Monday, December 28, 2009

early new years--just in case

I really wanted to wait and post this on New Years, but then I realized that I could be stuck in a hospital then, so I should probably just go ahead and post. So here is my fortune cookie thought for the New Year.

How would you feel if in one fortune cookie you received two fortunes, and the first one said:
-You will maintain good health and enjoy life
and then the second one said:
-Your luck has been completely changed today

Do you worry that your luck has been completely changed AFTER the first fortune? Should I be worried that I'm no longer going to maintain good health and enjoy life? I just need to know... How do you balance out the reading of two different fortunes? that arrived in one fortune cookie! And, most importantly, will this effect my new year at all?

What a relief that I don't really believe in fortune cookies and their ability to change the course of a woman's life.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Five Years

Today I wanted to write about the 2004 remember...but I find that there aren't enough words right now. I spent my entire senior year of college trying to process it and put it in some kind of written form, and so now the idea of sitting down and writing something brief and pithy about the depth of grief and devastation that was brought about on December 26th five years ago is just overwhelming. There were so many stories. Even now, it's hard to know what to do with all the stories. I was only there for a week, six months after the tsunami, to help with relief work, but I heard enough stories to write a book. Stories of survival. Stories of grief. Stories of complete and abject loss. A few have especially stuck with me: the young boy who somehow managed to swim to safety but lost his entire family, the woman who had to be tied down at night to keep her from going down to the shore to look for her only daughter who had drowned in the waves, the music professor who thought that if he could only have a piano everything with be okay. I know that they haven't forgotten, so neither will I. I continue to pray for them and tell their stories, and it may not be much, but it's something.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Mary and Me

As Christmas is closing in, I've been thinking a lot about Mary. Thinking about what it must've been like to be her at the birth of her son Who was going to turn out to be so much more than who she ever thought He'd be. I've found that I have a different way of looking at the Christmas story this year than before. Sure, you say, it's because she's nine months pregnant and getting ready to explode with child. And yes, that's some of it. But it's a little bit more.

Mary didn't have her perfect pregnancy. Growing up in her culture, giving birth to her firstborn son was probably something she'd looked forward to her whole life. Yet because she submitted to God's will, all her dreams for how it should be were taken from her. She didn't have her family around her to support her. She didn't have a nice place to give birth. She didn't get to help pick the name of the child. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. More than anything, I think about how what should've been an occasion for joy would have been tainted by the shame that others were projecting on her. Think how it must've looked to everyone. Think how it must've felt to not even be able to tell her friends for fear of what they would think.

I know I don't have anything on Mary, but I know what it's like to not have your perfect pregnancy. I may not be without family during this time, but I don't have my husband. I may not be giving birth in a stable, but I'm delivering on an Air Force base (not anywhere I'd ever planned for). I may not have been given the name of our child by God, but I'm filling out the birth certificate on my own--and if it's a girl, I don't know what we're going to do! And while I don't have the cultural shame of being pregnant before I got married, I do have the current cultural shame of getting pregnant my first year of marriage when I "could've done so much more with my life."

I think I'm very glad that God knew best, in my case and definitely in Mary's. My little guy is going to be such a gift to our family, and every time I look at him and see his dad's face, I'm going to give thanks...and it'll make our time of separation go by so much more quickly. As for Mary, her baby turned out to be a gift not just for her, but for the whole world. And every time we look at Him and see His Dad's face, we can give thanks...and be glad that we're no longer separated from God because of our sin.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the snow hat

Just wanted to let it be known that the Snow Hat (yes, it now deserves capitals) worked its magic last week:

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Goodbye, Twenty-two

I just want to say (in this final twenty-two year old post) that there is nothing quite like starting out a new year cleaning and reorganizing your room. Normally, I personally and nerdily celebrate my birthday by going for a run. That's not exactly possible this year. Instead, I have a newly organized closet and desk. And that's entirely satisfactory.

So, goodbye, twenty-two. I start out twenty-three with stretch marks (that are SO worth it for who's coming in the next few weeks), an increased ability to laugh, a growing love for my husband, several writing projects underway, gratitude for family and friends, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, and what could potentially be the best birthday present ever: a full set of the Anne books and The Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery (we celebrated early since it's already my birthday where the Man is). My husband may just love me more than I deserve.

With that said, on to Twenty-Three!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

rain or snow

"Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
James Farley Post Office in New York City

I'm waiting with high anticipation for the 1 to 3 inches of snow that promised me this afternoon. In the meantime, I'm sitting in front of the fire with Oswald next to me and my fuzzy sweater on. Oh, and my furry slippers as well. Right now, there's a consistently cold drizzle, but I have faith in my snow hat. I wore my snow hat yesterday, and it will bring on the snow, just like it did last year! Besides, I'm all for early birthday presents.

In the meantime, I have another package to get ready for my poor frozen husband. This one will include yet another set of flannel sheets. I'd rather get him back with all fingers and toes attached. Frost bite and I are not friends.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November? November???

I'm determined that November didn't have a full thirty days. I mean, seriously, where did it go? I only made it through three posts this month...and I had so many more that I thought about writing. I'm highly disappointed in the disappearance of November.

I recognize that this is not typical for me. After all, December is My Month, the celebration of all that is Me. I have my birthday, the end of school, my favourite holiday, my anniversary, and possibly (possibly) a baby coming (if he comes early). But frankly, this year, I think I'm trying to survive My Month even more than I'm looking forward to the relaxation it usually promises. After all, there isn't much relaxing about the possibility of going into labour. Just saying. Neither is there much relaxing about the thought of corralling 100 or so preschoolers into a somewhat organized Christmas program. But December is here, and my plan is to end the year with a full complement of fireworks and exciting explosions. Let's go out with a bang!

Until that bang, though, I'm so glad to have my parents here to help me survive the bloating belly syndrome. Dad put together the dresser yesterday and the crib today, and Mom is cooking and cleaning and organizing up a storm, and I have rarely been this grateful in my life. I admit to certain prideful and self-sufficient tendencies around August that led me to believe that I could handle this myself, but let me tell you honestly: I can't. Putting a fitted crib sheet on requires a little less belly than I have.

All this to say, November, where did you go? December is fast upon us and suddenly I'm nine months pregnant and utterly dependent on my parents (which hasn't happened in quite some time), but December brings the halfway point for the Man's deployment, and that is definitely something to rejoice over.