Archives for posts with tag: relationships

Family

In honor of my sister’s birthday, today’s Blast from the Past is a true story of best sisters and friends forever.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

It’s true, it really is…
Cooler Near the Lake

In Wisconsin I guess I took for granted all of the accessible lakes. I grew up approximately 22 blocks from Lake Michigan, though I’m often heard bashing our bay’s high pollution level being situated right between Milwaukee and Chicago. Seriously, hazing for summer lifeguards involves swimming from a boat to shore and then they are never actually on duty because the pollution levels are too high. They just put up these “No Lifeguard on Duty: High Pollution Swim at Your Own Risk” signs and interact with parents who say seemingly ridiculous things such as, “Oh, no, I wouldn’t go in there, but it’s okay for my kids to swim, right?”

Then there were other lakes. Community lakes rimmed by large cabins, houses, and rickety old docks with anchored rafts floating 15-20 feet away. Public lakes with grassy lawns edging sandy beaches. My sister got her license just before I turned nine. That next summer she would pick me up from intramural drama classes (yes, during the summer; I know, I’m a dork) and have to “watch me” for the rest of the day. On days when all the stars aligned (my sister didn’t have to go to work, we had enough money to get in, or it was free), we would head straight from class to Silver Lake.

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tombstone-with-broken-vaseHere’s my first Blasts from the Past installment. Even though this post is a decade old, it still hits particularly close to home, as I’ve been thinking about this story a lot over the past year and a half since my sister died. I even called the chaplain to thank him for his example in grieving in grace; knowing that it’s okay to let your sorrow show, seeking and accepting grace from others, but also to give others grace as they navigate the turbulent waters of loving you in your grief.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Till Death Do Us Part

In all my quarter-life thoughts about marriage, this is not a phrase I have spent enough time contemplating, or at least not in the right way. I have recently realized that in spending a considerable amount of time weighing the gravity of the lifetime commitment of “to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” I have overlooked the eternal ramifications of “for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

A week ago, one of our chaplains lost his wife to a long battle with a particularly rare form of cancer. He’s taking it very hard, as well he should. He’s lost the women who he fell in love with at first sight. I’ve heard the story once or twice, but it’s just as beautiful no matter how many times I hear it.  Read the rest of this entry »

We're Broken People in a Broken World but there's Beauty in the Breaking that Makes Us Whole

“I hope there’s still some coffee,” I said to Asher as we crossed the street, fashionably late for service. “Is it too much for a girl to expect to get a cup of coffee at church?”

“No,” he quipped, “some expect to get a husband.”

When a female friend recently brought up how dissatisfied single women in the church are with the action or, rather, the perceived inaction, of single men in church, I couldn’t help but flash back to that brief exchange from oh-so-long-ago.

Sadly, it’s a tune women in the church screech like a broken record: single guys not asking single girls out on dates. As a woman, I’ve felt that frustration and have been involved in my share of disgruntled conversations…especially about the “hang” phoneme. Hell, I even wrote a post about it (which, in case it wasn’t clear, was meant to be a call to women to chill the peace out and stop trying to step into men’s roles in an attempt to fulfill their own presumed destinies).

Then, I got the slightest glimpse of the frustrations of men. I am not into myself enough to presume that I fully understand, but, from what I have seen and heard, I honestly believe it’s time for us ladies to “woman up;” accept responsibility where responsibility is due; respect men, especially for discerning who to and who not to ask out; and edify them in glorifying God in those decisions.

To paraphrase one man, “Two-thirds of the church body is female, and it’s going to stay that way as long as churches keep telling the men who do show up that they are not man enough.”

Wow.

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A friend asked for an example when I told him I’ve been learning a lot lately. In light of that conversation, here’s today’s original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making:

I have learned that I can face my fears and not die; but I cannot ignore my Hope and live.

People drive me crazy. It doesn’t matter if we are similar or different (because, honestly, we are all similar AND different), as long as people are people, and living in community is defined as the continued relationship between and among people, I will have to live with the temporary fits of insanity.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the general lack of nature skills required to do so and, let’s be honest, the complete lack of desire to attain said skills, I would seriously consider devoting myself to the wild, isolated life of an uncivilized, backwoods hermit. Unfortunately, mankind is going to great lengths to make uncivilized, backwoods areas so rare that even if I could find one, I couldn’t afford a single blade of grass, much less an entire plot. Fortunately for me, that means the closest I am forced to get to “roughing it” is an interior room with spotty wireless or, heaven forbid, dial-up Internet connection.

My roommate, on the other hand, is basically designing her own master’s curriculum, specializing her education in order to best equip herself to actively create and pursue her dream job of mixing education and outdoor activities. I wish I could explain it better than that but, honestly, I don’t really understand it—not like she does. And I think that’s awesome.

That’s the beautiful thing about community. I don’t have to understand everything. We don’t have to see everything the same way. In fact, it’s the mixture of similarities and differences, the complements and contrasts, on which community thrives and grows.

A couple of people told me the other day that they felt like they didn’t fit in Read the rest of this entry »

Today’s original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making expands on the classic, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Enjoy!

When it comes to making decisions and giving advice, one of the most harmful (and frequent) errors of the heart is to confuse the instinct to protect with the desire for what is best.

I’m trying something new tonight. It’s called Five Minute Friday and is a challenge from Lisa-Jo at thegypsymama.com. The goal is to “Set a timer and just write. Don’t worry about making it just right or not.” Today’s Five Minute Friday is about Community. So, here goes.

START

God is so beautifully deliberate. When He said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him,” He did not say “mate” or “wife,” He said “helper suitable.”

In the original Hebrew, the phrase translated as “a helper suitable for him” could more acceptably be translated as “a power equal to him.” Not mate. Not significant other. Not servant. Not subordinate. “A power equal to him.”

God didn’t make Eve so that Adam would not be single; He made Eve so that Adam would not be alone, so that he would have community.

STOP

Wow. That was a quick five minutes but that’s all I have for today.

Note to my dearest friends and relatives: The following is a true confession that I haven’t told very many people. You may find it shocking. I am sorry I haven’t told you in person. I love you. Thank you for loving me. You have been warned. Proceed with caution.

I tried to run away from home several times throughout my childhood. I say, “tried” because I wasn’t very successful. Growing up on a dead end road opposite a cornfield in the middle of the boonies didn’t afford a pre-license lady many exit routes. In fact, I may not remember how old I was the first time I tried to run away from home, but I do recall that I didn’t even leave the house; I just curled up in the hall closet for a bit. Apparently, my young mind hadn’t completely grasped the concept.

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Here’s an original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making to get your mind moving:

When you want to say, “I thought of you today,” send fresh cut flowers.
When you want to say, “I think of you,” send something with roots.