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You’re Brave Too

There is this trend among the twitter-sphere of creating really amazing 140 character thoughts about living life to its fullest. About how if something you’re doing isn’t scary then it’s not brave or valuable. If you hate your job, then you AREN’T LIVING. FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS, every single human.

I like the thought that there’s something better than the 9-5. If I walked out of my job today it would be scary, but it would, quite honestly, only affect me.

Well…me and my parents, when I would inevitably have to move back in with them. Hashtag YOLO.

Point is, if I had some big dream, I could easily attempt to follow it.

The 140 character sentences encourage so many to get up and fight, to leave jobs, and pursue dreams. Many of the people who heed the advice will have their lives changed for the better and THAT’S fantastic.

But there are so many more people who get up and go to their jobs each day- jobs they don’t love, because that’s what the next thing to do is. Because that’s what bravery looks like for them.

My parents felt very strongly about putting my brother and me in a private, Christian school. This isn’t the way everyone needs to go, but for them it was incredibly important. So they got up each day and worked. They BOTH worked 40-60 hours a week. There was always just enough money. Rarely more than enough. They came to our sporting events when they could, and we were fine with it. They always seemed to be there for the ones that really mattered. They did what worked for their family.

The people that take giant leaps of faith are brave, but so are the ones who work countless hours for their families.  The men and women who don’t leave their 9-5 job even though they want to. They don’t leave because the bravest thing they can do that day is to stay.

It is ok to be THAT person. It’s OK NOT to walk out of your job today with a big ol’ middle finger to the boss. Your work and your life is still so, so important. It’s also OK to be the person who takes the leap of faith.

If it’s not scary, that doesn’t mean you aren’t living. Nor does scary always mean it’s what you should be doing.

You are not required to fail between 1 and 53 times to make the work you do matter. Surprisingly, you don’t even have to fail once for it to be meaningful.

Taking the leap of faith is brave, but so is working a job that you don’t love with every fiber of your being. Supporting your family is brave. The way you choose to do this is up to you.

The world needs the dreamers and the adventurers, but it also needs the people who stay. The ones that keep our systems running, so the dreamers have the opportunity to even try. We are all just trying to figure out this thing called life. Do what works for you and your family.  That’s brave.

Dear Me…Us…We?

Dear 19 year old Cindy,

You like people a lot. And you like night-time sleeping very little. This means you are up all hours of the night NOT STUDYING, but talking to all of the people in your dorm. This also means you sleep for hours during the day. At 31 years old you will still not have figured out how to sleep at night, and you will always be tired during the day. Still worth it.

As for liking people, and wanting to help them. This will cause you to choose Psychology as your major. The day you receive your diploma you’re going to realize you don’t actually want to go into counseling. Today Cindy is here to say CHOOSE SOMETHING THAT WILL MAKE MONEY. You like computers. You’re good with them. Go that route. Learn something that will always be useful.

Thirty-One year old Cindy is very happy but she would have a lot more money if you would CHANGE YOUR FREAKING MAJOR.

I know there are a million dudes at your college. You are not going to get with them. Maybe because you spend all your daylight hours sleeping and watching Friends and Homestar Runner.

Also because Fear of Talking to Dudes + You = SINGLE FOR LIFE…or at least that seems like the formula? I’m still not great at math. ANYWAYS, 31 year old Cindy still has not found “the one”, so we will ALL HAVE TO WAIT and read that letter in a few years.

Would you like some more advice? Awesome.

1. Break some rules. Seriously. Not the big ones, because KNOW THYSELF. But, take some risks. Around your 30th birthday, you’re going to realize you’ve missed your window of opportunity for making bad choices. Past college, people’s level of grace for poor decision making decreases greatly. Also, you have the good fortune of being 19 pre “Everything Goes Viral”. You’ll understand that one circa 2004.

2. In a couple years you’re going to realize the world is full of some kind of crappy people who do kind of crappy things, sometimes in the name of Jesus. You are officially an adult, 19 year old Cindy. And while you still have a lot to learn, you aren’t dumb. You get to stand up for yourself and for others. When your challenging the way things are at your school/job is a threat to men who would prefer you not rock the boat, don’t back down. You’re not wrong. It is entirely possible for their systems to be flawed.

Lasatly, be kind to people. Don’t be a jerk, even when it’s the easy thing to do.

