17 June 2009

the man sitting beside me on the couch with a beer and the remote...

He is my husband.

He just turned 34.

He has a perfect nose.

He likes to teach me things, especially about cooking and leading an organized, peaceable life.

He always takes me seriously. When I have strange and irrational feelings, instead of just "being a guy" about it and waiting for me to get over it, he tries to understand.

He quietly listens to me, and never interrupts.

He tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.

He loves just to see my facial expressions, when I am surprised or laughing or concentrating.

He has the best blue eyes ever.

He is wise.

He thinks I am really, really beautiful.

He is patient with all of my craziness. By patient, I mean that he never interrupts, yells, or says anything mean, or starts a fight. (That's all my department.)

He always wants to help me, even when I'm mean.

He is willing to do things with me that only I want to do, like watch 9 hours of Lord of the Rings, or listen to Beatrix Potter stories read out loud, by me. He really likes to hear me read stories, actually, but he isn't always in the mood, so then if he listens to a story, I know he is being really unselfish.

He thinks the story of the Lord of the Rings is nothing more than a really long walk. This is his one glaring flaw.

He loves to bring me surprises, presents and flowers.

He is quiet, which teaches me to listen better.

He really, really wants our marriage to be good.

He is happy and sweet.

He is really strong.

He knows a lot of things that I don't.

He is very smart.

He loves me very, very much.

This is what I am thinking about today. Also, I have a quiche in the oven and two lovely loaves of bread that just came out. Actually, Steve just ate one. :)

(Since he is sitting beside me, I am forced to correct the above and say that he did not eat the whole loaf. I ate two pieces.)

Just after I married him, I got to introduce him to one of my former professors, who had taken my class to study music history in Germany, and also, as it turns out, used to do marriage counseling. She said to Steve, "Marriage is hard, isn't it? You could be Cary Grant and God himself, and it would still be hard!" Funny that she said that, because that sort of sums out how I think of Steve.

14 June 2009

Is this really necessary?

Apparently, I have a less-than-normal understanding of personal space. Well, I suppose I can acknowledge the need for it in one or two ways:

Strangers, of course. It doesn't do to get to close to them, I guess. Piano students, too, especially if they're an astonishingly rude 4th grader who can barely read and talks like Rush Limbaugh's impression of John McCain, and his equally annoying, conceited and unable-to-listen father. (the 4th grader's father, not John McCain's.)

But I really don't understand it in families. How can you need personal space from your siblings, or your husband, or your wife? I know about needing space--time to be alone, time to think, time to cool off, time to do projects. But that is space for a reason. Personal space seems to be this on-going barrier that one is loath to break at any time. Space is just for a while, for a good reason, while personal space seems a permanent part of the person, a part that other people aren't allowed to approach.

I don't approve of permanent, personal space between people who are supposed to be close. It seems unnatural. Of course, take your space, but does it have to be there all the time?

12 June 2009

controlled by sweaters (for 2 years)

Some days I just feel fat and itchy and gross and old. I think it's allergies.

On the bright side, I have recently begun typing while looking at the screen instead of the keyboard! This is a huge step, and I didn't even try, it just happened one day!

Actually, today was one of my best days this whole summer. Yesterday was too. I read. I napped. I practiced. I made our bed. I worked out. I cooked dinner. I enjoyed clean floors. Both days I did all that. None of those are things that I usually get to do. Never in a normal semester, and most of the time not even in the summer! And today, Steve bought me the first season of The Road to Avonlea! It was a big surprise! I think this is my first summer where I am actually relaxed and organized enough to enjoy a little time off. I mean, I've had time off before, but either spent it worrying about something, or putting off cleaning my house. Usually both.

A few days ago, I put my sweaters in the attic, and that changed everything. It freed up a shelf in my closet, (which then got to hold all my extra bath stuff, which made my bathroom use-able again, which made the downstairs bathroom not full of my makeup and toothbrush) AND freed up the floor of my other closet, which means my shoes are no longer all over the house, which means my hanging clothes are accessible, which means the important clothes are no longer on the living room banister waiting to be worn. I now have a living room that does not look like a closet, which makes it much easier to clean up the pet hair every other hour when it gets bad. (Okay, not really, but almost.) And since all that is done now, I have time to practice, read, and nap, like a normal person who doesn't have kids yet.

One shelf, one box of coats and sweaters in the attic, and my entire life has changed. It's wonderful. And my cherry tomato plant has three bunches of little green tomatoes on it now.

Anyway, I am perfectly content, but still rather itchy and bloated and old-looking today. I need to go take an allergy pill, and perhaps a glass of wine.

