Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Sunday morning, I sat in church alone.

That may not seem like a big deal, but consider the fact that I am usually sitting with my husband and his parents and we've been attending there regularly for nearly 15 years so on the rare occasions that they haven't been there I have sidled up to a friend. This Sunday, I dawdled a little too long at the coffee cart talking to a friend that was on her way out and entered the crowded sanctuary a few minutes AFTER the service had begun so I just grabbed a seat near the front by myself.

The service was lovely! All three of the men who typically rotate turns leading worship were playing guitar and singing accompanied by a few more of our most talented musicians and it was a beautiful sound! I actually stopped singing for a while just to focus on the amazing sound of the congregation singing together. Our pastor's niece shared a beautiful testimony about being thankful in the tough times that truly touched my heart. We enjoyed communion, some more great worship time and the Pastor Mark spoke. He also focused on the call to be thankful for the good AND the bad.

I was teary through most of the service, but I found I also had a perma-grin!!!

At the ripe age of, I have led a life that has been relatively.... how would you put it?......mild? No truly catastrophic moments, no life threatening illnesses; I did try to walk away from God a time or two but I never got very far.

Still I wouldn't say its been a turmoil-free existence. My marriage has certainly seen some rough and rocky road, my heart has been broken, my back has been broken, I have struggled with CJ's ADD issues and Mac's strong personality, I have lost dear friends to death .........and worse. I have failed in things I hoped to be great at, put off things I may never get to do, and realized I just couldn't do all I wanted.

But this year, I got a great gift. I have felt the joy of this gift coming in bits and pieces for, at least, the latter half of the year, but Sunday I really saw it for what it was. Ive read about it a thousand times, "I know the plans I have for you...", "To everything there is a purpose..." you get the theme. A thousand times I have told myself, through bitter tears, clenched teeth, weary, ragged breath, "God will use this pain for His greater purpose!" This year, He did. And may I say, my friends, it was so worth the wait!!!

This year, my husband and I were able to stand beside a couple we love dearly while their marriage was slipping into the hands of the enemy and offer support, encouragement and understanding that we would not have had to offer were it not for the bad times in our marriage. I was able to hold my six foot plus "little" brother who had just lost his baby boy and pray with him and offer comfort to him that I might not have had to offer if I hadn't known the heartache of being a mama in the good AND bad times.

Perhaps most importantly, I was able to forgive friends I not only thought I was incapable of forgiving, but thought forgiving them would make me weak and vulnerable. Because I was willing to forgive them, I learned the joy of living without bitterness, and I looked up from my pity party to see a swarm of friends who love me and have loved me and most of all a husband who is willing to give me everything God has asked of him.

I walked to the stage after Pastor Mark's sermon and I thanked him not for the day's sermon but because I realized that day, he is another person that God has put in my life and said, "Pay attention. Watch and wait for what I am going to do here. It will bring you great joy!

Stop and offer up thanks for ALL of the things God puts in your path, all of the things he refuses to move for you, and most especially those that trip us up when we try to go our own way. Nothing else will teach you the true beauty of God's Love in such an inspiring way!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Of Marriage and Metaphors

Some day I will write a book, I think, with a title something like, "Marriage is a giant elk head hanging on my living room wall!"

I am an impressionist art loving, poetry reading, singer, actress, writer, former anti-war pacifist; born in California's Bay Area on the brink of the silicon era. From my toddler years on, my dreams have been of teaching, writing, travelling the world to experience new cultures and traditions. In my youth, I imagined my adult years would be spent on university campuses all over the world discussing great literature, opening the worlds eyes to the beauty of Shakespere's sonnets and Whitman's poiniancy.
I would never have gone so far as to quit shaving my legs or going braless, and I know I could never have given up meat, or tied myself to any trees in protest. Yet somehow, I really never





pictured myself

laying on my couch...

in my house...

in Idaho....

staring up

at the head of an enormous bull elk protruding from the middle of my living room wall!

"This is compromise at its best." I thought as I laid there trying to accept this new addition to my home - while staring right into its nostrils.

In just less than 14 years, I have gone from being the afore mentioned wanna-be peace child to....

Troy's wife!

Now is when it is absolutely imperative that I stress the fact that I love my husband, live for the children we have together, and wouldn't trade my life for all the poetry circles in the world!

Still, I wonder: If I can trade Simon and Garfunkel for Big and Rich, Flojos for Ropers, Shakespere in the Park for UFC Fights, Hemmingway for McMannus and store bought beef for home-butchered elk!!!!!!!!!.....................

How is it that my husband - whom I love dearly remember - is still the military-minded, country music loving, levis and t-shirt wearing, snowmobile and four wheeler riding, master hunter that I met in 1993?

"Maynard? (that is what Troy's mother named the elk)" I ask him. "How on Earth did you get here?" Then more to the point, "How on Earth did I get here?"
I don't mean here as in Idaho. I made that choice for myself. I mean specifically here under Maynard's nostrils?

Time to explore the meaning of marriage and compromise!

More to Come!