Thursday, March 27, 2008
It's just been one of those days.
I'd like it to blame it on a colleague of mine. Or that girl in yoga. Or my mother. Or all of the above. But really, it's just little ol' me sticking it out through a tough day.
I lost my baby last fall. After victoriously getting pregnant in August, I was devastated to lose it in September. September 28 to be exact.
To back up a bit, I used to believe that the term "babies" fit only spawning insects. I hated the idea of motherhood, children and anything that might detract from a professional life of something very important. As I matured, so did my attitude (thank the Lord).
But I soon tangled that up and began wanting a child so much I would cry myself to sleep.
I am most definitely of the "one extreme or the other" persuasion.
When I lost her, we truly experienced pain and sorrow. We grew tremendously from this, however, and wouldn't change a thing. But now it's March, practically April, and I'm ready for another go.
Alas, I am not the one in charge. And so, I am ornery. Really, I'm just being nasty. I am mad at the woman I work with, mad at the girl who flakes out on yoga, mad at my mom for...well, for a lot, but that's another story. I am mad because I'm not in control.
I look forward to the future. Not assuming tomorrow is promised, but just the chance to look back at this in retrospect and see how the Lord has been faithful through this all. I have no reason to believe otherwise--He has spent my whole life showing up, making greatness, giving purpose, increasing understanding, creating joy.
I am blessed. I can control my attitude.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
I wore my rich-person-hat today. It's really beautiful. It's white, kind of a synthetic straw with a very slight matching bow off to the side and a not-too-wide, not-too-slight brim. My sister calls it my derby hat. I love that title. Only the wealthy own derby hats.
I wore it to church today--after all, it is Easter--and everybody commented. "I love your hat!" "What a great Easter bonnet!" "You look great!" "Of course! An Easter hat!" I really was quite surprised at the responses. But it was fun.
I wore it with a nice dress, nice sandals, simple earrings. My outfit worked. I looked wealthy--or at least as if I was raised wealthy. (Neither are true--which is why I can center an entire post on it.)
As my husband and I drove home from our family's Easter lunch, we both got emotional as we discussed the likelihood of him losing his job. I certainly don't make much money. Quite frankly, we're already tight and now may be out of a job. Things aren't always how they look.
But as we drove home, acknowledging the Lord's power and presence in it all, I knew that it wasn't the hat that made my day. It was my relationship with my husband, reflecting his relationship with the Lord. And when my husband is close to Him, drawing strength and wisdom from Him, abandoning his ways for His--that is a very good relationship.
The fact is, I've wanted a hat from the custom hat-maker in Laguna Beach, CA for over two years now, but we just can't afford it. I suppose we could save up, but that kind of ruins the point. People who own hats like that can buy them at a whim. So I'm waiting for that day.
In the meantime, my grandma (who is wealthy--or at least married wealthy) gave me one of her hats--the one I wore today and the only one I own. She's one of those ladies who could buy such a hat on a whim. But she doesn't. Her relationship with her husband is not so rich, not so blessed. Her husband is set on living life his way--and he does.
Sometimes I want that CA hat so bad I can taste it. But for now I'll just wear the hand-me-down hat from Grandma. She is so generous to give me what she has; if only I could do that for her.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Ok, that's not entirely true. It's not the wedding; those are nice, lovely parties. It's the marriage I am really talking about.
My husband and I "did everything right," as one friend proclaimed at our rehearsal dinner.
And yet, about a year and a half later, we were separated. I have since learned that most of what lovely, well-intentioned people advise you on your wedding day is gibberish--totally untrue, nothing more than wishful thinking, a lie, merely a funny joke, party conversation.
I started thinking about this today as I was cleaning the house (cleaning is a frightful instigator in my creativity). I clipped a friend's wedding invitation onto our fridge and saw the line "Today I will marry my best friend." Ugh.
To people who have never been married, marriage logic seems to go like this: We love each other, we spend all of our time together. Therefor we should marry so that we never have to say goodbye and can spend our whole life together. (I know this is somewhat accurate; I've thought it myself.)
Other people will often even encourage this line of thinking. Not good.
Heard the line, "just wait 'til the honeymoon's over"? Yeah, that's the one betrotheds ought to heed--it's not a joke.
There's something only very difficult, irritating people will tell you: something you can't describe, can't explain and can hardly observe happens on the honeymoon that changes the both of you forever. And it's not sex.
