FOMO

“Fear of Missing Out” this is kind of a running joke with my friends and I that along with suffering from type 1 diabetes, my greatest affliction is FOMO. I hate feeling like I’m missing out on the party. My mother says this started at a young age with my refusal to go to sleep in my crib until everyone else in the house was asleep for fear of missing out on some quality play time. I would like to say I have outgrown this affliction, but I have not. While my FOMO has landed me on some good adventures, i.e. NASCAR 2013 (seriously, most fun thing I have ever done), it has equally ended with some pretty terrible adventures, i.e. 2006 Halloween trip to the “haunted train tracks”

NASCAR 2013
NASCAR 2013

This Memorial Day weekend I had a serious bout of FOMO. Maybe its because I was cleaning out closets while eating mass amounts of birthday cake and not doing something extraordinarily exciting like NASCAR 2013 (again, most fun thing I have ever done. Two thumbs up. Amazing). Or maybe its because I went to the world’s most crowded Kroger and it was empty, presumably because everyone in the world except for me was at the lake or the beach.

Memorial Day 2012
Memorial Day 2012

I think the causes of FOMO can vary from person-to-person, but in my case, I am fearful that I am missing out on something very important. That somehow, the lack of my presence at whatever event or stage of life, makes me less relevant (gah, how vain is that?!). Like allergies are exaggerated in the spring, my FOMO is exaggerated in the summer. Especially boyfriendless summers. If only they made nasonex for FOMO.

EVERYONE IS HANGING OUT WITHOUT ME THIS WEEKEND. I AM DESTINED TO BE A DOG LADY. IF I MISS THIS FUN WEEKEND TRIP I WILL MISS ALL THE FUN THINGS IN LIFE. FOREVER. … –just some sample thoughts that are the symptoms of FOMO.

Random slip n slide, no holiday, just a great FOMO choice except for my landing
Random slip n slide, no holiday, just a great FOMO choice, except for my landing

I have to remind myself, sometimes quite often, that fear is not part of my character anymore. 2 Timothy 1:7. I have to remind myself that where the spirit of the Lord is there is peace and not fear and in that peace there is freedom. Freedom to maybe feel a little bummed that all my friends (aka the shoppers at my local Kroger) are at the lake and I’m cleaning, but peace in knowing that I am following a God that is the perfect planner of weekends, months, seasons, and lives.

And in the words of a wise, wise person…the grass IS always greener…over the septic tank 🙂

WCW

This one has been so hard for me to hit the “publish” button on.  I think because its so personal to me and because I am afraid that the words I write will never be adequate enough.  However, after chickening out last night and posting about my friend’s accidental nudity instead, I am finally pulling the trigger.

This weekend is my sweet momma’s birthday.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about how blessed I am to have a mom like her.  I think it all started when I came across a photo from a family vacation we took a few years ago.  At the time I had just been diagnosed with diabetes and was a total brat.  I didn’t realize it until a lot later, but she was personally going through some deep struggles at the time.  But that’s the thing about my mom, we had a great vacation and she loved me through all my unnecessary brattyness, even though her own life wasn’t peachy at the time.

first grade

kathyandamanda

As I look back over the years of my life, I can truly see the love of God through my mother’s love for us.  I have never met someone so willing to put others before herself.  As I am typing this, she is went and bought a family McDonald’s and filled up their gas tank.  My mom, who never missed a field trip, cheerleading competition, doctor’s appointment (she still wants to come with me to see my endocrinologist, we all have to leave the nest sometime though, mom. Ha!)  I used to think this is just what mothers do for their kids.  As I’ve grown older and met people outside of my small little bubble, I realize that is not the case.  I used to think that maybe she just has the sweetest personality and that’s why she loves like she does.  And don’t get me wrong, she is the sweetest, but what I’ve realized in the past few years is that she has no concept of loving others in any way different than the way Jesus loves her.

She is remarkable.  She is a lover and distributor of grace, maker of cheesy chicken casserole, author of corny jokes, homecoming queen, and reflector of Jesus.  I am so thankful that has God has opened my eyes, on this side of eternity, to allow me to see how truly blessed I am to have her as a mother.  I am lucky to spend the rest of my earthly days thanking God for this great blessing and serving her.

Also, she’s had to endure a lifetime of hearing that I look just like my dad. Clearly, we were little bowl cut twins.

twin2 twin1

If I am a tenth of the Christian, wife, mother, friend, worker, and woman she is (or even get a tenth of her metabolism), I will have succeeded in my time on earth.  Happy Birthday, Momma!

homecomingqueen

Also, if she weren’t already bordering on sainthood.  She chaperoned three boy crazy 16 year old girls on a cross country road trip with hundreds of other high schoolers (aka lots of boys). Love her brave heart.

16yearolds

ITS A GOOD PICTURE, BUT…

Ok, so almost three years ago, to the day, some of my best law school girlfriends and I graduated from law school and decided to head to Las Vegas to celebrate.  This was back in the days of still taking pictures on a digital camera (the good ole days) and our last dinner of the trip we were passing around my digital camera looking at our pictures from the trip.

