Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Cabelas kind of day

Cabelas opened in Rogers today and I was so glad my Arkadelphia Alumacraft friend told me he was in town. So fun to see the new place and learn the lingo!! Ran into a Ouachita classmate, they are every where (even up here!). There were people everywhere and the most amazing wildlife. Like a zebra and lion! But I was most interested in the cinnamon rolls I could smell all over the store!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


so when a friend sent this link yesterday and said "this looks right up your alley", they weren't lying.

My gift for the day - via a friend's obervation, that happened to be right on


Friday, August 24, 2012

mercy eyes

Press Play and then begin reading!!! (unless you are like me and cant listen to music and read- come back and listen.  This song is rocking my socks off right now! )

This is a prayer I'm praying for myself. 

Its more than a WWJD process, its seeing the need beyond the surface and looking for the person beyond people.  Do you love to love?  Do you love to love people?

MERCY - a Middle English, Anglo-French word used as a broad term referring to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of religious, ethical, social and legal contexts.

A quick wikipedia (you know the ultimate source of truth!) search provided this information:

-One of the basic virtues of chivalry, Christian ethics, Islam, and Judaism, it is also related to concepts of justice and morality in behavior between people.

-a great literary reference draws a connection in The Merchant of Venice:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd.

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

So if mercy is a universal word that means that same thing among most religions, the courtroom, and social classrooms - why is it that we struggle so much with exemplifying what it means?

So, how can we show mercy?  I don't have answers, but I do have questions...
  • do you see with pity or help?
  • do you want what's best or best for you
  • do you operate in convenience or compelling?
  • do you see in color?
  • do you give or take?
  • are you gracious or judgmental?
  • have you experienced mercy bestowed in your direction?
  • whose eyes do you wear when you watch the world?
There have been places and environments where those I report to and am surrounded by don't always operate in this regard.  I offer some advice - be the mercy.  Fight for it.  Fight through it.  Fight beyond it.  Be the one; the catalyst for change.  I think even in our "christian" environments, I think we forget that we can be the lighthouse.

When I think of the adjective merciless, my heart wrenches and yet there is a real fatal mistake we as Christians are making in the world.  If we cant take it with us, what are we doing with the time we have here - time, resources, talents.  I firmly believe God wants to bless us beyond boundaries, but just like the "wicked, lazy servant", our opportunities will be taken away.  That's big.  I'm not talking our $$$ will be taken if we don't give it, or our "talents" if we don't use them. (although a part of me might think that, too)

I'M TALKING OPPORTUNITY.  Like the God of the universe, the Creator of Creation wanting to use us.  You, Me.

And, it doesn't always look like mud pits, Saturday morning "clean-ups", or a trip across a big pond.  Sometimes it looks like the person standing in the elevator, or checking you out at Wal-mart, or the cubicle next to you at work. 

If grace is what we have been given, then it is ours to bestow!

Be contagious and invite people into the mercy seat!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

the everyday

well, as part of this move, the simple things have started hitting me.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about my new place, the new professional journey in front of me and settling in, but I'm starting to miss the mundane....the everyday.

I realized tonight while trying to catch up by email and on blogs - that social media is no replacement for real conversation.  You know the kind that happens leaning against the threshold of an office doorway at the 10:00 coffee break, or on the sidewalks walking across "the plaza" or the best kind ever - across the table of a local restaurant or even better a family dining table.

There is a ridiculous amount of community that I left in the 71923.  I miss knowing fears, frustrations, when pants fit too tight or are starting to get loose, what's on the menu for Thursday night and what happened on the kid's playground.  I miss learning the answers to the "why moms" and the annoying things husbands did last night. i miss scrapping peas off of high chair trays while hearing about dance recitals.I miss learning the truths that are being taught in my friends homes and seeing what they have listed on their chore charts.

I had a text conversation with a friend about this last week and his answer was "nothings really changed" and while I' liked hearing that, it was exactly what I missed.

Its not gossip that I crave, its the thoughts that make people function, that made friendships friendship.  There is something crazy about "doing" life together.  How we ever get through this alone, I have no idea.  I'm so in search of community and finding a new "everyday".

I want people around me that I want to talk to everyday and that I want to know what's going on in their life.  That I'm curious about how their evening went, what shows they are keeping up with and what conversations were had with their kids over the dinner table.  I'm anxious to see who will begin filling those voids.

Who will make up my new everyday?

For now, its a series of odd shaped cardboard boxes, a pile of garage sale pass offs and a lovely pile of laundry.

Surely recognition is the first step toward progress.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

ground rules

If BIGPITTSTOP is going to take a new journey, I feel like I need a reminder (or a new establishing) of some ground rules that make this community home.

What defines home to me?

  • transparency of spirit
  • mutual trust and dependency
  • according to Oprah, home is a place that should rise to meet you, so if that's the case, I'm also looking for continual development - a place that's ever evolving and changing
  • adaptability
  • laughs - big ones and especially the kind where you laugh at yourself
  • respect - these are my thoughts, my feelings, my honest views of life
  • tears - more often than not, there is a snot fest of some sort on this end - I'll try to keep the keyboard clean!
  • intentional - i cant promise that i will post every day, but I will post when its important.  There are many times throughout the day that I want to write about something I see or feel, ponder or toss around in my brain - maybe that's what Twitter is for
  • honesty - as hard as it is - this is one I want for myself.  If I treat this like a journal, it has to be a place I can come back and scour for changes of spirit
  • protect the names of the innocent - I feel a strong responsibility to use my journey to bring people up - this will not be a place of name calling or calling out - that's to be done in privacy
  • reflective - both literally and figuratively
  • vulnerability - I will be me, I promise
Those are my rules - I'm so excited to pick this up again - its cathartic and a consistency that I so need right now. 

26 feet on the move

well, its time to let you know.

2 weeks ago, I took my last steps out the door of Cone Bottoms Hall on the campus of Ouachita Baptist University for the last time as an employee (well, at least for now!) after 12 years.

I really cant describe that day or the feelings - that will have to be a post for another day.

But, I was overwhelmed by love and extension of friendships.  I have for sure learned a new stage of life that people need amazing support through.  I have awesome friends who came and helped me process through some of the hardest days I've faced and packed and loaded my overstocked house into 26 feet on wheels.

It was a very overwhelming feeling to realize that my whole life, all my possessions were crammed into one 26ft truck (almost didn't happen, but we got them in there).  I was overwhelmed realizing that I had that much stuff, but also to realize that if that's all life was, it was very sad to feel summed up to a 26ft box. 
But, we made the drive up "the hill" and I am now a resident in Northwest Arkansas.

Last Monday, I started a new professional journey with the American Cancer Society.  It's no secret that this organization is so special to me.  For obvious reasons, I'm grateful for their amazing work.  But, my love of ACS stems more from the "voice" they gave me as I began to emotionally heal after remission.  The last 4 years getting to know the staff and volunteers around our state and division have made me want to work and partner with them. 

I think this is the official start of the 3rd chapter of BIGPITTSTOP. 

I started this journey to share my story.  Following my remission, it became a oasis for healing; a cyber community that in most ways was a one-way gateway to just journaling my thoughts.  And now, I begin my new chapter - working for ACS and beginning several life changes; singleness in a big city, making new friends, and "finding" my professional way.

Here's to my 30s being as adventurous as the days I have known before.