Questions and Answers Part 3: My Answers - Pt. 1

by Grace 23. January 2018 21:53

Alright, let's get right into this! I'm excited - are you?

Mom's Questions:

What's your favorite food?
Taco salad!!! Beef with lots of taco seasoning with lots of cumin… I feel like I’ve said all of this already. Haha!

What made you interested in poetry?
My interest originally came from Grandma, who is an amazing poet! She is one of my greatest inspirations when it comes to poetry – THE BEST poet I know.

What do you see yourself doing long term?
I'm hoping to be a wife and mother long term (Lord willing!), but beyond that, I don’t know. I would really like to see myself involved in music for some period of time, and the same goes for paralegal work , but I won’t know for sure what I’ll be doing long term until I get there, I guess. My plan is to start paralegal work first, but we'll see where God leads.

What time do you usually go to bed at night?
Ooh… It depends. On nights where I’m up late with school, I won’t go to bed until 11 (I can’t focus on the brain intensive reading material after 11pm) but otherwise, I usually try to head towards bed at 10.

How do you feel about our current administration?
I have mixed feelings about it – so far (although I say this very warily - I haven’t kept up with the news very much recently) Trump hasn’t done anything bad. From what I understand, he's done some good things. But, from what I can tell at least, he’s not a Christian, which means he looks at everything from a very wrong perspective. And as for the house and the senate, they’re not all that great, I’m afraid. There’s some good guys and bad guys, I guess, but mainly non-Christians who don’t have a right purpose for living, which means that they don’t have the right objectives for leading our country.

You know (this isn’t entirely related to the question), it makes me sad when people complain about politicians and how wrong and evil they are. Really, the majority of people wouldn’t do anything different once they held the power that government officials do. The only difference between us and the politicians is that they have power that we don’t and that all of their wrongs are highlighted in the news and ours aren’t.

Our positions are different, but our hearts aren't. We're all depraved human beings who desperately need God's mercy and grace.

What's it like to have 7 brothers?
It's a great learning experience! You learn pretty quickly to not be easily offended (although it took me a while because as a young girl I was super dramatic and always assumed that people were intentionally trying to hurt my feelings... I had to get over that eventually!) and it's a great way to learn how to help men of all ages. As women, we were created to be helpmeets for man. Woman was made for man, not the other way around. And although there are specific helpmeet roles that only a wife should fulfil and should only be done for her husband, we're still to be helpers to the men around us - brothers, fathers, and brothers in Christ.

And they're also just a lot of fun. If I want to have a heart to heart conversation, I generally go to my sis (and best friend) Abigail, but if I'm feeling heavyhearted and I just want something cheerful and fun, brothers are a good source of jokes, laughter, fun. They're also (mostly my older brothers) good, intriguing, logical and/or theological conversations. That's how I keep up with the news, too... My brothers. And they're very informative also. Even all of my little brothers can often tell me something I didn't know before, and that's a big thing because I'm a law student that hears about everything.

And they're also very protective. Sisters tend to be more sympathetic, and brothers are more defensive. I remember I mentioned that a boy at the highschool talked to me occasionally (nothing more than occasional short, light conversation) and before I had even finished my story (about how he was horrified at how many siblings (especially brothers ;) I had and how hilarious that had been to me), my older brother Daniel immediately interrupted and said, "Some guy talks to you? Don't worry, me and Jacob'll go and beat him up!" Suitors, beware!!!

One of the hard things about brothers is that they usually have a good dash of manly pride... in other words, they don't often like to be told what to do by girls (little sisters or 'bossy big sisters'). A few certain brothers especially don't like it. But what I've learned is that while boys have the power of strength, girls have the power of influence. When you have brothers, you learn to respect their God given authority as men, and learn to say things differently and kindly so that instead of making them annoyed that their 'bossy sister is telling them what to do again," they're happy to be around you and they're also more willing to help you out. Not even girls like to help a bossy sister, and brothers are even more repulsed at the idea.

