Wednesday, February 28, 2007
okay, im a huge baby. i hate needles, pain, shots, stitches, dentists and the real reason i havent given blood in years is not due to anemia...its due to my aversion to optional pain. not that un optional pain is better, but i dont go seeking opportunities to be hurt. its also the truth as to why when i was finally permitted to double pierce my ears like all the cool girls without a dad who had serious sense and insisted i had to wait until the responsible age of 18, i opted not to. i decided i would go with a far less painful piercing in my belly. i was such an idiot. so i have given blood and my wisdom teeth and birth and yet i am still a huge wimp. which brings me to the journey ive been on the last several months. after lifeguarding through college, fake baking through the early years post college and scuba diving for two years in hawaii, i have a few freckles i needed to get checked out. and while i knew i needed to do that, i just kept putting it off. until my mom strongly encouraged me to go (by calling, asking, and continually reminding me). so i made my appointment and drug myself to the dermatologist. i dont know what i was expecting as i sat there in my ripped jeans, t shirt, rocket dogs and hair in a pony tail, (i had brushed my teeth, i promise) but no sooner had i made myself as comfortable as you can be on a paper covered table in a sterile room than she walked in. fresh off the mediteranean, with stillettos, naturally tan perfect skin, gold dripping from every limb and lobe and a mane of perfectly black curly hair. now i felt like a pale (ive been very good about not seeking a tan anymore), freckly, average woman in need of extensions, a tan, some new stilettos and a medical degree. oh, and an accent. i really was like, how could she have time for being a doctor in addition to her modeling career? so no sooner had the vision begun than her sharp accent and direct way of speaking to her nurses brought me back to reality. as she pointed, studied and commented on all my freckles with the utmost of honesty with things like "oh, this come off, that come off and that one, too. too many colors on that one. very ugly. oh, yeah, this one is problem too. " i kept waiting for it to stop. for her to say, "nice to meet you. im sorry for all these little spots, but they wont hurt and you will be fine". what i got was "oh, you been very bad in the sun for long time. see you next week and the next. you have 10 that need to come off." TEN??? are you kidding me? i am far less concerned about skin cancer than i am about 10 incisions with 10 shots of numbing to each one. in a flash, miss greece 2005 exited the exam room and pale freckly me just continued to shift uncomfortably with the loud paper selling me out each time. anyway, that was in september and it has taken me until now to have 9 of the 10 removed with two shots each time because according to the doctor i apparently just "eat the numbing stuff right up". gobble gobble. i felt the first two incisions because they didnt really believe me when i said it hurt. she asked if it felt like pressure. i told her, no, it felt like someone was cutting a freckle out of my back with a knife. "another shot for her, please" and since then, i get two right away and i dont feel anything for at least 2 hours. i had my appointment today and am still in the numb phase except one of them is starting to throb and i was thinking of how long it has taken me to get all of these removed and how i only have one left and then i realized i havent had her check out my legs yet. ugh. i think im going to tell miss greece she can remove 2 more, so to choose very wisely which ones look most potentially cancerous. we'll see what she says. so, im a wimp. im in pain. and i will never be golden brown again. and when georgia asks why she has to be coated in large amounts of spf 60, i will refer her to this post.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
grace is not my middle name. it is not anywhere in my name. i have the gracefulness of a lame goat. so, imagine my delight when the crowning event of our staff development day was ice skating and i had no socks. i cant really explain the relief i was feeling, knowing that i would be spared a few moments of lumbering around like a lame goat on ice, except to say it was brief. no sooner had i admitted my lack of socks, therefore lack of ability to put on ice skates and fall in the presence of my friends and im certain retired olympic skaters from 1942 that were on the ice, that brandon (the mastermind and creative genius of all staff development days) took my keys and insisted on driving to the nearest store to purchase socks for the goat. he was back in a flash and the lame goat took her place on the ice. the following picture is a fairly good recap of how i spent my time.
