Sunday, March 31, 2013

My witness of the resurrection.

It was 2001.

I was in a dusty town in Venezuela, sitting on small bus that would take my companion and me to an incredibly poor part of town that rested atop a plateau. The bus was crowded, filled with laborers coming home from working in the main part of Guarenas.

Guarenas wasn't a beautiful town. There was a joke in the mission about Guarenas. It went something like this: if Guarenas is the butthole of the state of Miranda, and Miranda is the butthole of Venezuela, and Venezuela is the butthole of South America, and South America is the butthole of planet earth, and planet earth is the butthole of this Universe, where exactly does that put me?

(Note: I don't actually believe that about any of those locations. It was just a joke I heard. Please don't harass me with your love of Latin America. I love it too.)

I remember feeling tired this afternoon.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ten reasons I still haven't lost those last 20 pounds...

Ten reasons I still haven't lost those last 20 pounds

10. I'm just big boned.

9. Yeah, like I really want to have to buy a whole new wardrobe! (Said no gay man, ever.)

8. It's been really cold out--way too cold to run. On my treadmill.

7. So... these:

 Stock up now... these things don't last all year.

6. And, well, also these:

Friday, March 22, 2013

FFAQ VII--Time to ask some questions.

Do you like how you read a FFAQ answer yesterday, and there's a new poll today?  Sometimes life gets crazy, y'all. Crazy. Our book proposal needs to be done by Monday, so we're getting that sucker done. And writing that sentence fills me with excitement and amazement and joyness.

Oh! Someone sent me some FFAQ graphics, and I'm going to use one. Hold on, let me find it...

This was made by Brianna Dickerson, who is awesome. Brianna, if you have something you want me to link to (blog, etsy shop, art gallery, photography page), let me know. (Got it: click on her name and visit Brianna's photography site.)

Thanks Brianna. You rock.

All right. You know the drill. If you have a question, ask it in the comments. The earlier you ask the better. Questions that get chosen tend to be shortish, clear and specific. Also, many questions that are chosen have been asked several weeks, so if you saw a question you liked in the past, re-ask it. If you see a question you like, say "ditto" in its comments. The question with the most "dittoes" is the one I answer next Friday, and then the next Friday we do another poll, and so on and so forth, forever and ever into perpetuity.

Oh, and someone asked last week if the questions have to be about gay stuff. Truth is, while I love talking about that, I would seriously LOVE  to answer a question about other topics as well. So anything's game. Anything at all.

Bring on the questions! 

(And have a good weekend, Weeders. Much love to you all.)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Is it a choice? (FFAQ VII) + pics of the girls UPDATED

All right, I've totally been called out. I promised this post last Friday, and it's been days. Then reader Emily posted this last night as a comment on my last post in which I talk about pressing "refresh" a lot:

JOSH. I totally feel like YOU right nooow. I keep hitting *refresh* on your website, in the hopes that sometime, maybe soon! you'll post something new. Who knows? It could be soon. It COULD be there at the very next... *refresh*
Because let's be honest - I check your blog like, twice a day. 
UPDATES, please C:

1. That was funny. And 2. I have been remiss. I will do better, Weeders. I promise.

 (Which reminds me: Weeders? Does that work? I need a word for you awesome people. And "Weeders" makes me smile. Cuz it sounds like "readers." That's why it's funny. Do you understand now?)

Okay, on to.... FFAQ response!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Where I've Been aka I have some GOOD news

I haven't been able to get myself to write here because there was something kinda major going on in my life and even though it didn't take much of my time, it made my reflective abilities shrivel up like an offended sea anemone. Because that's what happens when there's a major email on its way: I sit down at the computer and my brain says "and now you will press refresh on your inbox times infinity until the email you are waiting for magically materializes" even though, deep down, I know it probably won't come for several more days.





"Maybe I should write a blog post... OVERRIDE! MUST REFRESH"


Heart stops when inbox says "1 new message." 

Friday, March 8, 2013

FFAQ VII--Poll time!

Is it seriously already Friday again?

I'm not complaining, mind you. Very glad it's Friday for several reasons, not the least of which is that it's my free day so I allow myself to eat EVERYTHING EVAR NOMNOMNOMNOM a little more than I do on my normal clean-eating days.

Fridays are my writing days now. I've spent the morning listening to Ann Lamott interviews (I'm obsessed with her lately) and getting ready to SPANK the memoir. Next I'll go on a run, take some crap to the dump and then write like a writing super champ.

But right now I need to put up a post for Friday's Frequently Asked Question.

If you're new here, here's how this goes down: ask a question in the comments. Any question. About anything. People will vote on the questions that accrue by placing the word "ditto" under the question they most like. Whichever question gets the most "dittoes" I will answer in a post next Friday. And so on and so forth into perpetuity. It's not the most elegant system, but it does work.

Questions that get chosen tend to be somewhat short, very direct and clearly written. The earlier in the day you ask, the more time you have to get dittoes. Last week one question won by a landslide, but most weeks there is a near-tie broken by only one or two votes, so don't despair if your question isn't the first or hasn't gotten tons of dittoes really early in the morning. Also: many of the questions I've answered so far have won only after having not gotten enough votes in previous weeks, so recycled questions are a really good idea, actually.

