Dec 30, 2009

The Year I Was 24...

Wow.. 2009 is almost over. What?!.. I cannot believe this year has absolutely FLOWN by! I am pretty sure I say this every New Years, but seriously... Where did the year go?

So, plans for this New Years Eve... Time Square, NYC. It is not really that I have this overwhelming desire to stand in one place for 8+ hours, surrounded by thousands of people who are probably wasted... Or that I especially like the idea of standing in the rain the entire time as a cherry on top... But, I want to say I have done it at least once... And, the people I am going with will ensure it is a BLAST. So.. Off to NYC we go :) I am really excited!

Ok, onto the review. Be prepared for a pretty large array of things to be covered :)

I started out the year with almost black hair, and in the course of 2009 I went to orange, blonde, light brown, light brown with dark brown highlights, and red hair.

I have traveled 40,000 miles in my car. Including going to Charlotte, NC 3 times, Washington, DC 4 times, Ft. Jackson, SC once, Louisville, KY once, Atlanta once, Orlando/Ft. Lauderdale once, and Home 3 times. I also flew out to AZ to see one of my other best friends and a couple other friends.

I went to Cincinnati and Myrtle Beach over the summer with my Work.. and while it was tiring.. LOVED it.

I have had visitors from home, my dad, my brother, roomie, best friend, another best friend and his wife, and of course my ENTIRE immediate family, plus a girlfriend for Thanksgiving.

I moved again in the same city... Now I live in a house with two girls and a dog and love it.

I had a stalker, and went to the police 3 times.

I took up dancing and LOVE it. I now can Salsa, Merenge, Cha Cha, Bachata, Cumbia, and Tango (some).

I hiked 3 mountains, including one in the middle of the night.

Ran my first 5k. "The Marine Corps. Mud Run" had a blast, and it introduced my best friend and I to a group of people that I (we) cherish very much now.

I made dozens of friends, and several friends who will be in my life until we are no longer here. :)

I gained dozens upon dozens of inside jokes and things that make me laugh or smile just thinking of them.

I made the splash page of Liberty University for their new SnowFlex Complex.. And, all their promotional material. Totally unaware that was what the photo-shoot was for! lol

Began running before work with one of my best friends, but, when it got too cold we switched to after work and got a YMCA membership and now work out 4 days a week.

I have lost 8lbs... which does not seem like a big deal, but since I had been 175 since I was 17... that's a long time to stay the same weight.

Survived my first year at my job, and began round two... Feeling oh so much more prepared then the first time around :)

Went to several weddings, and had to miss several more.

Gained a new uncle and 3 new cousins... but missed the wedding cause of work.

My little brother graduated high school... (whoa!) AND, he got a girlfriend he's been with all year :)

I happily stayed single and did not go on any dates all year.

I read several books, but wished I had time to read more...

Joined the leadership team for my Sunday School class. Planned and executed LOTS of parties for our group.

Then of course there are all the things God and I worked on and did... There is no possible way to name them all, but it is pretty safe to say that I have really learned a lot this year about trust, faith, unconditional love, patience, sacrifice, obedience, vulnerability, submission, support, consistency, prayer, and Truth. It has proven to be an interesting year with LOTS and LOTS of things God wanted me to learn and re-learn. There were months that were so absolutely amazing I began to wonder why, and if it meant really tough times were coming. Other times I felt like I was being crushed under the weight of the things I had to learn. I look back at everything and it was a really great year. Rough, wonderful, full of LOTS of laughter, and even tears...

The thing that excites me the most is I can see growth in all areas of my life. I can see how I am so very different now then I was last Christmas. I can actually see the patience and unconditional love having matured in new ways in my mind and heart. My understanding (while not perfect or completely fulfilled) has definitely grown. My contentment with where God has me is such a wonderful blessing to my heart, especially in the guys arena.

I actually FEEL like a different person then I did last year. Much more settled in who I am, who I was created to be, much more at peace with things I cannot control, and a whole lot more confident in who I am.

The year I was 24 was a great year, I am so very thankful and excited about 2010! :)

Dec 24, 2009


I love being home. Everything about it just lends to security. Bad days, good ones, hectic ones.. It does not matter, there is security here. As in all families, there are things that drive me nuts.. little nuances that really are not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but everyone has things that annoys them. Mostly, when you move away and set up your own pattern for life, returning to someone else's no matter how familiar is an adjustment...

But, here is the thing... Putting every little annoyance aside... I have such a solid, loving, caring family. How did I get so blessed? I have no idea. But, here are some things I am just thinking about being home...

I love the smell of home.. it is a weird mixture of a fire (from the wood burning stove) and something else that probably is the smell of food haha :) I love the sounds.. there is always a familiar sound, someone talking, laughing, doing something, the wood burning stove fans going.. something that is just normal. The normal sounds of my family, such as each person's distinct walk as they walk across the pergo. Voices.. I love the voices of each of my family members, so distinct and familiar :) I love being able to hear them just going about life.

However, beyond the normalcy that is home.. (I mean lets be honest.. everyone could point to these things and find sentiment in their own way for their own homes.) Today I laughed with my little brother and sister a lot as we just did normal things (for us)... My sister and I watched tv, and snuggled on the couch to keep warm, because my little brother would not make a fire :) Then, my little brother decided he was cold.. and laid on top of us.. which of course added itself to beginning a wrestling, tickling, pinching, punching fight that usually lasts a LONG time, and creates lots of bruises (for me at least lol) and laughter. We cleaned and cooked and just did normal things while our parents were gone. Chatted about who knows what, shared music, youtube videos, and laughed at things that I am fairly confident are only funny to my siblings and I. Dad and I went on a "Daddy Date" ... Something I will seriously want my husband someday to do with our kids, and something I want to do with my kids (although mommy instead of daddy obviously). We went to see Avatar in 3D (GREAT movie!), but beforehand, I got coffee (Dad HATES coffee) and we walked around Barnes and Noble and talked about science and the Bible, we talked about truth in my life and various other things I have been thinking... I told Dad this Daddy Date got and A+ :)

The thing that I love in all of this, is that we all honestly love and respect each other deeply. We talk about Jesus as though it is normal conversation, like the weather or what we will eat for dinner.. There is such a great understanding of where we have come from, pain we have gone through, and the joy we have all shared. And, as simple as it sounds.. I LOOK like these people, I sound like them, I laugh like them, and I hold the same beliefs that they have. I am understood, accepted, and regardless I do not often have to explain the why behind what I am saying or doing.. It is just understood. Such a refreshing thing. Odd sounding, but refreshing none the less. :)

I love the security and protected feelings that come with being home. I am safe. This is the feeling I want people to feel when I am around or they are at my place. I want people to know they are safe and protected, that I can be trusted and relied on. I am excited to someday create a life and a home like this with my own family :) How cool. :)

I love the contentment that comes with being home. Peace is here.

