Questions for days

15. Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers.

  1. Just putting this out there: Trump? Really?
  2. What do dogs do when you leave them home all day?
  3. Who was the original hipster? Like seriously- who started that?
  4. How come salads never taste as good when you make them at home as they do when you order them at a restaurant?
  5. Why did we decide to make Alaska a state? Why not just let it be part of Canada?
  6. Why do people insist that you close your eyes when you make a wish?
  7. Why do styles come and go every 20 years?
  8. Why does America have different units of measurement than every other country?
  9. How did the Romans figure out the whole indoor plumbing thing and then the rest of the world somehow forgot all the progress?
  10. Is guy’s shampoo actually from girl’s shampoo?
  11. How much money does the bubble bath industry make a year?
  12. What are the words to “Wannabe” by Spice Girls?
  13. What in the world is a “pickled cucumber”? That’s a pickle.
  14. When did we start referring to problems as pickles?
  15. Does Apple hardwire iPhones to stop working when the next generation comes out?
  16. Why are mother-in-laws notoriously terrible?
  17. Whose idea was it to first film a reality show?
  18. Why do we have two kidneys when we technically only need one?
  19. What is it about making something smaller that’s so adorable?
  20. Why do they even include the two end pieces in a loaf of bread? Throw that shit out.
  21. What’s up with everyone’s fascination with Ke$ha and why does she spell her name with a dollar sign?
  22. Who would make a worse president- Donald or Kanye?
  23. If Trump gets elected, how many people would actually leave the country?
  24. How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie pop?

whyyyyyy

15. Write a list of questions to which you urgently need answers.

  1. Donald J. Trump- WHY?
  2. Why do we clap after someone blows out birthday candles?
  3. Why would someone willingly go on the show Naked & Afraid?
  4. Why is traffic so light on Friday morning?
  5. Are we 100% sure that Donald Trump isn’t a Clinton conspiracy?
  6. Why do people forget how to drive when it rains/snows?
  7. Are Joe Biden and Lady GaGa actually friends like he claimed they were when he introduced her at the Oscars?
  8. When did interrupting people become socially acceptable?
  9. Why are you (anyone who does this) chewing with your mouth open?
    1. Who taught you to eat?
  10. WHY ALAN RICKMAN, UNIVERSE? WHY?
  11. When are Delawarians going to stop talking about traffic and weather?
  12. Is my life being secretly recorded?
  13.  Can it please be on vacation right now?
  14. Why are you still talking?
  15. What is so appealing about the horror genre?
  16. What do you mean you don’t like reading?
  17. Does anyone actually use Siri on a consistent basis?
  18. Who invented the word ‘Fork’ ?
  19. How did swear words become ‘bad words’ ?
  20. How do British people describe something as ‘bloody’ (like a crime scene or when you cut off a part of your finger with a knife while cooking) without people thinking they’re swearing?
  21. To the people who don’t like to travel and would be happy never leaving their home state: Why? How? What happened to you?
  22. Who keeps making flip phones?
    1. Who is still buying flip phones?
  23. What kind of a*$%^(# apartment complex doesn’t let their residents have dogs?
  24. Can we please be like Arizona and just stop with Daylight Savings Time?
  25. Is the sun ever going to come out again for more than 12 hours?
  26. Can we all stop pretending like we love small talk?
  27. Why are you talking to me before I’ve had coffee?
  28. Why didn’t you respond to my text but you posted on social media?
  29. Why are you using Facebook/Twitter as your personal diary?
  30. Can someone explain Trump, please?

*Please note that many of these questions were not directed at a particular person, but to the ‘collective’ you.*

 

the story.

14. Write about your first love – whether a person, place, or thing

I don’t have a lot of cousins, 6 first cousins, in total. I’m not particularly close to any of them now except for one- Will. He’s got an amazing sense of humor and we always have a laugh when we’re together. But there was another cousin, Will’s half brother, and we used to be very close.

He’s roughly ten years older than I am, so when I was a baby he would hold me and play with me, there are tons of pictures of it, and as I grew older, he was my favorite person. I remember he would bring me gifts: one time he gave me a blue jump rope, another time it was a little clown doll (not creepy) with a lovely silk orange and pink outfit. I don’t remember much, but the pictures show me that Jeff had great affection for me, and in my eyes, he was the best. Jeff was cool, and funny, and he adored me. I have an older brother, but Jeff loved me in a way my actual brother never did. I looked up to him- he was totally my hero. For a school assignment in middle school, we had to write about someone who was our hero. I wrote about Jeff.

By calling it a “first” we are usually implying that there were more loves to follow. And our first love is often the love that breaks our hearts.  That this was the love that captured us before any other love. Perhaps not all of our first loves break our hearts, but this was how I decided that Jeff was my first love, because he was also my first heartbreak.

I remember being in church one day, during some weekday event, when I heard from my mom that Jeff had run away from home. He was doing drugs, and he wasn’t speaking to anyone in the family. I honestly felt like instead of just running away from my Aunt’s house, he had run away from me. I felt like he personally abandoned me. I felt, for the first time that I can remember, rejected.

I’ve spent many years fighting a ‘rejection’ lie. That I’m not enough, that when someone says or does a certain thing that they are rejecting me. And for a long time, I believed the root of this rejection to be from a high school boyfriend. I had an incredible father and I could never recall an instance that he, or my mom really, ever brought about a feeling of rejection in my life. My earliest memory of rejection was that boyfriend. Until just a few days ago, when I received a Facebook message from Jeff. Apparently he’d been in jail the last few months so he messaged me when he got out to congratulate me on getting married. I felt a little angry when he messaged me and I couldn’t figure out why. And then I started thinking about your first love. And I put all the pieces together.

