Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Angry Doors.

No, it's not a typo. I didn't really mean to type "Angry Birds", although I appreciate you all putting the game down for five minutes to read this blog. Just a few thoughts I had as I woke up this morning...

Isn't it funny that the door used to let people into your home is also the same door used to keep people out?
We use doors for privacy in our homes.
We use them to keep the cold out in the winter and open them for cool air in the summer.
We slam them when we're angry.
We open them slowly so as not to wake the sleeping baby but just check on them.
We shut them at night to keep the light out of our bedrooms (well at least in Alaska). 
We lock them at night and when we're away.
We even teach our dogs how to shut them so we don't have to get back off the couch. 
We tell knock-knock jokes with them... (maybe this is a far stretch...)

Well, what does the Bible say about doors? I recently attended a Bible study that talked about the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4. Cain offered part of his harvest to God but God refused it. Abel offered his fattest, firstborn lambs and God was pleased. Cain was obviously hurt and God gives him this warning: "You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master." (Gen. 4:7) 

Quite a scary thought isn't it? That sin is crouching outside my door right now, just waiting for me to let it in and destroy my life? It's like a pesky neighbor that won't go away or the neighborhood cat that you fed once and now thinks you are its master.  Just waiting. Waiting. 

This lesson came at an opportune time, as when I'm angry, I like to think slamming doors will make me feel better (it doesn't). And I realize that in my anger, at that doorstep, ready to slam, I am inviting sin right into my home.  As I walk away in haste, with unresolved issues, I leave the house open for Satan to enter. 

So how can I protect my home from this crouching sin? Ephesians 4:26-27 warns us, "Don't sin by letting anger control you. Don't let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil." Anger is the open invitation to your heart, your marriage, your friendships, your relationships at work, in your church, in your casual run-ins at the super market... an open invitation for sin to creep in and take over that relationship like a cancer. And it can happen suddenly and spread quickly without you even realizing it. Settle your differences, square things up with those you've wronged or have wronged you, create harmony in that broken relationship... heck, I'll even be so bold as to tell you to apologize and forgive. I'm not saying it's easy, but clearly we are warned of the consequences if we don't.

And so, with that said, I think I'm done slamming doors for awhile. 

Friday, May 25, 2012


Ever had someone ask you where you're from? Usually the response is quick and easy like, "Toledo, OH" or "a small town in Vermont."  However, I am quickly learning (although maybe not so quick as it has been three years now) that once you become a military wife, your sentences get longer and longer.

I've learned that being asked that question by Native Alaskans holds a little more weight than when asked by others. For them, where you are from describes what heritage and culture you come from, who your family is, and how you were brought up. It is not just a location on a map, but a definition of your very self. It is living up here that has really made me reflect on my answer to their question, and I always feel guilty when I am not able to give them a definitive answer like, "Hooper Bay" or "Unalakleet." Because then they would just nod and understand the unspoken. But I am not from a village in Alaska, and I have lived many places in my short, young life.

I had this revelation today, as I pictured my life over the next 20 years and thought to myself, "Wow, at 26 it's already a long-winded story of where I'm from and have lived, so what is it going to be like when I'm 46?"  I feel bad for people who ask me that simple introductory get-to-know-you question.  "Uh, well, do you mean where am I from right now, or like where I'm originally from, or do you mean where did I go to college, or do you mean where is my husband from, or do you mean where have I lived over the past 10 years?" You see my dilemma... it's not an easy question for me, nor is it for any military family that has traveled from Timbuktu and back.

We have only been enlisted for three years (this weekend is Jordan's anniversary actually). But already we've lived in three different places, and we know we are being moved to location number four next summer. If this live-in-one-place-for-less-than-two-years pattern continues, I've calculated over 10 homes we will have settled into and moved from by the time we're 42, add a few if Jordan stays in a little longer than 20 years.

I realize most of you who are reading this already know "where I'm from", so you would have no need to ask me this question, but I publicly warn any poor polite person who doesn't know what they're getting into that this simple question is never going to have a simple answer. You might get something like this:

I'm from a small town in MA called Southwick no not from Boston at all yes I realize I don't have the accent because Southwick is in western MA if you look on a close map of MA you'll see a little jog that dips into CT that's Southwick just north of Hartford but I went to college in Keene, NH where I met my husband who is from CT we lived there after college for a year before we got stationed in Omaha, NE where we lived for two years and then moved to Anchorage, AK which we thought we'd be in for six years but the military loves to surprise us so we're being moved next summer after only two years here yeah it's a bummer because we really love it here but yes this is the life we signed up for thanks for pointing that out to me hopefully we'll be moved to VA or CO or CA but we won't know for sure for another six months and yes we kinda get to choose but again, the military owns us so thanks again for pointing out that I have no control over my whereabouts. (Breath)

So if you're thinking of asking me or anyone else this simple question, don't say you haven't been warned.