Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011: A Year in Review

Here we are at yet another new years eve and I am naturally contemplating the happenings of the past and my hopes for the future. 2011 has been an eventful year:

February- Our apartment flooded
July- We moved into a sweet little house; I made life altering health choices
September- We celebrated our first anniversary

Well, that list is shorter than it feels like it should be, however, that's only when I consider the really big "noteworthy" happenings, and only those in which occurred within our little Price unit. We celebrated safe returns from deployments, new life, and beginnings of great new adventures along with our families, but for the events that took place among our two person, one dog family, the above four landmarks have changed us.

Back in February, the flood seemed to own my life. It was hard, to say the least. But it's true what they say- time heals all.
Lessons learned:
  • possessions are of this world, they come and go, so don't place too much weight in them.
  • Relationships are valuable; you'll find refuge in the most unexpected places when you value your friendships as they should be.
  • Patience- to be okay where and when we are presently.
  • Fortitude- there are going to be hard things, but if you keep your head down and tough through them, you'll find a reason in time
  • Contrary to popular belief, God does give us more than we can handle. But it's because we're supposed to give those burdens back to Him in trust.
  • God is sovereign and we need to be obedient.
The blessing in the form of a rental house has been indescribably instrumental to our recovery to normalcy from the chaos and uncertainty that followed the flood. The employees of the apartment complex, the neighbors, the feeling of complete vulnerability and insecurity was more than I could handle. Our sweet little house has made me feel safe again. I'm sure that's a huge relief to my amazing husband, because paranoia does not become me...

Those health choices- I have had some demons that I've been dancing with for a number of years now and I've finally taken real action to own my life over them. I have eliminated the sweets from my diet entirely and now eat on a regimented schedule. I know this sounds simple and silly to some of you, but I can hardly describe the havoc I was reeking on my body before I implemented those changes and the negativity that ate constantly at my mind because of it. I am 6 months "clean", if you will, and I have never felt better in my life. I've also started riding my bike and that has only helped.

And best of all this year, our anniversary! I know I can gush enough about Grady to write a whole volume of books, but let it be said that he is the most loyal, patient, loving, and kind man I have ever known and living a life with him daily delights me. With all of the struggles and hard times, he's been more supportive than I could have imagined. It is obvious to me the God created my husband with me in mind- Grady has been tailor made to my needs. I love him more everyday than I did the day before (a concept that never ceases to amaze me).

As for my 2011 resolutions, I am proud to report that I succeeded. Many of them in round about ways that were not my expectation or plan; nevertheless, God clearly wanted to reinforce my resolutions through everything we've experienced this year. I indeed find myself a different woman than I was a year ago and I think that's how it should be.

2012 Resolutions:
Continue to hold strong to the healthy choices.
Continue to hone joyful obedience within my heart
Read more
Become more homemade and less store bought

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Power Struggle

I can hardly wait to leave work today and get to our new house! You might ask, "didn't you move in on Friday? What's special about today?"

Well, it's true that the lease started and we moved a great many of our belongings in on Friday; however, we have not had electricity until today... It's been a bit of a saga, but to avoid much of the drama, let's just focus on lessons learned:

1) When renting a house, be sure to ask the landlord about the expectations for electricity- Will it be on when we move in? Will it need to be in our name?
2) If the answer to the questions above are "No" and "Yes" respectively, recognize that some energy companies will take three business days to turn on power.
3) Take the time to research said energy companies-- some of them will only take ONE business day and may be cheaper...
4) Number 3 is better known before all of the other lessons because if you cancel a contract to switch, the first company just might play tricks that will keep your new company from being able to keep their promises...

But now that's all behind us- we have power which means we have air conditioning! I've loved the house from the moment we first walked in, but I have a hunch that I'll love it even more when I get walk in today and can enjoy being it!

Although, I will kind of miss the "sauna affect"- I'm pretty sure I lost all of my water weight this weekend alone... Just kidding- I won't miss that at all :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Joyful Obedience

Well, it's January- the start of a new year. I've never been much of a resolution maker, but the beginning of 2011 seemed like a good time to start! My resolutions include but are not limited to these:

  • Take better care of myself. No "work out everyday" or "swearing off restaurants"- I'm trying to set myself up for success, here!
  • Be a better and nicer wife. Tripp insists that in no way have I been a poor or mean wife, but I can just see some areas for growth.
  • Most importantly-- teach myself to become joyfully obedient.

I've heard the phrase all my life- joyful obedience. The first Sunday of the month, every Chrysalis retreat (sever times over each weekend)... Page 12 of the United Methodist hymnal at the end of the confession and pardon prayer. "Forgive us, we pray. Free us for joyful obedience, through Jesus Christ our Lord."

I have had the communion ritual memorized for a number of years (as I'm sure many in our congregations do, but still, we start at the book...). Since my realization of this fact, I have quit "turn[ing] to page 12 in [my] pew hymnal" when the minster asks and I have had a series of epiphanies about the meanings of the words we recite month after month, thoughtlessly, only because I've put thought into them as they are said. Still, I can be quite slow and some phrases get over looked all the same. Admittedly, the feeling of complete stupidity that follows the bliss of making a revelation is incredibly humbling and therefore all part of the process, I'm sure.

I marvel at the timing of God's wonders, but clearly, Christmas eve was the night where my ears were first opened to hear what my life has been so lacking, then reinforced when we took communion again on January 2. I'm lazy. I procrastinate. I've been actively working on it for a handful of years now with little success. And it makes so much sense now, looking back- I told myself to get up and do work but I felt like there was no purpose in it. Why do I need to clean up? Why do I need to do my homework? Why do I need to study stupid subjects? "Because it needs to be done." That was never sufficient for me. On the rare occasion it was, then my obedience was begrudgingly.

I didn't understand the truth in "it needs to be done" and how that IS enough purpose for me to do work. As I was talking to my friend Stacy this morning, she reminded me that work is a blessing and always has been: Adam was to tend the garden even before he and Eve sinned. God did not make us capable and smart people with the intention for us to just sit around, doing nothing. Working is just as much a part of our nature as sinning is (but helps us stay focused and avoid sin- a topic for another time). We constantly busy ourselves and I have had a habit of busying myself with stupid, inconsequential tasks when I have real jobs to be doing!

If the dishes need to be done, then I need to do them and I need to be joyful in doing so-- I have dishes and there was food on them! The laundry is piling up, and I'm so grateful we can clothe ourselves. The bathroom is dirty, but praise God for our privacy, the sanitation advances we have made since the beginning of time, and especially for the good health we have and would like to keep!

It comes so naturally to me in the office! My job is so simple and incredibly mundane, but I am so happy to do it! I have a job and an income! Maybe the fact that my position is technically temporary helps me keep a grasp on the joy of the situation- every mindless and numbing task they find for me is another hour/day/week I get paid. I've started really trying at home in the last few days to practice joyful obedience and it's going to take some getting used to, a lot of discipline. But my overall joy is greater because I feel a sense of completion and purpose.

I guess that's really my only resolution, because everything else seems to fit into that one concept. If I'm taking care of everything I need to be taking care of, everything will be as it should. And that thought in itself is so freeing...