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(I wrote this entry on MWord sometime last week and am just posting it today. I felt the need to point that out because the pastor, in this week’s sermon, touched lightly on some of the little things I mentioned… Anyone who went to church, you should know I wrote about it before he talked about it! lol)
5 Words Meme
An LJ friend (archethereal. Sorry, I haven’t taken the time to figure out how to link LJ users when I mention them in posts) was tagged in this meme. I read her post and decided I liked it, and so thought I’d play along ☺.
Directions: Comment on this entry, and I will give you five words I associate with you. Your job is to explain them in your own journal and give your friends a chance to comment and do the same.
Words that Michelle associates with me are god-search, lipstick, adryel, moderation, and faith/composure. Here we go!
God-searching is… my whole life! I’ve been through several different god-search phases and about the only unchanging conclusions I’ve drawn is that there is one true God, He is a Creator, and He is Love. And yes, like most critically-thinking humans, I’ve doubted and questioned and feared. I’ve let myself come face-to-face with the questions, ‘what if there really IS no God? What if the bible is full of elaborate tales and it’s the HUGEST hoax known to man? What if the experiences that have shaped my faith are all due to natural, scientific things like hormones and the nervous system? What if, when I die, I simply stop existing?’ I’ve grappled with doubt, I’ve laid out all the evidence, and I’ve thought about how my life would be different if I dismissed the whole idea of faith in the unseen. In the end I decided that everything I know and feel points to the existence of spirituality and a higher being- and yeah, it’s POSSIBLE that there is no god or any sort of afterlife- but my instinct, world history, and even the physical world with its natural order and forces and laws that scientists can only explain in terms of function, point to an author, creator, and commander. And so, I made a conscious decision to believe and to live in constant pursuit of Him. If someone made me, I wanna KNOW Him!
And then came more questions: ‘well, if GOD exists, then am I serving the real one? Are all religions pursuing the same god that I am? Are we all right and does it matter what way we come to Him as long as we do?’ I consider myself fairly open-minded in the sense that I DO believe that if people actively seek God then they will find him, no matter what religious label (or lack thereof) they carry. For example, I think Early American Indians sought and found God when they worshipped all of the natural, earthy things they believed to be from Him. However, I do believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; I believe in the God who sent his son to die on a cross; and I also believe that when God puts this knowledge and understanding into the hearts&minds of seeking individuals who reject it, then they reject Him. But, the wonderful thing is that there is virtually no way for me to know who has rejected God in their heart and who hasn’t, so there isn’t room for me to judge a single soul.
Anyway, like I said, I’ve been through several different phases along my ‘god-search’ journey: the ‘I-do-what-I-want-with-my-free-will-and-no-one-has-any-authority-over-my-life’ stage, and for a couple of years directly after that I was a pretty crazy fundamentalist who was all ‘HOW could you REJECT the 7-Day Creation– It’s in the BIBLE!’ and everything was about rules, rules, and more rules, and I was convinced that being loving and non-judgmental meant justifying and reasoning EVERYONE’S actions. When I was about 18, and by the influence of both my free-thinking and outside-of-the-box father, and a smart college boy that I liked who challenged my beliefs, I began to sort out what I really believed about the bible. I asked myself questions like, ‘How much of the bible is literal? How do I sort truth from metaphor and human fallacy?’ And I think that now, at nearly 25 years of age, I am *beginning* to find a good balance and I’ve learned to be open to many, many possibilities while still standing firm to the core of my belief and value system. I am still constantly learning, changing, redefining, and questioning. It’s a never-ending process!
Hmm, I have to think about this one. You’d think this would be easier than ‘god-search’! Whenever I hear the word lipstick I immediately think of beautiful, elegant, classy women from the 50’s with milky skin, thick arched eyebrows, and that classic red lipstick. I think of femininity as opposed to girly-ness; I think of class as opposed to sleaze. I enjoy lipstick and makeup and nail polish and hair and everything else– I LOVE womanhood, though I don’t think I’m necessarily all that girly.
Well, this is obvious! What is there to explain? ;-). My life feels so whole with him in it. There are not many feelings that surpass the pure pleasure and contentment of little moments, ex: doing the dishes while listening to my baby and his daddy wrestle and laugh together in the living room, or coming home from work to a little man who’s so excited to see me that he runs to me and wraps his arms around my legs. It feels good to know that I get to love him and hold his hand, figuratively and literally, through as many stages of his life that I am able to, God willing.
Motherhood is probably something many girls think about from the time they are able to hold their baby dolls, and I’m sure I was no exception, but I don’t remember having a real passion for it until I was about 19 and in college. As a matter of fact, I remember the exact moment it occurred to me that more than anything in the world I wanted to be a mom. During my sophomore year of college I worked at the campus bookstore, and I usually closed up shop all by myself. It was a slow night- hardly anyone had come in- so I was able to take a few breaths and think about things. In those days I was bogged down with a crazy amount of overtime credit hours so that I could graduate by the time I was 21. I felt overworked and stressed out and didn’t even know WHY I was there at college BSing my way through education classes when I kind of dreaded the idea of going through the politics and legalities of public school teaching. I was willing to continue on continuing on if I felt purpose and meaning, but I didn’t. And then, out of boredom, I read the story of Hannah from the bible who fervently prayed to God for a son and God gave her one: Samuel. Hannah made sure to give Samuel a godly upbringing before dedicating him to The Lord to do His work. Samuel became Israel’s prophet, eventually anointed David king of Israel, and waaay down the road Jesus Christ was born from King David’s lineage. And it all started with Hannah who simply wanted to be a mother and raise godly children. That’s when I realized that motherhood is no humdrum career to be taken lightly; it’s an incredibly special honor– the way I bring my children up, the values I instill in them, will have an influence for generations to come. I decided that day, right then and there, that I was up to that challenge; I decided that my purpose was not a college degree or a teaching career, it was to make a life for my children. Four years later Adryel was born.