It's a spiritual exchange where the responsbility for the woman's spirit transfers from her father, to her husband. It's not one of those Bible "should-be's"--it actually happens. And how many new husbands' spirits are healthy, vibrant, connected with the Lord? Their spiritual status suddenly has everything to do with their wife.
Have you ever seen E.T.? Picture the scene toward the end of the movie where Elliot is in class, and E.T. is at Elliot's house drinking a beer. As he continues to drink and then feel sick, Elliot reacts in sync. Even though they are miles apart and physically doing diferent things, their bodies react in unison. It's as if they are one being.
Aahh, welcome to marriage!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Alright, I don't fully know it, but I am becoming more aware of it. I think it's funny actually. Because, here am I, totally in the moment and yet grounded. Thinking of what I have heard, learned, ought to do, should do, I am rarely "chill," as I have heard people unlike me described.
And yet, what does the perfectionist, literalist think of a description she can't fit?
"Red alert, red alert! We may not have this component covered--Code red, code red! We have detected a malfunction!" (hear: sirens, see: red flashing lights)
Oh, yes, so now the intense person will calculate, analyze and formulate a persona that someone might call, "chill." Uh, huh. Good luck!
Ok, actually I can manipulate my identity enough to give an aura of chill to the untrained eye--think perfectionist, people-pleaser. But that's not who I am--more importantly, it's not part of my make-up.
Truth be told, I rarely respect chill people. I enjoy them; they're easy to be around. But I am simply not wired to be motivated by calm; I am motivated by truth, the desire to know ultimate truth and live it out. I am literal, and I am intense. But I do find what I seek.
I am sure I chill out sometimes, though. Like when I'm asleep.
Well, it's Saturday night, my husband and I are lounging in bed watching Planet Earth, eating yummies, and all I can think about is how I don't want to go to work Monday morning. Pathetic, I know.
But do you know why I so don't want to work? Not because I hate my job. Not because I hate getting up early Monday morning. I don't want to work because I feel like there are so many other more useful things I could be doing at home.
As it is now, I only have Saturday and Tuesdays free. Tuesday AM begins with Bible study a good thirty minutes away from my house; Saturday begins with yoga also not near home. I grocery shop, visit family, lunch with a friend--all for convenience's sake, since I am already in that part of town. So what ends up happening? I stay up late so that I can get stuff done around the house.
I want to write. I want to be able to cultivate some more freelance work--enough to live off of. I know it's possible. I wonder if that's part of the Lord's plan.
But for now, I'm sleepy. Thank you, Lord, for today. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Do you know what it takes to get to your destination at the time you want to be there? Frenzy. You have to push, shove and careen your way through side streets, freeways and intersections. Other drivers give you dirty looks (and sometimes more). Technically, you risk your life. And the lives of others, both drivers and passengers. You tend to really start to dislike other people when you drive this way; they're in your way.
But then the Lord told me to slow it down. Now I keep it to no more than five miles over the posted speed limit--it's a different world at speed limit pace.
Do you know what it takes to drive at speed limit pace? A physical, purposeful release of your feet off of the gas pedal. And when you obey the speed limit, you can't blame anyone else if you're late.
But here's the "crazy" part: haven't been as late when I follow the speed limit.
Again, it's almost as if God were trying to help me. Hmm...
It is pretty funny, though, now when I am headed to work or an appointment. Even if I am late, I don't speed, but plenty of cars around me drive dyslexically (you know, 52 in a 25 zone). It used to really hurt my pride. "Hey, I can drive as fast as you, too!" Or I'd try to keep them behind me as if to say, "See, you have to follow the speed limit, too!"
But then, I just let it go and became almost humorous to watch people lose their minds and risk their lives over getting in front of the car before them. What shocked me was that almost every time, we would all end up at the same stop light. Sometimes I have to keep from smiling. It's just so funny--here they've risked fines, their cars and their lives and all they got was a spot closer to the traffic light.
What's not funny, though, is when it was me!
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
But here's an interesting twist. The huge marriage movement within the church has affected our thinking enough to pacify homosexuality. What? I wish I was kidding. But this is how deceitful the Deceiver is.
I don't know how it got started, whether in the church or secular psychology, but somehow along the way we have come to the conclusion that marriage is 50/50. There is even a popular marriage series called Love and Respect. The basis is that husbands must love and wives must respect irregardless of how the other behaves. That's what the scripture says, right? Ephesians 5:33.
