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I'm still writing; you just won't find me here any longer. If you want to keep reading my writing, head over to mollyflinkman.com. I'll keep a cup of coffee warm for you.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

regret.

word of the day: regret \ri-ˈgret\ sorrow aroused by circumstances beyond one's control or power to repair

Our two year wedding anniversary is this Monday, July 26th. Because we will be in Wyoming with my family away from all forms of wireless internet, I've got to get this post going a little early.


I recognize that "regret" is a strange theme for an anniversary post. Don't be alarmed, just hang with me...

I have a lot of wedding regrets. Sometimes my regrets are so strong that when I attend other weddings I'm filled with a lot of sadness about things I did or did not do. Don't worry if I attended your wedding after mine. I still enjoyed it. I just overanalyzed it and thought about everything you did that I should have done.

For instance, I regret not using the string musicians from Jake's side of the family for our processional. Who doesn't love live wedding music? And, I'm sure that they would have played the right song when I walked down the aisle.

I regret that I thought daisies would be my favorite flower forever. They aren't anymore. I wish I would have explored some other flower avenues.

I regret that I did not making a seating chart for all our guests at the reception. Selfishly, I did not want to deal with it. When considering all the people we had in attendance, I should have dealt with it.

I regret that I didn't use my sweet nephews as ring bearers and that I didn't give my dad a hug when he gave me away. I regret the fact that I didn't have a big reception send off when we left.

Regret, regret, regret. Are you depressed yet?

There are a few things I don't regret that I should probably list before this post becomes too much of a downer.

I don't regret the amount of fun I had.

I don't regret tearing that enormous hole in the middle of my veil. And, I wouldn't change Sami's reaction directly following the rip. I also wouldn't change the great pictures we got as a result of the hole.
I wouldn't change the fact that I didn't see Jake before I stepped foot down the aisle. To each her own, but the suspense of waiting made the day so much more exciting for us.

I also couldn't change the amount of dancing Jake and I did at our reception. If you were upset that I didn't talk to you during our dance, I'm sorry, but those boogie shoes just weren't ready to be unlaced.
I've been thinking about our wedding quite a bit lately. My thoughts usually begin with, "If I could do it again..." or "If only I had..." But then I think, what's the point in focusing so much thought on the actual wedding when that wasn't even what the whole day was about?

The day was about the start of our marriage, and let me tell you, there's not an ounce of regret there.

I could get bogged down by the missed details, people who were inadvertently forgotten, or thoughts I wished had crossed my mind. I have been bogged down by those things.

Then, instead, I choose to remember Jake's face when I walked down the aisle and the way he smiled at me just before our first kiss as husband and wife. I remember his excitement as we entered our reception and how cute he looked with cake smashed all over his face.

Why get bogged down by the details when what has grown from that day is an ever blossoming romance that I get to share with my best friend?

Someone asked me the other day what I have learned in 2 years of marriage. I didn't think of this then, but when I think about it right now, I realize how Jake has taught me to see the big picture of life.

I bet if you asked Jake, he couldn't tell you what we ate for dinner at our reception or what my hair looked like in the back. He might struggle to describe my dress and I guarantee he has no memory of our cake. It's likely that he doesn't remember what was sung during our unity candle, and I think it would take him a few seconds to bring the first song we danced to back into his memory.

All that really matters to Jake is that on that day two years ago we said, "I do," and began our marriage together.

He gets it.

He gets it and he continues to show me what it looks like to live while understanding that we live for Someone so much bigger than ourselves.

I'm so thankful to have married someone who encourages me to love more loyally, serve more openly, and give more generously.

So would I change my wedding if I could go back and do it all over again?

It doesn't matter. We're married. And we love it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

nostalgia.

Word of the day: nostalgia \nä-ˈstal-jə\ a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition

It should have already been established that I'm an overly nostalgic person. I love to walk down memory lane and to start conversations with, "Remember when..." I love to crack open my mom's old photo albums and I still force Jake to watch my old dance videos with me from time to time.

Our two year wedding anniversary is in less than a week. What's that old saying? Oh yeah...

Time flies.
Sometimes I like to think about Jake before I knew him. I wonder sometimes what he was doing the day I was born. What was keeping me busy in Iowa City when he celebrated his 5th birthday? Did we ever start school on the same day or ask our dads to read us the same book?

