The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

moving across the country…to discover what God has in store

Nature vs. Nurture

Once again, my mind has returned to the age old debate of nature vs. nurture.  For those of you unfamiliar with this unending argument among theorists in various disciplines (psychology, biology, education, development…), just Google it.  The short version for those of you who do not wish to open up a new window/tab/etc, here’s my definition: Are we who we are because of our genetics or because of our experiences?  Yeah.  That should do.  Man…that’s kind-of complicated, though.  And, it’s not a definition per se, but it will do.

Anyways, why has this crazy debate been in my head?  Well, a while back, I started analyzing myself…trying to figure out why I am the way I am.  What made me ME?  One idea that I kept coming back to was “Nature vs. Nurture”.  I always thought that nature had made me very analytical, precise, organized…OCD, I suppose.  And nurture had given me a touch of compassion…but just a touch.  But, upon further analysis, I found something else.  I pushed my past out of my mind and reflected on my time in college.

I have taken to saying, “I used to be punctual, but then I came to college.”  I can use that phrase in lots of other ways too: I used to be organized…I used to have a clean bedroom…I used to do the dishes in a timely manner…but then I came to college.  And, it’s not just like I’ve all of a sudden become to busy to clean my room and organize my socks.  It’s just that I’ve learned to prioritize.  I’ve also learned that an A+ is not essential, nor is reading textbooks (shh–don’t tell!).  I have become this strangely relaxed person, crazy-relaxed, hippy-ish compared to who I used to be.

And thus, I have decided, that nurture created that analytical, precise, organized, OCD-ish person and my nature just wants to let go of all of that–the lists, the organizational strategies, the color-coded folders.  That’s pretty much what I’ve done.  I will be graduating from college in May and I don’t really know what I’m doing.  I have Plan A, B, and C…and then Z.  I haven’t finished any applications or forms.  Sure, it kind-of freaks me out a little bit.  But I know that, once I get the applications done, it will all be out of my hands.

Okay, so I guess I should admit something.  I am still a bit of a control freak.  Letting someone else do a huge part of a group project drives me bonkers…but, I am doing it.  When I was a freshman, I probably would not have done that.  And, when I was this close to graduating from high school, I had my college applications, scholarship applications, etc turned in.  I was on top of things.  Now?  I’m on top of them…I’m just taking my time and enjoying the view from the top.

A Staircase in Tours, France

A Staircase in Tours, France

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A Day of Beauty

A beautiful thing happened today.  Well, actually, a lot of beautiful things have happened today.

  • There is the weather.  It’s cooling down.  Warm fall colors are popping up on the trees.  Leaves are gently gliding down from the tree tops.  The sidewalks have sufficient leaves to make an awesome crunching noise.  Beauty!!!
  • I got out of class early today!  Yep…and it was a horrible class: ECON.  Okay so, to be perfectly honest, economics is not all that difficult when I buckle down and focus all of my energies on figuring out the concepts/theories/etc.  But, it is boring…no matter what.  Today though, I got out early…almost an hour early (yeah, it’s a two-hour class on Tuesday and Thursday).
  • Free food.  I got a slice of pizza, ⅓ of a turkey-bacon-ranch sandwich, and a couple of pieces of fried fish.  What?  You think I’m a college student?  What would make you think that???
  • I passed…the…PRAXIS.  Praxis II: Elementary Education Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment.  I took it on September 17 and I have been stressing out about it for the past few weeks.  The stress skyrocketed a couple of days ago when I started thinking about it a LOT more.  I have randomly felt the intense urge to curl up into a ball and cry.  I felt that urge overwhelm my soul as I sat in front of a computer in the computer lab in the education building on campus…trying to decide whether or not to click “View Scores”…but then I clicked…and I scrolled up and down several times until the word “PASSED” caught my eyes.  Yes.  I passed.  I almost cried.  Life is good.
Do you know what it is like to, all of a sudden, have this crazy huge weight lifted off of your shoulders?  I know that, weeks ago, I should have let God take this weight off of my shoulders.  But, I did not.  Here I am, though.  Reveling in the beauty that is success…bred only from the peace that comes from God.
Gotta love peace.
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Planning to Savor Time

Did you read the post from yesterday?  If not, you might want to go back and do that…it would help this one make a little more sense.

