Saturday, March 16, 2013

Day 23 {31 Days of Grace}: Grace in the spoken word...

It seems like so much longer than a day since I wrote this...
...and even longer since I spilled my story about Peter.

I had just pressed "publish" on my Day 22 post, when  this came through my email:

Did you read it? 

How about this part...
We all scream and holler and some of us throw things.  We pout and slam doors and I read books about Jesus instead of books about parenting because I am the chief sinner in this house and I need Jesus more than one more discipline technique.
And if I have more of Jesus, then the rest should fall into place, right?
Or this part...
Only Jesus can take a broken, ruined woman who tries to stuff in all the right words about the one right God-man and make her a little less broken.
Only He can fill in her soul holes and patch her cracks and soften her words. 

Or, THIS, this part?

But the truth is, I feel more like a woman with children than a mother.
That one? JUST. GOT. ME!

And I know - I KNOW - that this blog, and the woman who writes it so transparently - they are gifts!

These gifts? 
They come to me at just the right times! 

I started counting gifts a long, long time ago.  And then, for some reason, I stopped recording them.  I continued seeing them, realizing them, counting them, but by not writing them down, they don't seem to add up as fast.  AND, I can't share them.

So check out my gifts counted...I received a gratitude journal on my choir retreat last weekend and I have been very intentional about writing them down.

I've transferred them to the gifts tab of this blog so that I might share them with you.

On day 20, I started telling you how I just couldn't leave well enough alone.

Things were going pretty well for E and me; both working full time and paying off school loans; covering our living expenses all at the same time.

We still lived across the street from each other and could walk over to see the other anytime we wanted.
Even with my retail management schedule and his 40+ hours traditional schedule, we still managed to spend quite a bit of time together.

My lease was about to run out on my apartment and I had to find somewhere to go - and fast.
I was hoping that E planned to propose but I couldn't be sure.

There was that time a year or so earlier when he'd said he couldn't imagine life without me, but he didn't say the "M" word (marriage) much, if at all.

As it turns out, E had just lost one roommate, leaving one of the 3 bedrooms in his place open.
I knew it wasn't a good decision, but I decided to move back across the street and into that empty room at his place.

My parents had a cow - a big cow - that I could hear Moo-ing from an hour away!
I was relatively confident that E was going to propose; my Mom on the other hand, was not.  You know that saying about buying the cow when you can get the milk for free?
So she decided to take E to lunch one day and find out his intentions.
Even now, I know little about how this interaction went, but I can only imagine being in E's position.
Unfortunately, this was the start of a long road with him and my parents, but I'll get to that later.

I asked E a lot (and often) about getting married; didn't he want to? How long did he want to wait before we got married? How many kids did he want? and on and on and on...
I'm surprised he didn't dump me and run away screaming!

Not long after I moved into his place, we had a group beach trip planned for Memorial Day weekend.
Our third roommate (I'll call him Mick) had access to his parents beach house so it was a cheap trip too.

I had a sneaky suspicion that E was going to propose while we were there.

And here's where my big mouth gets me into trouble.
Mick was a bit hard to handle on more than one previous occasion. He had a big mouth and offended others easily, among other things.

He went down to the beach with me and E on the first night; he took one room and we took the other.
There were multiple beds in each room, but only two actual bedrooms.
Another couple joined us for the second and third nights. It was then, and only then, that Mick decided to bring up sleeping arrangements.
His idea was girls in one room, boys in the other.

Now, I had no problem sharing a room with other people, I just didn't want to be told that E couldn't be one of them.
I also thought it incredibly rude and immature to wait to bring this up until after E and I had shared a room/bed the first night. It should have been brought up in the other trip planning conversations that were had.  Mick knew all along, he'd be the 5th wheel; why would he wait to speak his mind about sleeping arrangements?

I wasn't trying to be rude, and I said more than once that I did not mind sharing a room with the other couple or with Mick. I just didn't want to be told I couldn't share a bed with E - especially since I thought he was going to propose. 

And he was, as it turns out;  WAS being the important word here.
My snappy comment back to Mick turned into a major conflict.  E told me "that's enough!" and I stormed out.
He did come after me, but that's when the conflict got worse.
I told him I thought it was a special weekend for us; it was our first "get-away" since we'd graduated college and entered the "real world."
In fact, earlier that evening E had asked me if I wanted to get up early and go watch the sun rise over the ocean.  We'd already set an alarm for 5 am before it all hit the fan with Mick.

I don't remember how our conflict on the beach ended, but when we got back everyone else was asleep - in the other room.
We went to bed, leaving the door to our room open in case anyone wanted to use the other bed.
When the alarm went off at 5 am, E said he just didn't feel like going to see the sunrise in light of the events of the previous night.

Somehow I made it through the rest of the weekend without brooding too much.
I couldn't help but think the whole thing could've been avoided if E had just told the other guys what was going on.
Instead of siding with me or trying to mediate, I got jumped on by Mick, E, and everyone else for my opposition to the sleeping arrangements.

Things were strained between me and E for a few days.
My Mom kept calling and she was acting she was expecting me to tell her some big news.  Only, my relationship with her was strained as well and I didn't really want to talk to her at all.

A few days after we'd returned from the beach, I got a call at work from E.
He asked if I wanted to go to the nearby lake and hiking trails to watch the sunset since our sunrise date had gotten ruined.

I said yes, of course, and the rest is history.

I do intend to share more about the actual proposal in my next post.  The story I tell tonight, however, is one that contains a lot of regrets for me and I believe was instrumental in me learning to tame my tongue and think before I speak.

I am still learning to speak grace and speak with grace to this day...


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