A Deep Question From An Old Friend

Recently I received a letter from a friend. While going through some papers, he had found a letter I wrote him while I was a camp counselor almost six years ago and he decided to respond to it anyway. (Super fun!) Apparently we had been discussing some pretty heavy stuff back then, because one of the questions he asked me was this: “How has God informed the decisions you’ve made daily? How has he influenced you in your interactions with your husband and your decisions, including [leaving] teaching and your return to Minnesota? What and who is God to you?”

What a fantastic question!

It took me by surprise a little at first, but after a few re-readings and some thought, this is what I came up with. I hope you enjoy reading my answer to the question — but I also hope that you will take the time to answer it for yourself.

——————

To your question about how God has informed my decisions and who God is to me, first let me say that I don’t really understand God. Not fully. That’s probably why God is God and I’m just little ol’ me.

But what I do know about God — what I believe, and what guides my whole life and all my decisions — is that God is a good God who desires above all things for we his children to be close to him.

I believe that one day we will be very close to him, in heaven. The way I bring the feeling of God close to me now, here on earth, is by choosing actions that I believe serve God’s ultimate purpose and desire for the world, which is that it be good and right as God is good and right.

So when I choose content writing over teaching, it is partly because it makes me happy but even more so because when I am happy I am more productive in bringing about God’s kingdom. When I teach, I am overworked and exhausted and constantly wishing I could actually help my students. When I write for non-profits, I am confident and productive and constantly seeing evidence of the ways that my work helps organizations help families love each other and stay afloat. THIS (my current work) is how I best help my students (or at least kids like them): I serve in the ways that make the most difference in bringing about God’s good kingdom in their lives.

7 Reasons Why Lakes Are Infinitely Better Than Swimming Pools

1. Swimming pools are tiny. Most neighborhood pools go as deep as 6’0″ — which barely covers the top of my head. Yes, lakes have lake weed… but if you go to the middle you can’t even feel it, because you can’t touch the bottom! Ahhh, space. There is nothing more awkward than an overcrowded pool full of scantily-clad humans getting too close to me. (Yes, I’m a hermit. Deal.)

2. Pools have chlorine. Yes, it keeps the pool clean, but it also stings my eyes. No fun! Lakes may be sanitized via fish pee, but at least it’s NATURAL, darn it!

3. Lakes come with boats! At a swimming pool, you have two options: swim, or not swim (aka sunbathe and sweat). At a lake, the possibilities are endless! Swimming, sunbathing, noodling, skiing, boating, sailing, tubing, wake boarding, taking a nap on a floating mattress rocked by boat wakes… you get the picture.

This engagement day voyage brought to you by: LAKES!

4. Lakes don’t need to be winterized. And, if you’re an awesome Minnesotan snowbeast, you can even use a lake year-round! Can you say Polar Plunge? (Not to mention ice fishing!)

5. You can fish in a lake.

6. Lakes cost you nothing, you don’t have to build them (unless you live in Western Kansas and there is no water!!!), and they require no upkeep other than finding an actual trash receptacle for your garbage. WIN!

7. Watching a sunset over a swimming pool… not exciting. Watching a sunset over a sea of sparkly lake diamonds… breath-taking.

48 Titles From My Future Blog

Ok. I read a super cool blog post this morning that had some great ideas for being a better blogger… and by “great ideas” I mean new, inventive ones that aren’t the same basic repetitive ones EVERYONE blogs about. The one that really stuck with me was this: “Write lists of titles.”

GENIUS.

Because, of course, I have all sorts of things that I like to think and talk and write about — but as soon as I think, “Man, I should probably write/post another blog post, since it’s been a while…” my mind goes blank. (Probably because, as I learned from Rachelle Gardner this morning, “Desperation makes a very poor muse.” True dat.)

