So today's guest is one of my closest and oldest friends. She was at my 6th birthday party and eventually we were college roommates for 3 years and she was my matron of honor. I don't see her more than a few times a year these days but when I do, it's always like time has never passed. She lived down the street from my grandparents and that's how we originally met and then our moms hooked us up as roommates in college. I was so intimidated when we first lived together because she was so pretty and so smart and honestly - I'm probably still intimidated by her but I also love her fiercely. She met her husband Lance in college and when they were first married and I was single I would go and stay weekends with them and was their third wheel and Lance always treated me like a sister. They went through many years of infertility and then had two beautiful daughters. Lance and Kandi are both brilliant and read like 7000 books a year. Their favorite thing is travelling to all the Presidential libraries and birth places. They also are world travelers. They are always on an exciting adventure. I think just in the last year or two they have been to Argentina, Italy and China plus lots of stops in the U.S. And they both have a heart for missions. Lance grew up in Taiwan where his parents were missionaries and they have taken numerous mission trips over the years. Kandi is active in BSF and they are very active in their local church. I'm just so thankful to have Kandi as my lifelong friend. (Also Kandi would LOVE to tell you stories of what a nerd I was in college and they are all true).
2. What is your very favorite piece of clothing right now? (FASHION) I mostly live in t-shirts and shorts or yoga pants. I work part time but from home and I don't tend to do much that requires dressing up. When I do get "dressed" though, my current favorite item of clothing is a pair of AG Legging jeans. I follow a few fashion bloggers who say these are the most flattering jeans. I finally bought a pair in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale and I love them! I also love my blardigan (blanket cardigan) by Barefoot Dreams...thank you ShaefferToldMeTo! I have two now and I take one everywhere in case I get cold, even in summer.
3. Tell us about your Family? I've been married to Lance for 22 years and still love and respect him more every day. We have two daughters, Lowrey, 13, and Annie, 12. They are 358 days apart...one of our family's best God stories! The girls are very close even though they are very different. Lowrey is a lot like her parents...firstborn, responsible, and serious. Annie helps the rest of us lighten up...she's full of imagination and fun. I think their differences actually help them get along better and I love seeing how their personalities complement each other. I often say that together they would be the perfect babysitter...Annie would provide all the entertainment and Lowrey would keep everyone safe.
4. What is the most important quality in your Friends? OR tell us something that a Friend has done for you that you can't forget. This was a hard question for me, but after much thought, I'm going to say that authenticity is at least one of the most important qualities in my friendships. I'm the type of person who has a small number of good friends, not a large number of casual friends. I'm an introvert and the very opposite of a social butterfly. I hate small talk. My friends tend to know me well and I know them well. I crave authenticity in those relationships...if I can't be who I am with you and you won't be you, I'd rather be reading a book. But I can spend hours and hours talking with those authentic friends and not be left feeling drained. That's good friendship to me.
5. What's something you have learned recently in your Faith journey? And/or share your favorite scripture right now and why or your favorite Bible Study or book you have read recently. The scripture that God has used to shape my heart and mind most in the past five years is Psalm 67. All six verses of are dear to me, but specifically, verses 1 and 2..."May God be gracious to us and bless us, and make His face shine on us...so that your ways be known on earth, your salvation among all nations." I bet most of us that grew up in Church have heard Psalm 67:1 hundreds of times...asking God to be gracious and bless us. But the rest of that Psalm tells us WHY God blesses us...SO THAT His ways may be known and His salvation may be spread among the nations. God doesn't bless me for my happiness. God is much more concerned with my holiness than my happiness. And the reason for that is because He created me to glorify Him by blessing others, not to pursue happiness. I am still fumbling my way through what this looks like in real life for me. Satan/the world lies to me and tells me that God doesn't want the best for me, that He asks too much, that other people are more equipped and blessed to do Kingdom work, that I am not "good" enough to witness for Him. Those are all lies and there are so many more I could give you that I fight against. The only way to fight those lies is using the Word of God. I could talk about this for a long time but your blog post would get too long!
