11 moves in 13 years.
I just counted, and still I’m doubting my math.
I’ve moved 11 times in the last 13 years.
And that doesn’t include all of the dorm room shuffling – which still included most of possessions being hauled from dorm room to dorm room.
Moving that many times will teach you a lot of things. I’ve definitely learned tons.
I’ve learned that labeling a box “misc” and then throwing in the random contents from the end of a room or the whole house is perfectly acceptable but that being able to find that box on the other end is important because it’s probably where things like the TV remote end up.
I’ve learned that the best way to distract kids while you pack and unpack is to let them make the boxes into artistic masterpieces, rocket ships, boats, or really, anything, really, as long as more stuff ends up inside the box than outside of it.
I’ve learned that purging things while packing and unpacking makes the process go faster.
Boxes, moving trucks, the organization it requires to clean out some place while simultaneously living in – these are all things that I can do but don’t love doing.
But even worse than the moving is the starting all over – being the new girl, finding my people and my groove.
11 moves will teach you a lot of things, not just about the process of moving, but also about yourself, and for me, one of the biggest has been that I need to present the “un-fine” version of myself.
The shirt-has-snot-or-spit-up-or-both-on-it, my kids-are-the-loud-ones, my couch-is-stacked-with-laundry-but-come-on-over version of myself.
Not the filtered, Instagram version. Not all my ducks in a row.
Just me, on a normal day, on a less than normal day. Just me. Being me. And being comfortable in my me-ness.
I’m not saying this is easy. It’s not easy walking into someplace new, being the me-est version of myself and hoping someone will want to be my friend.
But if I’m honest about my me-ness, in time, it lets you open up into more of your you-ness. And I think after that, Dr. Seuss really said it best:
We are all a little weird and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love. -Dr. Seuss
Me living my me-ness is an invitation for you to live your you-ness. So that YOU can be YOU. On a normal day, on a less than normal day. Just you. Being you. And being comfortable in your you-ness.
I’m not perfect at this by any means. I’m still learning how to be the kind of friend I want to be in the world. How to spend quality time while my toddler tornado is at it’s tornado-iest. How to accept help when I need it. How to create time for friendship in each of the different seasons of life. I know I’ll be learning this for the rest of my days.
I’m loving the wisdom of Lisa-Jo Baker as she talks in her new book Never Unfriended about how to be the kind of friend that we want others to be to us. To be willing and vulnerable and give it a try. That our houses are not our ability to hospitable.
Any book that has great soul-balm gems of quotes that stick with you like morning oatmeal are my favorite.
It makes me simultaneously want to quit the internet and forge deep into it to grab Christ’s daughters by the shoulders and shake them and repeat real loud in their beautiful eyes “You are chosen, wanted, necessary, lavishly love. There is only one you, and we need you not to disappear, duck, hide, or give up to the lie that you don’t belong.” (p32)
Being willing to do the hard work of being awkwardly vulnerable with people you don’t know yet but really hope to know. (p47)
Friendship isn’t something we passively receive. Friendship is something we actively do. It’s a gift we offer for free, not a demand we make with a stamping foot. (p83)
I learned that big hospitality has nothing to do with the size of the house. That big hospitality is a matter of the heart and not the architecture. That fellowship and friendship are never limited by the number of chairs available. (p100)
In chapter 7 “Dare to Go First and Be Un-Fine”, I was reminded of a time I stood in a friend’s kitchen while she folded newborn laundry all around her and our big kids were off at preschool together and I admitted to her things I had been scared to say out loud about how I was failing as a mother, how I had no idea what I was doing with my second kid and I didn’t knew what to do.
And because I was willing to be un-fine, she listened, prayed, and checked (still does!) in with me and I could start to heal and grow, and also to pursue that sweet boy’s heart.
As I’ve been reading Never Unfriended, my kids have seen me underlining which is obviously an invitation to draw pictures in my book, too. And my little boy, he snatched the book out of my hand one day after reading about being un-fine and letting people walk alongside of us. And he drew a picture of he and I together. And guys, I lost it.
There’s no magic friendship formula.
The magic in friendship is the walking alongside each other, offering grace, soul balm, listening, and all of the things that seem so mundane some days. The mundane is the miracle.
What great books have you read on friendship or are you hoping to read? Are you adding this one to your list?
If Never Unfriended is on your list, you can grab it between now and April 4, 2017.
Right now (at the time of publishing), Never Unfriended is available for less than $10!! (regularly $16.99) and when you pre-order, you get a clip frame with 37 unique art prints for FREE. (regularly $22).
So, that’s a great book on friendship, which itself is like a snugly blanket of gems that you want to tape all over your walls + a clip frame which usually cost $39 for less than $10.
Sounds awesome right?
Here’s what you have to do to get this deal.
3. Scroll down to “claim pre-order gift”.
4. Enjoy both
Easy as pie!