I’m not even a grad student and this was so refreshing to me. I have a feeling some people need to hear this….
Okay, so I know that people feel really bad about asking me why I do what I do. It’s awkward, I know, because you don’t want to offend me or make me feel uncomfortable, etc. And when you do get courage enough to ask, you can’t really retain my explanantion. No problem. I’m just gonna save us all a bunch of headache and awkwardness by writing it all down here for you. You can come back to it whenever you want or just browse to get the gist or whatever. This is for your convenience and my comfort. 😉
1.) The Whole headcovering thing….Why?
~Okay, this is such a controversial issue, I’m going make it brief and simple here. You see, I’m a christian, and there’s this little passage in the Bible (1Corinthians 11:1-16) that speaks on head coverings for men and women (that men aren’t to have one when they pray/prophesy and women are to have one when they pray/prophesy). I believe this is speaking of a literal covering, contrary to popular modern belief. Why I believe that is far too complex for right here, so, I’m sorry–you’ll just have to ask me that, if you’re interested. But be prepared to spend a while listening….
Now, that’s not actually why I do what I do–it’s only part of it. In order to not have to worry with the question of “when” and all that, I wanted to wear a covering full time. When I looked at our sister religions (Islam, Judaism, and Christianity are all Abrahamic religions), I noticed that both orthodox jewish women and orthodox muslim women have head coverings that completely cover their hair. I was intrigued. I admired it for some time until I decided to imitate it. You see, I find that my primary beauty lies in my hair. It is possibly the very first thing you notice on a girl, and this may be the most true for me. So, I decided to save it–tuck it away and bury it like hidden treasure–for my husband one day, when I get married. It can be just one of those things that is his and only his. If he asks me not to wear the covering like I do, I’ll listen. It’s for him, afterall. But, for now, this is what I do. It saves me the hastle of worrying about 1Cor. 11 while simultaneously giving a small offering of love to my husband, among other things. ^~^
I chose this particular style of head covering because it seemed to make me and the people around me most comfortable and because I liked it. 🙂
2.) So, what’s with the way you dress??…
~This is fairly simple. I can summarize it in one word: comfort. I am simply WAY more comfortable wearing pants underneath skirts/dresses. It makes me feel secure, sure, comfortable, covered, and flexable. I can sit however I want whenever I want without worry of immodesty or discomfort. I can cartwheel, run, jump, wrestle, or whatever without any cares or worries. I also feel prettier when I dress this way. I think it suits me….
This style was inspired by muslim women. I remember wrestling with the tension between modesty and comfort–What is modesty? And how far do I have to go/what do I need to do to be comfortably modest? These were the questions I wrestled with. Being from a conservative Free Will Baptist background (with a conservative grandmother as my role model) I was just wearing long skirts at the time. But I was so miserable and kept wrestling with the worries of falling over or being active, etc. Then, one day, while mulling over muslim women styles and such like them, it suddenly dawned on me that I could wear shorts/pants UNDER my skirts/dresses! This may seem odd to you (and for good reason), but it was a revelation to me. I have no idea why it took me so long to come up with this simple solution, yet I have never looked back since….
3.) Ummm….You’re missing an earring, sweetie….
~You have no idea how many times I’ve been told this. The truth is, I only wear one–one in my left ear. Why? Well, this is a little complex, but stay with me, okay?
It’s another one of those Bible things, but not a command or even a suggestion–it’s just a story that I imitated.
I wear one earring as a symbol that I chose to stay with my Master (God), like the jewish servants in the Old Testament who chose to stay with their masters instead of being sent free; servants who were then taken aside in a ceremony and an aul driven through their ear as a sign of their free-willed servanthood (Exo. 21:1-6; Deu. 15:12-18).
If that hebrew slave said, “Wait a minute! I love it here. I don’t want to leave!” then you were supposed to go through this whole ceremony and pierce his ear. Building upon this passage with jewish traditions and histories I’ve picked up, if you saw a servant with his ear pierced, you would think, “Oh. He chose to stay here. He loves his master.”
In the same mindset, when I was bought by Christ’s blood and He set me free from sin, I chose to stay with Him and serve Him, because where else would I go? So I wear an earring in my left ear to symbolize that I chose to stay with my master. I love Him. 🙂
The passage doesn’t specify a particular ear to pierce, but I chose my left one in order to not be confused with another popular symbol/sign….
4.) …and the backpack?
