Monday, July 27, 2009

My Will? Thy Will?

I just can't wrap my head around the truth that Christ knows my pain. He doesn't just know of it--He knows it. He has felt it. He has asked the same question: "Really? This is the way?" and concluded with the same phrase: "Okay ... Thy Will Be Done."

The phrase "Thy Will Be Done" has been a common one in my life lately. I've heard a podcast and a sermon on it. It keeps coming to mind. I find myself praying it--often. It's kinda freaking me out cuz I'm not quite sure what it is that I'm praying for. See, it's easier to pray for what I
want because I know what that is. I want to be pregnant, I want to be pregnant now, and I want to deliver a healthy baby. And I want this all to happen before my friends are all onto their second and third children. Apparently, this is not coinciding with the whole "Thy Will Be Done" idea. As the tell tale signs once again assault my body (i.e. cramps) I am again reminded that I have no control over this desire of mine. I have no control, no matter how well timed, how well planned, how well prayed for ... I have no control. I can wish, and pray, and hope and (ashamedly) beg, and still ... the answer is no.

To pray "Thy Will Be Done" is to pray for unclear, vague and uncertain. I don't know what His Will is. I know my will. I know my desires. I know my wants, and perceived needs. It's much safer and easier and normal to pray for what I know. It's very difficult to pray for what I don't know--and I don't know His Will. It's hard to understand why He would grant the prayer of pregnancy to so many women around me, but withhold it from me. What is the answer to "Thy Will Be Done?" It's hard to pray something so intangible. It's hard to pray something that I'm afraid I'll disagree with. What is His Will?

Christ prayed this prayer. He prayed "Thy Will Be Done." When I'm upset and questioning, I forget that Christ doesn't just know about, but He knows my pain. He has asked the question. He has resigned Himself to the answer. I forget this when I'm kicking and screaming. I forget this when I'm bawling and shaking. I seem to only think that Christ is the one with "The Will" and I am the one with the pain. I now remember that He doesn't just know about my pain, He doesn't just know the answer to the prayer "Okay, Thy Will Be Done"--He knows my pain. And though, honestly, that doesn't necessarily make the pain easier to deal with, it does make the praying of the "Thy Will Be Done" prayer a little bit easier. I can pray this prayer, even though I don't know what I'm praying, and even though I might disagree with the answer, because I believe the truth--that He is Good, He is Loving, and He is Faithful. His will, then, must be best. Even if it doesn't make sense to me.

Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you'll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want. 1 Peter 4:1-2 (MSG)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Why I Love O'Hare

I have learned to love O'Hare. I used to complain about it because truly--a flight into or out of O'Hare has rarely been on time for me. However, lately, mostly due to one Miss. Paige Spicer's enthusiasm and deep deep love for all things O'Hare, I have come to enjoy my time in the beastly airport.
So, here goes:

1. I love getting a Bently salad at Salad Works. Lettuce, turkey, ham, provolone, egg and tomatoe--what else could one ask for? they seriously make awesomely huge salads.

2. Nuts on Clark. A fav. LOVE. IT. I get excited like a week in advance when I think of flying into O'Hare, purchasing my favorite dark chocolate covered almonds, and munching on them all the way to whereever I'm going. Erik has even learned to associate "trip through/to O'Hare" with "yummy chocolate almonds". Today I even bought some dark chocolate covered pecans. Should prove delicious!

3. The cool psycodelic light display that I get to experience (endure?) when I'm forced to walk from concourse B to concourse D, E, or F (or vice versa). I think they think the lights make the long walk okay. I disagree. But, I guess, they are pretty cool. In fact, I LOVE IT!

4. Artwork on the walkway after the lights before the loooooooong part of the way to concourse F. There's lots of windows, so it's bright, you can see the outdoors, which is nice after being stuck inside all day, and there's cool art things hanging from the ceiling. As well as incredibly creative awesome benches for your sitting pleasure. I like this one best.

5. Hot dogs. I haven't been to Chicago proper in years, but I get a Chicago hot dog at least once every 6 months! How awesome is that?

6. I don't have a picture for this one, but alas, here I go. I seriously love the diversity at O'Hare. I'm not usually one for crowds, but being here, with all the worlds' countries coming together all at once, is so worth the claustrophobic feeling. I love hearing the different languages, watching the employees--of all different ethnicities--come together from all parts of the airport to share lunch together, meeting Australian sweethearts named Ella, and experiencing little tidbits of different cultures by watching or sitting near people different than I. If I can't travel the world, at least the world comes to me at O'Hare.

