Tag Archives: Maturity

Growing Up With Me

I just read a few posts from 2012-the year I started my blog. It’s interesting to see how the site has grown up as I’ve grown up. I already thought I was a Christian when I started blogging. The truth is, I didn’t personally know Jesus yet. I believed he was the God of the universe, and I vaguely knew that he saved the world, but I didn’t yet understand that he had saved my soul because he genuinely cared about me personally and wanted to be my friend. In 2012 I had some pretty funny, some good, and a lot of naive ideas. My posts were also a lot more varied in terms of subject matter back then, which I guess is neither here nor there. My posts these are largely about work and God, though sometimes they’re about stories in general or random life stuff. The blog has also largely turned into a way of procrastination, as well as a space to dig for treasure, and hopefully find some truth, whether I like that truth or not.

In the almost seven years I’ve kept the blog, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve gained just over three hundred followers. I don’t think all those people come here often, but that’s okay. This blog has been a companion in my many journeys that have taken place in the course of such short a time. It has been my companion through college, finals, insomnia, epilepsy, faith, hope, fear, love, and milestones. In a lot of ways, it’s kept me going. It’s been a place where I can share my truth, which sometimes, as ugly as it can be, just needs to be squirted out in muddy water colors. This is where frustration and triumph happens. This is where failures are confessed and victory proclaimed. This is where messes are made with the joy of a child, and I admit, in the grand scheme of things, I am one.

I write this as an encouragement to all my fellow bloggers, journalists, and writers in general. Tell the truth. Tell your truth, but more importantly, tell God’s truth. Fear nothing. Writing takes courage, and honestly, sometimes clicking the “Publish” button can be terrifying. Click it anyway. Sometimes we write something, expecting it to get us tons of attention, and no one gives us a second glance. Keep writing. In every circumstance, keep writing. When the world is falling apart keep writing. When you’re on cloud nine, write about it because sometimes the rest of us need to hear what cloud nine looks like. Sometimes your good day can be a happy five minutes for someone who is having an otherwise crappy day. Stories, especially true ones, teach us empathy, so write them. Keep writing, and don’t stop. Write without a reason. Write because you like to. Write because you know you’re good at it. Write because you think you’re good at it. Write even if you suck at it because it brings you joy. Just don’t stop.

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

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Prayer Advice From A Total Newb

I’ve been trying to pray more. I’m bad at praying. Last night my friend asked me, “Isn’t praying the same as just talking to God?” Maybe it is and I’ve been doing it wrong, but from my experience, it seems like it’s somehow spiritually and mentally different. I’m not sure how to explain it. It involves getting very close to God, and that’s intimidating. Something I have discovered that’s helped a lot, though, is that prayer starts with humility. If you realize and acknowledge how tiny you are, it becomes easier. In a way, though it is just like “talking to God,” because you have to work through exactly what it is you need. I’ve also discovered that begging doesn’t seem to work–for me at least. I’m not sure why. Generally, I think it’s because God wants me to get somewhere or discover something before he’ll give me whatever it is what I’m asking for. On the other hand, there have been occasions where I’ve just stopped and said, “Hey, listen, this is important to me. Think you could help me out?” and whatever it is will be given.

Despite the fact that I feel I’m rather awkward about it, prayer works for me. I was talking to a kid I mentored about it the other day, and he said that part of the reason he doesn’t believe in the Christian God is because prayer hadn’t worked for him. He asked me if it did work for me, and I told him that I wouldn’t have got through college if it hadn’t been for God answering my prayers. I firmly believe that he’s helped me out with everything from emotional issues to tough classes.

Something else I’ve learned is that you can’t just idly wait for God to answer prayers. A lot of times the answer to a prayer involves you doing something. A lot of time it means trying everything under the sun, and allowing God to push you in the right direction. Sometimes prayers are a little something like this: “God, I’m afraid to do X or Y, so drive me up a wall until I can’t stand it any more and just do it.” That’s worked for me before.

Ultimately, there’s no “standard” or “correct” way to pray. Different things work at different times for different reasons. I don’t always feel sincere when I recite prayers (like the Our Father or the Fatima Prayer), but sometimes I do. On the other hand, a lot of people find it a lot easier to pray if they don’t have to search for the words. Sometimes things you wouldn’t even think of are a kind of prayer, like simply being with someone, and loving them so hard it hurts. The most important thing is sincerity. Mean what you say. Don’t just pray because you’re supposed to. Pray because you want to; because you need to. Remember the good in this world. Remember the good in your life. Remember that God loves you and loves the world, and acknowledge those things because they’re important.

Like I said, I’m not very good at prayer. I feel like I could be a million times better, but the point is that God listens. It doesn’t matter how eloquent or knowledgeable you are. What matters is that you’re making an effort to communicate with the God of the Universe in a meaningful way. In effect, you’re  saying “I have no idea where I’m going. You drive.”

