Encourage Challenge!

For my birthday this past month, I dressed up 80’s style and enjoyed a murder mystery party with a bunch of friends.  It was a bizarre mix of wandering fake accents, stuffed mushrooms, sweat bands and the realization that my natural hair volume doesn’t really belong in this decade.

I fear if I give you any more details or pictures I’ll incriminate myself, and I wasn’t even the murder.

But on top of being willing to dress up and be whimsical with me, my friends gave me one of the best gifts I’ve ever received:

The inspirational packaging is nothing compared to the inside.  My friends and family wrote me letters and labeled the different envelops for different occasions that might come up in my life.

From an envelop for when I’m bored, to an envelop for when I want to strangle someone, they pretty much have me covered.  I’ve been trying so hard to wait and savor my envelopes over weeks and months, but I’m telling you…this box is like knowing you have a bunch of chocolate hidden in your house.  (Actually, one of the envelops did have chocolate in it.)

The other day I had to go to my doctor, and seriously, does anyone jump up and down about that?  I packed a few envelopes to bring with me just in case, and just the knowing I had encouragement waiting on the other side of that appointment gave me joy.

This is a box of life, and humor, and compassion, and yes chocolate.

And this box challenges me too.  Because I realize that the worth of a letter, a well-timed bit of humor, and certainly a bar of chocolate, are lifters and soothers of our souls.  Could I be this kind of friend to others? Could I take even a moment each day to find someone around me to build up?

I can’t actually begin to count the number of amazing friends that have impacted my life.  You have been encouragers, meal bringers, supporters, deep-thoughts-discussers, coffee-joiners, breakfast buddies, How-I-Met-Your-Mother and FRIENDS watchers, character sharpeners, prayer-lifters, tear driers, road signs to keep me on track when I’m lost.  You friends have loved me well and loved me tangibly.

THANK YOU isn’t big enough.

And my challenge to myself, and my challenge to you is this:  Pick 3 people this week to encourage.  Send a letter, write a text, tell someone you appreciate them next time you see them…for the love, send them a really good chocolate bar.  Maybe start a list of people to encourage and make it a fun game.  Maybe it turns into a habit…but start small.

The action of love written out, spoken over, given freely, can carry us so much farther than we’d imagine.

Post or comment if you’re up for the challenge, or if you have a cool story of encouragement to share!

 

Jazz Flute Freedom

Agawam, MA, circa 1997- the monumental moment when I chose to play flute in the middle school band.  My teacher seemed to think I was a natural, and my parents splurged to purchase that elegant silvery beauty.

“Blow into the flute like you’re trying to spit rice.”  (A fine analogy, for those who are accustomed to rice spitting.  Is this some kind of carnival game most people are familiar with?)

But I played well, in all my fifth grade zeal, when I actually took the time to practice.  Here’s a roughly fifth grade picture to bring you into better focus.

And then came the announcement that jazz band would be starting up…but it turns out flutists weren’t invited.  If you played any brass instrument, or maybe a sax or trombone- you were good to go.  But a flute…well…that simply wasn’t jazz material.

My memory is fuzzy, but I must have vented my disappointment to my classroom teacher.  He was one of my favorites- a balding red-headed Jewish man who spent Friday afternoons pulling out his guitar and singing us songs like “One Tin Soldier” and “Why Must I be a Teenager in Love”.  One day he pulled me aside, oozing optimism, to tell me the name of a popular jazz flutist- I think he even wrote it down for me.  What was his point?  “Just because there’s not a spot for you as a ‘jazz flutist’ in the fifth grade band, doesn’t mean you can’t be one.”  (Of course this was long before I watched the ultimate Jazz Flutist, Ron Burgundy. 😉 )

Jazz is a music defined not by instrument but by soul- flute or trumpet…doesn’t matter…what you breathe into that instrument makes all the difference.

I’ve been thinking more and more about women’s equality- something I grew up thinking we had all but achieved.  I’m realizing there’s a vast chasm between where we are and true equality, and unfortunately the Church has helped perpetuate that chasm.  I should clarify..I’m not oppressed in my church- far from it- in fact it is here in my church that I’m finally learning to become freer.  But I believe there’s more.

