God, like the sneaky manipulator he is, has been working overtime lately to force me to recapture things that I’ve shoved aside/thought lost/let lazily slide during college and during the small stint I spent in emotional hell during my father’s illness:

1. My Spanish speaking skills. I’m using them all the time at work now, and so I’m having to review my AP Spanish verb charts and vocabulary during my downtime.  I can’t tell you how much more smoothly communication goes with our kitchen staff when I can just say what needs to be said in Spanish.

2. My instrumental skills.  My boss has recently discovered that I used to play flute (back before I fell in love with show choir), and has employed me to tutor his middle school-aged daughter with her own burgeoning flautist skills.  I’m having to pick up the rusty old thing and use my music theory knowledge all over again just to keep up with the kid.  I was never very good to start with, to be honest, so it’s a challenge.

3. My correspondence skills.  With no time to actually talk to people during decent living hours, I’m now emailling, texting, blogging, and Facebooking on those nights when I don’t come home exhausted from work.  This week, God also gave me laryngitis, or at least allowed me to get it, which means I really can’t talk to people.

4. My love for certain books. I’ve recently picked up one of Francine Rivers’ best series, The Mark of the Lion. I read these babies in high school, but they’re speaking to me again now, as is the scriptural wisdom imparted in the context of the story.  I also had the weird desire to reread Lord of the Rings  the other day (I’m due; I try to reread them every seven years). 

Ruth has picked up LotR again.  Elijah Wood is just as confused as to why she's done so as Ruth is.

Ruth has picked up LotR again. Elijah Wood is just as confused as to why she's done so as Ruth is, but he sure looks cute when he's quizzical.

Not sure what that’s about.  Maybe it’s because one of my girlfriends got to talking about Viggo Mortensen (Where the heck did he go?  He was completely BAMF as Aragorn. Has he gone back to his poetry?)  and Elijah Wood (Frodo, now an independent film producer/recording label owner–and almost thirty years old. I know. I can’t believe it either).  Whatever the cause, the book is back by my bedside.

5. My vision. I finally went to the eye doctor after–oh, two years?  No idea, really.  But I’m way overdue, and I’ve gotten blinder in my dominant eye.  It’s time for new contact lenses before I have a car accident.  I should also probably have that freckle on my cornea looked at before it turns into cancer. . . although I almost don’t care if I get cancer; both parents had it by age fifty, so I figure I’m kinda screwed either way.

But with all of this revisiting of lost skills and interests, I’m also finding that I’m running low on time outside of work.  My mother (poor Naomi) rarely sees me until late at night; my dating life has dropped off considerably because of my weird (weekendless) waitressing schedule; and with school starting up again for most of my friends, my social life has taken another nosedive; also, I’m having trouble getting the physical energy to attend dance classes at night and to head to church in the early morning before my Sunday lunch shift.  Being sick doesn’t help much, either. I feel like sleeping all day long on my days off.

As a result, almost all of my energies are funnelling into my housework, my bookshelf, my bed, my computer, or–usually–the restaurant and the folks inside of it.

I have to wonder now whether God is returning me to my old studies and interests for a purpose (why? what?) and if he’s intentionally walling me in socially for some reason (again, why?). 

If he’s refining me, he’s choosing an interesting way to do it.  I’m not sure I like it.  I’m afraid–very afraid–that this is the path one goes down to become and old maid.

I hope God knows what he’s doing; that’s all I can say.