Two dogs: breathing in, and letting it out; monsters under the bed (and outside the door); Tennesseee, Monday through Friday, and Buying In Bulk.

This is a (now, old) entry beginning on 12/13 and ending on 12/17.

It’s followed by an “update.”

Author’s note:

This journal entry takes course over the period of 5 days (due to hectic life).  Hopefully the awkward breaks will make more sense now, with that thought in mind. -Aun Aqui

*******************

12/13

I’m always here.  Most of the time, I am waiting for you, seeing if you will take the initiative step, which usually doesn’t happen, so I step out.  But I am always here.

-Amy Lauren..

and, it sounds like God.

12/ 14

So the past couple of days have sucked.

I found out Sunday after work (made 120, by the way, serving at CB) that Zoey was put to sleep Saturday night — beauty so pure, beautiful dog, skunky munky, love..

Life sucks.

Then, THIS morning, Chris left for work around 5:40.  About fifteen minutes later, just before six (and while it was still dark), someone broke into our apartment.

It was HORRIFYING.

I was sound asleep, all by myself,  in a perfectly unconscious state, and all of the sudden I heard this lound siren noise — alarm like.  I woke up, opened my eyes.  The room was dark.  Over the top of my comforter I watched, in amazed terror, as the dark silhouette of a tall man ran out of the bedroom, slamming the door shut behind him. 

I layed there, shocked.  Frozen with fear, I remained quiet and still for the space of 30 minutes (or more).  I heard my heart pounding, and I allowed myself to gulp about three times.  I didn’t know if he was outside my bedroom door, waiting for me, listening to me, or if he had left the apartment completely..

or, was all this crazy mess just a dream,

a nightmare?

No! Never.  The sounds, were too loud.. my vision, too clear.. everything was too real and distinct and VIVID to be “just a dream.” I woke up BECAUSE of some providential alarm (as our apartment, does NOT have one).. and I woke up just in time to witness him run away.  To hear the door slam. 

God scared him away. 

That’s the only conclusion I was able to come to. 

I don’t know where the siren/ alarm came from, or who, besides me and the monster, heard it, but what I’m certain of is that God was watching over me, and He did, miraculously, what was necessary to protect and save me.

After laying there for thirty minutes, I moved my hand slightly and realized how damp and hot it was.  I was sweating profusely.  I was able (at this time) to cognizantly feel capaccino (my stuffed puppy) again, who had been clutched to my chest the whole, entire time.  I turned my head slightly and raised myself up, slowly, into a sitting position.  My cell phone was on the end table, just to the left and back of me.  I leaned back, cautiously, and secured it in my left hand, at once returning to the sitting position.  While my eyes continually scanned the door, I texted Chris, telling him that it was necessary for him to come home immediately — that I thought someone might have broken into the house and I was too scared to move — I could scarcely breathe!

In less than a minute, Chris called me, demanding to know if 1. I was alright, and 2. what was going on (I guess reporting possible break-ins to a loved one via text isn’t very clear).  Anyways, I breathed three things into the phone – that

  • I was scared
  • I truly believed the guy was still in the house, and
  • I wasn’t getting out of that bed unless and until Chris came home – immediately.

 

Well unfortunately, Christopher was 1. Busy putting together a catering order at work and “already in trouble” for being on the phone with me and 2.  He was quite absolutely certain that he had bolt-locked the door this morning and that nobody could have possibly entered the apartment.

“Well honey, that’s wonderful that you’re so confident, I’m very glad, but I have indeed been lying here – petrified- for the past 30 minutes, after I DID hear a siren go off and after I DID see a man RUN out of our bedroom.”

Anyways, we deliberated for afew minutes, he pressing that I needed to just either call the police or go outside the bedroom myself and “see what was going on.” After alittle encouragement (ie, “I have to get back to work in about 20 seconds, figure out what you’re going to do”), I chose the latter.  With Christopher still on the phone, I crept out of bed and opened the bedroom door, harshly; I turned on the hallway light, authoritatively;

Nothing, no one.

It was puzzling.

I tip-toed into the living room and flashed the light — all was quiet, and perfectly still.  The house, was completely empty and, at the present, undisturbed.  I checked the front door..  it was locked.

But what about earlier?

I know what I heard, AND what I saw.  I was still shaking, still overwhelmed with fear.  Chris reassured me quickly that “he told me so,” that “everything was fine,” and with that I said goodbye and immediately called

Sierra.

