Dec 312013
 

tish beautiful

Tish and I were walking together on the beach last week. She stopped to look out at the water so I did, too. She put her hand in mine, looked up at me and said, “Mom, am I pretty?”

Luckily, I’d been thinking about that word for a couple of decades, so I was ready.

I sat Tish down in the sand, took a deep breath, and dove in.

“I think you’re pretty, Tish. I think you are very, very pretty. But pretty is a weak word, because it means different things to everyone. You really don’t have much control over whether folks think you’re pretty or not. Spending a lot of time asking the world if you’re pretty – it’s just not a strong position to take. You will have to keep changing yourself for everyone you meet, and eventually you won’t know who you are. I know because I used to think pretty was really important, so I felt confused and weak a lot.

What I want you to be, Tish, is beautiful. Beautiful means “full of beauty.” Beautiful is not about the appearance of your outsides- beautiful is about what you’re made of. Beautiful women are women who spend time discovering what they love – what sings to them –what their idea of beauty on this Earth is. Then they make time each day to fill themselves up with that beauty. They know themselves well enough to know what they love, and they love themselves enough to fill up with a little of their particular kind of beauty each day.

That’s why we’re here today, honey. I was feeling a little empty this afternoon and so I brought you here to the beach to fill myself back up with beauty. This place is beauty to me. So I come here to fill up with the Gulf of Mexico. With the sound of the waves rolling in and the sight of the pelicans fishing and the feel of the cool sand on my feet. When I leave here I feel really beautiful. And I brought you with me because you are beauty to me, too, Tish. When you smile at me – I am beautiful .

Many of the things you see me do each day, honey – I do them to be beautiful.

It’s why I take time out to spend with good friends.

It’s why I read and look at art and always have that music I love playing in the house.

It’s why I light candles in every room.

It’s why I watch you climbing those Banyan trees in the front yard.

It’s why I roll around on the floor with Theo and Meadow and why I’m always smelling the top of your head.

It’s why I drag you to sunset and to church every week.

I’m just filling up with beauty- because I want to be beautiful.

Tish, you will meet plenty of people in your life who are pretty but haven’t yet taken the time to be beautiful. They will have the right look for the times- but they will not glow. Beautiful women glow. When you are with a beautiful woman you will not so much notice her hair or skin or body or clothes – because you’ll be distracted by the way she makes you feel. She will be so full of beauty that you will feel some spill onto you. You’ll feel warm and safe and curious around her. Her eyes will twinkle a little and she’ll look at you really closely, Tish- because beautiful, wise women know that the quickest way to fill up with beauty is to soak in another human being. Other people are beauty, beauty, beauty. So you will notice that the most beautiful women take their time with other people. They are just filling up.

Women who are concerned with being pretty think about what they look like, but women who are concerned with being beautiful think about what they are looking at. They are taking it all in. They are taking in the whole beautiful world and making all that beauty theirs to give away to others.

Does that make any sense, baby?”

And Tish said, “I think so. It’s like, when you first wake up, mom. You look really,really bad. Your hair is messy and your face looks weird. But when you see me, your eyes get twinkly. Is that because you think I’m beauty?”

“Yes, baby. I’m filling up with you. Because I want to be beautiful.”

 *********

Friends – in 2014 let us decide to be beautiful women. Let us take the time to discover what in this world is beauty to us –  and fill up with it daily.

Being beautiful is a strong position to take.

Love and Peace and Beauty for all-

G

 

Sep 172012
 

I’ve been fielding lots of questions about my college years lately. These are hard questions to answer because those years are hard to describe, and by describe I mean remember.

Here’s a snapshot.

 


 

My college experience was a little….vague. I am told that I had an excellent time, but I can’t be sure. Mercifully, I mostly recall college as a seven year black out, but sometimes a memory of something I did, said, or worse, WORE, hits me like a wave of nausea, and I marvel at how I made it out of there alive.

