Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Adventures of Team Marriage

Marriage is a wonderful thing but it can also be boring and downright difficult. It can become monotonous paired with responsibilities like paying the bills and fixing the car etc... Sometimes you have to get a little silly to keep up the moral and stoke the fire. Tristan and I are always looking for new ways to do this and that is how "The Adventures of Team Marriage" was born. I don't remember exactly when we started affectionately referring to ourselves as team marriage but we have been doing it for quite sometime now and somewhere along the way we added a point system. So now anytime we do anything together whether  we're winning a game at couples night,  fixing the sink, making amends after a big fight, paying a bill, tag teaming chores,  or even something like helping each other find a missing sock we get excited and give each other a serious hive five or chest bump and give team marriage some amount of points (I've been stuck on 40pts for along time, I dont know why).  Cheesy? absolutely. helped our marriage? 80% boost in moral. This week I had to share because Team Marriage Rocked. Im pretty sure we accumulated  over 600 pts.

We went on a couples trip to float the river in New Braunfels. We had a blast! The only fights we had stemmed from a bed that was too small (double)  and a comforter made of silky material that wouldn't stay on the too small bed. Other than that we were on a roll. We had so much fun we decided to drive back to Denton at a leisurely pace and stop in Austin. We window shopped all day and allowed ourselves each a treat from one of my favorite thrift stores on S. Congress. I took Tristan to Uncommon Objects, my favorite antique store, for the first time. And we concluded the evening with a fabulous dinner at the Snack Bar. YUM! We took some fun pics to document our fabulous married time and I thought I would share. The Austin trip alone was probaly 200 points. The river trip was such a success it  had already accumulated 150 or so.

 team marriage = 350 pts

The remaining 50 points were added on the drive home. When Tristan got really tired and was in need of starbucks. I started using google maps to find the nearest one and it appeared that we had already passed the only one unknowingly....dang it. Frustration filled the air. But to team marriages suprise from a distance we saw the round sign shining like a beacon in the was wrong.. TEAM MARRIAGE prevailed. The car erupted with excitement! Hive fives all around and Tristan said he was buyin.....thats his favorite line (of course, I ignore that team marriage 
has a joint account ;) 

If you thought it couldn't get anymore rediculous, then think again. Because team marriage was on a roll and nothing could slow us down.The next day we got up and hit the dog park. We then headed directly to Lowe's to schedule tile installation in the master bathroom. Many of our fights have stemmed from the previous owners decision to place carpet in the bathroom. who does that? Our toilet has been broken for sometime and yes this is sick to admit but it has overflowed four times in the last two weeks onto the carpet......result: serious frustration! So after we signed the paperwork and shelled out the cash for the tile installation team marriage headed to plumbing. We got the toilet guts kit and Tristan took the picture of the box below. It was Tristan's idea to try and fix the toilet ourselves. I'll admit I was skeptical. Tristan earned us 30 pts automatically for his courage on this project. After two hours of me standing on the tub reading the directions while Tristan executed, with hands in the commode, Team Marriage anxiously awaits the first flush............Excitement erupts !!!!!! Team Marriage has won again! The toilet is in fabulous working condition and the consolation prize was ripping out that nasty carpet and throwing it in the trash! We completed all of this and still made it to recovery at church by 6:30pm to greet. And then if that wasn't enough we had 30 peeps over for a giant firepit party after in celebration :)

Team Marriage: 600 pts                                                              

Monday, September 20, 2010

Aikido: do not miss your chance to flow

So good thing I warned you that I'm a basket and that my blog might just  fly right out of my basket if things got hectic cus that's exactly what happened this summer.  I guess I could say I took an unplanned sabbatical from the Internet.  But against all odds (dramatic, yes) I managed  to scrounge up a connection this afternoon to address the world, and by world I mean you sweet friends that read my blog (or perhaps I should say read my blog, past tense) you are so good for my self esteem and it turns out writing is good for my soul whether anyone is reading or not.

So anyway here I am and so much time has passed. Its funny how I have actually started thinking in what I like to call blog perspective. Every time I have a light bulb moment or something cool happens I jot down the experience or thought that I feel should be blogged about. I started with great intentions thinking I would be so consistent at blogging that I probably wouldn't even have enough things to share....wrong. I mean what was I thinking I'm a basket promoting everything in sight. The blog perspective list has become so long it is quite daunting to a basket who's working on her follow through. I'm farely certain that the list actually caused me to stay away from my blog longer than necessary. The Lord has revealed that  I have these freedom issues, which it turns out have actually been fear and rebellion cleverly masking themselves, but that's a story I'll have to blog about later. Most people wouldn't know this about me, because as I stated it usually masks itself as me being care free or playfully rebellious, but anything even remotely resembling the least bit of pressure or commitment can put me on edge, especially if the possibility of failing or disappointing anyone including myself is present. Bottom line people I got spooked! Really I guess we could call them follow through issues.  My silly prideful self got worried about my blog not getting done on time I mean seriously, fear of man much, so I just let it fly. Much like when you forget to call someone one back and you keep forgetting and then eventually so much time passes you convince yourself its better to not even call. Its never better don't worry like I said I'm a work in progress and this returning to my blog however many months later IS progress.