I can always depend on her. I can always find comfort in her friendship and love.  She’s always interested in me — in every trial, blessing, and small detail of my life.  My fingers dialed her number quickly.  Once she answered I poured my heart out to her, told her all that had happened.  She sympathized with me.

12/16/2010

I never finished my story.  Life got busy for two days and there was left no time for creative venting, for story-telling, for writing.  Anyways..

That whole day, just stressed me out.  I greatly appreciated the support of my mother (that day and every day!!).  She stayed on the phone with me for just under two hours as I took a shower, found an outfit to wear (out of our big, dark, scary and creepy closet) and gathered my things together for work (I was scheduled to be at the Credit Union by 12:00, noon).  I left the house immediately after all of this and busied myself with errands: we needed to stop by the bank, the grocery store.. I needed to search for German Shepherd puppies and breeders on the internet.. I needed, at some point, to eat something.

So, I did all of that.

I ate lunch at Panera.  And Chris happened to be out on a catering order during those thirty minutes I sat there.

It’s okay; I had phone calls I needed to make.  I found out that Tuesday.. that German Shepherds – are everywhere,

EXCEPT Alabama.

I found, just, multitudes in Georgia and Tennessee – nice shepherds – AKC registered, sable colored, fairly priced, “I’ve had my vaccinations,” –

shepherds.

Anyways – long story short, I went into work that afternoon, after calling scores of breeders and advertisers and hearing back from only one (who sadly shared that all of her puppies had sold).  During my shift, however, my phone started ringing.  Reaching for it, I quickly realized it was a return call regarding SHEPHERD PUPPIES (not that I recognized the specific number – it’s just that I don’t get many calls on my phone, FRIENDS, and I wasn’t familiar with the area code — very indicative of it being an out-of-state GS person).

Anyways, I went against all the curiousity, desperation and desire within me and silenced the phone.. but immediately proceeding this sad event, I texted both mom AND Chris, in essence COMMANDING that either one or both of them needed to return this call, as I was unable to myself and it was very, very, exponentially important.

Sierra did.

And, it turns out that yes – this owner from TN had one German Shepherd puppy left — “the runt,” and this made me exceedingly glad, for if Mama Crouton (Sierra’s shepherd) had indeed been considered the “runt” of her litter, then she forever ennobled all runts and made them most desirable.

So YES!  One puppy left – praise the Lord, He saved him for ME (Yes, him; it’s a boy dog).  Chris and I talked that evening and, after going back and forth – deliberating, weighing whether or not we were ready, it was necessary, it was plausible – we came to a united answer.

His name, of course, is Bruster.

Bruster Buttermilk  Yarbrough?

Bruster Peppermint-Stick Yarbrough?

Bruster “the defender,” Yarbrough?

We haven’t settled on the proper middle name yet..

But really, I’m giving Chris the liberty to decide on that one.  In honor of our beloved Pastor, he wants to assign to Bruster a GERMAN middle-name..

and I say, knock yourself out.  I’ll be calling him Bruster. Brucey. Boo Boo.  And, “sheepherd.”  You can middle-name him WORM or DARTBOARD.. just as long as it has a nice ring to it.

So yes – this Saturday we will be driving to pick up OUR (not my) little Shepherd companion and I CAN’T WAIT! It has given me such peace, resassurance, joy, happiness, and fulfillment.

The next day, 12/17/2010

So this is the next day.  I’ve already shared “Tuesday Nightmare” and “Bruster’s Homecoming..”

And in addition to these stories I  must disclose a very sad and sorry one.

My beloved pet, Zoie — faithful and true, beautiful, intelligent and superior to all other pets for 10 years — passed away this past Saturday (nearly a week ago).  She had a mammary tumor that was most definitely malign (cancerous; the vet could “tell” or discern this fact by the rapidity of it’s growth), and for more reasons than one my parents decided to just let her go.

The surgery, which would be very expensive and far more costly than my parents could afford, couldn’t promise a full and absolute recovery.  At her age, the risks of such a sugery and the pain it would cause her just wouldn’t be worth it — especially if it were to no avail.  In addition to that, Zoie was, my mother reported, in great discomfort already, and to let it continue any longer would have been cruel, unjust and unfair. 

