Sunday, May 09, 2010
Today I am standing there out of DUTY, though. Not just for fun. Weird. I don't know what to expect. I'm sure all the moms are going to be all happy, though. Right?
Monday, May 03, 2010
I remember playing at a playground in my cousins' town. I was probably about 7 years old and I had not yet developed such a debilitating fear of "germs" yet. I played on the equipment with my siblings and cousins, got sand in my shoes, swang on the swings, played tag . . . Oh, I remember having so much fun. I still remember the dusty sandy gravel smell as we chased each other and laughed and had a great time.
So, we were playing on this gravel. One of my cousins, who was about 3 or 4, at the time, picked up an orange-colored rock (that was by some other same-colored rocks in a small pile) and crushed it with his fingers. He was impressed with his strength -- the rock just turned into dust. He brought our attention to these rocks that magically broke between his tiny tot fingers.
One of my older, much more mature cousins, was able to see what this young cousin had in his hands, pointing out that it was NOT a rock, but was indeed dried-out dog poo. When he realized this, he was horrified -- as was I -- and he threw the little orange pebble down and we didn't go around that part of the playground anymore. This situation entertained our families for years to come.
I thought about choices this cute little cousin has made in his life. I thought about the different choices I've made in my life, and I've thought generally about CHOICES and LIFE. (No need to make this paragraph any longer and more repetitive, right?) I thought about the wise man and the foolish man -- how they build their houses upon whatever they chose. The wise man built his house upon a rock. The foolish man may have THOUGHT he built his house upon a rock, but really, he built it on dried-up dog poo that a little 3-year-old could smash in his little fingers. When the rain comes tumbling down, at least the rock will still just smell like a rock.
This particular cousin is an adult now, approaching his 30s. He's got a good heart but has a lot of problems in his life. He has made some really foolish decisions and convinced himself that everyone ELSE is wrong. He has made choices that have made him miserable, all the while convincing himself that his former RELIGION and FAMILY were at fault. From an objective perspective of the situation, and fortunately not having to be directly involved, I've seen how this person has built his house on a foundation of the spiritual equivalent of DOG POO.
How sad is that?
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Monday, November 16, 2009
But my brother asked me again, "Bethani, how are you doing, really?" It caught me off guard. I mean, I'm not physically ill, so you can't tell something's wrong by the scratchiness in my voice or something. I'm not slurring my words, so I'm probably not having a stroke or a myocardial infarction.
Isn't it interesting? I am full of so many emotions, I just didn't know what the "right" answer was. I'll be finishing school up in a week, I'll be off to Oregon for a month or two, don't know where I'll go after that, should I keep going to school? stay here and go to school? what about a job? where should I apply? where do I need to live? will it be snowing tomorrow? where's the nail polish remover and an emery board? how much will it cost to get my laptop fixed? how long will I have to save to afford a car? Then there's the boy troubles, of course: How do I avoid breaking one guy's heart and still keep a platonic friendship intact? How do I handle getting over this guy I was engaged to 2 years ago, who is also planning to get married to a girl who's more of a dude than he is?
I'm sure these thoughts go through EVERYONE'S head.
I am so protective of my feelings, I keep them close to my heart and guard them like I'd guard a little infant on a cold autumn day. I hold them in as I cross the street, as I eat pasta, as I type at school. Those feelings are precious. Even the ugly feelings.
There is a fear of sharing those feelings, and having someone else disregard them as being irrelevant or unvaluable. Some would even tell you that what you are feeling is WRONG. You can't feel that way, because it's BAD to feel that way. I agree with the scriptures with how you need to be in control of your emotions and feelings and passions, whatever. (What good does it do you to disagree, really? I'm not hopping on THAT train.) But feelings really aren't GOOD or BAD or RIGHT or WRONG. They are simply FEELINGS.
It's okay to feel, isn't it? It's okay to feel, but not to share. Or someone else will interpret how you feel and put a label on you. You know, those labels that say, "You have value" or "You don't have value." All because of what you feel. Is it a wonder why I don't share how I feel?
And is it a wonder that I don't even KNOW how I feel?
These feelings are kept under lock and key. The keys have finally started rusting, and who knows what "safe" drawer I stowed them in.
How do I FEEL? I just don't really know. I simply smile so people don't ask. That's better than wearing your feelings on your sleeve, right? Because then people would see you as the person who is too needy for attention, and they'll try to stay away from you. Because NEEDING something (ANYTHING) is BAD. Only WEAK people do that.
ARE feelings really GOOD or BAD? Is death good or bad? Death is an event. It is a tragic thing for us who are alive, especially if we had some kind of connection with whomever passed on. But really, it happens to everybody. And it's party time for people who die and those other dead folks who were friends with them. We assign a label to events. All the horrible things that are happening in the world CAN be really tragic. But it's the time when we WANTED to come to the earth, to witness the prophecies scriptures ACTUALLY BEING FULFILLED! I bet even the prophets who WROTE those prophecies down have been impatient about it all, after thousands of years! So it's GOOD, but it's also BAD. Can it be both? Or neither? Events happen. We are the ones who assign labels to the events.
My friend Josh died 2-1/2 years ago. I can't think about him without tears welling up in my eyes, I miss him so much. But it isn't a BAD thing that he died. I am sad because I miss him. But I am also grateful I got to know him and love him. And it's good that he's living with Jesus and helping out in the invisible world. The event itself is just an event I assign a label to, based on how I feel about the situation.
I think it's the same with feelings. Feelings just ARE. You aren't BAD for feeling a certain way. I mean, besides having EVIL feelings like homicide and inherently wicked thoughts (this is a G-rated blog post; don't use your imagination too much). I think that feelings BECOME bad if they motivate you to behave wickedly. Otherwise, they are just feelings.
And as children of God, we are endowed with His power to make feelings into whatever we choose.
So I guess it's okay to feel.