Friday, 28 October 2011

Annal 83: Tale from a Glutton for Punishment

I have a confession to make.

I took my youngest sister and oldest nephew to the mall on Wednesday.  And I made a purchase.

I bought Michael Buble's new Christmas cd.

And I have been listening to it whenever I am driving alone, as well as right now while I am typing this.  You see, I have this thing for crooners.  There is a reason why I love to listen to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.  There is just something about their voices that seems to stop my heart.

So my heart has been doing a lot of stopping in the last two days.

I have mentioned this before, but I love Christmas.  I find it the most romantic time of year, which means it stirs up strange feelings for me.  So forgive me for discussing Christmas 58 sleeps before it occurs, but please just deal with the fact that I am a fanatic about this holiday.

I am excited at the prospect of going home.  Of going home to a decorated house, to snow, to family and friends.  But like I said above, I also find Christmas romantic.  Which means despite being surrounded by friends and family who I love, it is the one time when I feel loneliest.  I sit here listening to Michael sing "All I Want for Christmas is You" and I can almost feel my heart break a little.  Which is probably a good indicator that I should stop listening to it.  Instead I am a glutton for punishment as I hit the repeat button.

Because obviously, as a single woman, I need to hear Michael singing that he doesn't need snow or presents, but just wants the woman he loves to be standing at his door.  Because I obviously need to remind myself that there is no one out there thinking that about me.  Because I apparently need to remind myself that I am single, and not by choice.

Please don't think I am upset or anything, because I am actually not.  I am simply pondering the emotions that are being stirred up as I listen to Christmas songs.  One day I will have someone to walk with on cold December nights while looking at Christmas lights.  One day I will have someone to help me decorate my tree.  One day I will have someone to cuddle with while watching snow fall.  For now I don't, but I am hoping that that just means I will appreciate it all the more when I finally do have that someone.

Of course, I am broken out of this thoughtful reverie as my oldest nephew starts humming along to "Feliz Navidad."  Which means a smile breaks out across my face.  Because I really do have so much to be thankful for. 

And so until the time that God decides to end my singleness, I shall continue dancing around my kitchen to "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas" while my five year old nephew averts his eyes, and I shall continue driving around in October while listening to Christmas carols, and I shall continue to hope.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Annal 82: Tale from the Atl Atl


That is the sound effect I made in my head during my Anthropology class this morning.  Our prof decided that we all needed to try using one of the technologies learned about in class.  It was an atl atl.  For those who don't know what that is (don't worry, I didn't before I took this class), it is a spear thrower.  So I just came in from throwing spear darts in the field by the university.

It was amazing!

My throws weren't spectacular, but at least a did better than a few of the guys (that was my highlight, I will admit it).  The conclusion to be drawn?  I may not fit into Victorian society, but I just may be able to make a go of it in a hunter-gatherer society.  Yay me!

I'm trying to think of a way to draw some deep, spiritual truth from the atl atl experience, but I can't.  All I know is that I had a BLAST!  As I sit in the cafeteria, I keep envisioning doing it again, and wondering what a sight it must have been, me in my scarf and long, blue coat (looking like a teacher I believe my friends would say), throwing a spear.  And the thought makes me grin!

Perhaps this is to be my consolence.  Should an apocalypse occur and the world be hurled back centuries with regards to technology, I may be able to hunt.  Or at least hurt someone/something... should I learn to aim, that is.  I may not have a man to protect me right now, but I know the basics of using an atl atl. 

Suddenly, I have a zombie apocalypse plot going through my head, that involves me throwing a spear, piercing a zombie's spinal cord, as a blood red sun begins to set, making my blond hair look as though on fire....

Alright, I am going to break with that thought process now and get ready to go to class. 

May your aim remain true, and your atl atls remains sharp!

(And I wonder why I am single?)

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Annal 81: Tale from my Stint as a Mom


First of all, I would like to say that any parent who is also working or going to school at the same time they are parenting has my utmost respect.

My sister and I have been spending out days taking care of a five year old, studying, completing assignments, going to class, cooking, and cleaning.  And it takes a lot of work.  We are exhausted, and that is with having our teenaged sister around to help.

