Trying isn’t good enough.

Everyone thinks about bullies, but the truth is not many people do anything about it.

Every day we cross paths with people. Some are good and some are bad, but you know who the greatest offenders are? They are the ones who don’t do anything. They’ve picked no side, and even more dangerous is that they think they have.

They watch from the sidelines as the battle unfolds hoping they don’t get blood or spit splattered on them. They might stay silent, just watching, or they might yell and cheer for one side or the other. They talk about helping other people. They try helping by talking about the problem, but they don’t do.

Bullying is not an issue to be talked about. Let me give it to you straight. Bullying is a heart issue that seeks to destroy another person. It is a tool of an enemy who wants nothing more than to steal the beauty of creation that is you and me.

One day a few years ago I was at a local restaurant with my family and my young nephew was playing in the play place while his Dad and I talked. Over my brother’s shoulder I saw my sweet buddy smiling so big and having so much fun. Kids are supposed to do this. It’s a play place. My nephew’s smile lights up my heart and I adore him.

His child like joy made me want to go in there with him but for some reason it’s frowned upon to have people my size jumping into the ball pit. As I looked up to smile at him, I saw my nephew’s situation change. He was smiling at a kid bigger than him and then in a second the kid shoved him so hard my  nephew’s back slammed into the plastic wall behind him. I’ll never forget the look on his face. Innocent joy turned to fearful confusion.

I jumped up so fast my chair almost fell over behind me. I was instantly angry and about to drag that punk who shoved my nephew out of the play place by his neck and show him what shoving really felt like. Good thing my brother was there or I’d be writing this from a jail cell.

I was full of emotion. What the heck was that kid thinking? Who did he think he was? Someone I love was just hurt and I didn’t like it.

We handled the situation like adults should, but that moment has stuck with me. Innocent joy was stolen and that is never ok.

Every day we cross paths with bullies and their victims. You might even be one of them.

As Yoda said above, there is no try, only do. Bullying isn’t an issue we solve with legislation or in a group setting. Bullying stops because one person steps into a situation and saves another person.

You can be that person. Will you be that person?

Tomorrow, as you go through your day, I want you to open your eyes and ask God to help you see someone who feels like no one has their back.

Tell them you see them. Show them they’re not alone. It can be scary to step into another person’s pain, but you can do it. I believe in you. Let’s do it together.

Tell me the story of how you brought love where you saw destruction in the comments below.

Don’t try. DO.

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Let me introduce myself…

recite-2t5ub

Want to go on an adventure? Great! Then we need to talk about something first.

It is unfortunate to me that our idea of relationship has deteriorated to a quick text, a comment under a post, or a thumbs up. Somehow the internet has made me feel like I’m reading a billboard instead of having a conversation.

What happened to watching your friend’s face as they talk? What about seeing their eyes or their body language as your words actually collide with their senses? What has happened to the sound of the human voice or the gentle touch of someone who cares for you?

There is an art to face to face interaction and sadly we’ve put down what we’re created to share and exchanged it for a device that allows us to tap our way in and out of each other’s lives at our convenience.

I want you to know something about me. This breaks my heart because I know I’m more than this blog and that you are more than your comments.

When I was a kid, if I had the option to be outside climbing trees, or sitting making up conversations with my Barbie, I guarantee I would have been more chimpanzee than super model. I loved interacting with nature, watching life happen, and I still do.

When I wasn’t in a tree or throwing a ball, you could find me inside with a book in my lap. I read so much that once my Mom had to talk to a neighbor who had committed to paying $1 to a charity for every book I read. This man didn’t know the little girl he was dealing with. In one summer I read enough to probably take his car payment.

So these are key things to know about me. I love nature, I love people, and I love the written word.

The internet and social media can be a great way to connect with people far away, but it can also create a deep loneliness. It’s the kind of sadness that makes a person feel like they are watching life and yet not living it.

I have given a thumbs up on a “friend’s” post and been desperately weeping about something else at the very same time. How sad is it that we can interact this way and say we are content with this level of friendship?

I want to change this about my own life. What about you?

