rocky and the bull

07. Your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.

In a word: no.

My sign is a Taurus. However, I avoid saying that “I am a Taurus” because I am not a Taurus. I am a child of the Person who created the stars in the first place. I was not born under the authority of the stars, so they hold no sway over my life.

I won’t lie, though, researching the personality traits of a Taurus were pretty interesting. Fun fact: did you know that the color of a Taurus was pink? Not only is this in complete, direct opposition to my personality (see factoid no. 16 of my prior post), but I also think it’s sort of an insult to the bull’s ultra-masculine, uber-menacing swag.

But anyways, here’s a brief description of a completely reputable, not at all suspect Internet forum regarding the positive aspects of Taurean personalities:

The positive Taurean believes that if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Patience and persistence are two of your most enduring qualities. You like to plan for the future and will want to know your work and efforts will be of permanent value.

Taurus is a hard worker and reliable employee. You take your work very seriously and can be depended on to fulfil all obligations. Your home is also important to you and you will build a secure and comfortable ‘nest’ for yourself and your family. As a friend you are loyal and supportive. People know they can rely on your sensible mind and practical skills.

As a Taurus you are highly sensual, steadfast, warm, and affectionate.

In keeping with reputable sources, Bret Michaels has said that “every rose has its thorn.” So, here are the negative aspects of Taurean personalities:

The negative Taurus can get angry with yourself when your work and other efforts don’t meet with your own high standards. You might become fixed in your thinking, refusing to accept there are other ways of looking at things. Imagination can be lacking and you will be so stubborn at times that you leave family and friends exasperated! Taurus will take everything so seriously that you find it hard to relax and enjoy the lighter side of life and living.

Your pig-headedness could drive friends and lovers away when they might feel they just can’t ever get through to you. If logical arguments don’t suit you, you will simply close your ears and refuse to listen. Your occasional outbursts of uncontrollable rages will arise from accumulated frustration and irritation. You try to keep your emotions under control but when negative feelings and anger erupts, it can be hard for you to know how to cope. In romance, the negative you can be extremely jealous and possessive.

If this is any indication whatsoever of how accurate horoscopes can be, this reading of my personality is pretty off kilter.

Here’s a table that lines up my projected personality  traits against  my actual ones.

Projection…

…Actuality

patient

It grows slowly

persistence

Only when it comes to asking irritating questions 😛

planner

Yes

hard worker

I hope so!

loyal

Yes

supportive

Other people may be a better judge of this than I

sensible mind

See above?

practical skills

Not really, actually. I’m only resourceful when I see other people be resourceful and channel them!

angry

I struggle with anger sometimes, but praise the Lord, He’s taking the roots out.

stubborn

This is accurate.

take everything too seriously

Probably not. I’m too sarcastic to take everything so seriously.

refuse to listen

Maybe??

outbursts of uncontrollable rage

hahahahaha

jealous and possessive

Not as a personality fault… I think I can be jealous but I don’t imagine it’s the sort of emotion that comes up often.

