How Netflix is Ruining My Life

Let's be honest, Netflix. I never, ever want to leave you. #onemoreepisode

A photo posted by Mary Carver (@marycarver) on

I mean, really. Why’s it have to ask me like that, every time? Do I WANT to exit? NO! Of course not! But I am, technically, a grown-up who needs to go to bed at some point. So quit asking me that, okay? Geez, Netflix. Quit being so clingy!

Until a few months ago we rarely used our Netflix account. We don’t have a gaming system or a Roku box thing or whatever it is that people use to get the Netflix on their televisions. [If you’re new here, you should probably get a handle on my slow adoption of new technology situation and read about the day I said goodbye to my VCR. Here’s a hint: It was not that long ago.]

But recently our lives were changed when we switched cable providers and, suddenly, Netflix appeared on our TV. Like magic! OH, THE SHOWS WE CAN WATCH! You know, without getting out that bulky cord and connecting the computer to the TV, like we did before.

It’s been awesome. I have watched A LOT OF THINGS. Not all of them great, fine, yes, this I will admit. But still, I finally watched (and loved. LOVED.) Sherlock, and I’m currently rewatching Chuck — so all is right with the world and my viewing experience.

Except…

Netflix is kind of ruining my life.

I mean, I used to have no problem watching one episode of my favorite shows each week. Unexpected reruns or holidays annoyingly coinciding with my regularly scheduled programming was irritating, sure. But for the most part I was content to watch my shows whenever the powers that be decided to give them to me.

Now, though. Oh, now, I can watch as many episodes IN ONE SITTING as I want. And I. Do. Want! So there’s been a lot of sitting at my house. Even more than usual.

And you know what happens when you watch episode after episode of a show? You get completely sucked into its world sometimes. And if that fictional world you’re watching happens to be a dark one (Hello, stupid Heroes, I’m talking to you!)? Well, good luck, my friends. Maybe go ahead and schedule that therapist appointment for the approximate week you anticipate resurfacing because you are probably going to need it. Holding onto reality is hard – and re-entry can be even worse.

Then – THEN! – there’s what happens when you try to go back. Re-watching old shows and discovering new ones is all well and good, but there ARE still shows on live TV. Right? You remember this? Shows playing today, at this very moment, that you might want to watch before they make it to Netflix? But how?

Sure, sure, you’ll DVR them. But can you really handle watching just one episode at a time? LIKE AN ANIMAL? But what else can you do? Save them up until you have enough for a good, solid binge? But what if you accidentally read or hear a spoiler? How annoying will that be?! WHAT TO DO?!

And speaking of spoilers and talking to other people about TV shows because it’s what we do…the emotional anguish that comes with binge-watching a show on Netflix that EV-ER-Y-ONE else in the WORLD has already watched and then NOT HAVING ANYONE TO TALK TO ABOUT IT? Well, it’s nearly unbearable. Do you know that I went back and read old recaps and reviews of Friday Night Lights when Mark and I watched last year? I may have (DEFINITELY DID) even listened to a couple (MORE THAN THAT) podcasts about it, just so I could pretend like anyone I know cares about a nine-year-old show.

So, you see, Netflix is clearly wrecking my entire life. Everything I hold dear (mainly my sanity and productivity) is at risk. I feel like I could say so much more about this, but you guys, I just got to the fourth season of Chuck when he [SPOILER ALERT - wait, what's the expiration date on this, ANOTHER PROBLEM Netflix causes!?] finds out his mom was a spy, too. So obviously I don’t have time for more blogging.

Am I alone – or has Netflix ruined your life, too?

Don’t Worry. It Comes Around Again.

As I put Adrienne into her car seat, I spotted it: a tiny black bug. In her hair.

IN HER HAIR.

I didn’t have time to freak out, although I’ll confess to googling a little bit at stoplights on the way back to Annalyn’s school. Which means my phone’s Google app currently shows “black bugs in hair,” “flat black bugs” and “bugs in hair not lice” as my most recent searches. Fun.

After standing in a crowded office for 10 minutes waiting for the new printer system to spit out my visitor pass and then hauling a less-than-cooperative toddler around Annalyn’s school for the summer school showcase (aka, the day the teacher sends All The Papers home with us), I was done. And sweaty.

So VERY sweaty.