I received notification of her passing by email.  My mom was too emotionally attached and involved and devastated to relay such news in any other way.  I twasn’t until then that I knew all of these details concerning my Zoie’s condition.  I had been told that the tumor wasn’t pinned as malign or benign, and that it was being “kept an eye on..” but I didn’t know hte true estate of my dog – the extent of her hurting, the frailty of her condition. 

And so, entirely unprepared for the loss and completely ataken back –

I cried my tears, vent my frustration, and tried to come to terms with reality.

She was gone, and never said goodbye.

She was gone, and could never know how many tears I cried..

because she left this world,

without giving me any time.

I just wish I could have been with her.

It’s just very difficult to comprehend all that’s happened in a year – the giant leaps forward, and the thundering steps backwards.. or, maybe not backwards – just, bold, sorry steps in a different, OTHER direction.

I started waitressing and worked 6 days a week to save up tuition for two years of college.  I broke up with the boy I thought I was going to marry seven months after spending my first Thanksgiving with his family.  My best friend of 8 years removed herself from me – and to all my entreaties and apologizes I’ve received nothing but cold, static silence. 

I drove 1000 miles north – from the southern tip of Florida to the cold and heartless New York.. all by myself.  I vacationed at the Jersey Shore, with the people I love, for two days — two days that seem strangely, vividly implanted in my mind..

I married the man I dated for two months – the best friend I’ve ever known.. (is time really, always the test of everything?) I relinquished myself tot he Lord, permitting him to carry me to distant land or to hold me still in familar place, as His will desired – and He worked unaccording to my expectations, instead doing WHAT WAS BEST.  I resumed waitressing while Chris set himself to the task of finding a job to support us.. we moved away from tension and disaffection to find our own dwelling place..

I’ve felt the darts of the devil, the scary horror of obscure darkness and how wrong it is to depart from the Lord in the slightest degree..

I’ve lost my love, my darling, Zoie – I’m so very far from my mother, the only woman I’ve ever loved and trusted wholeheartedly.

And now, I’m assuming the role of caretaker.

I’m adopting a Bruster..

and we’re going to be best friends..

and somehow, for some reason,

I’m not going to be afraid or confused anymore.

I’m not going to feel lonely and sad anymore, because that puppy – that beautiful, sable darling  – will both need and want me.. need my care and attention, want my love, time and affection.  I need so badly to be needed.

I guess, because, I always was needed,- by atleast one person. For 8 years, it was Melissa.  She was so dependent on me! My approval or disapproval shaped her decisions.. my cheerfulness or morbidity determined her mood and state of mind.. my pursued interests became hers, and the talents I discovered I possessed she suddenly had, too.

And then, like a train that seems so long it goes on forever but finally, quietly, whistles himself away into absence –

it was gone.  She had left, and moved on.

And then, when I stopped being a bratty kid and grew up, it was my mother.  She confided in me – told me frustrations and fears no one else knew; shared little joys and minute details that others never heard..

and then, I moved away.

And now, I feel estranged.

Like no matter how much we talk, and how much deeper, greater, stronger and fully realized my love for her is, – things will never and can never, be the same.  I’m just not needed like I was anymore.. by anyone.  I’m no longer so apart of anyone’s life that I’m an essential. 

I’m barely a desire.

 

And then, it was Zoie (this is all out of chronological order, and some of this – all of this, really, intertwines).  She never showed her neediness, but I sensed it.  She was afraid to show concern and desire – to let on when she felt slighted, rejected or ignored.. but I always made up for her lack of bravery and straight-forwardness (in this respect).  I always loved her, and always, always respected her.  My deference for her was like that of a pauper to his king.  She was my beauty so pure – my most beautiful, wonderful dog – my only.

And now, she is beyond my grasp.. for as long, at least, as this world shall last.  But now — there is Bruster.  And already, there is a special place in my heart devoted just to him.. and I hope that his whole heart will soon, someday, be filled with love for me.

Anyways..

Today is Friday.  I’m working at the Credit Union til 4:30.  I love this job — the one-on-one interaction with people, the cash-handling that challenges my brain and keeps it alive, the stress-free atmosphere, the free time for self-improvement, my co-workers, the mission of the company, the pay.. everything, is perfect.  I’m still praying that they decide I could be used full time.  I really don’t enjoy serving anymore.. and beyond that, I just don’t think I want to do it anymore. 

