Wednesday, August 19, 2015

For the Love...

Once upon a time, I had a fake best friend.  Well, let's be honest.  I've had several of them.  Jay-Z thinks I'm awesome, Jimmy Fallon thinks I'm hysterical, and well, Jen Hatmaker thinks I'm her real life bestie.

None of those, sadly, are true statements.

However, one of those mentioned has caressed my face.

And her name is Jen Hatmaker.

If you have spent any time with on this blog, on my social media pages, or in person... you know I love Jen.  She's funny, she's smart, and she speaks Truth in a way that so many people "get"... she's just fantastic.

The short version of my love of this "celebrity" (she hates that term, btw) is this: in 2008, 4 of my not-yet-but-soon-to-be-best-friends and I decided to get together to do a Bible Study.  We knew-ish each other, but thought because of our similar places in life, maybe we'd have a connection.  (Side note: I highly recommend this method of finding your people.  Pick people that you might like, pick something to do together, and give it a season.  It might work.  It might not.  I've been in groups that will never let go of each other and groups that enjoyed the season and moved on.)  Two of those in our group went to our local Christian Book Store, sat on the floor, and looked through studies.  We stumbled upon one written by Jen, bought it because it looked cute, and started living life together with Jen as our unspoken 6th Group Member.

It wasn't long until I friended her on Facebook.  Because back in 2008, I thought it might make this sweet pastor's wife feel good to hear from little ol' me that her words had made a difference.

Ahem.  Yep.  Cause she needed a fan.

Shortly after she started writing big things... like Interrupted... which did just that and interrupted our lives.  Several of you will say that "Seven" was your favorite Jen book... mine was and will likely always be "Interrupted" because it changed us for the better.  Permanently.

I began to share her books with friends- putting them in the hands of ones I loved hoping they would love Jen back.

Then she had this moment where she made us all say "amen"... and the World At Large fell in love with my Fake Bestie.

Her life went along at lightening speeds... HGTV found her and did a show about her amazing house. People started mentioning her to me asking if I'd ever heard of her.  I started to feel a little territorial of her for a while (she was my fake bestie first!) then realized how beyond childish that was and embraced that people loved my Love... and it's so good.

Yesterday, her newest book hit the shelves.  I was fortunate enough to be able to read an advanced copy with 499 strangers who have banded together on Facebook.  I have learned more about them than I know of some of you- and I'm excited (and terrified) to meet them all in Austin in a few weeks.   I watched "Launch Day" blow up my Newsfeed yesterday and sat back feeling a bit like I hadn't turned in my homework... I had failed to alert you all about how her book was now AVAILABLE and how YOU NEEDED TO RUN OUT AND IMMEDIATELY BUY IT.

So, in true Becky Fashion... here we are "A Day Late and A Dollar Short".  Y'all want this book?  Fine.  Let's do this.

In the spirit of Love and Doing Good, I'm sponsoring a bloggy contest.  I'd love for you to enter.

Here's how to get "entered":
* Like this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram= one entry (per each site!)
* Share this post= two entries
* Tell me how you are Doing Good (privately or publicly)= 5 entries

And here is what you will win...
* A copy of Jen's Book, For The Love, which is both hysterical and uplifting
* The world's best pen
* Your very own "Do Good" coffee mug
* Your choice of a "Do Good" T-shirt or Tote Bag
* A gift card to my super favorite place in Winston-Salem, Camino Bakery (Not local? No problem. I'll send you a Starbucks card and gift the Camino one to someone local.)

Not enough reason for you to enter?  How about some more cute pictures of me with Jen?

The Six of Us.  Laurie had just moved to Phoenix, so she was there as Flat Laurie.

Did you want to see a better picture of when I first met her?  Sorry, this will have to do.  "Someone" kinda forgot to take a picture while I was busy making sure she had her own with Jen.  If you'd like to see *that* picture, you might want to ask my friend Michelle... oh, whoops... I see what I did there.

My life has been enriched by her words.  You will love this book.  The "Thank You Notes" alone are worth it.  It's perfectly timed for the beginning of school- it gives us a pass from all of the things that the world (and Pinterest) tells us we "should" be doing as Mommas.  I can't wait to hear what you think about the book... and I'm happy to autograph your copy if Jen isn't available to.

Need more?  Here's a link to what I wrote about my first meeting with Jen.  Sigh.

Now get to sharing/posting/entering.  FOR THE LOVE, people!

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Company I Keep

In recent days, I have been filled with memories of wisdom I gleaned from my Mom.  She taught me tons about the ways of the word including the necessity of quality paper towels, spending money on good framing, and how to make lasagna.  She wiped up behind me before I had even spilled and was able to make me "straighten up" with just an exhale of breath.

One of her very favorite sayings during my formative years was "You're known by the company you keep." The fact I have been friends with the Trashy Cable Twins for 35+ years may cause some to wonder whether or not I've fully embraced those words... but let me go on record by saying that I, indeed, have.

Just this week, my Company showed up at the Sticht Center with brand new pajamas for Mom never having spent any time with her in her healthy days.

My Company continues to reach out with words of encouragement- "This book was helpful to me..."; "Remember to take care of yourself..."; "How can I help...."

My Company brought meals to us in the hospital.  My Company also understood when we just weren't up for visitors.

My Company understands when I have to change plans to deal with out of town guests.  Or trips to Mom's facility.  Or because I just can't.

My Company has us drop Julianna at their house for an unknown amount of time- only to have her spend the night.  They send me pictures and videos of the fun she has so that I can be assured my little ones are well loved and happy while I am away from them.

My Company plans dates with my girls in the days to come so that they will feel continuity while I feel chaos.

My Company knows when to pour the wine and when to stop.

My Company loves me well.

I am sad/ mad/ discouraged/ angry/ disappointed that my girls won't get to hear some of Mimi's lessons straight from her... but I know that they will feel the effects of her wisdom through the love of my Company.  And while we were able to giggle as Mom rolled her eyes at some of our conversations in the hospital, I'm grateful that her words will live in my heart even when she can't speak them to me anymore.  I've lived almost 40 years trying to please my Mom... and I know that the quality of my Company pleases her even now.