Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Tomorrow is the last day of 2009...the last day of an entire decade. That's hard to comprehend. Just thinking back on the last 10 years...

In 2000, I was a college student. Just a few months before, I had transferred to the University of South Alabama to finish my bachelors of arts degree in Communication. It's hard to think of myself as that 20 year old that was just getting started in adulthood. There's so much I didn't know--yet I thought I knew it all. I had my future mapped out...I was going to get a job in Television as a reporter, get married, and have a couple of kids. I was ready to conquer the world! I didn't care about the fear I felt about the future, because I was ready to stare that fear in the face.

I liked the 20 year old "me". As we get older, we decide to get comfortable in the day to day, mundane life. Here I am, just turned 31, and no, I don't like where I'm at. But it's hard for me to think of doing or being anything other than what I am...a tv news producer at work, single in my personal life. But if I've learned anything over the last 10 years, I've learned that things can change in an instant. One moment, you think, "wow, I need a change!" and the next minute, something just kind of falls in your lap, or something changes that pushes you to make that change.

In college, I thought I had it all figured out...and I wasn't going to let anyone squash my dreams. Those know, the ones that say "It can't be done", I was all about proving them wrong.

I grew up in a very small Alabama town. And undoubtedly, small town girls aren't supposed to do anything big. Or at least what small minds consider big. Because when I decided I wanted to work in television news, I had teachers, even my guidance counselor tell me it couldn't be done. Which is kind of odd, considering the whole reason I got interested in TV to start with was because of a class that was offered one year at Gordo High School. A class that I was put into by chance. I am so glad it happened. But those teachers, they all told me I shouldn't go away to college--because small town girls don't do well in college, unless they go to the local community college first. And they tried to talk me out of working in television, too. So, much of this decade has been about proving them wrong. And I did! I've seen some of them in my hometown since graduation, and they get a weird look on their face when I tell them what I do for a living.

But you know, I'm tired of living my life to prove someone else wrong. Beginning in 2010, I'm going to live for me and for me only. I'm going to do what makes me happy. I just have to figure out what does make me happy and do it.

Since college graduation(2002), I have lived in Mobile, Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, Greenville, South Carolina, and now Chattanooga, Tennessee. For the most part, I didn't move just to move. I moved in order to get to my dream. I wanted to be a news producer of a 5pm newscast(somewhere along the way, my dream of being a reporter changed). And that required moving around in order to move up. I never got much attached to the places I lived. I had friends everywhere I lived, even in Pensacola, which is surprising, since I was only there for three months (I told you life can change quickly!) But when I got to Greenville, suddenly all of that changed. I made a life for myself there. I had friends, a boyfriend, a great church, and a great-paying job. I had actually decided to stay, but then work got more than I could handle, and suddenly happiness at work was more important than the money I was making.

So I moved to Chattanooga...which not only fulfilled my dream of becoming a 5pm producer, but gave me a great city to live in...Now here, I have good friends, a wonderful church...and a job where I'm treated well, which is nice. But I'm not satisfied. So, over the next couple of months, I will be analyzing my life, and try to figure out how I can get satisfied. A friend of mine recently commented on one of my posts. She told me that she is happy to see me so content in life, because so many of her single friends are not. The truth is, I try hard to be content, but that isn't always the case. I do want that companionship that only a husband can give. I think any single woman who says she doesn't want that is lying. But I know that this is the life I have right now, and I will never get it back, so I need to enjoy what God has given me.

With that said, I am so happy that my life's journey has included all of the wonderful people that I've had the privilege of knowing. People I would never have met had I not chosen the path I did. People in all sorts of cities across the country and the world. The famous song Auld Lang Syne talks about friends of times past.
it's literal translation is this:
Should old friends be forgotten
and never remembered
Should old friends be forgotten
and the days they shared together

I believe old friends should never be forgotten, because those friends are who have made us the people we are today. I believe God brings people into your life for a reason, for a season, or for a lifetime. And I can look back over the many friends I have made on this life's journey...over the past decade, and see many faces. Some of them I never talk to anymore...they were only my friends for a season. But they had their purpose. And I am so glad that many of the friends I have made are here for a lifetime. Many of you reading this fit that category.

So no, old acquaintance should not be forgot. Thank you for doing life's journey with me. Here's to a great New Year and a New Decade! Cheers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Magic of Christmas

This is my first year on facebook, and i have been saddened reading about how children are either being told Santa Claus isn't real, or they're beginning to question the legend of Santa Claus at earlier ages. I think the latter is being caused by the former. First of all, Santa is based on a real person...

Saint Nicholas was born to wealthy christian parents in the third century. His parents died while he was still very young. Obeying Jesus' words to sell all you have and give the money to the poor, Nicholas used his whole inheritance to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. Saint Nicholas is known as the patron and protector of children.

Through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of St. Nicholas' life and deeds.
One story tells of a poor man who had three daughters. In those days, a father had to offer his daughter's prospective husband a dowry. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry...and without dowry's, these young women were likely to be sold into slavery. Mysteriously, a bag of gold appeared in their home, on three different occasions--which provided the needed dowries. the bags were tossed through an open window and are said to have landed in stockings or shoes left by the fire to dry. That's where we get the custom of hanging stockings at Christmastime.

Saint Nicholas died December 6th, which is why many celebrate St. Nicholas day on that day each year. During my time as a part-time nanny for a German family in Mobile, Alabama, I learned about the tradition of Saint Nicholas day--it's one I would like to keep with my future children. Kids put their shoes outside the door while they sleep on December 6th. During the night, Nicholas comes and fills their shoes...candy if they were good, rocks if they were of my kids that I kept got rocks in one shoe and candy in the other one year! I guess he was half good/half bad! :)

As christians, we all know the true reason for the season. Jesus. But Jesus if about a gift. God gave Jesus to the world so that we could know Him and spend eternity with Him. And because I am a christian, and I love Jesus, I believe Christmas is about giving...whether it be a gift of love or of a toy. And Santa fits right into that category...

plus...What's childhood without a bit of make believe and magic? I have to commend my parents, Bob and Regina, were all about the magic of Christmas. This is the truth! I believed in Santa Claus until I was a teenager! Yes, you probably think i'm a dork...But everytime I started to doubt, something would happen on Christmas eve! One year I heard elves run down the hallway! I'm not kidding! It sounded like little people, and lots of them, running! Then one year, I heard reindeer on the roof! If that's not enough to make you believe, I don't know what is! And one year...on Christmas Day, we found sleigh marks in the yard! It was amazing!

But of course, we always had the nativity in the house--and always talked about JEsus and the gift He gave us!

I say all of this to say--enjoy the magic of Christmas! And let your children enjoy it, too! Because, we only get one childhood! And if you have the imagination and the means...make this Christmas a little more magical for them. And for yourself!

I can only hope somewhere a child is hearing reindeer on the roof, or bells, or even elves in the hallway. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

12 Days of Christmas

You know the song...but exactly how did the 12 Days of Christmas become a popular song? I mean, it is a little strange...who gives lords a leaping and ladies dancing to the ones they love? I might understand the five gold rings, though!

But I came across something very interesting today. An explainer on how the song was written, and it's quite fascinating:

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics..

It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.

-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit--Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit--Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.

-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed.

So there is your history lesson of the time you sing the catchy song, maybe you'll think about how the true meaning has deep roots in the Bible.