Tag Archives: corinthians

aim high and don’t forget st. paul’s advice about personal grooming

on december 31, 2010 i made a different sort of new years resolution:  i decided i would meet all 324 of my facebook friends.  i posted a video about my resolution on facebook.  it was the first video i had ever uploaded and i was quite proud of myself.  the next morning, as i had time to reconsider this,  so many of my facebook friends had commented that they were looking forward to seeing me.  i even got a facebook friendship request from a woman who said that while she lived in wyoming (very far away from my home in winneta) i was not to worry because she was moving to iowa (much closer).  and a friend from the philippines posted a picture of a roasted pig and wrote that his entire village was going to give me a big party when i showed up.  too late to delete the video. . .

that felt like a lot of pressure.

UH OH! what have i done??? most years, i resolve to lose five pounds and give up drinking--and that lasts until twelfth night when i go on a white wine and chocolate bender. and nobody even knows about my failures!

but i really believe that what is truly worth doing must at first glance appear impossible.  and my resolution seemed impossible:  i would have to be on an airplane nearly every week.  i would have to visit nome, alaska at the northwestern tip of america, florida at its southeastern tip and everywhere in between.  i would have to visit thirteen countries.  i would have to be organized about it because, like every other new years resolution, it’s for one year.  365 days, 325 friends.  and i couldn’t weasel out of it because everybody i knew on facebook knew about it.

so i started visiting friends, the ones closest to home until i got a little more confident and could consider a lane ride. . . and i ignored the “how are you ever going to get yourself around the world?” that popped in my head.  there isn’t a single day last year that i didn’t think “i’m giving up” and “this is stupid”. . . and there isn’t a single day  last year when someone didn’t tell me “you should give up” and “this is stupid”. . . oddly, my facebook friends–the so called “just facebook friends” — posted encouragements and support.  it really does make a difference.  if you have a facebook account, go out today and randomly pick five friends.  post something positive on their wall.  i promise you, they will glow. . .

at the end of 2011, i had visited with 292 friends–exactly ninety percent.  the remaining ten percent either didn’t want to see me, are dead, are in jail, have abandoned their accounts, have been involved in their own travels so that i can’t pin them down, or are spambots.  oh, and four people who have become too famous to consider me their friend anymore.

this year, i have been more focused on visiting friends who are like me.  there’s a name for me–agoraphobia, or what the ancient greeks would call “fear of the marketplace”.  i like to think of myself as reclusive, hermetic, withdrawn, or maybe just shy.  and maybe scaredy cat is a good one.  i’m one of those people who would never leave my house if i didn’t have to.  you have people like that in your family, in one of the houses on your street, amongst your friends.

yesterday, i really didn’t want to leave the house but i was scheduled to visit facebook friend #302.  janet browall lives about two hours away from me and i was worried because my windshield is cracked.  my car is falling apart.  and also, to be fair, i ALWAYS want to stay home.  but i dutifully drove west. . .

i know what you're thinking--that i didn't actually see janet and that i googled "goldie hawn" and have slapped her picture up on this blog. no, this is actually janet. she's gorgeous!

we spent a wonderful hour filling in the gaps of facebook.  you can’t be friends just by paying attention to posts.  there has to be some physical interaction, even if it’s just sharing a cup of coffee at starbucks.  she has panic attacks and is worried about an upcoming flight she has to take on her own.  i have suggested self-hypnosis because it worked for me.  also, a preflight beer.  or four.

i felt like janet and i had known each other forever and i would have liked to spend more time with janet, but i had one other errand to do. . .

one of the things i am amazed by is the wide variety of religious and spiritual beliefs amongst my friends.  i have come to appreciate how we all strive to make a connection to something beyond ourselves.  my facebook friend bonnie bradlee was the #70 friend i visited last year.  we knew each other in high school and last year we met in person for the first time in thirty years.  bonnie has become a christian and her faith has led her to become part of missions of healing and support around the world.  last year, she went to hydrabad, india to mission.  she had a remarkable story to tell me yesterday.

