A Girl Who Demanded School

This is why I love education….look at those girls faces just 5 months after they start school. Such beauty! Be inspired!

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Be Childlike…

The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest…

When I came to Lake Victoria, it was quite obvious to me that in some of the most important ways you are much more mature than I am. . . . But in many other ways obviously you are still childish — how could you not be, you alone among mankind? It’s something people don’t discuss, because it’s something most people are aware of only as a general crisis of sense of inadequacy, or helpless dependence, or pointless loneliness, or a sense of not having a strong enough ego to meet and master inner storms that come from an unexpected angle. But not many people realise that it is, in fact, the suffering of the child inside them. Everybody tries to protect this vulnerable two three four five six seven eight year old inside, and to acquire skills and aptitudes for dealing with the situations that threaten to overwhelm it. So everybody develops a whole armour of secondary self, the artificially constructed being that deals with the outer world, and the crush of circumstances. And when we meet people this is what we usually meet. And if this is the only part of them we meet we’re likely to get a rough time, and to end up making ‘no contact’. But when you develop a strong divining sense for the child behind that armour, and you make your dealings and negotiations only with that child, you find that everybody becomes, in a way, like your own child. It’s an intangible thing. But they too sense when that is what you are appealing to, and they respond with an impulse of real life, you get a little flash of the essential person, which is the child. Usually, that child is a wretchedly isolated undeveloped little being. It’s been protected by the efficient armour, it’s never participated in life, it’s never been exposed to living and to managing the person’s affairs, it’s never been given responsibility for taking the brunt. And it’s never properly lived. That’s how it is in almost everybody. And that little creature is sitting there, behind the armour, peering through the slits. And in its own self, it is still unprotected, incapable, inexperienced. Every single person is vulnerable to unexpected defeat in this inmost emotional self. At every moment, behind the most efficient seeming adult exterior, the whole world of the person’s childhood is being carefully held like a glass of water bulging above the brim. And in fact, that child is the only real thing in them. It’s their humanity, their real individuality, the one that can’t understand why it was born and that knows it will have to die, in no matter how crowded a place, quite on its own. That’s the carrier of all the living qualities. It’s the centre of all the possible magic and revelation. What doesn’t come out of that creature isn’t worth having, or it’s worth having only as a tool — for that creature to use and turn to account and make meaningful. So there it is. And the sense of itself, in that little being, at its core, is what it always was. But since that artificial secondary self took over the control of life around the age of eight, and relegated the real, vulnerable, supersensitive, suffering self back into its nursery, it has lacked training, this inner prisoner. And so, wherever life takes it by surprise, and suddenly the artificial self of adaptations proves inadequate, and fails to ward off the invasion of raw experience, that inner self is thrown into the front line — unprepared, with all its childhood terrors round its ears. And yet that’s the moment it wants. That’s where it comes alive — even if only to be overwhelmed and bewildered and hurt. And that’s where it calls up its own resources — not artificial aids, picked up outside, but real inner resources, real biological ability to cope, and to turn to account, and to enjoy. That’s the paradox: the only time most people feel alive is when they’re suffering, when something overwhelms their ordinary, careful armour, and the naked child is flung out onto the world. That’s why the things that are worst to undergo are best to remember. But when that child gets buried away under their adaptive and protective shells—he becomes one of the walking dead, a monster. So when you realise you’ve gone a few weeks and haven’t felt that awful struggle of your childish self — struggling to lift itself out of its inadequacy and incompetence — you’ll know you’ve gone some weeks without meeting new challenge, and without growing, and that you’ve gone some weeks towards losing touch with yourself. The only calibration that counts is how much heart people invest, how much they ignore their fears of being hurt or caught out or humiliated. And the only thing people regret is that they didn’t live boldly enough, that they didn’t invest enough heart, didn’t love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.

– Ted Hughes

it’s the little things…

What would I do without coffee?

I shutter at the thought.

But, more importantly, what would I do without the little designs the baristas carefully make unique to each cup of coffee?
When I get a tree or a leaf, I feel earthy. I feel like I belong in Boone – this land where nature and natural people are abundant
When I get a heart, I like to convince myself it’s because the attractive man working thinks I’m kinda cute…this is obviously fictional, but hey, a girl can dream right?
When I get some nondescript design I feel artsy and adventurous, maybe even bold or mysterious

And then I realize after writing things like this that I have an unhealthy addiction to coffee and an overactive imagination…woops.

The Epiphany I Keep On Epiphing…

Again? Seriously?
lordistestingme
 

Picture this: A little girl running up into the kitchen while her mom..or dad (heellllerr 21st century) is cooking. She moves the stool over to the stove where her parent is slaving away at a dinner that’s sure to be scrumptious. She climbs up the stool and stares at the boiling deliciousness within the pot. The parent reacts immediately with a warning: Be careful insert name here! That pot is very hot right now and you might burn yourself.
Okay Mom/Dad/Guardian. I know this. Geezuz. Calm Down. Why would I touch something that’s sure to burn me. Wait…you said might? So, that means I might get burnt, or I might not. Hmmm, I wonder what it feels like to be burned. I see it in movies and on tv all the time. People say it hurts. As crazy as it seems, I would like to know for myself. Can’t trust people these days, you know.
Balls to the walls.

