Adventure in the Zombies are Rising. Today.

Yesterday morning Momper Insulation, an insulation warehouse, in Fort Wayne, Indiana, caught fire. The smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away. Fort Wayne residents in the area were warned to stay in their homes so they would not be exposed to the toxic fumes. Some people were even evacuated. Firefighters spent a good deal of time controlling the blaze, but eventually resolved to let the fire die out on its own. This decision was made so the toxin-infused water did not cause too much toxic run-off. Considerate.

KIND OF! Because here’s the thing. That warehouse is across the street from a very large cemetery. And today is Halloween. I didn’t think about it until my mom and I started making jokes. Actually, my mom. “The people in Lindenwood don’t have to worry,” she says. And I begin to say, “Yeah, because they’re dead,” but am cut short by my own thoughts. I gasp far too dramatically and shout, “MOM! Get a shotgun!” “What?!” “You have to protect yourself, because those dead people won’t be dead people for long. We’re talking zombies. Undead people.” She laughed. For a very long time.

Meanwhile, ZOMBIES. It’s here, kids.

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Adventure in the One-Sided Friendship

In Aristotle’s Ethics he discusses Friendship at great length. I read it as a freshman in college, and I’ll admit I was pretty overwhelmed. I was provoked last night to read that particular section of the text again.

In that section Aristotle looks at the phenomena of “philia” which is one of the Greek words for “Love.” Now it is used here to express the kinship between Friends, but is not restricted to use of voluntary relationships. In this particularly segment he is looking to draw the connection between Friendship and Virtuous living, which he believes is largely the basis of Happiness. He believes there are three reasons to “like” or “love” (words that have no connection to feelings) someone.

Reason One:
A person is Good. This, Aristotle suggests, is the only way to a Perfect Friendship. Friendships that are established because both parties are Good will create a perfectly rounded relationship. Equal give and take. Though the taking only comes from pure reception of a truly good giving.

Reason Two:
A person is Pleasant. He does not necessarily use the word “Pleasant” to mean amiable, but that the person is someone from which one can derive Pleasure. He is entertaining. She is smart. He is funny. She is outgoing. This relationship is to Aristotle Imperfect. It becomes a relationship with little trust. It opens a door to arguments. These relationships can be broken easily. In fact, he suggests that to call them “Friendships” at all is pretty unfair to the word.

Reason Three:
A person is Useful. He offers an ear for venting. She offers company when there is none. He drives miles and miles to provide company. She bakes things. He edits your papers. She tells you that you look nice. He buys you gifts. These, like those based on Pleasure, are Imperfect for all of the same reasons.

He does say though that those that do those things not for their own benefit but for the benefit of others are truly Friends. To quote exactly, “Those who wish good things to their friends for the sake of the latter are friends most of all, because they do so because of their friends themselves, and not coincidentally.”

It’s a tricky line. At what point does the provision of Support and Virtue change from purely about the other to the need in myself to have it reciprocated. I have a propensity for setting myself into one-sided relationships. Not strictly the Imperfect Friendships Aristotle addresses. I have a strong willingness in me to do whatever is asked of me, even if it is well-beyond my means or capabilities. It always starts off as genuinely as I can offer. It’s something I want to do strictly for the benefit of the other. I listen. I drive. I bake. I’d learn to declaw cats probably if I was asked, but there still comes in me a very human breaking point.

There is a line. There are months of lines. I talk myself down from my anger. I yell at God for a while. I yell at myself a while longer. “But who will take care of me?” I cry. When I’ve finally remembered why I make sacrifices I let it go. I’m not a good Friend. I’m a very selfish Friend. I want, like everyone, to be loved.

See there comes this moment. There’s an even exchange. We lay it out. Your Garbage on the Table. My Garbage on the Table. We spread our arms out over the filth and pull back whatever it is that comes back. It’s a Perfect Friendship. Until something hits. Maybe you picked up too much Trash. Or maybe I did. We find ourselves carrying heavier and heavier bags. We got stuck under a Garbage shoot, I think. It starts pouring in, and we stand there and catch it. We clean it off. We give it back better than it was before. We give it back when the other most needs it. But we find that as we diligently maintain the Garbage of the other our own Filth piles up around us. We try to pawn it off on someone else, but that results in taking on their Filth too. Maybe they take ours, maybe they don’t. The Filth stacks up. It’s hard to maintain, but this is what we want to be doing. We’re called to carry each other’s Burdens, and it doesn’t seem fair to hand this back to someone. So we carry it. We almost pry sorting through the Trash. Digging beyond what we thought we’d have to. Taking on more. It hasn’t ever been that we don’t want to work with it. We simply thought it was a trade. Shit for Shit.

