When I turned forty, Brad’s gift to me was a swing. I’m not gonna lie. It hurt a little. Is there even anything more old lady than a swing?? His logic was sweet and his resolve was strong. So I decided to reset my mood and get excited about my swing. Who needs fancy jewelry or designer labels anyway...?
This is where our personalities switched seats, and Brad’ gift of a simple swing became a year and a half of back-wrecking/plumbing-breaking backyard renovation. It was lots of intentional texture, fun fabric, and new paint colors. Of course it was all DIY because we're thrifty like that. I just don’t seem to be capable of just doing a simple thing. Every time, I'm going to make things bigger and harder. It’s like I’m the easy way antidote. 🤷🏻♀️
I imagined we would enjoy our new outdoor space especially in the fall. I dreamed of impromptu parties and a yard full of friends making s’mores, and jumping on the trampoline. I didn’t see the swing as anything more than a place to sit, until a moment of great clarity yesterday.
Some days I am shocked with the accuracy of my daughter’s imitation of me. It’s supposed the be the highest form of flattery, but wow, it can feel more like a punch in the gut the moment you see your own influence in their less than lovely behaviors. I don’t think she intentionally throws my flaws back in my face through tiny human live theater, she is just learning how to be a big girl from her mama—because that’s how God designed her to learn.
This week I was scrolling through pictures in my phone, and I suddenly saw a similar theme jumping off the screen. Over and over, I saw pictures of people sitting together, laughing on my swing. I saw the little girl who imitates my eye rolls and my sigh, imitate my friendships. And my heart did a flip flop of joy. When I saw picture after picture of my priss giggling on the swing with a variety of amazing little girls—my friends’ girls, the goal of Brad’s gift came to life. It was so much more than a swing. So much more than an excuse to redo the backyard. It was a friendship anchor.
I love that moment, when I realized how clearly and creatively Brad saw my heart when he picked such a seemingly random gift. He picked a gift that encourages us to slow down and hang out. It encourages quality time with friends. And it gives my girl a place to nurture her own friendships, which is the best thing for her to imitate about her mama. Because I have some dynamic friends.
I decided to name it "The Mood Swing" because we all need a place where we can go to intentionally change our attitude. We have to decide we are not going to be held captive by a situation or a mood. We're going to find our people, be alone with Jesus, and reset our attitudes. Because we can. We get to have positive mood swings. I'm so thankful for that freedom.
I hope you have swing friends. If you do, I hope you share this with them. If you don’t, I bet you easily could. Who is the first person you think of that you wish you had this kind of relationship with? Ask them to lunch. Set out to force them to be your friend. That’s how I wound up with most of mine. Friendships don’t happen accidentally. They happen because someone takes a risk. I think we are all aching for swing friends. Go get you some!!! Then please share your pictures and stories with me! I love celebrating each other!
Here's a link to order your own copy of the Mood Swing. I think it's the perfect piece to have in your Artistic Therapy collection. I hope you look at it and are gently reminded to sit on your "Mood Swing".