Musings on the Eve of Sixteen
I almost didn’t live to see my third birthday. The car’s wheels, just inches from my head. Daddy running out, picking me up, and carrying me inside. The car was white, with a black bumper. It was old, and rather dirty, at least the way I remember it. The lady that stepped out of the car and was in hysterics had frizzy hair. I just remember crossing the street, then knowing I shouldn’t have done it, and crossing back. Then I saw the car, and it knocked me over.
Three cuts, one on my knee, one on my elbow, and one by my eye, that remains to this day as a scar, a reminder during all those hard times that God has me here on earth, where I am at this very moment, for a reason. Mommy says that between me and the car, in those few inches, there was an angel. I should have died that day, but now here I am, just days away from my sixteenth birthday. I am so blessed.
God gave me my first breath of air in a Naval hospital in Pensacola, Florida on the seventh floor, an evening in late August, 1993.
I was two when we moved to Jordan.
When I was four, we moved back to the states, for what we thought would be a few years. Most people would say those were my “formative years,” between four and twelve, but I would disagree. Maybe it was, depending on what you mean. The training that has now come forth in my life happened then, in those 8 years in the states, but it didn’t come out until things changed, and I had to start over:
Twenty-three days before my thirteenth birthday, we moved across the ocean, back to the Middle-East I love so much. I can’t imagine ever seriously considering living outside of the Middle East long-term. I think it’s amusing that most people think living in the Middle East is a scary thing, and then here I am, having lived over 1/3 of my life in the Middle East, and I find that living in the states scares me. I don’t know, maybe I’m messed up. But America with its abortions and gay marriage and liberalism seems more barbaric to me than the desert. These people here aren’t terrorists. They don’t kill their babies. I love these people. The “Hi, how are you?” without expecting an answer to the “how are you?” – it’s just how they greet you in English. J I love Arabic food, I love the language… I enjoy how they appreciate how conservatively we dress, and how they understand why we homeschool. I just wish they understood our reasoning behind it all.
Yes, I’m different. But that’s ok. Christians are supposed to look “weird” to the world. Every time someone says I’m weird there’s a part of me that goes “Hallelujah, I’m not a lukewarm Christian!” I know I don’t have the same values as the world. I don’t rely on peer relationships. I don’t go to a youth group. I don’t go to school, I don’t listen to the same kind of music or watch the same kind of movies. I have high standards in school, the cleanliness of movies, books, and music I listen to, and the conversations I have. I don’t want “ok” in school. I don’t like swearing, crude humor, or things like that in the media I consume.
I love my family. I hug my brother in public, and he hugs me back. We play basketball together, and talk about things with more than just “Yeah,” and “Uh-huh.” My sisters are some of my closest friends, my mom and dad my primary “advisors.” We love each others company, we love playing games, cooking, making music, and worshiping together.
I like classical music, theological books, quilting, Celtic ballads, slip jigs, cloaks, running free in my gramma’s pasture, ships, gardens, cucumbers, the desert, running away with my imagination, old books, ankle-length skirts, my “brothers” and brother, historical fiction, writing, making movies, making a fool of myself for 3-year olds, making rolls, singing Psalms, dancing, crocheting, and making maps. I don’t want a career someday, I want a full quiver, and I want to homeschool my kids, and go to a family integrated Church. I want to be a homemaker, not earn a paycheck.
But for now, I’m a daughter in my father’s household, serving God, helping my parents, studying, making music, and learning how to run a home.
So here I am. It’s the night before my sixteenth birthday. I’ve had a run-in with death, found eternal life, and don’t mind being different, in fact, I rather like it.
The eve of sixteen. Fifteen was full of changes, full of new things, full of life, joy, peace, trial, growth… sixteen will be just as full of them, but in different ways. I start my seventeenth revolution around the sun tomorrow. How will it be any different from my other revolutions, I wonder?
When I was little, I remember thinking that sixteen was so old – you could drive (Ha! In the states, that is… here I still have 2 more years!), could stay up late, and were so tall (not so me!) and so grown up. Now that it’s here, there’s nothing magical about it. It’s just another year that will fly by.