Well, girls, you know the only person you really care about in the picture is you.  We will put some not-so-great pictures of our friends on Facebook if its a good picture of us and always reassure “but you look so good!” or “no way, you look really skinny there!”  So this picture passing extravaganza was not any different.  A certain group picture was looked at by 4 different girls before getting to the last girl who said, “this is a good picture, but my whole boob is out.”  No big deal.  We all had just looked at this group picture and only cared about what we looked like because lemme tell ya, its not like the nudity was hard to miss.

While this is now a running joke with all my friends and i, its so often a picture of my life.  I’m so focused on looking at myself, how do i look to the rest of the world, what are my problems, what am I dealing with, that I’m blinded to whats going on with the people around me. Like the old saying goes “take time and smell the roses”…”take time and see the boobs around you”

No worries, fully clothed
No worries, fully clothed

Also, as if the fact that we all missed the initial nudity wasn’t bad enough, I didn’t delete the picture off my camera and accidentally uploaded it on Facebook and promptly got a text message saying “911 FB emergency. You have a full breast in your Facebook photos”

Seasons of Love

I’ve been hearing about this book “Nobody’s Cuter Than You” by Melanie Shankle for a solid month now and being the excellent social car rider that I am, I downloaded it right before we took off to my grandma’s for Mother’s Day. So long story short, the book is a memoir about the author’s friendships. I loved this book. I loved this author (I could write a whole other post on how much I loved this woman and I probably will. We are soul sisters). I loved her so much I downloaded her other two books and finished them on the ride home, see social car rider. PS BUY THIS BOOK http://www.amazon.com/Nobodys-Cuter-than-You-Friendship/dp/1414397488

So coming off the euphoria that is finishing “Nobody’s Cuter Than You” coupled with my law school BFF coming in town in a few weeks and I’m still riding the whole “I’m not dating for a year, my girl friends are my soul sisters” wave, I started to think about my favorite moments of friendship.  The cherry on top of this little friendship sundae I was making myself was hearing “Seasons of Love” on my playlist this morning….PAUSE…because if you aren’t aware, Seasons of Love is a song from the musical Rent. While Rent has been around for a while, the movie version of the musical was released the Fall of my freshmen year of college and y’all my sorority sisters and I lost our minds. Seasons of Love was blaring from every stereo ( because yes, we still had stereos then) in the Kappa Delta residence. So naturally, we did the only thing sorority girls know how to do when they just LOVE something….we choreographed a dance to the song and performed it at Greek Sing the next year (1st place baby!) Seasons of Love gets me every time…well, that and My Humps by the Black Eyed Peas (clearly, I know good music when I hear it).

“But the truth is, we need our friends. I mean, we need Jesus to truly complete us, but we absolutely need our girl friends, because no man wants to listen to all the words we have to say in the course of a day.”—Melanie Shankle “Nobody’s Cuter Than You”

Because ain’t that the truth. Especially if you’re friends with me because I say a lot of words. Looking back over my most significant friendships from the past 10 years, it isn’t always the big profound moments I remember, but the small ones that made me laugh till I cry. Like, that time my law school bestie Britney and I stopped in the middle of our early morning studying session to do this dance to Coolio’s 1,2,3,4…you know the one where you grabbed your partners hand and dropped to the floor, then switched hands…I am embarrassed to say that I attempted to google said dance in order to insert a clip, but shockingly google was unable to produce the results I wanted when I searched “coolio 1,2,3,4 partner hand grab dance” So thank you for failing me google.

We do more than dance to Coolio in the living room together, we do Nascar as well
We do more than dance to Coolio in the living room together, we do Nascar as well

Or the time my sister from another mister, Mrs. Megan Bosse Miller, threw me the best birthday party of my life for my 25th birthday. Note to the future man I will date, birthdays are a big deal for me. They probably shouldn’t be because I’m an adult and all, but they are. So my soul sister knew that studying for the bar was sucking all the fun right out of me, so she threw me a huge pool party complete with a water slide and cowboy boot cake. Because ya know what, that’s what awesome friends do. Fast forward two years and during my 27th birthday, aka the worst week of my life, my sweet friend knowing how important birthdays are to me, volunteered to plan whatever fun thing I felt like doing. Me in all of my self-pity glory wanted to be a social hermit and only have dinner with her, at Chuy’s of course. So off we went, in yoga pants, pretty sure neither of us were wearing real bras, and we rang in my 27th year of life (in her defense, she was pregnant and I was just putting forth my best Eeyore impression) with mass amounts of chips and boom boom sauce.

This photo is actually 10 years old. My heart.
This photo is actually 10 years old. My heart.

Or the time I asked to borrow a black dress from my newish (at the time) friend Claire for a bachelorette party and she so graciously dropped me off 20 black dresses. And thus began the love affair that adult women dream of, we have open wardrobes : )  We have added to this wardrobe love affair by being each other’s go-to “you are the prettiest friend I know” encourager whenever we are having a fat day, gross hair day, PMS day, bad work day, or any Monday.

