Thursday, May 24, 2012

Our story

It’s hard to know exactly which details to include in telling one’s story, and it seems even more difficult if one is trying to show how God has orchestrated one’s life.* 
Does my story start when my parents met at their local church of Christ? Or years earlier, when their parents each moved to Amarillo, for different reasons?
Or when my parents decided to get married and then proceeded to have two (very awesome) little girls?
Or when my dad decided to leave his position as a pharmacist in Texas and move his family all over the country for sales positions?
Or does the story only really begin when Mom and Dad announced that we would be moving to St. Louis, after which I sobbed and cried and said I wasn’t going and where was St. Louis, anyway?
I don’t know how far back to start when telling my family’s story. Since I have to pick a point in time, I think I will start in August of 1996, with one very important lead-in.
I truly have the best parents I could ever have asked for, prayed for, wished for. I am grateful for everything they did for me, starting the day I was born. They prayed for me, challenged me, disciplined me, cared for me, and ultimately set me up for the life I have now. I do not wish to minimize their impact on my life, but I have to start my family’s story somewhere, so I will start the summer I turned fourteen.
We (Mom, Dad, Allie, and I) had moved to St. Louis from Atlanta in August of 1996. For some reason, we visited the Lafayette church of Christ the first Sunday we were in town. For some reason, we went to Sunday School that very first time visiting. For some reason, Ryan Bond was sitting in my class instead of at his grandparents’ lake house, where he usually spent his summer weekends.
I remember what I was wearing, probably because Ryan won’t let me forget it. I do know that my make-up was awful, I had bangs, and I still had braces on my teeth. Nonetheless, Ryan said the first time he saw me, he knew he would marry me. I had just turned fourteen; he had just turned fifteen.
He waited a full year before asking me out. He and my dad rode bikes the day of our first date, sophomore year Homecoming. For some reason, he kissed me. For some reason, I let him. Then, for a reason known as humiliation, I avoided him for a full year.
For some reason, he didn’t give up on me, and a year later he asked me to Homecoming our junior year. For some reason, one of his friends asked very publicly if we were a couple (we weren’t), and, not wanting to embarrass him in front of his friends, I said that it was up to Ryan. Ryan, of course, said that we were a couple.
For some reason, we stayed a couple most of the rest of high school. (I did break up with him our senior year for a month or two and for reasons I won’t discuss on this blog because they seem very lame now. Let’s just say I had a crush on another boy, and that other boy never made a move.)
For reasons entirely obvious, we went to college together. Ryan asked me to marry him after the fall semester of our junior year (WE WERE SO YOUNG), and I said yes.
We wed the summer before our senior year of college, and I guess that is where the real story of our family begins.
Our life together has taken lots of twists and turns, not the least of which has been our move to our current Kansan city. The woman who hired Ryan put us in contact with a local realtor. As she drove us around town, she pointed out area high schools where I might be interested in teaching. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I wasn’t planning on teaching here.
For some reason, I hastily applied anyway at one school. For some reason, when they called to schedule an interview, I said yes. For some reason, they had a vacancy in the subject area I taught, for the next semester, with my very favorite curriculum. And for some reason, they hired me.
One of that school’s board members introduced Ryan to his son-in-law, and Ryan has since worked for both men. Those jobs have allowed me to stop teaching and to stay home with our daughters, and those men have introduced both of us to a wonderful local community.
We have become a family here. This is where we learned very difficult professional lessons, home-owner lessons, marriage lessons, and relationship lessons. This is where we have grown our family to three, four, and five members.
What if my parents hadn’t moved to St. Louis? What if Ryan had given up on me when I kept giving him reasons to? What if I hadn’t become a teacher? What if we hadn’t had our exact realtor?
Sometimes, it’s fun to play the what if game. But right now, I am just so very grateful that all of the little details in my life have worked out just so, so that I am sitting in this house at this address in this city with this husband beside me and those girls upstairs not sleeping even when they should be.
I love our family’s story. And I think we should know more about other people’s stories. The next time you see me, unless I am heavily drugged in a hospital room or equally drugged with the potent sleep-deprivation-because-a-newborn-lives-here phenomena, please tell me your story. I would really love to hear it.
*As you read, please assume I acknowledge God directed all of the details that led me to this point in my life. I could never, ever, have built a life like I have.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


If I think about it too much, I get really anxious about how quickly our time on this earth passes. Even if we do make it to 80 or 90 years old, that’s not very long to be alive. Every day that passes is a day I don’t get back . . .  my wedding day, the birth of my first child, the last time Madeline slept in her crib . . .  these are all memories now.
Memories. I know I’m only 29 (ok, to be perfectly honest, I will be 30 in two more months), but already memories hold significant meaning for me. I can only imagine how much I will treasure memories in another fifty years.
I have been exceedingly blessed to have only happy memories. Sure, I remember hard seasons of life, like my first year of marriage, and I remember unhappy seasons of life, like when I had an identity crisis after Coralie was born, but the vast majority of my memories are happy. Even stages that are supposed to be full of heartache and difficulty (like the teen years) are only remembered in terms of how much my parents fought for me to make wise decisions and how much love there was in our home. Yes, I am sure there were many fights and I know there were many tears, and I am sure my histrionics made my parents want to send me away, but that’s not what I remember.
If all goes as things should, I will be bringing my third daughter home in a few weeks. My time as a mother of two little ones is quickly coming to a close. Yes, the days are so very long, but the years have flown by. 
These are some of the memories I have.