Hmm, when I hear (read) the word moderation in association with myself/ my life, I think about how I organize and prioritize the things that are important to me. There are many things I like to devote time and energy to on a daily basis– spending time with family&friends, entertainment, journaling, reading, my at-home work, cleaning, devotions, organizing, exercising, eating right, learning, reflecting, and resting—and I do so by arranging my schedule to allow time for everything in moderation. I do not like to wear myself thin on any one of those things that I value, because I firmly believe that I need to meaningfully devote to each one in order to stay physically, mentally, and spiritually balanced, healthy, and happy. We all know that when we neglect one aspect of our lives and let it go downhill, the rest eventually tumbles down with it– everything is connected, and so everything must be tended to.
Faith/composure, in the sense of being completely confident, trusting, calm, and in control, is actually something I feel that I lack. I have a lot of anxiety and many compulsive worries that I have trouble getting a rein over.
BUT, although faith/composure seems to go against my natural tendencies, it IS something I strive for. It is something I have to consciously and actively CHOOSE on a regular basis. When life’s turmoil rises up around me, whether in the form of hormone imbalances or outside circumstance, my natural reaction is to become afraid, shut down, or to completely loose control of my emotions. I have to choose to trust, I have to choose not to worry about what I cannot control, and I have to try hard to calm my nerves, take deep breaths, and to stay calm amidst a storm. Sometimes I fail miserably– it’s a tough battle for me.
Wow, okay- that’s that! Good reflecting points, I enjoyed that. Now you comment and I’ll give you 5 words! ☺
Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal
I feel like writing, but I don’t know what to write about. I’ll just let my thoughts lead me…
I have these aching desires inside of me that haven’t been realized yet. I feel slightly anxious, slightly hopeful, and at the same time that I want to throw myself to the wind and let it take me any direction it chooses, I’m clutching at something, anything to keep me grounded and steady and in control. I’m back to the struggle of control– it’s a tough balance, you know. There are certain things I want to accomplish in life, certain things that I know I should accomplish, and so there is obviously a need for me to manage my life to make sure I can appropriately allocate the time and money and energy to theese things that I think are important… But then I fall into the ugly trap of ocd rituals and those constant nagging feelings that something’s not right- I’ve forgotten something, I messed something up, I need to redo everything to make it perfect, I’ve lost control, I’m sick, I’m losing myself, I’m ruining everything- my mind is so cluttered with these nagging, anxious thoughts and it is SO hard to filter them, to determine which thoughts and feelings are compulsive and which are reasonable.
I fight with my head all stinkin’ day, and it is CONSTANTLY over-stimulated. This is probaly why I am such a homebody and would choose my snuggly bed any day over going to a loud party with tons of people. It takes a lot of effort to narrow my focus to a conversation, or to whatever else requires my attention. I’m often teased for “zoning out” or being slow, but it’s because I am distracted by and thinking about a thousand different things that no one else seems to notice- EVERYTHING is magnified in my head: chewing, tapping, feeling germy, the texture of my clothes doesn’t feel right against my skin, I’m afraid someone’s feelings are hurt by something that was said 10 minutes ago, wanting everyone to be happy, feeling the need to wash my hands and apply lotion and chapstick and straighten my clothes and get a glass of water (this is constant ritual of mine- I often do it three times in a row), feeling confined and trapped, the need to gather my things in one place so that I don’t lose anything, etc. etc. etc….
ONE of the things that sets me off–and there is no apparant reason for it so it’s not like I can explain it away to give the impression that I am being reasonable– is the sound of people eating when I’m not eating. I can physically feel my blood pressure rise, and my immediate reaction is to either eat with that person, or walk away from them. People find this absurd, and it annoys them. Countless of times I’ve been told, “you need to learn to control that” or “you need to be on medication” or some other version of those two statements that isn’t so blunt or harsh.
1) I CAN’T control it. I just can’t. If I COULD control it, I have no idea why I wouldn’t because trust me- it is an absolutely awful feeling. You don’t know how many times per day I sit through something that is raising my anxiety and panic level, and I try to refocus my thoughts and take deep breaths but it only makes it worse, so I’ve found that simply walking away from the situation has an immediate calming effect. I wish people wouldn’t be offended by that- I’m just trying to cope. I realize it’s my problem, not theirs.
2) Medication- UGH. It’s NOT that easy. I’ve been on and off medication, several different kinds, for years, now. It does its job when it’s needed- when I can’t seem to function in life without it- but it also kills this little part of me that has so much to do with what makes me ME. TRUST me, I WISH I could pop a pill and be full of skipping and sunshine and lalalala, but that’s not how it works.
Well, my computer has less than an hour of life left before it dies and our MacBook charger isn’t working. Ben charged it yesterday at his parents’ house, but I suppose we won’t have access to a charger again until Sunday… We do need to buy a new one asap.
BUT MAN! I was kind of lost without my computer when it was dead. Reflective writing is such great therapy for me- I even got out my BlackBerry Memo pad and started journal entries in there, haha.
Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal