Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Marriage Letters - Co-work

How we co-labor...

I've been pondering this post for a month. 30 daily contemplations of this term co-labor. It has such a Biblical connotation, and we don't talk that way.

You and I didn't labor in a hospital room. We don't labor in the fields - even the metaphoric one. Labor is a strange word for us unless it's a September holiday.

Instead, we work. We co-work side by side. You and I have a shared language of cubical-enclosed corporate.

This past 30 days, I saw you. And I saw you seeing me. We worked side-by-side on so many days. Not physically with the unending, cold, dreary weather, or corporately with your office and mine miles apart, but emotionally and spiritually.

There was that moment when you told me that you told a story about me. About me and my love of a popular song that makes me dance ever.single.time. And you chuckled in the telling.

Or that day you called all my phone numbers trying to find me to talk about a lunch meeting you'd just had. The nights that we looked in the fridge together and figured out food. Side by side, laughing at dogs on the internet. Watching all the bracket-busting basketball. For the love of busted brackets!

And that Friday I came home and yelled and yelled until the dog was hiding under the table and you just stood and listened until the yelling was over. Then we talked late and long about organizational behavior and communications styles and career dreams. That is our language.

30 days of side-by-side co-work. It's just a snapshot really. A month in the middle of decades. We've learned to leave room for each other's busy seasons of projects and deadlines. We talk numbers and HR and leadership styles.

And on the unincorporated weekends, we've also learned that when there's ax-wielding to be done, it should be you, but hanging upside down in a footer hole to dig out stones? All me. That you make a mean chili, but I can rock a strawberry pie. And that we can carry the really heavy things together.

MarriageLettersMarriage Letters by Seth and Amber Haines go up the first Monday of every month. They believe “when we bless our own marriage, we bless the marriages of others.” The Marriage Letter prompt for April: How We Co-Labor.

Friday, April 4, 2014

On being or not being a writer

I read Lisa-Jo's post this morning and I realized that I might not want to write that badly.
"But here’s the thing – if you love to write, if you need to write, if you have to write – you will." 
This week, when her first book showed up on doorsteps all over the world, she talked about that writing process.

She knew she had a story to tell, and she "called my mother in law. Prayer partner, built in encourager, she committed to be with me in spirit every 5 a.m. when I was dragging myself out from under the warm covers and into the quiet playroom to tap out my story, before I thought anyone would ever read it. I do not like early mornings. But I knew she would be up too, getting ready for school, waiting to hear from me about how the writing went. So I’d pull my crazed hair into a ponytail, slip on my glasses, and sit for a few uninterrupted hours of remembering the days I thought I never wanted to be anybody’s mother." 

I say I'm too busy with this job and life and and and, but the truth is that I don't steal the time. The why of that truth will haunt me for the next few days as I work with God to uncover the hidden things that keep me from stealing minutes, hours, time.

The investment of time in a dream that feels like a shadow.

Maybe it's fear. Maybe I have some false image of writers as thoughtful and lyrical and I am not those things. Maybe my story - my words - are not enough. Maybe I don't want it enough to crawl out of bed at 5 a.m. each morning.

I don't know the answer. Not yet. But I know the question now. So we start there.

 Linking with Lisa-Jo Baker today, where we write for five minutes and then leave it alone whether it’s just right or not.

Friday, March 21, 2014

5 Minute Friday - Joy

Joy. I hear that word today and all I can think is "there is no joy in Mudville tonight. Mighty Casey has struck out."

My soul aches with the heartbreak of loved ones. People around me are complaining and kvetching about something as ridiculous as the weather. The dirty, left-over snow that persists even on this second day of spring. While those I love are dealing with harsh realities of life. Broken, struck out life.

Mudville - an entire town's hopes for joy pinned to one man and his bat. And he didn't deliver. Human. Imperfect. Joy struck out, struck down by one wrong swing. A poor choice. A pile of hurt.

Mighty Casey - all our human efforts - can't deliver joy. Joy is born out of hope, and all our human striving can not produce hope.

And in the midst of this gray, ice-encrusted non-spring day, a visitor stops by with a vase of daffodils and I'm reminded that this season WILL pass. That there will be spring. New life. Hope. Joy.  Because there is One. One who loves perfectly. One who forgives fully. One who redeems all. One who draws near to the brokenhearted. One who saves the crushed in spirit.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and
saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18

He heals the brokenhearted
    and binds up their wounds. ~Psalm 147:3

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ~ Romans 12:12 

 Linking with Lisa-Jo Baker today, where we write for five minutes and then leave it alone whether it’s just right or not.