I Give The Best Birthday Presents

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Michael turned 23 a few weeks back. And because last year we totally forgot to make him a Taylor Swift 22 music video, this year we just had to make him a birthday parody of Mike WiLLMade It and Miley Cyrus’ song 23. Ours is much more appropriate – I definitely do not endorse you watching the original (note: Michael chose the song, not us).

Lyrics were written at midnight (which is super late for grown ups like me and Chaela); I think late night silliness is super helpful for parody writing. Video was filmed from 7:30-9:00 am at our church – the pastor pulled in right as we were leaving… It was slightly hard to explain ourselves. Chaela’s high quality camera’s battery died mid-film, so we have bits of low-quality Ruthie camera shots intermixed.

Wild-Cherry Pepsi is Michael’s favorite, but Chaela and I don’t drink soda, so it all went to him. Lucky duck getting 2 presents.

We recorded the song in my dad’s music studio while he was on vacation. I have never received such clear instructions from him in my life, and it was over the phone! I enjoyed that bonding experience.

Katelyn is pretty much the best music guy/recorder you will ever meet.

This video is a little to embarrassing to post to Facebook, but I’m way too proud not to share it because it’s freaking awesome. And I spent a lot of time on it. So people who read my blog, you are the lucky ones who get to see this. You and Michael… we showed him too..

Side note: this is an impromptu post while I am at camp as a counselor and on time off. We just finished staff training, and tomorrow our first campers come!!! Could I write an entire post on staff training and how wonderful it was and how amazing everyone here is and how organized and intentional camp is and how wonderful and lasting an impact they have on so many underpriveleged and differently abled individuals??? Yes. I could write a whole post on that. But I don’t think my words could encapsulate everything. It would be like trying to take a picture of the moon or the curvature of the earth or a Clemson sunset. So instead I am choosing to show you the music video. Maybe next week I’ll try and reflect and give you an accurate depiction of what it’s like to be here and the growth that is going on in my heart. But as it is, this will have to do.

Much love,

Ruthie

For My Grandma

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This one goes out to her, because she made me feel pretty special the other day.

You know, it doesn’t take very much to make someone feel very special. Usually all it takes is taking  a moment to show a little honest care for them.

What my Grandma said to me was this:

“When are you going to write in that blog of yours again? You haven’t written anything lately  have you? I always love reading them!”

Dawww, Grandma! That is heart warming!!!

I haven’t written anything in a very long time. To be honest, as I become more of a professional adult, I can’t fight the feeling that I shouldn’t put so much of myself out there – that I should keep my silliness and insecurities for just me and close friends and try to keep my exterior very put together and edgy. That I should stop posting on my goofy blog. But goodness knows my accomplishing this goal isn’t going very well. Me edgy and put together? No, not quite.

Me responsible? Yes.

Me organized? Most of the time.

Me diligent? Definitely.

But I never want to lose the sense of wonderment for life, or of having fun, or of being a relatable human being who sometimes has problems too. I’m the girl who lost $1000 in a sock and thought she donated it to the Salvation Army for goodness sake!

And I think having a blog helps keep me grounded and humble and who I want to be as a person (unless you start complimenting me to much. Then my blog will fill my big fat vain ego. You’d better keep any compliments to yourself, only my grandma can say those things). So even though I’m nervous and slightly insecure about putting my weird self out there again, I’m going to start posting bi-weekly. Bi-weekly is a stupid sounding word – but y’all, once a month makes me too infrequent, and my busy sometimes uninspired self cannot handle once a week.

I guess I should do some dorky pattern where I post on certain days of the month because those numbers are significant. How about I post the 10th and 25th of every month, because those numbers are very dividable and remind me of how edgy and put-together I am as a person.

My first “official” bi-weekly post will be on Saturday. I better make it good.

Sorry this post isn’t full of actual content, Grandma. I won’t let you down this summer!

Note: Autumn is also very encouraging and sweet and makes me feel very special. She has been telling me to post for months. She has my blog as a tab on her Google Chrome and checks it sometimes. I don’t want her to feel like her encouragement isn’t appreciated and effective – but everyone knows grandma encouragement is the trump card, right?

I Gots It Easy.

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Sometimes I feel like the world is out to get me.

My tire rim gets busted in a pot hole. I get stuck for 20 minutes at a railroad crossing. I can’t get the door open to the house I’m supposed to housesit for.