Hmmmm... what else? Voting closes at 12:00. I might not turn off comments, but I will simply erase them in moderation after 12:00.

Also, thank you so much for your questions. Some of my very favorite posts have been written in response to a really great, thought provoking question. Thank you so much for making this experience a conversation, and a sharing of ideas. I'm so blessed to have this dang blog, and blessed by each one of you who visits.

All right, BRING IT.

(PS, does someone want to make me a FFAQ graphic? If you make me one and I like it and use it, I'll totally pimp you out.. I may even pimp you out if I don't end up using it. Email me at joshua (don't forget the "ua") dot weed at gmail dot com.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Top ten reasons I shouldn't be writing a Tuesday's Top Ten List right now.

10. It's too early in the morning to feel clever.

9. I just finished a run and so I'm drenched in sweat.

8. I have to leave in 22 minutes. And counting.

7. I found out I passed my MFT licensing exam yesterday, so really I should be busy celebrating! (That one's a stretch, right? I needed to work that in there somewhere.)

6. I haven't eaten breakfast yet.

5. I haven't showered.

4. I'm gonna publish this list even though it's probably crappy because I'm so rushed, but I won't realize how bad it is until I reread it later tonight after it's WAY too late to do anything about it.

3. I just did a humor post. So it's probably time for something serious.

2. 16 minutes. And still counting.

And finally,

1. It's Wednesday.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Food Poisoning UPDATED

*warning--this post talks about stuff that goes into toilets*

*also Lolly says I need to clarify that she approves of this post 100%*

Over the weekend Lolly got really bad food poisoning. But she's insane a tough cookie, so even though she was--how do I put this delicately?--bleeding into the toilet, she kept insisting that she was fine. And our doctor, whom she called, insisted the same.

Personally, I feel that when you're "lighting the toilet up with red" as the doctor described it, you have permission to claim you are on your death bed.

But not Lolly. Here was our conversation yesterday morning before church:

Josh: How are you feeling?

Lolly: Well, kinda dizzy actually. Not awesome.

Josh: Why are you getting ready for church??? Are we sure you shouldn’t be going in to the doctor?

Lolly: No, no… it’s not a big deal. I'm dizzy cuz I’ve lost a lot of blood. That’s just part of life.

Josh:  Or it’s part of death.

Lolly: Right. Which is also just part of life….

Josh: I'm taking you to the hospital.

Lolly: You're taking me to church. I will be fine.

Josh: Or dead.

Lolly: Or dead. Which counts for extra points at church.

Josh: You don't need extra points! You are already like angel status because you're married to me.

Lolly: You need to find your shoes so we can go.

Josh: *sings* If you leave me now, you’ll take away the biggest part of me, oooh eeee, baaaby please go to the hospital…

Lolly: All right girls, let's get in the car for church!

There was nothing I could do to deter her. Can somebody tell me how to talk sense into this girl?

Thankfully she really does seem to be just fine now. But I fear scenarios like this in the future. Like her getting her arm chopped off in a car accident and insisting we take Anna to her violin lesson before getting her appendage re-attached, or her wanting to grab a quick bite to eat before getting pesky medical attention to repair an axe wound to the neck. I'd be like "but you're bleeding" and she'd be like "yes that's just part of life" and I'd be like "you are literally going to die if we feed the kids right now!" and she'd be like "it's okay I have baby wipes for the blood all over the seat..."

One thing's for certain. I didn't marry a prissy girl. Which gives me plenty of space to be the prissy gay husband. *limp wristed wave*

UPDATE: This isn't really an update as much as me having forgotten to link to this post about when Lolly went to Disneyland even though she was literally throwing up in the bushes. Klassy. And determined. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Challenges of Being Married to a Gay Man -- A Post By Lolly (FFAQ VI)

Hey guys,

First off, I have to tell you that I had been writing this post for hours when Tessa woke up from her nap. I went upstairs to get her and while I was gone, Viva turned my computer off and I lost all of my work! I think there may be flames coming out of my ears right now! So, I will take a deep breath and write it all again. I’m telling myself it will be better the second time, right? UGH!

I feel nervous about writing this post. I think one of the reasons why I’ve been having such a hard time is because my answers will reveal a lot about myself. It reveals my biases, my insecurities and weaknesses. But, I figure, what the heck, let’s go ahead and do it.

So, the question I’m addressing is from reader Nicole (who won by a landslide!). Her question:

I would like to know some of the things Lolly struggles with as the wife of a gay man. :)

I hope you don’t mind if I rephrase this question in the following way: “What are the challenges of being married to Josh Weed because he’s gay?”

Let’s just hop right into the part of this question that I get asked the most, shall we? That is, of course, about our sex life. Josh and I have a very fulfilling sex life, but we both definitely gave something up. Our relationship didn’t start out with intense lust or passion. Nor has Josh ever been infatuated with me in the traditional sense. Now, I’m the kind of girl that always liked it when guys were infatuated with me, so the fact that my husband has never felt those feelings for me is sad at times.

