Day 45: Fakes, Phonies, Pharisees and Forgiveness

I believe that over the years I have become quite adept at hiding my hurts. I speak of forgiveness and of forgiving and of loving my enemies and the importance of it. I speak of it in such a way that people might think my superpower is the ability to have arrows bounce off my heart instead of penetrating deeply into my soul.

I don't know what you'd call that superpower. It should have a pretty cool name. I'll have to think of one.

But alas, I am a fake. I fear I am like the Pharisees, making a great show of my spiritual depth, but all the while I am like grass with no roots. The least little wind blows me away, scattering me in a hundred directions.

My friend, Doug Jackson said this, "The question we can ask is whether our own shows of spirituality, meant to fool the world, lead us to lie to our own hearts."

God is teaching me (always a painful and scary process) that making a show of forgiveness when deep hurt is still within me, might fool the world, but not Him. And it doesn't heal me. It hurts me, only driving the woundedness even further in. I have learned that breaking off the shaft of the arrow, while leaving the sharp, barberous tip deep within me creates an infectious wound in my soul.

All that to say, I, Carol Jones, am a grudge holder. Deny it as I might, it has become transparent and I can ignore it no longer. I must dig out the arrows, expose the wounds to the Light, and let them be healed once and for all.

Day 44: Layers Suck

Do you ever get tired of dealing with your junk (as in the emotional upheaval of your life junk?) I do. And my least favorite part is when you get to this place where you have fooled yourself into thinking you are okay, and then you see something, or hear something, or read something on Facebook and you realize you have, indeed, NOT dealt with your junk.

I have a good friend (I used to call her my mentor, but she told me to stop saying that because we are no longer teacher/student, but peers, equals, friends. . . I doubt that (the peers,equals part) but have told her I will work on it). ANYWAY, As I was saying, I have a good friend who tells me that God reveals our wounds to us in layers. And He lets us deal with those layers in quantities that we can handle. And when we have dealt with a layer of that woundedness and are in a good place, He peels back a new layer, so that we can heal from that.

What is hard for me is that I will go along feeling healed from a wound and then suddenly realize I am only healed from a layer. And then I know I have more work to do. But sometimes, I don't want to work.

All that to say, I know I will do the work. I'm just dreading the process.

Day 43: Life on the Beltway

I have been way too serious lately. In my writing at least. I used to go through the day amazed at the funny and bizarre things I saw people do. But lately it seems like I am totally focused on everything else. Even things that are funny, I somehow turn into serious.

So, here is my attempt at humor. This is my list of Top 10 Things I Have Seen People Do While Driving on the Beltway:

1. Picking their nose . . . with two hands
2. Putting on mascara and passing me . . . I was going 70.
3. Reading a newspaper
4. Riding with their top down in freezing weather
5. Changing 4 lanes without looking so as not to miss their exit that was closed
6. Honking like crazy at a car going too slow in the fast lane, only to realize the car they are honking at is a police car
7. Slamming on their brakes and almost killing people because they realize they are about to pass a police car
8. Stopping in the EZ Tag lane, right before the toll booth, because they don't have an EZ Tag and there is no way out of the EZ Tag lane (so yeah, let's just stop traffic . . . idiots)
9. Passing that long row of traffic cones that block off the EZ Tag lane, all the while KNOWING you don't have an EZ Tag (goes with number 8)
10. Driving straight through a "Pay" booth b/c you think it is an EZ tag booth

All that to say, my commute is quite funny most days. I shall make an attempt to notice the fun.

Day 42: Transition

I've been thinking a lot about my sons lately. I'm not totally sure what brought it on, but I have REALLY been thinking a lot about my sons. My prayer life is consumed by praying for them. My waking hours are spent thinking about them. I'm not troubled. That's not how my thoughts go.

Today I was thinking about who they were as little people, who they were as teenagers, who they were as college students, and who they will be as grown men.