Dec 17, 2009

Lies as Truth?...

So, I was talking with a friend last night, and we were just processing through things, random things, my things, her things.. whatever. We ultimately settled on one of our issues from the past and we began the process of flushing it out. One of the things that became apparently quickly is how often we believe lies as truth. We will meld two things into truth that do not belong together at all.

A lie meshed with a truth becomes a lie... still.

It was interesting as we walked our way through everything how incredibly painful some things are when we allow Satan to sink his teeth into us for so long. Simply the idea of looking at it becomes almost more than we can handle, and every bit of pain we have ever felt over the issue comes back and threatens to drown us once again. I was struck by the idea that Satan had weaved a web so full of lies that the simple IDEA of finding Truth and separating it from the lies was a terrifying subject and only allowed the view of more pain instead of less.

I sat there watching this entire thing play out, and I realized... We all do this. We all allow Satan to speak lies into our lives.. and we cling onto them as though they are truth. We allow him to seep pain, hurting, misunderstanding, and chaos into our lives.. and we have no idea we are allowing him to do that. We cower from the idea of Truth being anything other than what we believe because it would mean this pain could have been avoided.

In the process of all of this... What plagues us?.. "What if?..." I am so incredibly guilty of playing the what if game. I mean it is not even funny how much I say that to myself when I am doubting or hurting. But, it also struck me that it has absolutely NOTHING to do with "What if?..." because the reality is What if does not change anything.. a more accurate thought process is "Ok, what now?"... What do I do now?...

The whole thing has really got me thinking and praying that God reveal to me the things I have allowed Satan to whisper into my life as true.. that simply are not. I want to know I am believing Truth in every aspect of my life.. especially things pertaining to myself, because for some reason I have this warped view of who I am in Christ, and who I am not... I can see Truth and speak that into others, especially girls about themselves and their beauty and the things God has created them for. Or, for guys, I can see all of the areas God has given them strength and I can see what their role is... And yet, in myself I still struggle with insecurities and lies... and I believe them.

I want to know Truth. I want to look in the mirror and see what Jesus has created me to be.. and know without a doubt my strengths, my beauty, my intelligence, my mission, my desires, and I want to find freedom in my Savior in all of the little cracks that are currently whispering doubt into my life.

I want the lies gone, and I want them replaced with Truth.

Dec 15, 2009

I Feel...

I feel... I do not know how I feel. I have seriously been struggling the last couple weeks. I hate that. I hate when you struggle and there are no good words that I could use to explain why. I hate when emotions take over and I have no reason to explain them...

I have had to work hard at not exploding or saying things to people who deserve nothing but kindness in return.. Or, in some cases I have just been annoyed to be around people.. people I love dearly and LOVE spending time with... I just feel irritated and frustrated for no reason at all. Tense for no reason, upset, annoyed.. no reason. *sigh* I am not this girl, so what gives? PMS?... haha I wish, that is easy for me to deal with. I am not that girl either, and it is not the same.

If I can put a face to the emotion, I do alright, I can control it, hide it, resolve it.. whatever I need to do in order to deal with it and move on.

The problem is when I cannot figure out the problem. I feel like I am blind, and hurting, and there is nothing to be done but sit and wait. I can point to all kinds of things that have caused stress, things that have taken my attention, things I am worrying about... but none of them are enough to cause me to feel like I am hurting.

The weirdest thing about all of this.. I can STILL see God working. This is not a "God where did you go?" time... This is much more along the lines of "okaayyy.. I see you working and moving.. so why do I feel like this still?" This is not a crisis of faith or even doubting His will or plan. Nothing even resembling that. In fact, I have been praying and spending more time just sitting in His presence... with the simple goal of spending time with Him. Sometimes, I have an agenda, things I feel really heavy on my heart... mostly people and situations I need to pray for. Other times I just show up with no agenda, just a desire to reconnect with my Savior. And yet, still I hurt and feel blind.

Ironically... I kinda knew this was coming. I had a feeling awhile ago that something was coming. I thought maybe it would involve pain, and I just prayed no one would die... (no one has that I know of).

Last Friday, one of my best friends from college called and said they had time to talk cause they were driving home for a wedding... And, we just talked. Talked about what was new, going on, things God is doing. It was a truly awesome time of just catching up. One of my favorite things about our friendship is how solid it is always. We can go months and months and not talk, but as soon as they hear my voice they know how I am doing, if I am ok, what I need.. and since they know me so well, they just get when I am trying to process while I am talking. I love that they get me, they know my past, my history, past issues and problems... and they have this ability to put it all together and it makes sense.

