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Archive for October, 2010

Fall is my favorite season of all

There is a good chance that the title will be the most comprehensible part of this blog post, as I am feeling a bit scattered today.

My mind has been everywhere lately. If my mind was an entity all on it’s own, it would have accumulated hundreds of frequent flyer miles over the past month. As in, enough to get an entire trip for free.  I can’t even say that there is a lot going on around here, because there really isn’t. Not in CO, at least.

In PA, my sister-in-law just gave birth to her fourth child, which is nephew #8 for me.  Cole Wayne.  so for the past few days, I have been thinking about her, and my brother, and all their kids and wishing I could be there with them. I think I have been to every childbirth she has had except this one. But I could be wrong.

In OH, my Ma is getting more and more involved with the local school distrit, which just irriterates my insertion that she really missed her calling as a school teacher. She is awesome at organizing, planning, getting kids excited about work, getting kids to achieve. She also loves kids and youth. She great with advice and offering perspective. Most of all, no matter how stressful the day… if she has spent it with kids, she has this sense of peace and joy that only comes from doing what you were meant to do. It literally glows from her.  So, my mind has been with her, rejoicing with her new found sense of purpose, and laughing with her over the silly things that she hears and sees.

Most of all, my mind has been racing through options for me. I have been here in CO for two months now, and all I have is 2 part time jobs. I have no benefits, won’t get my first paycheck until the end of November, and have only $30 to my name.  I haven’t gotten things completely worked out with the loan companies that I borrowed money from in order to attend college, and probably will not be able to start paying on the loans for a while… which means deferment or filing for economic hardship. Worst of all, this also means I may not be able to help Chad and Jess pay the bills that I am contributing to… at least not for the coming month. And I hate that. I HATE THAT. I do not want to be a leech to someone else. I want to be able to take care of myself. So I don’t know what to do. I’ve applied places, and haven’t heard back. I’ve heard of job openings, and have applied the night that they were posted, and haven’t heard back. It’s getting frustrating to me.  And it’s making me question and worry about so much. Should I stay out here and drain Chad and Jess? Should I just go home, and be hassled and haggled by Ma and Dad until i’m just as beat down as Dad is? what. should. I. do? Was it wrong for me to come out here? Was this really the best idea for me? Am I just being too impatient? Does God really have something out here for me to discover and experience? I don’t know. I really don’t and that terrifies me.

Because of all this stress, I’ve been gorging my mind on tv shows, books and movies. I’ve become obsessive. Like yesterday, when I discovered slam poetry and found myself looking up videos of slam poets and slam competitions. For a couple hours. HOURS.  It’s like my mind is craving distractions from all this stress, and can’t get enough. 

Worst than that, I’ve been reclusive and short with Chad and Jess. I know why. I always do this when I am stressed… I draw away from the people around me. I think part of it is control. I feel so out of control that I pull all myself in… supercontrol the part of my life that I can control, regardless of how it makes the people around me feel. It’s like a survival instinct. And I hate it. I hate treating people that way.

The only good and redeeming thing about this month is that it’s fall. Fall is my favorite season… I love the smells, the tastes, and the looks of fall. It’s beautiful and wonderful. It makes me feel warm and comforted… makes me think of home and childhood. I used to collect caterpillars in the fall. The fuzzy white ones. They were everywhere in my backyard. I would keep them in old gallon ice cream buckets filled with the leaves and grass I found them on. I used to find a leaf that was bowl-shaped and fill it with water so that caterpillar could drink. I still remember the spicy smell that a confined caterpillar has. Everyday, when I’d open the bucket, it would just fill the air. I loved it. Unfortunately, my caterpillars always died once the nights started getting cold. Truthfully, I probably extended their little lives by a bit by keeping them cooped up, but who knows. But I loved catching them. I loved watching the trees change color, and the smell of them burning after we raked them all and took them down the back valley. I love the smell of bonfires and Mr.Walker’s woodstove fire. I love how the air is just cold enough to wear a coat, but not so cold for hats and gloves. I love the return to routine, and kids going off to school. I love pumpkins, and squash… and hot tea and soups and stew and cuddling up with a good book and a warm blanket on the couch. There’s really nothing I don’t like about fall.

