Welcome to my little haven of creative writing, passionate ranting, and thoughtful learning.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I Understand Why People Cheat

We live in a culture of convenience and ease.

Cell phone shatters after dropping it on the concrete? Go buy a new one.
Jeans get a small tear? Toss them and go shopping.
Don't understand the material in a class? Drop it and pick up a different one next semester.

As a culture, we don't have to follow things through.
We've made people millionaires for coming up with quick fixes.
But that mentality prevails into more than physical items. It happens in our relationships too.

Nathan and I recently got problematic news concerning his health. Basically, the medication he has been on to help control his sickness has stopped working, now the only options left are drastic measures that will severely alter the course of our lives. Surgery could have complications, a stem cell transplant has it's own risks and issues.
We're facing this terrifying choice, and it's hard to deal with.
In the midst of dealing with it, I came upon an interesting insight. To continue to choose to love him every day, to continue to believe in us, and to work to come to a solution for us, is hard work.
Harder than getting though a class I didn't understand: harder than mending a tear in a pair of jeans.

How easy would it be to find someone new, someone who's issues I'm not yet aware of? Who won't be in and out of hospitals for the next few months and, realistically, for the rest of his life? To enjoy the blissful new relationship stage?

I'm not condoning it. And I'm certainly not choosing that path. But, for the first time in my life, I can really understand why so many people do not remain faithful to the one they promise to be with for better or worse.
It's easy to love someone during the better, but during the worse?
It is work and it takes commitment.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

One week without Nathan and Jace.
It's been one week, and I have survived.
And, though I still feel like a part of me is missing by not being with Jace, the time apart has actually been extremely beneficial to Nathan and me.
With both of us working, and parenting, and trying to figure out our next steps into the future, it has taken a toll on our ability to be husband and wife. To go on dates, to appreciate each other, to remember the good and wonderful qualities about the other that made us fall in love to begin with.
But spending a whole week apart? It reminded me how much I love him and how much I have to be grateful for. And it reminds me how much the little gestures, like holding his hand or kissing him good morning, mean to me.
With everything going on in our lives I sometimes rush out of the house without even a kiss goodbye because we're so busy. Let me just say that after a week alone, I missed those kisses. And I won't be passing on them again anytime soon.
The other benefit to being apart? Well, in addition to appreciating him more now, I also learned a lot more about him. When we first started dating we played 20 Questions via text. Which was far more than 20 questions, but it was how we got to know each other. Three and a half years later, we have both changed, so we started playing again. For three days we texted back and forth asking questions that ranged from, "What is your favorite picture of us?" and "What is your least favorite aspect of your job?" to questions like, "What is your biggest worry in our marriage?" The only rule was to be honest, and so we very honestly answered each other's questions while coming up with questions of our own.

The past week taught me an invaluable lesson:
appreciate the people in your life.
Don't stop noticing the small things.

I probably won't be writing again soon because I will be enjoying time with my husband, and on Saturday, time with my son as well.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Cleaning Frenzy & Friendship

It's here.
The week I have been dreading since Nathan and I considered the idea is upon me, and I'm handling it about as well as I anticipated.
Jace and Nathan left last night for the grandparents, which resulted in a lot of tears from me, and then staying up later than usual because I'm not used to sleeping alone. Thank goodness for Luna, she may be a complete sweetheart, but she is also a very loyal protector.

So this morning I have been tackling all the projects that are challenging to accomplish with a toddler.
I took apart and cleaned the dryer, based on a tutorial on Pinterest.
Cleaned my dishwasher.
Scrubbed down the oven.
Rearranged Jace's room.
Etc. etc.

By 3:00, my house was pretty well clean. And I was out of the needed energy to tackle any more big projects.
But I also had the good fortune to realize what good friendships I have here.
My friends know that this is going to be a tough week for me. So this morning I got a phone call asking how I was doing and if I wanted to get together for a cup of coffee and to hang out. It was so touching that someone wanted to make sure I was doing okay and that I did get out of my house today.
So at 4:00 I headed up to BC&T. I had a great time just relaxing and chatting, and running into more people that I know.
It seems so small, but that little gesture meant a lot to me today. And reminded me how lucky I am to have the relationships I have here. Day by day Berea feels more like my home, like the place to raise my family, and when I first arrived here five years ago, I never would have thought Berea was anything more than a temporary stop.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Am I the only one?

Sometimes, when I'm sitting in church on Sunday morning, I disagree.

Sometimes I get downright angry.

