Friday, June 28, 2013
Let's say you are in a very hard position: conflicting loyalties, pivoting on guilt, etc. Let's also say- you are the only one who can improve a situation. Rather than choose- you do nothing, say nothing, avoid it altogether. That is a death blow to the person who needs your strength, security and influence. It relegates the person to live in a workable conflict; but without action- it will be an ongoing conflict. By not doing anything, you are asking the person to put up with the state of things because you can't figure out what your purpose is and what is the most important.
Sorry to say, but I think men are most to blame in this area. Women are more apt to make a decision (even if it's sorely received) than to leave people hanging and worrying about being held accountable. They will live, speak and act with conviction. Men will wait for an external component of the situation to shift and act when he's most likely going to have a win-win situation, or at least a win situation. Unfortunately, life presents us many excruciating decisions that will each have their own thorns. Life doesn't shift so that we can win; life itself doesn't care about biases or turns.
If my child is hurting another child, I have to be able to hang the "loyalty" card for the "teaching" card and correct my child within the context of the situation. If I don't act on it, I will give my child the idea that they can harm people without repercussions. It gives the parent the message that you don't parent according to what's right. To the parent, you have just caved to a child a fraction of your own age. Is that really a win?
Let's say, we don't want it to be "our child" that ruins a plan, but on this day life hands you a child, your child, who picks the worst time to be naughty. Do we ignore this bad behavior because it's unbearable that the source is our own child? Or do we carry out our intention of not rewarding bad behavior. Believe me, I've been there and it felt horrible to do the right thing!
Let's err with the side of "if the situation makes you want to make an exception to the rule- this is THE TIME to live out the rule." Get cozy with that uncomfortable feeling, may I call it a feeling of sabotage or failure? But- it happens... and from what I've heard, it happens to everybody!
Loyalty to people misleads our decisions and judgments. Loyalty to our convictions and to character may hurt- but you can never go wrong by going this way. Come on people- make the hard decisions!
Friday, June 21, 2013
My husband showered me with sacrificial care as I got closer to labor and birthing our Gabriel. And, like an act of God, Gabriel has done magic on our family. I've seen things in my family that I haven't seen before his arrival. I've seen love in action and in unexpected places. The next time you look at a pineapple, think about the many pineapples my husband cut for me and the think about the hundreds of black spines he ripped off each one so lovingly.
I feared that all men would be callous to my pain. I feared that all men would be ambivalent to their newborns. I just didn't want to accept that as reality. And God led me to suspend judgment until I went through these things with my husband. I'm so glad I listened!
I feared that when I called upon help, that I was admitting defeat. But God said, "No child. You are being humble like I call all of you to be. I am here to help through my human hands and feet." And God made sure to provide wonderful hands and feet to do his work (my mother in law) in my life. She has made a huge difference in our hearts... at least my heart. She said things that spoke God's message to me that it is okay to make the choice we made; and many have made the same choice and have lived to see the benefits of that path.
I heard God's conviction of my errors in parenting. He called me out on being a hypocrite. He made me see that my techniques for parenting were related to my childhood and no longer applicable to my present life. He showed me without question, that I was doing the same thing that I was frustrated with in others. He called me out on something that I wasn't even aware of in myself. Thank God. I need to change those unsightly parts of my mind and behavior.
I think that the zinger with free will is that it has given us a compulsion to manipulate. He gives us free will to submit to His will. But even our God doesn't force us to do his will. Why do we trying to intimidate others to do our own will? I think the answer to this is fairly innocuous. We as humans, and weak of faith (yes, that is me many times), are focused on results. God doesn't care about results. Yet, we are driven to do anything to get results, and then lift up the results to the Glory of God, or to our own glory. Well, God has nothing to do with manipulation.
Another wrench in the free will issue is that children, left to their free will, often go astray in dangerous ways. So how do we balance being their first model of a god to be true to God's ways AND help them avoid dangerous or unhealthy paths? My conclusion is that we have no true bearing on what they choose but we must hold fast to our modeling for them. The modeling will hold true even when we land in our graves. It's the modeling that lives on. If I model manipulation, then that will be my legacy. If I model God's wise lessons, I will leave them behind as the exterior conscience for my kids and generations to come.
God doesn't focus on our performance. He focuses on our hearts and our choices as far as they conform to his teaching. I cannot go wrong as a parent if I do as He does. The results land on the recipient and are not held against me on judgment day. In that lesson, I have to trust. In God, I have to trust.
