Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Contemplations of a Young Wife, Fifth Part

My brain has gone back into honeymoon mode. For the past week, I've been blown away by the fact that I'm married!

Apparently, so have my parents. My dad told me on the phone the other night (and this is as emotive as he gets): "I can't believe that you don't live here, anymore, Jay. I guess it hasn't fully soaked in."

No, I suppose it hasn't for me, either. I'm living with my best friend--my dearest companion as long as we live. Really?! This has to be a dream. Chris is my completion. He comes home to me, we squeeze onto the rocking chair together, he does the dishes when I'm stressed, we get in car wrecks together, I make him a sandwich for work, we burn food together, he brings me
, I hang up his coat.

The whole thing is a strange and colorful dance.

I feel like we're much better at it now than we were four months ago.

How much more wonderful will it be in 10 years? 25? 60, God willing?

Five years ago, I wrote a song saying, "Love is a curse." Now, through all the Lord has done, I declare that love is a grand and glorious thing!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Short Spotlight-Stealer

Disclaimer: This post may not resonate with my male readers at all, although I'm curious if there's an equivalent struggle in your experience.
Chris and I went to see OU's performance of "The Three Musketeers" yesterday evening. We found the theater a perfect place for one of our favorite activities: people watching.

As a former drama nerd, I particularly enjoyed micro-analyzing the actors and actresses, from stars to swings.

One minor actress caught my attention. She's a very distinctive character that I see on campus quite often. She's probably as short, if not shorter, than me (I'm 4'11'), which I must admit is nice to see. She is equally petite. She also has a veritable head of blond, tightly-wound curls (think Little Orphan Annie).

What struck me about her, though, was how she commanded the stage without speaking a line. At her height, she could easily become lost in the crowd, but her was step decidedly bold and her smile broad and vibrant any time she participated in a scene. She clearly loved being on stage!

During intermission, I saw some elderly couples--they composed 80% of the audience--crowding around the wall where cast members' pictures hung. Two couples gathered before the curly-haired actress's photo and said, "Look at her. She is just beautiful."

I think she knew it, too; not in vanity, but in confidence. In this day and age, what powerful knowledge to have!

As a short woman, I complain about being short. I hear curly-haired women complain about their unmanageable curls. But this girl was so comfortable in her skin that she owned all the qualities culture likes to decry. It was inspiring, simply watching her.

I pray to God I will learn to be comfortable and confident in my skin. I see increasing redemption in this area of my life each day, yet I have a long way to go. Last night was an encouraging reminder to keep pursuing that freedom!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Musical Shot of Endorphins

Karen, whom I mentioned in my post about fists, once advised me to compile a list of things that make me happy or lift my spirits.

Because I am a woman, those things only work from day to day (sorry, men, you'll never figure us out), although I've found one happy pill that hasn't failed yet.

Listen to this vibrant Swahili song, "Baba Yetu," the lyrics of which are The Lord's Prayer.
I'm serious! Listen! You won't regret it:


Go to "Samples." Then, go to the first item on the list, "Civilization IV" (yes, there are two so-titled links, and it's the first).

Hope you share my happy!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Contemplations in Brief

Hi, guys. It seems I've been a bit out of commission of late. I'm sure I have more to write about than I feel like I do, but I'll just give you the skinny and let you enjoy not having to read too chunky of paragraphs.


Marriage just so happens to rock. I don't know how much strength I'd have left right now--spiritually, emotionally, even physically--without a strong arm to hold onto while walking, a tender hand to give me a surprise bouquet of pink roses. My husband is a source of strength; while I know I cannot depend on him like I can the perfect power of Christ, I also know that he is an earthly picture of Christ's amazing love.

Here's to you, husband.


Well, I haven't wanted to pull my hair out at all, this semester. I'd say that's a good sign this is my best one yet. I love my classes--except for when I don't--and find my classmates to be the most intriguing bunch I've ever shared excessively shallow or painfully erudite conversation with.


Blast. Chris just asked me for Christmas ideas, and I think my eye is now twitching a bit. I'm afraid of accumulating too much stuff, but then there are things I want. Should I be less materialistic and do without the desires, asking for more practical gifts (socks and underwear are now out of the question, Mom and Dad!)? How should Chris and I buy for two families? Who expects what? Should I even be deliberating about this?

I shake my fist at you, complicated holiday culture! Christmas has already crept up on us though Thanksgiving's not yet arrived!

That's that. More profound thoughts later, when I'm in commission again. I hope that's soon.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Change is slow; transparent, too:
I search the mirror, hope to see
A woman arrayed in it, who
Has closed the gap with perfect me.

Instead I sigh; the robes are mine.
They stink with effort, use and time
Spent moving one foot 'fore its twin:
A public farce of graceful climb.

I am shamed; I turn away.
The clock, a silent mockery
Of yet another wasted day
Ensnared in change's trickery.

Change is slow; it's quiet, too:
My image, fixed on heart of stone,
Did change with mirror out of view.
I knew not 'till you said, "You've grown."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Once Upon a Time

When I was eight, or even eighteen, it was a lot easier to be a princess.

It was a lot easier to believe in castles and kingdoms, heroism and battles won, legend, undiscovered lands, epic romance and adventure.

Even for a dreamer, it can be hard to dream when pain creeps into the mundane, rendering it not only mundane, but burdensome. You stop wanting to, Eowyn-like, pick up your sword and ride to war, believing in victory.

Every once in awhile, something will remind me of the burning in my heart for greater things--the beauty and romance that I know is bound up somewhere, if only in Heaven--and I take one breath of that refreshing air that used to sustain me all the time.

I'm thankful for those breaths, though they fade quickly in this season. God's not through writing this story yet.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mom's Advice Finally Makes Sense

During those lovely middle and high school days, when I was frustrated about boys and homework and would whine to Mom about them, she always answered, "Jaimie, just take it one day at a time."

The advice used to drive me crazy for its sheer frequency! It took me awhile to discover that it's Biblical, and, not surprisingly, eminently wise. Matthew 6:30-34 reminds us

"But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

"Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Right now, it's all I can do to put one foot in front of the other, so I guess that's what I should keep on doing. One thing I've found is that having short-term goals, like "Today, I'm going to bake something from scratch," or "Today, I'm going to have a good conversation with my husband over dinner, or "Today, I'm going to run a warm-up mile," helps keep me focused on just living.

I admit that I wonder if I'm not simply trying to distract myself with these goals.

Despite my doubts, I know that in the end, that's not the case. I love life's details, because I love life. God has blessed me in countless, beautiful ways, and they are worth celebrating somehow.

I have to hone in on the specifics that I love right now, since life's "big picture" has nearly drowned me every time it's swept over me. Yet, God is faithful...

Next goal: Smile, and don't hold back comments in class!