God Gave Me a Zeppelin Shirt.

engagement photo
I’m not very good at letting myself feel things when I should. At least that’s how I reprimand and rationalize myself when the feelings just won’t stay stuffed down. I’m hard on myself. I think we all are, in different, debilitating ways. We want to function. We want to fulfill expectations with a reality that will make us feel better about the things we just can’t control.
We want to compartmentalize.
Relationships here.
Work there.
Emotions in the corner.
Insecurity somehow slips into each of those tightly bound spaces and unravels everything. The what ifs and the fears and the happy possibilities become tangled into a magnificent twist of confusion and worry.
We understand nothing.
We do nothing.
I do believe, in optimistic and maybe naive moments that we can work our way out of self destructive habits. I want to believe that each of us can learn to live in the moment and see outside of our selves. And I know, like a blind man feels with distinction a tree, a face, a hand of something he cannot see, that God is there, is present in my day-to-day guiding and protecting and providing for me. But I also feel the gravel, the steep hill and rushing currents as I work through the hard, unknowable, incomprehensible things. Each movement forward feels shaky and precarious. I don’t like being unable to see the end of the road and I don’t like not knowing how long it will or won’t take to get there, wherever there is.
It’s these thoughts that catch me when I’m alone and squelch my solitude, my peace. And so last night, there I was, alone in my thoughts, putting away dishes before friends came over for coffee and listening absent-mindedly to Led Zeppelin in the background, when my husband came up behind me to dance – a regular occurrence. He placed his hands on my hips and swayed to the bass beat and for a minute I let him, lost in the song and remembering how exactly we wound up here.

It was my love for Led Zeppelin that made me impulse-purchase a really rad t-shirt right before I went to college. And it was the t-shirt that made Matt notice me from across the classroom way back in the day [2005] when we were just two kids, trying to survive college and find someone whose music taste didn’t make us vomit. And it was those early spring nights when we listened to vinyls and cassette tapes and talked about we had in common that made us realize: there’s no one else that we’d rather rock out with than each other, forever and ever, I Do, amen…

And now here we are, adults, married, dealing with day-to-day life together and wondering, each of us, where we’re headed and how to get there. And it’s not always glamourous and he’s not a famous rockstar [yet] and we’re flat broke, and he sometimes comes home to find me weeping into a couch cushion or zoning out as I stand over a sink of dirty dishes, but we have each other and that’s really good. Because I had no idea that buying a Zeppelin shirt would be the catalyst for changing my life and meeting my future husband. And whatever happens or doesn’t happen – real or in our insecure imaginations – we have that opportunity to stop in the midst of it and see how far we’ve come. God provides, in surprising and subtle ways that we aren’t capable of imagining or orchestrating on our own.
I need to stop, listen, dance in the now, where I’m safe and sound in what He’s already given me.
I am not alone.

[Engagement photo taken by this talented dude.]

My To-Read List

So I’m sitting at my local Starbucks on a Saturday morning for the first time in awhile. The scent of my grande Bold Pick wafts over from the table next to me, and people chatter to one another over their coffee. A really cute older couple are meeting on a first date at the table next to me. He is wearing a flat cap and a sweater vest. She looks like a brunette Martha Stewart. It’s sweet to hear them talk about their grandchildren and the apartment complexes they live in and insurance premiums and their favorite places in the city.
This morning I was tempted to simply post the draft I had written earlier this week, the one that I would have posted for you on Wednesday had Blogger actually been working. Yet, it seems that the unexpected extra time was the best remedy for the inexplicable hesitancy I had in posting it before, because after reading the draft again and skimming through old posts, I realized – I’ve said this before. This happens to me often. More often than I’d like to admit.
So instead I’m going to touch on a subject I haven’t mentioned in awhile: what I’m reading. Last weekend I went to see the newest film adaptation of Jane Eyre starring Mia Waskowska and Michael Fassbender and Judy Dench (love her!). I loved it.
I have never read the book, which I feel slightly ashamed to admit as an English major.  My best friend owns the book and let me borrow it after we saw the film and I am now about one fourth of the way through it and enjoying every page. Literature of that era is often hard to adjust to because of the vocabulary, but Charlotte Bronte wrote from Jane’s perspective with distinct frankness, making it an easy read. My best friend claims that I’ll fall in love with Mr. Rochester even more than Jane Austen’s Mr. Darcy, but that remains to be seen.
My goal this year has been to read at least one book per month, but I haven’t been disciplined thus far. I think I can have Jane Eyre read by the end of May if I read at least two chapters per day. With my nine-to-fiver and freelance work, plus writing this blog and all the other responsibilities I am tied to, reading for pleasure all too often takes a back seat. Yet, when I am reading a book I enjoy, I feel much more edified and inspired than when I’m not.
So here is my to-read list for the next few months; hopefully I can stick to my goal and get through all of them:
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
One Day by David Nicholls
O Me of Little Faith by Jason Boyett
Quitter by Jon Acuff
Blood, Bones, & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
Love in the Time of Cholera by Bagriel Garcia Marquez
Love Wins – Rob Bell
Surprised by Hope – N.T. Wright
Writing Down the Bones – Natalie Goldberg
Bossypants by Tina Fey
As you can see, my list is a mixed bag of fiction, theology, “self help,” foodie reads and writing advice. I’d love to know your reading list. Are any of these on your list or have you read them already?
Have a good weekend, friends.

book·ish : Literary Earrings

I’m starting a new column dedicated to my English nerdiness!

Exhibit A:
 Literary earrings.
holmes earrings
1. (of a person or way of life) Devoted to reading and studying rather than worldly interests.
2. (of language or writing) Literary in style or allusion.
3. (of art and all manner of lovely things) devoted to the written word as a form of art and as a way of seeing the world.
4. (of SheWritesandRights.blogspot.com) anything of the aforementioned characteristics as they are found on the interwebs and reposted by Bethany, because bookish and writerly things always give reason for amusement.

Shel Silverstein tells it like it is…

I opened my eyes
And looked up at the rain,
And it dripped in my head
And flowed into my brain,
And all that I hear as I lie in my bed
Is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head.
I step very softly,
I walk very slow,
I can’t do a handstand–
I might overflow,
So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said–
I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.
Can I go on vacation now?

Changing Tides.

Here’s a thought for your weekend:
“Just because the tide is out, that doesn’t mean there’s less water in the ocean.” -Seth Godin.
So just because our economy is bad, that doesn’t mean we’re lacking resources and ideas. We just have to dig deeper, go to greater distances to find them.
Speaking of resources, the people of Japan are desperate for food, clean water, gasoline, and more. I read my friend Wakako’s post and found myself in tears for the people who are stranded there. Please consider giving to For Japan With Love, which will give all proceeds to Shelter Box, which will give supplies to the people of Japan. Every donation and prayer will help.
Have a good weekend, friends.