Saturday, December 27, 2008

My Own Dreams

For most of us, dreams come true only after they do not matter, Only in childhood do we ever have the chance of making dreams come true when they mean everything.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I'm going to work on trying new things, and being strong enough to enjoy the experience - whether I fail, excel, or pass by with mediocracy.  When I was a child I wanted to do so much; my plans for all I would do could fill ten lifetimes.  I would win that gold medal at the Olympics.  Every abandoned boy would come to live at my children's home and we would live with racket and adventures, inventions and dirt.  I would live in a treehouse in Africa and reside in a cottage in Ireland's green hills.  

Of course, I was going to return to Italy, where I spent much of my childhood, which perfect because it is (relatively) close to where I would work in the Romanian children's orphanage, nursing abandoned infants and children to good health and happiness.  At some point, I'd enjoy a Broadway career and write (and star in the resulting film) my fictional-based-on-true-events story of the first hand account of the bombing of the Murrah Building.

So some of these things sound a bit outlandish, but most of it I really believed could and would happen at some point.  The hard part was deciding which one to pursue.  

I will never forget the evening my 12 year-old-self was at some social event, sitting next to my father.  They were doing a game or activity where they listed four things they wanted to be and four things they wanted to do.  
These were my dad's four things he wanted to do:

See Andrea win the gymnastic all-around Olympic gold medal.
Watch L perform Mozart in Carnegie Hall.
Be at the World Series when J hits a home run to win.
Watch T accept a Nobel Peace Prize.

My 12 year old self didn't think too much of those words.  How incredibly privileged was I to have a father who just wanted his children's dreams realized?  That's what he wanted to do.  I don't think he wrote each word, believing it would happen verbatim.  If you look very, very closely, he really wrote this:

Andrea will not listen when others question her dreams or hopes. 
Finding that she has the tenacity and skill, L will succeed at whatever she sets out to do.
J will find what he was made to do and he will do it well.
Despite what other people think about T, he will live a life of character and influence.  

I plan to hold onto my dreams; they will not become less important as I work, age, procreate, wander, and fail.  They will evolve, develop, and certainly won't include gymnastics anymore.  They will not end in gold medals or a published book, but will be fulfilled when my heart is full and my character solid.  So today I choose to make my hopes the most significant thing, because they just might take me places... 

Friday, December 26, 2008

Give me an "L"....give me an "A"....give me...

Eh, I'm too lazy to even spell it out. =)

Today has been simply amazing.  I've been intentionally lazy.  Incredibly lazy.  Usually, I don't do anything and feel guilty about it.  Last night I set the expectation that I was going to be lazy and accomplish nothing.  I've been highly successful.  

We had an exhausting last two days, emotionally and physically.  Many parts of the family to see, parents, step-parents, grandparents, and more.  I decided I'd rather host Christmas at my house and make most of the meal than worry about the planning and timing of a side dish or two for three different get-togethers.  I made part of dinner for Christmas Eve, all of breakfast (then transported it) for Christmas morning and finally two side dishes for Christmas dinner.

On the drive back home last night, I was able to decompress.  And by that, I mean cry.  B and I were the only family around for his mom this year, after her divorce a few weeks ago and her other son living out of state.  It made me feel some pressure to make things unique and memorable for her.  Yesterday, we were also around my grandfather, who is very near gone.  All the change that is happening in life right now is wearing me out.  Then an aunt asked about when we were going to have kids....I was fine on the outside but that's when I broke into pieces on the inside.  

I needed a day to recover and start over.  So today has been a day of rest, vegetation, and quiet.  (Good lord, my family is LOUD.)  Tomorrow I'm looking forward to accomplishments, plans, and work.  It will be an amazing day as well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What would you do if you had no fear?

Inadequacy.  The fear that I am not good enough keeps me from doing many things.  It keeps me from living life.  

I think these are good reasons to do something:
  • one wants to do them
  • they are the right thing to do
  • the result will be worth the effort

I quickly convince myself that I don't want to do something I don't think I can master.  I need to begin making efforts, at least giving a new thing a shot.  The hard part will be doing this without thinking disparaging thoughts about myself the whole way.

Yesterday, it was something small.  I've never attempted to use chopsticks when eating Chinese food simply because I didn't think I could do it(perfectly).  I'd make a mess, not actually eat any food, and I can use a fork anyway.  I decided to go ahead and try.  At worst, I return to The Fork.  With some tips from B and trying again and again, I finally finished my entire plate of honey-crusted shrimp and rice with chopsticks only.  

