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Archive for October, 2009

So yesterday, as some of you know, I was in a fashion show.  Just one outfit.  I did it because it was for a good cause.

But in the end, what in the world was I thinking?

The hormone problems are causing insane weight gain.  I don’t feel good about myself.  I’m the biggest I’ve been in years.  WHY was this a good idea?

The timing of this couldn’t have been worse, either: I have been wanting to cry every day for the past 3 days for no apparent reason.  After I walked the run way and returned to my seat, my boss’s wife was talking to me about a few things and I wanted to just cry.  I got in my car after the show and wanted to drive home, curl up in bed and cry.  WHY?

Then, my dear, loving, sweet husband said two things: 1) you haven’t been like this all month (yay) and 2) maybe it’s because your period is next week? (boo!)  He’s right on both counts.

So yeah, I’m feeling a little bit better today.  Thank goodness!

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I was talking to my dear brother-in-law, Dave, tonight and I was telling him about my new job.  I was explaining to him that I never could have asked for this job specifically because I never would have thought a job like mine would exist.  How could I go to God and say, “this is what I want” when I didn’t know it existed?

I was snuggling with Frank tonight and it occurred to me, he is the husband I would never have been able to ask for. I never would have imagined a husband like him for me.  In so many ways, he is more perfect for me than I could have imagined!

And that gives me great hope.  If God has blessed me with a husband and a job that are better than what I could have conceived, in my heart I have a great hope that God would do the same for us with regards to having children.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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moments

There are moments when I feel like everything is just peachy.  Life is chugging along.

And then something innocent causes a hiccup.  A pause and a reflection.

Sometimes it’s a phone call from a friend or a passing comment from an aquaintence.  Sometimes it’s remembering the significance of a date or visiting an old place.

I trace over those moments with my mind like I am tracing my finger over a scar, feeling the inconsistencies and committing them to memory. 

Smooth skin interrupted by the raised, jagged edges of a healed wound.

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moments in the k house

So we’re sitting here, Frank on the comfy chair and me on the couch.  We were watching Saturday Night Live and at the end of the show, Frank and I had two entirely different experiences:

Frank

Boy, it would be so awesome to go to the wrap party for Saturday Night Live.  I hear they are epic!  SNL starts at 10:30 central, so 11:30 east coast.  Runs about 90 minutes, so done at 1 a.m.  Probably takes 30 minutes to finish up and get to a wrap party.  Hmmm.  Yeah, the party probably goes until 4 a.m., so then they’re driving home at like 5 a.m., watching the sun rise.  Wow, and the day before, when they got up, they probably thought, “This is going to be a long day.” And after the wrap party, they probably think, “Wow, I just finished taping SNL.” What a crazy life. How cool would that be?

but then Frank looks over and sees his dear wife.

Emily

Ugh.  I hate when the weather gets cold.  My skin gets so dry and flakey.  Ew.  Oh, what is that on my shirt?  What is that?  (lifting up part of my shirt) Hmmm.  Is that some of my flakey skin?  That is just gross.

I look up to see Frank staring at me.

“What?” I ask.

Frank, still staring at me, smiles.  “Nothing.”

So much for the glamorous life, huh?

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stories

Frank and I had lunch with two friends who have made some difficult choices in their lives.  The choices were, generally speaking, between doing the right thing and the easy thing.  For the past year or so, doing the right thing has gotten increasingly more difficult for them and the outcome seemed to disappear around a bend in the road.

Recently, they rounded the bend and the outcome is clearer.  They were weary travelers, uncertain of how long to the goal of this particular race, but as they look ahead and see the finish line, it is evident by the looks on their faces that they are energized.

They also commented that they knew that getting to their goal line was going to be a “buzzer shot.”

Good stories are about choices.  Great stories are about choices at the buzzer.

Listening to them talk, it really made me think long about the story that God is telling through my life.  What kind of choices am I making?  What are my “buzzer shots” – the decisions made quickly, when everything is on the line?  And do I even recognize it when I’m making “buzzer shots”?

What is helpful to me is rereading this blog and seeing the story of our life unfold.  The change from my early blogs (which seemed to center more around shopping and social events) to now is evidence of the path that Frank and I have been down.  One day, I hope to print out my blog, bind it and give it to our children so they can see what I was like and the work that God continues to do in me.

I love reading other peoples’ blogs.  I love reading their unfolding stories.  I love hearing about the work that God is doing in their lives and the twists, turns and “buzzer shot” moments.

Hearing peoples’ stories is encouraging, educating and edifying (yeah, score, three “e” words!).  Thanks to all of my “in real life” friends who share their stories with me on a regular basis.  And thanks to all of the many bloggers I read for so candidly sharing their stories!

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I was reading the blog of one of my dearest friends, Vicky, and I realized that what she said was right on.  Basically, she didn’t believe that God would give her a safe pregnancy or that she would have a friend that she could be pregnant with.  She didn’t believe that something that GOOD could happen to her.

