Virtuous Reality Blog

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March 2010 Archives

March 1, 2010

Learning sign with Isaak

I know the sign for horse. It might be the first one I learned because I've been learning ASL with a four year old. When you're four, horses are better than anything else the world has to offer so of course we look for them and talk about them all day no matter where we are or what we're doing. And sometimes we just get upset that there are no horses in the house or yard. If you look at it from his perspective, why WOULDN'T everyone have a horse in their house if they could?

The 4-year-old is Isaak (you can read more about him in the article this month) and he's deaf because the antibiotics they used to save his life when he was a baby, ruined his hearing. So we're all learning sign, which has been pretty cool, and we're on about the same level so I feel like I'm doing ok so far. For any of you who consider yourselves language challenged, you might want to try ASL (American Sign Language). Not because it's super easy, but it makes sense. Some of it is just logical, and you only need someone to show you a sign once for it to stick in your head. Like cat or dog or spaghetti. Look those up on aslpro.com and you'll see what I mean. I was talking about this just the other day with a friend and she introduced me to Stephen Torrence - a college guy who's managed to mix sign with music and come up with some pretty cool song interpretations. If anyone will make you want to learn sign, it's this guy. Enjoy!

March 31, 2010

It's just high school...

I just read ANOTHER story about a girl who committed suicide because she was bullied so horribly by classmates that she thought death was her best option. It makes me sick to read these things. Sick because I know there were other ways out of the nightmare she was stuck in, and that high school only lasts for a little while and then it's over.

I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to tell every teenager in this country, "It's just high school. It will be over in a minute and it shouldn't get to define you." We seem to have given high school and our teenage years way too much weight, and kids are crumbling under the stress of it all, but it doesn't have to be this way. High school isn't the best time of your life, or the most important time of your life, and it definitely shouldn't be the thing you're living for. The problem is that when you're in it, it seems huge and weighty, and our brains don't learn to think ahead and consider the consequences of our actions until we're in our twenties (scientific fact - I'm not making that up.)

So when you're 15 and the world seems to be falling apart (you're pregnant or moving or someone just broke up with you) and you think death is your only way out, you need to remember that you're operating with a huge blind-spot and you just can't see the other exits...but they're there. That's when you need to get someone else involved, but find someone who's older than you and has already been there. Someone who's blind-spot has shrunk considerably so they can see clearer than you, and it helps a lot if they love Jesus like crazy because then they'll be able to give you solid biblical advice and not just a lot of the mumbo-jumbo you hear on talk shows or read in self-help books.

Navigating these years between 10 and 20 can be tricky and God never intended for you to try to do it on your own or helped only by friends who are in the same boat as you. One of the main reasons high school is so tough is because everyone around you has the same gigantic blind-spot. When you put a bunch of people in a room together and then turn out the lights, someone (or everyone) is going to get hurt. And one of the really ugly things about high school is that people tend to attack others in order to feel better about themselves.

That article made me so sad for the girl and her family and the thousands of other young people I know are hurting and can't see an end to their misery. Then I started wondering how you guys are doing...how ARE you doing? Are you feeling like you're at the end of your rope? Maybe we can take a few minutes to speak truth to each other and encourage each other like Jesus wants us to instead of tearing each other down and hurting each other. We need to remember on a daily basis that God thought we were valuable enough to suffer and die for us. Let's stop following the masses while they destroy each other and instead remember that we are loved like crazy and here for a reason. God made you how He wanted you and put you where you are now for His glory and your good. Anyone who tells you different is lying.

We love you guys, hang in there and love each other too.