I’ve been thinking a little about changing a few things in my life.

That would mean pulling out (I’m thinking almost entirely) of something that I’ve been involved in for a long time. That would also mean removing things like msn from my computer.

It has been a long time since I’ve had a lot of time to myself. It’s funny because the whole busy thing really does sneak up on you. I can often gauge how much time I’ve given myself just to relax or to think by what I’m reading – or rather, not reading. I haven’t read a novel in at least a month, it’s oddly a pretty common self-warning bell. The state my room is another guage – at the moment it looks like a small tractor has torn it up. The state of my mind – which isn’t working at all very well. I’m finding it hugely difficult to concentrate properly on things that I’d like to be able to take in – some of the fantastic theological blogs out there would be well worth devoting some time to. It seems pretty small, but when you open them, sit there, look at it, want to read it and just can’t, it’s no fun.

I want to pour new things into my brain, but it’s thoroughly convoluted and there’s no room.

The whole it being a selfish thing to ‘take time out for myself’ deal doesn’t worry me anymore . You can’t keep going well in life if you don’t take time to recharge.

I’ve done some things far too long and my enthusiasm (what there is of it) has really bottomed out.

Cease effectiveness.

I’m doing some new things, like youth. I’m really liking it and I want to put much more into it but where things stand at the moment my efforts feel like they are being spread too widely and therefore I’m not properly useful anywhere.

Time for some change. Or at least to start think seriously about implementing some.

General Life

General Relationships

I was quite delighted today to have my cousin (the best one) say she’s addicted to reading my blog. Mum said something about the four-day lapse in thinking of checking to see if I was okay. Laura thinks I should change the font back to ‘small’ – anyone really disagree?

I am still sick although I hope have gotten over the worst of it. The headache is down to an occasional temporary throb and sits as dull background the rest of the time. Not exactly sure how up to doing ‘Messy Games’ at youth tonight but I can only try.

I’ve spent a bit of the morning and all the afternoon working on my website for some fictional bookselling company “Second Book on the Right” (here’s to making up random names). Doing my usual overcomplicate things until realising – or actually reading the assignment info again, that I could ignore all php/java scripting entirely if I so desired. I could’ve saved rather a lot of time instead of stuffing around investigating things. So it’s almost done, just need to throw in a few product pages and hope like mad that when it comes to client & server side scripting that I will have worked out what’s going on.

Not bad, considering most of this was done very last minute and I haven’t really done a website in well over two years. Dreamweaver skills – as easy as the program is, came flooding back pretty fast. Yeah right to coding from scratch when it has to be done by Monday (or tomorrow morning so I don’t have to think about it any more and can go be as social as I like). Some things are not worth the effort when there are perfectly suitable and allowable ways to do it simply.

I was thinking about holidays yesterday, possibly because I want one so badly, and how when it comes to the actual event I spend it mostly bored out of my brain or annoyed at myself for sleeping far too long and wasting each day. I should plan myself a holiday. I’ve always said I’d like to take a few days or a week just for myself. Go down to the Rye house or similar and be a blissful loner for a little while. Maybe take a wanted friend (how rude). Bring copious ammounts of interesting books, good music, a camera and hope the sun’s doing what it does best and filling that front room until there is no more space, then go to sleep in it without getting sunburnt and have no pressure from uni, from other people, from any ‘to do’ list – real or not real. And simply enjoy myself.

Frankly I think my body is tired from being sick and my mind is tired from irrational stress about assignments that always get done on time anyway and from attempting to work out ‘next’. Whatever other part of me left is tired – just because.

General Life

Hannah tells me it’s been four days since I’ve blogged. So here I am again (back finally!) to give you a run down on the past few days.

It’s Thursday today. My week has looked like this:

Monday – fairly standard, I think. I’m having a lot of trouble remembering anything special which isn’t surprising.

*Oh wow. Huge appologies (sorry Tom). Monday night we had a YITS catchup thingo – how could I forget. In around the Hawthorn area at Alecia/Laura/Em’s place. Heaps of them all came up. Tom and Jane all the way from Geelong (was very happy to see them), Dawn from Castlemaine. There was all kinds of carpooling going on and it was a generally enjoyable evening with some rather wonderful pizza that had pumpkin on it.

Tuesday wound itself into something pretty spectacular (which is exaggerating maybe a bit), Geoff and I decided we’d have a ‘card playing’ night with Anita (his sister) and whichever of mine were home. I left uni early as I was feeling pretty blah. Slept for three hours when I got home and decided to not mention it so that the evening would still happen.