I got the girls into the car, cranked up the A/C, and headed straight to Sonic. It was happy hour, and we needed some happy. (Largely because I spent the drive yelling at Annalyn for, basically, being a kid. And because I was hot. SO HOT.) We got our half-price drinks and headed home.

Where I sat down with a baby on my lap and promptly found more bugs.

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{Photo is from The Switch. Sadly, Jason Bateman was not available to help me deal with this situation.}

Feeling a little desperate, I googled a bit more until I couldn’t deny it any longer. Adrienne had lice. Probably from the parents’ day out program she attends. (Which is a nice, clean facility – but also filled with kids, you know?) (I’m going to take this opportunity to tell you that lice prefer clean hair. Okay? CLEAN HAIR. There’s no stigma here anymore. I mean, in a world with commercials about herpes medication, how could THIS be the most embarrassing thing to have?) (Except it is. Obviously. Hence my babbling here.)

After asking a group of friends on Facebook for recommended treatments, I packed up the girls and got back into the [hot] car. It was okay because I needed to go to the store anyway (and I’d gotten distracted earlier with my heat-induced tantrum). So we went to the grocery store, where Annalyn said – not once, but twice, and loud enough for fellow grocery shoppers to hear – that we were there because of the contagious bugs in our hair.

You’re welcome, HyVee shoppers.

We loaded up on Cetaphil cleanser and fine-toothed combs (for this method), then grabbed a head of lettuce (for the tacos I still thought I’d make for dinner that night) and a seedless watermelon (for an upcoming playdate that I’d said I’d bring fruit to). And, FINE, I bought another package of S’mores Oreos, too. CAN YOU BLAME ME?

When we got home, I told Annalyn to take the watermelon inside while I carried Adrienne (who had insisted on removing her shoes in the car) and the grocery bags. I imagined snapping a quick pic on my phone of her doing it, captioning it something oh-so-clever like, “She carried a watermelon?!”

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What’s that, you say? Where IS that clever instagram? Oh RIGHT. It’s not anywhere. It didn’t happen. Because Annalyn didn’t carry the watermelon. She dropped it. On the front porch. Where it immediately cracked and began dripping. Because what was I thinking? Simply saying, “Be VERY careful! Use two hands! Set it down VERY carefully to open the door…” was NOT going to be enough. Watermelons are heavy, you know?

But accidents happen, so I couldn’t even be mad. Really, it just made me chuckle. Of COURSE this day would include a five-dollar watermelon going full Gallagher in the front yard.

It was piano lesson day, and Mark was randomly working days so he wasn’t home. Did I mention those fun facts yet? Yeah. So I treated Adrienne’s hair while Annalyn practiced piano. (If you’ve never tried to blow-dry soap-soaked hair on a toddler, by the way, DON’T.)

Anyway. After texting Annalyn’s piano teacher to make sure I could bring my potentially infested child to her house, we got back in the car. The hot car. Again. Annalyn asked for a piece of gum because she was SO HUNGRY. (Still planning to make tacos after piano lesson at this point…) I said no, but stopped at McDonald’s for a small smoothie.

I passed it back to her, and she immediately asked if she could share with her sister. Her sister who was yelling, “EAT! EAT! EAT!”

Now, for the record, these children HAD BEEN FED. Breakfast, lunch, snacks – they weren’t starving. But they were probably hungry. Which is what I told myself as they bickered in the back seat. Apparently Annalyn was all-too-happy to share ONE SLURP with her baby sister, while her baby sister had more of a 50/50 arrangement in mind.

There we were. Stuck in traffic. Two squabbling sisters. One mom about to have Meltdown #ILOSTCOUNT. In the hot car. Hungry. Five minutes from being late. Probably infested with “contagious bugs.”

But then…THEN! I heard it. “When I wake up, well, I know I’m gonna be…

Don't Worry. Your Joy Will Come Around Again. | via givinguponperfect.com

It was the Proclaimers, singing, “I’m Gonna Be” – or, as most of us know it, “I Would Walk 500 Miles.” It’s a fun song on its own, but ever since I watched Ted and Marshall singing it on repeat during their first road trip, I’ve loved it even more.

Singing along to that goofy song at the top of my lungs – and listening to my girls do the same – totally cheered me up.

