Our third date

So the last two dates, Brian brought flowers. But every time, he would jokingly say, “This is the last time. Don’t expect flowers in the future.” And I always nodded, and shrugged, understanding that though flowers are beautiful and nice, but they can cost a lot and they will eventually die. (I’m not exactly the best botanist around here… and I’m so busy I often forget to change the water/add water… )

So this time, as he was coming from the airport, I was wondering if he was going to have flowers. Since he said he won’t bring flowers, but before had kept bringing them. 8pm rolls around, he shows up at my door, no flowers. 🙂 It’s ok. I make a joke, “I see you finally convinced yourself to stop bringing flowers. I’m glad you kept your promise this time.” He just gives me a smile.

He tells me to keep my Sunday afternoon open, 2pm – 10pm. I’m thinking, what in the world needs 8 hours?!

Saturday, we go mini golfing at Franklin Square. It’s awesome! I actually had a ton of fun! The mini golf was designed to have mini replicates of Philly’s landmarks, from the Art Museum (Rocky steps) to the LOVE statue (Love park, JFK and 15th), to the Chinatown friendship gate and Kelly Drive, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, etc etc. It was a beautiful weekend, and so all our pictures turned out great.

On Sunday, he drives me to my “surprise” trip. And I find out we’re going to Longwoods Gardens. As we walk into the gardens, he laughs, and says, “So I didn’t bring you a bouquet of flowers, since I was planning to give you a garden of flowers.”

Hahhaha. So corny but really creative and witty. We were got to see the Making Scents exhibit (it’s amazing, highly recommend if you’re interested in the science behind making and developing perfumes/colognes). At 8pm, there were the famous Longwood Garden’s fireworks. It was quite amazing, since they were so close up and it was an impressive 45min showing.

We ended up ending the night with just ordering in pizza (Domino’s new website is awesome!) and chatting and calling it a night. Labor day was the next day, and we just had a calm chill day. We had brunch at 10 Arts at Ritz-Carlton, they have this lunch deal, $22 for 5 different dishes. Awesome steal!

So on our third visiting trip/date thingy, we had a good time exploring Philadelphia! I’ve never been to mini golf or Longwoods Gardens in all the years I’ve been here! So it was a great oppotunity! In addition, Brian got to meet some of the women in my women’s small group. And we got to meet up with an old (60+) Christian couple to chat and to talk about our relationship and to ask for guidance and wisdom.

And! finally! we got to kick off our devotionals! Galatians is our first journey together. 🙂

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Opened my eyes, Let me see

One of my very close girl friends read the very first entry of this blog, Suffering and Pain. It describes how this whole blog started. She knew my ex when we were still together.

She got so angry and so sad. I explained that I’m so thankful it happened, more than a year ago! And that it’s only God’s blessings that pulled me out of that relationship.

And as we were speaking, this song comes on the radio:

Light of the world
You stepped down into darkness.
Opened my eyes, let me see.

Yes, I think my LORD is the light, who lights up my life, and allows me to see clearly.

There is no more tears and sadness, I see God’s hands and His mercy, and just as my dad had said, that night when I frantically called him, “Praise God.”

Our second date

So I had been traveling internationally for 3 weeks, and domestically for 1 week. The last time Brian and I saw each other (in person, minus Skype webcam moments), was almost 5 weeks ago. He found tickets for Spirit Airlines for $17 each way to fly from Michigan to Atlantic City, NJ. Then he found a car rental to drive to Philadelphia for just $48.

So with this deal he presented me, he suggested that he could come to Philly for a day trip, because it’s been way too long since we’ve see each other. So I arrive back into Philadelphia on Sunday, and the plan is Tuesday. We’re both very excited.

Once again (oh, how we “love” flight delays), his flight is delayed in Michigan. I’m at work, so I just continue working until he lets me knows that he’s in Atlantic City and driving over to Philadelphia. He texts me around 10:30am to let me know that he got the rental car and that he’s driving now. So I estimate that he’ll arrive around 11:30am. I have given directions to my building, but it’s a complex, so I’m worried that he’ll get lost with so many buildings and turns, etc. So I tell him to call me when he’s close by so I can direct him where to go.

It’s 11:40am, and no call has come yet, so I’m wondering where he is and if he’s lost somewhere in the city of Philadelphia. I checked my phone (for the 10th time) and there’s no text. I’m listening to music as I’m working. Suddenly, there’s a knock on my office door. I’m assuming it’s the usual package that needs a signature or something.

I look up from my desk, and I see my boyfriend standing there, big bouquet in hand while leaning on my office door. My face starts going red. As I said, I’m not always the romantic type. I’m so happy to see him, but I’m also scrambling to gather my stuff so we can get out of there… in case any of my coworkers see this. It’s so sweet, but I feel so awkward… I’m so terrified of drawing attention/looks… that when we walk to the car, he is still holding the flowers…

I suddenly realize: HOW did he get to my office? He had no idea where my office was (I never mentioned what floor or room number). In addition, my work place is on high security, so there is no way he could just walk in, unless I signed him in, or he somehow produced an additional ID to get a vistor badge, which he didn’t have one.

He won’t tell me. 😦 He says he has special spy skills that he learned from 007……… sure…..

