Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Spring will come...

Relationships are a lot like flowers. If you find the right seed, put it in good soil, give it water and sunlight, bam. Perfect bud. And then comes winter and the flower dies. But if you tend that garden, spring will come along and that flower will bloom again.
Finn to Rachel, I Do.

I love the show - Glee... I am total Gleek and do not miss an episode. Recently, Finn said the above words to Rachel and it really got me thinking about Spring. After months of a cold, grey winter it brings so much comfort to know that Spring will come. That even if you cannot see the flower, the seed you know is planted beneath the cold, icy soil will eventually bloom again. It isn't a question, it isn't a possibility... it is a certainty. 

There are so many seeds trapped beneath the icy soil in my life right now. Seeds that have once been in full bloom, seeds that are old, seeds that are new and have not yet had a chance to grow. I have been in the season of "winter" not just literally but in every other sense and I am comforted because very soon, MY SPRING WILL COME. 

It can be tough to face change, uncertainty and even the death of something in our lives. A job, a relationship, a door that closes before we can see any new one opening up... but I can say that I know for sure these times are necessary. Time to reflect, time to pray, time to regroup is just necessary. I am not a big fan of the winter but I know it is a necessary time. I've recently been through quite a winter and I knew from the moment it started that it is exactly what I needed. I am not saying it hasn't been difficult or that I've enjoyed it... the winter is gloomy, cold, empty even. But I am saying that I know I needed a winter of my very own. A time to snuggle underneath the covers and talk to God because after-all, it is only a season. 

And I sit here in anticipation of my Spring... because I know it will be here soon....Tend that garden, spring will come along and that flower will bloom again.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Song of Solomon 2:11-13

Monday, March 4, 2013

Confessions of a PK, Part 2: Kid Under the Microscope

Let me start with this... I have a Pastor and he has two beautiful little daughters. I feel such a strong connection to those girls because of my upbringing and I also appreciate the work their parents do so much, that I seek to love on these kids, protect them, let them know how special they are... because YES, their parents work hard to bless my life and so YES they are special to me. I strive to treat my Pastor's kids in this way because if I am telling the truth, it is the way I would have liked to be treated in my Grandfather's church.

I remember the first time I felt like I was under the microscope. A deacon in the church made it her life's mission to "catch me" talking to a friend during the sermon. Let's face it, an 11 year old kid is going to get a little distracted during a 5 hour long service so all of us would talk, pass notes, the usual. But it's like this woman needed it to be me... she waited, she watched and boy would she complain. It was the first time I realized that I was different from my friends in church.. and to be honest, I didn't want to be. I just wanted to be a regular kid.

I felt people were harder on me than anyone else because of who my Grandfather was... I guess they thought that if he was this amazing, God pleasing person I should be too... so my attitude quickly became -- "I am going to be".

With my Grandfather on Christmas morning... (Jasmine is the closest thing to a Latina Princess we have okay)

I was an over-achiever and I aimed to please others right away... but somehow I always ended up feeling inadequate because my passion was never enough, my effort was never enough... heck, even my heart was never enough. I know now that this is the problem with a legalistic belief system... that no one ever really measures up (Romans 4:15) and there are certain biblical truths I would be on a journey to discover myself. Still, I had to face many road bumps along the way.

I had to smile, I had to be on my A-game all of the time and I to this day, wish adults would have known better than to put that kind of pressure on me. The weird thing is my Grandfather himself never put that pressure on me... he would get complaints about how "April wore the wrong thing to church today" or "April didn't come to such and such event" and he never even told me about them. I would later come to learn that someone called him at home or pulled him aside and he would always, always SHUT THEM DOWN. Afterall, I was his baby =) I have to credit my grandmother for this too. She would always stick up for me.

Holding me as a baby
Over time, I had to learn how to take it in stride and simply be true to myself. It  is still something I am learning to do. One thing I learned from my Grandfather is that nothing is more important than loving others. Even when I did feel judged by someone else, I worked hard to love them because it is really love that conquers all.

I hated feeling like a specimen under the microscope... there is an element of that, that I still struggle with to this day. My guard is always up... in many negative ways it formed me but now I can say that it formed me in positive ways too.

I am so grateful for everything in my life... I wish some things could have been different but overall, I am just grateful. I love you Welo!