Friday, May 31, 2013

Matrimony and other endanger species

Please take a minute to watch this video:

Chis August- Restore

Today my cousin was married.
Tomorrow I will celebrate my 17th wedding Anniversary.

I can say candlelight, roses, whispered words of love, romantic getaways, and all other gestures of love have a definite limit to their power.
I love them the way I love dark chocolate, in limited doses.

What I have found that I want unlimited doses of is a little more Christ in my spouse and I.

When I know I have really messed up, to see undeserved forgiveness in his eyes.
When I want to throw in the towel to hear him say "I will never give up on our love or our life together"

To repent together of stupid choices and feel that God is giving us a fresh start.

To encourage him to take a risk for his faith and see how much joy he gets from it.
To teach our children together about God.

To know he hears me when I am struggling because God gave him the ability to.

Sure I can whip out the fairy tale story- a happy marriage, children, financial security but the only the magical about it is how God can take two totally, completely average people and dwell in them.

It really breaks my heart that Iron man and Pepper never discussed marriage. Crazy, I know but to me marriage is the only way to really say "I love you".

You don't need to test out "I love you", it's a choice. You don't say "let me try to choose and see if I can". You just choose.
If you or someone you are with feels the need to try things out before marriage, what's really being said is "let me see if you can meet my needs".

Trust me, in the long haul this kind of thinking is the hole that sinks the ship. A human being cannot meet your needs, and neither should you ask them too.

Only God can do that.

Can a human being be a life long companion?
I'm banking on it.
Can a human being show you unconditional love?
We've been working at it for 17 years.

Will you suffer for your choice, yes, yes you will.
But if never suffering is your goal, go find a cryogenic freezer and get frozen in it.
Life involves some pain but I want mine to be toward a goal that is worth having.

As the old knight Templar in Indian Jones and the Holy Grail said "Choose wisely".

For me choosing to say "I love you" to someone who gave their heart fully to Christ made all the difference in the world.

The tree where almost 21 years ago, my sweetie gave me my first kiss. Thank you honey, for living up to your promises.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Rose without Thorns

A rose without thorns.

(Hijacked your picture Shellie because it was so perfect)
Sometimes a few well thought out words can do the trick and other times you can never do justice to something with words.
Words just start to feel like prison bars that are keeping you from getting at the "real deal".

That's what it feels like trying to write a tribute for my grandma.

She was absolutely a rose without thorns.
To name the feelings I feel when I remember her is simply not possible. There aren't words for that sort of thing. I cannot even make up words for that sort of thing.

My cousins did a wonderful job of using words to get us all to the place of feeling those unnameable feelings.

Those feelings that a select group of human beings on earth are blessed enough to share.

You might think I am exaggerating, or just doing what every loving grandchild does when trying to describe the loss of a grandmother but you, my friend, would be wrong.

I am an observer of people. I trained in two universities to be an observer of people.
Birdie Richardson was as unique as they come.

She had bright eyes. At 93 she had bright eyes.
I dare you to live to 93, give birth to 14 babies, see three of them die, raise 11 on a tiny income, lose your husband of 50 years and live on more than 20 years after that and have the bright eyes of a young child.
99% of the population just does not have what it takes.

They weren't just bright, they had a twinkle.
She loved a good story with a hearty laugh at the end.
We all honed our skills at telling that kind of story to Grandma.
Her laugh was a reward that created three generations of skilled and dedicated story tellers and humorist.

She was the spoiling grandma. Some of my cousins may have had another spoiling grandma, but I only had one.
I will never forget the awe my sister and I felt when, staying the night one night with her, we asked for bacon at 8:00 pm and she got out the cast iron skillet and fried up bacon.
I mean she just smiled, got out the skillet and made it. Not one word about how stupid it was to ask for bacon at 8:00 at night or about how she would have to wash a skillet, not one word. She actually seemed happy to do it for us.

To our little child's hearts we just knew something special was happening.

