Situations Socially Awkward People Dread

swingingThere are some of us who feel incredibly awkward in most social situations. We walk into a conversation thinking, “Oh no, what am I going to say?” We leave a conversation thinking, “Oh no, why did I say that?” It’s a never ending flow of awkward.

The internet has been a lifesaver for us, y’all. We can be witty and outgoing without ever making eye contact with anyone or worrying that there is food stuck in our teeth. We can interact with others without worrying that we are wearing the wrong thing and no one ever has to know that we failed miserably at trying to recreate the smoky eye.

There are situations, however, when we socially awkwards must venture out into the world and walk among other folks. Sometimes, it is not so bad. I can do my grocery shopping without too much anxiety. I can take my kids to the library without too much embarrassment. There are certain scenarios, however, that make me want to get into the fetal position and cry for my mama. {Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration.} I am going to share with you some real life situations that socially awkward people dread.

  • When the Zumba instructor says, “Now, freestyle.”
  • Being the first one to any social gathering.
  • Popcorn prayer scenarios when you’re the only one who has not yet “popped.”
  • Group play dates.
  • Little kid birthday parties where the kids are all friends and the adults are all strangers.
  • Running into someone at the store and not remembering his/her name.
  • Bible Study / Party “ice breakers” {Think: If you were a flower, which one would you be and why.}
  • Having any sort of worker inside your home. {Cable guy, plumber, etc.}

Please do not tell me that I am the only one that struggles with these things. Surely, some other woman also dreads…roses1

  • Trying to use a public restroom when there are people waiting in line.
  • Saying something that was funny in your head but not so much when you actually said it.
  • Any situation where you are supposed to “find a partner.” {Hello, 8th grade science all over again.}
  • When the pastor says, “Turn around and greet your neighbor.”
  • When someone is approaching and you are trying to figure out if they are a hand shaker or a hugger.
  • Introducing yourself to someone and having them tell you that you have met several times. {It’s nothing personal, y’all. I barely remember my own kids’ names.}

So, there you go. The next time you are out somewhere and someone is acting uncomfortable, weird or, dare I say, awkward, it is not you. It’s the situation.

Happy Tuesday, my friends.

How to Get Your Family Noticed in Ten Easy Steps

my5babesMy oldest daughter recently asked me, “Why do people always stop and talk to us?”

“Always?”

“Yes, always.”

Now, I could sit here and tell you that she is exaggerating. But, she isn’t. It doesn’t seem to matter where we go, someone stops us. That is just what happens when you have five children. People are shocked horrified angry confused interested. The question is always the same.

Are these all your children?

Yes, they are all mine.

I have to say that we have met the most interesting people because of our large family. I have had people ask if all of my children have the same dad, if we are on public assistance and if we have figured out what causes it. Strangers, y’all, asking these things! {The answers, by the way, are all the same – that would be none of your concern.} Just the other day, a sweet lady walked up and commented on the fact that my infant was not wearing shoes. She disapproved. But, she gave me credit for “at least her skin is clean.” Well, thank you for noticing, ma’am.

Anyway, I got to thinking. Perhaps, you would like to be noticed more often when you are out and about with your children. Lost River Cave 1Maybe, you would like a little of the stranger love. It just isn’t very nice for our family to hog it all. Share and share alike. That’s what my mama always says.

So, today only, I am going to share some of my best kept secrets with you. If you want to attract unwanted attention, unsolicited advice and unnecessary commentary, just follow these simple rules.

  1. Always have at least one child {bonus points for two} forget to wear shoes.
  2. Have random papers, toys or happy meal bags fall out of the car when you open the door.
  3. Teach your child to wait until you are in the middle of checking out to begin yelling, “I have to tee tee. I have to tee tee.”
  4. Allow your child to wear her stocking cap to the store in the middle of June.
  5. Allow your child to wear her flip flops to the store in the middle of January.
  6. Have your child put random groceries items in the wrong person’s buggy and then try to retrieve them without being noticed.
  7. Be sure to always have at least one child with a runny nose and make sure that you do not have any tissues on hand.
  8. Make sure to allow your child to push around one of those little shopping carts so that she can run into the back of strangers and pick up multiple items that you have no intention of buying.
  9. Make a trip to the library and watch as your children occupy every computer. {Doesn’t everyone go to the library to play on the computer?}
  10. Always plan your outings during a time when your baby is hungry, tired or both.

So, there you have it. Never again will you have to endure an outing without interruptions. No more cruising through the aisles unnoticed. No more making it through your shopping without someone questioning whether you are buying any vegetables to go with the doughnuts and potato chips in your buggy. {True story.}

Go on out there and get noticed, my friends! It’s a crazy good time.

{disclaimer: it’s all in good fun, y’all. we love people. we love their stories. we love meeting people that we wouldn’t meet otherwise. it’s all good.}

When Hope Smells Like Death

Do you ever look at your life and think, “What in the world happened here?” Does the pain of what could have been weigh heavy on your chest? Are there daily reminders that something is not {and may never be} the same? Does everything seem broken?

