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A Letter To My Best Friend’s Newborn Son

Posted in relationships

Little man,

Even before I met you I loved you… because I love your mom. We met in 2nd grade. She got me. And I got her. We became best friends, hetero-life partners, and pretty inseparable from that year on. I’ve stood by her more times than I can remember, as we graduated from college, and on her wedding day.

I know a great deal about your mom: how she’s diligent with anything she sets her mind to; how she seizes the moment and enjoys it to the fullest; how she’s smart and cares deeply for those she loves. I’ve watched her grow as a woman, friend, wife, and daughter. I’ve cried with her, laughed with her, pondered life’s confusion with her. I know the moments that strung together as she fell in love with your dad, all the emotions she felt the morning she married him, and how excited they are about you entering their lives.

Almost 20 years from the day we created our secret handshake, here we are, and you’re here — one of their greatest adventures.

Your mom is, to put it plainly, the best. I am unashamedly biased, and I know someday you will be also. She is strong, beautiful, and brave.

I’m one of your “adopted aunts,” meaning alongside your parents I will pray for you, cheer you on, and do my best to always point you to Jesus.

Your mom will listen to you rant and ramble about Legos and firetrucks, then famous athletes and music, then your college major and who you choose to date.

She’ll make your favorite snacks, sing loud your favorite songs, and enjoy your favorite movies with you.

She’ll champion your strengths, and love you in your weaknesses. She will want what is best for you, and while it might seem annoying at the time, know that she does what she does because she believes in you.

She likes life to be organized and put together, but she’ll do her best not to be crazy about it. Be patient with her. You are her firstborn, and every day as you learn something new, she’s learning too.

She’ll spend hours re-reading you your favorite stories.

You will disagree with her, saying she doesn’t understand you, and y’all will argue, but try to remember she’s always in your corner. Do your best to love her back, even when you think she’s bonkers.

And in moments of frustration, I’ll remind you that she genuinely does know what she’s talking about when she gives advice about difficult teachers, making new friends, and how to treat girls you think are cute.

She’s not perfect, no one is, but she’ll spend her days joyfully teaching, loving, encouraging, and counseling you.

But you should know, you’ve come into a pretty amazing family. Your dad is smart and fun and loves your mom well. You’ll grow up surrounded by cousins and aunts and uncles who will play with and support you.

Together, your mom and dad will teach you how to grow and love in this world. Listen to them, respect them, trust them. And give them as much grace as you can muster when they make mistakes, because mistakes are a part of being human.

And even though we’re not close right now — you’re only a week old, and sadly I live 2 hours away — I know we will be. You can count on me too.

Your mom is special to me, I carry her in my heart. And now, I’ll carry you there also.

Goals and Hindrances Of Good Conversation

Posted in him, relationships

Let me paint a mental picture for you…

It’s been a busy week, and you’re weary. Weary of the seemingly mundane tasks of life: laundry, dishes, cleaning. And a little frustration is creeping into your heart because your spouse doesn’t seem to be that helpful. They’re either busy at work or distracted by their own life stuff (while we are one, we are still individuals)..

One particular night you feel like you’re at the end of your rope, and you feel a small explosion about to occur. When your spouse walks through the door you get very expressive:

“Can you not see how tired I am? You aren’t the only one who is busy, but I feel alone in doing everything at home! Why can’t you pay attention to me? Why don’t you want to help me? Are you that selfish?”

And he quite possibly responds just as expressively, or maybe he’s quietly hurt or offended by your word-explosion.

Then you’re both highly emotional and it’s probably a little messy, and takes longer to make right.

This is a random example of a instance, but I think these conversations happen in relationships more often than we think. In any relationship, not only marriage.

I have never blown up at J before, but that’s not because I haven’t felt those explosive emotions, I just internalize things. Instead of shouting, I get silent. Not healthy all the same.

Even in my short (but still kind of long?) 3 years of being with J, whether it was from a mentor’s advice, or a book I read, or simply experience, I’ve learned characteristics of both helpful and hurtful conversation. I’ve also, with the help of the Holy Spirit, been reminded that the little choices greatly affect our relationship in the long run. So here we go…

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