7. Funny people. There are just funny people here. I.E., Dancing guy with crazy hat. That was a different trip, but I'll never forget him. Today? Elderly woman in a giraffe print flowing dress, with a red flower stuck in the toe of her shoe. How cool is she? Also, just a side note, I've counted 7 ladies so far wearing STILETTOS. Who does that? To travel? For real ladies--be confident enough to don the flip flops, Nikes or Danskos. Or the really awesome velcroe shoes that an elderly gentleman was sporting at he shuffled by me just now. LOVED IT!

8. And last but certainly not least ... the toilets. I just love 'em! A fresh cover every time! One of my biggest pet peeves is rushing into an airport bathroom, just to have to check 6 stalls before finding one that doesn't have left over ishiness all over the seat from the last harried traveler. O'Hare's seats eliminate my problem. LOVE IT.

I love O'Hare. Yeah, the logistics of this place are a nightmare, and on Tuesday, when I land at Concourse F and have exactly 59 minutes to make my flight on Concourse C, I probably won't be singing the airport's praises anymore, but I'd rather have a layover here than anywhere else. Dulles isn't bad, but there are TOO many people. Atlanta's cool, but only if you're lucky enough to be on Concourse D. Minneapolis is a good one too. Denver, well, I've never been "stuck" in DIA cuz it's where I live. But I think it would be okay....Interestingly enough, JFK was a bust. I don't appreciate LAX, and Phoenix, at least the wing we were in, was HORRIBLE! So, I love O'Hare. LOVE IT. At least I do today, since I had a 3 hour layover and not much else to think about.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the Mind of a Child

Abby: Auntie Kristin, look what I made with Legos!
Auntie Kristin: Wow, Princess! That's beautiful! Can you tell me about it? (code for: I have NO idea what this is, and I don't want to offend you by guessing incorrectly.)
Abby: Well, yes! This (pointing to a hut) is where two little dwarfs live. And this, (pointing to tall yellow Legos stacked like stairs), is the imaginary staircase where they can go talk to God and Jesus.
Auntie Kristin: Abby, that's so cool! Do you like to talk to God?
Abby: Yep! And this (clearly she didn't want to talk about God at the moment. Just dwarfs.), this is where they can come, but I haven't finished the house on top yet, to visit heaven, and maybe stay with God sometimes.
Auntie Kristin: That's wonderful! And what's this (pointing to a triangle shaped piece hanging off the edge)?
Abby: Well, that's the plank! That's where the dwarfs can go to, I don't know, walk off the end into the ocean water!
Auntie Kristin: After they've talked to Jesus and visited God?
Abby: Yes.
Auntie Kristin: What's this yellow button thing?
Abby: Um, well, (obviously thinking very hard about this new question) that is the button the dwarfs can push so that they win when they are fighting the bad guys.
Auntie Kristin: The bad guys? Who are they?
Abby: It's big scary people--like us!
Auntie Kristin: Does God help the dwarfs?
Abby: Yes. He uses the imaginary staircase.
The End.

Samuel: Who is going to throw a ball for me?! (repeated several times in a 4 year old voice with great distress.)
Auntie Kristin: Samuel, if you help me clean up the toys, I will throw the ball for you. (Samuel hears the "throw the ball" part, but not the "help me clean" part.)
Elias: Me too?
Auntie Kristin: Yes--if you help clean up the toys. (this was repeated several times as well....)
Samuel: Ok, time to throw so I can hit! Auntie Kristin, who is going to win? (Code for "I am awesome, right?")
Auntie Kristin: Oh I don't know Sam guy. (Distracted as I try to continue to pick up toys)
Samuel: Ok, you're supposed to say, "You are Sam!" And then I say, "Well, I don't know..."
Auntie Kristin: Oh ok--you are sam!
Samuel: Oh I don't know. You might be better than me ... but actually I am the best so I will win and get home runs.
Auntie Kristin: That's right Sam, you are the best.

****After 8 home runs, Samuel was clearly the best, and winning by far. Though of course, I'd never been up to bat and was letting him run while I pretended to struggle getting the ball. Big cousin Elias came over and promptly pointed my behaviour out. Samuel didn't notice; he was too busy being the best and running with such a look of fierce determination, you'd think he was at war.

Elias: Can I have a turn?
Auntie Kristin: Sure Eli!
Elias: Ok, I'm going to get lots of home runs!

******Elias proceeded to score 5 home runs, protesting all the while that I was "letting" him. It's true. That's why I'm an awesome Auntie.

Auntie Kristin: You ready 1, 2, 3......
WHACK!!!! Elias slammed a home run type ball--right into my face.

I just walked into the house. Elias greeted me by excitedly telling me that he had been hit in the face with a ball this morning! So now, we match! Isn't that great?! :)

Abby just hopped up on my lap. She was holding a Lego creation. I asked, "What's this?"
Abby: It's a ship. And if you push this button, cookies come out.
Auntie Kristin: Wow! That's great Ab!
Abby: ANd if you push this button, the cookies go back in.
Auntie Kristin: Oh, well, what if I want to eat them?
Abby: WIth a look of patience, mixed with disdain.... Auntie Kristin, it's just pretend.

