Thursday, August 31, 2006


Well, whatever train of thought I was on last night derailed before I could get to the point of what I was going to say, so I will let yesterday's post stand as-is!
I have been pondering, lately, the sense of emotional weariness that plagues me now and again. I had concluded some time ago that I was one of the few women I knew who battled constantly to keep her heart intact. Eventually, I started to wonder what was wrong with me that I never could bring myself to lop off big parts of my self in order to just get through the time at hand. Everywhere we go, everything we do - from the time we are small - threatens to shred little bits of our hearts as women. I have seen this so often. Women shut down their dreams, kill little bits of themselves, just to deal with the hurts and disappointments that life brings.
So, I ran across a scripture that really encouraged me yesterday. Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Then I thought about how I have always interpreted that verse. It seems that I have always thought it meant to lock away my heart - to keep it somewhere safe so that no one ever hurt it. But that conflicts with my need to have an impact on the world around me. I don't think anything is completely true and effective unless it comes from the heart. But nothing can come from the heart if it's shut away from the world.
But it doesn't say "lock your heart away." I got this picture of myself standing around a fortress - in some kind of medieval battle armor! Ha! Not very feminine, I guess. But I think that's more along the lines of what the scripture teaches. My heart must be what it is. It can't function unless it's open to the air. It has doors and the walls have tops - that is to say, there are points of entry and exit into my heart. But I must guard it. I have to discern whether something that approaches is safe to let in. And sometimes, I can't know, but I have to be ready to fight. I have to watch what comes out, too. Make sure that what I unleash on the rest of the world is beneficial.
Why? Because it's the wellspring of life! Isn't that the ultimate definition of the feminine? Isn't that one of the most beautiful ways that women reflect their Creator? We bring life into this world. I don't just mean babies, either. I mean Life, Beauty, Good Things. But only if we have a well-trained guard standing at the post.
An hour all by myself in the craft store! Wheee!

<3 Christy

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Furthering the Feminine Cause

GRRRLL! I am laughing out LOUD at your post! I enjoyed our conversation this morning too. And I think you are very funny with your homemade mayo. Even I, the domestic goddess extraordinaire, have had my fair share of kitchen flops! Last year, to celebrate the Chronicles of Narnia, I decided I was going to make homemade Turkish delight for all my friends, and wrap it in little white boxes with green ribbons (reference the book if you'd like to check for accuracy :)). And I was NOT about to make any of those recipes that called for gelatin. That was cheating. I was going to make the sugar-syrup, from-scratch, Turkish-grandma kind of delight. So, funds being short, I bought a cheap candy thermometer. Honey, for two weeks straight, my kitchen was awash in sticky syrups and flavorings. I made batch after batch of boiled syrup, dribbling tiny bits of it into ice water to check the hard ball vs. soft ball stage. No lie - I went through probably two dozen pounds of sugar. I only got one batch really right. Everyone got a very tiny, pathetic box of Turkish Delight which probably cost, when you factor in all the failures, more than a fancy imported box ever would have!
I guess, though, my point is that kitchen stuff and homemaking stuff is fun for me. It's how I express myself. But that isn't the definition of the feminine by any stretch. You alluded to that at the end of your post, B. Some very feminine women like to go rock climbing or are engineers. I think it has less to do with our tasks and more to do with our approach to our tasks. I think feminine women are alluring (if you don't like that word, insert "inviting"), warm, open and emotionally connected with themselves and the world around them. They long to be desired. They are irresistlbe because they know who they are and they are comfortable with themselves. Now, that's just a short list,'s a start.
Hmmm. Now, my brain has just drawn a blank. Maybe I should get on to bed and continue this tomorrow......
Warm, soaking tropical rain with no thunder or lightning. ALL DAY! Woohoo! And building a fort out of sheets and a table with my kids.

<3 Christy

Femininity Fluke?