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
Advertisements

all the small things

06. Write thirty interesting facts about yourself.

  1. My middle name is an old family heirloom: it is my mother’s middle name and my grandmother’s maiden name.
  2. Coldplay has been my favourite band since 2002. Ever since hearing X&Y, I have wanted to see them live. I finally did last July.
  3. When I was very young, I distinctly remember my grandmother telling me that I’d learn to like lima beans when I got older. I still don’t like them.
  4. Even though I’ve never lived anywhere else but Maryland, there are some words I pronounce with a Southern accent (I like to think it’s because I have Southern blood).
  5. By the time I’d finished kindergarten, I’d lost eight teeth.
  6. Staring contests are hilarious to me, even if I always lose.
  7. The human brain fascinates me.
  8. My first car didn’t have a working speedometer, odometer, rpm meter, or gas gauge.
  9. The newest car I’ve ever driven has been ten years old.
  10. In theory, I’d love to travel around the world and write, but I don’t think I ever would because I like the feeling of belonging in one place, with a consistent community.
  11. I don’t think I’ll ever have a favourite song (how could I pick!?), but I do have certain albums that will always be my favorite.
  12. The kitchen is my favourite place to be in my house.
  13. Old journals fascinate me, as do old Bibles with notes in the margins.
  14. If I’m not driving during a road trip, I’ll nearly always fall asleep.
  15. “The Myth of You and Me” by Leah Stewart is a book that I can’t seem to stop re-reading.
  16. I hate roses, pink, anything excessively effeminate.
  17. I’ve always had a nasty habit of picking at/ biting my fingernails.
  18. I don’t have a favorite book of the Bible, but there are some characters that fascinate me: Ruth, Jairus, Peter, Aaron.
  19. Christian music is always something I’ve found to be more than a little cheesy, but over the last four years I have a few albums by Christian artists that I’ve come to love dearly: The Long Fall Back to Earth by Jars of Clay, The Medicine by John Mark McMillan, and The Light Meets the Dark by Tenth Avenue North.
  20. The scent of citrus is the most invigorating scent ever (especially oranges).
  21. I love looking at photography.
  22. Writing a poem about interrobangs is on my bucket list.
  23. There’ll always be a soft spot in my heart for songs with an awesome piano line, but a song with a solo guitar playing is slowly nudging its way into the spotlight.
  24. One day, I will give away all the clothes I don’t wear.
  25. I think used bookstores are better-smelling than any other store (even if they don’t smell like citrus).
  26. I want to do a pen-and-ink drawing of a fingerprint.
  27. In college, despite my complete ineptitude in all things artistic, I decided to be brave my senior year and take art classes. I liked it so much I ended up taking enough classes to become an art minor.
  28. In 2010, I resolved to memorize T.S. Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” I still have a majority of it down.
  29. I want to memorize at least one psalm from the Bible every year. So far, I have Psalm 1 and 23, and I think the next one will be either 4 or 19. (Any votes, readers?)
  30. One of the things I love most about my friends from college is the fun we had with the Post-It Wall and, later, the Post-It book.

Teenage suicide… don’t do it.

05. A time you thought about ending your own life.

I haven’t. 

Bam. Blog written. 

OK, fine, if I’m going to be terrible at writing every day, then I suppose I shouldn’t cheese off when I actually do update. 

Though I have never considered killing myself, I fully admit to not always being satisfied with my life. I have wished for a different one. In the way someone may struggle through quicksand, I have struggled through sorrow’s swamp and wished for a better life. But I praise the Lord that He consistently reminds me that the life He’s given me is a gift. A gift for which I don’t have the receipt, so I can’t return or exchange it. Thank goodness!

Life did not originate with me. It began with a Creator who breathes breath into our nostrils and gives us life, movement, meaning. So therefore, it is not my right to take away either my life or any other.

Let me please be clear: I am not minimizing depression or those who have considered killing themselves. I have witnessed the effects of depression and the decisions that stem from it; minimizing it is foolish. I firmly believe, however, that understanding who God is and how He cares for us is more than enough reason to continue living.

 

taste and see.

04. Your views on religion.

To my readers, 

Normally I would apologize for not writing one blog entry per day. However, a wise friend told me recently that *even if* I don’t blog every day like I wanted to do for my New Year’s Resolutions, I still blogged more frequently than I would have otherwise. A small victory is still a victory! 

And so now, I’m to discourse on my religious views. To begin, I’ve never so much understood why the phrase “religious views” was coined; I don’t actively view religion, I interact with it. “Viewing” something brings sitting on a park bench to mind: You are people watching, pigeon watching, children watching, etc. You’re not actively involved. A life with Jesus should not involve “viewing” but rather should be exciting (or at least busy). Jesus Himself says this: He came to bring abundant life. Life involves getting off the park bench and swinging from the monkey bars or sliding down the slide. Even, occasionally, pumping your legs on the swingset and competing with the person next to you (who cares if they realize it or not? All that matters is that you get higher. Let’s be honest here.). 

Though the metaphor of a playground does not accurately describe a life with Jesus all the time, I certainly do think that people overlook the wonderful things about Jesus and His message and focus on the bad. Yes, there are things to give up. Yes, there are un-fun parts about Christianity. Yes, oftentimes it does seem like life hands you a shoddy hand of cards and God is far away, absent, disinterested, or otherwise occupied. Mother Teresa once expressed her frustration with God by saying that “If this is the way You treat Your friends, no wonder You have so few.”