Sincerely,

31 year old you

P.S.- People are going to try and make you walk at your college graduation. They’re going to tell you that you’ll regret it if you don’t. Spoiler alert: You aren’t going to regret it.

Observations with Cindy

You know how sometimes married people lose that loving feeling? I know where they find it again.

They find it at weddings.

Maybe just for a moment, but they find it nonetheless.

It typically starts at the actual ceremony. You see the couples steal loving glances at each other during the vows.  I assume they’re gazing at one another thinking “I just love love so much!” or maybe “I remember when I just loved love so much.”

Then there’s the reception. One minute everyone’s having a good time, chatting and singing along to a catchy song. It’s an all play.  The next minute you turn to say something to your friend, but can’t because she’s GAZING LOVINGLY at her husband.  A quick glance around the room tells you that it’s happening.

Love. It’s in the air.

Couples probably don’t notice it, since they’re the source of it. But I see it.

No…I FEEL it.

So I sip my Baptist wedding tea, or we-knew-you’d-need-something-stronger-wedding wine, take a picture of the centerpiece, and pray to God the Cha Cha slide starts playing immediately.

I mean, it’s a PROVEN FACT that the Cha Cha slide is the only thing that can snap everyone out of this moment.

Happy New Year

At the end of each year I typically have some version of this super lighthearted thought.

“Yay, I made it through another year relatively unscathed!”

I don’t take for granted when I make it through to the other side of 365 days and my world hasn’t imploded.

A lot of people are going to go to bed as early as possible tonight- just to sleep off the rest of 2014. They’ll do so with the hope I believe many people secretly have, that tomorrow will bring newness.

I remember a year during college, where I reached the end exhausted. That’s the only word for it. It was a difficult year where I learned that the people who are supposed to be good often aren’t. That sometimes evil wins. That life can be really, really difficult.

There are years where the world is full of babies and healthy children while you lose yours. Where the world seems full of happy marriages while you are in the midst of divorce. Your neighbor won the friggin lottery, while you’re trying to keep the lights on. Job promotions and job losses.

Entire years where it feels like our loss is constantly mirrored with others gain.

If you’re one of the people who made it through 2014 relatively unscathed, be thankful. Then, look for the people who need some assistance. The people you may be able to help carry into 2015. They are there. Don’t use Social Media as a gauge when you’re looking for these people. Social media reflects very little of what’s actually happening in our friends’ worlds. Look for what they aren’t saying. Read between the lines.

And for the ones that are worn from 2014, you MADE IT THROUGH. Go to bed early if you want. A lot of people would rather be doing that anyways.

There are a lot of cliché sayings floating around about pain. I won’t offer those. But, in the months to come, if you need help, ask for it.

Low on faith? Search for it. As much as evangelicalism would have you believe that our doubts scare God. They do not. He can and will handle it. Ask your questions. He is well aware that this world is often an Es-H-Eye-Tee storm.

Happy New Year- Make it a good one, friends. For yourself, and for those around you.

There are a LOT of words on these here internets. People are sharing links to blogs, books, videos, articles, etc. all day long. There are word everywhere.

Seriously, whatever stats people used to quote regarding the amount of words we communicate on a daily basis have probably quadrupled since the invention of social media.  

After being a frequent reader of blogs for like 5 whole years and a Twitterer for 4 (which by the way makes a person an expert on these things), I’ve decoded certain phrases:

“Just the other day…”
I’m about to tell you a story about something that has happened in my lifetime. It could have been 5 years ago, 5 days ago, 5 minutes ago. In fact, it may not have even happened yet. 

“People always ask me…”
At some point in my life, someone has asked me or someone around me, a question that vaguely resembles this one. Sure, they may have been asking for directions to the nearest gas station, but when I tell the story, they were totally asking me to explain the meaning of life.  

“A good friend of mine wrote this life-changing book.”
Someone I know wrote this book, which I may or may not have read completely, but I’m going to ask you to read it anyway because they have mouths to feed and mortgages to pay. Also, I’m hoping if I get them enough sales, they’ll help me out when my book comes out in a few months. 

I write this list jokingly, but the point is that honesty is incredibly important.

People tend to believe what they read online, and they trust people quickly for whatever reason when it comes to what they write. Perhaps because it’s much harder to discern character over the internet. But, the fact is that as soon as someone gets even an inkling they are being tricked, they’ll jump ship.

Are the words you’re writing completely true? Could you defend them if you had to?

