I loved Aladdin as a kid! Isn’t that everyone’s dream? To get a chance to have their three biggest wishes instantly granted. That would be amazing!! To get everything we could ever want. Only then could we be TRULY happy right? How about if you only got one wish? One wish that would be guaranteed to come true?
We all want to get everything for barely anything. We would love to get the world and all its best with only having to exert the minor effort of rubbing a magic lamp and talking to the big fluffy blue man with no legs that comes out of it 🙂
Last winter, I got to spend a week in Naples, FL for a graduate school conference. We stayed at a a beautiful resort that had a private beach. I love walks. I think a great way to pass time on a chill weekend is to go for a walk in the park, or even better…on a beach! So I recruited a friend of mine who also went on the trip and asked him to take a walk with me. It was gorgeous. We started walking in the late afternoon, early evening so we could catch the sunset. We walked for what felt like a mile or so, just talking about life. Then when we realized how far we had gotten, we turned around and started the trek back to the hotel. Once we started back, I noticed something on the ground: footprints. Not MY footprints…other people’s footprints. I noticed that my friend had made a pretty nice trail of footprints while mine were no where to be found. It was like I wasn’t even there. No matter how hard I stomped, no mater how much I pressed my foot in, I got nothing. I looked around and saw different kinds of prints, some boots, tennis shoes, barefoot prints. But couldn’t see mine.
After that last incident, I was convinced that I never wanted to see Mr. Oregano ever again. I knew that I deserved better. I knew that he was not the person for me. He wasn’t my One, My Pepper. After he left that night, I called him sobbing the next day asking if he realized what he did, what he almost did and he was so convinced that he did nothing wrong. He kept saying “Well, I stopped, didn’t I?” He was convinced that because he didn’t go all the way, he was absolved and his restraint proved his loved even more. I couldn’t believe it. I hung up and vowed that I was done.
Buuut…, he didn’t stop calling or texting. I ignored him for a while…a long time actually. It was incredibly hard. I still thought about him everyday, dreamt about him, looked at pictures every now and then, re-read his texts every now and then. I didn’t realize it at the time but I still had a soul tie to him. I was “unequally yoked” to him.
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?-2 Corinthians 6:14
On Sunday, I ran outside for the first time in a long, long time. I had been running about 2.25 miles on the treadmill 3 times a week for the last three months. I chose the treadmill route because I didn’t want to run outside by myself in the dark after work. Ever since we had “fall back” daylight savings, it gets dark earlier so by the time I got off work, it would already be dark outside. So I just started running inside.
On the treadmill, I usually ran at a speed of 5 mph (12-minute miles) for 25-30 minutes. It was somewhat easy, not a cake-walk, but I was not at my maximum capacity. The treadmil was OK at first, but lately, I had been getting bored with it. I mean, I had my music going and that was usually what kept me “in the mood” but having to run in place for 25 minutes was mentally taxing. If there was someone else in the gym running on the elliptical across from me, I basically had to stare at his/her butt for 25 minutes. If the gym was empty, I would just have to stare at a blank wall for 25 minutes. So I decided to finally go from treadmill to outdoors. I chose Sunday as my first field run.
I knew I would be able to get up early and get a run in before church so I got up at 7, put on my running gear and headed out. I used the run keeper app to keep track of my run. It is actually pretty cool. I HATE it when apps force you to enter an email address to use it and to “track” you but I didn’t have to sign up or enter an email address with Runkeeper. I just downloaded it and ran with it—haha get it?? Pun intended! ☺
The weather was perfect for running. There was a slight breeze that grew stronger as I ran. So I picked up the pace. I ended up running a 10 minute mile for the first mile and then my abs felt like they were being pulled apart by a wild animal so I had to stop for a second to catch my breath. I was so disappointed!!! My transition from treadmill to outdoors experiment had failed badly. I really wanted to run for at least 30 minutes straight without stopping!! I felt like a failure.
A few weekends ago, while I was visiting Orlando, we had one of those weekends I like to call Salty Weekends (I usually replace the word “Salty” with my actually name, because they are just for me!! ☺). These are weekends where the sky is a beautiful blue, no rain clouds in sight! Gorgeous weather, mid to high 70s with a slight breeze for cooling. The type of weather where you actually love to be outside. I took the picture to the right while we waited to go on the Walt Disney World hot air balloon ride. It was beautiful.
I just couldn’t stop looking up at the sky. I kept thinking: WOW! God is so beautiful to create something so beautiful. But I couldn’t quite put into words what I was looking at or why it was resonating with me so much…Until Sunday.
Let’s talk bout sex baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.…(Salt n Pepa were the bomb!!) Time for us to have THE talk…Let’s start with an apology to Tim Tebow.