I’m certain Jeff has no idea the effect that his life choices had on me. I’m not sure any of my family realizes how his choices broke my heart. I doubt I’ll ever tell them. What’s important is not the hurt, but the growth that came from the brokenness.

This is what I know about first loves: your first is not your last, and forgiveness will let you tell the story.

Slowly but surely

14. Write about your first love – whether a person, place or thing

 We all know how the story goes…

At some point in time, we come across something that teaches us what it means to love. We start smiling a lot more, we feel a deeper sense of joy, and colors seem brighter. All is well with the world and we feel like nothing bad is going to happen. We’ll always be this happy, this content, this in love.

Then just as suddenly as it comes, it is gone. It starts slowly at first. An unkind word here, a sideways glance there. A bunch of little things that add up over time to become a big thing. We start to look for things that are wrong instead of choosing to show grace. We pick fights about things that aren’t important because it’s easier than really dealing with the things that are. 

We think about it all the time. Every person we pass, every song we hear- it all reminds of us of what we once had. It hurts to remember, yet it hurts not to.

Slowly, but surely, the hurt becomes less. We see the part we played and how it wasn’t as one-sided as it once felt. Eventually, we forgive.

We forgive all the looks, all the glances, all the disagreements, and we begin to feel peace. We get to a place where we can look back, remember the good times and smile. A place where we can appreciate the lessons we’ve taken away and know that despite all the bad, we came out a better person. Our first love becomes a fond memory in our minds and hearts, and we even look forward to doing it all over again. 

I have definitely had this experience with a person, but what most sticks out to me is my relationship with the Church. I grew up going to church- I may as well have been born right in the sanctuary with how quickly my parents got me there. I knew all the words to be able to sing along with the choir, which eventually turned into the band when my mom decided she wanted to be able to wear pants to church. I knew enough Bible verses to get a badge in Awana (religious version of boy scouts and girl scouts) every week. The church is where I met my first boyfriend, led my first small group, got baptized (twice), and made my first significant friendships. It’s where I learned to not be afraid of leading and to not shy away from new opportunities. When I was there, I was home. 

But as I got older, something happened. I started to realize that churches are full of people, and as we all know- people are messy. Which means church is messy. 

It wasn’t one big event that happened and suddenly I was jaded to the church. No, it was a bunch of little things strung together. Not being old enough to lead here, seeing a female not be able to speak from stage there. I listened to people talk about the way I should live in a way I had never heard Jesus talk. I watched people who were hurting and confused get turned away because their lifestyle didn’t “fit.” I saw churches make decisions based on financial reasons instead of Jesus reasons. I experienced leaders in my church saying hateful things about other leaders. 

I began to pull away because I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t (and still don’t) understand how an institution that is supposed to be about loving God and loving others could fail so miserably at both of those. I would skip a Sunday one month, which turned into two the next and continued that pattern until it was no Sundays. And you know what- I didn’t miss it. 

I would turn off the radio if I heard a song they used to play in the lobby. I avoided going to the coffee shop where I knew a lot of members frequented on the weekend. All of it hurt. It hurt to think about how much I used to love it and didn’t seem to feel that anymore. It hurt to see old friends still thriving and somehow getting passed all the messiness I couldn’t. It hurt knowing that I still loved Jesus and still wanted a community where that was shared. 

Then, slowly but surely, the hurt became less. I could see the times where I should have spoke up and didn’t and the times were I should have stayed quiet and chose not to. I could see that everyone there was just trying to figure out what it looks like to love God and love others, and sometimes they messed up. That not everyone was out to get someone, and there was more good than bad. 

I can look back on it and smile now. Smile at remembering sitting in a living room full of women as we wrestled through how to let God heal us from our past. I smile as I think about the high school girls I would get coffee with and how excited they were to talk about life with someone who’d “been there.” When I hear a song on the radio that I recognize, I don’t change the station anymore. I let it play, and sometimes I even sing along. 

I’m starting to forgive the church because I see now that the pain I’ve experienced isn’t the church’s fault. In fact, I don’t know if it’s anyone’s fault. When you choose to go through life alongside other people, you’re going to get hurt. You’re going to hear things you don’t want to hear and see things you don’t want to see.   

I don’t want to do life if it’s not alongside other people, so I’m learning to be good with the mess. 

And just like all first loves, I can look back with fond memories and be grateful for all the church has brought me. 

I can even look forward to doing it again. 

Spilled milk

13.What always brings tears to your eyes?

While I don’t consider myself the stereotypical “cryer,” I definitely tear up at more than I’d like to admit. I can’t help myself. This is me:

Unknown.jpgSo without further ado, here are some things that will bring tears to my eyes without fail.

  1. ANY sentimental father-daughter moment. If there’s anything that will make me cry faster than this, I have yet to find it. My dad and I have always been incredibly close, so any moment that reminds me of this: done.
  2. Military homecoming videos. I literally can’t even. Any time I’m on YouTube for longer than five minutes, make me stop, because it’s a rabbit hole I can’t get out of.
  3. Hearing people’s wedding vows. If they write their own vows, that’s it. It’s incredibly special to see to people love each other enough, they want to spend their entire lives with one person. That’s no joke.
  4. The end scene in Gladiator. By far, one of my favorite movies. I can’t help but get a little misty as he’s finally heading “home” to see his family and took care of those he loved. Gladiator-fields.jpg
  5. Notes. I’m a sap when it comes to receiving notes/letters from people I care about. It’s one thing to hear someone tell you how much you mean to them, but it’s a whole other thing to actually see it on paper.
  6. Major life milestones. Baptisms, graduations, weddings, etc. Watching people I love take a “next step,” whatever that may be for them always makes me emotional.