Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Shopping Drama

My husband is graduating from his masters program next month, and there will be some spouse events, dinners, etc. to go to. They will not be postponed due to my weight-gain self-consciousness. I am very nervous about finding cute clothes to wear to these events...probably a nice dress or something. I'm petite and finding well-fitting clothes is just really difficult.

I figured that I would probably end up at Casual Corner / Petite Sophisticate - my very favoritest shop. Their clothes fit me perfectly and their service is impeccable. Whenever I need a suit or dress or something, I am guaranteed that I can go there and find something that looks and fits great.

Today I stopped by the mall to take a look and see what was new. I came out of the Bon, I mean Macy's, looked to the right to see what was in the window of my favorite shop. Instead, I was welcomed with black. Solid black windows. My heart started beating loudly, I stopped dead in my tracks, and gasped. "Oh no." Oh...oh, no. My store is closed. I checked at the information counter just in case. I was sort of hoping that my store just moved, but no, it closed. Closed. Oh no.

I really don't know where I will ever, ever buy clothes that look good on me again. I don't think stores should just be allowed to close like that. Besides, I think I've personally given them enough money over the years to stay open just for me.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Trials and Success

Part one: A continuation of my recent debate (how to know when a trial is a trial?)...

After talking with several Christian friends, getting counsel from my pastor, and confirmation from my Bible study, I think I have a bit of an answer... sort of. It seems that a great place to start is to determine if you are really in absolute obedience everywhere else in your life. The "trial" might just be God's way of trying to get your attention, with a big arrow pointing at that other thing. Of course, if you truly are in obedience everywhere else, then the "trial" may probably be a real trial, which you need to endure with absolute faith. I have to say that my pastor was great here. Looking at other areas of obedience/disobedience can be difficult when you are in the middle of it, you may not be objective enough. He was really able to see the forest through the trees, while I am busy climbing trees. I'm not sure what that metaphor means, but I like it.

Part two: Social experiments in the rain...

I went jogging today and it was fantastic. A personal best. I jogged for one hour straight, about 4.5 miles. Granted, a 13 minute mile is not very fast at all, but I'm going for endurance here. An hour is the longest I've ever gone at one stretch - no walking at all. This is hobby is putting me at risk of great pride - I think I'm just about the coolest jogger in the world right now. AN HOUR!!! I'm pretty sure I can do anything right now. Roar!

My husband (who wishes to remain nameless, funny guy...although I've remained nameless, so I suppose I don't blame him) came rollerblading with me and at about 40 minutes into it, he went back to the car and was going to drive back to pick me up further down the path. We were jogging on the Cedar River trail and were well past the Maple Valley golf course, so it gets pretty...empty along the road. About 10 minutes into my solitude, it started sprinkling, and then more sprinkling. I loved it. I don't think I've ever jogged in the rain before. It was a beautiful spring sprinkle. And then it got heavier and heavier. I didn't really have much choice, so I just decided to find the humor in it and I thought it was pretty funny. Thankfully, I had a hat on, so I really wasn't getting that wet. When I was just coming up to my hour mark, there was an intersection ahead that I was supposed to wait at (very convenient location too... we didn't know that it would line up so well with my time). I was getting extremely wet at this point....it was RAINING. God is so good - Steve told me to wait at the next intersection, which happened to be this one, which happened to be at the hour mark, and just happened to have a big tree just inside the turn. Shelter! It actually was a big driveway to a trailer park. It wasn't too ghetto or anything. So, I waited in the rain under the big tree at the trailer park. As I waited, I noticed that there were lots of nice cars coming in and out - for some reason these trailer park people had nice cars. Lots of minivans and other family cars. I realized this was a great social experiment. What would you do if you were driving by a young woman who is alone, wearing jogging clothes, on a jogging trail, in the pouring rain, and hiding under a big tree? There are no parking lots nearby. We are sort of in the middle of no where. I was a little surprised that not one person stopped to ask if I was ok, needed help, needed a ride, or even just needed to use their cell phone. Not one. I thought that was pretty sad. We've let our fear of strangers get in the way of social decency, I think. I very easily could have really been stranded, since it was sunny when I left. I wonder if I would have stopped and asked.

And then I gave the dog a bath by myself. See, I can do anything!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Which way to run?

It seems that I always have some current debate going on in my head. It's a bit exhausting, but true.

My current debate is one of trials. How do you know when a difficult situation is a trial from God or just circumstance?


If enduring a difficult situation is a trial that God has entrusted me with to shape me, then I want to be faithful to persevere in faith. However, if it's really God telling me to change the situation, then I want to be obedient and just leave. "Being faithful and obedient" looks entirely different depending on which of those it is.

