Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Sister And Three Brothers

I poke my head into the room next to mine. My sister is curled up under her covers, her fan off, and her blinds closed. Light still comes through the windows anyway. It doesn't really care if the blinds say no. Light does what it wants for the most part. I can't see her head, her blue comforter covers it. Quietly, I close her door and return to my room. I glance at the mirror. Jeans, t-shirt, wet hair pulled in a braid, and bare feet. Me. My hair, even when dry, is darker than my sister's. I pull back the bangs I grew out. She curls her's and lets them hang on her forehead. How do people think we look the same? I sit down on my bed and try not to cry, thinking about one days I have felt the worst about myself.

My sister had gone on a trip, so I went to church without her. When I walked in, about three or four people immediately told me that they thought that I wouldn't come because my sister wasn't there. I laughed with them and forced myself to maintain eye contact. Opening service went fine, and everyone went to designated rooms for sunday school. I hurried upstairs to the youth room, and waited while everyone else took their time. When we had all found seats, our leader had everyone introduce themselves. We had two visitors. They told us about how they traveled to different low income areas and spread the word to children that may not be able to go to church. We finished our lesson and went downstairs for service. After service, I went to the basement with the rest of the youth to help set things up for the picnic. The two girls I spend the most time with at church called me by my sister's name around ten times and didn't even notice. We sat at the middle picnic table, the whole, regular youth group minus three. My sister, one of my pseudo sisters, and my brother James. We talked and laughed. Well, to be more specific, everyone else talked and I laughed and responded appropriately when expected. After all the food that was going to be eaten was eaten, we set up for a game of capture the flag. When it comes to picking teams, I'm last, just like in elementary. It didn't help my self esteem that two of the players were half my size and age. Just a small fact about picking teams; it doesn't matter if you try your hardest and JoBob barely tries. If JoBob is better and doesn't care, he will be picked before you, even if you do your absolute best. This is because, even if the game is in the name of fun, people are competitive and want to win. It wasn't far into the game that I had to leave. I couldn't help but feel like our visitors disliked me. People give off vibes. Sometimes I pick them up. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I have always had trouble with people mixing me up with my sister. She had trouble too, in elementary, but never as bad as I had it. It never helped that we have the same talents, interests, and style. At home it's nice. We don't argue much, unless I go in her room without permission. I'm fine being so close with her, but it hurts when other people mistake me for her. I don't know if it's because I am an individual work of art by God, or because I know I'm not as good as her. She's patient, kind, a very talented writer, and loved by nearly everyone. I'm not very patient, I have a bit of a temper, I'm not nearly as good a writer as she is, and I read too much into the tone of voice people use when they speak to me. I don't make as good grades as her. One of my friends once said that he purposely made high grades so that people would always compare his younger sister to him. He doesn't understand how unfair that is. He has no older siblings to be compared to.

I'm the baby of the family. The only one that isn't firstborn. My mother was the eldest of three, my father of two, and my sister of the two of us. Even my closest honorary siblings are years older than me. Those are my three brothers: Justin, Jake, and James, in order of age. I see James the most, usually at church. I see Jake maybe once or twice every six months or so. Then I haven't seen Justin for what feels like a year. They weren't born my brothers, but somehow, I feel the need to prove that I'm good enough for the title of little sister that they have given me. I think I'm failing right now. James only talks to me when he sees me. Jake, who used to message me regularly on facebook, hasn't talked to me since he came over a few months ago. He has been texting my sister regularly though. I have heard nothing from Justin except for the fact that he called my sister a while ago. I think the older two might have forgotten about me.

I get off the bed and crouch on the floor, peering beneath. The Lady of Shed-Lots is underneath. I reach out and stroke her. "Will you come out? I need cuddles." I bite back tears. She yawns, stretches, and casually comes out. I pick her up, pressing her brown fur against my face. She lets me. Since I was little she has provided moral support. We call her the momma kitty sometimes. I sit down with her on my lap. It doesn't matter if she sheds on me at this point, I need her love.

To tell the truth, that one day was the only one that I haven't felt welcome at church. It was also the only one that I'd gone there without my sister. I didn't tell her about it. I told James. I needed to tell someone, and I knew he'd listen with open ears and heart. My boyfriend also weaseled it out of me, once he figured out something was wrong.

My cat jumps off my lap and goes back under my bed. It's her new spot. I turn my speakers up a little. Building 429. "Fearfully and wonderfully made. Don't you know that you and I were not a mistake." I bite back tears again. God is the only one that I have never doubted the love of. He has always been there for me. How else could I have made it this far in existence? I would probably be very miserable.

"You will lead us out of the desert. You will hold us when we are weak. Lord, we will rise up, we will rise up to follow our Great King." --Awaken Us by Building 429

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Music, Lots of Links, and a Short Rant on Christianity

Alright. I was going from video to video on youtube, as most of us do, and I nearly squealed when I came across this, a cover song by Owl City of  In Christ Alone. Please understand that I have loved Owl City for some time. I drove my sister crazy with it. My favorite songs are the ones where Christianity is very pronounced, like Tidal Wave, Galaxies, and Angels. After watching the video I googled it to see if there was an album. Then I came across this. At that point I was fairly disappointed that I hadn't discovered that Owl City had done this song before, as I follow the blog.

In truth I came across Owl City's song when watching  the official video for Listen to the Sound by Building 429. My musical library has expanded as of late. Largely I can blame my sister. She's trying her hardest to help me strengthen in Christ. I love her so very much for that. I also admire the bond that she has with our Lord. Many may say that they follow and they believe, but you shouldn't have to ask if someone is a Christian anymore than you should have to ask if what you're looking at is a lizard or a snake. Christians need to stand out. Not only that, but we need to reach out too. Reaching out is the most important thing we are supposed to be doing, but, as one of my friends has often said, "You don't shout out to a drowning man to swim to shore. You go out there and save him."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Strawbabys (a.k.a. Strawberries)

I love strawberries. When I was little, I would call them "strawbabys". I have no idea why, but it's better than accidentally calling hamburgers "hamboogers", which I also did. There was a strawberry patch in my current backyard actually, until it was run over by a truck. The general consensus was that there would be no more little, tasty (though watery) strawberries. Wednesday, I went to put my items for work in the car so that I could just get in the car and go when it was time to leave for work. It was then that something bright red caught my eye. Intrigued, I ventured forward to the small rectangular patch of miscellaneous short plants. Oh look, little strawberries. How surprised you, my reader, must be. I promptly took the ripe ones of a corner into the house. Eight. One, as big as a store bought strawberry. I ate two, then rebrushed my teeth before work.

 When I returned home I grabbed a bowl and went outside. I do admit that I jumped and drew my hand back from the weed infested strawberry patch more than once for fear of spiders. The bowl was overflowing after I had only combed through the edges. Once inside, two strawberries, one of which was particularly stubborn, kept trying to make a leap for it. I filled the sink a little ways with water, washed them, dried them, and put them in a bigger bowl. I felt very useful.

I apologize for not telling you more, but in truth life has been full of ennui. In fact it is much like the Henri videos. There are two. The part about making new friends reminded me of Lil-Bit. She has the same problem. If you don't recall, Lil-Bit is my calico kitten. She is about two thirds the size of the Lady of Shed-Lots, whom is routinely referred to as "The Meatloaf".