If the answers to either of those questions is “no”, then maybe we rethink hitting “send” or “publish”.

Dear Friend

Dear Friend,

Sometimes people from our past ask me if you and I are still friends. I say “Yes”, and try to act as if I don’t know what they really mean by this question.

I think they would like me to follow up my response with something along these lines:  

“Well, you know, I love the sinner…but of course I hate the sin.”

There was a time when I would have responded with that, but the older I get the sillier that response seems. As if it is MY job or my right to offer you or anyone else grace. Or to decide what areas it is you even need grace.

There are things I am sure are wrong. Murder. Human Trafficking. Child Abuse. Lying. Stealing.

Then there are things I won’t even pretend to know the answers on. I don’t presume to know who you are deep inside. Genetically, emotionally, spiritually. At the end of the day, that’s the most honest thing I can say. I just don’t know.

So I can only act on the things I DO know.

I do know that when a group begins to act as if a personal opinion gives them the right to hate, then that’s wrong.

When I act as if anyone needs me as their friend, to help them “see the light”, I’m wrong.

I do know you don’t need my friendship. I don’t need your friendship, but I like to believe that we will continue to choose this friendship. Because you are the same hilarious person I’ve known since we were kids. A person who cares about their friends and family deeply, and doesn’t take life too seriously.

I’m sorry that others tend to define you solely by your sexuality. For the moments early on, where I was so blindsided by that part of you, that I was no longer able to see you. A person, just like me.

I’m sorry that every time there’s a natural disaster or act of inhumanity, certain groups find ways to pin that on you. If we are to believe bad things happen as a result of human brokenness then I have to believe that God is angry about a whole lot more than you. His greatest commands were to love HIM and love OTHERS. I’m sure He has a lot of questions for His followers in those areas.

Most of all, I’m sorry the church has often made you feel as if God could not love you. This is the saddest part. I mean, a God who loves us unconditionally…having very human conditions placed on that love.

I don’t know how you even feel about God. I hope you know He loves you.

He loves you more than certain groups dislike you.

He loves you for the same exact reasons He loves me.

And as your friend I care today for the same reasons I cared when we were 14 years old.

Not in spite of the person you are, but because of the person you are.

Joy.

 This is what joy looks like.
 
When this kid watches a tv show or plays a game that he
really loves, his whole body sort of freaks out.
For example, Bubble Guppies.
The second you turn the show on for him he’s mesmerized.
As soon as the music starts, he can’t help but start dancing around.
Tenth time we’ve watched this episode? Doesn’t phase him one bit.
But the best part is that throughout the show he’ll periodically turn
and look around to make sure that everyone else in the room is
enjoying this moment as much as he is.
It’s difficult to explain, but his face lights up, and he does this
gasp/giggle/smile thing as if to say “Guys! This is the best day ever.”
It’s like he wants everyone else to understand how awesome life is.
Suddenly you’re willing to watch the episode for the 11th time
because of how freakin’ excited this kid is.
This is just a reminder:Today can be the “best day ever”.
Life really can be awesome.
Awesome really can be contagious.

There can be joy…
Even in the moments where life feels like one giant re-run.

Confusing Altar Calls

One thing I’m thrilled about in my adult life is that I don’t find myself in altar call situations as often as I once did. I can remember sitting in my seat at church camp, convocation, Sunday service, true love waits rallies, heart pounding because I was never sure if I was supposed to stay or go.

The altar call men were always strategic. They had lots of moves. Many a time I stood, only to then be riddled with doubt, “Wait, was I supposed to stand? Hm, it’s only boys standing. Oh, you know…he definitely just asked the boys to stand and commit to being good husbands one day. Yep…pardon me while I have a seat.”

Also, I’m sure I messed up a few of the salvation counts these speakers went back home with. My bad, guys.

There are some standard moves that I can recall: 

The “Speak in confusing sentences so people don’t really know what they’re coming forward for” move.

He just said come forward if you want to dedicate your life to Jesus. I already did that. Do I need to go again? He sure is yelling a lot, and I can’t really keep track of what he’s saying anymore. Hold up,’super Christian’ is going forward and the cute boy from our brother dorm is too. Ahem, right behind you guys.

The “If you aren’t saved come forward. If you hate babies, stay in your seat. If you love Jesus come forward.  If you love Satan, stay in your seat.” move.