My mom called last Sunday just to talk. I have an amazing Mom. She said almost right away, "You've been on my mind. Are you ok?" ... "No." ... We talked for a long time just about everything, how I am feeling, what I see, the things that are incoherent, the illogical and irrational feelings. I rambled like a crazy person because I have no idea what is going on inside of me. All I know is the feeling, and describing it is so ridiculously hard. My mom did such a great job just letting me ramble. :)

Then, last night I made it to the gym totally excited and needing to be at the gym working off way more coffee then I should consume in 2 days... I got half way through my work out routine, getting ready to swim for an hour or so when things went south. A friend got a phonecall, we basically had to pray, then she had to go deal with some things. By the time she was leaving I did not have enough time to swim before Bible study... Oh.. and my comp is having problems.. and the newly fixed car had a check engine light come on... Awesome. I arrived at Bible study barely holding it together, but able to fake it enough to get to watching the video. Then, a friend sitting next to me asked if I was ok, and I had a choice to make.. Lie or be honest. I thought seriously about lying, and realized I saw her reading my eyes and lying would do nothing for hiding, and I shook my head and said quietly, "No. I'm not ok." She froze and then asked if I wanted to talk, I said "No, because I will cry if I begin talking." She asked if I was sure, and much to my relief let it go until after the video was over and most had left. We decided a starbucks run (why not get more coffee..) was in order. So, we left and went there.. And, once again I began detailing out how I was not ok, and I was frustrated, and I could not explain why. It was good. She has such a loving and truly caring spirit that it was nice to just talk.. we talked about ALL kinds of things, any rabbit trail my mind went down, she so lovingly and gracefully followed me through it all.

Between the several conversations I have explained, and other ones I have not (mainly because this would be the worlds longest blog entry)... One friend summed everything up and said "I think maybe all of this is God's way of pushing you to a much deeper level of trust in Him and His plan."

I think she is right. I do not like how I am feeling right now, but I also know God is working. That is enough, even in the midst of these feelings.

Dec 9, 2009


I tend to try not to post negative things towards guys, and this one is not different, but I just do not get guys sometimes...

I can spend all this time getting ready, actually TRYING to look nice, put a dress on, high heels, have my nails painted, hair done, makeup all in place... not sleezy, but professional and nice... I will get nothing.. no second glance. Nothing.

THEN... I go to the gym, work out, sweat like crazy, swim a million laps. My makeup has melted off and makes me look like I am gothic, hair's a mess, I have sweatpants and a t-shirt on... and I get guys second glancing and waving at stoplights and trying to start conversations all over the place... Total and complete strangers...

Or.. my favorite.. I will be dressed up like I explained in the first scenario.. and after a while of hanging out, I will change into sweats, and put my hair up in some 2 second mess of a bun or ponytail, and the guys I am hanging out with will make comments like "aww now you look so nice" and MEAN it... not being sarcastic at all.... WHAT IN THE WORLD?!.. I really do not understand that at all. Especially since all the guys agreed I looked so much better in my sweatpants and t-shirt... Weird.

I guess I cannot really complain, but it really makes no sense to me. I do not understand it. I mean get the idea of comfortable, and how that has an appeal.. but how does it make someone more attractive than when they are "all done up." Confusing. lol

Just random ramblings from this week...

Dec 8, 2009

My Sandpapered Heart...

I have this weird feeling deep inside of me that is really hard to explain. I feel like there are all of these compartments of things God has been working on and speaking to me on.. and suddenly it feels like He's meshing them together. So... here are a few of the things bouncing around in my head... or heart... I guess both really.

I keep coming back to the fact that no where (that I can find) does God ever ask us to "feel" Him. He simply tells us to obey Him... So, do I obey Him with the total and complete knowledge of His truth... or do I obey Him when I feel like it, or feel Him.. or any other lame thing I can come up with? Will I obey him when I do not like what is going on? What about when I want to do something that will feel good?... Will I obey Him when it hurts? What about when I do not understand and I am scared?

This past Sunday Dr. Wheeler (a Liberty Seminary Prof) spoke about things that we tend to do or believe that really do not line up with what we claim we believe in Jesus... A couple of the things he said that stood out to me...

"Our problem with Honoring God is that we believe we can practice Biblical Faith and actually hold onto our lives at the same time."

... Whoa. I do this.

He also said, "What you believe matters, but only as much as it is validated by your actions."
This makes so much sense to me, and completely explains the "works" idea that so many people bring up.. Works do not get you to Heaven... But, the more you believe and follow Jesus the more you begin to WANT to do these things... aka the more what you believe becomes validated and apparent.

Another thing he mentioned was that "We have fooled ourselves into believing we deserve God's grace, and that we're entitled to His favor."

... As much as I hate to admit it.. I think I have fallen to this trap in my thought process. How horrible is that?!...

He then said something that lines up perfectly with one of my favorite quotes, he said "The greatest victories and personal contentment that we have comes from the hardest trials." Which is so true, and is one of the things that gives me hope and comfort when I am feeling hopeless and torn down.

My friend and I were talking about this whole concept later and we both agreed that it is like sandpaper to your heart... it does not feel good, but looks so much better.. and feels so much better once it is done and over. And, after it is done and over.. no one ever would choose to go back to what it was like before the sandpaper...

I was talking with another friend on Saturday night, and I was surprised by how open the conversation was. There was no fluff.. Not everything was described or said because neither one of us needed to know the entirety of the situation, but I was amazed at the answers I got. Nothing got built up to be more or less than it was, and our ability to just talk about what was going on without any judgement.. while at the same time just talk about how all of this applies to what is known as truth. I walked away from the conversation knowing and excited to see God move. I knew that all of my prayers would be answered, and God's story would be absolutely amazing... Yet, I was still hurting because I knew at the very same time, the hurt that has to take place, the brokenness that has to occur, and the serious repentance that first has to take place in order for God to take over and do what He has planned. In the end it will be great, until then it will be hard painful work.

So... This is me, saying "Ok God, take this and catch me."

Dec 3, 2009


So, I had planned on going to Ghana again in January. Returning to the place and the people where God touched and moved me more in 10 days than I can remember at any other time in my life...

And then, Pastor asked us not to come because they were not ready for us. So, my counterpart and I began praying and looking at other places and opportunities we would have around the world. I mean the options are limitless.. we literally could go ANYWHERE!... We began pursuing two options, one to the Sudan, and one to Columbia. Both seemed viable, and would work perfectly with our schedules and budget.

The problem is, both of us feel like God is saying wait.

