Favorite Things…Tuesday: Love So Much It’s Shocking Edition

I woke up this morning with an abundance of gratitude in my heart. It’s my cousin Rhonda’s birthday! You guys…I am confident that 50 has never looked so good!

I wanted to share just a few of the giant ways she has shaped my life, shown me Jesus and pushes me forward as an adult. The older I get, the more grateful I become. The older I get, I realize just how insane it must have been to have been in the middle of raising small children and have your 14yr old cousin sleeping in your living room (even before my mom and sisters moved in). Today, it made me cry. Rhonda was about my age when I was moving out of her house, taking a gap year (that’s not what you called it then) and off to college. That is insane. And listen, this didn’t start when I was a teenager.

We live in a day and age when people have suddenly realized that it is healthy to talk about their struggles. The only weird part about this to me is how this seems to be ground breaking when it was always normal. I remember Rhonda singing and crying, then telling the church about her struggle with postpartum depression. I was 14 and on the front row. I remember her vulnerability and how important it was and what it broke through. She was so strong to me then.

She let me see her life. She let me see her struggle. She let me see Jesus be enough. She sang the songs in her home long before she sang them in public. She lived them out then…she lives them out now.

She taught me the beauty of home and inviting others into it. That you really can make a difference in someones life at a kitchen table and comfy couches in a living room (and a thousand other moments and places….I used to love to sit on the kitchen floor). Who knew that running errands and noise and kids and chaos would be a cherished memory that makes me cry.

She continues to be who God has made her to be and it continues to point me right back to him. Her loss has been great. I hate that she isn’t getting a birthday hug from Caleb. I really really hate that. She has not let the worst of the worst pain stop her…and it breaks my heart and fills it with joy at the same time. Love people so much like Jesus that it’s shocking.

I believe that small things like cozy blankets, perfectly scented candles and a freshly vacuumed living room is enough to cure what ails you, even if for just a moment. I still think that the right happy lipstick can boost a mood and your whole face. It never occurred to me that you had kids then stopped fixing your hair or putting on real clothes. A day in pj’s was never something to apologize for but those were the days were would turn on the A/C and the fireplace. I have a hilarious appreciation for 90’s soap operas. We laughed hysterically and I still appreciate it. And that isn’t the half of it.

Hey Rhonda Lucas! I love you SOOOO much!!!! The best is yet to come!!!!

 

We are who we are in part because of the people around us. I am grateful for the family that set the stage for my life. I am grateful for an incredible church leadership team, an amazing church, a fierce family and amazing friends. My kids are seeing this now. Life happens in the crazy of it all and in it we get to see Jesus be enough.

 

I tried to write last night. I really did. I wanted to. I couldn’t because yesterday was too much. After a beautiful and fun and incredibly long weekend, we woke up Monday morning to the news in Las Vegas. I just didn’t know what to write in light of it. Love always wins. Love is always greater than hate. Sometimes horror knocks on the front door but the truth of love and the love of Jesus still wins.

 

 

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