Accepting the Offer

March 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Posted in Barton's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | Leave a comment
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Love & support brings us together.

Love & support brings us together.

Over the past several weeks, much of our focus has been observing a bigger picture and supporting others as best we can, whether it means holding prayerful vigil for a dear friend in the hospital or doing our best to locate a number of friends and acquaintances in Japan. Personally, it has felt good to hold this focus as I have a strong belief that this is one of the best ways I can improve the lives of others. More over, it feels good to have the opportunity to return support from those who have supported me in the past.

What is interesting, however, is how Megan and I have become more aware of the ways in which we both tend to resist the same type of support that we enjoy giving so freely. The other morning while we were having a relaxing time waking up, we found ourselves discussing how, when offered support, we do all that we can to project the appearance that the support is unneeded, and we later wonder why we don’t get the support after telling people that we don’t need it.

Throughout the day, it became more and more apparent how each of us does this in our own way. For me, much of this stems from a need not to appear weak. When it is something within our family unit that Megan is offering to support me on, I feel the need to bear the burden on my own so that she is protected and not drawn off of her focus, particularly if she is in a creative space. It is extremely important to me that I help her maintain this. At the same time, I noticed that as this day progressed, my attempts at not accepting her support frustrated her greatly, and in fact caused me to inadvertently do what I was trying so hard not to.

While there are times that it is vital that I take a stand and protect my family from oncoming difficulties, I realized that I needed to be more mindful of these times when accepting this support does more to unite the family rather than holding the space on my own.

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Accepting the Gift

March 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings, The Nitty-Gritty | Leave a comment
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Last fall- family photo with Beowulf.

Last fall- family photo with Beowulf.

What a bizarre start to the year it has been. Since January we’ve had several friends who have been very ill, repaired the car- at a horribly expensive fee, came to a tipping point in regards to finances, lost little Beowulf, Bear cracked his tooth apparently below the gum line, on and on it goes. And that doesn’t include the very dramatic national and global ripples we are all riding. Trying to hold onto creativity, vision, and work has seemed more of a challenge, and it’s been easy to get distracted with so much chaos in the world.

Like Barton, during these times I find it difficult to accept the support that we do have around us. It’s so much easier for me to give rather than to accept a gift. Tomorrow, a group from our church is coming over for a house repair day. How ironic that my first urge is to make sure the house is all tidy and clean before they get here! Allowing others into places where we are still rough around the edges is something that’s taken a while to get used to.

As we began to speak about how we push aside the help we are offered, I realized how strong that old cyclical pattern of not feeling like I deserve the help that is offered. Certainly, so many others are more in need than we are.

And, in part because of the judgment that surrounds it. I will always be the wife who hears “I don’t take care of Barton,” “don’t feed him enough,” or “if you can’t manage this, how could you possibly ever have children.” It’s an oddity of extremes- others either hold me on a pedestal because they think I solely take care of Barton or I am the one who can’t do anything right & Barton deserves someone else. There is little room for middle ground.

The reality is, right now, we all need to come together, hold each other where the other falters and fill in the empty spaces. What is it like to truly accept a gift? How do you help the giver by allowing them to give? How can you carry that gift forward?

Driving in the Dark…

March 9, 2011 at 1:26 am | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Ramblings, Speaking Engagements | Leave a comment
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Our all time favorite sign- yes, we can take the detour through flooded waters. Sure.

Our all time favorite sign- yes, we can take the detour through flooded waters. Sure.

Last week, we were excited about speaking with a class at the University of Georgia. Yet, the week was full, and we found ourselves cramming in travel, meetings, work and fun. Unbelievably, we left Athens at 4:00am in the morning. Now we didn’t drive in the same way, so when we asked the manager at the front desk how to get back to the interstate to head north, we received very generalized directions.

While we weren’t exactly on empty, we were getting low, and we didn’t realize that the road he directed us to took us toward Atlanta- for oh, about 20 or 30 miles. Now in the middle of this, I began getting antsy. Did we have enough gas? Would this be taking us too far South?

Driving in the dark, on a road in which we were unfamiliar, we both began getting nervous. I got this picture of “the dark and dreary night.” We were going to run out of gas, pull over and get killed in some bizarre situation with an axe murderer.

When we finally found a lone gas station, you would have thought we had run the lottery, except with the high gas prices, it was the other way around. After all of our frustration, we looked at each other and laughed.

Barton saw this tiny sign for 85 North, so we turned onto this tiny road which led us through another 30 miles into nowhere and through little tiny towns. We sure didn’t come this way, but apparently, we were going to find our way home this way. Amazingly, we did make it home alive, and just in time for an afternoon meeting.

We have many travel stories- Barton blames our adventurous travel on me, saying that he never had issues traveling before he met me.

Since we met, we’ve been suck in an airport for three days (the airplane we were in was hit by lightning & had issues with the brakes), drove 11 hours through the same wild storm with tornados, evacuated off Hattaras Island by ferry where we were spending our 5th year anniversary- and had to drive through flooded waters to get to the ferry, and numerous occasions of lost luggage, delays and diversions.

Besides still having anxiety attacks every time I enter an airport, we’ve learned to laugh at the adventures on the road. For sure, I’ve learned to be more flexible and spontaneous. We’ll get there when we get there.

So if you find yourself on the road next to us- good luck, because you’ll probably need it!

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