Sunday, March 21, 2010

I See You.

Sunday nights are often my favorite part of the weekend. I'm fully relaxed from the last couple days and have most things in order for the coming week. It feels like a fresh start, like I'll soon step out with my best foot forward. 

The calm of this weekend did wonders to a growing state of rush-hour. For two weeks I've sensed a sob session developing down deep. Ladies, you know what I mean. You just need to cry, and for no reason. No questions, please. After church today I kicked off my heels and plopped on the couch to read my church's magazine. The first article I opened to was the final crack in the dam. It was a short piece entitled "Invisible People" and it challenged me to notice and care about the everyday people that so often fly under our radar. Think about your neighbor, your grocer, your waitress. THEN the writer had to play this card: what about those people you see every day that have become so commonplace, you hardly pay any special attention to them? Your spouse, your little sister, your roommate, an old friend. Two specific people came to mind immediately, and then came the tears. 

These people yearn for acknowledgement. They ache for your love, for your attention. They want to know that you think they are important. Why is this so hard to do? Perhaps we are looking for this very same thing ourselves. Perhaps we don't want to give what they crave for fear of not receiving it in return. Maybe you really don't care and you're just waiting for the world to finally realize that you've arrived so they can stop worrying about themselves and start worrying about you...

The writer included Matthew 20:26-28, which says this, "but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave -- just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." My heart was paying attention now. I almost frantically turned to Philippians and read verse after verse of Paul's loving words for his readers. "...It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more...and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ..." and "...I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith...", "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ..." and our favorite humility verse, "In humility count others more significant than yourselves."

This is a strong case for an intentional life, because these selfless attitudes don't just happen. We all know that. Today was a milestone on my journey Home, and I'm a few tears lighter because of it. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

She's a good friend.

She runs to my car door first to give me a squeeze before loading her suitcase. 
She smiles and asks questions despite an exhausting three days of a best friend's wedding and little sleep.
She doesn't try too hard. She's not forced. She is an old soul.
5am on the one morning per year we lose an hour, she's just the same as she always is. 
A long car ride to the airport -- at 5am -- is delightful and full of bright conversation.
She's honest. She's gentle. She's a diamond. 
She's a good friend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writing, Hunting, and a P.S.

I'm here again, so soon, not because I have something pressing to write. I simply want to write. Well-said words delight me as does the company of a close friend. Writing behaves almost like a close friend in that it always seems to discover anything I try my darndest to hide. It's time I stopped giving it the silent treatment.

On another note, I've recently decided to hunt for a specific type of blog. A man-friend of mine refuses to start a blog because it's {insert politically incorrect word here}. He has a valid point: if a guy (or girl, really) tries to start a blog -- which typically requires a degree of creative introspection -- and doesn't fully commit or doesn't do it well, it can be risky business. I try to convince him that it doesn't matter how it starts, just start somewhere. No luck. I warned him that I would send him links to artistic, interesting blogs created by remarkable men. I tell you this because I'm enlisting the troops! If you know of one, or two or three, please pass them along...for the good of one who is about to discover the joy of writing. 

The last item for this evening's post is a post-script to last night's post. Lest you think I live in a rickety old dumpster, I need to clarify that our townhouse is rather cozy. Hardwood floors, a fireplace, and couches that feel like your favorite pair of jeans welcome you just beyond the front door. Skip up the stairs and you'll see our brown and green polk-a-dot shower curtain on the way to my bedroom. Once there, I would blush as you complimented me on the healthy plant that gets a little bigger every day, and then I would show you the very tip of the mountains you can see from the balcony. It's a charming little place. 

Now it's time to power up the fan and climb into bed. Goodnight.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cock a doodle doo

Remember those childhood days when the whole world was against you and the only person you had to turn to was your mother, who promptly told you that the world was not the problem, but your attitude was? And I was hoping for sympathy.

A change of perspective can be like Crest WhiteStrips, instantly brightening even the most obscure surface. Adjusting to new surroundings requires flexibility and a sense of humor...unless you'd rather be crotchety.

I wake up at 6:30. My housemate wakes up at 5:15, which really means that I wake up at 5:15 and she wakes up at 6:20. Yep, she's the one that sleeps through all four alarms. Okay, I laughed at first. Then I started missing that extra hour of sleep. Ear pressed to the pillow and head under the covers doesn't help. Breathing louder doesn't help. Screaming into your pillow doesn't help. We talked and agreed on some preventive measures we could both take. The first night I slept with a fan, I dreamt I was running into the end-zone during the Superbowl and woke with a start to the crowd, the fan roaring. I'm learning to live on less sleep.

Rise and shine, then time to shower. I stumble into the bathroom, turn on the water and keep everything but my toe at a safe distance until it's bearable. In seconds, the water changes from bearable to scalding. No, really. The water cools just enough, and cools, and cools while I turn the knob to hot, hotter, hottest. In a mere ten minutes my teeth are knocking and I'm jittering, clamoring for a heater.

The pantry door fell off. The dryer always eats one sock. We thought we locked ourselves out of the house only to find the back door unlocked after six hours of waiting. There's that one spot on the drive to work where I can't see a thing because of glare and a dirty windshield and the discovery that I'm out of wiper fluid.

- a little bit of perspective -
Some days I am Irritable in her rarest form, and it's on those days I realize it's all about perspective. Nothing is different about that day, it's simply the way I look at it. And on those days, that realization doesn't help. But on days like yesterday, when everything seems laughable and the worst possible scenario somehow still contains humor, I realize that life truly is wonderful, and I could ask for nothing more than what I have. My life overflows with blessings from the Lord above. He has given us laughter, pure and sweet, in the knowledge that we have a place to rest our cares and ease our burdens. He truly is all the perspective we need.