If you haven’t seen the How I Met Your Mother episode I’m referring to, the guys listen to the song over and over again because a Proclaimers tape has been stuck in Marshall’s tape deck since he was in high school. As you can imagine, even the most enthusiastic and optimistic TV characters get a little tired of it after a while – but as Ted starts feeling annoyed, that’s when Marshall encourages him, saying, “Don’t worry. It comes around again.”

Isn’t that the truth?!

Even on days that come with hair bugs and heat waves and smashed watermelons, it’s not all lost. Our joy, our happiness – they’re not gone forever. Even those terrible, no good, rotten days have cookies or car singing or sunsets or rain showers or a phone call from a friend or a timely Bible verse shared on Facebook.

And even if your day is so bad it doesn’t have even one of those things, you can rest in the knowledge that tomorrow is a new day. And that no matter how bad things get, God is holding you and loving you. Even on the worst days.

Don’t worry. It comes around again. Your joy, some hope, a bit of happiness – it all comes around again.

(Here’s hoping the lice, however, does not come back around – ever again!)

When You Need a Little Fabulous

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A couple weeks ago Annalyn went to theater camp. Because we need more drama in our house.

Melodrama and emotional theatrics aside, she loved the camp. Singing and dancing all day with new friends who love to sing and dance all day was just about all the fun my little actor could take. At the end of the week, the kids performed a musical revue for their families. (They called it a play, but I’ve been in many plays and this was not it. It was songs with a few awkward lines in between.)

In order to be prepared for her big performance, Annalyn needed to practice her line, her duet and her group songs all week long. ALL WEEK LONG. Over and over, until all three of us (Annalyn, Adrienne and I) had them memorized. Well, saying the baby could sing an entire song is an exaggeration (remember: we are dramatic over here), but she sure did love dancing to the repeated tunes.

And, I’m not going to lie, so did I.

I was initially annoyed that my seven-year-old’s class was singing songs from High School Musical and other Disney teen movies. Prior to this summer Annalyn only watched animated Disney movies (and don’t even get me started on the obnoxious, non-cartoon kids shows on TV). But since she was singing songs from these movies (the first and second High School Musicals, Teen Beach Movie, and Lemonade Mouth), I decided we should watch them together.

I’d like to tell you they were awful — and one of them **cough, cough** Teen Beach Movie **cough, cough** WAS — but honestly? I enjoyed them nearly as much as Annalyn. Not always for the same reasons (like I did while watching Jurassic World last weekend, I kept wondering, “Is this SUPPOSED to be funny? Because it is hilarious!”), but we did both like watching them.

As a matter of fact, I’d decided to read a book while she watched High School Musical 2, but I didn’t pick it up once. Aside from the few minutes when I dozed off (come on! Can you blame me??), I watched that silly show just as intently as my daughter. Especially when the kids sang the song from theater camp: Fabulous.

The song is silly, sure. And the character of Sharpay? SUPER ANNOYING. (Although she has prompted Annalyn and me to have some good conversations about attitude and friendship.) And, really, the majority of the song is just ridiculous.

“Fetch me my Jimmy Choo flip-flops. Where is my pink Prada tote?
I need my Tiffany hairband, and then I can go for a float.”

Right. Ridiculous. But maybe it’s a matter of being brainwashed, after blaring – and singing along to – the song for five days straight. Or maybe watching four teen movies in two weeks was just too much for my precarious, post-baby reasoning skills.

Whatever the reason, at some point I started hearing the lyrics differently.

“I need something inspiring to help me get along
I need a little fabulous, is that so wrong?”

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At first it was just stuck in my head like a glittery Disney earworm. But then I found myself thinking, “IS that so wrong? Maybe we DO need a little fabulous!”

Then, as we watched High School Musical 2 and Troy (Zac Efron) literally leapt through a field doing a happy dance, my eyes eventually stopped rolling and I had another thought. I thought, “Why is it so laughable for a guy to be so happy that he leaps through fields and bursts into song?”

Yes, I see your point. It is possible I’ve fallen under the spell of Too Many Musicals. But what if I haven’t?

IS THERE something wrong with needing a little fabulous? IS THERE something wrong with actually letting our happiness spill out, even if it means a song and a dance? IS THERE something wrong with choosing joy, even if we look a little foolish?

I say no.

