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Irony

28 Feb

Irony is a funny thing. And so can the gifts we’ve been given when their exercise contrasts with our personalities.

I’ve been a shy, introverted, awkward person for some time now (let’s say pretty much all of my life). It’s hard for me to share my feelings, let you know what I’m really thinking, and, well, stuff like that (…see). Except for this period of time between kindergarten and first grade… I used to get in trouble at school for talking too much. Yep. Don’t know what happened there.

Anyway. Fast forward to mid-February.

About a month or so before, a friend asked me if I wanted to participate in a writing project. A gal she is good friends with is putting together a program to produce at our church, and she wanted to gather a group of people to write the different parts. Each person was to choose a specific Bible character to research for the purpose of writing a conversational monologue based on a particular period of time when their faith was being tested. After spending some time digging into the text, writing, rewriting, and correcting, I sent it for submission. Then, a night passed. I looked it over and rewrote (bad habit) a few sections and, again, sent the piece for submission. Another night passed. Then a day. Then another night and day. A reply had not yet come. Aaah! Then I reminded my neurotic self that people have lives, jobs, social calendars, and I’m sure other projects going on. Oh, yeah. Yes, I am ashamed.

(My friend did get back to me, and very quickly in light of all that she has on her plate. If you’re reading this, friend, please, please forgive my paranoid and neurotic behavior…I’m utterly ridiculous.)

Then, as I was washing the dishes and pondering over my ridiculousness one night, a funny thought occurred to me. How ironic it was for God to instill in me the raw (and constantly being refined) talent of writing, knowing that I would grow and form into a shy, nervous, approval-seeking person. As a writer (at least for me), a part of you goes into whatever project you create, whether it be a blog post, a short story, a novel, etc. Each piece has a bit of you in it, and sending that out into the world to be read and scrutinized is like having a part of yourself put on display in a shop window for all to critique. I appreciate that God has a sense of humor, and that He’s also instilled in me a skill and urge to step outside of myself to talk about Him and give Him glory through the written word. No matter how reluctant I may be to speak and share verbally, He’s given me a chance to do that through writing—only something He could do through shy, awkward, ridiculous me.

Thank you for giving me a skill for employing the written word in the place of diction, Lord. May each word, sentence, and paragraph be glorifying to You by reflecting the artistry of their Architect.

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Importance of a Good Home Life

19 Aug

I know we can’t choose the home life we grow up in, but we can kindly, thoughtfully facilitate the one in which we grow old and raise our children.

“Strength of character may be acquired at work, but beauty of character is learned at home. There the affections are trained. There the gentle life reaches us, the true heaven life.” (Henry Drummond)

Dante and Jeremiah

1 Aug

Several days ago, my daily readings included the fifth chapter of the book of Jeremiah. While reading, I came across this verse:

Therefore a lion from the forest will attack them,
a wolf from the desert will ravage them,
a leopard will lie in wait near their towns
to tear to pieces any who venture out,
for their rebellion is great
and their backslidings many.

Sound familiar? Those are the same three beasts Dante meets in the forest before he takes a guided tour through Hell, then Purgatory, and finally, Heaven. Needless to say, I minorly geeked out at discovering the correlation. And it makes me wonder… perhaps this verse inspired Dante to write his Divine Comedy? Although it quite possibly could have been the whole chapter. It’s a timely read, for any lost generation.

Nostalgia and Sentimentalism

23 Apr

I’ve always been sentimental, even before I could spell the word. However, my sentimentality has typically been defined by quiet moments of reflection upon seemingly insignificant events. But this recent bout of sentimentality is of a different kind—a new kind for me.

Last evening found my boyfriend and I on a late-night In-N-Out run. As we stopped at a stop sign while leaving the parking lot, a compact car passed in front of us, heading toward the exit. Inside was a mother and daughter who had apparently, like us, just visited a drive-thru in search of late-night sustenance. The sight of this mother and daughter, out late getting junk food together, gave me pause. At this moment in time I’m finishing my freshman year of college and will return home this summer to live, and then return to on-campus housing for the fall and spring terms. But my boyfriend and I are planning to be married next May, meaning that this summer will be the last time I live at home, probably for the rest of my life. I’ve been itching for independence for such a long time that I never seemed to make much room for the thought of what it would feel like to not be dependent any more. My family has been such a tight-knit little group (with my mom being my best friend) for the entire extent of my short life, and within a little over a year’s time everything has changed—I started dating my boyfriend, was accepted to university, moved to said university, and now am planning to get married. All this to say, I’m still eager to make a home and my own family with my boyfriend, but I now feel the gravity of the situation as I never have before. As my boyfriend put it, after I relayed all this to him, now I’m heading down the road to being the mom in that car—leaving my role of the young daughter behind.

*sniff*

Questions

25 Mar

In the short course of my time on this earth I’ve learned that, during each stage of life, there will be people (some you know, and even some you don’t) who feel the need to subject you to a timely–although sometimes unfair to the answerer, as some of us are clearly still in process of getting everything together–question. Elementary age: “what do you want to be when you grow up?”; middle school: “what do you want to do with your life?”; high school: “what college are you going to attend/when are you going?”; college: “what is your major? can you make any money with that degree?”; dating: “so, when are you going to put a ring on that finger/is he going to pop the question?”; engagement: “when are you two getting married?”; marriage: “when are you two going to have a baby?”, and ETC! Frankly, I’m tired. I’ll know when I know, and then you’ll know too–I promise, you won’t be left in the dark. When I’m choosing a college, when I’m attending that college, when I apply for a job, when I’m working, when I have a ring on my finger, when you see a wedding band with it, when I start gaining awkward weight, believe me–you’ll know!

Thankfully, I’m [finally] in college. But then again, I’m a history major. Please, you’re not the first to ask me what on earth I’m going to do with that, or even whether I’ll be able to make decent money at it. As for the first, I’m a freshman–I’ll figure it out soon enough. In answer to the second, my choice of the major itself should speak to the fact that I’m not in it for the money. Although recently I have also found myself at that awkward dating phase: a year in, definitely headed toward marriage, but no ring. This particular subject, however, is more sensitive to me.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, I’ll just smile at all of the usual questions (I apologize to you, reader, as this post betrays that one percent of the time), but this one is becoming harder to brush aside. To be married to the love of my dreams is one of the two things I’ve truly ever wanted from life. Now, I’ve found him–or rather, he found me. And I am content in knowing that he wants to marry me, and that the usual events will proceed in due course. But please, please–stop asking when. I know you think it’s cute, and it’s funny, and it’s sweet; it was, the first several times. Five couples in our acquaintance got engaged over this one-year span. That’s fine; I am content with his promise and our mutual desire to be married. Four couples got married. That’s fine; I am content with his desire to “put a ring on that finger,” as he says, and to spend the rest of his days with me. Most couples we know see each other four to five times more during the week than my Cugar and I are able. That’s fine; I am content with his voice and conversation. But please–don’t ask if I became engaged at Christmas, at New Year’s, on Spring Break, or since you’ve seen me last, and PLEASE, don’t grab my hand and physically check my finger. If you haven’t received a frantically joyful text from me recently or you don’t visibly see a ring on my left hand, the answer is no. So until then… please, don’t. Just, don’t.