Christy and I had an enlightening discussion this morning about femininity. We chatted about how many women squelch their femininity in order to prove themselves equal to the men around them. We talked about how an assertive woman sans femininity comes across aggressive and intimidating. I was truly inspired, seeing as how that assertive woman who often leaves her femininity at home is none other than yours truly.

So, in the spirit of celebrating my femininity, and because I ran out of the store bought kind, I attempted to make homemade mayonnaise. Let me warn you that those who tout "easy" mayonnaise making are LIARS! Before attempting homemade mayonnaise, one really needs to have a degree in chemistry!! I carefully followed the directions, and nearly burned up the motor in my very feminine stand mixer, but only came up with oil and egg yolk syrup. Nasty.

Frustrated, yet determined, I continued my quest. Since funds are low, and I'm scraping the bottom of my pantry as it is, I couldn't let myself lose this battle and waste what I had! Ugh! I did a search on google: "How to thicken homemade mayonnaise" which turned up some interesting information, along with the sad realization that I would have to count as loss the two egg yolks and cup of olive oil I had already sacrificed to my stand mixer. I began a second batch, this time using my whisk to blend the ingredients. I beat and I beat and I beat those yolks and then began to incorporate the oil, DROP by DROP, still beating all the time. This batch turned out better. It was thickening up nicely, but my arm was about to FALL OFF!! Plus the ingredients I was mixing were starting to trigger my gag reflex. At this point, I'm feeling anything but feminine.

Suddenly, the phone rang, interrupting my feminine celebration gone awry. I heard my husband's voice on the other end, and he, hearing the flustered banging of my whisk, gallantly offered to bring home a jar of mayo from the store on his lunch break. So as my knight in shining armor rode in on his steed to rescue me with a jar of Hellmann's, I began to think. Maybe femininity isn't something I've lost in the layers of my assertive, driven personality. Maybe it's always there, and maybe it's more than high heels and nail polish. Maybe I'm more feminine than I thought! So I thankfully grabbed the jar of mayo from my man and sent him off with a kiss. Perhaps I've celebrated my femininity in spite of myself!!

Regardless, friends, I've found an appreciation for some things storebought. Knowing firsthand where the "Hell" comes from in Hellmann's, I'll forever be grateful for that jar with the blue lid... and for the man who buys it and brings it home to his very feminine woman!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Becky's Katrina Reflections

I'm watching roses being tossed into the 17th street canal here in my city. Each rose represents a life lost in the Lakeview area of New old neighborhood. Today marks one year since Hurricane Katrina hit our area. I'll never forget watching as Katrina was forecasted. When our local station's meteorologist began to relay the news that Katrina was headed our way, she began to cry. I remember thinking how odd it was for a weather forecaster to get that emotional over the weather. That chilling moment was a foreshadowing of many tears to come.

I cried a lot those first few weeks, and have cried many more times over the past year. Here we are a year later, and some days the tears are far from over. But you know what? Hope always rises to the top of the puddle of tears. Even on those days when the tears seem like an ocean, Hope's ship is still sailing, and guess who her Captain is? He's the Only One who has seen my deepest sorrow and most regrettable mistakes, but still welcomes me freely. He's the One whose arms I've run to with my sorrows time and again, and the One whose held me through storms before. So when Jesus reaches over the side of His ship of hope to catch me and pull me in, I welcome His embrace, I hold onto Him with everything I am, and I cherish those moments because it's then He's holding me closest.

