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March 5, 2013

Lent, Day 21?

My fingers are sore from climbing.

For Lent, I’ve been without texting, tv and movies. When I have said before that TV is my drug of choice, I really haven’t been kidding and now I really feel the effects of a mental detox.

All my vices and distractions are gone. That, and because we’re cracking down on our budget, I’m also cutting way back on my coffee shop splurges. My vices, distractions, other means of self-medication…all absent, or mostly absent. This means I feel my feelings quite a bit more. Fears get deeper and stresses get stress-ier.

This is affecting our relationship too. Basing a marriage off a mutual love of television shows is easy. Basing a marriage off of communication, conversation and face to face interaction takes quite a bit more work.

In the end we’re better for it and I’m glad we’re taking this hiatus from media. Even the fights we’ve had have been a big relief. Things on both our hearts that just never came up because we never gave them a chance.

Epiphany of the day: Relationships of any type are better when you both talk about a lot of things and talk with kindness and grace.

 

Bouldering again has been fun.

I was very thankful to not get a flat tire and to get rides in the rain.

 

I’ve been pursuing greater understanding of money and financial planning lately. Talking with a couple friends who are financial advisors, learning about retirement plans and investments and Roth IRAs. All the stuff I was never taught about and didn’t care about learning for the first twenty-eight years. Now I care. And I’m thankful to have connections and friends who will teach me things. Gloria a Dios.

 

Our baby responds to my voice now!

 

Blessings and glory and honor and praises

be to the Lord of heaven and earth

Creator of all that is

Giver of live and all abundance

Praise to the One who is present in all things

in all ages

in all trials

and speaks to all people who search for Him

and have hearts to receive Him.

 

March 6, 2013

Lent. Day 22

Thinking of the way people are when they have nothing, not even any purpose to live for. All they can do is fight. Doesn’t matter what they’re fighting against as long as they can keep fighting. They fight so they know they’re still alive.

Musing about perspectives on people and challenges. When I was in graduate school, a particular type of case with a particular diagnosis was presented as exceedingly difficult and even scary. Now that I’m actually working in the field, that same type of person and diagnosis is turning out to be quite common and working with these folks just feels sorta…normal.

Lately I’m tired. My mind is tired. I’ll attribute this to my job which is all relational and relationships take energy. Also to writing projects; this blog series, my book, a memoir of the pregnancy, e-mails. I’m tired from musing over the relationship between the church and the gay community and my relationship to both. There are also many musings about being a husband, becoming a father, and the kind of man I am who is attempting to become all these things well.

Relationships are tiring. Especially when there are very few things to distract me from them. I’m mostly talking about TV and movies as I have been. But also alcohol…there have been some days when I’ve wanted to get plastered. Also sexual things, which is actually my avenue for thinking about ways to run away. I can see why some relationships turn cold or become distant. You get close and stay close to a person and you’re getting close into a battle of wills. Yours, mine, ours. God’s. Hurting the other person is easy and you have to always be on guard against that. Getting hurt is just as likely and there’s a process to recovering from that.

Meanwhile, I’m glad to not be running away. I’m glad I’m here and facing these challenges. Every challenge is connected to a person and I love all the people. I don’t want to run away from people.

As all this happens, I’m not alone. Over time, a space is created where I am intimately and embarrassingly known and still loved and still pursued. What I am seeing is that the more distractions are stripped away, the more fights can come up, but the more fights are fought and resolved, the richer and deeper the understanding and compassion and safe-keeping that follow. We fight through stuff and come out still standing together on the other side, having just accomplished something as a together-ness. We could have perpetuated a shallow distracted lifestyle pattern, but because we chose to take away the things that kept us from seeing each other…now we see each other! Now we can understand each other more deeply. Now we can love each other more fully.

 

Here’s the challenge for you, especially if you are a partner to someone. Tell them something about yourself that you’ve never told anyone. Then ask to know their most precious dream, that maybe they’ve never told anyone either. If applicable, add hugs and kisses.

 

Bless the Lord, maker of Heaven and Earth

Giver of good things

Praise the Lord, Redeemer of sinners

who fights to save our souls

When I was alone, He found me

pursued me and loved me

created family around me

Sing to the Lord, O my soul

forget not all His blessings

gifts of comfort and joy

the presence of God in every sister and brother

and us partaking of His glory in one another

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