I hate that answer. We had half our money raised in two weeks! It was going to be an absolutely amazing time, and I was seriously ready to go do something after the longest stint without traveling abroad in more than 3 years... *sigh*

To say that I am not bummed would be the understatement of the year. I really wanted to go, and if not to Ghana.. then somewhere. Somewhere that I could see something new, meet new people, not understand what is being said, encounter a new culture, and see Jesus in the faces of each child's wonder and amazement at seeing someone clearly foreign. I was getting excited for the sights I would see, and the games I would play, and the pictures I would take.

I was getting excited that I would have the chance to feel like I was dancing again.

I was getting excited to feel beautiful and wonderful before my creator again.

*sigh* So, here I sit.. waiting. Bummed that I was told to wait, but honestly feeling like regardless, I do not have any other option. Faithful, that is what I will be, no matter how difficult it feels inside. Listening to what I am told regardless of what I want. I dislike it, but God does not ask me to like it, He asks me to follow and trust Him...

So, this is me following and trusting my Savior, who knows infinitely more than I do, and understands and can see where He is leading me. It is not exactly like I would have any idea what I was doing on my own anyway... and lets be honest, this is not the only area of my life God has asked me to be patient and wait for Him and His timing. I learned to "go until God says no." Well, God said no.. so I do not go. That simple.

But, still dang. *big sigh* ok, enough bemoaning. Life moves on, and I will be ok, this will prove to be perfectly played out in the end.

I trust my Savior, even when I do not understand why.

Dec 2, 2009

Love Me...

So, I have this insane desire to fix things for people. I have this ever present desire to help in whatever way I can.. which tends towards just let me fix it.. talk to them.. etc..etc.. Pretty much whatever I need to in order to help. But, mostly it just boils down to all I have to offer is loving them regardless of what they set before me... Which sometimes means doing nothing. ugh I hate that.

I enjoy being "everyone's person" regardless of the role they are asking me to play... most times they just need someone to listen. Sometimes, they need to vent and then get input, and other times they just need to know someone finds them and their issues important. Regardless of what the need is I do not mind being the person there, it gives me a chance to practice what I preach. I like that.

I have been thinking about what it means to love someone unconditionally a lot lately. My thought process is this... it is not my place to judge them.. but, judging is not the same as intervening in a very serious or dangerous situation. I think sometimes we get the two confused saying "Well, I don't want to judge, so I won't say anything." When the Bible is pretty clear that sometimes you are required to step in and make a call, it just cautions that whatever standard you do that by is the same standard you will be up against... Which, in my opinion is a great thing, because it means that we will (or should) take pause and double check our motives and the things that we are actually saying. Double checking to make sure that we are doing these things out of true and unwavering love for that person.

However, most of the time loving someone unconditionally simply means taking the bad and mixing it with the good and getting a complete picture of who the person is. More often than not, people have a tendency to confuse the bad or the insecurities that someone has as the entire person, when in reality it is like the bad part of a fruit that you just have to cut out... and the rest is perfect and beautiful.

Even when things are annoying, obnoxious, hard to handle, hurtful, whatever... there are always things that I can see in that person that allow me to desire to be friends with them. Just because they are beaten and broken, or mess up does not mean that suddenly they have made the "do not be friends" list... it simply means a re-focus, forgiveness, whatever...

Jesus told me (and you) to love people.. Christians and non-Christians.. it does not really matter, everyone has been hurt by Christians, non-Christians, guys, girls... whoever... So, whenever I can take a moment to care about someone, regardless of something they say or do either directed at me or at someone else, then I take that moment (or try.. cause sometimes I simply fail.)... Now, please do not mistake loving them for accepting and being ok with any behavior they choose to exhibit.. Because, that is simply not the case, love does not mean blindly condoning sin, quite the opposite in fact... But, that is another topic for another day :)

Dec 1, 2009

Before Myself...

Currently I am sitting here totally exhausted and wishing I was sleeping... I mean I only had about 20 hours of sleep in the 24 hours that was yesterday...

I obviously got sick from this weekend. The stress of this weekend, that was no one's fault, I think potentially added to it.

So, my older brother's van broke down and would remain dead in Northern WV on Wednesday afternoon... Went to get them. 11 hours later, I had my family.. all 10 of them! I played a bit of car tango Thanksgiving day and Friday...

Saturday we went to climb a mountain.. It was a lot of fun.. but kinda cold. On the way home, my little brother's car broke down. The fluid was rapidly leaking from the transmission... I had 30 minutes to shower and get ready for a wedding, drop off my car so they would not be stranded, and somehow make it to the wedding.. 15 minutes away... My friend followed me to the gas station to pick me up and take me to the wedding that she was going to as well..

I am the queen of multitasking.. I talked on the phone to two different friends.. semi venting, and getting ideas on how to fix the problem... while putting on make up (liquid eye liner no less!) and trying to do my hair.. while my friend was driving on curvy roads.. I then had to call and correct a retarded mistake I made.. which ended up being fine, and in actuality saved me a bit of money..

Through all of this I kept reminding myself over and over that I had no option but to keep my priorities straight... People are more important than things, and my family's needs are more important than any of my own wants... That doing what was right is more important than doing what is convenient for myself.

So, the ultimate solution came down to me insisting my family take the rented vehicle I got for them and my vehicle home... We would get my friend to look at the car and decide what's best, and once it got fixed, I would drive around my little brother's car until I go home for Christmas in a few weeks. Until then, I am carless and totally dependent on my amazing friends for help!

Oh, then I got sick and slept for 20 hours that was Monday... Whew it's been a crazy week! I do not really know what the lesson was to be learned here, or what God was doing... But, regardless I'll take it an know that all is still well.

Jesus still loves me, and my family made it home safely. :) I'm still tired though...

Nov 28, 2009


So, my family was scheduled to come down and arrive at some point Wednesday evening.. In reality, at some point Wednesday afternoon I got a phone call stating that my brother and sister in law's van died... and would forever remain dead... They were 5 hours out... Dang.