Throughout college I had this sweet little ritual where I’d enjoy a couple dozen drinks and then go for a walk, perhaps at 3 am. And then, usually, I’d get lost and decide to go ahead and sleep in a cozy parking lot or under a tree somewhere in town. It was like camping, except without a tent, clue, or functioning liver. There must have been a strict No Camping rule in my college town though, because I was often awakened by annoyed men and women with guns. These uniformed bandits were not my parents, although it would take me a good three minutes to understand this. They would ask me why I was on the ground and I would assure them that I planned to explain just as soon as they told me where we all were, and also, my name.

Fortunately they actually would be able to teach me my name because, well, we’d met before. We went way back. And they’d invite me into the back of their cozy car and put shiny silver handcuffs on me. And I would sort of settle in and ask them how their families were, and they’d tell me. They liked me, and I liked them. I went to school in a sleepy little town, and so I like to think that maybe the night police shift was glad to have the company.

So we’d continue to catch up and all would go smoothly, but inevitably during the ride to my new camping spot my officers would get frustrated. Because every time they turned around to check on me, my handcuffs would be off and placed in a tidy pile on the seat beside me. So they’d stop the car and put them back on. And I’d take them back off. My wrists are very small and I had decided that while it may have been silly for one to sleep under a tree in January, it was ridiculous for one to PRETEND that one is handcuffed. I just couldn’t fake it, though I did try for the sake of my police friends. I have a paralyzing respect for authority, so I was always vehemently on their side. But they really were going to have to do better with the handcuffs. I understood that they weren’t arresting child sized people often, but still. I explained that it was probably important to be better prepared.

{A few years ago, Craig and I were watching Cops and I noticed that police forces had started using plastic cuffs that look like garbage bag ties which close more tightly. I got very excited and told Craig that I was positive that the plastic tie handcuff innovation was inspired by me and my mini wrists. He stared, as always, and then asked me to never share that theory with anyone. But it’s hard not to discuss what may have been a real contribution to the law enforcement community on my part.}

When we got to the station I would say hello to Tom and Carla, who were often in charge of checking me in. “Booking,” I believe they called it. They were lovely people, just lovely. And they’d lead me into my very own private cell which made me feel like a bit of a celebrity, to tell you the truth. Special treatment, you know. One time, after having been there for a few hours I called Carla over and asked her if I could be released early for good behavior. I’d been quite well behaved that night, if I did so say myself. She said no, it didn’t work that way. But she did agree that I was being especially good, so she shared her granola bar with me. I was deeply touched.

Eventually I’d fall asleep and I’d awake in the morning and call my long suffering friend Dana, who had always wisely slipped an index card with our phone number into my back pocket. And she’d pick me up and we’d go to Waffle House and discuss what we were going to wear that night.

Wow. Strange, but true.

I started thinking of these stories yesterday when I got an email from a woman who is a sheriff deputy and reads this blog daily. In her email she thanked me for inspiring her. I was up all night thinking about her and how proud I am that she’s reading my blog. I forwarded her email to my dad with the subject line: DADTHE POLICE ARE READING MY BLOG! which was probably so much more enjoyable for him to receive than my usual announcement “DAD- THE POLICE ARE READING MY RIGHTS!”

You guys, I don’t want to sound boastful, but I think I’m finally coming up in the world.

Joelle, Tom, Carla, Grandpa, and every other kind and dedicated officer. Thank you. Thank you for protecting me from bad guys, even when the bad guy is me. Thank you for serving so bravely and honorably. Thank you for improving all of my camping experiences exponentially. And thank you, especially, for the granola bar. I was really hungry. I appreciate you.

 

Love,
G

 

And for those of you who’d like a deeper, heavier, truer snapshot of real addiction today, click here. 

 

Love Again,

G

Jul 212012
 

Here I am, and I’m so excited to be here. It feels like forever since we’ve talked. When I opened the page this morning, I got the same feeling I get when I walk into a coffee shop to meet a friend I haven’t seen for too long.