The thing that I have trouble with the most is that boys seem to go through 'that boy stage' (for us usually from about 8-12, I think) where they're beginning the transition from boys to men and they want to be treated like men and act like boys about it. This is definitely the point where I struggle with most as a sister. Instead of encouraging them to act like men, I often get frustrated and tell them things along the lines of 'you're too old for this' and 'you should know better' and similar things. I remember the first time I realized that something was wrong and needed to change was once when Jacob (4 years younger than me) was going through this stage, and for once we weren't angry at each other and we were looking at some pictures of us about four years prior to the time. And I remember feeling rather guilty when the poor young fellow said, "That's when we were actually friends." Oh my! Imagine having your brother say something like that to you. Since then, I've been trying to be a better older sister to him (although he's pretty much past that stage) and Jon (who is in that stage right now). It's not been an easy journey, but God is helping me and good things are rarely ever easy.

Olivia's Questions:

What is it like to be an older sister?
It's amazing - one of my biggest blessings. I love being an older sister and pulling a little brother onto my lap or helping my youngest sister with a project, and knowing that they all look up to me and love me.

But it's also stressful. As the oldest girl, I feel the heavy burden of setting a good example - a good example to my sisters with how to treat brothers, an example of diligence, and an example of being fully devoted to Christ. When I see a sibling misbehaving, I wonder if they somehow picked that up from me. When I get mad at a younger sibling without cause, I wonder how badly I hurt their feelings. After I argue with the older ones, I wonder what message I've just sent them - do they think I don't care? That they're annoying? That they're hopeless? That I don't want to hear what they have to say? I'll lie awake in bed at night tossing and turning, wondering if I'm the sister I ought to be. And that makes things worse, because I'm not, and will never be. I'm only human, and I'm only where I am because of Jesus. But I can do my best, and with God's help, I can be a christ-like example to them - even though I'll sometimes stumble and fall or make a mistake.

One tip to older sisters (or just people in general really - this is just something I've learned as a sister) is to ALWAYS say sorry, even if you don't feel that you're the one to blame. It's a good way of humbling yourself before God and showing whoever it was that you offended that you love them. And when they respond with a cutting remark, answer in love and don't pursue a conversation with them. They'll get over it; if you say sorry and they're still angry, just give them a break.

And in a situation where one of them (or anyone, really) tells you you're doing something wrong or you've done something wrong, instead of arguing with them about it and defending yourself (even if you're entirely innocent), think of what you can do better next time. Do you think you were wrong? Resolve to do better next time! Think you weren't really right or wrong? Think of how you could have been christlike! Think you were christlike in the situation? Think of how you can be MORE christlike next time! There's always room for improvement.

And one more thing for when you feel that you're right and someone else is wrong, it takes two to make an argument, and (for the most part) an outside occurence to provoke or anger. I say for the most part because there will be times when someone wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. But even then, if they're treated right, the grump will *usually* cheer up pretty quickly.

What is it like to have sisters? (I only have brothers!)
I love it! I don't have better friends. Brothers can be meaningful and say heartfelt things too - don't get me wrong. But heart to heart talks with sisters are always especially refreshing.

Of course, like everything in this world, sisters definitely have areas that are highly affected by sin nature. Girls, as a general rule, are actually better at hurting feelings than brothers. Boys generally tease or act rather insensitively, while an angry girl can usually craft her words to be sharper than an arrow (the Bible makes multiple references to the tongue of a woman). I know I'm guilty of this too. But we learn how to refrain from saying these hurtful words ourselves and how to deal with these unkind remarks from others, which prepares us for the world ahead that we all must enter sometime. And when the world tries to hurt my feelings, I know my sisters will always have my back.

 

There, I answered some of the questions. If you all have more questions or didn't get to ask me questions before, you have until the next (and final!) Questions and Answers post to comment with your query!

I'll be posting my answers to the other questions in another post... As you can see, my answers to a lot of your questions are EXTREMELY LONG!!! XD

 

Now let's hear from you!

Have you been enjoying the Questions and Answers posts? Which was your favorite question that I've answered so far? Are there any answers that surprised you? What are YOUR answers to some of these questions? Do you have any additional questions you want answered in the last Questions and Answers post?