~One word: utility. Guys, I’m not joking: I have electrical tape, an umbrella, a small pair of sewing scissors, a miniature sewing kit, a pair of tweezers, a coin case, a pocket knife, napkins, hand mirrors (one more magnified for difficult situations), a pair of socks, and even a pair of chopsticks in my backpack! Plus other things, like pens (always). I did this because of years of biking and meeting people (or being that person) who needed a specific tool for a job. I helped several people out by having just what was necessary. I broke one of the earpieces off my glasses once and simply taped it back together with the electrical tape until months later when I finally got new glasses. No joke. And safety pins and ponytails! How many times have those come in handy? Not to mention napkins! Yeah. Utility. Strangely, the one thing I haven’t really had to use yet is the umbrella…..?
I recently started travelling with both the backpack and a purse so that I would have the utility stuff with me but would not necessarily have to lug it around in the mall or wherever. So my shoulder doesn’t kill me in my sleep for abuse. XP
5.) I’m almost afraid to ask this, but why do you move your hands like that when you talk?
~This is a fairly recent tag-on, so you may not have noticed it yet.
Believe it or not, it’s sign language (ASL, with some Shuwa, which is Japanese Sign Language)! This was spawned by my watching a Japanese anime (Koe no Katachi, or as it’s translated: “A Silent Voice” or “The Shape of Voice”) about a deaf girl. I was deeply moved by her always having to ask what others were talking about and wanting them to write it down so she could know and/or join in. It made me think about how left out deaf people must often feel. So, I figured: if I’m already talking with my hands anyway (seriously, I move my hands a LOT when I talk), I might as well be actually communicating something with it. That way, if any deaf person is watching, they can at least get half the conversation. ^~^ It also helps me learn the language, and I’m a linguist–language learning is top priority. Not only that, but I also get the added benefit of thinking before I speak. It takes me a pretty minute to think about how to sign what I’m trying to say. In that time, I can think carefully about what it is I’m saying and how that may be received and whether it is worth saying at all. It may save my social neck someday…. 🙂
I can’t “speak” sign language too well yet, so I don’t do it all the time right now. But I’m trying to build that and be able to verbally communicate swiftly while signing at the same time….
I think that just about covers it. If you have any other questions about my quirkiness, go ahead and comment below! I’ll address them there and maybe in another article (or I’ll edit this one later). I hope this helped some people out. ^~^ Thank you for your time and patience. They are deeply appreciated….
Please have a pleasant day! ~♪
<Image not mine…>
Credit for this article is nearly entirely due to Bob Goff, author of “Love Does“. His chapter “Stalking Jesus” inspired me so much, I decided to imitate him. Thanks, Bob Goff. You’ve impacted me more than you could ever imagine….
“I used to think I could learn about Jesus by studying Him, but now I know Jesus doesn’t want stalkers.” ~Bob Goff: “Love Does”
Stalking can be really creepy, you know? Since I was little, I have always been kinda paranoid about being watched or stalked. And the more I think about it, the more it torments me. Not that I’m particularly hard on stalkers–I just don’t want to get hurt or anything….
Stalkers watch from a distance and memorize the person they follow. They learn facts about the person, like where they go to work, when their birthday is, or who their friends are. Yet we all know they don’t really know the person they’re stalking. They’re just fans of them. They don’t personally interact with them or form a relationship. They keep their distance, too scared to come too close.
I think that we are too often guilty of stalking Jesus. We memorize facts about Him like when He was born, or what He did on earth, or how He describes Himself in His book. We learn Scripture verses about Him and His friends. We talk about Him and who He is to us. We watch what He does and take notes. We might even get up enough courage to talk to Him a bit, but not as someone who really knows Him–not as a close friend. Just a fascinated stranger. Just a stalker.
I would wonder if stalking bothers Jesus, but the truth is He talked a lot about His stalkers. And you know what He did? He actually invited them to come talk to Him instead. To get to know Him. To actually start a relationship with Him! I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty crazy to me. He didn’t freak out or turn them away. He did just the opposite. He looked each one in the eye and said, “Hey. I want to know you better. Come with me.”
I don’t know for sure, but I think that would kind of be a stalker’s dream, you know? Like, can you imagine being completely obsessed with someone and learning all you could about them and following them around just to be close to them, and all of a sudden they turn around, meet your eyes, smile, and say, “Hey. I know you. Don’t you want to get a little closer than that? That’s no way to get to know me. Come here. Let’s walk together.” ? I mean, that is really crazy. I’m not sure if the stalker would accept the offer, run like mad, or just stand there all zoned-out with disbelief….