I hate treating people the way servers have to — providing friendly conversation and service with expectation.  It completely nullifies any genuine interest in the guest and absolutely maligns every good intention.  It’s too lucrative, too aggressive for me.  I did it while I had to.. now, I’m ready (and soon, I hope, able) to move beyond that.  Also- besides the job description itself – my managers just suck, plain and simple.  They’re the worst management team I’ve ever experienced, witnessed or known.  You wouldn’t believe me if I told you some of the things they’ve said and done on the job.. that hurt servers, grill cooks, host/esses and retail workers.  Again – I’m making it so clear — the managers, suck.

So, tonight is FNF.  Chris and I skipped the past two weeks, due to true EXHAUSTION, but since we’ll be mission church tomorrow (driving to TN in the am), I’m definitely planning on us attending the study this evening.*  (after-note, 12/20:  we DIDN’T go to FNF, because Chris’s friend and mine, Justin Brann Daniels, arrived late from TN and we wanted to spend the evening with him — providing food and fellowship.  Afew other friends over and we all enjoy the time to relax and spend with eachother.)

On a different note, apartment life is SO FUN!  Aside from the horrifying prospect of someone breaking in and killing us, I enjoy our privacy and personal space.  We have kept th ehouse very clean and orderly and, while we are very simple, modest and without a lot, I feel that our little space is nicely decorated and is homey.. especially our kitchen and bedroom (the two rooms we use/ live in the most).  Cooking is awesome.  We go shopping maybe twice a week, so our produce is always fresh.  It’s great – stocking up, buying in bulk, knowing that what you left in the fridge or cupboard Wednesday morning will still be there, in it’s place, Wednesday evening.

And, we’ve had fun with vegetarian cooking.  Last night, we had fajitas.  For lunch one day,we made bacon-noodle dish (again, I must stress, vegetarian).  Just in case you’re curious, bacon noodle is easy to cook, made of only afew ingredients (I’ll list instructions in a second), and very tasty.  It’s like this.. buy some noodles you like (we prefer whole grain elbow noodles for this dish), boil them.  Whileeee those noodles be boiling, sautee some onion and VEGGIE (please) bacon.  Then.. once that’s nicely cooked.. open up afew (2-3) cans of tomato SOUP (not, sauce.. sauce will RUIN it soup will ROCK it) and pour it in.  Finally, add in as many noodles as you like (the more you add, the less soupy and more dry it is.. my theory is 1 can of soup per person eating).  Yep.. try it! Anyways, we have fun, in short.  There is really nothing as great as baking cookies at home and then dipping those cookies in (soy) milk.  I never did that until I met Chris.. (he was amazed).  Really, it just revolutionize my taste buds.  It makes the cookie 5 times better.   Now that we have our Costco membership, we go as little as possible.

That sounded strange, didn’t it?  But yeah, absolutely! We try to go as LITTLE as possibly, because if you venture inside those huge industrial doors with the intention of just “picking up one thing,”

you get stuck

sucked in

trapped

entranced

and you want to buy EVERYTHING..

you leave with MANY things.. all these, in bulk –

and they’re “priced so well!”..

It’s hard to make it out under fifty dollars.

Anyways, some of the things we have enjoyed buying in bulk: Toilet paper, paper towels, garbage bags, aluminum foil, soymilk, veggie chips, poptarts, almond butter, etc.  What’s funny, is I hate poptarts.. but still.. 32 for 10 dollars just COMPULSED me to commit.  It’s sort of weird.

I guess I’ll close here* (finally! you’re breathing to yourself).  Life is busy and full of surprises, an endless series of changes requiring adaptations and disappointments demanding courage, bravery, optimism, ingenuity and belief in God –

His power, love and constant watchcare..

His unfailing protection over us,

His wisdom and good will TOWARD us.

I’m learning to trust, and to let go of the control – mental and physical – that I always wanted over my life.  I’m learning to submit myself, to be honest with myself, in allowing myself to see my mistakes and in being brave enough to let God help me change.

I’m loving this world less.

I’m seeing it’s corruption, it’s hideous face, it’s deceptive allurement,

more clearly than ever before.

-Aun Aqui

*******************

Well, that was probably the LONGEST ENTRY EVER.  It took up about 21 (okay, 20 and 1/2, legalist) pages in my hardcover.  Hopefully 1/8th of it was interesting.

Today is Monday (12/20).. I finally finished typing it up and, being Monday, the weekend is over.  Yes! We DID go get our Bruster Saturday and, sure enough,

he’s the coolest dog ever born on planet earth and YOU are jealous.