When Zack was little, he was such a sweet, compliant little baby and toddler. He played well, slept well, ate well, never got sick. Then he turned two and became a little terror, so strong-willed, so high maintenance. As an older child, he became incredibly shy, a bit unsure of himself, and incredibly inquisitive. It was almost like he craved input about the life around him. He was a typical teenager in most ways, good ways. Each stage of his life was certainly a transitional stage. And now he is a grown up. And it feels like he is on the edge of the next stage of life. And that makes me wonder. Who will he become? When he was a child, he looked and acted a lot like us. When he grew older, went to college, he still had a lot of our characteristics, but I could see the influence of others as well. And now, as he is on the verge of this next step, I wonder how he will change. What kind of husband will he be? What kind of Dad? I know . . . I'm jumping the gun.

When Jacob was little, he had colic for 5 months. He was kind of frail, didn't eat well, didn't sleep well, spent a lot of time at the doctor. But then he turned two, and he became the happiest, most compliant little toddler. Everything was joy to him. I even recorded his laugh it was so precious. As an older child, he became insanely inquisitive. He even read encyclopedias for fun. He was always a bit shy, but such a great friend to all. Everyone liked Jacob. (I think that's still true). When he grew older, he, too, went to college, and others influenced him. I could still see pieces of us in him, but I saw how others had influenced him as well. And now, here he is, a college graduate, sitting on the edge of adulthood, just about to jump in with both feet. And I wonder the same things for him as I do for Zack.

Maybe all my wondering is normal. My friend, Kim, told me today that our kids look like the kids we raised, and then they go out into the world and the world affects them and changes them, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. They become "them" instead of miniature versions of us. That has to be a good thing.

I think I am also in transition. I, too, am sitting on the edge of a new stage of life.

All that to say, only God knows what the future holds. Thank God.

Day 41: If Only

We had a staff training day on Monday. We technically have one every Monday, so that in itself is not news. I am writing about the one we had this past Monday, though, because it was quite impactful. (Is impactful a word?)


This one was about being content.

No matter what the circumstance.

The phrase that was used to drive home the point was this, "If I only _____________ (you fill in the blank) then I would be happy (or content or satisfied, you choose the word)."

I said things like, "If I only had a permanent residence. THEN I would be happy." "If only my sons could both get jobs, THEN I would be happy."

It kind of became a joke throughout the day as I continued to hear people say, "If I only had 1 more hour in the day, THEN I would be happy." "If only my husband didn't annoy me, THEN I would be happy." "If only I could lose weight, THEN I would be happy."

But the reality is, none of that is true. We won't be happy. We won't be content. We won't be satisfied. There always seems to be that one elusive thing that keeps us from fulfillment. And even if we got that one elusive thing, another one would take its place.

That "thing" we are looking for isn't a "thing" at all. It is quite simply, Jesus.

All that to say, imagine if only we weren't so consumed with what we needed and wanted and just took inventory of what we already have?

Day 40: Mini Me

I am on a mini-vacation in a far away land for the next several days.

All that to say, there won't be a post for the next three days

Day 39: The Field Continued

So, here is the second picture of the field that I have seen.

The picture was of someone searching with a very deep sense of longing, a longing so deep and so covered up with hurt and disappointment that it would surely never be filled. As they walked through an almost barren field, there was sunlight so crisp and beautiful that illuminated an area of the field. And the person was drawn to the sunlight, even though the field itself appeared just as barren.

The picture (I believe) is of God, showing that He is there in the barrenness, the emptiness, the loneliness. I felt like He was saying that the deep longing will never be fulfilled by anything that the world has offered, not relationship, not employment, not worldly success or fame. And this unfulfilled longing has led the person in the field to this place of emptiness, this vast barren wasteland of emotion. And finally they can hear God say, “I AM what you are longing for.”

All that to say, don't know if that speaks to you.