Truth is, I’m just as unsure about Jesus-stalkers. When we’re confronted by Jesus we tend to turn and run instead of listening and accepting whatever He’s offering. I mean, the very first man and woman did that very thing. They ran. They hid. They feared. I guess we never learn, huh? If we truly understood the person we’re fleeing, we would realize there’s no need to run. He will embrace us. What He offers is grace and true love. That’s a pretty awesome deal….
I’ve finally overcome my shock and decided to stop stalking Jesus. If what He says is true, He’ll actually let me know Him better than that. I was stalking the King of kings, and He actually loves me. And that’s pretty cool….
I used to think that the godliest thing I could do was to express my opinions in relaxed ways and show everyone how gracious, Christ-like, and wise I was. Stupid idea, I know, but I thought it. Unfortunately, I employed this tactic many times and was flabbergasted to find that no one ever bowed down in awe and reverance at my immense understanding and grace. Haha. I never understood at all. Now I know that my first and foremost concern shouldn’t be to express my opinions at all, but rather to listen to others and have a heart for them. Not to speak, but to listen. It’s funny. My parents have been telling me that for years and I always thought it was a dumb idea. How can you win people without words? Now I realize that we don’t win people– God does–and we definitely don’t win them with many words and no concern for listening. We are simply to be living examples of Him to others, to walk with them through their struggles and triumphs, or as some people say: “to do life with them’. People are His passion. We are called to live that passion out.
It’s interesting to me that I never seem to grow out of some of my immature views of God and His will. Like how I somehow still often employ that holier-than-thou tactic as if it’s worth something. Sometimes, this really stresses me out. I look back on my actions, slap my hand to my forehead (ow), and say, “Kegan, you idiot! What were you thinking?!” Of myself, honestly. I start stressing over what those people must think of me now or how what I said came across to them or about how I could make amends. But you know what? It doesnt matter. It’s okay. ‘Cuz I’m a mess. We all are. And sometimes, people are going to permanently etch the holier-than-thou sentiment or some other broken impression of me into their minds as their thought of who I am. And I’m sorry for that, but there’s nothing I can do but love them imperfectly. I’ll never be Jesus, but I can sure keep training my heart to see others as He does. So, do I have ulterior motives? Often, yes. But you’ll need to forgive me. I’m a young fool whose a bit hard-headed with much to learn. Do I love you? Always. And you know what? I think that’s kind of how it’s meant to be until we’re made perfect. Every little time we forgive someone, we experience Christ, and as we grow deeper in love with others, we get to know Him better. So, it’s okay. I’ve learned that the heroes in my life don’t really have capes or super powers, and they’re not all that I thought they were. They let me down. We disagree. They hurt me. Again and again. And you know what? That’s okay. Cuz they love me imperfectly. And I’m enjoying that. In the end, we can laugh about it, and experience more of Christ together. Is it always easy? God knows, no. But it is what it is, and there’s something freeing about that….
My brother, everyone. Please check out his works. ^~^
https://youtu.be/hHcVTbyJqis <– Watch this before continuing, please.
Key Verse:A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1 KJV)
Proverbs 15:1 brings up an interesting point. One who speaks in all kindness will not rile up the feelings of rage that one who is always harsh will stir. I know what you are probably thinking, “Well, duh, you just restated the verse, dude.” Just hear me out, okay?
Now this verse alone does not tell us to desire to turn away wrath. Ephesians, however, gives explicit instruction: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32 ESV)
The Bible is filled with such verses, and I could waste your entire day quoting them all, but I just want to focus on one passage, Matthew 5:38-48.
Matthew 5:38-48 (KJV) says,
“Ye have heard that it hath been said…
View original post 1,221 more words
Let me clarify one thing before I continue. This is not “why you should adopt” or “why we must adopt” or anything like that. This is actually just a record of why I think it’s a good idea to adopt, why I want to adopt, and just a little note of encouragement to those blessed parents out there who have adopted or are seeking to adopt.
That being said, this is a topic that’s close to my heart. Ever since I was little, I’ve dreamt of having kids to love and teach and experience life with. As I grew, I realized parenting isn’t as easy as I always made it out to be. Imagine that, right? But the urge to have children to adore never left me.
