Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Wednesday Weeding: Church Love

My phone has become my permanent camera.

It hasn't always been that way. I used to have a fairly decent camera, which Brett won, and dutifully handed over to me.

Then we went to Colorado.
I took 10,000 pictures of the place where God lives (the mountains).
Came home depressed but glad to have captured a bit of the Divine on digital film. 
Only to lose all but 15 photos somewhere between plugging my camera in to the computer and bringing up the photo folder. 
It was not my best moment. 
There was serious gnashing of teeth.  And a few choice words.  And wailing.  And blaming.  Even though Brett was at work when this all transpired.

Like I said...not my best moment.

So since then, I've stuck with my phone. 

Anyone with an iPhone, knows you won't be Dorothea Lange or Ansel Adams...but I figure, you put a fancy Istagram filter in my hands...I'm gonna be satisfied and feel pretty dang fancy while I'm messin' with those little magic buttons.

So, I have loads of photos on my camera and no where to put them.  (Though as a sidenote, I've had good luck with PostalPix, when it comes to printing out Instagram and phone photos, in case anyone is interested.)

Time for some Wednesday Weeding.


1. ...and to dust you shall return.  2. ...if you love me, feed my sheep.
3. ...poured out for you.  4. ...a hen gathers her chicks...
5. sweet are your words to my taste... 6. ...let light shine out of darkness.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

My Homies: Otherwise Known As Friends

I've been lucky enough to have some really great friends in my life.

In grade school, it was my friend Erin.  She was a military kid who lived just a few blocks and few right turns away from our apartment in Colorado Springs.  She loved stationary and Scottish Terriers and her mom made these Chocolate Chip Cookies that were round and puffy and tasted like ice cream (I know, weird, right?).  We were in Girl Scouts together and had pre-teen disdain for the same people and crushes on boys that were best friends themselves.  She hung out with me, even when I flew over my ten-speed bike handle bars and split my lip open, looking hideous and weird (especially when my Father drew a mustache on the bandaid that covered my stitches).  And the day we left Colorado Springs to move to Missouri...I cried real "loss" tears, probably for the first time. 

Then in Junior High, it was my friend Amy.  I was still considered the new kid and she had been separated from her friends when everyone split off to new schools, so we were sort of in the same boat.  In 7th Grade, we had every class together and our lockers were right next to each other.  She loved clothes (she had the BEST clothes) and cats and her mom always had Little Debbie Snack Cakes around the house.  We muddled through Junior High band together and had teenage disdain for the same people and crushes on boys that didn't know we were alive.  She hung out with me, even when I wasn't very pleasant to be around and consoled me, when I was grounded (which was pretty much throughout Junior High).  I never thought I'd find another friend like her.  She was phenomenal.  Still is, for that matter.  And together, we journeyed to High School.

In High School, we met Melissa and Monica (who happened to be twins) and for four years, we were giggling, note-passing, hair-teasing, boy crazy, inseparable friends.  And in college, I met Shane and Lesley and Mindy and Sarah.  Shane would give away these hugs that would change your whole outlook on life. And Lesley made me appreciate Texas a little more, with her Texas shaped pasta and Texas shaped heart.  Then together, Mindy and I figured out what it meant to turn into adults.  And I stood by Sarah as a bridesmaid and watched her marry the man she almost chickened out of dating. 

And then in Seminary, I met Melissa.  And my husband.  But Melissa was my roommate and my confidant and my theologian, long before Brett was my boyfriend.  We shared communion on our back porch and on Thursday's we ate brownies and ice cream while glued to ER and Friends.  I loved her dad as if he were my own and grew to appreciate coffee because of her influence. We cried when Bush Jr. was elected President of United States and decided to switch rooms at 2:00 in the morning during finals week, one semester.  She taught me to play Gin Rummy and how to think, holy.