Because in my world guinea pigs can fly!

It’s A Generational Thing

I missed this story, but my mom told me about it. During or after the George Zimmerman case, one of Tres Von Martin’s friends was interviewed. Mom said that the woman called Zimmerman a derogatory name and a bunch of her friends cheered. She was accusing him of being racist, so she was asked, “isn’t what you’re saying racist?”

My mom said that she denied it and her explanation was that it was a generational thing. Her generation (my generation) just call each other names. We’re just mean because it’s fun and the effect it has on others doesn’t matter because it makes us laugh.

I have a friend who teaches at a dance studio. She said that the kids have absolutely no manners; when they ask for things they don’t say please, and when they are given things they don’t say thank you. They didn’t listen, and some were bullies. Of course there have always been bullies, but it doesn’t make it right.

She said that the parents are even worse. I don’t remember exactly why, but I think the main reason was that they were selfish and got angry when my friend couldn’t do certain things for them (I think they wanted ridiculous things). These people had young kids, which meant they were in their late 20’s or early 30’s; not much older than I am, and they weren’t teaching their kids any manners.

I have noticed and my parents have noticed that some people my age are completely disrespectful to teachers, parents, and adults in general, and they’re even meaner to each other. I was taught from day 1 (4/15/93) that I was supposed to be nice to everyone. I was taught that if you don’t have anything good to say you shouldn’t even open your mouth. I was taught to do good by others and to love them because that was what God said to do. I was taught to respect my parents as well as my friends and to make peace not war.

So how come I sometimes feel like I’m the only one who got that memo? What that girl on TV said was really awful and ignorant, and the fact that people cheered really makes me angry. These people are representing my generation on television, and this is what they come up with? It’s a huge over generalization, and it alienated people like myself and my friends. We pick on each other to a degree, but we know our limits. There is a line, and we don’t cross it because we respect each other.

I don’t understand why respect is such a hard concept for some people to grasp. I suspect it’s partly a familial thing and partly a self defense or self empowerment thing. Some people probably never learn it from their parents, so they don’t pass it on to their kids. Others act disrespectful either to look cool or more powerful to others or to convince themselves that they are.

There is a status quo in our society, and there are smaller versions of it within social groups. People are going to act in different ways depending on how they perceive the status quo. As alluded to above, some people act disrespectfully to try and rise in the status quo or perhaps to break it down. This is a personal rebellion. This can help people gain reputation or power in some groups, but it the bigger scheme of things it’s generally just immature at best.

Respect and humility are actually what break down dividing lines. Being nice is actually what makes people like each other. Love is what helps people find friends in unexpected places. Being on top or being cool isn’t as important as one might think.

Gremlins (not the movie)!

This is sort of terrible, but I needed to vent. I apologize in advance.

I have these two cousins; we’ll call them Thing 1 and Thing 2, who are 7 and 5. The 5 year old is actually pretty mellow– unless she’s with her brother. Thing 1 on the other hand is an insufferable little boy. He doesn’t follow rules, he lies and he asks too many stupid and annoying questions. We made the horrible mistake of letting him onto our Minecraft server where he proceeded to blow up my portal, thus stranding me in the middle of nowhere for 4 Minecraft days. I know I shouldn’t get all testy about something like that, but he’s just been so annoying the past couple days. I kicked him out of the pool last night for not listening and picking on his sister. It was kind of gratifying. I know I’m supposed to be nice to him because he’s my cousin, but it’s getting harder and harder.

I’m used to doing things at a relatively laid back pace. I like peace and quiet and I’m mostly interested in mature, intellectual things. I think a lot of kids’ TV shows, stories and movies are pointless and idiotic and I don’t have a whole ton of patience for children in general. They wanted to watch me play Journey last night, which happens to be my favorite video game for the art, animation, open ended story and amazing music. I agreed because I thought it would keep them quiet. It turns out nothing can shut these kids up. I owe my sanity to my mom and brother because they ended up taking the gremlins to Pet Co while I played. I ended up playing with a very entertaining person too.

We watched Monsters Inc last night, which I’ll admit is one of the better kids’ movies I’ve seen. After that, Thing 1 asked me what time I was going to get up the next morning “8 or 9?” I told him 10:30 and slept until 11:30 or so. I could never be a mother. Maybe it’s selfishness, but I just can’t cater to the wants and needs of bratty kids. I have a couple other cousins who are 11 and 13. There isn’t as much of an age difference, but I don’t remember either of them being bratty when they were 7 or 5. In fact, they’re both mature for their age, caring and best of all, quiet. We’re even interested in a lot of the same things.

I have some work to do this afternoon and the rest of the week, so hopefully the little monsters will stay out of my room, though i kind of doubt it. If I’m not already crazy, I will be by the time they leave on Wednesday.

Anyway, sorry for the rant. Love y’all! 🙂