Here’s what I’m beginning to see: gender equality isn’t merely about equal rights or opportunities for women.  No.  It’s a journey to remember Eden and restore the value of a women alongside of men.  It’s a desire to understand how men (God’s creation/instrument) and women (also God’s creation/instrument) were made to work together in harmony.  It’s a quest to know that the Spirit or breath of God in me, in this instrument, is no different from the Spirit or breath of God in a masculine instrument.  It’s the BREATH that matters.

It’s the growing belief that embracing my full identity as a co-heir with Christ is not selfish- it’s not simply about my liberation, but the freedom of many.  For as I rise- free- I no longer limit the call, the influence, the plan that God may have for me.  None of us can know the awesome scope of adventure God has for us if we’re limiting ourselves based on human traditions and values.  (Or the fifth grade band teacher, as it were.)

As each of us, men and women alike, are freed from restraints of brokenness and human tradition, we rise free to liberate others.  People say that “hurt people, hurt people” but as Christina Cleveland said once, “Free people, free people.”  Liberated people, liberate people.  You can’t walk in the full liberation of the cross of Christ without impacting those around you.

And that liberation is abundant.

You are as free as God says you are- and if Christ has set you free from the law of sin and death, from the curse of the Garden, then you are free indeed.  Walk boldly in your freedom because your influence is not determined by a title, by what other “creations” define for you, but by your identity in God and the good works He’s prepared in advance for you.

What do you need to be freed from to walk forward boldly into what God may be calling you to?  Invite God to simply breathe into you as His instrument and create the soulful notes that only He can.  Then ask yourself, “As I walk free, who am I meant to liberate?”


Further reading:

Galatians 3:28: There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”

John 8:36: So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Romans 8:1-2: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you[a] free from the law of sin and death.

Hebrews 2:10-11: In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. 11 Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.

Acts 2:17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.’

(New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.)

 

 

What We Find in “Losing It”

This morning I had an appointment scheduled with a nurse at my new Endocrinologist office.  Trust me, I’d thought through the day- I was going to knock out three birds with one stone, stopping first at my doctor for 10am, then picking up my contacts while I was out, in time to mosey along to my three year old’s speech language appointment at 12:30.  No matter that I had an extra kid home sick today…I so had the day covered.

I stuck my oldest on the bus, packed up the boys and drove to my Southington appointment.  Except when I got to the office there was a sign on the door that said they were closed on Thursdays. Weird.  “Well, maybe just the doctor is out, but they have a nurse here…”   So I asked the lady at the opposite reception area…you know…just in case. 

(As I type this my rational self is shaking her head- “Seriously? The sign says “CLOSED” and you’re going to plow right ahead and confuse the poor receptionist there instead of admitting you made a mistake?)

She basically reiterated what the sign said- and to just heap some extra shame on myself, I asked her what phone number to call to sort this out with my doctor only to find out that (you probably guessed it) the contact number was ALSO on the sign.

So I called the number and apparently I was supposed to go to the New Britain office.  Oh.  The lady seemed as perplexed as I was: “I booked that appointment with you…why would you go to the Southington office?”  

  1. Maybe because I have three children and only 2 functioning brain cells.
  2. Maybe because this is the only office I’ve been to so I just assumed despite your phone reminder.
  3. Maybe because OH! there’s a Starbucks over there…
  4. Or maybe I because I just screwed up.  

I resented her question, but she quickly realized that I was flustered and kindly assured me I could call back and figure out a new appointment soon.  So I dragged the kids downstairs, determined to salvage the trip by at least using the bathroom, but found that it was being cleaned.

Back to the van! I looked up directions pick up my contacts anyhow.  Just to be safe, I checked their office hours.  BLERG! – turned out the eye place was closed on Thursdays.  Sensing a disappointing pattern here, but still determined to be productive in the 2 hours till my son’s appointment, I decided to find a place to have the oil in my van changed and also use the bathroom. (This is absolutely rational-people logic.)

So I found an oil place- full service- very nice people.  The guy told me all their names and said, “If you need anything you can just say, ‘Hey Valvoline Guy!'”  Great.  Valvoline Guy.  I can remember that.  One problem…it was some express change so you stay in your car the whole time while they work.  This was fun for my boys but now I was seriously second-guessing my brilliant decision to over-hydrate.  

