Turning 26.

Sheesh, I am excited to be 26… except for the whole losing insurance thing. That is terrifying.

But seriously, I have, for several years, felt like I should actually be about six or seven years older than I actually am. I think this comes from having siblings substantially older than me… and just that natural and obvious maturity I possess.

So I’ve been thinking about the end of my 25th year, and I looked at my list of goals for age 25, basically none of which I have accomplished. This is why I hate goals… I find them almost completely unmotivating (apparently this isn’t a word, but I think it should be and I’m almost 26 so I’m basically an expert on the world).

Some of my goals for age 25 included:

  • Read a whole book of the New Testament in Greek (probably 3 John). A little Bible humor for all of you.
  • Weigh what it says on my driver’s license. I have made this goal every year for three or four years. I don’t think I even weighed that when I was 15 and put that on my driver’s license. But when I get it renewed and they ask, “Everything the same?” I just don’t have the heart to say, “Nope. Please add 50 pounds.”
  • Stop having emotions (24 was rough y’all). I learned last week that if I cut out my hypothalamus that I could basically accomplish this. But since I’m losing my insurance in a week, this probably won’t work out.

So anyway, perhaps I make unattainable goals, or perhaps I just don’t really care about these things. Either way, I’ve been realizing that so much more of your life is affected by what has happened in your past, not what you’re haphazardly hoping for the future.

So here are some things I’ve accomplished in my 25th year of life. Because I know you care.

  • I lost ten pounds… while working at a French bakery. I’d like to see you do that.
  • I graduated seminary. Yes, it’s kind of a big deal to be a master of all things divine.
  • I moved into the city and have survived (just barely) living in a windowless 80sq foot room for nine months.
  • I have biked all over San Francisco… and I’m still alive. Only a handful of you understand what a miracle this is.
  • I have worked approximately 7 different jobs.
  • I started seeing a therapist. This took me approximately 5 years to finally do. But they say admitting you have a problem is the first step.

I feel like each of these things has affected me, molded me in different ways. And let me tell you, 25 has been hard. I have had some low lows in the past year. But it’s the good, the bad, and the ugly that make us people. And oddly, that help us to understand God better. So I am continuing the process of failing, winning, being disappointed, crying, and bicycling. In short, I am choosing to accept and continue the process of growing up.

It’s Not Pretty

It recently occurred to me that I have been leading something for the last three years. I say something, because that “thing” has gone through a lot of changes. It started as a really weird small group and grew into a real live ministry after a while. And now it is going through another interesting stage. We have had over 60 people be a part of our group, but the transience of the city has meant that our group has stayed small.

All that being said, I feel like I have learned a fair amount about leading. I always wanted to lead something, but this was my first real opportunity. So here are my top 3 (for each year) things I have learned in this role.

*A note of caution, I don’t love these things. I complain about them. I get grumpy. I’m not Jesus. Just making things clear.

  1. Leadership is not glamorous 90% of the time.

I say 90% because every once in a while you get recognized for what you’re doing, and it’s AWESOME. I live for recognition people! I’m working on that. But the other 90% of the time, there’s very little glamour. As a leader, you work harder than everyone else. You MUST have at least 3x the enthusiasm of everyone else. You can’t complain when you’re tired or frustrated. You have to deal with obnoxious people that Jesus loves, but you might not. It’s just not pretty.

  1. Leadership means encouraging others to be leaders.

This means that you can’t treat people like children. I suck at this. I’m terrible at empowering others. But I have seen it work. When people are pushed to do hard things (like leading) they experience the responsibility required. But encouraging this usually means that we work harder to be a better example, and accept the fact that doing things yourself is usually easier, but empowering others to do things is what makes you a leader.

  1. Leadership means being taken advantage of.

Are there limits? Sure. But often leadership means working harder than you are being paid for. It means cleaning out the refrigerator when you did not make it messy. It means ordering the food for a lunch, getting the eating utensils, and often cleaning up the lunch. It means planning things that people may not value or care about. And you know, Jesus was taken advantage of too, so there ya go.

So there it is. Leading is hard. But somebody’s gotta do it.

Rest, Meaning, and Ecclesiastes

My pastor recently decided to embark upon a sermon series through Ecclesiastes. I know. What was he thinking? I mean Ecclesiastes is just depressing. “Vanity, vanity, all is vanity” and so on and so forth. Its most impressive achievement is the astounding number of ways it says, “Life is meaningless.”

