Saturday, April 28, 2012

Yep, that's me. Sarah the introvert

While I'm not a big fan of stereotypes, I do think there is a bit to be said for personality typing using a test like the Myers-Briggs test. Because, most of the time, it is right, no matter how you hate it. It also makes you think critically about yourself and who you are and think you are. In my case, this is a good thing.

This morning in Anatomy and Physiology, Dr. Harms, our professor, announced the specifics of the extra credit opportunity he had promised on Wednesday. The school of Science's Symposium was today, so to get 10 points of extra credit, we had to sit through two talks (and write brief notes) and could visit up to six posters (again with the notes). Since I'm hoping to get an A in A&P, I decided, why not? I ate lunch quickly, played a bit of piano, and then hurried over to the science building.

The "lectures" were okay. I sat through them though, and got the information I needed. 40 minutes and 2 sections of notes, finished. Then I went down the hall to where the nursing students were standing by their posters with the summary of their research.

Many of the posters had extremely interesting material, including one with lots of supporting research towards using controlled hypothermia to help healing of patients after heart attacks. It was also really neat to see my A&P traverse the room with his 9-month-old daughter in his arms. She waved a pen in the air (apparently her daddy doesn't let her have them that often, hehe), showed off her two little teeth, and obliged me with some cute noises. ^_^ (I just about asked if I could hold her, but I had my notebook in hand and figured that she might not take too well to me holding her when both of her parents were in sight.) And Dr. Harms carried little Marian off to listen to another group explain their findings, and I was off to finish up my notes.

Finally, I finished what I needed to do and went upstairs to the thankfully quiet biology lounge. I wanted to work on a paper due Tuesday, but the battery on my laptop was nearly dead. Also, in the quiet, I realized just how tired I was. I curled up on one of the couches and took a 30 minute nap before realizing that my dorm was not all that far away, with a much comfier bed.

As I tiredly walked back to my room, I, being the analytical nursing student I am, thought about reasons why I was so tired. After all, two and a half weeks ago, the reason for my exhaustion was due to iron-deficient anemia. I came up with three theories. I could be tired from (1) sitting through 40 minutes of lecture about pancreatic cells and receptors and hormones involved with cancer (2) taking notes standing up in a warm room, or (3) standing taking notes in a warm room with a crowd.

I think it was the crowd.

Yes, my dear readers, I am an introvert, in case you did not know. I got back to my dorm room to find three of me and Brittney's pseudo-roommates (girls who pretty much live in our room except when sleeping) and really wanted to just send everyone away. I was zapped.

Once I got a bit of my energy back (notice I did not say that I was completely rested... that's not going to happen until I sleep in a dark room for eight hours and then spend time reading my Bible), I talked with my roommate and pseudo-roommates about personality types. I read Brittney the blurb about hers from Wikipedia and Keirsey, and she was blown away. It described her almost to a dime. Then I read the other girls' blurbs, and then Brittney's boyfriend's, and then, lastly, mine.

The best part was when I found, on this other site, what kinds of things you should expect from roommates of certain types. I checked it out. Of course, Brittney's was right on. And mine? Hehe.

"'Counselors' can become very close to their roommates, but they also need some private time and space. If the roommate bonding is negative, Counselors usually retreat to their own space and remain somewhat aloof."

 I just about died laughing. Why? Because when we were having roommate issues, I would often retreat to my bed. My bunk bed. I was literally aloof. Heh heh. And, of course, Brittney affirmed that was spot-on with me.

So, you may be wondering, why is Sarah spending so much time talking about her being an introvert? Well.... because it's 12:15am at the moment, and I'm weary from the events of today (I'm an introvert, remember, and I spent an hour in a small classroom with a LOT of people), and I have to stay up for another forty-five minutes until I go back to work. That, and...

Even though there are plenty of personality types, everyone is different. I'm different from you, as you are different from someone else. I'm so glad we're different, because life is so much more interesting this way. It makes it a joy to get to know someone different than you.

And God uses our uniqueness just the way we are.

My devotional book, several weeks ago, had a fantastic poem that I wrote down because I liked it so much. (At the moment, I'm having trouble finding the journal I wrote it in. Ahh, being a writer... Needless to say, I'm very thankful I didn't pack my journals yet.) From Streams in the Desert, on January 7, 2012:

"Others may do a greater work,
But you have your part to do;
And no one in all God's family
Can do it as well as you."