Our
Our “You are the prettiest friend I know” friendship in one pretty picture 🙂

And I can go on and on and on about my friends. I could tell you about the time I was in the hospital with what turned out to be adult mono and I’d love to tell you I got it from kissing some super hot guy, but the odds are I got it from a sketchy Chinese buffet I had eaten at the week before. But the source didn’t stop my sweet friend Bijaya from sending me flowers anyways.

Because love is sending your friend mono flowers
Because love is sending your friend mono flowers

I really could tell you each of our individual love stories.  Because I remember the exact moment I knew that each of these women in addition to a few others not listed (Kristian, you are def. my people) became my people. A story of all the times they showed up for me in little ways and big ways. Because friendship is really all about showing up….whatever that looks like in each other’s lives….and I could go on and on about all of my sweet friends and the kindness and big love they’ve shown me over the years…but then I’d have to write a book and since Melanie Shankle has already beat me to the punch, I’ll leave it at a post.

And also, if texting about pizza and hair removal in the same message isn’t real friendship. Well ladies, I don’t know what is.

No extra words needed
No extra words needed

THIRSTY

One of the most entertaining parts about leading a life group full of high school girls is learning what all the new cool slang words are..fyi…cool is not a cool slang word anymore…here are some examples:

  1. “RT” as in retweet from twitter is used as a synonym for ditto or me too
  2. “YASSSS” is like your very best and most excited “yes”
  3. “ooooo kill em’” is typically used to tell your friend that whatever they are doing, they are doing awesomely or you think they look really hot or you think they are super funny, etc
  4. “Baecation” in case you all have missed out on the term (bae-like your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc) and I know…how original…you add bae and vacation and you get baecation.
  5. And finally, and the subject of this post…”thirsty” which in the nicest terms possible means too eager to get something and the not so nice definition is well….you know, the not so nice words for “eager” girls

I dropped the no dating for year a few weeks ago in this post http://runningonfaithandsugar.com/2015/04/10/women-of-valor/ and I know everyone has been dying to know so I’m going to attempt to explain in this post.

A wise man…aka Andy Stanley…once said “you are the common denominator in your failed relationships.” But whoever believes that? We are a society of blame-shifters, and I am just as guilty as the next, so I always attributed my relationship problems to the other person. Even the ones that tended to pop up in different relationships. And full disclosure…the main one is…..attention. I love attention. I love to be the needed and valued girlfriend….and who doesn’t love to feel needed and valued (just as a disclaimer, I think your partner should definitely make you feel needed and valued) But, my problem is that I wasn’t finding enough of that in one person. I hung on to old relationships until new relationships developed, or I stayed “friends” with ex-boyfriends while in new relationships. At the heart of this common, so so so common situation in my life, was a heart that found her identity in how much someone else needed her. In the back of my mind, I just kept thinking once I found myself with someone I could see a real future with, he would fulfill all my desires for attention. But then I did meet someone I could see a future with and SHOCK OF ALL SHOCKERS, I did not change.

See, I discovered I am “thirsty” too, maybe not the super eager or desperate kind of thirsty, but the thirsty like in John 4 when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman at the well.

Small background into this story: Jesus and his disciples were traveling through Samaria and Jesus stopped by a well in the middle of the day. At the well he saw a woman there trying to get water from the well. This is the Middle East, folks. It is hot in the middle of the day and most women went to get water in the morning or in the evening when it was a smidge cooler. But not this woman. She came at a time smack in the middle of that hot Arab day and that’s probably because she didn’t want anyone to see her. There’s speculation about why she didn’t want anyone to see her…maybe she ran out of dry shampoo the day before, or she was breaking out, or she just ate three hot dogs at Keeneland and was feeling super bloated, but more than likely she was an “immoral” woman.

So here’s this “immoral” woman (and aren’t we all immoral women to one extent or the other, but for another day) and Jesus. And the exchange they have in John 4 is one of the most beautiful passages of scripture. Jesus tells her, “13 Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

I was thirsty.   I was using these relationships as a way to quench my thirst. But I never felt satisfied. No amount of sweet text messages, romantic dates, planned weekend excursions (because if you know me, you know the way to my heart is making weekend plans on a Monday. Holla), etc., was going to quench my thirst when I really needed living water.

So fast forward a few months, a few more failed relationships, a lot of being reallllly thirsty, and here we are IN December 2014. I had listened to Andy Stanley’s sermon about taking a year off of dating at least three times and finally on my fourth go-a-round, it clicked (because apparently third times a charm is not the case in my world). http://northpoint.org/messages/the-new-rules-for-love-sex-and-dating I saw my thirst for what it really was…not me being unable to find the “right person” but me trying to find my value and identity in things that were never intended to hold my value or identity. So here I am…six, beautiful and hard, months into turning from my previous wells and seeking my identity in Jesus.

Another disclaimer, I don’t think everyone needs to take a year off of dating. But as my friend Claire has told me before… I tend to operate better under extremes, ha!, I really felt like this was/is the best way for me to focus on Jesus, no distractions, and hopefully change the dating patterns I have created for myself. I’ll be posting more on the topic as I continue, including a post honoring David Letterman “Top Ten Reasons To Take a Year off of Dating”

Because every post about marriage should include a girl in a wedding dress
Because every post about marriage should include a girl in a wedding dress