Betsy and I first met in Mexico on a volunteer trip. Though we didn’t start dating until almost a year later, we both got to know each other based on our similar passion to serve others. It has been the foundation of our relationship since. We had a lot of fights (and a break up) over the course of our relationship. Yet what we’ve always gone back to is our overlapping core values, though sometimes it’s taken awhile to get there. Our love for each other is anchored in our love for God and our love for people.
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.
If you’ve ever been in a relationship, you’ve gotten into arguments. You’ve probably gotten into really big arguments. And chances are, you don’t even remember what you were fighting about. Yet things that often seem so insignificant lead to the longest fights because for some reason, we keep fighting on. That’s been true for me and Betsy.
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.
We say to people we love, “stay the same,” but we don’t mean it, nor should we mean it. We should change, we should grow. We all carry baggage we should eventually let go of to become better people. The beauty of relationships is that we can share the burdens, but the difficult and more meaningful part of relationships is helping each other let go of those burdens.
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.