It’s okay; they’re still working on that cloning crap.. just maybe..

Anyways, his first few days home with us have been interesting.  Afew highlights, bullet style:

  • The first thing he did when we arrived home after those 8 long hours of driving.. he peed.
  • I started singing to him yesterday evening (opera style, I guess it would be frightening) and once I had finished executing my 20-second “how is he going to react?” test, he howled at me.. 4 times.. raising his head vertically as if he were a wolf-dog.  Chris was petrified, stunned; I laughed.
  • After many trips outside of our apartment to go “potty,” Bruster finally walks up and down the stairs for me (I don’t have to carry him anymore)
  • Bruster is afraid of Chris’s guitar
  • Bruster crawled into his den (shh, cage) Saturday night, laid down on his bed, and fell asleep.  He didn’t cry, all night (yeah– this was the notorious “first puppy night,” you guys).. and he didn’t even get up until 6 am, when our alarm went off and we went over and opened his door.
  • He loves to kiss mommy and horseplay with daddy (I’m the affectionate one; Chris is the fun guy).
  • His mouth is just alittle too small to play tennis ball, but the interest is clearly there.

Needless to say, thoughts of Bruster consume both of our minds, every day.. at work, on the road, even in bed.  I haven’t slept well the past few mights.. I wake up, my ears alert, waiting to hear him breathe.. wondering if he’s about to start crying and, if he does, how I’m going to quiet and console him.  He had the hiccups this morning; it woke me up! I turned to Chris and mumbled something.  His reply: “he’s not going to die.”  We’re both very exhausted, mentally, and not sleeping well is draining both of us.  We’re hoping to catch up on some “z’s” this week.. if that’s at all possible.

And tonight, is the Eco Christmas Dinner!  I’ll be dining at Outback Steakhouse (as a vegetarian, I’ve never been there, but I’m hoping they serve mashed potatoes) and Chris will be coming along with me.  Eco is such a wonderful company.. it’s so family-oriented; being at work is really like being with family.  I know a lot of companies “claim” to provide that atmosphere and working experience, but.. they don’t.  I’m pretty sure they don’t. 

Financially, Chris and I are doing a LOT better, praise the Lord.  He is blessing us for double-tithing (I’m sharing this, not to “boast,” but to relate how FAITHFUL the Lord is in providing for us — how rewarding it is to serve Him with all of one’s heart and soul, how he blesses the faith we step out on).  We aren’t “shaking in our boots” in the Dollar General line any more.. we are able to pay the bills on time, buy good, healthy food, and, we even went on a date the other night.  I had been serving at Cracker Barrel and engaged in conversation with a guest.  She was just gushing about The Cheesecake Factory.

“The Cheesecake Factory! I went there once,” I shared, “but all we had was dessert.  I’ve heard their entrees are pretty pricey.”

“Oh — nooo!”  She tossed her head back.  “Really, they aren’t! Let me tell you..” and she went into this sales campaign (doesn’t work there, supposedly,- just a huge supporter and fan) regarding their awesome potato soup (served on select days only), their wonderful and filling tacos, and their 10 dollar deal (where you get a pizza AND a salad.. both!).  After talking with her, I was sold (not that I’m gullible.. just, it sounded good.  All I really cared about was cheesecake for dessert, but, I thought Chris might appreciate it).  And so, the plan began formulating in my mind: I will take Chris out on a date tonight! To The Cheesecake Factory! He’ll be so surprised.. this will be nice for a change.

Anyways, I’m not going to go on and on and make this illustrated but still boring.  We didn’t go; while we were driving (and he didn’t know where we were going — all he knew was I wanted to “surprise him”) we passed a chinese/ japanese place (Stix.. you’ve heard of it) and he remarked out loud, “Man!  I would love Chinese..”

And so, yes.  We ate at stix.. and he ate with stix.  I couldn’t figure out how to use them.

Anyways, work is letting off in an hour, so, I’m going to keep running checks and balancing cash, stashing away receipts and studying spanish on the internet until that time comes.  I can’t wait to be home with Christopher and Bruster.  I can’t wait to fall asleep..

but I can definitely take a rain check on waking back up.

