Walking: A Cautionary Tale

Earlier this week, John and I went for dinner at a friends’ house (Joe and Taylor, who work at YMI with John and I).

The evening started innocuously enough. I played with their 6 month old son before he went down for his nap, the four adults ate dinner, played a game, and then decided to eat dessert.

While waiting for dessert to be served up, I pulled out my phone and showed Taylor some cute pictures of my nephew. Then, Joe asked how much ice cream I would like. I walked over to him and indicated how much I wanted, then took the bowl and turned to walk into their den/ bonus room.

I, being the genius that I am, continued to look at something on my phone (I honestly don’t remember what, the following events eclipsed that particular memory in my mind) as I walked to the next room.

Then, I took a step, and my foot started falling through the air.

I remember thinking, “Oh crap,” as I landed hard on the outside of my left foot. My whole weight came crashing down on my foot and I heard something crack. There was a step between their kitchen and the next room that I had completely missed.

I sat on the floor, thoroughly embarrassed, and a little scared about what I’d done to myself.

To their credit, neither John, nor Joseph, nor Taylor burst out laughing at me. They all responded to my tumble with concern and grace.

The next morning, when the entire top of my foot had turned purple, John took me to the urgent care at Group Health. After hobbling around the facility, getting pushed in a wheelchair up to x-rays, and back down, the doctor informed me that I fractured the bone on the outside of my foot. I was fitted with a walking boot and pair of crutches.

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I have a follow-up appointment on Monday where I’ll find out more about how long I’ll be in the boot and what else I need to do to heal properly.

Moral of the story: I really can’t multitask.

Getting around the past day and a half has been a challenge, but I’m starting to get the hang of the gimp lifestyle and my foot is healing. I can limp around in my boot without too much pain which was not possible yesterday.

Prayers are appreciated as John is going to winter camp with our church’s high school youth group this weekend and I’ll be at home without him.

Adventures with short hair

I recently got my hair cut pretty short for the summer. Its so easy to wash and dry, I love it! And I think I look pretty cute as well.

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One interesting challenge happened when I was getting ready to go to the Y this week. Pulling my hair back to work out was an engineering marvel.

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I surprised John with the new haircut when he returned from two weeks in Asia with YMI. He reacted very well to my new look! He told me that I looked great with a big smile. Though, I’m pretty sure that I could have shown up with a bag over my head and he would have been all smiles. :)

I frequently forget how short it is while washing it, and practically throw out my elbow when I reach the end of my hair. I can also feel the ends of hair on my neck, so I am very aware of its lack of length at all times.

Whidbey Island

This past week, John and I went on vacation! We rented a house with my sister, Ranelle and her husband, Brian, and my wonderful nephew, Jacob. We spent a lot of  time relaxing and then exploring the island. The weather was sunny and warm which encouraged us to spend some time outside.

One day, we went to the North Cascades. We drove up to the view of Diablo Lake. The blue sky and green water created a stunning landscape. I enjoyed looking out on the lake, and talking with my husband about the amazing beauty.

I also got to hang out with this lovely family. Jacob had to stay far from the edge, but he enjoyed standing on a rock and looking out at the mountains.

Another day, we went to Fort Casey State Park. The boys played soccer for a bit. Jacob was so excited to get out of the car that he and I went running across the field while his dad and Uncle John got out the soccer equipment.

Always the little soccer coach, Jacob had to set out the cones in a line… and then completely ignored them while he kicked the soccer ball as high up into the air as he could.

While the boys played soccer, Ranelle and I watched and talked. We talked about life and what we’re both learning about ourselves and God during this time. It was awesome to have time to really talk about our lives. I’m so blessed to be so close with my sister. We think very similarly and get along super well.

Then we walked down to the water with the paparazzi (aka Ranelle) snapping away. Man, we can’t go anywhere without people taking pictures of us :)

Well, I guess I can’t blame people. I did marry quite the looker.Jacob’s favorite thing to do is throw rocks in the water. Especially with his daddy watching.

I love this picture of John and I. I think it shows how much we enjoy each other.
Look at that Jacob’s concentration in this picture… Ranelle and I wrote in the sand for a while to distract Jacob from throwing boulders into the ocean.We couldn’t get a full group picture, but here’s the group sans Ranelle.
And then, another day at the beach, Jacob and I stood on the sandiest part of the beach we could find and let the water hit us. Jacob loved it. He didn’t really want to leave. We were both very sandy and salty. I explained to Jake that his legs were itching because of the salt in the water.

It was a great week and John and I feel so refreshed after our week off. Now we are so excited to keep our ministry going for the 2012-2013 ministry year!

What’s your story?

I recently attended a Women’s retreat with my church, New Day. It was held at McCullough Camp in Kent. Luckily, the ladies sent out directions with the disclaimer, “It’ll look like you’re turning into a residential area, but don’t worry, you’re going the right way” or something like that because I would have turned around if I hadn’t known to just keep going.

When I arrived at the camp, I checked in, got my super-cute name tag and saw the amazing decorations. Among them was a framed picture that said, “Your story is important… tell it.”

The Super-Cute Nametag

Well, this totally freaked me out. I was going to be expected to share my story during the weekend. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem sharing most details about my life including my inability to shop at a store other than American Eagle or my awkward encounters with people (where I am the awkward one, not them), but I knew that wasn’t the story to which they were referring.

A few women shared the first night. As I listened to them bear their hearts: their love for God, their past hurts, their current struggles, I felt so grateful to be at this event, to be entrusted with these stories. Something different struck me about each one, resonated within me, and gave me a profound sense that I am not alone. And each story overwhelmed me with a love and gratitude of God.