I spent my morning at the university, came home, got an amazing hug from Captain America (he also has a Wolverine, a Spiderman, and a Batman costume), made potato soup, did dishes, took my oldest nephew for a walk, helped watch him and get dinner going, helped clean the house, bathed him, and put him to bed.  It takes a lot out of you.

My family has fostered since I was eight, so we have always had children in the house--especially babies, as my mother loves babies.  Thus all of us siblings know that children are a lot of work and not something to enter into lightly.  But I found something interesting out about my self.

I am okay with the work.

Putting my oldest nephew to bed, hearing his "I love you" and getting his hugs, always seems to outweigh the times I have to discipline him for not listening, or for being rude.  Going for a walk and collecting tree stars with him, or letting him help me with my make-up in the morning are memories I will not easily forget.

I remember the first year of my niece's life.  I lived on my own and would take her on the occasional Saturday afternoon and night, and bring her to church on Sunday.  She may not remember this, but I do.  We baked cookies together, and I have pictures of her reading my copy of Pride and Prejudice on the bathroom floor while I got ready for church.  I remember cuddling her to put her to sleep, and introducing her to Frosty the Snowman.

About two years ago I realized a fact about me that made me incredibly sad.  Compassion has always been something God seemed to gift me with, and a few years ago I felt as if I lost a huge chunk out of the section of my heart labelled "Compassion."  Over the course of a year, events happened that I allowed to harden me.  In some instances I needed this; I was what some people might call a doormat.  But I think I allowed it to harden me too much.

Taking care of a child has reminded me of past times when I allowed my heart to be fully open.  When I gave love without abandon.  And it has made me realize how at peace I have felt these last fews while giving this love.

When I started writing this entry I had no idea of this revelation, yet as I typed I began to see.  I think God is opening up the door in that section of my heart that I had thought lost.  I feel as if my compassion is beginning to return.  Maybe He has been doing renos without me knowing it, and it is beginning to be opened to the public.  I don't know.  All I know is that the moments of peace I have had despite the craziness that has been life are amazing.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Annal 80: Tale from the Answered Prayer

I know, I know, two posts in one day.  I promise this will never happen again, but I am so excited that I just have to share.

I'm going to come out right now and state that this excitement does not involve a guy, so sorry for anyone who thought my blog was coming to an end due to a marriage announcement.  No such luck :P

Last Sunday I admitted to the women at the Bible study I attend that this has been a bit of a hard semester.  I loved taking a year to teach, and do not regret it at all, but the hard part is that everyone I knew in my program graduated the year I was gone.  So I have come back and have had to start all over again.  And that is hard.  A lot harder than I sometimes care to admit.  So one of the leaders prayed that God would bring me a friend.

Confession time.

I didn't think it would happen.

I am a firm believer that God can answer prayer with a yes.  I just tend to think that applies to everyone else but me.  I mean, it's not that I don't have friends, it is just that I am lonely at the university and would like a friend up there.  But I can justify to myself all the reasons why God shouldn't answer that prayer with giving me a friend.  And that is what I did.  And then I forgot about the prayer.

Today I had a group project meeting at the school.  Ten minutes before I left three of the five group members had cancelled.  So I figured this would be a half hour discussion with the one woman who could come and then I would go home.

That didn't happen.

The half hour discussion turned into some hedging around each other, which turned into the discovery that both of us are Christians, with led to another discovery that we are both Christian singles, which resulted in a two and a half hour visit. 

God brought me a friend.

Why I believe God can be faithful to everyone else but not to me, I don't know. 

But today He proved me wrong.  Today He reminded me yet again that He sees me.  Today He brought me a friend.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Annal 79: Tale from the Vampire Teeth

Nothing quite being told "I love you" through a set of vampire teeth.  I understand that vampires are supposed to be sexy, but when coming from a five year old, and when you have to wash the saliva from your hands after putting the teeth in his mouth, it is different.  Especially when shortly after saying he loves you, the five year old takes out his vampire teeth, and while they are still dripping with spit, says, "Can you hold my teeth?"  Yeah, nothing unusual about this Saturday morning!

