Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Well, wedding planning ain't easy. But most of you probably already know that. I just spent a stressful weekend in California trying to find a wedding location. We found one but it was an uphill battle to get the logistics figured out. I really don't want my mother and Gary to get stressed out but it seems like that is unavoidable. I'm really trying my best to keep the stress level down by trying not to be too demanding and difficult.

We have a library volunteer who has been here for years. Now, he is on a walker and always comes close to falling down because we have crates everywhere and carts of books. It is really getting too dangerous for him to volunteer but we are just so afraid to tell him. As the years have passed, we keep trying to find easier things for him to do as he becomes more feeble but we are running out of ideas. He lives alone and doesn't really have anyone to take care of him. I know he has friends and church members that help him out. But I looked at him today in his dirty clothing and it made me think about what it must be like to age alone. No one to help you wash your clothes, buy groceries, do your taxes. And I think some of these elderly feel like it is too much of an imposition to ask for help. And then most nursing homes run about $3000 per week. At least! It's a scary thought.

I feel much better now knowing that if anything happens to me, Gary will look out for my mom. But it's a good idea to start planning because I would never want a loved one to lack the care they deserve.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Well, I feel like I am embroiled in the world's quietest controversy.

I have decided not to take my fiance's last name after marriage. It has nothing to do with his last name. It is a perfectly nice last name. The fact is...whenever I think about changing my name, my chest gets tight and I have trouble breathing.

I have had this name since I was born. It was chosen just for me. My first and middle names were carefully chosen to match my last name. And there is a lot of history in my last name. (most of it bad...but still) My high school, college and grad school diplomas all have this name on it. I've had it for thirty years. To take a new name would be a loss of identity for me. I wouldn't know who that new person is.

Someone recently told me that if I don't take my husband's name it will be like we aren't even married. I just don't agree with that. I'm not a piece of property to be transferred from one family to another. I am an autonomous being joining my life with someone else's.

Maybe someday, after we have children, I will consider hyphenating. But I will never give up my last name entirely. It's just too much a part of who I am.

Monday, June 13, 2005

I have been going to a new young adult bible study lately and I'm really enjoying it. The material is good (from "No Experience Necessary"), but the best part is the camaraderie. Knowing that there are actually other people out there who think like I do. I am so tired of Christianity being appropriated by politics. And of being told I can't be a real Christian unless I am a Republican in the religious right. C'mon.

We tend to get so caught up in little meaningless details that we lose sight of the big picture. One woman in my group put it quite well. "We tend to try and bring God down to our level instead of aspiring to rise to His."

The section of our study that we worked on last night focused on the first two chapters of Genesis. Our study guide suggested that instead of getting into arguments as to whether creationism or evolution is correct that we focus on the meaning and message of the passage. Ultimately, does it matter whether God created the world in seven 24-hour-days or several millenia? Not really. What really matters is the wonder of God's creation in general. That is what we should be focus on. It is miraculous no matter how it was done.

Another good point made last night was that we Christians can't expect to effectively express our faith when we can't even get along with each other. We want to argue about little points of doctrine and cling to exclusivity when we should be united as a family of God. No wonder we get such a bad rap.

I think some good things are going to come out of this study.

Monday, June 06, 2005

I have a confession to make...
I love cards.

I get so excited to get greeting cards in the mail. They seem so much more personal than e-mail. And you can scrapbook them.

I was disappointed that I only got about three cards for my birthday. I'm hoping Gary and I will get lots of engagement and wedding cards because I'm already gearing up a scrapbook. Some people say that cards are impersonal. Not as impersonal as e-mail. And you get the person's personality and handwriting which makes a card special.

I don't know. Maybe I'm weird.
Wedding planning can be stressful. And it's just beginning! There are so many little details to think about. But I'm excited about doing it. It makes everything seem official. I just have to make sure that Gary and I get quality time together. Since we don't get to be together very often, I think it's important that we spend some time together NOT wedding planning. I don't want to get so caught up in everything that I forget to appreciate the wonderful guy I'm going to share my life with. He is going to Texas with me on the Fourth of July to meet some of my family. I can't wait to show him the REAL Texas.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

A little over a year ago, my friend Ellen and I were quite heartsick. Ellen yearned for a baby and I longed for someone to share my life with. At the time, we started including each other in our prayers. It was so nice to have that kind of support. At the same time, my friend Chucky decided that at 42 he was ready to end his bachelor days and settle down. If only he could find the right woman.

My friend Ellen had a baby a few months ago. My friend Chucky got married on May 27 to a lovely woman he met back in September. And I got engaged on May 23.

What a difference a year can make.

It has been said that when the gods want to punish you, they answer your prayers. Perhaps.

I just turned 30 and rather than feeling depressed at the prospect, I feel excited. It is as if my life is starting an exciting new chapter. And I'm ready for it.

I have been listening repeatedly to a great song by Matt Nathanson called "Suspended" lately. Some of the lyrics really describe my life right now:

"Spent all of my life waiting for answers
To life me, to numb me, to define it all...

Time slips to nothing and I'm better than I've ever been.
I'm suspended.

Sunshine...I'm beginning to like this."

I'm beginning to like this time of my life indeed.