So, not only did I have a fairly productive weekend…and I bought a pie for a belated b-day present for my brother, I also just purchased the last box set of the Generation 1 Transformers, which completes my video collection. If you order it from Deep Discount DVD you can get it for 31.something shipped….which is 5 dollars cheaper then at best buy. How sweet is that.
In other news, Lauren and I went to our first team small group with the church planting team. It was really excellent. We both felt really comfortable there, the group is really great, it was like we just fit in right away…except we felt slightly out of the loop because they have had 3 or 4 meetings already…but we’ll catch up. Lauren and I are supposed to answer some questions that Jeff gave us, so we can catch up with the rest of the group, but I can’t remember the questions now….I think one of them was “What do we need from the team in the next six months?”, but I don’t remember the others. Someone who remembers (Jeff, Q, Caleb…..etc) if you could leave a comment with those questions that would be really great. Also, at this meeting, the group prayed for Lauren and me, and I got some really great words from Jeff and a really great image from Caleb. The image Caleb gave me was that my anger (I get pretty damned angry sometimes) is like a blow torch, and the flame coming out of it is red, and God turned the blow torch to face the other way and the flame turned blue…so instead of a burning anger, that energy will go from fueling anger to fueling passion for my ministry. So whenever I have been getting angry about something I just close my eyes and see a blow torch slowly turning from left to the right, and as it goes the flame becomes blue….that has been very calming and a good reminder that bitterness sucks. I thought that how good I felt at the team meeting was a small affirmation that I’m doing the right thing by going to Minneapolis.
The last thing I thought was worth mentioning is that I called Ralph (Lauren’s Dad) last night and sorta gave him an earful. Mom and Dad have been telling me to hold my tongue till after the wedding, because then they can’t do anything about it…because I’m already a relation. But I felt very strongly that there was some manipulation going on, coming from Lauren’s Mom, so I decided it was time to be a little vocal about it. I ended up talking to him for over an hour, and basically said that if they are going to impose limits on the money they said they wanted to give us, then it should have been specified before they gave us a dollar amount. Basically we felt like they were giving us a gift, and using that gift we were supposed to be planning a wedding, and they felt like they were paying for a wedding and giving us what was left over as a gift. So they figured we would be paying for Amanda’s bridesmaid dress, and a dress for her mother, and some things like that…but we figured that she could pay for her own dress, just like the rest of the bridesmaids, and just like how my brothers and Dirk are paying for theirs. But I talked to him for about an hour…and diplomatically slipped in that I was concerned because things have a tendency to get violent at their house, and I pointed out the Amanda can vouch for some of Laurens stories of violence…so he can’t claim she was making things up, also I pointed out some things that I wasn’t happy about the way Laurie communicates with Lauren, like how Lauren told her not to schedule her to be in California for more then ten days, but ended up being there for two weeks. It turned out well…as well as a lawyer can talk to a manipulative engineer anyway, so hopefully some issues will not only be heard..and not ignored, but will be dealt with. They are sending us a budget of everything they could possibly conceive of us paying for out of the money they were going to give us, and then we are going to talk it over and see what is reasonable and what is not. All things considered that isn’t too bad…and I didn’t feel like I was totally immersed in settlement talk with a laywer…but it sorta felt like something close I think. All in all, this shouldn’t be too bad, and hopefully he will talk to Laurie about some stuff, so she can communicate better with Lauren…because right now every time they talk to eachother Lauren makes Laurie mad by trying to create some boundaries…and by honestly telling her that she is not OK with the way things are going….and then Lauren gets off the phone and feels bad because she doesn’t have a good relationship with her Mom….so I help where I can….maybe some things will be helped now…but I’m not holding my breath on that part.
I hate money shit….and family termoil….just too much overhead with getting married I think….maybe Lauren was right and we should have eloped, and then had a party later…if we did that, I would be having sex sooner…that would be nice….well…I should stop talking before I get in trouble.
So, that was most of my major weekend stuff…except I had a really good talk with Bob last night…I like Bob…he is a really cool guy. And, with that, I’m off to see a professor about a project.