In the end, the oil was changed, the kids got a fun meal, my bladder survived, and we made it to the speech appointment no problem.  Not the worst day of my life.

But this wasn’t the first time this week I’d made a massive mistake.  Saturday I was beyond excited to drive up to Danbury CT to hear a Noble Peace Prize winner, Leymah Gbowee, speak at PeaceJam (a gathering of mostly youth and college students).  She’s absolutely amazing, uniting Christians and Muslims and helping end a civil war in Liberia.  Well, an hour or so, a parking garage and some trying to get directions later…I realized that the lecture had already happened the night before.  I missed it entirely.  I was devastated and was ready to hop back in the car and cry my hour drive back home, but I ended up texting a friend who was helping with the Jam.  She told me they were in the gym doing some cool dance and open mic stuff and I should totally join.

Ah yes.  The college campus gym. Directions?  So I awkwardly followed some girls and walked completely out of my element into this gym full of students, where my friend was leading a group in a dance to Bob Marley’s “One Love”.

Next thing I knew I was reliving a former Zumba nightmare trying to follow along to an African Dance.  (How come college kids have so much energy and so little social inhibition?)

 

And perhaps around this time I started asking God, “Hey there…what’s going on?  If I missed this awesome lecture and drove over an hour, I assume there’s something I’m supposed to get out of this detour.

(Order the book via email at: amezetovic@winooski.k12.vt.us)

Well, this was one reminder that God sometimes works in our detours and even our ineptitude to accomplish His own plans.  I ended up meeting a Bosnian woman who had come to America 20 years earlier as a refugee.  She has since written a book of poetry about her experience, and currently works at a school teaching ESL to a student body that is 40% refugees.

I plan to connect with her more in the future and hopefully understand a bit more about refugees and how to help.

Though we often feel foolish or frustrated when plans fall through, when we go to the wrong place or at the wrong time, there’s always something happening.  Maybe it’s just a perspective we need- a letting go once again of our control, learning to appreciate what’s in front of us anyway.  Or maybe God is orchestrating something in our detours that we never would have known to “plan” to begin with.

 

 

 

But Let Me Be Moved

God,

In the face of election results that grate on my soul, let me be moved.

In the footsteps of those fearless ones who dared to pick up the crushing burden of freedom for all, let me be moved.

In the midst of terror, injustice, and darkness, let me be moved.

The way is unknown, the task is immense, the voice of dissension is thundering and the lies are pervasive- but away with excuse, away with our hate, and away with the dark…and LET ME BE MOVED.

You are a Father to the fatherless, a Defender of the widow and the weak; I didn’t invent justice, it has always been YOUR cause first, so Let me be moved.

You are a Breaker of chains, a Freer of captives, a Champion of love, so let me be moved.

Yet don’t let me move without you.  Don’t let me run in human wisdom that perverts your wisdom, that shrinks your plan to a program or mere politics.

My anger will not bring about your righteousness, so give me righteous anger.

You say “have no fear” for You are with me- so change my panic to urgency for your will to be done.

My knowledge and life will pass like grass, so if I speak give me YOUR words which stand forever.

Your eyes are already open to injustice and brokenness, so please open MINE to see not only what’s wrong but also your solution.

I’m weak, but You’re stronger; I’m small, but You’re greater; I’m selfish, but You. are. LOVE.

So let me be moved to action, let me be moved to passion, let me be moved to unity…

But let me be moved…by You.

Photo Credit: Sam Burr

 

 

Community is a Pain

Guys- I’m going to make an honest confession here:  I’m not sure I like community.  Do I need it?  Yes.  Does it sound wonderful in theory?  Uh-huh.  Community looks cute on TV- like on that show “Extreme Home Makeover”.   All the neighbors and friends rally around a struggling family and show up to support them- the construction people come and give them a home that meets all their needs- and then that bus rolls away and there are tears of joy, and smiles all around, and sometimes even a cute puppy in the background for good measure.  Ahhh…community.  And then…click…I turn it off, and I get to pretend that community ends that way- that it’s always happy, feel good, tears of joy, a bus of blessing.

