Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Me in a Bag: Engagement Ring

The latest writing project that I am having my 6th graders and my 8th graders (I didn't have this current 8th grade class when they were in 6th grade, so that's why they're working on the same assignment) is called "Me in a Bag." This is the prompt that I gave them:

Choose 5 items that are meaningful to you that will fit in a brown paper bag. You will then write about 5 separate life experiences or moments in your life that helped you grow as a person or that explains how and why you see the world the way you do. A photograph can be used as only 1 of the 5 items.

When possible, I try to write a sample for the kids because I think giving them a model of what I expect of them, so this is the first example I wrote and read to them about my engagement ring. I figured I could post it here because I spent a good amount of time writing it!


"Oh, it's so ... small!" Initially, I thought that when my student asked to see my engagement ring at September orientation just two short months after I got engaged in the summer, she would comment that it was "pretty," or "sparkly," or even "cute." However, her sudden outburst about its size was clearly more indicative of how she truly felt regarding the size of the diamond on my left hand. For the majority of girls, a remark like that might be embarrassing, but I didn't find the need to defend my half carat diamond ring. It fit me and my personality perfectly, and no amount of outside pressure about what was considered an acceptable size for an engagement ring would alter that.

Anyone who has spent more than a few days with me can probably attest to the fact that I'm a rather simple girl. While my peers value jewelry and accessorizing their outfits, I instead value the $40 watch I purchased during my first year of teaching to stay on schedule since the classroom clocks were always too fast or too slow. While I see girls post "selfies" on Facebook of new hairstyles or hair colors, I personally feel that it's more important that I grow my hair to donate every two years. Instead of using too much heat or any styling product, I pull my one-length hair back into the same hairstyle almost every day in an attempt to keep it healthy. Plus, when it comes to the actual color of my hair, I always explain, "It's what the Lord gave me!" While others think it's a badge of honor to have clothing or a purse that touts the name of some fancy designer, my eyes widen when I find something sensible, comfortable, and modest at a great sale price. In fact, I'm the kind of person who owns the same item of clothing in a variety of colors!

Considering the differences in how I see things versus how the majority of other females see things, it only makes sense that a half carat engagement ring was and is more than enough for a girl like me. While some of my friends have proclaimed, "If he doesn't propose with at least a one-carat ring, I'm not saying yes," I, on the other hand, was the one who actually went back to the jewelry store with my guy to exchange the three-quarter carat ring for a diamond of a smaller size. 

I don't know when I began feeling this way about things like jewelry. It might have been how I was raised because my mother was never into all things sparkly either because she and my dad were robbed twice when they lived in an apartment in Queens soon after getting married. She lost most of her jewelry and felt that it didn't make sense to keep earthly treasures considering they could be destroyed by moths and rust and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19). Over the years, what she taught me through her words and through her lifestyle instilled in me a desire to store up treasures in heaven instead even if that means I'm not part of the fashionable, well-dressed population of this world. It's okay by me because I'm content with what the Lord has given me. In the meantime, I'll go about my days in my Disney t-shirts with my hair clipped back in the same barrette hoping that what I do here on earth might earn me a crown in heaven because I know that that will far exceed our knowledge of what we consider beautiful in the here and now.


  1. I agree with you on the issue of expensive engagement rings. I think that they are not really necessary. It's good to see that someone else thinks so as well. I'm glad that you shared this post. I think there are more important parts to marriage and engagement than the size and worth of a ring.

    Ricky Rowe @ Find A Jewelry Expert

  2. I really agree with this post. I never understood the need to have over-the-top jewellery or to compete with other women over the size of your engagement ring. I love my beautiful understated ring; it suits me to a tee perfectly and is all the more special because it was chosen for me.