Frands.

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about friendship, a lot more than I ever have before.

In high school, friendship was easy. It’s easy to be friends when you see each other everyday, have the same mutual friends, live in the same town, participate in the same extra curricular events, etc.

In college, you have to really take the time to get to know people. Unfortunately, time is one thing you never seem to have enough of.

At this point, everyone has lived on this earth for 18+ years and are coming from across the country, sometimes even across the world. They’ve already experienced their fair share of ups and downs. Who they’re meant to be is already being molded and they have a pretty good idea of what they do/don’t want. I guess the point I’m trying to get at is that you really have to decide who you’re going to invest your time into.

Sounds kind of harsh, right? But it’s the truth. Friendship is beautiful because it’s light hearted and free. But it is also a gift from God that He expects us to invest in and take seriously. I’m going to quote C.S. Lewis again because he said it best:

“In friendship…we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting–any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends, “Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another.” The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

I don’t know about you, but I have the most beautiful friends. I love meeting new humans and seeing God’s beauty revealed in them. But my friends are also humans which means that I don’t always think that what they do is beautiful. I love this quote because it reminds me that they have been chosen for me. I have been chosen to be blessed by them; how lucky I am!. And for that I have to be grateful and loving.

I sometimes find it hard to let go of friendships. I reminisce on friendships I had in the past and become saddened. Sometimes I even feel guilty. Friends that vowed, “we’ll never lose touch,” did. Friends that said, “I’ll always be there for you,” weren’t. That scares me because at one point or another, I must have been that friend. That friend that promised to write every week and then didn’t, that promised to catch up over coffee every break and then didn’t.

I read a post by a blogger a while back that talked about being ‘friends for a season’. At first I thought it was kind of tragic. I value my friendships and I certainly don’t want to lose touch with my beautiful people. But then as I look back over my life I realize that it’s reality. I am learning that God gives us exactly what we need when we need it. Sometimes that’s a friend that must come and go. That’s okay, that’s beautiful too.

I’ve been thinking about how I want to be willing to pour into friendships while I have the time to do so. Because what if we aren’t meant to be forever friends, what if we’re friends for just a season? And then what if we are forever friends, how deep our friendship will be!

I guess the point that I’m trying to make here is that whether you’re friends for ever or just friends forever until tomorrow, I think it’s pretty wise to give it all you’ve got and ask God what that might be.

Isn’t it comforting to know that we’re always right where we need to be?

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Expectations

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I talk a good talk about how I think people ought to conduct themselves. I have firm convictions about what I think is right and wrong. I have expectations for myself and others that I believe should be met…until I have to make a decision.

When it comes right down to it, when people are looking to me for an answer, when I have to decide how I really feel, I falter. All of my principles go out the window. Everything that I use to organize my life crumbles and I’m thrown into the depths of chaos.

I’m weak. I collapse under the weight of my own and others expectations.

And most unfortunately, I pull people into that chaotic place with me. I avoid the hard things. I talk and talk until I can’t anymore and rapidly drive my train of thought right onto the ice where I’m bound to sink.

I want to do the easy thing. I want to do the thing that hurts people, and eventually myself.

Yes, you read that correctly. I’d like to say that I’m not in the business of hurting people that I care about but I am. I do it all the time. And yes I know that being a human means that we mess up. We hurt people. People hurt us. It’s all part of life.

But when it’s your fault that someone else is disappointed, hurt, angry…fill in the blank, it sucks. And it hurts you too.

So what do we do? I’m still trying to figure this one out.

I know I’ve written a blog post similar to this before which just goes to show that I have a lot to work on in this area.

So far all I know is that it’s important to be honest. Honest with yourself about realistic expectations. And honest with other people about whether or not you are going to be able to meet their expectations. This is key to any successful relationship. It can be hard to be honest. Sometimes even honesty can hurt. But in the end I think it’s better to have been the person that confidently declared their thoughts while they still knew them than passively allowing the situation/relationship to progress and allowing confusion to set in for all parties involved.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I wish there wasn’t so much ambiguity in our world. I wish that I wasn’t so scared of my actions and feelings affecting others. I wish I was stronger. I wish I could never hurt another human heart.

I’ve got some work to do. But I have learned this much thus far. Unfortunately, my track record suggests that I may have another post like this in my future. I’ll try to keep working on this and sharing what little wisdom I have.

If anyone has any advice to offer me here, that would be cool.

Why I want to be a teacher.

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I have spent 14 of the last 48 hours with 13, 7-8 year olds. For some people, the idea of that makes them want to pull out their hairs one by one. But it makes me smile from ear to ear. 🙂

I feel so blessed in my life to feel so certain of my calling. I’m still working out the kinks but teaching is definitely in my future. Every time I do a field experience it confirms what I already know and inspires me more to pursue my dream.

I do love children. They make my day every day that I get to spend with them. They say the most hilarious things, have the most compassionate hearts, are anxious to learn, eager to please, and are excitedly energetic about everything. And call me a sap if you want, but they always have that little gleam in their eyes. The sign of innocence and wonder. I adore it. They make it so easy to love them.

