Monday, January 31, 2011

stolen time

I surprised Andrew at the airport last night when he arrived from Honduras! I was so glad I was there, especially since we were at the airport for two hours, and we didn't leave Atlanta to head to my house until 9 in the evening -- and I live about three hours away. We were both surprisingly awake, and got home a little earlier than we expected, so the long, dark three hours didn't seem so long after all.

He played hookey from his classes today to be here with me. We haven't seen each other since New Year's, and it was so refreshing just to be in the same room with him. Balm to my lonely heart. We just hung out, got lunch in town, ran some errands, ate ice cream despite the unpleasant cold, and smiled at the simple and all-too-rare joy of sitting next to each other. Seriously. You couples who are close together, count your blessings. We've done long-distance often before, but its familiarity doesn't make me miss him less. He left to drive back to Virginia soon before supper.

Today was stolen time.

Back to real life now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Hello. My name is Millie, and I'm an addict.

I am addicted to dozens of different substances, all of which I depend on, to some greater or lesser extent, to make me happy and fulfilled on a daily basis. It's not pretty.

Some of these addictions are humorous, and fairly harmless. For example, I drink sweet tea like it was German beer. I pop M&Ms without shame. I can't be at home in the winter and not wear sweatpants; jeans are not a relaxing option. I love watching "Chuck." I can't sleep without white noise.

I'm realizing, however, that I'm addicted to things that aren't so funny. I am addicted to the Internet. But not just the Internet; I could get by if my online activities were limited to browsing Etsy or checking my email. Nope. I feel the need to check my Facebook, check my blog, to see if anyone has paid attention to me today. The glorious World Wide Web has only freed me to deepen a worse addiction: me. Attention. Praise. Me me me.

This hurts my heart. If I were genuinely addicted to and obsessed with the gospel of my Lord Jesus Christ, there would be no room left in my heart or mind to fill with my petty self-love. If I were addicted to Jesus, I would be satisfied with days without attention or praise, with any situation in life, with a menial waitressing job in a small town -- because I would be already full, already satisfied and satiated with the joy of who Jesus is, and thrilled at my role as his beloved, part of his church.

I want to be addicted to the right thing.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

wedding drama

The pictures taken for our save-the-date cards are adorable. We finally narrowed them down to two options, both of which were selected. Half and half.  Cute, yes?

The cards were designed, proofed, spelling corrected, and printed. I picked them up last week, spent the rest of the week addressing them (and hunting down addresses), then mailed them on Saturday. Hooray!

Except yesterday, I received numerous phone calls and emails informing me oh-so-gently and oh-so-horribly and oh-so-frustratingly that although the picture on the front of the cards happily says June 25, the text on the back of the card unashamedly says August 25. Reader, every single person in my house looked at these cards before I addressed them. So, between me, both my parents, and the workers at the printing place, absolutely no one noticed this.

A very very nice sales associate, when we presented the problem to him, had them reprinted for us, for free, in less than 24 hours. They are being re-addressed this evening and will hopefully arrive by the weekend. I'm sure half the recipients won't realize why they're getting a new one. Even though the front says June 25, it just seems courteous to send a corrected one.

My mother laughed that if this is the only thing that goes wrong in our wedding planning, we're getting off easy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday blessings

This week has been hard, so it seems appropriate, on this Sabboth day, to find joy in this week. There was much of it. So I will share with you the things that made me smile this week.

Roses in the mail from my fiance.

Hearing The Spice Girls on the radio.
What was the DJ thinking?

Learning that NPR Podcasts are free on iTunes!
I love the Tiny Desk Concerts. My favorites? The Avett Brothers and The Swell Season.

A good movie from the library, to be watched this afternoon.

A new little fountain for my room!
Gurgle, gurgle...

I finished Julia Child's delightful book, My Life in France.
Now I want Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Chocolate peanut butter ice cream

Andrew off having an adventure in Honduras

and reading Kelly's wonderful engagement story. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

This is the day that the Lord has made

I come into this Friday feeling mentally overwhelmed. A long day at work yesterday (an 11-8:30 shift), then coming home to a stack of grown-up mail: taxes and student loans. In the words of my high school gym teacher, "It's pretty yuck." Finances frighten me because I'm never sure I've got it quite right.

However, I began my morning well, so who am I to burrow in the slump? It will be a good day! The sun is shining!

Laura and I have decided to hold one another accountable to being faithfully in the Word, so we're taking turns calling each other in the morning, saying nothing more than: "Wake up! Read Acts!" And Reader, it works! Although I confess 8 is a tad earlier than I usually get up willingly, it is a good time to rise. Up for an English muffin with a poached egg, a cup of coffee, and the early church. I was struck this morning in chapters 3 and 4 to remember what Lindsay challenged me with a week or so ago: carrying the name of Christ. Peter declares Jesus's name with such beautiful courage, boldness, surety, conviction! If I can invite others in so joyfully to buy a pair of Chacos or listen to the Avett Brothers, why can I not invite others in to taste and see that the Lord is good? And Reader, He is so good!