It's funny to think, isn't it?


All I know, is that God chose to intertwine our stories eventually.

I don't think that I pictured ending up with someone like Jake when I fantasized about my wedding as a little girl.


Thank goodness I was wrong...

(I mostly created this post as an excuse to share our wedding slideshow. The quality is a little weird, but I think you'll get the idea!)
video

Saturday, July 17, 2010

community.


word of the day: community \kə-ˈmyü-nə-tē\ a unified body of individuals.

I could have easily chosen "fabulous" to be the word of today's post. I didn't, but I want you to know how fabulous the following topic is...


I was reminded this past weekend of how sweet friendship is. How good it is to be with people who know your heart. How refreshing it is to pick up where you last left off. How important it is to reconnect with the people who are most important to you.


I had the unusual privilege of rooming with the same three girls all four years of college. If you ever hear me sharing a college memory, it most likely involves Heather, Holli, or Kelly in some way. They were always right around the corner (unless they were at soccer).

As Kelly and I drove up to Minnesota this past weekend for our mini-reunion, we were wondering aloud why God chooses to bless us again and again with such great friends. The only thing I can figure (because obviously it's up to me to answer this question) is that God wants me to understand community. Almost like He wants me to feel the importance of it so that I may take it into other areas of my life.

I am a different person because of the influence of my college community. I am more aware of my gifts, more confident in my faith, and more sensitive to the needs of others because of the women God chose to place in my life. I am less defensive to confrontation and better able to speak truth because of Heather. I am more aware of God's constant presence and my need to meet with Him because of Holli. I am reminded to see the good in people and situations before jumping to conclusions because of Kelly.

I am a more well-rounded individual because of my community.

I am ever thankful that God chose to bless me in this way.

We actually talked quite a bit about community this past weekend and, at times, I just sat back and smiled at the ways God continues to use these girls to touch my life.

I realized that because of the community and sense of belonging and understanding we experienced in college, we all still continue to seek it out in our now, somewhat, separate lives. We have attempted to recreate it (sometimes successful, other times not) and we have all sought it (whether or not we want to admit it to each other).

It's like God has branded it onto our hearts and we won't be satisfied without it. Like a piece of our soul is missing without the community of other people.

Sometimes it's a burden to bear. Sometimes it's frustrating to have the taste of community on your tongue without being able to recreate the exact ingredients. And yet, it's possible, and God continues to place people in my life who have a similar craving for life.

We used to sing this song in college called "Friends for Life." It was a cheesy Disney channel song that we made sure to belt out during every road trip we took together (usually sandwiched between "Popular" from Wicked and "A Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid).


Cheesy as it may be, it's true. And I remain so thankful for my three beautiful friends and the sweet taste they have given me of what a true community is.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

childish.

word of the day: childish \ˈchī(-ə)l-dish\ lacking complexity; simple

Childhood is a funny thing. It seems like kids do all that they can to grow up and then once they get there, they think, "If only I could be a kid again."

Take naps for example. When we were in Oklahoma last week, my nephews were NOT too keen on their afternoon naps. I tried to explain to Carter that once he is older he will love naps and wish he could take more of them. I don't think he bought it.

I, for one, like to revert back to my childhood every once and again. It's like sometimes things get a little too serious and the mood needs lightened a little bit. Or like life gets so entangled with bills and long work days that I need to be reminded of simpler times. Maybe that's why I made my college girlfriends dress up in all my old dance costumes so often.

Anyway, I was thinking about this past week, and I realized that Jake and I did some pretty childish things. And I say childish in only the best sense possible.

On Tuesday night, we had some friends over for dessert. I asked Jake what he wanted me to make and he replied without hesitation, "Dirt cups!"



Do you remember dirt cups? Part smashed Oreos, part chocolate pudding, part whipped cream, and strategically placed gummy worms? I have very vivid memories of my first dirt cup at my friend Sarah's mystery dinner birthday party in elementary school. Sometimes childishness tastes delicious.

Other times childishness just warms the soul with its laughter. Jake and I went swimming yesterday. Now, I will admit to being the girl at the pool who only gets in the water 1.) if it is close to the temperature of bath water and 2.) to help speed up the tanning process. As I was laying out beside the pool, I realized that I hadn't heard Jake in a little while. I looked up and immediately saw this:



Jake had created a flotation device and was using it to keep himself afloat so he could shoot water out of the noodle water gun he found. It was like I was back in Jake's childhood for a small moment watching him build something to float in and find a weapon to use while floating. The thought of Jake as a little boy made me smile. I suppose the gun eventually got old, though, so he slowly floated back in my direction.



