Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Words I Would Say

Why do we talk about other people?

I don't mean talk like, "Do you know Sarah? She's got brown hair and she's a Biology major."

I mean talk like, "Do you know Sarah? She's really annoying. In the class I have with her, she always acts so pushy."

I mean talk like, "Do you know James? He's really not that attractive. But Susie though. She thinks he's all that and a bag of chips."

I have to put my hands up now and admit that I have said those very words (disclaimer, I don't know you, Sarah). I have said them flippantly. But why? How do they come rolling off my tongue so effortlessly when they are poisonous and ought to stop violently in my throat?

They may seem harmless, those above comments. But I know--you know--that they're not harmless. I've been around campus. I've heard stories about almost everyone. I'm sure there are stories about me. And I'm not saying this because I want people to stop doing this to me. I'm saying this because I want to stop talking about other people.

When I hear a story about someone, it colors in a bit of their image in my mind without allowing them to tell me what that bit really looks like in their story. Does that make sense? Stated differently, when you tell me something about someone behind their back, you give me a piece of them--whether real or unreal, true or untrue--without their permission. Sometimes I may ask for a piece of this person, but that doesn't make it right for you to give it away on their behalf.

And in our culture of instant communication, Facebook stalking, and stalker-net...it's so easy to refer to other people that talking about them basically feels guilt free.

But then you hear the stories about yourself.
And it really does change your perspective.

What if we stopped? What if I refused to say anything about anyone else that I didn't know they were fine with me sharing? What if I kept my thoughts about others nonintrusive and stopped trying to find out their story by other means? What if stalking turned to conversation? What if gossip turned to pure talk? What if tearing others down turned to building others up?

What if we actually lived out the verse in Ephesians 4:29 that has been so oft-quoted that we forget there's a reason for its rabid popularity--it's essential for true community.

"Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear."

Lord, let no words I say corrupt anyone's view of another. Let me build up rather than dismantle other's reputations. Let my words be gifts of grace.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recovering Childhood Memories / "My Diary" #1

I was inspired by one of my favorite bloggers in the world (http://www.itjustgetsstranger.com/) to recount some journal entries from my childhood. These are found in a pink notebook with a piece of paper glued to the front labeled "My Diary." Just so you can imagine, I wrote in perfectly girly cursive with all the i's dotted by hearts. My commentary from today is in {braces}. I was a strange child. Be warned. 

November 29, 2004 (age 9)

Dear Diary,
I am going to start this diary whith when I shot my first deer. It was on November 13, 2004 we got up at 3:15 then we had to drive to dady's lease. It was cold as we sat on the stand. My books were in the same pack as the water so when dady dropped the pack they got wet. But it was alright because finally a deer walked out. I tried to look through the scope, found something brown, and shot! Down it went! I had shot my first deer, a six pointer buck!
{what a story teller. I distinctly remember the trauma caused by those wet books. And I'm concerned by my lack of shooting talent and assuming that anything brown should be shot}

December 8, 2004 (age 9)

Dear Diary,
This year at thanksgiving Mama and Bapa and Grandma and Grandpa came to visit and one night there was a tornado warning it was very tight in the shelter but the {arrow indicating to repeat the word tornado} did not hit us; {I used a semicolon at age 9?!?!?} Mama and Bapa left and Grandma and Grandpa left a day then came back, {apparently there was more to the story. Also, this tornado-in-december thing actually wasn't a fib.}

December 11, 2004

{at the top of the page, I added "1st day tralier," in manuscript instead of cursive, because this was the day my family moved out to our property. At the time we lived in a camper trailer}

Dear Diary,
Last night we slept in the Ilasd {Island} of Capi {Capri} Motel, But tonight we are sleeping in our camper trailer. Dady said that in the day we would have use the potty outside {traumatic}. Today Emily and I went to Brittney's house for a tea party we played games and I got socks and in the orament trading I a snowflake orament. the tea was good!

Morning December 12, 2004 

Dear Diary 2nd day traylier,
I woke just now when I looked my window there was alsalute beaty! The sun shining down on the pine trees, the bright blue sky, the tall oak trees. I think I like it here. We are having a Christmas play at our church and I memerized all my lines. {which was impressive since} I am two angles and a shepard.

Night December 12, 2004 {Once a day was not enough diary writing}

Dear Diary,
Today we moved to chickens and the rabbits. At church during Sunday school we padiced {practiced} for our play we did really well so we had doughnuts and juice. This aternoon we had M and Ms I ate 42 {WHY DID I COUNT AND WHY DID THEY LET ME EAT SO MANY?!}. I wish we could have gone to the taste of Christmas but were to busy.



was this ridiculous or should I make "My Diary" a series?

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Review: Nightmare City

I'm baaaaaaaack! Haven't posted on here in a whole year. Blogger fail. And all I have to offer is yet another review. Welcome.

The first entry in #ElissaReadsAllTheBooks.

Rating: 4.5/5

But seriously though. I have tons of reading planned for this summer and I'm super excited.

The first book I read was Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan. This is a young adult thriller about teenager Tom who wakes up in a terrifying nightmare. Combining heart pounding action with creepy sci-fi and a wonderful subtext within the metaphor, this book reaches beyond a youth audience with its powerful message about the freedom found in defending the truth. The story also deals with intensely serious themes and appeals to the part within us all that feels like life isn't worth living because we face loss and disappointment. Klavan is one of my favorite authors--and this book lived up to the high expectations his others works have set. He has a way of making edge-of-your-seat action and tongue-in-cheek humor feel natural and realistic--his writing style is addictive. Nightmare City is a quick yet thoughtful must-read for your summer.