WWMD/WWDD and Teenagers

I like using the question, “What would Jesus Do?” when  I am in a tough spot and have to make a decision. This question can be really helpful as long as I know the right example or verse from the Bible to apply to my situation. Sometimes I do, and other (most) times I have no idea what Jesus or one of his followers would do in a similar or parallel situation.

At this point, I switch it to “What Would Mom/Dad do?” My parents are both people I want to grow up and be like. They are great Christian examples and I probably use WWDD/WWMD a lot more than they think. Sometimes it is subconscious, but I definitely follow their example more than their words.

After reading this, I would think parents are thinking something to the effect of, “That is really sweet but then why did my kid do this? What about that other situation?

I’ll give an example: Teenagers are often known to dye their hair and get tattoos/piercings.

Parents often don’t understand this. At all. Parents wonder why their kids would do all these crazy things to their body.

The angle parents should consider is thus: Sometimes the changes kids make to their appearance are reflective of the changes going on inside of them. Changes such as the fact that they are losing some of the childishness, going through puberty, trying to fit in, making important decisions.

So while teenagers are going through these changes inside them and noticing inevitable ones around them, they may need a way to express themselves. They may need a way to get across to the world that everything is not the same as it used to be.

These changes are probably making the children more like their parents.

So it is possible, in a more potent situation, that a tattoo can mean a child is just one step closer to becoming like their parent. Maybe that piercing means that the child is becoming older. Probably that new hair color is just one of the ways teens are expressing themselves.

All the while, when these changes are being made, the teenagers just might be thinking, “What would my parents do?”


The Gathering

Over the weekend, I attended The Gathering. It was a retreat that included other churches and groups besides Chi Alpha (my group) and although I barely got any sleep, I had an absolutely smashing time.

The speaker was true to God, he spoke only what God was telling him to even if that meant changing his sermon at the last minute. The overall theme of the weekend was receiving what God has for us. The speaker explained that we need to know that God has offered us many things and that we can never truly repay the debt Jesus paid for us. We can only Love God.

Another thing that was emphasized is that only God knows everything and that we will never understand it all. We get glimpses of the whole picture. That struck me because I know that if I truly love Christ, I can let the fact that I will never really comprehend everything go. My love for God needs to constantly conquer my need to be in control and know everything.

The one word that stuck out more than any other was complacent. Retreats are really fun and get everyone excited about living for Christ, but it is easy to come back home and allow complacency to take over. It’s easy to fall back into the same rut and love for God be forgotten.

I want this time to be different.

I do not want to fall into complacency or fear of being a true Christian. I want to stay in touch with God all the time. I want to strengthen my love for Jesus.

I will not fall into complacency and let love be lost.

The retreat let me walk away with many new things to think about  and act upon. I also made many supportive friends to help me stay away from complacency. Successful weekend? I know so.

Slow and Slower Lines

I am not a very patient person. I like things in the here and now, better yet, yesterday. I am told patience is a virtue. I don’t really possess that virtue. (Case in point: I have perfected that standing in a line, slouching and checking a clock repeatedly while my eyebrows rise higher and higher on my head stance.) I think this is the year I am going to become a patient person. Or I will get a medal for my “Impatient Stance” as I have to wait for EVERYTHING around here: lunch lines, dinner lines, slow people on the stairs, the lurching elevator, and many other things.

I am sick of waiting for things.

I think God is trying to tell me something this year. I must learn to be patient. I need to be kind while I am being patient, no “I’m being patient but would you get a move on?” thoughts. I have been in a lot of situations requiring kind patience this year and expect many more because God is infinitely patient and will keep guiding me to become a better, more patient person through situations and His word.

For example, I just found out that for my Bible study this year we are covering the fruits of the Spirit. My previous pastor back home covered them extensively within the last year, but I must be patient because everyone has different approaches in teaching things and I will get new, important, and personal lessons out of it. The fruits of the Spirit are as follows:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians 5: 22-23

Now I really have to be patient, because it is a virtue AND a fruit of the Spirit. Maybe Christmas break is actually closer than it seems…Or maybe I can do this. I can do anything with God, even give up my future medal for my “Impatient Stance”. Patience, patience, patience.

Oksana in College

Today I got a care package. It was from one of my Mom’s friends who is, incidentally, awesome! It contained various items such as candy, gum, more candy, faith folders (1 Corinthians 1:9!), a whistle, an Idaho pen (of which I originally thought was bubbles), and an Alice in Wonderland book.

Now, I realize that it is a motley assortment of items. Fortunately, I love them! The only two things that confused me were the whistle and the book. Upon assessing the package, I figured out that the whistle is a Halloween prop. I could be a referee for Halloween! My Dad has this referee jacket from his days of refereeing hockey back in 19…well, during his high school years. Anyhow, now I have a Halloween costume and have figured out the mystery of the whistle.

The Alice in Wonderland book was a bit harder to figure out. I knew that putting it out on display in my dorm was a must and decided that the desk was the place it would be most looked at. It is very cute! Then, I wondered if I could glean a deep moral meaning from the book that would not only help me ace all of my college classes and find myself but also teach me the meaning of life. So I read the book to extract said information.

I liked the pictures.

I didn’t find any deep moral meanings. I even decided that I was thinking waaay too hard. Maybe the secret meaning would come later? I decided that if the book was representative of my life right now, it would be called “Oksana in College’. Cool, huh?

Just now, as I write this blog, I’ve realized that although college isn’t an actual sleeping dream, it has been something I’ve dreamt of for a long time now and a wonderful experience so far.

I’ve certainly met many strange people and seen some crazy things.

Thus, I am now going to write a book about my college experiences, which will turn into a movie, and then become a New York Times Bestseller and…okay, maybe I’ll just stick with the blog.

-Oksana in College