"Don't tell God how big your storm is; tell your storm how big your God is."

I believe in God.

Friday, December 31, 2010

God's Plan vs. Free Will

I was talking to my mother a few minutes ago and we were trying to reconcile belief in free will with belief in God's plan. I believe that this combination of beliefs can best be described by a river or stream.

I believe that it s God who places us in the water and starts us on our journey. Free will comes in at the rocks and tributaries. We can choose to go over the rocks, go around the rocks, or bash into the rocks. Each choice at each rock changes our flow just a bit.

The tributaries symbolize possible ends of our lives. I do not believe that we will end up at one specific end point chosen by God. Rather, I believe that we have several possible ends.

My experiences applying to colleges serve as a good example of the stream metaphor. My place of residence (North Eastern US), dreams for my future, and desire to go to college close to home could have been planted in me by God. But I found the colleges, I made my choices, and I wrote the application essays. God and I have been working together.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Special Prayer Project

I have been inspired by Mrs. Nalle at covenantbuilders.blogspot.com. She came home with her new son "shouting" on behalf of the "lost boys" left behind. She made connections, she made a difference...and she prayed.

I am only seventeen years old. Prayer is pretty much all I have to give. But I will give it, every night. Please join me in my prayers. General prayers for the Reece's Rainbow organization are wonderful, of course, but wouldn't it be fantastic if we could get every child there matched with a Prayer Warrior?

Come on, people! On your mark; get set; PRAY!


I am loving praying each evening, even though I am having trouble concentrating because I am out of practice. It just feels so nice to be really talking to God again, in the way that my people have for generations.

I would love to have vsions again but I'm not sure that's going to happen. The visions I had in the past preceded medications for bipolar disorder. I have no doubt that those experiences were real--that's not in doubt at all--but I do believe that the same creativity and imagination that allowed me to vision may be somewhat muted by my mood stabilizers and anti psychotics. That is absolutely not a reason to go off my meds, and maybe I'm wrong and I will have visions agan someday. Regardless, I know plenty of people who have relationships with God without any visions or "supernatural" stuff at all.

I am a Jew, and I am proud. I just need to say that right now.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Lightbulb Moment

I haven't been really in touch with my Judaism recently because I didn't think I could do it consistently. To list one big example: I have not been praying. Oh, I've been talking to God before bed, and whispering my own prayers as I think of them, but I simply have not said the daily required prayers, mainly because I didn't think I could do it every day. Life comes up, things get in the way: I cannot manage to keep any mitzva ta'aseh (positive commandment) consistently.

Then I had my lightbulb moment: anything is better than nothing at all. I cannot build a relationship with God by doing nothing. I can and will build a relationship with God by doing the best I can. And although I miss the time in my life when I had time to pray three times a day every day, and the relationship with God that went along with that, I can and will still build some sort of relationship with God now as well.

I prayed tonight. I will try to pray tomorrow night. Let's take this one day at a time.

Also, just to make things interesting: I challenge all of you to do one thing more to build your relationship with God.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Rosh Hodesh Tevet

Tonight and tomorrow are Rosh Hodesh Tevet. Hannukah is the only holiday occurring across months. (It begins on the 25th of Kislev and ends something like the 3rd or 4th of Tevet.) This led me to wonder: what is the difference between the beginning and the end of Hannukah?

The word Hannukah means rededication. It is the time of year to make commitments to causes old and new, and to remember others in the world. The beginning of Hannukah is exciting as we choose our commitments, but the end is even more important: now we must stick to them.

Commitments made in earnest can be as difficult to stick to as commitments made in jest. It is crucial that we remember to keep our commitments. Led us take the inspiration of Hannukah and carry it forward into the rest of the year.

(Many thanks to my school's Dean of Jewish Life who suggested I focus on the beginning vs the end of Hannukah.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Night of Hannukah

...and boy am I thankful. I just came out of a (short-lived, minor) bipolar episode. I feel fine. I feel great. Just in time for Hannukah. I guess life provides a deeper meaning when one leat expects it sometimes.


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About Me

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I am a bipolar, Jewish young adult (had my Hebrew birthday, the one I count, and turned 23 this past January) who also suffers from Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. I love life and I live for my best friends: they are my purpose and my reason for trying so hard. I remain passionately devoted to those I love; I will not let my disorders make me totally self-centered. I like to read, write, and sew. My Rabbinical school plans did not work out, and I am now hoping to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. Please note: I am currently maintaining only Carried in His Hands. Enjoy!