The Unhelpful Value

The unhelpful value

I had made a pact with myself to talk with the homeless instead of walking by.  I intended to keep my word.  I value honesty even towards myself.

After enjoying an amazing meal in a sheik restaurant in Portland, I was feeling full on food, wine, and great company.  I put on my raincoat and stepped out onto the street, eyeing the street lamps looking down onto the cool rustically modern building.  Sitting under a window outside the restaurant sat a man with a coat, a worn Styrofoam cup and a sign.  Do I stop or do I walk?  I didn’t give myself a chance to repeat the question or I would have walked right by.

He was in his 30’s I would guess, sitting against the building in a crouched position.  I asked him his name and what he was hoping to do with his cash.  He thought he would get a hotel and he hoped then to save and go to Alaska to fish.  He went on to let me know that he had a Bachelors degree in business and wanted to do something with it.  He shared where he went to school and thought maybe after Alaska he might be able to work towards a job that would allow him to have his own home.  I gave him some money and told him that he didn’t need to stay in this position, he was an amazing person with so much to offer and the world needed him.  We parted with a hug.

When I saw a friend the next day, I shared my story from the night before and told him that I thought maybe this man had been lying to me.  Maybe he really didn’t have a degree; maybe he would spend the money on alcohol.  I was feeling like I had been “snowed”.

Listening intently, he finally responded in a quiet, calm voice, “So what if he lied, you took the time to listen to him.”  I felt my heart twinge and flutter to my stomach.  I had encountered a wonderful person.  Degree or not, truth or lie, he was still an amazing person.  Instead of appreciating him, I had let my value of honesty hammer away at the connection we had made.

We need be aware, sometimes our values and rules can drive us to the degree that we use them to pound on the hearts of those we love when all they need is a dose of understanding. 

Talking-Heart1

 

Why not you?

Today is Easter and I think about why I can be happy in the midst of grieving a loss of a child and every other thing that comes into my life and yours here on earth. I have struggled to find the right words that are simply stated and easy to share (I tend to be verbose). I received help yesterday as I read Nick Vujicic’s blog.  Nick is an amazing man born with no limbs.  He speaks all around the world spreading the message of Easter.  I recall hearing him speak and he shared how as a child he had asked his mother, “Why me?” and she had replied, “Why not you?”  

The events that have occurred in my life or are now occurring, events I have no control over…….I can hand over. When I ask “Why not me?” the answer from Jesus is, “I am with you, you can do this. You can encourage others, and no matter what lies you believe about yourself, none of them are true.  No matter how others have hurt you, you can heal.  No matter the incredible pain you carry, I will relieve it.  No matter what you have done, you are forgiven, I am more than enough, so you are enough; you have no need to be perfect to come to me.  You are my child and I will never leave you.

On the cross Christ said, “It is finished”.  He came, he lived with the people, he understood our pain, affliction and the choices we make, both good and bad.  Today I’m reflecting on the Easter story this way, he died on the cross so that we could answer the question “Why not me?” and answer the question by placing life in the answer instead of loss. This does not mean, we don’t acknowledge our pain, we should.  God understands.  However, remember, we are loved, forgiven and saved and in turn have that same gift to share with others.

Cest’ Beau!

It is a beautiful story,

The Bnote Family IMG_1859

 

Cest’beau- All is beautiful

Cest’ beau (all is well, this is beautiful)

Today it is sunny, the aspen trees are budding, the brown lawns of winter are spotted with green and the neighbors are out this evening talking, walking dogs and demonstrating their commitment to their New Years resolutions. Spring is here but just two weeks ago it snowed.  

On that day I got out of my car boosting new pinkish snow boots, which I thought would sit idle until next winter.  The thick tread stomped through inches of fresh snow. When I turned to observe my steps, evenly spaced like they were stamped on white paper, I marveled.  I marveled not just because I love snow, but because of snow in spring, always possible but often unexpected.  I thought, what is there for me to enjoy right now, the snow had asked me to take a second look before it would be taken by summer. 

I walked up the stairs meeting an older man heading out from the glow of the building. He shook his head in slight disgust at the white fluff.  It was at that moment I felt even more grateful, grateful not for the snow but for being a noticer.  I had noticed the shimmer of ice on the cement, the dusting of snow hiding in the corners of the stairway, my footprints, the trees bearing one more frost, my boots holding my feet above the cold radiating from the sidewalk and the sky lit with grey sunshine. I walked into work that day lighter.  The voice in my head that often beckons me to distraction was gone.  You know the voice, it’s the voice of the unhelpful, it speaks words like, “you should have said this, not that” “does she like my work?” “I need to lose weight”, “will it ever be possible to achieve my dream?”, “man, I’m having a bad hair day” “am I enough?”……They were gone, overtaken by silence, noticing, gratitude, and beauty.

In our world God places things of beauty as gifts for us, the beauty of the earth and it’s people, including you.  Be a noticer. 

Cest’ beau! 

photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let them know

The phone rang. 

A good friend wanted to take advantage of the weather and invited me to take a walk.  After coordinating naps and who was watching who, we finally  landed on a free moment to escape.  Originally we had wanted to go to the river trail, but being moms, we had found just a sliver of time to ourselves. Go figure.

We met at my house and headed down the sidewalk. The conversation flowed quickly and many topics were covered; training for half marathons, discussing her new job, transitioning from two naps to one with a toddler, and how to manage being a wife and a mom.  It seems like sleepless nights are always a topic, we laughed at this busy life of ours or thought we might cry. 🙂 

As we were walking the conversation started to slow.  Suddenly she paused and said, “I’ve been meaning to tell you this for a long time……”  Slow tears began rolling down her cheeks.  I wondered if she was ok.  She sputtered out the words  “I want you to know that I see it…I see your pain. I want you to know that I am sorry.”  You see, this friend of mine knows my heart; she has heard or witnessed the instances in my life where I was left defeated and broken. 

This was the first time someone had just cut to the chase with me.  There was no solving.  It was almost like she took on my pain.  We stopped, I cried and we hugged and I thanked her for being so authentic.  At that moment in time, that is all I needed.  My world was rocked because of the simplicity of her gesture.  Just to acknowledge my pain refreshed me. 

I always find it's hard to know what to do in situations where people are experiencing pain.  You can ignore it, you can try to fill it, sometimes we act like it didn’t happen and often times we try to solve issues with words or by talking them through it.  Instead, let the silence exist.  It was hard for her to watch me in my pain, but she did. 

After the moment had passed, we continued our walk on down the sidewalk. As our feet hit the pavement I had the realization that I wasn't in this alone, she was there walking right along side me. It was refreshing. It was simple. It was powerful. It was supportive. 

Let them know you see it. 

-Beau's Sis 

Two-People-Walking (1)