We find ourselves staying on top of the Pile. We aren’t consumed. We aren’t lost in it. Not in their Pile. Our own Pile is what drowns us. And it feels too heavy for anyone. We won’t let someone else carry it, because we don’t want them to feel the weight of our Pile. But at that Table, even if it isn’t being maintained, some of it was taken. And maybe some more of it should be let go.

Perhaps it’s easier, or somehow more comfortable, to hold on to the Trash of the past than to ever see it go. Or maybe the relationship has become skewed. Or maybe it’s just our perspective, under the Garbage.

Still, when it becomes one-sided, I feel myself with rumblings deep in me waiting to scream, “I want my Shit back!”

Adventure in the Power Hungry

“Welcome, Prince,” said Aslan. “Do you feel yourself sufficient to take up the Kingship of Narnia?”
“I – I don’t think I do, Sir,” said Caspian. “I am only a kid.”
“Good,” said Aslan. “If you had felt yourself sufficient, it would have been proof that you were not.”

Nothing makes me more nervous about those in power as those who desire to be in a place of power. I’d sooner trust a child than a man who believes he deserves to be in a place of authority.

Adventure in Technology Upgrade and Stewardship Downgrade

Now, I will never claim to be a good steward of just about anything. My old roommate will tell you I don’t recycle unless someone makes me. I went to a university I couldn’t afford. I like to just drive around some times, wasting gas and time and enlarging my carbon footprint. I’m a first-world resource-villain. So don’t think my hypocrisy is lost on me. Oh, I know I’m a hypocrite. I do I know it. That being said, on with the hypocrisy!

In 2005 I graduated from a Christian high school. A private Christian high school devoid of government funding. My parents paid an unseemingly amount of money for my brother and I to attend this school from Kindergarten straight on through graduation. I learned today that that same high school has a new “Technology Initiative.” (It’s also a place notorious for naming things in a way that makes it sound more pretentious and snooty than it already is.) Actually, I was told today that every student in the high school gets a Macbook. I wanted to make sure this was true before I went bananas. Turns out it is and from the school’s website I learned all about the “Technology Initiative.” Oh did I learn.

Ok, before I go bonkers, let me say this. I get it. Technology is important. I understand that. My job is based off the internet. Without the internet I’d be jobless, or miserable in a job. I know that times are a-changin’. I know that students as much as anyone else need to be capable for all facets of life as they leave the place that trains them for said life. I get that. Ready? Let us begin!

Now according to the website the “strategic planning committee” (bearing in mind this is a small school) consider two things in making their technological advancement plan. The traits they wanted to nurture in their students and the learning environment they best believe they can foster those attributes. They decided technology enhances a learning environment and accelerates learning “when leveraged appropriately.” Okay, here’s where my brain first starts to break it down. “When leveraged appropriately,” that’s a direct quote. It also feels like a throw-away. “This is something we must include so people don’t tear it apart.” But that’s the thing isn’t it? That technology is a fickle mistress. She does offer a beautiful advancement in our ability to process information and receive information and output information. Papers move more quickly. But only if very appropriately leveraged. It seems to be though there’s that thin line where the school, which I value so highly for its student/teacher interaction, cuts a cord there. Technology has already done a number on the interpersonal relationship as a whole. The instant it further invades a classroom there becomes a disconnect between student and teacher. If not “leveraged appropriately.”

“This decision moves technology outside the computer labs into the classroom and beyond schools walls – and connects in-school instruction with out-of-school life experience and student-driven learning.” In perfectly harnessed theory. I’m a fidgeter. A computer in front of me in the classroom in college had me clacking on keys when I wasn’t even writing anything. Tangent surfing. “What’s that, Krull? You referenced a science fiction theory that no one else understood? I don’t know what you’re philosophically discussing, but time travel is fascinating and now I’m reading about worm holes on Wikipedia!” And suddenly class is over. I trust the faculty of the school to be more careful with their use than that, not that Krull wasn’t. I’m just irresponsible. I focus better when I’m without distraction or if my left and right brain can be working simultaneously. There is value in being able to take everything you were looking at in the classroom directly home with you. I don’t for a moment deny that. There are just so many thin, thin lines.

