Friday, July 20, 2007

The Expected

This is a story about a girl named Sirk that lives in a place called Rewolf Dnuom. Never heard of it?? Well, you are probably more familiar with the larger city near it called Sallad. Sirk loves where she lives, and loves that on any given day she could sit on her front porch and predict what she will see. At some point in the early morning she can expect to see Mrs. Turquoise out walking her dogs. Mrs. Turquoise will wave and smile, and underneath the blood colored lipstick beautiful white teeth will appear. Sirk always waves back and says good morning. Inevitably during the day Sirk will run into her downstairs neighbor, Notlim, and he will ask to borrow her car to drive to California. Notlim apparently thinks this is a hilarious joke, and proceeds to ask daily. Sirk always plays along, and says she would love to swap her Honda for his Cadillac. Notlim will laugh, and then shuffle off to his vehicle to go see his wife in the nursing home. Treb, the other downstairs neighbor, will invite Sirk and her roommate Xeb over to partake in his grilled meat dinner. They always decline the invitation for two reasons, 1) Treb begins grilling around 9:30 pm and 2) He has also invited them over to drink vodka and watch his flatscreen with surround sound. Treb enjoys his surround sound so much, that at times it is so loud it is vibrating through the ceiling into Sirk and Xeb's apartment. Sirk has been known to jump on the floor repeatedly until he turns it down. By 11 am every morning Sirk expects to hear shouts and laughter by the pool as the kids jump in to escape the summer heat. The maintenance man is always finishing his pool upkeep around that time, and with a cigarette hanging from his mouth he will shout, "Enjoy the pool, kiddos", and then zoom off in his golf cart for his next task. By 5 pm, Sirk can expect to run into Essej walking his wolf-like dogs, and the thoughts of how hot those dogs must be will run through her head. Essej will compliment her somehow and then go on to discuss the weather. Most of all, Sirk loves hearing the sound of her roommate walk up the stairs, because she expects that Xeb will enter with a smile and greet her in a bad accent with something like, "Hello precious face." Though Sirk is not the extreme silly type, she finds herself playing along and returning the greeting with an equally bad accent. On Sundays Sirk will enter The Egalliv Church, and suddenly find herself surrounded in community. She can always expect at least one hug, one genuine "how are you", and lots of people eager to celebrate all that God has done and continues to do. Sirk loves that her life is filled with these people in this place. She loves that God has slowed her down some in order that she may find time to drink in her surroundings.

For the past 8 months Sirk has had an opportunity to do speech therapy with a 26 year old male named Leahcim. Prior to meeting him she learned that Leahcim had spinal menegitis as a baby that caused him to present with low cognition and some aphasic-like characteristics. At their first meeting, he waited outside for her arrival and then introduced himself 4 times in 45 minutes. Leahcim collects plastic lizards, eats at Jack in the Box daily, listens to 94.9 obsessively, and frequently asks if Sirk believes in Jesus. Sirk has grown to love that she can anticipate every Tuesday and Wednesday Leahcim will be waiting at the window for her, that he will ask at least one time during their therapy session if he is a good friend, and that he will always reach out for a hug at the conclusion of their meeting. Leahcim has taught Sirk that loving God does not have to be complicated. Leahcim doesn't know theology or understand fancy terms like, propitation for sins. All Leahcim knows is that he believes in Jesus and that is a reason to worship. Sirk has found herself amazed that God delights in Leahcim's worship, and knows that God is estatic when Leahcim lines up his plastic lizards and sings along with 94.9.

Sirk feels like she runs her life well and loves that she knows mostly what to expect on a day-to-day basis. Recently she was set up on a blind date with a man named, Ekim. Sirk was initially excited, but as the date grew near she found herself dreading it to the point of being in a bad mood. Upon further investigation, Sirk learned that the bad mood and dread stemmed from fearing the unknown. Sirk knows how to live as a single christian woman, but wouldn't know how to allow herself to be pursued in a godly way or be a godly wife (Sirk has the tendency to look too far into the future). As the time for Ekim to arrive grew near, she had convinced herself that he was going to be ugly and boring. So, you can only imagine her surprise when she opened the door to find that Ekim was very good looking. Not what she was expecting at all!! The date began with Italian food and was followed by fishing. Sirk would have never expected to go fishing on a first date, but found herself enjoying every moment of it. At the conclusion of the date Ekim asked Sirk out for a second time and then left after a firm handshake. Sirk slowly walked upstairs and found herself smiling...a good blind date, how unexpected!! Two days passed, and she told the blind date story to her friends who shared in her excitement. When Ekim called on Tuesday night, Sirk felt like she knew exactly what to expect, a proposal for a second date. You can only imagine how her mouth dropped, as Ekim said, "There will not be a second date, I don't have a peace about it." Sirk stammered some type of polite response, but was struck with shock...Where was the expected second date?? After the brief sting of rejection wore off, Sirk found herself comforted by the Lord's sovereignty and knows that He is in control.