Day 38: The Field

I mentioned yesterday that from time to time I have visions. I know how crazy that sounds to most people. Heck, it still sounds crazy to me, but it's true. It really does happen. I'm not psychic or anything like that. I really think that God speaks to me in pictures and words because I am a visual learner. It's how He gets my attention.

One of my recurring visions sometimes comes as a dream and sometimes it comes while wide awake, sitting in a meeting or driving down the road. This vision involves a field. The field is always dead or fallow or covered in snow. It is never green, teeming with life, beautiful. It is always a sad and lonely place.

Several months ago, I saw the field, covered with snow, and it felt bitterly cold, desolate, barren. I did not want to be in the field. But I saw a person in the field, and in the very far distance a tree. A live tree. A tree bathed in sunlight. Sunlight and hope. Sunlight and Peace. (I know how that sounds, I'm just telling you what I saw and felt.) The person walked through the snow, compelled to get to the warmth that light offered. Many times as he trudged across the field, he fell down, almost assuredly near death from the biting cold of the snow. Several times he laid motionless, seemingly resigned to lay there and die.

But finally, he made it to the circle of the light that surrounded the tree, walked over to the tree, sat down next to it and leaned his back against it's trunk, and closed his eyes and went to sleep.

I never knew what that vision meant, except that it was clear to me, and probably to you, that the sunlight and tree represented God and the field represented the world. And somehow, I derived comfort from this picture.

All that to say, I have more about the Field to share with you, but this is enough for now. It might take you a while to get past the notion that I am WHACK, or off my rocker. I have never shared this in such an open forum before and frankly, it feels a bit risky. So be gentle.

Day 37: Beautiful

Many years ago, probably 7 or 8 now, I stood at a Student Camp, on the front row, watching people worship God, and I had this overwhelming sense that something deep and incredible was missing in my life. But how could that be so? I was a Christ Follower. I had the golden ticket to heaven. What on earth could be missing? But deep inside me, I knew something was dreadfully wrong.

I had made a religion out of loving God. I was the best damn Christian that anyone could be. I memorized Scripture; went to Church, gave my money, led lost people to Jesus, righteously judged others, prayed from the list, went to Bible Study twice a week. I mean I had it GOING ON. But I was empty inside. Lonely. Longing for something I felt I would never have.

So standing at that camp, I said to God, "God,if what I know is all there is of you, then I'm going to have to take a pass, because I can't say my life is significantly different than all of the people I know in my life who DON'T know you. So if you are real, God, please show me who you really are. In some supernatural way, show me you."

And I felt as though God said to me, "Carol, I am to you, what YOU have made me out to be. Now let me show you who I AM." And at that moment I was overcome by a depth of despair that I have never known. And once filled with that despair, I felt a warmth come over me, and a deep sense of love . . . there really is no other word for it, a love that seemed to literally push out that despair.

Now a few other crazy things happened that night too. I say crazy because to my baptist upbringing, we didn't really talk about those things, at least not in a good way. :) I mean crazy things like I prayed out loud to God in a language I don't know. I had a vision of a word, just a word, a white word on a black screen, like a movie marquee. And that word gradually spelled itself out until it was a complete word. (I said crazy.) I don't even remember the word, which you would think I would considering how momentous this moment was in my life and to my subsequent journey with Christ.

I have since come to realize that although I knew Christ as my Savior for all those many years, I just never took the time to get to know Him in a deep and meaningful way. I modeled what I thought a Christian should look like, based on what I saw the people around me doing. And sadly, I showed it to the rest of the world, and it wasn't Christ at all. It was a distorted ugly picture of what we, the Church, have turned Christ into.

All that to say, I know that in those years of religion, I turned more people away from Christ than I turned toward Him. My hope is that in the years since, I have shown the beautiful Christ, the loving and sacrificing Christ that I have come to know intimately. I know I still don't get it right sometimes, but I hope that more often than not, what people see in me is the beautiful Jesus.

