so let’s toast ~ shall we?

IMG_6490i wrote a little introduction on my instagram account this morning.  you ‘d think that should be easy peasy yet it feels so awkward. know what i mean? i have written a few recently for different projects and events i’ve been a part of and each time it stresses me out. like is what i’m choosing to say just the good? or if i share the bad is it…well…too much? does the picture make me look younger & thinner than i am? gah. we’re our own worst enemy sometimes aren’t we?

it’s not like social media is a false pretense of our lives but when just a glimpse, usually on the good days, is given it gives the sense that all days are awesome. all meals linger longer. all relationships are delightful. vacations are frequent and grand. the 10 pounds stay off. and good hair days are a way of life. but we know better right? we just sorta forget.

if i can get the stars to align i’ll head out in a couple weeks to the Hope Spoken event and i.am. pumped.

“A WOMEN’S CONFERENCE CELEBRATING THE HOPE WE HAVE IN JESUS AND SHARING OUR STORIES FOR HIS GLORY.”

that little quote above? i’m all about celebrating some hope in jesus and sharing stories. can i get an amen.

i’m not photographing or working at this event. that aforementioned 10 pounds? yes, i bringing that right along with me. i’m probably rolling in a little beat. a little in need of some girl time & great conversation. some hugs & some time spent being known and knowing as well.

last night we celebrated madison’s 20th birthday. it’s always a strange new normal in life once you hit the “raising young adults” stage because there’ve been many a vacation, many a meal or event where the six of us weren’t all there. i know that’s how life just rolls and all but it still feels a little weird. anyways. we headed out to a new spot, Superica, in one of the plethora of hip destinations in atlanta. it was one of the most perfect events we’ve had as a family that i can remember in a long time. there was abundant laughter. we didn’t even notice when our cool waiter, ask for wes, brought out a plate of scrumptious guacamole because our “meal is taking longer than it should have”. we toasted birthdays & graduations. we toasted family’s sticking together. we chatted about our opinions on the death penalty ( i know. light dinner conversation), family tattoos, piercings and “if you could go on a cool trip where would you go?”. decadent bacon wrapped shrimp served on a funky little wooden tray and marinated wood grilled skirt steak covered with a cheese enchilada & a fried egg filled our bellies. any restaurant where marque lights & succulents along with a gold painted deer skull greet you at the door followed by “turn right at the gold glittered guitar” to find the restroom is a winner in my book. for sure.

surely you know in a home with a bunch of teenagers and young adults, a load of girls no less, that every meal is not an adventure in laughter and joy. you know that right?

& surely you know that a quick introduction leaves out all of the stuff. the oh i’m fine, really i’m fine can mask a whole lotta stuff that we’re trying to process and decide if it’s even legit or needs to be mentally packed away.

some days i’m so joyful for my life. i wake up early ready to face the day and i tuck myself into a comfy bed at night beside my favorite person.

some days i sit watching a prime time tv drama and all i see is people having sex with people other than their spouse, back stabbing, lying and cheating and i wonder do people really live like that?

some days i’m ticked off. i’m ticked off that cancer is a part of our family dialogue. all over again.

some days i’m blown away with the fact that dan’s cancer was miraculously found early. i want to choose to live in that joy. yet the fact that he tested positive for a genetic mutation thus increasing his chances for another cancer pisses me off.

some days i’m reminded that i blissfully dreamed of raising my very own little women & it became a reality! smocked dresses & mary janes are now replaced with free people fringe and frye boots. her not me. but not all days end with i love you mama like they used to. sometimes there’s avoidance and hurt feelings, ugly snarky comments and just plain old meanness in our home.

some days i’m so thankful that i am currently able to make a living ( albeit a small one) creatively through photography.

some days i feel small & unseen. forgotten. over looked. alone. and that’s okay because those days aren’t my everyday but still.

i’ve lived long enough to know that evenings like last night where the laughter was abundant are opportunities for the refresh button to get pressed. and i breathe it in and i savor it. i’ve lived long enough to know that the some days aren’t the every days and that we’re all doing the best we can. i’ve lived long enough to finally realize that looking at someone else’s life, especially the ones i don’t even really know, aren’t to be coveted or jealous of. gosh who wants to live all bent up and ugly like that?  the joy and the ticked off days. the blissful and the delightful and the frustration they’re reminders that i need a savior. a savior who restores the lost years. he binds the broken hearted. he delights in giving us gifts. he showers us with blessings. he sees us as righteous while we often times can’t see past our seemingly abundant flaws and 10 pounds. or the days when we see our selves a little bigger than we should.

so let’s toast shall we?

lift up your champagne flute or your coffee cup and toast today. its a fresh start. whether you’re rocking it right now or whether you can barely lift your head. let’s toast. let’s toast to the bruised and beat that we’re welcome to the cross each mercy filled, grace blanketed morning. he will meet us right where we are. and toast your friend who seems to have abundance of “the good” and cheer her on. and toast your friend who could use a little grace. go ahead and show up & love her well on the day that seems too big to navigate alone. toast the ones that he has gifted you with in your today. toast the walk that he has called you to walk. toast the opportunity to be salt and light. toast the broken road that brings us to our knees and the days when we stand back up awkwardly and yet somehow grace filled . toast to the tomorrows and the next best thing right in front. toast the necessary endings & toast the fear filled beginnings.  toast it all my friends, toast it all.  teary eyed and humbled or on top of your game. let’s come to the table and toast.

cheers!

