If we're friends in real life, you may already be familiar with Jen Hatmaker - she spoke at our church's women's conference a few years back. Or you may be familiar with her because we've previously shared on facebook some of Jen's thoughts and posts as she experienced and then wrote the book Seven:
If you're not familiar with her books or her story, you can find out more here.
She recently wrote a very thought-provoking post on Christmas and how her family has chosen to give it back to Jesus. It's called the Christmas Conundrum and it may feel radical to some of you, but this may be just the very reason why by the time you get all of the shopping done, the presents wrapped, and the food baked, there is still this empty place inside you that usually results in what we call the Annual Christmas Cry.
So anyway, I just threw a lot of heavy stuff at you. And you can take it or leave it. Despite the challenging manner of the topics I just mentioned, Jen actually has an amazing and unique sense of humor! Now you're probably wondering where all this is going. The REAL reason for my post is actually much more trivial - and I mean that in the best sense of the word. :-)
Jen's latest blog post called "Quirky" reveals some of the unique idiosyncrasies that make her one of a kind. We all have those little neurotic tendencies. If you think you don't, you're not being honest with yourself! It's a very funny article, and the comments are hilarious too! I never knew that so many people had obsessions with numbers. I obviously don't. So in that same fashion, I thought I'd share a few of my "tendencies" and hope the other Wingers will join in. We'd love to hear some of yours too! So here goes:
-There is only one way to fold bath towels. You fold them in half, and then you fold that into thirds. My husband, bless his heart, had to learn this early on, and now folds them that way too. The reason: as a kid we had a linen closet tucked into a corner outside the bathroom. The unusually small and triangular space made our mother insist we fold the towels a certain way so that they would fit. I don't have a triangular closet, but old habits are hard to break.
-I don't like it when people are almost touching me. You might as well BE touching me. My sisters knew this growing up (and still occasionally even now) and would torture me by pointing their finger and hovering it inches over the bare skin on my arm or leg. I swear I can feel it. MO-OM, she's almost touching me!
-Now that we have a refrigerator with an ice maker, I am obsessed with crushed ice. I only use crushed ice for all of my drinks - juice, water, soda. Banana shaped ice cubes are too big, and they block the drink from getting to you. If my husband gets me a glass of something to drink, he knows to use crushed ice but rarely uses enough and I'll usually end up getting myself more. If I have filled up two glasses with ice for the two of us, I've for sure given myself more and if he takes the wrong one, he has to trade with me. I'm the opposite of all of those people on Jen's blog who said they can't stand the sound of someone eating ice. I crunch whole glass-fulls of ice. I know this isn't good for my teeth. I know it's probably annoying to listen to. I probably wouldn't want to listen to it either. But it's different when you're the one doing it. Even after the drink is gone I will sit and finish all of the ice in the glass before I'm done. I could go on and on about crushed ice. It's truly a passion of mine.
-I don't consider myself a knuckle cracker because I don't crack them the 'traditional' way. I do, however, crack them all together at the same time by pressing my fingers against my collar bone. I do this several times a day, and only with my left hand, (I'm left handed) never my right - that would just be weird. There's just something comforting about it. I associate it with how I sleep and rest - (another idiosyncrasy) usually with my left hand tucked into my neck. I've slept that way ever since I was little. My parents used to say that I must have been in the womb that way.
-There is only one right way to build a burger when you're preparing them at home. (In restaurants it doesn't matter.) This too, is an inherited trait that Mama Winger passed along to me. You put mustard and onion on the bottom bun, underneath your burger. Then your hamburger, cheese, ketchup and pickle on top of that. It doesn't taste the same assembled any other way. Try it, you'll see what I mean.
-In the days of sippy cups, (which we're thankfully out of now!) the matching colored lid HAD to go with the right cup. There was no mix matching allowed. I remember my brother-in-law was firmly with me on this one, but Green Girl could have cared less!
-here's a new one -just recently developed. I've got a complex about Christmas cards. This is the first year that we're not sending any out. It's so much money and for what? Something somebody's most likely going to throw away. I just don't see the point anymore. Nobody wants a picture of my family that they'll have to feel guilty about throwing away. (Or maybe they won't feel guilty.) Nobody cares to read a Christmas letter where we brag about ourselves. People who we're close to already know what we've been up to this year. I thought about doing a Christmas letter that brags about Jesus instead, but not everybody wants my sermon either. I used to be pretty proud about how many cards we'd get from other people. Hang them all up and display them proudly: look! see how popular we are? see how many friends we have?! But how many of those people do I actually talk to regularly? (It's kind of like being proud of how many facebook friends you have.) I've probably just offended someone who sent me a very nice, newsy card and watch, we won't get any this year! And then I'll feel like nobody likes me. So right now I have a pile of Christmas cards accumulating on my kitchen island that we've already received but I haven't opened them up yet. I don't know what to do with them. I almost feel... guilty about them. I totally appreciate getting them, but don't want to hang them up. See how neurotic this thing is getting?!
So anyway, those are just a few of my many, many quirks. I'm sure if you asked the other Wingers they could tell you many more things about me that make me, "me." I swear I'm not a freak.
Actually, I think it's way refreshing when people are real with each other. Especially people you look up to. I mean we are all so far from perfect. Isn't it comforting to realize that everybody's got their 'stuff' and you're not alone?! People who try to make you think that they are perfect only make it harder on themselves and all the rest of us by trying to obtain the impossible. It creates these crazy, unrealistic standards, steals your time and robs your joy. Why don't we all just be real instead?! So much easier, so much freedom!
So how 'bout it? Let's celebrate what makes each of us so fearfully and wonderfully made! What makes YOU quirky and special? Let's just pretend that these things only make us even more endearing to the people around us! :-)