But still, I wrestled with whether or not to share my story. A big difference between my husband and I is our openness with people. John wears his heart on his sleeve. He is who he is and he’ll tell you all about it. He has had to learn to be more guarded.

I, on the other hand, can be quite guarded. I worry about burdening people with my problems. I worry about people judging me based on their own biases.

I also worry about sharing because once I open my mouth, I can’t shut up. I’ll dominate conversations with my own issues and I worry about wearing other people out.

So, I did not share the first night in our small group. We really ran out of time for everyone to share, so I just didn’t. I loved listening to others speak and pushed aside that voice inside me that said, “Be brave.”

Breakfast on Saturday was amazing, and we had a great opening session talking about Romans 12. I particularly loved the worship (and by worship, I mean worship through singing) time. The ladies who led worship did an outstanding job and I loved singing along with them.

Then, we had another small group time. We were supposed to talk about times when we’ve seen other women in the group live in community like the Bible tells us to (encourage one another, love one another, etc). However, a lot of our group didn’t know one another, so several women took the opportunity to share their story (or part of it).

So, haltingly, then quicker and quicker (like I said, open mouth = can’t shut up), I shared my story including things I feel vulnerable about. And it was great. I truly felt accepted and loved by the women listening to me. It brought me to tears.

I am still processing everything that God showed me over that weekend, but my one big take-away is this: I will not let my own insecurity keep me from building relationships with people. I have a debilitating fear that people don’t or won’t like me. And I will not let this lie that I am unlikeable or unloveable stop me from reaching out to people and making friends.

I’m sure that I will fail in this still and let my insecurity dictate my actions, but I am going to fight that through the grace of God and His power and might.

So, let me tell you: Your story is important. Tell it. 

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How did John and I find this church? Well, John was looking at websites of churches in the Federal Way/ Tacoma area and stumbled onto their website. We identified with their Value Page:

VALUES

We have identified seven core values that define the way we do church at New Day. It’s not an exhaustive list, but it’s a clarifying one. We try to measure everything that we do in light of the following values:

Worship is central.
The heartbeat of the church is found in giving praise, honor and our full attention to God.

Truth must be well-told.
The gospel is powerful and authoritative without our enhancements. Our task is to communicate it clearly, creatively and carefully.

Every Christian is a minister.
All believers are called to full-time minstry – whatever their life’s work. It isn’t just the job of a pastor.

The church is a mission outpost.
The real work of the church is out in the world — not in programs and committees. We come together to get what we need to go back out there.

Authenticity rules the day.
Transparency is key in a hypocrisy-sensitive culture.

The church must lead the way in reconciliation.
According to Jesus, loving one another is the most convincing way to show he’s real.

The Who question outranks the How question.
We want to be more concerned with knowing the Christ of the Bible than anything else.

After looking at this, we visited and then we were hooked :)

I’m awkward.

Awkward Corset illustration

I am a seriously awkward person if you are meeting me for the first time. It’s something that I’m working on: Making better first impressions. But I have totally failed on the streets of Tacoma…

A while ago, I was walking to the office from my car, rolling my suitcase behind me. Why I had my suitcase, I don’t remember, but I definitely felt ridiculous  rolling  bumping it along the uneven sidewalk.

A guy working on the roof of the house yelled down to me, “You brought your own tools and everything! Well, let’s get to work!” Followed by a good-natured laugh.

I found this comment genuinely witty and funny. But what did I say?

“Uh…er…no…this isn’t…I mean…” Which I then attempted to save with a half smile and walking out of eyesight.

FAIL.

ASL for Awkward.

Then, a few days ago, I was walking up the hill from the office (no awkward luggage this time) and walked past a table on the sidewalk. The table had a red silk tablecloth, and 6 fine-china place settings complete with gold-rimmed wine glasses. Now, this table was in front of a business called, “Trendy Event Rentals,” so it isn’t the oddest thing in the world.

But I was staring at the table, when a lady in a car drove past and said to me, “Ready to eat dinner?” and chuckled. Now this comment made me smile, genuinely amused by her comment.

But, what did I say, “Um…I don’t… eh…” Then the light changed and she drove away.

FAIL.

So, if you run into me on the street and you say something witty, funny or amusing to me, expect some stammering and tongue-tied muttering from me. But, know that I did find your comment amusing!

My nephew is adorable…

I got to watch my nephew a couple of weeks ago and took him to play at the park. I love this kid so much…

While we were at the park, Jacob paused in his general running around like a crazy boy and said, “Yellow Card…” while staring across into the field. I followed his gaze and spotted a dad wrestling with his three sons.

Jacob is obsessed with soccer, so pushing, hitting, biting, and other rough play is deemed worthy of a “Yellow card” by him.  I was proud of him recognizing the danger of such behavior when Jacob said, “I want yellow card!” and took off running into the field.

Panicked, I took off after him,convinced that he was planning on throwing himself into the wrestling of this dad and his boys.

“Jacob!” I screeched at a pitch generally only dogs can hear (Sidenote- when Jacob mimics me, he speaks higher than normal. That’s right, my voice is more high-pitched than a two-year-old’s.)

To my excitement, Jacob stopped running once I caught him in the field. Then he through himself into my shins while yelling, “Yellow Card!”

And that is why little boys need a dad.

Here’s some pics of the rest of our time at the park:

His favorite activity is going down the slide!!

He also likes climbing up the “rock” wall. Here he is at the top! And totally not looking at me… Probably distracted by that dad and his sons again. (Just kidding, the field is totally behind him.)

And he got a stud-looking hair cut!!