 The Lord and I have been sorting out my follow through issues for quite some time now (ALL SUMMER), specifically my response to get out of dodge as soon as I feel the least bit restrained or pressured by the commitment to finish something. But just yesterday he really decided to bring it home and I had the greatest epiphany. As I was dusting my bookshelf I started thumbing through one of my favorite books from school. I bought it at a seminar for social workers on highly resistant clients ( how clever of the Lord to use  a book with the phrase "highly resistant clients" in the title to reveal this great epiphany to me).

There is some brilliant stuff in this book and it just so happens the Lord orchestrated a light bulb moment as I came to the chapter titled "Lessons from Aikido." The chapter begins with definition of Aikido: A Japanese art of self-defense that uses the principles of nonresistance in order to debilitate the strength of opponents. I know your thinking what does Japanese fighting have to do with your follow through issues, stay with me. It goes on to explain that this type of self-defense is one of the purest forms and teaches no tactics for attacking, all of the moves focus on defending against the attack. The theory behind Aikido is actually quite sophisticated. The Aikido master is always evading and using the energy created by the attacker against the attacker. One of the fundamental questions of the Aikido master is "where is the one place I can stand where the attacker cannot hit me? " The Answer is "in the exact place where the attacker is standing when the attack occurs. If I could move to the center of where you are standing you couldn't hit me. Your physical center is the point at which the attack begins, all energy moves away from this point. Interesting right, stay with me. So he goes on to point out of course it is physically impossible to stand exactly where another is standing at the same time. So the Aikido fighter  does the next best thing which is to frequently move in a manner that places him where his attacker JUST WAS. The purpose is to move to the position from which the force is coming. At the moment of the attack, this position is unattackable.

OK so in case your not following  let me explain why this is brilliant. When you block or defend against an attack, you are using force against force. Fighting force with force is risky business depending on your size and speed. When you use Aikido style to defend against an attack, you slip and slide the attack moving in a manner that avoids and dissipates the attacking force rendering it harmless! This is brilliant. Immediately I thought of Jesus, he was the ultimate Aikido fighter. I'm always amazed at how quickly situations that have quite a potential to get way out of hand in the bible dissipate when confronted by Christ.  He was a mind ninja. Just when the apostles or Pharisees thought they had him watch out ! He didn't run away nor did he fight force with force he simply dismantled there whole argument, often by putting himself in there exact position.

As I got excited about this yesterday the Lord really applied it to my follow through situation. When I start feeling attacked I think in terms of fight or flight its what we are all taught. I tend to fly or fight force with force. I find myself either feeling like a failure or quitter when I run. And when I stay and fight force against force I'm often outwitted or under skilled and I tire out quickly and end up choosing flight in the end. But there is another type of fighting....Aikido style which turns out really isn't fighting at all it is simply defending. I've seen some, even myself in horribly unjust situations, get so mad at the idea of turning the other cheek but I'm thinking the Lord was referring to Aikido. Don't slap them back, instead anticipate their move and respond differently than they expect. It is the element of surprise that is to the advantage, being one step ahead of the game. Now don't get me wrong, as I evaluate this I think it actually takes more guts and hard work than just trying to blindly bludgeon something to death. And perhaps it takes more patience and agility. It seems it would take a heck of a lot of more courage to not only decide to face the attacker or problem but to then run directly towards it trusting that the Law of energy will win and you will end up dissolving all force coming at you as you replace the enemies center of gravity. SCARY! The Lord has assured me over and over that if I will just face my trial head on and trust him he has given me  the ability to slip and slide just like the Aikido fighter right into the exact spot my attacker was just standing in. I replace him and thus resolve the center of conflict, but not without some sweat.

So Aikido is the way to go. But now that I know I see the daunting task ahead of me, TRAINING. I have to learn Aikido first.  I've taken my first step which all you steppers know is to admit I'm powerless! And in this case very untrained.  I'm headed to the training manual first thing! The word is filled with Truth that dismantles the enemy. If those truths are written on the walls of my heart then I will slip and slide right past the enemy and right into the exact spot he was standing in .... I will tear down the lie he yelled while standing there and post up truth. I then have nothing to fear. Those well trained in self defense aren't scared of an attack. The best example I can think of is Eminem in 8th mile. Tell them what they already know about you, what they were gonna use against you. I guarantee you'll  surprise them and then they won't have any material. Aidkido, one step ahead of the game.

Hi I'm Brittney Bradshaw. I'm a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I struggle with pride and rebellion and even some fear of man. I have serious issues with following through on anything and I may never blog again ......but Christ already knew that ....... I win.

 Internet world I'm back in the game and you don't scare me. I promised honesty and by golly I will share even if that means confessing my silliest fears on this very public site. so you got nothing on me ....WHATCHAAAAA! (me: karate chopping)