Hello world. It’s high time I break what may have been the longest silence since I launched this blog in 2008.
There’s a great deal that I haven’t been writing about. I currently have unpublished post drafts about presidential debates, Komen and Planned Parenthood, Christianity and liberal welfare, and the St. Charles County (MO) caucus chaos. Besides all that, I’ve been drafting posts in my mind on countless other topics involving politics, faith, personal life, relationships…you name it.
I think I’m struggling with blog potential overload. I’ve been more active and informed in this election than ever before. (Granted, it’s only the second presidential election since I hit voting age.) I even applied to run as a delegate to the Republican State Convention in Indianapolis. They rejected me because I’ve never voted in the state of Indiana yet. I suspect it was because they somehow knew I wasn’t a Romney supporter, but that may be the conspiracy theorist in me.
My father-in-law subscribed us to the Wall Street Journal. I know he did it hoping that Michael would read the paper and become more savvy about business, finances and politics. What he doesn’t realize is that his son swore off reading for fun in sixth grade when the Accelerated Reader program made it a chore. He’ll have to settle for me reading the paper and giving Michael my unsolicited, highly editorialized cliff notes. Michael has been trying the ignorance is bliss approach to politics because he’s busy enough managing our own own day-to-day life. But the Wall Street Journal has drawn me in. I’ve never been a big newspaper fan (even when I worked for one) until now. The problem is it’s so long. I wish I could read every article, think and digest it, further research the stories that really interest me, and blog about them. But there’s so much. And there’s a new one every day. It’s really a problem.
Besides the election and the Wall Street Journal giving me a head full of political and economic thoughts, I’ve re-ignited my pro-life activism. For a while, I spent too much time simply writing about being pro-life and not enough time doing anything about it. This January, I was privileged to once again help chaperone my high school’s trip to the March for Life in D.C., and I’m considering leading my own group next year. I joined up with Lake County Right to Life for the local 40 Days for Life campaign during Lent and have been applying for jobs and volunteer opportunities with them and local women’s care centers. I’ve been brainstorming and meeting with my pastor about how to get our church more actively involved in local pro-life efforts. I’ve found myself busy with more doing and less writing. And when I could write, I’ve been reading and researching instead, gathering as many sources as possible and often deciding they’ve already said it just as well as I could.
Church involvement has kept me busy too. I teach high school Sunday School and help plan/lead/chaperone as many youth events as possible. Michael and I love our young adult Bible study that meets every Monday. Occasionally, I lead a session or two of the Bible study. I’m also participating in a servant leaders training and mentoring program with one of our DCEs. I’m helping however I can with the preparation for Awestruck Experience, an awesome week of community service culminating with a Christian music festival that we are hosting in Crown Point this July. Michael sometimes plays guitar or runs the soundboard for contemporary worship. I am the coordinator for Mediashout (the projector slides for the contemporary service), and sometimes am the one running it during the services. I’ve been trained for the altar guild (setting up and cleaning up the Communion materials), but they have yet to schedule me to do it. Whenever they call me, I substitute teach for Trinity’s elementary school.
Michael has transitioned from shift work at the mill to a regular weekday schedule. We dreamed this would give us more time, but we actually feel like we have less time now. Before, his time off usually fell on unusual days or at unusual times, so it was hard to plan things with other people. That meant his time off was almost exclusively spent with me. Now he has the blessing of being available when everyone else is: evenings and weekends. Accordingly, we’ve booked all our evenings and weekends hanging out with friends, going to activities, doing stuff for church, and looking for a new place to live. We want to rent a house or duplex closer to church and friends. Picking a church 45 minutes from our house has proved inconvenient, not to mention costly on gas. So we spend a lot of time on Craigslist and aimlessly driving around searching for For Rent signs.
On the personal front, I had some medical issues and family things to deal with. Also, in February, my uncle died at the early age of 55. He unknowingly supplied the title for his funeral message with a saying he shared often in the hospital: “I could laugh or I could cry. I choose to laugh.” Even though my family is strengthened by our Christian faith and the sure knowledge that we’ll see Mark again in heaven, it has been and is a difficult ordeal. Letting go and moving on is never easy for the ones left behind.
In happier news, Michael and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary in March. I don’t feel old enough to move past the newlywed phase. But our marriage is so comfortable and normal, it’s strange to think that life was ever different than this. Someone told me, “They say the first year is the hardest. Congratulations on making it.” Ha ha. Well, I guess it was hard in the way that every new phase of life is hard. We build it up in our minds as some utopian fairytale. And then it turns out it’s real life, after all. There are days when you’re giddy with happiness and days when you’re ticked off and days when you’re just plain tired. But I seriously doubt the first year is the hardest.
And in some ways, the utopian fairytale is true. Michael and I are always marveling at how compatible and like-minded we are. Of course we disagree, but we almost never really fight. Being married to my best friend means that every day is like a slumber party — there are just several annoying interruptions like work and bills and dirty dishes. But it’s all part of the adventure. A grand adventure of living not only with, but for, someone else. I love serving him and being served by him. I love laughing at stupid things that other people don’t understand. I love working through the tough stuff together. Yep, marriage is pretty great.
In sum, life happened and is happening. And my blog has fallen by the wayside. Part of me is OK with that. Except that I do love to write. And some people seem to like reading it. I’m not hanging up my blogger hat just yet.