Well, I certainly don’t hate babies and I do love Jesus. Hey guys, I’m already saved! I don’t hate babies though and Satan’s a jerk so I’m just gonna make my way to the front. 

The “Write your sins on a piece of paper and nail it to this cross we’ve placed at the front of the room” move.

It’s not that I’m knocking this little exercise, Mr. Speaker man who was “almost in the NFL”. It’s just that, if I walk up there someone is very likely going to hug me, or cry at me and I’m not really comfortable with that. Plus, me and a hammer in front of all these people? I should save us all that embarrassment. How about I just stay put, and me and Jesus will have a little chat here. In my comfy seat, that’s not at the front of the room.

Lest you think all my church related anxiety is gone. Altar call anxiety has since been replaced with communion anxiety. The church I attend does the “come forward in your own time” communion. You’re talking to a girl who had communion hand delivered to her for a long, long time. So, me, walking to the front of the room to grab communion all by myself? Anxiety city.

An Oath

There’s a chance that I will one day be married, and upon saying “I Do”, I will immediately have the desire to marry all of my single friends off.

It’s a sickness. Married people just can’t help themselves.

So, today I make a promise to you, friends of future, married me. A promise to never say the following things to you out loud. Perhaps I’ll think them, but I won’t say them. 

“You just need to put yourself out there.”
You don’t have a significant other? Clearly you must be staying home every night in your sweat pants, watching Friends re-runs and playing with your 5 cats.

“Don’t worry. It’ll happen in God’s timing”
Wait…are you supposed to put yourself out there, or are you supposed to just wait?

So. Confusing.

Actually, this one I might say to you…but it will NOT be accompanied by any of these other lovelies. Also,  I vow not to say it while you’re wallowing in a moment of “I’ll be alone forever” despair.

In that moment, I’ll just awkwardly pat your head and say whatever magic words will make you stop crying.

“Maybe you should try a new church”
You know, because all single men in the church are godly, wholesome, and exactly what they say they are...Right?

“Are you being too picky?”
Well, I did turn 3 men away today, but seriously, one was too tall,  one was too short and the third one? He smiled way too much.

Let’s be honest, some women could stand to be a bit more picky. 

That my friends, is my promise. My promise to you. I’m sure there are many more things that could be added to the list, but it’s a start right?

After the Election

Over the last few weeks, leading up to Tuesday evening, I would sum up my view of many Christians in one word.

Angry.

Angry Christians, fighting with each other, when we’re on the same team. Fighting with the world, whom we’re called to love. Fighting. Mad about gay marriage. Mad about abortion. Mad about Obama. Mad about Romney.

On Tuesday night, I realized that the anger, for a lot of people, is rooted in one more word: Fear. This was confirmed throughout the day Wednesday when I saw the things being posted online and heard the conversations of others in Starbucks. Statements made by good people caught up in the emotion.

I saw Christians being jerks. Making insensitive, general remarks about those who are on welfare. Christians, who have never gone without food or shelter, talking negatively about the poor.

Back to fear. Fear is something that is naturally a part of our lives. We live in uncertain times where horrible things happen all the time.To experience fear is unavoidable. But to take the fear, and turn it into anger isn’t beneficial to anyone….and it’s wrong.

If our country falls apart, the way people seem so concerned it will, it will not be because of one man. It will be a chaos resulting from the fact that our man-made, man-run government is flawed. A fall resulting from years and years of corruption.

I couldn’t bring myself to vote for either of the men. Mainly because our party system demands that we choose the person who we agree with on one or two issues, while disregarding our disagreement on many others. A sketchy candidate claims to be pro-life, and I’m expected to choose him. Expected to disregard many other things.

Back to anger. We don’t get to be rude because someone disagrees with us. We don’t get to twist the Bible to prove ridiculous points while ignoring other key messages within the same book. We will be held accountable for things like that.We don’t get to be jerks, then call that “loving the sinner and hating the sin”. We just don’t.

Camping Out For Saturday Night Live

***I realize this is kind of detailed. However, I found the blogs of other people SUPER helpful when I was searching for information on camping out for tickets- so figured I should include some details that may help other people***

Back in August, Liz and I decided to enter the SNL ticket lottery and we won. Once we found out that Christina Applegate was hosting, we knew we had to go.  Courtney decided to go and this meant we needed a third ticket.