As I looked at his noodle raft, I decided it was about time I revert back to my own childhood and get into that darn pool. So, after a good bit of shrieking (I already admitted to being that girl) about how cold the water was, Jake finally convinced me to just go under. And by "convinced me," I mean he actually had to pull me under.

We had a contest to see who could go the farthest based on their wall push off. Only straight arms and no kicking allowed. I lost obviously.

I showed Jake my nearly perfect pool hand stand and he tried to mimic but was average at best. He just couldn't keep his knees straight.

We fought for control over the raft, and I did manage to throw him off once.

We wore goggles and made faces at each other underneath the water.

It was all so childish, really, but what a grand afternoon it was. I can't remember the last time I had that much fun, laughed so hard, and snorted so much water up my nose.

It lacked complexity. It was simple. It was an afternoon in which Jake and I forgot about all our other obligations and responsibilities and focused on enjoying the company of one another. It reminded me how thankful I am to have a husband who loves to have fun, because I would not have gotten in that pool if he hadn't been enjoying himself so much.

I wouldn't change being an adult for anything, but I also wouldn't change the simple moments in life that remind me of what is really important.

Now, I think I'll go take a nap.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

free.

word of the day: free \ˈfrē\

Have you ever looked up the word "free" in the dictionary? I guess I never really stopped to think about how many contexts it can be used in. To name a few:

having the legal and political rights of a citizen

not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being

not taken up with commitments or obligations

without charge

to relieve or rid of what restrains, confines, restricts, or embarrasses


Someone once told me that the Fourth of July is the greatest holiday of all. Why? Because regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, occupation, or hairstyle, it is something we all have in common. We all share the title "American" and we can celebrate that freedom together regardless of what we bring to the table.

Freedom.

This post was going to have a totally different approach until I really stopped to think about the meaning of the word.

Freedom.

By definition, it is a political right. Something we are all entitled to. You can't take away my freedom and I can't take away yours. It would be anti-American. Un-patriotic.

Sometimes I wonder if we take the idea of freedom and being able to say we're free one step too far.

Because I'm American I deserve to be free.

Deserve? Am I really worthy of freedom?

I don't think so. I am thankful to live in a country that gives me certain freedoms. But, I by no means, am worthy of freedom simply because I exist as a human being.

The Bible has a lot to say about being free, too:

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness. Romans 6:18

But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. Romans 6:22

because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 1 Corinthians 9:19

For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Hebrews 9:25

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:16


Anymore, freedom is demanded and expected. What would a world be like where freedom was received with joy and humility and acted upon in return with love, faithfulness, and righteous living?

I think maybe that's one of the sweet things I'll taste in Heaven. Along with the corn on the cob, of course.

On a different note, I really do love the Fourth of July. I love the big bands, barbeques, and excuse to get everyone together for a backyard game of bocce ball. I love the Yankee Doodle Pops in Des Moines and will never tire of spending the evening lounging with thousands of other Iowans while we clap our hands to patriotic songs.



I love that the Fourth of July gives people the excuse to wear the American flag in any number of ways. There are American flag fingernails and bright sequined vests. There are hats, shoes, and sun dresses to put your little girls in. Old Navy even makes American flag t-shirts that you can put your entire family of seven into for a Sunday at church. Yes, I saw this. And yes, I laughed to myself at the hilarity of their matching ensembles. And, yes, I thought, "I will probably do the same thing someday..."

I love fireworks. Last year we didn't see any and it was like the holiday didn't happen. It came and went, but didn't mean anything because there was no fireworks display to announce its entry. A sad holiday it was. Luckily, this year we made it to three fireworks events. In Oklahoma, fireworks are legal for even everyday civilians (gasp!), and I felt like I was driving through the streets of Mardi Gras as fireworks exploded above our moving car. The rain didn't even phase us, because like I said, it's not the Fourth of July without a good showing of explosives.



I wasn't lying about the rain.

Mostly, though, I love the Fourth of July because it's just another excuse to spend time with family. Rain or shine, it doesn't get much better than that.

But, then again, you're free to draw your own conclusions...