Monday, June 27, 2011

No Small Feat

Photo Source: Flickr

After 10 months, my commute and daily errand-running have become routine. And the best part? I'm starting to see the same people (albeit strangers) on a semi-regular basis. For a city of nine million people, this feels like no small feat.

As I walk to the bus stop in the morning, I pass a mother walking her son to school, a couple doormen either sweeping the sidewalk or just enjoying the morning air, and a crazy lady walking her Pomeranian. On the bus, I'm beginning to see various familiar faces (none of whom ever make eye contact) and recognize a handful of school kids with their respective nannies, and a certain cluster of women that like to talk very loudly. And if the bus is on schedule, I might even get the same driver a few days in a row.

There's the security guy is the lobby of the building where I work; the cashiers at the grocery store who just speak Spanish to each other and never acknowledge my existence (but that's okay, because they are SUPER fast!); the men who run a copy center next to our apartment building; the lady who works at the bagel place downstairs; the Rite-aid guy who patiently scans all my coupons...

It might sound crazy, but there's something comforting and wonderful about seeing that crazy lady walk her dog each morning. I guess it provides a little something expected in the midst of a very unpredictable environment. It reminds me that our lives are developing a rhythm. And it helps me begin to appreciate this cross-section of humanity, as C.S. Lewis so beautifully explains:
"The truly wide taste in reading is that which enables a man to find something for his needs on the sixpenny tray outside any secondhand bookshop. The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day. In my experience it is Affection that creates this taste, teaching us first to notice, then to endure, then to smile at, then to enjoy, and finally to appreciate, the people who 'happen to be there.' Made for us? Thank God, no. They are themselves, odder than you could have believed and worth far more than we guessed." (from The Four Loves

Saturday, June 18, 2011

To My Dad

To my dad,

who walks faster than I could ever keep up with,
who makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches,
who let me ride the lawnmower with him when I was little,
who helped me learn to obey my Heavenly Father,
who keeps his family laughing,
who has changed the lives of many of his students,
who has shown so much spiritual growth since he was converted,
who I have to thank for my blue eyes,
who is kind and loving toward "the least of these" (Matt.25:40),
who handles hard times with humility and quiet strength,
and who I look up to as a Godly man...

Thanks for the good times you've provided, the good example you've been, and the good work you've done.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Reflections on Marriage

June 18th will be my and Jady's one-year anniversary. (I can hardly believe that!)

One year ago, I had no idea how wonderful marriage could be. I can't really put into words what my husband means to me without breaking down and crying tears of gratitude. He inspires me to be better: to live more courageously, to seek God more fervently, to sacrifice more readily, and to give thanks more frequently.

As much as feminism would disagree, I am not designed to be independent. I need someone to help me. And Jady does. He prays with me and for me; he encourages me when I am down; he is my voice of reason in emotional times; he is my constant companion; he makes the most boring tasks the most fun; he makes me laugh like no one else can; he helps me carry heavy loads of laundry to the basement; he understands my quirks and makes provision for my sanity; he gently reminds me of priorities I've procrastinated tending to; he knows my limits and is willing to suffer loss for my gain; he corrects me with love and patience; he listens to me and listens to me and listens to me; he is willing (and grateful) to eat anything I put on his plate; he provides such stability yet also spontaneity to my life; he is responsible and manages things so well and leads with such humility and thoughtfulness; he not only knows my needs but can predict them.

He is the man of my dreams. I couldn't even ask or imagine a better husband. I only wish I got to spend all day every day with him!  

Of course he's not perfect; but he's perfect for me. And our challenges and frustrations provide opportunities for us to grow and learn even more about each other. A perfect husband would make me feel awful, because I'm certainly nowhere near perfect! I now see that our weaknesses and strengths are part of a beautiful balance in marriage, where each person is serving the other. How would we know the power of forgiveness if we never made mistakes? How would "I love you" mean very much if we never acted in unloveable ways? This is why he is the man of my dreams: not because of the shining armor, but because I see his heart beneath the armor and it beats for his Creator.         

I'm not sure what God has in store for our future--where we may live, what our family may grow into, or the work we'll be doing--but I know Who holds the future, and I know who holds my hand.