Tag Archives: Friendship

The Future Is Female.

Anna me little

It feels like Anna has been my friend her entire life. I’m pretty sure conversations with her at age four were very similar to conversations I would have with my adult friends….with the exception of our conversations over wardrobe. However, those conversations have only evolved from “No, those ripped tights look terrible under those shorts” to “This is MY shirt, not yours.” She assumes what’s mine is hers and what’s hers is hers. I told my own mother the other day, “I am so sorry for everything I said and did when I was 13 and 14.” Mom simply responded, “Thank you.” I understand it’s the circle of life. And, I also understand that it is very hard to tell Anna she can’t wear something of mine. She usually pleads a very convincing case. She’s a smart one. She always has been. And, she’s, for sure, a strong one. And, while I journey through the victories and lessons of raising a teenage daughter, I also marvel at her intuitive strength and her eyes that always see beyond what’s in front of her. She is a force with the most gentle soul. Her evolution has been both remarkable and surprising. And, I can’t imagine my life without her. Today, she is 14. I don’t know what year 14 looks like for her or me, but I know we are both ready.

Anna me older

Anna, nothing has grown me more than being your mother. Nothing has stretched my love past the lines I didn’t know I had drawn like you have. And, I mean that in the most grateful way. Thank you for always teaching me to see more than the obvious. Thank you for taking me deeper. Thank for being you. I could list hundreds of things I love about you (and, I know you’re reading this and saying “Well, get to listing, sister!” But, I have a lot more years ahead of writing birthday blogs. So, here are 14 things I love about you, “sister”:

1) I love that you call me “sister” and everyone else “sister” when you’re excited, when you’re emphatic, when you believe strongly in something, when you are surprised, when you disagree with someone. I also love how “sister” is gender neutral as far as you’re concerned. Everyone is sister.

2) I love how you actually laugh at me now and think I’m hilarious (even though I still can’t be that way, act that way, or do that thing around your friends. Whatever.)

3) I love how easy you are to shop for. It is rare I walk into a store and don’t see something that reminds me of you. And, I love how you appreciate the oddest things, the tiniest things, and the most adorable of things. I can hear the excitement in your voice right now over the smallest, cutest succulent I placed in your room. I LOVE that excitement in your voice. You make all of life come alive.

4) I love how you balance your motivation to achieve with your need and love for cuddling up on the sofa with your hot tea, laptop, and a Netflix marathon of The Office, Queer Eye, or Grey’s Anatomy. No one can get comfier faster than you with the exception of your father.

5) I love how you understand and enjoy artists from Kristen Chenoweth to Cardi B. You don’t elevate one person over another and always appreciate the art different people bring to the table.

6) I love how you communicate so well with people of all ages. You can have conversations with 4 years olds and 74 year olds alike.

7) I love your passion for trying to understand the world and your search to find how you can contribute to it best. I promise just your presence adds to this world, because you carry HIS presence everywhere you go. You don’t have to stress over what tomorrow looks like. Just keep being present in this moment. You contribute goodness NOW.

8) I love how thankful you are for everything in your life. And, I love how when you know someone wants something, even if you love it for yourself, you always choose them over that thing. You will always draw more to you by being open to give. I know you already know this.

9) I love how you love your brothers. I especially love the relationship you have with John Henry. You have both grown and grown together. And, I love how you look back on pictures of Jett when he was little and just want to cry. You’re the proudest little momma I know.

10) I love listening to you play the piano. I sit up in the living room sometimes, and I hear you working out hard pieces. I hear the most beautiful sounds, and it makes me so proud. Sometimes, I hear your frustration, but I also always hear and feel your determination to master it. I’m so proud of you for persevering through the hard. You are mastering much more than a piece of music, Anna. You are learning to master life.

11) I love your heart for worship and how real and meaningful it is for you.

12) I love how you are a voice for the marginalized. I love how you believe and live out of the truth that every single person matters. “A strong woman stands up for herself. A stronger woman stands up for everybody else.”

13) I love how brave you are and never back down from a challenge. It doesn’t mean you’re never afraid. But, you never let fear keep you from moving forward. DON’T EVER LOSE THAT, SISTER.

14) I love your honesty. Your truth is always so raw, so real, so vulnerable, and so beautiful.

