Friday, February 17, 2012

All About Me...

In elementary school we had an assignment to write a booklet entitled "All About Me". I was recently given this old booklet by my parents (yep, they kept it along with a lot of other old treasures) to read again. It was fun to read back through it. I realized I've never really posted anything extensive about me on this blog. I post a lot of what I think or feel about life or what all is going on currently in my life, but I haven't really told you much about my background. With that, I decided I would change it up a bit today and give you an updated version of an "All About Me" post. Hopefully, if you were curious about my background at all, you will learn a bit more about the Angie Thieszen behind these writings by the end of this. Perhaps you will also find some good tips or ideas that can be helpful for your own life...or maybe you will fall asleep...who knows. At any rate, I will share a bit of me with you...and I apologize for the quality of photos--they are just pictures of old pictures.

The Background of Me
  • I was born and raised in the same 2 bedroom house my parents thought would be their "starter home". They still live there. I am from Defiance, Ohio. The running joke is that I was born in Defiance, lived most of my life in Defiance, and even got married in Defiance. At least I can now say my children were not born in Defiance too...that has to help, right???

(yes, Lily looks a lot like her Mama when she was little)

  • I have one older sister, Amy, who is one of my best friends. I love her. We got along well growing up and we fought well growing up. Our main fights I remember began when we finally made it to the same school together--she as a junior and I as a freshman...I learned quickly it was not cool to come downstairs in the morning wearing the same shirt as she was wearing. I also learned quickly it wasn't cool to date one of her friends...ouch. The following year was quite the opposite--she as a senior and I as a sophomore--we would even be known to give each other a hug in the hallway if we saw each other. We are similar to each other in some ways and altogether different in other ways. We enjoy the same passions of loving our kids, loving our God, scrapbooking, and being organized! : ) Again, I love her.
  • My parents are great supporters of me in life. I don't remember many activities I was involved in growing up where I didn't have at least one of them in attendance cheering me on. I was highly involved in high school so that was not an easy task...volleyball, musicals, church choir, youth group, national honor society, boosters, etc. They were always there. Just like my sister and my relationship, my parents and I are also very similar in some areas and different in others. I tend to carry on their perfectionism quite well, my mom's artistic talents, and my dad's shooting talents...yep, as in shooting a gun...for a brief time in life some people called me "Angie Oakley" : ) I am blessed they are in my life and forever grateful for all they have taught me and still teach me today. I love them too.
  • I grew up attending a United Methodist church...the church with the tallest steeple in Defiance. I enjoyed church more socially growing up than anything else. My spiritual backbone, if you will, was formed more in my attendance of church camp in the summer. I still to this day have friendships with some of those camper friends from 6th grade and up. You literally spend one week of time with a few people who become friends for life--it's so cool! That spiritual backbone was still pretty weak throughout high school as I struggled with living out my faith through the week at school while also still endlessly trying to fit in with the "popular" people and not be made fun of. I can say I enjoyed my years at good ole' DHS, but I also can stamp those years as some really hard ones to truly be "me". It wasn't until college that my feet got firmly planted and I found my roots in my spiritual soil.
  • I attended Bluffton College (now Bluffton University) in Bluffton, Ohio. It's a Mennonite college, which as a senior in high school, meant they were Amish who used electricity. Ha! Oh, how my eyes were opened in my college years. (For those of you still wondering--that isn't true...they are not Amish who have electricity.) I fell in love with everything about college. My friendships, my profs, my religious life activities, *most* of my classes, my B.A.S.I.C. group, my freedom to be the real me. It was a priceless four years of my life I wouldn't trade for the world. I began as an Art Education major, but by the end of my "observation" quarter of a high school art class my freshmen year, I knew I wasn't meant to