Where shall we start? How about here:

 

Please meet my nephew, Robert Doyle Lynch. He is named for his gentle, forever smiling, baseball and family loving grandfather, Bob Lynch, who died two weeks ago and is now Bobby’s Official Guardian Angel. He gives and takes away, sometimes at the very same time. It has been a brutiful month.

Monkees- how do I describe watching my Sister turn into a mama and my brother turn into a daddy? The answer is I can’t, yet. I’m storing it all up inside and letting it do what it does. I imagine it will all crystallize into a million stories soon.

I can tell you now that Sister is different. She is a different Sister than she was forty eight hours ago. And right now, our relationship is different. We can’t talk much. We pass Bobby back and forth and we stare at him and utter short, shallow sentences to each other which is the opposite of how we have communicated for thirty three years. For the first twenty four hours after Bobby was born, we couldn’t even make eye contact. It was like when Moses asked God if  he could see His face and God said no- because God’s face is so bright and so full of STRAIGHT LOVE that a mere human being wouldn’t survive a full on stare. So God tells Moses He can only allow him to see where He’s just been. It’s like that right now. Bobby is where God’s just been. It’s fresh, sacred ground, and I’ve still got my shoes off.

One evening there was no Bobby and the next morning there was Bobby. And I can’t stop thinking about him so comfortable in the dark, cramped space of Sister’s womb, knowing that small spot was the whole wide world. And then –  discomfort, pain, chaos, and bright, blinding light –  then the strong arms of a Mother and a Father that Bobby could SEE and a whole new previously unimaginable world that is all Bobby’s. Full of love and light.

Let’s just say Bobby’s arrival has pushed back, a teeny bit further, my skepticism about heaven.

 

 

But we know that Bobby is not all we have to discuss today.

The shootings are in our hearts and heads. We’ve imagined ourselves in that theatre again and again. Yesterday evening at Tish’s VBS concert, I found myself imagining how I’d react, how I’d get to all three kids if someone started shooting in the sanctuary. I couldn’t help but notice the irony of listening to the children smiling and singing about how God is in control and about how He will always protect us. I wondered if the other adults were thinking what I was thinking which was . . . weeeellllllllll???

Lots of you have emailed to ask how I’m handling this with Chase and the girls and the truth is I haven’t had to handle it. We’ve kept the news off. Chase says “the news is for people who are nosy.” I mean, it’s kind of true. I know enough. I don’t want to know the shooter’s name and I don’t want to hear from his third grade teacher and his long lost aunt and all the organizations who will pounce on this tragedy to further their political agendas –  warranted or not. The older I get, the more convinced I am that our problems will not be solved by politicians or PACS  or the media or the Big Bosses. They will only be solved in our own hearts and families. Bottom to top. And so I don’t want to bear witness to the media circus. This is no time for a circus. It’s time for the opposite. It’s time for a reverent hush to fall over our country. It’s time for self-reflection and prayer and extra-ordinary kindness.

I guess this is how I reacted: Yesterday, I was in a rush and I had to stop for gas, which I HATE for some reason. Again, I can do hard things, but not easy things, like gas getting. I spent five minutes at the pump punching buttons and finally realized it didn’t work. I went into the gas station and asked what on the heck was going on. The attendant said, “Oh, that pump doesn’t work. Use a different one.” And I got pissed. Because this woman had wasted five minutes of my precious time. So I rolled my eyes and said something like: well why don’t you have a sign on the pump?? And I said it in a very sweet, patronizing, rude way. And then I drove away.

Halfway to our destination I turned the car around, and I went back to the station. I walked in and waited in line, and when I got to the front I looked the same lady in the eye and I said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for being such a jerk and making your day harder.”

I didn’t add anything else. Because an apology with an explanation attached is not an apology at all. Then I left.

That was my response to the Colorado shootings. I have no explanation. There is no way to make sense of it. So first, I want to do no harm.

I want to be kind to the people who cross my path, because just like that shooter changed the world- so can I.

 

When the world feels loud, we must be quiet. When the world feels violent, we must be peaceful. When the world seems evil, we must be good.

 

Love,

G and Bobby