Thursday, November 20, 2014

I just requested to own another project.  I walked up to my boss and explained that it made more sense for me to run both of our major pursuits right now, because they have the same leadership team, not to mention I ran the first part of this other pursuit and would do well to stay on it.  She asked what projects I could trade to the other coordinator if I took it on. I didn't have one, I'd be wrapping one project up today, the other would wrap up just in time to take on the one I was requesting, and then I'd circle back with the same leadership team for a final two days on the second project. It would be a whirwind couple of weeks, but it would run smoother with one coordinator across both projects. It did make sense actually.  But just as I saw her starting to agree - I realized what I'd just done. Why? Why Katrina? So I'm considering how to clear my weekends again.

Not this weekend, but likely next, I'll be here. And I think I just realized, that is Thanksgiving.  So wooo!  Nice job!

This weekend, I'm sure we'll want to just sleep in, relax, read books.  It's amazing - we've been having those moments lately!  We both teared up one evening when we found ourselves sitting next to each other at the kitchen counter happily working on our own projects. Just simple little things - I was painting my nails. It was sweet and perfect.  A little dream.

I hope we do find time for that this coming weekend, but like last, we'll also no doubt work on getting all moved out of upstairs.  We are so incredibly close!!  Just a handful of furniture to sell, boxes of clothes, extra dishes, mix-matched towels to donate and a lot of electronics. ;) We also have to figure out how to fit a pantry in our tiny new home so we can empty out the cupboards - and the bar.  The bar is a real conundrum.

It has been work.  It would be so much easier to just stay upstairs in the beautiful 3 bedroom apartment with more than enough space for us, granite counter-tops, (A BATHTUB!), fireplace and tons of windows.  Each time I walk in there I hear that in my head, this would be so easy. But we don't really want easy.  We don't want to be owned by our mortgage. We don't want to get used to living off so much more than we need. And we don't need three bedrooms. It's excessive. So while selling our old couches, donating half my wardrobe (actually, more), parting with some good old friends (my sweet shoes), and always having a little space heater running is not easy - it is freeing. It is doing the work now to free us from the stuff that has been drowning and distracting us. It will free us to take risks. And hopefully it will train us in our habits, behaviors, tastes and expectations.

The peptalk to myself being complete, I'm really hoping this is the weekend we are finished with moving out, if not completely finished with moving in. I'm excited about this new season and our new home. I'm excited to find new renters/neighbors to share our home. I'm excited for more evenings at the kitchen counter.

Monday, November 17, 2014

In order to accomplish my book goal for the year, I need to read 9 more.  That is approximately a book every 5 days.  I'm not too sure. But I'm certainly going to try. :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

I've spent much of my life terrified of the end times.  Scared to find out I'm not really saved.  Scared to face the tribulation I've always believed we'd all face together.  And mostly scared to discover I am really more afraid of the tribulation than I am in love with Christ.

As of late, that fear has been growing.  But so has a strange numbness.

Which scares me.  (You get the point here.)  I've felt the need to figure it out, or at least give it some attention.

I stumbled upon a series today from Bethany that discusses the tribulation and the rapture and I've been searching trying to find more. I've read Revelations through, several times.  And talked it through with my dad.  But still, I find I don't really know. And I get that that is half the point.  But truly, I feel my generation and the one behind it, have less of an idea about how all this is supposed to end than any previous Christian generation.

And as I'm listening another conviction is growing - we seriously have no fear of God right now.  Like, none.  I get that most of us are coming out of controlling church situations where leadership overstepped their boundaries and dictated preference as doctrine, but this is bigger than our pastor's mistakes.  And we can only use that excuse for so long.  I think we're past that time.  I think it's time we all get a new glimpse of the God we're dealing with - if he says that all creation proclaims the gospel - I don't think He's going to let us off the hook for being 'burned' by a pastor because he told us flirting was bad. I'm not excusing a single thing that's happened to people who've been hurt and mislead and are ultimately confused from a lifetime of manipulation twisted into truths.  I'm just saying - it's not really an excuse. If we keep using it as an excuse, we are insisting on continuing to live within the system we say we hate - a system where our pastors were the only ones who could see or hear God - a system where our pastor's decisions had to dictate our behavior.  It's like we're sitting in a cell starving and blaming the wardens who aren't even there! You're free, exercise your freedom by taking a moment to figure out for yourself what you actually believe.  But don't just stop at cigarettes and kissing, you just found out you're responsible for your own faith. You might want to handle a few of the real important questions too - like if you should expect to live through hell on earth for seven years.

Rant over.  Sure I'll regret this, maybe, but geez, I think there is bigger things at stake.

Ready to form your own opinion on something literally worth a damn?  

I've had a sincere, and sincerely inexplicable happiness at work lately. Even after a 9 hour SUNDAY work day with an additional couple hours of bar tending (also related to my firm)... I was at work just after 7 this Monday morning, and I was smiling at people!

I used to always be smiling at people.  Not so much since joining this company. Not that I'm always miserable, I just don't really walk around beaming smiles at my comrades. But for some reason, the last couple weeks I've found myself comfortably smiling.  Maybe it's marriage and the comfort and confidence of home. Or maybe its an outcome of choosing to change my conversation and contemplations - stopping negative and complaintive thoughts early on and proactively finding positive and wonderful things to run through my mental system and chew on. Maybe it's the happiness of the holidays drawing near. Not really sure what it is, but I'm tired after a long week (and weekend) or working sick, staring down another four long days, and I'm smiling.

