Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Easter Grinch

I would not call myself a family person.  Believe me, I am fully aware that this makes me sound like I have a heart full of stone, but that’s not exactly what I mean.  I have a pretty large family, not just in my four siblings and four parental units, but also in my extended family on both sides.  Not only is the family large, but most of them (both immediate and extended) live in or near the small town where I grew up.

Needless to say, I grew up surrounded by people, especially at holidays.  Most holidays had little more meaning than a lot of food and a lot of people, and I looked forward to them only so I could eat as much dessert as I wanted and listen to relatives comment on how tall I was getting (a source of never-ending pride to my young self). 

However, my parents especially are not overly emotional people, preferring instead to just quietly support whatever I wanted to do.  So it was that when the time came to move to Chicago for college, there were a few tears of course, but mostly I felt free to move on.  I called whenever I felt it was time, and I didn’t give in to the lonely feelings of homesickness because I knew it was only a matter of time before I saw them again.

All that background leads me into a story.  Rewind to this time last week, and I was a grumpy mess.  Easter was coming, and we had no family around to celebrate with.  As previously mentioned, I’m used to big gatherings full of small talk and too much food, and the idea of spending a holiday with just the hubdubalub and me was just plain depressing, to be honest.  If ever there were an Easter Grinch, it would have to be me.  I guess I’m more of a family person than I had realized…

Anyway, I wasn’t fun to be around.  Every time I thought of Sunday, I got sad and lonely and made snide comments about it being “just the two of us” with a sour look on my face, as if I could think of nothing worse than spending time with the love of my life.  Please pity the husband-man, he could use it!

As the week rolled on, I decided I was going to slap Easter in the face and make it wonderful and memorable and delicious even if it was -sigh- just the two of us.  I bought a feast and picked out a pretty Easter outfit and pretended to be happy when in fact I was still quite grumbly about it all.

There I was in church Easter morning in my pretty outfit with the menu all planned for the afternoon, and something began gnawing on me.  Church is so darn good at bringing out those feelings, the ones we call “convictions” in Christianese.  As the sermon progressed, it began to sink in that Easter is the epitome of joy, the one day where the entire foundation of my life is proved victorious.  He is risen! the church sang, and my heart began to rise with Him.

If ever there was a day to be truly joyful, it is Easter Sunday, my friends.  I was so self-centered and self-pitying that I had completely overlooked the reason we gather to celebrate: that my Savior conquered death for my sake and has risen to live among us.  My oh my did I feel small as I realized that those very selfish thoughts are the kind that remind me how needy I am, how desperate for the grace offered in Christ’s victory over the cross.

After all the sadness leading up to it, this Easter was good, dear readers.  We did feast.  We did enjoy sunshine and special desserts.  But above all we worshipped, full of true joy and admiration for a God who never gives up on the Grinches of the world. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Playing Catch-Up

Oops.  I did that thing again where I think of all these great post ideas and then go eat a sandwich or take a nap and never do anything about it.  So instead of working up the motivation to write a whole post about some mind-blowing theme, I'm just going to play a little game of catch-up with you!

First, I do want to share some fun financial news.  Fun is the only word that fully embodies the essence of finances, right?? Wrong.  But this one is pretty jolly: we have finally paid off all the interest on our loans!  So in essence, we are back where we started, which could be really depressing, but not for this gal!  From here on out, all we'll be doing is make progress, and that's pretty darn neat-o.  

Also, a small update about groceries because I told you I would. My savings for March were $83.42 and 29.8%, which is less than February, but we also spent $98 less on groceries overall plus I tried my hand at shopping at more than one store for the first time, so it obviously still counts in the win column.  

So I started a little countdown... 33 days of work left!  That sounds ridiculously do-able until I also tell you that it's 11 1/2 weeks, but I'm ignoring that part and focusing on the 33 thing.  About a month and a half from now, I'll be able to start looking for a new job and relive this and also this whole process over again.  Yippee.  But really, yippee!

What else?  I have been horrible to the dear H lately, I am sorry to say.  Last night, he said something along the lines of, "Why are you snapping at me like a gosh darned sea turtle?" and I sat for a good ten minutes thinking about it, and realized I just really wanted to fight.  Not with him, not at all.  But I wanted to give someone a good spank in the brain with my ferocious words, and he happened to be the only person close enough to practice on.  I took many deep breaths and re-calmed myself, and hopefully I learned that spouses do not make good practice targets.

In better news, I just got back from a wild spring break trip spent with my new baby niece, who is adorable beyond words.  I got sunburned twice and giggled like a schoolgirl about it, and also laid around and marveled at my niece who is so much better than your niece.  I am sorry about that part, but the truth hurts.  I may have cried after leaving her because my sister is one of the most important people in my life, and one of the most important people in her life will never really know me, and if that's not a cause for a good cry, I don't know what is.

Other than that, I spend my days on bended knee asking the good Lord in heaven above to please send some sunshine and maybe not so much rain?  And then to go ahead and send a massive heat wave while He's at it.

What have your recent days been filled with?

P.S.  I pretty much never take naps, so that beginning part was a lie.  Oops again.