My Own Little White World – Part 1

My Story

Hanging with the cousins – I’m the one in the blue dress, my sister is behind me, and my brother is in the bottom left corner.

As I read my Facebook and Twitter, I see many different perspectives on race and how it fits into our lives. In my heart, I know I have a lot to say about this topic, but I wonder what can I add to the conversation. All I can do is share my story. For those expecting to see a weight loss blog entry, please bear with me (my weigh-in this morning was 236.2 pounds in case you’re interested). As a blog writer, I’m convinced it would be a tragedy to say nothing. I have a small platform, but it’s time for me to step up to it.

As a Christian, I believe that every part of me and every part of you was intricately designed by God. Much of a Christian’s life seems to be spent figuring out what it means to live faithfully where He’s placed us, whether it is race, gender, culture, socioeconomic status, country of origin, time in history, family, skills, or personality. We serve a creative, intentional God who shows His glory in His creation. If you love God, please take the time to notice the beauty in the diversity of the people He created in His image. I beg you to spend time getting to know people who are different from you and try to see the world from their perspective. If not, you are missing out on seeing the goodness of God from so many different angles.

This is where I’m coming from, but how did I get here? It’s a long story, so I will only share part of it today. Everyone has an entry point to their development of racial identity. Mine was to working class white parents in a suburb of Indianapolis. They attended a fiercely independent Baptist church,  and they home schooled. In some ways, this set me up to be…let’s say quirky. It also set me up to be okay with standing against widespread beliefs and questioning how society and the church in America works.

My mom grew up in the southwest and had a daughter from a previous marriage to a Navajo man. My dad’s family moved from France to the hill country of Missouri and sang blue grass and Southern gospel together at their family gatherings. My dad adopted my sister when he married my mom, so I was born with an 11 year old sister who was half Navajo and half white and a 2 and a half year old brother who was white.

From birth, I had a role model who had darker skin, hair, and eyes than I did. I am aware that not everyone has this opportunity. When I was old enough to be mobile, I was the annoying little sister who sat outside her big sister’s locked door crying because I wanted to spend every second with her. When I started getting dolls, I wanted the white dolls with blonde hair, but I also wanted the black dolls (I don’t remember seeing any Latina, Asian or Native American dolls at the stores then).

Just having a biracial sister did not mean I was an instant expert on race, but it did mean that my impressions of people of other races started early in my life. Other than the usual sibling drama, these daily impressions were positive. It was through these lenses that I interpreted the things that I saw and heard people say. We’ll get to that next time.

 

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A Minute in My Mind

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Today’s post will show you a two minute look into my mind. I spent one minute writing whatever thought popped up. Then, I took one idea from that paragraph to focus on specifically for another minute.

Be warned: I did not edit any of this, even though I desperately wanted to. This week, I’m feeling like everything has been forced, so this is just a little exercise for me to lay it all out there and be real. I let myself finish a sentence if I was in the middle, but that’s it.

Minute 1

I know this was supposed to be impromptu, but I totally tried to plan it anyway. Crazy. I’m thinking I need to organize my blog pages a little better. I love when blogs have topics up at the top of the screen to pick from. Also, I’m feel a little burnt out. I’m hoping that a week off will help.

Minute 2

Burnt out. I’m still over two weeks away from my next weigh in. I don’t know how this is going to go. I’m already a little tired of tracking my food. I’m going to stick it out, but things are going to have to change after that. I’m going to just take a second to breathe and look around me. I’m ready to start thingking about maintenance, but I know it’s a ways away.

 

Why I Write

0115160956It’s funny how the best pictures tell a story, while the best writing paints a picture. Quality art in all forms seems to transcend its limitations to point to something more than itself. In the same way, I yearn for my art and my life to point to something greater than my own words and ideas.

I am not an artist in the traditional sense. I don’t draw or paint (that’s my husband’s thing). I am also not a public speaker by nature, so I can only admire spoken word artists like Blair Linne, Jackie Hill Perry, and Propaganda. While I love singing and photography, I only dabble. My first artistic love is writing.

When I was eight years old, my friend Anna and I started the Writer’s Club (my inspiration was a combination of Anne of Green Gables and the Babysitter’s Club). From that moment forward, I considered myself a writer. The weird part was that I didn’t always feel like I had something important to say. Or, I would make grand plans for a story or a novel and it would never get too much past the planning stage. I did write, but not as much or as well as I had hoped. I dreamed of becoming a journalist, but chose teaching as my major instead (it turns out, I’m not designed for the typical teacher role). When I was in college, I discovered a love of poetry. I was pretty good at it, but I didn’t stick with it consistently even though I hoped to get some of my creations published.

What I’ve learned recently, though, is that I do have something to say. I may not always know what that is or who will listen, but I have a responsibility to share it. When I write, I feel as if barriers are stripped away and I can truly convey what I mean. I’m far from perfect, however, and sometimes I just write what I think people would want to read. As I stumble through my blog posts, I hope that even a tiny part of my writing hints at something (Someone) greater than these words or this woman. That Someone gives me purpose and meaning. That Someone holds the universe in His hand. That Someone loves me, rescued me, and continues to rescue me daily. That Someone is Jesus.

By His strength, for His glory, in His arms

~ Becky