Category Archives: Life

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W.O.W. – Week # 5 (Charity/Cherish)

W.O.W. 4 & 5: Charity & Cherish

Since I (technically) did not post a Word of the Week last week, this post will serve as both last week’s and this week’s W.O.W’s.  It is actually kind of perfect because these words complement each other and both have played an important role in my life.  I was a little excited about working on these words due to that influence.

I do not talk about religion much.  It tends to ignite religious debates.  I despise religious debates. NO ONE is “right” or “wrong”.  Religion offers humanity a sense of community and that is a good thing.  I am not currently a religious person based on the purest definition of “religion”; I am a spiritual person, and I do believe there is a difference.  Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion as to the differences and similarities between “religious” and “spiritual”.  Obviously, I am not looking for a debate.  I have an intense spiritual history that has shaped my beliefs and I continue to learn each day.

I don’t really like to get into my religious past.  I am not sure how many of you are familiar with what Pentecostalism is.  To be Pentecostal is to live within a subculture quite different from the general American public.  If you’re not familiar with it, I recommend researching the Pentecostal faith.  If anything it will certainly offer you a lesson in religious and cultural diversity.  This week I draw from this part of my personal history.

I went to seminary after high school. I spent three semesters studying spirituality, theology – all that jazz.  One of my favorite classes was simply a study of the Bible. I was intrigued by the original Hebrew and Greek languages and how they were translated into the current-day translations (all 17 kabillion of them). Even if you don’t believe the Bible is the word of God (not that I am taking a stance on that), you have to admit the Bible is fascinating, and I ate it up!  My favorite books of the Bible were written by the Apostle Paul. His letters to the Corinthians were passionate and descriptive. That’s why I like them.  My favorite verse is I Corinthians 13:13, which brings me to W.O.W. #4, charity.

CHARITY (noun)

Pronunciation: ˈcher-ə-tē

I’ll eventually get to the modern, scholastic version of charity but for now I’ll focus on what I was taught about charity.  The King James Bible (authorized Cambridge version) says, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.  Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (I Corinthians 13:4-13)

For those of you unfamiliar with the origins of biblical works, the New Testament (the portion of the Bible in which the Corinthian letters reside) was originally written in Greek. The Old Testament was written in Hebrew.  There are those who may argue differently. I am only imparting what I have learned through what I was taught and my own research.  I personally believe this to be true. That said, just as an English word can have more than one meaning depending on the context, such is so with most other languages, including Greek.  In the referenced verses, Charity is derived from the original Greek word αγαπη (agape), meaning “love”.  More modern translations of the Bible have actually replaced “charity” with “love” in many verses, particularly in I Corinthians 13.  These verses are teaching us how to love, not only to love a mate but how to love each other – humanity.  It’s a lesson in kindness, compassion, and tolerance.  Even though I do not necessarily believe the Bible is an exact blueprint for how we should live our lives or how we should seek “salvation”, I do believe it is an excellent source of wisdom for how we should treat each other.  It’s an excellent way to learn from the mistakes of ancient characters, and I believe we should consider heeding their advice.  So many people hear the word charity and automatically think of institutions; dropping money in red kettles outside the supermarket during the holidays.  I am hoping to make people understand it is so much more than that.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines charity as “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity; generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy or suffering; also: aid given to those in need; an institution engaged in relief of the poor; public provision for the relief of the needy; a gift for public benevolent purposes; an institution (as a hospital) founded by such a gift; lenient judgment of others.”  I especially love that the modern-day definition of charity still clings to that biblical definition in some ways – a love for humanity, and “lenient judgment of others”.  I am thrilled that my research revealed that someone still defines charity as something more than donating money or energy toward a cause.  Charity is truly about loving people and showing compassion. It’s an intangible, emotional response between humans – not just the poor or sick.  It’s also leniency given to those we might usually judge harshly and forgiveness for someone who may not deserve it.  It’s a test of our humanity.

Origin of CHARITY

Merriam-Webster says the modern word charity comes from the “Middle English word charite, from Anglo-French charité, from Late Latin caritat-, caritas Christian love, from Latin, dearness, from carus dear; akin to Old Irish carae friend, Sanskrit kāma love.”  It claims the first known use was in the 13th century.

CHERISH (transitive verb)

Pronunciation: \ˈcher-ish, ˈche-rish\

Charity is a kind of love that can honestly be shared with anyone, a complete stranger or the one person you love most on Earth.  Cherishing a person is far more intense.  “To cherish something is to care for it deeply, to treasure it” (Collins English Dictionary). Cherishing someone is more than showing them charity and it’s more than simply loving them.  It’s an attachment, a need, and it’s more than an emotion shared between humans.  It’s an emotional attachment to a person or thing. People tend to cherish things. As an American, I think we put a lot of value in our possessions, and while you can’t show charity to an inanimate object, you can certainly cherish it. The Collins English Dictionary goes on to say, “The verb cherish is related to words that mean ‘costly’ and ‘beloved’. When people really value something, often because they feel emotionally connected to it, they cherish it. Generally, people don’t cherish things just because they cost money; they cherish experiences that matter to them.”