Thank God for the ocean of tears, thank God for Katrina, and thank God for the chance she gave me to crawl up in His lap, with nowhere else to go, and see His face in a wonderful way.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Paths and Fogs

A few weeks ago, I posted something about my journey. I don't remember exactly what I said, but it was something about feeling like the security of the known isn't really safe for me anymore. I just can't stay and I have to move forward. I have no idea what's ahead, but I have come to this place, this edge of my reality, where I have to choose to sit down, or to keep going, and if I keep going, which path will I take? I've been sitting here for quite some time now, and this is where the conversation Becky and I had about the wishing fog comes in. It seems to roll in on you when you're sitting still. I have told myself that I was making choices, but I was really allowing that fog of wishing to swirl around my head and keep me satisfied in my spot, busy with all of the questions that float around there. But, like a brave little soldier, I decided at some point to just start walking. I don't know when I'll be able to see what's ahead, but I had to start walking in some direction or another.
In that spirit, I have grabbed for a few books that I've been meaning to read...and one that was recommended to me by some very reliable sources was The Barbarian Way, by Erwin McManus. It's what fell into my hands first, so I devoured it, cover to cover, in less than two days. If you haven't read it, I hope this will still make sense to you.....
It's so encouraging to have words that define my identity! It's so nice to know there are other people out there who think like I do and feel like I do and don't-fit-in like I do! But as I reached the end of the book, the following paragraph really seemed relevant to me, in light of the conversations Becky and I have been having, so I'm going to share it with you. He is talking about the Israelites and their journey out of Egypt: "It is no different for us. As it was for them, freedom is not a return to Paradise Lost (it's not safe back there anymore), but to a promised land that we must win. Like Israel, who longed for Egypt (this would be the wishing fog right here) because the journey was more difficult than the people expected, we must be aware of the temptation to return to the captivity from which we were freed. There is but one path to freedom. There is no easy road made available. We cannot claim to know Christ and to honor Him if we refuse the path He calls us to follow." Parenthetical statements added by me....of course.
I think that we have many crossroads in our lifetimes, but this has been a particularly difficult one for me. Maybe it's just my age. Maybe it's the many milestones and big changes that have occurred in my life this year. I don't know, really, what it is. But I know I have been standing there, just waiting, wishing, resting - whatever. I know where I'm headed, and I know Who will be with me, but it has really been more difficult than I expected.

<3 Christy

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Little Boys

All of you moms out there know what it's like to suddenly get a view of your children that reveals how much they've grown, don't you? I got one of those moments today. There's this perfect moment when the sun starts to set around dinner time at my house. It spreads itself out all gold and warm across the westerly rooms of my house. My son, who is 9, asked me for a backrub (he's sore from his heavy bookbag!) and he laid on my bed, and as I rubbed his sweet young skin, the sunlight gently crept across my bed and landed on his little man shoulders. This all happened in a matter of five minutes - the "changing of the light" is fleeting, which is part of why it's so special.
All of a sudden, looking at the back of his head, I remembered what he was like when he was two and when he was five and even last year. My heart just broke. I remember how his little body used to curl up next to mine on a regular basis. How I knew what his skin felt like and took it for granted. How I even sometimes just wished for a moment with nobody touching me. He gave me a big hug before we got up. The light was just passing. It struck me that he is almost the same size as I am now.
I'm young, and he still has much growing to do, but I think I'm starting to get it. I have begun to understand that bittersweet separation between a mom and her boy. And though my heart broke, I'm not entirely sure that it didn't mainly burst out of pride for who he is becoming and the matchless joy of holding him close to me one more time.
So, the changing of the light is fleeting, but so is my little boy. And I don't get to have another chance to catch it tomorrow, you know?
I love taking baths! I mean - I really love taking baths. I have taken to bathing in coconut milk - I just love how it makes my skin feel. Now, I usually add a little rum extract for a nicely scented bath, but today, on recommendation from none other than Becky, I added almond extract instead. It smelled like a macaroon! And when I stepped out, I almost felt like I was a warm, toasted coconut cookie. Yum!

<3 Christy

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

August 23

Thanks for the props on the wishing fog, B. I don't know which one of us put it together, but it was definitely born in a painful conversation. I suppose I haven't addressed my end of it in this format either. Maybe I will tomorrow. My brain has pretty much decided it can't take any more for now and has zoned out. But I did want to post the joy that found me in this day....
At any rate, what came out of your pen, so to speak, is so inspired! I prefer that kind of thing to the rhymes anyway!
I got flowers from my DH today. I never remember these things, but he called me today to remind me that, 14 years ago, on this date, he first laid eyes on me. I don't get flowers often, but when I do, it's really special. But not half as special as the fact that he remembers that kind of thing.

