Thursday, July 30, 2015

my video that went viral {almost}

When I watched the video I had 'a moment'.  
A tears welling, 
heart filling 
moment.  
I was in the parking lot of Trader Joe's and I had just pulled out my phone to send a text.  I pressed my thumb down to unlock the home screen and the image appeared on my camera.  I didn't remember taking a video.  Wait.  That's me.  How did I take a video of myself?  And then I pressed play...
      enter the moment.

I had no idea so many others would have a moment too.  Here are a few of the dozens of comments that kept popping up on my feed:
This made me cry.
Love this.
Perfection.
Ohmygosh.  This is priceless.
That's amazing.
LOVE!!!
Fabulous.
Beautiful.
So special.
WOW.
Could watch this over and over.

If you haven't seen the video I am sharing it at the end of the post.  
{Of course you can scroll ahead and watch it if you are just DYING right now}

Here's the story behind the video. 
I woke up at dark-thirty on Tuesday morning at my parents' farm just outside of Charlotte.  I threw on some clothes and jiggled my sleepy children awake.  My dad had the coffee ready when I got downstairs so I poured a cup and then loaded us and our suitcases into the minivan.  The reason we were leaving so early to head home was because Lucy had an appointment with her endocrinologist later that morning and I knew I would have to beat the traffic.  Because of Lucy's autoimmune issues we spend a lot of time in and out of doctor's offices.  We have all gotten used to it.

I tell you all of this to emphasize that it was 'life as usual' for us that day.  There was no video shoot on the agenda.  My hair was pulled back in a dirty ponytail and I didn't even put on any make-up.
I wasn't expecting any 'moments'.

When they led us back to the examining room Lucy hopped up on the table with the crunchy paper.  Oliver and I assumed our positions on the green bench next to her.  We played 'I Spy' and tried to guess what Lucy was drawing on the magnetic erase board.  Periodically I gave stern friendly reminders about appropriate doctor's office behavior.  Then the nurse came in.

I shifted my attention to her as we talked about Lucy's new insulin pump.  I heard the kids giggling and talking but I've learned how to block and focus.  All mamas have to block and focus.  It was while I was blocking that they began their video shoot.  Somehow they set the camera to slow motion and began recording.  The total recording lasted about a minute, but there was 15 seconds of it that took my breath away.

I have friends who are videographers.  I have been a part of shoots with some of them.  I have watched as they spent hours 
getting the right angle,
the right lighting,
the right script,
the right look,
the right filter,
the right sound.
They do amazing work.

This was not that kind of video and yet somehow it has as much of an impact as something that takes hours of professional filming and editing.

Fifteen seconds of slow motion video equates to less than 5 seconds of real time so what I was watching was a few seconds of my life that held more than I ever thought seconds capable of holding.  I have trouble attaching words to it and maybe that is exactly the point.  There are some images and experiences that say something we could never say with our carefully articulated language.

Here's what I do know.  
When I see those few seconds of real life move slowly in front of me I know that joy is always there if we can slow down enough to see it.  
If I can stop carrying burdens from the past and worries about the future.  

That look you see on both of our faces?  
That is joy.  
It is contentment in the moment.  In the moment before I may have had to correct someone for jumping up and down on the table with the crunchy paper.  In the moment after I may have had to apologize to the nurse for someone ripping the stinkiest fart of their lives in that tiny little room {maybe, I mean, hypothetically}.  But in that one moment we had joy - completely.  I know I felt it then because I see the evidence, but I also know I forgot it quickly because it surprised me when I saw it played back in slow motion.
Your response to the video tells me something too.
We are all desperate for those moments.  We know they exist, but we miss them.  I miss them.  We need a slow motion mode on life.  The good news is, we have one.  We have the choice to slow our pace, 
to not get caught in the past 
or hurry to the future 
but to stay in the present.

It's hard y'all.  I'm a control freak.  I struggle with this 'in the moment' thing.  But it's worth the struggle and I cling hard onto this...

Life presses in on all sides with demands and expectations and unknowns but I don't think we were meant to walk around carrying all the moments that have been and all the moments that will be like a crushing weight.
We become well-developed by fully embracing and experiencing the moment we are in...right now.  
We find the gifts.  

It was just simply Tuesday.  
But a lot of extraordinary things can happen on a Tuesday - the most ordinary day of the week.  
My friend Emily has written an entire book about just that.  Her words have helped me to 
     slow my motion and notice my moments.  
Everyday, ordinary moments are important.  This video is evidence of that for me.  Because I believe this is a message we are all in desperate need of I am going to do a 'Slow Motion, Small Moment' giveaway next week in honor of the release of Emily's book Simply Tuesday.  Stop back by on Monday for the details.  

In the meantime - here's to slow motion living and counting it all joy.  I hope you know I love you like crazy for sharing these moments with me.




Saturday, July 25, 2015

getting by or getting better

Can you imagine being sick for nearly 40 years even though you were within a stone's throw of the cure?

There was this man and he did that - just lay there on the ground watching others get well while he stayed sick.  When asked if he actually wanted to be healed he didn't even say 'yes' he just started making excuses about how other people and situations had gotten in his way.  When you see yourself as the victim, it's always somebody else's fault.

I know.  I've done that.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday, June 29, 2015

little girl, big needles

There was a night the week we got home from the hospital that Joey had to hold her down.

All three of us were on the floor of our foyer right next to the skinny wooden table with the flowers carved along the side.

Friday, June 26, 2015

when you didn't plan on being a hot mess {and the importance of bench sitting}

I didn't feel like a hot mess when I woke up this morning.

I mean, I actually felt clear-headed, non-hormonal, and semi-normal.  I had an idea of what to fix the kids for breakfast and I remembered everything they needed for Vacation Bible School before we were already in the car and on the way.  I even took a shower.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

black and white

When I was around ten or eleven years old I watched a TV drama that depicted life during the civil rights movement.  I was equal parts disheartened and inspired.  I declared out loud that I wished I had lived in the 1960's so that I could have been a part of that fight for freedom and equality.  It would be several more years before I realized that fight was still going on.  And yet, what have I done about it?

I've been aware.
I've been interested.
I've wanted to bridge gaps.
But have I really?
In elementary school when I was asked to write a paper about someone famous I chose Jackie Robinson.  I chose him mainly because he was black and I didn't know a lot about black people and that didn't seem right.  So I read his story and wrote it in my own words and I've always carried it with me, but has that really made any difference?

I am white.
Most of my friends are white.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

running and rolling {and why they don't work}

There was a time when I thought my life depended primarily on me.  Man, that was exhausting.

When you think your life depends primarily on you there are two ways you might behave –
running
or
rolling up in a ball.
Or if you're crazy like me, you might do both.

Running is the move when you think you’ve got a shot.  When you think that, despite the difficulties, you could push yourself farther and faster to eventually make this thing work.  This was the mode of operation for an over-achieving, people-pleaser like me for years.

Rolling up in a ball is what you do when you decide it’s impossible.  The difficulties and obstacles are so overwhelming that you just give up and decide there is no point in even trying.  This can look like a complete giving up because you feel destroyed or a complete giving yourself over to something that will destroy you.  Either way, you are rolling yourself right into a trap.  I’ve been there too.
How about you?  Have you run, or rolled, or maybe both?