knowing the answers

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you know I haven't had the best of luck with relationships so far in my life.  It reminds me of one of those popular someecards that said, "Maybe Taylor Swift's next song should be entitled 'Maybe I'm the Problem'."  I know that's not the sole cause of my issues, but it's funny because I don't like Taylor Swift.  :)

What is the cause of the problems I've had?  The first relationship I was in was fast-paced and dramatic (a lot for a sheltered, homeschooled, sixteen year old girl to handle) and I began using that same approach in my future relationships.  I didn't stop to think how relationships could function any other way.  What's another issue?  Being in relationships that simply weren't a good match.

I'm also not a fan of the awkward "getting to know you" stage.  I would be so happy if I could completely skip that chapter and get to the part where we're already comfortable with each other.

Recently I read a Meyers-Briggs personality type book and it really helped me understand myself and how I handle life.  You might not put much stock into such personality classifications, but I know it made a lot of sense to me and helped me feel better about myself.  In the book they reiterated it was not a battle between which personality types were "right" and which were "wrong".  They all view the world in their own unique ways and can work together to balance each other out.

While reading the book I determined I am an ISFJ.  I'll break those letters down for those of y'all who aren't familiar with Meyers-Briggs.

I = Introverted
S = Sensing
F= Feeling
J = Judger

ISFJs are fiercely loyal in friendships and relationships.  This is both a blessing and a curse.  We can be relied upon to always be there for you, but we're also likely to stay in a relationship long after we've realized it's going south.  This helped me understand myself so much.  There wasn't anything wrong with me.  I just need to better understand how I function so I can recognize what I'm supposed to do if I'm ever in that situation again.

Something I've heard people say before is that they don't like people and I've often thought this myself.  But now I can explain it even further.  It's not that I don't like people or meeting new people.  I'm fine with meeting new people in a controlled, familiar, comfortable atmosphere with advanced notice.  This is typical of ISFJs.

I've always known I'm an introvert but the Meyers-Briggs book helped me understand even more what this means and how it's not a bad thing for me to be this way.  Excessive loudness and crowds of people overwhelm and exhaust me easily.  Fellow introverts can imagine how tired I would be coming home after working eight hours a day Monday-Friday at the daycare over the summer like I used to.  OAFC events drain me of so much energy because you're around people all the time and I hardly have a moment to myself to recharge.  On Saturday I went to the St. Louis Arch with my family.  I didn't want to go to the museum underneath because I had been there many times before and I knew it was going to be packed with people.  My mother insisted everyone was going to go to the museum but I didn't last more than ten minutes down there before I went back above ground to wander around the park and take pictures.  I was much more comfortable in the open atmosphere by myself than in the crowded museum.

Before you can be in a healthy, functioning relationship with someone else it's helpful to know yourself.  Makes sense, doesn't it?  It's almost like you have to study and know the answers before you can get a good grade on a test.  I've always struggled with accurately describing and explaining myself to others.  Like I said in a previous post, I've been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching lately.  Not just about what to do with my life but also figuring out exactly who I am as a person and the best ways to use my strengths and personality.  I don't think you can ever fully know yourself, and I imagine you change a lot as you go through life, but understanding yourself is a good place to start before you can understand everyone else and how you function together.



I don't think I've ever really felt like I was called to do something.  Sure, in the past certain opportunities fell into place which allowed me to do certain things.  But have I ever felt like I was following God's will for my life, that I was called to do something specific?  No, not really.
I've been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching lately trying to figure out where my life is going or where it should go.  So far I haven't come up with much.  But as a good friend reminded me, it's never too late to start over.  I'm still quite young as an adult and I can completely restart this whole "career-finding/where is my life going?" process.
How do you know what God wants you to do?  A lot of people say you just have to shut up and listen and He'll tell you.  Others say you have to go out there and actively find your calling.  Some say to look at your strengths and find the best possible way to use them.  Well, I've done all three of those things and haven't made much progress.  Or I have made progress but was too scared to act on whatever I learned because I still wasn't 100% sure that's what I was supposed to be doing.
I see people who are floundering and I wonder if they're desperately searching for purpose like I am.  Other people have found their niche and are happily living their lives.  How did they figure everything out?
None of these questions are rhetorical.  I don't have any answers for y'all.  If I did have answers I would gladly share them.  I'm still as lost as I was when I started writing this.  Just kind of floating around and really not headed in any certain direction.  Hopefully I'll figure out one of these days where I'm going.  (It would be nice if it happened sooner rather than later.)