^_^ "You're beautiful. You're beautiful. You are made for so much more than all of this. You're beautiful. You are treasured, you are sacred, you are HIS. So you are beautiful." - MercyMe

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Blessed Singlehood

So I had an idea to draft this blog post back in September, but for whatever reason, the post did not get off the ground until today. Why today? Well, in part to a couple of reasons, some personal things that I cannot talk about on this blog, and today's chapel speaker. This semester, Bruxy Cavey, the teaching pastor at The Meeting House in Canada, has visited a few times for chapel both common chapels, alternate chapels, and freshmen elective chapels. Oh, er, I mean first year elective chapels. Anyway, he's a pretty neat speaker - very different from most of the other speakers I have heard at chapel, not to mention pretty different from most pastors I know. He's not afraid to talk about stuff that many Christians would not. Which is weird but cool.

On to the content. One of the last things he talked about in the chapel today was how marriage and singlehood are GIFTS. As a single, college-aged Christian girl, I admit that it is difficult sometimes to walk around campus, when the cherry trees are in bloom, waving their wispy pink branches all around and causing a flower-storm, and see the various couples walking hand-in-hand. One of my close friends just started dating a guy she's known for a couple months, and it's cute to see them together (all the time...) and hold hands. Add to that the infamous "Ring by Spring!" mantra that is repeated time and time again (jokingly, of course), and sometimes there is a little longing for someone of the opposite gender to come alongside you in your life journey.

That's not altogether a bad thing. God made us, as humans, to desire relationships, and to desire relationships with the opposite sex. Genesis 1:26-28 acknowledges this. We are made male and female in God's image. We can learn something from each other. And together, we reflect the image of God. Other things go along with that, like marriage and increasing in number, but we are made to be in relationship. The problem is when you make an idol of it.

When I was little, I spent an infinite amount of hours playing with my Duplos, Poly Pockets, Barbies (don't judge me - you know you played with them too, even if it was just popping their heads off), and who knows what else, pretending that I was the girl and that I was married and having children. Don't believe me, ask my sister. When I started writing creatively, some of my first stories revolved around a husband and wife raising a family together. Not only my first stories... my stories for a long time reflected that (and still do to an extent).

I dreamt about it for a long time. But at one point, someone pointed out to me that I was spending so much time thinking about the future, that I wasn't resting in the here and now. I was making an idol out of this dream life. No, I didn't dream the stereotypical white picket fence with roses lining or whatever it is, but I did dream of holding babies and being the mommy. I spent so much time thinking about the future, I was not enjoying the present. I wasn't enjoying being single.

This morning, Bruxy mentioned that several married couples he has counseled have said that they wished they were single again, without the responsibilities of running a household. Hey, I wish I could go back to being a kid, when I didn't need to worry about stuff and could just run around outside, go play in the creek, pretend I was fighting dragons or whatever. They say the grass always seems greener on the other side. For some, marriage looks more idyll than singleness. And for those who are married, the reminder of singleness makes them long for days long ago. Those who are old wish they were young, and children dream of being adults.

Stop! We must stop this! We must stop dreaming in the future or reliving the past. The present is here, now, and it is a GIFT! We say "singleness is a gift," but for some reason we belittle singleness, pointing towards marriage as the end. So for those who are single, be single! For those who are married, be married! Enjoy where you are right now because you'll never be in that same place ever again.

The following is an entry from my journal, March 30, 2011, as I was learning about contentment and giving up dreams. I hope the words teach you something in your own journey.

"How shall I go on? I must go on in patience, in contentment with the present. For the present is a gift, and I should not waste it by continually hoping for the future. I must learn to live day by day, so I do not waste myself by pining for my dreams."

And another from June 15 of the same year:

"Long ago, the Lord gave a girl a dream. She accepted it as any other - with joy and fervor and thanksgiving. She cherished the dream, holding it close and praying the Lord would bring it to fruition.
But then, once the girl had fallen in love with the dream, the Lord asked for it back. Didn't he give her this dream so it would come to fruition? But then the Lord asked if she trusted him. How could she deny it? So, heart breaking and tears flowing, she gave it back. It hurt, so much, but once she had come to terms with it, she found incredible freedom.
What became of the dream? She still remembered it, still hoped for it, but she did not allow it to take control. She will not, not with the Lord of Lights as her guide."

I guess the point I'm really trying to encourage is contentment. "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want" (Philippians 4:12). Whether I am single or married. "But godliness with contentment is great gain..." (1 Timothy 6:6).


Friday, April 6, 2012

Passover for the Believer

The following is a repost of a Facebook note I wrote two years ago.

I'm not sure who knows about Passover, so I'm going to explain why it means so much to me.

Passover is a Jewish holiday that celebrates when Elohim (God) brought the Israelites (then the Hebrews) out of Egypt after 430 years in slavery. It is a feast that commemorates it, including reading the whole story aloud.