Friday, February 23, 2007
who really joins a team to intentionally ride the bench? to wear the jersey, learn the plays, know the coach and then to take your place riding the pine on the sidelines. sure, you may cheer on your teammates, the ones in the game, scoring the points, defending the goal, experiencing the highs and lows of really playing, but to never actually get to play...would you really sign up for that? would you casually drop the name of your team in conversations to drum up respect for yourself, enthusiastically attend team meetings, even offering your opinions, knowing you aren't really contributing much of yourself? i dont think very many people would say "yes, i want to be on that team, just please don't let me play". and yet, as christians, how many of us are doing just that? we wear the jersey or cross or have the fish or pro life bumper sticker on our car or all the right decor in our home with blessings here and crosses there. we learn the plays or read the bible or have it read to us or master all the right things to do. we even know the coach, call him by name, get in the huddle, or have one on one chats with Him. we attend team meetings with other players at church or in homes sometimes even several times a week. we offer opinions, share gossip disguised as prayer requests and cheer on the ones really making it happen. when did complacency become okay? did i miss the memo that let everyone know that as of whenever, everybody was on the same team, following the coach and defending the goal of eternity? i must have missed it because as i look around and see so many "believers" and a mirror, i realize too many of us are just riding the bench. hanging around, taking up space and not really playing the game or pursuing the goal of which we are so clearly called to. sure, it can be risky. what if you forget the play? what if you completely blow it and miss a chance to score? what if you fall short and have to rebuild the trust and confidence of the rest of the team? what if you become too consumed with what you are doing, you don't hear the voice of the coach? the risks keep some of us sidelined. we even let injuries from our past or allow uncertainties in our future keep us there. and while we sit there and watch or cheer, another play comes and goes and an opportunity is missed to really be in the game. to see lives impacted, others served, wounds healed and spiritual, physical and emotional needs met. i remember a message shared awhile back claiming that if you werent facing adversity or struggles, you werent really in the game. i think it is so true. when we really get in the game and are available to be the hands and heart of Christ to a world so hungry for Him, we will face opposition. why would satan be threatened by someone simply wearing the jersey, learning the plays and knowing the coach if they weren't actually in the game, defending the goal and pursuing victory with their whole self? he wouldnt. he doesnt care to discourage someone not making a difference. and maybe the difference begins in your home, speaking kindly to your children, treating your spouse with love and respect. maybe its offering generously to those in need in your community and around the world. who knows what God is trying to get you to do to draw you and those around you closer to Him. but you can be certain that when you truly pursue those ideals and not just talk about them or think about them, you will face discouragement. your kids will try your patience, your spouse may blow it and your finances may be stretched as you give. so, welcome to the game. welcome to finally getting off the bench and being a part of a team that you can be assured has already won.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
georgia has always loved her brother, abe. from the time she was capable of giggling or smiling, he was always a sure bet to get those reactions. and now that her way of indicating she is "all done" with meals is to begin offering her food to the dog, she is now his favorite friend as well. they truly are buddies and we could not have asked for a better first friend for our little girl.
i recently made three individual valentines day cakes for pat and while i waited for them to cool, i sampled the icing. so that was a lie. i ate lots of it. i find it ironic that i cringe at the idea of fudge because "it is just way too rich", but i have no problems whatsoever putting down a pink champagne truffle or incidentally half a tub of icing. what kind of person would i be if i didn't at least offer to share my special addiction, i mean treat with georgia. after a few tastes, it was clear to me, i needed to get us both back under control and put the lid on. you can see what gks solution to that was...
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
so, i dont really have anything brilliant today or most days, but i did want to give a happy valentines day shout out to all. and while this year, we are celebrating with a low key evening at home with our littlest valentine, it is not for lack of attempting better plans. i decided a couple of weeks ago to host a dinner at our house for some friends with husbands deployed, but cupid's nemesis, mr. sick, had me recovering yesterday from a serious case of "symptoms" as pat and i call it (so much less disgusting than going into details of what mr. sick brought along), so we are now postponing our girls night in for another two weeks and valentines day will actually be spent with the one i love the most (not that i dont just think the world of my friends, but pat does kind of take the cake in the love fest department). georgia and i are going to brave the snow today and head out for some last minute v-day shopping. yes, i am a consumer. i have bought in whole heartedly to buying on valentines day. not because ive been duped by the wizards at hallmark, but because i genuinely love another day that i can let pat know just how much i adore him with a card or gift or some token of my appreciation of him. i realize that the crazies, i mean critics say that i should do that everyday, that i shouldnt let the commercialization of a holiday convince me to unneccessarily buy for that special someone on the day of their choosing. are you kidding me? nobody guilts me or forces me or anyone else to remember, acknowledge or buy for this day. how thankful am i that hallmark and every other store in america sends me out reminders 4 weeks early that a great time to share my love with pat is approaching. its a win win situation. they get their money and i get prompted and reminded to share a little extra love. some years, it has cost nothing, some years we have spent a lot. the ensued cost is secondary to the opportunity to spend time together and celebrate a holiday of love...is there really anything wrong with that?
