28 April 2014

How NOT to handle anger in marriage...

 Honestly I would not describe myself as an 'angry' type person; I'm not a yeller or a rager.  Sure I have my cold shoulder and pouty moments, but anger for me is an emotion I don't do a whole lot.  One thing marriage is teaching me is how to learn from my mistakes, to use them as an opportunity to learn from them and (hopefully) not continually keep screwing up.   Sure we all get angry at times throughout life, but of course its what you do with the anger that is what really matters.
Obviously from the title, I have learned some valuable lessons almost two years in on how to anger the wrong and right way.

1.  DON'T kick a hole in your bedroom door....do go for a walk, journal about your feelings.
Yes I one time was so angry I kicked a hole in our bedroom door.  Ouch and yikes.  Breaking things is anger done poorly.  Lesson learned for me!  Not to mention it makes an awkward reminder of a bad decision I choose to do when I just wasn't mature enough to use my words or go journal about whatever the hell I was mad at to begin with. 

2.  DON'T throw a hissy fit....do take a grown up version of "time out"
When I was little, I have one clear memory of totally loosing it in public with my Mom.  I remember laying on the ground thrashing, kicking, and screaming.  Hot mess 101.  She promptly scooped me up and carried me to the car where I was put in my car seat.  I then got the "look" and she proceeded to tell me I would NOT behave in public like that again.  Any time I saw the "look", I knew Mom or Dad meant business. 

Fast forward 25 years.  And no, I didn't lay down in public thrashing as an adult.  But I have thrown a few hissy fits since getting married.  The kind where I've stomped my feet (I know, miss maturity), slammed doors, and walked out in a loud, noticeable way to make a point.  Because I'm 28 and not 5 years old anymore, learning to take a grown up 'time out" is a grand thing.  Taking anger out on the treadmill, what a wonderful to let out the steam! Journaling about the feelings of what's behind big feelings also has helped me reign it in.

 3.  DON'T be passive aggressive...do use your words, and if you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all

So this winter Michigan got an insane amount of snow.  One morning as I was heading out the door to work, Jim and I had a small tiff.  Well obviously it was more than a 'small tiff' because as I was tromping out to my car in the snow, I decided to use my leftover steam to hurl a few snow balls at Jim's truck to 'deal' with my feelings.  Later he called me and asked if I knew why his truck was covered in snow when only 2 hours before he had cleared it?  Ummm, well you see....  #awkward

 So is anger a 'bad' thing? No, not necessarily but if you feel the need to throw snowballs with Buddy-the-elf-like fury or break something, you might want to check yo self...before you wreck yo self or someone else.

Reaction GIF: angry, grumpy, Amy Poehler, Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

May your days be merry and bright...and all your emotions handled with grace and class:)

25 April 2014

7QT on New jobs, Dave Ramsey, and the perfect date

newly ordained!
1.  Easter was full and exhausting this year.  On Easter Sunday we went to 6am Mass.  Aside from feeling (and probably looking like zombies) it was a really cool thing to hear the Resurrection account as the sun was rising and seeing the light pour through the church windows!  After church we came home and Jim had to work for a bit.  I took a nap,  then later stuffed my face with candy, and went to church again at 11am.  No I wasn't trying to win extra holy points, but one of our best friends was just ordained a deacon a few weeks ago and Easter Sunday was the first time he was preaching.   Jake did a great job and looked like such a natural up there! 

Once Jim got home from work, we headed over to my parents where enjoyed a yummy 26 pound ham.  We like meat, yes we do.  Loud noises and laughter pretty sums up holidays at my parents house, which is always the best.

2.  Jim got a new job!  He'll have benefits and double the pay before, and it comes at such a good time for us financially as we begin to look at realistically what we have to do to kick out our debt.