BUT. 

GOD. 

The whole of my religious experience can be summed up in those two words. What a world that can be found in them. Christianity attracts me because it has never failed to be honest. Yes, the world is bad. Yes, life is hard. Yes, I suck (you know a religion is honest when it isn’t afraid to be honest about you). But. God. Intervened. 

I have heard others say that Christianity is the only religion that “gets it.” It doesn’t sugarcoat things. It doesn’t hide away the impurities of its heroes. It certainly doesn’t parade its heroes with garish, tawdry pomp and blare. It is brutally honest about the world, us, and the fact that we need help. Jesus Christ is that help and to pretend anything else is just sniffing at empty boxes. 

My religious views are challenged every day by the Bible’s realities. Having been raised in a home where I was introduced to the Bible at or around the age of two, I certainly had plenty of time to form my own opinions of who Jesus is and more opportunity to see what other people thought of it. The Bible challenges my brain to either hold more tightly to what I’ve learned or let it go. I’m thankful for a God who won’t conform to what I think but rather gives me better glasses to see things and transforms my life to glorify Him. 

For now, here’s a snapshot of my religious views: 

  1. Jesus is alive 
  2. the Bible is accurate (but sometimes its readers are wrong) 
  3. humanity always needs help 
  4. republicans are not always right 
  5. neither are democrats
  6. joy is found at the Father’s hand 
  7. there will be no peace until Jesus returns 
  8. praise the Lord; He gives second chances (and thirds, and fourths, and fifths…) 
  9. all things originated in God the Father and thus, humans have no sway in when they can be taken away 
  10. all because of Jesus, the Lord’s mercy to me far exceeds His judgment

my God is larger than any religion. and for that I am devoutly thankful. 

“Dave’s not here, man.”

03. Your views on drugs and alcohol.

Even if alcohol and drugs are legal, this does not make them good. As G.K. Chesterton once said, “To have a right to do something and to be right in doing it are not at all the same.” Though there may not be anything wrong with consuming alcohol after the age of 21, or smoking pot in Colorado or Washington, this does not change the fact that alcohol and drugs are subtle masters that can destroy our lives with ease.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not opposed to the occasional beer or glass of wine. (I mean, for goodness’ sakes, at this very moment I have Blue Moons in my fridge. I also happen to have three bottles of rum in my storehouses, albeit only for cooking purposes.) But I think that overconsumption with any medium– be it food, drugs, alcohol, etc.– will not meet what we actually crave.

Ephesians 5:18 says not to be drunk on wine, but rather filled with the Spirit. It’s taken me a large amount of time to understand that when you don’t fill (literally and figuratively) your body and life with one thing, it only makes sense to fill it with something else.
One of my favourite things about God’s Law is that even if He withholds something, there is something else He gives even better than what He denies. Alcohol, drugs, sex, money, power, anything else we think we need become things we don’t actually need. Psalm 4:7 says “You have put gladness in my heart, more than when their grain and new wine abound.”

Regarding drugs, I’ve heard the same excuse used for drugs that I have for cigarettes: they’re keeping me sane. I’m stressed out and I need an outlet. They make me feel more in control. Etc. Etc. Etc.

Lies.

Drugs may give off that feeling; I’m not going to say that they don’t. But the feeling of control can subtly move from being in your hands and then move to around them. They go from something you control to something that controls you. And that cannot symbolize or point to any good thing.

circa-reverse

02. Where you’d like to be in ten years.

Disclaimer: This is my blog and I do what I want. Like write the second day’s prompt three days after my first one. Say whaaaat?!

So, this blog’s entry will be about the forecast for the next ten years. It is at this point I’d like to bring your attention to one of my favourite Nelson Mandela quotes:

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

This is a little of how I feel regarding my old ten year plan. Recently, after having excavated some old journals, I have been remembering circa-2006 and circa-2010 when I was a fresh-out-of-high-school graduate and, then, a slightly more seasoned college graduate. Let me tell you, folks, if there’s anything that’s unchanged, it’s old journals. Sometimes re-reading them makes me cringe, especially if I find a spelling error or a particularly egregious handwriting sample.

