Thursday, December 6, 2012

Just a quick thing that I had to share because it is SO appropriate for me today...the mess that I am, still covered by, covered in, fashioned in His Grace!

May you all find grace today :-)


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Grace so Illusive...

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I started this blog (almost two years ago now; can you believe it?); about the hole it was supposed to fill for me.
And I'm wondering if it succeeded? Not really, because (or "BUT;" I'm not sure which is more accurate) I stopped writing.  I can't really say exactly why; I could come up with several reasons excuses.

One big one? I've been going through one of those seasons of life where I just continually ask myself, "Who Am I?"  And the silence that follows that question...
the answers that never come...they make the question almost echo in my head.

I was brought up in a Christian home.  I saw my parents live a Christian life everyday, not just on Sundays.  I saw them love each other, get angry at each other, kiss and hug each other, yell at each other, and one year - almost leave each other. While I knew the Biblical outline for a Christian home, it was many years later that I realized, ours didn't really fit it.  My Dad was a great provider; in fact he worked so many hours and often multiple jobs to provide for us, that he wasn't there much.  Mom was in charge! Bless her heart, she was in charge of everything! Us kids all day, the home, the laundry, the groceries, the meals, the finances, etc.  I can remember when I was little, we would drive to Daddy's work on Fridays so Mama could pick up his check and go deposit it at the bank before any of the bills cleared (no direct deposit back then). I think maybe she had already written some of the checks, hoping (and maybe praying) that she'd beat them to the bank.

It wasn't until I was married that I realized Mama and Daddy's marriage and family life couldn't be my marriage and family life.  Don't get me wrong! Out of all the examples out there, they set a pretty good one! What I mean is, Daddy was never the leader of our family. He was the firm hand that no one wanted a spanking from! He was the bread winner; he was the grass-cutter and the car-washer, and the one who threw us in the air as babies.

But as my own journey has lead me to research how to be a Godly wife, I struggle to know, really know, a Godly husband.  I certainly don't mean this as a criticism to my father or my husband. It is, however, very true that girls tend to pick spouses like their Dads.  While my hubby isn't always content to let me lead, he is gone from here about 60 hours a week.  It's up to me to get the kids to and from, to make the meals and do the shopping, to set up boundaries and enforce them.

My desire to be a woman of God, a woman of Grace, has actually birthed my recent struggles.   I want to be the best wife and mother I can possibly be.  I remind myself daily to "consider it all Joy" (James 1:2) and to do everything I do to the glory of God rather than man (or myself).  As the kids get older, I feel more and more like I am having to sacrifice myself to accommodate them.

So before you write me off as another selfish Mom, hear me out.

I don't mind sacrificing for my kids.  What I feel lately, is that I am not just sacrificing my time, my attention, my money for them; but actually sacrificing myself.  ME! The person that I was before I was someones wife and someones mother.  My interests? There just isn't time for them anymore.  We're too busy and something has to go.  Guess what it is? Something of mine; something that brings me joy; most recently, singing in the church choir because the practices were taking me out of the house another night.

And try as I might, I cannot help but be resentful.  Many days I want to scream out, "what about me?"
"When do I get a break?" "This is NOT what I signed up for!"

Knowing full well that this is sinful and of the flesh, definitely not of the Spirit.

On one hand, I can (and should be) proud of who I am today.  Despite my many short-comings, I have learned to control my tongue much better than I used to. For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. Matthew 12:34 My heart did overflow, often; it was ugly! So I have learned to tame that part of my inherent nature.

One thing I am still struggling with is giving up control and completely trusting God. I say I want to be a woman of God. I ask Him to reveal His plan for me.  But when it comes down to it, will I accept it? Will I say "Yes, Lord" without a question? Will I give up something else I feel is essential to "ME?"

So that is my struggle: feeling happy and satisfied to self when everything is going my way.  Feeling guilty and rebellious in the Spirit, if I am honest, most of the time.

Trying to reconcile those two things is the greatest paradox of my life.

