When I became Indignant and Shrieked Into the Phone

One night, when we had been married just around a year, Tuan and I were lounging about watching television. The phone rang and I went to answer it. (We had no caller id--only a vintage rotary phone). Suddenly Tuan heard me shrieking and yelling and then I hung up the phone and came back into the living room. You would have to pardon my French if I told you how I felt at that moment.


"Umm . . . what happened?" Thus inquired my still new husband.

This is what happened.

I answered the phone and a man asked for "Tuu--wan Lay". (This is always a good indication that we do not know the caller). I asked who might be calling and he said, "This is So&So from Girls Gone Wild and we just want to ask Mr. Lay a few questions."

I lost it. I had always heard about wifely, spousal jealousy, but until that point, such emotional exertion had not been required of me.

It was that night.

Words poured out of my mouth and as my anger increased, the pitch of my voice corresponded and thus in a loud, shrill, indignant voice, I began yelling into the phone:

"How dare you!!! How dare you call our house with your filth and your scum and nastiness! You should be ashamed! Don't you ever call us again!!!"

I also may have said something about "Does your mom know what you are doing?" But it all happened so fast and in such an emotional blur.

He hung up and was never heard from again.



I wish I were wise, I really do. I also wish I had some Captain Crunch with Berries on hand because I just imagined the smell of that and I do so love Captain Crunch. (is there a low-carb one? I doubt it).

I wish I had a better attention span.

Anyway, thinking about wisdom. Wisdom and especially discernment are not my spiritual gifts. I don't read people or situations well at all. That's why I appreciate others who do have the gift and the things they've shared with me.

One of the most important pieces of advice I've been given regarding marriage is to never criticize or mock your spouse before others. I've been thinking about that a lot after a friend of a friend lamented on Facebook that her husband never takes her on dates, blah, blah, blah. I've really tried to take that to heart and keep any relational complaints or difficulties I have between Tuan and the LORD. (I don't have many, in case you were wondering) There's also the boundary of finding my man humorous and amusing but not crossing over into mocking.

Presenting a unified front is a concept I also learned before we got married. There is a difference between faking a unified front while everything behind closed doors is simmering and boiling and actually being unified. One wise couple would not answer the door until they were reconciled to each other. The importance of resolving differences privately and discreetly and not involving other parties in your spats was stressed. Of course there are times when you may need the wisdom of a third party (but not third parties as in everyone on Face Book!) There is also at times a need for non-verbal communication that you each understand--especially when you cannot slip away for a private conversation!

Of course having thought about this I kept finding all sorts of ridiculous opportunities to do the same things I was mentally composing a blog post about. Humbling, for sure. I'm thankful for wise people who share their wisdom with unwise folk like me!


Getting Away

Sometime back in the fall, we were discussing anniversary plans and what to do for our eighth anniversary celebration. Since Tuan has been on full-time staff here, major anniversary celebrations have fallen by the wayside as post-Christmas guest groups and mission trips have been on the front burner. (Along with pregnancies and babies!) I have no complaints about that at all!

This year, though, we decided to do something at some point and agreed he would take the planning and I'd be surprised. (We often take turns planning anniversaries and Valentines).

Boy, did he ever surprise me!

I was expecting something very modest and brief. Tuan went above and beyond my expectations and plotted and schemed and laundered money and sold things behind my back in order to pull the surprise off. Everyone knew but me.

I was speechless.

Our parents took care of our kids so we could truly get away and we had a blissful week together. By the end of the week we missed our kiddos so much, but it was good to simply be myself and for him to be Tuan.

Does that make sense?

Being Mommy to our precious children is a huge part of myself now, but sometimes, I am glad to just be Paula. (But not for too long).

We are glad to be back home with our little family and I feel so incredibly refreshed, renewed and inspired to tackle life and projects.

And laundry.


Leaning on Jesus

I stumbled across this on Nancy Wilson's blog the other day. It was a rather timely read for me. You should read the original article in it's entirety, but here is a quote that stood out:

"Leaning hard brings rest like nothing else. To lean hard you must get under God’s feet and submit to His plans and purposes, even if you do not see them fully or understand them at all. Leaning means shifting all the weight of the burden from your shoulders to His. This may have been the first Christmas you have had without someone dear to you. Lean, rest, and trust. And the more we lean and lean hard, the more peace and rest we will find. Leaning hard means that we say, “He does all things well. This is perfect for me.” And saying that requires faith, and faith is the thing we want."

The article was dealing with grieving at Christmas (and in general), but I was so encouraged by the thought of shifting the weight of my burdens from my shoulders to Jesus'. I so often take my burdens and push them away and into the corner, thinking that the problem will be solved, but the reality is, they are not actually gone. These burdens are cluttering up my "house." Really, only Jesus can take them away.

I am struggling with some burdens of my own. Grieving and doubting and questioning relationships and situations and personal decisions. Oh, how I need to lean hard on Jesus and cast my burdens on him.

1. All praise to God, who reigns above,
The God of all creation,
The God of wonders, power, and love,
The God of our salvation!
With healing balm my soul He fills,
The God who every sorrow stills,--
To God all praise and glory!

2. What God's almighty power hath made
His gracious mercy keepeth;
By morning dawn or evening shade
His watchful eye ne'er sleepeth;
Within the kingdom of His might
Lo, all is just and all is right,--
To God all praise and glory!

3. I cried to Him in time of need:
Lord God, oh, hear my calling!
For death He gave me life indeed
And kept my feet from falling.
For this my thanks shall endless be;
Oh, thank Him, thank our God, with me,--
To God all praise and glory!

4. The Lord forsaketh not His flock,
His chosen generation;
He is their Refuge and their Rock,
Their Peace and their Salvation.
As with a mother's tender hand
He leads His own, His chosen band,--
To God all praise and glory!

5. Ye who confess Christ's holy name,
To God give praise and glory!
Ye who the Father's power proclaim,
To God give praise and glory!
All idols under foot be trod,
The Lord is God! The Lord is God!
To God all praise and glory!

6. Then come before His presence now
And banish fear and sadness;
To your Redeemer pay your vow
And sing with joy and gladness:
Though great distress my soul befell,
The Lord, my God, did all things well,--
To God all praise and glory!