But real community is kind of…messy, unsettling, annoying, hard work.  Community is like what happens when you try to bake anything with children- it’s going to take longer, there’s going to be arguing, and you’re going to get a whole bunch of flour all over the place.015

Turns out I don’t want the flour all over the place.  I’m a bit of a control freak.  I like to plan my things on my time.  I don’t like waiting.  I’m not particularly good at knowing how to let people help me.  I prefer to be in the driver’s seat, literally, which is why I didn’t let my older brother drive at all on a 16 hour drive to see my parents.  (I didn’t say I was proud of it.)

And why should I ever be vulnerable ever?  Whose bright idea was it to make that a prerequisite for healthy community?  And depending on how honest I’m being, I’d tell you I’m between 68-100% positive that my heart is massively selfish and I struggle to really love anyone and everyone.  Case in point- I maaaaay have told my husband the other day that I was trying to “not seem selfish” but also “do what I want”.  (Like swinging alone for instance.)newport 3

I don’t usually say it out loud, but I think that’s an ongoing undercurrent in my heart, an undertow that threatens to suck me in and drown me in the self-absorption I thought was in my best interest.

Turns out community is really great till it’s inconvenient to me.  Community is fantastic until it means someone has to see my messy side- my needy side- the yelling, irritable, keeping-record-of-wrongs me.  Guys, I can win a complaining contest without breaking a sweat, and as an avid talker I find it easier to gab than listen, easier to use my mouth to complain about something than my hands to work towards fixing it.  Community requires that I use my hands and feet for more than just myself.  Community asks me to let someone else help me up when my pride would rather hide and nurse my struggles by myself.

Community is beautiful till I realize that everyone else is a mess too and it’s not like we’re all getting more and more perfect at a steady rate.  Oh no.  The deeper in we get, the more likely we are to step on an emotional landmine of some kind, more likely to find hurt and more depths of our selfishness and yet…and yet I marvel at how my heart aches for community all the same.  I marvel at how even the sandpaper of community is actually refining me, sanding me a bit smoother.  At least, I’d like to think I’m a bit less likely to give you a sliver today than I was five years ago.

I was made for being with people.  My church family might be the best example of that for me…It offers me hope and love, the faintest picture of what I believe heaven must be like.  I’m surrounded by friends who I know will laugh and cry with me, keep me in check when I’m being a word I can’t use in polite company, and challenge me to grow and love more deeply through their own love.

Yeah.  Community is such a pain.  But it’s the kind of pain that keeps me alive, keeps me from being numb, keeps me from dying in a selfish stupor.

What about you?  Do you struggle with community?  How have you kept your heart vulnerable towards others?  How have you learned to give up your own selfishness?  I’d love to hear because I so struggle with this myself!

 

 

 

Being the Oreo Cream

Are you a “middle” person?

That’s me. I started my career as a neutral middle person during recess at my cozy Massachusetts elementary school.  I don’t feel like recess was sufficiently long for third grade drama to incubate and hatch into full-blown silence treatment- but what do I know?  One day in particular my two best playground friends had some disagreement and wandered off towards the specific destination of being as far away from each other as possible.

Which meant I was alone in the middle.  Why?  Maybe because I didn’t know which of them to follow- you follow one person and Switzerland will deny your application to the ranks of neutrality.  Maybe I thought the recess bell would ring soon and I didn’t have enough party hats and noisemakers to throw a reunion party.  But perhaps it also had something to do with losing my voice.

A middle person has a voice you know- often a strong one, but the middles can be hesitant to speak, to act.  We might not speak because we want to maintain peace, we might keep silent because we don’t think we can change anything, we may prefer “just OK” to ruffling feathers.

Here’s a thought: The world needs the voice of the cookie part of the oreo, but it definitely needs more cream voices speaking up too.

The beauty of being the cream in the middle is that you interact with and grow from both sides of the cookie, without losing your unique identity.  

