Sunday, November 26, 2006

Nemesis (for Sunday Scribblings)

You know that person... the one you would jaywalk across a busy street to avoid? As I think about those people - yes - plural - people - in my life that I have considered my nemesis, I feel guilty, although I can picture them in my mind.

There was a particular "young lady" from elementary school with short, dark hair and fiery green eyes who attacked me on the school bus on the way home one afternoon for no reason apparent to anyone but herself. Her name sticks with me still, and woe to the person I meet now with that name.

There are the ones from middle school who seemed to have everything I wanted and couldn't have; who lived in fancy, 2-story homes; whose parents were "normal" and well-dressed; mannered, cultured even; with more money and more possessions. Those people who belittled others, perhaps myself, because they had more. Popularity came naturally to them, and boys were attracted to them as well. They had the best clothes, the best smiles, the best parents, the best friends, the best parties, the best of everything. They were the ones I tried to emulate and failed miserably to do so.

Then, high school came and went, and with it, its fair share of people who I considered a nemesis. Again, the jealousy factor. They all had something (or someone) that I couldn't have. The perky cheerleader with the sexy, gravelly voice we all envied, and who I would meet once again in college. The ostentatious twirler with Dolly Parton boobs, who I also would meet again in college. And countless others, far too many to describe here.

But college came and went, and with it, another nemesis: society. With the exception of my elementary school nemesis, all of my enemies were enemies because I felt like I didn't measure up to society's arbitrary standards. I spent about two-thirds of my life trying to be "worthy" by someone else's definition.

In my growing wisdom, I have realized that life is what I make it. People will love me for who I am, not what I have or don't have, and if they don't, then I will move on to the next friend. I don't have to have a nemesis. I don't NEED a nemesis. I don't have TIME for a nemesis! I have and probably always will be my own worst enemy. Who needs another one? Why should I give power to others by allowing them to be my enemies? That, in and of itself, is a statement.

I have also learned that the biggest nemesis is one that can only be conquered by Jesus Christ and His Love, thus, the guilt I feel about describing people I once thought of as enemies (my apologies to you wherever you are). Yes, there are still people I would cross the street to avoid. But those are just everyday annoyances, not enemies. God, hope, faith, wisdom... love really does conquer all.

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Hero

This week's Sunday Scribblings is to write about a hero. The first person that comes to mind is Jesus Christ. The people that DON'T come to mind are celebrities, athletes, and politicians. Instead of focusing on Jesus as the ultimate hero, which he is, I have chosen a person (two, really), who I am familiar with through South Houston Bible Institute here in Houston, Texas, and through my church, New Beginnings, also in Houston in the Clear Lake City area. He and his wife are the closest things to heroes that I will ever know in my lifetime.

First, what is a hero? A hero is one who is considered good and noble, often courageous and brave. A hero is willing to sacrifice himself in order for the greater good to be achieved. He shows outstanding character, or perhaps has performed a heroic act or deed. Lastly, he is admired and respected.

B. Shelburne is the President of the South Houston Bible Institute. He is an ordained minister who serves as an elder at my church. When I first began attending New Beginnings Church, I was attending a class in Hebrews on Wednesday nights taught by B. Almost instantly, I knew I could trust this man and his breadth of knowledge. If ever I had a question on scripture, I would know whom to contact.

Shortly after I began attending Sunday services, B. and his wife Ruth invited me to breakfast to get to know me. I remember feeling so nervous and shaky, although I said yes, I would go to breakfast with them. Within the first five minutes of our time together, I was completely at ease. I was not being judged. I was not worried about being inferior, and I wasn't worried that I was being quizzed on my actions or beliefs. They were truly trying to get to know me! Imagine that! They wanted to know ME!

These are people who have been involved in ministry, probably for 40-50 years, or thereabouts. They were missionaries in Africa for 19 years, and oh, the stories they can tell! It takes a great calling and a great amount of sacrifice to spend 19 years in service to the Lord, much less in a poor nation with little or no necessities that we are accustomed to, and to raise a family including an adopted child at the same time!

Just a few minutes with B. and Ruth and one knows their hearts are pure. They are wise, and kind, and open, and loving. They have sacrificed much, and their love has touched hearts worldwide. There is no jealousy in them, nor judgment, nor selfishness, nor pride. They are human, yes, but they have the qualities I aspire to have if I could just be like them in some small way. They have been a faithful married couple for almost 50 years. Their children have all grown up to be servants of the Lord in different ways. Servants. That is what their Biblical philosophy can be summed up as. They are servants of the Lord and work for the greater good of humanity with a genuine love and concern for all people.