I was a young teenager when I was first truly faced with the prospect of adoption, and it wasn’t until recently that I really saw the realities of it for me personally. Something about it touched my heart deeply. There was something inside me that connected with it. Giving a young, suffering child hope and a home….that was—is—beautiful. Hearing the stories of adopted children and adoptive parents and seeing the need all around the world, in both general and specific senses—those things made me want to do something special. I didn’t just want to hand over the change in my pocket. I wanted to wrest the money of the world and make a difference in a life. A tangible, forever difference. I didn’t just want to do some thing, I wanted to do—I don’t know—a crazy miraculous thing! I didn’t just want to help; I wanted to change.
And that dream stood with me. I have dreamt of changing lives for the better since I was very young. I would come up with crazy schemes and plans that were often unrealistic or even silly. But I still kept that dream.
So why did it take so long for me to understand?
You see, the real reason I want to adopt is because I want to find a poor, outcast, hurting little child and I want to look them in the eyes and say, “Hey. I’m choosing you. You’re mine.” I want to find that broken little girl and wrap her up in my arms and make sure that she never, ever hurts again. I want to wipe away their tears with my own hand and whisper: “I love you.” They didn’t choose me. I chose them. They didn’t find me. I found them. They had no power to get to me, but I had the means to get to them. And I could take them as my own, as if they came out of my very womb, heirs to all I have with my birth children, and make their life something more than just worth living. Because they are loved and accepted and believed in and they have a mother who will walk with them and listen to them and be there for them as much as I possibly can.
Don’t you see it?
This is the one way, the most obvious way, that I can be Jesus to someone. Not just take a flight, give little picture presentations of Christ, plop five dollars in their hands, and tell them, “Goodbye! Have fun with that!” Not that those things aren’t great things. They are. But I don’t want to stop there. I don’t want to leave them like everyone else in their life has. I want to turn back around and say, “…Or would you rather come with me. Back home. To stay.”
Because I was them once. No, I’ve never been poor. I’m an american. A white, middleclass, american girl. I’ve never tasted poverty. I’ve had riches beyond their wildest dreams. I have an air conditioned home and so much food it’s making me fat. Growing our food is something we can choose to do, not something we have to do, and I spend most of my day entertaining myself. But spiritually, I was dead! I was destitute, but God came to me, found me, looked me in the eyes, and said, “Hey. I choose you. You’re mine.” He wiped my tears away and grabbed me up in His arms and held me really tightly. He whispered, “It’s okay. I love you. We’re going home.” And though pain comes in the sojourn, He is going to take me home where He will make sure I never, ever hurt again. He wants the very best for me. He wants to enjoy life with me. I could never have gotten to Him on my own. I could never have found Him. And how could I choose Him? I didn’t even know Him! But I didn’t have to. He chose me. And the very best way I can come up with to thank Him is to replicate His example. To be Jesus to someone. I mean, how much closer can you get to really being Jesus to someone than adopting them like He did you? You are setting an example that they will never and can never forget. Their very identity is wrapped up in it, just like ours is in our adoption.
I was a poor, destitute, broken little girl who was adopted by the richest, most loving, most powerful being ever. And though I’ll never do as well as He did or be the perfect parent like He is or be all that He will always be, I can at least imitate His example and give hope to a dying world—one child at a time. 🙂
So, why adoption? I don’t have to tell you. You can see it in their faces. You can see it in His. ^~^
~~(Picture not my own)~~
People were His passion.
We crumble. Whether you sit in a prison cell searching for truth and regretting past decisions, or if you sit in your comfy home hiding secret sins and seriously stressing out, or if you just have been feeling restless lately and doubting our most precious promises, we all crumble at some point and come face-to-face with our misery and brokenness. It’s a brutal experience, but also a necessary one.
I want to help. I myself sat on my bed near midnight with the lightning flashing out my windows, weeping as the Lord did a work in my heart. I was restless and consumed with guilt and sorrow and confusion. I was travelling the internet at hyper speed, trying to ease the feelings deep inside. Finally, I stopped and typed the only words that would come to me into the search bar.
“God, i dont know what to do”
I was amazed at the encouragement I found. It was wonderfully fulfilling. I broke. Suddenly, a wave of words flowed freely from my lips as tears streamed freely from my eyes. For the first time in a long time, I truly communed with the Lord. I had words to speak instead of stony silence. I was able to put all my feelings and troubles into words to confess to the One who heard my groanings all along. I broke, and He restored me. It was incredibly freeing….
I want to share it with you.
Here is the primary article that prayed me through my feelings. Maybe it will help you too, when your heart is troubled….
(Picture from HERE)