Fifteen was Csehy and Yemen for the second time, Bahrain for the first time in years, two orchestras, a new oboe, memorizing 1 John, surviving physics, suffering through pre-calculus, saying goodbye to a dear friend and possibly a “brother” and his sister, and striving to love like Paul and Christ (Romans 9:3). Fifteen was family worship, my cowboy, composing, fellowship, dates with daddy, beetles and butterflies, long nights of discussion, leaving youth group, studying Romans, Venice, thick theological books (and thin ones, too!), G.A. Henty, R.M. Ballantyne, and roll-making.
Sixteen will be anatomy and physiology, economics, history, worldview, French, Arabic, and literature. But that’s just the surface. That’s just what I can see right now, without going in. It’s the cover of the book. What trials lie ahead? What places will God show His grace? Who will make a difference in my life – and whose lives will I make a difference is? Where will I travel? Will we finally start our community with like-minded people – or will Cait and I be the only people our age in our area who think like we do? Whatever happens, this is my prayer: that I will not graduate from the Cross, but continually cling to it an Gods’ love.
And just for fun: 16 Things about me:
1. I’m small… my thumbs aren’t even 2 inches long, my feet don’t sit quite flat on the floor on an airplane, and I’m shorter than all but one of my friends. Extra smalls are too small. I’ve wondered if they’d ever let me on an airplane when my suitcase was overweight if I begged enough… “Please, I’m less than 55 kgs… way less… Added together, me and my suitcase weigh less than the average person…” I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve a mind to someday.
2. I love watching people's faces - the creases and crinkles, the way their mouth moves, etc... dimples delight me to no end. So don’t get weirded out if I’m talking to you and am staring at your mouth or face strangely.
3. I cry a lot - sometimes it's because I get frustrated over schoolwork or music, other times it's because of hearing about abortion or genocide or people dying without knowing their Creator. Other times it’s sitting in awe of God and His Glory, or Christ and His sacrifice, or His love that He would be willing to be separated from God… or Paul’s love, in Romans 9:3, and then if Paul’s love is that great, how much greater is God’s?
4. I have an obsession with home remedies. I love getting slightly sick so I can try them out. ^.^
5. I wish I smiled more than I do.
6. I love ships and sailing... someday I want to have a ship of my own - well, mine and my family's, and sail around the world, homeschooling. Currently I'm learning all sorts of wonderful words to shout out at people, such as "belay!" and very interesting while at the same time rather morbid words like "yardarm."
7. I still skip around the house, singing little kid songs like "Spring up, O Well."
8. Places I'd like to go someday - Peru, Israel, the Faroe Islands, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, South Africa, Morocco, New Zealand, New Guinea, Yemen (again!),
9. Because I have a bad left thumb (the muscles get inflamed really easily, etc.) I can crack it without touching it… which grosses out even people who gross me out by cracking their knuckles.
10. I live in the Middle East, yet have an obsession with Hebrew stuff.
11. I HATE HATE HATE romance books. Well, not so much they themselves, but what they do to my mind and heart…
12. When I graduate at the end of this school year, I’m not going to college. (send me a message/comment if you want the full reason).
13. I have been to 21 countries, 3 continents, and 28 states. (tell me if you want a list)
14. I moved 5 times before my 7th birthday, and a 6th before my 13th birthday. Only one of those moves has been within a state, and three of those have been across the ocean.
15. I play oboe, guitar, piano, harmonica, pennywhistle, recorder, and fiddle when I have the time. I’d like to learn viola and French horn.
16. I was baptized when I was 8, but most of my spiritual growth has been in the past 3 years when it’s been shooting up in leaps and bounds thanks to my dad and some very encouraging friends (Jonathan, Teresa, Mikhal, Sarah – x3, Caroline, Hannah – x2, and the N’s, mostly).This past year especially I’ve been reflecting a lot on the depth of my sin, God’s Glory, and Christ’s death in my place, as God reveals to me more of His Character and allows me to grasp His love even more.