So, what did I do? Sat there for 10 minutes brainstorming with one of the worlds best friends trying to figure out how to fix this problem. See, my family was several hours closer to me than to home, and why would I want them to go home since they were coming to spend Thanksgiving with me?!... Neither one of us could think of a single person that had a minivan... Dang this stage of soccerless-non-mom's group of friends we have :) I ended up renting a minivan (which was WAY cooler than my car or my other friend who volunteered to come with me's car!), and my friend and I commenced to driving to Northern WV to go rescue my family that had themselves trapped at a Burger King... that at the least had a play place for the little kids!

Thank you soo much to my friend who so lovingly gave up and entire evening, and way late into the night to keep me company. We had a blast talking the whole way and keeping each other laughing with our stories. :)

I am also so incredibly thankful for each of my friends who kept checking in on me, and the ones who went out of their way to make sure I wasn't going to travel alone (haha... even if they were volunteering a cousin or themselves even though their family was in town. :) And.. my phone was on the way to being dead... Awesome... So, I turned it off and only turned it on every so often to get the various messages.. And, most of which were very funny and thoughtful... or funny thoughtful. It reminded me why I love my friends so much :)

After 11 hours of driving I was able to go get my family, and bring them back. The friends house that most of them are staying at.. was perfect and so inviting. Which, lets be honest at 3:30am... That's so nice!

Thanksgiving day wasn't full of much sleep.. but it was full of my family, great food, and wonderful friends.

Nov 25, 2009

Getting to Know You...

So, it is no mystery to most around me that I am a huge fan of several things... Such as, I really enjoy laughing, talking, and hanging out with people. I just really love getting to know people, what makes them tick, learning how they think and view the world.

My dad said once a long time ago that the meaning of life is relationships, and man was he right. Relationship with God, relationship with others. That is all that really means anything at all...

So, in the process of getting to know people, I have discovered a few things about myself and just in general.. One of the bigger ones (although not a new revelation), I absolutely love finding things in common with others, but also finding things that are different.. For example, I really enjoy learning what makes guys tick. Even though I am not super emotional for a girl, I have been in the martial arts for 17 years and have a black belt, I am not exactly described as small and dainty, and I am much more along the lines of independent than most girls... Even through all that I am still a girl, and I really love that.. And, with that means guys are totally different, and their way of thinking and their perspectives on things often is night and day different than mine... I love that God did that to offer balance. :)

It blows me away when a guy can spout off so much information on such a wide variety of topics. I really enjoy letting the guy just go on and on explaining whatever happens to be the topic of the moment. Even if I am not "into" it or it is not something that is my thing. I really like getting to just take interest in whatever the guy (fyi... even though I'm using the singular.. there is not one particular guy I'm referring to) is excited about. I can't seem to help getting excited when he goes on and on about something that he's excited about or passionate about... This is also true for any of my girl friends.. but it is way more common and consistent among my guy friends.

One of my favorite pass-times is to talk with friends about things that have happened recently and get their perspectives, the humorous, the serious, the basic observations.. just hearing their thoughts.. I love that. I do it all the time with a couple of my friends, we will talk about different things people have said or done, and just process through what we thought was funny, appreciate about that person, ways we are watching God move and change them and us.. etc..etc.. it is a lot of fun.

Nov 19, 2009

Get It..

So, last weekend I went home... It was the first time I had been home in six months, and boy did it feel like forever. The couple days leading up to me going home I was getting progressively more anxious and ready to just be home. I had this overwhelming desire and need to be around people who just get me. I do not need to explain, and I do not need to try to be anything or anyone other than me... I am loved and cared for unconditionally... And, for the record, I still hold to the fact that everyone should know my family :)

On my long drive home, my friend was sitting next to me on the phone, doing a Bible study with a couple other people, and I was left to drive and think... Which was very ok with me. Driving just gave me a chance to think through everything and emotions I had been feeling and building up over the last while... I came to the conclusion after a while of thinking that, I was totally at peace. I was content. I knew I was going home, it was going to be a fantastic weekend. I was going to get more hugs in one day than I do in most weeks, my niece and nephews were going to want some serious time and attention... something I am more than willing to give :) I was going to see the best friend, and I was going to be able to breathe a breath of fresh air, and hit the re-boot button. I was excited to have my friend meet my family, and my family was going to get to meet my friend.. it was going to be a fantastic weekend.. and I was excited.

The great thing is that, weekend did not disappoint either. I mean, I lacked serious amounts of sleep.. but it was totally worth every minute I gave up to spend talking and spending time with my family and best friend :) I laughed like crazy and exchanged punch for punch with my brothers :) It was wonderful... lol

But, two of the most meaningful points were a long extended conversation with my mom.. which started in the middle of the hallway and migrated to sitting on my bed. We just talked about everything that has been going on, feelings I had about various things, things I felt like God was showing me, challenges I had been facing, and how much of a relief it was to simply be home. It was neat to share these things, and then get my mom's response because she's... well she's my mom, so she sees me in a totally different light than anyone else. And, while I am really close with my dad as well because I am a total daddy's girl, he is a guy, and a dad, so his perspective is different than hers. :) It was so reassuring to have my mom listen and totally understand what I was talking about. I love that about my mom... she gets me and my thought process.. even if she does not understand the way I communicate, she understands all the why's behind what I am saying and doing.

Then, on Sunday I was able to spend several hours just hanging out with, shopping, drinking coffee, and laughing with my best friend. We have decided that literally we can spend hours every day talking and still feel like we do not see each other enough. We talk about everything, thoughts, ideas, funny situations, what God's doing and telling us, all the rabbit trails in our minds that prove difficult to explain to other people... We spend lots of time being each other's sounding boards for things, and offering our perspective and understanding to each situation. It just ends up being a really wonderful time.. plus we laugh a lot.. and both have HUGE amounts of respect for each other, and we both think the other one is absolutely beautiful, and that we are totally blessed to have each other as friends.. It is just great :)

I am totally and completely blessed and I know it. I have no idea how I got so lucky or why Jesus has given me these people in my life... but I am so incredibly thankful He has :)

Nov 18, 2009


I have really been learning a lot over the last couple weeks about being enough. What does it mean to be enough? In the eyes of my Savior I can never DO enough to be any more special or make Him any more proud... On the same token, I can never DO anything to make myself any less special or precious to Him. He made me exactly the way I am, and being THAT person is what makes me special to Him.. because He created me, that alone makes me enough.