So I was sitting in church on Sunday listening to my pastor talk about the meaninglessness of life and considering what I might eat for lunch when he said,

“We use our busyness to compensate for our meaningless lives.”

 

This was the point when I stopped thinking about my lunch.

 

I am obsessed with staying busy. Indeed my life begins to feel very meaningless if I am not busy—if I am not being productive. I recently realized that I even only wear shoes that are easy to put on because it feels like a waste of time to wear other shoes that might take me a full minute to put on. That would clearly not be a productive use of time.

So this statement got me thinking about the past few months and my attempts at resting. I have realized that I am terrible at resting. In fact it stresses me out. There are many reasons for this which are being slowly worked through in therapy (really). But the point is that it’s ridiculous.

The final point of the Sunday sermon was that life is meaningless without God. I agree with this completely on a cognitive level, but when I observe my obsession with staying busy to feel like my life has extreme purpose, it’s clear I don’t agree with it on a practical level. So what I’m trying to say is that resting is really important. But resting is not essential just for emotional health. Rather, perhaps its greater importance is to practically realize our real need for God to make life meaningful—instead of our productivity.

So here’s my top 5 reasons rest is important:

  1. Jesus did it. I mean, let’s face it. If the man who had to redeem all of humanity with his life, death, and resurrection, did not feel the need to constantly be productive and busy with people, then I think we can make time too.
  2. Rest increases your faith. In the Old Testament, rest was used to describe death (hopeful right?), freedom from enemies, and a sign of the perpetual covenant between God and His people. Resting means that you are not doing things. That means you have to trust that God is faithful to not let everything fall apart. Thus, the Sabbath each week was a practical reminder of this.
  3. In the New Testament, rest words refer to spiritual refreshment. Who doesn’t need to be spiritually refreshed? Imagine the refreshment of a hot shower at the end of the day, a really delicious orange, and a deep night of sleep all wrapped up into one on a spiritual level. That’s what rest is supposed to do for us.
  4. Rest creates room for compassion. In the craziness of last year, I realized that I was so stressed that it was nearly impossible for me to actually care for other people. Resting makes us open to seeing other people’s needs and maybe even helps us to meet them because it puts the necessity of our busyness into perspective.
  5. Witness to outsiders. Next time you read the New Testament, note that most of Paul’s instructions for Christian behavior are for the sake of those outside of the church. How does resting witness to outsiders? Thank you for asking. I have three responses:
  • Rest is what we will do for eternity. Not sitting around Netflix binging kind of rest, but completely fulfilled by the Lord and living on perfected earth so we don’t have any worries kind of rest. Thus, resting now, in this imperfect world, shows our confidence in eternity and brings the Kingdom of God a little closer.
  • As previously stated, you have trust to God to rest. Otherwise resting will stress you out.
  • Resting shows that you find meaning in a relationship with God, not in creating your own sense of security through working nonstop, being the best, having a lot of money, or whatever. This is completely countercultural.

 

How does one rest well? Still working on that. Still working on relaxing and not finding my worth in my productivity. When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Another Day but Not Another Dollar

I am 25, doing what I was called to do, and am struggling to be happy.

It’s a very strange thing when you have opportunities to do the things you love and are trained for, but you don’t get paid for them. And so you do random menial tasks to earn money. I’ve realized these past couple of weeks a strange and unforeseen phenomenon in my life:

I base my feelings of worth off of whether I’m making money.

What on earth? Definitely didn’t expect that to happen.

Happiness is such a fickle thing. And I think the pursuit of it often becomes a tool for evil in our lives. We are continuously looking to be happy wherever that happiness appears, be it in a spouse (I’m accepting applications), a well-paying job (wrong degrees), respect (never gonna happen), and stability (total myth).

I have seen a disturbing pattern in my life wherein once I get one thing that I’ve been striving for, there’s another thing that stands in the way of my happiness.

I came to see this disturbing pattern when the other day I was thinking about how unhappy I was because of my lack of work, and thus lack of money, and thus lack of tangible evidence of my accomplishments.

And then I realized that my life NOW is a version of the life I have always dreamed of having. I live in an incredible multi-cultural environment. I get to teach people about God in personal and group settings. I have discipled someone and seen the results. I have a degree that puts me in a good place when I decide to do my PhD. I have time to listen to Calvin’s Institutes on Audio book (67 hours of listening pleasure). High School Caprice would be very proud.

