Today I decided to go through “my boxes”, which contain schoolwork, photographs, notes from trips, journals, etc – anything I want to keep. All these specific events are from before I was 14, and the past six years have been even fuller – if that is possible. What a full life I have had!
The first items I came across were the judging forms from our debate tournament (2000): the main critiques were that I spoke too softly, made too little eye contact, and was shy in asking questions in cross examination. Organization and pursuasiveness were my strong points. Very typically me… Something that I found interesting was that when debating teams that I remember being the most intimidated by (they were known for being “the best teams”), I received better scores than when debating other teams that I wasn’t so “scared” of. However, when my partner and I made it to the semi-finals (something I was completely not expecting and was terribly nervous when it got announced) I did not do so well. I guess when I can anticipate being afraid of something, I rise to the occasion; when it is totally unexpected, I flounder. Somehow we still made it to third place…
Then I found some papers and awards from 4-H. I did not realize how many projects I had taken to the County Fair – and how many of my chickens I named. Mr. Plump, Plumfield, Fluffy, Muffy, Buffy, Austria, Lorpie, and Silvery were just a few. Poultry (chickens) was my absolute favorite project all of the years I was in 4-H. If we had not moved, I probably would have become even more involved with showing chickens in shows other than our County Fair; in addition to taking on more leadership positions with the poultry project. I also participated in many of our 4-H talent shows, both club and County competitions. I don’t remember doing so well in many of them! I found it funny that the times that I sang, all separate years, at least one of the judges told me that I had a “lovely, sweet voice” … the exact wording at completely different times and with different judges. One judge also said that she would be the first to buy my first cd, LOL! If I ever get around to doing making one I’ll have to remember that. :-p
A moment of fame was when I was 10. I won a poultry essay contest put on by the State Fair by writing an essay on “What I have learned by raising poultry”. I remember being quite excited that I won…I got to go to the State Fair to read my essay and receive my prizes (a pair of chickens, nice show cages, an incubator, the “American Standard of Perfection”, some feed, and a few other things). I vaguely remember being interviewed at home by the Racine Journal Times – and I remember that I thought it was very funny that they quoted me by my last name. The closing comment on the newspaper article is amusing to look back on: (about going to the State Fair to read my essay) “it was neat, but I was so nervous that I was shaking.”
And I read some of my old journal entries. I enjoy reading about my good days and bad, joys and sorrows, strivings and frustrations…many times remembering when I wrote; sometimes laughing at my silliness; and noticing how I grew and struggled.
Everyone has a story. Each person is so special, with their own personality, experiences, memories…and all of them so intertwined with other people’s stories, all as part of God’s great plan. It is so fun and interesting to not only study the lives of people in history, but also to take time to find joy in our own story. Savoring the experiences that God sends us so that we realize how blessed we are, as well as learning from our own lives. I feel so extremely blessed when I look on my life as a whole: my family, everything that I have had the grace to do, all the talents that I have been graced with, all the experiences that have guided me along in my search for ultimate happiness – which can only be found in God’s special plan for my life, that He will continue to unfold to me one step at a time.
You all may not enjoy all the silly little moments that I share, but I find joy remembering the happiness God has sent me; and savoring it through writing. It is my song, my story, my life.
“Glory be joyfully given to the Father; through Christ with Mary, highly praised; in the Holy Spirit, full of splendor; in the Universe, now and in all eternity. Amen.”