Sometimes I wonder about what makes me who I am. Or I guess...what am I truly passionate about? What could I talk about or read about for hours on end? I guess these things change...obviously they do with different life experiences.
I'm not that into politics or "important" things going on in the world. Not that I am completely ignorant to what is going on, but I wouldn't choose to, or feel qualified to have a conversation about politics or current events dealing with this. I know my morals and the issues I stand firmly for/against. But I don't desire to have a debate about the "extra" stuff. I guess that's ok.
I'm not that into reading classic literature or discussing famous authors, and I don't remember all of the math, history, or science I learned in school.
I enjoy playing games with friends...but I don't spend much time "strategizing" and trying to understand the ones that take a lot of time, or even card games...I just...play, but that's what makes it fun.
I'm not that into "fashion" or the right and wrong things to buy/wear or how to do my hair/makeup. I do enjoy shopping, dressing up, wearing fun jewelry, and looking nice...but I'm not a fancy or "high maintenance" person. See?...(Ok, so it WAS Tacky Sweater Day in this picture...were you getting worried? haha)
I enjoy music and being a music teacher...but if you asked me to have an in-depth conversation about a piece of classical music, a composer, a music theory example, or even some of the things I teach, I might not be able to explain clearly or even know what to say. Also, if you ask me about current musicians, music shows such as American Idol, etc...I'm at a loss. I obviously love listening to music of many types and when I hear a song, I can usually "name that tune," but that's about it. So...I guess I'm no music scholar. Yes I have a degree in music, so I'm not saying I know "nothing!" I am just not an expert.
But... ask me to take pictures, and I can find anything to say without using words. I love capturing things that seem ordinary to everyone else...and finding ways to see the "character." (You might say I can thank my mom and my grandad for this, because both have been an example to me in their love for photography!) I love capturing memories...friends, family, people, places...I don't claim to be "good" at this art, but I am passionate about it!
I get excited about writing. I don't claim to be "good" at this either, though I've been encouraged since childhood to continue writing by teachers and others. I don't really enjoy a certain category of writing, but some of my biggest accomplishments in life have come from this ability - my Missouri State Cadet Teacher of the Year honor my senior year of high school, college scholarships from private organizations at the end of high school, a chance to present my Music History paper at Scholars Day in college, a free trip to locations in Europe I selected and wrote about through Kappa Delta Pi International Teacher Honor Fraternity in college, and now two major grants while teaching music - world drums through American Orff-Schulwerk Association, and a Smart Board through our district technology grant. I've really considered taking a class or two on grant writing, because I get excited about this, and also enjoy writing for the areas I mentioned before. So...is there a category for all that? I don't know!
I love, love, love serving other people. I first began serving when I was a child, through our church missions program - GAs. But, in high school, I really started getting more involved in community service, and in college it was one of my biggest joys. I wouldn't say people remember me a lot on campus as being "well-known" or a super scholar...but I do think a lot of people in my church and the service teams remember me. And I love that. Well, more than remembering ME, I want them to remember this ABOUT me, and above all remember the joy of Christ I had while I was serving. I guess one of my other biggest "accomplishments" was receiving the "Ray of Light" Community Service award from the Sunrise Rotary Club in Arkadelphia while in college. Glory to God for that opportunity, and for the heart He has given me for service!
Which leads me to....
International service! I am SO in love with meeting people from other cultures here and taught ESL on campus in an evening community outreach program my last two years of college. Specifically, a piece of my heart is in Africa, where I served for three weeks on a mission trip during college and hope to return one day!
I could talk about THIS all day! I could share the many experiences I had there, how inadequate I was, but how God blessed my life more than I could have ever imagined. I am no theologian, and I don't have have the entire Bible memorized. (That's one of this year's goals, right? Ha...Ok, so that was said in a joking manner, but really, why should I joke about that? I DO have the goal of memorizing more Scripture and hiding it in my heart to meditate on and share with others!) I can't argue my faith in detail or provide answers to every question I encounter. Even I still have questions. But I can love and serve. God has given me a love for the people and children I meet, and sometimes, just showing that love, serving those people, and learning to live their culture...can say more than thousands of words.
And yes...I do LOVE to play percussion and make noise on some drums! God has given me THAT love and passion...and I believe it is how I "yell!" haha Nobody ever guesses I'm a percussionist the first time they meet me. But that's ok. I know it. And my heart does too!
So...what makes me, me? Well...I think there are a lot of things. A lot more than I can think of here. But isn't it amazing how God created each of us so differently? We are all his children, created in His image, yet we are all unique in our Spirit, personality, and presence. And I like that.