 

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Comments (18) -

Scott Walker
Scott Walker
1/24/2018 11:23:34 AM #

Wonderful Post Grace, I have some comments and some questions as well.

When I first read this I was very impressed at your literary skills. I notice this first off and as you know I have been learning to be an editor and it will be always work in progress. Five stars for the message and the concisely written manuscript. Your literary skills will be of great use to you, in school and later on when you prepare legals papers, that must be very exact and without error.  My emails tend to be sloppy as I do not edit them much, I just hit the send key....

There were two of us me and my brother and this poem is true about us being raised without religion, what a mess that made my life, until I found Christ on my own. Keep that in mind when you read this. He had lots of darkness in his life and it shows in his poetry. I did not treat him well when we were young as I was a jealous kid then, but I did finish his work for him with others a 4 year project of editing and putting the old type written poems into the computer. I was glad to finish it but I did, the book is pending publications for early this year 2018. All of his work about 2500 pages are at the Bancroft Literary Library UC Berkeley.

I have a question for you about a poem my brother wrote, you know he was a poet and he wrote this a few years before he died. Could you help me figure out what he means here. Sure I get the message he was ready to leave (die) but the ending about the cross that no man made, and about purple sidewalks. I am going to post a copy of it here, thanks for looking at it.  I believe about the cross, he means made by Christ/God. On purple sidewalks, I did some research on this and found something that it is an urban lingo meaning "mean people"
----------------------------------- The Poem-----------------------------
Bitter Blood

This is a prayer, rather a confession
of good burning in a cesspool, of my
Life and its tragic counterparts;
I was raised without religion, only
to choose my first Christian baptism,
I am a follower of Jesus, and yes I have
taken my painful cross up with him,
I have testified in the streets, begged
for food in the hotels of the infamously poor,
bereaved of Spirit, my eyes wanton for a female moon,
I have tortured flies in a filed ray of Sun,
and waited for the rain to wash away their battered wings;
only my mother and father could understand that poverty
to me was some kind of rebellion, I listened to the smoke
of people whispering behind my back,
and I traveled to Cities of brilliance only to be forced
into some cage, some hidden jail of sacrifice;
last year around my Birthday I was locked up in a Mental
Asylum, I was conservatized and given drugs to sink brainless
in angry sleep, and I ate the food served to me, the dark
stew that stirred ugly in my guts, all because I loved a
little girl, her eyes were my delight after the pain and
torture of being in my prison so long, to see something
so lovely, like a poem starved for wind; she filled my sails
with the blue clay of night's quiet awakening, and now
inside the hospital I celebrate bitter blood,
with both pathos and bathos I turn my eyes against the heaven
of the sky and wonder if I shall leave tomorrow,
yes, it is all set, tomorrow I'm out the door,

the little girl is a forbidden verdict of the court,
and I am being watched all the time, but still to dream
of freedom, to sail once again against the wind,
to ride my bicycle up a mouth of mysterious air,
and down the nose of purple sidewalks,
while the bitter blood inside me still burns,
though in sweetness I wonder what will come of me
who has paid dearly for the sacrament,
who has hidden in the clear upheaval of Time
with goodness as his Master,
not chance, no! But the satisfied heart
that grows still in the winter, a frozen socket of dust
and water, only to be forgotten by chance with something
of freedom beating itself back to birth
with its bitter blood stretched in wonder
for the mysterious and secret World that died with
its reckoning evil on a Cross no Man created.