-Aun Aqui

Poem; written by (me) on 12/ 10.  I think it’s truthful.. so, we’ll title it

Truthful. (an original)

When it all looks the same because you’re running in the dark

When you lie to yourself because you hate what you are

When you look past their smiles because they can’t see the scars

You change the future in the present,

judge for miles from afar

When you don’t know just what to say but the words keep spilling out

When you take a step in the right direction, and feel your heart leaping out

You stumble on the streets because each foot is heavy now

And things turned out to be just as they seemed, the lights are going out

You make it around and past the corner into an open grey

Where everybody “finds” themself, and is free to go or stay

You’re looking at their faces and it really makes you scared

To realize these young dreamers scarcely even know they’re there

You’re running now, back to where you’ll always hide

Reality was a more horrid nightmare than any you ever devised

Into the arms of make believe, you find your solace there

Cuddled in a hazy inbetween, like you hardly know you’re there.

Build some walls – and I’ll come dwell with you

As long as the quarters are cramped, and the window has no view

Hold me close and feel me choke on the things I bite into

Pull me close and smell the smoke

I breathe out

just for you.

(Yes you’re running back to where you always used to be

Reality was a more horrid nightmare than any you could conceive)

-Aun Aqui/ Amber Rose Yarbrough

Deposits, withdrawals, gift cards, Romans, Chinese Buffets, early days, boots and chocolate chip cookies (Sierra: the last word).

(This is a keyed copy of the very last entry to my Autumn, 2010 journal.  It will be followed by additional “footnotes;” ie, details and recounts that I couldn’t fit into, or didn’t take time to write out for, the hard copy.) -AA

12/9

I’m at the bank–scratch that, Credit Union.  Today is my first day handling transactions, personally.. and I’m waiting for Sha to give me my “drawer,” or what I would call, “cash box.”

Chris had to go in to work at 5 this morning; this new catering job (which is definitely  a blessing) is very demanding on his time.. and I’m so glad, because he’s EXCITED about it.  He’s happy with it.  (I couldn’t handle getting up that early).

Chris and I wrote two songs together this past week; it was a Saturday evening, and we were at the church for the Christmas social.  Somehow, maybe an hour into the fellowship evening, I meandered off on my own, desiring solitude and a chance to play — an opportunity rarely extended, recently.  As I was playing on those pale ivory keys, dimly lit by reason of only one light flickering in the Sanctuary, I heard Chris’s voice.  He came over to where I was, lugging Abby with him (Abby is his guitar, you recall). I shared what I had composed (based off of a progression he had put together weeks previous), and he loved both the words and the melody I had added.  He played along, fingerpicking the bass line, and we enjoyed an evening of sharing and creating music together.  It was like “old times.”

I was able to sleep in until 7:45 this morning, and by 7:53 I was successfully out from underneath the warm covers, braving the cold apartment air.  (Chris and I “run” the heat for roughly 25 minutes a day; 10 minutes when we first wake up and 15 minutes at the end of the day, when we’re just getting into bed.  At that time, I fully immerse myself into the bed, lying on it’s cold sheets, and Chris races from the little hallway to our bedroom once he’s turned the heat off.)  However, when Chris isn’t home, I don’t bother.  I just undress and dress quickly, move around a lot, and keep my mind busy, so that for the short space of time I’m home I won’t notice how icy my hands and feet are, how many goosebumps are covering my arms and legs.

But my heart is always warm.. warm enough, atleast, though the rest of my body varies between extreme temperatures.  I wonder how hot your heart is during a heart attack?  I hope I never know.

Anyways, the food I ate yesterday was really crappy, so I started today off with a hearty bowl of oatmeal and a side cup of “no sugar added” granny smith apple sauce.  Just to give you a glimpse into how awful yesterday’s “Rose’s diet” chart reads, I’ll recount some happenings.

I came into work early — around 8:15, because an affiliate of ours (Enterprise – a car company) was stopping by to train and feed us (train us: how to market their new “buy-a-car” promotion; fed us: Chik Fil A and Shipley’s donuts).  Being the vegetarian of the group, I felt justified, morally, to take just ONE glazed donut.

So I did.

And iffff I would have stopped there, I wouldn’t have experienced, later on in the day, “eater’s remorse.”

But no.  The rest of my crap-fast consisted of Hershey kisses and bite-sized Snickers (gifts from a recent member who donated a shipload of candy to us tellers at Eco after a drive-through consultation), along with a handful (just one handful–very full) of bold party Chex Mix (the adjective perfectly descriptive of my eating pursuits).

