This past week I got my teeth shaved down in order for my new smile. It was pretty awesome and scary to see my teeth in their shaved down form – so small, raw, vulnerable. Last Wednesday I spent over 5 hours at the dentist – more impressions, pictures, molds, and finally shaving down 10 of the 14 of my top teeth. I have to laugh at this picture now – my face all numb from the medicine as I try to hold up my upper lip to smile.
For the first years of dating and even the first months married, our arguments often were started by me. I am really great at seeing what is wrong, like most human beings and so I made it my point to let Steven know what was wrong. I gave him not only a list of what was wrong, but my own agenda of solutions he should try in order to fix things. It was my job to help and correct, as the human that knows him the best, right?!
To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of running. I’ve never run a marathon; I have only competed in long distance rowing. But I do know something about endurance sports and endurance in life. I think I have lived enough and gone through enough seasons of life to have learned a few things. I quickly forget them though, so here’s a little reminder some things for myself that might benefit you as well.
Today marks two months that I decided to fully surrender. Today marks two months of freedom! This coming after three years of hard work and lot’s of love from my community, mostly the people at Mosaic Whittier.
I’ll admit. Change can be scary. Often times we see the cost of changing but not the cost of missed opportunity. However, thinking of the cost of missed opportunity is even scarier.
This is a very fresh topic on my mind as I write this. This has been a topic of discussion and conflict at several points throughout our marriage and even before getting married. On the Strengths Finder Assessment, my top strength has consistently been responsibility. It is also one of the top 5 strengths of my husband Steven. So you might wonder: “Why the conflict then?” The conflict has arisen when it comes down to the following: “How do we be responsible with our finances – pay off debt and save, while still being generous?” I’m not here to give you numbers, percents, or even Biblical advice. However, I will share with you a little of what this journey has looked like for us.
So, this is my dentist, Dr. Gutierrez. I’ve spoken about him before. I began as a patient of his in early February. I shared my story about bulimia and recovery… he and his staff encouraged me with their positivity, professionalism, and compassion. I shared my concern about my dental health… he and his staff shared with me their hope for my smile. I shared part of my life story… I got to be a part of theirs as well.
Don’t get me wrong; my husband is a loving, romantic man at heart who spoils me 365 days of the year. But Valentine’s Day is tough. Holidays in general are tough. Early into our dating relationship, we realized we didn’t speak the same language about holidays in general. Part of that could be cultural – my husband is Chinese American and I grew up in a primarily Dutch American home.
Shalom. Peace. Restoring things to the way they were meant to be, the way God designed. We all desire to be a part of something meaningful that restores the world to what it was supposed to be. It’s been some 27 years for me realizing that my restoring shalom in the world is meaningless if I am not walking in the Spirit of God. What I mean by that is all of my actions, public AND private are in line with the way God intended them to be, the way of shalom, what some may call walking in the Spirit of God.
A weekend away with your husband of 6th months – a drive up the California coast, Del Taco and giggles like we were back in high school – seems like the start to a great getaway, right? Until….