But I keep getting annoyed. Feeling like if I’m not going to a paid job everyday that I’m not really doing anything with my life.

So what is the answer to this problematic cycle? After seeking some wise counsel, I have 2 basic, but not simple conclusions:

  1. Adjust your mindset of accomplishment. It is not always tangible. And moving forward does not mean you have to always be moving. Progress for the sake of progress is not actually worthwhile. I am “accomplishing” more if I spend a day talking, laughing, and learning with one of my students, than if I were earning $12/hr stocking a refrigerator. No matter what my bank account tries to tell me.

After the last crazy year of my life, I’m having trouble convincing myself that I do not have to schedule work for 16 hours a day. Instead, sometimes it’s ok to sit and write out six different versions of a blog I might never post while soaking my feet in the bathtub. Which brings us to a beautiful transition into the next point…

  1. Learn to rest. Soon I’m going to do a really moving post on the Biblical idea of rest because I really have no idea what it means to rest. But I think that it is essential to true happiness. Accomplishing my dreams isn’t going to make me happy. Simply put, letting go of my need to accomplish and resting in the One who has accomplished more than I ever will brings me true rest, contentment, happiness, etc. Bill Gates may not invite me to live off of his success, but Jesus certainly does. Interest free.

Did I really write that? When did I start working for Lifeway? Let me compensate with this brief interesting and synopsis. If you’re ever trying to make polite dinner conversation among seminary students, this should help.

One of the most Jesus-following people I have ever heard of was a man named Hudson Taylor (try reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret and you will be utterly convinced that you do not have an ounce of holiness). This man woke up extra early every morning to spend hours in prayer and reading the Word. And yet in a letter to his friend, he said that he still did not feel like he was doing enough. At which point you may want to hurl the book at the floor because of a unique mixture of guilt and annoyance. But in an unexpected plot turn in this letter, he realizes that his striving for holiness is not the answer, rather accepting Jesus’ invitation to rest. And so Hudson Taylor found great solace in a hymn I was recently introduced to called Jesus, I am Resting. It was written in his lifetime. I am excited about the impact the words of this song might have in my life. Here’s a taste of them:

Jesus, I am resting, resting,


In the joy of what Thou art;


I am finding out the greatness

Of Thy loving heart.


Thou hast bid me gaze upon Thee,


And Thy beauty fills my soul,


For by Thy transforming power,


Thou hast made me whole.

Jesus, I am resting, resting,


In the joy of what Thou art;


I am finding out the greatness


Of Thy loving heart.

Just Walkin’ Around the Garden

So I am working my way through Genesis right now. Very slowly at times. Recently, I made my way to this really adorable café by this equally whimsical park near my new home. And amidst the groups of 20-somethings in their matching start-up company t-shirts, I found myself sitting and dwelling on Genesis 3:8.

 

“They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

 

Has anybody taken a moment to consider how incredibly bizarre this picture is? We have here two very opposing pictures.

 

On one end (of the sentence), God is walking in the garden in the cool of the day. This is a very beautiful sentence in Hebrew (gotta make use of my Logos). Unfortunately I am not nearly confident enough in my Hebrew skills (after a year of neglect) to explain things about it, so if you don’t read Hebrew (I’m estimating a fair 97.5% of people who might have read this far), just trust me that it is a beautiful sentence that has echoes from the creation account and the personal nature of God.

 

So anyway, we have this beautiful picture of the very good creation as it should be—with the LORD God walking around in it with the people He’s made.

 

And then we have the other end (of the sentence). The people go and hide among the trees of the garden. Now let’s take a second to understand the absurdity of this.

  1. God is WALKING. So in theory, they could have gone and walked around this incredible paradise with God. I mean, it would be SO MUCH EASIER to “follow God” if he were out for a walk. Following God could be as easy as following a car, a trend, or someone on twitter.
  2. They are HIDING. Now this is straight up confusing.
  • You can’t hide from God. Adam and Eve were pretty new to the whole being people thing, but I would hope that they would have grasped that.
  • God has given them no reason to be afraid of Him. Sure, He warned them about the tree. So they should have been afraid of the tree, not of their creator.
  • They go the opposite direction. Like I said, I think it would be a luxury if I could just literally go walk around with God. And yet, they go the opposite direction of this luxury. It’s like walking away from the dessert table. Just plain nonsensical.