My youngest sister and oldest nephew are up, and this is only the third day, but it has definitely been exciting!  I came home Thursday after class to Batman flying down the hallway toward me.  By dinnertime Batman had been transformed into Wolverine, but was back to being Batman the next morning while he helped me put on my makeup.  Since my oldest nephew opened his birthday present from my sister and I last night, he has been a vampire (he asked for "scary teeth" for his birthday). 

The four of us then made out way to the movie theatre for nine this morning for a special event that was on (free admission and $2 items at the concession).  Of course, being that we were with a five year old we had to bypass going to see the Green Lantern and watched Yogi Bear in 3D instead.  The highlight of the movie?  Well, there wasn't really one, though I enjoyed driving home to The Lion King soundtrack in our car, while my sister and I alternated whatever octave we were singing in, the three of us sisters danced, and our oldest nephew screamed for us to stop!

It is strange, having a five year old around.  It brings out the kid in you, but also brings out the maternal instinct.  You make funny faces at him and dance around the living room with him, but you also cuddle him when he falls and hurts his leg.  And sometimes you get rewarded with "I love you more than words can say."  I have no idea when he became so poetic, but it sure makes me feel good!

Of course, moments like dancing and singing in the car remind me of reasons I may still be single!  I definitely don't think my dance moves are going to be winning me any points with the opposite sex any time soon!

But it has been refreshing to have the two of them around.  My youngest sister and I will take him to the park while our other sister is still in class.  We run down 'secret' pathways, and have races.  We lose shoes while we are swinging.  He picks us flowers, and then we have to be monsters and chase him.  Every once in a while you get a feeling that says, "Everything is okay."  Maybe this is another one of those times where God reminds me that He is present.  That peace I feel when I am reading to my oldest nephew, or drinking coffee with my youngest sister, sometimes feels other-worldly.  Despite the stresses of school, the insecurities, and the longing for life to just move on, I will sometimes receive a peace that lets me know I am where I need to be right now.

And so the saliva-covered vampire teeth are refreshing.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Annal 78: Tale from Chairman Mao

I think it is safe to say that I have proved to myself this week while I am still single.  And it is definitely related to by epic "coolness" factor.

This week has been a little crazy.  I had a midterm yesterday and have one tomorrow, plus my youngest sister and oldest nephew are coming up tomorrow.  My parents are going out of town, so my sister and I are watching these two for about ten days.  I am incredibly excited about this, especially since we are having a little birthday party for my oldest nephew since he turned five today.  But it also means that the three papers I have due next week I have been trying to get done this week so that I only have to edit them while they're up.  I finally finished my last one this morning, so now I just have to study for my midterm, and prepare some information for my topic for a Victorian Lit. presentation.  Did I mention the presentation is on bigamy?  Very exciting.

I discovered that one coping mechanism I have is to play World of Warcraft while studying.  I would study for half an hour or so, and then let myself play for half an hour.  For anyone out there who may read this and actually plays WoW, I started referring to Northrend as my winter home, and began thinking it would be awfully nice to stop there for a pint in between battling monsters and studying.  For those of you who don't play the game, suffice to say that this does not help me with removing my single status.

My other mechanism involved some alliteration ("Cultural Revolution, Cult of Mao, Confucianism") and then evolved into taking events from Chinese politics and applying them to my life.  I compared the competitive examinations of civil servants during the Han Dynasty, and how it allowed for social mobility while really only being open to those with money, to my education.  University is open to 'everyone' but sadly the costs make it difficult for 'everyone' to be able to go.

Yeah, I'm really cool aren't I?

And now... now I am lying on my couch, scarf around my neck, blanket over me, space heater beside me, taking a break while going through my archaeology notes for tomorrows midterm.  Oh, and I have multiple candles lit at the same time.  Might as well make studying romantic, right?

Ultimately, I think this is a cry for help.  I think I need help.  My brain is constantly spinning, and I am fairly certain I left my sanity somewhere.

And I wonder why I'm still single?

