Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Thought of the day...

"Perhaps we fear our dreams’ fulfillment more than this longing interminable because we sense the problem is not in our circumstances, but restlessness." -Anna Broadway

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Did I grow up according to your plan?

I've been thinking more about my last post, about being a product of what we were taught when we were young, this time in regards to the situation with my parents and their dissapproval of my interning at The Embassy next year.

My whole life, from when I was born until I was old enough to drive myself, I went to church with my family every Sunday. When I got into high school I told my parents that I didn't want to go any more, but that wasn't an option. For some reason, instead of sulking about it, I decided to make the most of the situation and I joined the churches youth group. Eventually I switched to the youth group at Forest Brook because thats where my friends went, and I began exploring the faith, and came to actually believe in what I was being taught and invested my heart in the church. By making me go to church every week my parents instilled in me that church is something of value, and it became something of value to me.

While my brothers and I were growing up my mom didn't work. Other than being busy taking care of us she volunteered at our school, she was probably there three or four days a week, working in each of our classrooms, running bookfairs, organizing lunch days, etc. Instead of taking a part time job while we were at school and adding to the family income she spent her time volunteering, because volunteering a valuable way to spend your time, and it taught me that volunteering is a valuable way to spend my time.

However, when I combined these values together and decided to spend next year volunteering at The Embassy, my parents were somehow surprised and dissappointed by my decision. But given the way I was raised, what exactly did they think was going to happen???

Friday, May 12, 2006

"Welcome to the real world" she said to me, condescendingly, "take a seat" ...

I think I may have a problem with authority, this was brought to my attention this morning by someone I work under (oops), and the more I thought about it, the more I'm not surprised. A lot of things we are taught when we are young show up in our actions when we grow up, and for some reason people are often surprised by this.
Take my problem with authority for example. When I was in elementary school I was identified as a gifted student. Most of the special funding in schools goes to helping kids who have intellectual disabilities, or just trouble keeping up, and the teacher is busy with the 20 or so kids who are working at the grade level, leaving those of us who are ahead of the curve to fend for ourselves (especially since I went to a Catholic school where they don't believe in skipping grades). For me this meant a lot of independent work, and I mean A LOT. The teacher would give us a project (usually with alot of wiggle room for us to take it in a direction that interested us) send us to the library, maybe check in with us a few times, and then talk to us again when it was done. We also had some enrichment classes which taught us alot about critical thinking and problem solving. So basically there was a lot of freedom and a lot of self direction, you want to take the project in a different direction? Sure! You want to leave class and go work in the library? Sure! You want to help the librarian check out books for the kindergartens instead of doing class work? Sure! In high school I was in a lot of enriched classes which gave us similar freedom and I was also given leadership training galore.
So what is the result of all this? I like to be in charge of myself of course! What did you think would happen?! If you put me in charge of a project but still try to micromanage and get it done your way instead of just letting go, I'm not going to be really receptive to your ideas, I'm used to doing things on my own in my own way. And if you make a suggestion and I see a major flaw in it, I'm not just going to smile and nod, I'm going to point it out and suggest an alternative because I've been taught to analyze and problem solve.

I see similar issues happening in society as a whole. I've read various media reports saying that our generation is unmotivated and has no work ethic... to that I say, what did you expect?? We were told that if we worked hard at school and went to University the world would be our oyster. We watched our parents be miserable with jobs they didn't enjoy, so they put even more pressure on us to go to University so that we wouldn't end up like them. So here we are, with our degrees, expecting a job to fall in to our lap. But guess what? Its alot harder than everyone said it would be! The baby boomers haven't retired yet so we are stuck in menial jobs and have little to no authority (and I'm sure I'm not the only one with authority issues). We jump around between jobs and companies looking for something that will pay us well and make us happy, because that's what we were promised.

It's a funny paradox, the generation that worked so hard to empower us are now frustrated when we exert that power.
How do we bridge this gap?


Father God,
Forgive me my pride, my arrogence, my resentment. Change this heart in me, make me aware of my feelings and actions. I am too weak and sinful to change on my own but I pray that Your holy spirit would fill me and give me Your heart, Your character. Lord you came as a humble servant, help me to serve those around me with love and humility.

Oh kneel me down again,
here at Your feet
Show me how much You love humility
Oh Spirit be the star that leads me to
The humble heart of love I see in You

You are the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
You wash the feet of the weary
Embrace the ones in need
I want to be like You, Jesus
To have this heart in me
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King


Tuesday, May 9, 2006

All the mundane has brought out the rebel I was born to be...

1. To refuse allegiance to and oppose by force an established government or ruling authority.
2. To resist or defy an authority or a generally accepted convention.
3. To feel or express strong unwillingness or repugnance

I never thought that choosing to intern at The Embassy next year would turn out to be a rebellious act, but it has. I mean, spending a year volunteering at a church, seems like a pretty goody-two-shoes move, but people around me seem to see it as defiant and crazy. Some, like my Dad who is slightly enraged by my irresponsibility, show disapproval which threatens my belief that I'm making the right choice, while others, like my capitalism-loving friend who cannot comprehend the idea of not making money next year, genuinly don't understand and their questions challenge me and force me to re-examine my decision... but whether they are respectful or crushing, it is still a lack of support.

But that's only half the story... on the other hand I have amazing friends who listened to me work through all my options, prayed for me and encouraged me, told me what they saw in me and where they thought I would be happy, sent emails telling me that they were proud of me or checking how I was doing, and supported me every step of the way. I know that God is working through these people, watching out for me and lifting me up when the negative voices start to get louder than the loving ones... Thank you.

Monday, May 8, 2006

Love is in the air....

Candlelit night in Waterloo park
A gazebo filled with candles and tulips
Two of my best friends promise to love each other forever
Congratulations Innis and Curtis
Love you both
I know this is the beginning of an amazing adventure