Saturday, July 5, 2014

Friends

Ending each week with celebrations and gratitude makes the moments in the week so much more precious. I'm so grateful to be part of this community! Thank you to Ruth Ayres and all of the bloggers! Please join us here.


Living "singly" (is that even a word?!?!) means approaching many things on my own. I have honed my single chick skills (a phrase coined by my friend, Christine). Walking into a party alone, eating dinner on my own, pool time, going to the movies on my own...done them all...but there are some things that feel too sacred, too family to do alone and holidays are one. Usually, I plan to spend the day in a way that will make me happy, until I'm reminded that family is all around, in all different ways.

As the holiday approached, I didn't have much planned...a quiet day with my doggie Bella. July 4th is on of my favorite holidays, but today the day didn't hold many plans for me...until my friend, Kathy, called on Tuesday and invited me to the parade. Kathy is someone I've known for...twenty-one years?!?!? (Is that possible?)

The small town parade was fun, but spending time with Kathy & Mark and their family is what really brought me joy! We laughed and reminisced about old times. Her boys...whom I've known since birth are growing into kind, thoughtful, funny, smart young men! I love hanging out with them and just talking with them. Her mom is always ready with a good story and a big hug. Here they are waiting for the parade to begin...
Being invited to spend time with this family means the world to me. 
I was going to go home after the parade and spend some quiet time, until I got a text (earlier that morning) inviting me to a cookout. I threw together a fun and simple dessert and headed over to another friend's house for a fun gathering. I knew mostly everyone there from church...and I stopped and thanked God for my church family. Being included means more than I can say. Unexpected celebrations are certainly the sweetest! 

Music is something else I want to celebrate. Earlier this week, I wrote about a God Moment that was inspired by music. The moment continued in the comments with more musical suggestions. Finding songs and lyrics that speak to me really connects me with my faith. JJ Heller writes lyrics like these:



I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn't there
And I have asked a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away
I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land





Sometimes I don't know, I don't know what your doing,
I don't know, I don't know what your doing, but I know
who you are.


Finding music that speaks to me and sings of my life and experiences helps me cope and feel connected. I have been listening to Your Hands over and over and over again...until it sinks deep into my soul! Thank you to JJ Heller for singing about life in such an honest and heartfelt way. 

11 comments:

  1. I didn't see a link up at Ruth's blog so I am just hopping around to the blogs I usually read. I am celebrating friends today too. We never do much for the fourth, but this weekend we just got in the car to visit with friends old and new. I'm happy for you that you have such great families in your life, friends and church family. Happy celebration Saturday!

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  2. Your July 4th sounds so wonderful. Spending time with families even when they aren't are own is lots of fun. It seems like you had a truly wonderful day.

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  3. I'm glad you got to do the family time on Independence Day, Michelle. Since I'm now a single chick, too, I usually want to do something with friends, but I am just glad to be home, & stayed home all day, watched the World Cup, & was happy. I want to tell you I also went back & read your Slice post about bullying. It is so inspiring, & I'm glad you included the adult bullies too. They are indeed out there, trying to rain on our parades!

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  4. I didn't see a link on Ruth's blog today either, but decided to write a celebration post. I knew to come over to your blog to check out your celebrations. So happy I did! It seems that God really did orchestrate a wonderful holiday for you yesterday! I love listening to your music selections! Enjoy your Saturday!

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  5. Ooooo! I got a shout-out!! Whohooo! That makes my day. =) Long Live the Single Chick License.

    I was thinking about exactly THIS subject matter this morning. Wondering if I could write a piece that would be taken seriously - not scornfully - about how much I long to be invited to join my familyish friends for holidays and events that I'm either not going to enjoy as much solo, or just not going to DO solo. I'm not going to go camping solo. But I have friends who camp all the time and I LONG LONG LONG to be invited to join them. And they never ask. I wish they could understand how much it would enrich my week - indeed, my entire LIFE - to have such a treat as to join them and their children (whom I've known since they were babies), and because they never do, it leaves me wondering if I'm somehow bad company or something. I haven't had the guts to write about this yet, but you have, here. I know so well the feeling you're describing - steeling myself in the morning to enjoy an occasion solo that I'd rather enjoy with friends...determined to "enjoy my own company" that the partnered and familied world never tires of telling us we must, as if that's the panacea for loneliness they simply do not experience in the way that we do...and yes, what a joy it is when that text pops up that invites us along to be...just PART of something. How lovely. How wonderful to enjoy a parade and have someone next to us to point things out to, to revel in a moment with, to blurt our spontaneous thoughts out to. How wonderful to have someone to share with.

    How wonderful that I am not alone in feeling this way. Thanks for writing this, Michelle. I hope your courage and vulnerability here causes your friends to see you just a little more clearly, and to know just how treasured they are, and just how easily they could become the heroes of your day with such a simple gesture. How could anyone resist taking that opportunity, if only they knew how easy it was?

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  6. So happy to read your blog. What you write brings out lots in others. You do connect. You aren't alone. So many share your feelings and you saying so matters. Just look at these comments!
    Glad you had a wonderful Fourth!

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  7. As someone who grew up surrounded by extended family, it's been hard to have my two on the other coast and no extended family nearby. Your post reminds me that there are always folks to reach out to and include in our celebrations. So glad you were embraced and included by friends on this holiday.

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  8. Michelle - I understand the whole single thing. I think this year I was so tired from ALA that I didn't mind a quiet day. It was fun to have breakfast with a friend and have a friend's daughter help me with an organization project, but I wasn't quite up to a larger group. But it is good when friends include us in those special times. Thanks for sharing your story and these songs.

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  9. Michelle,
    I'm glad your were invited to celebrate with special friends. We shared our day with family too.
    Happy Celebration Weekend!

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  10. It sounds like you had a nice holiday and were able to celebrate it in a great way. Music is definitely another great celebration. It is so nice when you find things like that that speak to the soul. Have a great week!

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  11. Michelle! I connected with your celebration piece on a few levels -- first, music really speaks to me and I find God in lyrics that seem to dance across my soul. JJ Heller is remarkable; I enjoyed reading the song above. Second, I understand the living singly deal and how special it is to be invited -- I married later and definitely, too, relied on family and friends. I'm glad you're blessed with a wonderful church family! So much to celebrate!

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