So I pray:
God, I know you are not done polishing my heart and my character. I ask you to continue to give me the lessons that I will be proud to leave behind for my own children. I thank you for being so gentle and yet clear about your messages to me. You are greater than I could even fathom. I ask that you continue to bless my family and my audience as they find their way to you in their own relationship with a most Perfect Parent so that they may become better parents themselves through your modeling. I submit more and more of my life to you each day through your ever present and unfailing invitation. Amen.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
My heart aches for you... the way you hid it away from anymore harm in your fantasy fortress. I'm sorry I couldn't help you feel some hope and not wither. I would have handled you differently, more tenderly. I know how strong you tried to be, how much you understood so young. I'm glad that you still hold on to some innocence... don't let it corrupt all of you... all of your life.
I wish for you comfort, security, respect (self and otherwise) and success. I can't take the pain away, but I will face it with you if you let me. Even if you don't- I will pray that you will with another person.
Please don't drown your frustration and sorrow in food and things. They are bandaids that will never completely cover your wound. I'm sorry we tried to minister to you where you really hoped we would. I wish we could have read your mind to find your main source of pain. I'm sorry we let you down. You are special and so worth it.
I would volunteer to shoulder your burdens for a few days to loosen the grip of your hell. I wish I could give them a piece of my mind. Your pain is not lost to me. I see you. I love you.
God, I pray for the wisdom and eyes to minister to hurting souls with your Mighty accuracy and tenderness. I pray that I won't be blindsighted again to one of your children's agony. I pray this in your Loving Name, amen.
Thursday, June 13, 2013
I still think about the time my mother told me I was a horrible writer and she couldn't help me. I felt beyond help. I felt cursed. I wasn't disillusioned to think I was good; but my best wasn't even good enough. I felt the burn of being put down without the offer of being pulled up. My inner voice wants to say to you "Don't you dare put someone down unless you are offering to help them up (succeed)."
I remember feeling conflicted when I heard my counselor respond to my sentiment that I felt like I was set up to fail and wondered why people weren't offering to show me or guide me to some success. The counselor said (to my best recollection) that it was a nonsense notion to have and that we shouldn't base our value on our performance (Christian influence). I felt misunderstood because I wasn't trying to perform; I sincerely wanted to learn how to do better (if not succeed!). There is no sin in trying to reach success. Repeat failure is as painful, at least for me, as rejection.
This reminds me of how determined I was to help my stepson grasp learning to read. We struggled to speak each others language; he kicked and screamed; I kept persevering and being consistent; I vowed not to stop helping him through the good and bad until he felt good about his a-bility to read! And you know what? He reads with expression better than he speaks in conversation. But- reading with expression is a stepping stone to his verbal skills. May the domino effect (in the positive sense) continue!
This also reminds me of the times I get so angry at my daughter for not heeding my commands or advice. It seems like my "catch phrase" lately is "If you had done X like I told you, you wouldn't be in this predicament." I was trying to lead her to success, assuming she wanted it, and she chose to flail on her own "wisdom" (catch the sarcasm?). I guess part of the reason why I want to help her to success is that I won't have to spend the time in those "teaching moments" that kids so readily dispose of as soon as we walk out the door... so I won't have to repeat myself...
But I guess that points to my own failing (or is it a woman's failing) to speak to her desires and expectations to/with her boyfriend/husband. We know they are not mind readers, but at the same time- we need to usher them to success (if they choose it) by giving them the information beforehand. They don't want to take the risk of guessing and missing the mark. They want success and they want to hit the bulls eye.
In the teaching aspect (not that I'm a licensed teacher), my strategy is to take the lesson one more step. For instance, the other day my stepson was acing his spelling practice based on words that rhyme and have similar structure/blends. So- since he was at premium confidence of getting the practice perfect, I asked him how to spell another rhyming word that wasn't on the list. And he did it without even getting to see the word spelled out. Or, I might give him a shortcut to help him remember that word when he comes upon it in a book or a shortcut to remember how to spell the word (like brighten has the word "right" in it and you know how to spell that from two years ago).
Anyways, rather than condemn mistakes or failure, be ready to lend a helping hand. Show them a little (or a lot) of success. I dare you. =)
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Trauma = living life without faith in God and involuntarily experiencing pain or loss that could not be predicted or avoided.
Blessing = being at a point of need or pain and getting some relief from the hands and feet of God (our neighbors, family, friends, even strangers).
