Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lessons from a Tree House

400. Chick-Fil-A breakfast biscuits
401. Morning bike ride with JC
402. My wandering dog coming home
403. Flowers to grace the table

Our church had a women's retreat this last weekend at T Bar M. It was a lot of fun. I did a lot of things I haven't done in a long time, including sitting in a tree house giggling until 1:00 in the morning, and things that made it hard to get out of bed. I learned a lot, too. Mainly that we don't really know each other. I consider myself very close with several of the women who went. I can tell you where they grew up, what they like to do for fun, and how old their children are, down to the month. But after jumping off platforms with these girls, climbing up telephone poles, laughing, and really listening to them talk I realized we all hide so much. When we're open and honest with who we are and what our struggles are, we gain so much more from our friendships. It's hard to get there, though. Maybe it takes being scared for your life or being delirious with laughter, but when those walls come down we don't love each other less for the imperfections we see, rather so much more.

Vulnerability risks a lot. Everyone has their own reasons to keep walls up. For me it is a fear of reflecting poorly on Taylor or the church. If this is what their pastor's wife is like, what must that church be like? I'm constantly second guessing my conversations and how I come across for fear of hurting the church I love so much. But sitting in a tree house I realized I am not these girls' pastor's wife. I am their friend who happens to be married to their pastor. It is a freeing feeling when relationships get there. I always tell my friend, Leia, that I knew we were really friends the first time she introduced me as her friend, Alyson instead of her pastor's wife. I think the risk is worth it to have community you can live real life with.

404. Laughing so hard it hurts
405. Getting away with the girls
406. Deer
407. Knowing people deeper
408. Quiet in the morning
409. The Lord Almighty with us - Ps. 46
410. Spiderweb reflecting in the sun

411. Pretending like I'm 18 again
412. Shooting hoops
413. Conquering my fears
414. Ziplines and high ropes

415. Sand volleyball
416. Giggling until 1 AM
417. A sense of belonging
418. Sand in my clothes
419. Serving communion to one another
420. Happy welcome home by my children
421. Dinner ready
422. Fridge cleaned, filled, and organized
423. Meals planned
424. Laundry done
425. Taylor's care for me
426. A body that can ache

427. Holy Week
428. Sophie's school

429. Getting all our ducks in a row


Carey said...

"but when those walls come down we don't love each other less for the imperfections we see, rather so much more."
Amen, Sister, A-MEN! I will never ever forget the laughter - OH THE LAUGHTER - and the tears shed this weekend... in the tree house... in a swing between the trees. They were all cleansing and freeing, and I am so thankful for the time with FRIENDS.

And I love your pictures from the retreat! ;)

TeamBortzfield said...

beautiful post Alyson. I hope you got to burp the alphabet and really impress them. Love you lots!

Alyson Sandlin said...

Okay, Carol. I wasn't ready for the walls to come down THAT much. They don't know I have that talent yet!

mimi sharon said...

Knowing the real you is a perfect relection period. You are the very best you and I'm so proud of the woman you have become.

Janet said...

I agree 100%! The freedom of being vulnerable is so scary but worth it! Thanks for sharing. I consider you a friend, and not just "pastor's wife." So glad to know you! Oh, and I def want to hear you burp the alphabet. Amazing!

Grammy said...

Way to stay young, my littlest daughter! Good friends are worth more than gold, and will be there during the good and bad times. Trust me - I know. Great pictures!

Kristie said...

I cannot picture you burping like that. All I want for my birthday is the alphabet burped for me by Alyson Sandlin. :)

Julie said...

that looks like a lot of fun, alyson! sounds like you have some wonderful friends! miss you.