The French do it better
No, I'm not French but for those of you who know me well, you know that I am indeed a Francophile.
Let's face it.
The French have excelled in so many of life's most wonderful things...wine, food, art, architecture, and of course, kissing.
Evidently, they even improve upon the mindless self-questionnaires you see floating around myspace and on blogs. Well, Nikki found one and since I am unoriginal and have nothing else to do on this ridiculously hot Saturday, I give you...
Le Questionnaire de Proust
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
Excited (I don't know if that is a state of mind per se, but it's how I feel)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE OCCUPATION?(WAY OF SPENDING TIME)
Spending time with intimate groups of people or touring
WHAT HISTORICAL FIGURE DO YOU MOST IDENTIFY WITH?
I don't really do history. But I always identified with CS Lewis in his writing (not the genius-theologian Lewis, the broken man Lewis)
WHICH LIVING PERSON DO YOU MOST ADMIRE?
WHO IS YOUR FAVORITE FICTIONAL HERO?
I always loved Batman for the fact that he made himself a super-hero. No spider bites or Planet Krypton. He just decided one day- "Yep. I think I'll kick some ass." Plus Batman is hot. (or maybe that's the guys who play Batman...)
WHO ARE YOUR REAL-LIFE HEROES?
Yeah, um, Nikki and I discussed this. We may be too cynical for real-life heroes.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?
My photographs and my Grandmother's engagement ring
WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU HAPPIEST?
In college, surrounded by exceptional friends and not a care in the world. (oh, except how we would find the money to eat.)
WHAT IS YOUR MOST OBVIOUS CHARACTERISTIC?
I would like to think it is that I love people. I am afraid others would say it is being loud or funny.
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN YOURSELF?
My shifting allegiance
WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN OTHERS?
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST EXTRAVAGANCE?
Fabulous shoes, one Fendi purse bought in Moscow, and frequent trips to Sephora (it's a cosmetics/make-up store)
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE JOURNEY?
I decided last night is was "Faithfully"
WHAT DO YOU MOST DISLIKE ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?
I have striking blue eyes and mile long eyelashes. (Nikki set the precedent by answering in the positive.)
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST OVER-RATED VIRTUE?
Can I call "prohibition" a virtue?
ON WHAT OCCASION DO YOU LIE?
In bed every night. On the couch occasionally.
WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVER-USE?
"Actually", "Basically", "Totally", "Apparently" and quite a few four letter ones.
IF YOU COULD CHANGE ONE THING ABOUT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My OCD over-analyzing twisty emotional quality
WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?
So far, having gained the love and respect of lovely and respectable people.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO LIVE?
With a husband.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A MAN?
In general, their single-mindedness in purpose. And confidence.
WHAT IS THE QUALITY YOU MOST ADMIRE IN A WOMAN?
In general, their universal-mindedness in tasks. And homeschooling mothers.
WHAT IS IT YOU MOST DISLIKE?
WHAT DO YOU VALUE MOST IN YOUR FRIENDS?
WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
"Perfect only in her imperfection"
WHO HAS BEEN THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOU?
(and in a little over 2 months, it will be my great pleasure to see her gain a new last name)
"I'm good enough; I'm smart enough; And doggone it, people like me!"
I am having an identity crisis. OK, that is a slightly dramatic statement. Not really a crisis, per se.
I never considered myself extremely emotional. I can be, but as a general rule, I don't find that my feelings are hurt all the time nor do I get so bothered by things, that I think and fret about them for days on end. Until recently.
I don't know what has happened, but for the past few weeks, I have been over-analyzing everything. It has been brought on by the craziest stuff. Everything from friends' comments and response times to emails or phone calls, to looks from my students and the tone of voice my Dad used.
I have a running dialogue in my head that goes something like this...
Me2: You suck.
Me: No, I don't.
Me2: You are so not smart.
Me: Yes, I am. I have a genius IQ!
Me2: You are not intelligent where it counts. You're certainly not well-versed in theology.
Me: well, um...kinda, I am.
Me2: You have nothing to contribute. They don't like you.
Me: People do SO like me! And everyone doesn't have to like me! I have lots of friends! Let me list them...
Me2: They only tolerate you. They don't love you. Why else do they not call or write?
Me: They're busy! They have families and things to do.
Me2: Face it Mandy. You're not worth the effort.
Me: well, I, um...
Me2: Why else are you 31 and single? You have NEVER even had a relationship! You're almost 32! No one has ever chosen you and they won't. You are not worth it.
Me: God is in control of that and He is good! And even if no one ever "chooses" me, He did!
Me2: Everyone leaves you Mandy. Sooner or later, they all leave. What makes you so sure God won't too?
Me: He won't
Me2: He might
Me: He won't
Me2: He could
Me: He won't
Me2: What if you're wrong?