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Annal 77: Tale from a Bus-Driving Frodo

So apparently my sister has decided to join with all of my other friends in the effort to find me a man.  I first noticed this change in her about two or three weeks ago when she texted me one morning to inform me that her bus driver was attractive, and that I should OBVIOUSLY ride with her to the college.  I had to chuckle over this since all of my bus drivers are passed age fifty with heads of white hair... or no hair.  I also chuckled because my sister usually tries to not get involved in the relationship part of my life.  I think she figures that I can either find someone on my own, or else that my friends are trying to take care of it, so she doesn't need to.

The point is, she and I were waiting at our bus stop this morning, when the bus pulled up (shocking, I know).  And the driver was not a fifty-something gentleman with a full head of white hair.  He was Frodo, minus the curls.  And just as friendly too.

My sister was quite happy about this, and informed me that I really should write a blog entry about it, and then informed me that I had her permission to marry the bus driver.  I think she just wants her nieces and nephews to look like hobbits.

All in all the whole situation just leaves me smiling.  I would be the single woman who people would try to hook up with bus drivers.  Although I suppose if I had the summer of police officers thanks to the deli workers, it would make sense to have a semester of bus drivers.

But mostly I think I feel loved.  I have friends and family who care about me so much that they just want me to be happy.  They don't think I'm incomplete without someone, or that my life is meaningless because I'm single, they simly love me and want me to find someone else who loves me too.

It's nice to feel loved.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Annal 76: Tale from the Tree

I live in a city surrounded by mountains and forests, and so throw autumn colours into the mix and I am sure you can imagine how beautiful it is this time of year.  On my journey home from the university I have two favourite views.

The first one is while driving.  About three minutes before I would pull into my driveway, or one minute before my bus would pull up to the stop, you travel down this hill.  As you are going down it, the trees clear away from in front of you and you see the baseball diamonds by one of the local high schools.  Beyond those diamonds you see more trees with homes interspersed among them, and mountains in the distance.  Words will never explain what this view does to me.  I don't even know if it is the view itself, so much as the emotions it stirs up.  Every time I drive this, I feel like the heroine in a movie who returns to her small hometown under duress.  Which is bizarre since I live in a city, it is not my hometown, and for the most part I do not feel like I am under duress.  Yet in the movies the heroine coming home usually does so because she is hoping her life will come together. 

I suppose hope is the feeling this image stirs in me.  I don't know why, but every time I see it something catches in my throat, and for a brief moment I hear a whisper that says, "It's going to be okay."

The next view is from the tree that stands in our front yard.  A perk about living in a tree-filled community is that there are leaves EVERYWHERE!  I just got back from a run through the neighborhood and I am fairly certain leaves were carpetting my path.  The thing with this specific tree, though, is that I came back from Thanksgiving to discover that the yellow leaves were not all falling off, but were rather turning to the most brilliant red hue.  It looks as if the tree is sunburned in a way, with yellow fading into orange and then red.  It is breath-taking.

Again, my descriptions do not do justice, and perhaps one day I will take pictures to share them with you guys.  I suppose the significance is that these are two moments that I witness every day that leave me breathless.

My last post about the guy holding the door to Starbucks open for me got me thinking.  How many times does God reveal parts of Himself to us in a day?  How often do we see His signature but not take notice of it?

I'm single, and I can't say as that I have anyone rushing to prove their undying affection for me.  But I have a God who at least twice a day causes my heart to skip a beat as He gives me views that speak to my soul's secret signature.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Annal 75: Tale from the Starbucks

Something about me screams of a coffee addiction.  I'm not sure what it is, since I would definitely not put myself in the place of a coffee addict.  I like coffee, I enjoy a cup or two in the morning, sometimes I will have one during the day or in the evening, but that is about it.  Of course, when I was teaching last year I drank a lot of coffee.  This could be where the idea of an addict comes from.  And it could be why I received $100 in Starbucks gift cards at the end of the year.  And $50 worth of Starbucks gift cards for my birthday.  Not that I mind.  I'm a student, which means Starbucks coffees are the things I dream of, and now have the ability to buy.

Which brings me to today's blog. 