Stick with me as I search for grace, truth, and the answer to the big questions: Who am I? and Who does God want me be?

Photo Credit:

Friday, November 9, 2012

Why I voted the way I did (the short story)...

I know I  have been very absent here.  No excuses! Any of you who have full lives with husbands, kids, jobs, etc. already understand.  I do promise to try harder and hopefully I have some readers left :-)

I have been struggling with all things "political"for at least 6 months now, and it wasn't just the presidential race. My state had a vote on a marriage amendment a few months back and unfortunately, I lost some friends over that one (not by my choice).  I've written and re-written many a blog post in my head but never quite put it to paper. Today, I am changing that and asking for God's guidance as I say what is on my heart albeit with the fear of offending those with opposing views.  I do realize that particular accomplishment may be an impossibility, but I will try just the same.

In regard to the recent election, I am mourning.  Disappointed doesn't even begin to cover my feelings on the subject and I hope to show you why.

I've heard a lot to the tune of "can't we all just get along" recently.  I think it's great that many are speaking out for peace and "working across the aisles." As someone from the "losing party" though, here is how I feel. It struck me most recently in the phrase: "God Bless America."

And He has blessed America; hopefully blessings will continue in the future.  Many people choose to blame God for every natural disaster, death or disappointment in their lives, while the simple fact is this: God hasn't forgotten America, America has forgotten God. The same people who willingly say "God Bless America" are often those rallying to remove God from the pledge of allegiance.  They are the ones shouting "Separation of Church and State" anytime they are uncomfortable with prayer or scripture reading in a "public place" or by a public entity.  By the way, that is a gross misinterpretation of what Thomas Jefferson intended when he coined the phrase.  BUT that's a post for another time.

Despite the arguments that exist out there, my research tells me that this country WAS founded on the God of Christianity but also on the freedom to worship (or not worship) that God as we choose.  And without a religion or set of beliefs being forced on us by our government as it is in some countries.

As a Christian, I cannot elect and therefore support a candidate/platform that does not have God's law (the ultimate law) at the root of their beliefs and governing nature.  I do agree with you that the election is over and it's time to move past that.  I also believe what the Bible says about government: as long as they aren't asking or requiring me to do something that violates God's laws, I am to obey them.  Support them even; pray for guidance for their leadership and their families.

While that feels difficult at this point, it is still my intention.  There is no need for ugliness and name-calling.  But whether you identify most with liberal groups or conservative groups, the rules should be the same for all.  I realize conservatives have been responsible for some of the ugliness, but not all of us.  It is especially disheartening, frustrating, and even maddening to me that the very liberals who say they want coexistence, tolerance, and equality, are the ones screaming obscenities and words like ignorant (the nice ones) or even stupid (or worse) at those who feel otherwise.

You know being Christian and/or Conservative does not mean we don't want to also love others and be tolerant; the exact opposite as a matter of fact.  Here’s what appears to be a point of dissent: being silent about something that violates God’s law is an approval of that sin.  That doesn’t mean screaming and Bible beating should ensue; the Bible says to reach out and correct in love, a concept most of us understand but have difficulty executing.  This verse comes to mind here: Galatians 6:1 "Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted."

So to give some examples, adultery is a sin; homosexuality is a sin; lying is a sin.  To God, sin is sin, and none of us is blameless.  If I, however, ignore a sin and say nothing of it, I am essentially an accomplice.  I am voicing my approval by saying nothing. It doesn't mean i hate the person committing the sin; this is where the saying, "Love the sinner, Hate the sin" originated I think.

As a Christian, I don't claim to be perfect.  I am imperfect in every way; sometimes judgemental or hypocritical though I don't intend to be.  Sometimes self-righteous though my desire is to be anything but! I simply desire to live my life as best I can according to God's plan, knowing that my rewards will be in Heaven.  Who wouldn't want that for ALL their friends and family? 