It’s a tough place for sure.

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One of my favorite passages of Scripture is the Valley of Dry Bones found in Ezekiel 37. {A very important tip when reading Scripture: read aloud and slowly. You will be amazed at the things you catch that otherwise would have been skimmed over.} Take a moment and read {aloud and slowly} Ezekiel 37:1-14. It’s okay. I will wait.

Did you do it? Great.

In verse 1-2, the Lord leads Ezekiel to a valley full of dry bones. As he takes it all in, Ezekiel notices that the bones are very dry. They had been there awhile, y’all. Can anyone relate to being in a valley for longer than they care to admit?

What really got my attention, however, was verse 11. The bones in that valley represented the whole house of Israel. The stench in the valley was the death of hope. And that hope had been dead for quite some time.

rainy day

{Luke 24:13-21}

There were two men walking along the road. They had followed a man named Jesus. They had listened and learned. They had believed. They had hoped.

Yet, the man named Jesus had been handed over to the rulers. He had been mocked and beaten and crucified. It was three days later and their hope now held the stench of the grave.

Sometimes, y’all, hope smells a whole lot like death.

Perhaps, you had hope for your marriage. Yet, your spouse still decided to leave.

Or, maybe, you had hope for healing. In the end, however, you had a funeral.

It could be that you desperately hoped for reconciliation or, at the very least, closure. Instead, you got a cold shoulder and some fresh wounds.

Whatever it is that caused your hope to smell a little funky, there is good news. God is in the resurrection business.

You may think it is too late. In your heart, you are thinking that it has been too long. You think it sounds nice but, like Martha, you want to say, “Lord, it’s going to stink (John 11:39.)” My hope has been dead for so long that it is going to stink. That is okay, my friend. God can handle the stench of your decaying hope.

He is God over the grave.

I will open your graves and raise you from your graves, O my people. – Ezekiel 37:12 ESV

He can open the grave that holds your hope hostage. Not only that, he can raise it up and make it live again. It will be a tried and tested hope. It will be a hope that follows God and no longer fears the grave.

Your hope will have tasted death and lived to tell about it.

What Facebook Has Taught Me About Friendship

Family matters, grace based parenting, stacy edwards

I will be the first to admit that social media has gotten out of control. There are folks who have absolutely no filter in place and feel free, or even entitled, to express every thought that enters their brain. People are talking about things on which they have no knowledge. They are posting things that would make their grandmothers blush. People are sharing stories that are not theirs to share. Things have gotten somewhat crazy, y’all.

In the midst of it all, however, there is some good. As I think about my use of Facebook, I realize that it has actually taught me some important lessons on friendship. It has opened my eyes to what friendship is and what it is not. And it has opened my heart to who can and can not be a friend.

Join me over on the FAMILY MATTERS blog and I will share three things that Facebook has taught me about friendship. See you there and be sure to share! :)

Five Things My Voicemail Would Say if I were Being Honest

I can not think of anything I like less than talking on the phone. Seriously, when the phone rings, I want to play dead. My issues are severe enough that there was a 12-month period in time when I was a telemarketer and it was like working in one of the inner circles of hell. Assuming, of course, that the inner circles of hell come with name badges and assigned parking. I am not even kidding when I tell you that I would log into my computer each day, put on my headset and call exactly zero people. That’s right. I would sit in my little cubicle talking to nobody. Sometimes, in an effort to appear productive, I would leave a message on my own cell phone sternly advising myself to call me back in order to make payment arrangements. I never did call myself back, by the way.

Breakfast table

If you were to call my cell phone, there would be a very polite and friendly message.

You have reached Stacy. I’m sorry that I have missed your call. Please leave your name and number and I will call you back as soon as possible.

It is the kind of message you would expect to hear when calling someone’s phone. Here is the thing, though. It just isn’t true. Here are five things my voicemail would say if it were acceptable for me to be completely honest.

  1. You have reached Stacy. I am really kind of relieved that I missed your call. You are welcome to leave your name and number, but it is not likely that I will call you back.
  2. You have reached Stacy. If you really knew me, you would have known that I hate the telephone and would have texted me instead.
  3. You have reached Stacy. I do not recognize your number and my mother taught me to not talk to strangers.
  4. You have reached Stacy. I recognized your number and, well… 
  5. You have reached Stacy. I am currently changing a diaper, re-washing a load of towels, scooping poop out of the bathtub, hiding in the bathroom or doing a really important quiz on Facebook. 

I guess what I am saying, friends, is that you should just text me.

Also, what I am saying is, whose idea was it to put a little green dot and the word “mobile” next to your name on Facebook so everyone knows that you currently have your phone in your hand?

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What would your voicemail say (if you were being honest?)