The stars in my eyes

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     Recently my 12-year-old daughter came home with a book she had borrowed from a friend.  It was called The Fault In Our Stars.  I skimmed through it and told her to return it to her friend, that she wasn’t quite ready to take on the themes in the book, it was just too mature for her (which, of course, she took the wrong way!).  The language is a little too dicey, the relationship themes are more appropriate for an older teenager, etc.  That’s pretty much my job, right?  To keep life from knocking my kids down before they are ready to handle what comes next.  To keep her innocent just a little bit longer.

     Everyone has hardships in life that can leave them questioning their next move, their faith, their purpose, even their eternal identity.  If you experience something devastating, what does that say about God?  That He doesn’t care about you, that the deck is stacked against you, that life is just some cosmic joke or biological accident and that we are the punchline? 

     I believe that hardships say more about the HUMAN condition than about GOD’S condition.  These “clay vessels” we reside in are complicated, delicate, breakable.  This world we live in caters to the flaws and foibles of the clay vessels, and all of our bodily cravings and desires can be satisfied on a whim.  The steel cages we zoom around in at 65 miles per hour can’t stop on a dime.  Something we eat, drink or inhale can react to our chemistry in ways that can cause us sickness.  Some of us believe that we are temporary beings, that our purpose is served on this plane, in this existence, alone.  That we live and die and become fertilizer, and that’s all she wrote. 

     I believe that we are Eternal Beings, created through the mercy of a real God.  That our souls are contained in these clay vessels for a very short time and then we are released, to live eternally in whatever condition we have gained by our compassion and mercy – or lack of it.  So my personal philosophy is – when life kicks you in the pants, put on shorts.  When life knocks you down, roll over and look at the stars…just LOOK at them!  There are no faults in those stars.  They represent light, and depth, and unmet goals, and dreams in the ether.  They represent the perfect bodies we will attain at the end of our journey.  They represent hope!

 

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My Other Half

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          I am (thankfully) married to the man who showed me what imperfectly perfect love is.  Not only does he love me, flaws and all, but he selflessly loves our children (and my parents!) as well.  Does he sometimes drive me crazy?  Yes.  He is one of those “absent-minded professors” whose ability to turn off the outside world has been honed to a fine edge now that he is in graduate school.  He needs to be regularly reminded to take out the garbage.  He doesn’t remember to take our cars for inspection every year.  Those things all pale in comparison to the way that he cares for me, in all sorts of ways.  He never complains about work, even when a project is driving him crazy.  He chooses to go back and forth to Florida for a work trip IN ONE DAY so that he doesn’t have to spend the night away from us.  He can talk me down from the symbolic ledge that my teenagers sometimes push me onto.  His sense of adventure and fearlessness for trying new things has rubbed off on me.  He jumps in for tag-team-parenting, and stays up late so that we can spend as much time together as possible, even though he gets up an hour earlier than me and is not a night-owl.  I could seriously go on and on, but won’t, as the sappiness would just choke you at some point.

     I will say this: he takes his role as head of our family seriously.  He protects our family time and interests.  He thinks ahead, financially and otherwise, in a way that I am not able. 

    We are yin and yang.  God knew what He was doing when He led me to my other half.  And I have to let God orchestrate our relationship, even when it means I have to change for the greater good of our family.  ESPECIALLY when it means that.  Because much of imperfectly perfect love is accepting that the other person was put in your life in order to improve, shape up, and mold your self.  And vice versa. 

    So I won’t be lazy or resentful about becoming a better person.  Because my husband hasn’t been.  And so he has led the way to individual change, even if sometimes I went there kicking and screaming. 

    I so love my imperfectly perfect man.