i was chatting with some friends the other day at the school playground and abigail was in her usual place: on the monkey bars. she was screaming for me to watch, "HEY MOM!! LOOK AT ME!!"  over and over before i clued into the fact that she was yelling for me.

 my friend joked about how she and her husband often switch it up on their kids and start clamoring, "HEY LOOK AT ME!!"  over and over to them instead.
i definitely tucked that idea away for another day. (maybe when they are teens.)

later that day, i came home and took a look in the mirror. and i thought about how i wish IT would scream, "HEY KATIE, LOOK AT ME.  NO REALLY, you should take a look HERE just every now and then. REALLY. i'm not kidding. you shouldn't go out looking like that."

and if it had really said that outloud, it would be pretty true. (especially this rainy month!)
because i neglect myself.

the voices all around me screaming for me
to watch and look and help and do
are often
so much louder than my own.

i do stop to look at them.
to take delight in them.
to smile.
(although like this day, sometimes it's after they've gotten REALLY loud- or after i've taken a deep breath so that i don't snap.)
 and don't get me wrong...
i do spend hours thinking about myself during the day- like we all do- 
but what i don't do,
is take very good care of myself.

like eat a real meal for breakfast or lunch.
 or remove those unwanted hairs. (i know. gross.)
 or order the contacts that i finally got after ONE YEAR of wearing the glasses that i bought to wear as "fun weekend glasses."
or try to wear a decent outfit rather than just throwing something on in the morning.
and i'm only referencing the external things that i neglect...
which i'm thinking are truly symbolic of the internal.

because really, if i don't even fix my hair in the morning, am i really stopping to consider if my life is where i'd like it to be??
if i am who i want to be?
if i am moving towards those things at all?

i'm not doing much of that
but i want to.

i want to stop and be a reflective person...
i want to live my life with purpose, not just reacting to what's in front of me.
anyway. one step at a time, right?

so today. here are two ideas for all of us to be a little more purposeful toward reflection.
(and not the kind where you're falling into bed at 11:30pm thinking, "what did i even do today? what do i have to show for myself? i'm so exhaust......zzzzzzzzzzzzz.)

step one: read with me.
a million miles in a thousand years.
A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life
it's a book about story. and an inspiration for you and i to make ours a better one.
written by donald miller. (who happens to live here in portland, but no, i do not know him.)
(and by the way, if you order through my little link, i get a small kick back.  wouldn't you feel so generous to do that??)

some of the church ladies and i will be meeting to discuss this book and our stories, but i'm thinking while i'm at it, you might like to read along too.

would you?
i've done an on-line book club before, so don't put it past me. ;) but let me know if you feel like joining... i would love to think about how we can create a little more community here in sharing our stories....
(maybe there needs to be a giveaway coming soon.)

step two: read this blog.
my dear friend, jorja who is a writer, mom, cuss-er, entrepreneur, person of deep faith, friend, and encourager at heart just started a blog called LIVING BEYOND THE PALE.  if you enjoy reading people who are honest, vulnerable, passionate and helpful at the same time, it is a perfect place for you.  her blog is also a great place for us to begin to "look in the mirror" and take some time for ourselves as busy women.  (wait. are there any men who read my blog?! you would love it too...). please go there.

not only does she have a powerful story to share, but she also has some perfect ideas in the works for women to connect, get away, and discover who they were meant to be.  so stay tuned!!

and seriously, if i had to count on one hand the people in this world who have shaped me the most, she would be one of them.  and that's all i really should have to say. ;)
okay... i think i'm going to try to tend to those hairs i mentioned while the kids are away with their dad!


Jean Joiner said...

i often think about how well i'll take care of myself when my kids get older, but will i really?

Karen Bowers said...

hey, katie, that book looks fascinating! an online book club reading sounds like a kick. count me in!

Summer said...

Katie...great thoughts here, thanks so much for posting :) summer sisk o'neal

BKicklighter said...

LOVE that book. Would LOVE to read it again. Between you and Jorja, the challenge has been laid, eh?

Susie said...

OK, I've been wanting to read that book, so your post pushed me over the edge. And I'll even order through your link :) Would LOVE to discuss online!!!
Thanks for taking the time to think and reflect and challenge us to do the same.

Allison said...

i'd love to read that book, too. never done an online book club but it sounds fun! (allison stephens)