I'm spending the weekend with 75 of my closest friends. No really. It's church ladies' retreat weekend. I'm related to 5 of the 75 so those ones count in the friend and family column. Some of these girls I've known all of my life. Some are new acquaintances. But by the end of the weekend we'll all have more in common. We'll have shared stories, shared faith, shared laughs. Gifts to carry home.
Earlier in the week I had a conversation with my friend Elo. She paints. You should buy one of her paintings. Read Here for details. We chatted about how art reflects the beauty of what God made. We talked about how the best writing expounds only what He has already said. Elo paints because God is a creator and she is made in His image. She said I write because Jesus is the word. Art. Words. Such fun gifts from heaven.
I got off work late so drove down by myself. The entire drive was gorgeous. I watched the sun play with clouds and fog roll down fir trees. The sunset of brilliant pink and blue washed over the changing fall colors. Gorgeousness. It was a gift from heaven.
The speakers tonight talked about friendship. They talked about investing in others, about being open and vulnerable to allow people in, about forgiving and communicating.
They talked about how behind every successful woman is a best friend giving her crazy ideas. So true! But sometimes those crazy ideas lead to beautiful places. Friends are hard work. But they are worth it. My favorite quote of the night was "I love you and that's all that matters."
The last couple days have been full of gifts. Grace and forgiveness and sunsets and art. Safe travels and friendships. All gifts from God. Those little and big things are His way of saying "I love you and that's all that matters."
What gifts are you thankful for today?
The 2016 Portland to Coast is all done. Finished. Over. Our pastor on Sunday stated in his sermon people his belief regarding those who do the Hood to Coast or the Portland to Coast. He said we are all crazy. He may well be right. It's a ton of hard work. It's hot, stinky, exhausting, cramped, and crazy fun.
As I was walking along in my first 6 mile super hot section I distracted myself from the blistering heat by running a blog through in my head. It occured to me that my previous blog about climbing hills was only half the story. Sure there are lots of tips and tricks about how to preservere in personal challenges. But the best part of the Portland to Coast is that it's a relay, and its done in and through neighborhoods. People really are what make it work. The encouragement and laughter and teasing and support I received from my girls are why I have done this loony event more than once. And that same love and joy is why I do most of my life with people all intertwined up in my business. I support them, they love on me. So here you go - top five life applications from this year's Portland to Coast.
1. Find a team and some cute pants.
Life is more fun when you have a set of people committed to cheering you on. If you can find a coach with glowing shoes I recommend that as well. I'm only kinda kidding. Adding a little color and light and sillyness to your daily grind is a great way to combat the dark.
2. Drive Slowly! Be careful with the people around you who are running a race.
We used to live just down the road from a motorcross track which hosted a national championship every year. It was truly a pain. Awful traffic, noise, tons of people. We typically stayed home and hid the whole weekend motorcross was in town. So I totally understand why some of the local residents may not be a fan of the PTC and HTC.
At one point in the middle of the night a large beefed up pickup truck came speeding and reving through the middle of a bunch of racers. He clearly didn't appreciate us in his neighborhood. Dangerous. Scary. His temper tantrum was not worth the risk. Made me think though. How often do I get frustrated by the inconvenience of people I know who are striving to finish a race? Do I grump and growl when I have to slow down to make room for someone? Do I endanger their peace or safety because I am annoyed? I'm going to do my best to remember the reving truck next time I amp up. Slow down. Be careful. People are running their race.
3. Remember we are all different.
Eight girls in one van for 36 hours. Big bold personalities complete with bull horn and blinking lights tucked in beside some quiet gentle souls. Speedy walkers and slower shufflers. One of the very best ways to keep the peace is to start with a simple truth. We are all different. That's just fine.
4. Food and Water Win
Just before the crest of a big giant hill sat a neighbor watching the race. He sat beside an open cooler of water bottles. Cold water given to strangers. I love that guy.
Matthew 10:42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disiple, truly i tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.
Middle of the night, tired and sore. My teammate handed me a pita filled with homemade chicken salad. Grapes and pineapple and almonds. I ate and refueled and smiled. Food is my love language. There have been days in my life where words were not useful but food and water helped. Hospital rooms, court rooms, hospice. Love sometimes looks like dinner.
5. Don't leave anyone behind.
Somewhere up in the hills outside Seaside, Oregon I decided that it was TIME to change my clothes. We were parked on the side of the road waiting for our walker to pass. So I hauled to the back of the van and cleverly used the van doors and my bin to create a little changing closet to swap out my pants. Pants off. Van pulled away and parked 100 yards down. I was standing there surprised as I watched my team leave. A racer speeding by grinned and asked what I'd done to get myself evicted from my team. Oh gosh. The driver....who shall remain nameless....wait....she left me half clothed on the side of the road.....grace grace grace....stopped the van and hopped out. She looked back, saw me standing there and yelped. Got back in the van and quickly backed my changing closet back to me. I laughed. Life lesson though: check your people before you leave. Build boundaries in your marriages, put filters on your internet, ask your kids questions. Check on your people. Don't leave anyone exposed.
So my team - thanks for the encouragement. I love you all. Go go Rocket Girls.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
Sign up to receive Mindy's Quirk-E-Mails