Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My Anchor

I used to consider myself a calm person. I must have been 11 or 12 because I was pretty naive and unaware of myself. At the time, I knew I had a temper, but I also did my best to keep it at bay. Looking back, I lied to myself quite frequently about my personality. I had my long stretches of calm from time to time, but in a most irregular pattern, my emotions come back up. I try to be calm in the storm; I try to be faithful and trusting that God is in control.
I can go on for days, weeks, and even months when everything just seems to be smooth sailing. I get just enough wind to fill my sails and press forward. When the wind dies, I go down to the oars and get to work. During a storm, I guess I'm no longer as sure about my best course of action. There are times that I wish I could bring in the sails and hunker down below deck. It seems that as an adult, I feel more and more the need to put on my best rain gear and stay on deck through it all. I hope while I'm at the helm steering my life through the storm that Christ, my captain and chief, will guide me.
There are days that I just love my job. I feel like I've helped somebody move forward with their life or their business. I feel like I've brightened somebody's day. These days are awesome days. They're the days that make all the work worthwhile.
Then there are days that started with the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday right at the end of my shift a call came in and I had less than ten minutes left on the phones. Both nights it was a call that extended further out than I wanted it to. I just wanted to go home to my waiting wife. Frustrating, but livable situations. I'll deal with that just fine. I get off and it's over.
Those two final, extra long calls are followed by last night:
"I'm so sorry you couldn't do what I thought you would be able to do"
"I don't know why I wasted my time or anyone else's time with this"
"You sound just like every other jerk that works at [business's name]"
The last one was my last call last night. I've never been so frustrated, mad, or upset at this job. When the gentleman launched into that rant, I just hung up on him. My job is to smooth out transactions and, when necessary, make decisions on cases. I'm not the complaint department nor am I paid to sit and listen while you complain about this and that.
There were a couple of calls last night that pushed me to the brink of screaming back at these people, "WHY DON'T YOU GROW UP AND READ THE USER AGREEMENT?!?!" "I KNOW LIFE ISN'T FAIR, YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT!!"

I was at wits' end last night. My job requires professionalism and efficiency. When I reached my breaking point I saw that I wouldn't be able to complete my job the way it needs to be done. I shouldn't pass forward any upset emotion or anger from the previous caller, but I was to the point that I knew I would. So I logged out, clocked out, and walked to my car. My emotions were getting the best of me, but I wouldn't let them get the best of me while talking to somebody else.
Last night, I was reminded just how passionate I can be, how full of emotion I can be. These emotions make me human and remind me that I'm alive. At the same time, these emotions can get me to run my ship aground. Or bury my head in a sack of flour in the hold. Or run around like a chicken that is missing it's head. The situation is going to require more and more than I maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel, even in the face of a monstrous wave.

My anchor is Christ. He made it through when other, lesser men would have given in. Christ being my anchor, and a firm and true anchor He is, I don't want a small rope to attach Him to me. In fact, I want a chain. I want a heavy, tempered stainless steel chain. Nothing wimpy or sissy about it. And I like to think of the links in the chain as being people and spiritual experiences in my life.
As I fought through the storm of emotion that followed me last night, my wife was my first link. Closest to me and strong. She is the love of my life. I love her more every day. She's my biggest fan and my best friend.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Musings on Marriage

My wife has written a few words regarding married life and of late she has encouraged me to do the same. Many thoughts encircle my mind regarding marriage. I'll but, share a few of them now.
Primarily, I have noticed an immensely increased amount of love and happiness in my life. Once upon a time I thought that I'd be happy as a married man. That thought has matured into so much more than I imagined. I knew I loved my wife before we were actually married. I loved her dearly. A day away from her was often brutal on my emotions; that's saying nothing about being away for several days. Now, while we spend much of our days apart, I happily come home to see her lovely face. I love this woman enough that I do things I hadn't considered before.
Perhaps the biggest sign of more love in my life is around our little home. My days off are in the middle of the week while she is at school. We have the option of cable TV in our home, but haven't used it beyond general conference a month ago which indicates that I have not reverted back to watching TV all day. Instead, I pop in a movie and clean house. Depending on our dinner plans, sometimes I'll even have that ready so that when she comes home we can have a good meal together.
I'm more open with my wife than any other person on earth. We subjects that I didn't often discuss with other people. There are times that I'll tap into her knowledge of medicine (she's a CNA and now studying to be a COTA).
Today, I wrote her a letter and taped it to the light switches so that she'll find it when she comes home. I thought I knew what love was like. Most of what I knew was infatuation or puppy-love. Sometimes it might have been twitterpation. This is so much more.
We made a collage and taped it under our living room table (it has a glass surface). If you were to see it, you'd see pictures of our adventures over the last year. We're BFFs, for real and really forever