The events from this blurb actually occurred on Friday.  I was heading to my morning class and decided to stop by Starbucks (only the second time I have gone to this coffee shop this semester... impressive, I know).  As my sister and I were heading home for Thanksgiving, I had allowed my coffee and cream resources to deplete, and I'm afraid my morning cup of tea just didn't have the same effect.

It was a beautiful day.  The sun was shining, I was wearing this blue jacket I absolutely love, I was getting ready to head home, and I had a hair appointment for after class.  All of these blended into a glorious mix of euphoria.

And for once the day got even better.

I pulled up to the curb a little after another truck did.  I got out of my car a little after the guy got out of his truck.  Even though the man had more than enough time to sneak through the door of Starbucks and get in line, he didn't.  He held the door open, waited for me, said "After you," and smiled as I walked through.

Maybe some of you get this treatment all the time, but I don't (I blame this, like many things, on the small, rural community I have lived in for the last few years). 

It made my day.

Nothing more came of this.  I didn't break into a conversation with the gentleman, amazing him with my charm and wit.  And that was fine with me.

Because somebody saw me.

My name in Hebrew actually means "God is looking," or "Yahweh sees."  Despite this I have a knack for forgetting that God is truly omniscient and omnipresent.  He sees me, and not just me on the outside, but everything within me.  At the end of a week where I felt crummy, undesirable, and unworthy, God gave me a little reminder that He has not forgotten me.

He reminded me that He sees.

Will I still have crummy weeks?  No doubt there.  Will I still battle with how I'm viewed by others, especially the opposite sex?  Of course.

But I will remember the Starbucks incident.

And I will remember how God used it to remind me that He sees me.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Annal 74: Tale from the Faery Godmother

Well, it has definitely been a refreshing Thanksgiving weekend!  Busy at times, but still refreshing.  My sister and I got in Friday night after journeying along dark highways and through what felt like vast construction.  Our crew was complete with my sister's boyfriend in the backseat, along with another girl we gave a ride to... and her rabbit.  And the drive may or may not have involved singing... to Disney songs.  Have I ever told you guys how cool I am?

Saturday morning I made my way to a Parisian brunch.  A dear friend of mine had her first baby at the beginning of September and with the way school worked out I never got a change to meet the little darling.  So all of our friends planned a baby shower/brunch for this weekend so that I could be here for it.  It was spectacular!  We ate crepes and croissants, the room was decorated (complete with a picture of Audrey Hepburn, who just makes everything seem more romantic), and we even had cupcakes with little French messages on them for the little girl.

But my highlight (beyond touching base with my friends, of course)?

Tons of cuddle time. 

I somewhat comandeered the holding of my little faery goddaughter.  Yes, faery goddaughter.  I have a few friends with children for whom I have been dubbed the faery godmother.  I don't fulfill actual godmother roles or anything like that, but throw the word faery before it, and that I can fulfill.  I am the aunt figure in their lives who will always encourage the development of their creativity and imagination.  I once had a friend look at me and say, "You are going to be the cool mom.  Your kids will probably think you're a dork, but their friends will love coming to your house."

And I like that role.  My imagination is a huge part of who I am, and I want to be able to foster that in others.  Besides, I'm single, so it already makes me seem like I'm the slightly eccentric aunt who can get away with things like, "Hurry!  Get in the car!  I'll put a force field up and go into hyper drive, while you fight the bad guys off!"

Ultimately, though, I simply feel honoured.  I feel honoured that I get to be a part of the lives of so many children.  Honoured that when I come to visit I am able to comandeer all of the cuddling time.  Honoured that when women discuss their labours it doesn't scare me off from having my children.  Honoured to be a part of such a circle of friends where I know that I am loved and appreciated despite being single, and despite being childless.  I am fully accepted, and not just accepted, but loved.  I have a particular role to fill right now, and I get to fulfill that.

Despite rough patches, God has a way of getting me through.  I still struggle, I still desire more, I still want to love and be loved.  But God gives me moments like these where I know that even though I am still single, there are people who love ME, and are okay with me being a part of their lives.

Of course, now I really want to go find my little faery and hold her!  And possibly kiss some incredibly chubby cheeks!