Me2: Be honest, but only to yourself. Tell people what they want to hear. If you tell the truth, they won't think you're a believer. Maybe you're not.
Me: Oh yes, I AM!
Me2: You're mental. People are really gonna know after they read this.
Me: I don't care. Shut up.
~ and so the drama and name-calling ensues in my head...
The issue is, for those of us who are believers and claim kinship with our Lord Jesus, we are in a perpetual state of paradox. I am a saint AND a sinner. I am accepted and loved by God, yet I did/do nothing to deserve it. I am free but choose to live in bondage. I am given love but don't know how to receive it. I long for community and fellowship, but I'm alone and selfish. I am being sanctified but I'm a trainwreck.
How do we wrap our heads around that? It is an amazingly difficult concept that has been the theme of my life lately. Who am I, really? The voices in my head are varied. Sometimes, it is my voice of reason and logic. Sometimes, it is my voice of experience. Sometimes, it's Satan or the world.
But I pray, the voice I listen and respond to, is the voice of my precious savior. His voice tells me what is true and real. He says, I chose you before the foundation of the world. He says, I love you with an everlasting love. He says, I provide all you need. He says, I created you in My image. I give you love and friendship and allow you to glorify Me by demonstrating that to others. He says, you are worth every effort, every pain, even death.
So today I choose to listen to His voice, to hear Him speak softly again and to drown out the chaos that plagues me. He has such amazing and beautiful things to say.
Laurel Hill Elementary School
Evidently, I have been "tagged." The word only brings memories of a frustrating game in elementary school that I sucked at. So, since I have been assigned to write 8 random facts, I hereby deem this blog all about my primary school experience at Laurel Hill Elementary. Because Nikki has roped me back into blogging, I will copy the rules from her...According to the Meme Gods (and Nikki), I must include this first:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.(This will not happen)
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.(Neither will this)So here are my eight random things-1. When I was in 4th grade, I was on lunch and eating my carrot sticks while, of course, probably doing something immature and ridiculous. Just when I had popped a carrot stick in my mouth, I sneezed and the damn thing went up my nose. I mean JAMMED up my nose. In a panic, I ran up to my teacher Mrs. Littlejohn who promptly looked at me with her "what did you do now" face and took me to the principals office. They called my Dad who came and got me, took me to the pediatrician who removed said carrot and proceeded to hand it to me in a glass jar. My Dad threw it out the window on the way home and took me to lunch. I bet Mrs. Littlejohn still thinks I shoved that thing up my nose on a dare.2. My first kiss was Chris Hogan when I was 5. His parents and my parents were best friends so we hung out at their house a lot. The Hogans had a train track that ran behind their house and we would go down this huge hill and play down there. (It was 25 years ago when people didn't watch their kids too much.) Well, Chris had this awesome idea of putting pennies on the track and when a train came, it would flatten them. I thought he was sooo cool. I was however, terrified that this would make the train derail and so every time I heard a train whistle, I went to running.3. I had the same teacher for 1st and 2nd grade. Mrs. Goodwin was her name. She was a very patient woman and to this day, when I happen to run into her, she jokes that changing grades that year was a HUGE mistake on her part. 1 year of me was quite enough.4. In second grade my ADD had fully kicked in and I was terribly obnoxious. One particular day, because I thought I knew everything, I kept yelling out the spelling of words that Mrs. Goodwin was saying. Finally, I drove her to her boiling point and she directed me to come to the front of the class. She gave me chalk and told me to spell "supercalifragilisticexpialadocious." I think I spelled it about that way and she said..."Hm. Good job Mandy. We all know you can spell. Now sit down and shut up." 5. I won the school spelling bee that same year but I lost in the county one because I couldn't spell "kintergarden." I still don't know the proper spelling of that word.6. My teacher noticed one day that I was having trouble writing "oy" in cursive. She made me write "boy" like 1000 times until I could properly attach the o and y. I truly believe my penmanship is one of my best qualities and I have Mrs. Littlejohn to thank for it. Seriously! Give me your address. I'll write you a letter. (However, I also have her to thank that I find myself subconsciously spelling out "oy" in cursive with my finger to this day.)7. I could hula hoop like nobody's business! 8. I played "Becky" in the 4th grade play of "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn." Becky was Tom's girlfriend and Tom was played by my little boyfriend, Chad Snead. I was happy because I got to kiss him in front of the whole school AND our parents. Chad and I later found out that we were like 5th cousins and that was the end of that.
(Why is there a kissing theme in my elementary school blog? I got way more action then.)
So, there you have it Nikki. All the folks you tagged are the only people I know with blogs so I guess I am risking chicken pox or being haunted or 18 years of bad luck if I break the chain. But oh well, I have always been a risk taker. Ask Mrs. Littlejohn.