3.  Speaking of debt, I've started to become friends with Dave Ramsey.  My friend Mary has talked a lot on her blog about her story of becoming debt free.  After furiously reading "The Total Money Makeover" in a week and sharing what I'm learning with Jim, we are both realizing something has gotta change.  Tonight we're going to get some budgeting tools/resources to help us start to create monthly budgets and adding up our total debt to see what we have to work with.
Honestly I'm scared.to.death. to embark on this.  Especially to cut up my credit card...goodbye random trips to Target & Ann Taylor LOFT.  Deep down though, I KNOW its time.  We got to grow up financially...and realize its time to start living like no one else now, so later we can live like no one else.

4.  Right before Easter, I did a spring-time purging of my side of the closet.  I have heard a lot of people talking about thredUP, an online consignment store for women and children. I sent in a bag of some of my goodies to be sold and earn credit for the store for future purchases.  I'm still waiting to hear back if all my items will be accepted, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the high standards and quality at the pieces they sell.

5.  Okay question for you all.  I'm thinking about putting a gallery wall in our living room.  There's just this huge white blank spot by the door that I feel just stares and laughs at me in the face.  I've started reading some tips/tricks on Pinterest, but I still feel clueless.
Soooo. For those of you who are ooberly creative how/where do I start?  If you made a gallery wall in your home, how did you begin and go about it?  thank you ahead of time.

6.  I just registered for my first 5K "Unleash the She" in Ann Arbor.  My Mom, sister, and I all registered for a walk run for ovarian cancer.  The three of us are doing this in honor and support of a very special family member who was just diagnosed.  I'm looking forward to doing this with my favorite gals and to do this in honor, love, and support of my aunt.

I just LOVE this movie...and this scene always gets me.  So happy April 25th to each of you!!!

Have a great weekend...hopefully all you need is a light jacket.  And be sure to check out other Quick Takers galore

16 April 2014

I'm more like Judas than I realized...

Earlier today I was perusing Twitter, and came across a tweet by a Jesuit priest I follow.

It made me stop and think.  Deep down, I am really no different than Judas.  Judas tried to make God into his image, to make up his own version of who he thought the Messiah was.  When I try to cram Jesus into a box to fit my needs, I become no different than Judas.  I am trying to manipulate God to make Him something He is not, instead of letting Him change me.

Judas, like a lot of Jewish people at the time, thought the Messiah would be this crazy, powerful warrior King to free the Jews from tyranny of the Romans.  This Messiah would have the strength/might of David and wisdom of Solomon to overthrow Rome.

Ironically enough, the Messiah that did come was not at all what people expected.  He led in a much different, radical way.  He came into this world poor and humble, born to peasants and in a cave.  He challenged people to forgive not just once but 70 x 7 times.  He said to not judge each other and to pray for those who persecute you.  He challenged people to not let material possessions rule their lives.  He called out religious hypocrites of the day and lovingly embraced sinners.

He was accused falsely, mocked, abandoned by friends, and brutally murdered.  His entire life from birth to death called people to a radical way of living mercy, love, justice and compassion.  Surely this couldn't be the Messiah Judas and many others had hoped for?!  Yet it was.

Judas (like me) has a hardened heart.  Judas has his own idea's of what the Messiah would be: powerful, strong, forceful, a warrior.  Judas was so consumed with what he wanted; it controlled him so much that in the end it destroyed him. Judas was so focused on making God in his image, that he totally missed the boat on letting God change his own heart.  I wonder if Judas had let go of all of that, would he have still so greatly despaired to the point of taking his own life?

And like Jesus' betrayer, I try and make God into something He is not. I like to try and tell Jesus 'no thank you' to suffering/pain/carrying the cross.  I try to rationalize the need to be in 'control' of my life.  I look for an the easy way in life, to avoid trials and difficulties at all possible cost.  I get angry at God; yell and moan "why me?"  Sometimes I am so focused on putting Jesus into a box in a certain way to meet my needs.  Yet in doing that, He cannot soften my hard heart.

Jesus wasn't the Messiah that Judas wanted, but is He the one I want? Even amid the redemptive suffering, uncertainties, carrying daily crosses, and all that 'tough stuff' of Christianity?  Yes.
Yes, He is.

09 April 2014

Ode to the siblings...

Happy National Sibling Day, friends!

