We Do What We Want

I have always said, “People do what they want.”

When I’m disappointed in the outcome of something based on someone’s actions, I remind myself of this. And if I am being totally honest, I try to point the finger back at myself when I don’t want to do something and feel terrible about it.

Honestly, think about it – you do what you want. You spend your time how you want to.

This is a time I did exactly what I wanted and I made my husband go along with it – I searched LA for the Golden Girls House. Yes, please.

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day about the things we spend money on and how that shows what we value/where our hearts are. This conversation started because we feel we are spending too much on our television choices and we do not want TV to be that big of a thing in our family. We do not want the amount we are currently paying to be reflective of how much we value TV- so we were assessing a change.

We tell the world who we are internally by our outward purchases and actions.

I was driving downtown with my boys the other day (we live in Nashville and we were going downtown to get into the CMA Fest madness. If you have never been … umm it’s crazy-town; especially for those of us who are local.)

As we were driving, I pointed out some of the government buildings to my oldest and I said, “You see those buildings? Mommy went to those buildings a bunch of times to fill out paperwork and turn it in so that they would let me come get you and bring you home.”

A: “Those big buildings? You filled out paperwork so they would let you bring me to Nashville?”
Me : “Yes baby. All the paperwork, because I wanted to bring you home.”

Our first trip to Grenada – this was right before we took him back to his orphanage at the end of our time with him

As I was saying this, I remembered all the times I drove downtown. All the trips; all the parking fees I paid; all the hills I walked up to a building and down to another one – all the hours  of filling out information about myself and my husband.

(This is where I will insert my two cents for those who always ask me, “Why do they make it so difficult?” Because it SHOULD be difficult to adopt a child. We SHOULD have to jump through hoops to make sure these children aren’t trafficked or headed to their doom. It isn’t easy, but nothing worth fighting for should be easy. Every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears is worth every ounce of his protected life.)

A: “Mommy, when I was in Grenada I would cry and cry because I never thought I would have a family. But because you filled out all the papers, they let you bring me home to my family.”

(I proceeded to cry my eyes out for quite a while over this statement. I don’t believe he actually cried about it, but I do believe he longed for a family and he now, as a 6-year-old, has the words to tell me what his 3-year-old self was feeling.)

You see, I showed my son the other day what mattered to me. I showed him that I did what I wanted and what I wanted was to give him a home. I showed him that I would fill out all the papers in the world to bring him home to me. He doesn’t know it also means I spent all the money I needed to make it happen as well; that I raised every penny I could to make him my son.

What do we show our loved ones with our actions?
Do we show them that when we do what we want, we want to love them well?
Do we show them that when we spend our money, we aren’t wasting it on things that don’t matter?

What do you show your children?
What do you show your family?
What do you show your friends?

Challenge : Do what you want and let what you want do a world of good.

-KR

 

 

{KR’s Book Club} For The Love by Jen Hatmaker {Review}

Since this is my first Book Club post, let me preface this by saying that in the Ribble family, we are avid readers. So much so that we forfeited a dining room to make it into a library. Even our little boy is obsessed with books. It’s wonderful.

KR's Book Club

When I was a little girl, I walked around with my nose in a book to every single event. I couldn’t get enough of the Babysitter’s Club and any teen Christian novel my parents would allow me to devour. I was this way up until grad school. Grad school killed me. I was required to read so much that my brain literally said to me, “I refuse to consume any more words for your sheer degree enjoyment. I am shutting down. Goodbye.”

It has taken me a few years to get back to the veracity of reading I loved most of my life. As much as I would love to promise you a book review every single time I finish a book, I have a five-year old who doesn’t necessarily allow the completion of such tasks when I prefer them. That little munchkin time sucker doesn’t care as much about my blog as I do. That being said, I will do my best to keep pumping these out when I can because if there is ever a gift I want my readers to have besides my inspiring words (ha ha) it is the gift of more amazing people and their inspiring words.

You will quickly see that I have a vast preference in books. There will not be a theme to the posts so read them each for their stand-alone content and then go buy the book! You can thank me later.

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Anytime I read anything by Jen Hatmaker I feel like she is whispering words straight from the crevasses of my heart. It’s incredible how much her brain thinks like mine. It’s scary almost.

When her For The Love book came out this past Fall, I received it very quickly through my Noonday Collection network, but didn’t have the immediate time to devour it.

For The Love Book

Today I spent time rereading the last three chapters for the third time because my toddler thinks its funny to interrupt me as soon as my head bows to read every single blasted time. “Mommy this puzzle has a scooter, a bicycle, a tricycle, a wagon, and a skateboard. I only have a scooter. You can buy me a bicycle, tricycle, wagon, and a skateboard ok?” Ok. I’m on that right now.