And then, feeling lousy and unnourished but somehow full, I went on my 12 o clock lunch break.  A co-worker, Melissa, had announced that she was heading off to Starbucks.  Before leaving the building she called out, “Rose, do you want anything?”  Being new, I thought to myself, This is the perfect opportunity to get to know her better and, maybe, kindle a friendship! Not wanting to reject such a christian obligation or to deny this human-connection opportunity here, now presenting itself, I quickly responded that I could just follow her there.  And so, after clocking out, my car trailed hers the three miles to the Starbucks on 31.  We both got out of our cars and rushed inside, out of the gusty weather, the chilly winds.  Once inside, Melissa mentioned that she was heading straight back to Eco after making her purchase — that she had promised to buy a frappacino for one of our co-workers.  Perfectly composed, I responded that that was fine – that I was “drinking in” and would “see her later;” and so, she left, and I defaulted to the back of the building and found myself sitting at an isolated, 2-person table, reading a book – quietly, silently – sipping on a cold, soy-based frappacino that made me shiver and that I didn’t really even want in the first place.

And THEN, that evening, Chris and I went out.  First, we stopped by the church (for prayer meeting), and directly afterwards we drove to Burger King (as I had won a $10 gift card to the said restaraunt during a playful quiz issued by our friends from Enterprise).  There, Chris and I enjoyed greasy, fat little french fries and split a medium chocolate shake.  So yeah; yesterday sucked (my blood) and killed (my internal digestive organs).. like a vampire. 

Anyways, wow.  This is the last page of my 2010 journal and how.. not meaningful.. were these last 2 pages.  I don’t know how to close this work; Melissa Jean still hasn’t written me back, or contacted me in any way whatsoever; I’m hoping, now, that my deferred “visit the fam in January” plans will materialize, somehow, this summer; Chris and I both work steady day-jobs now that we enjoy.. what an answer to prayer!; our church has supported and loved us both in ways that we could never repay; I’ve grown as a person — out of my tattoos, past my self-mutilation scars, through my heartache, beyond the calorie charts, and despite rejection, disappointment and censure.. I’ve grown through the blood and love of Christ, the love and friendship of Christopher, and the friendship and devotion of my mother –

Sierra.

-Aun Aqui

*******

So yeah!  Last journal entry.. I guess I’ll be starting on my next one soon (within a week or two).  I’ve stocked up 3 journals at the apartment – all untouched, brand new.. the only work is to decide which one is to follow the closed work and, what pen do I use.  I’ve never really been particular about my writing instruments, so, that was more metaphorically significant than anything.

Anyways.

Some more details about “recent life..”

Monday night, is “radio-show-night.”  It’s always Monday night at 7 that Pastor Karl, Christopher, TJ, Kirstan (when she’s not at school), Zeke (associate pastor) and myself (when I’m not working) get together and record a 30-minute Bible study segment (question/ answer format) for the 11 o clock program that airs every Saturday.  Anyways, this PAST Monday, Christopher and I were in our apartment, readying ourselves for the evening, when a knock came at the door.  Chris went to inspect and the eyehole was being covered by someone outside! How terrifying!

“Who is there?”  He demanded authoritatively.

“Me!”

It was Pastor Karl.

We let him in and he sat down on our “new” couch and chatted with us for awhile.. it turns out, recording was cancelled for the evening, as our associate pastor needed to complete a homework assignment and couldn’t join us (I couldn’t see why we couldn’t just record without him this once, or how the 12 hours of daylight preceding  7 o clock didn’t afford enough time to “get it done..” but).  For a long while he and Chris discussed a book Chris had recently purchased (or been given), and then, suddenly, Pastor Karl inquired, “Have you eaten dinner yet?”

“Well I’m just about to go cook dinner now!” I responded.  “What would you like..”

“No–have you eaten dinner yet?”

Chris and I looked at eachother.  “Well, no..”

“Where do you want to go?”  He smiled.

We ended up going to a chinese buffet right down the street.  It was so much fun; we both love spending time with Pastor Karl.  After the evening was over and we drove him back to our apartment and he pulled away in his car, we talked about him for atleast 10-20 minutes.. how fun, loving, and beautiful he and his wife are.  I failed to mention – he gave us 2 Walmart gift cards as “end of the year” (Christmas!) gifts!  Chris and I went to the aforestated store immediately after his departure and with those gift cards we purchased some things we had needed for awhile: a vaccum, a broom, a dustpan, a towel, and more.  Chris needed socks, so we got those.. I needed socks, too (tall ones — our apartment, is freeeeezing), so I also got socks.  That was our Christmas present to eachother.  🙂 

About ‘Christmas..’

