Wednesday, February 14, 2007

So…about Love

I’ve told important people in my life that I love them today. I wrote little messages and distributed a fair amount of chocolate. Yup, I helped line the pockets of merchants hoping to get rich off suckers like me. I bought into the total commercialization of Valentine’s day. I’m not sorry, though, as I’ve never ever been guilted into being a Valentine’s day celebrator. No, I embrace the holiday willingly. Any excuse to speak one’s love is a good thing, no?

So in the spirit of the Sainted guy, I bought Valentine Candy nearly every time I hit the grocery store and quickly snarfed them down. Mmmm…Red and white M&M’s, cinnamon jelly hearts and red and pink laffy taffys. More love handles, mind you.

I also sent Megs some Valentine themed PJ’s a couple of weeks ago. I was taking a chance, I know. But she loved them. Which just goes to show that even extraordinarily picky people can be very tolerant and accepting of a gift given in love, no matter how lame or cheesy. She loved the tacky heart covered fleece pajama bottoms and the ‘love slippers’ and exclaimed in usual Meghanese that they were “sooooo wonderful, soooo amazing…The cutest thing ever”. Why? Because, I’m thinking it spells ‘mama love’ to her. Thus her ability to tolerate/wear something that her unfashionable mama actually picked out.

Anyway, you get the picture. I am a fan of Valentines day, er, love. And even though I’m often horrible at it, and the people I love can bug the crap out of me at times, I think it’s a good thing. Notice I didn’t say it’s an easy thing, because in my experience, it’s not. Love is messy and risky and really hard. It can leave us beat up and bruised. And if we take Paul’s definition of love to heart, love can sometimes seem impossible.

Remember, Paul says basically that,
“…Love cares more for others than for self…
doesn't want what it doesn't have...
doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head,
doesn't force itself on others,
isn't always ‘me first,’
doesn't fly off the handle,
doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
doesn't revel when others grovel,
takes pleasure in truth,
puts up with anything,
trusts God always,
always looks for the best,
never looks back
and keeps going to the end”
(1 Corinthians 13).

Yeah, love, real love is like that, and for relationships to work, love like that—committed, persevering, forgiving, selfless— has to exist.

The problem is there are times when I’m too selfish to love, times when I’m too tired to love, times when I honestly don’t know how to love, times when I simply don’t have it in me to love.

But then who is always patient and kind, never jealous or boastful or arrogant or rude? Who pretends to bear all things, trust all things, hope all things, endure all things? There is not one among us who has not failed time and again to love as we should have loved, and every one of us will continue to fail in the future, but that does not mean we cannot also succeed, and succeed more and more.

So I’m trying to practice and pray for more love. I’m trying to accept Meghan’s challenge, issued several years ago, to ‘grow up and love each other’.

In case I don’t speak or show my love often enough, dear fam and friends, let me just say: I love you all. I really do.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Things to Be Happy About

The other day I came across a book I thought I had lost, called “14,000 Things to Be Happy About.” This was a treasure I procured from Deseret Industries several years ago and read with great interest. The idea of someone actually coming up with that many things to be happy about seemed absurd. But, as it turned out, reading this woman’s list changed my ‘life sucks’ attitude as I found myself thinking, ‘hey, if Oreo cookies are what happiness is about, then I’m so there’. At that time I was married to a Bishop, had 3 little kids, just been diagnosed with a ruptured disc and was taking care of Dad at home. I was young, under stress and ate a lot of Oreo’s. I didn’t know I was happy. I had forgotten or something.

Finding this book at exactly this time in my life is fortuitous for after a brief phone conversation with my bro JLA I’ve decided to make Thursdays a ‘Things to Be Happy About’ day.

Here, JLA, is something you can relate to, homey.

Today’s list:

1) Paper and scissors. Cutting makes me happy. Snip snip snip and cut cut cut. Kenzie humors me and lets me make visuals for her primary class.

2) Glue. Happiness flows. ‘Nuff said.

3) Hydroponic tulips. The ones ld gave me on my dining room table are starting to bloom. I don’t fully understand how this is possible since I thought dirt had important nutrients essential for plant growth but apparently it isn’t so. If I wasn’t so preoccupied with the Society of Relief, I would explore this more, like is it possible to have a hydroponic sandbox?

4) Brown paper packages tied up with string...these are a few of my favorite things. Especially when they are from our ‘lil missionary. She sent home old letters and old clothes, stuff she didn’t want to lug around. Great fun reading and snooping through her luv letters.

5) Excessive amounts of BYU Chocolate Mint Brownies and Cookies. We had a ward RS leadership meeting. 15 people were invited to attend. I ordered enough refreshments to serve 80. Because you all know me well, you know this is what I do. I over-refreshmentalize. I no longer see this as a failing.

6) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. Kenz just finished reading this and it brought back fond memories. I loved it at 15 and love it still. It was delightful being creeped out by Mrs. Danvers all over again.

7) Balderdash. No brags, just facts: I am quite possibly the best player of this game on the planet. I have the imagination, and the bluffing ability - two essential skills necessary for success in this game. While it’s true I don’t usually win, I play with a lot of heart and enthusiasm. Oh, and I am not easily distracted by other’s flatulence. Which appears to be some sort of ‘new age’ game strategy meant to throw me off my game. You know who you are.

Enough happiness for now. Sigh. Peace out, homies.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Evidence that I'm loved

Yesterday, my fondest wish for 2007 came true. Ld presented me with a new lap top. The following note was attached:

Happy Groundhog, Valentines, President's, St.Patrick’s, Easter, Memorial, Flag, Independence, Pioneer, Birthday, Labor, Columbus, Halloween, Veteran’s, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Human Rights Day..through 2009.


The year 2009 is significant and accurate because I blow up/go through a lap top about every two years.

Some days one can only rejoice. February comes and I have a new computer. Thank you ld, you get some extra love in your sandwich.