Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thoughts for a Thursday

There have been a lot of thoughts running through my head these past few days. But I always have problems articulating my thoughts, so I'm going to try to use this post today to sort through some of them.

*Praying in Color
I just finished reading this book (you can see a review of it, if you click on my goodreads link on the side) by Sybil Macbeth and it is wonderful. It has introduced a whole new prayer form to me - prayer in the form of art and in the process of creating a drawing. This really appeals to me because I love art and creating things and I also love the idea of praying in whatever we do. She even includes a chapter of how to "Pray in Color" on the computer. It just is a really, really neat idea and prayer form and I'm excited to really start practicing it. Sybil also a good friend of Phyllis Tickle's, who I know is greatly admired by a lot of my friends.

*The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
I finished reading this book on Tuesday night and it is an amazing memoir. But I think the thing that has stayed with me since reading it is the depth of love that Walls has in relating her story about her family. The things that she and her siblings endured because of her parents' choices and personal battles, could have embittered them and created a wellspring of hate, but that is never apparent in the rendition of the story. What is apparent is the love that Walls had for her siblings, her mother, and most of all, her father - because the events that Walls relates could not have been written without it. That love shouldn't have existed, but it did, and it is an amazing testament to the strength and bonds of familial love - in spite of everything - horrible, awful things that no one should have to endure.

*The Oppressiveness of Getting Older
I know I shouldn't let my age worry me. There are plenty of people who are older than I am, but I can't shake this feeling that I've been living with ever since I turned 26 that things should be different than they are. That my life should look a lot different than it does. Like, what am I doing living in my small, provincial town during my twenties? That I should be in a different job, having a more important title, more important duties and responsibilities, more this, more that. That I should look like I am successful and important and have accomplished all of these world-changing things that I look around and see other people my age doing. That there should be a PhD or MBA after my initials.

Where does this come from? It would be easy to blame my parents and the pressure I feel from them to always go that extra step. But I am the one that gives them that power - I can reject or internalize their words - that is my choice. Or I could blame it on the fact that I was named "Most Likely to Succeed" in High School. The fact is, this is a blatant lie that I am half-believing from Satan. But I am really struggling with trying to see past this lie and be content with the life that I have right now.

I was talking about this feeling the other night with one of my friends and she was relating to me that it doesn't really seem to matter what point or age in life you are in, this feeling that "I should be something else" is always there, lurking under the surface. It is something that we have to constantly fight against and know that our worth doesn't lie in what we do or don't do or haven't done. And I know this in my head - I really do - it just is hard to look past this lie right now and believe it in my heart.


Josh said...

ah yes, the pressure to live into the future. i was talking with a professor recently, and he talked about how he noticed that people in the U.S. are always talking about what they are going to be doing, rather than talking about what they are doing right now. there is such pressure to "succeed" in our culture, and such a pressure to be someone different than we are right now, whether we need to be someone with whiter teeth, or a better car, or smarter, etc. etc. and it is hard to be free from those pressures.

if you figure a way out, let us all know! either way, i'm sure that you'll find your way Lauren! it seems crazy, but i think the best way for us to live into the future and the hopes and dreams of God for our world, is to live in the present.

i hope you are well friend! the praying in color book sounds cool. hopefully when school gets out i can pick it up!

Rebekah O'Dell Photography said...

I think your friend is right, Laur...I don't think we ever accomplish something or get to some milestone and feel "Ahhh...I am THERE." There is always that doubt and lingering lurking. It reminds me of a quote by G.K. Chesterton (you should look it up because I don't remember exactly what it says) that essentially says that that feeling of always wanting something more is just a reminder that we aren't meant for this earth....and that longing is just our longing for heaven.