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Annal 73: Tale from the Foible

First of all, I would like to say that I am in a state of perfect relaxation right now.  My midterms are done for two weeks, I am caught up on schoolwork (for today), I had a lovely phone date with my cousin, I just finished taking an incredibly hot bath, and I am now stretched upon the couch, wet hair surrounding me while my eyes are barely able to remain open.  Which means I should probably take a nap, but the truth is I have not been this inspired to write in a long time, and so I will do so.  That and I head home for Thanksgiving tomorrow so I don't know if I will be able to write for a few days.

You know when you are reading a romance novel and the hero and heroine are always perfect except for their one foible which never seems to be all that bad?  Like he is stubborn but the author always makes stubborness seem incredibly sexy?  Or she is a klutz but that just gives the author an excuse to repeatedly write her into his arms?

Well, I'm not one of those heroines.

I have multiple foibles (my cousin used the word today and I fear I will be finding ways to interject it into conversations all weekend long)!  But one of mine does happen to be klutziness.

I got off the bus yesterday afternoon and dashed across the road.  Of course, me dashing while holding a computer case, a bag full of books, and my winter jacket proceeded to be more of a me catching my foot on the curb and tumbling face down.  My jeans have the grass marks to prove it.  In a novel, a hero would be there to catch me.  In my case there was an older gentleman about 100m away from whom I tried to avert my eyes while looking like I was laughing at myself.

Monday morning I was making my way down some cement stairs at the university.  Now you need to understand that when I am in this stairwell I always feel like I am somewhat of a secret agent.  I don't know what it is, but I can always see myself dodging bullets and running from someone who is chasing me (cool, right?).  Well, this is hard to do when you are ladened down with the same things mentioned in the above paragraph.  So instead of dodging bullets, my feet were dodging steps.  I didn't fall, but I did catch my foot and almost went head first toward the beautiful window in front of me.  Again, I was alone.

A few years ago I was running into the school I worked at when my foot caught the sidewalk in front of it.  I didn't just fall, I also bashed by face on the wooden beams surrounding the flower beds out front.  And heroes around?  Not unless you count the parents all waiting to pick up their children who let out somewhat of a collective gasp upon my little escapade.

Or there was my brothers' wedding (they had a double wedding).  I was a bridesmaid in one of them and discovered high heels in winter don't work well for me.  The groomsman may have been there to help me, but he only succeeded in being pulled down as well.

My point is, in these novels it is these foibles or flaws that always bring the hero and heroine together.  In my story, they are the things that usually make me feel uniquely me.  And remind me that I am single and there is no one to catch me when I fall :-p

So if your foibles have not thrust you into the arms of your hero, or thrust your heroine into your arms, have no fear: they haven't done so for me either!

The thing is, I don't try to be klutzy.  The truth is, I do try to be graceful.  But sometimes I forget that my clumsiness comes naturally to me and that I am more likely to fall on my butt than I am to make every head in the room turn to watch me float across the floor.  Some things in life just seem to require more of us than other things.  And that's okay.  Life is a learning process.

Maybe one day I will learn the appropriate time to fall.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Annal 72: Tale from the Rough Patch

Do you ever feel like a complete hypocrite?  Like you can profess something but when it comes to actually applying it you are an utter failure?  Today I have been having one of those moments.

I had just finished telling a friend how content I am with waiting; that I am not desparate to get married and that while I would love to meet someone I know that I can wait until I meet the right guy.  Shortly after this I had a glorious breakdown on God.

I have been in two dating relationships, neither one being particularly long, and the latter one really did a number on my self-esteem (something I hadn't fully realized until the last month or so).  Today was a day where I just felt lonely.  And not just lonely.  I felt so undesirable and unloveable.  I know God loves me and I know I have friends who love me--I have reiterated those facts countless times through many a blog entry.

But today I didn't feel it.

Today I felt like I was back in high school watching everyone around me pairing off while I just stood back encouraging them and trying to be happy for them.  I felt like the time I put into my appearance today didn't matter because no one was going to be looking.  Any confidence I felt like I had gained since coming back to school seemed to fly out the window.  I felt undesirable. 

