Sunday, August 21, 2011

how are you?

okay so i am on a blogging kick. so bear with me.

i want to approach the subject of asking "how are you?". i listen to 93.3 here in Denver and they do some funny little blurbs between songs sometimes. one of them being- "when asked- how are you? the appropriate answer is fine. no one wants to hear anything beyond that." AJ and i just talked about this the other day...

how true is that? as a society we have become used to that phrase as a way to make small talk. no one really wants to hear how you actually are. no one actually wants to know that you are having a tough time in your marriage, or your kids are struggling at school or that you have cried yourself to sleep last night for whatever reason. they expect to ask- hear a general response and move about their day.

i no longer do this. as I know that multiple times since Sophia's birth- people would go to ask this and get more than they bargained for. i had someone ask on the first week I was back to work and I was on the verge of tears and broke down crying when i was asked. this was approached in the book i am reading right now- Bittersweet by Shauna Niegquist: "When you're mourning, when something terrible has happened, it's on your mind and right at the top of your heart all the time... When you're in that place, it's a gift to be asked how you're doing, and most of the time the answer comes tumbling out, like water over a broken dam, because someone finally asked, finally offered to carry what feels like an unbearable load with you."

i challenge anyone reading this to actually only use this phrase when you REALLY do want to know how someone is doing (shoot- just try it for one week). don't just say it in passing, but take that time to ask how someone is doing. know that your answer might be -fine or has become a learned response by people. that no one really wants to know how you are truly doing but feels like they should ask. so if that is what they say- push for more. go deeper with people. actually care about the person and how they are doing.

i think back on all the times that if someone had just asked how i was really doing (when i was going through something tough and feeling alone) how that would have changed my day and maybe even my life course. what about that time when i was a young teenager in an abusive relationship? how about when i was depressed and flunking nursing school? or when i was newly married and struggling with the growing pains of marriage? i can say that a lot of my friends i am close with, are relationships that were strengthened or created because they came along side me during these times in my life and asked- how are you? how can i walk along side you? how can i help carry your cross?

how many relationships would be created or strengthened with this 3 word question? how many people could you change or impact their life in a big way by just caring? God calls us to love people and help carry each other's crosses in this way. this simple question can help you go deeper if you CHOOSE to. just know that if you go there, not only do you need to expect an answer that isn't always pretty. just make sure to really listen. and not only listen also follow up with that person. pray for that person. they opened their heart to you and that is hard to do. not only is that hard but that is sacred. God is in that sacred time and space. find him. meet him. dwell in it.

getting off my soap box.... t

Sunday, August 14, 2011


just a quick thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

God has certainly heard and comforted us. i think we both can say that this weekend has been one of peace. we feel at peace now with where God has us. that he is control and has a plan. a plan we are coming to peace with. we spent some great time together going on a 30 mile bike ride. remembering all the things we love to do and asking ourselves why we have let our summer go by without doing them. we feel a new sense of joy for life and hope for our future.

i am thankful i can take some time to feel angry and then to accept it. i don't want to sit here pretending that what we are going through isn't hard or always make complete sense. because that would be lying to you and most importantly myself. i am really trying to let myself feel how i feel and then after some time I tend to feel better. i think it's easy to feel like a bad Christian, letting yourself feel angry at God or wanting something different to happen. but it's not. praying harder doesn't fix everything. the world is broken and it is okay to let your heart feel the brokenness sometimes. i have always had complete trust, but i do feel angry or disappointed in what that has brought. i think i have to write this to remind myself of this. as our wonderful friend Heidi (who is in herself an inspiration) says- Joy does come in the morning! thank goodness!

i hope that you too feel a sense of peace this weekend. wherever you are at in life.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

porch sittin

i'm sitting on my back porch- one of my favorite places to sit. well ever. it doesn't have to be mine, or necessarily the back porch... any porch will do. or patio for that matter. aaron likes to point out that because i am from the country i am a porch sitter. i prefer to think it just relaxes me to sit outdoors, particularly in the evening or morning. even more if i have a glass of pinot noir in my hand. i blame my mom and step dad for instilling this in me. i'm sure they gladly accept this blame.

but some of my favorite times have happened on porches/patios. when i was young, my friend molly, my sister and I would play barbies there. when i got older i would talk to boys there. when i was in young life- some great conversations or music listening would happen there. i got one of my first kisses from my husband there. i hung out with his family for one of the first times there. we said good bye to our chicago friends there. we would sit there when i was pregnant with sophia. we sat in the sun there in the days after she was born, soaking up the sun and hoping it would reach down and warm up our cold aching hearts. i found comfort there on my parents porch for my first mother's day. i have sweet dinner dates with my husband. i lay out in the sun there when i am afraid to show others my post-baby flabby body. i hide from my needy, attention seeking dog there. i read books and drink coffee sitting there. i find peace there. God meets me there.

even tonight as i sit out here, feeling exhausted physically and emotionally. i feel a sense of peace.  i know porch sitting doesn't sound magical. but sometimes it is. sometimes the slight breeze and perfect temperature is just right to calm you down and slow your thoughts.  this is exactly what i needed. even though i didn't know it, and was about to go sit on my couch and watch So You Think You Can Dance. instead i let myself be lead out here. God was calling me to spend some time with him. reminding me that the week we have been through is still under his care. that although aaron and i are both tired from grief and tears, some of it old and some of it new. we are still loved. we are feeling angry and frustrated with God. with his plans for us. that they aren't lining up with ours. that i wish i could be sitting out on my porch with my daughter on my lap. 

i haven't asked for prayers like we used to.... but we need them.

for aaron- as his grief has become fresh again. his arm's ache for his daughter. his heart hurts to be a daddy again. 

for me- i am having some issues with my thryroid, making me tired, emotional and over-all not myself. 

we are both just ready for some change and positive things to come our way. 

-the dinkel family