Sometimes expressing that desire in the right way for the other person is the hardest part.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

God has sent me a lot of special messages in the last few days and I just wanted to share one of them.
I thought this verse was so appropriate for me and my blog :-)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Priorities and accomplishments

Halllooo out there!

Surprised to see me here? Well, me too, sort of.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about writing; that I don't think about my blog friends; that I don't wonder if my absence has caused me to lose the small reader group that I once had.

Do you ever wonder why life is such a balancing act? Maybe I'm the only one that feels that way.  It just seems there is never enough time to do everything that NEEDS to be done, much less the things that I want to get done or should get done.

Unfortunately, summer is especially hard for me.  While some people get S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) in the winter, I'd promise it's a summer disease for me!
Check out some of my posts from last year about this time:
pouting and digging out
I'll warn you, neither is a warm fuzzy read!

This seems to be a pattern for me and one that I would rather not repeat next summer.

I already know what my issue is - lack of planning.  It's difficult enough to work from home anytime; you have to be a great boss and a great employee; be able to multi-task but also a great time organizer and not a time waster.  Throw both kids back into that mix and things get super complicated.
Have your summer party calendar go down the toilet = recipe for disaster.

So I tell you all of this to get at the bottom line: I am being humbled.  My priorities are being tested and adjusted.  And just like most people in trying times, I don't really like it.
I'm upset and I'm frustrated, and really, the big thing is I'm embarrassed! I spent 8 years building my business and in one lackadaisical summer, I have taken myself many, many steps backward.

But, I am tired of beating myself up.  I have long known there is a fine line between being proud of myself and my accomplishments and being prideful about those accomplishments.  My struggle has always been allowing myself to celebrate my accomplishments enough.

So it's my attempt today to celebrate my accomplishments with grace.  Because I think that's how God wants us to live; He wants us to live a blessed life; to feel joyful and accomplished.
A wise friend told me lately, "you're not super-woman! Think of all the things you have accomplished in the last 6 months, rather than all that has gone wrong."

So here goes; in the last 6 months I have:

-  lost about 35 pounds
-  lost 4 pants sizes and been able to wear things from the waaay back of my closet, PLUS go buy new clothes.
- managed to work out regularly (albeit not very consistently)
- maintain a home-based business, while spending as much time as possible with my kids and husband
- make an average of $1100 with my home-based business, even though some recent months were REALLY bad, some were REALLY good
- work minimal hours to make that money

There are so many reasons I have to be thankful for the events of the last 3 to 6 months.  One of the biggest? For the first time in many years, I do make time to take care of myself!
I haven't perfected it yet, but I'm making progress.

And this blog, is one thing I want to do more of for myself.  It was supposed to be an online diary of sorts for myself; a way to grow closer to God and work on me, not some obligation dropped to the wayside in lieu of "more important things".

So I am trying to do better! And please, if you are reading this and like it, Share me with your friends (thru Facebook or otherwise).  NOT because I want to grow my reading audience as much as I just want to be able to have a conversation with other women and Moms.  We all need a little companionship and camaraderie, wouldn't you agree? It's just so much more effective when there are two sides to the conversation!

If you have any feedback or just want to say "HI" leave me a comment to let me know you were here!

Grace cannot be earned; by it's sheer definition, you receive it when you least deserve it.  May you have a day drenched in grace!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making Homework Work...

Parenting is hard! Can I get an AMEN to that?

There is this one particular issue that keeps rearing it's ugly head in my house (or more precisely, in my car) everyday after picking Sweetpea up from school.

Sweetpea is turning in 8 in just about a month.  For the most part, she doesn't have official chores.  Granted, there are things we expect from her and her little brother at home but there are no official chore charts or anything. I am starting to wonder about her level of responsibility; I know full well what she is capable of.  The issue is, she isn't doing what I know she is capable of.

Here's the issue: more times than I count this year, she has left school without something she needed to bring home. I can handle leaving the lunch box or jacket at school, but you can't come home without your homework! The first few times it happened, I succumbed to her teary eyed pleading and turned around to go back to school and get whichever book or workbook she had forgotten.