let me come home

Every now and then I get nostalgic for my home back in Texas.  I miss the people.  I miss the southern hospitality.  I miss the heat.
The first couple years after we moved to Illinois were rough.  It was a completely different environment from what I was used to.  I had a hard time adjusting and making friends.  Less than a year after we moved my sister went off to college; my main support system was gone.  I did eventually gain friends and somewhat of a social life through my involvement in OAFC.  How many of those OAFC encounters became actual true friendships leaves something to be desired, but I'm happy.  I don't require a huge number of friends anyways.  Now though most of my friends are off at college or busy building their "grown up" lives and I'm the only person my age at my church.  I feel a bit like a fish out of water.  Again.
I know that if I ever were to go back to Texas, even for a visit, it wouldn't be the same.  The home I had there has changed.  My friends have all grown up.  We're no longer the thirteen and fourteen year old girls who giggled and whispered about our secret crushes.  We're adults now.  My friends are married and having children.  They're in college and working real jobs.  A lot has changed in eight years.  And change is good.  If you're in your early twenties but still have the temperament of a young teenager, that's a problem.
Will I ever feel settled and "at home"?  Illinois does feel like home.  After being here so long it's become a familiar and welcoming sight to return to after travels.  But this feeling of longing for Texas holds on.  The memories and past experiences are strong.  Supposedly "home is where the heart is".  Even though I haven't been back to Texas since we moved, I feel like part of my heart is still there.  But if I ever left Illinois, I know I would miss certain people and cherish certain memories that make it feel like home.
Where is home?  Home is Texas and Illinois.  I guess.  (If I had a special someone, I could cheat and say "home is wherever I'm with you".)


a little life

{I understand not everyone shares my beliefs and I'm ok with that.  I'm not trying to argue with you or convert you to my way of thinking.  Anyways, people aren't likely to change their opinions just because someone has argued with them about it.}

Life begins at conception.  From the very beginning there is a little human inside of you.  You can't see or feel him or her for a while, but they're there.

Someday that little life will have hands and feet, arms and legs, a body, a head, and facial features.  That little life will actually look like the human he or she is.

Someday that little life will take their first step, speak their first word, learn to write, learn to play sports, learn to make music, and maybe even find a way to cure cancer.

Someday that little life will have hopes, dreams, ambitions, and purpose.

Someday that little life will have a family of their own and they'll get to experience the wonderful miracle of a little life of their own coming into the world.

My sister and her husband had their first child this summer.  He is a cute, chunky boy and at a little more than four months old he's already wearing twelve-month clothing.  He coos and giggles and can already recognize Auntie Laura's voice.  :)  He has his entire life ahead of him; so many possibilities, so many things for him to experience, and he is very loved by his entire family.

If you have a little life inside of you, take care of him or her.  Give them a life.  Give them a chance to be the person God created them to be.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
Psalm 139:13-14


in the name of love

One of the important aspects of a successful relationship is that you and your significant other share many of the same interests.  It's good to have things in common that you can bond over.  But I think something people can overlook is the importance of supporting the interests your other half enjoys but you're not so crazy about.  Being selfless and putting aside your dislikes to spend time doing something they enjoy is really important.  It lets them know you love them enough to do something they like even if you don't like it.
What are some of the things you've done in the name of love?  I have...
Been to a pro football game.
Ridden a tractor.
Played (failed at) video games.
Listened to country music.
Gone to a driving range.
Ridden roller coasters.
Those are the things I can name off the top of my head right now.  It might not seem like a major deal to do the things on that list, but I wouldn't voluntarily instigate any of those activities.  The only reason I did them was because the guy I was dating at the time enjoyed doing them so I joined him because I knew it would mean a lot to him.
Do you know what the greatest thing is about this whole selfless love thing?  It doesn't apply to just dating and marriage relationships.  You can use it when you spend time with friends and family too.  I recently went to a college football game with a friend because I was visiting her at school and going to football games is something she enjoys doing.  Were we terribly cold by the end of the game and did I not really understand all of the football terminology?  Yes.  But did we both have fun?  Most definitely.  :)
I need to work a little bit more on being selfless. It's a great way to show someone you love them if you sacrifice your time to do something they are interested in even if you don't particularly enjoy it.  Hey, maybe they'll even return the favor someday.  :)