Not sure what it is - but I'm grateful for it.  A happy heart makes a hard work day so much better! This Monday, I hope you find yourself with an inexplicable smile on your face and a sincere happiness in your heart.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

With the crazy list of surprise expenses, I could almost believe this little old Irish tale.  Oh well, we have love. And all you need is love, right? ;)

"Marry when the year is new, always loving, kind, and true.
When February birds do mate, you may wed, nor dread your fate.
If you wed when March winds blow, joy and sorrow both you'll know.
Marry in April when you can, joy for maiden and for man.
Marry in the month of May, you will surely rue the day.
Marry when June roses blow, over land and sea you'll go.
They who in July do wed, must labor always for their bread.
Whoever wed in August be, many a change are sure to see.
Marry in September's shine, your living will be rich and fine.
If in October you do marry, love will come but riches tarry.
If you wed in bleak November, only joy will come, remember.
When December's rain fall fast, marry and true love will last."

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Something Beautiful Today

I'm intentionally looking out for beauty now. I'd like to find something I can call beautiful each day- something fresh and good I can contemplate and set my mind on. So here's a little unexpected beauty I found. I don't mind sharing with your day.

I am currently dreaming of something like this.  I found an article for ten of the best fall Washington hikes and I'm itching to do all of them.  But then again, I'm sick of being cold.  If the dreary, wet commute to work each morning is enough to make me annoyed, I'm not so sure I'm up for a day of it.  But then - look at that!! And not just that, but John and I have slept in separate tents far more times than I ever wanted.  Each time I'd look at him before bed - point my finger - and say, "last time!" And I'd mean it.  But then, we'd camp again and we'd pitch his tent and pitch my tent.

Now we can finally cuddle up together in his far superior little tent and I so badly want to!!  I want to buy cute little blue camping mugs and get a ridiculous two person sleeping bag and drive out to the mountains for a little backpacking.

I just want it to stop raining first.

Be there for your people.

While in Boise a couple weeks back, John's mom shared a deep lesson the past year had taught her.  The passing of her father and then her mother was quite a painful, and long process.  Through it I am sure she learned hundreds of valuable lessons to be shared, but the simple words she shared with us have stuck with both John and I.  Perhaps it is because our incredibly jovial time and it's surprising emotional and relational challenges left us with a big bundle of feelings about relationships to sort through - mostly just gratefulness, but there's always the mixture of humanity and its shortcomings - ours, there's, some strangers, accidents and no one's and what not.  The overall process left us very tender - and when friends dealt us kindly it sunk in deeper than usual - right to our cores.  When people showed up to our parties, it was the sweetest thing, they were our people and they were making it clear to us. When they took extra time to write cards, or attach cute notes to their gifts.  When their gift just showed they knew us.  It was sweet.

At the shower in her home, so many of Betty's people showed up to shower her son and new daughter-in-law with love and support.  It meant a lot to her - as it did to us - because she'd learned the lesson. She'd decided last summer that this meant when her friend had an event, she didn't make excuses.  She went.  It was more than filling a room or fulfilling a duty - it's being there.

Having grown up in such a large community, it can be hard to know who your people are - is it really all of them?  Most of them wouldn't lift a finger for you in a time of need, right?  A third of them likely don't even speak well of you when you're gone. And can you really afford to be there for all of them with true commitment?  I'm not sure.  I'm not sure I know exactly where the boundaries of my people lie.  No longer being at CCK, I definitely felt less important to some, like my lifetime there suddenly didn't matter, like it wasn't and wouldn't always be an undeniable piece of my core.  But then there are others, who didn't seem to let it change a single thing.  They loved me before.  They loved me after.  They met me for drinks before, and the same after.  They sent encouragement before - and after.  They thought of me - cared for me - watched out for me - supported me - reassured me of the goodness and blessings in my life.  They were and undoubtedly are my people.  Some of them weren't even expected, but they sought us out and told us "this wedding matters. I want to be there." Maybe not in those exact words, but something like that. They were saying, "Hey, we're your people."

To list them might cheapen it, so I won't try.  But good Lord, to be a girl who has people.  It is good, and kind, and precious and it sinks right to the heart these days.

So, be there for your people.  Because they need it.


And while I really won't try to list them, I will say this.  No one has shown this to me better than my Uncle John and Aunt Ivy.  The friendship between them and my parents constantly reminds me what it is to be a friend, a life-long friend.  To be there for your people, and their children.  My favorite part of our whole wedding may have been the moment I walked into my parent's backyard for our engagement party and saw the work of my neighborhood - all the people who'd carried over their lawn furniture, extra dishes, flowers or lanterns.  I'll never forget that feeling of being cared for and blessed by the community that watched me grow, fed me after-school snacks, sent me home to get a well-deserved spanking or let me sleep over on their living room floor for a movie night. We almost didn't have that party. I'll be grateful to Elsa and my Mom forever for encouraging us to have it - and planning and hosting it beautifully. What I would have missed. Sitting out under the stars watching a movie after almost everyone had left - just John, me, Ty, Els, Elise, Aime and my mom.  It was the neighborhood. And that short, imperfect moment, was perfect.

Monday, November 03, 2014

This is one of the most precious sites I frequent.  It's been over a month since I've taken the time to wander to Pastor Richard's blog.  I wish I'd read his post weeks ago.  I'm amazed time and again by his wisdom and the timing of his words, and their consequential impact on my life. He always brings great hope and conviction. But always, always hope.

"We sleep together not because it’s fiscally responsible, but because we are affectionate beings. Our minds need rest, but our minds also need camaraderie and intimacy and whispering. Anxiety and stress seem less intimidating when discussed with a partner while wearing pajamas. It’s important to talk about our days lying side by side, discuss children and household situations, gossip about neighbors and colleagues, plan for tomorrow in the confines of private chambers. We cuddle. We laugh. At the end of each day we remove the onerous cloaks we’ve donned to face the world, and we want to do this lying next to our best friends, to know we’re not in it alone."

- Jon Methven, Why We Sleep Together, The Atlantic