November 12, 2005

R.E.M. Sleep thought that was a clever title...because...I'm listening to classic R.E.M. at the moment ( downloaded last night) annnnnd I am reeeeeally tired. I couldnt sleep last night. It was really odd, I kept thinking there was something I needed to do...or something i needed to think about...but for the life of me I couldnt figure out what it was.

Ok, so Lets do a little catch up and a little reminder: Its ten days until my birthday, I hope you are preparing accordingly. ;-) hahahah....

This year all I want for my birthday are your emails-so please send me a birthday message this year- as we all know ( or you should!) I am a WORDS YOUR words on my birthday will TRULY make me happy. :-)

Ok, my inspirational/influential list continues:

Ryan Middlebrook

I had to put the last name because my cousin Ryan is also on my list ( coming soon!) so I have to make the distinction. ...

Ryan is my brother-in-law. And for years that was definitely ALL he was in my life. Its strange the impact it has on your life when your sibling gets married. Its very odd... I'd known my sister all my life-and all of a sudden God brings a long this person who really DOES complete them! I remember the first time I met Ryan, I knew immediately ( well, maybe not the first second...but definitely after thirtyminutes or so) that he was the One for my sister. I actually went home and told Amy about it so that someone would be my witness that I KNEW before ANYONE when they actually DID get married ( yeah, I'm weird like that) took about two years for them to actually get together and get married so it was sort of fun for me to continue the speculation long before there were any real evidence to prove my theory.

In a lot of ways seeing Ryan and Anna get together was a really big breakthrough for me-they were probably the first couple that I really knew well who got married ( since I was in high school when it happened)...and to watch a TRUELY good relationship happen really helps you to see all the highschool-ish relationships in better perspective. heh.

Anyway, for many years Ryan was really a stranger to me...I liked him, but I was shy around him....I reeeally wanted him to like me, because I wanted my SISTER to like me....all very strange. But, I remember the first time I really felt like I got to know Ryan was when I visited Anna in Chicago and Ryan picked me up from the airport and hung out with me several times while Anna was at work. Ryan is seriously the smartest person I know. I know, thats a pretty big statement but its true. You ask him about a topic and he usually has SOMETHING to add...yet with all that knowledge you would think he would be in contempt of all of the lowly people like myself...but the amazing thing about Ryan is he always seems to think the very best of everyone around him. I think he actually BELIEVES that if I put my mind to it I could learn several languages...become a wiz at higher level math...bring up hundreds and hundreds of book in context within a conversation....whatever, he always has such FAITH in other people's ablities. ( of course, I am not about to tell him I could NEVER do any of the above! hahaha)
It was truly one of the first things I was inspired of in Ryan. He is truly a teacher at heart because of this, as long as I've known him he has been imparting his own knowledge to anyone who might want to learn....and such a patient teacher! wow.

As the years have gone on, I watched Ryan face incredible challenges. Challenges that I really dont believe I could handle with the grace he has faced them. In watching Ryan face these challenges it has made me look at own own failings....and truly truly look at my life differently. There was one particular time when I saw Ryan face a great injustice, to the point where I thought my own heart would break. Yet, to look at Ryan in that situation ....the peace of God truly covered him. It was one of the most incredible things I have EVER seen. Ryan is truly an example of the grace and mercy of God in my own life. I truly love him dearly. I am thankful that God brought him into my family and I know that my life would not be what it is today without him....

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