 So, I guess in a way it’s providential that I’m having this complete psychological break down in fall. The very season itself keeps me from spiraling out completely.  If I’m honest with myself, I know that things will work out in the end. I know that while I may not have control of my life or finances, but God does. He doesn’t want me to suffer… He’ll give me a way out.  I know that really, the main issue is me. I’m too uncomfortable with being out of control, and too untrusting. It’ll be alright in the end. It always is. I just need to be patient. I just need to sit back and let God have control. I need to remember, and accept, that people want to be around me and it hurts them when I push them away. Really, I need to let myself just enjoy fall.  After all, it is my favorite season of all!

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making super crayons

So I spent some time yesterday making crayons. It was much more fun than it sounds. I thought I’d take a picture, because all the colors where mesmerizing to me… and I got carried away. As in, 50+ pictures carried away. Anyways… I thought I’d post some. They just look that cool and colorful to me. It’s stuff like this that helps me to feel better if I’ve been feeling a little down. Something fun, messy, and creative. Like tonight, at my job, I had the kids make “leaf people”, or people out pf leaves. they made people, and animals, and blobs and covered them all with markers and stickers and glitter glue. Somehow, they managed to keep the glue off the tables, but I think that was only accomplished through them covering themselves with glitter glue, instead. Overall, it was fun. And super relaxing. I needed it.

So, for anyone who finds this post and is feeling sad, take some time to look at the pictures and be mesmerized by all the colors. Maybe it will help you to relax and feel better. Or maybe you just have to be simple minded, like me.

  

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Worry and All It’s Little Buddies

I am a chronic worrier. And it’s completely genetic. My Ma also worries. About everything and anything. Add to that a tendency towards dramatics, and you have a good idea of what we are like under stress. We both worry by nature, so when we actually have something legitimate to worry about, we become incredible strained… much like a membrane that is stretched so very thin it is translucent and fragile.

I’m feeling a bit of both currently. I don’t have a full time job right now, and I am currently uninsured. I was lucky enough to stay on my parent’s insurance until I was 22 and out of school… but I’ve been off for a while now. I’m also a bit hyperchandriacal. And I’m coming down with something. And I can’t get to a doctor to get the tests to tell me what I could possibly have. so needless to say, my lack of employment plus my inpending doom and certain death has been on my mind all day long. Add to that pre-existing stomach pain that is made worst by anxiety…. and I feel too sick and distracted and worked up to sleep.

Why do I do this to myself? Because, really? I’m not going to die. It’ll work out. Either God will heal me or I will get a job this week and get to a doctor in a few weeks following. No big, yea?

Also? what can I do about anything, anyways? so if I have a disease that needs treatment or else, do I currently have money to get treatment? no. Is there anything else I can do to increase my chances of getting a full time job in the school district? No… not unless I want to make myself a complete and utter nuisance to that lady in the district headquarter’s office who I talk to almost every time I call to inquire about my most recent application. (She did mention last time that there is no need to call, they do the calling if they are interested.) So why worry? Why put myself through this?

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication, let your request be made knownbefore God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I know God is in control, and will help me through whatever. I also know that I desperately want and need sleep. *so relax, take a deep breath*

I need to just keep in mind that everything will be okay. I need to stop. God is god.

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Hatred and Moral Obligations

*You could be a hero, you could do what’s right. You could be a hero, you might save a life.*

Four young lives have been snuffed out in the past few weeks. Four…that we know of.  I don’t care where you all stand on the issue of homosexuality, but this is not right. No one should be made to feel as if they are so unwanted that their very existence is pointless and, in fact, an abomination. I hate that word. I hate that word. 

When God created the world, He looked at all His creation and said that it was good. It was perfect. And I know that God is holy, and that He made humans with specific intentions in mind, and for a little while we all lived up to those intentions and were perfect. But then came the trickery, the betrayal, and the imperfections of the fall. We fell. We all fall.