Anna 8th grade pic

Anna Takle, you are a most amazing human. You are a most amazing friend. A birthday blog or two ago I remembering writing that I could have never written a better story than the one I experience with you: as my daughter, as my teacher, as my friend. I know we are both head strong women. I know we have quite the road to travel down these next few years together. And, I know that we will do it hand in hand and with an undying determination to travel it well. I will keep teaching you, and you will keep teaching me. I love every day with you.

I love YOU.

Happy Birthday, Anna Takle. The world is a brighter (and fun) place with you in it.

Love,
Mom

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Filed under Friendship, Kid Stuff, life, Love, making an impact, Motherhood, parenting, Relationships, Uncategorized

Honor the Space

It’s Friday night, and I’m home with my family, save John, drinking a glass of red wine (RED….I don’t even know myself anymore) and contemplating this past week. I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions the past few days. Good, necessary, thought shift, life shift kind of emotions. A week ago, one of Kris’ friends and long time clients transitioned unexpectedly. For 16 years, Paul has been in Kris’ life. Kris has managed and flown Paul’s airplanes for as long as we’ve been married. Kris and I spent a couple of days in Oklahoma this week tending to business, and we spent one night together out just the two of us. We sat across from each other reminiscing stories of time with Paul that neither of us have thought about in a very long time. We tend to forget the moments with someone until we are in a position where we really want to remember them.

I came home Wednesday to be back home with the kids, and Kris stayed on to attend Paul’s memorial service. I went to service at EWC that night and allowed my own spirit to receive whatever it needed. My dear friend, Lauren, led worship and knew the very words the room needed. What I needed. I sat down and tears just streamed down my face. Because, all I kept hearing in my spirit was this: honor the space.

Honor the space.

I thought about all of the stories Kris and I exchanged about our times with Paul. How he showed up to our wedding, kid birthday parties, dinner, anything we invited him to. How he wanted us to always join him and his wife for dinner when Kris flew him, and I tagged along. How he laughed at the stories Kris and I told him. How he really wanted to hear our stories.

How he simply showed up.

How he engaged you.

How he honored that moment.

How he honored the space.

I wasn’t close to Paul. I enjoyed our times together, but I, by no means, was close to him. But I don’t think I honored the space with him like he did with me. I’m sure I didn’t. So, that thought led me to thinking about the times I am with my friends now. With my family. When I’m with you. Am I honoring that space? Am I showing up as much as I can and being present with you? Is there someone I’m not investing in and showing up for that needs me? And, perhaps, I need?

Thursday morning, I texted my mom something that will sound strange to most of you, but she knows me and loves me and can practically decipher and translate every single weirdo text I send her. “Mom, is it just me, or do you feel like things are aligning the way they are supposed to? Alignment is the best word I can think to describe what I feel in my spirit.”

She responded, “Getting into alignment is sometimes painful. It can hurt. But once you are aligned, it makes the journey so much smoother. It can make us go farther than we’ve ever anticipated.”

See what I’m saying? She can interpret ANYTHING.

The greatest alignment I began to feel was with Kris. Because, one of the spaces I learned I needed to honor was with him.

Don’t get me wrong. I freaking love that man. I love being with him. I love date nights with him, traveling with him, family nights, the times we share with friends….I love it all. But, it hit me: I do not fully honor the space, honor the time when I’m with him. Enjoy it? Yes. Honor it?

Honor is such a huge word. It means to regard with great respect. To revere. To treat with honor. While I always honor and respect him…..do I always honor the space with him? The moments with him? In both the ordinary and the remarkable? Perhaps, sometimes. But, I want to honor the space in them all.

I want to honor the space with you. I want to show up. I want to be present.

Kris came home last night, and I told him…. “You know how we always say, okay, I always say, I want time to slow down with our kids, so I can soak in these moments more?” He nodded.

“Well, I want time to slow down, so I can soak these times in with you. I want to linger a little longer. I want to hold the moments a little tighter. I want time to slow down with you.”

And, it will. Time will slow down. Because, that’s what happens when we choose to honor the space. That’s what happens when we are aligned.

That’s what happens when we show up. When we engage. That’s what happens when we become aware that the space with each other is divine. It’s holy.

I want to honor the space with every person. Every friend. With my children. With Kris. With you.

Honor it. Show up for it. And, stay there a while. So, to that I say, align away.

