Thursday, January 31, 2013


"just enough snow
to make you look carefully
at familiar streets"
-richard wright

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

the first night.

You know, I never actually told Kyle that I liked him.

After months - years, really - of friendship, I asked him to take a walk with me one September night a few days before my birthday. I was nervous as we walked in the chilly fall air through the streets near my old house. "I just need to know." I said, "I just need to know if you like me, because you act like you do, but you say you don't, and it's confusing." He said that no, he didn't like me as more than a friend and he hoped that it wouldn't change our friendship. I lied and said that was fine, that we could just be friends and we could go back to normal. But I specified that he must be very careful about the messages he was sending me because he had been sending signals contrary to his claims. He agreed, and dropped me off at home.

One week later, I knew something had changed. Suddenly, he let his lips come close to my ear when he whispered something to me at a concert; he sent me text messages nearly every night; he sat closer to me - close enough that his leg was touching mine - while we watched a movie; he sent me a music video of an artist we wanted to go see, and peculiarly chose a love song. Then came the night I will always remember.

He walked me home; it was early October. As we walked the few short blocks from his house to mine, I talked the whole way and he responded with the "yeah"s and the "mhmm"s that I now know mean he isn't listening to me but is thinking of something else. When we got to my house, he stopped and turned towards me. I could tell he was nervous as he shifted back and forth with his hands in his pockets. Then came the words I will never forget: "Leilah, I've been doing a lot of thinking these past few days and I realized that I have feelings for you too." I was taken aback and awkwardly gave an "Oh!" in response. "So what does this mean?" I asked. "I don't know," he answered, "but let's just take it slow and see what happens." He hugged me and said, "Well, I'll see you tomorrow!" and walked down the street.

I turned and walked up the front steps but fumbled with my keys and couldn't find the right one. I watched him walk away, wondering if what had just happened had really happened. My heart was pounding as I finally found the key to the door and went inside. I had no idea that that night was the beginning of something much bigger than I could have imagined. What began as "Let's take it slow" has evolved into "Let's do this forever."

You know, the funny thing is that I knew he liked me for months before he knew he liked me. I just had a feeling that something was going to work out. He had no idea. I guess he just needed a little push in the right direction. ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why I Respect My (Future) Husband More for Changing His Last Name

“Strong people stand up for themselves; stronger people stand up for others.”

Many people will be surprised by our decision; some may even be upset. When people choose to break away from tradition and follow a different path, this inherently comes with some stirring of the waters. However, we are not making this choice to hurt, offend, or put-off anyone; it is simply our choice.

For thousands of years, women have been seen as less than men, property of men, fit only for child-birthing and rearing, and caring for a home. Only in the last 60 or so years have women finally begun to be freed from this. In the past, when a woman was married, she was passed from the guardianship of her father to the guardianship of her husband. The idea of femme covert, or the idea that marriage is the transfer of both a woman's property and the women herself as property, doesn't sit well with either of us. In fact, the loss of a woman's last name was to signify that she had been symbolically “bought” by her new husband.

Now, I understand that most people do not think this way any more and that all couples who change only the woman's name are not misogynistic and chauvinistic. I also love my father and am proud to have been raised by him and my mother and to have carried his name for 22 years. However, it cannot be denied that this patriarchal system is where the name-changing tradition comes from, and I, for one, do not like it.

I have always been a bit of a rebel; conformity is not my thing – I find it boring and tiresome. I was raised without expectation that I should be anything I wished not to be. “Free-spirited” is what you might say I am. And while we are not making this choice just to be different or to make a statement, there is something to be said for questioning the way things are and have been. Traditions that do not mean anything to us are a waste of time, in my opinion.

Kyle and I will be married on the 24th of August, 2013. On that day, we will form a new family – the Korbines family (a portmanteau of our unmarried names, Korban & Hines). This is our decision which stems from many conversations about what we want our marriage to stand for (service to one another, partnership through life, acceptance & love). It is our choice, and we have made it with full knowledge & understanding of both the implications and the potential complications & inconveniences it may cause. We acknowledge that it is difficult for some people to understand, but it is our choice.

While many may disagree that a wife changing her last name is not oppression, I would ask of you this: Why does this idea seem so radical to you? Oppression is defined as: “being subject to unjust treatment or control”. So while this is definitely minor oppression, the fact that women do not have the opportunity to choose their last name and are questioned upon veering from the path of tradition seems to me to qualify as being subject to unjust control. The Word says that wives should respect their husbands. Well I have to tell you, this whole decision has made me respect mine even more. It is easy for people who are the object of oppression (or an oppressive tradition) to cry out and attempt to stand up for themselves; it is another thing altogether for one who is free from oppression to stand up for the oppressed. I could not do this alone – this is a decision that requires partnership. In fact, I think that it is even more difficult for Kyle to choose this path because while people are used to female feminists making statements like this, they are not used to male feminists doing much at all. Without him, taking this stand would be impossible. That is an admirable, sacrificial act, and my respect for him has grown.

So, (future) Mr. Korbines, I love you, I respect you, and I see this as a sign that our marriage is going to be a strong, life-giving partnership. Thank you for honoring me in this way and for standing up for me in a way that is not easy for you to do. I love you. You are awesome. 

**Photo taken by Karen & Michael Sharkey**

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

the beginning.

welcome to our blog.

We hope that this will be a place to share with our friends and family what is going on in our life together. We are embarking on a journey together, a unique adventure of unknowns. We wish to share parts of this journey with you. But be warned: We are a bit strange and quite unlike many around us, so do not expect this to be your typical journey. This is an adventure, one which requires great trust and hope. As we seek to live out the love of Jesus in this world, unexpected things happen. So read along and enjoy our adventure with us!

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