About the third time this happened, I told her, "no more! If you forget your homework again, there will be consequences and you will just have to accept them.  NO HOMEWORK PASSES! You will have to tell your teacher you forgot your book and couldn't complete the assignment, taking whatever grade she gives you."

{Sweetpea is TOP in her class for AR- accelerated reading program- and she frequently earns prizes and homework passes.  Another blog post for another day, but REALLY, why do 7 year-olds need homework passes???!!! Homework is practice for skills they are learning in class! Foundational skills like multiplication tables and other things they will continue to build on throughout their educations!}

Anyway, last week, she didn't forget her book at school, she brought it home and did all but one of her spelling/vocabulary exercises.  She set it to the side during dinner because we were both stumped (and by the way, I have a hard and fast rule: I NEVER give her the answers! I try to help her think about it another way or give her hints, but I don't give answers.  I don't think that is helping a child with homework- it's doing it for them!) She never went back to it or put it in her book bag, so she left for school the next morning without it and it was counted "late."  
Now, I don't really know what that means in second grade.  My best guess is, her teacher takes off a few points, but still assigns a grade for the assignment once it's turned in.

In her class, there is a designated time when students go to a board or calendar and write down that night's homework in their own student planners (or "agendas" as her teacher calls them). 
For whatever reason, yesterday she just didn't do it.  When she got in the car, I immediately asked if she had homework because she also has gymnastics on Monday nights.  It's a tight fit to get home at 4:15pm, do homework, change clothes and re-fix hair and get back out the door by 4:45!
She immediately let me know her homework wasn't written in her agenda, but I told her we were not going back to the school.

I tried to help her figure out what pages might be her assigned ones for that night.  Math was pretty easy because she spotted a new subject they'd talked about in class, plus it was the next page after her last math assignment.  What she didn't know was she was supposed to do 2 pages of math :-)

Spelling was a different story.  We couldn't figure out what page to do.  I couldn't figure out what to do about the situation; be tough and let her suffer the consequences or try and help in some way? Eventually, I called a classmates' Mom to ask her what the assignment was.  

I'm not sure I made the right call.  Sweetpea was upset tonight when she realized she'd not done page 2 of the math assignment and gotten a "late" comment in the top of the page.
She also realized her classmate gave the wrong spelling page number, but her teacher allowed her to do that one during morning work. 

She seems plenty upset by the consequences of all this, but not to ready to accept that it's her responsibility.  I can't help but wonder if I'm doing something wrong? Or as Jennifer asked today, are we doing our children a disservice?  

So what do you think?
How do I let Sweetpea learn this lesson when she seems to not be learning it so far?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Then and Now...

Lately, I've been having these flashbacks.  They're kind of strange really, because they're being sparked mostly by other people.
You see, my daughter is about to turn 8 (in and of itself, totally unbelievable!) which means I've been a  Mom for that long. It means I haven't worked in corporate America for that long.  It means I've had my own direct selling business for that long.
Isn't it amazing how time flies?
Anyway, I think Sweetpea's impending birthday is making me think back on who I was before I was her Mother...

  • my house was mostly clean at any given moment (but then, I was mostly only in it to sleep)
  • I thought I'd be the perfect parent with a perfect child
  • I just KNEW I could be a very successful working Mom
  • I was pretty organized
  • I was respected by my co-workers and customers
AND, I was IN CHARGE! I was the boss, in pretty much every way I could be. At work, I was in charge of at least 3 bank tellers, and sometimes as many as 6.  I was in charge of certain routines and in charge of training others to do them and in charge of making sure they did them correctly.  
I was in charge of our household finances; I balanced the checkbook, transferred money between accounts, wrote out the checks for bills every month.  I made a good income, and in fact, my salary was just slightly lower than the hubby's, meaning I brought in almost half of our household income. 
I was in charge of my marriage too (or so I thought); in most cases, I could figure out how to get things to go my way.  I had a plan for everything.