6. What is your biggest Fear? I think I fear losing Lance and the girls the most. I know that's a common fear. A friend recently lost her only son in a horrible accident. I am devastated for her and have been amazed at her ability to praise God for making her son whole again in heaven and for the short life he had. His celebration service was the most God-honoring event I've ever attended. I mentioned this to my mother-in-law, that I was blown away by her faith...and my mother-in-law wisely said that her praise is a sacrifice of praise to the Lord ...that it is the hardest kind and requires the most trust and that He honors that. I believe that whole-heartedly. But I still know that my heart holds on to this world tightly. My family is the biggest idol in my life, meaning I struggle to put my relationship with my Father above them. I think often of the song "Blessed Be Your Name" and the line "He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away, Lord Blessed be Your Name!". Could I do that if faced with loss of my family? I pray so. Oh, and snakes. I am absolutely terrified of all snakes. Can't even look at a picture of one.
7. What are some of your Favorite things right now? I'm a recent podcast enthusiast, so that is the first thing that comes to mind. There are a few that I look forward to each week...What Should I Read Next is my absolute favorite, although it is making my list of books to read ridiculous. I also never miss Sorta Awesome and The Pop Cast with Knox and Jamie. I would never be cool enough to be friends with Knox and Jamie in real life, but I adore them both. Their podcast is how I know anything at all about pop culture. I also love boot weather and it's almost here. I have several (too many) pair...I'm kind of obsessed. Boots always fit no matter how much dessert you've been eating! I'm also loving Stranger Things on Netflix. It is unusual for me to binge watch something. But my sister-in-law, who is the queen of all things pop culture...she and Jamie Golden could seriously talk for hours...she told me to watch this and I'm hooked. I especially love it being set in the 80s and seeing everything as it was when I was growing up. Last favorite thing...I've been making this salad for about 4 months now at least once, sometimes twice per week. I cut up Roma tomatoes, avocados, purple onion and cucumbers (the English ones are the best) and drizzle olive oil, a lemon and then mix. Oh and some salt and pepper. And sometimes I sprinkle in some fresh cilantro if I have it. I eat it constantly.
8. What has been your biggest Failure? This was another hard question for me. I can think of a few different situations, but they're very personal so I'm not going to share those. However, when I think about those things that I most regret and would tend to see as failures, the common theme in those is that I put myself and what I wanted before and over the needs and wants of another person. That is always going to be a failure for me when that happens. I know and believe that God can redeem all things and I often pray things like "God, please let the girls completely forget I ever said that" or "God, I don't know how this could ever be made right but I know that you can make it so...please do."
9. What do you do for Fun? I'm such a nerd, but honestly, reading is my idea of fun. It is not unusual for me to have 6 books going at any one time...usually one on audio to listen to while I'm exercising or in the car, one or two on my kindle so that I can read in a waiting room or the carpool line, and then another fiction and a couple of non-fiction "learning" books going that I alternate with at home. I also LOVE to travel and I love to plan our travel. I spend HOURS planning future vacations...I'm an expert on Expedia. Ha. I love to experience different parts of the country and different cultures and to learn about new places. I love all the different landscapes and environments that God has created and I want to experience it all. I'm actually praying and thinking about starting a home-based travel agency since I enjoy all the background work so much.
10. Tell me about what animals you have? (Furry things) We have a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Rosie. She is 6. She's a mess! Cavaliers are supposed to be lap dogs. Rosie loves to be outside, to chase squirrels and bugs, and she is just now at 6 turning into the dog we expected. The vet continues to say "She's just not typical to her breed." Oh, and she's still not house trained. After six years. Ask me if I want another dog! But we love her to pieces.
11. What is your favorite FILM? (movie) I'm not a movie person. People are always amazed at the movies I've never seen. If I don't see it in the theatre, the chances of me sitting down and watching it at home without going to sleep are slim. I still love Steel Magnolias...that's probably my all time favorite. I also love Mr. Holland's Opus and Shawshank Redemption.
12. What is one Fact we might not know about you? I play a mean game of air hockey.