I’m taking a child development class because I’m an education major and that’s the kind of stuff I do. Well, we’re currently learning about prenatal development and we got some background on cell division, and let me tell you, the human body is amazing. Let’s do some incredibly rough math, shall we? Alright. we have about as many trillion cells in our body as America has dollars in debt (I went there). Within each of those cells, we have 46 chromosomes each, excluding sex cells, which have 23. That’s anywhere between 80 and 100 trillion chromosomes (like I said, this is extremely rough math. I have no idea if that’s anywhere close, but it’s still outstanding). That’s incredible in itself. But it doesn’t stop there. In just one chromosome, there is enough genetic coding to take someone an entire week to read out. We have 20,000 base codes in each of those chromosomes. That’s 920,000 base codes in one cell. I don’t even want to try figuring out how long it would take to read someone’s entire genetic code. God created every single base code for each of the 7 billion people on earth. God created enough genetic coding that calculations would reach numbers that haven’t been invented yet. That is absolutely amazing. I can’t even fathom God’s glory just based on that fact. And He’s done so much more. He is truly amazing.
Eleven years ago today, tragedy struck the nation. It’s a painful memory. Thousands of people had their lives taken and millions have suffered because of it. War has broken out and a new hatred was formed. But in that hour of darkness, hope did shine through. There is always a bright side. There is no such thing as darkness, only the absence of light. But experiencing darkness makes the light that much brighter. The society in The Giver is equal and safe, but at the cost of having any feelings or strong memories. Some may want to forget this day, but we remember because it makes us who we are as a nation. We share the memory of that fateful day and feel the pain just like we share the happiness and pride when our country dominates at the Olympics. “The way I see it, life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things and make them unimportant,” as the Doctor so brilliantly puts it. Remember this day and remember the anguish, but don’t let it spoil your life; let it instead make you grateful for what you have now and who you are today. Be that much more thankful for all the good things in your life.
I’ve expressed this thought before, but today it has a bit more meaning. I have a lot of men in my life, and to none of them do I have a romantic attachment. I have three older brothers, I have my dad, I have the male portion of my Young Life community – including my co-leader, who is an awful lot like a brother – I have all my guy friends at home, and most importantly, I have Jesus. The last one is the only man I really need, but I have certainly been blessed with plenty more. Now, I’m a 19 year-old girl, so I watch more than my fair share of romantic comedies and I expect a lot out of my non-existent love life. I want prince charming to whisk me away; I want the adorable nerd to prove his love to me; I want to marry most of the fictional men I encounter, but I don’t need any of that. God has the perfect man lined up for me and someday we’ll find each other, but not just yet. For now, all I need to do is focus on who I am as a woman in Christ.
A few of my dear friends explained to me that they’re taking a dating fast. When they first mentioned it, I thought, I’ve been on a date fast since sophomore year of high school. But it’s so much more than just not dating anyone for six months. It’s taking six months to keep my mind focused completely on God. It’s taking six months of accepting romance with no one but Jesus. Using the time that I would take on tending to my non-existent love life, I can focus on my intimacy with Christ and my identity in Him. It’s taking six months to grow as a woman with my female fellowship and teach myself to let the right man pursue me. And let me tell you, when that day comes, that poor boy has got an awful lot of approval to seek.
The other day I was trying to avoid studying (what else is new) and I decided to put my entire iTunes library on shuffle. I realized that my taste in music has greatly evolved through time. So let’s start in 3rd grade.
The first CD I ever bought was the story of Little Red Riding Hood told in the perspective of the wolf. I have absolutely no idea why, but this song was on it and I legitimately listened to it every day.
When I was in 5th grade, I went through a very brief dark period. I’m talking incredibly brief. For about a two week span, I wore all black, asked my mom to get me this CD, and I sat in a corner and listened to it over and over again. Then I realized that I liked being happy and excited about things. So I took these songs as girl power and jumped on my bed and sang them at the top of my lungs like normal 10 year-olds do.
In sixth grade, I listened almost exclusively to Relient K. Then I got sick of it, and I actually kind of like it again upon listening to it again on this little journey.
My friend Natalie and I were punk skater kids without skateboards when a local teen hangout had concerts with mediocre high school bands who played music like these. We went every weekend and sometimes got to watch Natalie’s boyfriend play with his band (now, by the way, he is a sophomore at Harvard. No big deal, whatever). We thought we were awesome. That phase lasted longer than I care to admit. Although you can guess if you do some math here.
Working at the pool started to convince me that I liked country music for a short time. So there that is.
iTunes came up with this thing called Genius that suggested music to you, and the Genius on my account suggested a whole bunch of chill, singer-songwriters that nobody’s ever heard of. My iPod was very easy-listening for a while. Go ahead and watch that incredibly creepy music video.
Then my brother went to college and was introduced to good music. He gave me sort of the highlights and I absolutely loved them.
For a graduation present, the same brother who introduced me to Mumford and Sons got me tickets to see The Avett Brothers. I hardly knew any of their stuff, but I knew it had to be good, so I listened to only them for the month prior and a few months after the concert. I don’t really have a favorite band, but if it ever comes up, they are my go-to answer.
This brings us to today. For some reason, I absolutely love hipster music that appears in commercials, especially those of the Apple variety. This includes the Lumineers and Of Monsters and Men and… that’s all I can think of at the moment because I took some cold medicine. Because you all needed to know that.
I have all of this music on my current iTunes library, and going through all of it was quite a journey. I’m glad I got to share it with you, internet.