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A coffee shop proposal

Pretty sure there’s no need to rehash the news at this point. We all know just how horrible and brutally cruel this past week has been. Horrible stuff in Boston. Painful and beyond tragic suffering in Texas.

This week, this month, it’s been emotionally and mentally challenging.

These days, I’m not watching the news or even really even turning on the TV. I squint at facebook and twitter through half-opened eyes, glancing over my feed quickly before shutting it back down. Because if there’s one thing I do know about myself, it’s that sometimes ignorance is bliss. I don’t need to know all the details, and see all the photos to understand the magnitude of brokenness being experience.

I know people are suffering. I know there’s widespread unfathomably pain taking place across this country, around the globe. And just knowing that is enough information and saturation for me.

And while I’m trying to stay away from media as much as possible, this morning I found myself having a hard time doing so. For whatever reason, I couldn’t turn off the television. I could physically feel my anxiety level heighten, yet there I stared.

At 9am, the babysitter came for the boys and instead of working from home how I normally do, I packed up my gear and headed down the street to the coffee shop for a change of environment.

And wouldn’t you know it, love and reassurance meet me at that coffee shop and my hope in humanity was renewed over a hot latte and toasted bagel.

As I sat plucking away on a super boring freelance article (just being honest here, it’s not always fun and game), I was privileged to witnessed firsthand the best moment of a complete stranger’s life. Without any warning (or dropping of the knee *ahem* what’s up with that?), the women sitting in the booth next to me was offered a marriage proposal and a very beautiful engagement ring.

Between audible gasps, she said yes.

I need to see this LOVE. I needed to feel this extreme joy and happiness. My bad mood and pessimism  were washed away with her happy tears.

On dark days, when we start to think violence and hate for our fellow sisters and brothers is the norm, it’s refreshing to be reminded first hand that there is a ton of good to be had.

That girl I saw get proposed to a couple hours ago from across a coffee shop booth? She’s having the best day of her life, I know it. And to witness such elation on days when the world feels so dark and heavy is refreshing.

This all consuming hate and violence preying on our souls? I’m optimistic that we can beat it.

Peas in a pod, these two.

Let’s seek out the lovely, and figure out how to make it multiply.

Best! Days! Ever! (they don’t have to be a thing of the past)

A Moment on the treadmill, dreaming about para- para- paradise.

Have you ever been going about your day, and unsuspectingly out of the blue, you’re heart is slammed with a Moment? (capitalized, because you’re having a Moment.)

I had a Moment this morning, I don’t typically have Moments, so this very much caught me off guard.  You know, the kind of Moment that makes you self consciously look around, and hope nobody is looking at you, because you’re getting embarrassingly emotional for what seems to be no particular reason.

The perfect storm to create my Moment:

1. The postpartum never ending cycle of tired.

The best way to wind down from a long day.

2. The treadmill laced with endorphins: This morning was the first time exercising for me in 9 months.

Moving'.

3. My email, which I decided to check while on mile 4 of my run, on the treadmill.

In my inbox, I see my sister-in-law has sent me a random photo from the past. Because it made her smile.

This one:

Papa and Nola

It’s a photo of Nola (six months) and Michael’s dad, Papa. Little did we know, papa would pass away all too soon.

4. My favorite song by Coldplay (youtube video link).

When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach
So she ran away in her sleep
Dreamed of para- para- paradise
Para- para- paradise
Para- para- paradise
Every time she closed her eyes

On the treadmill, running like a crazy tired postpartum mad woman, wearing a poor excuse for a sports bra with milk leaking from my boobs. It’s 54 minutes into my run (which I’m paying for now, way too far to run first time out) and I’m staring at a photo on my phone of my little girl being held by her papa who’s passed away. A man she will never know.

Since Nola’s been held by her Papa last, I’ve had two more children. Two boys, two boys who will never be held by their Papa.

I think about Papa often. I know he’s in paradise. Does he know about our two little boys? Gage and Paul? I’ve decided that in paradise, you do know these things.

I dream of para-para-paradise.

Even on the treadmill. And it made me have a Moment.

 

And Mary treasured up all these things…

…and pondered them in her heart.

Nativity

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.
~Emily

Week 18 :: Babblings and Stuff and Blah

week 18

I have week 18 out of 40 officially under my belly. As always, I’ve babbled a lot, but whatever.