Reply

Grace H.
Grace H.
1/25/2018 3:27:00 PM #

I don't know that I'll be able to be much help, but here's what I kind of gather from this poem -
1. It's a true story about him
From what you've told me and from the passionate first person narrative, it's about him, no mistake. But you probably already knew that.
2. It's a story of his life up to the time of writing
It starts with his childhood - "I was raised without religion..." and goes until his current time "I am being watched all the time..."
3. It displays a wild and reckless spirit
"...to sail once again against the wind,
to ride my bicycle up a mouth of mysterious air,
and down the nose of purple sidewalks,
while the bitter blood inside me still burns..."
"...poverty
to me was some kind of rebellion..."
If purple sidewalks means mean people, my guess is perhaps he's referring to the idea of stepping on some toes. Get what I mean? And the mentioning of sailing against the wind, riding on mysterious air, mentioning the 'bitter blood', and how his lifestyle symbolized rebellion to him shows a lot about who he was.
4. He longed for love
I think that is what the female moon is about - "longing for a female moon" - and then of course there's the 'little girl' you mentioned in your other comment.
5. He was not a happy man
The whole tone of this poem is gloomy - mentioning crushed dreams, his life in the insane asylum, the restraining order on the girl he loved, and multiple other miseries in his life.

As for the cross he mentioned, I think the idea was that it was created by something immortal - my guess is he is referring to some evil, but this part would take a lot of thought and work to unveil. It sounds like he means his heart with bitter blood was on this cross, but I really don't know. That part confused me as well.
Hope that was of some help and that it didn't add extra confusion.

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Grace F.
Grace F.
1/24/2018 11:33:31 AM #

WOW Grace, you had some amazing answers.  I feel the same way about so many of them.  I have experience both with brothers and sisters (though you have more of them than I!) and learning to apologize even if it hurts my pride has been something I've found SO important!!

Oh my, the time where guys are maturing from boys to men is so frustrating sometimes!  I don't remember it as much with my older brothers since I was a lot younger, but one of my younger brothers is going through it and it's very difficult.  Most days we can hardly say nice words to each other.  He thinks I'm bossy and I think (as does everyone else in my family) that we can't get him to do ANYTHING... it's tough!  The struggle in our relationship is so real.  But I have to realize and acknowledge that although, yes, many of our arguments could be considered caused by his fault, I am NOT innocent and perfect either.  And although it may kill me to admit to my little brother that I was wrong (because, you know, little brothers get a certain pride in showing down their sisters), it's important.  It's one of the things that helps our relationship the most.

Having older brothers can definitely make life amusing and interesting! ;)  These past few months, we've had a lot of chats about guys+girls, us three older ones (and our parents) have.  That's mainly because this year has been filled with lots more seriousness when it comes to relationships.  Although I'm not expecting to get asked out anytime soon (lol!), my family still likes teasing me ;)  For Christmas, my dad got a pistol cleaning set and a knife sharpening kit.  The guys were teasing that it's for my future boyfriends xD  And that whoever wants to pursue me will have to be one brave guy because they have to go through not only my dad, but both my very loving, defensive, protective older brothers ;)  Haha!  The poor guy... xD  But seriously, my older brothers are the sweetest!  They take me on sibling dates, get stuck on ferris wheels with me, hold my hand on roller-coasters if I get scared (that happened only once, though ;), give me hugs when they're proud of me, and sometimes even take selfies with me if they're being particularly nice ;)  They're awesome!!  I love them to death.

Okay, well, my comment is quickly becoming as large as your whole post, and this isn't even my blog, so I'm gonna end here Smile  I SO enjoyed this post, Grace, and can't wait to see the rest of your answers!  (By the way, you need to write posts on each of the topics you discussed above ;)

