Friend or Enemy Distinction Lense

Dogs always say what they mean and act accordingly.
Dogs always say what they mean and act accordingly. They always belong in the Most Loving Friends category.

Humans seem intent on categorizing everything, especially people from the US. Whether or not we’re organized, we can pick something up and verbally put it in a category. Trash or treasure. New or old. Modern or outdated. Quite an accomplishment for a culture that insists there is no black and white–the grey areas allow us to do so many fun things that otherwise we would clearly categorize as wrong instead of right. Both of these things affect how we categorize other people in relation to ourselves.

Friend or Enemy.

I admit to being a Facebook semi-addict. I’ve pried myself away quite a bit during the past year, but I still daily browse my newsfeed. A popular posting source on Facebook now (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you) is teenagerposts.tumblr.com. For example, “Teenager Post #8962: Good relationships don’t just happen, they take time, patience and two people who want to be together.” Aww. How sweet. If only we lived based on the things we say…but I digress. I see a lot of these since I have a teenage sister with a Facebook account. Most of them are harmless. Some of them are funny, some tinted with lovesickness, and I can remember relating completely in middle and high school. But I saw one today that is simply frustrating. “Teenager Post #8141: I’d rather have an enemy that admits they hate me, instead of a friend who secretly puts me down.” It makes sense, right? Minus the obvious grammar and syntax of a teenager. Good advice, don’t hang with people who lie to you and who don’t encourage you.

But see….there’s that categorizing trait cropping up. Friend or Enemy. There’s a definite distinction, to be sure, but why does everyone have to be one or the other? Just because you don’t get along with someone does not  automatically make them an enemy. That’s a choice. Every person makes a decision about how to view the people around them and in which category they will be placed. My question is…

What happened to that grey area we love so much?

If we can paint a grey area between right and wrong, why can’t we create one in between friends and enemies? The more people we put in the Enemy category, the harder our hearts become and the easier we find it to hate, even the people we used to say we loved. We can know people we find difficult to get along with, and we can acknowledge the fact that we will probably never be best friends. Those people might even hate us and bluntly remind us every day, those people exist. But we don’t have to reciprocate. It’s a choice. We make it every day. We place people in a category. The best course of action would be to eliminate our categories and just view them for what they are: PEOPLE.

But since they are hard to get away from, why not at least broaden your number of categories? Friend. Or Acquaintance. Or Coworker. Or Friend-in-the-Making. Or Neighbor. Or Family. Or Heart-that-Needs-Love. Or Wall-of-Fear-to-Break-Down. Or Kindred Spirit. Or…

Oh my. I’m quickly running out of room for an Enemy category…

LifeLense1

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Limited Time Lense

On Christmas Eve, elves never sleep. Neither do my mom and I.

First off, I apologize to my 3 readers for being gone for so long without so much as a postcard. (By the way, I really love postcards and plan to start snail-mailing them all over the place.)

A couple of things prompted this Limited Time focus. I’ll start with the most exciting so as to not lose you this early in my post. I live in Kansas, and while we Kansans — and Oklahomans and other midwesterners — are quite used to tornadoes gliding all over the place, we were not prepared for nature’s surprise on Saturday: an earthquake.

What!?!

I personally didn’t feel it, and I was quite jealous of all my friends posting about their earthquake adventure on Facebook.

My jealousy aside, the fact remains that there have been at least two or three earthquakes in the Midwest in under a week, and that just doesn’t happen. It got me thinking (again) about how many natural disasters have been occurring lately, either in strange places or causing extreme damage. That, combined with lots of other things that really don’t pertain to my blog at this time, brings to mind the knowledge that I’m not going to be here forever, nor is this world. Somewhere in Revelation, the events leading up to the “end times” are somewhat spelled out, and natural disasters are a major sign.

I don’t think that we’ll all be gone by next weekend, but I do have a limited time left in my life — even if I live until I’m 98 — and I’m tired of saying, “I want to become…” whatever or however I want to become. The time is now. Why wait to become a better listener or to learn how to love with God’s heart or to fly a kite? (I hope someone caught that Mary Poppins reference. Love that movie.) That’s a silly way to live — nobody can live in the future, only plan for it. So follow through with those plans now!

OK, no more lecturing.

