Archive for April, 2010
…faster this year. I’ll explain that in a minute. My friend Dawna has been a lot of things. She was my roommate in college. She was my maid of honor. She has been a scuba diver. She has been a grad student. She has been known as a loud laugher. She has been a summer orientation advisor. She has been a dog lover forever. She has been a long-haired girl and a short-haired girl. She has been a sorority sister (not to me, but to others).
She has been pretty much amazing her entire life and never let a single thing hold her back. Two weeks ago she was 13 minutes faster. 13 minutes faster in finishing the Boston Marathon than she was the year before. Amazing. Congratulations Dawna!
…my point. That is what a complete group of strangers, all strewn about different tables at Starbucks did for me this weekend. Let me start at the beginning.
In my life I have been described multiple times, by multiple people in multiple situations as being 3 things: highly introverted, carefully spoken and choosey about who I let into my life. There was a period, a few years back, where I think I pushed back against these things. For some reason (I think I know why) I thought there was something wrong with me for being so serious all the time, for waiting to say something because I wanted to be careful, mull it over or whatever. I got over that. I am who I am and I make no apologies for it. I don’t think I’m a mean-spirited or inconsiderate person. I don’t think I come off as cold. As a matter of fact, I think those who really know me appreciate these qualities.
When we first moved to Tennessee, I thought that ultimately I needed to make friends but I enjoyed not knowing anyone. I enjoyed not knowing their ‘stuff’ because it made it easy to meet them with no pre-formed judgements or information that was none of my business. I enjoyed them not knowing anything about me…I would share what I wanted with whom I wanted and trusted. By year 3 I was over the whole thing and I knew that I didn’t want to be friends with many of the women I had come into contact with. The bottom line is I can’t stand gossip and I can’t stand my name being in someone else’s mouth that it doesn’t belong in.
Back to Starbucks this weekend. We woke up Saturday morning and my neighbor called to inform me that he thinks he found a bookshelf I would like at a yard sale. After getting Tim to agree to take me there we stopped by for a coffee for him (his perk for making the trip). I stood there, waiting inside of Starbucks for my tea. Tim had left for the van already and I had nothing to do but observe what was going on around me. There were 3 tables of ladies sitting there, having Saturday coffee with their girlfriends. What a lovely thing for them I thought. Then I listened. Each.and.every.table was having a conversation about another lady who wasn’t there with them. The listeners were completely engrossed and the talkers were full of step by step details of what had happened. None of them were saying, “she is the sweetest thing”, “I just love her”, or “what an incredible gardener she is”. They were all gossiping. All discussing everything the missing lady had done wrong. They were proving my point.
Those ladies are the reason I’m so choosey about who comes and who goes in my life. Women are mean to each other. They have a tendency to be unforgiving. They have a tendency to only see their perspective. And when they don’t like something you’ve done, they have a tendency to talk about it to every Sally, Sue and Stacy they can find instead of coming to you with an open heart. If I sound bitter, I’m really not. I’ve just had it with the way women treat each other. I’ve had it with being 41 years old and seeing that not much has changed since middle school. Girls are mean to girls.
I’m raising a girl and this weekend we’re going to the Secret Keeper Girl conference. It will hopefully plant more seeds in her of how she can be strong in the Lord, self-confident and not too worried about what others think/say of her. In the end I think we all need to know who we are and find a place where we’re comfortable with it. My name is Jill, I’m highly introverted, carefully spoken and extremely choosey about who enters my world.
It is my friend Meda and her husband. Meda has danced just about her entire life, I believe. She owned her own studio and now works at another studio. Joe always says he married her for her gams. They are quite lovely but today what was lovely was how Meda used all her years of dance to worship God. She brought my friend Cheryl to tears (I had cried the week before when I saw a preview so it was out of my system).
This morning was Easter service. A large group of people worked tirelessly it would seem on putting together a display of the life of Christ, His crucifixion and His resurrection. Meda used her dance in two of the scenes. Here is what made us cry — her complete, abandoned surrender to using every ounce of her body to worship, the look of peace on her face and the small smile that lit it up. I was touched because I don’t think Meda was thinking about the hours of rehearsal or the people watching in the audience. She was just there, dancing before her Lord and letting all the joy and love and adoration come out of her in an act of complete devotion and praise.
This is something I read earlier today:
“He wants you. In his arms.
I think what struck me is the joy she depicted while dancing. It was truly dancing before the Lord as I see it in my mind’s eye, as I imagine the angels are doing right now. I imagine He is pleased and delighted and thoroughly enjoying every moment. It is an act of worship and yet displays the excitement and joy of a child and how I believe each and every one of us should feel each time we remember the life of Jesus.
I suppose I needed to document this moment because it is hours later and I’m still struck by what that moment made me feel. Pragmatic and introverted by nature I am not easily moved…especially in the moment. But what I witnessed these two times I watched my beautiful friend dance stirred something inside of me and I don’t want to let it go.