Friday, July 25, 2008

I need ideas, people!

So, I've been seriously thinking about the advantages of writing an LDS novel. I've always been rather opposed to the idea for several reasons, but now I think it might be a good idea. And the reason I think that is because I see how the LDS books get checked out at the library. I know, because I'm always putting them away and all they all are marked on the spine. They are very popular here.

I think there is a definite audience in the LDS populace, especially in Utah. A lot of the LDS books are romances, which I'm not not willing to write, but a lot are in other genres as well. So, here is a question for everyone.

What sort of LDS book should I write?

I keep toying with the idea, but I don't seem to get any real story concepts. . . . Please feed me some ideas about what kind of LDS novel you, yourself, would enjoy. Yes, I would appreciate that. Thanks.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"We are the champions, my friends. And we'll keep on fighting to the end!"

I went to see my doctor yesterday, and it was a great appointment! I don't know if any of my readers know about A1C (I don't know much about it myself!) but it is basically a percentage of blood sugar levels over the past two months. A healthy person without diabetes will generally have an A1C of 5% and a diabetic strives to maintain about a 6%. When I last saw Dr. Day in February, mine was at 14%, which is highly dangerous. But when I went back yesterday, I had dropped my A1C to 5.5%!

The nurses and the doctor were all very excited and so was I! They said they don't normally see any patients who are managing their blood sugar so well. And the doctor suggested a change in my meds that should help me to not have low blood sugar problems anymore.

It was awesome to have people applauding me for an achievement that has been so difficult for me. I have struggled so much to get this thing under control and I am really succeeding! It is the best feeling, as if all the months since my diagnosis are now completely worth the miseries. The doctor even congratulated me on my small weight loss, which made me feel good.

Now I feel like I can face the rest of my life with this disease. Yay!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sharing the Hobbit Hole

Last weekend, we had Paul's brother and his wife staying with us for two nights. Their names are Craig and Jenny, and they were up in Provo to attend a medieval wedding. They were decked out in Wal-mart halloween costumes from another year, which was really funny.

But the thing is, they called us on Friday morning when they were in Vegas to "remind" us that they were on their way and would be here in the evening. I say "remind" because Paul had known for several days that they were coming and had never told me. Of course, the house was a black hole of clutter and dirty laundry and who-knows-what-else and I had to go to work almost up until the time they would be arriving. I was furious at Paul and vowed in the future to tell everyone in his family that they have to come to ME whenever they're going to visit. Paul said he just forgot to tell me. Ha!

So Paul promised to pick up the house while I was at work since he wasn't working that day. He would make it presentable, he said. Naturally, he barely did anything and when I got home we had to have this mad rush of sweeping and vacuuming and stacking dirty dishes in the most aesthetically pleasing way possible. And then our guests arrived.

When they came down the stairs into the basement, Craig said, "You live in a Hobbit hole!" Because he's two inches taller than Paul, the low ceiling was almost brushing against the top of his head. And the place always seems to tiny when there are people other than just Paul and me. In our living room, we pushed back our couch and moved a bookcase and their air mattress still had to be crammed into the small space we could provide. It did fit, although it took up the entire room.

Despite everything, it was really fun sharing our Hobbit hole. We had dinner with Craig and Jenny and our dear friends the Camera's across the street. After watching their beautiful and hilarious sixteen-month-old, Calista, Craig said, "Now I want a girl!" His wife Jenny is about a month from having her own baby, although they're almost certain it is a boy.

The next night we watched a movie and then stayed up very late talking. Well, Jenny and I were talking. Paul was helping Craig beat an original Nintendo game called Shadowgate. Craig had seen his brothers beat it when he was little, but had never been able to beat it himself. Now that the opportunity was presented to him, he was absolutely determined to beat it before he would go to bed. He did, too, after 1:00 am. (And they left before 6:30. . .)

Well, now we have the Hobbit hole back to ourselves again. It never seems so small when it's just us.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Glorious quiet.

