Monthly Archives: November 2012

Making the Best of Human Life…

Let’s face it.  Life on earth isn’t always easy.  In fact, most of the time is pretty challenging.  We deal with job losses, disappointments, cancer, troubled relationships, obesity, death, natural disasters; the list is never-ending.  We work so hard in attempt to cReAte and control an ideal surrounding, but nothing will ever be perfect…

because we are HuMaN

because we are SiNnErS

because we live on a place called EaRth.

SOURCE

Quite depressing, isn’t it?  Well it certainly can be if you let it. The reassuring part is that God knew life here would be difficult, and He wants to help lighten our load.  Sure, we could take the easy road and just be miserable until our life runs out.  But why not make the best of it while you are here?  Plus, by choosing to walk through life with Him, there will be more to look forward to when your days on Earth are over…HeAveN!

As an optimist, I am a believer that despite our challenges, we have to make the best of our HuMan lives.  How do we do that?  The obvious answer is ask God for help when you are struggling, and continue to speak to Him when days are good.  Talk to Him about your sins and ask for forgiveness when you feel guilty or know you’ve made a wrong choice.  And don’t forget to thank Him when things go your way!  When you develop this type of relationship with Him, the days won’t seem so lonely when EarThLy problems get thrown your way.  And when you feel more connected…the doors that He is opening for you will become more obvious!

Believe me, I know it is easier said than done.  But do we really have a better option?  If we are realistic with ourselves that life will consist of steady highs and lows (regardless of how hard we try to control it), why not have something CoNsTanT to lean on through it all?

Advent begins this Sunday.  There is no better time to start or enrich your relationship with God than now.  Here, on the Suede Sofa, we will be celebrating every day of Advent.  Check in daily between now and Christmas and join us as we prepare for the true meaning of Christmas!

Now is the time!  Make this the most meaningful Christmas yet!

In Christ,

Lara

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Jersey Strong and Thankful

There is nothing that could have prepared any of us for the DeVaStATiOn that resulted from Hurricane Sandy blowing through the Jersey Shore.  My children are the 4th generation of family spending summers on Chadwick Beach so seeing homes that have been in the backdrop of photographs with my grandparents  tossed on their sides and nearly unrecognizable was heartbreaking.  Those of you who follow our blog know how much the beach means to my family.  From my seaglass collection to finding special shells with my children to make wreaths or to just paint for fun, Chadwick Beach has been our own little paradise right here in our own backyard.  Chadwick Beach is on a barrier island that rests between the Atlantic Ocean and the bay.  During the storm the water from the bay and the ocean met causing extensive flooding.  Our family home was filled with a foot and a half of water in the first floor, but thankfully it is still standing.  Others were not so lucky. Neighborhoods of houses were completely washed away into the Atlantic Ocean.  Another beach suffered a tremendous loss when gas lines exploded and blocks of houses burned to the ground.

Abby on our beach path Summer 2012

Back home we lost power from the storm for six days and lived on a generator that we used conservatively because of a major gas shortage in the state of New Jersey.  My brother-in-law waited on a line for four hours in the middle of the night to fill up his car and some gas cans to keep his own generator running.  It was a very scary week for all of us and at the same time we were trying to find out any information we could about the shore house.  Thankfully my parents had full power fifteen minutes away and we were able to drive over there during the day to watch the news, stay warm, and let the kids play in some normalcy.

My second summer at Chadwick Beach ~ Summer 1978

Now that the power has been restored, the gas lines are back to normal, and we look forward to rebuilding our Jersey Shore back to its original beauty I am trying not to focus on what was lost.  The hurricane may have washed away many of the buildings and landmarks that were symbols of our shore, but nothing can take away our MeMoRiEs.  Let’s be thankful for what we have, and not ever for a second take anything for granted, it might not be there tomorrow.

This picture shows the two houses that line the beach path that Abby was on in the above photo.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving  celebrating

all that you have to be ThAnKfUl for!

My little loves

~Robyn (Jersey Girl)

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Filed under Family, Hard Reality, Life, Relationships, Uncategorized

A Cookie & A Walk

Years ago when I was living in Tulsa I got an unexpected knock on my door.  It was my good friend Cindy.  She knew I was going through a really difficult time and so she bought me a slice of a large chocolate chip cookie and asked if I wanted to go for a walk on my favorite bike/run/walk trail along the Arkansas River.

