6 Gifts Of Love.

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My Girls

Last summer “My Girls” and I  decided to carve out a weekend during the holiday season where we could get out of town, go shopping, drink wine and just be together. The perfect Airbnb was found and we cleared our schedules for the 1st weekend in December to play.

Taryn remembered a super cool idea from one of Joanna Gaines’ magazines where girlfriends get together and bring something they love, to share with the whole group. So, there are six of us girls and we were tasked to bring one thing we love and to bring one for each person. We put a $10 limit on the gifts and then said nothing more about it.

As Summer turned to fall and life began to happen, things changed and plans had to be altered. I had to back out of our weekend as I was needed for a family matter out of state. Taryn still went, but a day late as her husband was awarded a medal of honor for his roll in a standoff situation. (he’s a police officer) Together, they laughed, they cried they shopped, drank wine … and gave gifts.

The families got together a few weeks later and my girls… unbeknownst to me brought their gifts. What unfolded next was a flood of never-ending tears, because as much as we have things we love that we want to share, what we really wanted to do was to say, I love you. When someone gives you a gift with a word or a whole book even that reminds them of you and then proceeds to explain why these words remind them of you, well, you cry. A Lot.

Today is Valentines Day. It’s the day of love. Love of spouse, kids, extended family and friends. It’s the perfect day to talk about this amazing group of women. It’s the perfect day to talk about my friends.

heidi n me / TiffanyAOlson.com

Heidi n Me

Heidi is our girl with the “tool belt.” No matter what you are going through whether it be emotional or physical Heidi pulls out a “tool.” Her tools are words of wisdom, thoughts and ideas that help you gain perspective and persevere through whatever you are going through. She’s tough, she’s sensitive and she’s the one you want on your side in a fight, be it physical or emotional. So Heidi brought some tools with her to share with the rest of us. Bag Balm and cookie scented candles for a scentsy. Because everyone knows if your lips are not chapped and things smell good you can tackle anything.

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Jennifer n Me

 

Three of the girls in our tribe work at the same elementary school. Taryn is the school secretary, Jennifer is a 1st-grade teacher and Karla teaches third grade. Being in the school setting as you can imagine they are all lovers of words. Jennifer is the quietest and by far the kindest of us all. I have never heard an unkind word about anyone come out of her mouth. She keeps negative thoughts to herself and saves all that stored up energy to unassumingly love those around her who need it the most. Her gift? An ornament with a photo of five hearts tied together with one string with all of our names on it. What better gift than the gift of a visual reminder of how much you are loved?

karla n me / TiffanyAOlson.com

Karla n Me

Karla is the one who “sees” what you think no one sees. She has a full life so we don’t get to hang with her as much as we would like but somehow, some way she knows what is going on in your heart. I can’t tell you how many times Karla has texted me or looked me straight in the eye and put words to the deepest feelings in my heart.  She went and pulled all the children’s books off of the shelf in her classroom and searched each one until she found a book that matched all of our separate personalities or what we have or are currently overcoming. She nailed it. Tears.

taryn n me / TiffanyAOlson.com

Taryn n Me

Out of the 6 of us I would have to say that Taryn and I get a tie for the loudest and the most chatty. Taryn loves with all that she is. She was one of my first friends when I moved to Coos Bay and I love her because she makes everyone feel like you are her favorite. She laughs loud and long and just like me, her favorite color is red. Taryn is currently inspired by an artist named Rae Dunn. Her gift to each of us was a coffee mug with a word or phrase that reminded her of us. Her word for me was humble. I would not have picked that word for myself and was floored that this was what came to mind when she thought of me.

Pam gave the gift of scripture and a word that reminded her of us all packaged in a cute little coffee mug. It was perfect because she is always pointing us back to Christ. She has suffered quite a bit but still has this uncanny ability to see the good in all things. She reminds us to trust and to seek God in every situation. When everything feels crazy Pam is the calm who comes in and reminds you of who is really in charge and in control of all that you are facing.

My gift? My favorite book. Why? Because it never gets old and I never grow tired of it. Every time I read it, I learn something new. I picked it because it reminds me of my friends. People who have seen you at your worst and love you anyway. Love gives you the courage to go and be yourself to all the world. They are my launching pad. They remind me that I have nothing to prove to anyone. I can be all that I am without fear of reproach because outside of God and my Husband their opinions are the only ones that matter.

Happy Valentines Day My Friends!!

 

Tiffany

 

Who Are You Trying To Be?

Who are you trying to be? Somebody else or more of who you already are?

I heard this quote today on a podcast. The topic of discussion was writing and the speaker was talking about comparison and social media. Her point was this… if you spend so much time scrolling and looking at other people’s lives how are you making your life better? Are we looking at the snapshots of other people’s lives and wishing we were like them?

If this is the case, then who is going to be you?

But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. Galations 6:4

 

… let each one test his own work…

Be more of who we already are … test our own work. The truth is that although we have different numbers in our bank accounts and different levels of success, one thing remains. Not one single person has an easy life. No one is spared. Illness, death, destroyed relationships … to name a few, touch us all. Those shiny photos and cute little quotes on  Instagram are just that… photos and quotes. It’s not real. They are two-second snapshots into a life that is filled with the good, the bad and the ugly. Just. Like. Yours.

Go out and do all of those things you are seeing on Instagram. Quit looking at the pictures of the runners and go out and run. Quit looking up recipes and get into the kitchen and cook. Write the proposal, close the deal, whatever it is for you. Make it happen.

You become more of who you already are by getting out and doing what you love doing. Me? Writing, Reading, Running and Cooking. These are the things I love doing. So, I’m doing them. Is it making me money? No. Is it filling my soul so I can get out there every day and do what I need to do? Yes.

We have but one life my friends. Go Live It.

18 Miles / TiffanyAOlson.com

This is what 18 Miles looks like… This week we go for 20!

Have a Beautiful Day!