But then sweet mechanics hammer out my bent rim free of charge. But then I eventually make it home. But then the landlord (with a cute son *cough*) helps me inside, and I find myself welcomed by sweet cuddly kitty cats and black bean brownies.

It’s these times that I remember that difficult things and set-backs are part of life. And even if someone is out to get me, He who is within me is greater than he who is in the world (e.g. God > Satan).

But where is the rejoicing in my sufferings? Where is the trusting God and joy even when the mechanic doesn’t hook me up, when the Sun never comes out from behind the clouds, when I’m persecuted and spit upon and tortured because of the Lord and savior I love?

I don’t know that the joy would be there. Not in of myself anyways, and it never could be in of myself. If I’m not praying for and seeking joy and patience right now when I get stuck behind a choo choo train or have to roll a bunch of silverwear… well… How can I expect to be joyful and patient and hopeful in the things that are actually difficult in life?

God really is so good. And I really do have so much to be thankful for- most of all that I am his child and he is making me new. New in the sort of way that dances wildly with rejoicing when all seems to be going wrong in her own life, but who mourns with the sorrows of others.

” Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” _ Romans 5:3-5

If You Wanted to Gift Me with a PS3 so I can Play Lots of Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts, I Wouldn’t Say No…

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Tonight I have a hankering to play video games.

Final Fantasy.

Kingdom Hearts.

(I should list a lot more video games right here to make myself look super cool, but in all honesty these are the extent of the video games that I play… But I like Final Fantasy X AND XII . And I like Kingdom Hearts 1 AND 2. And I’m sure I’d like all the other versions of these games if I wasn’t too cheap to purchase a new gaming console).

There is a reason I have not hooked up my PS2 to the TV at this house yet… It’s because I know myself. I know my propensity to sit and play games for hours, not showering or seeing my friends or taking care of my responsibilities.

I’m kind of like a teenager with a new love interest- except instead of lots of showering and shaving and make-up wearing, I allow myself to become a stinky woolly mammoth of sorts.

Video games are dangerous for a person like me.

So although I have this hankering, I must resist. This is not a time in my life where I can afford to me absorbed in a fantasy world- there are taxes to be done, laundry to be put away, and people to LOVE and share JESUS with gosh darn it.

But by the time I move somewhere new, perhaps I will have grown in my self control and will allow myself to hook up my PS2 and kick some Guado BUTT!!!

Since When Did Middle Schoolers Get So Cool?

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Why don’t I see 13 year old girls with dorky braces, zits, and bad fashion sense any more?

Since when did girls start going straight from elementary school to Heidi Klum fashion models?

I mean it’s cool and all. Good for them! Wear that make-up, be all cute, be mature and smart and stuff (BUT FOR GOODNESS SAKES DON’T GROW UP TOO FAST AND GUARD YOUR HEART FROM CHARMING BOYS WHO MAKE YOU THINK THEY LOVE YOU BUT REALLY ARE JUST GOING TO HURT YOU *cough*).

Please just don’t grow up too fast, and don’t forget to have nice innocent fun, okay? I’m in my 20s, and that’s what I’m still doing!

Seriously though ya’ll, it’s just that me and all my friends definitely went through an “awkward phase”, both socially and physically, right around middle school. I’m pretty sure weird, strange, confusedness is natural from the ages of 11-14 or so. I’m quite curious where everyones’ awkward phases went..

Did they disappear when everyone started getting cell phones?

Does cell phone radiation zap zits, cause teeth to be straight, and reduce social incompetence?

It’s possible my friends, it’s possible.

But I think a little phase of awkward weird middle school in everyone’s life is a healthy and wonderful thing. So here’s to me not giving my future children cell phones until they’re old enough to drive!

Here’s also to Chaela and Abbie for making the very cool meme at the beginning of the post. Note: Chaela and Abbie are the top picture of the meme, not the bottom. They, like me, are unashamed of their middle school awkwardness of the past.

The awkwardness made us who we are now.

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Ruth in middle school. Oh, and hey look, it’s Abbie again!

 

HEY! Feel free to share Abbie and Chaela’s pic up there and make them internet famous. They’d so love that.

The Loudest Aren’t Always The Rightest

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Confident people, adamant people, insisting people, bold people, loud people- these are who we tend to listen to and believe.

These qualities give us a sense that a person knows what they’re talking about and is to be trusted. Trouble is, sometimes we forget to look into a person’s credentials or test the truth of what they’re saying. Is the person who is speaking qualified to speak about such a subject? Are they radically biased? Are they looking at multiple points of view? Do they care about you as a human being? Or are they just trying to get something out of you for themselves?