When I cleared my Christmas decorations off the top of my piano several months ago, I decided to unpack some of my books. See, when we put our house on the market last year (and the year before that), we decluttered a LOT. That cleaning spree included packing up anything unnecessary – like my books. And when we moved furniture to make room for a baby, it meant going one step further and storing our bookshelf, too.

As much as I love reading, as important as words and the books that hold them are to me, this actually hit me as a physical loss. I MISSED my books!

So in early February, when YES my holiday things should have been long gone, I moved them out and replaced them with a stack of books. I may not have room for a full bookshelf right now, but I can display some of my favorites on top of my piano. That simple move has made me SO HAPPY. Just the sight of those books makes me smile.

And when I added a wooden dolphin and framed photo to my makeshift shelf? Well, my heart pulled a Grinch and grew three sizes! To me, de-staging my house felt FABULOUS. It eased my frustration that nobody wants to buy our house and we’re stuck here, possibly FOR-EV-ER. It reminded me that I like my cute little house (sometimes) because it’s my place, my HOME.

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It was fabulous. Just like bright pink toenail polish, red paint on my dining room wall, photos of my family making goofy faces, pretty tissue boxes that cost more than the plain ones, matching towels folded just the right way, t-shirts with nerdy puns, new lip gloss, or sparkly earrings.

It’s just like my daughter’s collection of glittery hairbands and mismatched socks, and it’s just like the bloggers I see sharing What They Wore each week or urging each other to Do Your Makeup. It’s not about what other people think of you or how society says you should look (blergh.). It’s simply that sometimes a little bit of pretty can go a long way toward how we feel about ourselves.

(Or, in my books’ case, sometimes a little bit of pretty can go a long way toward how we feel about our homes.)

Little things. Frivolous things. THINGS THAT MAKE ME SMILE. And sometimes? Those things my heart calls fabulous are also things that inspire me – to take better care of my house or my body, to write something encouraging or helpful, to smile at the three people who I love most (and drive me the most crazy).

So I say, it’s not so wrong to need a little fabulous.

As for the part where we all choose joy and celebrate loudly (hopefully by leaping in fields and singing Disney tunes), I’m going to save that for later.

But today, if you’re longing for some fabulous? Don’t let that – or anyone – make you feel silly or frivolous. Swipe on another layer of that bright red lipstick, straighten the zebra print pillows on your couch, and grab your monogrammed bottle with the fruit-infused water. If something inspiring is going to help you get along, go for it! Be fabulous.

Do you need a little fabulous today?

 
Photos by hitchster, yozza and staci.

Mama Still Loves Her Shows, vol. 2

Mama Still Loves Her Shows

Mama {Still} Loves Her Shows is a monthly column, named after my short-lived television blog. My favorite part of this new feature is answering YOUR questions about TV, so make sure you leave all your burning questions in the comments!

This month I’ll answer a question from Kristin, but first let’s check in about summer TV. (First things first, right?)

So far this summer I’ve only watched two new shows: Stitchers on ABC Family and UnREAL on Lifetime. I’m also a couple episodes behind on So You Think You Can Dance. I still love the dance show, but this new panel of judges isn’t my favorite thing. Other than that, I’ve become very close to my Netflix subscription.

The two new shows I’m watching are very different and probably not everyone’s cup of tea. Stitchers is a sci-fi show about a secret government agency (or branch of a government agency? I’m not clear on this part…) that “hacks” into the consciousness of homicide victims to solve their murders. The main characters are all young adults (hence the ABC Family) and snarky. Just how I like them.

UnREAL is definitely not material for a family channel (although, much of what plays on ABC Family isn’t either). It’s dark and at least a couple scenes each episode are definitely PG-13. But it’s also funny and interesting and highly addictive. It’s about a Bachelor-type show, and I’ve read that one of the writers of show briefly worked on the Bachelor. So while I’d like to think this show is complete fiction, it’s probably a little closer to reality than that.

Suits and the new Mr. Robot both start next week on USA, which I’m looking forward to. Other than that, it’s binge-watching sessions of Chuck and Heroes. Um. Because apparently I wasn’t nerdy enough…

ANYWAY.

What are YOU watching this summer?

 
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Last month, Kristin asked me to name my favorite series finale. In light of all the big endings this past year (Mad Men, Parenthood, Justified, Glee, The David Letterman Show), this is timely! I briefly wrote about finales several years ago, but – for better or worse – so many shows have ended since then. So many.

