Fall 2013-dark leaves

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Carl from Houston

Carl just knocked on my door. He's an African American 19yo dressed in a dress shirt, slacks, and a tie, who is going door to door soliciting people to buy magazines from him. He showed me his forms which are supposed to make me not afraid of him, but I confess all the workmen 2 doors down within sight and earshot make me feel better than those forms. He said he was new to this and asked for my patience as he needed to start over with the same schpeel a few times when he lost his place. (Ever seen the Wilderness Boy in Up?) So I listened. He bragged about all the mulit-millionaire friends he's made who have taken him out and supported him in his endeavors, dropping names of famous rappers and hip-hop artists I've never heard of, except Lil Wayne. He asked questions to learn about our education and financial circumstances and had a hard time believing I had a college degree and stayed home with our kids. But he perked up a lot when I mentioned B's MBA, mistakingly hearing NBA. I chuckled inside.

Anyway, I explained we don't have cash to spare but that I was glad he was being responsible for where he went in life regardless of where he started (3rd Ward in Houston, TX). He said he understood and asked for a drink because his throat was scratchy. So I made him a Coke, offered him a cookie, and we sat on the front porch and chatted among the kids for a good 15 minutes.

So pray for Carl. He says he's a Christian, but he's working closely for a group of Muslim's who are definitely influencing his motivation for the work he's doing. I hope God used our conversation to at least help him think about it all.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

He's not my savior

The other week I was on the couch, just a little depressed, and just a little irritated, feeling huffy, feeling like I was the only person who actually does anything around here like straightening up or cleaning (not true), when Brian walked across the room.

I don't remember what he was doing--his behavior at the time had nothing to do with my funk, really--he just came into my line of sight. And it struck me in these words: he is not my savior. He is not the person who is going to bring me joy. His doing or not doing something is not what will get me out of my funk. He could do all the laundry, which would make me very happy, but we will still as a family be wearing a whole load. That's not going to go away. He could sit and listen to all my stories about our day, but there's only so much of that you can take as a listener, which I completely get. He could take all the kids out for dinner and leave me home alone w/ no responsibilites, but after about 20 minutes I'd be lonely.

Bottom line: I will never find that deep, soul-satisfaction in Brian Brown. He's not made for it and is incapable of providing that for me.

I don't think I realized how much I relied on Brian for my joy. I mean, we've always been SO, SO, SO GOOD in our marriage. There is much comfort in who we are as a couple, but we have honestly lived a pretty cushy life. Hear me say we have certainly been through tough times as a couple, but we faced it as a couple. In St Louis we are facing our toughest time yet, but his situational struggles look completely different than mine. And neither of us have much left of ourselves to offer in terms of helping the other. There's some kind of balance we're both looking for in the question of, "How much do I share my struggles with him/her and burden him/her even more than s/he already is verses how much do I keep to myself and learn to live without him/her?"

The good thing is that we are asking that question out loud, trying to figure it out together when the frustrations are not so pressing. So we're still good as a couple, we're just having to work harder at maintaining that "good" status.

What an idol my marriage was (is)! But I can't continue to rely on Brian to be my joy. That only comes from Jesus. He is my perfect Husband. He does have the ear to listen to all my stories. He tells me to pour out my heart to him, and he counts every tear. He sees my every effort to do my job at home well. He is who affirms me as a wife, mother and friend. His Word(s) feed my soul with comfort and peace that passes all understanding.


I just told B the title of this post, and he said, "Whew! Good!" :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Ordering the Day

Saturday morning was Sarah Frances's turn to go out with me "for coffee." After she finished her cinnamon roll, she climbed in my lap and we read the last chapter of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle. Great way to start the day.

Then home to cleaning and laundry. Brian left for CFA, and Aaliyah came over. I quickly became overwhelmed and wanted to escape for lunch. But before I decided for myself, I stepped outside alone and confessed to God my selfish desires to leave the mess and difficult situations but that I would stay if He wanted. To please order my day for me. Well, Patrick had been begging to go see B at work, so I decided to go for it. We sent A. home and walked outside to load up.

Our next-door neighbor was pulling out, and we visited for about 15 min. It's been a long time since we've caught up, and I was glad to talk some. We are eager to get to know them better. I hope to share Keller's Reason for God with her once I finish it.

On the way to CFA, I got a call from Marne who asked if I could come sit with her in the 5-star hotel and order roomservice with her that evening--oh, yeah! She was recovering from gall bladder surgery and didn't want to be left alone in case she started having complications. I was glad to suffer with her. :)

That afternoon we weren't needed to play with Marne's kids, so we had some surprise free time. The girls have been asking to do some hand sewing, and as we were beginning that, a family the kids have met walked up to the house. They had met Brian back in the fall, and their 6 yo daughter had asked if they could come over and see if the girls could come out and play. What fun to meet new neighbors! So Maddie stayed and played; she is a great fit for the girls. They also have a 3yo boy for Patrick to play with. And the time I spent visiting with her mother, Eileen, revealed that we seem to be similar in personality, family-wise. They're all about hanging out outside, letting the kids play, and grilling out and listening to music. I foresee some fun spring evenings with the Erwins. :)

Then I was off to The Plaza to eat with Marne once B got home from studying.

What a wonderful day! And what a blessing that I can praise God for ordering my day for me, just because I asked him to. I can't say it would have been different logistically had I not prayed that morning, but I certainly would not have been looking for specific, God-ordained moments to build relationships and see Kingdom expansion in my life. Like I said, what a wonderful day!