I’ve personally had a History of listening most to the loudest voices in my life- Do I go to Thanksgiving with my family, my boyfriend, or my friends? “Well, who is the most insistent? They must care about me being there the most,” thinks I. When really it could be that the family and friends care more about my autonomy and letting me make my own decisions, while the boyfriend really wants me to do what he wants me to do. What is the answer to this homework question? Whoever speaks up loudest in the group is who I’d listen to, likely without asking for reasoning or explanation. Sitting at lunch with a group of people- who’s story do I listen to? The person who has everyone’s attention, who is a good story teller, who is popular.  – Thankfully I am continuously growing in learning to stop blindly doing what the most convincing person says.

This always-listening-to-the-loudest thing can be dangerous. That’s not to say that loud, confident people are not sometimes great  good-intentioned and correct; it’s just to say there are times that they are not, and there are times that they are  very misleading (sometimes to large groups of individuals).  It can be dangerous in your relationships, causing you to neglect and not listen to those friends who are quieter or less persistent. It can be dangerous for you professionally, if you do not look at research, trends and biases/ test what people are saying. It is also dangerous when it comes to your faith:

“But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there are false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them- bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into dispute.” 2 Peter 2:1-2

If we do not have a firm foundation in what we believe is true and right, we will be like leaves drifting wherever the wind blows them- listening to who is the loudest, or who says what we want to hear. If we have a firm foundation in scripture, we’ll be able to make decisions and test what is true with confidence and not feel tugged back and forth as we listen to loud, contradicting arguments.

I must say, I’ve felt tugged back and forth on multiple occasions in my life. But I’m grateful to say that the Lord has provided me with special opportunity to grow in the area of testing what is true, knowing what I believe and why, and practically dialoging with the “loud” sort of person. He’s put a boss in my life who loves to challenge me professionally- put me on the spot, always ask me why I make the decisions I make, ask me to recite the foundation and science behind our practices. The type of person I am feels very uncomfortable with this sort of pressure- but y’all, I am growing so much. I am learning to think for myself and be able to defend well my choices, and I’m very thankful for this woman’s presence and challenge in my life. Though this is an example of defending decisions in my professional setting, I find it also applies to areas of faith and relationships. E.g. having productive/practical/cordial conversations about why I believe what I do about the Bible being God’s word, what the Gospel is etc. , standing up for my boundaries with friends/family/boyfriends who are may be pushy, unreasonable, unfair, or or ask too much.

There is so much more to say regarding this subject- it’s my lifelong struggle! But since I’m 700 words in and it’s my bedtime, I will just say that the small changes the Lord has wrought in me in this are have given me  much greater peace, joy, faith in God, and love for others. So perhaps consider praying for the Lord to give you more faith and confidence in Him and His word (and then reading his Word so you have knowledge of it for that foundation, yeah?). That is certainly something I will continue to pray for for myself, and my friends, and for you- whoever you are 🙂

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cudding and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Ephesians 4:15-16

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes I’m a Behind

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And oftentimes when I am, I am brought low real quick.

Tonight I was in a rush- a big hurry, and I was snappish. It was 5:30, I had come straight from sleeping in a tent outside for 4 hours, to work, to home to shower, and I was supposed to meet my friend Maurane for a nice dinner at 6:00. My Dad knocks on the door to my room. I’m half dressed, soaking wet hair, contacts out, no make-up.

“What?” says Ruth.

“Can I open the door?” says Dad.

“No.” says Ruth. “I’m kind of in a hurry”

“Okay. I’m in my bra, but a guess it doesn’t matter”

*Ruth opens door*

*Dad gives Ruth a 20 dollar bill*

“Have fun tonight!”

“Aww, Dad, thank you. I’m sorry I’m so mean sometimes” says Ruth.

“Oh, it’s okay!” says Dad.

What a nice man! He knew I was worried about how much money my fancy dinner would cost, and he wanted to help me out. And he was totally cool with me being such a butt. That must mean I’m a butt to him altogether too much.

It’s pretty easy to mistreat the people you live with. You know, the people who see you through everything but still love you and take care of you. I’m very guilty of that and very humbled this evening.

And just yesterday he washed my car…

So when you’re an a** sometimes, prepare to be humbled. That’s what always happens to me anyways.