Thursday, February 11, 2010

No ifs ands or...

There are numerous traits about my mother that, were I granted skybox seats to my creation, I would have wholeheartedly picked out and thrown into my gene pool. However. It seems that quite the opposite has happened and my input was neither requested or even considered. So while the most wonderful woman on the planet I know, with an overwhelming amount of gifts and talents, gave birth to me, the thing I have most seemed to have inherited is a little something we have all come to know and love as the "The non-joke joke". This syndrome makes itself known in various forms at various times. It is commonly seen in already awkward or tense situations and almost always exacerbates spectators to the point of utter confusion. To spare using an example from my predecessor, I relay the following personal events:

A patient calls the dental office in extreme pain and I begin taking the necessary steps to procure an emergency exam for this caller. Looking at the schedule, I professionally and calmly explain what times we have available for the Dr. to alleviate their pain. The patient examines their own calendar and we both agree that a 2:30 appointment would work best for both parties involved. Within seconds, and before I am able to stop myself from what I know is a classic Andrea "non-joke joke"
I am already snickering under my breath "Two appropriate!" To which there is silence. To which I press on. "GET IT?"
To which the incoming patient replys "no."
To which I have to sheepishly explain. "Your tooth hurts...get it...tooth hurty...2:30."

Negative 20 points as empathetic receptionist.

Yet another example occurred this past weekend while sitting in the office at church with my betrothed. A previous co-worker of his walked in and began her congratulations on our recent engagement. I smiled and calmly accepted her well-wishes in a very elegant and demure manner. All was well until she smiled and exclaimed, "You have such a glow about you!" To which I responded with an over energetic, "NOT A PREGNANT GLOW THOUGH I HOPE-HAHAHAHAH.ha." The church receptionist stopped her typing. His former co-worker cocked her head. His eyes never looked so big.

Negative 50 points as the future "youth pastor's wife"

Take also for example, what we later dubbed the "occurrence" whilst milling with the aforementioned fiance, his new boss, and Covenant Harbor's camp director. We had just finished watching an evening devotion, when the director himself extended the generous invitation to spend further time on the grounds and attend more sessions. His boss wholeheartedly agreed with this idea and extended the same offer. Before my be-loved could humbly accept I was struck yet again, this time blurting out in the highest severity level of "non-joke jokes" syndrome "Oh, no thank you. It wasn't very good tonight."

Negative 75 points as graceful socialite.


I would like to think this is one of those things that gets better with age. But from what I have witnessed first hand from my "mentor" in this arena...the episodes will only increase in their severity with the coming years. The truth of it is, while at first glance I would probably choose her gifts of organization, domestic genius, and culinary flare over this exclamatory the end of the day, I'm just glad to have any portion of my mom in me. "non-joke joke" telling and all.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Catching up.

This past summer I had the opportunity to climb a hill...a 13,820 ft. hill to be exact. A hill that I would later discover was one of the highest known peaks in the state of Colorado. I signed up for this excursion because it was a Father/Daughter trip and also because it seemed like an adventurous idea at the time. At 2:00 in the morning however, after an already grueling climb to base camp, a meal in a bag, freezing temperatures, and no sleep, I began to second guess my decision making skills.

I remember each pain staking step as we climbed our way up and out of the forest early that morning, leaving the comfort of tents and sleeping bags behind. Once we were out of the clearing I kept my headlamp fixed on the rocky ground in front of me so as not to slip and fall in the darkness. We wanted to make the summit by sunrise but knew all too well the long hours ahead before daylight. As the first hour passed, fatigue settled in. It was windy and cold and every step looked exactly the same. I began to get discouraged.

It wasn't until we took our first water break that something changed and God taught me a lesson not just about mountains, but about our heaven bound journey in life. For the first time in the darkness, I looked up towards the summit and saw the headlights of those further on up the face, bobbing steadily and slowly towards the peak. Down below me was the same sight-a steady stream of travelers, only they were looking up at us us.

What encouragement there is in this! That in our Christian walk which so often can seem like a foot by foot crawl, that we have the wisdom and encouragement from those are much further on. While at the same time, there will always be others that have just met Christ and will be looking to us for that same guidance and hope. This is discipleship at its best and it is what makes the journey not just exciting, but climbable! Keep pressing on in your walk with Him and remember to look up, look out, and be encouraged that we are surrounded by a "great cloud of witnesses!"