Thursday, December 27, 2012

Random Thoughts from the Frazzled Mind of Hannah Peterman

Okay, so ya'll know how I've been talking about "fighting the battle" of our minds??? Or have I just been thinking about it? Oh well, I forget if I actually put my thoughts into writing, but here's a little bit to add. I know preparation is necessary for a lot of things. For example, suppose I wanted to run a marathon. (actually, I do before I'm 20, but I'm waiting till February for a treadmill before I think about it too seriously.) I work out now, but I most DEFINITELY wouldn't try it now. I can probably run three to four miles now, and it would be ludicrous for me to just decide I was going to run one tomorrow. Running a marathon requires hours of training and preparation... at least, if I want to do it without falling over dead on mile 10! 

Same thing goes for a chemistry test... I HAVE to prepare for it. If I were to read the chapter and then just take the test without studying and memorizing and applying the concepts, I would be setting myself up for failure. While I apply this to the tangible things in life decently well, (although I definitely procrastinate) so often I forget that taking my thoughts captive (which for me means FIGHTING really, really hard) requires preparation. Before I get into the position where I have to make tough choices, before I get into a situation when my feelings are about to control my decisions, even when they contradict what I KNOW is true, I have to be prepared!

What does being prepared look like? Well, I'm ashamed to say it, but I'm not exactly sure. I know I need to be in God's Word diligently, and I KNOW I need to walk with Him, but I have trouble applying my inconcrete thoughts to life. Thoughts, anyone?

Friday, December 21, 2012

My Room From the Eyes of a Spider

Okay, so ya'll might have noticed that my room isn't the cleanest place in the world. In fact, you can't  exactly always walk through it without stepping on clothes and books, and sometimes it's kinda sorta maybe sometimes hard to see the top of my desk... but you know what? I was just thinking about it, and realized how exciting it must be for... the smaller creatures in my house. The ones that are even shorter than I am! Here's life as I imagine it from the perspective of a spider:

I watched as Mom peeked around the corner of our side of the room. We, the Spiderlings, lived on the human Natalie's side of the room. We have our webs in the corner untouched, and can play in the spacious carpet while she's sleeping. And when she's at English. But, danger lurks around the corner, in the human Hannah's side of the room. However, rather than keep us naive about the hazardous place we live in, Mom decided she would show each of the Spiderling spidren (that's the spider word for young spiders, in case you didn't know) the appropriate tactics to live in such close quarters with something so... unpredictable.

Today was Tuesday, and Tuesdays are the days that are most hazardous to a spider. The human Hannah is always in a rush. Mom and I took a perch on top of the giant bunk bed to watch as the human Hannah prepared for her day.

It was 8:15 as Hannah burst through the bedroom door, hair wet, in a rather stressed frame of mind. I watched aghast as she yanked a shirt out of the  dresser drawer, bounded around the corner to try it on, heaved a tremendous sigh, and tossed it to the ground. Frantically, she dug through her drawers, this time finding a sweatshirt, and repeated the entire procedure.
"This is the formation of what will soon be Mount Clothington." Mom whispered gravely in my ear. "Soon it will be an enormous mountain of all her clothes. Never, never, NEVER get caught by that dresser drawer on Tuesdays. Andrew, your brother, was caught underneath her navy aeropostle shirt, and was traumatically suffocated." She wiped a tear from one of her eight brimming eyes.

"Momma, don't cry! You had a beautiful funeral for him in the window sill, and it was eight years ago. You've had 5, 232 spidren that have lived marvelous lives." I hated it when Mom cried! Whenever she cried, it was like having eight spickets turned on, and all pouring on you. And I HATE showers.
"AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Hannah shrieked dramatically. I covered my ears. "Look at the time! I haven't even touched my hair! Oh why oh why didn't my alarm clock work this morning! It's unpredictable, just like my hair. I'll french braid it, that's what I'll do. Oh, but where is a pony tail holder. WHERE IS A PONYTIL HOLDER! How in the WORLD am I supposed to french braid without I pony tail holder. This is ridiculous. Maybe there's one in the bathroom!"  She dashed fromt the room.

"Look how she runs so carelessly around! Like a beetle with it's head chopped off. I almost got stepped on during her wild pony-tail  holder rampages. A near death experience. I was terrified. If you ever get in a situation like I did, run as far into a corner as possible. If she sees you, you're toast. She'll get out her old, ripped tennis shoes, and, " she shuddered and didn't finish. But I knew what she meant. It seems that the human goal in life was to kill us Spiderlings! It was a humiliating, downright painful death to be squashed to the bottom of a shoe. Not that I had experienced it myself.

Hannah came in again, this time frantically searching for... something.
"WHERE did I put my note for Mary Frances??? Does it have legs?" Notebooks, makeup, and hair accessories were falling like rain everywhere.
"See what I mean?" Mom whispered. "You MUST listen to me. If you come to Hannah's room on Tuesdays, it could mean death by flying make-up, suffocation, or squishing. Stay on Natalie's side. The only thing that makes it onto her floor are her blankets when she pulls them of her bed to make it. Its much, much safer."
"Yes, Mom," I said, and I MEANT it. I won't go on Tuesdays. But I DO think Mount Clothington would be fun to climb when Hannah's sleeping. THAT would be an adventure!

