On Sunday, the pastor announced that the missions team recommends that in preparation for our annual missions conference, which is focused on Europe, we read one specific book. One very thick book. One familiar book.
He held it up for all to see:
When I was a little girl, I pestered my big brother, four years older, nonstop as he was heading off doing stuff with his friends.
“Play a game with me, please? Please? Pretty please? Please play a game with me, just one game, just this once…”
From time to time I’d wear him down (or Mom would tire of hearing my pleas and order him to play a game just to shut me up). He’d relent and play a round of Hands Down or Operation with me. When we were older, the game might be Stratego or Scrabble. He beat me at everything, and still I’d come back for more.
The other day my teenage daughter asked if I wanted to play Words with Friends, which is basically Scrabble, on her phone.
She asked me to play a game with her! What joy to find a way to enter into my daughter’s world in which a private soundtrack pipes into her head through ever-present earbuds. Of course I said yes!
So she set it up to pass back and forth and we played a game. And then another. And another.
And then, after the third game, she got kind of bored, you know, playing word games with her mom.
Next thing you know, I started to pester her, “Play a game with me, please? Please? Pretty please?”
I downloaded the Words with Friends app and sent her my username. “Would you play Words with Friends?” I pleaded, playfully and childlike, to keep it light. “Just one game…please?”
She relented. We launched a game and played a couple of rounds, but then she had to take off for youth group. Next day was a school day, so homework kept her too busy to play games with Mom. She made a move, but let a day pass before making another.
I started a game against myself, and let me tell you, playing Words with Friends by yourself is pretty pathetic (though I do win every time).
I don’t mind too much, as I’m an introvert by nature, but I do kind of wish my daughter would make another move.
After working with my friend and The High Calling colleague Tina on an article called “The Grocery Drop,” I poked around on the NAMI link she provided, to learn about various disorders and diseases. It provides easy-to-understand explanations of different kinds of mental illness. I appreciate their dedication to “building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness” and “raising awareness and building a community of hope for all of those in need.”
I’m learning more in order to better understand—to better love—those who are struggling.
I saw this and clicked “share” on Facebook, but added that writing is also a profession for introverts who are continually interrupted: “writing is a profession for those who are interrupted a lot…writers get a chance to finish their stories.”
If I may briefly elaborate…I can’t tell you how gratifying it feels, when writing anything from a blog post to an e-mail, to actually finish a thought. I can even build up to a punchline, knowing the reader is either with me or has clicked away (and I’ll never know).I suspect that people who experience a lifetime being interrupted learn to clam up and live in their own little world; talk really fast; or revert to the classic inverted pyramid journalism training when conveying information verbally so that the most important facts have a chance to be heard.
Or, they write.
Seems like I’ve been making a lot of lists lately. And recording more personal thoughts in less public venues.
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Credits: All images by Ann Kroeker. All rights reserved.