Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Life is Pain

Once upon a time (well about ten months ago to be exact) I read a girl’s blog in which she shared the specific number of posts she committed to blogging weekly. I thought, awesome, I can do that. And I did…for about nine and a half months.

I think it is silly when bloggers come on after a little silence and apologize to the blogosphere for not writing. I am not about to do that. I am fully aware that all of those charming bloggers who glance at my posts every now and then have their busy lives and do not recognize a silence in my jolly little corner.

But I do. I notice it, I think of it, I struggle with it, I labor over it. And still, I am silent. Oh undisciplined wannabe philosopher! Why don’t I do what I ought to do rather than do what I do not wish to do? (Romans 7 moment…) After all, oftentimes I need my little nook on the web to force my heart and soul into a place of understanding.

In the last few weeks I have felt like I was thrust full speed onto the roller coaster of life without any preparation. What could have happened that put me in this strange place? That’s just it. It has not been one huge thing… but rather dozens of little (and a few not so little) things that have brought me to this weird, thoughtful and partially melancholy state.

Life, this wonderful life that I lead, is hard. Sometimes I hear the line from Princess Bride playing over in my head, “life is pain.” There always seems to be some new obstacle to overcome, some new hurt to feel.

I had a beautiful and painful hospital experience in the last few weeks. The kind that forces all the trivial matters to stand still as you witness first-hand what life truly is about. I have been struggling with the words to write about this event because I felt that it was worthy of a beautiful and well written note. But the grand words have not yet come,yet still, it must be mentioned. My grandma, the dearest woman in the world, was in the hospital after having a stroke. I went there to witness my grandpa, her husband of sixty five years, standing faithfully by her side. He was holding her hand and trying to make her laugh. The history that is created in sixty five years of matrimony is incomparable. The love that I witnessed in that hospital room is what life is all about. She is home now, and doing well. But I will always carry with me those beautiful scenes from the hospital room, where I witnessed the amazing love between two such entwined souls.

In the midst of my emotional state regarding the difficulties that come with living and loving, I was assailed by the poignant pain that can be drawn from no other place than a good classical work. Yes, one of my present ailments has come from the loss of Jean Valjean. Laugh if you will… but really, unless you have read this book, you cannot possibly understand the vast emotional, spiritual, and intellectual, journey I have been on. The depth of goodness and character as seen in this story is unheard of in today’s society. As I reached the end, I lay in my bed and wept. I cried for the goodness of Jean Valjean, the lack of character that I see in the world today, the injustice of mankind, the bitter sweet shift from daughter to wife, the amazing and selfless love of a wonderful father, and the inevitability of losing someone you love. All of these are hard truths to grasp.... and they bring pain to the one who strives to grasp them.

The book was about life. The real, hard, sad, true, painful bits that come with living.

And so the weeks passed in such a way where reality and fiction were entwined to lay a heavy weight upon my soul. After spending time with an acute awareness of the inevitable pains that life will bring I finally reached a better place. The place where I remembered and became supremely grateful for the grace of God.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What You Really Need and What You Don't

I don’t like to spend extra money unnecessarily. I am just throwing that out there. So whenever Cory and I travel domestically, we squeeze everything into a couple small carry ons and call it good. Because I am so accustomed to that, it is a special treat to check bags. So…. When I packed for our recent trip, let’s just say that I did not pack light.

After my first few days I was chuckling to myself while rummaging through my bags. Here is a little list to give you some guidance so that your husband doesn’t tell you to pack lighter next time.

You do not need to bring:

1.  A running jacket. Yeah right.
2.  Twelve shirts
3.  Three bras. I was going to say bras in general… but that might be a little outrageous. But you definitely don’t need three.
4.  Six pairs of shoes. Yeah…. Flip flops and tennis and you are good.
5.  A leather jacket
6.  Three sweaters
7.  Two pairs of jeans
8.  Yoga pants (which is crazy because I am a yoga pant lover. But I did not touch those babies once. It was just so perfectly warm)
9.  Makeup. (maybe a tad if you really care but seriously I was in and out of the water all day)
10.  Fancy dress (although…. I confess I did end up wearing this two nights before we left. But I could have done without it)
11.  Jewelry.

This list will probably not be the same for those who are primpers. I am certainly not. I am fairly well known for infrequent hair brushing, and I rarely wear makeup. I was shocked at looking around at the other girls on the beach to discover that most did their hair, put makeup on, and some BROUGHT A BRUSH down to the beach. Oh that is just bondage. In my oh so humble opinion, the list of must haves is short and sweet.

All you really need for a perfectly wonderful trip:
1. Bathing Suit
2. Sun dress
3. Sun hat
4. Sunglasses
5. Sunscreen
6. Book
7. Toothbrush
8. Running attire

At least I think that’s a pretty good place to start.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

All Good Things

All good things must come to an end. The old adage continues to ring true in my little world.

Cory and are speeding along in the air. We are leaving the beach, the sunshine, and the amazingly warm ocean. Homeward bound. Goodbye eighty degree evenings, hello snow. Yes… the family warned me. Snow. In May.

What an amazing trip it was though. At the risk of being redundant and sentimental I must state how thankful I am. Cory and I are blessed by all of the things we are able to do, and all of the wonderful places we are able to see, yes, but above that we are so amazingly blessed by how much fun we have together. When we go away and it is just the two of us all day, every day, we just have such fun. We do everything together. And I love that. We laugh and we talk. Yesterday we even had a conversation about what was more important in a marriage – laughing or talking. Good times.

I am going to miss our early morning runs on the beach followed by throwing our sweaty and workout attired selves into the ocean. Yes... we are kind of weird vacationers. We set an alarm to rise early. We watch sunrises and enjoy the stillness before the beach becomes a party. Not to mention we had a fairly strict schedule to keep. I even found myself saying the statement, “we want to have time to lay by the pool before we go lay by the beach.” Yeah, that was awesome.

So tomorrow reality sets in. We are done diving, we are done getting couples massages (amazing experience by the way), we are done snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boating, and lounging. I won’t have a bell boy to cart my luggage and see to my every need (man, I am really into having bellboys). I will make my own bed in the morning. I will cook my own dinner, clean my own house. Life’s everyday duties beckon.

But in the end, a vacation is still just meant to be a trip, a season. It is supposed to come to an end, and rightly so. It wouldn’t be so perfectly amazing if you didn’t have another place to call home. And truly.... it is a wonderful place to call home.

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