dress up and go into the same classroom every day to teach art. A new major was being developed that fit me oh so much better--Youth Ministry/Recreation. So, I switched over and majored in that, intending to go into camping ministry, and minored in Art. College, however, was not so much about the classes for me as much as the life and relationships formed there. It was some of my hardest years and best years. I learned what it was like to have girlfriends who really cared about me instead of what name-brand whatever I was wearing. My boyfriend (whom I intended to marry) was tragically killed in a work accident the first day of classes my sophomore year. My faith was incredibly challenged--largely due to the event I just mentioned, but also for many other reasons. My heart was severely broken in the loss of Andy, but yet healed by an amazing God who loved me ever so tenderly and solidly as I threw anger and questions and anything I ever wanted to in His face. He is a BIG God who can handle our piddly little selves. I truly fell in love with God at Bluffton. My mission in life became solid--"to be real" with others and let others know we are not going through this life alone.
  • After graduation from college, I found myself working at a small camp in Michigan (Five Pines Ministries) where I raised half of my measly salary. I lived alone in a small apartment in Niles and I LOVED living on my own. It's another one of those times in my life I wouldn't trade for the world. Of course I would have LOVED to have been married at that point because pretty much ALL of my friends were getting married, but I also thoroughly loved my independence and the challenge to live alone for a while. I learned A LOT in that year and a half between my career, my personal life, and my relationships in each of those areas. Looking back, I can definitely say I was a very selfish person, but no one knows that or understands that when you are single and simply living life for yourself.
  • From Five Pines I took a mini "break" from ministry due to burn out and worked in the shoe department at JC Penneys in Mishawaka. It was there I found my passion for ministry rekindled by my incredibly weird, forward, sinful, and yet also fun and lovely co-workers. I hate feet and God stuck me in the shoe department, go figure. It was what I needed. (Um, no photo here thankfully because, again, I don't like feet.)
  • Then onward to my next camping ministry job at Camp Friedenswald where I got more than I thought I would. I got a job I absolutely loved and I got a man I absolutely loved. My job was using my giftings and passions in a way that brought life to my soul and my man brought me the encouragement and friendship I was missing out on being single. I met Micah on my first day there, we began dating a month later, got engaged 4 months later, and married a year and 4 days after we met. Living, working, eating, ministering, and having fun on the same camp grounds made getting to know one another almost easy so our whirlwind romance was actually quite grounded and wonderful.
  • The brief version of what is after that goes like this: Micah got redirected by the Lord to his true calling of nursing & my job was changing at camp with more responsibilities and less pay and a competition for the job against my best friend so we packed up and moved to Goshen. I worked as an assistant manager at the local Christian bookstore while Micah finished up his second degree. We had a our first baby 2 weeks after he graduated, our second baby 21 months after that, and our third baby 21 1/2 months after that. All the in-between times were either spent recovering from birth, breast-feeding, or dealing with the next pregnancy. That's all I can remember really--everything else was a blur. J/K, but kinda not really.
  • That leaves us at today--I'm at home taking care of those kids and our home life. Micah is still the man of my life and although marriage isn't always roses and we've had to make our way through some thorn bushes, we have become closer, more in love, and more of a helpmate to each other because of our commitment to this marriage. I truly love Micah and respect him for the man God has made him to be...he's the strength of God in my life. As much as we love our three beautiful children and felt complete when Quinn graced our lives, God has told us He isn't done with our family quite yet and we are in the current swings of adopting our fourth child--a baby girl named Nora who is currently being cared for in Haiti. I have yet to know all the reasons Nora will bless our lives, but let me be the first to tell you she has already begun doing just that and she's not even home yet! I'm blessed for the life God has given me.

