RSS Feed

Tag Archives: relationships

If I Were There….


It’s something we started years ago, I’m not sure exactly when or who said it first. But my friend and I lived many states away from each other and when one was really sick or hurting from a large disappointment in life, the other would say, “If I were there, I would make you a pot of your favorite soup” or “If I were there I would clean off your patio and pull out two chairs for us to sit outside, in blankets with coffee”. That last one as one of my favorites spoken over me many years ago.

As my daughters live far away from me now, the tradition has moved on to share with them. Our youngest had strep throat last month and I found myself saying, “If I were there I would play with your hair till you fall asleep” and to our oldest during a very trying time, “If I were there I would fill your fridge with good food and make you pancakes.” Nothing extravagant, no trips to Europe or promises to fight the others’ battles. Just a quick picture of what could be.

The whole point is to simply convey that I love you, I know you and want to help, even though we both know I can’t right now. It’s reserved only for those closest to me, the ones I know best, and whose happiness actually affects my own. I wonder if you have someone far away in your life that you can show love to by simply sharing what you would do if you were there with them? I would encourage you to tell them. It won’t change the circumstance, or fix all their troubles, but it will assure your Love that you see them, and you care.


Faith Restored


Life can make a person pretty cynical if we’re not careful. Turn on the news and hear about abductions, terrorist attempts and people murdering their ‘loved ones’ – it’s enough on any given day to make you question where we are going as a society. Many people say they don’t watch the news anymore because it’s too depressing, and I understand that, we take a break from it from time to time for the same reason. But then I take a ride to the airport to pick up someone who has flown into town just to visit us, and my faith in humanity is restored!

If you’re feeling particularly bitter about the human race, go to the Baggage Claim area of your local airport. Order a cup of coffee and sit for a while and watch the people. You will witness grand hugs with shouts and tears, and tentative hellos with awkward beginnings and everything in between, often balloons or flowers are presented as a loved one is being enfolded back into a family. But most consistent of all, you will see smiles and true connections, even just for a second. Real people welcoming others into their circle.

I also like to watch people say goodbye at the airport curb; usually the words have all been said and there is a hurry to avoid getting yelled at by the police officer to move it along. But again, smiles, eye contact, connection. I drive away with a warm feeling because of the visit that just happened in my home, but also because of the energy of those around us, experiencing something similar. We are made for community, to connect with others even though it can be messy and hard. I like to think of those airport hugs and kisses as a precursor to heaven someday, with loved ones shouting and hugging, welcoming each other home.


shelterDo you have that person who you know you can call and feel better after spending time with them? Not because they will say what you want to hear, but because they really know you, and remind you of who you are.

This person provides shelter, protecting you from the lies of the enemy and the darts of man. If you’re really fortunate, this friend also turns your heart towards God, reminding you that He is the ultimate shelter.

I am so thankful that I have more than one of these in my life, pouring into me, encouraging me and having my back. And hopefully that allows me to turn around and be shelter for others.


Still Learning

lovelifeRecently my guy was telling me about an interaction with a colleague where the other person was incredibly rude, swearing at him, making accusations and issuing ultimatums. The guy is known as a hothead throughout the organization, but this was beyond his normal antics. I found myself getting agitated as he described the discussion that had been going on for days at that point. I was not able to offer any kind of resolution, in fact, I reminded my guy of several times in the past when the co-worker had done similar things and tried to get my husband to see that this was not going to get better. I resolved in my mind that the next time this jerk came to our home, I would make it very clear how I felt about him.

A few days later my guy walked in our door while laughing and joking with someone on the phone. When he hung up I realized he was talking to the same guy that had said terrible things to him days before. I was incredulous. I couldn’t believe that my husband could just let him get away with that! Apparently they had talked it through after the man had cooled off and everything was all right. But it wasn’t all right with me! I wasn’t ready to forgive and forget.

Have you ever done this? It’s called a secondary hurt – the pain you feel when someone you love is unjustifiably hurt. You conjure up enough emotion for the both of you and want to do damage to that person who hurt your loved one. As strongly as I feel this sometimes for my guy, who can certainly take care of himself, the feeling is exponentially greater when it happens to my children. This is exactly the reason that we counsel young couples not to go to their parents or siblings when they argue within their marriage; those who love you most cannot hear your side of the story and reasonably conclude that you both were at fault, and need to work it out together. Family members react just like I did with my guy, reminding you of all the times your spouse has done something similar and worse, and probably predict doom and gloom for your whole situation.

Not helpful. But understandable.