Since then, friendships have been hard to come by.  New ones, anyway.  When you work in the church, there's a weird, fine line that you hesitate to cross.  Because when you make a choice to jump from that "professional/pastoral" relationship, into friendship, and that person tells you about their failing marriage or their porn addiction or their spiritual's hard to know which hat you're wearing.  Are you listening as their minister?  Or as their friend?  And many might say, "there shouldn't be a difference...".  But there is. There absolutely is.

So, it's nice to find a friend outside of the church...and I've been lucky enough to find a friend in Kristen.  In ten years, I think we've been within hugging distance...three times?  But when she writes, she speaks to my soul. She struggles and hopes and loves and prays and gives name to all those 'things,' in ways that inspire.  She makes a nice, deep black coffee using a french press when you visit her and has the most impeccable taste.  She likes frozen custard maybe as much as I do (though the jury's still out in the Andy's vs. Tedd Drewes saga), is a small business advocate (including mine!), and she stirs my creativity when I find myself dry.  And she's done all of that, through her blog, third story(ies).

Which... is up for an Apartment Therapy, Homie Award. 

So please, affirm friendships everywhere...check out her blog and vote for my homie...otherwise known as, my friend.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Part 2: Love Is Kind

The next year, Brett knew he had some making up to do – we were a good year and a half into our dating career together… so a hug and a slice of pepperoni was not going to cut it this time around.  To make everything easier, we had decided that we would make the gifts, right…because that always goes well. 

Which of course, lends itself nicely, to a Friends reference:
So anyway, at around 6:00 that evening, I show up at his door in my pj bottoms and a t-shirt, and knock slightly, on the door.  Knock, knock. No answer?  Knocking a little louder and still finding myself standing out in the cold, I opened the door slowly… as smoke came rolling around my ankles and down the front steps, sensing an escape rout.  

Adequately alarmed, I peaked inside to hear the sounds of pots and pans being thrown about, just as Brett walked around the corner, dressed dapperly in a pressed button down shirt, which was now splattered… with what I can only hope is marinara sauce… and I quickly see that this evening, is not going as planned. 
There was a fair amount of consoling and ramen noodles to be had, as together, we tidied up the kitchen, saying farewell to charred asparagus and dried up chicken.  And then… it was time for presents.
Now, I’m not ashamed to admit it… but one of my "Love Languages" (to borrow a popular phrase used in a marriage counseling book of the same title) is presents or gifts – giving and receiving presents makes me feel loved, valued and embraced.  There’s just something about the idea of someone taking the time and the energy and the resources to find that perfect “thing” that will make me laugh or smile or cry that really tugs at my heart… so when it was time for us to open the presents – homemade and heartfelt presents… I got pretty excited. 

For Brett, I had put together a scrapbook of our time together, including pictures from every outing we’d had together, all our friends, places that were important to us as a couple….I had worked for weeks on this scrapbook and was thrilled with the finished product.  And more importantly, he was thrilled.  He oood and awwwd the appropriate amount…flipped through each page…commented, exclaimed, and said "thank you."
And then he handed me my present. 
It’s one of those things, that a decade years later, I really wish I had kept, just so I could show it to you today…so you too, might be able to soak it all in.  But basically, as I sat there in the middle of a smoke filled apartment, I unfolded a marinara spattered piece of posterboard with a picture of Brett’s face in the middle – a picture he had taken at Walgreens earlier that day --  and “I love you” scrawled on the bottom in red Sharpie.

Aaaaaaaaaaand, with that...sweet old Cupid was officially banned from our calendars. 

Paul says "love is kind."  And I think that's true. Love laughs as billows of smoke signal a ruined dinner while it acknowledges the sentiment behind the charred chicken.  Love wipes down marinara spattered walls while the other is in the shower, just so you won't be reminded of a "failure."  Love says that years later, you'll still remember that poster board and jab the other in the ribs and playfully roll your eyes, but still recall it with a smile. 

Love is kind.  At least it has been for me.  

There's probably a part check back soon!