Oh dear... I feel sorry for the spiders and I'm the one who made this up! Maybe this will be motivation to keep my room clean??? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ten Randomly Awesome Things That I Often Take For Granted

As of late, I have been a rather pessimistic, complaining, procrastinating, person. I have been looking at all the work I have to do, rather than thanking God for where He has put me right now. And I have been looking at some of HUGEST blessings in my life as, well, annoyances.  I've had enough of this sillyness! It's pathetic, not to mention miserable, to be focused on how I wish circumstances would change. God has me right where I am for a reason, and I'm going to thank Him for it! Here are 10 things right here and right now that I am super grateful for:

1) My awesome Dad. He's for sure a unique guy... the kind of guy who has woken up at 4:00 a.m. from muscle spasms caused by four solid hours of... JUGGLING! He's the kind of guy who has driven our car around the entire house... because we hadn't done it before. And he's the kind of guy who decides He wants to walk a Triple Konza (18 miles) because it sounds cool. But he is ALSO the kind of guy who works two full-time jobs to support his family. And he's the kinda guy who will do whatever is best for His kids, even if it's hard.

2.) My Mom! She homeschools three kids, cleans house, cooks supper, teaches three classes, and basically keeps the entire household from being driven to insanity. I love her to pieces.

3.) My (you guessed it) awesome siblings. Blaize, my brother, is a lego-building, fort-constructing, starwars-loving 11- year- old. (in other words, in my opinion, he's crazy!) But he's also the kind of kid who will spend his Christmas money on presents for his dear, loving, sweet, and affectionate older sisters. :) Natalie is an amazing photographer and a super listener, who loves sugar. She can always make me smile!

4.) Fruit Smoothies. (enough said.) They're amazing!

5.) Cute things. You know, things like mini-cupcakes, desks for REALLY short people (like 1st graders... I'm really short, not REALLY short (capitalization can change the ENTIRE meaning of a word)) and those  mini-fridges in college dorm rooms. Oh, and then there's the epitome of cuteness: Mary Frances's hair cut!!!!!!!!
6.) ATHLETIC SHORTS!!!!!!! They are amazingly comfy, so easy to move in, and can double as pajamas, and triple as my very favorite fashion statement!

7.) Chemistry. I complain faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar too often about how hard it is, how I'm practially flunking it, and how I have a test next week. Really, it's a great opportunity to learn about God's creation and how complicated it is. And it had better be expanding my brain, at least a little! And it's really pretty cool.

8.) My marvelously awesome friends. They really are just amazing. Some a great talkers, some are great listeners, some can always make me laugh, and some are all three. My best ones are the ones I can share the nitty-gritty pieces of my life with.

9.) My newly-tuned piano. Ahhhhhhh! It is so amazing to play on a piano that is in-key and even has a pedal that works!!!!!!!! And Christmas music sounds to fun on it, now!

10) The third graders in my class. They are just so awesome, it's hard to describe. They always eat my snack, even if it looks... eccentric.  AND, they always, always ALWAYS wake me up, no matter how tired I am going into it.

Goodness, I DO have so much to be thankful for. It's great to see just a few of these things in writing.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Insecure, or Self-Focused?

If you know me well at all, (which doesn't take much considering I'll talk your ear off within the first 20 minutes of meeting you) you probably know that I am not the most confident person in the world. Insecure would be one of the first words that come to mind if I were to describe myself to you. I rarely like my hair or appearance in general, and receiving compliments does NOT come naturally to me. I hate (more like despise) pictures of myself, and I will admit that that there are still some days (okay, a lot) that I walk into the bathroom and turn off the light to brush my teeth so I don't have to see my reflection in the mirror. And to be honest, until recently, I have always thought that, while being insecure kinda painful and isn't exactly the greatest feeling in the world, at least I'm focusing on the bad in me rather than the good, right? I mean, that sounds much more humble than puffing myself up with pride!

BUT... a dear friend of mine mentioned recently to me that, while humility is certainly not taking pride in your accomplishments or achievements, it is not putting yourself down, either. As I was thinking about this, I realized that the perfect example of humility was Jesus. He came to earth and was born where? Not in a magnificent palace, not the son of and earthly king and queen, NOT exalted high above the "common people" of the time. He was born in a feed box that animals eat out of. He grew up in the home of a carpenter, and would later die on a crudely-fashioned piece of carpentry, with nails through His utterly divine yet completely human hands.  Obviously Jesus didn't come to earth with the purpose of glorifying Himself above others. But you know what? Jesus wasn't self-conscious about being born in a manger, either. The Bible doesn't say a word about Jesus being insecure about his lowly childhood of being a carpenter. What about dying the death of sinners? Wouldn't that be embarrassing, and degrading, for the Son of God??????