The challenge, for me, is to focus on all of the amazing things we do have instead of the things we don’t have. I recently found this article written by Shannon Ethridge. I really loved her words because it completely validated the intimacy that Josh and I share.

“I suggest that sexual intensity…is simply not the same as intimacy. If it were, then prostitutes and porn stars would be the most emotionally and relationally fulfilled people on the planet. That doesn’t seem to be the case.

Does the entangling of arms and legs and the exchange of bodily fluids scratch the human itch for intimate connection? Or is sex just the closest thing we can imagine to what we’re really craving: a deeper spiritual and emotional connection, both with our Creator and with His creation?

…when we selfishly strive for orgasm through pornography, masturbation or illicit sexual encounters rather than cultivating sexual ecstasy with our marriage partner, sexual ecstasy is only “half-baked.” Love and relational intimacy are the “yeast” that allows our sexual ecstasy to rise to its highest level.

…If deep and spiritual intimacy is what humans seek, then relational or sexual intensity can never satisfy our deepest longings or heal our oldest wounds… deep wounds will be healed by sacrificial love (of which Christ is the incarnate example) and intimate relationship (both human and divine). Soul-deep intimacy is what we seek, and it’s ultimately found in the God who created human sexuality.”

That’s beautiful, isn’t it? Isn’t that really what all women want? Don’t we want soul-deep intimacy? I can honestly say I have that with Josh, so who cares if he has never looked at me the way the creeper down the street has? I just have to keep that in mind sometimes.

Another intimacy challenge I have is one that I feel most women can relate to, no matter who you’re married to. For me, a lot of the sexual process takes place inside my head. The things that I’m thinking while I load the dishwasher can have an impact on our sex that night. So, for me, I have to pay particular attention to the things that I tell myself. I’ve gotten a lot better at it over the years. For instance, I don’t say things like, “I’m not what Josh wants” or “He’s not attracted to my body” or “He’d rather have something else.”

The truth is he chose me and so I really am what he ultimately wants and loves. Am I the perfect embodiment of his sexual fantasies? Uh, no. I am so far from it. On the flipside, is he the perfect embodiment of my sexual fantasies? Uh, no. He’s not even black! (Just look up Boris Kodjoe, ladies, and you’ll see what I’m saying.) The truth is, everyone must choose their ideal lover as a packaged set of features. Rarely does someone find their soul mate housed in their sexual ideal.

I have been blessed with good self-esteem, so I really try and harness that in the bedroom. I don’t want to sound conceited, but I think I’m a beautiful person. Although I have been struggling to lose 20 pounds since I had Tessa, I can still feel sexy. What I actively do is focus on my positive thoughts and feelings, especially when we’re being intimate. Nothing will kill my enjoyment more than my own critical observation of fat rolls. Instead I might choose to wear something that makes me feel beautiful. I might focus on how my hair looks amazing that day. I might pay particular attention to his enjoyment. Or I may choose to surrender myself to him completely, trusting in his love for me. No matter what, there is no room for criticism or negativity in my head while we’re being intimate. 

The last challenge that I would say I have with Josh’s sexual orientation is probably the hardest one for me. Josh is my eternal love. I want to be his everything. I want to fulfill his every desire, but I can’t. There are things he wants and things he needs that I can’t give him. That is very hard for me. We have gone through some difficult times. Times where both of our hearts have been broken and it was no one’s fault. We have had to process through some very confusing and emotional things together. These things almost always had to do with attachment issues that were very confusing and we had no one to talk to and no guidebook or standard to reference. All we had was each other. The ironic thing was, at times, our true love for each other made it that much harder, because it didn’t change the hard things that were happening. But it has allowed us to connect through intensely honest and intimate verbal communication and figure things out, even when it is hard.

In the end, we work through it all. We sometimes stay up until four in the morning trying to figure things out. Josh knows he can tell me anything and that what he shares with me will be kept safe. I know that I can always trust him. We know that we can both be very real, even if it hurts, because hiding feelings will only result in pain. We have both shared things that were very hard for us to process, but we did it with love and respect and a knowledge that we would always be there for each other. We’ve often said that we could talk our way out of any problem and I truly believe that. We will always be there for each other. And the funny thing is, sometimes the darkest most difficult moments have yielded breakthroughs that have helped us to be closer than we’ve ever been. That’s the way life works sometimes, I think.

And so, I can tell you with all my heart that, even with our challenges, Josh Weed is definitely worth it. Our love is amazing. Yes, we sacrifice for each other, but isn’t that what true love is all about? Loving someone more than you love yourself? Letting go of self-interest and being all you can be for the person you choose? In my opinion, and in our experience, it is the “sacrificial love”—that sweet acceptance of a whole person, flaws and foibles and large deficits included right along with their amazing talents and attributes, and the giving up of desired things in favor of being with the one we choose to love—that makes our relationship so beautiful and brings us closer to each other, and closer to God himself. I wouldn’t trade it--or him-- for anything.