It turned out Anita was babysitting and Laura had a uni friend over (others all out). So Colin and Tim joined the invite list. Col couldn’t come, so I unsucessfully tried to get on to Analise to make up some numbers, gave up and found Tony in my phone, after which Ana called and decided to come anyway. I was way out of it and there were frequent comments all evening about how dead I looked, but it was great fun.

Wednesday was one of “those” days. Relatively horrible really. It started well. Caught the train with Geoff, Matt (from uni) was there too, and Gabe and he were on my bus. I get along well with both of them even though they mostly just talk about games… both friendly. I spent the lecture (which I couldnt really hear because he refused to turn his mic on) talking to Justin (the mature aged student) about the assignment and uni in general.

This is the assignment that the due date was listed in one place as September 28th – it is wrong!!! It’s now due on August 28th, which is what I thought originally. I am of-course not impressed and tomorrow is going to be all about finishing it.

Anyway, Justin’s always been really nice to me – I think it’s sadly got something to do with my work ethic, but I certainly needed it. I got the lecutre slides off him – these are the ones the lecturer refuses to give out to make people come to his classes, which is all very well, but really not very convenient for looking back on. I don’t want to know how he got them. So we were talking about how certain subjects were a complete waste of time and how people just talk through them etc. And I mentioned how really not happy I am with the course I’m in etc etc… He offered to buy me a coffee (just in a nice way) and just work on stuff etc… I declined and opted to go home as I was feeling pretty lousy.

So, the bus trip back was full of ‘what next’ thoughts. Various ad’s around Box Hill station taunted me with, “She’ll find out what She’s Cut out For” etc… And Dad got a call from Johann (Dad’s overseas atm) which I answered, he had a brief chat to me and told me to stay in uni *glare* (I didn’t really want to explain the full circumstance so I just let it slide).

The hard reality of the situation is that when it comes down to it, I really don’t want to continue in the course I’m in. There are quite a few reasons. The people are fine – but the level and quality of what’s being taught, and what it is just isn’t fitting. I don’t think it’s the area I want to end up in. But then, I don’t really know what is. I’m not at uni, ‘just to get a qualification’, I’d like to hope the three years would at least be fractionally interesting. At the moment I can’t see how I’d come out of the course knowing much more than what I already did, or what’s common sense then when I went in. I’m not being arrogant – sadly just realistic. I don’t want to not study, but I think I need to change angles or at least get into something that will stretch my mind.

Of the evening – I changed my mind multiple times about going to the ‘girls’ thingo (Usual young adults stuff a bit different this week). I wanted to, but when it came down to it was feeling far too blah so I stayed home watched Two-Weeks Notice (veryaverage chick-flick) and went to bed at 9:00!

Thursday. I am now definitely sick with something. After 14hrs sleep woke up with a headache and sore throat. It was pretty good day really. Easy. I worked most of it. Ebay stuff is going well. I will think about the assignment tomorrow.

And so, that’s the rather boring run-down. Quality literature from a very tired mind. I shall continue no doubt in the next few hours to feel pretty lousy, make some dinner, have a shower, go to bed,read and then turn out the lights early again.

btw. Isn’t that picture great! (the Blogg one) it’s from a Seuss book of the title of this blog post.

General Life

Before I begin – or by way of beginning , I’ve stolen the phrase, “Reality is like a fine wine” from Donald Miller’s Searching For God Knows What, which I happened to start (pretty timely) this evening. I think the phrase is both satisfying, beautiful and pretty relevant to what I want to say.

This week a friend asked me quite out of the blue, “What is maturity and how do people become mature?” (In the context I think of Christianity) It’s a far larger question than I gave proper concern to at the time and I was pretty flabbergasted about how I should go about answering her effectively.

In my slight late night stupor I made mention of living life directed beyond yourself and other such (lame) things. Perhaps this was touching the surface, but I by no means did the question justice.

So this morning when we had a ‘four-corners’ morning at church and one session was on, “Maturity and growth” I did a bit of a mind dance (the only kind of dance I ever do) and deserted the idea of joining the youth.

It was a fairly big dissapointment in terms of what I was after. You really shouldn’t always enter with tight specifications/expectations or you are far too eaisly let down. Whatever the case, I didn’t really hear anything very well due to her style and her approach which really just wasn’t me. I spent the majority of the time getting frustrated at myself for being frustrated, checking alternate passages in the Bible, contemplating something a guy said during prophesy time this morning that went totally against something she said and the other bit of the time just a little bit furious over some ‘American’ comment or other.