So, that's the big revelation I guess.. but it has been a bit of journey.. and an interesting one at that.

Starting a few weeks ago drama began to just follow me everywhere I went it seemed like. Work, home, friends.. people would call me with issues I was supposed to fix. I would do things the way I had always done them, and suddenly it was causing issues with people out of the blue. It became apparent very quickly that regardless of what I was doing I could not solve the issues, I could not be "good enough" to solve the problems.

However, I definitely began down the thought process of "what do I need to change?" "What do I need to do better?" "Where am I failing?" ... I had it all planned out even, on my long trip home I was going to make one of my best friends help me process it out. I was going to make them help me find weaknesses and areas I needed improving, and I would begin the process of thinking and mulling it over so I could make it better. I would be able to fix the issues, and I would become "a better person" ... More loving, understanding, compassionate, better able to communicate and meet the needs of those around me... etc..etc.. the list literally has no end.

And then, a totally unexpected and out of the blue message was sent to me. It was from a fairly new friend, but one that I hang out with almost daily because of the group of friends I have that they have seemlessly fit into. Anyway, the message explained how they are not overly emotional, but felt I needed to know how much I have blessed their life. They went on to explain that my friendship made them stop cold and realize how lucky they are to have me in their life.. and how they had now joined my "fan club" haha :) This friend has absolutely no idea how big of an impact this message made to me. It literally 180'd my thinking. What blew me away the most.. I haven't a clue what they are referring to, because beyond praying for them and being a friend (which to me seems basic) I have done nothing abnormal. I tried telling this friend that I really appreciated what they had to say, it meant a lot, and I needed to hear someone say exactly what they did... But, I still do not think they will ever really understand.

You see... When I got that message is when it really clicked that it had nothing to do with what I have "done" ... even the good things that bless others, really is not me at all. Mostly because I do not have a clue what does and does not mean a lot to other people (several things have pointed to that this recently). Still thinking about it I really have no idea what I have done that caused such a sweet and heartfelt message to be sent my way :)

Nov 12, 2009

My God...

My God is bigger than my problems.
My God is bigger than the air I breath.
My God is bigger than the dreams I have.
My God is bigger than the prayers I utter.
My God is bigger than anything I see.
My God is bigger than the problems I see.
My God is bigger than my emotions.

My God hears sees my problems.
My God gives me air to breath.
My God sees my dreams and makes them larger.
My God hears my prayers and answers back.
My God created everything I can see.
My God knows all the problems I see.
My God knows my emotions and speaks into them.

Nov 10, 2009

Beat Up...

I don't know what the issues is but the last couple weeks have been really rough. No major issues, but lots and lots of little ones. Most of them have centered around people disliking the way I communicate, and in some cases (although they would not admit it if asked I am sure) they dislike my style and pattern of thinking. Somewhere along the way I have begun to see people's inconsistent thought patterns and logic... It is situations like this that make me feel as though I am a crazy person. Partially because they all seem to come out of the blue, and would have been easily solved had I known about them earlier. I feel like I have done more explaining and defending of who I am, why I respond the way I do or think the way I do in the last couple weeks then I have in a very long time. It is really tiring and eats at my emotions more than a lot of things.. It has taken a lot of inner control to keep responding in the ways I am supposed to because I have felt on the verge of tears for almost a week now just purely out of frustration for things I cannot change or people I cannot get to understand... Mostly the frustration for people I cannot get to understand.

It has been an interesting time period for several reasons, but I have inadvertently been learning a lot about self control, being quick to listen and slow to speak, as well as, what it means to have your feelings all over the place and responding the way that you are supposed to regardless of the inner roller coaster.. And, I am not talking about stuffing my feelings away and pretending like they do not matter or somehow diminishing my own value. I am purely talking about the idea that my feelings are not always right, nor do they lead to responding in a way that would make Jesus proud.. So, I have begun taking a serious look at that, because I do not ever desire to be the person who is always right, especially if it comes at the expense of others. I want those around me to feel important and heard regardless of the situation. I hate when my reactions get the best of me.. I was explaining to a friend after a particularly stressful couple hours how my instinctive reaction is to chuck whatever I have in my hand at the person making me mad or to get up and walk out... or say a whole slew of other things, but, the bottom line is, I do not have that luxury. As someone who loves Jesus, I do not get to decide those things, even when I am mad I need to make every attempt to convey love and care. So, while my instinctive reaction is one that is heated and in reality over the top, my actual reaction is and cannot be anywhere close to that...

It is interesting though, when I sit and think about all the various things have happened over the last couple weeks.. some have been great, I have had some great conversations, some good moments of talking about Jesus with people, lots and lots of laughter, and moments of total boredom. I had a friend point out that she has not felt this beat up in a long time.. and I realized I totally resonated with that thought... She followed up that comment with "I must be doing something right..." So true. Later we talked about a whole bunch of different topics, but we stayed in the vicinity of insecurities and people's perceptions of us. I have discovered that a lot of people have encouraged me to be transparent in the last year.. so I chose to be.. and now I am finding that most of the viewpoint they have of me centers around my insecurities instead of seeing the whole picture that is me. Almost as though, they do not take into consideration or observation the fact that while I have insecurities, and while there are moments it feels like I am overtaken by them, most of the time however, the insecurities do not play a major role in my life, interactions or thought process. I just do not think of them most of the time.

Couple good things though through all of this, I have several absolutely amazing friends. My God loves me. I get to go home and be around my family and best friends from there this weekend. I got a ridiculously sweet note from a friend reminding me of a couple things I had sorta begun to forget... My God is still God.

Oct 29, 2009

Oh, Boys...

