The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Delicate

Delicate twigs surviving the first snow

delicate swirls surviving the first snow

Delicate is a word that I have recently used to describe my emotional state.  The days surrounding the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas) have been challenging.  They make me realize the specific people and experiences that I hold close to my heart.  So, when I saw the weekly photo challenge, I knew that I had to participate…if only to force myself to face up to my weaknesses.

delicate artistry in God's creation

delicate artistry in God’s creation

I have a deep-rooted appreciation and respect for the beauty of nature.  My weakness?  I am easily distracted by modern comforts and attractions.  Hulu has, on more than one occasion, stolen time that could have been spent outdoors.  Now that snow is hiding my world (see the first photo), I am missing these delicacies.

A strength?  I don’t mind getting a little chilly while searching for new delicacies.  I also don’t mind climbing a mountain to find the delicacies.  Over the past six months, I have had my share of summits.

delicate pathway to the summit

delicate pathway to the summit

Those can also be delicate.  Although I might like to be a free spirit and throw caution to the wind, a shale-covered pathway like the one I found in Canada required a delicate foot.  For most of the trip, I was fun and fancy free.  But in the moments leading to this summit, I lost a bit of confidence.  As I followed a French mountaineer (fellow CouchSurfer), I questioned my sanity.  This guy was booking it…and I was about to fall to my death.  Nevertheless, we managed to make it all the way to the very top (he wasn’t content with the slightly shorter peak where we first landed).

I also experienced the delicacies of mountains over the summer when I spent some time in the rocks of Wyoming with a friend.  Oh friends…another delicate topic for me.  Friendships, for me, are more than delicate; they are fragile.  Sometimes my mind and soul prefer to be independent and risk forcing me into the state of a hermit.  But, since my move to St. Paul, I have hated that lonely state.  Today though, I realized that I am not alone.  I have at least one friend.  The friendship formed so delicately that I hardly noticed.  It’s a beautiful feeling when someone tells you they are glad you’re around.

I realize now that delicate can mean many things.  I’ve been going with the idea that delicate means fragile, or requiring great care.  But delicate can also mean pleasing to the senses (according to m-w.com).  I think I like that definition…especially because it works for each of my examples.

 

EDIT

Another thought just entered my mind and it refuses to leave: the delicacy of life.  I am not one to get lost in current events, politics, or headlines.  But recent events (just google “Connecticut shooting” if you’re lost) have tugged at my heart…the heart of an educator who has a special appreciation for the vitality of children.  There is a delicate aspect of life that is easy for us to forget because we have living down to such a science.  We eat XYZ and take vitamins B, C, and E and drink 8 gallons of water and jog for 20 minutes 3 times a week.  But, despite all of our attempts at preserving our life, it can be gone in the blink of an eye.  Therefore, we must cherish our breaths…and the breaths of those around us.  My prayer this evening is that you will take your breaths and realize their delicacy.  Make the most of them.

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Not the bubble!

I have a bubble.  Yes, a bubble.  This bubble surrounds my body, extending out by approximately two feet on every side.  It protects me from unwanted physical contact with people.  When I say people, I mean “all people”.  Unfortunately, people do not always respect the bubble.

Strangers sometimes bump into me.  In crowded places, I sometimes begin to get, ummm, stressed.  Holiday shopping is torture, to say the least.  And visiting a theme park that specializes in Christmas lights a mere week before Christmas–I thought I was going to start foaming at the mouth.  That is not unusual.

And then there’s family–my parents know about my “issues” and typically respect the bubble.  We hug in greeting and in farewell…but in between, there’s not a whole lot of physical contact unless I initiate it (or, unless they decide to be ornery).  My extended family hug only in farewell, as a part of our social norm.  But my grandmother…she smothers me with physical “affection”, or as I see it physical “assault”.  Patting, rubbing, hugging, tapping…argh.  There is no other way to respond.  I have to bite my tongue to stay on my best behavior!

Finally, there are friends.  My oldest friend is one with whom I have never shared much physical interaction.  Hugging is weird for us…we just never did it very much.  So, physical affection isn’t a big deal there.  Newer friends, though (and by “newer”, I mean that we’ve been friends for two and a half years to three years), have their own ideas about physical affection.  The two girls that I have lived with over the past couple of years love giving hugs.  But, this relationship could not have survived this long if they had not been familiarized with my bubble.  Most of the time, they respect the bubble.  We hug in greeting & farewell…and when I get a little drunk.  Beyond these three close friends, there are a few people who are aware of the bubble and abuse the knowledge.  Most others, though, have never approached me for a hug…

Until last night.  I met up with a friend of mine for dinner.  He graduated last year and I hadn’t seen him in a while.  We met up, chatted, ate.  And then, we were walking out to our cars.  We got to his.  I said “bye” and he started walking towards me like he was going to give me a hug.  I started to panic and backed away.  There was an awkward pause and he approached me again saying “Yeah, let’s give this a shot.”  And, he gave me a hug.  Oh.  Man.

I don’t know where my aversion to physical contact came from.  It has been there for years.  Supposedly when I was very young, I loved snuggling and hugging and cuddling.  So, what happened?  The bubble.

Ah man…there is a lot more to say about this bubble.  But, I think that it’s too much for one post.  I’m going to end this post right now and continue my thoughts about the bubble later.  It will all come together under the idea of “Lukewarm Waters”…I promise.

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God is Good

February 25th…wow, talk about an epic fail at blogging.  But, I have an excuse–kind-of.  I don’t really like to make excuses.  Just explanations.  So, an explanation: look at my planner.  The sky begins falling right around, hmm, February 25th.  Yep.

The assignments began piling up.  Spring break ran me over.  Extra-curricular responsibilities threatened my sanity.  Life was CHAOTIC.  And now, here I am: in finals week.  I have three things to do this week: presentation, test, piano jury.  There are five days in the week: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday . All three of my things occur on one of those days: Wednesday.  Can’t they be spread out?

No.   That’s enough of the wining.  That’s all I have done for the past week.  I just need to smile and be happy…but it’s hard to be happy when I’m losing a roommate!  That is sad.  She’s transferring next semester, so it’ll just be two of us in an off-campus apartment next semester.  The one that is leaving is the one who keeps us grounded…life might get a bit crazy.

But we can do it!  I am so blessed just to be able to live off-campus…finally.  We a snazzy young lady that I enjoy hanging out with.  And, we’re going to have a great landlord.  The whole process has been–and continues to be hectic.  But, ya know what?  Life is good.

Life is what you make it and I choose to make it good…because God is good.

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