Sirk's life has returned to the expected, but as she pulled up to Leahcim's house on Wednesday to find him in his usual spot awaiting her arrival her heart was full and content. Mrs. Turquoise waved her usual friendly hello this morning, Notlim shuffled to his car, and Xeb will eventually come home today and greet Sirk with a bad accent. Sirk desires to be present in the moment, but always eagerly anticipating the unfamiliar, unexpected places the Lord will take her.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Which one of you stole the picture??

There have been several requests for the 4th grade picture to be posted on here. To those of you who have seen it you know why people would want this is truly HILARIOUS!! However, there are two small problems: 1) I have not sat down to figure out how to post pictures on here (anyone want to volunteer to help) and 2) I cannot find it!! Last night I looked in all of the places that stuff like that usually is kept and it is no where to be found. So, for now you will have to use your imaginations. Close your eyes and picture blond hair cut above the ears and the same length around the entire circumference of the head. Blue eyes peering out from under bushy eyebrows that touched in the center, and teeth that protruded slightly past the lip. For school picture day she chose a navy blue button down shirt with gold paisleys. You may think this is an exageration, but on more than one occasion the picture has been mistaken for a boy (thank you Jason Clarke). In order to remedy the physical appearance the teeth required a year of wearing a headgear (yes, the contraption that extends from inside the mouth to around the face and to the back of the head) and two more years with braces. The eyebrows that to this day are consistently plucked and threaded to keep the shape, were once shaved off entirely in an effort minimize their uni-brow effect...That was 7th grade, and when my math teacher asked allowed in front of the entire class why I looked different today, Christy Mungia (class bully) yelled, "because she shaved her face off this morning." The hair was treated by my best friend, Amber, who attempted to girli-fy it by encouraging me to borrow her headbands and bows as it slowly grew out.

Though this is fun to laugh at now, it would be kinda nice to return to those days of being oblivious to appearance. For as long as I can remember my dad has always told me I was beautiful on the inside and out, oddly enough I must have actually believed him for the first 9 years of my life. Though I am glad the buck teeth and mushroom haircuts are gone, it would be nice to return to the days where vanity and comparison didn't exist, and the only opinion that mattered was my Father's. "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." Psalm 139: 13-14.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Chynna and Helen

In fourth grade I asked my mom to cut off my hair so that I would look like Chynna Phillips from the band Wilson Phillips. The mushroom-cut blonde hair coupled with my intense overbite and tendency repel anything remotely girly did not leave me looking as pretty as Chynna did as she cried out with the Wilson sisters "I know that there is pain, but you hold on for one more day...". Instead the haircut caused people to occasionally mistake me for a boy, which would leave me in tears and my sister in stitches. That same year, I chose to research Helen Keller for a biography project. As presentation day grew near, I thought it would be an excellent idea to not only tell the class about her, but also dress and act like her for that entire school day. Though it got me an A on the project, it did not equal popularity among peers. On career day I thought long and hard about what path I would choose before eventually settling on becoming an author. Immediately I began writing elaborate plays for my friends to act out, penning short stories, and devouring novels beyond my maturity level. Throughout school my teachers encouraged me to pursue this talent, often using my writings as examples in class and urging me to submit my stories to local publications. Though the passion for Chynna and Helen faded, the love for writing remained.

Fifteen years later, I am not an author and my writing is limited to personal journal entries and emails. I think the passion for writing was stuffed down as I learned to play it safe and began competing regularly in the comparison game. In comparing my talent with others, I no longer felt like it was strong enough to really develop to the point of selling novels. Reality taught me to stick with life choices that are stable and not quite as vulnerable. I don't know, or honestly really care if I could have been successful in some writing realted field, but I do hate that a God given passion sizzled away due to a fear of not being good enough. So, while others are updating the world on the events of their life through blogging, I will be using it to reignite my lost passion.