History = something that will never change, un-editable, contributes to present fears or pain.
Adoption = Giving the blessing of commitment to a person who has a history that includes trauma (abandonment).
I have my own trauma and I've encountered many other people who've experience trauma. My inclination (hopefully other people's also) is to want to reach out and help and to bless those in need. Part me of thinks of it as a challenge to make them forget about their past and it never seems to work. Have you noticed this too?
Okay, to be real- I don't actively tell people to get over it and I don't tell them to forget. But something about the way I assess my effectiveness is how much they dwell on this trauma; if they dwell a lot, perhaps I'm not doing a good enough job of ministering to their needs, perhaps I'm not blessing them the way they need.
Let's think of some blessings that don't actually make the wounds/trauma evaporate:
Adoption = Of course, the orphan "needs" to be adopted to a better life (than the orphanage, not always to be compared with the family of origin). But this is not a ceremony that lops off the fact that the child was abandoned and now, without a voice or choice of their own, go home with whoever went through the adoption process and wanted a child of similar age, gender, and temperament. Like it or not, by the time an adoptive parent receives their child, this will be the 3rd set of guardians for this child and the 3rd or more (depending on how many foster homes the child has gone through) moves for a child who has been traumatized. Those realities don't even delve into the visceral experience the child has seared in their chemistry, brains and hearts of feeling unloved and discarded. Outside of remarriages, people don't conventionally experience such disturbances in their lives.
Stepparents/Blended Families = It doesn't matter how honky dory the lego family is or how awesome the "step" parent is, the reality is that none of it was requested by the children. Their biological parents are irreplaceable and they trying to be placated by a "fill in" parent. Sure this parent may take care of the children well, but who would ever ask for such a complicated family life? At best, we could call this a mixed blessing.
Faith = Faith doesn't turn your life into a dry erase illustration and give you the ability to erase the parts you don't want to carry around with you. It doesn't change the past and it usually doesn't change the way people treat you or think about you. Faith is a vertical blessing between you and God. But the best part of faith is that God will minister to you in exactly the way you need (and that you never knew you needed).
All that said to bring you the idea that after such life changing traumas like international adoption in my case, there is nothing that you can heal unless you are the person that created the trauma. There has to be an understanding and acceptance of the person as a collective of experiences that the only way to honor them is to hold their hand through their bouts of fear and grief. It's that gesture of being present with the hurt person that IS the silver lining to the pain. Humans have this natural desire to have matching likes and experiences; pain gives people an opportunity to bond together. I believe that the best reward of helping people is the blessings we receive from God for doing his work.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Ok, so-- as much as we must acknowledge the fact that we cannot control everything (some of us would say we have submitted to God's will), there are still things we can "choose" with our free will. And since our history is longer than our knowledge of our future (any fortune tellers?), we have a wealth of memories/experiences that can make us witnesses to God or to the Enemy. Of course no one has all good memories of their lives and each of us carry around our own pain (not to be compared). Some people have more happy memories than others.
Jesus's ministry on earth was but a short time in proportion to any of the disciple's lives, heck even less time with the people he met healed and blessed in passing. But those people still had a choice to dedicate one moment or many moments of their history/experiences as totems for their living faith. Even for believers, a death by religious persecution was not "death" in conventional terms, but an express train to Heaven. We are all going to die from/for something- at least they got to choose what they died for. And nothing is more powerful than the message of a person willing to die for a cause/belief.
As I progress in years, my attitude towards my memories has changed. They cease to be face value and now have a "value" in the believer's sense. The memories have gone through a spiritual metamorphosis. Thank God. Whatever we do not claim for God will be claimed by the enemy- God forbid. I invite you to claim parts of your life for things that represent good (even if it doesn't include God).
Blessings to you all...
Friday, June 7, 2013
How can we say "Yes to God" (a phrase I learned from Lysa TerKeurst's ministry) if we don't say "no" to ourselves? If you want to say yes to yourself, make sure you are doing things in line with God's will by submitting to his reign over your eternal life and a close relationship with him. If you truly have a "God filter", could you repeatedly gorge yourself to death... to bad health? What if you needed to be a spokesperson for God; how would he want you to present yourself?
When we reach health for ourselves and match that to a healthy spiritual life, won't that bleed into what we desire for the world and for the less fortunate? How can we evangelize great health if we don't first have it ourselves? In the beginning of time, God blessed Adam and Eve with long life and then he reduced their lifespan after "the fall in the Garden." God intended for us to live long and happy lives. What have we done that is in tune with that intention?