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
here i am on monday recalling the events of the weekend. ill give a brief recap...great friends, ryan, misti & baby abigayle (okay, she's still one with misti, but she was definitely present and accounted for) flew in late thursday for an exciting weekend in good old rapid city. pat and i thought of all the fun (two to be exact) things we could do mid winter in the dakotas. the first was skiing/snowboarding at a nearby slope but probably not the best option for abigayle hiding out in utero, so onto fun idea #2, hanging out at our favorite local winery and enjoying the huge stone fireplace and incredibly friendly owners. again, not a great option for baby abigayle. selfishly, we did not want to discourage some of our favorite people from making the trip all the way from seattle to visit us, so we promised fun would be had all the while secretly knowing there really isnt much to do when it is 20 below with the wind chill. alas, our friends arrived and we made plans to see mt. rushmore (always a hit with visitors) except it was cold. i dont mean just kind of cold. i mean you couldnt feel your fingers, your snot froze immediately and you couldnt stop shivering cold. after less than 5 minutes outstide soaking up the sight of mount rushmore along with the 30 mph winds, misti jumped back in the car with tears (lots of them) streaming down her face. initially, i thought she was recovering from some emotional trauma she had just endured, but even numb, she was smiling and telling me it was the "brisk" wind that caused the tears. how do you top that kind of fun??? you head to the winery, do some wine tasting, warm up by the fire and eat some really yummy breads and cheeses (unless youre the preggie friend, misti, in which case you graciously and patiently wait for the fun to not involve substances that could harm your baby). friday night entailed naps, dinner, another nap and bedtime. on saturday, after everyone had morning naps, we went to the other b.d.s (big damn statue as pats uncle vince calls it), crazy horse. yep. its just crazy. but at least the visitor center is just a few feet from the car and we were able to brave the elements of extreme cold to make it inside. very interesting. saturday afternoon naps led into dinner and after dinner naps and during a&m beating the heck out of k.u. naps. we kept apologizing for the lack of f-u-n to be had here in the coldest weather we have ever personally experienced in s.dakota, but it didnt make us feel any better. on sunday, we went to church and had to cut the afternoon nap short in order to make it to the airport. the drive to the airport is certainly the most scenic drive in the city with broken down buses hanging out in pastures and the worlds most expansive trailer park (that ironically looks abondoned if not for the unbelievably high volume of cars parked throughout). i always try and encourage friends to book flights arriving in the evening so we can pick up after work and depart in the evening so we can maximize the time of fun, but the truth is, i just dont want that pitiful drive to and from the airport to be the first and last impression of our current place of residence. im sure ryan and misti would have noticed the scenery if they weren't struggling to stay awake having missed their nap. ah yes. a great time with friends with a great amount of naps packed into the already busy itinerary of fun. we are just hoping some of our favorite friends allow us to redeem ourselves as tour guides at our next place of residence...korea.
i have found recently that i am at a loss for the time to have deep thoughts. sure, on occasion i will have something insightful cross my mind or spend a moment, just a moment pondering something i hear, see or think of, but by and large my days are consumed with a bliss of surface thoughts. i attempt to take a break from those surface thoughts during georgia's morning nap to spend some time with God and occasionally i am able to let go of whats on the top of my mind and let God reveal whats deep in my heart to me. but honestly, inspite of the daily appointment i have with Him, there are few times when i am able to quiet my inner thoughts to really hear what He is trying to tell me. so, this brings me to some thoughts ive been trying to get to in my mind for the past 3 days and havent had the time or the patience to go there. i recently had a brief conversation with a friend that i really need to come back to. to figure out what i really think and what i really believe. i made a remark about a recent presidential candidate and what i thought of his claim of being a christian. i said that i didnt think he could be a christian because he didnt believe in heaven (i heard him say this in an interview, and while he wasn't pressed on what he really believes, i made a quick judgment, err assumption). how could someone claim to be a christian and not believe in heaven, a place where the Bible speaks so vividly of? and yet as i make these hasty judgments from my living room with my Bible open waiting for God to give me a thought or an answer, i am reading a passage that in essence says to not let the small stuff divide you or allow you to judge one another. romans 14:1 says, "accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters". who am i really to determine or decide who is or isnt a believer? im not asked to do that and in fact i am clearly told not to. it is up to each of us to decide what are "disputable matters" and then choose to not pass judgment. part of me wants a big umbrella over "disputable matters" because it makes it easier to not share my faith, to keep my truths to myself and let that warm fuzzy feeling that allows all different beliefs to enter into eternal communion with God to take over. i have to decide what that really means to me. what are not just my "disputable matters" but God's? what is He really trying to tell me and am i listening to Him or do i have a filter in my own mind that prevents His voice from getting through? i really don't have the answers, but i feel Him encouraging me to go deeper with this thought, to ponder it, pray about it and search my own heart and His word to find the answers. surely, in the midst of my days filled to the brim with thoughts that rarely penetrate below the surface, this one is worth hanging onto. how can i ever be an effective tool to be used by Him and for His kingdom if i am not willing to learn what He is trying to teach me? and while i dont have it all figured out yet, i know without a doubt that He brought me to romans 14:1 to keep me thinking.