Patience. 

(I sent this email to the families of the girls in my advisory group. Never sent such a prose-ish note to them before, but I felt compelled. Likewise, I feel compelled to share it with you—maybe you aren’t a 12 year old with a changing body and racing mind…but somebody out there is going through a change that is altogether messy and beautiful. Honey, you deserve patience. Grow. 

——-——————————————————

Good evening, Slay Queen Families!
I saw this quote online earlier and was struck by how much our girls need to hear it:

“She’s learning to love herself. It can be an internal war or some days and it can be bliss on others, through it all, she deserves patience.” ~ Billy Chapata
I’d be lying if I say that the girls don’t drive me crazy sometimes…as I know they drive you as well. They say things—do things—or not—and it seems like everything you’ve ever told them went in one eardrum and out the other. 
But. 
But there are days, right? When all the right things happen. When you ask them once to do something at home and it gets done—or better yet, when you don’t have to ask. For me, it’s watching your girls help younger Scholars create their SLC greetings during Crew last week when their advisor was running late. It’s when some of them come into study hall and pull out their planners/notebooks and get started on their afternoon responsibilities without the slightest peep from me. It’s when I think I get on their nerves with all of the repetitions of “respect has nothing to do with liking someone” and “and whose responsibility was that, again?” and “45 minutes in BOTH subjects in iReady!!” and yet…they surprise me at the end of the school year with a poster (and a plate of whipped cream to the face 🙄) because school won’t be in session when my birthday rolls around. It’s awesome JumpRopes when they are outstanding in class. 

It’s moments like these when I feel like the hard work WORKS. When the blood, sweat and tears doesn’t seem to be in vain. When I catch glimpses that these girls will be high schoolers in a few short years and that fact doesn’t scare me a bit. I love to share these moments with you because I’ve only been riding this train for a year—you’ve been conducting it for a lifetime. 

Some days, it can be an internal war. Some days, it can be bliss. Through it all, she deserves patience. They deserve patience because as much as we scratch our heads at their behavior from time to time (or all the time), they don’t get it either. They deserve patience because we remember what it was to be the gangly, awkward, hormonal, irritated, pimply, complicated pre-teen wonder. I definitely remember—and I remember the adults that fought past my foolishness and left an impact because despite my efforts to the contrary, they saw WORTHY all over me. 
This week, I vow to give them patience. Hold me to that!! Right here is where the waiting meets the promise. 

What Kendrick–I Mean Jesus–Taught Me

Hello beautiful people!!


I am currently writing this post from the same spot I’ve written/watched/read/eaten many things over the past few days: on my bed–in my room–under a softly whirring ceiling fan–in a hushed household. The only thing that I can hear right now is the occasional click of the pull cords as they are being knocked into each other by the air the blades produce. 
A set up like this gives one mucho time to sit and think, wouldn’t you say?
If you’d asked me last week, before Wednesday at around 11:45am, I’d would’ve told you my big plans for this week off (my school is on an intercession break). Honestly, a lot of resting would have been included, but also, evenings out with friends after class since I had no work to wake up for. Impromptu early morning movies with only a few retirees as my company. Cleaning my car. Cleaning my room. Cooking sumptuous breakfasts with things like French toast and pancakes, things I don’t have time for during the week. None of that included rolling my ankle at work and fracturing the fifth metatarsal bone in my foot (while walking down the steps no less.) 

I was fighting crime. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! 

My plans didn’t include hopping around like some ratchet species of kangaroo, crying in frustration that first day while it took me upwards of 15 minutes to get from the car to my bed, wrapping scarves around my crutches because they were killing my underarms, or needing my mom to help me undress from the waist down.

 None of that. (Side note: Is Randy wearing foundation?! I digress.)

But it is always my goal when crappy life stuff happens to find my good. There is good in most things–I think that you HAVE to view life that way to keep from being either incurably bitter or certifiably crazy. Silver linings MATTER. 
1. Rest

One upside of not being able to use one foot for an indeterminate amount of time is that you have to rest. I’ve discovered that I like to rest and be a homebody–on my own terms. When I have the option to do otherwise. After 24 hours of being propped up in bed, I decided that I was going to work Friday if it killed me. And while that probably wasn’t my smartest decision, it turned out that Friday was the kind of emotionally charged day at work where I needed to be around people both to give and receive comfort. I have this entire week off to rest and recuperate, though. Friends have come through with junk food and participated in binge-watch marathons, I’ve been keeping my foot up, and hopefully this will aid in the healing. I’m blessed to be in a position that allows me that time to rest without affecting me financially–I remember a time when my check would have looked markedly different had I had to take time off for an injury like this. The Bible says in at least 20 different places how important it is to rest; for spiritual reasons, such as recalibrating our spirits to the voice of God…but also physically, we burn out if we do not rejuvenate. 

2. Be humble 

I’m not going to lie; by yesterday, I’d had enough of being patted and pitied. I was ready to screen print a shirt that said “I FRACTURED MY TOE” so that people would stop asking. I was irritable and frustrated and I’m sure, more than a little snippy. (I apologize to any recipients of that!) I was over the crutches and the slowness of movement and the being forced to rely on others for basic tasks. And then I went to church. Wouldn’t you know it, Pastor Stephen preached on the need for humility. Talk about putting me in my place and stomping all over my toes!!

He said 

• You cannot be humble and justify yourself at the same time. 

• You cannot be humble and have “but they better nots…”

• You cannot be humble and wear a stopwatch. 

1 Peter 5:5 says to be clothed in humility because God resists the proud. Ouch. So as much as I like to be the doer, the planner, the maker, the bringer, this space means that I have to not just deal with my current situation, but use it to practice putting on a sense of humbleness that I thought I had but which might really be situational. 
3. Accept help 

This is my mother. She, unbeknownst to me washed every stitch of clothing that I own (only slightly exaggerating!) yesterday while I was at church. I mean, this woman washed staff shirts from jobs I don’t even work at anymore!! My first reaction was to cycle through shame and annoyance and admonish her for going through my stuff and doing something that I am completely capable of…but then I thought…am I capable?! I am on crutches!! How was I going to drag my hamper and walk down the hallway to our laundry room, balance myself on one leg and load the washer, dry and fold? This goes back to humbling myself. I had to fight against feelings of inadequacy, “being a bother”, etc and let myself be taken care of! Still though, stop with the pity. Enough, already. 

Anyway, I am (hopefully) off to the ortho tomorrow and he will (hopefully) tell me that I can ditch these crutches, wear two shoes and DRIVE sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I receive the message from Kendrick, I mean Jesus, that sometimes, stillness is spiritual and humility is a skill that always needs working on. 

*lifts crutch in solidarity*
Yours always,
Stephanie