I have also come to the realization that I have one month left in this semester and far too many projects to complete than I would like. Limited time is chasing me down. However, for the first time in my life, I am not stressing out and worrying about it. Know why? It’s just school. Of course I care about doing well, and I shall, but stressing only gives me a sore neck and headache and helps with absolutely nothing. God never meant for his children to worry themselves into knots.

I do plan on buckling down to accomplish everything in a somewhat timely manner. I’m no longer good at all-nighters and don’t plan on pulling any. Gosh, I make myself sound so old, like an old wrinkly prune of a girl.

I pretty much already hit on what all this means. We all have a limited time for something. Whether it’s a project at school, an assignment at work or a goal in life, we have a limited time in which to work or to learn or to love. I am learning to make the most of all my time; not that I’m a pro yet, but I am learning.

My dad used to tell me that I shouldn’t think about life in terms of how long I have left, but in terms of how many times I have left. How many times do I have left to have a picnic with my fiance? How many times do I have left to jump on the trampoline with my little brother and sisters? How many times do I have left to really get to know my grandparents? How many times do I have left to stay up all night wrapping Christmas presents with my mom and laughing as she spends an eternity beautifying each bow that the kids will simply rip off in five hours (and counting..)?

And how many times do I have left to feel a darned earthquake!? Just kidding. I felt one earlier tonight and am completely satisfied. =)

Opportunity Lense

I noticed that my last post ended with the Beauty Lense, and while that is my favorite, Opportunity saw that Beauty was resting and snatched up the opportunity to be used.

I have had several occasions recently to utilize my Opportunity Lense.

I’m in my first photography class, and I’m loving it more than any sane college student should ever love a class. We were supposed to have a crisp action photo ready to critique Tuesday, which is normally pretty easy. However, it requires lots of light and the beautiful rainy weather arrived at an inopportune weekend.

So I was wandering near the river in my grandma’s neighborhood — oh, I live with my grandma — trying in vain to find something on this green earth that would move enough for me to catch its motion on film, or rather, on SD card. A few guys playing Frisbee golf at the park saw me and asked if I’d seen the falcon.

“Falcon?”

They were very perceptive and assumed that meant, “No, I am clueless.”

A falcon was on the other side of the hill, just perched on the ground, eating a squirrel. My hope: to catch a great shot of it in flight. My reality: a squirrel dangling from a blurry-winged object in the air.

Opportunity: While I didn’t get the picture I had wanted, I got a few cool close-ups of it tearing into its lunch, which my little brother will love. And it was an opportunity I would have missed without the kindness of a few Frisbee golf fans.

I’m now in wrap-up mode. Don’t stop reading yet — you’re almost there!

My other opportunity started this afternoon. I’m a full-time college student and our fall break began at the end of my last class today. So all Friends University students get a four-day weekend. Woohoo!

Opportunity: Use these four days to really and truly relax and regain a peaceful spirit, away from school stresses. For me, that means spend time with my amazing family that lives an hour away, my fiance who serendipitously also has Thursday and Friday off work, and God. That last relationship helps me the most, and I don’t spend nearly enough time with Him.

Opportunities are everywhere. We just need to keep our lenses handy.

Domain Name Decisions

Hello to everyone–even those not reading this. (If you could pass on my greetings to them I would really appreciate it.) I’m obviously new here, and I hope not to fit in perfectly, but to squeeze my way in and make my presence known that way.

I’ll just dive in quickly with my WordPress entrance to tell you a bit about myself so I can scurry off to pick up my fiance from work. I stole his car–what can I say? It’s so much shinier than mine.

I wanted to name my blog Unidentified Beauty. Mostly because those two words together have been stuck in my head for at least two years and I haven’t written a song yet–because I play no instruments–and I wanted to use them somehow. But my plan was thwarted as I typed out the last letter only to be told, “that domain name is taken”–by someone who no longer blogs, no less. I did some investigative work. What a cruel world.

Try, try again.

Short back story: Last night, I went to my fiance’s house to roast hot dogs and marshmallows over a fire that I could smell before I even opened my car door–heavenly. He presented me with three new lenses for my camera that alter how it captures light sources.After my first domain name was shot down, that popped into my head.

Lenses are different ways for cameras to view the world; people use different lenses to view the world too. Ours simply aren’t external. My favorite lens to use is the Beauty Lens.

To be continued. =) Goodnight bloggers (and bloggers’ friends).