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Like a sponge.

My age changes again in a few days. I'm entering my third decade on earth. In a random state of reflection, I began to realize that much of what I am is due the combined effort of those who love me. They have taught me quite a lot about how to treat people, and how not to. I know it sounds trite and kind of sappy (I DID watch Marley and Me tonight...) but I have been privileged to interact with people who, perhaps unknowingly, have exemplified the goods, the bads and the uglies of the character trait world. And I have soaked it up like a sponge.

I've touched the stove, even though my mom said it was hot; I've tried to rescue strays who were simply too fond of their ticks, and I wasn't strong enough to keep their grime off my hands; I've said and done things out of pride, out of naivete, and out of plain old carelessness. I've made bad judgment calls. However: I, too, have been thrown under busses (metaphorically speaking, of course. Although, the literal image is humorous. It's okay, you can LOL if you need to.), I have been taken advantage of, and my character has been wrongly attacked. I have believed lies, and I have told lies. I've hurt, and been hurt.

The people involved in every watershed moment, both the positive ones and the negative ones, have had hand in shaping my present worldview and decision making process. I see in myself, as in most my age, a quest for independence and individuality. I guess I've learned I can never be an "Individual" in the purest sense, and that's okay with me. Because I look around me, and there is a network of people here whose input in my life is valuable, and rejecting something so rare as genuine concern for my well-being would be a travesty. Because the support offered is priceless, and the love is, as of yet, unconditional. Because I've never been without a shoulder to lean on, and, I figure if they were going to bail, they'd have done it by now. I think God intended for it to be this way.

I guess all that's just my way of prefacing this next bit, which is just a jumble of things I think I have learned/am learning.

If you look at everything like it’s the first—or maybe the last—time;
If you know there’s a difference between perception and reality;
If you recognize that it’s how you fight the battle that matters more than victory,
And learn when to throw a punch and when to turn a cheek;
If you see things that you want to change—and change them;
If you see the beauty in simplicity;
If you believe in the need for human connection;
In speaking without words,
And in random acts of goodwill;
If you grasp the enormity of making someone feel rare and valued;
If you never say never,
And are always willing to learn;
If you strive for better than “good enough”,
And know that money is a lousy way of keeping score;
If you're brave enough to tell the truth,
And brave enough to hear it;
If you learn that even when you think you can’t go on
You always find the strength to help a friend;
If you believe in healing,
In allowing yourself to move on,
And recognize the incredible power of forgiveness;
If you test your own courage,
And overcome the “quit” in you every single day;
If you invest in others,
And return on the investments made in you;
If you just try—even when failure is eminent,
And are brave enough to start over when you do;
If you allow yourself to reach your potential—to fulfill your destiny;
If you are faithful in your trials,
And rejoice in the triumphs of others;
If you learn the balance between pride and humility,
And accept that you impact the lives of those around you,
Whether you like it or not;
If you understand the difference between rebellion and originality;
If you, for only a moment, deny yourself for the benefit of another,
You may see the very heart of God.


jared said…
Beck, you're a gem to be sure. It's been so cool to watch you grow up. You've always been one that stands out and if you roll through your 20's like you did your teens, you're gonna be making some intense waves of awesomeness around you.
I also have to tell you that my word verification for this comment is "shozinal". That is just too great to not be a real word.
Pastor Billy said…
I would have to agree wholeheartedly with Jared. You truly are a blessed woman of God and it's been my pleasure to have been able to see and take notice of who you are becoming in a world that doesn't have many bright spots you certainly bring the light.

On another note, my word verification is "scent". I think the definition would be a "cheap trip".

Much love.
Dana said…
Yep, as has been previously said, You are going to do/are doing some amazing things. Proud to say I knew you when... Much love MLE!
EB said…
Thank you, all.

Jared, "shozinal" is good fun to say...but it's not on so if you would provide a concise definition I would be glad to add it.

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