Saturday, February 27, 2010

Remington...not Steele

Have you ever said something and even as it's rolling off your tongue, you realize that perhaps you've made a mistake? Of course you have. We all have. Unfortunately, it happened to me recently and was accompanied by some serious ramifications.

I think it was initially bitterness and a crabby mood that made me blurt out to The Pastor, "Fine," (you know any sentence that begins like that is already doomed) "If you want an outdoor wife, you're going to get one. I'm going to Cabela's and I'm buying a gun. And, I'm buying camo pants and a camo jacket, boots, gloves and the whole nine yards. I'm going to be the most outdoor wife you've ever seen!"

I'm pretty sure you can already see the problem. It's possible there was a tinge of sarcasm in my statement, but yes, I did say it. The Pastor has been threatening to buy me a gun for our full 20 years of marriage. In fact, he did buy me a .22 for Mother's Day one year, but that hasn't satisfied his urge for me to own a "real" gun.

I made this slip of the tongue last Saturday. All week long he looked at guns and talked about what I should I get. I knew I was doomed, so I began to pray about it, realizing just how important this was to him. I asked the Lord to forgive me of my bitterness and change my heart. Late, Thursday afternoon The Pastor announced we should go to Coeur d'Alene. He didn't say why and I didn't ask, but I knew what was coming. I put on a pink shirt, lip gloss, and my girliest earrings. At least if I was going gun shopping, I would look as ladylike as possible.

We drove straight to Black Sheep Sporting Goods and I followed The Pastor in as he marched up to the gun counter. My heart started to pound. There was no foreseeable way out of this, but there was the possibility we were just looking. He asked the guy behind the counter to see a certain Remington. The guy handed it to The Pastor, who in turn handed it to me. It was surprisingly light. I awkwardly put it up to my shoulder in a "shooting" position. I heard The Pastor tell the gun guy, "It's going to be awhile," and I breathed a sigh of relief, although another emotion accompanied it and it scared the heck out of me. It was faint, but I felt disappointed.

I knew how badly The Pastor wanted to buy me a gun (He was quite giddy that we were even looking at them) and I actually felt a little bad we weren't going to walk out of the store with one. Was it possible God was softening my heart to this? I handed it back to him and I thought he was going to say something to me. Instead, he turned, handed the gun back to the gun guy and said, "We'll take it."

Immediately, my emotions did a flip flop. I was stunned, but I filled out the paperwork and a few minutes later, I walked out with a gun, a shoulder strap thingy, and a case. I couldn't believe that I'd been complaining for the last year and a half that we need a new computer and we had just purchased a Remington rifle in 15 minutes flat.

I made The Pastor take me to the Outdoor Clothing Outlet, because I told him there was no way I was getting the gun if he wasn't buying me some clothes to go with it. The first thing we picked out was a pink hat with the Remington logo on the front. The next day, I shot my new gun four times (first shot scared me to death!) and then went to town and bought new pair of big, silver, hoop earrings.

I asked The Pastor why he told the gun guy at the Black Sheep that "it was going to be awhile" if he knew we were going to buy the riflethat day.

"I wasn't talking about buying the gun," he said. "I was talking about were doing it all wrong."

"Ah," I answered flatly. "Want to see my new earrings?"

The gear...

Me with my Remington Model 7 .243
My new earrings

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Stay Close

Not long ago, The Pastor, our son, and I visited a large church in my hometown. As we entered the spacious foyer area, it was crowded with people going this way and that. Greeters were in the doorway to the huge sanctuary handing out bulletins and welcome cards and shaking hands with everyone passing by.

As we approached the sanctuary, The Pastor realized he knew one of the greeters from days gone by. They shook hands and talked for a minute and I, oblivious to their conversation, stood in the entryway and scanned the sanctuary for a good seat and/or someone I knew. The pastor finished talking, we started to walk in, and immediately realized our son wasn't with us.

We retreated to the foyer, scanned the room, and almost instantly saw him, though he didn't see us. A different greeter had said hello to him and then offered him a coloring paper and a pencil. Then something happened. He looked up to see that we weren't right there with him. I saw the panic in his eyes. I saw him start to wander the wrong way and then burst into tears. My heart broke.

