Sunday, May 30, 2010

School = (Not) Cool

I am tired of school.
In 1990, I started Kindergarten.
Now, twenty years later, I am STILL in school.
By my own choosing? Yes. However, I am getting verrrrry weary and often cannot focus on typing on my thesis for thinking about things I'd like to do once I'm not in school. I get tired of talking about school. I'm sure those around me get tired of me talking about school.  It exhausts me to talk and think about it, let alone actually do my work.
I am getting close though... December is a very small light at the end of a 20-year tunnel.
Here are some things I want to do when I'm finally a "Master"...
1. Never ever again use the excuse "I've gotta work on a paper."
2. Teach myself to play the guitar.
3. Start making a quilt.
4. Read books because I want to, and not because I have to write a 15-page review on it.
5. Actually use my degree.
6.... Suggestions?

Okay, I've now diverted from doing homework almost 10 minutes while typing this... yes, I am thankful for education, but today, my friends, school is not cool.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

My Blog…. Round 2

So at the beginning of the year, I was challenged to start a blog.  I did, and it got off to a decent start, but I just wasn’t quite settled with its title or purpose.  So I let it sit, let it die, and then started all over again.  Below I re-posted a few of my previous posts, basically to document the happenings of my life this year.

When starting Blog #1, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to think of a “catchy” title, or again that no one would read this or have any interest in it.  However, this time the title came quickly and the desire came more genuinely. 

At the beginning of 2010, I faced what I like to think of as a “quarter-of-a-century crisis.”  This would be the year I would be turning 25 and basically I questioned what I had accomplished in these first 25 years, and if it was “enough.”  Unfortunately, I was comparing my life to the world’s view of “enough” instead of God’s view.  And according to the worldly view I had, my accomplishments were very little.  I became discouraged, and quite frankly depressed, about my current life status… where I lived, the job I’m in, having little to no friends locally, being single, not having kids, still working on a master’s degree, etc.  I almost became frantic to figure out what more I could possibly do to jump-start the world’s “next chapter” of my life.

It was recommended by a friend to read the book “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” by Donald Miller.  I had seen Miller speak at Southland Christian Church just weeks before and while I enjoyed his talk, a book was honestly the LAST thing I thought could jump-start this next expected life chapter.  Apprehensively, I bought the book, started reading and finished in 2 days (and it would’ve been shorter if I didn’t have to work and sleep).  As I clung to each word on each page, it was very apparent that this book was sent from the Lord and that it was indeed the BEST thing to jump-start my next life chapter…. The chapter I decided to start living right then.

More or less, my emotional condition and restlessness in life came down to the fact that I was not pleased with the story I was telling with my life.  I wanted more out of life, and had neglected to realize that instead of just sitting and waiting for the world or life conditions to dictate that the “next chapter” had finally begun, I was in charge of that next chapter right now.   At first, this concept almost seemed faithless to me, in a sense that if I took control of my next chapter now, that I wasn’t trusting the Lord to lead and guide my life.  However, this is not the case at all.  I now believe that the Lord delights in our dreams and efforts to tell a better story with our lives all while trusting Him and giving Him the glory for all of it.  As Miller writes, “I believe there is a writer outside ourselves, plotting a better story for us, interacting with us, even, and whispering a better story into our consciousness” (p.86).

So I realized that I wanted a better story—a great story—and I didn’t have to wait until Mr. Right comes along or until I make a certain amount of money for this story to “really” begin. I needed to make it happen right now.  It all became clear when I found my notes from Miller’s talk at Southland and I had written down a comment he had made:  “May we tell beautiful stories with our lives instead of waiting for stories to happen to us.”  (Read that one more time. Let it soak in. Now continue reading….)  With that statement, it all made sense to me… why I was in such a panic, and quite frankly, why the world is in such a panic.  We all want better stories, but we’re afraid of telling them.

How am I doing at telling a beautiful story? Well, hopefully much better than 5 months ago.  It has been a long, trying start to the year, with many risks, many tears, much pain but much joy.  Miller notes that “great stories go to those who do not give into fear” (p.108)  I was waiting on a story, or the “next chapter” to finally happen to me, and I was scared that it wasn’t going to. And now that I have a new view of my story, I have no choice but to put the fear behind me and tell it the way I want it to be told. 

Are you pleased with the story YOU’RE telling?  There are very few books I would actually recommend to anyone, friend or stranger, and “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” is one of them.  God used the words of Donald Miller to truly give me my next chapter. READ THIS BOOK!!

So with Blog #2, I want to tell you a beautiful story… a real, honest, vulnerable, human story. “May we tell beautiful stories instead of waiting for stories to happen to us.”