Other Random Things About Me

  • My favorite pastimes: journaling (and now blogging), digital scrapbooking (I use Mixbook and would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone interested), connecting with others from my past and present on facebook, taking a walk in my subdivision or in the woods--altogether different from one another, but both enjoyable, water aerobics when I can
  • My favorite TV shows: My hubby and I share quality time each week watching Castle. We love it and we love spending time together watching it. I also enjoy The Biggest Loser, Parenthood, and the Antique Road Show. : ) We don't have cable and that's a good thing.
  • My favorite foods: ice cream, pizza, cucumbers, mac-n-cheese, strawberries, nectarines, pasta...I don't stuff myself full of these just because they are my favorites--I'd be miserably large. Ha!
  • My favorite baby items (for those still yet to be a Mommy, here are some of my favorites): Medela double electric breast pump (don't even think about a single hand-held one--had it for Lily and it was the worst year of my life as far as breastfeeding), zip-up baby sleeper bags (wonderful when you have to wake up throughout a night to change them and NOT have to snap all those stupid snaps in the dark when you are about ready to pass out from sleep deprivation), paci's where the handle falls flat with the front of the paci so they can't grab it and pull it out on their own all night long, lanolin for Mommy, Bumbo chair, Ministar or similar brand slipper shoes, Garanimals Shampoo Rinse Cup from Walmart, and many others I'm sure I'm forgetting right now...that could be a blog post in and of itself.
  • My pet peeves and other things I don't really like: raindrops on the car windshield, windshield wipers that leave streaks, feet and toes, cupboards and drawers being left open (ehem, Micah), being late (which I am all the time with 3 kids and I h.a.t.e. it), disorganization, slimy or sticky textured stuff, cold weather and being cold in general, fakeness, bare feet (yep, I'm a sock girl for sure), magazines and books (I really struggle with reading, which will also be funny seeings how my next bullet point is a big ole list of my favorite books...hmmm...)
  • My favorite books: Grieving the Loss of Someone You Love (by Raymond R. Mitsch & Lynn Brookside), A Grace Disguised; How the Soul Grows Through Loss (by Gerald L. Sittser), The Search for Significance (by Robert McGee), The Shack (by William Paul Young), So Long Insecurity; You've Been a Bad Friend to Us (by Beth Moore), The Sexually Confident Wife (*insert blush* by Shannon Ethridge), Experiencing God (by Henry T. Blackaby & Claude V. King), Love & Respect (by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs), God Calling (a daily devotional edited by A.J. Russell), Jesus (by Bruce Marchiano), The Journey of Desire (John Eldredge), Lies Women Believe (Nancy Leigh DeMoss), Sheet Music (by Kevin Leman)
  • My favorite singers/bands/kinds of music: Broadway/Musicals, Latin/Zumba, Blues/Soul, Christian Worship and Rock, Instrumental, Hip Hop (yep, I love it all pretty much). Travis Cottrell, Norah Jones, Steven Curtis Chapman, Hillsong United, Hillsong, Aaron Shust, Chris Tomlin, Jason Gray, JJ Heller, Selah, Fee
  • Things I'm good at artistically even though I don't always have time to do them: watercolor painting, Etch-A-Sketching, painting murals, digital scrapbooking, card making
  • My favorite vacation spots: (this is a tough one because my parents got us to every state but 3 by the time we graduated high school) Monhican Island, Maine (hands down winner); Boothbay Harbor, Maine; Glacier Mountain National Park; Sea of Galilee; Grand Canyon; The Redwoods
  • Some Hard Things in Life So Far: our son, Toby's emergency heart surgery, Andy Lehman's death, Maddie's cancer, Relationships that lack openness and communication, Adoption process and wait
  • Some Amazing Things in Life So Far: Jerusalem trip, Women's Walk With Christ weekend experience, 3 natural childbirths, watching live musicals (such as Phantom, Miss Saigon, Secret Garden, Les Mis, Jekyl & Hyde, and Wicked), chopping your hair off so short you can literally be done with it in less than 1 minute, being married to Micah Thieszen and all that comes with that--hubba, hubba, wink, wink.
  • Favorite Things of My Normal Days: hearing Toby get this little high-pitched voice while he plays with his toys having them talk to each other, Quinn's random willingness to cuddle in my arms, Lily's desire for more and more "girl time" alone with me, wearing sweatpants, jammin' to music as I clean the house, hearing the garage door open (which to all us stay-at-home moms, signals the homecoming of reinforcement), collapsing on the couch with Micah when the kids are in bed, a good and long hot shower without being interrupted by anyone, getting a new email or picture of Nora on the computer
  • Some of the things I still want to do in life (a portion of my bucket list):
-Trip to Italy with my hubby
-Be a part of an archeological dig
-Get a professional whole day spa experience
-Write a book (I have no idea what that should be about, but my hubby says I'm going to someday and I'm open to suggestions...)
-Go to a ball with my husband with a big beautiful dress and feel like a princess (perhaps at the end of my spa day)
-Have a huge get together of all my friends from all areas and times of my life like all the church camp experiences over the years (Creative Arts Camp, Night Camp, Camp Hebron, Five Pines, Friedenswald) , HOBY, school friends from growing up, college, extended family, Chrysalis, WWWC, and Goshen friends and just reflect on the goodness of my life. I'd prefer that be while I'm living instead of at my funeral when I will miss out of the fun.

1 comment:

  1. I love learning new things about you. You are a wonderful woman. I'm glad God blessed me by bringing you to Goshen. :)