1. Lying to the Government: I had to go to the DMV to renew my license. Boo. With Corbin. Double Boo. But it turned out to be a mostly painless visit. I nailed my vision test. Oh yeah. As I wrote out my check for $31, the DMV guy asked if my height and weight were still the same. To which I replied, "Uhhhh, sure." And he didn't bat an eye. (Smart man). I'm pretty sure I haven't updated my height and *ahem* weight since I got my license when I turned 16. So its pretty safe to say it is no longer accurate. But I wasn't about to tell the greasy headed DMV guy with his Coach leather ID lanyard (they must pay well at CA DMV) my real weight. Ha! But it struck me as weird that Mr. Coach asked me the question expecting me to 'lie.' Like it probably would have shocked him if I said, "Well Mr. Coach, actually I haven't weighed that much since I was 15 and since I've now been through college and gotten married and had a kid and all that you should probably round that number up a bit." But I really didn't have the guts for that... and I was really trying to get out of there before Corbin realized just how awesome it would be to melt down in the middle of the DMV office.
2. Windshield Wiper Peer Pressure: I'm going to admit something embarrassing (as if admitting that my drivers license weight isn't true isn't embarrassing enough). I've never heard anyone else talk about this so I have two theories: a.) this is a unique situation to me or b.) this is really common and no one is brave enough to admit it. If 'b' is true, then I hope this is a liberating moment for those of you in the closet. May you all come out and own up to this. Amen. OK, so I have wind shield wiper peer pressure issues. It rarely rains enough in So Cal to merit using wind shield wipers. But when it does, I find myself constantly checking to see if my wiper 'speed' is similar to other drivers around me. Like if my wipers are going faster than other cars then I feel kind of foolish and turn my speed down. This is made more unfortunate by the fact that my Corolla only has like two speeds- Speed One is like someone in the car in front of you spit out the window and it landed on your car and you need to clean it off with like one wipe. And then five minutes later it wipes again. And Speed Two is HYPER SUPER WARP SPEED I'M AFRAID MY WIPER BLADES ARE GOING TO CREATE ENOUGH THRUST TO MAKE MY CAR AIR BORN. So if I'm on Speed Two, most other cars are wind shield wiping (?!?) much slower than me, but Speed One means I can't see out the darn windshield. Ah, the dilemmas I face in life! When it rains I feel like I'm back in Jr. High checking out all the other girls' outfits to see if I'm 'cool enough' for the day. Oi.
3. Grown Men and Babies: I should say grown women too but for some reason that's more ok. I'm constantly left speechless by the effect the Great Corbin-o has on adults- especially of the male variety. On numerous occasions grown men have been turned to baby-talking giants as they pass by my baby. I'm sure any baby. But I only have my baby to observe this. So an example is in order I believe:
Corbin is chilling in the seat of a shopping cart. BTW- he's tiny so he does look extra cute sitting there by himself with his little bald head and open- mouthed smile. So he's sitting in the shopping cart. Enter Behemoth Man. Beer belly, unshaven face, dirty shirt from working hard moving heavy stuff I'm sure. He scowls at all who dare make eye contact with him because he's obviously on a mission- get in store, get whatever he came for (probably MEAT)(or beer maybe) and get back to wherever he came from. Behemoth Man spots Corbin- who sizes up his challenge casually. He locks Behemoth in his steely gaze and turns on the cuteness. Suddenly Behemoth is reduced to a blubbery baby-talking giant. I'm talking "OOoooo hey there big guy- whojagoojie coochie coo? Whojagoojie coochie coo? Goojie Goojie Coo!!" Meanwhile I'm left scratching my head at the absurdity (and plotting how I can snap a photo of this somehow to post on this blog. Didn't happen unfortunately.) Women do this too but like I said its just not as weird for some reason.
4. You Give Love a Bad Name: I was at work (yeah I still do that from time to time) and heard an unsettling message on our answering machine. It was an older individual who had called to inform us about a past team member's life choices. The caller was filled with spite and obviously very worked up over this team member's 'evil deeds.' The caller kept repeating phrases ("Get Wise! Get Wise!") and called the team member a sinner and a bold faced liar. Now, we know all about the team member and from the gist of the call, we probably know more details than the woman on the phone. And I would even go to say that the team member is a friend of mine. So I know this personal connection made the phone call sting more, but I didn't realize how upset this phone call made me until I was driving home that night (upset enough to get over my wiper speed anxiety). I couldn't (and still can't) see things from the caller's perspective- and I've tried to understand what would make someone call a third party to 'tell' on someone else- and in such a vicious way. I'm assuming here, but I can't imagine the caller had anything at stake by the team member's choices or even knew the team member personally. People are mean. I get that. But if I factor in a Christian perspective it gets even more troubling. The caller felt that she was doing the 'right thing' according to Christ by calling the other person a liar and being so spiteful. That is not the kind of Christianity that I follow. I'm struggling here with my next sentence- I want to say that Christ Himself would not approve of that kind of judgmental behavior but I realize that by saying that I am being judgmental too. Argh. I guess I just kind of 'get it' why so many people are turned off by the church if this is the kind of representation we have in the world. I makes me very aware of how we are to be Christ and Christ's love to the world- and how much of an impact our actions, attitudes, and yes, words have on those around us. The distinguishing characteristic of my faith is grace- that Christ forgives all of us sinners (because we ALL are sinners- no better or worse than the next guy) and through His amazing grace, we are redeemed. While contemplating all this, Bon Jovi's song "You Give Love a Bad Name" came on the radio. I realized this is exactly what we have to guard against as Christ- followers- giving love a bad name to the world. In ministry you sometimes see the worst of people, but I want to leave on a positive note and the opposite is true- we also see the very, very best of people too. Like the older couple who call the office- husband on one phone and wife on another phone- to make a sizable donation to help children in Romania. Or the university students who give up their whole summer to camp with orphaned teens. Or the middle aged women who spend two weeks rocking and cuddling babies in Romania and realize they still have a lot to offer the world. Or any of our full time missionaries and the sacrifices they make every single day to share God's love. They are giving love a good name. And the team member who was the subject of that phone call- despite some of the challenges they have faced this past year, I know that they are giving love a good name each and every day too in a very significant way.