Desired Student / Graduate Traits (as put forth by the school website)

  1. Christian Character: prayerful abiding in Christ, commitment to Scripture, healthy community with other believers, missional serving, and active disciple-making (In my time until one very specific teacher arrived these were tragically things we still ended up teaching ourselves. As far as my understanding of the Christian faith, I’d call myself at best a biblical scholar. Not because I’m notably intelligent in the subject, but because that was the focus. I can rattle off various verses, which yes, has its merits. I can name all of Joseph’s brothers. I can dominate in “sword races,” but the thing I didn’t really get taught or pushed towards until my junior and senior years was any sort of application. At best the “Christian Character” I developed was a fear of being broken in front of other Christians. I actually became a very good liar. I learned how to hide any imperfection, because it’s upsetting and it showcases a lack of spiritual growth. Which is, ya know, incorrect)
  2. Core Academic Competencies: academic excellence in core subjects (check)
  3. Critical Thinking: broad in-depth analysis to make decisions and communicate clearly and accurately. [purposeful reflective judgment concerning what to believe or do] (For the most part I accept that this happens. Enough as can be expected from high schoolers)
  4. Collaboration: highly cooperative and highly assertive dialogue to find a better way together (I’m not entirely sure what that means. A better way of doing all things? I personally recall no opportunity for cooperation and dialogue with the faculty and staff unless it was pursued, outside of academics. I met with a former principal on several occasions about improving the English department because I felt jipped. We talked about it about once a month until finally he said “you know you’re the only one who even cares about this right?” At which point is that collaboration?)
  5. Communication: skilled in understanding and delivering oral, written, and nonverbal communication with a variety of audiences (Now, my fellow classmates better than a lot of other people I met at college have an understanding of grammar and syntax, but on the whole we were still dopes. I only became relatively capable as a communicator because of my own desire to learn more)
  6. Creative Problem Solving: the mental process of creating a solution to a problem (nothing quite says creativity like “google it”)
  7. Growth Mindset: a learner committed to developing his God-given potential over a life-time through personal effort and collaboration with other learners   (Which we can have more access to through technology, but at some point it has to stop and we have to step away from our computers and have audible and practical dialogue with people. Moreover people that know us, who can appropriately challenge us and that can get so easily muddled outside of person-to-person interaction.)

The learning environment is then broken down and finally called to technological enhancement. I’m for it. Sitting back unwilling to change with the times is foolish. There’s just this cautionary voice in my heart crying “what is your god?” Technology is cool! It’s necessary. It’s also distracting and while it can bring people together it can also draw a distinct line between the haves and the have-nots. At what point can it affect our witness? At what point does it detract from the face-to-face? How far do we take it before it keeps us away from other people? I understand that there is literally a world of knowledge on the internet available on really any subject you can imagine. But don’t we lose that beautiful moment of searching through the library for that book or article? Interacting with other researchers and learners pining to know more? And maybe this has only ever happened to me, but many of the times I’ve been to the library to learn about a subject I end up talking to someone in the same section who gives me even more information and more things to look at to further my research. And yes, google can offer that, but there’s nothing personal about that. It’s one more degree of separation from any sort of human contact, which takes us out of Kingdom living.

Which brings us to:

Technology Criteria

Technology: a Learner’s Tool vs. curriculum or an end-in-itself

  1. Environment: enhances the school learning environment and desired student traits (enhances. I’m praying that’s exactly what that means. That it is not by any stretch of the imagination a crutch or even a daily use situation)
  2. Safety: internet content filtering and anti-virus (duh thanks)
  3. Cost: cost effective – initial and long-term (Which I understand this is the inevitable Apple related decision. But this is the one that gets me. I’m a 20-something. I want a mac. I’m no dope. I also will likely never be able to afford one. And anytime I talk to a mac user who gives me a break down of all the benefits it still comes down to a simple question “what are you using it for?” Because there’s still an element of the mac that makes it great for art. For film, music, but if it’s just being used for academia I can’t imagine a world in which it is the single-greatest financial decision, especially on such a grand scale, to be making. If the computers are for paper writing, for research, for presentations. These computers still end up with Microsoft Office on them and limited internet use. How then does an Apple become the better financial choice when buying for 240 students? It feels like something that should be eased into. Not a grand purchase all at once. When there’s hardly money for any sort of art. When the home ec department ceases to exist. When skills that are important to students who might choose to pursue a life that is less than academic. I’ll break this down more later.)
  4. Functionality: access and create educationally rich content – internet and software
  5. Integration: complements existing technology – network, SmartBoards, etc.
  6. Usability: easy to use, requires little training for teachers and students
  7. Durability: quality construction and requiring few repairs
  8. Support: has low IT staff to computer ratio – easy to support and update
  9. Longevity: sustainable and expandable over time – not soon obsolete