The day I became a mother
 The day I became a mother of two
The day my babies became sisters
Sisters becoming friends
Dress up days
Bedtime snuggles
 Time at the lake
Many, many trips to the zoo with my girls
 Morning toy time
 My Mads Cat
My eternal Fairy Princess Coralie

And most recently, these (with credit going to Angela Kleinsasser Photography and Design):
 Best Friends Forever
 The wild, nonverbal, precocious Madeline
 The sweet, smart, very verbal Coralie
 No, they're not always picture perfect, but they're MINE
My cup overflows

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It's never my fault

This tricky little convenient tool called the iPad caused me to delete my post on The 19th Wife. And also to delete another "musing" I had written on how much I loathe cliches. I, in all my blogging wisdom, didn't save copies of those posts anywhere else, so now they are totally gone.

I am sure you are heartbroken. And also mad at the iPad like I am.

And to add salt (?) to the wound, I have no musings cooking in my head right now to replace those posts. All I am thinking about these days is how to take a quick nap when my girls are awake, how to take a nap when my girls are resting, and how to keep Ryan up until 11 or so at night when I become tired again. 

On the baby front, this little girl is big! Like, she is measuring two weeks farther along than Coralie and Madeline were at this stage. Someone asked me at church on Sunday if I was having twins. Uhhh ... I sure hope not! That surprise would mean an epic fail of prenatal monitoring and diagnostic technology. All signs are pointing to a single baby girl with a small(ish) head (WHEW) and long arms and legs.

I am planning on posting a belly picture at some point. I don't normally post pictures of my pregnant belly, but a few people have asked for one, so instead of posting it on Facebook where people don't have a choice of whether or not the picture shows up in their newsfeed, I will post it on the blog where people can choose whether or not to click and see this Large Marge Mama. You have been warned.

I guess what I'm saying is, this might not be BondMusings so much as BondFamilyHappenings for awhile. Once I can get baby off the brain, maybe that can make room for some more intelligent thoughts.

In the meantime, I will leave you with two things. 

First, a quote from CS Lewis a dear friend left in the comments of my last post:
“My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself. He is the great iconoclast. Could we not almost say that this shattering is one of the marks of His presence? The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins” (A Grief Observed p. 52).
I love so many things about that quote. I love that Lewis is not complacent in his view of God, but that he is open to discovering new ways of looking at our loving, complex God. I also love that he is disciplined?generous? enough to work through and share his re-renderings in all of his writings. (And, by the way, I would argue that his idea of God is a divine idea.) But most importantly, I love thinking about the fact that God himself will not be made into an idol, that He shatters that idol in front of anyone who has eyes. God is loving, yes, but He is also innovative and aggressive and deliberate in how He reveals Himself to us. God is anything but boring or predictable.

And second, a picture of these beautiful daughters of mine:
Kinda makes sifting through a post about nothing  w o r t h   i t,  doesn't it?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Till We Have Faces (CS Lewis)

Via (Side note: Coralie kept asking why that girl was wearing a trash bag. I have no idea what she was talking about.)

Oh, Jack. I could not -- literally could not -- love you more. Every time I think, "CS Lewis is my favorite author, but it's not like he is the best there ever was," I read another of his books and I think "Oh, yes. He IS the best there ever was. Ever ever ever ever ever." And then I add an "Amen" to that.

Our latest book for book club was Till We Have Faces. I hadn't read it in a few years, but I remembered liking the book when I first read it. Oh my. That was an under-remembrance. Lewis hits his thousandth home run with this book. It is his version of the mythological story of Cupid and Psyche, and he somehow incorporates God into it in a way that is mysterious and lovely, without ever actually mentioning God.

Back story: Psyche was a mortal woman who was more beautiful than any woman ever was. Cupid's mother (Venus? I'm too lazy to look it up.) was jealous and sent her son Cupid to shoot Psyche with an arrow that would make her fall in love with a base man. Instead, Cupid himself falls in love with her (I think he was surprised by her beauty and accidentally shot himself with that arrow?); this, of course, infuriates Venus, and blah blah blah the wrath of the gods, etc.

In Lewis' version, the story is more about Psyche and her sister Orual, who loved her with an all-consuming selfish love. In the telling of the story, Lewis challenges his readers to rethink whether their love is selfish or life-giving, whether the gods are manipulative or generous, and whether they (his readers) have the wisdom to discern the difference anyway.

In short, it's brilliant. I don't know how Lewis is able to re-tell mythology* and bring his reader to a better understanding of who our loving God is, but he does.


*I could say so, so much more on this subject, but Lewis believes that mythology is relevant in religion. He thinks the pagan imagination is (divinely?) inspired to produce mythology, and that mythology became fact in the Incarnation. He also believes that myths are a more compelling medium through which to communicate TRUTH than is pure logical rhetoric.