Then I got pregnant with Sweetpea and the sky fell! 

My perfect pregnancy? Didn't happen! 
You know the one where I would feel great and go for walks and stay in good shape the entire time; not gain too much weight, and bounce back to work when she was 8 weeks old?
Yeah, right! 
I felt like puking from week 6 though most of the 40 weeks...was so tired I could barely make it through work and the traffic home, much less a work-out, gained about 60 pounds, and I think I cried for the first three days straight after she and I came home from the hospital (we were there 5 days)!

Perfect birth-plan didn't work out so well either ('nother story for another day/ post)!

Right about the time I hit the halfway point of my pregnancy, I knew - it hit me- my life was NEVER, EVER, EVER going to be the same.  I was about to change in a big way.

I had never in a million years wanted to be a stay-at-home Mom! Not because I didn't love my baby- on the contrary! I completely thought it was ok to continue pursuing a career and put her in daycare for 11 hours a day (and that may be ok for some people, but I quickly got a personal reality check).

Almost like someone flipping a switch, I knew I couldn't do it.  I wouldn't be able to hand over this precious baby growing inside me to someone else to take care of all day, every day, for days on end. I started to think of all the things I might miss during those 11 hours she was at daycare.  I started to hear stories from friends about babies rolling over or muttering first words and Mom or Dad missing it. 

Jump forward a few months and after many heated discussions with the Hubby about how we couldn't afford it, he finally agreed that I would be happier (and so would the baby) if we were both at home.

Still, I couldn't quite picture it.

I mean, I liked my job.  I was good it.  I got recognition for a job well done (most of the time).  Most of my friends worked for the same bank.
Would I be able to handle this identity crisis?

This week I ran into an old colleague from the bank, plus I uncovered an old planner with my Service Manager agendas and lists and "important" conference call notes.  And I kind of miss that girl; the one I used to be. She was ambitious, determined, and destined to do great things!

Back then, I felt important.  I was in charge; people looked up to me and counted on me, and somehow, I always pulled it off (whatever "it" was).  I had a great salary for a twenty-something with less than 5 years of banking experience.  When I wanted to spend some of that salary on something for myself- I did- no need to ask anyone else.  After all, I'd earned it right?

These days, some of these days, I'd tell you there is a stark contrast between then and now.
Most days, my house looks like a war-zone.
I am NOT a perfect Wife or Mother and I MOST DEFINITELY do not have perfect children.
Most days, I feel pretty DISorganized and mostly DISrespected. Definitely unappreciated (there are no recognition rewards for a job well done here).
I am not really so much "in charge". 

And most nights, I climb into bed thinking of all I DID NOT get done today.

Tonight, I am thinking of how far I've come from that girl I was 8 years ago.

I've learned there's no such thing as perfect.
I've learned to let things go (judging by the dust in my house, maybe I've gotten too good at this one).
I've learned I can't be successful at being everything to everybody.
I've learned that organization isn't everything and that Mom was right: respect does have to be earned.
I've learned that to get appreciation, you have to give a lot more of it than you want back.

I might not feel in charge anymore, but I know I am important.

Sweatpea said before dinner tonight, "Mom, I enjoy spending time with you because I don't see you all day!" And I asked Bubba before bed, "Who's my favorite little boy in the whole world?" He proceeded to guess every male family member he could think of knowing fully MY answer would be "YOU!"

And they make it worth it.  I think I can stand feeling unimportant for a few more years. 
Because THEY are ambitious and determined and destined to do great things; it's my job to guide them.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Spicy Cheese from Pinterest

Pinterest Challenge, find something you’ve pinned, TRY it and share it. Was it worth pinning?

I do believe that Pinterest is the newest form of EVIL! It takes my already precious time and eats it up! It sucks me in, complete with the Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha evil laugh in the background.

So I really try to be careful how much time I spend there.  I have found some amazing things, however!