Fly west, friend.

Hawker

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Filed under God Stuff, life, Love, Marriage, Relationships, Spiritual Journey, Uncategorized

40 Is A Big Deal.

This guy is 40 today. FORTY. For his 38th birthday, I wrote 38 things I love about him. He thought I should do 40 now. When I suggested just adding 2 more to that old post, well, he thought it was tacky. Here is a brand new 40 reasons. I also enlisted the help the of the big kids.

Ready?

40 Reasons We Love Ivar Takle. I'll go first.

1) You love Bob Marley and John Denver. And, you sing their songs really loud.

2) You are the same person at home as you are everywhere else.

3) You never believe your blessings are just for you.

4) You make me want to be a better wife, because you are always a better husband.

5) I love how you make yourself trip just so I will laugh.

6) You make the best fried rice on the planet.

7) You bring me my coffee every single morning you are home. I feel like I am roughing it when you're gone.

8) You teach our daughter how a husband should treat his wife by setting an astounding example.

9) And, you may or may not spoil both of your girls.

10) You hear my heart and receive from me. You know, when I approach matters of the heart with grace instead of….that other way. 🙂

11) You are so stinking smart and answer all of my questions on what in the Sam Hill is going on in the world.

12) You can do anything a farmer can do. Drive any tractor. Plow any land. And, do that other farmer-type stuff. And, that's really sexy.

13) Flying an airplane is sexy, too.

14) You never, ever complain.

15) You never speak poorly of anyone. Ever. That is so amazing.

16) You are the hardest working man I know.

17) You teach John Henry how to be a man.

18) You play with our children. That's a big deal.

19) You are the epitome of patience.

20) You bring peace to our home.

 

Anna would like to take the next ten. Hit it, sister.

21) He loves me.

22) He is so much fun.

23) Sometimes, he gives me answers on my homework.

24) He is adventurous.

25) He is as crazy as me.

26) I love it that he fixes my breakfast every morning.

27) He is a really hard worker.

28) He's my favorite person to cuddle with.

29) I'm proud that he is my daddy.

30) He is handsome.

 

John Henry would like to add the next ten.

 

31) Because, he loves me.

32) He teaches me new things.

33) He gives me the chances to do things.

34) He provides me with a home and food.

35) Because, he will fly me around.

36) He doesn't freak out over things like mom does.

37) He loves my Daddy Bryan, and they get along.

38) He will tuck me into bed.

39) He will never give up on me.

40) He gives to others even if it's not a holiday.

 

I couldn't agree more with your big kids. And, number 40 might be my absolute favorite. Because, it is just so true. If Jett could add anything, I'm sure it would be, “He can always find my Super-Man cape” or “He lets me stay in my pjs” or “He lets me drive the tractor” or “My dad can fly an airplane. And, that's just cool.”

I have no idea how in the world you manage all that you manage. And, you are rarely a donkey on the edge. You continually amaze me.

You used to tell me you weren't as “spiritual” as me, because, you didn't have the foundation of scriptures that I had. But, I've seen people quote the entire New Testament and not live out what you live out on a daily basis. You are the most “spiritual” man I know because of how you love your family and how you love and give to others. You are always positive. Always. You always speak positively of others. THAT is spiritual. THAT is you.

You are such a great man. A great husband. A great father. A great friend.

You live out Ecclesiastes 9:10. Whatever you do, do well.

Happy 40th Birthday. Thank you for doing all things well.

I love you, Kris Takle. And, I thank God you were born.

 

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Filed under life, making an impact, Marriage, parenting

The Warrior.

(Lynn with her sweet grandchildren)

She’s one of the greatest women of God I’ve ever known.

She loves her family the way I imagine God called all mothers and daughters to love their families.

She loves the local the church and never misses a day in His courts unless necessary.

She loves her friends, and her thoughtfulness is always evident.

I honestly don’t know many more selfless human beings than Lynn Chambers.

I really don’t know how I would have pressed through my difficult times without her encouragement.

And, I don’t know a greater prayer warrior than she.

But, I do know that she loves with a love that must melt the heart of God.

She is my prayer warrior.

And, she’s probably yours.

Happy Birthday Lynn Chambers.  I love you more than I could ever express.  Thank you for believing in the power of prayer.  It’s an honor to call you friend.

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Filed under Friendship, prayer

At All Times.