 

Following the previous observations, I will avail you with my real-life applications. Try to contain your excitement.

 

  1. I’d like to think that I would not do the completely non-sensical act of running from God, when I could be walking beside Him, but we all know that is not the way of it. I want to hide from Him far more often than I care to admit. Maybe because I’m bored, tired, frustrated, or even content.

 

  1. The picture at the end of time at Christ’s return is of a bride and groom. Consider that picture of the complete reversal of this story from the beginning of time. A bride walks toward her groom in excited anticipation of them being joined together. We are supposed to represent this eschatological Kingdom of God as much as we can in the present age. So let’s work on reversing the picture in our own lives, in our small groups, and in our churches to being people who excitedly walk toward God instead of hide from Him.

 

  1. They were hiding because of their sin. Their sin was LITERALLY separating them from God. And it’s really sad because Adam and Eve’s identity would have completely rested in God and who He wanted them to be. He was their creator after all. And so by hiding from Him, they not only forsook their relationships with Him, but also compromised the very core of their identity—their humanity. Hiding from God ultimately led (and leads) to a complete misunderstanding of what it truly means to be human.

 

  1. If God knows our sins, why do we still try to hide them? I find myself doing this a lot. If I’m feeling lazy or know I’m doing something I should not, I avoid my time with God. And in that way, sin really gets the upper hand because I isolate myself from the only One who can make me better.

 

God offers us many opportunities to walk with Him. Let’s try not to make up lame excuses to not take Him up on the offer.

On Feeling Needy

For the last month I have been contemplating Matthew 8:20

Jesus said to them, “Foxes have dens to live in and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

I feel I’ve really walked as Jesus walked… because for the last month, I have been jealous of the foxes with their fancy little HGTV homes.

And for the last month, in an effort to follow Jesus (literally), I have been trying to move into the city. There were weeks when I only knew where I was going to sleep a couple nights at a time. But things worked out, and I am happy to say that I now have an actual residence. Basically that means that my stuff and my body stay in the same place. And I have realized what a blessing that really is.

 

But for now, I’d like to provide you with same basic insights I gained during my month of couch surfing/squatting/homelessness.

 

1. When you don’t know where you are going to sleep, it’s really hard to care about other people. Somebody would complain about needing to write a paper or something else higher on Maslow’s hierarchy, and I would just think about the fact that I hadn’t showered in a few days and I wasn’t sure if I had remembered to pack my deodorant.

 2. I hate being needy. HATE IT. And yet, that doesn’t deter me from needing people whether I have a home or not. It’s really annoying how that works. We can often get away with pretending to not have emotional or spiritual needs that involve other people, but it’s hard to hide not having a place to sleep. And I am not so desperate to prove myself self-sufficient as to sleep outside. So I had to ask lots of different people if I could sleep at their houses. And I couldn’t escape thinking about how I would make them have more laundry and inevitably eat their food. But people didn’t seem to really mind. And as the body of Christ, sometimes I think it is easier to help people than to need people. So I would like to thank all the people who helped me last month. You have not gone unnoticed, even if you haven’t gotten a thank you card. It might have gotten lost in the mail.

 3. Stuff is a luxury. I walk this shaky line between hating to own and move lots of things, but also enjoying having a Q Tip, or scissors, or a hair tie, or some watercolors when I need them (because being stuck without water colors can put you in a real bind sometimes). But in the last month, I saw that it is possible to live out of a duffel bag. I started to just wear the same five outfits because it was simpler than digging through my stuff in another location simply for variety. So for those of you who saw me every Monday during that month, I apologize that you only were able to enjoy one piece of my exquisite wardrobe.

 

So there it is. Being homeless is not my favorite experience I have had. But I think it was still worthwhile. In short, it has been good for me to learn to be a little needy and the many lessons that come along with that.

The Crime of Cautious Living

Transitions

 

About three years ago this time I began thinking seriously about going to seminary. The admissions people definitely loved me, because I started school 2 months later.

But I thought about not doing that. I had a full time job with a promotional possibility. And Kansas is a cheap place to live. I could have stayed at home. Made money. Paid off my loans. Stayed comfortable.

But I didn’t.

Instead I moved out to California with one suitcase, one carry-on, a backpack, and a dream. Not really, that just seemed appropriate.

I moved with no job and no car. But I did have a place to live. And I was going to go to get a masters degree learning about Jesus. What could go wrong!? And I was (am) young and single anyway, so why not do something a little crazy?