When we are with someone, it’s different than if we are interacting with them from a distance. Think of a love letter. When your eyes see the words an old man has written to his wife, your heart probably responds a little. Loves stories are sweet, right?

It’s different when you are watching the wrinkled man talk about the faded letter he holds in his hand. When memories of a life together overflows from his eyes as his lips tremble out the story of when he wrote it, how he loved her, and how she is now gone. That’s the love letter come to life.

That’s what I want this blog, This Written Love, to be about. It’s about the parts of life that bring love alive in front of us, within us, and that move us out of our chairs.

So here we are.

Are you content with sitting alone scrolling through each other’s versions of life? Is it enough for you to look at pictures of nature but never smell the fresh air for yourself? Is it okay to feel alone when you have 479 friends?

My answer is NO to all three.

Ready to do something about it?

Let me know in the comments if you are ready to look up from your phone and interact with what’s right in front of you.

I can’t wait to see what happens.

To life and love unexpected,

Aimee

Big Dreams Start Here

Chris Fly Fishing

Yesterday didn’t start out like a good dream. Unless of course, you consider waking up to a filthy kitchen a dream come true. My first moments of consciousness were welcomed by the irritation that comes when the young men I live with don’t do what they say they are going to do. Instead of a smile, my heart was grumbling, “I’m sick of this crap.”

I am the token female in this house, and although most days I love and adore my boys, there are some days where I want to scream, “I must have sanitary conditions!”

So, even though I often feel like Cinderella pre-fairy godmother, thanks to God, my days often turn into something a little more princess like. Yesterday was definitely one of them.

My Dad, my husband, my brother, and I have a tradition of going to an annual fly fishing show at a local fly fishing shop. Even though my brother couldn’t come this year, we carried on.(We missed you PM!)

After a stop for donuts and coffee we met my Dad and stood outside in line for an hour so we could be some of the first 100 people to get goodie bags. These bags hold the possibility of fun things like gift cards, hats, product cash, stickers, etc.

Fly Fshing show group shot

The theme of the show this year was “Big Dreams Start Here.” I love fly fishing. The arc of the cast soaring backward in a perfect loop and then gliding forward and laying out in front of the fisherman. The fly landing gently on the top of the water like the bug it’s meant to imitate. I love fly fishing.

And yet, I’ve never fly fished. Yeah, you read that right. I’ve never been in the river with waders and a fly rod. I’ve taken pictures of my Dad and husband doing it but I’ve always watched from the shoreline.

Yesterday at the show, God surprised me with his tender care for the little dreams I hold tucked down in my heart. My small dream found its beginning.

In my goodie bag was 1 out of 5 $100 gift cards to use in the shop. I also had $35 worth of product cash. With just a minimal amount out of our own pocket, I was able to buy waders and boots for less than what the waders cost. The fun didn’t stop there.

The owners do raffles all day long and in the afternoon I tied with a guy for a $120 fishing pack but lost in the tie breaker. A half hour later, my competition, a young man I’d never met until the raffle, called me over to him and told me he wanted me to have the bag. He insisted and I will not forget him or his generous gift. The young man’s name is Lucas and he didn’t just give me an awesome pack.

When he put it in my hands, I heard God whisper to my heart, “Just because I love you.”

I walked away in awe because I knew that was a gift from my father in Heaven. I knew He was saying, “Daughter, I know how hard things have been lately. I know you feel weary. I know you’ve been praying for ways to connect with me. Let’s go fishing…”

At the end of the day, my husband won the grand prize for the second year in a row, a brand new fly rod. Chris picked it up, walked back towards me and handed it to me with a kiss. I now am a proud owner of my very own fly rod!

I know God is the same every day and His love never changes and yet, I know that His love comes to us in extra special ways sometimes, just because.

Sometimes big dreams start with little dreams. I’m thankful that even if my dreams are small, my Abba in Heaven is big.

Enjoy God all the time…but don’t let the moments pass when He bends down to tell you something special. This is part of the adventure of loving Him and being loved by Him.

Big Dreams Start Here…with our big God.

Has God ever answered a small unspoken dream in your heart? I’d love to hear what it was in the comments below.

Aimee Fly Rod