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

I believe in God.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Four Items of Note and a Precious Realization

First, four special wardrobe items that I wore/am wearing today:

  1. Homemade prayer shawl, made by me: Not the purple flowered tallit katan I made myself this past Hannukah, but rather the tallit gadol I made myself in high school; yes, it's lasted all these years and I still use it regularly! There are posts about it on this blog that I posted while it was a work in progress; for those who don't feel like digging them up (and I'm not sure there are photos with them anyway), it is strip-style (tallitot g'dolot come in strip-style and shawl-style; I prefer strip) and made of quilting fabric or calico or whatever you call that stuff.  The background is white with an off-white floral pattern; the atarah (neckband) is purple with a row of flowers (stitched on upside-down so the flowers surround me when I wear it during prayer); and it has a strip of creamy satiny ribbon sewn on as decoration close to each end.
  2. Tallit katan with "t'chelet": This one is going to take some explaining.  T'chelet is the Hebrew word for a certain, special blue dye; we were originally supposed to tie a strand of it to all of our tzitziot (holy fringes).  However, it fell out of fashion during Roman rule for various reasons, and now, to this day, plain white tzitziot are OK too.  I put t'chelet in quotation marks because I found out after I got mine that mine are more than likely fake (I didn't pay enough for them, and they fade in the wash; supposedly, real t'chelet never fade).  Still, I can't afford to replace them right now (real t'chelet strings cost upwards of 80 dollars--just for the strings!), so I wear my fake set anyway.  At a quick glance, it's not as if anyone's noticing the difference.
  3. Ugandan kippah: The only colorful item that I am wearing today is a jade-green sweater.  (Skirt is black with white fuzzy trim; leggings are gray with black rose pattern; socks are white.)  I don't have a green kippah--yet, I'm working on it.  My usual go-to kippah when I wear green is my white silk Yair Emanuel embroidered with gold and silver trees or branches or something.  It's white, so colorwise it goes with anything, and the branches theme goes well with green.  However, I plan on giving this kippah to a friend who is converting to Judaism soon (every male convert friend of mine gets a kippah from my collection upon completing the conversion process; the only female convert friend I ever had said she wouldn't wear a kippah, so I gave her a star of David pendant from my collection of those instead), and once I decide to give away a kippah, I start wearing it less to sort of get myself used to not having it.  (Remember that I hand picked my entire collection, so it's not as if it's easy to give one away.)  My Ugandan kippah is a rust-colored brown, which goes nicely with green, and given how special its "back story" (coming from Uganda) is, I don't wear it nearly often enough.
  4. Gay pride button: I don't know why at all, I just needed to wear this today.  Maybe it's because I was rereading old blog entries yesterday, and a topic that cropped up a lot was my struggle to be queer (I used to identify as lesbian; now I'm bisexual) and Jewish.
And speaking of rereading old blog entries...yesterday I went all the way back to the beginning of this blog, May 2009, and going forward read an average of between three and six entries per month every single month that I've been blogging, and I realized something.  This may have been obvious to my regular readers, but it had somehow escaped my notice: I am a remarkably spiritual human being.  Even in my spiritual "down times," when I am "doing nothing," I take it for granted, just as a fact of life, that God "hears" my prayers; that I can feel God "hearing" my prayers; and that when it comes time to make the big decisions in life, I can "consult" God, God will have "answers," and we will make the big decisions together, whatever that means.  (And no, I don't think of any of this as literal; to cite one of my favorite authors, Rabbi Neil Gillman, we must talk about God somehow, but to think that anything we say is literal borders on idolatry.)

Now.  A Reece's Rainbow child.  In this entry, I am supposed to share a girl.  I have a real heart for the children in "Jacob's" country, first because I'm praying at least three times daily for a child from that country, and second because they age out younger there than in other countries.  So this is "ELIZE," aging out in NOVEMBER.  Her only special need is deafness!

Elize (2)

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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!