From the time I left Baltimore for college, I wanted out. I wanted to leave. I distinctly remember thinking as I packed up my stuff and loaded it into the death-trap, also known as our family minivan, that this was the last time I was ever going to live with my parents. This was a happy pre-cursor to me leaving  Maryland for good.

Boy, was I wrong. And you know something? I’m so glad. God’s plan is better than I ever could have guessed, even if it did involve coming back to Baltimore and living with my parents for a year and a half after college. Many of my plans, which used to involve moving far away, starting a job at a major publishing company or becoming the next J.K. Rowling, and getting married three months out of college are… well… not exactly shot, but they’re less of a priority than they were (though I confess, it would be lovely to be married *nudgenudgenudge*).

Anyways, now my plans are more fluid. I do have goals (for instance, to publish a book and memorize more Scripture), but I’m finding that navigating where the Lord has me currently is more than enough to keep me busy.

It sounds too simple to say, but in ten years I want to know more about speaking the truth in love. I want to practice courage. And I want to become a person who makes time to pray for people and write them encouraging notes.

Anyhow, fun fact, I used to have a LiveJournal. I’m not going to tell you the URL. But, on this mysterious livejournal, I made a list of “Things to Do Before I’m Thirty.” (Admittedly, less than ten years from now, but hey.) Here are some of them.

  • See Coldplay live
  • Learn to drive stick
  • Go to Europe. Have tea and biscuits in cafe while I’m there.
  • Visit all the states in the U.S., particularly the West Coast
  • Memorize one more chapters in the Bible
  • Get married
  • Finish a short story
  • Go parasailing

In closing, I’ll leave you with this closing quote from one of my all-time favorite movies… anyone who can guess it wins a prize. Furthermore, anyone who knows who said it also wins some points. (IMDB, Wikiquote, and Google make cheaters out of the best of us, people.)

“Instead of telling our young people to plan ahead, we should tell them to plan to be surprised.”

Image

singlehood and takendom

Prompt 01: Your current relationship. If single, discuss how single life is.

If the two camps for this prompt are being single or being taken, then I would reside in the camp of being taken. Very happily, I might add.

I’m under the impression that for a 30 day challenge, I can make up my own rules, as long as I continue to write about the subject of the prompt. SO, with that being said, I will continue to be a girl and discuss the land of takendom (even if the prompt does seem to show preferential treatment to discussing singlehood).

Also, in addition to the disclaimer in the previous post, here’s one more: this is my blog and I fully claim the right to make up words. Hence singlehood and takendom.

OK so: TAKENDOM. 🙂 I can’t find a picture to post, but I am the happy other side of a relationship with an M.R.D. (What a stately name. If “, Esq.” were attached to the end, it would roll right off the tongue, wouldn’t it?) It’s pretty wonderful. And I am not just saying that because he may read this later.

I am a big proponent of making lists. So, at this point, I am going to happily introduce you to all the fantastic things about why I love (dating) him.

  • He loves Jesus. This deserves its own bulletpoint.
  • We both love the same music (mostly). I have never dated anyone who loved the same music as I, and I never realized just how great it was until we started. It’s phenomenal. (Even if he doesn’t like Coldplay as much as he should.) (Dear Mike: if you’re reading this, start liking Coldplay more! xoxo)
  • Cookies. Cakes. Cooking and baking everything we can think of. Before I even knew he was interested in dating, we started baking together (ginger snaps, if you’re curious, and they were DELICIOUS). I got to know him in our kitchens and we’ve been enjoying our time there ever since. I love learning how to work well and “be messy” with another person.
  • He’s not confrontational but he doesn’t hide the truth. I struggle with telling the truth, but I struggle even more with saying it kindly. He does not have this problem and chooses to speak honestly, but humbly (which softens the edges greatly). I’m thankful that if I ask him a question, I will get an honest answer.
  • He thinks about things before saying them. This is one of the things that stands out about him: he doesn’t just say things in a cavalier fashion. Everything that pushes itself out of his mouth is something that has first been filtered through his brain. It’s a lesson for me, especially as someone who will just spout off to fill potentially awkward silences.

There are many more things, but it is late, and I have a bed waiting for me. Maybe I’ll expand the list later (because goodness knows I could go on!).

styrofoam peanuts and cardboard box