Neither of us really celebrate the holiday, but we still want to surprise eachother with something “special.”  Unfortunately, it’s not very do-able.. but regardless, Chris’s wishlist reads something like this: a tv.  Mine boldly asks for: a Siberian Husky puppy or a German Shepherd dog.  Both of us want (and need) haircuts.  Christmas will just have to carry on for a couple of months and maybe, during that period of time, we’ll accumulate the funds necessary to grant those desires.. or atleast one or two of them.

Anyways, I’m finishing this entry today – this morning.  It’s Friday.  Chris wasn’t scheduled to work, so he’s at home – vaccuming, doing laundary, washing dishes, making the bed, and, possibly, attending a funeral.  Darren’s mother’s funeral.  It came as a shock to me (Darren is a church friend of ours; his last name need not be given).  It amazed me, Wednesday night..  it was 2 nights after the incident, and Darren came to the prayer meeting held at our church.  He was dressed nicely (a young man, maybe 25..), wearing a smile, laughing with us, making eye contact, giving hugs.. not crying at all.  God has definitely given him a peace that passes understanding – a comfort and consolation few allow themselves to experience.. I know that Chris’s presence at the funeral will be a support to him – a comfort, and a consolation.  As followers of Christ, we must always, always remember – that we are His hands, and feet — we are His lips, His words, His light.  The way we conduct ourselves, the way we speak, the way we live, is all a reflection of the character of the one we “love” and “serve.”  We can be messengers of peace, light and love – or agents of cold harshness, stern justice, and awful darkness.. our influence can be that which tends to good, or can be a poor example.. our atmosphere may be infused with life-giving energy, optimism and positiveness – or it can be contaminated, poisoned, with selfishness, irritability and insensitivity.  Taking time – to reflect, to pray, to entreat, to repent — this is the life blood of our spirits. 

And while Chris is at home, working, I’m at the Credit Union, wearing two bandaids – one on my right wrist, one on my left forearm – handling transactions, balancing, filing..

Tonight we’ll be going to FNF, tomorrow we’ll be attending church, tomorrow afternoon we’ll be driving over to the Lopez’ house for the monthly Bible study (led out by Pastor Karl), and tomorrow evening, we’ll be sitting in the audience watching a Christmas play that Chris’s little sister, Leah, is a performer in..

and then Sunday, at 8 am, I’ll be serving.

And the rest of the week – I’ll be working.. until, once again, the blessed Sabbath rest arrives.

I was reading, yesterday, a quote – which I will now elaborate on.  It comes from The Great Controversy – a book written by Ellen White in the 1800s. 

“There have ever been two classes among (did you catch that? among) those who profess (def: to declare openly; announce or affirm; avow or acknowledge) to be followers of Christ.  While one class study the Saviour’s life and earnestly (not half-heartedly or in an offhanded sort of way) seek to correct their defects and conform to the Pattern, the other class shun the plain (putting the truth to shame, making confusing that which is simple, complicating what is totally clear), practical truths which expose their errors.  Even in her best (def: of the highest quality, excellence, or standing; most advantageous, suitable, or desirable) estate the church was not composed wholly (completely, entirely) of the true, pure, and sincere.  Our Saviour taught that those who willfully indulge in sin are not to be received into the church; yet He connected with Himself men who were faulty in character, and granted them the benefits of His teachings and example, that they might have an opportunity to see their errors and (-beyond SEEING them,) correct them.”

Really.. never mind.  That says it all.

-Aun Aqui

PS.

As a final footnote:  I went home during my lunch break to warm up some soup aaaaand to my surprise, Christopher had not only cleaned the house immaculately, but had also written me a sweet “love letter” and baked a full-tin of cookies.  🙂  It made my day.. it made me smile.. it made me feel loved.  🙂  Just thought I’d share that – how awesome and superior to ALLLL other husbands my Christopher is.

“And it gets easier with the course of time

And less hard for me to realize

(that) I’ve lost everything I used to hold inside

And I’ve given it away

   a dozen for a dime” -Rose and Chris