Monday, February 28, 2011

Rubber, meet Road

So, I love the idea of my beliefs and values controlling my behavior. Because, really, what good is it to have beliefs and values if you can't or won't live by them? If you're not willing to live by your values, then they aren't really your values after all, right? They're what you think would sound great to say, or how you would believe and behave in a perfect world.

The trouble is, none of us live in a perfect world. We come up against situations everyday where we have to make decisions that pit our natural emotional responses against what we know would be better.

The most bizarre thing happened to me over the weekend -- I flipped my head over to blowdry my hair, flipped it back and got dizzy. And stayed dizzy. And at the doctor's today, I was told I'm going to stay dizzy for awhile -- indefinitely, she said. I jacked up something in my inner ear, and this dizzy feeling will probably go away on its own within a couple of weeks or more. Probably. For some people it never goes away.

When the dizziness is more intense, it makes me nauseous. It also makes my head feel muddy, like I'm on the verge of a migraine. It's harder to think, takes more effort to thread words together, to concentrate. So I'm affected both physically and mentally, and potentially emotionally, since it's irritating as hell. (Sorry, mom. I can't think of a more accurate way to say that!)

But you know, I'm constantly harping about circumstances not dictating responses. That God is making us more like Him, that His love and strength gets us through trials big and small. And I've experienced this in the really BIG ordeals of my life-- the stuff I didn't think I could ever get past or make it through.

So now I have this pesky, stupid, constant irritant and I think it will be a good test for me.

Will this experience bring out the love of Christ in me? Or just more me.

Will I let Him grow my patience and my understanding, my empathy for others? Or will I be so caught up in my own physical symptoms that I can't even think about other people?

Will I accept this inconvenience, which is TINY in light of what so many people are going through, or will I feel picked on, singled out?

Small things tend to level me faster than big ones. Calamities are so obvious. I'm driven to my knees to find out how to cope, what to do, how to go on. But a little (constant) nausea? A muddy head? Eh. I can handle it. And that's the problem. I can handle it --until I really feel sick or I really am tired or my "let's have a good attitude" attitude wears off, which is usually between 20 minutes and 2 days max.

So far, it's not even been 10 hours.

We'll see.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I find it interesting that online dating sites match people up on the basis of similar interests and personalities.

I've often wondered what it would be like to be married to someone whose ideal day would be to read in bed till sunset, and then perhaps enjoy a good salad.

Unfortunately, I'll never know.

My husband can't wait to get out of bed and out the door. I could be housebound for a week and barely notice. He has intense focus and drive. I start 100 small projects and have trouble following through with any of them. He's a connector, kind of a collector of friends. I often bemoan the fact that I don't have enough time for the friends I already have. He's always thinking about new ideas. New ideas make me tired.

Living with someone who is my opposite in so many ways has provided me many "growth opportunities," as it were. It's as if God knew there shouldn't be so much sameness... hence, the male/female, variety of personality types, ways of thinking, parenting styles, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

"It's as if God knew..." Did you catch that?

It's just like God to use every opportunity to sharpen and shape us. Marriage is difficult for a reason -- because there's a whole lot of self in ourselves. Continually communicating without criticizing, hearing one another out, compromising and yielding make us better people. When we can accept our spouse's opposing point of view as EQUALLY AS VALID AS OUR OWN, we win. Another rough spot has been sanded down.

I'm in the same line of work as my husband, but we approach things very differently. We have the same ideals, but he is so different from me that I frequently am surprised at how he wants to handle various issues. And I've found that I'm so vocal about it! Because we've had so many years together, because I trust him so much and know him so well, it's as if I've gotten into the habit of thinking aloud without considering that not every thought needs to be expressed.

Words have weight. I think I've been throwing my weight around too much lately.

Last night I found a photo of the two of us taken about 27 years ago. I remember that girl. Yes, she had a lot to learn, but she also didn't have to be right all the time. I'm pretty sure she was easier to live with.

So, this Valentines Day, I'm resolving to live by Romans 12:3: "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment."

I have a great man whom I love with my whole heart.

I can be a better wife.

And I will.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Bob Goff's post on Twitter stopped me in my tracks:
"Let our goal every day be to simply maintain eye contact with Jesus, not to memorize more facts about Him."

Friday, February 4, 2011


on my shoulders
makes me happy...
in my eyes
Can make me cry...."

Does anyone remember that song? I think John Denver sang it.

(And, by the way, wasn't John Denver an oddity in the music business? I always viewed him more as a member of the Sierra Club than a pop singer.)

Anyhow, sunshine in MY eyes is a big deal. They say that brown-eyed people have less sun-sensitivity than those whose irises are pale. This is probably true of all people except those in my specific gene pool. In the neighborhood where I grew up, the mailboxes were at the edge of the street. My own mother could not walk the 15 feet from our house to the mailbox without prescription sunglasses, so I probably come by this condition naturally.

Here's the problem -- it's just TOO BRIGHT out there most of the time! Don't get me wrong - I love the sun. I'm all for the sun. But it is just too much for me sometimes. It's far too intense. Because I have a difficult time with the brightness and glare, I'm sure I miss out on some things. In my haste to avoid the irritation, I hurry inside or to somewhere shady to get a little relief.

Funny, though. As soon as I put on my sunglasses, things are immediately better. There's just enough tint in the lenses to soothe the irritation and soften the contrasts to a level I can handle. There's a filter that helps me see what's there without hurting myself so much.

Photographers, too, use filters to be able to capture their subjects in the most beautiful way possible. And there are other kind of filters - air filters, water filters, oil filters. But all filters have the same basic function: they keep out the really harmful things while letting the essential things through.

Today I went somewhere quiet and put on some worship music. And I just sat there and listened. At first I was trying to catch up on emails and do a little planning for the week, but pretty soon I was caught up in the lyric and the melody and most of all the MESSAGE of the music:

God is.
God loves.
God loves me.
God is for me.
God is strong.
God's power is at work within me.
God is glorious.


It's like I'd forgotten that for a little while.

I've been rushing around in this world where everything looks like it's falling apart at the seams-- countries in crisis, political and economic meltdowns, natural disasters, friends struggling in their marriages, job losses, sicknesses that aren't getting better -- and it feels like too much, like I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!

Life gets too intense, sometimes, and we seek the nearest shade. We run to the fridge. To the bar. To the gym. Buy something new. Plunge headlong into a diverting project or a new relationship. Take a vacation. And it helps for a little while.

But what about the times we can't run away from life? The times we just have to stand there in the harsh noon-time sun and face it?

May I suggest a quiet place, some inspiring truthful music and a filter of faith, hope and love?

My God is glorious.
And He loves me more than I will ever know.
He renews my strength as I trust in Him.

He is glorious.

Somehow, for this moment, just knowing that is enough.