I sat on the couch making flash cards for a midterm I have tomorrow while tears streamed down my face.  I looked up at the ceiling and cried out, "God, what is so wrong with me?"

I wish I could end this with some uplifting lesson, but the truth is, I'm just not feeling it.  I know I am loved.  But today I just don't feel it.  And if I'm going to share with you lessons God is teaching me, or funny experiences from being single, then I am also going to share the rough patches.  Today was just one of those.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

I am now going to make an adjustment to this post.  It is several hours later and I have since calmed down.  There were multiple things that contributed to my feeling horrible, like a frustrating midterm, a grade I wasn't happy with, heck, tripping on my way home so that myself and my two bags went flying across the grass (embarassing much?).  And, to be honest, I wish I was done with my schooling.  I feel like life is on hold until I get this done, and I really want to get on with my life. 

So I apologize for the emotional rant; it's not really the kind of post people want to read!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Annal 71: Tale from the Sun's Anointing

This morning I was sitting in the cafeteria (if you haven't noticed by now, I do this a lot) studying for a  midterm that I have tomorrow.  All of a sudden I looked up from my computer, and at that exact same moment the sun broke through the clouds, shining through a far window and directly onto me.  One of my favourite sensations is what I have dubbed being "anointed by the morning sun." 

Living where I do can be hard.  I am surrounded by gorgeous scenery, but the winter months can be particularly dark.  I love overcast weather,  but a steady diet of it can take a toll on you.  I sometimes accept the myth that the sun does not exist and that my life will be filled with constant clouds.

As soon as the sun hit me this morning, I couldn't hide my smile.  It felt like a giant spotlight had been pointed at me, and God was saying "I see you" (this suddenly puts images of Frodo, the Ring, and Sauron in my mind, but please know I don't think of God as a flaming eye atop a tower waiting to destroy me).  I felt a peace and wasn't fully sure why.

Sometimes I think hope is like the sun.  It is always there, but at times gets hidden behind darkness and disappointments for so long that we forget about it.  There are so many hopes and dreams that I have that I will sometimes tuck away in a deep corner of my being because it seems like they will never come to pass.  I then forget that they even exist.  Then one day they will pierce through everything I have hidden them behind and remind me that they still exist.

Life rarely turns out the way we think it will.  If mine had've turned out the way I thought it would, I would be teaching this year, all done my schooling, married, and probably contemplating my first child.  Instead I am in school, single, and childless.  One of my biggest dreams is to be able to write, but so far my blog is all I have been able to accomplish.  I could allow this to demolish my hopes and my dreams.  I could dwell on what I don't have instead of on what I do have.

The thing is, when I place my hope in someone or something besides God, I am going to be let down.  He alone holds this world in His hands, and so who better to place my hope in?  Life may not turn out the way I think it should, or the way I want, but do I give up my hopes and dreams because of that?  I think God has a tendency to fulfill our hopes in ways we don't expect, but in ways that end up much better than anything we could have dreamed of.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Annal 70: Tale from my Life Soundtrack

I am currently sitting at a table in the university cafeteria, though not my table.  Yes, I have a table.  There is one spot I come to every morning and sit at.  It had a plug in for my computer, and provides the most amazing view of the mountains and valley where the city lies.  Most mornings the valley is completely filled with mist and sometimes you can't see the mountains, so you feel as if you are perched atop a high place, completely separate from the rest of the world.  Anyway, the point is that I am not in my spot.  I am instead sitting my a table that is filled with people preparing for a political debate that is supposed to take place later this week.  So to not appear as if I am dropping eaves (sorry, but my sister and I had a Hobbit Day celebration on Friday night which means that I now have random Lord of the Rings references flowing through my head) I plugged in my headphones and started listening to my iTunes.  Sure enough I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor came on and my head started bobbing.

Actually, it was less of a bob and more of a Night at the Roxbury vertical sway... though with a hint of subtlity.  Oh, now my foot is going too.

Have I mentioned before how cool I am?  Because everyone sits in a university cafeteria dancing with headphones in their ears, right?  And they do this because they are trying to avoid working on a book review for a class or studying for midterms, correct? 