So we know Jesus didn't take pride in His divinity. We know He wasn't self-conscious about His behind-the-scenes childhood. We know what Jesus wasn't, so what WAS He?

Jesus was the man who reached out to the lepers, the outcast of society. Jesus was the man who associated with tax collectors, the despised and sinful. Jesus was the one who allowed himself to be crucified on a cross next to the ultimate sinners. Why? Not so He could look good, not so He could keep up His reputation, NOT to increase His popularity... to take all the sins of humanity upon Himself.  It seems there is nothing about Jesus that is self-oriented. He wasn't interested in making himself look good. He was humble, but  He wasn't self-conscious. The only word with "self" in it that can describe Jesus is selfless.

 Being self-conscious and prideful about achievements have only one focus: self. My insecurities about myself are just that: about ME. And when my focus is on me, no matter how negative the spin I put on myself, I'm NOT being humble. Instead, I'm taking my focus OFF of Jesus, OFF of the needs on others, and making, well, me, first priority.

Goodness, the more I write, the more I get depressed. I have so far to go, and so much to work on. And then I realize something else: I can't do the work by myself! Yes I am insecure. Yes I have flaws and failures. The more I try to get by in my own strength, the more miserably I fail, and the more insecure and self-centered I get.  I can allow Satan to trick me into making my insecurities my focus, or I can let God use them to make me rely daily on Him for my security. It's a choice. And for me, at least, it's a daily fight. But it's worth the battle. Because I'm not in it alone.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The UPsides of Being Short

 At 5'1 and 3/4 inches, tall is probably one of the LAST  words people would  EVER use when describing my appearance. I've  definitely gotten my fair share of short jokes, and every once and a while, my beloved younger sister seems to relish staring down at me from her higher-altitude position. (She's a itsy, bitsy, tiny, little, insignificantly minuscule bit taller than me) HOWEVER, despite all the fuss made about my height, there really ARE some advantages to being short. Perhaps this post will make tall people think twice before gloating over the couple extra inches they have on me!

1.) I'm already not a super-coordinated person. Being short just means there's less of me to try to coordinate! I mean, just think about how far the brain has to send messages from the head to the legs of a 6-foot person! If I were six-foot, I'd probably be walking at the pace of a blind turtle with a bad limp!

2) Riding in my dad's new truck is AWESOME!!!!! My knees have several solid INCHES of space before they come close to hitting the back of the  front seat!

3.) If you're a tall person reading this post, then let me ask you a question: How many time do YOU have to climb up on the counters while baking to reach something? I get to do it all the time... and each time it's like a miniature adventure. You never know what you'll see when you come eye to eye with cupboards that haven't been washed in ages. Not to mention it's just exciting to be that high up!!! My head almost touches the ceiling!

4.) Speaking of ceilings, even though I sleep with bunk beds, I have only bonked my head on the ceiling ONCE. That's pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.

5.) Being short means I'm closer to the ground. This helps in volleyball, because I don't have to bend over as much to dig a ball!

6.) Ahhhh, I bet you're thinking something along the lines of, "Being short HELPS with volleyball? Don't spikers have to get ABOVE the net  to spike a ball?" Well, this is true, BUT, you  have no idea how rewarding it is for a short person to just get your finger above the net? It's one of the best feelings in the world! Plus, being short forces me to be diligent to work out and try to improve my vertical, so it actually causes me to stay in better shape than I would otherwise!

7.) I LOVE shopping. And you know what? In the past couple years, I have NEVER tried on a pair of jeans that were too short on me. EVER!

8.) I went to a camp called CYIA last year and met one of the AWESOMEST people in the world there: Becca Knauss. You know why I originally went up and introduced myself to her? Because she was short. Five foot tall, to be exact. We became almost instant friends, and shortness one of the many things we bonded over!

9.) Because I'm neither althletic OR tall, I rarely get recruited by CHIEF basketball players to play basketball, which means I don't have to constantly spend my time making up excuses for why I can't play. Because thinking (and talking) about random, uneccessary things is a MAJOR time sink for me, this eliminates one of the (many) things I could choose to waste my time on.

10.) I think one of the known Christmas challenges is putting the star or angel on top of the tree top. You have to maneuver your way around the prickly branches, and figure out how to perch it on the tippy top of the tree. Looks pretty tricky to me!!! Thankfully, I really wouldn't know. I never get asked to do things like that. I get to just watch the tall people do that kinda work!

Well, if I haven't convinced you that being short is fun, I never will. I'm still working on convincing myself, actually. But, writing this post has FORCED me to be somewhat more content with my less-that-average height. And you know what? I like variety. And all the heights in this world DEFINITELY add variety. But, if you leave this post with nothing else, if you are short and have NEVER climbed on a counter before, TRY IT!!!!! It really is the BEST part about being short. And if you're tall, watch in stunned silence as the shorter people in your life have fun participating in the glorious fun of counter climbing. And us short people can hand you the star to the Christmas tree.