So today, I would like to share a list of titles that I hope to someday actually author! Leave a note in the comments section if there’s one (or several) that you’d like to read, and I’ll try to bring them into being sooner than “someday”. =)

48 (or so) Titles From My Future Blog

Why I Left the Lutheran Church (or maybe “Why I Left the Secret-Code-Name-So-I-Don’t-Piss-People-Off Church”)
Why I’m Terrified of Drug Cartels, but Still Like Mexico (or “The Thing That Terrifies Me More Than Anything On The Planet”)
Why I’m Glad I Married a ‘Weirdo’
Why Reconciliation Is the Best Thing Since EVER.
How I Accidentally Made A Million Dollars (Wishful thinking there!)
Why The United States Education System Is Broken (maybe someday I’ll be able to write “And What We Can Do To Fix It” !)
Why I’d Rather Work For Connected Families Than Be A Teacher
The Biggest Reason Religious Education Wins Over Public Education
The Thing That Frustrates Me Most About Christian Leaders
Why Connected Families‘ Message Explodes My Face With Awesomeness
Why Mental Organization and Workspace Organization Don’t Always Go Together
924 Things I Never Knew I Learned In College — Till They Were Really Useful
293 Reasons Why It’s Important to Major in a Subject That Interests You, and Not in One That You Just Choose In Order to Have a Job Later (insert my life here)
Why I Despise 50 Shades of Gray, Even Though I Haven’t Read It.
On Why I Am A Feminist… and What The Heck That Means
The Mistaken Faces of Feminism (Or at Least the Ones I Dislike)
Pros and Cons of “Conservative” Ideals
Pros and Cons of “Liberal” Ideals
The Preacher and the Patriarchy: A Personal Reflection
Why Lakes Are Infinitely Superior to Swimming Pools
Why Media/Ad Portrayals of Women Make Me Mad.
How to Use Your Learning/Thinking Style to Your Advantage
Why Being Multi-lingual is AWESOME (or “Why the USA is dumb for not requiring more foreign language proficiency”, or “Why immigrants are way smarter than most Americans give them credit for”)
Why I Care About My Country, But Am Not A “Patriot”
Music That Helps Me Get Work Done
Why “The Sing-Off” Was Way Better Than American Idol Will Ever Be
Why I Think The Government Should Get Its Nose Out of the Marriage Business
Is the US a “Christian Nation”? (Research required! I believe there is a book by this title…)
Why My Generation is Put Off by Traditional Evangelism (and/or Traditional Missionary-stuff)
394 African Authors that Everyone Should Read (because I doubt your high school and/or college bothered to teach you about a continent that is home to 1/7 of the world’s population. Whoops.)
Why Ngugi wa Thiongo Rocks My Socks
203 Ways White Supremacy Hurts White People (not my original idea… but one I love because it explains so much!!!)
987 Weird Things That Help My Brain Function Properly
239 Books I Appreciated Much More Once I Was An Adult
Why I Read Shakespeare For FUN! =)
398 Ways White People Were Asshats to First Nations Peoples (And Why We Should Call Them Whatever the Heck They Want to Be Called)
Why “Whiteness” Is A Total Crock
Why We Can’t Just “Move On” From The Oppressive Sins of Our Past
Why I Love Post-It Notes
On Privilege, and What To Do Once You Realize You Have It
[related] Why I Hate and Love My American Passport
“Yes, I Really Mean It When I Ask for Socks for Christmas”
Why Small, Mass-Market Paperback Books Make Me Happy
Why e-Readers Explode My Face With Awesomeness
482 Reasons Why Water is The Most Tasty Liquid On The Entire Planet!
My Husband is So Awesome That You Don’t Even Understand… No, Really.
752 Life Lessons from the Bike Ride Kid (“I Feel Happy of Myself!”)

I seriously recommend this exercise to anyone who loves to write but struggles with choosing topics. Who knew I had almost 50 blog posts lurking inside me?

Don’t forget to “vote” on your favorites in the comments if you want to read them sooner than whenever I get to them!