It only lasted a second or two, as the greeter who had been talking to him saw us coming toward him and turned him back in our direction, but I was deeply moved by those few seconds. He thought he was lost. He thought he was alone. He was scared. I saw him and knew it was happening even before he did. He wandered away from where he was supposed to be even though we had told him to stay close.

How much are we like that with our Heavenly Father? He tells us to stay close, but we get distracted or offered something other than him. We wander off, just for a second and are lost, or at least think we are. It must break his heart as he watches us do it. He knows that we are going in the wrong direction but he's right there waiting for us when we turn around and head back towards him.

If you've wandered off or have been distracted with something other than the Savior lately, let me encourage you to turn back to him. You're not lost. He knows right where you are and he's just waiting for you to come back. He'll even come to meet you. And, once you get back with him...stay close!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I'm Done!

Two years ago The Pastor and I took a leap of faith and I signed up for the Christian Writers Guild apprentice writing course. It's been two years of fun and challenge with both writing successes and failures. Ten minutes ago I turned in my last assignment. Woohoo!! I'm excited to attempt to put some of my newly acquired knowledge to use and also to hopefully get back to some more consistent blogging. Thanks to all of you who prayed and encouraged me and especially to The Pastor who has had to live with an exceedingly, abundantly crazy woman for the past two years. I wish I could say that last part will change, but no promises....

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Enough is Enough

Today, I had enough. Enough flab around my mid-section, enough "shrinking" jeans, and absolutely enough feeling guilty just because I might want to eat a bowl or two (or five) of chocolate ice cream. I came to the resolute decision that strength training is what I need. That's right...time to get rid of the winter flab and replace it with some toned muscle mass. I already know that cardio workouts are sort of hard, to do pilates you actually have to lie on the floor, and running on the treadmill makes you sweaty. Gross. I'm not sure if the results have more to do with the chocolate ice cream or the fact that the time spent on my exercise endeavors are spotty at best.

Anyhoo, today, the epiphany came to me. Resistance bands. They must be the answer. I went to Walmart on my lunch hour and left with the Gold's Gym Resistance Band Workout Pack. That has to be good right? Everyone knows that only really buff people go to Gold's Gym. My assumptions were confirmed when I brought them home after work and popped in the included workout DVD. Yep. That lady was definitely buff. I watched the workout from the couch while I ate dinner. (You have to ease into these things so you know what you're getting into.)

After I ate, I changed into some appropriate workout clothes, because if there's one thing I've learned over the years its that the choice of clothes is very important to the workout experience. I decided maybe rather than start the 40 minute workout included on the DVD, maybe I should get comfortable with some of the basic exercises which were demonstrated on a foldout pamphlet also included in the package. I figured I'd start with those and then try the full workout tomorrow night. Good plan.

I picked up one of the bands to give it a try and suddenly remembered that the buff lady on the DVD did a little stretching routine before she started. Hmmm, I better stretch before I start. I threw the band back down and began contort my body this way and that, when BAM! Searing pain in my shoulder blade. I pulled a muscle. Stretching. Enough is enough. Exercise is over...back to something safe like computers--and chocolate ice cream.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Is Alone OK?

8 years ago today, when my daughter died, and everyday since then, I worry about my son. Without his twin sister, and with no chance of us having other children (short of a miracle), his life as an only child bothers me. It's not because I'm against having only one's just that my heart goes out to him being alone.

For all our fighting and torturing (mostly on my part) when we were kids, I wouldn't trade the relationship I have with my brother for anything. I know a day will come when my mom and dad will be gone. Even now, I find comfort in the fact that when that horrible day does come, I'll have my brother to lean on and he on me. We will be the only two who can really share each others' burden. But not so for my son. He will have to deal with the ups and downs of life with only his dad and me. And someday, when we are gone, he will ultimately only have God who understands his situation.

Sometimes I worry that my son is missing something important, but maybe he is gaining more than he has lost. He doesn't spend his free time playing video games, but rather doing visitation with his dad. He doesn't have a chance to have knock-down-drag-out fights with his sister, but instead, plenty of meaningful conversations with his parents.

Currently, the joys of his life are basketball and baseball. A day or two ago, he told me, "I really wasn't made to play basketball and I wasn't made to play baseball... I was made to tell people about Jesus."

I think he's going to be just fine...


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