Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'd LIke to Buy the World a Coke

I'm typing this on chris' kindle. not a touch screen. therefore very time consuming. i might go find my laptop...

I am laying on the beach with my friend Boo. I'm probably getting burned. maybe. i am on a girl trip... and it is awesome. i highly recommend it, you know if you're a girl. but there has been some controversy. i didn't invite every person that i know.

Okee doke. I am now on my laptop and that makes this blogging thing so much easier. Now, where was I? Oh, yes...

 A Girl Trip is a funny creature. Conditions are tricky. And when planning one you must be slightly selfish. I refuse to cringe when I type that because it's true. There are certain criteria that MUST be met.

1.) Invite people who know you really well. Otherwise you constantly feel that you must be on your guard.
2.) Invite only people who know EACH OTHER really well. Otherwise, THEY will feel the need to be on their guard. This is not a Women's Ministry Retreat. This is a Girl Trip.
3.) Do not feel guilty about who you do not invite. You cannot invite every single person you know and like.
4.) It's important that you don't think of this kind of trip as some kind of Clique Convention. It is never meant to exclude anyone. It is meant to be a VACATION for ME. I, personally, feel like I spend almost 100% of my time looking around me at people who need something: food, schooling, ministry, a shoulder to cry on, a friend, etc. A Girl Trip is when I can look at my friend and say, "I don't feel like talking right now. I'm going to sit and stare at the ocean." and my friend says, "OK." No worries of hurting someone's feelings. I need a break sometimes.
5.) Come up with a list of rules. A list of concrete, cannot be broken, deal-breaker kind of rules. My Girl Trip rules are simple: Do not wake someone who is sleeping without prior approval. Do not attempt to pressure anyone into doing anything: this is their vacation. Do not bring anything you are not willing to share. No babies! If your baby is still nursing, I'll see you next year.

There is always the risk of hurting someone's feelings by not inviting them. There was a situation once where a friend that was going on the trip was asked by her other friend, who was very needy, if she could come too. My answer was a resounding, "No!" If one person on the trip is stressed out by even one other person, the whole dynamic is off and the trip will suck.

So my advice is: Never invite yourself on someone else's Girl Trip. Plan your own.

There have been several occasions when other friends planned a trip and I was not invited. I chose not to get my feelings hurt. They can't invite everyone. It's not personal. Instead, I looked at my friends and thought about who among them would be a balm to my soul. Then I planned a trip. That was ten years ago.

People have asked me how I convinced Chris to "let" me go. Hmmm. I didn't convince him. I simply asked if he minded if my sister and I went away for a day or two so that I could have an off day. He was very supportive of it. I'll bet that if you give your husband the chance, he will do this lovely thing for you.

Warning: the week or two before you leave, things will go a little haywire. You will question your decision to go. You have to arrange childcare. Make sure your sweet husband has plenty of food. Get the laundry done, the dishes washed, the bags packed. Who will feed the dog? Then the air conditioner will break. (The day before this trip one of the girl's van broke down and had to be put in the shop.) Or your child cries and says she will miss you.

Advice: Persevere. Push through. Evil does not want you to be refreshed and ministered to. Go on your trip anyway. All the crazy will be there when you get back. Put it out of your mind and relax. It's okay.

My mother never had girlfriends and as a result, she put my sister and I in that place. We should never have had to do that. Women need friends and our daughters need to see us with our friends. It helps them later in life but it also helps them now. It gives them someone else to trust and look up to. And our sons need to learn how to care for their future wives.

In conclusion:
As much as I would love to buy the world a coke, or take them to the beach, I cannot. And that's okay. The same goes for you. Find your group. Take them on a trip. When you come back, you will be closer to one another and therefore, better able to incorporate others into your group of friends. The majority of a woman's discipleship comes from intimate friendships. Be that mentor. Be that deep friend. Just not on a Girl Trip.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Time to Relax

I feel like I finished this school year in a doggie paddle, barely keeping my chin above water. I don't think the swimming got any harder but I got more and more fatigued. I did the calculations: I put more than 20,000 miles on my van this school year. No wonder I'm so tired.

Sunday: until March, church twice a day, once in Moody, once in Springville
Monday: school/piano
Tuesday: CORE (where Mags and Ty took credit classes) and Grace worked Mother's Day Out
Wednesday: school/church/hang out with Springville ladies
Thursday: Co-op in Trussville, seminary class with Chris at night
Friday: CORE and every other week: errands and grocery shopping, followed by Fri Nite
Saturday: catch up/kid activities/work day/school prep

I really, truly enjoy my life. I like being with my kids all the time. I like the closeness we have, the way we talk about everything and do fun stuff together. I like studying and teaching new things. I like seeing them hang out with their friends and make new ones. I  like seeing them learn and grow. I like homeschooling. I really do.

Fun, wonderful, awesome activities wear you out. Have you ever been to a water park, or Six Flags? It's sooo fun! You never want the day to end, but when it does... CRASH! My kids are usually asleep before we leave the parking lot! Good things make you tired too.

So I am glad it is summer for us. We didn't take a Spring Break. We pushed through. We'll keep doing math and English two days a week during the summer, but we're taking the rest of May off.

But it feels really weird, sitting here in my living room with no where to go... *sigh*... I feel like I'm forgetting something. Like I should be somewhere already. Hmmm. How do you, what's that word? Oh! Relax. How do you do that again???