Saturday, April 21, 2012

All Girl

This is a totally girly post because I'm excited about going dancing and decided to write. Read at your own risk. ;)

There's just something that happens to a girl when she gets all dressed up. I spent the day in my grubbies doing things around the house. I cleaned my room, put away winter clothes, got out summer ones, and made an apple pie. 
I put on a little makeup, curled my hair, added a dash (or two!) of perfume and put on a pretty dress with a perfect twirling skirt. And then something happened. I turned into a GIRL. I just love it. I like being feminine and feeling pretty. I like the scent of perfume wafting around me, and giving a little extra twirl because my skirt is swirly. And I like being treated like a girl and having doors opened for me and being escorted in dark parking lots. Not because I am afraid, but because I like being a lady.
And I LOVE dancing. I like being the follow and going where the lead takes me. I like the swings and the waltzes. So! Fun!

Just thought I'd share some exuberance about being all dressed up and having somewhere to go. :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


It's an afternoon of reflection.
Quiet, peaceful. Sun playing through the shady leaves of the trees out my window. Music soft in the background.

And thoughts bubble up. Up and out of the deeps of my heart and mind. It's like a fountain, or a spring of fresh water. Deep down thoughts begin to form and eventually they bubble up and out burbling like a spring, flowing out and eventually reaching the blog.

I sit and stare at the words, or gaze out the window as I type, thoughts becoming real under my fingers, thoughts taking form before my eyes.

Thoughts are sometimes to be pondered in the heart. Thoughts are sometimes to be kept quiet and thought about when washing dishes, or mowing the lawn, or when busy doing other mundane tasks that fill up the day. Thought about and pondered softly in the soul. And never shared, never spoken. Just thought and felt.

Thoughts are sometimes to be shared. They deserve to be written about and talked about and given life by giving them language and form. They bubble out to others who can in turn think and ponder and share.

I wonder how many of our thoughts are not really ours, but given by the Holy Spirit. Whispered in our ears at night as we sleep, in our hearts as we ponder, the scarlet thread of thought weaving in and out of our existence and minds. Scarlet threads of thought from God.

It's funny how you can share a thought without exchanging a single word. It's funny how you can share a feeling and idea and not even speak.

And it's funny how you can talk using a barrage of words and never get the thought across, never communicate the idea. Emptiness filling up the space with noise.

I wonder about my thoughts sometimes. Are they really empty? Are they really fluffy? Perhaps nothing wonderful, but they are mine. Some of them are here, bubbling out. Many many more are quiet in my heart. They will not be shared here. They are just for me. And perhaps others.

It's easy for thoughts to get out of control and start going in a direction far far away, far away from righteousness and truth. Thoughts that bring darkness and hell to haunt our minds and dreams. It takes self control to bring them back to the thoughts of Light and truth and God. Thoughts of beauty, loveliness, goodness and virtue.

I don't want darkness to exist in my mind, in my thoughts. I want sparkling light, and colorful beauty.

Almighty God, to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy holy Name: through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

One Day Soon

One day soon, I will speak a new language, and bring the spice of communicating in a foreign language to my tongue and heart. I will be free to share the thoughts of my soul and mind with others who understand another way of speaking, with others who in turn will search for words as we join in a deeper level of communication. It is a joy I anticipate and look forward to.

Words that have been chained up inside, frustrated and blocked will be free at last. Words that could not be uttered, only thought and hidden in my heart until the moment it could all be translated into a common understanding. A moment when I learn the secret to communicating, and translating my abstract ideas and feelings in concrete understanding.

One day soon, I will have the satisfaction of expressing myself in ways that I understand, elucidating a inner world of thoughts, sharing them with others.

One day. Soon.

Friday, April 13, 2012


I've been thinking about narcissism this week in the back of my mind. It's kind of something I've had back there for a while, but this week it bubbled up and became more of a real thought.

It's been in the back of my mind because of my hate/love relationship with Facebook. And yes, I know that's supposed to be love/hate. But I hate Facebook more than I love it. And yet, hypocrite that I am, not only do I have a Facebook profile, but I also spend way too much time there.
There's already a lot of blogs out there with tons of great reasons of why one should avoid Facebook like the plague. I'm content to let them do the talking on that subject. To be honest, the only reason I'm still there is because it seems to be the best way to be invited to social events. Other than that, I'm back on the hate part of the relationship.
One of the things I've thought about this week about social media is just how narcissistic is really is. It's a great place to put a soundbite of my thoughts. A great place to let everyone know what I like, and a great place to post things in order to feel like my "friends" like me by clicking the appropriate button.
Very moving and deeply committed relationships are to be had on Facebook as I post pictures of myself and like others' comments.

I just keep feeling like it's so vain and narcissistic. Every time I post a picture I feel a little guilty because guess who the star is?
Yup. Yours truly.
And then when I post a status, guess who it's about?
Mmmhmm. You got it. None other than the center of this universe.

And what about those people who post pictures daily? They seem to have cool, exciting lives as they post pictures of where they are or what they're eating or the spiffy outfits they're wearing today. But in the great scheme of things, why do we do it?
The great scheme of things...the great big picture of this life...and I am taking those moments to post about my Easter picture in a place where the hubbub grows louder and louder, and few really care about my clothing choices for Resurrection Sunday celebration.

It makes me feel so disgusted with myself.

My idea is that the great scheme of things is the furthering of the kingdom of God. The mission of sharing the story of Christ with others, of sharing the Love of Christ with others. It's hard for me to reconcile posting pictures of myself on Facebook with that. I'm sure there are some extenuating circumstances somewhere for it, but really, how very silly it is.

I'm writing this for myself alone, as being chief among sinners. Because that photo up there, the reason this whole conversation with myself began this week is posted- guess where? On Facebook.