 

Technology Tools Considered: Apple: MacBook and iPad  PC: NetBook and PC Laptop

Selected Tool: MacBook Laptopdetermined to be the superior tool to support our learning environment. Its over-all superior rating out-weighs cost. We see a potential future role for iPad use for both the lower elementary grade levels and to support our 1-to-1 MacBook Initiative. 

And the name changes to “MacBook Initiative.” Here’s the thing, technology, there are people out there, people who go to that school, who went to that school, who will hardly ever use it. Tragically some students will not be as intelligent as others. I will never be as smart as Tim Keaton. I accepted that in first grade. Some girls will go to cosmetology school. Some guys will become mechanics. Not because they aren’t capable of other things, but because that’s what they want to do. Some girls will want to stay at home and just be moms. There are life skills the school is cutting for the “MacBook Initiative.” I’ve used my knowledge of sewing probably 10 times more than I’ve used my knowledge of algebra. And I like algebra! I make myself food every day. That’s a skill I learned in school. Those are things they aren’t teaching anymore.

It seems like it would be a better or more cost-effective initiative if it were a gradual integration. I understand the desire to get the computers in the hands of the students as quickly as possible, but like universal health care some times that can’t happen overnight. Some times you have to give them to the seniors first. Then the next year the juniors and the seniors, without the “need” to cut anything else. It feels irresponsible. I’m all for the implementation of computers into the classroom to a degree, but at what cost? Financially? Academically? Interpersonally?

There will be further research done on my part to learn the extent of the use and things like that. I may even use the internet some more.

Adventure in Pride Goeth Away in the Fall

Autumn is my favorite season. Hands down. That’s true of almost everyone I know, though, with some combination of Summer and Spring in there at second place. Me? Winter kicks it at second place. When everything about the World seems dead on the outside. We look at the World and perceive the Cold from the warmth of our homes. Winter really though is just honest living. It’s life showcasing its Death and Brokenness. Winter is the world saying, “Here I am. This is what I look like without any show. This is me. This is all I have. I’m naked branches. I’m hard ground. I’m brown grass. I’m still, matte water. What you’re seeing is exactly who I am, but I’m going to keep trying and keep living.” How is Winter anything other than beautiful and honest?

Right now, though, I’m Autumn. I’m making a colorful show of my Pain and Failings and the tiny things that make me Me. The tiny things that make feel like I haven’t failed completely. Not yet. But as Autumn rolls in every year it’s only a matter of time before the Winds of Life come in and shake my Leaves from me leaving me cold and bare to the World. It’s a real knock to my already shaky Pride. The funny thing is that it does happen in a semi-seasonal pattern. My Pride takes a hit every year around the same time. Mid-Autumn sets in, and my Heart wanders. I find myself distracted from Life’s greater Purposes and get wrapped up in Pettiness and Pride.

As to my Pride, I’ve a funny sense of it. I present a comedic Pride. A sort of this-is-me-saying-how-awesome-I-am-for-a-laugh-knowing-full-well-I-don’t-remotely-believe-that-and-I-can-see-you-don’t-either Pride. While the rest of my actual Pride looks a lot more like me doing the best I can just to keep myself together. A silly goal. That’s not my job. I’m not meant to hold the World together. That’s a job for Christ made possible through his blood. As Life’s struggles pull at me and tear away any sense of self I have, Christ’s blood pours into the cracks and reminds me that Darkness is not my identity. In fact, the Darkness that I so often let define me is the very thing I should be running from. Christ has given us a beautiful opportunity to step into the Light, naked as Winter.

Adventure in Schmidiots

Now maybe it’s because I grew up in Indiana. Maybe it’s because there was a cornfield less than a block from our house. Maybe it’s because I went to college. Maybe it’s because I still live in Indiana. Maybe it’s because I fear getting slapped with a fine. Maybe I’m smarter than I think. Whatever the summarized version I can honestly say I wouldn’t call the police to get out of a corn maze.

http://www.mail.com/video/topvideos/759320-family-lost-corn-maze-calls-911.html#.23140-stage-hero1-10

Now, I might yell for help. I might retrace my steps. I might push my way through the corn. I might keep trying. I might break down and cry, which I did once in a hay maze. But I was 8 and it was enclosed, and I still got out. (Curse you, Hilgers!) I might…no. I’d just push my way through the corn. This is not okay.