Origins of Cherish

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary says cherish comes from the Middle English word cherisshen, from the Anglo-French cheriss (a stem of cherir or cher meaning “dear”); In Latin, carus.

My two cents:

I try intensely not to place too much value in stuff, but I am only human.  Today I found something I thought I had lost forever and I almost cried.  I wasn’t looking in a mirror, but when I found it at the bottom of a long-ignored box in my storage room, I think my neighbors may have seen the glint of my smile through my apartment windows…  I spent more than half my life (thus far) living with my grandmother.  I was living with her when she became sick last Winter with pancreatic cancer.  She died six short weeks later and I was there to watch her struggle to take her last 23 breaths.  When I married my ex-husband my grandmother gave me a homemade copy of all her recipes.  She had photocopied all of her favorite recipes (many of them in her own handwriting) and had the copies spiral bound.  She originally wrote a note in the front of it to me on my wedding day. After my divorce she tore the note out and promised to write me a new one.  She never got that chance, but that cookbook is probably my most precious, cherished possession.  When she died, I had about two days to move out of her house.  I had several friends and family helping me move, but you know what they say about too many cooks in the kitchen.  Somehow, I lost several of my things in the moving process – some knives from the kitchen, part of an antique wooden shelf my mother gave me, but the biggest “loss” was my grandmother’s cookbook. I cried for days over it.  Today I was unpacking a box of books that had been in a hutch at my grandmother’s.  The cookbook had been kept in a cubby above the stove. I never dreamed it would be in a box with my Nicholas Sparks collection and a copy of Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”.  For the first time since my grandma passed, I was able to touch something that reminded me of her and not cry. I gleamed!

I honestly don’ t have too many “things” I would say I cherish, but I do have some people, many people, I cherish deeply.  If you have a big enough heart, there’s room to build deep, meaningful relationships with the people in your life.  It’s your job to decide who deserves a piece of you and to share of yourself as freely or sparingly as you can and make room when possible.  I am so very thankful for my friends and family. I would start to list names but this post is already long enough and it’s not like you would know who they are anyway.  I just hope that I have cherished them enough that they know how much I love and appreciate them and how thankful I am to share my life with them.

Resources:

“Charity.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/charity&gt;.

Cherish. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved August 24, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cherish

“Cherish.” Merriam-Webster.com. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 24 Aug. 2013. <http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cherish>.

EARLIER POST (8/24/13):

I am in the process of working on this week’s Word of the Week (W.O.W.).  I chose two words for this week as I did not post last week due to some illness and other complications which completely dominated my life.  I am still recovering from an injury that happened at work. (I had no idea how complicated these things could be, even though I WORK in a neurology/pain clinic and we see worker’s compensation cases every day).  I have an impinged nerve somewhere between my neck and my right wrist, causing wide-spread pain in my neck, shoulder, and arm.  This makes working, driving, and typing difficult at times.

J.T. and I are working on moving in together, also contributing to my time management issues.  Moving has proven a much more complicated process than either of us anticipated.  We each live in separate one-bedroom apartments and we each have a cat.  Combining two apartments into one is hard enough, but since he is moving out of an apartment where he has lived for at least six years, there is much more packing and cleaning than we could ever have dreamed up. I am also incredibly anxious about introducing Libby and Sasha.  They’re both incredibly spoiled and slightly agoraphobic. (I’m not exactly assured this well go well.)

As for the word(s) of the week, I have already completed most of my research. I have a biblical reference I am still looking into and I want to work on some content before I finish up formatting/editing. It will likely be tomorrow before I am ready to publish.  As noted in the title, I chose the words charity and cherish.  I also mentioned last week that I would likely use these words either this week or in the future.  These are words that have had deep meaning for me and have played an important role in my life.  They have shaped parts of my life and I would like to share some of that with my audience (as small as it may be).  My hope is to allow these words to impact my readers in a way similar to how they have impacted me.

I’ll return tomorrow to publish the final result.

Much love & many blessings…

Crystal

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Random Rantings – Taking Chances

Since this is my personal blog there are no rules to follow, meaning I can post whenever I want, about whatever I like. So, for the sake of having nothing else to do and curbing my anxiety I want to make a random post about something that is eating at me, and I need feedback so please KEEP READING.