THE END. Though I'm sure it's not. :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Droopy Bikinis

I don’t fail. I just don’t. I honestly cannot remember a time in my life where I failed at something. I'm not trying to sound prideful. It's just, well, it’s foreign to me. I rise to every challenge, I take on lots, and I do it well. Or at least sufficiently.

A few days ago, I was at the pool, like any normal working adult, at 3:00pm—on a Thursday. (I love my job!) The only other people in sight were two tween-aged girls. We entered at the same time, and I must say that I sensed they were not happy to have another person at the pool, much less an adult-type person.

I purposefully went to the south end of the pool and angled my chair toward the sun. They headed north. The shallow end with the stairs was on my end though, so after slathering on lotion and wiggling out of their cover ups, the girls headed toward me. I slyly watched them over the top of my sunglasses and chuckled at what I saw. Ah, junior high. These two girls were a caricature of the stage in life. One prettier than the other; the other one cute. Long spindly legs, knobby knees. Tan lines indicative of shin guards and soccer jerseys. One very tall, the other fairly average. Scraggly no-color hair, hastily thrown into a pony-bun. Swimsuits that attempt to look grown up, on bodies that aren’t grown up. Triangle top bikinis covering … well, nothing! Droopy bikini bottoms limply sagging off their someday-to-be-but-currently-non-existent curvy hips. Little girls trying to look so grown up. I’ve been there. Heck, most times I’m still there. Especially at the pool. But I digress.

The girls wade into the pool and go to the deep end. Splashing around a little (proving yet again they’re not­ ­­­real
teenagers yet) they start to chit chat. They talk a little about their summers, one asks the other to spend the night, the other asks the one if she’s at her dad’s or mom’s for the weekend. The prettier one says to the (possibly younger?) cute one, “When I first met you, I didn’t think I’d like you.” I almost laughed out loud; the innocence and honesty of children. The conversation turned to grades and school. The cute one said to the prettier one, “Oh I worked so hard to get a B in that class.”And went on to describe how she worked hard, and how somehow this all related to a boy she thought was cute.

For some reason that struck me. Working hard to get a B? I know that statement makes sense to so many people … it just doesn’t to me. I didn’t ever work hard for grades. Maybe once or twice I thought, “Oh shoot, I need to step it up a bit to insure I get an ‘A’ not an ‘A-’” Obviously I know getting a ‘B’ isn’t failing, but in my world, it kinda was. Simply because, well, I didn’t get them. I got ‘As’. I excel. I succeed. I accomplish. I am a ‘doer’. I don’t fail.

And yet, I’m failing. I am failing at the most natural thing a woman does—conceive. Create. Carry. I am failing. Do you know how awful it is to fail? To excel in anything you set your mind to, but fail at the one thing that would make you feel so complete?

Now don’t get all, “Oh but Kristin, you should only look to find your ‘completeness’ in the Lord!” I know. I get that. But, the Lord, who I do find my worth, value, and 'completeness' in, created me with the desire to conceive, create and carry. He created me with an undying burning need to be a mother. And right now, He’s allowing me to fail at it. I am not accomplishing. Not succeeding. Not doing. I am failing.

So yes, ultimately, my worth and my completeness is from Him. But today, at this moment, I’m pretty much thinking that conceiving, creating and carrying, when I finally succeed at that … when God allows me to succeed at that … I will feel complete in a way that I never dreamed. Because I will have succeeded at doing what I’m naturally created to do.

I don’t fail. And that’s why this sucks so much.

Monday, July 6, 2009

My Mind is Stuck

For about a week now, I've been overflowing with little snippets of ideas for my next blog. And yet, nothing's coming. The way my mind works is like this: I experience a life experience, and my brain catalogues it against all previous experiences, especially those experiences that resulted in a blog. If it finds no similar experience that resulted in a blog, my mind sets to work molding the experience of the experience into a possible blog topic. Out of this molding, often a sentence appears. Usually, my mind then latches onto said sentence, and an entire blog is birthed based on the one sentence.

But lately, my mind is getting stuck. It keeps experiencing, cataloging, and molding sentences. But the sentences just keep coming--no blog birthing is occurring. It's quite frustrating in fact. I have all these little potentials for blogs ... but the sentences aren't coming to join correctly with a full topic.

Crazily enough, as I write this, I realize this little problem I'm having is much like attempting to conceive. Lots and lots of little potentials for life, but nothing coming together correctly to actually birth life! Ah, the analogies we can find.