehow you have to find a way to process through it.

The first time I knew I could write was when I was 13 years old. We flew out to Oregon to visit my aunt for a week. No one had a clue of the losses I was internalizing at the time. I had much time to be alone because my mom was spending time with her sister; and my brother was playing with our cousins who were at least 5 years younger than me. There wasn't anyone that I could really talk to or hang out with. We had some fun activities line up where every one was together...but when you're sad, you often don't remember the good times.

So there I was, with a pad of paper and a flood of emotions. They spilled out onto the pages like water going across the counter top--and then along came the 'Brawny man' with his "quilted, quicker-picker-upper"--and absorbed the mess before it hit the floor! Wow--commercials really do sink in, don't they? I still have those old poems today. I don't remember letting too many people read them, but somehow my aunt figured out what I was doing when I kept on asking for more paper. It was brown penmanship paper, with the 2 inch blocks and dashes in between. Must've been for the boys to practice on or something. She didn't roll her eyes at me or shrug her shoulders. No, she recognized what I was only beginning to understand at the time.

She told me I should save every thing I wrote because, one day, it would help me become a good writer. I believed her, even though I didn't believe in myself at the time or could imagine that anything I could write would matter to someone else. But here we are today. Things are different and much has changed, 20 years later. I feel that story has come around full circle and has helped create whatever chapter is unfolding, right now. The idea of story, characters, and creating new memories are things I've learned in a book I just finished. I've already mentioned 'Million Miles', by Don Miller. It probably won't be the last time, either. Such a great book!

Every day is a new day. It is a gift. How will the world change, today? What impact will you choose to make in another person's life? How might someone else bless you, in return? Allow it to happen. Find ways to make make memories that are fun and off the wall. I'm already thinking up random stuff that I can work in to a busy day with a toddler and preschooler. But those are the kind of things I want them to remember! It's food for their dreams that we have yet to discover. And it is food for my soul, as well.