Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Flirting with disaster

I am praying for a friend who made some bad choices in the last few months. It's caused him to lose his job and possibly ended his career. It would be completely understood if his wife left but she believes in "for better or worse" and thinks their child deserves for them to try and work it out. He's been humbled and brought to the feet of Jesus. If they can look past the day-to-day, I know they'll see that by working it through, their relationship with each other and with the Lord will be stronger than before. Still, it's hard to watch them when all I can do is offer encouragement and pray for them.

It has made me examine how blessed I am that none of the horrific choices I've made in my life (and there are some whoppers) have had any long-term, life-altering consequences. That is by the grace of God, for sure.

Now if I could only focus on letting God lead BEFORE I have to do something so drastic that I reach the end of my rope. I pray that in the midst of my friend's prayers, I find some meaning.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

What a difference a day makes

On Thursday, I met with my friend whose marriage was having trouble. She told me that things were getting better little by little. She knew that the road ahead was going to be tough but was willing to do the hard work to make things happen.

On Friday, she called me in tears to say she caught her husband with his pants down. Literally. The whole time they've been working through things, he's been lying to her and continuing down his path to family destruction.

I am so disappointed but can't say for certain that I am shocked. I'm living my worst nightmare over again. But at least this time it can be used to help someone through their worst time. I can't believe I'm saying this, but thanks be to God for connecting me with her when she needs it most. Now at least I feel like my experience has meaning and purpose.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New wine, old skins

One problem with every New Year is the mindset that it's a clean slate and to make changes in your life, you simply have to move forward. That's really a lie. The only time you have a clean slate is the day you are born. After that, you have history. So in order to make positive changes in your life, you have to first undo all of the negative, which is actually harder.

Maintenance is infinitely easier, less costly and better than repair but how often do we let things go until they finally give way, forcing us to pay attention to the situation. It's an easy illustration with cars and homes, but the same logic applies to our health, our finances and our relationships.

Sometimes life feels like you are pushing a dead car up a hill in the snow. When faced with the newness of the year (be it calendar, fiscal or school), one is eager for a change and is filled with a severe case of the "shoulds;"
- I should eat better
- I should exercise more
- I should spend more time in the Word
- I should get a handle on my addictions
- I should control my finances
- I should take better care of my possessions
- I should pay more attention to my relationships
What it really boils down to is that we end up "should-ing" all over ourselves and being covered in "should" feels dirty and defeating.

My resolution is to just take it one day at a time. One task at a time. One thought at a time. It's the year to slow down and get more done.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

I was on earlier today and all the guys (and probably the girls) keep saying they want someone with a sense of adventure, who likes to travel, enjoys all sorts of fun activities like tennis, boating, blah blah blah. Then it hit me: Once they get married, they get disappointed that their reality relationship doesn't look anything like their fantasy relationship. Unfortunately, some see their disappointment as an excuse to create excitement in other ways, sometimes by stepping out of their relationship into emotional (or physical) affairs.

The big problem is that if you leave your spouse for someone else, it's quite likely that you'll face the same problem again because reality can never match fantasy. It's not all flowers, romantic dinners and walks on the beach. It's maintaining a home, staying financially stable and walking through life together.

Unfortunately, if your profile says "I want someone who will help by mowing the lawn, pays bills on time and is happy just BEING together," you don't get a lot of attention.

Friday, November 26, 2010


—Verb phrase
dredge up,
a. to unearth or bring to notice:
b. to locate and reveal by painstaking investigation or search:

In the process of dredging up a canal, sediment is pulled from the bottom and redeposited elsewhere. The purpose is to keep the canal navigable. Sometimes the material that is excavated can helpful, making something new like a spoils island or replenishing sand to a washed-out beach.


I got a call on Tuesday from someone I know. She really needed someone to talk to and went down her mental list of whom she could trust. Surprisingly, she landed on me. We've never talked about personal issues before so I was honored that she did.

Then she told me that her husband has been having an emotional affair outside of thier marriage. Since I have quite a bit of experience in this arena, from BOTH sides of the coin, I understand completely what's happening and can offer some pretty serious advice on how to handle things.

So here I am, dredging up my sediment and depositing it in a new location, hoping to make someone else's marriage more navigable.

There are so many layers to the pain that is causing me in the meantime. I hope it works and makes it worth the effort.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Rough day is all relative

I mentioned to a colleague today that I'd had a rough morning. She told me that I couldn't possible know what that is since I don't have kids to get ready in the morning. She told me the story of how her boys (9th grade and 12th grade) spent the morning arguing over a shirt - they both wanted to wear the same one to school. She'd done 10 loads of laundry over the weekend so there were plenty of other options.

I actually behaved and didn't tell her what I thought of HER rough morning, which was basically this: You have two grown-ass kids who can dress themselves and one of them drives the other to the school they both attend while you drive yourself and your daughter to the school at which you teach. Leave the house and let them figure it out. Let 'em go to school naked or be late because of their idiotic behavior AND let them deal with the consequences of their choices. End of your rough morning.

Yeah, it's probably a good thing I don't have kids.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spinning plates again

Every year when school starts, it's a mad rush to get into a groove, even after 21 years of doing the same thing. It's like that juggling act with the plates spinning on sticks. You get some spinning really fast, and then move on to other plates, only paying attention to the ones that get wobbly.

The problem is, I'm busy spinning plates that belong to other people and the plates I want aren't even in sight. I'm always busy working on someone else's idea. When I get a spare moment to think about what I really want out of life, I'm too tired to care, let alone do anything about it.