My favorite, so far, is the ability to make authentic white queso dip (like at the local Mexican restaurant). I  constantly looking for it at the grocery store, but all the pre-packaged ones either don't taste authentic or are loaded with preservatives and junk (or both). I WAS SO EXCITED to learn how to make this at home!

I will tell you (because I simply cannot leave well enough alone), that I did alter the recipe for mine and my family's taste, but it is incredibly AUTHENTIC tasting and SO GOOD!

So here it is (the original):
Queso Blanco Dip (White Cheese Dip), The Second and Final Attempt
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 30 fluid ounces
  • 1 1/4 lb block White American Cheese (Land O'Lakes brand preferred), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup diced green chiles
  • 2 pickled jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 ounce pickled jalapeno juice
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • pinch of cumin (optional)

Toss all ingredients into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute. The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but should come together as a nice runny dip after all the cheese is melted.
Serve immediately as a dip with tortilla chips or as a sauce over your favorite Mexican dish.
*Recipe Note: White American cheese is found at most deli counters in your local grocery store.
*Reheat Instructions: Store any leftover cheese dip in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until creamy and hot.
Source: Adapted from Christine, Reader of Pennies on a Platter

Keep in mind this makes a HUGE batch of cheese dip (or spicy cheese as Sweetpea calls it), so you can half the recipe and have plenty.

NOW My changes and other tips:
First of all, my microwave (1100 Watts) will scorch the cheese around the edges in less than 30 seconds after the first minute or so.  So I know I have to stir more often, once the mixture is hot.

Also, I can only find the Land O'Lakes White Cheddar by having them slice it fresh at the deli counter (which is fine, they just don't carry it prepackaged in my Walmart). In addition, I found the pickled jalapenos easily at Walmart on the same aisle with pickles, olives, and cocktail onions.

Lastly, in our local Mexican Restaurants, the cheese is spicy but smooth and creamy and completely white (no green chilies or jalapenos in it when they bring it out). So I made the following changes and to us it is just as good!

  • 1 whole pickled jalapeno (if you like less heat, split the jalapeno in half lengthwise and use a small tool or spoon to remove the seeds AND ribs since they actually contain more heat than the seeds.) LEAVE it whole rather than chopping.
  • splash pickled jalapeno juice
  • 1/3 cup whole milk (2 % works just as well)
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • pinch of cumin 

Toss all ingredients into a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stopping to stir after every minute. Continue to microwave and stir in 15 second intervals.  The mixture might seem watery during the first few stirs, but should come together as a nice thin dip after all the cheese is melted.
Use a fork to fish out the jalapeno and let the cheese drain back into the bowl.

Voila! Spicy Cheese dip with no green bits, but all the flavor!

Serve immediately as a dip with tortilla chips or as a sauce over your favorite Mexican dish.

When I make this amount (half the original recipe amount) we can generally eat off it for two meals.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

All Shiny and Stuff!

Describe an outfit you LOVED wearing.

When I was in the 6th grade, my new back to school outfit was amazing! A fairly simple and straightforward denim skirt, about knee length, and some sort of top which I can't remember.

BUT neither of those things was the cool part!

The cool parts were the accessories! I had silver penny loafers with a matching silver belt that just totally MADE the outfit if you know what I mean.

They were a shiny metallic silver, but actually made out of leather (or pleather, if you will). The belt was sort of V shaped in the front which gave it a cooler shape than a normal belt. It sort of (a little) reminds me of Wonder Woman's headband, only on my belt the point pointed down towards the floor.

I loved that outfit for sure! It made me feel cool and powerful...kind of like wonder woman or something!

What about you? Do you remember an outfit you loved to wear (or LOVE to wear)?

I'm sorry to me?

I feel like I owe an apology to myself.

I have totally failed in my attempt at blogging for the last several months.

