Willow Glen Close Up 2019
“Well, I got better…”

Hi everyone! I can’t believe that it’s already time for Winter Break. My first quarter at SCAD was the hardest academic quarter I’ve ever encountered, but I’m grateful that it ended better than I was expecting. I should also be grateful that God popped my ego bubble before it floated too high, but I’m not that spiritually mature yet.

My first class was “Freelance Writing for Publication,” and covered researching and writing magazine articles.  While most of the ten weeks was devoted to writing a variety of articles, one of our final units involved creating a professional website. I built a site but I delayed publishing until Mom got back from Europe. I needed a good head shot, and her iPhone generated much better photos than mine could.

Once she was un-jetlagged, we celebrated Mom’s return and my last day of school with a photo shoot in Willow Glen. The crisp air, morning light, and gorgeous leaves over-delivered – as did Mom’s camera.  We only had about twenty minutes before my migraine took over, but those were more than adequate to capture what we needed.

They say you have to take about 50 pictures to get a couple of good ones, and we may have gone overboard since my family isn’t exactly photogenic and I did get hit by a car. You can imagine my delight when I scrolled our selection and discovered that the number of “keepers” was surprisingly high. Somehow, in spite of being on too much medication, living mostly in the dark, and having way too many seizures, I was looking pretty good. Mom took it one step further and said I looked like a model.

And then Ivan called at lunch.

Few husbands call their wives every single day, which is one more reason Ivan is about as perfect as anyone gets this side of Heaven. My phone rings at 11:20, I ask how his classes are going, he answers vaguely with something like “Pretty normal,” and then I start prying. But I sensed something was different this past Friday when Ivan brought up his classes before I could ask.

“So, umm, some of my junior highers found the blog.”
“Really? That’s great!”
“Well, I’m not so sure…it has lots of stuff on it and… ”
“Come on, I always post nice stuff about you! Maybe it’ll help them see you a role model.”
Silence.
“Well, which ones were they looking at?”
“They found the one about you being a newt.”

For those of you who don’t remember, the “Newt Post” came after I was hospitalized at Redwood City for a 24 hour EEG. It begins with the famous Monty Python quote and a picture where I look very much like a newt, then progresses to a picture of me looking partially dead after having had 23 seizures in a row, then concludes with another picture of me looking like a newt. At least I’m smiling in the newt ones. The Newt Post is also from July 2018. All  my visions of a professional website were immediately replaced by images of junior high boys nudging each other and air-dropping links to the post on their school iPads. Post-Millennial note-passing at its finest.

How did they make it back that far??? We don’t even have a table of contents.”
“I don’t know. All I’m telling you is they did.”
“Well, did you tell them to stop?”
“Of course. But you know I can’t control what happens outside of class. Besides, you did post that. ”

He was right. I did post those pictures. I’ve posted lots of embarrassing pictures of myself during my post-accident journey, but I’ve always assigned them a higher purpose than comic relief. Then again, who am I to stipulate how and when God can use what I post?

In a masterful stroke of Providence, the website is still not live and Ivan’s efforts to convince his students that Mrs. Utomo looks and acts pretty normal just took a giant step backward. I haven’t had the heart to check how many recent hits that Newt post has gotten. But I do hope my heart is in a better place than it was this time last week. Blogging should be an act of faith, both in what I choose to share and in where it ends up.

 

5 thoughts on “A Model Newt

  1. Well, sometimes our past sneaks up on us but don’t worry, if they see what you are doing now they will be amazed. You are working on an advanced degree in spite of your health and it’s because of what God can do through your commitment to Him. All praise goes to God.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the Monty Python reference, of course, but not that you have to explain it. I prefer being part of the cognoscenti, who recognize the reference on sight. But I also know that is an elitist view, anathema to the gospel, as that is something that needs to be shared with people who don’t know it. So I’ll get over myself, and shall take comfort with the thought that at least you’re not made of wood!

    Like

  3. Grace, just wanted to let you know I think about you so often. I love reading your posts. They’re truly so inspirational, and you are a FABULOUS writer! You look great, and its so nice to see you smiling. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Grace & Ivan,
    The thought of junior high kids finding their way to your blog would be an answer to many of their parents’ prayers! The idea that they might read your blog out of curiosity fills me with hope. =) And, yes, you were a really cute newt!

    Like

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