Monday, January 26, 2009

Catch Up!

Ok, it's been a long time I know, so here goes.... (deep breath)

I am married (five months now!) and loving it! We're still figuring out our own routine, which is a bit complicated, not because of schedules, but because I'm so, erm... ditzy!

I think we're getting there, but because I'd lived on my own for 3 and a half months before we got married, I'd quickly developed my own routines and foibles, and Meg kinda wrecked them when she arrived!! I'm happy to say that actually, there was lots of very good reasons why they should have been wrecked, and she was absolutely right!

Although I actually enjoyed food shopping and other stuff, (which is generally weird for a guy I know) I actually realised after she started doing it herself that I really wasn't as great at it as I thought surprisingly! Meg has an eye fr bargains and good deals, and I haven't really got the brain for it to be honest. On the few occasions when we first got married that we went together, I kept getting distracted by foods and treats and yummy stuff that looked good, but was actually designed to look appealing, while not being that great a deal! We eventually decided that she should do the food shopping, and I would only lend a hand when they were heavy things, or she needed to buy a lot. It's worked well so far!

Marriage is alot different to how I thought it would be, but it's so much better!! It does take a lot of work, especially if you're a bloke who wasn't really very used to talking, and who's communication skills resembled a mute rhino. Thankfully I am (slowly) learning to appreciate the art of "talking" and not just making noises to give the appearance of listening to my bride.

My biggest battle so far has honestly been with that dreaded idol, the TV. If you've grown up in a family where it's always on in the background, for a while it seems really strange and almost blasphemous to use the remote for what it's meant for, and turn it off. It was something that took some getting used to, and in a way I'm still battling against it, but I think I'm starting to win now. It just seems to be my default source of comfort and security, so much so that sometimes I switch it on and walk away from it, without even watching!

Work has been really difficult. With plummeting sales and unreachable budgets every month, things aren't looking very positive for the shop at the moment. Last week, I received instructions form my Area Manager that I have to cut my staff budget in half by the beginning of March, which means I'm going to have to make some staff redundant. It's an awful business, and because we're due to gbe moving the shop in September anyway, the future looks a bit uncertain at the moment. I'm trying not to worry about it, as if they don't move the shop but close it in September, I will at least be entitled to redundancy, which could give me a month or two to find a new job. Mind you, having said that, jobs around here are not exactly growing on trees at the moment.

Church is good, but challenging at the moment. We're going through the book of Romans at the moment in the morning, and asking "What Would Jesus Say To...?" in the evenings. It's a series looking at what Jesus might have said to lots of different characters, both fictional and literal. Last night we looked at "What Would Jesus Say To Barack Obama?", and our Pastor suggested Jesus might refer Barack at the start of his presidency to a verse in Micah:

"He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?" (NKJV)

It was actually quite a good sermon, and got me thinking on ways of being more practical as a church, to respond to those whose needs are greater than ours. Will (one of our Pastors) reffered to God always telling Israel to look after the "orphan, the alien and the widow", and he's actually taking a sabbatical in April for three months to think through some ways in which we as a church can make a practical difference in our community in the future. It'll be exciting to see what he and God come up with in the coming months.

I actually got to do part of that today, as I had lunch with Liviu, (pronounced "leeve-yoo") a Romanian guy who's been coming to our small group for the last 9 or 10 months with his brother Mercia (pronounced "Mercha") as they'd come to the UK to find work. Mercia came first, and wanted to find a local church, and had seen our website! Mercia actually went home just before Christmas, as he couldn't find any more work at the moment. We became good friends with him in our small group, and since his brother went home, meg and I have become friends with Liviu, inviting him round for supper every Friday for the last couple of weeks. Liviu's english wasn't brilliant at first, but it soon improved as he had to practice before he came round to eat!

Unfortunately, the job offers that Liviu had had fell through this last week, so after staying an extra month after his brother went home to Romania, sadly Liviu had to go today as well. I had lunch with him today, and we talked about how hard it is to fit in when english isnt your first language, and when you don't know the culture, etc. These are some of the things that I've been learning from Meg, because although we both speak the same language, the british and american culture is very different, and from time to time Meg has found it a struggle to come to terms with, something which I need to be aware of and help her with.

It was sad to see Liviu go today, it's been really good to have him in our home group every wenesday, even though at times he couldn't make a long contribution. Hopefully, him and Mercia will be able to find jobs in the next few weeks back home. We'll keep in touch, and maybe they can come back someday.

Anyway, that'll have to be enough of an update for now, as my wife is calling me to go help her fix a duvet so she can go to sleep!!

Bye for now.....

1 comment:

  1. I sympathize with you concerning the TV issue. I grew up in a house that had lots of TV watching in it. We just love good movies and good television shows.

    Matt wasn't so much a TV guy and despite my initial wariness to his idea that we start off married life without a TV, I'm so very glad we did. We spent a good six months (maybe more) without one and as a result, I've grown less dependent on it.

    Also, we don't have cable, which means that we only have DVDs to watch, which in turn means that when we DO watch something, it's planned and intended.