March 3, 2015 - 10:20 am

Lisa Mothersead - Cheers, Paige. Hope today is a joyful one.

March 3, 2015 - 10:42 am

Tena - Thanks for this. My “necessary endings” have recently brought me to tears and also given my heart such joy that I could barely speak. I must hold fast to that grace.

March 3, 2015 - 11:17 am

Amanda - This is beautiful. You know, I used to (I am 36 years old and by “used to”, I mean like, 6 months ago) always think that we would get to a place where we could catch calm waters and endless peace. I heard a pastor speaking about how there is always a rub somewhere in our lives and that is just part of living on this fallen earth. It was such an obvious lightbulb moment for me. I’m never going to get to always calm waters this side of heaven. So, like you, I am going to savor the moments and seasons that are all the while knowing that another wave WILL come. It’s part of it. And what’s more….the Lord somehow uses those waves for my good. Every. single. time.

Cheers.

March 3, 2015 - 12:31 pm

Kim from 3 peanuts - Paige,

I love your description of the beauty of the everyday ups and downs. If we did not have those days that end in snark and a missed “I love you, Mama”, we would not feel the utter JOY of the nights like last night. I am so glad you all had a great night. There is so much transition in your home right now and the transitioning years are hard. Savannah will transition out of college. Madison just moved into that phase last year and Em will go this year. Plus, C will be in high school Change is hard and messy and all around you. And that is not even all the things YOU and Dan have faced. I love your family and I pray for you. And I love hearing about the joyful times. Happy Birthday to Madison.

March 3, 2015 - 12:49 pm

Cathy G - Great post today …..I love how you speak truth…. I get envious of people’s blogs/IG/Facebook …as I sit on my couch and dream of decorating my house … Traveling to a tropic destinations….. Wearing darling outfits …..I forget they have laundry to do too…. And life isn’t perfect as we may assume. I think I wish I was more like this person or this person….. I’m trying to stick to living real life and only follow bloggers that I feel are genuine…. You being one of them!!!! And IG’s that are inspirational oh and ones that are all about make up 🙂 that’s always fun!!! I have a son with cystic fibrosis and he’s being such a typical teenager and not wanting to do things he has to do to stay healthy and it gets so wearing on us all … Health issues just stink!!!! My faith is so weak …..life is just tough sometimes…… Eeeekkkk!!!! I’ve ranted too much!!!! Really just wanted to give you a shout out on honesty!!!!! I know you’ll be great at Hope Spoken!!!! God bless you!

March 3, 2015 - 3:43 pm

Peggy - Oh my dear sweet Paige….. truer words have never been spoken! Words of hope, in the midst of our brokenness and our joys, toast them all! It’s during the dark days that the rays of sun shine brightest. Hope…. spoken and unspoken. Now I’m rambling… Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your heart and your faith. For allowing God to speak to you and through you. Here’s to toasting to the mundane and ordinary as well as the extraordinary!!

March 3, 2015 - 4:27 pm

Brenda - Thanks for posting this today. Your toast was just beautiful and blessed my heart.

March 3, 2015 - 4:48 pm

Natalie - this is it. you’re right and I love you for this! thanks a million. Xoxo!

March 3, 2015 - 6:03 pm

JuliaW - Your words are both heartfelt and human. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ups and downs, but His love and hope are always there. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

March 4, 2015 - 2:54 pm

Kittyluvr - Our family has just been reeling from a bruised and battered February where the word “cancer”, debt,car problems, friend problems, canceled plans and more have made my head droop and my eyes mist over….my soul has been thirsting and only God’s word has quenched it…and now your blog post. Thanks for sharing the truth + 10 lbs….so encouraging if your truth!

March 4, 2015 - 10:45 pm

Bobbi Everett - I love your blogs. This one in particular really spoke to me. You are such a talented writer.

March 4, 2015 - 10:58 pm

Linsey@Bravehearted Beauty - Raising my glass of Cab with you…all teary eyed and humbled. Feeling far from the top of my game, but honestly…done with “my” game. Waiting on the Lord to direct my next play. Love you…all of you. And even better, JESUS loves all of you, too!!! Xoxo

March 5, 2015 - 2:26 pm

Kathy - This is rich. Rich and full and honest. This is real. Real life. Some days are amazing and some days are a marathon. This world is not our home. But His Grace covers us daily. You have a gift. Keep sharing!

March 6, 2015 - 11:09 pm

Tanya - I have read your blog for a long time. This post was a perfect time for me. You have a wonderful heart, and your words are inspiration. They found a brain tumor last week and it was removed this week. I have some radiation down the road, but I know I can do it. Thank you for your sweet words, your example, and being open. You make me want to come to Atlanta and hang out!!!

March 8, 2015 - 11:51 am

Jen@thecottagenest - Yes, yes and yes! This might be my favorite Paige post of all time. I feel like I might need to come back and re-read this one again. Beautiful words, beautiful heart.