I was chatting with one of my best friends today, and we were doing the normal girl talk.. joking about who our future husbands were, and what our lives would be like.. We get a kick out of making the other one's story more ridiculous than they made our story... Which got me thinking...

Where is my heart right now on this topic?.. Praise Jesus not where it has been in the past! I am totally content with my life (which is not to say I do not have hard days/weeks etc..). When I look at my life, there are, and will always be things I "wish" I could remove from it.. but, in all honesty, there is not really anything that is glaring enough that it causes major discontentment at all. In fact I love my life, I love how busy I am, the insane pace I keep, I do not mind that I might have to work to fit people into my life.. but I have no real reason to complain at all...

I go to 3 Bible studies a week, and church twice a week. I go dancing most Fridays, and mix the rest of my free time with leaders meetings, working out, friends, and random trips or things I really should do (like laundry)...

So, why do I feel like this is important to point out?..

Because, all of these little things add to why I am really not interested in a relationship right now. Not to say I will never want one, but right now it just seems like a lot of work, and potential drama that I just do not have the time or energy to deal with. My focus is elsewhere. SOMEDAY, I would love to find a guy, have him pursue me, fall in love, get married, have a family, and spend our life serving our Savior. But, that time is not now, I am content to grow and move... while learning to be dependent on my Savior alone. I have things I still need to work on in my own life and heart before I can even think of focusing on someone else... Jesus and I are working a lot still, slowly, but steadily.

Despite the numerous times a week I get asked if I like someone or if I am dating someone (which I do not and am not), I am really just living life.. NOT planning anything. I have no ulterior motives, and have made an effort to be clear about my actions simply being a result of who I am, not what I am trying to accomplish.

To be fair, none of this is a slam or anything towards any guy... it is not my way of subtly saying "I don't like you." And, this is not a vow of singleness for however long for whatever reason... It is simply where I am at right now. Are there exceptions?.. sure. Is there a guy I "like?" No.. No guys are pursuing, so my current feelings of contentment where I am right now is perfect for me :) How would I react if a guy started pursuing?.. No idea, it would totally depend on the guy... If he intrigues me then I will be open and probably really excited and scared at the same time about it..

But, right now. I enjoy where I am... Which is as single as they come :)

Oct 28, 2009

Panera Moments...

So, I do not really have any profound thing to say or any big revelation that I feel the need to share... Just sorta thoughts about a random encounter recently.

Last weekend I got to go to a good friend's wedding in KY. It was great to see her and just get to chat for a little while. Another friend went with me cause he has really good friends that live in the area. We had a great weekend, amazingly got away with minimal questions on if we were "together" ... the most blatant one came from a TOTAL God moment on our drive home... When discussing what the plan was for dinner, since it was going to fall about mid-drive back, I decided against any sort of burger or fastfood... so he decided on Panera. Thanks to his new iphone we found one.. but it somehow took us an extra 15 minutes to find it and get there.. Once we got there, we were just joking about random things and the guy in front of us turned around and out of the blue asked if we were having a good night, I said yeah we were.. and asked if he was. He explained that he was because he had his whole family together for a little while. So, I asked him where they were from, and he introduced himself, his son, and by that point his other children and wife were sitting down. So, I ordered my food and we chatted for a bit.. then I walked down to wait for my food, soon followed by the guy's wife, who began chatting with me about where I'm from, where I live, what I do etc..etc.. basics.. The son walked up again and began talking with me as we waited for food.. he totally out of the blue asks "are you guys married?" I just started laughing.. "No, we're not married, not together, not dating, we're just friends..." He apologized several times, and I laughed it off telling him it happens all the time, he's just one of my best friends so people mistake that for more. At that point my friend walked up and we started talking about other things.. At the end, we were getting ready to leave with our food and my friend stops and says "Do you mind if we pray for you before we go?" The son was fairly happy about the idea and said sure, and we prayed, did the basic goodbyes.. and left.

All I can think of is the randomness that was that entire encounter, and the length of time it took us to FIND Panera.. Had we found it earlier we would have missed them totally... To have his dad randomly turn around to ask if we are having a good evening... Just simply the flow of the encounter was really neat. No idea what will become of that encounter, I just think it is cool that my friend was able to ask to pray with him, and that the entire exchange was so positive. :)

Oct 26, 2009

Love, Where is Your Fire?...

Randomly, even though I have been listening to this song for a long time.. I out of the blue realized EXACTLY what it was talking about... haha.. I am real slow sometimes. Anyway, just thought I would share a song that has an amazing insight into the Christian walk... :)

"Love, where is your fire
I've been sittin' here smokin' away
Making signals with sticks
And odd ends and bits
But still there's no sign of a flame

Imposters have been passing
Offerin' a good-feeling glow
But I'm holding out
For what you are about
An inferno that burns to the bone

Some urge
Me to be temperate
Luke-warm will never do

'Cos I, I wanna blaze with you
So I'm holdin' my heart out to you
Holdin' my heart out

So I stand, handing out torches
Speaking words that are lamps to their feet
'Til the time when you come
And I'm whole and we are one
And the fire in me is complete

Some tell me
To be moderate
But lukewarm will never do

'Cos I, I know I'll blaze with you
So I'm holdin' my heart out to you

Then a doubt comes to lie at the back of my mind (back of my mind)
That I'll offer you me, and you'll politely decline (no thank you)
So I hasten to mute it
I'll shout and rebuke it away

'Cos I
I know I'll blaze with you
So I'm holdin' my heart out to you, to you, to you
'Cos I, I know I'll blaze with you
So I'm holdin' my heart out to you
Holdin' my heart out" - Love, Where is your Fire? - Brooke Fraser

Oct 22, 2009

New Perspective...

So, I have known most of my life that I lack a lot of compassion for stupid people who bring things on themselves. And, when I say I lacked compassion, my first response was to say "see, you're an idiot.."

