Friendship Bio: Lea and I lived on the same hall freshman year of college at Clemson. All the girls on our hall went through “Rush” together. Rush is another name for forced conversation between sorority girls and soon-to-be sorority girls. Nobody likes Rush, nobody. Yet thousands (millions?) of girls across the country participate every year. Any ways, Lea and my roommate Elizabeth (or E) decided not to join a sorority, so they kind of bonded over that decision. I joined a sorority, met and became really good friends with 4 girls and quit a year and a half later. So, Lea and E were good friends. E and I were good friends. Lea and I became friends through E. Fast forward two years when E studied abroad in London. In honor of missing E, Lea and I began to spend more time together. During this time, we became better friends through long talks, walks, and books.
Now, Lea is a P.A. living in Littleton, CO with her husband Jon and little boy Jonathan.
Lea is a very good friend in the truest sense of the phrase. She and I have not lived in the same state or even the same time zone since 2005, and here we are, still good friends. Lea is a very good listener. Sometimes when I’m listening to other friends, I try to channel Lea’s listening ability. One thing that’s really good about Lea’s listening are her responses. Her response questions and comments always seem to hit on the exact spot that need hitting, whether you want to be hit there or not. She is such a good listener that for awhile I forgot to ask her questions, I’d just talk and talk and talk. I hope I’m starting to channel her listening ability while I’m listening to her, too.
Just like Meg and I have knitting. Lea and I have reading. Lea didn’t teach me how to read, like Meg taught me to knit. But, during our talks books always seems to come up. Also, she’s confident. I’m not sure if she recognizes this about herself, but she can say “I’m good at my job” or “I’m good at being a mom” in a way that isn’t braggy. As someone who leans toward self-deprecation, I find that seeing this kind of confidence is encouraging. Like, “Oh, I can recognize that I’m good at this and that, and say it loud, and that’s okay.”
Now let’s here from Lea!
I asked Jon this question (about me) and he said it’s the way I can see people. But I actually think my greatest strength is that I can see myself. Sure, I can’t see everything about myself as clearly as I’d like (as evidenced by the new ways I see and learn about myself all the time!). I definitely don’t feel scared to see my stuff, the good and the bad. And I’ve seen enough of the bad to know that God has chosen this time for me to see it, and is only showing me because I am ready and because he wants to help me replace that part with His good. I guess I’ve been through the cycle enough times to trust that. And so I think (hope) that my strength of seeing myself can allow me to see others from a humble and inviting place. I hope that because I can see myself, and am working towards being comfortable in the me that I see, I can allow those around me to be who they are too.
No matter the setting or circumstances, the perfect day would include the following elements: quality time with my husband and son; peaceful time alone to connect with god and journal and pray; good food; fresh air; no stress or long to-do’s; connection with family and friends. I know that is vague.
Hardest question in the world for me! I’ll make up for my vague-ness with the last question by being the opposite here :). Hopefully I can limit it to under 10. OK what first comes to mind are Connecting by Larry Crabb and A New Kind of Christian by Brian Mclaren, both because they are books that I really connected with in my early Christian years, when I thought no one could relate to the way I was thinking. Both met me where I was at, while opening up new parts of me. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and Ender’s Game both because I read them pretty recently and because their characters demonstrate resolve and conviction and determination and intelligence. I admire the characters and the authors that created them, even if I don’t completely agree with them. Books I could (and probably should) re-read every year: Hind’s Feet on Hind’s Places by Hannah Hurnard and Prayer by Richard Foster. Books I have actually re-read several times: The Chosen by Chaim Potok, Catcher in the Rye (but not sure if this would be a favorite anymore… I may have grown out of it??), The Outsiders by SE Hinton. Oh and I love Beloved by Toni Morrison for her poetry within her prose and magical thinking within a non-magical setting. Discovering the Enneagram by Richard Rohr seriously changed my life. Favorite writers are Barbara Kingsolver, Richard Foster, and, newly, Ann Voskamp. There, is that less than 10? You knew I couldn’t give you one favorite right? 🙂
How we met:
We both lived in the fifth floor of Manning Hall when we were Freshman at Clemson. I can’t remember if I met you or E first… actually it must have been E first because I can remember coming to your room (I’m assuming to see E) and you were sitting on that hammock chair and I think that’s the first time I met you. We were friends all through fresh and sophomore year, but then after you got back from Australia we got really close when we started going to the same church and exploring our faith in the same way, and meeting regularly to talk about the holy spirit, and getting discipled by the same person. The rest is history!
Reason for starting a blog:
We started the blog when I was about half way through my pregnancy. It was intended to be a way for our East Coast family and friends to check in on us and keep up with the baby happenings. Pretty soon after starting it, I realized that this was a really easy way for me to document this important time in our lives, and it became kind of an online scrapbook. I am super awful at photo albums, real scrapbooks, baby books, etc., so I was thrilled that I actually wanted to keep up with the blog and it was actually easy to do so!
Reason for continuing blog:
Also pretty soon after starting the blog, it became an outlet for me to journal my journey through motherhood. I posted a lot of reflections about pregnancy and labor in the early days, and have posted reflections of what I’ve been learning being a mom. It’s good for me to write things that aren’t just for my journal, but that have to make sense enough for others to read. The mommy-blog community is huge, and is a great way to connect for a new mom. There’s a lot about the blog too that has forced me to face some of my fears: fears of being rejected, fears of disapproval, fears of not having anything worthwhile to say. I also rarely am consistent about things so continuing this blog has been an exercise in commitment. Now I am also writing about medical topics that new moms would be interested in, which is so much fun for me to do, but also forces me to overcome worries about approval, do I have what it takes, etc. Overall, blogging has been really good for me and is definitely something that I want to continue!
Surprised about being a mom:
Well, I was asked this question before and I don’t even remember my answer but the person asking it said “Oh, that’s weird [in response to whatever I said]. I was just surprised by how much I love my baby.” Haha–I guess that is just not my answer… I haven’t really been surprised about how much I love Jonathan. It is a new kind of love for sure, but I fully expected that it would blow my mind how much I could love this little guy, so that didn’t really surprise me. I also expected to learn a lot about myself through being a mom, but I will say that I have been surprised about what I have learned. Learned that I am not perfect, but I do have what it takes to be the mom that Jonathan needs. Learned that I am disorganized, inconsistent, messy (I knew all these things before but now I know them in a new context). Learned that I need love from people in some healthy ways and in some not so healthy ways, and learned the urgency of working through the unhealthy ways to get rid of that! Learned what things matter and what things don’t. I have also been surprised at the different mommy-stages that I have already experienced in just 8 months since meeting Jonathan face-to-face. I could go into all the stages here, but nah.
Here’s to Lea!
Her blog is called buck buck goose and is in my BlogRoll.