When I get a handle of a green thumb in my new home/soil, I would like to give my surplus organic produce to local people in need. If I really had the means and vision, I'd find a way to help the welfare housing develop their own sustainable organic gardens. I'd find ways to make organic food cheap enough for McDonalds to sell only organic (and other similar food chains). I'd have a garden ministry and go overseas to orphanages to help them feed themselves, learn a trade, and perhaps have the ability to sell the surplus.
I never really valued the accessibility of organic foods until I became pregnant with my newborn son. I then felt panicked to give him the most organic nutrition that I could for his best start. I'm in the process of starting an indoor container garden that I can bring in and out according to the fickle Colorado Weather. Next year, I will move some of those plants to our hopefully conditioned soil (composted) and plant at the right time and not delayed like I am this time around. I envision my kids having their own garden plots around our grounds that they can make their own and tend to themselves within their abilities.
But mostly, the gardening is symbolic of the harvesting mentality (sowing and reaping). They can apply this to their goals, education and relationships all the while being an integral boon to their health. Maybe they can do their own thing with gardening. My son shows interest in having a business selling foods that he will make from his garden. But the point is- we will certainly reap WHERE we sow. And if this is his dream, I will help him sow so he can REAP his dream.
The bottom line: goals are tenuous without the security of health. I'm tired of seeing people being sick. I want my family and friends to join me in health. Let's be so busy enjoying each other, life and shared goals while enjoying good health... and pass that on as a legacy. Let's find our health conscience...
Thursday, June 6, 2013
So, to be transparent, I'm on my third marriage. I am no "expert" on marriage, just on myself. What I've noticed in life is that when things go wrong in relationships, some phenomenon happens where we are convinced it's the "other person." I believe that's where manipulation comes into play; if I could only get them to do this, stop this, think this way... etc.
But have we ever taken a step back to see more of the picture... more of the history of our relationships? The common denominator is "me" and "me" is many times associated with broken relationships. It stings... it might not be ALL my fault; but I'm looking at the part that IS my fault. It's the truth, like it or not. Why do we think we should get back out into dating after divorce after we get over the pain of separation? That is not the green light to get back into a relationship. Why do we seldom use these times to change ourselves? Why be the same person to everyone and expect different results? That's close to the definition of crazy.
And another fallacy to the idea that marriage will work with "the right person" is that deep down- we're pretty much the same... women and mostly like each other and men are mostly like each other. That's why we run into serial divorces. Perhaps in a divorce, you should actually "divorce" your self... or that version of you that contributed to a failed marriage; and if there are kids involved, contributed to a broken family. We give ourselves too many chances that we don't extend to other people.
Imagine if we stayed married and, rather than change the spouse, changed the "I". Literally, die to yourself... as is mentioned in the Bible. What I realized with my current and rich marriage is that my current husband isn't so different from other guys. He's special and has a unique life experience. The thing that makes this marriage work out better is that I've done the changing.
Perhaps the main idea is that we should be open to changing for the better instead of expecting everyone to swallow our excuses or manipulation. I'm GLAD I'm not who I was ten years ago; I'd be ashamed if I didn't allow myself to improve and grow as a person. I'm a stubborn person but I'm glad I've learned to be stubborn about the right things and not just to assert my "presence." Sometimes we can even make something negative (like my stubbornness) into something more positive (like channeling it into my discipline toward faith and relationships).
And as a final thought: if divorce is such an easy thing for "past me" and society to resort to, perhaps we never really became united. If we really did marriage the way that leads to lifelong unions is to become and to consider ourselves to be "one flesh"... to consider divorce as killing two people (or more if children are involved). If we really grasped that concept, would we decide to cut half of themselves out of their life? By that logic, we'd be killing ourselves. We should not be able to survive divorce... but society makes it common-stance. The concept of letting a judge finalize when a parent can see their own children... the idea that children should only have half the time (or less) with a parent outside of death... We should feel heart broken as a SOCIETY!
That is one thing that I took for granted until recently. I never factored in the benefits of having my parents stay together and not having the lifestyle required by divorce. I never had to choose a parent over another. I never had to call my parent to talk to them. I really need to work on this vein of compassion for my fellow citizens. The first time we ever are introduced to divorce, many times, is before WE have ever been married at all. And for people who want to give their children what they (never) had or more- how can we choose divorce (outside of being in harm and in the safety interest of the children)?
