Wednesday, June 23, 2010

if I were married last night…

I tossed and turned for hours last night.
I couldn’t get comfortable- I kept bunching up pillows and stuffing them under my body, trying to bring some sort of relieve to my stiff, aching back.
I ended up wrapping a twisted-up down comforter around my body until I found a position that was comfortable.
The ibuprofen I’d taken earlier had brought little relief and every breath felt like knives being jabbed into my spine.
Then I thought about how this scenario might play out if I were married.
Then I laughed at the possibilities.
Hopefully my future husband thinks it's as funny as I do.
I suppose it would have gone something like this:

Me- *whispering* Husband?
Me- *whispering a bit louder* Husband.
Silence. Then snoring. Then more silence.
Me- *whispering loudly, almost talking* Husband!
Deep breath. Silence. Husband rolls over on his side.
Me- *fake loud, violent coughing, I sit up quickly and grab his arm like I’m choking*
Husband asks “Are you okay?”
Me- “Oh you’re awake? I totally thought you were sleeping. Would you mind cracking my back? I can’t breathe.”

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Secrets, Secrets

I make a living working the IT helpdesk for a small University. It's not a particularly unusual line of work, but I typically interact with people when they... let's just say... aren't at their best. And it is in these moments of frustration, anger, weakness and fear that I see what no one wants to see. Ever. People get mean with me. They whine. They cry. They sob. They yell. (Oh, do they ever yell) They lie. They spill their guts.

In fact, I know how to turn a "normal" conversation into a "that was weird" conversation faster than you can imagine. I just get nervous. But for some reason people feel very... at ease with me. I guess I just make people feel like they're in a confession booth. and I'm the priest. and they tell me their secrets.

Confession is good for the soul. Usually.

But what I want to know is- *whose* soul are we talking about? Yours? or mine? Because let me just tell you right now- I don't want to know your secrets.

Don't get me wrong- I am 100% available to my girlfriends when it comes to getting down to business-bearing your soul-confession. I'm not talking about serious-business I-did-insertsecretsinhere-again-today confessions. That's not what I'm getting at here.

I'm talking about those secrets that you're just DYING to share. The "I ate 5 red velvet cupcakes last night to see if it would turn my poop red... and it DID!" secrets. Or the "One time... I cross-dressed all weekend while my wife was out of town. I just wanted to see what it was like" secrets. (um... Michael Scott much?)

I don't want to know that crap. Seriously.

So. When you feel like sharing those with me, please think twice. I know something about me just screams "tell me your secrets!!" (I'm working on getting this fixed, I promise) but I beg you- when you get the urge to spill it to me, please- just... don't.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Nothing like a blog on marriage written by a girl who's not married.

Saturday evening I was sitting on the couch, talking to my boyfriend about our schedules, when we’d be able to get together next and generally just talking about how busy we both are. What I said next just came right out of my mouth, and I admittedly didn’t grasp how true and honest it really was, nor have I been able to shake the thought since. I said to him, “My life doesn’t really have space for a boyfriend. I’m a very selfish person, and I’m very used to it.” I then kissed his cheek and told him about how I was looking forward to the challenge of carving out time to spend together during the week and that he’s totally worth it (awww!!).

I haven’t been able to shake this. And about twenty minutes ago, it hit me as to WHY this has resonated with me so strongly…

Are you ready?

Here it is.

Are you sitting down?

I hope so…

It occurred to me that this will likely be what most of my future arguments with this man are going to revolve around: I am a selfish, selfish person. I don’t like doing things for other people and I get annoyed when I have to rearrange my agenda to accommodate the needs of others. I enjoy doing what I want, when I want, without having to “check in” with anyone. I go to bed when I want. I get up when I want. I sleep sideways on my bed if I feel like it. (I really do). My schedule, for the most part, is about me.

I’ve heard John Piper talk about how marriage to an imperfect person is God’s way of showing us how selfish we truly are. It's about holiness. Not happiness... He’s probably right…

But I’m not a wife right now.

I’m a girlfriend.

I’m just looking down the road and seeing how God is going to use marriage (someday) to break, refine and shape me. I’m peeping my eye through a key hole and almost groaning. Not that I think marriage won’t be awesome- there’s TONS of stuff I’m looking forward to (ahem!), but it’s the refining part that makes me groan and just KNOW “I’m gonna be in so much trouble.” That poor man (my future husband) is going to have his hands full.

I know to a lesser degree he’ll use this dating relationship to make me better. I’ll need to learn to be flexible. I’ll be learning healthy boundaries.