Here goes nothing.

Annnnndddddddddd it hurt. Yep. Ow. That burned. Mom/Dad/Guardian was right. Well, at least I know now. MOMMM/DAADDD/GUARDIAN! I need a bandaid. The Disney Princess one? Definitely. The images of those beautiful women who win at life will soothe the aching that has resulted from my idiocy.

Okay, okay. So.This post is obviously not about a silly little girl burning her hand. The burn goes a bit deeper than that. The burn is not a mere flesh wound. It is a wound of the heart.

I am not sure how many people, especially those of the opposite sex, truly understand the complexity fragility of a woman’s heart. It is a mess, fellas. Let me tell ya. Ladies, you know what I mean. One moment our hearts can be filled with so much joy and hope and the next something hits us, whether it is a limping puppy or we see that guy we’ve always loved sharing laughs and smiles with another girl, and our hearts are broken, struck down by the bitterness of life. There have been many times where I rue that day on which our feminine hearts were made. Why, God, why? Why did you have to create them for desiring love and to be desired when the world we were going to be born into would constantly fool us and burn us again and again and again.
That’s like letting your child walk to the stove with a stool and sit on it and watch as they move their hand to the heat knowing the whole time what’s coming. Wait, is that what our parents were doing the whole time. Did they know? Did they know the whole time that their silly child would burn themselves out of curiosity and a desire to know & feel? How cruel.
Maybe they did know. But what they also knew was that that burn would not kill us. No, on the contrary, it would teach us & grow us. Yes, it hurt for awhile. In fact it stung quite a bit and depending on how long you held you hand to that flame the deeper the burn would go. What we can’t or maybe just don’t see at the time of the injury is that we will heal; the burn will callous; we will feel the coolness of air and the sensation of touch once again. Our skin will regrow and form new & stronger than before.

Oh metaphors, where would I be without you?

So, after I consider all this time after time, I take on a new perspective. I am no longer angry at God for the way He formed my heart. I learn to rejoice in it, in-fact. No, I am not saying that things become easy once I accept and am glad in the way I was made. On the contrary, it becomes almost harder in a way because I then knowingly fall back into the same pattern of heartbreak. However, it gets easier and easier to dig myself out of the enticing rabbit hole I happen to stumble in to.  One of these days I’ll stumble into my Wonderland. But til then I shall praise the God who made me fearfully & wonderfully. I have been given a sensitive heart. One that feels…well, everything. One that cries at Hallmark commercials, cries tears of joy when someone says I do–and when I say someone I mean the strangers whose wedding videos I watch online, cries at the dawn,  and smiles & laughs at the birds as they sing and dance around the treetops. One that takes things way too personally, that can’t help but take on the stress of everyone around. One that is so filled with passion & wanderlust that some days the menial tasks are pure torture, and one that falls for another heart far too easily.

It is hard being who I am. It is hard being a woman. It is hard being a woman of Christ whose heart longs to find another’s to share every detail of life with from the smell and sound of coffee brewing in the morning, to the blank checks that no longer say just my name, to having a family and seeing the world. But rather than let myself be knocked flat on my face when I stumble upon another rabbit hole I think is the right one, I will choose to get right back again. Because let’s be honest. I will never stop stumbling. My heart will always be searching and looking for another’s to beat alongside. This is something I have accepted. But, there will be a difference in the way it regrows and heals. I choose to believe that the reason I keep on falling and getting let down in love again and again and again is because I am not meant to find anyone yet. I am better with me right now. Just me. Working on myself. Pursuing my dreams, pursuing the heart of the Lord. Inside myself is where I will find my fulfillment right now.
The opportunities for growth and adventure are endless.

So, in full knowledge of the danger of touching that burning stove, in full spatial awareness of the holes in the ground that surround my path, I will waltz right up to that cooking surface with the utmost confidence, and dance through, around, and sometimes in those rabbit holes with joy and a heart willing to bend and give but never break or doubt.

I was made to love. To love my God, to love myself, to love the people of this world, the friends and family I have been blessed with.

Society tells me that I am an emotional woman, too weak and far too silly. My God tells me that I am made in His image, made for Love and a desire to see that love manifest itself in some many different ways. Which one will I believe? The one that’s true, of course.

My heart will break gain. I know this full well. But, each time, I will remember and understand more and more who I am, how I was made, and what I was made for. As I said before, perhaps I’ll stumble upon Wonderland one day but until then I will seek out the Love that hides in the dawn of each new day.

This is my Epiphany.