Archive | June, 2009

The best me

15 Jun

Lately, I have felt discombobulated and unlike myself. I’ve lost all desire to cook and grocery shop. I don’t even have much energy to make more than a bowl of cereal to eat. I feel lazy when it comes to reading the Bible and other books. I’d rather sleep in than work out in the morning and I update my triathlon blog more out of guilt than excitement.

What happened? I got off track. My schedule got derailed and I haven’t been able to re-rail it. Instead of following a predictable order, my day is a jumble of necessities, thrown together in a haphazard manner.

It’s at times like this that I have two main thoughts running through my mind. One, I envy people who have the same routine day after day, year after year. How do they stay “on track” amidst the chaos of life? I can get into a routine for about a week and then something happens that knocks everything off kilter and I have to find a new routine (which only lasts for a week before being replaced by a new one). I had gotten in to a routine of getting in the Word during lunch. All it takes is a day when I have to skip my lunch to take Travis to the airport and before I know it, 4 days have gone by without my getting in the Word.

Two, I am amazed by people who work full-time, have families, volunteer in their community, serve at church, and bake cookies for sick children at the hospital. Ok, I’ll be honest. I don’t actually know anyone like that. But I do know several busy people. My older brother Brian for one. It seems like he always has 50 different projects going on at once. I don’t know how he stays sane amidst it all. I wouldn’t even say that I have a busy life and I struggle with keeping it all together.

Which makes me wonder, where does all my time go? Especially lately, with the triathlon training. I feel inadequately disciplined to get everything done that I think I should be doing. Like my New Year’s Resolutions? For the past several months, even just getting time in the Word has been a struggle, let alone listening to a sermon outside of church, memorizing verses, and praying regularly. As I list all those things, I know ways that I could squeeze them into my day. But when I get busy, I tend to get lazy. I push things off with the excuse “I’m too tired.”  

Anyway, I did not mean this post to be a lament at how much I fail at achieving my own goals. Rather, I meant it to be a reflection on what I am learning about myself. I am not a person who sticks to a routine. I am not anal about my schedule and I can be steered from my pattern very easily. I don’t have an obsessive personality so I will never truly excel at one specific thing. Rather, I will be more of a Jack of All Trades, being mediocre at many things. And I’m ok with that.

I’m also learning that God did create me to be a busy person. That’s not my personality, natural inclination, or even my gifting. I can handle busyness for only so long before I have a breakdown and cry for at least an hour (which happened many times in college). I am not a person who likes or can handle having every second of every day crammed with activity, meetings, friends, To-Do’s, and errands. I need down time. I need time to read, exercise, take naps, blog, and veg in front of the TV.

For so long I have seen these traits in myself and wanted to change them. Why can’t I be more disciplined? Why can’t I stick to a routine against all odds? Why can’t I work full time and have 5 different extracurricular activities? Why can’t I work full time and have even one?

I’m not trying to sell myself short but I don’t want to insist that I be someone I’m not before I believe that I’ve reached my “true potential.” It’s a fact that I will never be a social butterfly, never be the person who meets random strangers everywhere I go and have thousands of acquaintances. That’s not who I am. 

It’s so easy to get trapped into thinking that as a Christian, I have to act and be like other Christians. The president of the ministry I work for is a very outgoing (some would say obnoxious) person, sharing the gospel with complete strangers constantly. I admire his extroversion because I am not. And while I know that my introversion is sometimes sinful, I don’t believe that I have to become extroverted in order to be an effective witness.

What I want to know is how I can be the best me, not attempt to a version of someone else. God created me the way I am, including my whimsicalness and propensity for relaxation, for a reason. As a woman made in God’s image, I showcase His glory in a unique way, in a way that people with routines and busy lives don’t (and they showcase His glory in their own unique way too, as long as they’re believers). Instead of fighting who I am, or striving to be someone I am not, I want to embrace who I am and what I’m like. I want to use it to glorify God and not lament who He created me to be. I want to reach my full potential, as I am, and not waste the precious time and personality He has given me.

How easy it is for Satan to get ahold of our minds and make us discontent by getting us to envy someone else who we think is better/prettier/skinnier/wealthier/happier!! Just tonight I was jealous because Travis is a better biker than me, even though I’ve been training for a tri for the past 3 months and he has ridden a bike once in the past year. My sinful flesh screamed “It’s not fair!! Why can’t I be better than him for once?” Similarly, with all the exercise I’ve been doing, I get frustrated that I’m not miraculously losing weight. “It’s not fair! Why can’t I just be thin for once?”

Loving Father that He is, God turns me back to Himself time and time again. “Kathy, that is not where happiness lies. Even if you were to be better than Travis and have a flat stomach, you would still desire something more. I am that Something More. I am the fulfillment of the yearning in your heart. Me and Me alone.”

Praise the Father for His faithfulness and steadfastness! How reassuring to know that He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I change moment to moment, never sticking to a routine or schedule, but He never changes. He is perfect so I don’t have to be.

“Though I be dry and barren

By grace this love springs forth

Love for You and Your kingdom

Joy in Your glory Lord.”

 

“Jesus my only hope, my only plea,

My righteousness, My Great High Priest,

Who intercedes before the throne,

Jesus I trust in You alone!”