Day 36: Martha Me

I am doing a study of Martha and Mary with a group of women. After an evening together of discussing "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World" we all decided we were Marthas. Not really a significant revelation.

Some things I learned about Martha:
- Ummm, seriously type A
- Bit of a perfectionist
- Maybe not as much of a doer as we might have imagined, but definitely the one getting things organized
- Bossy and controlling
- Fallen way into the performance trap
- Doesn't really spend a lot of time wishing she was Mary
- Doesn't recognize her need to perform at all costs

Again, not a significant revelation here. But I did learn this. I have spent a lifetime thinking Martha was the "bad" sister and Mary was the "good" sister. Then I realized this profound thought. Mary had the spiritual gift of faith. Martha had the spiritual gift of service and most likely administration. They were each created to be the women they were created to be. Each had their strengths. Each had their weaknesses. Jesus didn't say to Martha, "Why can't you be more like Mary?" He said, "Mary has chosen the better part." Oh Carol, given the opportunity, will you choose work over worship?

All that to say, It's okay if I'm a Martha, created with the gifts I have. How I choose to use them, that's the determining factor in whether or not I am choosing the better part. Work over worship. Shouldn't be that hard, should it?

Day 35: The Marathon

Well, I officially missed my first day of blogging, but it was for a good reason! My family and I spent the weekend in Austin, Texas for the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon. Jacob was running the Half, and his organization, The Shoe Shed, was there collecting shoes for the homeless.

We caught up with Jacob at the halfway mark and cheered him on!

Watched him finish and get his t-shirt!

And then we spent the rest of the day collecting shoes for the homeless. Here is Zack with James, one of Austin's local homeless. He called Zack his shoe buddy.

All that to say, fun family weekend. Of course, we had some usual "Jones-type" bonding . . . :) But fun!

Day 34: 13.1

Tomorrow, after a brief 3 mile run, we will all load up in our car and head for Austin. We have two reasons for going there. One is because it is the Austin Marathon and Half Marathon weekend and Jacob is running in it. Two is because The Shoe Shed will be there collecting shoes for the homeless.

It will be a long fun weekend. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and post them.

All that to say, I'm excited and nervous for both Jacob and The Shoe Shed!

Day 33: Writer's Block

For as long as I can remember, at least as far back as before my kids were born, I have had people tell me that I should write a book. Over the years, the recommended topic of that book has changed, but the suggestion that I write one has continued.

At times, I confess, I have entertained the notion, but more often than not I say to myself, "What would I possibly write a book about?" Or "Who would listen to anything I have to say?" Or "Who am I to think that what I have to offer is of any value?"

Most recently the book topic that I am told I should write about is Volunteerism, for lack of a sexier word. I do believe that over the years I have cultivated a system of recruiting volunteers that works well, but for me it goes so much deeper. What I have come to realize over the years of working my "system" is that I don't need people to serve, people need to serve because they were created to do it. Seeing people find their calling, their place in life, and the fulfillment it brings them . . . THAT has been life changing for me.

But how does that translate into a book, and who would that help, and how does that reach the masses, and blah, blah, blah? All the questions I ask every single time someone suggests I write a book.

It's not that I don't enjoy writing. OBVIOUSLY I do because I blog everyday! So why does this thought of writing a book make my heart race and my breathing stop?

All that to say, I don't think I have writer's block, I think I have writer's panic.

Day 32: Unexpected

I was sitting in my office this afternoon, head down, door closed, fingers going ninety to nothing on my laptop when I heard a tap at my door. I looked up, thinking it was someone who wanted to interrupt my incredibly important productivity (sad, but true), said "Come in" in a most uninviting tone of voice, and then smiled to see that it was my oldest son, Zack.

What a great and unexpected surprise. I don't know why, but it just made me smile a bit and made my day seem a bit brighter. He didn't stay long, just popped in to say "hi" and then was out. But nonetheless, it was nice.

All that to say, I guess unexpected surprise is a redundant term. :) Maybe next time my unexpected surprise will come with a Sonic Sweet Tea in hand!

