Embracing Today's Thorn

I like to think of myself as an honest person.  I will tell you just about anything you want to know.  More than you want to know probably.  

Example: the first time my husband ever called me (to ask me out on a date- how cute!) his first question: "What are you doing?"  Pretty regular question.  My response, not so regular. 

My reply went something like this: "I really wanted brownies but I didn't have an electric mixer.  Since I am a poor college student, I don't have any money to buy one.  So I decided I needed to sell some of my clothes to get some money.  I've done that, and now I'm on my way to Walmart to get the mixer.

Wow.  In hindsight I realize I could have just said I was driving...

My time in China furthered my TMI illness because the Chinese will ask just about anything.  Annnd I am more than happy to answer.  How much do you weigh? How much money do you make?  How much money do you have? 

Taking this a step further, I also don’t mind talking about my personal struggles from ages ago because, well, they are from ages ago.  While they've impacted who I am today, they are not part of my everyday story at the moment.  

Despite being astoundingly willing to share just about anything, I can't seem to make myself talk about my current issues though.

 I’m over at Velvet Ashes today sharing my embarrassingly elementary epiphany about why I can’t seem to share as freely about my today struggles. Join me?

late on purpose

In high school I sang competitively.  My sophomore year I was 4th in the state of AZ, junior year 3rd and my senior year I was 2nd.  My audition score was 99/100 and a (stinking) sophomore  got 100/100.  I missed 1st chair by one point.  One point, people!  But since I’m not the least bit competitive, it hasn’t bothered me *at all* these past 17 years. But I digress...

Once you made the choir (and sat in the seat right next to the first chair), you had to be on time.  If you were 1 minute late to a rehearsal, you were kicked out.  No questions asked, no second chances. I am being literal.  Years of practice could be erased in seconds.  This level of absurdity can only result from a culture that highly values punctuality.

It is the ingrained cultural value of punctuality that caused everything in me to rise up in protest against what I read this morning.  You’ve maybe heard of Lazarus and Mary and Martha.  They were all siblings and happened to be very dear friends of Jesus’.  Lazarus was dying and the sisters sent word to Jesus to please return to the city and save him. A very reasonable request in my humble (but accurate) opinion. 

Since Jesus loved Lazarus and the sisters were asking Him to come, He obviously jumped up and immediately left on the day long journey back to Judea.   Maybe He’d even teleport Himself to make better time.  Or at the very least run super-fast so that nothing but a row of flames remained where his feet had trod.  Nope. Jesus’ remarkable response: to stay two more days where he was.  What?!  I’m sorry, buy according to W.W.J.D. logic, Jesus didn’t even do what Jesus would do.  

This tells me two things about Jesus:

1. He has his own agenda. He does not work on our timeline and He is not trying to make us happy.  He knows (just as well as any parent) that giving someone what they want, exactly when they want it, is NOT the way to help them become a decent human.  It’s the way to make a monster.  See also, Veruca Salt.

2. His apparent inaction is not from a lack of love for us. It’s just the opposite actually.  We know from several different scriptural accounts that Jesus loved Mary, Martha and Lazarus dearly.  When he arrived to Lazarus’ grave, John 11:35 tells us Jesus was so moved that He wept.  (That is the shortest verse in the Bible by the way for any lazy memorizers out there) 

Seasons of our life can seem much more valley-ish than mountain top.  I know for me, my divorce when I was 22 years old was definitely one.   And more recently, our 6 years of infertility.  We all endure hard seasons of waiting on God to move and pleading with Him to revive dead things.  Sometimes He comes “in time.”  But sometimes things die.  People.  Relationships.  Dreams.  

Be encouraged though.  This story reveals that God is very involved in our messy lives.  He holds our tears (Ps.56:8).  He knows the tears you’ve shed on your kitchen floor and in Doctor’s offices and in court rooms.  You are not forgotten today.  You are held.

Incidentally, if you know someone who is struggling big-time today, maybe you can encourage them with one of these meaningful gifts from Bottle of Tears?  

What perceived “immediate need” of yours is God taking “two days” to answer?  I dare you to trust God and His timing.



What NOT to say at a lion show.

So I joke.  

I come from a family that jokes.  One of my fondest memories of childhood was sitting around the dinner table laughing with my family.  When one of us made a joke (my brother probably) (he is one of the funniest people on planet earth) they would look at someone else and say, "Now YOU say something funny."  If you've never tried, it's near impossible to be funny on command. But we still gave it a shot. At our house, humor was no joke (painfully bad pun intended).

One of the many drawbacks to being impossibly funny (if I do say so myself) is that sometimes people don't think you're funny... They just think you're a world-class jerk. As I child, my grandpa was a real puzzler because I never could tell if he was serious or not.  Turns out, he was usually joking.  I didn't ever want to be like that.  Turns out, I'm exactly like that.

To sum up so far: I am a remarkably kind human being who is simply misunderstood. Remember that.

Fast forward two weeks: The girl child brought home the rough draft of a descriptive paragraph she started at school.  I was to help her edit and write the final draft.  A cursory glance warmed my heart when I saw my name.  How sweet.  She wanted to write about me and the many sacrifices I make for her daily.

Nopes.  This is what it said:

Oh for the love.  After I stopped laughing and dried my eyes, after sending a picture of it to my jokster family members, and after putting it on Instagram we commenced with the edits and the final draft.  

I asked why she didn't include all the hugging and the loooong debriefing session we had wherein I reminded her we share a long history of me NOT putting her in with lions that she could draw on for comfort in this (perplexingly) difficult time.  Then we did some more hugging and I asked if she had anymore feelings she'd like to talk about.  She said no.  And skipped off.  Happily. She didn't include it because she had no memory of it happening...once again, for the love.

During the editing process, I mentioned that the "my mom is a jerk" part really doesn't fit since the paragraph is, in fact, about Lions.  I hinted that ending a paragraph highlighting her mom's lack of an appropriate verbal filter kinda opens a whole new can of worms when a final sentence is supposed to be a conclusion.  

The child would not be swayed.  She shall read it aloud to her class on Tuesday.  And I shall wear a hat and glasses in the car line.

What's the funniest (most mortifying) thing that's been written about you? Please.  I need to hear it.

I'm linking up today with my friend Anna Rendell on Real Mom Confessions.  Pop over and read some.  You'll feel really good about yourself afterwards.



That time I married a stranger...

Have you seen Frozen?  Of course you have.  I saw it in the theater with my daughter and was horrified to see Anna and Prince Hans get engaged the day they met.  Who DOES that?!  

Me.  I did that.  I met someone and was engaged hours later.   I can't believe it happened in real life. 

Needless to say, we didn't live happily ever after...  I had the opportunity to share about my experience on Jacque Watkin's podcast Mud Stories.  What started out as one of the poorest choices a person could make has ended up to be a story that brings hope to many.  My story also tends to make people feel really good about their choices.  :)  I'm ok with that.

So please.  Head over and listen to what God did to redeem my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad choice.   Be encouraged!