<3 Christy


Haven't posted in a while... Frankly I have been a little on the grouchy side with my life. Not that I don't love my life, I've just had a disappointment over the last couple of weeks that had me feeling disenchanted. Normally when it comes to poetry, I'm a rhyme girl all the way, but last night I had a three hour intro to computers class where my mind had some time to wander. My pen came flying to my hand and during the droning about drop down menus, and I scribbled this little quip in response to my feelings of late.

The heat of passion collides with reality's chill
Settling over my heart in a wishing fog
A mist of unrealized potential and unmet expectations
Swirls about me, slowing my pace.

My pulse throbs painfully, beating out my heartache
Will I perish in this cloudy spot?
My hand grasps tightly to my Companion.
He ushers me along the only way out of this desperate fog,

This is the conclusion I've come to. In the pits of life, I'm left alone. Except for Christ. He alone remains when all others fall away. He hasn't necessarily called me to a comfortable life. His call is to a life lived in abandon to Him. This means when that "wishing fog" comes down, making me pine for what I don't have and grieve deep hurts and disappointments, and clouding my view of reality, I have only one option. That option is to hold to Christ and keep moving ahead, knowing that eventually we will reach the other side of the fog and I will once again be able to see the view along our journey. I have to wonder how much time I may have wasted in similar fogs because I gave in to the despair and just sat down instead of clinging to Jesus and continuing to move forward, even if the steps are slow and painful.

I've decided that forward is the only way to go. And I'll not wait for the wishing to go away before I begin to move again. Christ and I will move ahead, at first in the midst of the wishing fog, but eventually it will clear, and I'll be happy for the ground we covered.

Thanks to Christy for some deep and painful conversations where our term "wishing fog" was born.

Ever Forward,

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Miles To Go

Ugh. I had no idea how much more work it would be to get two kids to school than it was to get one. My kids go to a private school, though, and there is a much higher level of expectation for the parents to live up to. I mean, Mondays they have to wear their PE shirts, and PE shorts are optional. My son has chapel on Wednesdays and has a certain uniform for that, and my daughter has chapel alternating Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and has a certain uniform for that. On top of that there is the optional Mileage Club shirt, for the running club that my kids are in, which can be worn on Tuesdays, and the Chess Club shirt for my son, which he would normally wear on Mondays, because that's when Chess Club meets, except that he's required to wear his PE shirt on Mondays. So, if he really wants to wear his Chess Club shirt to Chess Club, I have to remember to pack it in his backpack.
And that's just the uniforms!
I am really enjoying the quiet of the day that comes between bursts of morning and afternoon activity, though. Having the little guy over that I watch keeps me busy, but not really THAT busy. I remember when I had my first baby and I thought it was so difficult. I find it really funny now that just the one baby is such an easy thing to handle in light of my other duties! that I have served my homemade dinner, complete with chocolate cake, read a chapter from our current story to the kids and they are neatly tucked in, I must attend to the duties of preparation for tomorrow.
Let's see....tomorrow is, what uniform did I say I would have to iron????
I served the kids their after-school snack on the porch today. It was so nice to just be outside, enjoying the afternoon storms that were rolling in, and away from the electronic gadgets that constantly pull my children's eyes away from mine.
And also, chocolate cake.

<3 Christy

Sunday, August 20, 2006

August 19

DAILY BLISS: This was a drizzly, rainy sort of a day - apparently due to some sort of frontal boundary moving slowly down over the state, the particulars of which I was never privy to. However, it is a rare thing that we get rain here in central Florida without the booming accompaniment of thunder and plenty of lightning. So, I spent this blissful afternoon reading a novel on my front porch while my children enjoyed the rare privilege of splashing around in the rain outside. Perfection!