Hear me on this- I’m not waiting til I get married to work on my selfishness. This isn’t “his (my future husband's) problem”- God has brought this to my attention because it’s obviously something he’s addressing in my heart NOW. I’m just saying. I know myself. I know I need to be more flexible. I need to hold my time a little less tightly and be more willing to put aside my wants and needs to help my friends, specifically my roommate, with things they need and want.

I want to love more, and I believe that as I seek to serve God, he’ll open my eyes to opportunities to serve and love on those around me.

1 John 4:11-12 "Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us."

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Tonsil Day! or: Yay!! It's My Life-a-versary!!!

Why today is special...
One year ago today, through my tears, I looked each of my parents in the eye and between spitting out mouthfuls of blood, I told them I loved them very much.
I made them promise they would tell my brother I loved him with my whole heart and that I was very proud of the man he'd become. They agreed, telling me they loved me as I was wheeled off to what we all knew to be a very dangerous emergency surgery.

I remember waking up crying and freezing cold, and actually surprised to be alive. I wanted water, chapstick and I think I sassed the nurse for not letting me get up right away to use the lav.
The road to healing was a long (and very bland) one, full of oatmeal and jello. A year later, eating hot foods is still incredibly painful, but an oddly comforting reminder of the healing that has taken place and has yet to take place in my life. It has also been a very poignant reminder of the many areas of growth I've experienced over the last year, both physical, emotional and spiritual.
I'm in awe of the way the Lord has healed me in His own way. Sometimes when we go through physical and spiritual healing he blesses the scars- they become testimonies of His power and redemption. I'm thankful for my scars. No one can see them, but when I eat things that are hot or spicy, my scars burn (like Harry Potter's scar when he's near Lord Voldemort)- I will never eat a bite of salsa, spicy Indian food or hot sauce again without thanking the Lord for my life and for my amazing family (both biological and spiritual) who loved me through one of the darkest and scariest times in my life.
After 15 months of unexplained sickness leading up to this surgery, I have now been healthy for 1 full year. By the time I had my surgery I had actually forgotten what it was like to be healthy, and let me tell you- it's been absolutely amazing.

***And Kelly, I'm sorry for stealing your thunder last year. The next time I decide to have a non-vital organ removed twice (I do still have an appendix, so the possibility still exists), I'll be sure to just suck it up and wait a day so that the second emergency surgery doesn't land on your birthday. But look at the bright side- I was nice enough to not go and die on your birthday, so what am I saying?? YOU'RE WELCOME!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KELLY!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Where my heart is...

-Oswald Chambers

"Ye shall be holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:16 (R.V.)

"Continually restate to yourself what the purpose of your life is. The destined end of man is not happiness, nor health, but holiness. Nowadays we have far too many affinities, we are dissipated with them; right, good, noble affinities which will yet have their fulfillment, but in the meantime God has to atrophy them. The one thing that matters is whether a man will accept the God Who will make him holy. At all costs a man must be rightly related to God.

Do I believe I need to be holy? Do I believe God can come into me and make me holy? If by your preaching you convince me that I am unholy, I resent your preaching. The preaching of the gospel awakens an intense resentment because it must reveal that I am unholy; but it also awakens an intense craving. God has one destined end for mankind, viz., holiness. His one aim is the production of saints. God is not an eternal blessing-machine for men; He did not come to save men out of pity: He came to save men because He had created them to be holy. The Atonement means that God can put me back into perfect union with Himself, without a shadow between, through the Death of Jesus Christ.

Never tolerate through sympathy with yourself or with others any practice that is not in keeping with a holy God. Holiness means unsullied walking with the feet, unsullied talking with the tongue, unsullied thinking with the mind - every detail of the life under the scrutiny of God. Holiness is not only what God gives me, but what I manifest that God has given me..."

**This excerpt is printed out in *teeny tiny* font and taped into the front of my pocket Bible. I read it often and have on more than one occasion been tempted to get "unsullied talking with the tongue" tattooed on my wrist (but I usually have "beloved" or "poiĆ°hma" written there, so for the time being, I'll stick with the "dry erase tattoo" system that I've already got going on).

