N is for Nasty. You’d probably never find me on Santa’s naughty list. When I was a youngster, I was a really good girl. I was really afraid to do something wrong. I hated the thought that I might let my parents or my teachers down. And then there was the issue of wondering if God might be up there ready to send a lightning bolt if I messed up. I suffered great guilt and confusion during the sixth grade spelling bee – it was down to me and Tina Hansel as the two last spellers. Tina got the word, “socket.” Tina had a little twang in her speech and when she spelled it, I clearly heard s-o-c-k-e-t but her “e” sounded a little like an “a.” The emcee said she had spelled it wrong. I stood there, stunned. She had certainly spelled it right. I paused to think about what to do. I spelled it “s-o-c-k-e-t” apparently without the little twang, because I spelled it correctly. And I went on to spell the winning word. But the victory was bittersweet. I was so hard on myself for not standing up during that spelling bee and insisting that Tina had spelled the word correctly. Now I am grown up and I’m still a pretty good girl, when it comes right down to it, but my motivation is different. I just like being kind and friendly to people. It makes me feel really good. And I think Proverbs is right when it says, “He who refreshes other people will himself be refreshed.” Sure is true for me.
O is for Optically Gifted. At the young age of seven, I was clear that I wanted to wear glasses (oy vey, I say now). I read under the covers to try to speed along the process. And, sure enough, I was able to get glasses when I was seven. That means I have had to use something to help me see for almost 40 years now! I got contact lenses when I was 13 (oy vey). Back then, they didn’t have contacts that you could wear for five minutes and throw away with nary another thought. No, it was that whole clean them, boil them, neutralize them, don’t wear them too long. A list of rules as long as your arm. When I finally got around to looking into laser surgery to correct my vision, something I had dreamed of for so long, I was told that my distant vision would be corrected but I would lose my close up vision and that things would be blurry up close without glasses. At that point (and even now) I could see close-up very clearly without any corrective lenses, and I couldn’t imagine losing the ability to see the faces of my husband and children clearly in those lovely intimate moments when we are face to face. So, I said no to the surgery. Contacts act like suction cups on my eyes in minutes anymore, so I pretty much stick to glasses.
P is for Psychologist. At some point, I must have been planning to become one, though, because I majored in Psychology in college. I was too far into it to change when I realized that the field was (is?) very research-oriented. I just wanted to help people. I didn’t go on for my master’s although I flirted with the idea. I love the idea of helping people and I find ways to do that, even though I am not able to do anything clinically. I have been extremely blessed in my life to learn many principles that have made a difference in my life. I have also been extremely blessed to find healing and experience God’s grace in many areas. I still have some wounds that I am aware of, and probably some that I’m not aware of, and I still love the idea of being a group therapy leader, or somehow helping people work through the pain and difficulties that are still affecting them as adults.
Q is for Queenslander. Although I lived in Queensland for 16 months, I can’t claim it as home. I surely loved Australia and my friends and experiences there. One of the defining experiences of my life was living in Australia with Greg. I would definitely live there again. My favorite place in all the world, Eli Creek, is off the coast of Queensland. I experienced a lifestyle in Aus that just really suited me perfectly. I found Adrian Plass in Aus. Greg and I made some incredible memories there. Basically, I got to live out a dream I had had since I was a child.
More to come . . .