January 24, 2011

The Claddagh Ring...

Let me explain a little Irish tradition: the Claddagh ring.

This ring, given by one who loves the wearer, has much meaning.  The little hands symbolize friendship, the crown is a symbol of loyalty, and the heart is a symbol of love.  Tradition holds that when the hand holds the heart pointing outward, towards others, the wearer's heart isn't taken.  When pointed inward, the wearer's heart is indeed spoken for. 

Just about everyone (including the men) on my mom's side of the family wears one of these rings.  I received mine on a snowy night in 1996: my 12th birthday.  My parents had taken me out to The House of Hughes for that special birthday, and gave me my Claddagh ring. 

For fourteen years I have worn that ring, the little hands holding the heart pointing towards the world, waiting (albeit guardedly) to give my heart away to one who would be worthy. 

Just a couple nights ago, I turned my ring around.  My heart is taken.  And, like my new ring position, it takes some getting used to.  It somehow feels both natural and foreign.  That little ring had molded to my finger and was comfortable where it had rested for so long, just as I had become comfortable in the singleness I'd lived for so long.  So now it fits strangely; the crown is bent upward just a bit, and it catches on my clothes.  I'm learning how to live with it, waiting for it to become just as comfortable as it had been, just as I am learning to live with this new relationship, waiting for it to become just as comfortable as my singleness had been.  Only, it's a much more enjoyable process than getting used to my ring's new position.

Funny.  Fourteen years ago, as I shoved the too-small gold ring onto my chubby right hand ring finger, I thought about the day I might turn it around.  Many times over the past fourteen years I've thought about the when and the where of turning that ring around, and especially the whom.  But never in those fourteen years did I anticipate the rich blessing, the great joy that would accompany such a seemingly insignificant event as turning a little gold ring around.  As I flipped the ring and slid it onto my now-slender right hand middle finger, I thought about all it meant and all it will mean... and maybe all that will occur in my life in the next fourteen years.

January 21, 2011

A Year in Pictures...

 My YEAR in PICTURES, as promised...


 WELCOME, 2011...

January 7, 2011

Reinventing the Blog...

Before I post Resolved, Part 2... which will be a "year-in-pictures" if I ever get around to it (and let's hope I get around to it this weekend, when I'll finally have time to clean my apartment, do my finances, organize my life, plan my quarter, and... breathe), I thought I'd ask for some advice.

For many years I was single.  Maybe not as many as some, but for a girl like me, it felt like forever.  Over those years, the Lord used my singleness to teach me many things, and to grow my walk with Him.  I wrote about it, not only as an outlet but as a way to preach to myself, and remind myself of what I knew to be true, with the hopes that it would in turn encourage and remind other single women of the truth.

I loved that.  I felt it was my niche, of sorts. 

And now, I'm not single anymore.  Well, technically I am because I'm not married, but I'm spoken for.  I'm obviously thrilled about that, but the struggles of single Amanda really aren't there anymore.  Instead there are now struggles of Amanda-in-relationship, on which I could write epic blogs but don't really feel that telling the world about my relationship is entirely appropriate (no offense, oversharers).  At least not not all the time, anyway.

Over pizza at the little shop where I once often frequented (and wrote a blog about one of the Italians there, who, I might add, can't hold a candle to my Italian), I talked to BF about the fact that I feel I need to reinvent my blog.  But how?

Here are my concerns:

1.  I don't want to become out-of-touch with the single women who may read my blog, and the single women still in my life.  This is actually a large burden on my heart at the moment, and here's why: I remember when, as a single woman, attached/engaged/married women would talk to me about how they were single and then waited, and now they have their man.  And I (admittedly with the wrong attitude) would think, That's all well and good, but see, you are in a relationship, and I still am not.  So thanks but no thanks to your unsolicited advice.  I feel that I still have valuable lessons to convey, but I don't want my single friends to think like I did about me, to think Oh great, another one bites the dust.  What else is new? BF reminded me that I can't control their response to my advice, and he's right.  But that doesn't take away the burden on my heart that I may be estranging my friends/readers without even trying.  I'm just being honest here.

2.  I don't know what I want my blog to be.  I could post lessons I learn from the Word, and probably always will do that no matter how I reinvent this blog, because that's the biggest part of me.  I could make it a photo journal.  I could make it a DIY blog.  I just don't know.  And the fact that I just don't know kind of sums up the overwhelmed sensation I am feeling these days.

So, readers and friends, what do you think?  How should I reinvent my blog?  About what should I write?  Please think about that and respond; meanwhile I'll be working on my "year-in-pictures" blog... so stay tuned.