Daily Archives: June 20, 2008

I’m on the Yearbook Committee.

Oh, wait. I AM the yearbook committee. See, last summer, I had this great idea that we should do a yearbook for the homeschool group we are a part of. My daughter and I were going to head it up and make it happen. Never mind that I already had a full, yea verily, overflowing plate. It was a new idea and I am always quite enthusiastic about new ideas! Yes! I can do it! It will fit in! Somehow!

So, we started sending out emails to students saying things like, “Join the yearbook committee! Students needed to do photography, layout, [and other really cool things].” Soon we had a LIST of people! People who said Yes! I can do it! I am interested! Week after week went by and we didn’t get ANYwhere. Mostly, I suppose, I don’t really know how to let it be up to the students.

Later in the year, when we hadn’t gotten beyond sporadic emails, I finally admitted I couldn’t make it happen. I gave the whole kit and caboodle to another student who really wanted to have a yearbook for her senior year. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to make it happen either.

Did I just say ok well we won’t have a yearbook, just like every other year, and that will be ok. ?? Did I? No, I did not. I said, ok I can do it. But there weren’t exclamation marks anymore, just lower case letter and very slow typing. yes. i can do it. i think.

So, today I am going to make this yearbook. {grits teeth} I am going to get this thing done. {grinds teeth and grimaces}.

My FINE husband yesterday reminded me that this is a good thing I am doing and that the kids will have this yearbook for years. So, I really did change my attitude. All the gritting and grimacing is just for effect for my readers. Oh, how I long for Microsoft Publisher, no doubt a totally outdated program, but boy could I use it. Right now I am trying to use Adobe CS InDesign. It doesn’t work the way my brain works. So, I’m going to give it one more chance to shape up. If it doesn’t come around, me and MS Word are going to finish the job.

Oh, by the way. Will you sign my yearbook? Or at least my yearbook post?

More Alphabet Sioupsie

R is for Right-handed. Yes, that’s right. I am a leftie, a southpaw. And look at the other synonyms the thesaurus mentions: awkward, clumsy, dubious, gauche, insincere, maladroit, sinistral. I’m pretty sure I’m not any of those things, at least the ones I know the definition of! So, in case you don’t know, it’s a right-handed world. But, for the most part I think I have adapted ok. And so far, my kids are all right-handed. We’ll see about Kepler. I think the most brilliant idea I ever had as a left-handed person was to learn to write with both hands back in second grade. Alas. The teacher knew in her infinite teacher wisdom that this would be a very very bad idea, so she wouldn’t let me. And since I was a good girl (see earlier post), I didn’t even try to do it at home on my own time. But I showed her, didn’t I. I can read upside down and backwards and she can’t stop me!

Broken People – Part II

I started with this therapy group at its inception at the beginning of last August. Five of us, plus two psychotherapists met together for several months before we ultimately ended up with eight patients and two therapists. My group has been a great place for me and has been a great experience.

This past Wednesday, though, I left feeling quite sad. One of our members has reached a point where he feels like he is ready to leave the group. Others in the group were being all, like, “That’s great you’re ready to leave and you’re taking care of yourself.” “Hey, if you can do it, maybe I can, too.”

But I was feeling sad about him leaving. His contributions to the group have been huge. He has a wonderful way of distilling down what you’ve said into the basic issues and I have found his questions and comments to be very helpful to me over the months. As well as the impact he has had on me personally, I know that he and I are the ones who do the most talking in group, and I believe I may have started feeling that I CAN’T leave the group yet, regardless of whether or not I have reached my original goals.

Our other members are still in varying degrees of deep brokenness — the kind where they feel inadequate, unworthy, and unlovable. I feel like I have made huge progress i this group. You know what? I bet the others feel like they have as well. I guess what I am dealing with is feeling some responsibility to my group members, to stay and offer what I can. But what if it is time for me to move on? The very fact that it is so hard for me to make this decision makes me think I probably still have some work to do!

The truth is that sometimes I feel like a junior facilitator in our group. I see the facilitators affirming what I am saying, and building on what I have said. But the truth is that our facilitators are very good at what they do, and I don’t think they really need me to make the group work. Such a challenge to find that balance between embracing the truth of making a valuable contribution, and realizing that I’m a work in progress just like everyone else in the group.

I love the people in my group. We have no contact outside the group, in order to make the group environment as safe as possible, so I don’t think I will see any of these people after they or I leave the group.

For now, I know I still have issues that I can work on in group. So, for the time being, I will keep making my way to the office on Wednesday at 5:30.

Broken People

Sunday morning, we had a great sermon on the concept of Brokenness. I believe the pastor was using the word in the context of realizing that we humans are broken by sin and that Christ is our healer. His text was the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, one of whom was quite self-sufficient, and the other who realized his great need for a Savior.

In the bulletin was a handout and “Proud people” and “Broken people.” There were two contrasting sentences in each paragraph. Here is an example:

Proud people have to prove that they are right.
Broken people are willing to yield the right to be right.

The first few that caught my eye didn’t give me any problem, but as I read more closely, I found several that I just couldn’t accept.

As I have come to believe deeply that low self-esteem is actually a result of pride (hubris), I can see that I have been quite prideful in my life. I know that I am more broken now, but only in the sense that I realize that I am not the Savior of my life. I am not broken if you think of brokenness as there being something inherently flawed in me.

There were 30 pairs of sentences, and I have re-written 7 of them. Read on and let me know what you think:

original: Proud people focus on the failures of others.
original: Broken people are overwhelmed with a sense of their own spiritual need.
rewrite: Broken people never lose sight of their spiritual need and they realize that only Jesus Christ can fill that need.

original: Proud people are self-righteous; they look down on others.
original: Broken people esteem all others better than themselves.
rewrite: Broken people recognize that every human on earth is a precious child of God and they treat others with the deepest respect and love, as they would like to be treated.

original: Proud people compare themselves with others and feel worthy of honor.
original: Broken people compare themselves to the holiness of God and feel a desperate need for His mercy.
rewrite: Broken people see themselves in light of the holiness of God and see themselves as humble recipients of his righteousness and mercy.

original: Proud people have a drive to be recognized and appreciated.
original: Broken people have a sense of their own unworthiness; they are thrilled that God would use them at all.
rewrite: Broken people are filled with a deep gratitude for the gifts that God has given them and they share those gifts with others — they have freely received and the freely give.

I have spent days, weeks, months, years, and decades thinking about myself. But finding healing doesn’t mean I’m never going to think of myself ever again. And I am concerned that churches inadvertently encourage Christians to focus on themselves in the name of not thinking of themselves. You can’t just stop thinking about yourself. Indeed, while there are no doubt people who, for a time, forget about their own needs almost altogether, forgetting to eat, etc., by taking care of ourselves (in good, healthy ways, not selfish ways) we are more available to other people. As friends. As wife or husband. As mother, father, sister, daughter.

Have you met people as I have who refuse to accept a compliment? What about people who have a really hard time receiving something without quickly finding something they can give back? Or people who confuse being humble with feeling bad about themselves?

What would be different if all Christians in every church had at the forefront of their hearts and minds this thought — “I am a cherished child of the King. He has blessed me with gifts and talents and my own special me-ness. Let me share these gifts with others!”