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Lazy Sunday

This morning I spent a few hours in the living room with my laptop returning emails, taking the "Are You On A Boat?" quiz on Facebook (I am, by the way), and watching the Food Network while I folded several loads of laundry. I also got some work done, so all in all, it was a very productive morning.
I'm totally mystified by the Food Network. Even though I rarely cook, I still love it.
After about 40 minutes, I came to the following conclusions:
-Paula Dean can never have enough butter. I'm okay with that.
I also wish I had a southern accent so it would sound as cute as Paula when I called people "sugga"
-Sandra Lee kind of scares me. She makes it seem very glamorous to be a "lady of leisure" and I'm a tiny bit concerned about her drinking habits. (Don't get me wrong. I really like her program and don't have anything against her. She just seems to not have gotten the memo that it's 2009 and not 1949. If I was a feminist, I'd probably really dislike her. But I'm not. So I don't.)
-I want a marriage as affectionate as the Neelys. I love that when they ask each other for kisses they say "gimme some of that brown sugar!"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Owning it

A few months ago I got busted by a traffic camera for running a red light (in my defense, I didn’t think it was red at the time- I don’t habitually run red lights… I know it’s the most dangerous driving mistake you can make, and I really don’t have a death wish). I felt guilty for MONTHS for making such a stupid mistake (even though it wasn’t intentional, I still carried the burden until I completed traffic school).

I always dread having to use that intersection because I’m always reminded of the horrible feeling of putting other people’s lives in danger and being a bad citizen.

Well, today I had to use that intersection again, and there’s TONS of construction in that area right now, and I totally misjudged the timing of the light… I followed a truck in to the intersection and wasn’t able to get out in time. I slammed my fist on my steering wheel, frustrated with myself for making such a DUMB mistake. I did notice that I didn’t get “flashed” by the traffic camera that caught me last December… I figured I just missed it and would get a ticket in the mail in about a week. I changed lanes to get out of the intersection and as I pulled around the big truck I saw them. Two motorcycle police officers.

I smiled and waved (I really did) turned on my right blinker and pulled over immediately.

I knew I’d done wrong. I absolutely deserved a ticket.

(As a side note, I suffer from severe “Black and White Fever”- I’ve been known to make wrong turns simply because I saw a police car. You’d think I was a fugitive or a drug lord or something… I have no idea why this is- I was raised to believe that “Policemen are our friends”… I have a cousin who’s a police officer, and I’ve never done anything illegal in my life (okay, that’s a lie), but still… I have NO REASON to be afraid of being pulled over.)

I had my iPod touch on playing music and I’d just picked up lunch and was headed back to work when “the incident” took place. When I pulled over I got really shakey and nervous (see note above). I couldn’t turn off the music on my iPod to save my life and I certainly didn’t have the wherewithal to just TURN THE VOLUME DOWN so I proceeded to sit on my iPod to muffle the sound. I rolled down my drivers side window expecting him to walk up to my door and almost jumped out of my chair when he scared me by knocking on my passenger side window. (btw, I also scare easily.) He laughed at me. I knew he was coming, and he still scared the crap out of me.

So I roll down the window and this is the conversation that followed:

Police Officer: Do you know why I pulled you over?

Me (excited, scared, and trying really hard to not use my little girl voice): Yes, sir, I do… And I’m REALLY sorry!!

P.O.: I know with all this construction everything around here is really crazy but what you did was really dangerous.

(by this time I’ve got giant tears in my eyes, but I’m holding them back. I will not cry…)

Me: Yes, I understand that. I shouldn’t have entered the intersection without knowing I could get out of it. I’m really sorry... I MADE A BAD CHOICE!.

P.O. Do you have your driver’s license? (I hand it to him) Do you still live in Mission Viejo?

Me: Yes

P.O. What brings you to Huntington Beach?

Me: I work at Vanguard University (which, by the way, ladies and gentlemen is next door to the Police Station- we share a parking lot)

P.O.: Oh really? What do you do there?

Me: I do helpdesk

(he looks at me and I know he wants to think I’m lying but he knows I’m telling the truth because really, why would you lie about that?)

P.O. Do you have your Registration and proof of Insurance?

(I’m thinking- here it comes… I'll hand him my paperwork, he'll say “Okay I’ll be right back” and he'll gonna go back there and write me up a big fat ticket. One that I totally deserve. 100%)

I reach for my glove compartment and I can’t open it! I yank it and the handle/lock breaks off in my hand and the glove compartment falls open. I look at him, wide eyed with the handle in my hand. He smirks and asks “Is your car gonna make it?”

I let out a little giggle and say “Yea… I think so”

I give him my registration and proof of insurance and he looks at them both (they’re both current, btw) takes a deep breath and says “I’m gonna let you go. Please. Please. Drive safely.”

Me, yelling to him like an idiot as he walks back to his motorcycle: "Oh, I WILL! I promise!! Thank you! and I REALLY AM SORRY!!"

Stop talking Amber.