Day 31: Grown Up

Today is day 32 of my 365 blog. I'm finding it harder to blog everyday than I thought, often blogging late, late at night, or even in the wee hours of the next morning. It's not that I don't have anything to say, I just sometimes find it hard to say what I want. I don't mind telling you my personal junk, to an extent, but I want to be sure to shelter the people I love and not write about THEIR personal junk, when their junk and my junk intersect.

Truth is, I am struggling a bit as a wife and mother. My kids are grown, but they have both moved back home for a short time period. Personally, I love having them here because they talk to me. Mike, contrary to what many of you might believe, is not a talker when he comes home. He told me once that by the time he reaches home, he has used up his allotment of vocabulary for the day. Perhaps that is true.

Part of me doesn't love having them home again, because I still feel like "Mom" and therefore tend to want to mother them. I don't do their laundry, but find myself reminding them to DO their laundry. I don't clean their rooms or their bathroom, but find myself reminding them to DO those things as well. I can't imagine they enjoy being mothered any more than I enjoy mothering them. And Mike can't find the boundary line at all. You would truly think they are still teenagers the way he interacts with them. So I find myself constantly reminding him they are grown-ups, which makes him mad, and then I feel like I'm not respecting him. Ugh.

I don't know if you have grown up kids, or if you are one, but it is difficult to find the boundary line. When you have the same role as parents for 20 years, it suddenly becomes difficult to realize, remember, and ACT like your kids are grown-ups.

I am choosing to cherish these last few days, weeks, months that we will all live together as a family unit. We may never pass this way again. But as I say to Jacob all the time, there's a reason kid's grow up and leave home! God planned it that way on purpose.

All that to say, having grown up kids is really pretty amazing. God help us find the balance so we can enjoy it!

Day 30: Wet Weighs More

I joined a running club with my friend, Kim. I had been running, sort of on a regular basis, but I confess I did find it easy to skip. I always had a good excuse too. It was too cold, or too late, or too dark, or too early, or I was too full . . . you get the picture.

My son, Jacob, is a runner, and he has been excellent at making me get out, even when I gave him a list of excuses, and truthfully, I felt like I was progressing well. My goal was to be able to run a mile without dying, and he helped me accomplish that in 2 days!

But, back to my friend, Kim. Kim is a runner. She says she isn't, but she is. But she lacked motivation. She couldn't seem to MAKE herself get out there and run, so I suggested we join this running club.

Our first day was Saturday and we did a beginner's pace on a 3 mile walk/run. Beginner my booty! But I hung in and made it. Kim, however, did not even appear to be winded. (I can't remember, why is she my friend again? She's skinnier than I am, younger than I am, friendlier than I am . . . AND more athletic?) At the end of our time together, our coach gave us instructions to run rain or shine, heat or cold, on every assigned day.

Today was our first non-class, non-group run, but Kim and I decided to run it together as soon as we got off work. We suited up and just as we started to run, it started to sprinkle. Undaunted we continued to run and when we were about a half a mile out, it started to POUR. So we ran back that half a mile in rain so heavy and so cold we could hardly see in front of us!

All that to say, we got soaked, but we ran! And when I got home, I weighed my wet clothes. They weighed 25 POUNDS!!!! Wet weighs more. So from now on, I will weigh BEFORE I get in the shower. :)

Day 29: Poor Baby

We were at home, all ready for the Super Bowl to start! I was in the kitchen cooking up yummy Super Bowl snackage when all of a sudden this horrific yelp came from upstairs.

Mike flew up the stairs (I didn't know he could move that fast!) and as he reached the top of the steps, Jacob came out of his bedroom, white as a sheet, holding his screaming puppy, and saying, "His leg is broken, his leg is broken!"

