The Twin Cities Rainbow Chaser

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

_____ is lonely.

As I was kneeling on the cold ground wiping green goo off of my numb fingers, I couldn’t help but feel completely and utterly alone.  My dad wasn’t texting me back.  No one was stopping to help.  There was no one to call.  No one to talk to.  And I was getting my favorite slacks dirty!

That’s where I found myself after school today when I walked out of the building and saw the rear, left tire on my adorable little Jetta flat.  More than pancake flat…crepe flat.  My mind races through the options of calling people, going back into the school, and crawling into my car to hibernate until the time when the tire magically re-inflates.  Obviously, one of those options is completely idiotic: calling someone.  I guess hibernating is also idiotic.  And I was too proud to go back into the school.  That didn’t leave much of anything…besides whatever magically appeared out of my trunk.

As it so happens, there was a spare donut tire in my trunk (not cinnamon-covered or jelly-filled) and a fix-a-flat kit.  Whoa!  I am sure you are wondering how I ended up with fix-a-flat in my trunk, since I’m never prepared for crises like this.  Let’s go backwards a bit…

At Christmas eve celebrations with my mom’s dad’s family, we always have a “white elephant” gift exchange.  One year, I ended up with a fix-a-flat kit.  I tried to get someone to steal it, but no one was interested.  Since that time, it has been in my trunk.  Who knew that it was destined for greatness?

Anyways, back in the present…I read the instructions on the goop…err…slime…about five times before I figured out what I needed to do.  (Please note: I tutor kids in reading fluency, not comprehension.)  And then I began.  During the 40 minutes that I was working, three people stopped to see if they could help.  No one would…there’s not a whole lot to help out with when the process consists of squeezing slime and then airing up.  I appreciated their concern though.

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And when it was all done and I was sitting in my warm car, I called my dad to see what to do next and at that point I had to cry.  During the whole process, I had felt completely alone.  Sure, there were people in the school and people from church who would have answered my desperate cries (the sermon series this month is about family).  But I was feeling too independent and self-sufficient.

Who knew that such feelings would lead to feeling utterly and completely alone?

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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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Post-Thanksgiving Slump

Thanksgiving was a much-needed opportunity to be with my parents.  And when I say “be with” I mean more than just spending time with them.  I can’t really convey how much that phrase carries.  There aren’t any tangible details into which I could delve, so I won’t bother.  But, the warmth that I received when I was with them made leaving that much harder.  I came home Saturday night and cried myself to sleep.  All day Sunday, I felt fragile.  This has never been me.  I’ve been the type of person who turns around and forgets about friends, family, connections.  My fragility scared me…it still does.  I question whether or not I am who I thought I was.  I wonder if some switch has suddenly flipped and I am now weak.

Monday morning seemed impossible.  The motivation that I normally have was completely absent.  I wanted to curl back up in bed and sleep until Christmas break.  Somehow I managed to get ready for school, though, and I had some time to spare.  So I turned to the warmth of my heavenly Father and this is what he had to say:

Be joyful always;

pray continually;

give thanks in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

 

He will supply.  No matter how “fragile” I feel, His strength will protect me from the knocks and bumps that the world throws my way.  Or, that arise from my inner angst and fears.  And when the path seems foggy, my prayers and joy and thanks should continue.  There is no better way to exist.

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