Now my Last of the Mohicans soundtrack has started to play and I can suddenly envision Daniel Day Lewis running out of the trees that surround the parking lot and through the mist, coming to save me from some impending danger.  That being said, I was actually that fond of his character in the movie, so maybe I should cut that vision short.

I have decided that my life would be much more inspiring if I had a soundtrack for it.  I think of how much better a run or workout goes when I have music to go along with it.  A battle song to help me run faster toward the bus stop when the bus randomly shows up four minutes early (yeah, that was this morning), or Mika's Big Girl  for those moments when I feel like the most unattractive person in existence.  And I want a theme song.  I don't know what it would be, but it must be something that encompasses the quirks of my character... because life is all about me right? 

Don't worry, I'm joking :)

The truth is busting out some dance moves made me think of teaching last year.  I would play some songs in my class, and there was one boy I loved to watch.  His foot would start tapping, and then his body would start to move in rhythm to the song.  Before I knew it he was out of his desk and dancing around the classroom.  Often were the times I would join him.

I miss my kids.  They were an incredibly special bunch, and each one of them holds a spot in my heart.  And when I miss them, I miss my friends and my family.  And then I struggle with some loneliness.  My mom, youngest sister, and close friend came to visit this weekend and when they left there was a vacuum that it's hard to fill.  Somedays I go home to an empty house and feel as if loneliness will swallow me up. 

Which is why I need a soundtrack!  To help me press on and remind me that there is more to life than me and my wallowing.

I apologize for the randomosity that was this entry.  Lately I feel as if there is so much going through my mind, between reading for school, devotions, discussions, and everything else.  My blog is one of the few places where I feel like I can sort through at least some of it.

Such is the life of a Christian single.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Annal 69: Tale from the Inspirational Romance

Please bear with me for this entry.  It is nothing deep, profound, or ground-breaking.  It is simply my take on the inspirational romance genre of Christian fiction (that which in my mind classifies most fiction for women and breaks my heart somewhat when I read it... not because it is good, but because it gets published), and how I may be able to use it for my own gain.

I had a wonderful Friday afternoon.  I came home from class, had a lovely lunch of leftovers, cleaned the house, and then sat down with an inspirational romance.  You know the kind.  They're the ones that are ever so prevalent in Christian bookstores.  A friend had lent it to me for a fluff read, so I snuggled up on the couch and finished it in about two hours.  It made me laugh, not because of wit but because it reminded me of some of the stories I tried to write in junior high. 

My sister came home and I told her a bit about the book.  I then began to describe to her the basic plot idea of Christian romances.  It goes something like this:

  1. Guy and girl meet.  There is some form of attraction, whether conscious or subconscious, that exists between the two.  This is usually the cause for some tension and is often mistaken as at least one of them thinking they don't like the other.
  2. Bad things happen to the heroine.  I don't mean one bad thing, but multiple.  The heroine usually gets hit on by a creepy guy, is some how hurt by said creepy guy, gets sick or sufferes some sort of an injury, or is verbally abused by someone (just to name a few).  The hero is always present for these and is there to rescue/save the heroine.
  3. The two finally admit their attraction but also admit they are better off not being together.
  4. The two are then driven apart until the hero comes to his senses, tracks the heroine down, admits he was a fool, apologizes, and they then become engaged.  The dating process is obsolete.  They admit attraction, agree to get married, and then suck face.
Anyone who has ever read a Christian romance can attest to the fact that this is truly the basic plot progression of such a novel. 

So I told this to my sister and informed her that I used to write this kind of stuff in junior high and that it almost makes me sad how easily this stuff gets published.

*I would like to insert here that the book my friend lent me wasn't actually that bad.  It was quite cute and made for an enjoyable Friday afternoon*

So my sister looked at me and asked, "This kind of stuff gets published?"

I nodded.  She, being ever practical, responded with, "So why don't you just write one, get it published, and have a little income coming in while you're at school?"

I laughed at the time.

I have spent my entire weekend contemplating the idea.  Not with writing your typical inspirational romance, but with doing somewhat of a spoof on one.  And writing under a pen name so no one would ever know it was me.

It is an idea...

Such is the life of a Christian single.