Recently I was in a situation where I felt rather uncomfortable.  I was listening to the conversation of those around me and I totally felt out of place- as though I’d made group reservations at a dinner place that I thought was casual, but showed up in my jeans and t-shirt to find that everyone else was wearing tiaras, glass slippersballgowns…. OK, apparently my imagination is going with everyone dressed up as Cinderella.

I was a bit squirmy because I couldn’t seem to agree or relate to everyone fully.  I wouldn’t have been there if I didn’t agree in part- but at no point did anyone else at the table say the thoughts that were running through my head.  Uh-oh.

Breath in…breath out…don’t be a baby and cry.  Don’t run away.

So, I didn’t run very far…but at one point in the evening I made my way to the bathroom to breath in the fresh air of being with someone who I belonged with, even if it was just myself.  And in that moment I had what I’ll call a “God-thought”…just this sense that I’m supposed to be a middle person.  That’s kind of my role.  To be where I’m not fully comfortable to not only speak balance into others, but to find balance for myself.  And to grow and be sharpened by the opposite view as well.

See, as much as I didn’t fully agree or fit-in with the present conversation, there was probably another equal and opposite conversation happening somewhere that I wouldn’t fully agree with either.  And there was some poor schmuck dressed as a Cinderella who thought she signed up for ballroom dancing and walked into a square-dance in a country barn.  And she had to choose whether she would hoist up her dress and dance a line-dance in a bit of discomfort, or run away so fast she’d leave a slipper behind.

At some level, we’ve all been the middle person somewhere.  It’s a lot easier to stay with the middle people who think just like us…but that’s not a very good soil for growth.

Maybe you find yourself in the middle of…

  • Parenting Philosophies (i.e. Schooling options, food choices, the growing Pokemon-Go debate, etc.)
  • Church Stuff (i.e. values between two different churches, leadership values, music choices, etc.)
  • All Things Family (i.e. communication styles, disagreements, vacation preferences, etc.)
  • Relationships (i.e. strong opinions between mutual friends, different values in the workplace, introvert and extroverts, etc.)

You can be a middle person and have a strong opinion.  And you can actually keep being a middle-person without hiding your opinion in an inconspicuous corner of your sock drawer.  In fact, to be a healthy middle person means that you get to be a bridge to two different sides.  (Kind of like my little cozy-coupe driver who is quite comfortable between two very different ride-on toys.  OK, just go with me here…I didn’t feel like hunting for a perfect oreo picture that would leave you running away for a snack.)

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I’m realizing lately that I would be missing out on a lot of healthy balance if I always ran away from the places I felt a little out of place in. Maybe being in the middle is where I’m called to be, not to water down my beliefs, not to be a little doormat-people-pleaser who agrees with everyone to keep the peace- but to grow more into God’s heart which just so happens to love people on both sides of any cookie.

Where’s your “middle”?  Are you trying to run back to neutral ground, or are you learning to grow and be a bridge?

A-N-G-E-R Does Not Spell “LOVE”

I knew “LOVE” wasn’t spelled that way…

A long while ago I was frustrated with someone.  I wasn’t sure I agreed with what they were doing (because cleeeaarly I have all of life’s answers) and I cared enough about them that I really didn’t want to see them do something that (in my only-sometimes-right-opinion) might not have been wise.  I had brought up my concern but this seemed to have no effect on the situation.    

But as I vented to a trusted friend about the issue she brought up a very good point that has stuck with me all these years, and has probably saved a friendship or two.  
Although I will butcher this paraphrase so badly that if my friend reads it she likely won’t realize she said it, here is essentially what she told me:  If you’ve brought up your concern, you can’t keep bringing it up- you have to let it go.  Because if you keep nagging someone, it can only end badly.  Assuming they continue to do what you disagree with, they will either find that their life is just fine despite all your know-it-all hounding and they will consequently resent your presence in their life-because you didn’t believe in them or their decision.  OR you may be totally right and the direction they are going may end up poorly for them…but even in that case, why would they come running back to you when things fall apart if all they experienced from you was negativity and judgement?  If you value this person and their friendship, you can bring up your concern but then you have to let them make their own choice from there and just be a supportive friend.  

Crap, she was right.  Thankfully I took her advice.  

