Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pottery and Leather

Last week Jayson and I celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary.  It’s overwhelming to think how far we’ve come from where we started.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1.  Laughter ~ Every marriage has its share of heartache, but overall our laughter has definitely drowned out the tears.  My friendship with Jayson deepened dramatically after we each lost a parent in the same year.  Despite that pain, we can laugh together at the many joys we continue to experience.  We understand each other’s humor, and we can laugh at ourselves and each other.  And we do.  Often.

2.  Adventure ~ Jayson is outdoorsy.  I am not.  If I had married someone like myself, I would probably never venture into nature.  But thanks to Jayson’s gentle nudging (I can call it that... now), I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone and into some interesting exploits.  I’ve rappelled down a mountainside and tried wakeboarding.  My life is infinitely more exciting with Jayson than it was before Jayson!

3.  Prayer ~ Something my husband insisted on very early in our relationship (soon after we started dating) was praying together every night.  I was very uncomfortable with this at first, as I didn’t used to like praying out loud.  But it has become a crucial component of our marriage.  It’s proven especially helpful during arguments, because, knowing that we are going to pray before going to sleep, we force ourselves to work out whatever our issue is and solve it so we can pray with a clean conscience.  Talk about not letting the sun go down on your anger!

4.  Encouragement ~ When someone knows you from the inside out, they can encourage you in a way that no one else can.  And it means more coming from that person.  It’s beautiful to be able to encourage each other out of love, with an accepting heart despite the outcome.

5.  Spiritual Growth ~ Being equally yoked has enabled both of us to grow closer to God.  I’ve learned to understand what spiritual headship means, as well as embrace God’s concept of submission.  I’ve grown so much in my faith because I married someone already strong in his.

6.  Unity ~ My definition of marriage is that of a power team for God.  I see us as one unit.  Yes, we each have our own interests, likes and dislikes, but we are unequivocally joined as we face the world and everything it throws at us.  We fight as one; we celebrate as one.

7.  Intimacy ~ By this I mean that no one knows me better than my spouse.  Who else would know that the way to my heart is French fries, and that I dislike flowers?  Sometimes it’s the little things that stand out.

8.  Balance ~ Our marriage is not perfect by any means, but one way we keep it healthy is by balancing each other out.  Where I’m extreme, Jayson mellows me out.  Where he panics, I calm him down.  We’re not two halves that make a whole – we’re two wholes that complement each other.  It’s a puzzle that I would never have put together, but God, in His infinite wisdom, made our pieces fit.

9.  Faithfulness ~ Marriage is an ongoing effort.  It’s continually keeping things fresh, exciting, open and genuine while meeting each other’s needs as well as staying personally fulfilled.

On that bridge over the Charles River, when Jayson asked on bended knee if I would be his helpmate, I entered into a marriage of three.  My wedding day was the happiest day of my life.  These past nine years have been ones of extreme growth, but we’ve had a lot of fun along the way.  And we’re looking forward to more.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Monday, November 8, 2010

On Needles and Scraping Tools

I’m weird.  Before you jump to any disturbing conclusions, I say that because I genuinely enjoy visits to the doctor and dentist.  Perhaps it’s because I’ve never had any horrid experiences with either one.  Or that needles and scraping tools don’t really bother me.

We had a very successful family visit to the dentist this afternoon.  Silas lay beautifully still while getting his teeth scraped and cleaned, and he even rinsed with fluoride – all without gagging or puking (like last time).  James even opened his mouth and let our dentist peek at his teeth.  Then, mercifully, the boys colored quietly while I got my teeth cleaned.  Even with the scraping, their conversation with each other was music to my ears.

I appreciate the access we have to healthcare in this country.  I will avoid any political slants here.  I really am grateful to be able to go to the doctor and dentist (even if it is costly).  I remember the extensive dental work that both of my parents needed as adults because dental health was not even a consideration when they grew up in the old country.

Am I going to whine about getting a shot, a filling, a Pap smear or a mammogram?  Absolutely not.  The momentary discomfort is worth the potential benefit of proactive and preventative care.

Please don’t skip out on caring for your body.  Don’t wait until it’s too late.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Live to Tell Everybody my Borderline Love Profusion

I was looking for something the other day and came across an album.  And by album I mean an actual 33 RPM record album.  It was on the very bottom of the bin, buried under my 4th grade report on the Bubonic Plague and an envelope full of my Girl Scout patches.

Like A Virgin.

I don’t know if I can properly convey the extent to which I was obsessed with Madonna.  To my young eyes, she was the epitome of cool.  I remember watching the video for “Burning Up” on MTV at my cousin’s house in New Jersey, mesmerized by her energy on the screen.  In the 6th grade my female classmates and I choreographed our own dance routine to “Lucky Star” to perform at our school’s talent show.  That same year I cut the fingertips off of my lace Easter gloves, much to my mother’s chagrin.  In the 8th grade I begged my mom to give me a perm (she was a hairdresser) so I could match Madonna’s waves in “Desperately Seeking Susan” (and how I coveted those studded boots!  http://www.flickr.com/photos/lovekittenmoon/2644713874/).  Let’s just say the result kept my hair in a banana clip for the remainder of the school year.

If only it ended there.  The lace tights, black rubber bracelets, and bright red lipstick followed me through high school.  In the 11th grade some friends and I choreographed a dance routine to “Causing a Commotion” for the talent show at our youth group convention.  That same year I was devastated when Madonna cancelled her concert, to which I had tickets, due to issues with her throat.  When “Evita” came out, I cried in the theatre and felt some weird sense of pride that she had finally redeemed herself in the eyes of everyone who said she had no talent.  When Jayson and I got married, our first dance at the wedding reception was to “Crazy for You.”

I can’t say that I’m completely free from my Madonna mania.  Although I don’t agree with her lifestyle choices, her music still moves me to dance.  I admire her perseverance, her courage in life, and her work ethic.  She was never a role model, but she was certainly an influence.  I guess I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone.

If only I still had my record player.

OK, I’m getting off my shoebox now.