Monday, March 29, 2010

This is what happens when I start to think...

I mentioned a few blogs ago that I was reading a Beth Moore book. It is her latest and the only one I have ever read, titled “So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us”. So far, I have really enjoyed this book. I have read others that are similar to Beth’s, but where those books just brush over the topic of being insecure, this one tears it apart!
I truly believe that being insecure is one of my biggest areas of weakness. I also think that this is an area where most women struggle. Show me any women and I will show you someone who battles with persistent insecurities. It is almost like it is in our DNA to have some form of insecurities.

In Beth’s book she has uncovered some things that I have never thought of before, or she has hit the nail right on the head. I began reading her book and thinking to myself, “Holy cats! I am not the only one who thinks that!!??? So I am not just making a huge deal out of nothing??!!” Or, “Thank you Jesus! I am not crazy!” After reading just a few short chapters of her book it became very clear that she was writing about feelings and situations that I myself felt or could have experienced just last week or even yesterday!
I sat down with Colin the other night and told him that I was going to write about what I had been reading and I told him the details. Not sure if he really wanted to hear all about them, but he got a magnum load of it anyway. He’s a good listener.

Early on in this book Beth wrote this sentence “We naturally despise people whose company we are forced to share if we feel largely threatened by them.” This is the part in the book where a light went on, not that it has never gone on before, but now right there in front of me in black and off white is a description of how I act sometimes. Hang with me here while I try and dig myself out of this mess and explain my conclusion.
Back to talking with Colin. I read him that same sentence and then told him what I thought it meant in my own life. Say we go to party, birthday get together, BBQ with some friends, or any place where there is a group of people. Naturally for me I am already feeling uneasy about going. It has ALWAYS been this way for me because I am already nervous about what situations might arise. That feeling of uneasiness I think stems back to some really bad relationships where I was “left out” or just ignored in the company of other people, women especially! Never in all the time that I have known Colin has he ever made me feel this way. Just wanted to point that out. He is a great man! Ok, back on track. So we make it to the event. My first reaction is to scan the room to find out what I am up against. At this point I feel like I am 12 again and way out of my league. I try and stay glued to Colin because if “she” is there then I want to be with him if she comes over and talks to him. Do you think I am crazy yet? No? Well it gets worse. So I find “her”. If you haven’t figured it out I feel the most insecure when around other women. There is no one specific thing that makes me feel threatened by this person. It could be that she is super cute, or dresses better then I do, or is way too beautiful to be around, or she could be just a very loud, or has to be the first one to hug every guy in the room, or dresses a little bit too sleazy for my liking. But whatever it is that triggers my craziness, the moment it happens and I see her, the claws come out but stay safely tucked away in my pockets. I try and remain calm. Well I give it an honest effort. I try and play nice. I try and not let ridiculous thoughts run through my brain. Thoughts like, “Crap! Colin is going to see her and think that she looks better than I do.” Or “DANG IT!! If Colin starts to talk to her, he is going to leave me and spend the whole night enjoying her company.” Again, this is stuff that Colin has never done to me nor will he ever, but stuff that has been done to me in my past. Once Satan gets into my head like that, I pretty much need to go home. My smile then becomes forced and my attitude stinks! This all can happen even with out any interaction between the person I feel threatened by. But if she does make her way to us and then hones in on Colin and doesn’t even see me…I see red! My blood boils. Instead of just saying Hi or saying anything, I become 16 and all sorts of bent out of shape. I would really like to think that I am way past all that nonsense, but nope! Then I feel like everyone knows what I am thinking, because it is written all over my face and in my actions, and I just assume that everyone hates me. At this point I myself think I am crazy. You can agree with me if you like.

Back to my conversation with Colin- He asked, “Well what if she is a long time friend of mine and I want to talk to her?” My first thought “AHHHH!!!! Nope! Not cool. Did you not just hear a word of what I said??!! I need to be the center of your attention at all times!!” I have such a great way of making it all about me. But what I said was different. I needed to understand that for guys it is soooo much different. They do not, DO NOT think like we do. I could be raging war with the chick across the room, but he’s completely oblivious to my internal conflict and he’s just excited because a new thing of chips and salsa was just brought out and “Lonesome Dove” is on TV. But I want to be able to answer Colin’s question I wanted to be honestly and not lie when I tell him it’s perfectly okay for him to chat with some old girl friend. I need to be ok with him talking to other women, even if it is “one” that makes me want to pour the cheese dip all over her perfect hair. My biggest concern is that when he is talking to her I don’t end up feeling like I am invisible. Now I understand and I get it that he can’t have a conversation with whomever and be looking at me the whole time. I get that. This is something that I need to work on. I also realize that my sudden dislike for the pretty girl over there stems from nothing she has done at all but rather from my own insecurities. She’s probably a wonderful person and we might actually be friends if we could get past our insecurities and be able to get to know one another. This is the battle I am fighting, but I know that I am not fighting it alone. When Satan starts to whisper in my ear that so-and-so over there is thinner than me, or her hair is better, or what if Colin finds her to be more attractive, I need to fight back. The battle has already been won over me. I have already been saved from the enemy’s grip. God has fought for me and will continue to do so if I will seek Him and ask for the help that only He can give me. I need to do this so that I can break the chain and be freed from these feelings.

I look back at all the times that I was on the defense and gosh, that is such an awful feeling. I want to apologize to anyone who might have been around me at those moments. I am so sorry. I have made a fool out of myself more than once and possibly never got to know some really great women because of my stinky attitude and insecurities that would not allow it. I am a work in progress (that sounds so corny!) and this is an area in my life that I am going to be truly working on.

