June 04, 2013


I am an introvert.

Sometimes when I reveal this, people react with disbelief. Yes, I am moderately sociable, I laugh a lot, I (quite willingly) do driveway wine nights with our neighbors, I love drink-coffee-and-gab-while-we-ignore-the-kids playdates. However, social interaction outside my family drains me; I'm a willing victim, but I walk away and need recharging.

But I have this annoying problem: even while recharging, my brain keeps plowing ahead like a steam engine powered by a nuclear reactor.

On the surface I'm calm, exuding a quiet dorkiness and sporting a super cute garage sale shirt.

But underneath? Underneath, there's a hurricane of thoughts that JUST WON'T STOP.
Is this normal? I haven't a clue. I've never bothered to ask anyone before this moment. (DO you have swirling, tumbling thoughts that barrage you at every waking moment? They feel like debris kicked up by gusts of wind, occasionally slamming against the inside of your skin.)

And then I have this other problem: I love coffee. Imagine nuclear reactors hopped up on caffeine. That is me at about 6:30 every morning. Unfortunately for Rob, right about when my one mug of coffee kicks in, I have just finished reading my Bible, my head is a tornado, and I go corner him in the bathroom because he's a captive audience ("captive" in a "he's trapped in the shower and unable to run away" or a "he's getting dressed in the closet and is stuck listening to me" kind of a way).

I'm not a "because the Bible says it's so" kind of a Christian. In a way, I kind of wish I were - it would make things so much easier for my brain. (However, in a way, I'm kind of glad I'm not - it makes things so much more interesting.) I cross-reference. I start considering cultural influences. I analyze writing styles and different historical methods of conveying information and truth. I scare horrify ...er, challenge my Bible study groups at church with my unending questions. Yes, the Bible says it's so - but why, and in what context, and to whom does this apply?

So here's Rob, trapped on the toilet behind the bathroom door, trying to read National Geographic, and I'm all calling out, "HaveyoueverreadtheversesinRomanswherePaulappearstobesayingthatkeepingtheSabbathisn'tnecessary?"
or "HaveyounoticedthattheoneandonlysocialinstitutionJesusreferencesisremarriageafterdivorce?"
or "HaveyouevernoticedthatthereareverydifferentresurrectionstorydetailsineachoftheGospels?"
or "CanweapplythepromisesofprosperingGodgavetotheIsraelitestoourselves?"

The good thing is that I married well. Rob's also an annoyingly deep thinker (because that's what my brain needs: more things to think about) and an asker of questions, so he rolls with the punches, responds affirmingly, and later sometimes researches it himself - I find him with a laptop in his lap and his Bible open next to him.

Now I know there are many non-Christians who regard Christians as holier-than-thou and pompous. I totally get it. I cringe, too, at some Facebook statuses and blog posts. But I'm here to stand up and say, "Hi, I'm Jacoba. And I'm a Christian. And I don't know everything. And I struggle with control issues, anger, and trying to reign in my brain. And sometimes I skip a shower if I know I'm not going anywhere for the day." Try it. It's much harder to judge others (Christians and non-Christians alike) when everyone now knows that I have to send the kids to their rooms at times for my own good before doling out punishments because I yell too easily. And occasionally I stink.

Which leads me to the question that stumped Rob:


Know what? I got an intelligent answer from my pastor cousin (because if Rob doesn't know, all introvert bets are off and I start hitting up friends and family), and it's changed the whole way I'm reading the Old Testament. And I probably should have known the answer way before now, so I'll share it with you (tomorrow - I've ignored the kids far too long) just in case you, also, waited 34 years to actually figure it out.

WhydoIwritesuchrandomblogposts? Darn you, you dumb brain! Off to rake up some of the debris and take a shower.


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