Today I thought I'd go nostalgic and recall fun, odd memories of my childhood with these two nuts.

1.  I remember the day my sister Annie was born.  We were at my grandparent's when the call came through "Mommy had the baby!" I wanted a sister.so.much. And when my brother found out he had another sister, he was devastated...its hard being a toddler sometimes.  While he sobbed his little heart out, I (trying to be the loving big sister) said, "It's okay Timmy, you can pretend the new baby is boy."
He never took my suggestion.

2.  Growing up we played some weird games.  Only in our family would get stoked to play library.in my brother's bedroom.  We organized the books on "displays" and even created library cards.  Our most loyal patron? Our Mom, who always signed out books as Shirley Soapwater.  Good times at the neighborhood library.
My brother and I also went through a phase we were played Davey Crockett.  I was Mrs. Crockett and my brother was Davey.  Sometimes we went hunting together, milked cows, and escaped in the middle of the night on a raft (sleeping bag) from bad people wanting to kill us. 

3.  The time I almost ran over Annie with my bike one summer or the time I curled her hair before an annual trip to visit Santa...except she looked like a French poodle because I wasn't familiar with curling irons at that time in life.

4.  Christmas Eve.  This always had some fun memories...like when driving home from our grandparents and Tim swore he saw Rudolph's red nose in the sky...or when we discovered Santa's footprints the next morning together.

5.  Annie & I used to have reading camp outs in the summer time.  We both would sleep in one of our beds and read our favorite books till we both fell asleep...or one of us fell out of the bed.

6.  The fun when all 3 of us were legal and shared a drink in Annie's honor of her 21st year on God's green earth.

7. A more recent one is the Thanksgiving annual "smack-whipped-cream-off-your-hand-and-catch-it-in-your-mouth" ...some of us still need more practice than others.

The last 20 some years have been loud, crazy, and weird...here's to the next 20 being as exciting!

07 April 2014

Get out of the grave.

Do you ever have a Sunday when you're at church & the words of the Scripture/sermon just penetrate your heart?  This past Sunday was that for me.

The Gospel reading was Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead.  Growing up, I always really wrestled with this miracle of Jesus: why did Jesus allow Lazarus to die if knew He would raise him again?  Yes I believed and Jesus can do anything, but it was always a tough one for me to wrap my heart around.

I relate so much with the words Martha said to Jesus (perhaps in anger or frustration) "Lord if you had been here my brother would not have died!"  How many times have I cried out that to Jesus in the midst of pain or suffering: "Jesus, what the heck?! Where are you, if You had been here with me this never would have happened."

The words the priest shared made me look at this particular miracle of Jesus with a new sense of awe.  Jesus shows the crowd and Lazarus' sisters that nothing has power over us, even death.  God brings something out of nothing. always.  Just as Jesus called out to a dead man in his grave, He calls out to each of us.  To rise and get out of the grave in our lives.  Graves of sin, selfishness, bondage, pain, suffering, confusion, loneliness...to leave the dark, stench of death behind and walk out into the light...into a new life.  Scripture says when Lazarus arose and came out of the grave he was bound up by the burial cloths.
What binds me up?  What holds me back from getting out of my grave? FEAR.  Fear of the unknown, pain, suffering, that things will 'always be this way'.  I think the most scary thing in life is to live without hope, to be stuck in the darkness of despair.  But that is one thing that makes Christians different, we have hope; hope that death/the grave isn't the end of the story...but rather it is the fulfillment of the story.

As I sat in church next to my husband, there hangs a giant life-size crucifix above the altar.  It was such a comfort to sit and stare at Jesus hanging on the cross.  The grave is not the end, and He so desires to bring me out the graves in my own life.  Jesus calls me by own name, just as He did with Lazarus.

So let's do this Jesus.  Help me walk out of the graves in my life.  Call me by my name.  I want to walk into the light and know in the deepest part of me that darkness never ever overcomes the light.
In the midst of life's decay, come and rescue me!

Awake O Sleeper...Christ is calling my name...

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