Thursday, September 29, 2011

I'm Letting Go

I never thought I'd be here. I had a game plan--okay? I always knew I would get married at age 23. That just seemed ideal. Not an old maid, but not too young to know what love is. My mom showed me pictures of her many college boyfriends. I figured I'd have just as active of a dating life.

So here I am, at age 21, married to my high school sweetheart. Philip hates that phrase because he says it implies that you were only sweethearts in high school, but we intend to work towards being sweethearts as old people. He's the only man I've ever kissed. The only man that knows all my secrets. The only man I've ever said "I love you too." The only man I've ever been in a dating relationship with.

What happened? I gave my plans to God. Then, I met someone that changed my life. Someone I felt so comfortable around. A place of complete acceptance. A person who admired me for years before I gave him the time of day. Someone who pursued me like I'd never experienced. Sometimes I think that on our own we are pretty ordinary. But there's something so special about Philip & I together. He's certainly not what I expected. Except for the blue eyes, but that was a requirement. I can't waste my blue eye genes--bring on the beautiful blue eyed babies (NOT YET). Seriously though, he's much more quiet, task-oriented, and methodical than the husband I dreamt up for myself. I created a picture of charisma. Philip is a loyal, genuine, servant. Don't get me wrong, he won the "Most Spontaneous" and "Class Clown" awards in high school and lives up to those daily in this house. He is just not what I planned for myself.

I was going to be a journalist too. It's much more prestigious than high-school teacher status. All I've ever wanted to do is write. But then I found something I love more: helping people, youth in particular. I have a knack for seeing the best in people, and am motivated to help them reach their potential. I believe that God wants to combine my unique set of skills with my nerdy love for language, and use it to impact students' lives.

It makes me think critically about the plans I have now. I want to do "Teach for America" in New York for two years, have 2.5 babies five years from now, settle down in a low income school back in this area. Let's see where God actually takes me. When I think of the life I cooked up for myself, what strikes me is that it's better here. Philip helps me be like Jesus more than my imaginary man ever would have. God's plans are SO MUCH better than mine. So I'm letting go.

How have your plans been changed? Have things ended up just as you expected?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fashionably On Time

(My Great Grandpa's Watch)

Marriage is two people becoming one. We are intentionally pursuing this (it's hard at times, like when my other half doesn't want to sit around reading blogs all day but I sort of do). I'm seeing symptoms of this process crop up in unexpected places. I think when you spend time with someone you just naturally become more like them--you can't help it.

I have to tell you something about my husband: he is uber-punctual. If he isn't there 10 minutes early, he feels like he is late. Anyone who's had an appointment or class with me can tell you that this isn't exactly the case for me. I usually count it golden if I'm only 10 minutes late. You can see how this would cause tension for these two very different people as they start going to events together. Lately, though, a phenomena that I simply can't explain has occurred. Almost every time I go to a meeting, or a bible study, or a class I stress out thinking I'm going to be late or the last one there and they'll all be waiting on me. Yet when I show up I'm early and often the first one there! What's happening to me? All I can do is blame it on Philip and this becoming one stuff.

I see it in Philip too. When I met this man, his wardrobe consisted of old Wranglers from Good Will and silly T-shirts. He also owned one sweater that he wore every day until the zipper fell off and then replaced it with a paper clip. We've made a lot of progress in this area especially since discovering that there are fashionable clothes that he likes; there just happen to be unfashionable clothes that he also likes. I've helped him filter the two and urged him to buy new clothes before his old ones are ripped to shreds. The other day he made me so proud. Phil has this grey grandpa sweater from Forever21 which I LOVE (and so would Mr. Rogers) and a stylish blue zip up from Old Navy. He has been so anxious to wear those but Pullman's lingering summer kept him from doing so. The other day, even with the dropping weather, he chose not to wear either of the sweaters because they didn't match his outfit! I wasn't even home to give him fashion advice.  So proud. (If you're worried about him being cold, don't. The man is warm-blooded. He could be Jacob from Twilight). I guess being with me has influenced him too.

It motivates me to spend more time with God, knowing that even in just being around Him, I am becoming more like Christ.  That's just how we're wired. 

I am learning so much about myself, my husband, love, God--the list goes on and on--through this new life stage. Keep it comin' marriage!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Whole-Person Wellness

I am the most satisfied when I'm taking care of all facets of my being. I like how my friends at put it: "We've discovered the need in our lives for health at all levels, and thus choose to dwell on whole-person wellness." The bible says, "Love the Lord Your God w/ all Your heart, mind, soul, & strength." Of course, this verse is about giving everything to God. But perhaps it gives us some insight into human nature as well. There are many creatures in heaven with only the ability to love God through one dimension. Humans are uniquely spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental beings.

I'm learning how to time manage. Making room for the most important things. But realizing that during the time I have, I need to be engaged in a variety of different kinds of activities. I need to create. I need to rest. I need to think. I need to work (despite the things I mutter to myself when I'm on my way to a four-hour shift, or about to scrub the bathroom). I need to love. I need to listen. I need to be heard. I need to be alone. I need to be with friends. With family. With people who don't follow Christ. With people who do. When I spend my time being involved in all of these things w/ Christ in mind, it feels like I'm juicing more life out of my day.

I get to know Philip best by spending time with him in different contexts. If I just always spent time staring into his eyes, talking with him one-on-one, I could learn a lot about him, but I would never know what he's like at play. If we never worked together, I would be robbed of getting to know how diligent and persevering he is. Spending time with him amongst different groups of people and doing different activities gives me new insights into who he is.

I think it's the same with God. We were made to experience life, ourselves, each other, and him in diverse ways.

What kinds of activities help bring you life?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

What I'm Loving This Sunday

That the sun is shining!  (It is almost time for the cold season in Pullman so I better soak it up while I can).

Pullman's community atmosphere.

3 words:  Iced.  Chai.  Latte. 

My goofy husband...

...who likes to climb things...

...and is wearing his church regulars:  a polo and khakis.

Home "work" reading this delightful book.

Talking about living a transformed life, marked with radical love, by God's power and not our own, at church.

Watching what Phil calls "his show" aka "The Great Food Truck Races."

That I have one full day of weekend left!

What are/were you lovin' on this Sunday?

P.S. our financial aid check came in and we are officially living on a healthy budget and have a fully stocked fridge/pantry!  Woot woot! 

P.P.S.  God is good! 

P.P.P.S.  You just read Pee-pee.  Sorry--I guess married life hasn't made me into a mature old sage yet.  (I know, you're shocked).

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