Monday, March 16, 2015

My with yous

I like to think I am a good friend, with whom it is easy to get along. I do my best to be there for the people closest to me. I'll even be helpful to people not close to me, if I can. I rarely argue, mostly because most things are just not worth the effort. I'm pretty laid back, in that I don't really care what time we meet, what movie we see, who drives, where we eat, etc. Actually, I don't care about much. *shrug*

But on the rare occasion something does matter to me, I know I can become difficult. I over-think, over-analyze, and I worry - a lot. If I get disappointed, I get sad and maybe even a little down on myself. It never lasts long, and to be honest, it's improved. But it's definitely in those times when I know for sure who really cares for me.

This past weekend, my church wrapped up its series on relationships. The message was about how we are not created to go through life alone. At first I was like, "Really? This week?!" But then it improved. Pastor Mike Mills told us throughout life, we will meet three kinds of people.

For yous are people who encourage us to be our best, and stick around in good times. They celebrate victories, but are generally not there to support us through our trials.

Use yous are those people who are only around to support their own agenda.

With yous, though... with yous are the people worth having around. They are the people who will pick you up when you fall, and carry you until you can walk on your own. They cheer when you're happy, and cry when you're hurt. They want the best for you, and support your choices, even if they don't always agree.

When I am my normal agreeable, accommodating self, it's tough to tell the for yous from the with yous. When I'm doing for others, even the use yous get mixed in.

But when I'm broken and defeated and disappointed, and struggling to pull myself up again... that's when my with yous stand out.

I'm not at all sure what I did to deserve such amazing people in my life... but I'm sure glad I have them.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Three truths and a fib

We are having a discussion about ice breakers on Facebook. Baking Suit likes them... so far, she's the only one.

Ice breakers are basically an introvert's worst nightmare. If you're a shy introvert (ahem), you'd probably rather have a tooth pulled without pain killer than spend one minute trying to guess a stranger's favorite color.


I'm a reformed shy kid. While I still loathe ice breakers, I have been to enough meetups, blind dates, and speed dates (that's a special kind of hell; don't do it) that I can fake my way through a get-to-know-you kinda game. I just may need a nap after.

Baking Suit is playing an ice breaking game this morning, and asked us to join. So here it goes...

- I can decorate a cake.
- I talk fast, say too much, and get clumsy when I'm nervous.
- When I was a kid, my room was always tidy.
- My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.

One of these things is not true. Care to guess which?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

American Sniper

I am a pretty anti-war person. I, personally, feel there is a diplomatic solution to every single problem humans face.

However, I am also not an idiot (I mean not on most things; I still don't totally get football). Finding a diplomatic solution requires all parties set aside differences, and look at things from all perspectives. I know that is not always realistic. As a result, war is sometimes a necessary evil. I may not like it, but sometimes it needs to happen.

But I don't usually watch war movies. I don't like watching good people die needlessly. I don't like watching families suffer. I definitely don't like watching it all happen, knowing the stories are real.

Still, I went to see American Sniper. It's nominated for the Best Movie Academy Award, and I like to try and see the movies that make that list.

(My impression: Amazing movie, tough to watch, moving ending, Bradley Cooper should get the Oscar. But I did think Selma was a better film, and should win for Best Movie. It's tough to say who was better, Cooper or David Oyelowo as Martin Luther King, Jr. He wasn't nominated, so the point is moot. But - that's an issue for a different post.)

I was impressed by the story. Chris Kyle is portrayed as a patriotic man who was raised to believe those who can fight should protect those who can't. He's portrayed as someone who, even as a young boy learning to hunt, had a real talent for shooting. Through the movie, you see Mr. Kyle as a really good guy, who sincerely wants to use his strength and talent to defend the country he loves - and to save the men he fought alongside. (The movie follows Seal Team 3 - so there are no female soldiers in the film. At all. That's also an issue for a different post.)

The movie does a fairly good job explaining why snipers are necessary, how they are used, and the difference they make. Which is important, because it seems people think that snipers are just "murderers" or "cowards." But, if you pay attention and keep an open mind, even the most anti-war liberal would be able to see that snipers are necessary assets. (Also, if you watch the video of his interview with Conan O'Brien, you'll see he seemed like a genuinely good guy in real life, too.)

Everyone has the right to think and say what they want. Even Michael Moore and Sarah Palin - for better or worse. You can be against the idea of war, and still have all the respect in the world for a man who (literally) gave his life to protect and help his fellow soldiers, while defending his country and freedom.

Soldiers like Chris Kyle defend all rights and freedoms - including the rights of others to criticize their very actions.

Giving your life to protect all freedoms...even the right to criticize you. If that doesn't define a hero, I'm honestly not sure what could.