Here's the problem. Marriage is not a contract deal. It is not a business agreement. It is a union comparable only and solely to Christ's relationship with the church. Now, what about Christ's love for me is 50/50? Let me be blunt. I do nothing for Christ. It wasn't even me who found Him--He found me. By taking marriage and applying mechanical rules to it, we profane a holy sacrament.
There are other problems with this 50/50 idea (e.g., the original Greek writing of Ephesians tells wives to respect husbands as a result of the husband's love for them--not arbitrarily as the church & world would have us believe, the wife wasn't created to love her husband--not as primary role--rather, she was created to help him, a woman is indeed weaker than a man but not according to the thinking of the world--by denying that verse, we only harm our own understanding), but here's a kicker:
If God established marriage to be a 50/50 contractual agreement, then homosexuality is surface-level acceptable. Granted, scripture is clear that marriage is for one wife and one husband, but these are merely semantics.
Hey, if all marriage takes is love and respect than there may very well be a gay or lesbian couple who can fulfill that. Maybe even better than a lot of heterosexual marriages I know.
But this was not, is not God's design.
If we had instead held to God's original plan for marriage that man is need of help and that a wife is uniquely created to help him become Christlike, to point out his need and his struggle, to reveal where he is falling short, then a homosexual couple would have no place.
Had our society held to God's ways, we would not be so easily swayed that two men could as competently fulfill the role of marriage as a man and a woman. It would be nonsense. We would have been able to call it as it is: a lie, a degrading passion, unnatural (Romans 1:24-28).
But instead, we secularize this sacrament: it's a 50/50 relationship, dependant on two individuals performing as they ought.
No. It's a holy sacrament dependent wholly and entirely on the work of Christ and the life of a husband. There are no two ways for it to work.
I am afraid that we have twisted God's ways just enough to make it convenient for us. And in so doing, we begin to look more and more like the world: the divorce rate among Christians and non-Christians is exactly parallel.
Let us be very wary of anything that makes us more comfortable.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Of this, I am actually proud. Because it means I am alive. It means I am a woman with multi-task ability and creativity. It means I am more and more like my mom.
In other words, there are so many facets of my personality it is difficult to summarize them all into one blogspot description: I was home-schooled (Though, I think I will start a new trend: no past tense with home-schooling. Once home-schooled, always home-schooled. Home-schoolers never stop learning. So, I am home-schooled.), follow the Lord's leading in regards to diet (currently it is of a raw persuasion), nurture an amazing marriage due to the strength and attention of my husband (No, really. I am not just saying that.), carry unique political views (Conservatives: let us please stop fighting to keep the words of God on buildings, when it is not even in people's hearts.), hope to adopt and/or foster children (having lost a baby last year, the Lord has quickened our hearts to the needs of the children already born but without attentive parents), raise two Golden Retrievers (Roxy is 3 and Depot is 9 mos), maintain that my sisters have more to offer me than any church program, and do not have a television.I see at least five possible blogs right there.
But right now, it's just Caffeinated. It seems that Caffeinated is just ambiguous enough, at any rate, to ramble and incorporate all aspects of my personality.
In fact, caffeine was a major amalgamation of all of me just last week. It all started when I was startled by the amount of caffeine I had running through my system. Here's the catch: haven't had coffee for at least six months. What I had been doing differently, though, was eating raw--as in only raw fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. All the literature out there confirms that people who eat raw experience a ton more energy.
But this was different. I had been eating this way for a few months. While I certainly did experience a lot more energy, this particular week I felt caffeinated--in a good way. A great way!
I called my husband and shared my feelings with him. We realized that it wasn't my body that was energized; it was my spirit. This particular week, my husband had been so attentive to the Lord, open with his own emotions and aware of my feelings, needs, wants that it literally energized me. "A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones."
There's a problem, here, though. No self-help will work. No trendy or time-tested regime will shake a key. This comes down to the nitty, gritty, impossible work of the Holy Spirit causing my husband to yield to the Lord.
Wow. You have got to get this caffeinated.
Really, though, I had been fully convinced that I have a blog. I guess I live more in the etheral future than in reality, huh? Because when I logged on today, I read in black and white that I write approximately once every year. Wow. My English profs. would be so proud. My mother would be so proud. Ugh.
The sad part is that just last February I realized the same thing. I believe I have young person's alzheimers. Ah, strike that. Try instead laziness. It's not a condition. It's a pathetic lifestyle. "The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied."
And so, here ends my annual contribution.