Last night many of my dear Hoosiers were hurt and killed at one of my most happiest places, the Indiana State Fair.

In the midst of the storm last night, before I even turned on the tv, or read about the devistation online, I could HEAR, I knew that something bad had happened. I live right off of a main thoroughfare from the fairgrounds to the downtown hospitals, and there was no doubt someone, somewhere, was in great trouble.

It was worse than I could have ever imagined.

I am sad, my heart and guts hurt.

I still love the fair, and I adore my Hoosiers to the core.

I will continue to tuck my children in at night, promising them that howling of the wind, and the crashing of the storm won’t hurt them. That Jesus loves them and will keep them safe.

And I will pray.

 

The power of my, and only my, prayer.

I have to get this off my chest, because it’s been bugging me now for awhile.

I have a question about the power prayer, or more specifically, the power of the praying army.  It started to nag on my heart while my Father in Law was fighting (an ultimately losing battle) with cancer.

While he was sick, everyone he knew, and probably 100’s of people that didn’t know him, were asked to be “prayer warriors” and pray for him. Our family set up a mass email list, a website, a phone call hotline, all revolving around the power of collective prayer. It often felt like the more people we could get to pray for his health and treatment plan, the better chance we would have for his survival.

Hundreds of people prayed for my Father-in-law, and despite my prayers for papa to get better, he passed away after an 18month-ish battle.

Lately, I often see Facebook updates, tweets, mass emails, and blogs set up around the idea of collecting an army of “prayer warriors” around a specific request.  Don’t get me wrong, I have NO problem with this.  I think it’s good, healthy, and therapeutic to be open and share our struggle and challenges. We were never called to suffer in silence.

Asking for prayer, has to be a good thing. Many people claim to be able to “feel” the prayers of others, and I totally believe it.

Here is my question: Does God really care about how many people are praying for something? Is he sitting there in Heaven, thinking to himself, “if they can get 8 more people to offer up prayer, I’ll do it.  I’ll answer the prayer with the answer they want.”

What happens to the people that don’t ask for prayer from their friends and family? Because what they’re going through is too private to share. What happens to the prayers of the people that are hurting, but instead of rallying their “prayer warrior army”, they petition to God by themselves.

Since it’s just 1 believers praying instead of 100’s, is God less likely to take their prayer seriously?

I think I know where I stand on this.

I believe God will answer even just one persons prayer. That sometimes it doesn’t take an army of people, and that you don’t have to be popular with the praying type to have your request acknowledged by the big guy upstairs. Right?

An army of one is still an army, right? That I’m special enough to HIM, that just my one prayer is enough?

Or at least that’s what this introvert hopes, anyway.

Because I’ve been praying, and I hope it’s being heard.

Papa Loved Cake

Today marks the one year anniversary that my father-in-law passed away. I don’t have anything wise, insightful or thought provoking of my own to write about. I do know that when a loved one passes away before “it was their time”, it just simply sucks.

A long time ago, I got this forwarded to me in an email. It’s amazing that I even read it in the first place, as I kinda hate forwarded chain emails. This particular story stuck to me, and I bookmarked the email. It’s a simple story and I know why I like it so much. Michael’s Dad always really loved dessert (preferably with a glass of chilled red boxed wine). When I read this story – I think of him:

A man met with his pastor to discuss his final wishes, as he knew he only had a very short time to live. After they discussed the plans for the funeral, he remembered one final request that was very important to him. He said, “I want to be buried holding a spoon in my right hand.”

The pastor gazed at the man, at a loss for words. “That surprises you, doesn’t it?” the man asked. “You see, Pastor, in all my years of attending church potluck dinners, I remember that when the dishes were being cleared, someone would lean over to me & say, ‘Keep your spoon.’ I knew then that something better was coming, like my favorite carrot cake or rich chocolate cake – something wonderful and sweet to end the meal!”

As the pastor listened a smile came upon his face. The sick man continued, “So, I just want people to see me in the casket with a spoon in my hand & I want them to wonder, ‘What’s with the spoon?'” Then I want you to tell them: “Keep your spoon–the best is yet to come.” The pastor’s eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the man good-bye.

So, the next time you reach for your spoon, let it remind you, oh so gently, that the best is yet to come.

Tonight, we will eat dessert – with a spoon.
We love and miss you like crazy, Papa.
Enjoy the best, you’ve earned it.