So after I posted my rant yesterday, Larissa posted something along the same lines. She mentions how difficult it is to hear people say that they complain about the things in their life until they remember how challenging her life is and are grateful that it isn’t so for them.

I think Larissa has a lot more graciousness than I do. Or maybe it’s my recent bout of swearing. Those kinds of comments are really insulting to me. It’s not even someone acknowledging that my life is awful. It’s more of a “isn’t my life great?” kind of comment.

This sentiment has a sister sentiment: “Well, it can’t be all that bad. Just remember the starving children in Africa.” or something like that.

I’m not sure where God fits into that mentality at all. It’s more of a patting myself on the back because I’m taller than you or at least I’m not a midget.

But I’m learning that God calls us to different paths. One is not better than another. They’re just different. In the same way that a guy might be a good guy but just not a good fit for you, not all trials are meant to be ours. It doesn’t mean that they’re invalid or necessarily lesser. They’re just not meant for us in particular.

Larissa with her husband Ian

So Larissa, I’m glad that I’m not alone. Thank you for your honesty. But I also want to say that these are things that I admire about you, things that inspire me to be better, purer, stronger:

  • I love your writing style. I love the way that you use things like punctuation and capitalization to convey the tone. I’ve found myself mimicking your style sometimes.
  • I love your sense of fashion, the way you incorporate the old and the simple with the modern. When I saw your wedding pictures and the bridesmaid dresses, I realized how much my concept of clothing and appropriate colors has been restricted and how much there’s a part of me that wants to experiment. I’ve become more open to the idea of putting together things that weren’t designed to be together, just because, putting a vintage hymnal with a seashell might create something new.
  • I love the way in which you (and Ian) draw attention to the little things. I wrote once how much our life is occupied and governed by the little things. I was focused on how the small things can be what tips us over the edge. But you’ve showed me how much that can go both ways: sometimes the smallest gesture or thought can bring joy and peace and rest into our tumultuous heart.
  • I admire the ways that you celebrate your life: not just with words, but with pictures, with music, with Scripture, with memories. I’m very much an aural and tactile learner (ironic for this homeschool grad!) and so sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine how to capture things using senses other than my sense of sound and of touch. Through your blog and twitter and instagram, I’ve discovered how much can be captured in a picture or by the crafting of words. You’ve made me more aware of the world around me, just by being Larissa.
  • I love your name. I never met anyone with the name Larissa before. I think Clarissa Barton is the closest. Now I’ve met other Larissas, and the name conjures up the thought of someone simple, kind, generous, devoted.

Larissa, I’m so grateful to be your friend. We haven’t met face-to-face, but in so many ways, your journey has become a part of mine. I don’t know how or whether my life can ever serve as an inspiration to you. But I’m grateful for that God placed you in my life and for the ways in which He’s worked in my life through His work in yours. I see God growing in you, and it gives me hope that He’s also growing in me through all these things that we pass through.




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