Elohim brought ten plagues upon the Egyptians: water to blood, frogs, gnats (I've heard lice), flies, livestock, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and lastly the FIRSTBORN. This was the firstborn of every living creature "from the firstborn of the Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the slave girl who is behind the millstones; all the firstborn of the cattle as well." (Ex 11:5)

Elohim gave specific instructions to the Hebrews about what they were to do for His Passover. On the tenth day of that month, they were to take a year-old male lamb, without blemish, and keep it until the fourteenth day, when the Hebrews were to slaughter the lamb at twilight. They were to take some of the blood and put it on the two door frames and the lintel of the houses. They were to eat the flesh that same night, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. They were to eat with their loins girded, sandals on their feet, and their staffs in their hands. The bread had to be unleavened because they didn't have time for the bread to rise. As soon as Elohim struck Egypt, the Hebrews were to leave.

"The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live; and when I see the blood I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt." (Ex 12:13)

After Elohim gave the commands for the first Passover, he gave instructions for later celebrating the "Feast of Unleavened Bread" when the Israelites were to remove the leaven--the chametz--from their homes. Unleavened bread is called matzah.

Now why am I, a Christian, celebrating Passover, which is traditionally a Jewish holiday?
There is so much in Passover that relates to how God's wrath passed over our hearts.

Matthew 16:6: "And Yeshua (Jesus) said to them, "Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees."

1 Corinthians 5:6-8 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover [lamb] also has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

As found in 1 Corinthians (I'm using NASB, but the reference to the Passover lamb comes from NIV), Yeshua (Jesus) is our Passover lamb. He came among us, long enough for us to make ties with, and then he was slaughtered. His blood was put on the doorposts of our hearts so that the Lord might pass over us and grant us mercy.

Now, another parallel. Three years ago, I had my first opportunity to go to a Messianic Seder. (This year marks my fourth year of participating). It was fantastic. In 2010, the Seder was in perfect timing with Resurrection Day. Tomorrow I go to celebrate this year's Seder. Getting off topic however. There was one thing done with the matzah (specifically the Afikomen) my first year that I will never forget, and now pass on (haha) to you.

On a plate are three pieces of matzah (see picture above. :)). The Papa takes the middle piece of matzah, called the afikomen (dessert), breaks it in half, and wraps one in a napkin. The Seder I went to had the Papa hide one of the broken parts of the afikomen for the children to find later. Other Seders may have the children hiding it. In any case, I will use the example of the Papa hiding the afikomen away for the children to find later.

Look closely at the matzah in the picture. If you can't see it clearly enough, leave a comment, and I'll take a better picture for you. It is unleavened. It has holes in it. It has dark blotches. It has stripes.

Yeshua was pierced. He was striped. He was bruised. The FATHER broke him and hid him in a linen shroud (in the tomb). Later, those with childlike faith found him. But best of all, Yeshua had no leaven--sin--in him.

Aren't these parallels beautiful? This is why I celebrate Passover--because the similarities between the Passover lamb slaughtered in Egypt and our Passover Lamb slaughtered on the cross are too true to ignore.

Be blessed during this time of both mourning and celebration.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Rather Exciting Happenings

There has been so much going on this week that I can't believe it is only Wednesday. Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. ;) Sunday, my dad and step-mom visited me at school unexpectedly, so I got to see them and eat non-cafeteria food. *grins* On Monday, I mailed my application to the school in Jerusalem and got back my last anatomy and physiology exam (I did really well!) and got the last bit of my clinical packet in the mail. Tuesday, I ... hm. What happened Tuesday? Ah, yes, I faxed information about course enrollment to my community college for the summer. Today was a big day. I turned in my clinical packet, declared a minor (in adventure ed) and got my passport. *whew* And that's just the stuff going on with school.

In my Bible readings, I am nearly finished with reading the Bible in a year. I started mid-June, and all I have left to read are minor prophets, so I'm keeping up with my pattern of reading a chapter or two from the Torah or histories, something from the prophets, and something from the New Testament. Of course, now I'm rereading Exodus and John, but I like both of those books. Besides, Passover starts tomorrow night!

One of the things I've been learning about is discipleship and mentoring. For the past six years or so, I have been mentored by several wonderful ladies. They have really helped me in figuring out life. I think I'll always love having someone to turn to ask about various happenings with life, but recently God has made it clear that it is time for me to take another step in my journey. It really feels like He has been bringing other girls into my life for me to mentor, teach, and learn from. New perspectives, right? That's really been a blessing.

I know this was a weird post, but I have been planning two new posts - one on Dad and my Grand Canyon trip last spring, and one on Passover. Look for them soon! (and if they're not up soon, leave a comment telling me to hurry it up!)