I know that God gives me good things all the time.  Heck, the things from God are usually GREAT!  This job that I have now, I firmly believe came from God.  My husband – totally a gift from God (but don’t let that go to your head Frank! 😉 ).  Family and friends that I love – awesome.  Lots of good, amazing things.

But in this one area, after years of watching my friends having children, I’ve started to think that God just wouldn’t let me have that.  This thought isn’t based in experiences I’ve had in other areas of my life – my life is abundant with God’s blessings, even in the disappointments I’ve had.  And maybe because I’ve wanted children for so long and had to wait, and then when we started trying, it has been a trail of problems, I’ve started to think that God can’t touch this area of our lives.  I’ve started to think that while God can do great things, He just can’t do them in this area.

And that’s just not true.  He can do something about this.

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peace

Peace is such a tricky topic because it can mean so many things to so many people.

Globally, most of the world is in search of peace while small groups keep us on our toes.  And it makes me wonder what peace really is, anyway.  Some of our longest periods of peace have also been times where groups of people were just quietly oppressed.  Civil rights didn’t really get going until people got vocal, disrupting the “peace and quiet” of the 1950’s.  Women’s lib didn’t make strides until women got loud about it.  Africa didn’t get the attention it needed until in the past twenty years, people made noise about the extreme poverty.  Everyone was quite “peaceful” about taking in the excess of the 1990s in the US while mass genocide was occurring in Rwanda.

What I guess I am saying is that maybe it’s not peace that’s the problem, but rather what we think peace is and  how we pursue it.

Jesus didn’t come this world to say, “Shut up and be peaceful.”  He pursued social justice and was quite disruptive to the prevailing cultural system.  He is called the Prince of Peace, yet in His wake, so many were persecuted because they follow Him.  That persecution continues, even to this day.

Jesus is a big thinker and a visionary.  He is a long-term thinker.

I, compared to Jesus, am a short term thinker.  Long term for me means 10 years.  Long term for Jesus means thousands of years.  I focus on what my next immediate step is.  Jesus focuses on the end game for the world.

So it’s no wonder that I am confused when I hear Jesus referenced both as the Prince of Peace and someone who states that families will be divided.  How can that be? – unless I don’t know what true peace is.

Is peace just shutting up while others get hurt silently?  Is peace denying my feelings so that someone else can not be bothered?  I think that I confuse the idea of peace with the idea of comfort.  If I am not comfortable, then I am not peaceful.

Maybe peace is the pursuit of justice in a manner that is, in itself, just.

I have a dear friend that I was speaking with at length this week. She expressed dissatisfaction with several areas of her life, but after talking about this dissatisfaction – we both came to the conclusion that she was bored.

Think of how many Americans, even now, have everything they should want – a home, a healthy family, a job – and yet, they are not happy.

My life has always been a continuous adventure.  Everything has been perpetually moving forward – college, marriage,  career.  I often wonder, especially in the busiest times, what it is like to have no cares in the world.

But if I were designed to be carefree – wouldn’t I just be carefree?  My friends who reach plateaus – times where they are standing still – often express dissatisfaction. They do not have peace.  So instead, they fill their time with stuff to do.

I know because I do it too.

So what is peace, then?  Boring? I think maybe peace is becoming the person who God made me to be and pursuing the world that God wanted us to have.  When I am working, I have peace.  When I am with my husband, I have peace.  When I am with family and friends, I have peace.

Sometimes, though, it’s not comfortable. Sometimes I am stretched by the conversations and situations that I am put in.

This world we live in feeds us lies about what our lives should be.  This world we live in tells us that peace comes easy.  I don’t think that’s true.

Peace takes courage and strength to do the right thing, not the easy thing.  Peace requires love.  And not hold-eachothers-hands-and-sing-love, but real, gritty love that makes tough decisions.  Self-sacrificing love. Love that wants the best, not the safest.

I know a lot of people who ARE peaceful.  They are calm and rational in the face of major problems.  They do not shut down, hoping that issues will pass.  These peaceful people face the issues and make tough decisions.

I’ve been more anxious lately.  Anxiety is often paralyzing, making it difficult to forward.  Which is why I have been thinking a lot about peace.  But not the kind of peace that causes me to knit sweaters and go to bed at 8 pm.  I’m thinking more about the kind of peace that leads to real changes in not just my life, but in the world.

What can I be pursuing that will help me become the person I am meant to be?  What can I be doing to bring real, lasting peace to the world?

My dear friend Toni asked me about Africa – “What do you think about going on a mission trip to Africa?”  An innocent, but direct, question.  The kind of question that makes me uncomfortable and itchy.  It’s the kind of idea that requires prayerful consideration because it’s the kind of idea that could bring peace.

So maybe Africa or some kind of foreign mission.  Maybe. Probably.

To be continued…

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