<3 Christy

Monday, August 14, 2006

Babies Everywhere!

Today, I hosted a group of mommies at my house. Everyone I know has just had babies (except me - I'm quite done with that, thank you) and I decided I would like to be the one to give them a place to congregate and have a cookie or two! So, here are the three cuties that were present today. Copious amounts of drool and many brightly colored toys were shared. Raucous fun was had by all! Oh - and the babies had a good time too.
I'm just really excited to hang out with my friends. No agendas, no Bible studies, no purpose - just being together and getting out of the house. Well, they get out of their houses. But I'm okay with that.
Playing chess with my son! He finally cornered me and sat me down to school me on the ways of competitive chess. son is on the chess team. All in all, I didn't do half bad!

<3 Christy

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Delicious Obselescence

So....I had a pretty big birthday this year. A milestone. And my brothers and their wives bought me this awesome KitchenAid Artisan stand-up mixer. And it's red (as I mentioned before, my favorite appliance color!). I used it this morning to make biscuits.
I am pretty famous around these parts for making biscuits. I have a nice little pastry cutter and I don my apron and cut that cold butter right into the flour with just a flick of the wrist. Well, there is sometimes a little sweat involved - it's a big job. I decided I would give my mixer a shot at the famous biscuits. It worked beautifully! It just cut that butter right into the flour like....well....butter. And I just stood there.
Honestly, I felt a little obselete. My hands weren't getting floury or buttery. There were no white splotches on my clothes. Nothing. Not that it wasn't fabulous, and not that the biscuits didn't turn out better than I imagined they could - it's just that....well, I was hardly necessary in the process.
This creates quite a dilemma for a girl like me. I mean, I prefer hand-written thank-you notes and from-scratch cakes. But, the truth is, I didn't sweat at all and the biscuits were quite delicious. I mean, I did still have to cut the dough into little circles and put the pan in the oven and set the timer and.....I'm not totally outmoded......yet!

<3 Christy

Friday, August 11, 2006

To Sum It All Up....

Admittedly, this has been a trying week. What with sending my baby off to school, having somebody else's baby to care for, and just the regular back-to-school grind of ironing uniforms and packing snacks and water bottles, backpacks and homework, I am just exhausted. But....
My husband took me out to the movies tonight, and I wore these new shoes. Yep - that's the foot of yours truly, wearing these fabulous shoes. A dear friend was kind enough to think of me when she saw these in a store. And I'm so glad that she did. I used to say that you can never have a bad day if you're wearing pink shoes. I may have to edit that philosophy to include shoes with ribbons on them, because ladiez - mmmmm. It just makes the world right again. Really, I felt so glamorous that I was sure all those 15-year-olds-whose-ridiculous-parents-let-them-go-to-the-movies-this-late were really checking out my peds with incredulous approval! Sweet!
DAILY BLISS: Tonight's moon. It was so amazing! It looked like a low-slung lump of golden, homemade bread. Huge and gorgeous!

<3 Christy

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fried Apple Bliss

I had such goofy fun today. I found myself standing in my kitchen, my brain completely decimated after spending the afternoon with a teething baby. I was wearing an apron and making fried apples for supper (not really sure how that happened!) and singing at the top of my lungs. When I finally realized it was actually me that was standing there being so ridiculous, I really enjoyed the moment.
Yeah - I really do wear aprons. I know that this is unusual, but I have decided that I can handle the pressure of being odd. Actually, I have always been a little strange. Wearing aprons is just my latest way of letting everyone else know about it.

<3 Christy

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Last-Minute Save

I didn't accomplish much today. Not that that usually bothers me. It's just that, the world seemed to be out to fight against anything I might have wanted to get done on this day. Some days just go that way, I guess.
I was sitting down earlier and trying to think through the blissful moments of my day and came up with very little. I hate it when that happens. But my brother and his wife swooped in for coffee and rescued me from my blisslessness! Had the most wonderful time hanging out with them. (I almost said "chatting" just there, but I know my brother would object fiercely to such a word being applied to him.)
And DH generously made an extra pot of decaf for me. I just can't sleep when coffee happens so close to bedtime. He had to drag an entire extra coffee pot out because everyone else wanted regular.
Two happy things just in the nick of time!

