Tuesday, October 28, 2014

117: tick...tick...tick...

See, it used to be those people, those older friends. Those adults.

Now it's me, or rather people my age, families I could be having. People younger than me with two year olds.

And I'm just over here sleeping in the day bed I've had since I was 5, calling my four students my "kids," and dreaming of growing old with my dog.

It's not me creating a family and it doesn't seem like it will be.

But when I see a sick child with sandy colored hair cuddled up with his mom on the bench, covered with a soft train blanket, I can't help feeling wistful and like I'm missing out.

As I look back at my image in the full length mirror in the school restroom I panic just a little at the thought of getting older and never having a person by my side to smile at me along the way.

It's not always about finding fulfillment or purpose in the single life. Sometimes it's about God-designed biological clocks and navigating your way around its ticking.

Hashtag resigning myself to perpetual singleness

Hashtag trying to be content if that's God's will

"growing old with my dog"


P.S. I wrote the above last week. This week I'm thinking an adaptation on arranged marriage might be a plausible solution to perpetual singleness, depending on God's will. Yes, that sounds like a joke. No, it's not, these have really been my thoughts. Yes, I agree, my dog is really cute, thank you. :)


Saturday, October 25, 2014

116: short thoughts on leaving a legacy

I was toodling along, thinking of accreditation and a vibrant classroom atmosphere, when Natalie Grant's song "Legacy" came on the radio. And it connected the dots for me why I always felt if I had a husband and kids my life would have purpose. When you have kids, it's in your face every day that you are having an impact, good or bad. You are leaving a legacy and it is unavoidable. As a single, you have to leave a legacy more intentionally. It's easier to forget that you're making an impact by how you live. You have to think about how your life counts and live on purpose or else the years pass by and it feels like there are no long term results.

At least, that's how it seems for me.

because we all know if you live in the country you'll leave a better legacy than elsewhere...JUST KIDDING!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

115: on lonely and/or quiet moments

A concept from the Harrison Ford version of Sabrina has stuck with me ever since I first watched it a couple months ago. Sabrina, far away in Paris, goes home every night to her photograph of David. A colleague tells her, "You seem embarrassed by loneliness, by being alone." Her colleague more or less encourages her to embrace it as a starting point.

Afraid of loneliness, I clog it up with Facebook and movies when I'm not at work. But what would loneliness propel me toward if I did let myself feel it? Would it propel me toward marriage? Toward God? Toward depression?

I've been trying to reacquaint myself with quietness again. It's hard work. I enjoy filling my hours with work and people and entertainment.

I had learned to fear the still moments, because it is then you remember that which it is safer to forget. Worries and burdens I can't handle. When prayer for help makes things worse because I am thinking about my problems again. Strivings within me that I can't solve. I filled those lonely moments.

But now it seems different. Quietness feels like an old friend I'm rediscovering. Oh, I haven't spent a whole lot of time in the media-void-silence yet. But, I'm experimenting with the moments I do seize, and it seems good.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

114: stronger

"You are stronger, You are stronger
Sin is broken, You have saved me"

You know what terrifies me? The man that falls hard and falls fast, who loves deeply and over whom a girl has tremendous power to bring incandescent happiness or, through her vacillating mind and emotions, to bring confusion and deep pain.

Forgive the comparison, but it seems God has the same depth of love for us. He staked the life of His own Son on that love. As with anything God does, He loves us completely and fully, not holding back.

"The love of God
has been poured out in our hearts
by the Holy Spirit"

God does not require His love to be reciprocated though. Like when He put Abraham to sleep and passed through the covenant by Himself, holding up both ends of the agreement, so He loves because He loves. He demonstrated His love while we were still enemies of His. He wasn't a gallant knight, laying His life on the line for the fair maiden who would lavish kisses on him when he returned.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us
In that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us"

I don't respond to God's love because I pity him and don't want him to feel bad. I respond because who He is commands loyalty, obedience, and worship. I respond to Him not because I have tremendous power to bring Him joy or pain, but because He is strong enough to put up with my unfaithfulness, disobedience, and self-serving and still call me back again and again.

"Our God is greater
Our God is stronger
God, You are higher than any other
Our God is healer
Awesome in power
Our God
Our God"

Humans can't do that. God can. And thus my God is stronger and greater than any other. He is my Rock, and there is no one like Him.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

113: young marrieds, old singles

My mom and I drove up to Oregon this weekend to attend the wedding of two 18 year olds.

In anticipating the wedding, all I could think about was how young they were. Crazily young. Just kids.

But seeing the bride walk down the aisle, focused only on the young man at the front of the church, I began to accept that she was ready. As I saw them stand up there, holding hands, eyes only on each other, I told myself, "This is right." Because it was. Is. This joining of two young lives into one is not only ridiculous--how can they possibly know what they are getting themselves into?--but also undeniably right.

fall theme

Her sister, my friend since we were five years old, is now married and will give birth to her firstborn, a son, in less than a month (Lord-willing!). The last few months I've begun struggling with this idea of being single without hope of change, and accepting it. Figuring out what to do with the thoughts of being the single adopted aunt who drives up on her days off to visit her childhood friend, her husband, and her son. How many years will it be like that? Nothing has changed in the last 10. What guarantee do I have that it will change in the next 3? Do I accept the position? Or do I refuse to accept even a hint of the thought that I'm becoming the old maid? Or do I reconcile myself to something in between resigned singleness and hoping against hope?

Meanwhile, soft reminders speak to me. They say I have more value than whether I'm married. That there are still plans for my life. It's the voice I've heard from my youth. And I reply, "Yes, Lord, I know that is true, but I still want this." Still, it's a comfort.

We'll see how life progresses.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

112: a different good

Why not me? The quiet question my psyche asks in the temporary disturbance of freshly raked-over discontent.

Because your story is different, the reply comes.

I've found as a lover of the study of grammar and writing that I have to appreciate this answer. Even as my old dreams die and what I thought was good passes me by, ie. even though humanly I squirm at the plot assigned me, the love of writing in me acknowledges that not everyone gets to play the same part. A book needs different characters with different traits and different plot lines. My dream dies so the author's dream can live. My idea of good doesn't happen so another good can be my own.

To desire is human; to make petitions and requests is holy; to cry out to the Lord is comforting; to discontentedly envy others is sin.

I look at others and am not happy. I look at the path my own story has taken, and I am content to wait on His plot twist a little longer.

"He has been faithful. He will be again."

P.S. This school year is going amazingly well, and I wouldn't trade it with anyone!


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

111: redeeming God

I love clouds. I love the emotions and drama they paint in the sky.

The last few years, though, I've wondered if it's okay to love them so much since aren't they a product of the Fall? Were there clouds before there was rain, and was there even rain before the Great Deluge?

Today, driving home, I saw a peacock wisp of a cloud, and it struck me. Beauty from ashes. This is proof that God brings beauty out of ashes.

I serve the Great Redeemer. Clouds might be the result of a world-wide opening up of the skies to punish sin. But even so, God has taken that and created something beautiful.

A friend of mine will soon be a step-mom. She would rather the original family have stayed intact for the sake of those she loves. Is a step-family second best?

God is able to do what seems impossible to me. Yes, He can create something beautiful from nothing. But He can also pick up the broken pieces of the original, and instead of gluing the shattered pieces back into a shabby copy of the original, He transforms and redeems and makes something newly beautiful.

That confounds me. How can a do-over be beautiful too? I feel hesitant to suggest that a re-creation can be equally beautiful to the original design. But isn't everything God makes beautiful?

That's what each of us are. A shattered people redeemed as new creations.

And so I can love clouds anew. They are proof that God is the great Redeemer.