Our 2nd Wedding Anniversary

7 Jun

Travis and I have been married for 2 years, as of May 19th. So crazy to think it’s already been 2 years! When asked if it feels like it’s been 2 years, I have to answer “Yes and no. It doesn’t feel like 2 years because it has gone so fast. But it does seem like 2 years when I think about everything that has happened since we got married.”

I have to praise the Lord by saying that our marriage is wonderful. I couldn’t always say that honestly… The first year and a half were really hard. I knew that I was still committed to Travis and our marriage but I really couldn’t say that I was joyful. I was frustrated, annoyed, and confused. The things that were hard about our marriage were definitely not the things that I expected to be hard.

But praise God for His faithfulness. I don’t know how non-Christians make marriage work. If I hadn’t had God to rely on, trust in, and live through me, I’m scared to think what would have happened to us. Not I think we would’ve thought about divorce but I definitely think we would’ve been more distant and drifted toward more independent lives (like what happens to a lot of married couples over the years).

The thing that I have appreciated about Travis the most over the past 2 years is his genuine love for me. While like any sinful human being, he can say insensitive, rude things in the heat of the moment and isn’t always as considerate as I think he should be, he is incredibly sweet and thoughtful. Often, I’ll notice he did something and remark about it to him. His response: “I know my Bubs likes it that way.”

I think the biggest thing that has changed to make our marriage better is that we can laugh about our differences and annoying quirks instead of getting angry and resentful (which was what was happening before).

Anyway, since our anniversary was on a Tuesday and the 2 weekends after it we were re-roofing our house, we just celebrated our anniversary this weekend. (We did go out to eat on our anniversary to an upscale Mexican restaurant downtown Denver called Tamayo.)

Friday night, we went to an O.A.R. concert at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. It rained a little when we got there but luckily it held off for the whole concert. There was a lot of lightning in the sky over Denver throughout the night.

The storm clouds

The storm clouds

Red Rocks

Red Rocks

A crazy cloud

A crazy cloud

Trav and me

Trav and me

O.A.R. put on a great concert. We weren’t crazy about the opener (Brett Dennen) but O.A.R. was great. They had a really good sound, great stories, and awesome lights.

Yesterday, we drove up to Leadville, CO, to go hiking. We had heard that the little town was pretty cool and it was very quaint and cute.

Some beautiful scenery

Some beautiful scenery

A cool bridge built back in the 30s (so I hear)

A cool bridge built back in the 30s (so I hear)

This house has a fence made out of old skis! We saw a lot of quirky houses in Leadville...a lot of them have different shaped shingles (ala the Victorian Age) painted in bright colors.

This house has a fence made out of old skis!

We saw a lot of quirky houses like this in Leadville...a lot of them have different shaped shingles (ala the Victorian Age) painted in bright colors.

We saw a lot of quirky houses like this in Leadville...a lot of them have different shaped shingles (ala the Victorian Age) painted in bright colors.

 We did a 5 mile hike up to Timberline Lake. The hike started at about 10,000 feet and got up to 10,866, where the lake is.

On the trail

On the trail

 About 1.5 miles into our hike, we came to a flooded area where our only choices were to either turn around or walk through the water. I wasn’t a fan of the idea at first but eventually we took off our boots and socks and walked through the water barefoot. Since it’s mountain runoff, the water was absolutely FREEZING! It wasn’t that bad while we were still in it but immediately after we stepped out of the water, our feet and ankles just stung.

The freezing mountain water we had to walk in

The freezing mountain water we had to walk in

After we walked through that water, we had to cross a stream that was ripping pretty good. The bottom was all river rock so while it wasn’t sharp or pokey, it was a little slippery. Luckily, neither of us fell in.

The mountain stream

The mountain stream

Travis with his boots, ready to cross the stream

Travis with his boots, ready to cross the stream

Farther up, we had to cross the stream again but this time, there was a makeshift bridge.

Me crossing the bridge

Me crossing the bridge

Most of the climb happened after those two stream crossings. It just seemed to keep going up and up. Finally, we got to the lake. 

Timberline Lake

Timberline Lake

It was very pretty but unfortunately, as is the case with all lakes at that high of an altitude, the wind whips across the lake and makes it absolutely freezing. Makes it hard to sit there and enjoy the views.

Another view of the lake

Another view of the lake

Do I look cold?

Do I look cold?

Needless to say, we spent about 10 minutes at the lake and then headed back down.
Crossing the stream again on the way back

Crossing the stream again on the way back

Beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains

Beautiful view of the snow-capped mountains

Closeup of the weird/cool plants

For some reason, I find these weird plants really cool.

After our hike, we drove around Leadville, looking at all the quirky houses and then the abandoned mining buildings and equipment. Both Travis and I find it fascinating that people actually used to mine there, use those buildings and tools…I love that kind of history–learning about and seeing how people used to live.
Some old mining buildings and equipment

Some old mining buildings and equipment

Leadville, CO

Leadville, CO

We ate dinner at Tennesse Pass Cafe in Leadville (great little restaurant) and then drove back to Denver. When we got back, we went to see Land of the Lost with Will Ferrell. It was very entertaining–not Will Ferrell’s funniest but still pretty cute.

Today we went to church, then looked at puppies (so cute!!) and tools at the mall. We want to get a golden retriever but haven’t been able to find an affordable puppy (cheapest we’ve found is $800).

It was a great anniversary weekend. Looking forward to #3!