<3 Christy

Monday, August 07, 2006


Best part of today: Doing my part in a family of believers. I am nestled in a circle of Christ followers...people I dearly love. Today I got to pitch in on behalf of some of them, and I so enjoyed the privilege. These days I'm working to dig down through the "stuff" the church has piled on... down to the nitty gritty of what true Christianity really means. I believe today, I experienced it. No man made rules mattered today. I just got to put feet to the love that's in my heart for some people who are precious to me. So I end the day with a satisfied sigh... this is what I'd hoped for all along.



This was a pretty big day in our house! The first day of the school year for my fourth grader, and the first day of school in general for my big kindergartener. Not that she had any problem with this - oh no. She has been excited for quite some time now at the prospect of recess and field trips.
Honestly, it has really snuck up on me. I overscheduled our summer with camps and trips, and rushed through back-to-school shopping, and was here.
We took our annual photos outside and at my son's desk, then I walked my girl to her classroom. She dutifully put her lunch ticket in the correct box (we had been through this during orientation) and turned her name card around to "check in." She hung her little tote bag up on the hook, gave me a sideways smile from her table, and ran to squeeze me one last time. I thought I saw a twinge of "I'm going to miss you Mommy" in her face, but that may have been only because I wanted it to be there so badly.
So, I was brave, and quickly pulled my giant sunglasses over my eyes as they reddened and tears almost spilled over onto my cheeks. I hurried to my car and fell apart. This is big. This is my last baby. This era of my life is now over. No turning back. Fast-forward from here on out. Tears...more home....try not to miss the was really quiet in my car.
I stumbled up the porch steps and didn't know quite what to do. So, I changed into some sweat pants and grabbed a can of chocolate frosting and some chocolate soy milk. Utter Debauchery.
All is well, though. Apparently, kindergarten is "awesome." So, she bravely forges ahead into her new territory, and I into mine.
<3 Christy

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Losing Myself: Part 2

But none of this is to say that we should bury those feelings of unfulfillment. Part of knowing yourself means paying attention to those nagging little voices inside. Mine is saying that I think I’m finally ready for my life to extend beyond where I am now. I had always thought that marriage and family would be my purpose, and I have never prepared for any other eventuality. It has turned out, though, not to be my sole purpose. I think discovering my own disappointments and unhappiness is a catalyst to turning my heart outward. My children have needed me at home for a long time. But they are no longer babies.
Because I was not prepared for this, the wide-open space in front of me is rather daunting. Were it not for the fact that I now know my family career is not the only thing out there for me, I would probably be so intimidated by the wide-open that I would hide within my little family and never venture out. Thus the good comes from the bad, I guess. I suppose that now, I just keep walking into this wide open – intrepidly forging ahead – until I happen upon something that I can pick up and understand what to do with. So, I guess I find myself in this in-between place: the safety of what I have always known is behind me. It is no longer safe and happy. The unknown is before me, frightening and disconcerting in its ambiguity. But I find that, for a person like me, there is no choice at all. I can’t turn around and hide. I have to trek out there and see what there is. I’ll send you a postcard!
<3 Christy