Teaching is so much more than a calling to love children because, let’s be honest, just about anyone can do that. But, as it is with life, there are always going to be those students that aren’t as easy to love. This is where even the best teachers may fail. Students fall through the cracks and get pushed aside.

I think that the calling of a teacher is to love her students. As we know, loving someone means having “a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.” (another C.S. Lewis quote) But really, loving someone is a practice that takes dedication and prayerful meditation. That is a tough thing to do when you come across someone that just really rubs you the wrong way. Or when you have a student that prevents you from getting through even half of your lesson. Or who distracts and antagonizes everyone around him so that they can’t get any work done…

Anyway, I’m so pumped to be a teacher because I believe in education and it’s ability to help students reach their full potential. I believe in the impact that one caring adult can have in a child’s life. I believe in the innocent and precious faces of my students.

I can’t wait to be a part of their learning!

Tell me what you want.

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So, in case you haven’t noticed, I quote C.S. Lewis like it’s my job. I’m not sorry because that guy was a freaking genius. Had I been alive during his time I would’ve married him. His intellect would have been intimidating and his faith would have put mine to shame but wow, just imagine listening to him talk every day in real life.

I love that man. I think that if anyone knew what love was in this world it was him. The way he spoke of his wife was inspiring. His love for her was so evidently passionate but also practical. When Joy passed away, the way he described his grief was so depressing and heavy. It literally breaks my heart to read it:

“Her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”

“…But her voice is still vivid. The remembered voice- that can turn me at any moment into a whimpering child.”

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

You get the point. He loved her so deeply. I want that! I want to be loved that deeply and passionately by someone. I want to love someone like that. I thought I did once. But that love wasn’t perfect. So now I’m searching/waiting for someone that I can strive for the kind of perfect love that the Bible mentions in 1 John 4:18 (“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”)

But wow, when I think about being in love, I know how awesome that is. And it makes me want it so much again. It’s exciting, it makes you glow, walk on air, laugh at nothing and everything at the same time, gives you heart palpitations, makes you feel like singing, makes you smile for no reason, makes you want to get pretty on a Saturday morning just because you feel like it… That’s cool stuff.

Then I read a quote by C.S. Lewis and I realize how satisfying it might be to have the kind of love he had with Joy. According to this quote, their love was practical. It was real. It was a true unity that was reliable and quietly sustainable. I would love to find a wonderful Christian man to marry who could lead me in modeling Christ’s love to the world. Someone who would cherish me. Cherish me when I’m there, when I’m gone, always. Someone who could guide me and encourage me.

I just sometimes wonder where that guy is and how long I’m going to have to wait for him. Unfortunately, single Christians have this struggle because we have high standards for our mates. We have expectations that need to be met. Sometimes I worry that I want too much. Or that I want to wrong thing.

I have this fear that having a healthy Christian relationship with someone could be well…boring. I’m a hopelessly romantic idealist when it comes to love and all of the restraint required…all of the work involved. Not so romantic. Not so exciting. Not really what floats my boat…

But what I want now and what I used to want are becoming very different things. What C.S. Lewis describes sounds pretty good to me. He was an admirable Christian man who had about as much passion as I like to think that I have. I’ll take it.

Now…here’s hoping he’s out there.

God’s Will vs. My Will… The battle continues

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“But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to?”

That right there^^ Yea, I feel that.

Sometimes I feel like I am in a constant battle. A battle where I tell God my desires and He takes them under consideration and says, “Okay Sarah, but what about this instead?” So I sigh and say, “Alrighty then God, if that’s what you say.”

But gee, what kind of a Christian am I? Should it really be that big of a deal for me to spend an extra hour talking to a friend when I know I should be studying? Should it really be that big of a deal for me to give a little extra money to a needy cause? Should it really be that big of a deal for me to give up 7 weeks of my summer to an organization that needs teachers? I say no! That’s not a big deal. That’s called sacrifice. And it’s not anywhere near what my Savior did for me. And it’s basically the bare minimum of what I should be doing.

BUT sometimes I just don’t want to have to do the right thing. I don’t want to have to tell the boy no- I like his attention. I don’t want to listen to my parents. I don’t want to have to have it together all the time. I don’t always want to dress and act like I should- I want to go out and party and make mistakes and ‘live’. I don’t want to have to be smart about how I spend my money- I want to splurge.

Okay, there is a point to my whining here so bear with me. God is working in me. I know that because of how confused I feel. I know it because sometimes it hurts. But there are moments when I catch a small small glimpse of what He’s doing in my life and wow- it’s going to be pretty beautiful from the looks of it.

I guess the point of this post was to let you know that you don’t have to be perfect to be a Christian or to be a follower of Jesus. His disciples weren’t the most upstanding. They were slow learners, selfish, inattentive and doubtful. Those adjectives all describe me. I know a lot of people who could attest to being the same way. But God doesn’t need a whole lot to work with. Give Him a little faith and He’ll take care of the rest.

I guess we can expect it to hurt because sometimes the Truth does that. And I guess we can expect to be confused because God’s ways are much too high for us to even comprehend. Kind of like how I feel when I look at Algebra x 5,000.

If you feel like you’re struggling to live your faith daily, to rid yourself of doubt, to comprehend God’s will for you, to be unselfish in your desires and actions… You’re not alone. You’re among friends.