Every single page of this book made me think of some woman in my life who I want to just ship this book to. Literally every page revealed conversations I have had with certain people in my life at certain times. When I read something familiar I wanted to rip the pages out and send them to the person they make me think of.

Jen’s call to sisterhood and unity in this book is so exquisite. The tag for the book explains it all; Fighting for grace in a world of impossible standards. Every single female reading this knows what that means. Every single thing we encounter as women has us sometimes screaming for a little grace. I find myself longing for this when I look in the mirror wearing a bathing suit, when I respond to my child a little harsher than I wanted, when I ignored a need of my husbands without meaning to, and when a friend needed a response from me that I didn’t give them appropriately. I want grace in all of those situations because I am an overloaded mess these days.

You know what I mean because each of you are the Wonder Woman of your tribe. You want to do and say it all at the right time every single time. For the Love-it isn’t possible. Jen mentions putting things “on your beam” and “off your beam” in reference to the balance beam we all walk in life. Certain things should stay on your beam and others shouldn’t be there at all. You can’t balance it all. Try it and then you will have no hairs left on your head; and honey, let me be the first to rub your head gently and tell you something: you look better with hair. Original, colored, or gray-you look better with it. I already know this.

If no other person or thing will extend you grace, my love, read this book and be encouraged. Be encouraged to give yourself grace when no one else will. Be encouraged in your walk with your Savior and your life with your family. Just be. Read this book and simply be. It’s the most amazing gift.

You will laugh and cry and scream at some of Jen’s insights and I give you permission to do so. Every one of those emotions has their place in this book.

I don’t want to give away too much of the book because I really want you to curl up and read it for yourself, but I want to leave you with these words from Jen:

“Sister, come near and listen: You are smart and capable, strong and wise. You are an overcomer, a prized member of the body of Christ. You have so much to offer. You can gather your girlfriend tribe and raise kids together, providing the happiest childhood they ever complained about. You can crack open your Bible and preach good news for the poor. You can model faithful friendship around your table, and you can stretch your hand across oceans to mamas everywhere. You can do small work. You can do big work. You are so able in Jesus, so beloved, so permitted.”

I can’t scream Hallelujah loud enough. Yes and amen. YES AND AMEN!

My loves, take courage in the exquisite woman you are for all the people God has given your life. You are more than Enough could ever have imagined.

**I am sending this book to two of my readers. Comment below on the blog about something you battle finding grace for in your life as well as some women who encourage you in your life. If you can’t think of either, comment about that. Let this blog be your forum for truth. Two of you will get a message from me asking for your address to send you this amazing book.**

I love you all.

{My love letter to Jen about For the Love: Jen, I can’t thank you enough for sharing your heart in this book. As a girl who is juggling her own set of writing deadlines and trying to birth her first book and working through her first written Bible Study and trying to be a mom to a West Indian little boy and a wife to an amazing rock star drummer…. your words encourage me and uplift me. They challenge me to focus in a little sharper on some things in my life I let be too broad when they need to make up more of my foundation for sanity. I am daily practicing “on my beam” and “off my beam” and it is so freeing. Keep doing what God has placed on your heart. It is needed. Much love from Nashville to Austin.-KR}

Want to buy the book outright? Here you go love:

 

The Trait Project : #6 {Kelsie Reed}

“Rare as is true love, true friendship is rarer.” -Jean de La Fontaine

I have found this quote above to be immensely true in my life. The Trait Project has been my way of honoring those few gems on my journey. This post is no exception. This post is about the biggest surprise of a friend I have received in years.

In January, I will celebrate living in Nashville for 5 years. {Which is the longest I have lived anywhere my entire life and I am going to have a party to celebrate….I just have to} My husband had already lived in Nashville for a number of years, but our entire relationship was long distance so I moved to Nashville once we were back from our honeymoon. Not long after I was settled in, my husband kept mentioning that he wanted me to have a really good friend in Nashville; that was his hope for me. I kept dismissing it because it didn’t matter to me. I had spent much of my life moving around and sometimes had a good friend to show for a certain place and sometimes not.

Before I knew it, I had a really good friend in Nashville. Her name was Kelsie.
Kelsie Reed Peskett Snowden.

The funny thing about Kelsie is that the first time I ever met her was at my wedding. We had a small wedding in Virginia. I wanted ONLY 50 people there and my requirement was that I had to believe that I would still be speaking to you in 15 years if you were invited. We invited mostly family and very close friends in Nashville to attend, one of those friends being a band mate of my husband’s. His name is Phil.
Phil was on a gig with my then boyfriend, Jared, when Jared went to buy my engagement ring. The same week they bought my ring, I was visiting them at the venue of their gig and Phil began to tell me about Kelsie; his not so girlfriend “girlfriend”. I could see his face completely change when her name was mentioned. I knew she was special.