From there, chaos insued. Now, I'd like to say for the record, I'm fairly good in a panic situation, but not everyone is. It's not a character flaw, just the way some of us are wired. I'm usually really calm, but meltdown later when it's safe. Mike just melts down immediately. :)

So Jacob gets down the stairs and over the screaming puppy I am saying, "What happened?" Keep in mind the puppy is SCREAMING so my voice is loud. Mike is frantically looking all over for keys to the car as I am saying, "Take him up to the Animal Hospital, it's just right up the street." (Again, keep in mind that I am saying this loudly as the puppy is screaming . . . loudly, but calmly) Mike starts yelling, "Where are the keys? Where are the keys?" (He's not calm) I, with sausage cheese ball mixture all over my hands, begin to help him look for the keys, when all of a sudden I have an epiphany. "Mike, you drove last. You had the keys!"

Mike yells, "I DON'T have the keys. It's your car!" I yell back, "You drove last!" Finally, someone, I think it was Zack said, "Check your pockets Dad." Sure enough, there were the missing keys!

Poor Sawyer has a broken foot. Every bone in his foot to be exact.

All that to say, poor baby.

Day 28: Moses

I am reading the One Year Bible, along with hundreds of other people in our church. Our Pastor challenged us all to "meet God daily in His Word." His purpose in asking us to do this wasn't so we could become SUPERCHRISTIANS, able to check a box on our spiritual scorecard each day. It was so we could grow closer to God, understanding Him more because we have read His journal, loving Him more because we have read His thoughts, and joys, and disappointments.

So, I chose to read the Chronological version of the One Year Bible, though I was warned that in this format it can be a little "dry." For the past few days, I have been reading about the life of Moses, his battle against the evil Pharaoh, and his traveling with the people in the wilderness.

Today, (the reading was Exodus 16:1-19:25) I read that after the Israelites had been in the wilderness for 40 years, Moses' father-in-law brought Moses' wife and family to him. Hold the bus! Moses was without his family for 40+ years while he was doing all this work God had called him to? Am I reading this right?

So I went back and re-read this. If this version I am reading is Chronological, and all the "let my people go" and "talking to God on the Mountain" and "Manna" and "traveling in the wilderness" days happened first, then that must mean Moses' family was returned to him after that.

All that to say, I don't even know what to think about that. Someone help me out here, is that for real? Is that really the chronological order of things? And if it is, I have a lot of other questions.

Day 27: Butt, Seriously?

I need to say something, just because it is eating away at me. (Well, I wish it was eating away at me!) I did P90X faithfully, 5 days a week for almost 7 full months. In the beginning, I lost a lot of inches but gained 8 pounds. Everyone gave me the same old thing about muscle weighing more than fat. Whatever.

At the end of that 7 months, I did lose the weight . . . the 8 pounds that I put on in the beginning. That's all! Seriously, I did not lose one pound! But, then I decided that maybe my eating needed to change as well . . . I know, brilliant idea, right?

So now I am eating right, three meals a day, not a lot of snacking, and if I do snack, I eat something like an apple or a banana or prunes (yes prunes, so yummy!) I have cut back to one cup of coffee a day. No cokes AT ALL. So the pounds should be falling off of me, right?

Oh, and also, I am running. Okay, it's technically more like walking with an occasional jog, but nonetheless, I am exercising.

So, to recap, I worked out for 7 months, started eating right, am now running and guess how much weight I have lost! NONE! I could give up. But I think that's what my fat cells are hoping for. It's like they got together (in my butt cheeks judging from the size) and said, "Look, this girl obviously is trying to get rid of us, so we're going to have to really dig in and hang on tight."

All that to say, WHY is my body resisting good health so hard? It's just not fair!!!! I know I'm over forty and my metabolism has slowed. But seriously? Or maybe I should say, "Butt, seriously?"

Day 26: Diamonds and Stones

Some days are just not easy.

All that to say, some days are diamonds. Some days are stones.

Day 25: More on Lost

I had a funny conversation with a guy today about Lost. I was telling him about how I have forgotten a few details of the early episodes because I was on drugs at the time. He commented to me that he was pretty sure being on drugs would actually help the show make even more sense.

