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Posts Tagged ‘family’

different loves.

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

I know that there are different types of love languages, that we give and receive love differently. so what do you do when you are put in a situation where the love language involved needs physical proximity? ’cause I feel like that situation is smacking me right in the face over and over again.

it’s no secret if you know me that my close relationships are very important to me. and if you really know me, you know that my love language is quality time (and physical touch as a close second). so me being 12 hours from those I am closest to has proved oh so very difficult. and the longer I am here, the harder it is becoming. granted, I am thankful for the modern technology of email, facebook, and especially skype. but we all know it’s no substitue for spending real time together.

so I’ve been attempting to receive love differently, with words of affirmation especially, but even those are sparse. and as time goes, I fear how time with an absence of love in a relationship affects the it. it’s amazing how deep love languages run in us. while I am amazed at how uniquely God has made us, it is seeming to only hurt me right now.

tom may memorial 5k.

Yesterday was the Second Tom May Memorial 5k Walk/Run. It was cold and rainy, but there were plenty of us there to show our support and remember our friend. I think of Tom often, but as the run approached, my remembering increased. As I listened to Tom’s mother talk about how the things in Tom’s Bible really showed who he was, I was hit by the same feeling I have felt many times since the day of the accident almost a year and a half ago: disbelief. Can he really be gone? I saw him all the time; he was always a fixture at UK games, BCM events, and around the Killer Pong table. His participation was never a question, along with his brilliance and quirkiness.

After I finished the race, which consisted of running for about 2 minutes and then walking for about the same, I approached Tom’s father to receive one of the ornaments his family had made to hand out. I was surprised as Mr. May enveloped me with a hug and called me by my full name: “Ashlyn Bruce. I love reading what you write on your blog about Tom.” We both teared up and I shared a moment I will never forget. As we both moved on, I immediately felt thankful for that brief shared moment of love for Thomas May.

We still miss you, bud.

Categories: Life Tags: , , ,

happy? new year.

December 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I’m sitting in the living room of “BarthBrook” with all the members of my Lexington family for probably the last time. Michael, Joe Joe and Sawyer are leaving New Year’s Day for France. Not to visit. To live. It’s something I knew was coming for a long time, but never let myself think about it. It was this past Sunday that I first began to deal with the loss of my dearest friends. I wrote this during church:

“I’m looking up at the front of the church and for the first time I realized my life without Michael and Joe Joe physically here is about to happen. As I listen to Joe Joe speak words of encouragement to our body, I am overwhelmed with two feelings: gratitude and sadness. What a mixture of feelings. It’s so odd, yet I do feel full. Full of memories of nights of Settlers, dinners, teasing about my OCD, teaching Sawyer to spit, women’s retreat… so many memories. Gratitude and sadness…”

It’s crazy to imagine only 5 months ago Michael and Joe Joe were just a couple I had heard hundreds of stories about. I was hoping to avoid awkward situations living together, especially considering they had spent the last two years in Tanzania, Africa. They had a 6 month old baby, and I had never been around babies. Plus, I heard he cried a lot.

But then, God did something amazing. He molded three sets of families together into a tight-knit unit. Paul and Tracy, The Harringtons, and then little ol’ me became BarthBrook. We shared food, space, tears, cars, and laughter. Lots of laughter. Joe Joe and I especially became close, and shared our past and present troubles. She became the definition of a role model in my life. I’m going to miss having her cheery, “good morning!” when I come down the stairs.

And then there’s their son. Oh, Sawyer Timothy. I went quickly from “Sawyer’s buddy” to “Aunt Ashlyn” to “Sawyer’s girlfriend.” That’s right, I’m the resident cougar. I’ve never felt for a kid quite like I feel for Sawyer. He brightens my day. I now know I want kids. I never pass up an opportunity to snag a photo of his crazy faces, feed him, hold him, play with him, or make him laugh (which isn’t hard, this kid loves life):

I don’t know how I’m going to handle them being gone, especially once I move out of the Barth’s next week, but please be in prayer for their time getting settled in their new home and starting language school, as well as those of us getting accustomed to life without them again.

Categories: Life Tags: , , ,

Living with Loving Intensely: iii

November 28, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve tried to sit down and write something all Thanksgiving break. But everytime I’ve started, I’ve typed about a paragraph and then quit.

But now I sit here staring at our huge Christmas tree we put up today and watch my dad sneak up behind my mom, wrap his arms around her, and kiss her. After 27 years, he still loves her more than life. Will I ever find that? It seems like all around me, my friends are finding it. Weddings, parents permission, my single little self sitting alone at an engagement party flanked by my coupled friends… I am not bitter. No, really, I’m not. I am perfectly content with God’s timing. But it’s just that I’m coming to the end of a very big chapter in my life in just 3 short weeks: college. I never imagined that I would have a ring on my finger by 22, even though I wouldn’t have complained. The thing is I’ve begun to question love.

Not love as in the concept of it: I’ve seen couples that stay married and so in love for more than 50 years. And certainly my God loves me with an unconditional and just love that my mind cannot fathom. He IS love. But what I’ve begun to question is my capacity to love in such a way that it lasts. I have yet to sustain a friendship from childhood: as soon as distance was inserted, they all fell apart. And just the opposite has become true more than once, my closest friendships have been those that fell apart quickest.

This is not some “pity me” emo post. This is my crying out for the friendships I’m losing. I could very well leave Lexington in a few weeks if I want, and I will be for sure in the near future. Will anyone bother to keep up with me? Have I established any true friendships? I used to think I had some for sure, but now my confidence isn’t so high. It’s amazing what the presence of a boy does to friendships with those that are single…

Even with all this I keep going back to the line of a Phil Wickham song that came up on my iPod the other night while I was driving the windy road near Cumberland Falls in the pitch black. It goes something like this: “I want to hear the thunder of who You are / to be captured inside the wonder of who You are” Why can’t I just be so caught up in the mystery of my Creator that I let all my circumstances fall into place? Including my friendships. I trust that God will sustain the friendships I need, and even take them away to increase my dependance on Him, but that doesn’t mean I like it…

Romans 13:8 – Let no debt remain outstanding except our continued debt to love each other…