As we mark our third blogiversary of The Unexpected Ever Afters, I’m reminded of our goal and mission for this blog: to establish connections, to share stories of everyday life, to support and encourage one another, to remind that we are not alone in our thoughts, anxieties, hopes, and dream; that together, we can tear down isolating boundaries and build connections. In a way, our mission really is about friendship.
On my “smash the glass days,” the reminder to create “space” seemed to have an opposite effect: instead of the stress escaping, the space seemed to make room for my anxiety with a reminder that “the world is a terrible place.”
So now I watch for them, my little unexpected moments of joy where my face hurts from so much smiling and the mess-free glitter flies around me. I no longer take them for granted. The ordinary moment that is filled with joyful power no longer gets left as ordinary, but I capture it in my mind for rainy day remembering.
Recently, my family navigated a bout of COVID infections which necessitated the cancellation of some highly anticipated plans. As I worked to overcome my disappointment, I was reminded of All That Still Is.
When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to grow up, do all the things, know all the answers, and finally reach a point where I had figured it all out.
For Christians to suggest that doubt prevents success or God’s will from being fulfilled would imply that doubt doesn’t coexist with faith, or that somehow our human doubt is stronger than our God. I disagree. I like to think that faith, even faith with doubt, is much more about connecting with God, being the hands and feet of Jesus, and letting our lights shine to those around us.
When I hear procrastination described as simply “delaying” a necessary task, it implies a sense of calm, as if the decision was somehow a logical choice to simply complete a task later. However, how I experience procrastination is less of a calm, logical choice and is definitely more of a chaotic jumble of responsibilities careening around my mind in a twisted path, all requiring immediate action. Of course, procrastination takes place in a headspace where logic is not involved and instead meaningless tasks take precedence over whatever responsibility I am desperately avoiding.
We understood that genuine connection with others through shared vulnerability can make a huge difference in combating both comparison and isolation. After thoughtful deliberation, we determined we were ready to dive into a shared blog as an attempt to both share that feeling of connection with others as well as provide an outlet for our interest in writing. Despite my “stage fright” of others reading my writing, I felt a surge of confidence knowing that I was not entering into the journey alone.
Whether it is navigating through writing as a tool to process my experiences and perspectives, sharing my writing with others looking for connection, or opening myself up to feedback to improve my writing, I have found one of the highlights of writing to be GRACE.
At some point, we seem to lose the excitement for celebrating another year of life. What would life look like if adults once again harnessed some of that genuine kid-like excitement of celebrating special days? And, of course, growing out of celebrations extends beyond birthdays, especially when considering the additional layer of when we expect things to happen. For example, reaching personal goals or completing educational and employment milestones.