What’s worse is that the police didn’t suggest they yell for help. They didn’t suggest they walk through the corn. No. The police drove out to the corn maze to help.

I hate every day.

Adventure in Shutting My Damn Mouth

Time is the enemy of comfort.

In recent months, proximally speaking, I have become a very solitary woman. Some days I don’t remotely hate it. I’ve always enjoyed my space, time in my head and imagination. But you can ask my mom and she’ll tell you that I used to talked to anyone and everyone. At the grocery, in line at Cedar Point, didn’t matter. For me now that is the audible, but unspoken, plea for kindred. The constant pursuit of Anne Shirley’s so-called bosom friend, a kindred spirit.

On the whole I’m closer than I’ve ever been, but something has this tendency to get in the way. Outside of the constantly changing lives of 20-somethings. It’s my damn mouth.

If there is one thing I’m not good at doing, it is controlling my refusal of bullshit. I won’t have it. Well, no. That’s not entirely true. I won’t accept it in the lives of others. I won’t let it affect people I love. I take it from people a lot. Often. Regularly. But every so often I snap. I let my passive-aggression spew from my mouth and fingers into the lives of people I care about.

As soon as I do, something awful sets in. Guilt, the shittiest of dance partners. I stew. I apologize and apologize, even in cases where maybe I shouldn’t. To a degree I think the amount of times I apologize a day is not an expression of my wrong-doing, but an apology for my existence. For which I apologize to myself, God and my parents. I’m here for a reason, for which there is no cause to apologize.

Comfort is the enemy of change.

Now as time pulls us apart or draws people together change swells and comfort becomes subtly more and more uncomfortable. Things that were exactly the strength you needed in brokenness are an overwhelming awkwardness. A fumbling attempt to remain the same when nothing is as it was.

Where once beauty came from the truth of brokenness something grumbly rests. Something stirs my confidence, and I retreat back into the person I grew so far from. But that’s my pride. That’s my fear of being someone I’m not proud of. Someone’s whose focus is a little more than lacking. At 24 I wonder when I’ll truly change. And as my life spins around me, as my friends grow closer together in new ways, as I grow further from home comfort shifts. Solitude becomes not something I thrive on nor something I fear. It becomes normalcy, which scares me the most.

Adventure in the Lies We’re Fed

“God has made someone special just for you.”
“Everyone has a soulmate.”
“Just wait for the One.”

THE CUSS DOES THAT MEAN?

I blame many things. I won’t buy into the lie. I don’t think God’s ever said he’s making one person for us. Granted there are some cases in the Bible that show God telling people to marry very specific people. So where does it come from? Where do Christian girls get this idea? I’d rather have someone tell me to just keep my legs together than lie to me. Now I get that this all makes me sound very cold and jaded. As it is, I’m not. I feel surprisingly not cold. I just don’t buy that there’s one person for every person. I know too many wonderful people in the world, some of the strongest people I know, who have been single their entire lives. They aren’t 20-somethings either. They’re 80-somethings and 50-somethings and all sorts of ages. It’s a failure to keep our focus. It’s the belief that we deserve more than God is giving us. It’s taking our eyes off of Christ and the Kingdom that let us believe that we deserve to have one person made just for us. When really the “best” person for each person is the one that makes you better use to the Kingdom as a pair.

Until that day comes I’ll blame Dawson’s Creek.

And when that’s done, if we stop and think about soulmates we can understand that it doesn’t have to mean someone we’re destined to marry. Destiny. Blergh. So let’s look at a different Dawson’s Creek point, as I will continue to blame it. And Disney.

Because it’s nonsense. I’ve seen 30 Rock. There aren’t many princes left. So it’s just ridiculous. And from what I understand most princes are asses. I’m good with a peasant.

Because I’m not a princess. I’m kind of a bitch, but I’m not a princess. So let’s just get that crap out of here. K?

Dawson, Joey, Pacey, Snow, Disney, quit it. And teenage and 20-something Christian girls, refocus. Please, for your heart’s sake.

