When Harry Met Sally - Chapter 4

About 6 weeks into our relationship, Mr. T said, "I love you."  

It didn't take him long to realize that he caught me off guard.  The awkward silence was only interrupted by the sound of crickets chirping in the background.

The only thing I could think was, "What?  I don't even know if I LIKE you!"  Of course, I didn't say that.  I said something more gracious like, "Oh, that's nice."  (Cue the crickets again.)

We had been getting to know each other over the summer months.  We lived a little over 6 hours apart while we were dating, therefore, dates were not casual "get to know you over dinner" affairs.  Every couple of weeks we would spend an entire weekend together, taking turns navigating the long distance trek.  In the meantime, phone conversations - not my strong suit - but it's what we had to work with.

Toward the end of the summer, I went on a week long mission trip to Bogota, Colombia.  It was a week of intense manual labor.  For example: 

I came back completely exhausted.  It was my turn to make the journey to Nebraska for our weekend rendezvous, but I really wanted to stay home and sleep.  Nonetheless, I talked myself into it.  I dragged my tired, worn out body across the Midwest in search of a little Nebraskan rest and relaxation.

When I arrived, Mr. T told me what he had planned for the weekend.  "Hey, hope it's okay with you, but I ordered a ton (as in a literal ton) of rock and I thought we could landscape around the house this weekend.  It's going to get dropped off in the driveway tomorrow.  I have some 5 gallon buckets.  I thought we'd just shovel the rocks into the buckets, cart them around the house and spread 'em out.  Of course, we'll have to dig out some of the dirt around the house, and we'll have to lay down a good layer of weed control so grass doesn't grow up in the rocks.  I think if we work really hard we can get it done this weekend.  We should get started really early because it's going to be really hot tomorrow.  What do you think?"

What did I think!!!  Oh, even now it burns me up.  I was so mad.  I mean, seriously!  We hadn't been dating that long.  Wasn't he supposed to still be woo-ing me?

So we worked all day in the dumb August heat and put the dumb rocks all around the dumb house.

To this day we still debate about the unfairness of it all.
My opinion: "Why would you have me come and move those dumb rocks when I just got back from a difficult mission trip?"
His opinion:  "If you're willing to go halfway around the world to help people with their projects, surely you can help your boyfriend with one of his projects."
Agree to disagree.

Anyway, back to the story....

I called my mom crying in the car on the way home.  "It's over, Mom!  It's not working out!  I'm breaking up with him!"

"Now honey," she said, "you always run away from relationships.  You need to give it more time."
"No way!" I said.
"Just give it two more weeks.  Just two more weeks, honey."
"Ugh!  Fine!"

Come to find out, she was advising me to stick with it because she knew Mr. T had planned a "Pirates and Princesses Surprise 30th Birthday Party" for me and she didn't want him to suffer the embarrassment of a break up right before the big bash.

By the way, I'm wearing a boa in the picture below because my roommates dressed me like a princess so I would match the theme.  Here's what I know, boas are itchy.

Mr. T came as the Dread Pirate Roberts from The Princess Bride; classic movie.

So the party was really fun.  Jeff recruited Tiffany to host it and she did an amazing job!  The next day, Mr. T took my Mom, sister and I to dinner on the plaza.  Anyway, something sort of clicked.  He just felt like family; you know, familiar.

Although I was a long way from, "I love you, too," he was starting to grow on me.  But, it wasn't until months later that I returned his sentiments.   



There are few things in life that strike so violently at our every sense of pride like betrayal.  When someone we loved well casts aside our faithfulness and instead returns with malice and false accusations, it can send us into a flat out tailspin.

It's confusing, heartbreaking, ugly.

It's part of life.

Betrayal happens with varying levels of intensity.

Your spouse shares your embarrassing faults with others at a dinner party.
A co-worker blames you entirely for a report getting submitted late, leaving you to deal with the consequences alone.
Dear friends talk about your weaknesses behind your back.

Call it "throwing someone under the bus", or "back stabbing" or whatever else comes to mind, the point, is it hurts.

And it's in that pain that we find Jesus.
Jesus who, "on the night he was betrayed, took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, 'This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.'"

A great act of betrayal was met with the greatest act of love.  Jesus faced it with pure humility and sacrifice; a sacrifice that gives hope to every tongue, tribe, and nation.

A sacrifice that gives hope to us when we are faced with betrayal.  Hope that God is near.  Hope that he will comfort us and guide us to be more like him.  Hope that justice and grace will somehow both prevail.  Hope of heaven and it's promise of peace.

May betrayal be faced with the humility that comes from knowing that, in light of eternity, another's opinion doesn't matter; only God's.  God who sees every true thing.  God who lavishes grace.  God who looks you dead in the eye and says, "You are my beloved."


House Tour

I'd like to take you on a little house tour!  Mr. T purchased our duplex for a song and then, along with several generous family members and friends, proceeded to gut the entire place and fix it up.  He did one side, then started renting it out while he worked on the side we now live in.  Not being one to drag out home projects, we had it just about where we wanted it a few months after we were married.  Below is a slew of pictures, including, pictures of pictures because I'm cool like that. 

So, when we were dating, the living room looked like this.  Talk about your fixer upper!  

The Christmas tree was added by some friends as a joke to liven the place up.  All the sheet rock was off the walls and it was stripped down to the block.  After about a zillion hours of work, it now looks like this:

Here's the original dining room.

Mr. T removed part of the wall and opened it up quite a bit.

Next, the kitchen.  He used the old stove as his workbench.  It used to be filled with saw dust before we spruced it up.

24 inches of counter space.  No problem!

Mr. T also cut out part of the wall here to open the kitchen up a little, as well as part of the wall on the stairs.  We added the spindles later to keep Tidytot safe.

Door to the basement is through the kitchen.  And, helpful hint, hanging stuff on the walls is key to making everything fit in a small space.

Basement/Guest Room/Laundry Room/Storage Space/Garage
On the other side of that hanging sheet is our storage space.

Oh laundry, you are so relentless.

Our bedroom.  This is my least favorite room in the house, decor wise.  I don't know why.  It never looks right.  I should just get over myself.

Here's part of Tidytot's room.  She has both a bed (generously donated to us) and a mini-crib.  It's a tight squeeze, but it works.

The outside of the house, when purchased:

Now, more or less:

The back yard, long ago:

Now, after-oh-so much work;  check out our garden.  We're like real adults!

That's it.  Once a labor of love, now a cozy home!