And then it took 6 weeks to get a job. And I lived on $5 a week. And I would ride my bicycle (once I got past the need to walk it down hills… cuz I’m from Kansas, and I don’t really do hills) to the park a few times a week and sit on a bench by the bay and ball my eyes out angrily asking God what on earth I was doing there. I’m sure I was a sight to see.

But then I got a job on campus… a miracle when you live on top of a huge hill and you don’t have a car. I found a church. I had friends. Things worked out.

And now I find myself in a new time of transition. I have had to say goodbye to the people who played a huge part in making the Bay Area home for me. They welcomed me into their homes and their lives, even though I totally weirded them out the first time I met them because I came alone and I talked about hating trees. Nevertheless, they accepted me. They took me camping and watched zombie movies with me. They studied the Bible with me. They gave good hugs. Not a side hug. Not an “I’m trying to touch you as little as possible” hug. Not an obligatory hug. But a real embrace. And sometimes a girl just needs a good hug. Especially when your dad is hundreds of miles away. These people are living on the other side of the world now, thousands of miles away.

And last week I said goodbye to stability. Again. I quit my consistent job and I moved out of my dorm. And I am now homeless and jobless. I think I like to increase in intensity in my transitions. Three years ago I was just poor and jobless. Now I’m jobless, homeless, and poor.

Also, I’m attempting to find a job in one of the most competitive places in the U.S., and I’m trying to live in the most expensive city in America. And I’m doing this so that I can keep volunteering in a ministry. Yep. I’m aware. It sounds crazy. But, really, to the last ten people who have pointed these things out to me, thank you. I needed that clarification.

No. The odds aren’t really for me. But they never really are. Life is full of risks. Every time we get in a car, on a plane, talk to a stranger, speak in public, wear a new outfit we are taking risks.

Yes. I am freaking out. And I can admit that. Some people feel the need to pretend not to be worried. But not me. Have coffee with me sometime, and I’ll tell you about all of my problems. Sounds appealing doesn’t it? And I’ll definitely be needing you to pay for that coffee.

About 2 weeks ago I just sat panicking and crying… while my friend watched four feet away. Because, really, what do you do when somebody won’t stop crying? Watch. And try to think of nice things to say.

And then last week, I sat and cried alone uncontrollably for about an hour. Because I feel crazy. Really, this transition is a little insane. Why would I voluntarily move forward into instability?

But then the next day, I suddenly felt better. I’ve heard that some emotions can only be released through tears and sweat. And well, I’ve been too tired to sweat lately (and in S.F. it takes effort to sweat), so I guess I just needed to cry. Because as I cried, I could feel the Lord pointing out the reasons why this is going to work, slowly assuring me that I am not crazy. So I guess I just needed God to sit and watch me cry and say nice things to me too.

When I moved to California, a dear friend of mine gave me a book entitled, The Crime of Living Cautiously. And now I keep thinking of that phrase. Being cautious may not be a crime, but if I live in fear, then I will never accomplish anything. I will just sit in my room, watch Netflix, and eat cookies until I’m too huge to get out of the door. And then they’ll make a TLC special about me.

So I have to transition. I have to move forward into the uncertain. And I have to deal with significant instability. And I have to try and remember that life is never truly stable anyway.

 

Confessions of a Seminary Graduate

Here are the top 10 things I need to admit after graduating seminary.

1. I am a woman. I have an M.Div. Just want to be clear. No, I do not want to be a pastor. No, I do not want to be a nun. No, I do not plan on being the next Beth Moore (I clearly don’t have the hair for that). Yes, I am a woman who loves theology, public speaking, and teaching. I will probably write more about this later. Try to contain your excitement.

2. I am tired. Like really tired. Like I might lock myself in my basement in Kansas and sleep for several days in the cool and dark space.

3. Words and phrases I need to refrain from using in regular conversation… because they make me sound like a snob:

  • Hermeneutics, Soteriological, Eschatological
  • Contextualized theologizing
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s explanation of that…
  • Within Karl Barth’s theological framework…
  • In the 1st Century Roman world…

4. Arrogance may be my BIGGEST pet peeve. If you are pastor, please learn to embrace epistemological humility. I sat in class with many of you, and, believe me, you do not know everything. And I don’t know everything. I know I come across as arrogant sometimes, too, but few things will push people away from Jesus faster than an assumption of omniscience.