Adventure in the love vs. need of money

Huntington offered me a great big pile of peace financially speaking. My loans being my heaviest financial burden, which could be easily repaid. I tell you what, it’s not that easy away from Huntington. My rent is about three times the value of my monthly loan payments, which I have not made in months. Were I in Huntington making what I am making now I’d be living quite the cozy life. At present, however, I’m living paycheck to paycheck, and that’s barely doing the trick.

So my American brain says, “find more job. find more money,” which is, first of all, illogical. Hey brain, let’s think. Why not spend less money? Granted I’d be in about the same spot.

It always brings me back to this same spot though. Teaching English overseas. East Asia is more willing to pay people healthsome amounts of dollars, or yen really, to teach professionals, students or just about anyone how to speak English. Which, great news! I speak that! I studied that. I’m an Englishing machine, but then I come to a point of financial and spiritual responsibility. Do I jump on the nearly $50,000 I could be making and banking for some physical and financial comfort at the risk of abandoning everything I know and love? Do I sacrifice and take the hit to do what I know I can for no money a la the mission field?

My brain reasons the latter to be irresponsible. It says asking other people to foot my bills when I’m fully capable is shady, especially when my bills are stacking up, and totally invading my baking space. Is it more responsible to make the money and pay things off hastily? What is responsibility? What is it that really draws me to the idea of teaching overseas?

In part, I’m sure it’s fear. If I run then I can’t be held responsible for things back here. If I leave there’s no one to keep me accountable, but then logic sets in again. And that fear of responsibility is overcome by the fear of no responsibility. If I run from something I know is safe, if not easy, then I’m on my own.

Moving has been a challenge, and it’s a challenge because I’m not really gone. I’m an hour and a half away from anyone I’d need. I reason with myself that it might actually be easier to move away if it were impossible to come back. But it’s not impossible. In fact, it’s impossible to stay away because I had finally found a community. And now, blergh city. So do I take the leap and run? Or do I suck it up and stay?

Then raises the question, am I mentally and emotionally stable enough for either? Answer no.

Adventure in acceptance, personal and social

As a child I did not go to pre-school. I’m not even a little bit upset that my parents decided it would be better for me to spend more time with them than “learning” my colors. It did offer a small challenge that I still face today. Acceptance. I was quite keen on spending time with the kids in the neighborhood, which for quite an extended period of time were exclusively male. I spent that time in the shadow of my older brother, who for those of you keeping records, will always be cooler than I. As a 6-year-old girl there’s nothing cool about you to your 9-year-old brother. That’s just a fact. And let me tell you that as a 13-year-old girl there’s even less coolness to be noted by your 16-year-old brother.

To say I struggle with acceptance is an under statement. I pine to be a “cool kid,” but not enough to put any sort of effort into it. In my head the freak that I was categorized as in high school, is the cool kid I want to be. I’ve never been partial to being like everyone else, and yet I wanted everyone else to like me. I still do. In my pursuit of acceptance from other people I find myself torn into a jealous fit when it comes to people who force the acceptance of others upon them. The people who must always inform you every time they spend time with the people you want to know better. Or worse when they tout their growing relationships with your friends, in a way of making you feel edged out. It’s really a very juvenile look at acceptance, this need to make the relationships of others feel inferior to what you are capable of.

I have a complicated relationship with my grandmother, to put it mildly. Between her constant praise of my brother to me and her constant berating of my life’s choices I’ve never felt good enough. And often it feels like she sees to that. It’s as if she works to ensure I feel that useless. Her words began coming to me at a very sensitive developmental time, and they have stuck with me. In part because they continue to come from her, but also because there are just some things you shouldn’t tell anyone, let alone a 13-year-old girl. So while part of me wants to seek the approval of my grandmother, the very rebellious part of me wants to ensure I never get that approval. It does put me in a real bind though, because while I know I’ll never get her approval her words have also guaranteed I will never get my own.

While I constantly pursue the acceptance of others, I know I will never truly find that until I accept myself as I am. And then I find that all of that is made more irrelevant when I remember that the only acceptance I should need is Christ’s. My heart is constantly screaming “His grace is enough!!” at my brain, but my brain’s a real bitch. She never listens. And if I can’t get my brain to accept my heart how do I get my heart to accept me? How do I get my heart and brain to accept Christ’s acceptance? How do I get my brain to accept me? And how do I get over my juvenile plea to be loved and accepted by people I don’t even care about?