As we talked about the show, I started laughing because it really is bizarre. Polar bears on a tropical island, and in the desert? A smoke monster that hides in the closet and also tears people limb from limb? Dead people talking to some, appearing to others? Those are just a few of the highlights!

In fact, the show is so bizarre that I have copied and pasted an excerpt from a facebook dialogue about Lost:

JAMES: Esau now lives in Loc's body, and Jacob now lives in Sayid's body. The flashes of light are splits in space and time that don't just transport people but actually "split" the person, creating "two" people... hence the headaches and nosebleeds. That's why we see so many "dead" people on the island. The bomb worked an...d the magnet shifted the poles melting the polar ice-caps that's why the statue is now under water.

JAMES: The last episode of last season left us with two guys on the island many many years ago, symbols of good and evil. Thats Jacob and Esau. Jacob visited Hurley and told him how to save Sayid. He had just been killed by Benjamin, and saw an opportunity to keep himself alive in Sayid (the same way Esau did when Ben killed Loc.) The whole polar Ice-cap melting thing is just my theory.

WADE: Wrong! Wrong! Wrong, James! Clearly the explanation of it all is Apes! Jack will leave the temple, head down the beach and find the head of the Statue of Liberty. Then Marky Mark will talk to animals.

Yes, it clearly all makes sense now.

All that to say, I don't know why I watch this show. However, it does have some interesting parallels to the Gospel. Doubt me? Read The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay.

Day 24: Lost, the Final Season

I confess. I'm an addict. I'm addicted to Lost, and I'm so disappointed that this is the last season. Never has a show been so weird, with so many unlikely plot twists, and never have I loved one as much.

I started watching Lost two years ago. I know, you serious Lost fans will say, "But hasn't the show been on for 6 years?" But I was not interested in the beginning. It was too far-fetched. But two years ago, I broke my arm, severely. I was laid up for two solid weeks. On drugs. Significant amounts of drugs. The pain was horrible.

For those of you who know me well, you can imagine what two weeks of lying around would have been like for me. I don't do "still." So my son Zack suggested I watch Lost. He said, "Mom, you've got two weeks to catch up on the last three seasons!" So he brought over his dvd collection and I started watching it. I have to tell you, I was hooked. (Maybe the vicodin helped, I don't know . . .)

And tonight, the last season begins. I don't think I have been this excited and this sad since the last season of M*A*S*H. (Yes, I'm that old!)

All that to say, don't call me tonight. I will be watching TV.

Day 23: Happy Anniversary

February 1st marks the 29th anniversary of my first date with the man that I would someday marry. As first dates go, it was unusual. Unusual for many reasons, which I will not share with you. But I remember when I told my friends that I had a date with Mike Jones they said, "THE Mike Jones?"

Mike had a bit of a bad boy reputation, which is pretty funny to anyone who knows him now.

Our first date happened in a bowling alley. Well, it started in a bowling alley. I had a bowling class (at LSU) and we were having a tournament that night. So I told Mike that I would go out with him, but he had to come and watch me bowl first.

The bowling alley at LSU is (or was) in the middle of the student union, so it was a bit crowded in there that night, and many of our mutual friends were hanging out. Mike quickly found his friends and they soon struck up a conversation about me (so I learned later). He bet his friends that he could get a date with that cute brunette on lane 3. They took his bet and he walked over to me, made small talk, asked me to write my phone number on his hand (which seemed crazy to me, but I did it) and then he walked back over to his friends and told them he had my phone number and a date immediately following the class. Then he proceeded to collect his winnings. (I never knew this story until we had been together a long, long time!)

He told me that night that there was something special about me. (I quickly recognized it as a "line") But three dates later in as many nights, he told me that I was the woman that he was going to marry. And he was right.

All that to say, I am grateful that he chose me. Happy Anniversary.