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/24/2018 9:35:01 PM #

I'm glad you liked this so much Grace!
Yes, that time where boys are 'growing up' is definitely one of the hardest areas to deal with. And, yeah, boys at that age have this little thing about superiority over older sisters sometimes. As they say, misery loves company, and when a little bro is irritated, he (unfortunately) usually finds that big sisters are the most vulnerable to his verbal attacks. We so easily get annoyed when a little brother doesn't do what we tell them to do or snaps back at us when we ask them why they're upset.
Some quick tips - choose your battles. At this age, they REALLY dislike being told what to do, and it seems that out of parents, older brothers, younger brothers, older sisters, and younger sisters, the people they seem to despise the most for telling them what to do is big sisters. Perhaps it's the fact that a girl is acting as a superior to them, and a boy's instinct doesn't flow well with that. So try to tell him what to do as little as possible. Only tell him to do things that are important. Yes, when you tell everyone to clean up for dinner, tell him to. But perhaps avoid giving him specific directions on where to clean. And avoid nitpicking if he's not cooperating or moving along very fast (we sisters tend to do that sometimes!). If he's not really helping out, maybe remind him once or twice nicely to keep helping out (if he's not out of sorts), but sometimes it's just better to quietly ask your dad to tell him to keep moving along. I don't know about your brother, but mine responds best to my Dad's correction.
And try to allow him to be a man as much as possible. Of course, there will be those times where you need to take the lead on things. But let him be the leader and learn what it means to actually BE a man. Let him be in charge of cleaning the house before dinner. Ask him what he wants you to do. Let him have a turn to be in charge instead of always being the one to be told what to do.
And if someone is already scolding him for something, don't join in. Sometimes, since these siblings seem to be the most stubborn, he'll do something slightly wrong and everyone will immediately start scolding. Only one person needs to correct him, and an older brother or a parent is usually best. And if for some reason you need to rebuke him, make it short and sweet.
And don't EVER argue with him. It's a waste of time and everyone comes out as if they had inhaled five hundred jalepenos. Even if he tries to argue with you, just don't.
I have more tips, but this is getting long. Maybe I will just write a post.
YES, older brothers are the BEST! I feel sorry for my future husband - he has 8 guys to get past, and they're ALWAYS joking about how he'll have to get past them first. Haha! He'd better know how to handle a bunch of protective country boys! Me and Daniel are trying to go up and eat dinner with Isaac at Corban University every month (he goes to school there), which is so fun! And they're just so funny too! They like to tease a lot (in a good way!) Yeah, they're just awesome. ;)
Okay, I'd better stop now... Haha! I'm gonna have two posts worth here if I don't! Thanks for your comment! I always enjoy hearing what you have to say about my posts. ;)

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/24/2018 9:35:26 PM #

Oh my, my comment was longer than yours. :/

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/25/2018 1:58:25 PM #

Oh one other big tip is to try to give him the jobs that he thinks are 'men's work', and try to pair him up with big brothers for him to look up to and to work hard alongside of. When there's work inside and outside to do, my bro goes out right alongside of Dad and the boys. Let him have a taste of hard work and let him be a man when he can.
And then there ARE going to be those times when you just have to deal with him. Mom isn't feeling well, Dad is at work, and you need his help. What happens in this situation will probably be based off of what he knows of you. And that will be based on what you know of him. Don't think of him as the stubborn one who never listens. Spend time with him. Talk to him. Do things with him when you have spare time. Get to know the real boy behind the struggles of growing up (yes, it's as real a struggle for him as it is for you!) and find out what he enjoys, what ticks him off, and what makes him cheerful again. And have meaningful conversations with him on things that are important - biblical truths, life lessons, and whatever he might be learning. Make him an important person to you that you don't want to live without. When you know what ticks him off, you can avoid doing so when you deal with him. When you know how to make him happy again, you can attempt to do that if you do upset him. If you're constantly talking over godly concepts with him, he's more likely to remember them and apply them to his life. (By the way, these are all things that I really need to work on too!) And once you get to know him for what he really is, he'll start to know you for what you are instead of only seeing the big bossy sister that hides the sister who wants to do her best for him.
And when you do these things, do it out of love and consideration - don't tell him to do things as little as possible because you feel like you're handling a package of dynamite! If you do it like your juggling explosives, it's just not going to change anything. He's just going to be irritated or he'll realize he has extra control over him. All he should know is that when you tell him to do something, it's actually important and he DOES NEED to do it. (When your constantly battling with him to do things all day long, it's most likely that he'll not do everything you say. Tell him to do a few important things, not a bunch of unimportant things.)
Also, communicate with your parents how much authority they want you to have over him. For me, I can tell him to DO just about anything, but I don't punish him. I tell him once, maybe remind him once, and then I should probably ask a parent to deal with him. And then when it comes to the area of what he needs to do and doesn't need to do in school, I don't tell him anything. I send him to Mom or ask her myself. Have your parents set boundaries, and then let THEM enforce the authority they want you to have. That way, it's almost more like they're telling him what to do through you (unless you're just being bossy, which I tend to do too often.)
Okay... I'm done... I'll write a post. My comments are a little disorganized.

