I'm sick. I mean, really sick. I have several addictions, and I have only recently accepted that I have a problem and am willing to admit it. It is related to my job as an educator, and affects my students on a daily basis. Except, there are no laws against what I have. My name is Christi, and I am addicted to fonts and office supplies. I really do like fonts and colorful pens, spirals, file folders, and the like. There's no joke there. I could go broke at Office Max. But, honestly, and more importantly, I have realized in the last year that I am a Type A personality. I enjoy lists, timetables, deadlines, and spreadsheets. Think "Monica" on the TV show Friends. I'm not the clean freak she is (although I might be if I didn't have 3 small children), but every organization technique she loves makes me happy. YES, I own a label maker. YES, I get actual excitement from crossing off my To-Do Lists. And, YES, most of my apps on my iPad are in the category of "Productivity." Everything in my classroom is color coded, complete with a cute font (thanks, www.dafont.com!), and there are file folders and notebooks for everything. And I LIKE IT that way.
Why is this such a big deal? Well, until about a year ago, I spent most of my adult life denying that I was that way. In middle school and high school, I studied for every test (complete with homemade flash cards), I practiced my horn a lot and systematically climbed my way up the competition ladder, finishing as one of the top horns in the state my senior year. I was the stereotypical nerd. Then, somehow in college, I got it in my mind that being productive, studied, and efficient wasn't cool. I don't remember when I started that downward spiral from being who I really was to someone who I thought was better. A sort of "fly by the seat of my pants" person who practiced just enough to keep my scholarship, studying just enough not to fail, and putting no effort whatsoever into my diet or health. The thing was, I didn't know I was doing this. I thought I was having fun, being this new person. It wasn't until some 8 or so years later, that during a conversation with a family member, I had a DUH moment.... I was, and always have been, a nerd. I had walked away from who I was, who God created, and was in reality working against myself, making everything I tried to do harder. When I couldn't accomplish something, I got down on myself, and in turn I tried to do less and less. It was a horrible, vicious circle.
You see, God made me this way. No, really. He created me to love lists, fonts, folders, and spreadsheets. And God doesn't make mistakes. Every single detail of who I am is a detail he *meant* to create in me. Good and bad, strengths and weaknesses, they are purposeful. Jonny Diaz has a song out on the local radio station, whose lyrics say, "You were made to fill a purpose that only you could do / There could never be a more beautiful you." We're supposed to use our strengths and work on our weaknesses and make them work for us. We were made exactly as He wanted us to be. You are not an "oops." Say that to yourself. I AM NOT AN "OOPS."
Our culture is inundated with countless ways to make us feel ugly and worthless. I honestly feel like God is calling to return to and appreciate the person I am, the person He created, and all of this all in His perfect timing, as my daughter is entering into an age in the next several years where she will look to the world for her worth. I've got a huge job ahead of me in getting her to look to her earthly daddy and her heavenly Father to know what she's *really* worth, but hey......I can always plan that strategy out, complete with lists, color coded folders, and cute fonts. :)