she also related to me that when she was in india, people wanted to have their pictures taken with her more so than with any other person on her mission.  at the end of the trip, it was with a weary and sorry heart that she discovered that the reason people wanted that souvenir was because she is, well, overweight.  and she believed God has spoken to her, telling her that she cannot mission to his people who are sick or starving when she represents excess.  so for her, this year is about bonnie.  we worked out together and i saw an incredible determination to lose weight.  not for vanity’s sake, or to attract the attentions of a man, but to be able to better serve the Lord.

however, i am a mischievous woman.  and i believe God appreciates a little whimsy.  i took bonnie to get a manicure and a pedicure.  after all, Paul the Apostle said to the Corinthians “do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  you are not your own; you were bought at a price.  therefore honor God with your body” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).  he had some definite opinions about manicures, pedicures, working out, getting a good haircut, although he really didn’t go in for laser hair removal and restylane.

today, i will work on getting that windshield fixed and then i have to get myself out on the road again. . .

every sunday is your sunday! advice from f2fb #73 tim crawford

when i meet my facebook friends i want to do what they want to do, what they enjoy, what expresses themselves–so i figured tim crawford would want to tear apart a lion with his bare hands or throw boulders across the dupage river.

tim crawford is a big man. i’d guess him to be six four, maybe six five. he was an athlete at north central college where we met. he joined the navy right after college and has fought and served his country ever since. these days he teaches navy rotc at one of the toughest urban schools in the country and he also coaches track and field. he’s big, he’s tough, he’s strong.

and you know what? he’s reached an age, my age, where he doesn’t give a damn what people think of him. he’s proved himself. which means he can do what he pleases and he had some advice to give me on that score.

from his house, we drove twenty miles out to romeoville to a strip mall nail salon that didn’t look any different from any other nail salon. but the ladies knew him. and we had pedicures together. and not just a “file ’em down, put some polish on ’em” pedicures. there was hot bubbling water with bath salts. exfoliating. razoring calluses. massaging the calves. encasing the feet in hot liquid wax. i admit that last part made me cry and tim said pretty much “would you just take it like a man????” tim doesn’t get polish but he picked out a nice neutral silver shade for me.

i felt wonderful as we left the salon. and not just because my feet really felt different. i felt different. i felt pampered and taken care of and really quite free of anxiety and all my little demons. that’s when tim, who’s a pretty quiet guy, spoke up.

“i take care of myself,” he began as i pulled the car out into traffic. “i work six days a week. and hard work. have all my life. so one day a week, i completely devote to myself. manicure. pedicure. massage. getting my eyebrows waxed. haircut. take care of my car. my house. every sunday is tim crawford day. turn here.”

“isn’t your house back that way?”

“we’re getting chocolate.”

so we went into downtown naperville to a chocolate emporium. i did what every woman does. considered the smallest possible piece of something. because otherwise, i would end up regretting it when i got on the scale, right? but there was this cheesecake, with chocolate and caramel. i shook my head. tim gave me a look. again, he’s a big “don’t mess with me” guy. so i ended up sitting in front of the biggest plate of cheesecake. do i regret it? no.

some might initially think it’s a little sacrilegious to call sunday tim crawford day. or to call sunday their own day. but remember that first corinthians 6:19-20 tells us that our bodies are God’s temple. st. paul admonishes (he’s always admonishing–he really should have lightened up a little) that we should honor God with our bodies. that’s exactly what tim’s doing. and maybe that would be a good thing for me–if i honored my body the way tim honors his, perhaps i wouldn’t do the self-destructive fix-ups like anxiety attacks, withdrawing from the world, eating and drinking too much. if i knew that one day a week was my day, maybe i could do what needs to be done with the remaining six.

and so i ended up late. i missed the third naperville friend. and didn’t get to mendota. i fell behind the schedule because i took time to enjoy tim crawford day. that means i have to come back to naperville and from there, drive to mendota. tim says he gets a pedicure about once every three or four weeks. see you then, tim!

tim’s final comment:

a coda: my very best friends in the world, dick and vivian eastman, needed their friends, especially as they reached their nineties. i would come out some weekends just to say hi. one time, i asked tim crawford to stop by the house just to tell dick eastman what a great professor he had been when he was at north central college. tim is a wonderful friend!