List, Listening, and Being Blog-Happy

Out of all of the activities I pursue daily (my physical therapy exercises, eating, sleeping, talking to people, talking to myself…) blogging is possibly the most enjoyable.  The fact that I can type something then delete the whole thing and start over (without anyone being the wiser of my awkward punctuation, cliché wordings, or just plain blah sentences) makes me wish that I could speak en blog.  If I had half an hour and 30 re-dos to plan my regular conversations, they would be so much higher quality and have far less awkward silences or times when I mentally kick myself for saying something stupid.  why did I feel the need to tell them about that law in Swaziland?  

Really, if you had any idea how many times I made a face, thought for a minute while clicking ‘backspace’, and re-typed entire sentences, you would question whether or not I am really cut out for this writing thing.

On to my listening problem.  I have a feeling that I am not alone in this, because I have seen other people with glazed over eyes when they think they’re hearing something they’ve heard 6,002 times before.  I most definitely had that look on my face in church today, until I realized that I needed to pay attention.  I know for some people paying attention in church is compulsory, as though they feel it’s a duty.  Sometimes, I feel that way as well.  Like God is sitting behind me, making a tally every time my mind wanders and that I’m punished for them later.

I know you think I’m going to say that I don’t think God really cares if we pay attention in church, that as long as our hearts are in the right place we’re okay.  I mean, we’re not perfect, which is a large portion of the earth’s population’s mantra.  But I have a question: why do we go to church if we don’t want God to speak to us there?  I mean, for real people, we complain that it’s harder for us Christians today because God doesn’t seem to speak out loud as much anymore, but then when someone who is speaking words inspired by the Holy Spirit gets up at the pulpit and speaks out loud to us, we get glazed over eyes and think about what’s for lunch.

I’m as guilty as anyone on this.  I always think to myself, heard that before.  heard that before.  heard that before.  mmhmm.  I knew that.  How about you tell me something I don’t know? Ashley, did you ever think that maybe it’s not about hearing something knew, but maybe about hearing it in a new way?  That maybe before, you just knew it in your head, but now God’s speaking to your heart?

So, my goal for myself is to have an open heart and open eyes during church, because hearing a sermon is one of the most clear ways to hear what God has to say through the Holy Spirit in my pastor.

During one of the times my mind wandered this morning, I was thinking about how on Joy the Baker’s blog she made a list called “30 things for 30 years” that had a whole bunch of things she wanted to accomplish in 30 years.  And I thought, huh, I should make a list…  maybe I should make a list for my senior year.  And maybe I should make it 9 things instead of 30 because there are 9 months of high school left for me.

So, here it is, my list.

  1. Take (1) leadership role
  2. send flowers to (2) people who don’t go to school with me.
  3. leave pretty cupcakes on (3) people’s doorsteps who need some sugar and encouragement.
  4. give (4) unsolicited shoulder rubs.
  5. Pay for (5) people’s coffees.
  6. Tell (6) people I appreciate them who I haven’t told before.
  7. read (7) books of the Bible
  8. leave (8) anonymous, nice notes for people I don’t normally reach out to
  9. Pray for (9) new people on a regular basis
If I was going to add a tenth thing it would be “graduate”, but then I would have to say “(10) times”, and they typically don’t let you do that.
Don’t let me forget my list, okay?
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