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Losing Myself: Part 1

I was watching the Today show this week, and they interviewed a woman who had written an editorial about how motherhood is boring. This was so interesting to me, as I have been pondering this very phenomenon myself! I think there are lots of women out there who feel the same way – unfulfilled, bored, tired of life-as-they-know-it. It is apparently, however, a very controversial thing to talk about publicly!
One of my passions is, well, passion. I love to find the bliss in life! I love to be around people who are living their bliss! I have fought hard to keep my sense of childlike wonder and joy. But lately, I’ve been feeling unfulfilled, bored, tired of life-as-I-know-it. So, I got to thinking about it. Why is this a common issue anyway?
I know so many little girls who are just magical. They know who they are and they know what makes them happy! When do we lose this? I think we lose it slowly, over our lifetime. The wounds we receive, even as small children begin to slowly rob us of confidence. Without confidence, we are never free to enjoy ourselves. And as we grow, we shut little parts of our selves away, quietly, and before we know what has happened, we have lost our selves completely. A lot of women realize this after they have become mothers. Sometimes I think that adding a husband and kids is just the final nail in that coffin.
We tend to view a “good mother” as one who serves constantly – does laundry, cooks, cleans, sings silly songs, reads Dr. Seuss books, you get the idea. Now, all of these are necessary tasks, but they are merely part of a job – they are not the definition of who we are. I think we lose our sense of self when we begin to define ourselves by a role that we are fulfilling. With all of this denial of one’s self, it certainly makes sense that a mother might feel bored and lost to the task. We get so caught up in trying to perform this role that we forget who we are.
But you don’t get a second chance. The years that you spend with your children shouldn’t be lost, boring years. I think good mothers should also know how to enjoy a long bath, how to find profound pleasure in the onset of a storm, how to savor some really good chocolate. Indulging in the things that bring you joy restores your heart and your confidence!
I don’t think it takes a five-step program or a lot of work, either. What makes you deeply, profoundly happy? Chances are, they are probably simple things. If you are missing them in your life, it’s only because you aren’t looking for them. All of the things I mentioned above bring me bliss. So do dancing, giant cups of coffee, and baking. Most of these things don’t take much time, I just have to take a deep breath when they come my way, and let them sink deep into my soul – you know, really enjoy them. And, I have to know what those things are so that I recognize them when they do come my way. Then, if I need an extra boost (and I usually do), I sit down at the end of my day, and remember the things that brought me deep joy. Sometimes I write them down. That way, I can linger over them even longer.
(to be continued.....)
<3 Christy

The unspiritual emotion

OK... Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to be mad and graceful at the same time? Growing up in the church, I guess I've never heard much about how to deal with anger in healthy ways. When I get angry I always feel so far from God, and so... well..... unladylike!! For some reason, I'm comfortable pouring out my pain, my joy, my embarrassment, my dreams, my faults... everything I am before God. The most private parts of my life are open and exposed to Him, but anger isn't something I feel I can dump out onto His lap. I know in my brain He isn't afraid of anything I dish out, but for some reason when I'm angry I just don't think to tell Him all about it.

So why do we try to pretend that Christians don't deal with anger? The result of this masquerade is.... well, Christians that don't deal with anger!!! Not that I have any answers, but I'm ready to honestly look at myself and my methods for dealing with angry feelings. I got irritated with my husband yesterday and just couldn’t seem to get over the angst. The result was a day feeling distanced from my man, and God, and in general feeling miserable. I’ve got to find the balance that allows me to control my emotion of anger and refuse to allow it to emerge inappropriately, and at the same time healthfully express and deal with anger so that it isn’t “stuffed.” More about this journey when I know more. Just thought in order to be real, I must post the ugly questions right along with the happy ones, right?