Luckily for you, this is now a very large part of why you are reading a post on maturity. So my ‘tight specifications’ here are to make some kind of small headway in to looking at what it is. That saying, this will most likely (at the best) only suceed to throw up the question in your own face. I can hope that I can have further conversations with you about this.

I think the curious thing about looking at maturity for me personally is that so many of the underlying things about maturity and growth like change and patience have all been rather big issues for me. Pain in the butt type things and I think it’s probably a pretty common road we all find at some stage.

“My verse” for last year, the one that just ‘happened’ was, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” – Heb 12:2 (the first part)

Which I possibly misconstrue it in my mind at several stages, but hung on to it pretty tightly and I hope sought to do what it said. It was a year for a lot of growth.

I also, (and am not too ashamed to admit it… I think) read a lot of non-fiction, some of which could be described as ‘self-help’. It’s no secret that it facinates me and I do hope that I keep things in perspective. I definitely like the idea of, ‘growing me’ and it’s really easy to get off the right track and think I can manage by myself and work things out and set things up.

So my background for growth and maturity hasn’t been that passive at all, although breaking things down into a tangible process and working out ‘what’s happened’ is tricky.

To cut back to the wine quote, let me give you the fuller version (which is laughably not much fuller).

“Reality is like a fine wine… it will not appeal to children.”

Why equate maturity with reality? I hope I’m not doing that, but reality is what happens to us. We aren’t technically children any more (unless there are any odd exceptions reading this blog) although we certainly act like children and approach life in childish ways far too often.

One of the primary childish ways I fall for over and over again is the issue of control. I’d like very much to have a step by step process to form maturity in me. Then I know what’s going on. I can determine how fast that happens. I can get a grasp on God and on myself and on my life and where it’s going.

The more I look at maturity (just by what I’ve come across today even) is that so much of it isn’t our business at all.

The incongruency I came across today in the prophesy/’sermon’ was do with how, “Circumstances don’t mould us, God does”. Which at a quick look sits fine, but maybe doesn’t take into account that circumstances have a huge impact on who we are and what we become. Then of course you can use the plee that, ‘God directs all the circumstances in our lives’.

It’s interesting really how the dictionary definition for mature gives the following:

  • Having reached full natural growth or development
  • Having reached a desired or final condition
  • Worked out fully by the mind
  • No longer subject to great expansion or development

…and other such similar things.

If an ‘end point’ is the subject of becoming mature, there’s got to be a LOT more God in it than us.

I was going to chuck a lump of verses your way, contextualise them etc… but it’s not happening. So a few of those I’ve been thinking about through this,
James 1:2-5
Philipians 2
Romans 5:1-5
and more…

Maturity is hard to gauge, impossible to plot out except sometimes in retrospect where you can see what you were and who you’ve become.

I like learning, I like growing. The further I get along the supposed life continum the more blurry any clear learning gets. I’m really quite unsure of a lot of the God stuff at the moment, how it all plays out. I’m just sure God’s trying to blow a few preconceptions out of the water,

“The truth is there are a million steps, and we don’t even know what the steps are, and worse, at any given moment we may not be willing or even able to take them; and still worse, they are different for you and me and they are always changing. I have come to believe the sooner we find this truth beautiful, the sooner we will fall in love with the God who keeps shaking things up, keeps changing the path, keeps rocking the boat to test our faith in Him, teaching us not to rely on easy answer, bullet points, magic mantras, or genies in lamps, but rather on His guidance, His existence, His mercy and His love.” – (Searching for God Knows What)

We can think we know who God is, and we can even think we know who we are and then hit the point of realising we don’t know very much at all.

Maturity I don’t think is something we can force. We can try all we like to extend our character. We’ll have those life situations that make us grow up quickly, but ultimately it isn’t something we can do by ourselves or on our own. I’m still starting to think now that perhaps we should really just let God deal with the whole lot and instead just look at who he is… not of course as an excuse for a passive existence. Hopefully maturity is us pushing ourselves (perhaps with a bit of intention) to live holy lives. Impossible without God. Steering clear from childish behavior but still approaching the throne of grace with the childlike acknowledgement of Father.

How to be mature? I think that one is for you to figure out and to ask God about if you dare to have made clear those areas that are childish.

Far from my rather arrogant position this morning of not really ‘geling’ with the whole Growth/Maturity sermon, I think perhaps I was looking for a far more formulated process.

Maturity is a huge amount about, who God is, obedience, surrender and sacrifice. (Her points)

How maturity plays out and will play out in your own life of course is something I can’t tell you. I can hardly touch the corners of it in my own reality.

It’s a good thing that God’s doing the ‘good work in me‘.

…and really, was the gut of this post maturity or something else altogether?

Christianity General Life