Wednesday, April 23, 2008

If I Were....

a kind of cereal, I'd be Reese's Peanut Butter Puffs. It's all sugar, but the mention of peanut butter (protein) makes me feel a little less guilty somehow.

If I were a painting, I'd be painted by an impressionist; after all, I often have a plan, but the details aren't clear or precise--and that's what makes it so beautiful. I can rest in that (most of the time).

If I were a country, I'd be Spain. On the one hand, there's the cosmopolitan Barcelona--but that's such a small part of the nation. On the other, there are much smaller cities full of a different sort of vibrant life, focused on family and historical culture. And whether in Seville, Granada, Valencia, or Salamanca (or my life), there's a premium placed on family and friends, leisure time, napping, food, and pastries. Plus you can walk almost anywhere, and I love walking.

If I were an animal, I'd be a yellow lab puppy. When they're happy, they are so very happy. When they play, they play hard. But when they're tired, they sleep so very well.

If I were a grocery store, I'd be Publix. While I love the produce, prepared food, and atmosphere at Whole Foods, I have a hard time swallowing the notion of spaghetti sauce that costs over $8/jar or a grocery store that doesn't sell margarine. Plus I wouldn't want to out price the common folk. With that being said, I am a bit more exciting than Kroger, and I'd never require people to have a special card to get the sales price; that's annoying.

If I were a food, well...we all already know what this would be, right?

If I were a super hero, I'd be Wonder Woman. This is a big "if" since I've tried numerous time to become her--by spinning around and around in Wonder Woman underoos in our backyard....

So what would you be?

p.s. I'm grateful for wireless internet courtesy of my former guest blogger Brian who was kind enough to buy a router for the toolshed and hook it up a few months ago. Blogging from bed is much more fun!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Best Tangible Gift of 2008

A few weeks ago when Carter and I were at dinner I told him that I wished a Barnes and Noble were nearby because I wanted to buy Tim Keller's new book The Reason for God. The book came out on Valentine's Day, and I'm surprised I didn't make an effort to get it any sooner. Tim Keller is my favorite pastor, and I have well over 100 of his sermons in my itunes. My faith has deepened and become so much more informed because of his teaching. What's funny is that I'd never heard him in person until my trip to NYC last year.

Anyway when we got back to the toolshed after dinner Carter said he had a surprise for me. Not only did he have the long-awaited book for me--he'd managed to get Tim Keller to address it to me and sign it--no small feat. How he worked that out involves multiple e-mails, a trip to NYC (for work), a Fed Ex drop bag in a last ditch effort, and some other maneuvering that I'll spare you the details of. Needless to say I was touched by the gesture and just generally joy-filled to receive a gift from Carter that shows me that he "gets me." I really can't think of a better gift for me, therefore this gift currently holds the "Best Gift of 2008" (so far) Award. What gift gets the award for you?

p.s. I'm thankful for comp time....since I worked on Saturday from 6:45 a.m. until after 3:00 I didn't have to go into work today until 2:45, which meant I cooked, went for a run in the gorgeous sunny weather, had some good conversation at Panera over breakfast, and generally enjoyed a relaxed day.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Afraid to Hope

Despite enjoying almost every second of the first four months of dating Carter, I've found myself feeling quite the opposite on several occasions in the last month or so. It's certainly not been as negative as my funk at the end of February, but I have found myself being more critical of Carter and finding it more difficult to enjoy him.

Since my brain seems to sometimes have no "off" switch (and I forget to pray instead of analyzing all the time), I've thought about why all of a sudden I find myself being bothered by a good bit (of not important things) about Carter. One thing I realized is that I've taken all of the great stuff about him and made it my new "baseline." For example, I like it when a guy has good manners, but that's part of my baseline. I'm not going to date someone who does not extend common courtesies (which I realize may rule out some Yankees:), so guys who do have good manners don't get major points for doing so.

Carter has a deep and abiding faith in Christ, is smart and educated, has been intentional and thoughtful about our dating, and all around has a lot going for him (except perhaps his choice in footwear and lack of musical exposure). And while I'm not going to date guys who aren't the things I just listed, I should not take all of this for granted either, making it a part of my silly baseline.

While taking so much about Carter for granted has been part of the problem, I realize that the bigger issue is my fear. I'm afraid to let myself hope. I'm afraid to let myself care. I'm afraid to not know if Carter is "the one" before I start really investing and entangling myself in someone else's life. So in an effort to know, I've tried to figure out why he isn't the one instead of allowing for the possibility that he is. After all it may take months and months to know if he's "the one," but if I can find enough wrong with him, I can know he is not the one right now. And I can avoid taking the risk of disappointment, hurt, and rejection. Lame.

Fortunately once I realized this and prayed for God's help in letting go of my fear, voila I'm back to enjoying Carter and looking forward to our time together. He came here this weekend, and we had a fabulous time, marked with four delicious cupcakes from Gigi's, knocking about in Hillsboro Village, lounging at Centennial Park, and worshiping at Cross Point Community Church. It's amazing how letting go can make all the difference. My new mantra: think less, pray more.

p.s. I'm grateful for my friends who give such wise counsel, asking the right questions and reminding me to seek beyond myself and my purposes and plan.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I just got this e-mail from Carter.

Hey. This may be out of the blue, but I must confess that I've been keeping a secret from you. After patiently waiting, I've now decided I need to let you know, and Friday will be the first opportunity in person. I would tell you today, but I just can't bring myself to let you know by phone. Realizing that we're looking forward to seeing each other, I just can't keep this from you any longer. I'm pretty sure it won't destroy the weekend, but I wanted to give you some advance notice so that you could be prepared. I'll talk to you later.


I simply replied with "Nice try but no cigar."

Have any of your successfully pulled an April Fool's yet? I got my sister and brother-in-law pretty good last week, but I've not figured out anything for today. If I were brighter, I'd have written back to Carter that I had something I was needing to tell him too. Oh well, I blew that.

Happy April!!

p.s. I'm grateful that in just a few hours I'll be making chocolate chip cookies with four of my junior high reading students to celebrate their good behavior over the last month. It's been great to see how two of them have turned their behavior around over the last few weeks and how excited they are about coming to the toolshed.