When I first started this thing, it was totally for my own growth and personal development as a woman, wife, and mother.  A very wise friend told me before I started Gleaning Grace some very important things to know, which I apparently ignored :-) I reached out to her to ask about blogging and get some questions answered and general advice before I started it. What she said that was so insightful was this (or something like this):

"it's easy to get caught up in the approval factor of the comments our readers leave."


I told myself over and over again, "that's not why I'm doing this."
I actually envisioned this as more of an online Mommy diary! I am a firm believer that walking through life with others we can share with (in various ways) just makes life more enjoyable!

So while I do not fancy myself a writer, nor do I think I have a lot of Mommy expertise to share, I think it is always possible to teach and learn from each other.

Somewhere along the way, I got discouraged.  Not just because I was busy and blogging was just another "obligation," but because I thought "who cares? No one's reading it anyway!"

I did let the lack of comments and followers totally get to me.

At this point, I'm lucky I have any followers left considering the ridiculously long hiatuses (is that a word?) I take.

So anyway, I really am making an effort to get back on track.

So if you're here, reading this, THANK YOU! Please leave a comment so I know you stopped by!

And look for more topics coming soon, starting with Mamakat's Writer's Workshop.

Striving for grace,

Friday, February 3, 2012

High School - Revisited...Ugghhh!

FYI~ If you "like" Gleaning Grace please share me or suggest me to your friends. Google "Friend Connect" is going away, so if you "follow" my blog, but aren't connected through Facebook or RSS Feed, please "like" me on Facebook or scroll down the right hand side of my blog and enter your email address. This way, you'll be notified of all updates and posts! Thanks, ~Leslie~

In an effort to get back on the "blogging wagon" I thought I would participate in the writing prompts for the first time in forever!

Of the options, I chose:

What were you like in High School?

This question, when first read, elicits a groan...maybe an eye roll or two...and eventually a deep breath!

I am one of those people who looks back on a lot of my childhood and adolescence with no small amount of regret.

And you know what? I'm coming to terms with that in a lot of ways. 

I know I just need to let myself off the hook!

God made me who I am for a reason.  And, for some reason, I have always held myself to some insane standard of perfection and beaten myself up over every mistake.

But, I'm working on it!

Back to the question about high school...

Here are some things about me in HS:

1.) Not popular, but not an outcast either.

2.) Good student; focused and with good grades. I was, and still am for the most part, a responsible person.

3.) Teachers liked me (a least I think they did).  Some people might call me an "old soul." I always tended to worry about things more serious than the average HS aged girl did. 

4.) I never went long without a boyfriend (there are lots of problems with this fact)

5.) I was VERY involved...I did a little of everything: Air Force ROTC, Marching Band, Choir, foreign language, Drama Club, Drama Productions, 4 Spring Musicals...and somehow managed to work a part-time job for at least 2 of those years. Not to mention being active in church youth group and attending both church and academic camps in the summers. 

So there are the reasons (mostly) why I wouldn't want to go back and do HS over again!

Yes there is a mixture of positive things and challenging things there, but in the recent past, I have learned that all life experiences (good and bad) form us into the person we are today.  If you went back and just changed one tiny thing, it could alter the entire course of your life!

Do I wish I had spent more time by myself figuring out who I was rather than depending on the approval of others (mostly boys) - ABSOLUTELY!

Do I wish I had appreciated the ability to do so much with my time and be so well-rounded back then? FOR CERTAIN!

Did I take advantage of a great memory and near perfect recall that helped me test well and get good grades? UNDERSTATEMENT of my life (and I learned that lesson first semester Freshman year - trust me)!

BUT, I think every one of these situations made me who I am and helped me become a stronger person.

I also see a lot of myself in my daughter who isn't even 8 years old yet.  If there is anything I know about guiding and helping others, having lived the experience oneself is certainly a great foundation for helping someone else through the same.

So, while I don't look back on "High-School-Me" with ALL fond memories, and I pick at myself about dumb mistakes I made, in general, I can now think of the experience as a whole.  The good and the bad together as one collective growing period.  

And isn't that what HS is meant to be?

What were you like in HS?