Narcissism and being me-focused is so easy to slip into. I want to break free of it, and to become the person who, when others speak of me or see me, won't think about me at all, but about Christ. I want to be the background to a better story, the servant washing the feet of others, the one that shines the light brighter. I want others to be blind to me, but mesmerized by Christ.

As time goes on, it begins to dawn upon me that maybe social media is something that should take less and less of my time. Instead of posting about how exciting my life is or how bored I am as the case may be, maybe I should be out living it, and socializing in person.

Computer screens are the real life of today, I'm told. A pat answer to describe today's culture, but it's a lonely way to live. You cannot make eye contact. You can't hear voice inflection, you can't reach over and give the person a hug. Computer screens are not a replacement for real life relationships. Computer screen relationships make it easy to avoid the nit and grit of life. And I'm thinking it probably has helped increase the number of depression medication prescriptions and attempted and successful suicides.

Here we are. Me in a quiet room alone typing into a little flat box, and you staring at a screen to read my thoughts. You do not hear me talking about it. You do not know the background of what I say, except what I take time to add here. The give and take of exchange of thoughts is missing. Here, I give, you take. Here, it's all about me, with no room for you.

It's lonely.

Narcissism is all about me. It's being obsessed with me, self being the most important of all. Narcissism is others not being as important except to make me look good and feel good. It's an i-culture all right. It's all about me.

The narcissism I see in myself is beginning to bother me more and more. I'm thinking of some things I can do to work on this, steps to take to switch the spotlight off of me and on something more important, more life-changing.

That I might grow in humility.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I,
provided that I may become as holy as I should…

With deep humbleness and remorse,

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Birds Sing The Glad Message

The birds were singing this morning when I awoke. It made me think of that morning, so long ago when the women awake early, hurriedly dressed, and went to the tomb. They had no one to open it for them, but they were determined to try.
I imagined the birds singing, the air cool as they walked the hills to the tomb. Perhaps the first rays of sunshine were peeking up over the horizon.
The women reached the tomb, expecting death and silence, the stench of disappointed hopes greeting them. Instead they found an angel messenger who gave them such great news that they could barely understand or believe it, and then when it saturated their minds and hearts they dropped everything and ran back to share the good news!
And Mary was the first to see the risen Lord. Can you imagine? Can you imagine being at the cross and seeing the horror of the inflicted death, watching all the blood pouring out, being absolutely sure that He is dead, and then three days later encountering the one you loved most in the garden where He was supposed to be buried?

Gives us a little peek into what it must have been like for Mary.

The grand message of today, sung by the birds at dawn, shouted by the rays of sunshine, and echoed through the world every year since is this:

He is risen! He is risen! HE is risen indeed, Alleluia!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Day of Darkness

Today is the day of darkness. The day of silence. The day of complete devastation. Today is Saturday, and Jesus is in the tomb.

He wasn't supposed to be in the tomb! He was supposed to be the King, the Jewish King who was going to send the Romans packing out of Israel. He was supposed to set His disciples up as rulers one on the right and one on the left, and others to be in command. He was supposed to be there to heal the sick, the blind, the lame as before. He was supposed to be the bright star on the political horizon and the hope of all who were oppressed by the political unrest going on. But where was He?
In a tomb.

The disciples must have been stunned, dismayed, bewildered, lost. It is a day of darkness. They've just spent all their time for the last 3 years following Jesus around, listening to Him, eating with Him, and yes, even having some of the glory of Jesus' fame shining on them. But now that is a glory that could have them killed, too.

The glory of following Jesus could have us killed, too. Being a disciple of Christ is not an easy task that if you say some magic words will give you hope of an afterlife in a golden city someplace. Following Jesus is dealing with the sick, the blind, the lame. And there are many many forms of sickness, blindness, and lameness. It is taking up our cross and following Him, through the mire, blood, and tears.

It's a dark day today. Our hope, our Savior is dead. It is silent, with only the grave to speak to us.

And what will happen tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Teacher Was Homeschooled (And Other Ironies Of My Life)

Irony 1. The teacher was homeschooled. And has no idea what a 'classroom' is supposed to look like.
Not only do I not know what it's 'supposed' to look like, but I also have no idea how it works. You know what it feels like so far? Like juggling 5 siblings and all their activities. Except, these siblings are all the same age. Maybe being the oldest of 9 will come in handy, after all. (Don't make me use my teacher voice!)

Irony 2. The teacher knocks over the kid in the playground on the first day. Great.
Parent: "Do you like your new teacher?"
Kid: "She knocked me down on the playground!"
Parent: "What kind of teacher is this?! "
(It was actually an isolated incident which was caused by a child walking behind a teacher who was swinging. The teacher was unable to stop the child or the momentum in time. I was that unfortunate teacher. There were no serious injuries in the making of this irony. Maybe I should give up swinging.)

Irony 3. The new PE teacher has never been to a PE class in her life.
She can't shoot baskets, she can't do push ups, and she doesn't remember the rules to 'freeze tag'. But somehow, these things will probably not hinder her as she guides 40 kids through PE classes. Oh no. Not at all.

Somehow, I think I'm going to absolutely love this job. After the first day, I still have things to do with them for the remainder of the week, and lots of ideas for our studies and activities. I'm surprised there's not the irony of using up a weeks worth of classes in one day. But grateful for that not happening. Ask me tomorrow if it really didn't happen. Ha!

Today I got more of a feel of how long it takes to do things with 5 year olds. (Basically, forever.) And I got more of a feel of where they are in their abilities. (Basically, my level.)

Looking forward to more teacher adventures tomorrow! But I think I will attempt to avoid knocking over kids on the playground.