So, we googled the mess out of the whole “how to get standby tickets” process and found out it would involve camping out the night before at NBC studios.

So, that’s what we decided to do.

Friday night Liz got into NYC at about 5:00 and went straight to the studio to get in line. There were about 35 people in front of her. Courtney and I arrived at about 9:30 that night and got to the line as soon as possible.

We brought with us sleeping bags, blankets and lots of layers. There were others in line who brought air mattresses, folding chairs, laptops. By morning time there was around 90 people in line I assume.

Sleeping out there wasn’t bad. There’s even a security guard who watches the line all night. I did have some moments in the middle of the night where I thought, “How does one know when they’re too cold? Would I know if my toes were frostbitten? Why did I think this sleeping bag would be warm enough?”

Around 6:45 a.m. a man came by and gave out free donuts and hot beverages to the people in line. Then at 7:00 the NBC staff came out and started handing out tickets. You could choose between tickets to the rehearsal (right before the show) or the live show.  Courtney chose the dress rehearsal ticket since that’s what we had. Also, the dress rehearsal has more sketches. She got number 11, so we felt like her odds of getting into the show that night were pretty good.

That evening, Liz and I went in to the studio about 30 minutes before standby people could, and then we sat and watched for Courtney. I was SO excited when she came through the door and even more so when they seated her near us.

It was an incredible experience. The amount of time these people have to change for each skit, and the amount of dialogue they need to be able to spout off each week is unreal. And the constant set changes? All of it was just crazy to watch.

The host of the show has a staff member assigned to them. This person would literally grab Christina off the stage and drag her to her next location. It made me laugh to watch this.  If people got in her path,  that lady just shoved them out of  the way. It was fantastic.

Christina did a great job. She seemed super comfortable, and everyone just seemed to be having a good time.

Afterwards the 3 of us were pretty much in awe. On the way out of the studio we saw DotCom from 30 Rock, and stopped to talk to him for a minute. None of us knew what to say. Some might call it awkward. It was worth it though, to see Courtney and Liz so speechless.

So, was it worth the camping out? Heck. Yes.

Church Camp

I’m roughly 11 years old and sound asleep in my top bunk. Suddenly the lights are on and people are yelling. “Get up! You’re going to run down to the pool, jump in, get out and line up at the square. First team that is fully assembled wins points. Do NOT put on your bathing suits.” 

Welcome to Church Camp.

We slowly get out of bed, and against the counselors command, throw on our bathing suits. It’s not even light out, and it’s cold. I look at my friend who has been sick the whole week and gets out of this ridiculous exercise because of it. 

How I envy her and her “strep throat” right now.

We begin our run down to the pool. The boys pass us screaming about how we have to win. Of course they’re super pumped. Boys will sit on a pile of fire ants if there’s a chance of winning something. I can still see the line of people trying to get in and out of the pool.  

Chaos.

I went to a lot of camps over the years, and loved just about all of them. Camp was awesome. I only ever had disdain for one- the one where they made us jump in the pool. So many things about that place were cray-z.

The year before, at the same camp, two brothers re-wrote “I’m proud to be an American” and called it “I’m proud to be a Christian”. They were rock stars the rest of the week. And yes, the whole room stood up on the “I’ll gladly stand up” part. Who wouldn’t have stood up though? Those brothers were super cute. Wait, what I meant to say was, “It was really moving.”

And, I can’t forget, a song that to this day I wake up singing, compliments of church camp….The Perfect 10.

You’re welcome.

You Look Good Normal

I love instagram. I fully intend to instagram the crap out of my pictures for the next 100 years. Or until phones are obsolete, and humans no longer communicate because they’ve forgotten how to use their words.

Several weeks ago, I took a picture of my best friends 6 month old son, Austin. One of his brothers, 6 year old Liam, watched as I searched through instagram filters. After a few seconds he looked at me and said “Can you just use normal? He looks good normal.” I chose a filter, and showed him the picture. He gave the picture a passing glance and said, “But he looked good normal.”.

Then he got bored and ran off to play Wii.

I know he’s 6, and he probably wasn’t thinking too deeply. However, in his mind, there wasn’t anything that needed to change.  The real version of Austin was just fine, and no filter was necessary. He wanted the picture to look like his baby brother- not an altered version of him. Normal was good. Normal was enough. Reality was just fine.