So, today I embarked on a marvelous and life-threatening adventure: I organized all my papers that have accumulated since I got married! Ah, what a brazen thing to do. I was attacked by the viscious school papers of two semesters and ambushed by random writings that were hardly readable. But rest assured, my dear friends. I came out of those encounters alive, if barely. I am currently bracing myself against the horrors I am sure lurk in my fridge. . . It's been a bit too long since I cleaned in there and you just never know what you're going to find on an expedition into the nethermost corners of the fridge!

Seriously, though, I feel like I'm starting to wake up from some kind of deep sleep. What do you call it? A trance? Pretty much I stopped doing EVERYTHING and my gears have finally started moving again. I looked around my house and saw the sad effects of doing NOTHING and got right to work. It's miraculous how fast a tiny basement apartment can become clean when someone actually cleans it! Amazing, I know.

When I was organizing, I came across a journal I kept for a hiking class my freshman year in college. I was required to go on three hikes a week for the class and record things that I saw and noticed. Since I didn't have a car, I took all my hikes with my friend Eryn right around the campus. After almost every hike, I got out my notebook. And what a cherished little notebook it is! When I first started, I was a little mundane with my entries, but over time I got more comfortable and started writing long entries about what I was thinking about as I walked. One of my favorite entries talks about walking in the snow. Here it is for you:

Date: February 1, 2005

Location: Buena Vista [Virginia]

Time: 2:00-2:50

Distance: ??

Weather: Very cold and snowy. There were at least six or eight inches of snow on the ground.

Othere hikers: Are you kidding? Who else would be crazy enough to be out in weather like that?

Interesting sights: The sidewalks hadn't been scraped, so it was one hard little walk. Eryn and I normally do it in 25 minutes! With all the truding and sliding, it took twice that time. The snow was coming down steadily at that time, piling up on our hoods. Aside from the sound of cars, the snow brings with it a glorious quiet, a testament that God is real. It amazes me that people can walk out into a snow storm and not know. The tiny crystaline flakes embrace warm skin and melt. The world is a swirl of white. My heart cries out, "Take me away! Take me away!" I want to get lost in an eternity of white. Spring can wait.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

An empty kitchen. Filled!

Well, the long long silence from my blog is about to be broken! I really wasn't trying to lose all of my readership. I have had other things on my mind and that is the best excuse I can give. But I promise to re-establish my blogging habit from this point on.

I've changed.

This might all sound weird and without a lot of background about all that has been happening, I hope it somehow still makes sense. Paul and I have had the several times in the past months when our kitchen was almost empty and when I reflected on this yesterday, I had a sort of comprehension come to me about life.

I realized that I had become an empty kitchen. Since February, I have gradually lost almost all of my dreams. Almost all the ideas that I had for the way I wanted my life to be were methodically stripped away from me. (Of course, thank the Lord for Paul. He's the only dream I've managed to hold onto!) But suddenly I could see that my plans for myself were simply not going to happen and not the way that I wanted.

This was hard.

I had become just like my kitchen. But when I was empty inside, something strange began to happen. I had a beautiful dream that showed me something wonderful in my future. It was not the future I had been planning, but it was wonderful. Clearly my plans had been wrong. I was also called as a relief society teacher, which was intimidating because I had never taught a lesson in my life. But as soon as I began preparing my first lesson, I could feel the power of God in my life. I felt that my emptiness was being replaced by something better than what had been there before. Suddenly I knew that I have great capacity to be a teacher and that I have not realized it until now.


People have been saying it to me for years when they heard that I was an English major, but I never once really considered going into teaching. Who wants to put up with snotty kids? But I knew without a doubt all at once that this was what I was meant to do. I was meant to be a teacher.

Talk about a change in plans! I have always focused on Paul's education and his career and suddenly I'm gearing up for my own. I'm nervous, but very excited about my new course. I'm going to be a professor in English!

So my understanding yesterday was this: I was an empty kitchen. I had given up all of my ideas of what my life was supposed to be like until I was completely empty inside. Then the Lord said, "Good! Finally I can fill you with what I want you to have."

Matthew 16: 25 says, "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." I've always thought losing your life for Christ meant being martyered, but now I see that what it really means is emptying your entire kitchen and allowing Christ to refill it. Then you will find a life full of so much more meaning and purpose as you become an instrument in his hands!