March 29, 2012

My life feels like it’s going by so quickly lately (and almost everyone I know feels that way – can’t we make some sort of deal to slow it down??)

I just got more work which, being self-employed, is fantastic, but leaves me with little thinking time.  Truthfully, I can usually use less thinking in my life, but it also leaves me with less prayer/talking to God time.  I’ve been thinking of doing the try to read the Bible in a year thing or the try to read a book in the Bible I’ve been wanting to read thing, but what seems to be working most for me is just to pick a little bit of it that is what I need to hear and have it roll around in my head for a while.  It can be dangerous to take things out of context, I know, so I am making sure I have read the context and that it is consistent with what I know about God.  (although so many things are so hard to know about God).

Anyway, after all that rambling, I’m thinking about Jeremiah today.  I’ve loved Jeremiah 29:11 for a long time: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I have had so many times when I’ve needed to know that God has these plans for me, just like he had them for the exiles.  But I also was struck by the part right after that verse: “2 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

It’s very intimate.  It makes me feel like God really wants to get to know me.  I mean, I know he does know me, but like he really wants me to be a participant in that.  It’s exciting and honoring.  Like if you have a friend of a friend you’ve admired who makes a point of getting to know you.  Only better because I already know somewhere inside of me how much God loves me.  And wants me to seek him.  Not sure about how that works though.  Maybe I’ll have more thoughts about it tomorrow.

On Being “Strong”

March 6, 2012

This may end up a little bit more of a rant than I’d like but I need to process it, so here goes.

I am so tired of being seen as strong and able to do thing alone that other people just couldn’t do.

I am so sick of married friends saying things like “I could never do x, y or z without my husband” right after they’ve told me that of course I don’t need a man to do something and I should stop thinking like that.

I am tired of “but you’re such a strong, independent person!”

It’s out of necessity and I often wish I had the luxury of not being strong and independent.

This rant is brought to you today by an email I got from an acquaintance.  Not a friend, but an acquaintance with whom I have many mutual friends and a friendly relationship.  She got married about five years ago, fairly young, in her mid-20s (at least young for this part of the world).  She and her husband recently got a dog and she was writing for advice because, while her husband was out of town on a business trip, the dog got sick.

Now, I have nothing but sympathy for anyone who is worried about the health of a pet.  I’ve been there and it’s scary and you feel so helpless.  But the way she phrased it: see if you can figure out what might have driven me crazy:

Owner: “Can anyone recommend a kind-hearted vet in the area?  My husband is out of town and our dog won’t eat so I’m so worried.”

[a lot of advice follows]

Owner: “It’s just that with my husband gone, I’m scared.”

Her friend: “That’s a lot to deal with when your husband is gone!”

Another friend: “What a great owner you are holding down the fort while your husband is gone!”

Owner: “Yeah, it’s just hard because my husband is gone.  But he comes back tonight so it’ll be fine.”

First friend: “How scary when your husband is gone!”

To my credit, I was able to give my own doggie medical advice without saying what I wanted to, which was that SOME of us have to deal with health scares (canine and human) on our own without husbands!  And that it would probably be scary for her with or without her husband, unless her husband has magical doggie-curing powers!  And that she maybe needs to stand on her own two feet and deal with things, yes, even when her husband is out of town for one night!

But the reality is that I’m jealous.  I don’t want to deal with all these things alone.  And even though I’d probably make myself throw up if I ever said it out loud, there’s a big part of me that wants a magic husband that makes everything less scary when he’s around.

This person has told me before that she is impressed with how strong and independent I am.  I don’t want to be.  I’m tired!

Another Vacation

March 3, 2012

I had another vacation and it was another miracle.  Not just because vacations are incredible and fantastic and rejuvenating.  Not even just because this vacation was truly a gift from God, as I didn’t have the money to go but ended up with miles and a free place to stay in Playa del Carmen (near Cancun, and far more beautiful because it’s not so Vegas-y).  But also because, as I mentioned here, I have been in paradise on vacation and been suicidal.  Like I mentioned in the other post – being depressed on vacation really brings it home that the problem was with ME.

It wasn’t the weather; the weather was incredible, sunny, warm, and absolutely ideal for me.

It wasn’t the surroundings: warm ocean, snorkeling, beautiful fish, tropical flowers, white beach.

It wasn’t the company: my brother is my favorite person in my family and easiest to get along with (aside from my baby niece and now my sister-in-law)

It wasn’t anything external.  It was me.  And it felt like even more of a waste than depression usually seems to be because I wanted so badly to be enjoying the weather, food, company, and activities.  And I wasn’t just not enjoying it – I was actively miserable.  I was thinking about wanting to be dead.

So, this vacation was an incredible gift.