When do we start to believe that normal isn’t good? That normal is not enough and reality should be edited a bit. We take the bad things in life, and apply filters to make them appear less bad. But reality still exists under that new light. We have the ability to look at beautiful things, but want them to look just a little bit better. A sunset. The ocean. The people we love. The situations we find ourselves in.

If you change the lighting enough then people can’t focus on the imperfections. If you make it look artsy and creative,  no one will care that the photo was taken in a bathroom. If you portray your life to be just a little better than it is, then people won’t know just how broken you truly are.

When it comes to photo’s a little instagram magic isn’t a bad thing. When it comes to life, and what we portray…let’s just do “normal”.

After all, you look good normal.

DVD Stalking 101

Confession: If I meet you at church and we become friends, and you invite me to your house, I fully intend to DVD stalk you.

I won’t touch your medicine cabinet. I won’t snoop through your things. But, as we sit and chat, I’ll eye that movie collection, because you can tell a lot about a fellow “church” person by the movies on display in their living room.

If I walk in and notice a large DVD/VHS collection then we’re off to a good start. Why? Because there are only so many “Left Behind” movies.

We’ll still be friends if your collection resembles the church library. I’m OK with that. We’ll go to Sherwood Pictures films together.

If I see the movie “Bridesmaids” in your collection then you and I are movie soul mates and we shall be friends forever.

If you own movies like “American Pie” or any of the Hangover movies, you’re out of my league. You probably “Christian curse” and have wine in the kitchen too, huh? Even so, within 60 seconds of being in your home, I’ve crowned you my “safe” movie going friend.

Side note: If you own “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”, I’ll probably have to re-evaluate our friendship simply because I have to question anyone who openly loves the creepiest movie ever made.

“Have you tried online dating?”
“No”, person who I have known for 7.3 seconds. “No, I have not.”

Well…not technically.

A few years ago, my roommate and I got bored and decided we would both set up accounts. I panicked and deleted mine approximately 5 hours later, while she kept hers going. I think she had 3 marriage proposals in a week. Needless to say, online dating worked wonders for her in the end. The whole process just seemed too nerve racking to me.

While I haven’t really tried it myself, I have, shall we say “assisted” friends as they sift through matches (Hey, I’m a girl. It’s what we do). And, I have to say that I’ve been amazed at the different pictures that some these eligible bachelors posted of themselves.

And, just to be clear, I’m not talking about these guys being unattractive. I’m talking about the pictures they choose to post of themselves.
Scrolling
“Oh, his profile looks good.” 
“Oh, he loves Jesus! Let’s look at more pictures.”
“Oh.My.Word.”
  • A photo of you with your arm wrapped around another girl, with an explanation that she’s your best friend. Seriously? Nothing about that is a good idea. Nothing.
  • A photo of you either holding a Bible or in very close proximity to it. I’m sure as guys upload that picture they’re thinking, “This is pure gold! What woman could resist this picture?!”…Many, many women, actually. This rates with picking a girl up for a date, and strategically placing a Bible in the front seat. Don’t scoff. It’s been done.
  • The photo of just your abs. Let’s be honest, girls don’t really hate looking at this picture. However, while looking at it may not be painful, the “I-have-great-abs” picture doesn’t exactly scream, “Please take me home to meet your parents.”
  • The “I’m-so-cool-that-I-don’t-smile-so-now-I-just-look-creepy” pic. Some guys can pull it off and still manage to look mysterious and Edward Cullen-ish (the book version, not the movie version). Others cannot. Cullen or axe murderer? Know which one you are.
I can only imagine the types of pictures that females put up. For Real.
*Disclaimer: On the off chance that I show up in your newsfeed 6 weeks from now, married to some guy I met on futurefatherofmychildrenfinder.com, I should probably say- I’m not hating on the online dating scene.

Happy Father’s Day

When I was little I really wanted a loft bed. The kind that has a bookshelf and desk underneath, and is generally just super awesome. My dad wouldn’t buy me one.

He went out, bought the materials, and built the bed himself.

Another time, I asked my parents to buy me this sweet playhouse from the hardware store. It was one of those that you buy and assemble at home, but it looks just like a tiny version of a real house. My dad wasn’t about to waste money on that plywood house.

He went out, bought the materials, and built the house himself.

When my mom wanted a deck, and a new shed out back, he built those too. What he built were things that were bigger and better.

That’s one of my favorite things about him. To this day, I’m sure he can build anything. Because of him, I like to do things myself. Create things myself. I appreciate him for that.

