Okay, already, I’m giving in. I am blogging, but I feel like a criminal. Months ago I asked BigBlueHat to discontinue my blog service for sake of prudence, mainly financial. Not that BBH charges an arm and a leg for blog service, or anything like that, but simply because I am cheap, and when I start budgeting, I cut all sorts of extraneous expenses, and find the small ones add up fast and suddenly one can afford to buy gas again. So, BBH stopped billing me but graciously refused to remove my blog until they could “offer me something better.” I thought what they offered me was swell; that wasn’t my issue. But despite all attempts to exit the blogosphere, I am still orbiting. I knew my blog was accessible and even suspect that what BBH meant when they said they’d keep it up was, “Blog away! no problem!” I still feel bad using the site after withdrawing financial support. On the other hand, it is just sitting here, and every once in a while some otherwise nice person stumbles upon it and blows a gasket because it is so outdated, and promptly harrasses me with orders to blog :o) You know who you are.
Sooooo…updates. On my life. Hm. Hmmmm. Hm. Well, I spent Sunday afternoon running around York Beach, hiking cliffwalks, and dozing in the sun with Jeremy. He’s so much more accessible for day trips now that he is living just 30 minutes down the road instead of 18 hours. Small twists of Providence lined up a lack of employment opportunities in Indiana with an absolute drought of employees in the Massachusetts pest control industry (at busy season; this is not unusual, but always ulcer-inducing). Being the multitasker that I am, I devised a plan that could solve both problems at once and help out two men who mean a good deal to me. I didn’t know if either of them would go for it, but–surprise–my boyfriend is now working for my father. Apparently they get along very well, which is also, I have to admit, somewhat of a surprise. But Jeremy likes histories of various sorts, and apparently my dad likes to talk, and so Jeremy officially knows more about my family background than I ever did, knowledge acquired in a mere three weeks compared to my lifetime. It tickles me when we’re driving along somewhere in a neighboring town and he points out a place my dad showed him, where some Swedish immigrant relatives of mine lost a son before deciding to move back to the motherland. What Swedish immigrant relatives? Huh? The list goes on.
Life is funny. And blessed. I do enjoy the novelty of having him around. It’s as if he’s always been there, in many ways, except that his presence seems to percolate the darker recesses of my nature and reveal no shortage of bitter notes in my brew. Any new living arrangement, I suppose, especially one that adds a whole new personality to the mix, tends to bring out aspects of ourselves we’d rather ignore or gloss over. So far I’ve been confronted with the fact that I am not a bit as generous as I thought I was; in fact, I’m downright cheap. I’m also lazy, which I knew, but which I thought would spontaneously change for the better once involved in a relationship that would require giving more of myself (time, money, energy, emotions). I must face it, I am stingy in almost every respect, and more so with the people who mean most to me. I’m lazy and sloppy and yet hold others to an impossible standard of vigorous ambition and generosity. I’m a bit of a fascist when it comes to paint jobs (don’t ask; scarey) and have a terrible tendency to let people know tacitly when I don’t enjoy something even though verbally I claim that I’d have things no other way (add ‘dishonest and manipulative’ to the pot). I stubbornly refuse to excersize an essential moderation and self control that I expect to come naturally to everyone else who dares claim Christ. I make excuses for myself. I envy. I’m a bit of a hypocrite with poor communication skills (more like a willful refusal at times to communicate). I am petty. I clam up. I covet.
With Jeremy so close at hand, you see, there are just so many more opportunities around to manifest the selfishness lurking under my thin vaneer of godliness and the blasphemies echoing in what my pastor calls “Christian happy talk.” I don’t know how Jeremy stands it, or why he does. But I’m not complaining about that. I have to admit that if I ever thought about romantic relationships in the past, I often cast myself in a rather angelic role, thinking of all I would have to offer a person if given the chance. So far all I’ve offered Jeremy is a few headaches at the grocery store and not-so-subtle criticisms over how he paints walls (I told you, don’t ask). In turn he offers me an extreme amount of patience as I endure the rather painful process of being confronted with myself. The Lord has a way of knocking us graciously off of our pedestals, to bring us back down to a place where he can start breaking and remaking us. You just never think of His hammer and chisel as coming in the form of a boyfriend–especially a boyfriend who seems completely unable to criticize, even when the harshest criticism is warranted. It’s interesting that of all the horrible realizations I’ve made about myself due to Jeremy’s presence, not one of those realizations has been made on Jeremy’s suggestion. When I mess up, act like a fool, am stubborn, or even mean, he just quietly looks for a way to help me out; if he can’t help, he just quietly waits.
While I’m already on the road to learning multiple lessons this summer, perhaps that is one I could most benefit from learning: the art of quietness. Not the manipulative kind of quietnesss, but the kind that waits. For others, and for the Lord.
Yeah. I think it’s going to be a good summer ;o)