Isn’t it funny- that we can “love” someone all the wrong way- we can love them so much that we want to prevent them from making mistakes by speaking into their life through the lens of our own.  (Spoiler- it’s not going to look the same.)  We think we can argue someone into a better choice- debate someone into a different way of thinking.  And all the while we have the gall to believe they should value us for it?  Come running to us for advice?  Consider us a close friend?  
I think many Christians probably have an especially hard time with this.  Maybe you see someone who doesn’t seem to have their life together, or who is making choices you consider morally questionable, or who doesn’t believe what you do.  And our natural thought is that by sharing what we believe with them, we will make their life better.  
The problem is three-fold: first, we somehow have it in our head that to love someone means to push as hard as we can on them until they buckle and see like we do.  Or to judge and picket someone until they change their mind (and not just when it comes to the publicized issues of same sex marriage or abortion- we do this with people who seem too materialistic, too atheistic, too liberal, too conservative, too whatever doesn’t sit right with us.)  
Honestly, putting aside for a second whether you are even right or wrong, does that work for you?  If someone says they don’t agree with you and rams their disagreement down your throat every time they see you, do you think, “Ooooooooh, I didn’t really want to listen the first 50 times, but now that I hear your angry rant a 51st time I’ve finally seen the light!  Bless you, Saint!” ?? (Or are you plotting an elaborate scheme that involves switching their chapstick with crazy glue.)  Anger and arguing don’t make a very convincing case for anything.
Second, (and I’m so guilty of this), is that it is impossible for us to be angry, argumentative, and self-righteous while simultaneously offering the message of love, peace, and hope that Jesus lived.  Doesn’t matter who you are talking to.  The minute we assume that someone is wrong and it is “our job” to fix them, we have missed the mark already.  There’s this tension…because quite often we think we are doing someone a favor. But the truth is that any good that will ever happen in a person’s life will not be because of us- it will be because of Love- personified.  Assuming we really believe that the love of Jesus is stronger than argument- stronger than anything.
Third- how many times throughout history has someone picked up a sword or a pitchfork or whatever to defend what they believed to be “Biblical”?  I’m a firm believer in the Bible, but I am not so arrogant as to think that I understand the whole thing.  And I also believe that it is easy to misconstrue pieces of the Bible to defend what you want to believe.  If we are too quick to be argumentative- too quick to assume we are always right- then we do not leave room for the possibility that some of what we believe may be wrong- that someone ELSE may be able to speak into OUR lives.  (Because heaven forbid someone who doesn’t even believe what I believe might actually speak truth into my life!)
So go out and relax a little and just love someone- just be their friend.  If nothing else you might find it a whole lot less stressful.  
James 1:19-20
“19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”
1 Peter 3:15-16
“15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (emphasis mine)
  

I’ll Never Regret…

I’ll never regret giving up money that goes to sponsor a child in an impoverished community- even if giving only makes me realize how much more is needed.  
I’ll never regret holding my tongue in an argument and compromising, even if I feel entitled to be mad.
I’ll never regret spending time with my extended family, even if it means I have to drive to Alabama and back to see them.
I’ll never regret writing a note to encourage someone, even if I never hear that they got it.  
I’ll never regret advocating for those who can’t speak for themselves- even if I don’t always know how to do it.
I’ll never regret letting my kids get messy while being creative, even if it means some cute clothes bite the dust.
I’ll never regret buying a friend coffee to cheer them up, even if I sometimes regret the money spent on my own coffee addiction.
I’ll never regret vacation time with my/Jeff’s family, even when I forget to bring Scrabble.
I’ll never regret being honest with others, even if I’m not always brave enough to be.
I’ll never regret letting a stranger share their life with me, even if they are quite talkative and I’m with them at the airport for hours waiting for a plane.
I’ll never regret spending 15 minutes on the floor playing legos with my son, even if it means dinner is later.
I’ll never regret getting close to friends- even if it means we witness each others messiness.
I’ll never regret ignoring the clock for a few minutes more to hear all my daughter’s important and deep musings while I tuck her into bed- even if it means I miss a tv show or two.  
I’ll never regret trying something that I’ve always wanted to do, even if I fail.  
I’ll never regret doing what I feel God wants me to- even if it doesn’t land me where I expected.