9.27.2012

unsociable butterfly

The me in my head is a lot more sociable and outgoing than the me in real life.

In my head I gracefully carry on conversations with people I've never met, smoothly transitioning from subject to subject.  In real life I am quietly paying close attention to what the other person is saying, but I rarely ask questions or introduce a new subject.

In my head I am a social butterfly, totally comfortable in a room full of people I have never met.  In real life I am perfectly content staying in the background, silently soaking up what is happening around me, slightly overstimulated by everything going on.

I am a quiet person.  Sure, you could say my shyness is because I was a sheltered homeschooler or something like that, but I don't think that is the cause.  I'm sure I still would have been quiet had I gone to public school because that's just the kind of person I am.  In fact, I am even quieter in big social situations, so going to public school probably wouldn't have helped much.

I don't think it can really be labeled as "shyness" either.  I think it's more like I get overwhelmed in certain situations and don't know what to do.  Also, I'm perfectly comfortable being quiet.  I'll say something if I have something to say, but other than that I am more than happy to quietly observe what's going on.

In a previous post I mentioned a dating website for Lutherans.  When my friend and I were talking about it I said that I think people would be disappointed when they actually met me because even though I can put words together nicely on a page I am quiet when first getting to know someone.  She agreed and said that if I did do online dating I would have to put a disclaimer reading something like, "Be forewarned, I am a quiet person and I take my time getting used to people, so be patient with me and give me at least a couple dates to get comfortable."  If I ever did go on a date-date with someone (you know, like actual dating, which I can honestly say I've never done) I'm sure I would be overwhelmed by the formality of it all and as a result be very quiet the entire time.

I can have perfectly normal conversations with people around whom I am comfortable.  I can flow from one topic to another without feeling overwhelmed or self-conscious.  It takes a while for me to get to that level of familiarity with someone, but it's really great when it happens.  The reality of how long it takes me to be well acquainted with people and trust them makes the prospect of dating a little scary.  I can't help thinking they would give up on me before I even had a chance to be my normal self with them.  But I suppose that would be their loss.  They don't know what they're missing out on.  :)




















I really enjoy this latest comic from Incidental Comics.  It would be awesome to have the poster of it.

not renowned

Anyone who reads my blog has probably noticed that I don't write consistently.  I have no schedule for my writing.  Sometimes I go almost a month without writing anything and then do three entries in one day.  Any blogger who wants to be successful knows that consistency in their writing schedule and subject matter is key.

One of my favorite movies is Julie & Julia. It's about Julie Powell who cooks and blogs her way through Julia Child's cookbook. (And the movie features Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, two of my favorite actresses.) The blog turned into a book and then into a movie. Talk about being successful. I don't really care about my blog being successful or world renowned, so I don't care about writing consistently.

I write when I have something to write about, when something has been on my mind for a week or more. I think a lot before writing and even when I am writing I still think a lot.  I try to make sure I get my point across and in a way people will understand.

And there are times when I decide to not write. When I am upset or have something on my mind that is too personal to write on this blog I usually turn to my sister or a close friend to discuss the subject. I do always try to be as honest as possible in my writing on my blog, but I also try to be discreet and not share too much.  There are certain things that don't need to be immortalized on the internet.

I don't think I really write about anything worth national or international recognition anyways. The blogs with the biggest audiences are about politics, fashion, religion, and cooking. I don't write about anything groundbreaking or trendy. I'm just over here in my little corner of the internet, writing the thoughts continually swirling around in my mind. And that makes me happy no matter how many people read what I write.


9.24.2012

lutherans

I am a Christian and a member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod.  My faith is very important to me.  Just like with everyone else in the world, what you believe in (or don't believe in) sets the foundation for everything else in your life.

Something that bothers me though is when Lutherans are all gung-ho and in your face about "I love being Lutheran!"  (Fellow Lutherans, please don't turn me in for treason.  I'm trying to explain this as well as I can.)  I don't know if other denominations do this, but I see Lutherans do it a lot.

Do they love being Lutheran because of the theology or the stereotypes and insides jokes?  Sometimes it's hard to tell.

One of the bloggers I follow on Wordpress (because my photography website is hosted there) is a Lutheran.  She can go on and on about how she loves being Lutheran, how her family revels in it, and has even described something as being "Lutherany".  I love seeing people be so firm in their Christian faith, but I feel like it goes beyond that sometimes.  Like, Lutherans can be so proud of being Lutheran that they unintentionally ostracize non-Lutherans (or even fellow Lutherans).  They make themselves unapproachable.