Outside of championing for one marriage for a lifetime, I want to send out a message of redemption and grace. It's never too late to move in the right healthy direction while you're still breathing. Blessing is but a choice away. I believe that we can have lifelong marriages, even after a divorce. I believe that we can make divorce something that is rare and strong relationships commonplace. For me, I work on my relationship with God first, then I keep myself in check, and lastly, I work on our marriage WITH my husband. The interpersonal component comes last, not because the spouse is considered last; but because in order for me to expect something from another person, I better be prepared to give it to them with prayer and self enrichment. And that is not my idea, but evidence of my submission to Christian lessons on marriage.
I wish for you all a wonderful marriage, personal life and family life! If you're miserable in your marriage/relationships, I wish for you a revival of love and personal growth.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
But consider this in an interpersonal perspective and the math just doesn't do it justice. In the case of orphans: being orphaned (-1) and then being adopted does not make a plus one and does not make everything honky dory with said HUMAN BEING!. To this human being, they are being treated like a commodity if people truly feel like being adopted makes all the pain go away. To treat an adopted person like their life has been "fixed" just isn't adequate. To an adoptee- they were abandoned (-1) and adopted (-1) in the respect that they had no say in either and they had no place to have an emotion about their own circumstances. They are expected to swallow what other people wouldn't even VOLUNTEER for.
I'm not saying that adoption can't be beautiful. But the beauty comes from recognizing that both sides come from a place of loss or pain. I am not a valuable person just because you handed over money to legalize guardianship. I am valued BECAUSE I'm a person. PERIOD. You cannot add or take away my value; it was given to me, to all by our higher power (or to me, by God).
I felt bad about myself because I was at odds with my adoptive family. I cursed myself for not being able to see them as hurting broken people like me. But then again, they never saw me as hurting or broken. If anything, I was a PROBLEM. Maybe I'm daft, but "problems" don't have value. But with the guidance of God, I was finally able to see my adoptive parents as broken like me and it gave me a sense of peace. It gave me room to pray for them, to mourn for their losses and pain the way they never exposed to me when I was in their household. How do you live with people, family- no less, and not know them?
Having a beautiful son and enjoying him so, I mourn for my adoptive mother who never was able to experience that. Does that pain equal mine? I don't care. But it does give us a bridge if some time in the future we ever do reconcile (God willing).
I think about all of these blended families that have child triangulation going on (not that I blame them). I think about the parents of child perpetrators the school shootings that still back up their children. And finally, I think (man!) I could have been worse! And what would have become of me if I were worse? Would I been kicked to the curb instead of just being called a "terrible child"? I never got to say: "Well, if you think I'm a problem, I'll just re-enter into my biological family's life (even though much time as changed and we don't know each other anymore)."
I think about children who were abandoned by their parents and part of me wants them to call their parents out on it and ask them the hard questions. Don't just let minus one and minus one equal zero; zero water under the bridge, zero pain and anguish, zero reconsidering your worth. I would speak for them and say "No. You don't just jump back in like nothing happened. You can't get that time back. That time with me was valuable. How are YOU going to rebuild my trust? What have YOU done to better yourself while I was worried that I should just rot rather than to thrive as an innocent person. I want you in my life, but you need to value me first." In a world that accepts abortion unflinchingly, I'd say to these children who were "spared"- know your worth in GOD! Demand repentance before reconciliation.
I know that this is a big thing on God's mind. That when I reach the pearly gates, I will have to account for my wrongs against HIS children. So I better make things right before God calls me home. It's only too late when we're buried. Value each other now. Repair those relationships. Don't leave anyone with an open wound if you can help it. Don't get into the "zero" trap.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
As I venture to lose this weight, I'm not assuming that it will be as easy as last time. Things are different: my age, metabolism, my current habits. So in my research, I learned that in order to get rid of the fat, I must recognized that the fat shields me from the toxins I hold in my body. So my first step must be to detox to allow the fat to "stand down" and flush out of my system. Detox is the new buzz word in the health world. Even Dr. Max Gerson touted the coffee enema (detoxification).
Must we forget other areas that we should detox? For me, I think we overlook the contents of our mind that come from our history and things that we allow through our eyes and process in our brains. Most recently, I watched "Game of Thrones" with my husband. (I've had a total spiritual/mental shift since being a former "Nip/Tuck" watcher). My brain really hated seeing the non-Christian content. I've been super sensitive to my past ignorance (way of dressing/acting) and now I see it in public around me. I feel totally convicted and I'm so glad I'm not the same person.