The old testament betrays a God who is ruthless and jealous, demanding a strict code of behavior from His followers with just as severe punishments  for any disobedience. When I read the depictions of the Old Testament God, and compare them with the popular religions of that time, the similarities are uncanny. While I do believe God is absolutely holy, and that He had an intended purpose for us… I can not help but wonder if the writers of that time projected popular beliefs about “gods” unto our God when they wrote about Him, and tried to explain Him. without the help of His Spirit indwelling in them, how were they to accurately explain something as massive and mysterious as God? Even with all that aside, the Old Testemant never condemned homosexuality… it condemned promiscuity.

The New Testament brings with it a whole new way to perceive our God. Enter the Son of God, the human incarnate of our vast and holy Creator. Jesus was gentle, and forgiving. While He still expects and admonishes us to leave our “sin” or all the ways in which we have deviated from His intent for us… He never once condemns, He never once judges. He understands. He gets how much life, and environment, and emotions can get us pretty screwed up. He understands that something as big and intangible as our conscious… the very thing that gives us life and awareness, can be so hard to understand, so hard to unravel and interpret. None of us, none of us, know who we are. And none of us have escaped the curse of the fall. We are all broken. And God knows this… He knows this better than any of us do because He alone can see us for our entirity.

In all our brokeness and confusion and struggle, God sees us. He never condemns, never passes judgement. He hurts with us and loves us and understands us better than we could ever understand ourselves.

So what if these boys were homosexuals. Does that even matter? No. They were part of creation. The were looked upon as good by the very One who spoke the universe into existence. They shouldn’t have died. I don’t believe in condemning others, or making judgement calls on what lifestyles are “good” and “bad”. Priest rape boys, Protestant pastors have mistresses and prostitutes, and sometimes even Nazarene pastors of big churches find themselves in love with someone of the same sex. Should we hate them, and act out on that hate? No.

Hate is never the answer.  We can never know why some people are attracted to the same gender. Does it matter? Should it matter? No. people are people, we are all made in the image of God. Therefore, we all deserve respect, and love, and the protection from hatred. Who knows what amazing things those boys may have accomplished in their lives. Who knows what amazing people they could have grown up to be. We’ll never know because idiots who were blinded by hate and malice tortured them until they thought that the only way out was to kill themselves. I sincerely hope none of the bullies where Christians. If they were, they should know that God is not pleased with them. He is never pleased when you hurt and torture His prize creation.

Beyond all the theology, and the hurt and sadness I feel for the victims, as someone who has been bullied… I feel an overwhelming obligation to make sure that I do my part to ensure that the hurting teens around me don’t even find themselves at a place where they think this is the only option. No! Instead, it’s my mission that the youth in my life know that they are loved. For who they are. I don’t care about attraction, political allience, race, or media choices. I want the teens around me to know that I love and care about them. I want to be sure that I do my part to listen, to help, to encourage, and to above all empower those around me to persevere through all the pain they are going through… to find who they are and stand strong in that. Most of all, to never forget that they are good… they are invaluable… and they are better than anyone around them who dares to try to subjegate them.

Teenagers should never get to the place where they think the only option is to die. We should never let them get there. We can’t bring those boys back, but we can stand strong against their real killers: hatred and injustice. As God’s people, we have an obligation to ensure the irradication of hatred… regardless. This isn’t about homosexuality and whether it’s wrong… it’s about the power hatred has to convince young people, with all their promise and possibility just starting to be discovered, that they have no other option but to die. This is wrong.

There is a song by Superckick called “Hero” that talks about this very thing. It is the quatotion at the top of the page. My question is: do we as Christians… the embassadors of God’s love… allow our convictions get in the way of loving on the people around us? How many hurting people have we walked away from because we don’t “believe” the same way? How many teenagers have come to us, asking for help and we’ve instead focused on “saving” them. Did God love us or save us first? It’s time we stop being so judgemental, so “moral”… and start being the heroes the teenagers of this world need. That’s what’s “right”. Love is always “right”.

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