As I thought through all the show endings I’ve watched over the years (and the “best and worst finales” I read about online), I realized I needed some criteria for answering this question.

First – it has to be a show I watched. I’ve heard great things about the last episode of Six Feet Under, but since I never watched that show, it’s not really a contender.

Second – it has to be a finale I remember. Makes sense, right? (Sorry, Cheers fans.)

Third – it has to be planned. In other words, I didn’t consider the last episodes of shows that were unexpectedly canceled. Although I’ll agree with the article I read that said the final episode of the prematurely canceled Freaks & Geeks served as a decent finale.

Fourth – it had to actually be the show’s last episode. For example, The Office had a couple psuedo-endings (Jim and Pam’s wedding and Michael’s goodbye) that I LOVED. But they weren’t the actual finale (which I did like a lot, but didn’t love).

So with all that said, I had to think about what types of endings I like. It wasn’t a real hard thought process. I like happy endings and I don’t really like loose ends. So if I’d watched Sopranos (which I did not), it’s likely I would not have been happy at all with that ending. And don’t even get me started on Seinfeld. What a stupid downer that finale was!

However, as I thought about various shows and their goodbyes, I realized that I also don’t necessarily like everything to be tied up TOO neatly. Warehouse 13 wrapped up every person’s storyline with a bow in its finale, and it was all a little too pat for me. I liked it, but I didn’t love it. And then…THEN! The Hart of Dixie finale was TOO, TOO MUCH. I mean, you guys. The whole town singing and dancing? I really cannot handle that. I mean, normally I love musical episodes of TV shows. But this? This was…not good.

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So what finales WERE good, then? Well, I liked the way Burn Notice, White Collar, Chuck and even Gilmore Girls had the right combination of answers and questions, happy and bittersweet. And, of course, after loving everything about the entire series, of course I loved the way Friday Night Lights was wrapped up.

I loved the way the actors on Will & Grace came back on stage in front of their live studio audience for one final bow. I totally cried at that – just like I did at the final scene in the Friends apartment. (Oh my gosh, actual sobbing at that one!)

We can’t discuss TV show endings without mentioning Veronica Mars, of course. But not in the way you might be thinking. I don’t rank the last episode of VMars as a good or bad finale, because I refuse to consider it a finale. How can I, when we have the fourth season trailer and the movie?!?

And then we’ve already had a few conversations about the finale of How I Met Your Mother

But which one was the best? Is the suspense killing you? What finale could I possibly choose as my favorite?!

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Parks & Recreation is the winner for me. It was happy, it was creative, it gave us answers – and some questions. It was just the best. (Don’t ask me why I used this crazy photo. It just seemed appropriate for my “big reveal” of my opinion you just possibly might not have been wondering about.)

I bet some of you disagree about the Best Finale Ever, though, so tell me…

What’s YOUR favorite series finale?

When You Don’t Fit Into a Box

When You Don't Fit Into a Box | via givinguponperfect.com

I just finished reading a novel. It was good, I think. I mean, I kept reading it (even when I should have just gone to sleep or gotten to work or anything other than read). So it must have been good. And it was actually not a young adult book this time, although it did have some young adult characters. Kind of. It was about time travel, sort of, but also family and love – but it wasn’t a romance.

It’s actually really hard to describe this book. It doesn’t fit comfortably into any genre or category.

Kind of like people.

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My about page uses a lot of words to sum up my blog and my life. I say that I write about faith and family and food – not really because those are my main topics, but because I love alliteration. Nailing down – and sticking to – a niche has never been my strength as a blogger.

On that page I also tell you that my Myers Briggs type is ENFJ, that I’m a Type One on the Enneagram chart, and that I have the spiritual gifts of administration, hospitality and sarcasm. That’s all you need to know about me, isn’t it?

Oh, well, if you need more details to understand me, Buzzfeed has your answers. According to their many reliable personality quizzes, I am Josh from Clueless, Cece from New Girl, Lady Sybil from Downton Abbey, Robin from HIMYM, Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation, Jessie from Saved by the Bell, Jerry from Seinfeld, Leonard from Big Bang Theory, Veronica from Anchorman, Princess Leia, Hermione and Rumpelstilstkin.