I have a new addiction: feeding my mind on Christian content (sermons, texts, testimonials, counter-cultural stuff to be exact). And I couldn't understand why I was so drawn to this stuff beside the fact that I never get tired of it. I think it is a new program in my brain that wants to detox of modern pop culture. It's the realization that my children are destined to steep in this brain altering "culture." For me it's come to a point of thinking about my children's hearts and minds and even my grandchildrens'... future generations. And even if we don't care about our "self control", what about worrying for our future family members? Aren't they worth it?
I'd like to fantasize that if my biological parents were Christian, they would have "kept me" (I know, such a disorienting concept) rather than giving me up for adoption. I'm not aware of any other dynamics that made my mother un-fit to be a parent. There was plenty of family around to help raise me. Anyways, I can't rewrite that part of history.
I strive to never become desensitized to our sexualized and self-seeking culture. I don't think I can be desensitized AND be a good parent. And only in this world do we feed the kids and our minds junk and still expect to treat each other well. We are set up for failure in this regard if we continue to let culture lead us in what is "right."
Sometimes we are the worst offenders of ourselves. We must also detox our minds of the beliefs (archaic at best) we held about ourselves. We are not the same even if we tried to be such. None of us live in a time capsule. Clear out those negative thoughts you hold about yourself especially if they only hold you back. Break free. Give yourself permission to first love yourself. I dare you. =)
So- I invite you all to detox mind and body with me! I need some accountability partners for sure. Let's keep this journey in the Light. Blessings!
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Well, I'm convinced that that is what the Enemy wants to do to our relationships: have us conclude that we're better off without the other person since all they intend to do is to disappoint, hurt and annoy us. But even that sounds too sensational. How many of us are really that "important" that we could have an arch rival like those of fairy tales?
As the scales fall from my eyes through this new chapter of my life as a "new mother" with the love of my life- for once (and I wish it hadn't taken my hard head so long) I see the "bad intentions" falling away and I see more and more evidence of the glue that holds us together and strong. I am thankful that I have one relationship that is at this level; some people don't recognize it.
My larger than life dog... is a LIVING reminder of how much my husband loves me. He researched, planned, and surprised me with the puppy of my dreams! He even made me think that we'd never get a dog. Ha Ha- joke's on me. And Bella, is my kindred canine friend. She reminds me of how much I'm loved. What a blessing.
My son: is my newest reminder of the love I have with my husband, a LIVING reminder of our love and bond that will outlive us (God willing). I cannot fathom loving one and not the other. I am gaga over both of them. But I love my husband even more because he is just as "gaga" over our son as I am. If my parents had anything like that- well, I wouldn't have been orphaned in the first place. I promised my husband that I'd teach our son to respect and love his father; that he could see a hero in his Dad. And a few days later- he was born. =)
Our new car, is a reminder of his love for me. Since we got pregnant, he made a concerted shift in his brain to change what had to be changed to accommodate our growing family. He didn't leave it to the last minute. He didn't leave me worrying about how we could all get around in one car.
Our soon to be puppy: is another reminder of his love (undeserved of course!) for me. He picked out the perfect breed for me and perfect playmate for my huge Bella and a great family dog for Gabriel to grow up with. He is even planning on building a dog enclosure underneath our porch (at my suggestion) for our dogs.
My suggestions/desires/ideas, many of which he's listened to and made come true, are many more reminders of his love for me. He's never made me beg. He's never dashed my ideas. He has honored them and made them his goal. And we've made shared dreams together for our future too.
The left cupboard of my roll-top desk/office/bookcase (that was one of my desires that he filled in an over the top way!) and one file holds our "relationship portfolio" and sentimental keepsakes. The fact that I had to devote one cubboard beyond our "file" is a huge blessing to our relationship in retrospect. It holds movie stubs, sight seeing brochures, books, hotel insignias, name tags from seminars, things we've made for each other... To think we were able to do all that in a short 3 years... where many other couples haven't done half of what we've done together.
I've moved on to the "feeling solid" stage of our relationship. We still fight and make up. But even those times cannot outweigh what we've done and built together. We found each other at very broken times and still saw the best in each other; and that has been the key to our ever changing and blessed life together. I don't think I've ever felt "solid" before... but I feel "light" and content. I wish this for everyone.