What a simple gesture and yet close to 20 years later I am still touched by the impact of her thoughtfulness.  Maybe at the time it seemed like no big deal to her, but it was a big deal to me.  A really big deal.  And a really big lesson.

To this day her gesture challenges me to search for ways I can give someone a little grace, show a little kindness, and spread a little love.  And lest I am tempted to think my kindness is insignificant I remind myself of the power of a cookie and a walk.

As the holidays draw near, I know there are people needing kindness and a little hope.  And so I’m looking for someone I can dispense a little kindness to.  How about you?  Who do you know who needs a little grace?

:) Robynn

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Are You Generous?

This year I am trying to put more focus on ways that I can be GeneRouS. If this is an area that you struggle with, the holidays offer plenty of opportunities to GiVe. Offer to help an elderly neighbor with their holiday shopping. Buy a giftcard and give it to a stranger. Have a love for music? Go carol a family and friend that is in need of a pick-me-up. Can’t think of anything you want for Christmas? Instead, donate the money to a family in need. It doesn’t take much to brighten the life of another. Be creative and have fun with it!

Make this holiday season the BEST one yet by being generous and reaching out to anyone that you meet!

~Lara

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Filed under Holiday, RANDO•RAMA, Relationships

Just Do It – Say “I’m Sorry”

As humans none of us are perfect and we all make mistakes.  Sometimes on accident, sometimes on purpose.  And occasionally sometimes those mistakes call for an apology.  Whether or not we give one is completely another story.

Knowing I need to say “I’m sorry.” to someone gives that sinking feeling in my stomach because a true apology requires complete humility.  It requires that I put aside any justification on my part, any of those pathetic, “I’m sorry if I offended you.” pseudo apologies and just say, “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”  But when I finally do, I feel like I’m walking on air.  I guess that is because a clear conscience is as the MasterCard commercial says, “Priceless.”

Do you need to make a sincere apology?  What are you waiting for?  Free yourself from the pain of a guilty conscience and just do it – say “I’m sorry.”

:) Robynn

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Filed under Family, Friends, Hard Reality, Life, Marriage, Parenthood, People, Relationships

Wait It Out

I don’t know about you, but when I get upset I want to get it off my chest as soon as I can.  Let me tell ya, there are diSadvAntaGes to that.  I have found that if I speak my mind as the disagreement arises, I usually regret what was said.

The other day I was aggravated.  A first, I let my mind spiral out of control on all the things that bothered me about the situation.  Instead of verbalizing them as they came to mind, like I normally do, I took time to think long and hard about what I was going to say before pleading my case.  By thinking things through I was able to sift out unnecessary comments that would have been said only due to anger.  This was HuGe because back in the day it would have caused our arguments to fester twice as long!  By taking the time to fully evaluate the real reason I was upset, I had already calmed down which naturally heLpeD me discuss the situation in a more reasonable manner.

It is easy to want quick results and responses in all that we do.  The longer I live, the more I see the benefits in not getting in a HURRY.  As painful as it was to keep my mouth shut until I calmed down to carefully choose my words, it allowed me to resolve a problem with a person that wasn’t hurtful to them and regretful to me.

Taking the time to be more selective in what comes out of your mouth.  If your thoughts are going a hundred miles an hour, that is not the time to be verbalizing them.  Believe me; I know it is dreadful to wait.  Your mind is good at convincing you that those racing thoughts ARE truly how you feel.  Don’t be fooled.  Past arguments are evidence that your mind keeps tricking you, so do everyone a favor and wait this one out.

~Lara

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Filed under Family, Friends, Marriage, Relationships

Pile of Problems

Is life getting you down?  Do you feel like you have bigger problems than those around you?  Consider this…

If everyone were to pile all of their problems into the middle of the room, and you could swap yours out,

you’ll probably be in a hurry to grab yours back.

The grass is ALWAYS greener.  When we look at everyone around us, we never see the whole picture.  Same goes for other people.  They probably look at you and wish they could swap their problems with yours.  (I know you are laughing, but it is true!)  Your life may be tough right now, but don’t be so quick to envy someone else.  Your issues may not be so bad after all!

~Lara

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