There is a website where single Lutherans can meet other single Lutherans for dating and relationships.  One time I went poking around this website with a friend just to see what it's like.  While we were looking around we got to talking about whether or not we would use the website to meet other single Lutherans.  Even though we both want to marry someone who is Lutheran, we felt like the majority of the people on the website were very "I love being Lutheran" (using more than half of the description space to say that they love being Lutheran) and were looking for someone like that too.  Neither my friend nor I are like that, so we concluded we most likely would not use the website to meet other Lutherans.

I am a Christian.  I am Lutheran.  I understand and believe the theology.  It sets the foundation for my life. But there are other things in my life that help define who I am.  My artistic mind, my wide variety of talents, my tastes in music, books, and movies.  I am Lutheran but it is not the only word that describes me.

The homeschool group my family was part of in Texas was made up of Christian families but my family was the only Lutheran family in the group.  I spent a lot of time with kids who were Baptist, non-denominational, etc.. I know there are subtle (but important) differences between the many denominations of Christianity.  But when I was a kid all I knew was that my friends went to church too and that was all that mattered.  We played together splendidly and didn't think twice about being a different denomination.  Being older I am very aware of the differences now but I still don't want to push away people who are different denominations or not even Christian.  I don't want to be all in their face about being Lutheran, but I do want to be able to share my faith with them through my words and actions.


9.22.2012

faltering

I haven't written in my prayer journal consistently since the first week of July.  I haven't written in it at all for about a month.  It's not because I've lost faith or completely stopped praying.  I think it's because I've grown out of writing in a prayer journal.
I started trying to write in a prayer journal when I was twelve.  It wasn't until I was sixteen that I started writing in one consistently.  I've always felt like I'm better at writing than talking, which is part of why I started writing in a prayer journal.  I knew that praying is important and having a prayer journal was a way to get myself to pray daily.
Lately though I've felt like I was forcing myself to write in my prayer journal.  It became an obligation I didn't want to keep instead of being something I wanted to do.  Over the past month I've found myself praying in my head more often than I used to.
My sister told me that people who are good at writing tend to be introverts, which I do think is the case with me.  I might not be good at praying in my head or expressing my thoughts verbally, but that doesn't really matter.  God doesn't care how eloquent we are when we pray.  He knows the thoughts in our heads we can't even verbalize, so it's ok if we don't have an impressive vocabulary.
Even though my not writing in my prayer journal isn't due to my faith faltering, there are people dear to me who are unsure of their faith.  It makes me sad seeing them so lost.  I wish there was a magic button I could press that would instantly make their lives better.  But I know that I can't be Jesus to them in the sense of single-handedly fulfilling 100% of the emptiness in their lives.  What I can do though is pray for them, love them, and be a friend to them.
Praying can seem so insignificant but really it's one of the most powerful things we can do.


detached

Sometimes caring just takes too much out of you, doesn't it?  Sometimes it feels like things would be so much easier if you could just detach yourself from it all.
But what kind of life would that be?
It's a vicious cycle:  If you have the guts to care, then you're going to get hurt.  But if you don't care, then you're not really living.
I've said in the past that it's better to care and risk getting hurt than to not care at all.  Well, over the past few months I've been having a hard time practicing what I've preached.
You just get so worn out, you know?  You don't really want to try anymore.  Whether it's the smallest disappointment or the biggest letdown of you life, it doesn't matter.  It all feels the same after a while.  And it seems like it's easiest just to close yourself off rather than keep trying.
That's not good.  You shouldn't feel like that.  Ever.
Rather than close yourself off, just give yourself a break for a little while.  Whatever it is you're striving for and waiting for, give it up to God and give yourself a break.  Things will come about when they're supposed to.
It can be easier to wallow in endless despair than to give up what we're so tightly holding on to.  But is burying yourself in sadness really going to fix anything?  No, it's not.
I need to let go.  I need to give myself a break.


9.17.2012

change of plans

What happens when we build hopes and dreams on what is or could be happening in our lives but then things go in a different direction, thereby making our plans irrelevant?
Your long term relationship ends.  Your potential employment falls through.  You can't start a family.  You have to unexpectedly relocate.  So many things can change.  So many of our plans can become obsolete.
In a life of continual change, is there anything consistent we can depend on?  Yes.
My friend Amanda explains this beautifully in her post Bloom where you are planted.
When life changes and our plans don't work out, God's perfect plans are still in play.  Backing up and changing our focus can be difficult, but it's very important to remember that God is still in control.  His plans are better than ours anyways.  Even when we veer off track, He still works things out for what's best for us.
What I struggle with, like so many other people, is trying to distinguish between my plans and God's plans.  I know that what I want doesn't always match up with what God wants.  I also know that I'm stubborn and have a hard time letting go of my plans so I can follow His plans.
I'd like to think that someday I will grow out of this immature stubbornness and learn to peacefully accept God's perfect plans.  It might take a while for that to happen.