I figure that there are four options:
1) It's a trial and I should persevere
2) God's giving me a kick in the pants and I should get out of the difficult situation
3) God doesn't care (not that He doesn't CARE, just that it could go either way and He'd be fine), so if it's terrible then I should just change the situation
4) It's punishment/discipline for some sin I've committed

I REALLY want to be faithful and obedient, but I can't figure out if I'm supposed to embrace the trial, or run a way quickly. I've just been thinking about Jacob working for Laban in Genesis. First Jacob had to work for Laban to endure a character-shaping trial that God had given to him, and he endured it faithfully. Later, he decided that Laban's attitude had changed and it was time for him to go. How do you know when you are supposed to stay and when you are supposed to go?

God gives us trials, entrusts us with them, to teach us and shape our character. That's how we become more like Him. In that sense, if I know a situation is a trial, then I really do want to fully embrace it and be thankful for the opportunity and to learn whatever He has in store for me.

However, it's also true that not all bad situations are Godly trials. Sometimes it is correct to leave a situation of suffering, right? I mean...that was Jacob with Laban. Eventually it was time for him to go. How did he know which was which?

Maybe I just have to be in closer relationship with God for him to tell me, and me to discern His voice. I don't know... I'm a bit stuck on this question at the moment.

Friday, May 05, 2006

A bit syrupy sweet - I warned you!

My husband loves me so much. That sounds trite, but it's true. I have been blown away in the last year to find out again and again how much he really loves me.

We officially fell in love when I was 17 and he was 19. Actually, we first said those eagerly-anticipated words at my 18th birthday party. One of the risks with marrying young is that it can be easy to let some things stay immature, rather than forcing all parts of yourself and your relationship to grow up. I think that somewhere along the way, Steve's loved matured and grew up, but I didn't really recognize it. Actually, it's a bit of a coincidence to be learning this NOW. This month is the 10 year anniversary of when we met. I have pictures of us on the day we met. We've changed a lot (when did that happen??) since then. I suppose our love has too.

Steve has noticed my weight-induced despair and is being so wonderful. He always is, but this time it's a little different. In the past, he would give me a "look" if I started eating something I shouldn't or ask if I was REALLY sure I wanted to be eating that. He was supportive in ways that I knew were well-intentioned, but not always the most helpful, and sometimes hurtful. Afterall, sometimes these methods of encouragement would be followed that night with pressure to have Red Robin for dinner.

For some reason, it's different now. We have made a new commitment to eat dinner at home most nights. Mostly this was for budgetary reasons, although Steve noted that this should help as well. So far, he's been super great about following the menu plan, and keeping me on it too. No Red Robin pressure on an at-home night. None. I claim that one as LOVE.

Last night, sometime between 9:30-10:00 when we should have been thinking about bedtime, Steve thought we should go for a walk. I was surprised - it was so late! Rather than just reminding me that I'm failing at going to the gym, he invited me to walk with him. It was a great, long walk. I loved it!

New love loved me in spite of my weaknesses. Mature love loves me in my weakness, and tries to add strength where I am weak.

Hey you (I know you read this!) - I LOVE YOU!!!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Unreflective reflections

I've been feeling a lot of pressure regarding my blog. Sometimes I don't write because I feel like I need to have some super brilliant reflection about my life and circumstances. I've got...nothing. Then I feel guilty. I feel like I SHOULD spend more time reflecting and thinking about what my actions and inactions mean, but I'm too darn busy being busy. It's a vicious cycle, with no time to reflect on it to end it. The guilt has been building, so today I decided to break the ice and just post something - brilliancy not required.

Part of the reason I've been avoiding my self-reflection is that I don't like my reflection right now in the mirror. I'm avoiding clothes shopping right now too. I feel fat. I'm on the verge (or maybe I passed the verge a few weeks ago?) of needing new clothes. I'm too big for mine. I don't think I look good in most anything I've got. But I refuse to deal with this and admit that I'm a chub, at least compared to where I was. So, oh so logically, I'm feeling fat wearing too-tight clothes. I'm just praying that I will close my eyes for a night, and wake up 10 pounds thinner and I will fit nice in my clothes again. Ugh...I really don't want new, bigger clothes. I'm basically choosing to be a big baby about this issue. Really. My parents just bought a new, bigger boat with much more sun-bathing area than their old boat. That should be exciting and wonderful. The thought of me in my bathing suit (or bikini - yeah right) makes me want to crawl into a hole. With cheesecake.

Speaking of being a big baby, I want a baby. Babies. This has not changed. I think I would pay someone to let me babysit their kids right now just so I can play with babies. I just found out that a friend of mine is pregnant. It's a bit of an accident, but they are super excited. I'm really excited for her...and jealous. I hate being jealous. I shouldn't be. God has put me in my place and circumstance and I shouldn't want anything other than His plan for me. I don't think Hormona respects that.

Ok. That's all the reflecting I have time for. I'm tired (ala busy being busy). I really don't like how busy I am. I want to clean and organize and decorate and plan a menu and buy a watch and take my dry cleaning in and sew curtains.

I need to think of some mantra that will remind me that I should be happy and cheerful. I think it's in Philippians 4 somewhere...

Goodnight. =) Think thin. (that's really not the mantra I should be looking for)