I tend to be careful, too careful. I went to church every time the doors were open when I was a kid because it was a guaranteed community – a group of people with like beliefs who were (for the most part) very kind to me, kinder than anyone else – even my family. It was safe… I went to the same college all my friends from church went to because a) my friends were there, and b) it was close to home… I married a boy I grew up around. I knew him my entire life and I knew he would never leave our home town because he was a coward just like me. I THOUGHT he was safe. (That’s another story.)

The problem with being careful all the time is that it’s so dreadfully boring! From time to time I’ve been known to take small risks, some of which are good, but I have lived to regret most of them. I have had my share of risky romances. I went on a spring break trip to London with a group of people I barely knew and who mostly hated me by the end of the trip. I had an affair and divorced my husband – lost everything. I finished my bachelors degree online (much harder to do than it may seem). I called a guy I met in a bar and agreed to a date when I was mid-miscarriage with a Summer fling’s twins. Yes. That really happened. For the record, he’s amazing and it was the best risk I have ever taken.

I DO have a point… I feel stuck – stuck in Southern Illinois, stuck in my job, stuck in debt, stuck with depression, and stuck in this life. I feel that my parents are largely to blame. I can’t change how I feel and I know my mom and dad (stepdad) did their best, but my “real” father is completely self-involved and my mom didn’t encourage me to go to school or help pay for it. She certainly didn’t try to help me find any direction or help me find someone who could. Yes. I had a mom and grandmother who did their best to raise me well, and they did. I am a productive member of society, but I am STUCK. The worst part is, my mom raised me to be stuck, just like everyone else around here.

I’ve decided I don’t want to be stuck anymore. I don’t want to be my mom in 25 years, sitting in the same spot on the same couch in the same house watching the same crappy sitcoms. I want to go somewhere. I want to do and be more than what this life has dished out to me. I think I have finally had enough and I am ready to fly!

There is only one problem with all of this. I am BROKE. I have NO savings. My boyfriend and I always seem to get just a little bit ahead just before some great catastrophe. It may not seem like much, but three days off work is half my rent for the month!

Here’s a question for all you folks out there who have gotten the heck out of Dodge… HOW DID YOU DO IT??? I don’t want the typical stories (college, military, marriage, etc). I want to know how Average Joe just picks up and leaves from Smalltown, USA and finds his Heaven on Earth. How can anyone afford to uproot and move out of state? How do you get jobs when you live HOURS away? How do you find a place to live? (And do they accept pets?)

I have a Business degree. I am an excellent typist. I have done clerical work and customer service (mostly in the medical industry) my entire life, not to mention I do have SOME writing talent. That has to be worth something! JT is the hardest working person I know. He’s great with his hands, intelligent, and everyone likes him. The problem is getting two great people from where we are to where we want to be. We’ve decided we do NOT want to be here!

So, please share with me how YOU DID IT. How did you move clear across the country? How did you leave everything  you know, find work, and a place to live? How did you AFFORD it? I just have no idea where to begin.

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Meeting a Challenge

I was a little unsure of where to begin for my first post, not because I have nothing to write.  It would be ridiculous to start a blog if I had nothing to write, but I just have so much I would like to write about that I was not sure where to begin. I decided to enforce the most important practice I learned in Business School – K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple, Stupid)…

“The Daily Post at WordPress” has posted a weekly writing challenge called “A Pinch of You”.  It is a creative writing challenge.  The idea is to create a recipe that is the essence of oneself, what makes you you.  I needed to get some content up soon so I decided to take on this challenge and use it as my first blog entry.  I thought it would give my potential readers (since I am certain I don’t have any yet) a glimpse into the realm that is “The Crystal Palace”. (By the way, that nickname will certainly come up in future posts so I will try to explain it at some point.)

INGREDIENTS:

CRUST…

1 Root of crazy – finely ground

2 tsp. Ground ginger (for a little spice)

1 Copy of the sheet music for the choral version of Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”

1 Copy of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

1/2 C. of Barbie doll hair

2 tsp. Broken heart

FILLING…

2 C. course, crystallized sugar

1 Belly Dance/Zumba hip scarf

3-month supply of Bee Fertile

1 Kevlar vest

1 Jar Royal Jelly

500 doses of Benadryl

1 Bottle Acetometaphine

1 Package AA Batteries

1/3 C. Malibu rum

1 Pair lace, animal print panties (preferably leopard)

1/2 C. regret

TOPPING…

At least 6 tattoos

1 Tube BB Cream

1 Bottle pink shellac

4 Tbsp. Hope

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix crust ingredients in a spittoon until thick dough forms
  2. Press firmly into an upside down cowboy hat
  3. Bake at one degree hotter than Hell
  4. Whisk filling ingredients together in a sand bucket
  5. Pour into cooled crust
  6. Freeze for two hours
  7. Ice with BB cream
  8. Sprinkle with hope
  9. Decorate with shellac and tattoos to taste

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