Sunday, September 23, 2012

.our love story part 3 - our "first date".

just friends, right? until... our respective airplanes touched down in california and texas and he started texting me ridiculously frequently. and i started checking my phone ridiculously frequently. who could blame me really? so in perfect timing (as God is oh-so-famous for), i headed off for a few days of solitude sans cell phone. i needed to process my time in haiti- what i'd learned there, how God had changed me, what i was being asked to do out of that time. it's another story for another blog, but some incredible things came out of those 3 days listening to the still, small voice of God. crazy what happens when we stop and seek.
i turned my phone on monday morning only to find a voicemail from jarred asking me to call him back. so i did and we talked for my entire one and a half hour drive home. 40 minutes into the conversation, he tells me he'd ended his relationship. in girl speak, to me, this meant "he's totally into me and wants to date me." in his mind - i learned later - it meant "he made a hard choice to end something unhealthy and he needs a break from dating, but he wants to build a relationship with me because there's something about me..." oh men & women and their brains :)
throughout the next 2 weeks i learned two things 1) that there was a "haiti reunion" party/debrief at my parents' house two weeks later and 2) that Jarred was going back to haiti for 5 weeks. i'm no fool. i knew that if i didn't see him before he went back to haiti, the chances of us actually developing any sort of relationship would be decreased because of the lack of communication in haiti. i also needed to at some point talk to the organization we went to haiti with about future plans there, so i decided there was no time like the present & i missed a great friend's wedding and booked a plane ticket to texas.
i told him i was coming and he said he'd come too and stay the whole time with me at my parents' house (the perk of having spent 8 days with my parents in haiti). excitedly nervous didn't even begin to describe how i felt getting off that plane. i actually don't remember much about him picking me up from the airport and what i can assure you was an awkward conversation all the way to my parents' house. that night we'd planned to have dinner with a few of his friends and my cousin and then go out two-stepping. dinner was great, but i wasn't sure how to read him because he paid for my dinner as well as his friend's (a girl) because he owed her for something, or maybe because he's just nice that way, but it confused me. were we on a date? i still don't know. but we had a great time dancing and went home to my parents house. we were getting water and a midnight snack in the kitchen and he kissed me. in my parents' kitchen, am i 12 or 30? who knows, but that was the point where i knew this was our first date, he was into me and it was totally worth coming home to figure that out.
the rest of the weekend was an awesome blur with our haiti team, the medical missions board of directors and some time spent with my brothers and their wives. we met the guy that infamous "texas friend" said she was going to marry while lamenting over relationships in the ft lauderdale airport - they are married now :)
we even made a lunchtime stop at my niece's class to hang out with my favorite girl. he was a champ and won her over right away.
he took me to the airport and then 10 days later left for a month in haiti - absence makes the heart grow...

Sunday, September 9, 2012


***an interlude in our love story about what God is teaching me*** Here, in America, we live our lives running. We have a list of chores, tasks, meetings, functions, coffee dates, Bible studies, etc. Every single day has a schedule – a plan to go by and if the things planned for that day don’t get done, we stress out because they bleed into the next day’s plan. Here’s what I discovered while walking today… you see SO many things that you miss when you’re running. I used to live in the neighborhood I walked in today. I ran these sidewalks numerous times. I saw things today that I’ve never noticed… lizards – hundreds of tiny lizards darting across the sidewalk out of my way, pathways – (even shortcuts to my own former residence!?!?!), smells of the blooming flowers as I walked past them and the colors, oh my soul, the colors.
Here’s the thing, I think that God was teaching me something as I walked with him today. I live my life at such a fast pace with my to-do lists scheduled to the minute. And you know what? Life isn’t going to get any slower-paced. Marriage has already increased the tasks on my list everyday as I strive to love and serve my husband well and I can only imagine what children will do to my to-do list when they come along. I get stressed even thinking about it. Walking is a choice. Slowing down enough to see what’s around you, to be in the presence of God, to listen for His still, small voice, to ask him what HE might have for you to do today that might not be part of your agenda – these are things we have to CHOOSE. He doesn’t make us puppets, he allows us to choose and I think my lesson today and my “take home” from choosing to spend time with Him is that I need it more. I need to walk more, I need to slow down more, I need to pay attention more. And you know what? It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be worth it. So what if I miss a day at the gym to have coffee with a college student? So what if the laundry doesn’t get done today & my husband has to wear his least-dirty pair of scrubs to work because I needed solitude and more of Jesus? So what if the dishes sit overnight in the sink because a card game or a great conversation was more important? So what?!?!? So the world doesn’t fall apart and those relationships were 100% worth every “sacrificed” task.
So I’m committing today to living a life at a walking pace because it’s important and I’m choosing to place value in all that matters – my relationship with God and my relationships with people. Two of the phrases my grandpa used most often were, “slow down” and “take it easy”. When I thought about someone who lived life at a walking pace and made time for what was important, he was the first person that came to mind. He was also the person in my life who loved me unconditionally and was most like Jesus. Coincidence? I think not.