And then, I feel like I don't belong.

Like I shouldn't be sitting in the pews with those that have such obvious, fulfilling, and dedicated faith. Like I'm a fraud to sit there and listen to a message but, in my head, question parts of it. To contradict biblical passages. 

I've always been a student: I listened to what I was told, wrote it down, studied it, and prepared to be tested on it. But I can't seem to do that on Sunday mornings. I can't suppress the questions that pop up.

This morning someone at church said she felt pulled to pray for Egypt, and my heart leaped because Egypt is so dear to me. But then we prayed "to stand with the Christian Egyptians" and my blood felt as though it were boiling. I wanted to shout, "If they are Muslim are they any less human? Any less worthy of our prayers? What of those that are suffering but have not accepted Christ, do they deserve the pain they are living through?"

But as I looked around, it was clear that I was the only one feeling the pain of that phrase. And again, it made me question what I was doing in church. Does having doubts in the bible make me a bad Christian? Does arguing with the messages given to us mean I am a fake?

I've grappled with this for a long time. It's why I've gone in and out of being part of a church. I want to be genuine, I want to have some of the faith I see in my friends, but my journey has not led me there. I still argue with the bible as I read it, and many of my prayers contain the phrase, "I don't understand. I don't think this is right."

But this is what has changed: I'm not afraid to have my questions. 

Faith shouldn't be blind. You don't threaten it by asking questions, you make it stronger.
So, when I run out of questions to ask, when God has given me the answers that I need, I am certain that I will have an unshakable faith. And, in the meantime, if I need to sit on Sunday mornings and do a little mental disagreeing, I will add it to the list of questions I have for God to answer.

I suppose I am thankful for the anger I felt this morning: it let me examine myself and my faith, and has made me stronger in my beliefs.

I hope your Sunday was as thought-provoking or calming as you hoped.


Friday, July 5, 2013

Small Town Homesick

I miss Newton Falls.
Not all of it, and not all the time, but yesterday I would have given anything to be back in good ol' NF.

See, my hometown is itty biddy. And it's known for two things:
1.) It's zipcode is all the same number (44444)
2.) The Fourth of July Fireworks display

And in 23 years, this is the first time I have not been there to see them. It's not just the fireworks, it's everything that happens on the 4th.
Here is my 4th of July routine:
Wake up and go to the parade
Help prepare everything for the picnic at our house
Do go-carts, have a bonfire, and have a blast (all while dodging or embracing the crazy storms)
Clean up and get dressed for the fireworks
Claim a spot to sit
Squeeze through the crowds at the carnival to get fair food
See everyone you know and catch up in 10 seconds or less
Eat super unhealthy fair fries, corn dogs, cotton candy and Hawaiian shaved ice
Watch a spectacular firework show!

It's a tradition. It's wonderful. And I missed it yesterday.

So what I'm really coming to terms with is creating new traditions.
It's tough for me to let go of my traditions because they are so important to me.
It's hard to accept that life changes and will not be the same.
And, while I am usually thrilled with my life and excited for the future, wherever it takes us, sometimes, I just get a little homesick for the familiar.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Preparing for the Hardest Week of My Life

Hmm, that title sounds a little dramatic.
Oh well, I'm also quite certain that it is accurate.

So, with scheduling still being complicated, and with the grandparents frequently saying they wish they could see Jace more, Nathan and I decided to let him go up to Ohio for a week to visit. I stand by this choice: I believe it is a good one and that it will be beneficial to everyone, but I am having panic attacks at the idea of not being with my baby for nearly 10 days.

I have not been away from Jace for more than one day his entire life. There's something reassuring about being able to watch him sleep in his crib, to feed him his breakfast, and to cuddle him while we watch a movie. It's how I know he is safe, and therefore I feel safe. I don't exaggerate when I say that Jace is my life, if I ever lost him I am quite sure I would lose myself. So when I think about going many days without the ability to hold him or hug him, it breaks my heart.

I know Jace will have fun. And I know that he will be better from the experience: I want him to be able to be independent. To be adventurous. To be unafraid. I want him to be able to go to church camp, to go off to whatever college he pleases, and to end up wherever in the world he wants to be. Yet right now, while he is still my little biddy one, I don't want to give up my time with him. Even one week without bedtime stories, without bathtime, and without stealing my phone, seems like too long.

So for the next few days I will be spending every second I can with him, mentally preparing myself for the upcoming week when our family will (temporarily) be significantly smaller.