I didn't use the chopsticks perfectly.  More importantly, if I had put the chopsticks down and decided I preferred a fork, it would have been okay.  It's all about the effort, the attempt, the courage and humility to try.  This is what I'm practicing.  It is time to stop fearing chopsticks, among other things.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Dreams Lost

The other night I couldn't fall asleep, so I dreamed and schemed up a plan for B's 30th birthday. A surprise party, thrown with the help of his mom and stepdad. We wouldn't have enough room at our place, and they would love to help. I had many details worked out in my head and I hadn't even looked at a calendar yet. I was getting so excited - and it is about 8 months away!

But there are no guarantees. Things in May would have to be the same that they are now for this plan to work out. We couldn't move. Our friends would have to stick around. B's mom and stepdad would have to be willing to contribute, at the very least, their place. 

Divorce is not uncommon, unfortunately. Until this weekend, it has never affected me - at least, not directly. Now, my plans are falling through. A man I thought was good has decided to turn his back on 10 years of marriage. He's turned his back on the possible future of being a grandfather. He's turned his back on Truth. 

I've heard it said, and found it very true: separating/divorce feels like a death has happened. Two individuals have their own personalities, their weaknesses, their strengths, their goals and lifestyles. When two individuals marry, they keep these things and then also become one - with a third "personality," goals, weaknesses, strengths between them. With divorce, this bond dies, and that two as one dies. It is an entity that no longer exists, though the parts of it are still there. 

I'm in the stages of grief. Denial. Anger. Sadness. I pray like it can change; I plan like it won't. I want to have that surprise party in May, with a family that is whole. God of miracles, what say You?

Friday, March 21, 2008


Wow! So. Life. Life is good. Life moves so fast. It's crazy. I was half-awake this morning when I thought about the fact that this year I will turn 24. As in 24, as in almost 25. Twenty-five sounds incredibly old to me! Although, I've contemplated this a few times today and with each thought, the shock value diminishes. 

I am so grateful to Him right now. Alex spoke on Sunday about thanks and thanksgiving. I danced during worship and I really can't remember the last time I did so - at least with the kind of freedom I was feeling. I've been waiting, waiting to experience Him again. I want to experience Him the way I used to know Him, but to do it in the present. I don't want to try to relive the past. I want to be taken to new places in the old way. The Old Way where all I knew for sure was Him and the only faith I had was in His goodness. 

His goodness is not limited by age or station or economic status. Riches do not keep Him from our hearts. Youth does not prevent His voice. Life-weariness, experience or age do not jade us to His wisdom. He can speak. We must just listen. And faith. We must have faith. There is no replacement for it. 

God, give us more faith. Straighten our paths and strengthen our feet.

Monday, February 18, 2008


I really don't know how open I want to be on this blog. I want to record the reasons and thoughts and detail in my goingons but I'm not very good at being transparent. And I'm not sure who is reading this... I don't think I want to know if anyone is reading it Come by, read, but don't let me know you are there...maybe then I will keep thinking this is just like a "dear diary" sort of thing. That's it. I'll just be in denial.

B suggested asking God what we are supposed to do with our situation. Do we want to fill the perscription that the doctor gave? Should I take a supplement that could more naturally "fix" my body. I felt somewhat ready to just try something, to make some kind of measureable effort, but B really just wanted to wait. He thought we should wait on God so I begrudgingly agreed. B chose Valentine's Day as the date we would re-evaluate things.

What should happen Valentine's evening? Let's just say that all this waiting, wondering why in the world my body was not working right, all of the worry and over. No, I'm not pregnant. But my body is working again. My cycle has come back and at least that question is over. More than that, I realize that God is there. HE is GOOD. It was my first thought when B pointed out that this had happened on the very day that we were going pray to - God can't be that good. Oh me, of little faith. Even if we never do have children of our own, He has come in and reminded me of His control, of His power. He Is. He Is Everything.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Over a cup of tea

Today I met with a friend with whom I've had a strained relationship for the past four years or so. There was a time that we lived together, talked everything out with one another and helped each other through the ups and downs. Life progressed as it does and when certain changes came, we did not handle them with the maturity or the love we should have. For the last few years, we have stayed in touch, but our contact has been similar to that one may have with his dentist - nervously anticipated biannual meetings with minor discomfort, and in the end, nothing consequential coming of it.

