Saturday, September 27, 2008

smaller miracles are just as real.

Like most women, I've wanted to form a consistent, regular exercise routine (five days a week) ever since... well, probably high school. The closest I came was the summer in college where Tera and I used to do Tae-bo in Kevin's living room when everyone was gone. That's another story. But every valiant exercise attempt lasted no more than a week or two. If I was lucky.

It was never a question of wanting to work out. The answer to that was simple -- no. I didn't want to. Technically speaking, it was more of a "HECK, NO." I was desperate, however, to become the type of person who actually wanted to. And I didn't know how.

For all I could tell, it seemed to be a gene, and I'd missed it. Really missed it. Like, you know the joke about "not standing in the right line in heaven" to get naturally curly hair, or musical skill, or athletic ability? Yeah. That was me and my bod. We were stuck with each other -- and neither me or my body seemed to be crazy about the arrangement.

Lately -- and I don't know why, or how, but I've grown. I run. I run. I run. It seems to have come from nowhere. One day I started, and just kept going. The struggle to continue diminished. Even after a week-long trip out of state -- I get back into it; I keep on going. Even after an injury. Even when Betsy's ornery. The sustainability factor is astounding.

And all of this rambling about me and my new-found appreciation for exercise? Well, I keep wondering about progress. Learning. Growth. How it happens. For me, I seem to take these magical spurts. Sometimes, I fight and fight and no matter how hard I try, I just don't make the progress I'd like. Then, without any reason at all, the pieces are in place and things work. I don't know what was wrong before, or what has adjusted to make everything right.

And it's always been that way -- with so many things: public speaking, exercise, cooking, teaching, religious studies.

As a teacher, I noticed that same trend with some of my students. With most of them, though, I noticed that as they began a new skill, their first success wasn't consistent. There was a practicing stage - sometimes short, sometimes long - before mastery occurred. I, however, seem to have a delayed (delaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayed) time frame before I even begin showing any sign of progress. Then I leap up quickly -- if not to mastery, at least to significant improvement.

Growth is interesting, isn't it? It's been very faith-promoting for me to suddenly discover that, even with things I didn't think I'd ever be able to change, new skills can be learned. The Lord works miracles of all colors and varieties. If he can raise the dead, he can help me learn to run. And he's loving enough to do just that.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I live in the Bermuda Triangle.

Well, I can't believe I'm posting here again already! Three posts in September and we're only on day #4. Sheesh. I need to back off.

So, a few nights ago I'm in our back bedroom. It's about 9:30 at night; Betsy's in my arms and I'm just getting ready to put her in her crib when all heck breaks loose just outside our window. For those who know our house, it's the little parking area between our house and The Copy Man. It's dark, so I can't see much, but here's some of what I hear:

  • Sirens. About 10 police sirens. They all stop around my house, The Copy Man, and the four-plex behind our house.
  • "That's my wife! That's my pregnant wife in the car!"
  • "Put your hands in the air."
  • "Stop resisting arrest!"
  • Lots of punching
  • A taser gun going off. Twice.
  • A car window being broken
  • Two ambulances showing up

...You get the idea. Total mayhem. Turns out our neighbor in the front of the four-plex had just been driving home from an evening out with her husband. On the drive home, she dropped him off at his car and they drove back in separate cars -- thankfully, with him following just behind her.

As she pulls in to park, a guy (wearing only a pair of ridiculously short shorts) starts running at her. She only has time to lock one door -- her own -- before he's in the car's back seat, shouting for her to get out of the car. Well, she can't. Her door is broken; once it's locked, it's locked for good. So he crawls up to the front of the car and tries to push her out. When he discovers she's not lying, he puts the car in drive and tells her to take off. By then, her husband is banging on the rest of the car doors (which the criminal had locked) and trying to get his poor wife out.

The police, who have been chasing Mr. Bad Guy since he punched two cops and ran from a routine traffic stop, were quick to the scene. Unfortunately, all they see is her husband trying to force his way into the car. Of course, they want to arrest him. Once they figure out what's really going on, they go over to her side of the car and reach through the window to taser the carjacker. Mr. Bad still won't get out... and they end up breaking the car window and pulling him out through the hole. Once out, he proceeds to resist arrest, so they punch on him quite a bit till he starts seeing things their way. Sort of.

Turns out he was drunk and high on PCP, coke, meth, and marajuana. He had plenty of drugs on him at the time of arrest, so hopefully he's going away for a very long time there.

What a story.

What a night.

But it's not over.

When all the drama was mostly over, but all the cops were still around, a hit-and-run occurs about 10 feet from my front yard. We think the vehicle who hit the other car was busy checking out the scene with all the cop cars and just wasn't watching the road. So, he hits the other car, looks a few observers right in the eye, and darts off at 40 mph. Surprise, surprise, the police are conveniently close and get the guy just a few blocks away. But the woman seven months pregnant with twins, who was driving the vehicle that got hit, ends up in an ambulance.

The drama with the hit-and-run was almost over; the cops were finishing their duties and our neighbors were finishing their witness reports. The tow truck had just loaded his second vehicle for the night -- the first being the car from the carjack. All of a sudden, a pick-up (going 15 or 20 mph) crosses four lanes of traffic and rams into a tree just feet away from where the cops, witnesses, and tow truck guy had all been standing. Everyone rushes over, assuming someone in the truck has gone into a seizure or had a heart attack. Doors fly open, and everyone stares.

The vehicle is empty.

And the witness report paperwork begins all over again.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cast Your Vote

I need a new hairstyle, I think. Not looking for anything drastically different; just something more independent. I want a hairstyle that isn't so needy. This "Curl me, or I'll look like a wet noodle" stuff has got to go. I do not allow hair to give me ultimatums. So, here's the criteria:

  • Hairstyle must be able to look attractive without curls. Some days, 10 minutes is all I have to give.
  • Hairstyle should look good with curls. And be pin-curl accessible. Oh, how I want to be a pin-curling expert.
So, weigh in. Tell me what you think of these five hairstyles. I can't promise to go with the voice of the people, (after all, some of you may find a way around the system and double-vote.) but I really want your thoughts. Here are the choices:

Monday, September 1, 2008

The First Ten Reasons

By way of late anniversary celebration, I wanted to tell you a few things about Scotty that make me swoon.

  • Scott is a man that takes care of his wife. Whenever I ask, and often times even when I don’t, he just save the day by whisking my precious (but noisy) daughter away for an afternoon walk. Or evening walk. Or midnight walk.He writes Marcus a letter every single week. It’s always positive, it’s always encouraging, and it’s always 2-6 pages long.
  • He has unabashed favoritism towards his child.Nobody’s eyes quite match his shade of bright blue.
  • He took delight in Betsy as an infant. Many men prefer older babies and toddlers. I think Scott would understand why, but he was just as enamored with her then as he is now.
  • I have a new kitchen. I have new cupboards. I have windows and linoleum and a sink and carpet and paint. It’s wonderful. And it was all installed by WonderHusband.
  • He encourages my hobbies. He loves to see me stretch myself in any way I choose. I don’t think I could pick a hobby that he wouldn't start purchasing accessories for. (It’s so wonderful to not have to beg for a nice camera, but to have him insist on it. That’s love.)
  • He can clean a kitchen (or any other room) at three times the speed of Mickelle.
  • He wants to live someplace rural. And never have cable TV. And have a big collection of old movies. Who would I find to fit me better?
  • When he comes home, even after a long day of work, he’s wanting to lighten my load. Wow.