5. In college, I never swore sweatpants to class. In seminary, I did. But I was at seminary in California, so that makes it more ok right?

6. When church becomes your job, sometimes God does too. And that sucks. It really does. There are days when God has to grab me, pull me into a dark room, and softly remind me that I serve Him because I love Him.

7. I still love learning, especially about theology, just not about church administration. They have potential to be interesting, but generally those classes make me want to go home and watch Netflix so that I can have something entertaining and stimulating in my day.

8. I watched 7 seasons of a show on Netflix in the last 5 months of seminary. Escapism is an art. And I am skilled at it.

9. I think I learned more about my spirituality than about theology here. But I tend to do things backwards. I did my first word study at the age of 15. I read a dissertation for fun at 19. This is not to brag; many people came to seminary more emotionally mature than I did. Seminary was a holistic spiritual experience for me–much more than classes.

10. There are so many good books to read! And most of them were not written in the past ten years. I’m not endorsing everything in these books, but these are some of my favorites I read in seminary (in no particular order):

  • Candlelight:  Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction by Susan Phillips
  • Deliverance to the Captives by Karl Barth
  • Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley
  • The Life of God in the Soul of Man by Henry Scougal
  • Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
  • Jesus:  Miriam’s Child, Sophia’s Prophet by  Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza

D-I-S-T-R-A-C-T-E-D

So a couple weeks ago I heard a great sermon on the classic story of Mary and Martha with Jesus. You know, the one where Mary sits and learns at Jesus’ feet and Martha gets angry that she is doing all of the work while Mary is slacking. Jesus patiently tells Martha that Mary has things figured out and the story ends.

So I’m sitting there beside my friend and we are whispering about how we are going to work out our plans for lunch with our students after church having a difficult time nailing out all the details. At some point I look up at the screen and see the word DISTRACTED. I pause my conversation about lunch and listen to the sermon for a second. My pastor is discussing how Martha was distracted about all of the work she had to do to prepare to host Jesus. It was good work, but it was distracting her from the pure joy of being with Him and learning from Him. 

Let’s just say, that point hit home for me. Funny how that happens sometimes. God is trying to teach us something, but we are so distracted by doing what we see is important that we might miss it. So needless to say, we gave up trying to plan our lunch during the church service and listened to the rest of the sermon.

I have found that my life lately has characterized this kind of distractedness. Earlier in the semester, our seminary president described seminary students as “trivocational.” We work in churches, work to make money, and work on school. It is a lot of work–good, worth while work.

So I find myself distracted by those three vocations of my life among the other frivolous things that plague my mind such as… How long has that soup/yogurt/juice/orange/broccoli been sitting in my fridge? When did I last do laundry? Did I shower today? Where is my sharpie pen? Did I just say something dumb? Why did he just look at me like that? Maybe I’ll curl my hair tomorrow…etc.

So I’m working on refocusing myself. I know that everything I am supposed to do is to be out of my love and desire to glorify God. So I’m trying to focus my thoughts through that filter that I may be purposeful. Right now I cannot really lessen the amount of stuff I have to do, but I can change the way I go about doing that stuff. Maybe you understand what I mean?

I just want to be able to remember that the most important thing I can do is sit and learn at the feet of Jesus. I just want to rest in that.

Hello, my name is…

Caprice. It’s my name. The other day after my Brazilian dance exercise class with a group of ladies working on getting their grooves back, I was told that I should be coming from Hollywood with a name like Caprice. 

It’s always entertaining to get people’s reactions to my name. Most of the time, a simple, “Oh, that’s pretty,” suffices. But often, people feel the need to make more attempts at creativity with their reactions. These include, but are not limited to, comments about CapriSuns (which, to the entertainment of my classmates, was often included in my sack lunches as a child), Caprice Classic cars, the Island of Capri, and of course Caprese salad, which by the way is pronounced Kuh-pray-say. The more educated often ask me if I am capricious. To which I usually reply in the affirmative and then make a joke about being a difficult child. They cordially laugh and we switch topics.

So, am I capricious? Probably. Did my name make me grow up capricious? I don’t know. What I do know, though, is that no matter how capricious my mind, heart, or even life sometimes seems, the God I serve is not capricious. He has plans. He has purpose. And He has an end goal in mind. Those things make me feel more grounded in all of my Caprice.

Don’t worry. I won’t judge if you now feel the need to go look up “Caprice” in the dictionary.