Wednesday, I spent the afternoon at my local Mennonite-run coffee shop, armed with my poetry notebook and a new book. Loud music and louder college students rendered me incapable of even thinking about poetry, but I was happy to begin my new book. Tim Keller's Generous Justice: How God's Grace Makes Us Just. I was soon taking notes like a college student writing a paper. Phenomenal so far. I wrote down things like:

- the righteous are those "right with God and therefore committed to putting right all other relationships in life." - Alec Motyer
- righteousness is not private morality; righteousness is social
- living justly = "radical generosity"
- "The Mosaic laws of social justice are grounded in God's character, and that will never change." Those laws were about eliminating poverty, not about giving handouts. God says in Deut 15:4 that "There should be no poor among you."
- Job does this, as he writes in Job 29:12-17 and 31:13-28. For him, not giving generously was a sin. Justice is mercy, is generosity; charity is not an option. And more than giving, he "has become deeply involved in the life of the poor, the orphaned, and the handicapped."
- "If believers in God don't honor the cries and claims of the poor, we don't honor him, whatever we profess, because we hid his beauty from the eyes of the world. When we pour ourselves out for the poor--that gets the world's notice." Whew!

Somethings I think I will burst open with all these emotions and thoughts as I (so slowly) learn more and deeper what I am to be and do, and Who God is, and how much He loves and requires; I think there's no way I can possibly know or understand enough to live how I ought to. And yet, that, Reader, is the point! There is the beauty of the Gospel: I cannot ever. He did.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good Riddance!

Somehow, I feel this is a disgrace to my Southern childhood, but:

I am so very glad the snow is finally melting!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Head and Heart

I am planning a wedding.

Holy cow.

I am also planning a marriage.

Holy cow.

In my pre-engagement and immidiate post-engagement joy and enthusiasm, I spent giddy afternoons perusing websites like the wedding blog Ruffled, or browsing the menagerie of pictures on The Knot. I am absolutely laden with books about wedding flowers, wedding ettiquite, wedding planning, marriage planning, honeymoon planning...

I'm so afraid it's already ceasing to be fun.

I realized today when I was looking at some beautiful wedding pictures on Ruffled that I was jealous. I'm still planning my wedding, and I was jealous of those happy, beautiful people in those happy, beautiful photos. Jealous of what? Jealous that they're already married and done with all that planning, but also, I think a jealousy that springs from fear: What if my wedding isn't that beautiful? What if I'm not that beautiful? What if I don't do trendy, cool, vintage things? Will my friends still have fun? Will they care? Will they judge?

Fear is ridiculous. I know in my head that this fear is ridiculous; I know that it doesn't matter if my wedding isn't as awesomely trendy as other people's ... but my head knowledge doesn't have much bearing on the fear and insecurity in my heart. Welcome to a woman's mind.

Good grief.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January Blues

The winter makes me restless. I'm either completely sapped of energy and I spend my days curled up in my corner of my favorite sofa, or I'm dying to get out of the house and go somewhere. I need a project to channel my crazy energy into ... but I'm shamefully notorious for abandoning projects when I am 90% finished with them. And I'll have plenty of wedding projects to tackle soon enough.

I miss the intellectual stimulation of college classes. I read The Hunchback of Notre-Dame the week after Christmas and loved it; but I wished I could've had a classroom full of peers and a professor to dig through it. I'm good at school. I have this fear that school is all I'm good at. What am I going to do when I marry Andrew and have to get a real job? I'm only good at learning and writing. Writing what? Well, sir, one day I'd like to be a poet. Unmarketable.

Reader, pray for me. I need to learn to trust God. I am terrible at this. I proclaim His sovereignty with my words, but I can't seem to believe it in my heart when it concerns my worries. He is good, He is faithful, He is in control. And He has given me everything I need. Why can't I trust that? I read today that we would be happy all the time if we could trust Him all the time.

No wonder I'm blue.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Hey! It's a new year!

Wait! Before you do anything else, listen to "He Never Said a Mumbling Word" by The Welcome Wagon. Here is a link for you.

I had such a great week! Sweet time with my fiance, with his entire family (all twenty-something of us packed into his parents' house for multiple days), with my brother and his precious fiance, five Christmases total, a sweet wedding (and seeing people I love there), and then a dance party with most of my best friends from college. No wonder I'm exhausted. But the best kind of exhausted ... unless you count the sadness from saying goodbye to Andrew this afternoon.

In a purely materialistic vein, I got some really awesome Christmas presents! Seriously. A compass necklace (that really works!) from Linja, a gorgeous pearl necklace from the south of France from Andrew, two beautiful aprons (I guess that means I'm a grown-up now), a yellow Crock Pot (a secret desire of my womanly heart), and ... Andrew's dad took the keyboard out of an old piano, mounted it, and built a frame around it for me! Whoa! it's awesome! I can't wait until I have a fireplace to hang it over.

It now being 2011, I realize that I'm getting married this year. Exciting, scary, still slightly overwhelming. I've been pretending, in light of Christmas, that I don't have a wedding to plan, but that illusion is now shattered. Full-force. I'm afraid of two things in regards to the whirlwind of planning such a huge event. 1) I'm afraid that it will take over my life and I won't be able to talk about anything else. or 2) I'm afraid that it will perpetuate my inability to make myself sit down and work on my poetry. I need to work on it -- for its sake and for my heart's sake. I never want to tell my kids that I used to write poetry in college. Please, no.

What'd you think of the Welcome Wagon song? A good one, eh?