Friday, August 04, 2006

Shiny Red Metal Joy

This is all about the most romantic gift my husband has ever bought for me - my lawn mower! Now before you start thinking I'm being sarcastic or that I'm complaining about my husband, let me tell you: I asked him for it. I have always wanted one of those little, manual push-mowers. I really can't tell you why. It's probably the same reason that I wear aprons when I cook and I love to listen to records.
Maybe I'm just an old-fashioned girl. I like the idea of taking care of my lawn without producing harmful exhaust. But I also think it's just that I don't want to have to go to the gas station every time my lawn needs a haircut. Which is twice a week, sometimes thrice, in the rainy Florida summer. Plus, mechanical things don't like me. They just don't.
It's not that I was in the habit of mowing the lawn before. That's my hubby's job. He has to fool with the lawn mower just the same, though, and half the time it just won't start. I told him that if he bought me one of those cute little push mowers, I would do the lawn for him.
I would get up early in the morning, before it got hot, and mow our little patch of green heaven! It would be the ultimate test of my multi-tasking skills. I would be getting some badly-needed exercise, I would be taking care of the lawn, and I would be saving the earth all at once! I know this sounds ambitious, but I fully believed I was up to the task.
So he looked down at me (he's very tall), raised one eyebrow and said, "OK." He bought me a red one. That's my favorite appliance color.
I don't think he believed I would really do it. It's not that my intentions aren't noble. But, it's like my dad says, "It's awfully hard for a princess to do sweaty work. It might jostle the ice cubes right out of her glass."
But I DID IT!!!! I meant what I said, and I said what I old-fashioned girl's faithful, one hundred percent! Oh wait - wrong book.
Anyway, I'm glad he thought I wouldn't do it. I'm glad he bought me that shiny, red, little mower. I'm glad I did the whole backyard without collapsing. But mostly, I'm glad he wasn't there to see that I was very sweaty. By the way, none of the ice cubes fell out of my glass!
<3 Christy

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Becky's Movie Musings

Saw the movie John Tucker Must Die on Monday. It served as an appropriate end to a few action packed, interesting days. The movie, funny in some places, completely inappropriate in others, was to me a documentary about some of the interaction I’ve watched among men and women and experienced myself… before I got to the edge, that is! The girls in the movie have all been played by a gorgeous guy. They plot revenge and work together to bring him to his knees. They forge fragile friendships based on their common anger. However, when things take a turn and it seems the decoy girl might chicken out of the plan, the girls quickly return to the former argument about who should have John Tucker for her own. Though he has cheated on and lied to all of them, and in truth, deserves none of them, they would clearly rather have him, the cheater, than be on their own…. Alone.

Normally this phenomenon may have escaped my attention, but this particular time I was keenly aware of it. The girls' fear of flying solo really grabbed my attention. The movie placed a spotlight on one of the most common hurdles we face as humans: fear of the unknown! Those girls were content to settle for second best rather than take the risk of stepping out into something new. We see this behavior repeated again and again in relationships, but also in other areas of life. The worst of situations are sometimes where we prefer to stay, because the unknown is more frightening to us than our bad situation. For some, taking the risk of stepping out into something new produces paralyzing fear. Somehow we are afraid to let go and forge ahead into uncharted territory. It made me think of the edge... how I'm coming to a place where I'm tired of the safe familiarity of the way I've always been. I'm ready to enjoy living on the edge! I'm no longer afraid of the unknown, but I'm having a wonderful time exploring something new. A woman on the edge knows how to push past the fear of the unknown and enjoy the adventure life can be!! It's faith! Faith is what gets me past the scary thoughts and on to the joy of life on the edge! There is One immovable factor in my life... Jesus. My faith in His stability opens the door to new heights of passion, new possibilities of adventure. THIS is fun!!! Sorry, John Tucker! I'm off to Something more!!!

Everyday Bliss

My son had a friend sleep over last night, trying to squeeze the last bit of fun out of summer. They were very cute. My little girl, however, felt quite left out. So, we donned our little aprons and made cupcakes for the boys. She was so proud to ice those things and put sprinkles on their fluffy tops! Her face just lit up when they asked for more! The way to a man's heart, baby.
I suppose, though, the best moment of the evening was when I was driving the kids through a fast food joint for supper (man food, you see). I overheard my son telling his friend, "I can't wait for you to meet my dad! You're really going to like him. He's really cool." I wish I'd been able to get that on tape. I'm sure I'll need to replay it in about five years, just to make sure it really happened. But in the meantime, I'm reveling in my husband being an awesome dad, and in his face when I told him the news!