So, I was thinking about that list…reflecting on how to put it into practice…make it real.  Reality is important, you know.  So, I decided that, over the next five days (starting tomorrow–Friday), I am going to try to do one of those things each day.  I figured out on which day I would do each item and kind-of an idea of how.  Here’s the plan:

  1. Friday: Baking.  Like I said yesterday, I’m already planning on making some brownies tomorrow!  It’s my turn to bring “goodies” to church and I decided that I want to make brownies and make brownies I shall!  I’m sure that there will be one…maybe two left over for me…with a nice cold glass of milk.  Mmm!
  2. Saturday: Stargazing.  I was going to start this process today and just hit the road, find a great field to lay in…but the weather is crummy.  So, I found this snazzy website (accuweather.com) and figured out the best night to go stargazing in my area.  I’ll probably take some coffee, maybe a brownie, definitely a blanket…I’ll eventually figure out the rest.
  3. Sunday: Kids!  Yes.  I volunteered to sub in one of the children’s church classes this Sunday (before I knew that I needed to bring goodies).  But, no worries.  I get to hang out with a room full of energetic, excitable, and always entertaining 3-5 year olds!  (Yes, I realize that this will be right after staying up half the night staring at stars.)
  4. Monday: Unplug.  This is going to be the hardest…hopefully I will still feel refreshed and rewarded afterwards.  If nothing else, I’ll go to bed earlier because I “don’t have anything to do”.  Or, I can get started on…
  5. Tuesday: Reading.  Yep.  I need to figure out what book I’m going to focus on.  Obviously I can’t spend the whole day with my nose in my book (I did that a lot in my younger years).  So, how shall I adapt?  Look through cookbooks for things to eat next week.  Order textbooks (ugh).  Ummm…maybe I should even try to write a book!?

Okay, so that’s the plan.  Tomorrow will probably be the easiest day…Sunday will be oober easy too.  The others…well, they will remain to be seen…suffered…er, conquered.  I really want to persevere, though.  Time has flown by this summer and I feel like all that I have done is go to school and go to work…I know there’s been way more than that.  But, work and school have consumed my life, especially these last few weeks.  So, here’s to starting off the new school year right–savoring these last moments of youth…ew, not something I want to think about yet!

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Losing Time

Do you ever get the feeling that life is just rushing by?  Do you ever feel like you want to hit a pause button just so that you have the opportunity to catch your breath?  Do you ever feel like you have missed that one crucial moment that had the potential to shape the rest of your life?

Good grief.  That’s pretty depressing to think about.  I’m in college.  These are supposed to be the best days of my life.  Instead, I feel like the energizer bunny…running on coffee and the drive to succeed…and the hope that I’ll get to sleep when I’m dead.  Seriously.  There are days when I have just had to tell myself over and over and over “You can sleep when you’re dead”.  I will reiterate: that’s pretty depressing.

We have now established how depressing it is to reflect on the rapid passing of time.  So, what should we do about it?  Or–not “we”, I suppose.  What am I going to do about it?  Here’s how I plan on trying (this will get back around to the “lukewarm christian” part…maybe):

  1. Unplug.  I am too dependent on technology.  I’ll admit that.  I was without my cell phone for five hours this evening…near torture.
  2. Bake.  I’m already planning on doing this Friday…and the best part?  I don’t have to eat all of the brownies that I’ll be making.  I’m taking them to church!!!
  3. Go stargazing.  I love stars and since I live in an urban-ish/city-like area, it’s hard to see the stars.  I want to see them so badly though…I’m going to set aside a night to go for a drive, find some darkness, and reflect on the vastness and beauty of God’s creation.
  4. Hang out with some kids.  I’m helping with children’s church on Sunday!  Nothing can renew your heart like the heartfelt smiles and quibbles of kids.  It is their hearts after which mine should be fashioned…yes?
  5. Read.  During the first two weeks of summer, I read six books.  I’ve read one since then.  I want to read a book in the one and a half weeks that I have until classes start back up.  I have several on my shelf…it’s decision time!

Okay.  That’s a nice list of five.  And, now I should get back to the “Lukewarm Christian”part…yeah.  Wow.  Poor planning.  I don’t know how I’m going to do that.

God wants us to enjoy life…yes?  I think he does.  Like any parent, His heart is filled with joy when He gets to see His kids enjoying life.  When I allow myself to get so caught up in the quibbles of classes and the cattiness of work, I lose sight of why I am here.  I am here to revel in the glory of God and worship Him with every ounce of my being.  Gotta get back to the reveling!

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