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/25/2018 3:30:17 PM #

Oh and another tip - just kidding. ;)

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Scott Walker
Scott Walker
1/24/2018 12:11:48 PM #

If you're wondering about the little girl in the poem. It did eventually lead to his end as he took his life in jail after being jailed (age 29 in 1994) for a broken restraining order.

As far as I know, Eric never touched her, however he liked to visit her and it really freaked out the parents as my brother with schizophrenia could be at times very strange, so they sought the restraining order which Eric broke. Interesting poem isn't it?

Tessie's two adult children in their early 30's live with us, and are under our care, our daughter Chary has schizophrenia and her brother Jeff has delusional Bi-Polar. It has been very hard for us as parents I adopted them both in the late 90's. But I can say they wonderful medications nowadays compared to the 1990's. Which has helped. Talking about tough these kids (now adults) are both gay, and that of course does conflicts directly with our Christianity and we make them take any of that elsewhere away from home. But is worse? I know that Christ could fix all this, being without a good relationship with Him is surely the worst of all.  

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/25/2018 3:29:34 PM #

I am very sorry to hear about your children committing homosexuality! Pray for them - that's the best thing you can do for them. Christ can heal the hardest of hearts.

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Olivia Bell
Olivia Bell
1/24/2018 6:55:37 PM #

I loved your answers, Grace! They were all so interesting and always founded in God's truth. Laughing I can't wait for the next part! Smile

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/24/2018 9:36:47 PM #

Thanks Olivia! I'm glad you enjoyed all of the answers! I really enjoyed the questions you asked! I'll answer the rest of yours and everyone elses in the next part. ;)

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/24/2018 9:37:11 PM #

By the way, is 'elses' even a word??? Oh well.

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Scott Walker
Scott Walker
1/25/2018 7:40:34 PM #

Dear Grace, thank you so much for your detailed critique of that mysterious poem of my late brother Eric. That work I did is gladly in finished and in the past as it was dark but I needed to finish it.

Aside from the dark work which I did not like, more and more, as I got into it - but I was committed to finish it. Along the way I did have the opportunity to talk on the phone and correspond with experts of poetry, a professional literary archivist, and a worldwide famous poe. Have all taken interest as they knew my brother and they began to teach me the art of literary editing. Eric my brother and I were surely on separate paths, as time has shown. The publisher in New York taught me much as worked through the pages over a few years I learned much. We worked 6 days a week with breaks in between mostly daily file transfers and comments by email almost daily were helpful in learning.

I have moved on to strictly Christ based studies, and all of us are here because of Him, our Love for Him is our guiding light in this dark world in which we live. I have enjoyed reading everyone that has posted here.

Our love for Jesus Christ is surely shared here and to Him be the glory.

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Scott Walker
Scott Walker
1/25/2018 8:09:44 PM #

Oh, thanks your kind words about prayer for our sick kids. you're right that is all we can do.

Those those of you that will be future parents - be ready for nearly anything - Including kids returning home when you think you have begun your retirement!

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Scott Walker
Scott Walker
1/28/2018 10:30:36 AM #

Yes, I think elses is simply used as a slang word, I have heard it spoken just like "aint". Slang words still carry a meaning anyway, so I think we got it, what you wrote, I aint goin to be confused....

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Grace H.
Grace H.
1/29/2018 10:26:44 PM #

Haha! Okay!

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Cailyn
Cailyn
5/25/2018 2:37:21 PM #

Wow! You have a bunch of brothers! What's the ratio of girls to boys in your family?

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Grace H.
Grace H.
5/25/2018 3:19:57 PM #

Hi Cailyn! Yep, we certainly do have a lot and I love it! We have 3 girls and 7 boys. How many siblings do you have?

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