Today was different and it was a wonderful blessing. I am partly mourning the years of potential friendship that we lost, but it is easy to see that I have been refined and tested through the experience. Today we met together and began with usual awkwardness that soon gave way to a heart to heart and some reliving of the past. It was a wonderful, honest exchange with a painful reminder or two, but it mostly felt good to begin some true, authentic healing on the situation. God is good. 

Thank you Father for returning this friend in my life. It reminds me to not be so ungrateful for my friendships. They are valuable, sharpening me like iron, showing me a part of You through their words, and messing it up sometimes just like I do. I praise you and give you all the glory for granting me another chance with this friend I hurt long ago. Merciful God, You are the Redeemer of souls, the Mender of hearts.

Friday, January 18, 2008


My real feelings come out eventually. I usually try to suffocate them, or at least magnify the positive feelings and brush over the harder ones. But they are there. They leaked out for a while yesterday. I realized I was feeling so angry. Not with complete reason, but I certainly don't feel anger for no reason at all. I wrote a little - journaling fills a space that this typed record cannot. I felt better once I let the words out and let myself cry a bit.

It is not just that we haven't gotten pregnant yet. It is that I have not had a normal cycle since September/October. My body is not doing what it is supposed to. I feel somewhat betrayed - by nature, by Him. But I trust the Lord's timing. It is frustrating and it hurts. But - where else would I go? I can only run to You, Lord. Even in the valley, You are there.

I could run away, 
You would never leave,
You will always be 
Right by my side.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Career Woman?

I have been changing lately. I can feel it, but I don't know if others can perceive it. And while I am happy, satisfied, and grateful... the change makes me a little afraid. Because I'm changing into someone I did not think I would be.

I have a friend who, along with her husband, was on the 5-7 year baby plan. Notice I said 
was. She and her husband have not finished college yet and they have been on birth control... definitely no plan for babies. But, surprise! She is about to see her first child face-to-face. In the last year, it has been fun to watch her move from independent student/employee to a mommy-to-be. She and her husband will be absolutely wonderful parents. 

I have always wanted to be a mother. Moving into the workforce scared me a little, but I figured I'd do it for a while. Just to pay off some debt and, well, it just sounded like the right thing to do. Yet I've always thought that my deepest desire was to be a mother. God is so funny. I don't think my desires have changed, but God certainly has guided my path in a direction I did not expect. I am about half-way done with the school year. We have not been using any kind of protection since September. No baby yet. Some days (and around certain people) that makes me hurt inside. I can truly say I've experienced that ache I've heard about. I 
want to be a mother. I want to have a child. I feel there are few things in my life that could be more important than doing this. But the Father has not given me a child of my own. Not yet.

Sometimes this scares me. As of last Tuesday, we have been married for three years. I really never considered that we would be in this kind of a life. But the Father is all-knowing, all-guiding. In the middle of this kind of life, I have become a better person. My work and its demands have made me more confident and improved my ability to communicate professionally and personally. I am more organized and I thrive on this 8 to 5 schedule, as boring as it sounds. I would venture to say I am a bit smarter. Of course there are areas that are not perfect. I have a hard time eating healthy foods consistently because we are both busy. Home projects are not getting done because we are often tired on weekends and just maintain things. We often have to plan out when we can actually sit down and talk to each other. But the Lord is blessing us and providing for us. We are in a godly community of friends. We have a stable, secure financial setup. We have each other and supportive, loving family. We are so blessed. 

I still have desires and aches for what is not here yet. I know that time will come, in one way or another. For now, I have the adventure of a life I did not plan or decide on. I am so grateful that our Sovereign God is the Path-Layer... the Heart-Provider... the King of my life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Next Time

Sometimes, I am so hesitant. I analyze. And I'm even hesitant about writing that. Because, maybe, I'm not too hesitant. Maybe I'm just hesitant enough; hesitant in a healthy way.

I just don't know. And if I short myself by missing out on things because of this hesitancy, I'm not really aware of it. I think that tonight, I did hesitate too much. I planned on not participating in something, but then it crossed my mind to go ahead and do it. But since I had planned otherwise, I did not change my mind.

If I had changed my mind would I have been happier? Would life be more full? I don't know. I guess what I know for sure is that right now, I am spending time second-guessing things that cannot be changed. I have a lesson I can draw from here, but if I dwell on it, I may just foster more regrets. So. I must move on. To the the next chance.