Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cottonwood Again?

HOPE S.H.A.R.E.D. (Share How Abba Relates Every Day)

(pic from Power Point clip art) 

Every year about this time, the seeds of cottonwood trees in cottony masses float innocently through the air.  After three days in a row of outside activities, even with allergy medication, I'm ready for the madness to stop.  I'm having a sneezing fit as I write this blog!  As I think about cottonwood, it reminds me of three changes.

First:  Cottonwood reminds me of changes of seasons: Spring! (which means Summer is around the corner!).  I love Spring (but would love it more without cottonwood).  It's a time of outdoor soccer, grilled food (less cooking for me and more grilling for my awesome griller husband), outdoor dining, with ends in sight (end of school, end of activities, end of highschool, college, or in my house: elementary school).

Secondly:  Cottonwood reminds me of changes in allergies.  This means: stock up on allergy medication, kleenex, and expect more kleenex  in the laundry (Is it ok to reuse kleenex after its been laundered?  Probably. Right?).  I've also realize my reaction to a sneeze has changed.  My reaction before children: "God bless you."  My reaction when one of my children sneezes: yelling, "Where's the kleenex?" (It's usually when I'm driving, which results in tossing a kleenex box at the sneezer.  And after three children a sneeze becomes, "Where's the bathroom?" (ladies you will understand this one).

Finally:  Cottonwood reminds me of changes in communication. My husband (R) and I will celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary next Tuesday.  We communicate much differently (hopefuly better) than we did when we dated.  Cottonwood effected our communtication early in our relationship.  I must back up and tell the whole story for you to understand. 

My husband's friend that lived in Dallas, TX invited us to stay with him to visit Six Flags.  R bought Six Flags tickets before we left to receive a discount.  When we stopped to get gas, R had me check to make sure we had the tickets he placed in the glove box.  I checked, put them back, and we drove to Texas.   

The next day, we arrived when Six Flags opened anticipating a great day together.  I opened the glove box to get the tickets.  To our surprise, no tickets.  Really?  I know I saw them and put them back.  We searched the car, our luggage, my purse, no tickets.  Exasperated, we decided to buy tickets at the gate.  Neither one of us wanted to take the blame for the missing tickets.  Before this argument, three months of dating, we had only disagreed about who had to pick where we would eat.  We didn't have much practice in conflict resolution.  Our solution: silence.  We only talked to each other to decide where to go next.

Then unprepared, the cottonwood flying around reeked havoc on my allergies: eyes watering, nose running like a faucet, and sneezing uncontrollably.  Now, in between lines we had to find a bathroom to stock up on toilet paper, which made my nose red.  Miserable!

We loved roller coasters.  Because we went in the middle of the week, the short lines allowed us to ride roller coaster after roller coaster.  Sometimes we rode the same ride two times without getting off.  You'd think no lines was ideal.  However, if you'd had cottonwood allergies, need kleenex constantly, and feel terrible, it created a problem.  It shouldn't have surprised us when I finally "tossed my cookies" on a roller coaster.  Thankfully I got sick at the end of the roller coaster, and the darkness hid most of it.  After that, R said, "I guess its time to go."  Yes! What a terrible day!

Cottonwood reminds me of how our communication has changed.  Our communication has improved since then.  We deal with conflict resolution very differently.  We don't choose the silent treatment any more (maybe we should sometimes). 

This also made me think about my communication with God.  Do I communicate more, and more effectively now, than I did when I first became a follower of Jesus?   Better than last year?  Just like I want my communication to improve with my husband, I also want to work on my communication with God through prayer.

What about you? Do you believe there is a God?  Do you have a friendship with Him?  How is your communication?

P.S.  We found the tickets a few months later when R had to replace his car battery.  The tickets had slipped behind the glove box through the small space above the glove box.  We can't agree to this day who should take the blame.

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