When we were younger, he would work night shift during the summer so that he could be at home with my brother and I during the day. My parents probably didn’t see each other much during those months, but I appreciate how important they felt it was for one of them to be at home with us during those summers days and nights.

I’ve learned a lot from my dad, and just had to give him a Happy Father’s Day shout-out. My mom has always said he and I are just like each other, and I guess that’s not such a bad thing.

I love you dad! Thanks for always being committed to providing for your family. Even when it meant working a LOT, and even when we were punk teenagers who didn’t quite get it. (Ok, I’m not sure my brother was ever a punk teenager, but I know I was).

Happy Mother’s Day

I was not a well behaved child.

I mean, I had a Sunday School teacher who would pray, “Please help me love that child” before she entered my class on Sunday morning.

So, I’m lucky my parents didn’t kill me at some point. God bless em both. Dad will get his day, but this weekend’s all about the mother’s, so a big (early) HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to my mom.

Thanks…

… for being so patient and not killing me before I became the angel that I am today.

… for working so hard for so many years, so that your kids could go to a Christian School. 60+ hour work weeks could not have been easy.
… for giving me your blessing when I moved to Texas. I know that inside you were screaming “no”, but you never said it.
… for having a servants heart, and genuinely wanting the best for your family and those around you.
… for helping the family take care of my grandmother, your mother-in-law during her last 2 years on this earth. It wasn’t something you had to do and it wasn’t easy, but it was right, and the sarifice was noticed.
… for being so easy going….90% of the time;-)
… for letting me live with you guys, when the economy was not my friend.
Im definitely blessed me with a wonderful mom, and much of that is due to the sacrifices her mom and grandmother made while she was growing up. They didn’t have it easy, and they had to fight for things. She turned out pretty great though…so Happy Mother’s Day! I love you!

Singleness.

Hi. My name is Cindy, and I graduated from a Christian college.
Cool.

I graduated from a Christian college, and was single when I did so.
Oh Snap.

Apparently, that wasn’t supposed to happen. I mean, our Chancellor even told us that he had stocked the place so full of eligible, single individuals that there was no excuse for getting out of their without a ring on your finger.
My bad.

A lot of people write about singleness AFTER that time in their life is over. Suddenly, they are able to reflect on it with massive amounts of fondness and wisdom. I figure I should share my very random thoughts while I’m still in that “season of life”, as people Christians like to say. Here goes:

1) I am actually happy. I think sometimes we are scared to admit that. “If I admit that I’m happy, God might keep me here.” Listen, I don’t want to be the poster child for joyful singleness anymore than anyone else. However, it’s OK to be happy while single. God has a plan for my life, and right now I’m in it. Admitting that I’m content does not mean that God is just going to forget and leave me here. He sees my heart right now, but He also sees and plans my future.

2) I do in fact NOT feel “called to singleness”. Not at all. However, I’m not sitting around waiting for life to start. Every decision that I make does not have to be one that strategically places me in the place that has the largest single-guy-to-Cindy-ratio. After all you only need “one good man”, right? I think that it’s OK to make plans and live my life. If I truly believe that I’m not someone who has been called to remain single for the rest of my life, then I shouldn’t waste time worrying, right? Right.

3) Just because I’m single, and that random male friend of yours is too, doesn’t mean that he and I are compatible. Can I get an amen? It seems like well intentioned married couples want so desperately for their friends to experience what they have, that they forget that being single is not the ONLY criteria for 2 people to fall in love. Just do a little homework before you send me off on a date with “Mr. Right”. That’s all I ask.

4) No song can send me into a panic like Beyonce’s “Single Ladies”. Seriously. I was in 3 weddings in 2010 (which was actually very cool), and I attended at least 5 others. There’s certain panic that comes over me when I hear that all-too-familiar beat, and see everyone clearing the dance floor to make space for the “single ladies”. All five of us. Three of which will inevitably be under the age of 12.

5) I like the male species. A lot. Am I the only person who has this fear that everyone around me secretly thinks I’m single because I don’t like dudes? Well I do in fact like dudes. However, I find dating to be incredibly stressful so I don’t have energy to waste on the wrong fellas. Plus I happen to live where there are approximately 3 single guys my age and we’re all jaded by the fact that we’ve known eachother since we were 5.

That’s all for now…I should probably go read Proverbs 31…