I would encourage any of you women who struggle with insecurities to pick up Beth’s book. I was reading it last night when I came across this little slice of thought provoking goodness “…instead of looking for ourselves in God, we look once more for God in man, and just when we think we’ve found someone who can hold us high enough and long enough to assuage our fear of forgottenness, we get dropped.” As long as we put our faith and trust in man, we will continue to be let down. However if we put our faith and trust in our Lord and Savior we will always be lifted up.

I’ve tried my best to be as honest as I can and make sense of everything in my head. I hope that I didn’t loose any of you along the way! I don’t know if this will be the only blog entry dealing with Beth’s book, but I do know that if I can relate to the topic she is writing about then I know others can as well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Our Ski Trip to New Mexico

I grew up in a small town in upstate New York. I also lived about 15 minutes away from Gore Mountain. Even with living so close, I never learned how to downhill ski until a few years ago. A few co-workers and myself took a handful of kids to New Mexico to go skiing and for the first time I took a ski lesson. Now it came pretty easy to me only because I spent years cross country skiing. So it only took me moving to Texas and going to New Mexico to learn how to ski.

Friends of ours, Jake and Crecsendia, invited us to go to Angel Fire, New Mexico for a ski trip the first week in March. We left San Angelo at 5:00 am and got to the "cabin" at 3:00ish New Mexico time. After we got a running start and made it up the "horrifically steep" driveway, we settled in and went to get our equipment for the next few days. We played in the waist deep snow, almost lost Crecsendia in it, and only made it 100 feet from the house!

(The "cabin")
(The view looking off the mountain)(Me and my trusty skis that only left me once when I fell)
(My snow bunny, Colin.)
(I love this man!!!)
(I only got one picture of any of us skiing. We, for the record, all did ski but I only got one picture of it.)
We had a blast! Despite the sore knees, bused hips, aching shines, and countless falls we all had a great time. The weather was perfect and so was the company. I am already looking forward to next years trip!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Mi dulce mariposa"

For as long as Colin has known my best friend Marissa, he called her "Sweet Mariposa". Whenever I call her or vis versa, I know that at some point I will hear him say, " that the sweet Mariposa?". It wasn't until a few months ago that I even let her know that he called her that, only because we were not sure what it translated to. So with a little help from some friends, we found out that it mean butterfly in Spanish.

My sweet Mariposa came to visit me over her spring break from school. I felt so blessed that she wanted to spend her time off with ME!!! We had a blast too!
She got here on Saturday. On Sunday I got to take her to church and then we went to the Shannon Hospital to visit the radiology center, because (and I am praying really hard about this and keeping my fingers crossed) when she finishes up with her school she is thinking of moving here and maybe going to work for the Shannon Hospital system as a radiologist.

We then headed for Sonora where it rained on us for the first day. But that was ok by us! We just slept in, hung out, talked about all that is going on in our lives, watched as many chick flick movies as we could, "bedazzled" things! Ya know...girl stuff! Also, keep in mind that the last time I even saw my bestie was at my wedding! We have talked on the phone, but face to face conversations are so much better.
Then on Tuesday...we had enough of being stuck inside, so we saddled up the ponies and away we went! To me, there is nothing better to do with your best friend then spend it on the back of a horse. We ran through the woods and along the station trails. I think that if our seat bones and knees would have allowed it, we would have ridden all day!
On our last day together, we went back to San Angelo and only went into three of the downtown shops. It was a blast but before we knew it our time together had come to an end. But I know that it will not be as long between our visits this time around. There is a Beth Moore one day simulcast over her new book "So Long Insecurity" on the 24th of April. Marissa is hoping to make it back down here for that, as am I!!!
Speaking of the Beth Moore book...Thank you Gwyn for letting me read one of your copies....AND it is GREAT!!! I believe that it is a book that every lady should at least pick up and try to read. Even if you don't have the same views as her, she is hitting hard on issues that have plagued me most of my life. So far in reading this book, I already feel better knowing that I am not the only one that thinks crazy things! I thought that maybe I was too sensitive, but now I am seeing that I just have a few insecurities of my own that I hope to work on and through while reading this book. I think that there will be another blog about this book at a later date, but for now I just hope that everyone is having or has had a great spring break!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thank you

I try and tell her often, but I know don't say it nearly enough, so I wanted to take the time this morning to say thank you to my beautiful wife for all she does to keep our home, lives, romance, and business working smoothly. Ronnie is a stay-at-home wife. That does not for a second mean she doesn't work, because she works incredibly hard all day at tasks that many times go unnoticed. I am positive that she never intended to get into prescribed burning because its a job very very few people do, almost entirely a male dominated occupation, she had never heard of it till she met me, and it's hot and dirty and you always smell like diesel fuel and smoke. Burning is dirty work. It's very fun and rewarding and always exciting, but very dirty. Ronnie has long beautiful hair that gets singed every once in awhile, she can't help but get black soot under her nails and on her clothes and face, her clothes are always covered in black stuff, and there is never a bathroom nearby. For a woman I can see how it would not be a very comfortable career choice. However, Ronnie does it because that is our business and she would not think of letting me go off burning and have her stay home worrying about me. We always want to be together regardless of what we are doing. Even though our lifestyle does not aford her the cleanliness and comfort she deserves, I don't think she would trade it for the world, because she would rather spend time with me in a hot smoky pasture around a bunch of smelly men than spend time away from me. Even when she is covered in soot and her hair is a little singed and she's drenched in sweat, she is still the most beautiful woman in the world to me. My wife is my dream woman and I am incredibly blessed to be able to spend everyday with her. So, thank you for all you do. I couldn't and wouldn't do it without you.
Your husband,