Anyhow, he takes me grocery shopping at Wegmen’s over in NJ, and we have an early dinner at Distrito. And then by 6pm, he drops me off at church, where I had a meeting at 7pm, and he’s off, driving back to Atlantic City to catch a 8:11pm flight back to Michigan.

Later that night, he calculates that he spent travel time 10 hours, just to see me for 7 hours. I felt really bad that he went through so much trouble. So we’ve agreed that this is a one time deal, and we will never do one day trips again.

Note: Travel time = 10 hours: left his apt at 5:30am for a 7:30am flight, flight delayed till 8:30am, arrived at 10:30am, drove to philly, arrived at 11:30am. (total travel: 6 hours) Leaves Philly at 6:30pm for an 8pm flight, gets to Michigan at 10pm and gets home at 11pm (total travel: 4.5 hours).

Lies for two years

This is a very sad story that left me speechless:

Adrienne finally found the man of her dreams, Toby. They were together for two wonderful years, and one night Toby comes and tells Adrienne that he’s getting married… with another woman… tomorrow. Adrienne doesn’t know what to do. But he tells her that he still loves her and actually wants to be with her. Adrienne calls up her friend Jody and tells her the situation and says she’ll wait for Toby. Jody is pulling out her hair, she’s furious of what Toby did. Adrienne then says that she and Toby packed Toby’s stuff for the honeymoon. How strange is that?!

Toby never came back. Adrienne was still waiting. Jody tries to wake her up. But eventually, Adrienne gets very angry at Jody, saying that she wasn’t a real friend because she didn’t support Adrienne’s decision to fight for him and to try to make him stay.

Jody is left speechless.

It’s been a few years since the incident, but Adrienne is no longer the same person. She seems defeated but also bitter.

It’s so broken . So so broken. Toby was cheating on the his fiance, while lying to Adrienne, too. And now has left her in broken pieces. This is so wrong.

Such sin and deception.

Jody prays for Adrienne every night. But Adrienne has distanced herself from Jody. Now what?

“And I will live/To carry on compassion/To love a world that’s broken/To be Your hands and feet
I will give/With the life that I’ve been given/And go beyond religion
To see your world be changed/By the power of Your name”

-Lincoln Brewster “Power of Your Name”

How do you love and change this world when this is the type of brokenness that we’re fighting against?

How long should you wait to apologize?

Someone once asked me this question.

I just looked at them, mouth dropped open…

Okay, not really. But I was a bit shocked by the question. But then upon thinking, I can understand. When it comes to apologizing, there’s a lot involved, there’s pride, there’s principle… and there’s… well, pride.

I think once you realized you did something wrong or you hurt someone, I would hurry and apologize immediately.

However, there is the occasional situation where you feel that you didn’t do anything wrong, but the other person thought you did something wrong, then what? Give a phony apology just to hold them over and appease them? Or just shut your mouth and refuse to apologize as you watch them writhe in pain and anger?

If you know you did wrong, but you’re just holding back your apology, I would ask, why? Is it because you don’t want to seem submissive? So that you’ll hold out a bit before giving in and apologizing. But during that wait, if you really care about this person, your mother, your friend, your boyfriend, etc… would you really want them to conitnue to hold a grudge or stay upset at you? Would you really want them to continue to allow nasty feelings to fester and grow and become nasty mold?

If you know you’ve done wrong, don’t wait to apologize. Apologize immediately.

However, if you’re not sure what you did wrong… Then hang on a sec.

In the case that the other person just blew up at you, and you have NO IDEA what happened/what you did:

1. Make sure you clarify. Are they really angry at you? And was it something you did? Or are they upset about something else, but you just got caught in crossfire? Or perhaps their already upset about something, and you just made it worse.
Figure out if you: have whole responsibility, share partial responsibility, or have no responsibility.

Why should you clarify? Well, it clears up if you’re involved or not in the anger. If so, then contnue to step 2. If not, then you can help the other person clearly see that by displacing their anger onto you (though it has nothing to do with you)  is NOT a solution and it’s also hurtful for you.

2. If you are somehow involved, find out how. How were you involved. What is it that caused them to be upset. When you casually made a comment, was it the comment that made them upset? or was it the tone of voice? or was it the attitude behind? or supposedly something that they interpreted as being negative and insinuating?

3. Once you find out what got them fuming, ask yourself: is that true? Was your tone really way off? Did you mean what you said sincerely or with malice or touch of humor or acidic sarcasm? Figure out what you meant. And clarify with them. And if you’re wrong? Then apologize.

What does it mean you’re wrong:
You didn’t mean it to be negative, but somehow they interpreted it negatively. Even after you explain, they still explain that it hurt, then apologize, because (hopefully) you never meant to hurt them.

But if you feel justified in what you said, and you were intentional with the choice of your tone and attitude, etc, and they didn’t misunderstand a single thing of your statement… then perhaps you guys need to talk about it. You don’t have to apologize for having a different opinion. You don’t need to change your opinion just so it matches theirs. But it’s best to discuss it (reasonably and civilly). So next time when something similar occurs, you’ll be able to understand a little bit more what they think and why they think that way, and they’ll be able to understand you a bit more, too!