If that is not good and noble... if that is not brave and courageous... if their lives have not been of sacrifice... if they are not of good character... if they are not admired and respected... then heroes don't exist. But I know they do. They are my opinion of modern-day heroes, and I am so blessed to know them.

Info anyone?

Does anyone know of a website or weekend seminar that offers information on blended families and step-parenting? Or a weekend seminar in marriage, in general?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

"I don't want to be a passenger in my own life." (Diane Ackerman)

There are so many ways to interpret this quote. At first glance, my response is... that's me! I don't get to make any of the decisions. I do what everyone else wants me to just like a puppet on a string. So many of my own life's choices are made by others instead of me.

Sometimes I want to be the one back in control. I want to decide where I'm giong and when I'm going. I want to decide where I get to live and where I eat dinner. Decide where to go for holidays and how to spend my money. When to be happy and when to be sad. I want to get my own car.

I've been there before, in the driver's seat rather than just the passenger's seat. Life was loneliner, but easier in a lot of ways. Maybe if you want to have someone in the car with you to keep you company, you have to give the driving over to them most of the time. It's also riskier, not being in control of your own car, just as it is in life.

As a passenger in my own life, I'm just along for the ride. I want to drive! I want to decide when to take a road trip and when to pull over at a rest stop. I don't know why!

But then when I really think about it, even if I am the driver, God is still my navigator, so am I really in control? Yes, I believe I am. And even though much of life feels like I'm just along for the ride, that's probably not the case. It just feels like it sometimes.

This makes me wonder if I am going down the right roads. What if my path is wrong? Maybe I turned off one exit too soon. Or maybe I passed my cut-off several exits ago. Am I on the right highway? I need a map and a compass! Maybe being a passenger is okay if I end up in the right place.

Oh, my head is hurting from all this thinking!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Is it morning already? Where did the night go? I think I just fell asleep a few minutes ago. Ugh. I must get up and face the frantic panic of getting three kids dressed, fed, and ready to go to school, as well as getting myself ready for work. Luckily the oldest gets herself up and out the door before us. It's always a race to see if we can make it on time! On your mark, get ready...

Oh No! It can't possibly be morning! I just want to lie here beneath the cool sheets and cozy comforter, burrowed in the warmth of my own body. But I'm awakened by slivers of sunlight slanting through the blinds. Maybe if I curl up just a little more, close my eyes again, and wish really hard, morning will wait another hour for me. No such luck. There's the alarm clock screaming for me to get up. It's definitely morning.

Ah, the joys of morning. The rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafting through the air. The sizzle of crisp bacon frying in a pan. The lustrous colors of a tangerine sunrise. The sweet music of chirping birds in the air. A new beginning. Sounds grand, doesn't it? If you like that sort of thing.

What is a morning person? It's hard to define, but I know I am not one. My dad was. My husband is. But what, really, does that mean? Does that somehow define the rest of our personalities? My mom is the one who we consider NOT a morning person because you can't talk to her till she's had her coffee. I don't even drink coffee! But I'm still not a morning person. It's not as though I growl or grouch at anyone in the morning. I guess I just don't get enough sleep. Can a night owl become a morning person? Temporarily, perhaps, when there are newborns or very young children in the home. Will I always NOT be a morning person? Maybe. My definition is this... I have so much to do, and the only time I have with peace and quiet away from my family is the late night, so for me, morning is when I'd rather sleep.

Early morning on the road... a peaceful time, really. Cool, crisp morning air. Little to no traffic on the highways yet. Sun just barely peeking over the horizon, not yet warming things up. It's a safe, quiet time out here. Leaves the mind clear just to enjoy the atmosphere. You can cover a lot of ground out on the road in the morning, in more ways than one.

It's a zoo out here on the Interstate this morning! People trying to get to work to clock in on time and keep the boss happy, weaving in and out of lanes thinking that a lane change will get them there just one minute faster. Men situating their ties in the mirror just before they get to the office to impress their next clients. Women making up their faces in the rearview mirror, risking an accident to apply another layer of mascara and lipstick. Lawyers practicing their closing or opening remarks to an audience of none. Various morning radio hosts yelping from the car radios. Intersections jammed with people trying to buy the morning paper before they get into town, giving the poor soul on the side of the street a buck per copy. That poor soul is probably the luckiest of us all. The crisp night air already polluted with exhaust. The blaring honking as cars barely move bumper to bumper on their way downtown. It's just another morning in the city.

Morning again? Just five more minutes, please!


Related Posts with Thumbnails