But even with all that knowledge, do you really know me? Do you know what makes my heart race or break? Do you know what moves me – or paralyzes me? Do you know what I dream about, what I fear, what I long for? Do you know me?

You might. But not because you can put me in any certain category. Because as much as I love personality quizzes (and, oh, I DO), they aren’t exactly foolproof. And as much as we love to attempt fitting into those personality quiz boxes (types, numbers, gifts, strengths, TV characters), nobody fits any description to a T.

Not really.

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Mark and I lead a small group at our church. Well, actually, we’re taking a break this summer but a few months ago we were leading a small group. The topic of the week was the story of the prodigal son, and one of our discussion questions asked which of the main characters we most identified with – and Mark said something that has stuck with me ever since.

He said, “I think we’re all those characters at some point. You know, sometimes we’re the wandering son. But other times we’re the father being asked for forgiveness or the “good” son who stayed home and now resents the prodigal’s welcome back.”

Yes, that is so true. We ARE all of them at some point. (That guy is so smart!)

I realized years ago that my struggle more resembled the older brother’s than the younger one’s. I let pride and anger rule my heart when I’m not careful, when I’m not honest about my own sin. But then when I’m brave enough to face my own shortcomings and listen to the conviction in my heart, I see clearly the ways I’ve hurt others and made mistakes and messed up just as badly as that younger son. Other times I’m the one who’s been abandoned or hurt or mistreated, and I have a choice to make when that person asks for forgiveness.

At some point I’ve been all those characters – the wandering one, the prideful one, the forgiving one.

(You can read the whole story of the prodigal son here.)

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This year marks the 30th anniversary of The Breakfast Club. That means that over the past few months, mention and play of that movie has been everywhere. And as I’ve been thinking about our obsession with personality quizzes, as well as the story of the prodigal son, I remembered the ending of The Breakfast Club. Not the fist in the air ending (who can ever forget that iconic image anyway?), but the letter the group wrote to the assistant principal.

Dear Mr. Vernon,

We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us – in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions. But what we found out is that each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question?

Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club

Right. Each one of us IS a brain. And an athlete (ehhhh…maybe). And a basket case and a princess and a criminal. Yeah, I think that’s what I’m starting to understand.

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It’s no news for me that I don’t fit into any box. I’ve never fit in perfectly with any one group of people, tending to float from one group to another because I like them all. And I hate it when someone asks me to name my favorite book or TV show or movie or color or ice cream flavor. Because I like parts of different ones and can’t possibly narrow it down to just one.

But what I’m realizing is that all this time I’ve thought I was weird,  unusual, NOT NORMAL, I’ve actually been the opposite.

I’m not the only person who has taken a personality test and scored the same number of points in four categories. I’m not the only person who feels like a princess one day and a criminal the next. I’m not the only person who has been the broken rebel showered with grace and the prideful jerk who doesn’t believe in grace.

I’m not the only person who doesn’t fit into a box.

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Have you ever felt like you’re the only one who doesn’t fit? Like everyone else has a group, a place, a niche? Everyone but you? Have you ever been told that you’re too much or not enough or confusing or hard to figure out? Ever wondered why you nobody ever “gets” you, all of you?

Ever taken just one more quiz (or wished for a Harry Potter-style sorting hat), hoping for the description, the label, the answer that truly explains all of you?

You’re not the only one.

None of us fit perfectly into any box all the time. Every single one of us has felt left out or weird or too much of that or not enough of this. All of us have been misunderstood. Nobody is just one thing, one type, one box all the time.

You’re not the only one. But you’re also not unknown.

Even though it may be impossible for any one person to understand another completely, God can – and does. We are infinitely complex, incapable of being pinned down by any category, unable to describe with a single number or type. But the One who created us knows our crazy, complicated ins and outs. He knows the ways we’re extroverted – and the times we’re introverted. He knows when we’re particular and high-strung – and when we’re more laidback, when we’re easily entertained – and when we’re a real tough audience. He knows you, and He knows me.

He made us (“For you created my inmost being…”), and He knows us (“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.”).

You may not fit into a box or a category or a group, but it’s okay. You’re not the only one, and you’re not alone.

What do you feel like today: the father or one of the brothers? A brain, an athlete, a princess, a basketcase, a criminal?

Photos by mustafasayed, daveynin, and stevendepolo.