Some people have a hard time making 5 or 6 people feel special. She made 33 grandchildren feel like they each were the most special grandchild ever born. Remembering each birthday, clipping each newspaper article, displaying every card and picture. Making yellow cake with drippy homemade fudge icing.

She loved with abandon. She would abandon pride, rest, free time, possessions, everything for those she loved. The group of people who could count on this kind of love was enormous. Not just 99 living descendants but every relative and friend she ever had. Strangers of foreign shores whom a missionary had stirred her heart for.

Complaints. There were none. Seriously, you may think I am kidding or exaggerating- you would be stone cold wrong.
I would stop on the dusty dirt road as she walked home from a visit and offer a ride only to be refused every time. "No, No I am fine, just walking home. You go on"
Can get something for you?
"I have all I need".

She lived in an old wooden house, wore the same clothes for decades, ate the simplest of foods (off the charts delicious but simple) and never sought a luxury, ever. Don't think for a second she was of simple intellect. She was Valedictorian of her High School at a time when many women never made it to 8th grade. She had a razor sharp mind and memory. She had 11 well educated children who would have bankrupted themselves to fill her life with all this world could have to offer her. She had the opportunity to be and have what the world tells us we all should want, yet did not seek it out.  

She turned everyday life, what some would call living in poverty into an art form.

I mean it was like watching DaVinci paint.

You know you were in the presence of a master.

She could make something out of nothing.
Porch sitting became all the counsel and encouragement your soul needed for the day, week or month.
Potato digging day- the fair, carnival and awards day all wrapped into one. Friends and family all around, laughing, comparing potatoes, hauling bushels.

One day she came by our house and I had been drawing with my sister who was much younger and we drew a village of people shaped like hearts. She saw it on the fridge and said "Oh, I love that picture. It's like what our Richardson hill is here. The land of Love."
You see.
Then all of a sudden that silly little picture had meaning and I felt proud to be who I was.
You see.
Something out of nothing.

I know God makes everyone. But oh, with her, with her He was speaking out loud.
She loved God fiercely.
It was what made her journey possible. She would have told you that.
It was her understanding of His unconditional love that made her flow of it so endless.

I have little diamonds, gold nuggets if you will, that I hold tight- days of going to church with her. Sitting with her in the car on the way to church, praising God and how He made the Earth.
Singing the old Hymns with her.
Watching her pray.

(Breath in, Breath out, you can do this Kellie)

No words, No words. If you knew her and can picture these memories, you know. The intensity of those pictures in my mind are overwhelming.

If I am 1/5 of the woman she was, well then, Mission accomplished.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Tales of an e-reader curmudgeon

Resistance is futile.
My new Kindle Fire should have just whispered these words to me as I took it out of the box.

I did resist.
I am an avid reader. Usually a book a week. At least.
I have so many good memories of holding a book, especially a hard cover in my hand and curling up on a sofa or in a bed for a good long read.
Those tactile memories stored away in my fingers as they turn the pages and my eyes as they scanned the page. (Okay so the eyes now require glasses but so be it)
Even the smell of a new hard cover- come on you know what I mean, don't deny it.

Last cyber Monday I was lured in by the siren song of low prices to get a Kindle Fire.
Man, O, Man.
Free books, hundreds of them, from websites, the library, loans from friends. Jack pot.
Hundreds of books delivered through invisible waves directly to the Kindle.
Be still my 20th century heart.

Better yet I can place said Kindle in my purse, where it rests, slim, neat in it's hot pink cover (yes I am so girly as to have a hot pink e-reader cover) ready at a moments notice with said hundreds of books.

Yes, I do have to charge it, but it charges more quickly than my phone and keeps a charge for two full days of reading. Don't judge I am a substitute teacher at a middle school, what else am I supposed to do while they work worksheets?

Okay, Okay I do still have shelves of "hardcovers for when the electronic apocalypse occurs".
But I have to say I have been fully assimilated into the e-book collective much more easily than I expected to be.
(only the true Star Trek nerds will get all my crazy Borg references)

Join us, resistance is futile.