Fast forward a few months. Jared proposed, I said yes, and we began to put a wedding together in four months. I wanted Phil to be a part of the 50 and I asked him to bring Kelsie along. He told me Kelsie was really apprehensive about it because she didn’t’ know us and truthfully I can understand her feeling this way; she would literally be the only person at my wedding that I wasn’t really good friends with. That can be intimidating. I admire her though because she came.

Jared and I took pictures with everyone who came and I look back at that picture with Kelsie and Phil and I never knew God had me standing next to the girl I would ask to be my child’s godmother.

Snowdens & Ribbles @ Ribble Wedding
Snowdens & Ribbles @ Ribble Wedding 2

I can’t tell you what one event pivoted us into great friends. Maybe Kelsie can say what it was, but I remember just looking up from my life one day in a coffee shop and Kelsie was sitting across from me as one of the most familiar things in my life.

As we continue this journey into adulthood, I think we find friends for reasons we never believed we would. I look back on what I needed in my life back then, and even more so now, and I see why Kelsie and I clicked. I, like every other woman (if she will be honest with herself) need a friend who I can be 1000 % honest with. This type of friend is the needle in the haystack.

We as women put on a front.
We hide behind Facebook profile pictures of happy marriages that show a lie to everyone who sees them.
We hide behind snapshots of our kiddos laughing and words describing them as the most beautiful angels when we want to cry and scream because life has been so difficult as a mom.
We hide behind Instagram photos of just our neck and face smiling because we actually spent twenty minutes in the bathroom that morning distraught by our figure.
This is what we do.
We create what we want the truth to be and we choose friends who can’t get close enough to know all the crevasses.
We seek women who are doing the same things so we never have to get too close and be uncomfortable.
And you know what I say to this?? I say we are all kidding ourselves into thinking this is an ok way to live.
We are depriving ourselves of one of God’s greatest gifts in a person if we seek this type of friendship only. We are depriving ourselves of honesty.

When God gave me Kelsie, he gave me a girl that I can tell anything to. And I mean anything. I can not begin to explain the wonderful emotion I have knowing I have complete sincerity with another girl friend. I don’t have to hide behind profile pictures or tell fibs at the coffee table about my days. I can lay all of my raw emotion before her, bleeding and pleading, she accepts every ounce of it for what it is and loves me.

Kelsie & Phil’s Wedding, Coronado Island, CA

kelsie and phil wedding

I saw this picture the other day of a tote bag someone had that said, “Mother Teresa didn’t walk around complaining about her thighs–  she had {stuff} to do.” There are a million reasons I love this, but one of them is in this statement, I see so much of my relationship with Kelsie. When I am with her, I can complain about those things if I want to, but our friendships pushes us both to focus on the best of us both.
Our friendship listens to the inadequacies, calculates their worth in each other, then computes the truth for us both to take from that table with gusto.

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In just the fashion I would have encouraged her to do, Kelsie moved to California this year to pursue some lifelong dreams. I have never once lied to her about my feelings about this move. I have been so excited for her and at the same time devastated. I no longer have a couple of days a week of coffee meet ups with her or evenings of shared dinners with our families. We will from here on out count on one hand the times we see each other in a year. That’s difficult for me to type. But its the truth and she is doing what is best for her family, as I am mine.

I decided a long time ago I wanted to ask her to be my child’s godmother. In the denomination I grew up in spiritually, we never practiced naming of godparents. For me, I wanted to bestow an honor similar to “aunt” or “uncle” on a friend who isn’t blood already. The main reason for picking Kelsie was that I want to convey to my son, that if there is ever a time he cannot come to me; if there is ever a time he feels he can’t come to family for help or share something with us, I want him to know his Aunt Kelsie is that person. She will welcome him as her own and I trust her with his soul. I know she will not lead him astray.

As you are reading this, Kelsie just found out last week that she is my son’s godmother. Aiden took this picture below as his way to ask her. I wrote a note to her about all the things I want Aiden to know about her and my trust in her, and we gave her a bracelet with Aiden’s birthstone to commemorate her role in his life.

Aiden's Godmother Picture
This is a picture of her face as she realized what we were asking her:

Kelsie Finding Out She is a Godmother

My wish is for every girl to have a Kelsie in their life that they can tell absolutely everything to. My wish is for every woman to have a Kelsie whom they can point their child to knowing if they can’t come home, they have a safe place to land and an honest heart to welcome them.

Kels & Krys

I don’t really know if Mother Teresa complained about her thighs, but if she did, I hope she had a Kelsie to talk to about it.

Kels, I love you more than these words can ever adequately describe. As we have joked many times, you are my Right Arm. The miles will never define our friendship. Thank you for always being a safe place for me to land no matter where I am coming from. I love you forever and always.