When you are in the midst of an argument with your spouse, who do you talk to? Your parents, who know your faults but are loyal no matter what? Your high school best friend, who predicted this would never work years ago? Your co-worker, who perhaps has never even met your beloved? We should all have someone in our lives who champions our marriage, who can listen and withhold judgment and turn you back towards home to work it out. I have personally both failed and succeeded at this very thing over the years, and when I fail I have to admit and seek forgiveness. If you have children who are married, the best thing you can do for your adult children (beyond praying) is encourage them to have a mentor couple in their lives, someone who wants them to work it out as much as they do, and will help them do just that. It’s normal to empathize with those we love but sometimes we need to extricate ourselves from a situation in order to help the very people we love most.

Fight Fair


When you are in an argument with your spouse, do you tend to move towards or away from your significant other? I was always the one ready to fight, and used my readiness as an advantage over my guy, who needed time to take stock. Given time, he could think things through and get down to the main point instead of staying up in the realms of emotion with me. It was so much better for our relationship to go this route because calmer heads prevail, but I really liked to win, so I would push him to If I forced him to talk before he was ready, I was likely to get a very angry response, and little would be settled.

For most couples, there is one person who wants to communicate, always ready to talk and cannot imagine walking away and waiting a while. The other person may need time and space to determine what they truly feel and to determine the words they will choose to share. In my experience, it seems that women are often the party that wants to talk it out here and now and men need processing time. We have seen the same thing with our children; they often need time to think about their feelings instead of erupting with emotion, and yet it can be so difficult to allow them that space. The trick is knowing when to let up and let him walk away, and when to return to her to finish the talk.

The best thing to do is to talk about how you will handle conflict when you are in a good place. Go for a walk and discuss the roles the two of you usually take; being careful to note that neither way is best, just different. Then agree that when it comes to it, you will allow some room to breathe, but go ahead and determine how much – a half hour? A day? Making a plan when things are good sets you up for success later on.

There will be conflict, but having a game plan as to how you are going to honor each others needs insures that both parties can be heard and the argument won’t last longer than it has to. Have you noticed this trend in your relationship? How have you worked toward reconciliation with these differences?

Get on the Floor


When my kids were little, I felt like I lived on the floor of our living room. Looking back at video footage of Christmas mornings and birthday celebrations seem to confirm my memory because the entire time I seem to be at their level, assisting in present opening and sharing excitement over every little thing. I felt like a human Jungle Gym, with babies climbing and hanging off of me all day.

But when I watch footage of regular days, the quick capture of dressing up and dancing and playing with cars, I see that I am often on the periphery, cooking or cleaning and walking through the chaos, responding but not really a part of the fun. Why is that?

I can remember my guy pulling the big video camera out of it’s bag (yes, really) and starting to record whatever our little treasures were into, and I would react with a need to clean up the environment. We can’t let ourselves believe we lived in this mess, can we? The pressure to appear that we have it all together is so strong, even in our home movies. And what if a friend came over? How awful to be caught with this morning’s dishes not done, or to appear that I don’t have this parenting thing nailed?

I often have young moms ask me what I wish I had done better when my children were the ages of theirs. Many things, but high on the list would be: I wish I had spent more time on the floor with my babies. You can’t do laundry or cook dinner or run errands from down there, but you can read books and fire up imaginations and give unlimited hugs, kisses and affirmation.  Have you ever noticed that you’re better at this at someone else’s house? It’s because you don’t have tasks to do there.

I want to encourage young parents to get on the floor (and the grass) and stay there longer than you intend to. Everyday. That other stuff? It can wait.




I have friends named Chad & Heidi. They go to my church, and we have been close to them for about four years now. The day I met Heidi was the same day that I learned about how her life is different than most, because she is genuine and open. Honestly I didn’t know how to respond at first, because I am more accustomed to smoke and mirrors, thin veils of ‘life is great’ until some time has passed and the truth starts to seep out.

You can watch the video to better understand their story, but what I hope you will get from it is the importance of finding community and allowing your people to support you. If you’ve never been in a situation where you had to rely on others, you are very fortunate so far but your time is coming. It takes a tremendous amount of strength to allow yourself to be carried by others. These two are some of the strongest people I know.

I am wondering if you have your people; those who you know will support you and who you would do anything to help. Maybe your situation doesn’t require an entire community of support, but everyone needs their people. I want to challenge you to find yours. It will require you to be real about who you are and what you need, and it will be a worthwhile investment.


If you’d like to learn more about Chad’s story, you can find him on Facebook under Team Chad Bautch.





%d bloggers like this: