Thursday, April 14, 2016

Kick Butt & Learning to be Tender

So excited to be doing the A to Z Challenge for the second year in a row! I will be posting each day (besides Sunday) this month. I'll be posting things I've learned throughout high school.

*conjoined K and L post*

I am sassy person. Which I'm sure comes as a surprise to all of you.

Please, allow me to share with you a moment when the Sass and Savage of Anne Marie Schlueter was greatly manifested. 

It was sophomore year. If you've been following this month, a lot of heartache went down sophomore year. It was a time in my life when God showed me a lot...which paved the way for a lot of spiritual growth. Which is awesome. Just not in the moment sometimes.

Anyway, sophomore year. There was this guy I knew who was kind of being a drama queen about me not liking him, which I wasn't handling well. After months of ridiculous drama, I found out that he had been telling people that I had called him a really really really really really bad word.

Funny thing...I hadn't even known that said word was a word. Therefore, I couldn't have said it, obviously. 

By the end of the day when the rumors were going around, I was ticked off to the point of tears. I was honestly not a jerk (usually) and appearances were huge to me-- the Perfect Little Catholic Girl did not use such language. 

So I was in the hallway after school when yet another "Hey Annie, I heard what you called--"

And I snapped. Tears burning my eyes, I threw my backpack across the hall and smack into the wall. My friends looked at me, aghast, trying to calm me down. But it was too late.

"I'm going into the work out room. Come with me." I knew that this guy was in there and I was absolutely done. Y'all do not want to see done Annie. 

So, I walked down that hallway. I remember exactly what I was wearing: cotton blue skinny jeans and gray high heeled boots that made an awesome sound when I walked. My hair was curled. I was mad. And I looked like a boss. 

I threw the doors to the work out room open and stormed inside, Black Widow style. I bellowed his name for everyone to hear. 


"Could you go away," he mumbled, lifting weights (that were probably four pounds). 

"Because Hannah told me you said--"




Boom. Turn. Sass walk back out of the room. Followed by my back up singers friends. I feel like the conversation (aka me yelling) was actually much longer, but that's the basic gist.

Awkward side note: my Theology was actually present during this whole show down and I was absolutely certain that he was going to kill me the next day. But he didn't...he actually told me that I did a great job. And then he told a bunch of the other teachers...and the president, who all applauded my sass. Awkward awkward awkward.

But had I actually done a great job?

I had an image in my head of this Scarlett Johansson version of myself, not taking any crap from anyone. I know that there are times when we do need to stick up for ourselves. Sometimes we do need to be the ones to take on the dragon and go all gangsta on the world. But had that been one of those times that warranted the machine guns? 

I really don't know if my little (big) scene was good or bad. I don't think my intentions were good-- they were pretty selfish, to be honest. I didn't want people to think badly of me because what people thought about me, defined me. Also, I was actually being a drama queen and wanting people to talk about me for doing something kick butt.

I wanted to be seen as being in control of the world. Perhaps I even wanted to prove to myself that no one could talk like that about me and get away with it.

In my "big confrontation", I was so worried about how I looked. I was worried about how people perceived me. I was putting on this big ol' kick butt show because I wanted to show that I was tough. And that's what everyone saw and talked about for a while after: a girl who is tough, who shouldn't be messed with.

But if they would have kept watching...they would have seen a Broken Little Not Perfect Catholic Girl who sobbed the whole thirty minute drive home. They would have seen a girl who didn't talk to her family that night and who cried herself to sleep. Because she was genuinely hurt by the rumors and upset that she was so hurt by them. She regretted her screaming, she regretted her display of kick buttness.

You know what I have discovered is even more kick butt than being kick butt? Tenderness. Take a look at this picture: 

The Virgin Mary Consoles Eve

I love this picture so much. On the left stands Eve, who is naked and ashamed. She's ashamed of herself, ashamed of her sin, ashamed of the mess that she has created. The snake (Satan) is wrapped around her leg, still trying to claim her as his own, to draw her even deeper into his deceit. A lot of times, I really feel like Eve here.

Mary, the Mother of God, stands simply in front of her. Her eyes are full of emotion, dripping with love and the desire for Eve to be free. Eve's gaze is turned sorrowfully downward, but Mary's eyes don't look away. Her sinless hand touches Eve's shame-filled face and her hand brings Eve's touch to rest on her Savior.
The best part is at the bottom of the picture, where the most kick butt thing ever is going on. MARY IS CRUSHING THE HEAD OF THE SERPENT. Satan no longer belongs, he no longer has control here. Love has won.

To me, this is how I want to be kick butt. I want to see the real enemy (Satan, not Eve) and take him out. And how does Satan get taken out? Let's look at the suffering and death to self. By love.

Obviously, love doesn't mean we have to throw our personality out the window! I'm betting that I'll probably be sassy my whole life. But I don't want to use my sass to act like some crazy tough superhero...I want Jesus to use my sass to bring Himself glory. 

We don't have to act like we have it together because we don't. We don't have to act like we're in control because we're not. We don't have to hide behind masks because not one of us is perfect, so we can all be imperfect together.

Tenderness. The world needs more of it in this culture of "every man for himself". What if we, instead of getting mad at our enemies, treated them the way Mary treats Eve in this picture? Can we look at those who have hurt us with the same love and respect? Because that's what we're called to do. 

The thing about my display of rough-and-toughness sophomore year was that it pointed directly towards me. I was SO MAD at this guy for lying about me, I didn't want people to think badly about me. The thing about tenderness is that it points towards something greater.

I didn't even stop to think about what might be going on inside this guy's heart, his head...what issues with other people might be influencing his actions towards me. I thought I could snap in a z formation and, boom, problem solved. But in reality, it created more hurt and drama. 

If I would have extended forgiveness, if I would have love this person not because of how he was treating me but because of who he was in I think that would have had a greater impact than any amount of sass walking and screaming could have. 

So, my dear brothers and sisters, let's embrace tenderness. Let's look on people with love and understanding. Let's be Mary in a world full of Eve. 

Let's bring Jesus to a broken world.

I'm praying for you always.


  1. You've written a very level-headed response to this whole situation. I think you have it right here. There are probably more Christ-like ways you could have handled it, but I wouldn't say that it went down in a shameful way. It's precarious though. I guess all we can do is follow the advice of James 1:19, as well as praying, in this sort of case.

    1. Very, very true. Life (perhaps quite fortunately) does not come with a formula that works across the board...praise God for His Holy Word.

  2. Sounds like an important part of growing up. Things happen, you look at your actions, and then decide what to change next time. That might be what high school is for.

    1. Amen! That's what, I think, life in general is for =) Thanks for reading!

  3. Sounds like an important part of growing up. Things happen, you look at your actions, and then decide what to change next time. That might be what high school is for.

  4. Love this post. I too have to say that the Sass rises within me, which my friends encourage because they think it's funny, and sometimes it is, but I guess I have to be careful of that attitude of wanting people to laugh at the things I say (we were talking about this the other day with the gossip thing!). Obviously, humour is one thing, but when it's cruel/detrimental to someone else it's quite another. We need to live distinctively in love. After all, love your neighbour is part of the Greatest Commandment.

    Loving this series, thank you for sharing this story!