Tuesday, September 6

The Friends I Didn't Pray For

We sat around a table planning our first gathering of moms for the new year. We’d discussed ideas for how to start and kept landing back on the subject of friendship. All the complicated, wonderful, hard and messy ways that friendship adds value to the different seasons of our lives.

And as I left I wondered how I’d happened into the friendships I have now, relationships well over fifteen years old that seemingly fell into place with little effort on my part. Until I remembered…

It was over sixteen years ago that I was living with my sister and her family on the same street I now currently live with my own husband and children. As an early 20-something, recent college graduate working two jobs, I moved in with my sister when her cancer had returned for a second time and she needed extra help with her kids and home. For me, it was a welcome reprieve from the busyness of life. Katrina had a way of making her home feel safe and warm, like a snug hug on a cold winters’ day, and I loved being able to spend time there.

One morning as we visited, she told me she was lonely. A surprising statement from her as she was always surrounded by people, involved in activities and leadership, spending time with countless people from our church and community. She told me it was true, she knew a lot of people, but then she stated, “I have a lot of acquaintances, but I don’t have any friends.”

Monday, August 29

Blue Plate Legacy {Guest Post}

Good morning, friends! Today we are so excited to once again have a guest post from Sue Moore Donaldson. Sue has taught us so much about hospitality and her love of welcoming others in is contagious! We know you will love her as much as we do. Here's more from Sue:

I have a Blue-Plate Legacy. Not a legacy my mother got from her mom, but one she passed down to me in spades.

Mom loved pretty dishes. Every Sunday we’d ask, “Mom, which china do you want to use – Grandma’s or yours?” She’d say, “How about grandma’s – pretty dishes are meant to be used!”

I got Mom’s pretty-dishes-DNA. She had two china cabinets. I have one and am holding (so far). She’d say to us girls: “Now tell me—what dishes do you want after I die.” Morbid? Maybe, but we liked to please and would wander through her cupboards and drawers and lay claim to a treasure or two—just to make her happy. (Read: just to make her stop asking!)

Mom gifted me early with a This-Will-Be-Yours-Someday present when she handed me the Blue Plate Special – a glass sandwich platter with etched designs.

Tuesday, August 23

A Family's Unexpected Redemption

We arrived in Tulsa on a Thursday evening just a few short weeks ago. We were there to see Jasmine’s birth Aunts Haddie and Mary, Mary’s husband Thomas, and their children, Trae and Harper. We greeted them in the hotel lobby, then decided to go out to a local restaurant for dinner. As we sat and visited, shared about life and familiarized ourselves even more with one another, time
seemed to stop. It wasn’t until a worker kindly came and told us that they needed to close the restaurant that we realized everyone else had left and it was late. We went back to the hotel and sat in the lobby to visit for a while longer until the kids got too tired. We made plans to swim the next morning and, as we got off the elevator to go to our room, I was excited for what the weekend might hold, not yet knowing the profound effect it would not only have on my daughter Jasmine, but on me as well.

Jasmine is adopted and her birth mother passed away this last winter. We went to the funeral and made connections with many in her family. Since that time, we’ve exchanged letters and pictures, messages and Skype calls. When her Aunt Haddie mentioned they’d be having a stateside wedding reception in Tulsa, I told her to let us know the details, we’d love to try to make it.

Monday, July 18

No, We Didn't Disappear Off the Face of the Planet

Happy Monday, friends!

You may have noticed that it's been a little quiet around TRE lately. That's because of some news we shared on our Facebook account recently:

It has been a little quiet around TRE lately and we can FINALLY tell you all why! After 4 years of writing, several hundred blog posts, two self-published books, and months of talking to a publisher, last week a dream came true when we signed a contract with Tyndale House Publishers to write a devotional for them!! We are so excited and thankful for this opportunity! We'll be sharing more details soon and letting you know of some fun things happening at TRE this summer! Thanks for supporting us friends, and if we could offer you any encouragement today, it would be don't quit chasing your dreams! ‪#‎girlswhotry‬

We've been working on this devotional for several months now, and we can honestly say that for as much as we love it,  we've been pouring all our creativity into it and haven't had much left for other blogs or outside writing. But we promise that when the summer's over and our book is wrapping up the roughdraft stage, we'll return!

In the meantime, you can keep in touch with us via our Facebook. Thanks for all your love and encouragement!

Kristin, Kendra & Julie

Wednesday, May 25

Finding a Firm Foundation for your Feet {Guest Post}

“I would be happy to follow my husband anywhere in the world,” she said from the other side of the room.

I couldn’t believe I had heard her correctly, especially as I had just bared my heart to the husbands and wives of the church small group we had recently joined.

I had told them I was finding it hard to settle into our relocation with my husband’s job, three thousand miles away from home.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt miserable before I spoke; now I felt even worse. I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. Most of all, I wanted to go home.

Then anger rose inside of me; I pushed it down. Anyway, no one seemed to notice my distress. The conversation continued as if nothing had happened. But I sat hating myself and loathing her for being so confident and not understanding how I felt.

Why couldn’t I embrace my new situation? I wondered.

Why did it take so much effort to explore unfamiliar surroundings? Why couldn’t I pluck up the courage to take my two-month-old baby to the playground and make new friends?

Monday, May 2

Do It Afraid

This past weekend, my daughter had dance try-outs for the competition teams at the studio she attends. As I watched her get into line with 70 or so other little girls her age, all dressed in black leotards with their hair pulled tight into buns, then scurry into a closed room where they would be judged, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous and excited for her.

At just 7 years old, Jasmine already has a lot of dreams and things she’s passionate about and, as her parent, I want to support her. I see gifting and a drive to accomplish things at a young age I was never bold enough to do. But even with all her personality, she confided in me that she’s nervous: What if she doesn’t make the team?

And, boy oh boy, do I know how she feels. Fear has always played a big part in my life and often -- too often -- my decisions.