Friday, February 20, 2015

A little hero among us.

"And though she be but little, she is fierce."
-- William Shakespeare

See this little girl? She's my hero.
Her name is Patricia (or Patrycja in Polish) and she is a brave warrior princess.

This week, Patricia completed her last round of chemo. Can I get a "YES!" "Hallelujah!" and a happy dance? :)

Patricia -- aka my Little Person -- is the 3-year-old daughter of my best friend Joanna. In May 2014, doctors discovered a tumor in her right lung, which turned out to be a rare form of childhood cancer. Through surgery and nine months of chemo, my Little Person has persevered. But no surprise there. She's been a fighter since birth.

So thrilled to be celebrating my strong, brave little one today.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Adopting the Reverse Lent Challenge

Hat tip to my friend Michael for turning me on to this wonderful idea to reverse Lent.
Instead of giving something up, why not take something on?
(Or in my case, why not do both?!)

I love the idea of sending a different person a random handwritten note everyday for the next 40 or so days between now and Easter. Challenge accepted!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Some stuff I'm learning about love

With it being Valentine's Day weekend, my thoughts naturally turn to love.
I started out wanting to write some profound blog post about love. But over the last few days, I've heard others say it far better than I could so I'll let them speak.

"Love is denial of one's self for the sake another, expecting nothing in return."
-- Andy, my mentor, truth-teller and butt-kicker.

"Love is a choice. It is the action of persevering through hard times. Putting someone before yourself. It's choosing the hard, good path instead of the easy, selfish one. You don't have to know someone to love them. You just have to choose to. Who can you choose to love today?"
--Nicole, a very wise 18-year-old friend.

"The real romantics know that stretchmarks are beauty marks, and that different shaped women fit into the different shapes of men souls, and that real romance is really sacrifice."
Ann Voskamp, writer.

Their words challenge me. Powerful stuff. And hard. But so good. And so needed.

I want to be loved unconditionally and sacrificially. Yet, I sometimes find myself struggling to love others the same way. (It seems the "me! mine! my way!" thing I had when I was 3 never really went away.)

Valentine's Day is a great reminder that I am cherished and I cherish another. But there's plenty of life to be lived the rest of the year. Loving people well -- offering grace and forgiveness; overlooking a fault; consistently putting others before myself; allowing others to make missteps and mistakes; thinking the best of others -- is how I want to live this one life.

I'm finding that much of life is lived in the routine and in the mundane and mostly out of view. It's in these every day places that I want to put feet to my love, and where the battle to love well is fought and won. It's one thing to say I love someone. It's entirely another to walk it out through my actions.