06 June 2009

A Poem for Saturday

The Good Little Girl
by A. A. Milne

It's funny how often they say to me, "Jane?
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"
And when they have said it, they say it again,
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"

I go to a party, I go out to tea,
I go to an aunt for a week at the sea,
I come back from school or from playing a game,
Wherever I come from, it's always the same:
"Have you been a good girl, Jane?"

It's always the end of the loveliest day:
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"
I went to the Zoo and they waited to say:
"Have you been a good girl?"
"Have you been a good girl?"

Well, what did they think that I went there to do?
And why should I want to be bad at the Zoo?
And should I be likely to say if I had?
So that's why it's funny of Mummy and Dad,
This asking and asking, in case I was bad,
"Have you been a good girl, Jane?"

04 June 2009

bigger than history

I always think I am over it, but sometimes I worry. A lot. I worry as if I can do anything about anything. I worry as if our God did not exist. Elisabeth Elliot once wrote a list, for a devotional I think, entitled "How to Make Yourself Miserable" and this was near the top:

"Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It may not add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories."

Our trip to Paris made me stop thinking about my usual old thoughts, and voila, I have started having new ones! But one thought that has been allowed to soak in is that worrying is wrong, not only because it is unkind to the people one lives with, and makes you complain-y and all that, it is also a huge insult to God, our God, who loved us and gave Himself for us.

"There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like our God. Do not keep talking so proudly, or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by Him deeds are weighed."

~1 Samuel 2: 2 & 3

"Whom did the Lord consult to enlighten Him, and who taught Him the right way? Who was it that taught Him knowledge, or showed Him the path of understanding? Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust...He brings princes to naught, and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. "

~Isaiah 40:14, 15 & 23

01 June 2009

Passion is my "thorn in the flesh."

Sometimes I think that, anyway. I have all these subjects and opinions I am passionate about, not the least of which are about theology and politics. Sometimes those two seem to go hand in hand. I am not sure if that is right, but then when I think that my theology should and does affect all of my opinions, then it must be right that it also influences my political leanings. But one has to be careful that it does not go the other way around.

I was asking my husband why I have to know all this, and think all this. Why do I think it logical that the earth is far too large for us to have an effect on it's climate, good or bad? (I feel so alone in that thought, but I know there are just as many scientists who agree with it as those who disagree--maybe more.) Why do I care so much about our Christian heritage as Americans? Why do I so badly want our laws to reflect it? Why do I find it shocking that Christians I know could have voted for such an advocate of infanticide as now sits in the Oval Office. WHY DO I CARE? I hate knowing things.

Sometimes I wish I didn't. My husband says, "Then don't." We talked about how, what if you just voted Republican every chance you got and didn't know the issues, and hence, care? I don't know. For one thing, I don't really care about "republican" or anything else. I wish you could just vote "Christian" and leave it at that. Not that all Christians have the same political views, but it does seem like we are all heading in one direction eventually, and that is Christ-likeness. Won't we all eventually have the same opinions, in the end, when we are like Christ, and all perfected? But then they won't be opinions anymore. Then we will just know.

Opinions. I keep typing that word, and sometimes I mess up and type "onions." Here is a cheesy analogy, but there is sort of a connection there. Opinions are sort of like onions. They come in layers. They're usually strong, it seems, and not necessarily what you would choose to smell, or hear. Sometimes they make other people turn away, go away, or cry. Weird.

But I hate having opinions because I am so tired of the passion that accompanies them. That is why my husband told me to take a break from knowing, or at least listening. I am not sure I can. The passion, I know, takes away energy from me. Sometimes it takes the energy that I would usually use to enjoy life. Part of this is because, somewhere deep down, I must secretly believe that I can control peoples' reactions about my opinions, or change their minds, or make my opinions theirs. Sometimes. But that is not ultimately what I want. But it must be a part of it, sometimes.

So, I have finally acknowledged that I have the opinions, I have the passions, and that since the Lord is in charge of my life, I must have them for a reason. I have felt convicted lately to pray more about everything, and I had never thought really to pray about this. I mean, of course I pray about the causes, and the people they involve, and all that, but I have never simply prayed about my exhausting opinions. But I need the Lord to tell me what is to be done with them. I have tried on my own to harness and use them, and it never goes too well. Things in human hands rarely turn out right, in the grand scheme of things. So I do not want this in my hands alone.

It is not so important, my passion for these things, when compared to the fact that people every day are dying without Christ as their Savior. I have a passion for them too, and maybe that is more where my focus should be. It has definitely taken center stage lately. Anyway, if I have to be this person, the one inside me with no shortage of passionate opinions, I want the Lord to have control. Just one more time, I am remembering that I am not God.