“I hope of all the qualities I have inherited from my father that being a good friend is one of them.  He is always a friend to the end.”

That was my last tweet on the Twitter last night.  If I ever want to know what a true friend looks like, I should always look my father. 

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or haven’t done.  It doesn’t matter if you’ve been embraced by thousands or rejected by the world.  Once you are his friend, you are his friend for life.

I sat alone in my living room last night and thought about the qualities that make him such a good friend.  We often tell our friends, “I’m here if you need me.”  But, sometimes, we only translate that to the big stuff – if something bad happens. 

One of my good friends called me last night and asked me if I could watch her children while she went to the doctor today.  “Sure I will,” I told her. 

It would be easy for me to say, “Girlfriend, I am so pregnant.  That’s not gonna work out for me.”  But, that’s not really being a true friend.  It’s easy to give excuses.  It’s easy to become so caught up in our schedule, our life, our families, that when a friend interrupts that routine, we almost become resentful. 

We use the term, “You have to set your boundaries.”  But, I think, often times, we misuse it.  I’ve said it many times.  “Set your boundaries!”  When really, all I need to do is set my priorities.  When my priorities are in order, I don’t’ really have to set boundaries.  I’m sure I’ll create some controversy over that one.  But, that’s how I feel.  Today.

Dad will fly hundreds of miles to be there for a friend.  And, he will drop his schedule to help a friend across the street move.  He’s always there when a friend needs him.

I want to be that kind of friend.

A friend loves at all times….  Proverbs 17:17

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Friends, Bacon, & Fly Hats.

I just know you’ve waited with bated breath on what we four girls did on our little getaway.  I just know you have.  No?

Well, it was fun.  We laughed.  A lot.  Just like I said we would. 

Here is a fabulous picture of the four two of us.  I tried to get everyone in this picture.  Without success.  Obviously.

girls 2 wp

I pretty much charge $0 for photo sessions.  Call anytime to schedule your appointment.

We requested “The Mothers” wear headsets and watch a movie for the road trip.  Their pick was “Napoleon Dynamite.”  They giggled like school girls. 

girls 3 wp

We really didn’t request they wear headsets.  However, whenever they would ask too many questions or say something disagreeable, our response was, “Put your headsets on.”

This next picture pretty much sums up our trip.

girls 4 wp

Bacon.  And other artery clogging foods. 

Glo-ree.

I purchased a fabulous pair of flip flops and this hat on the trip.

girls 5 wp

Guess who thinks it’s hers now?

It was fun.  And, I am oh so thankful for these friendships. 

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.  Proverbs 27:17

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The art of the handwritten letter.


Now that we can text and e-mail “thank you”, “happy birthday”, and “I love you”, do you think the art of the handwritten letter is history?

Three of my Georgia peaches were out visiting a few weeks ago.

letter-wp2

And, let me tell you.  One of ‘em right now is sittin’ at home saying, “Oh, I can’t believe she chose THIS picture.”  All save Kate.  She only checks her e-mail once a year.  All of this to say (and throw in their picture that they’ve been begging me to post) that we had this exact conversation.  No, no.  Not about what pictures flatter and which ones add ten pounds.  We all know that the camera adds at least that.  We talked about the joys of receiving a handwritten letter.

But, here is the thing.  I have saved most of the letters written to me since I was sporting the converse high tops in the 7th grade.   I have saved very few letters sent via the internet gods.  Only in the past year, have I created web folders for these attempts at the human touch.

 I’m not pointing fingers.  I love the ease and use of typing then pressing “send.”  But, when I received Jennifer’s handwritten note card in the mail upon her return to G-Town, I suddenly remembered why this lost art is so special.  (Now, Sharon and Kate are scrounging for their stationary.)

As far as thank you notes go, I always try to handwrite every one.  I even made Anna sign her name on thank your cards for her recent birthday gifts.  I have the feeling I took the “JOY” right out of the “ART” with my obsession on her starting her “A” far enough to the left as to leave room for the “N”, “N”, and “A”.  Blessed be the name.  No pun intended.

Do you still send handwritten letters?

Do you still have old letters sent to you from your younger years? 

(Necessary Note:  Bonnie Spencer, your posted picture is coming soon.  And, yes.  I still have all of your letters.)

 

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Filed under Friendship, Randomness