Tim Tebow did what many of us couldn’t do. What I couldn’t do. In public. Without Shame. And I hated him for it at the time. Plus, as a diehard fan (and student at the time) of a major Big 12 football program, I also hated his team for being #1 (and eventually winning the NCAAF championship), but that’s beside the point :).
Imagine if your whole life was being scrutinized by an entire country and you had to publicly lay out your sexual history. What emotions would you feel? Would you be embarrassed or proud? If you had to announce on ESPN what your “number” is, would you be able to? If your number was 100, would you be proud to announce it? What if your number was 50? How about 0? At what pontoon the scale would you feel comfortable telling 20 people your number, how about 20 million people?
Tim did so on a national platform and he was proud of it. The response to Tim at the time was either 1) adoration from women who wanted to marry him, all mothers of women, and ESPN (aka all sports media) or 2) scorn and rebuke from anyone who did not fit the descriptions in #1. Although Tim and I had the same number (0), I joined in with group #2. Even though I agreed with his beliefs in theory AND in practice, I chose to scorn him in public whenever his name came up. When he admitted that he was waiting for marriage, I was so envious of all the adoration he got from the people in group #1. In my head I thought: “I’m doing the same thing and no one is throwing ME a parade!” I owe him an apology for secretly, anonymously hating him and his national championship winning team.
I’m joking but on a more serious note, I realize now that I really was envious that someone else was so sure, so confident in His beliefs, so brave and I wasn’t. I couldn’t even admit it to my small circle of non Christian friends from school one night when they asked me about my beliefs on sex. I just changed the subject and moved on. Last week, with all the valentine’s day posts and articles online, something caught my eye.
Our second year began with us broken up. As I began writing this, I just now realized that Mr. Oregano and I have never actually celebrated an anniversary. We have spent each September over that last three years broken up. That’s just crazy. If you want to revisit the beginning of this Oregano & Salt saga, see parts 1, 2, and 3.
Picking up where year 1 left off….After I got back from my internship in early August, I threw myself back into school. It was a tough year dealing with classes, work, and…roommate issues.
I left for my internship on the east cost determined to get away from Mr. Oregano. I underestimated how hard this would be. Throughout the summer, he called and texted and called and texted and pretended like he did nothing wrong. I explained repeatedly that we were in 2 different places (physically), emotionally, and spiritually. Still, he tried to argue that sex wasn’t a big deal because everyone is having it, that it doesn’t mean anything, and his favorite line- he wants it to be his way of showing me that he loved me.
I got pretty tired of having the same argument over and over again so I started ignoring his calls and texts. However, one day, he texted that he was in a car accident.
Frantic, I called him back immediately and of course he didn’t answer. I kept calling and texting all throughout the workday until he felt ready to stop toying with me and he finally called me back. He explained that he was OK but his car was totaled so he needed $5,000 to buy a new car. I was so heated that he finally called back and that he was OK that all my common sense went out the window.
Over the weekend, I ventured out of my neck of the woods and visited a few friends in sunny Orlando, Florida. It was great to escape the cold winter weather for a while and to take in a new city.
I had been to Orlando several times before and had “done” the Disney parks and all but surprisingly, I had never explored downtown Orlando…Until last Sunday. I thought all Orlando had to offer was Disney and Universal Studios (two great parks with lots to offer but they are overly commercialized). To my delight, I found out that Orlando has a great downtown area! It was bustling with excitement even on a Sunday morning/afternoon. We found a place to park and just decided to walk around. We started off by exploring the downtown neighborhoods and all we saw were historic houses with lots of character. Then as we moved towards the industrial downtown area, we noticed lots of people walking past us with yoga mats. After we saw about 20 people either run past us or bike past with yoga mats, we were intrigued so we followed them (in a non-stalker way ☺). We found a huge park where these people of all shapes, sizes, age groups, genders, and backgrounds were setting up yoga mats and preparing for a massive outdoor yoga class. It seemed so out of place, yet so serene to find the people gathering for a yoga session in the middle of the city. Then we made it to Lake Eola
and walked around the lake. There was a huge farmer’s market over to the left, a large café/restaurant bustling with customers to the right. As we walked we saw all kinds of people walking their dogs (big and small)
and as intrigued as WE were by the different dogs, all the dogs were even more intrigued with each other so we heard lots of barking. The barking was only drowned out by the laughs and screams of children playing with each other in the park. Then all around us, there were people, so many people, walking their dogs, runners, bikers, homeless people, a couple taking engagement photos. Just a sort of quiet busy-ness if that makes sense. As we walked through the busy parts, I remember thinking that I wished I could just find a quiet place here to take in the beautiful scenery.