And then, I went to Africa for Thanksgiving last year. While the trip was not my first mission trip, locally, abroad.. or even to Africa. I knew what to expect, I knew what food to avoid, what smells I would encounter, what to pack, and I knew how to go with whatever was thrown at me... Then Jesus threw me a curveball and I was not prepared... HE Himself intervened and touched my heart. haha... weird that of all things, I had not prepared for that. I mean I prayed for it, seriously prayed for weeks upon weeks that I would see His face. And then, I did and was changed. I did not see it in a child, in the people I met, in the voices I heard, in anything I could attribute it to except Jesus wanted to tell me something, He wanted to share with me things that I did not understand.

I saw what He sees, and I was changed.

Since then, my compassion (or mercy as some call it) has been totally different. I still (and probably will forever) have a bit of the "you brought this on yourself" attitude in certain situations... But, it is not even close to my first response. In fact, it is probably not even the first couple thoughts when presented with a situation where the person did in fact bring whatever consequence they are experiencing on themselves........

So, what do I think now?

Now I hurt for them. Mostly I hurt because they are hurting and broken, and while some know it, far to many have no idea. That breaks my heart. Now, instead of seeing their actions and focusing on that, I have begun to see and focus on the why behind the action. The whole reason they are doing certain things, and the reason they are unable to see the greater meaning behind it all. I have also begun to really realize I can see it in their eyes.. almost without fail. Interestingly enough, even when they are smiling and laughing often I can pick up that something is off.

Once (probably more than once though) one of my very wise friends pointed out to another friend, that it would be a mistake to confuse the fact that just because someone does not react to what is observed, that they did not ever observe it in the first place.

So, right now my heart hurts for those people who are hurting. Jesus is the only thing that can fix their problems. I am powerless. My role to play is simply to be me, to be in their lives, consistent, encouraging, loving, praying, whatever God asks me to do... But ultimately I am not the one who is going to fix anything, I am playing a minor role. And, I am ok with that.

Oct 20, 2009

Just Consistent..

I was having a conversation late last night with a new friend who is proving to be an absolute God send. She lives "around the corner" which really means about 4 blocks away.. but still walking distance... Anyway, we were talking last night about various people and ourselves and the way our friends interact, portray themselves, as well as the ways we do that. All the different things we notice, pick up on, or do in order to get certain reactions.

I was amazed at the things she has noticed.. For example, Sunday mornings in sunday school I give announcements, and I give them a certain way, portraying myself as less confident.. but I play it up enough that it ends up being funny. So, we talked about that for a while and all the different things we have noticed about each other and our other friends.

Then, she told me about a conversation she had where she explained to the other person that the things they see me doing are just me.. it is consistent with everyone I am around, guy or girl, regardless of who they are or are not in my life. I was so unbelievably relieved that she not only had that conversation, but also recognized the consistency. It was such a breath of fresh air that someone who has known me a relatively short amount of time can see consistency in the way I act and the things I say. I get told all the time how different I act and how much it throws people off.. mostly because I am comfortable with myself, and around most people in most situations.

My mom always worries about how I come across, which I understand :) But, I am aware that there are certain people who I just have to be very careful with how I interact with them. Based solely on the fact that they misinterpret my intentions.. regardless of what I tell them. So, around those people I am very careful, but for the most part I am the exact same... Meaning I love playful banter, serious conversations, questions about thoughts and ideas, talking about Jesus.. or anything in that realm really.

All this to say, I love this "new" friend.. she is truly sent by Jesus to me along with so many other friends :)

Oct 8, 2009

Crazy Person...

I feel like a crazy person. Almost as though I am crazy, but only think I am sane... and in reality, everyone around me is truly the sane ones... Confused yet? Me too... Good grief.

In multiple areas of my life people are reacting and responding to things that are seriously confusing. The situations in and of themselves I understand, and I can even see where what I did would confuse or upset them, but when I begin to explain (again with the ocd need to be understood), they act as though what I am saying makes no logical sense at all... I am trying, truly trying to understand where their issue is, especially after I have given possible options to the situations and that does not seem to solve the problem. If any of these things were one at a time it would be no big deal, I would gracefully be able to handle them and it would be no worries.. but when multiple ones come up at the same time while I have a million other things to work on and worry about..

I am not totally sure what to do, and I have no idea how to actually react because my instinctive reaction is to get mad, and yell, and demolish them with a flurry of reasons and explanations that would cause them to pause and think in order to catch everything I have said.. But, the reality is that does not really solve anything but help me "get my way" which is not really what I want either... I want to actually SOLVE these issues, which means shutting my mouth and listening... gah! I just find it all frustrating, and something I would rather not have to deal with at all... Which, lets be honest, that is a large portion of adulthood, dealing with things we would rather not deal with...

Jesus time. That's what I need.. serious Jesus time because I am beyond full in my capacity to handle and deal with whatever I have on my plate right now.

Sep 30, 2009

Where Were You?...

Ok... So this speaks to me recently.. A LOT.

(Job 38)

The LORD Speaks

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2 "Who is this that darkens my counsel
with words without knowledge?

3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.

4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.

5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone-

7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,

9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,

10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,

11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt'?

12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,

13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?

14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features stand out like those of a garment.

15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.

16 "Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
or walked in the recesses of the deep?

17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the shadow of death?

18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.

19 "What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?

20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

22 "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of the hail,

23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?

24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?

25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,

26 to water a land where no man lives,
a desert with no one in it,

27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?

28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?

29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens

30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?

31 "Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades?
Can you loose the cords of Orion?

32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?

33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God's dominion over the earth?

34 "Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?

35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, 'Here we are'?

36 Who endowed the heart with wisdom
or gave understanding to the mind?

37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens

38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?

39 "Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions

40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?

41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

Humbled Heart...

Even when I have it all together, things out of my control spiral into chaos. I can do nothing wrong, and still find myself in the midst of issues and problems to solve...

Last night I was faced with a situation that to be totally honest is not the end of the world, or even close to it. Yet, somehow it still hit just the right spot at the right time to cause a meltdown of sorts.. probably the closest to a meltdown that I have had in.. more than a year probably.

All the details aside, the biggest thing was the realization once again of how totally out of my hands everything is. I can do everything right, mind my own business, keep the confidence of friends.. and yet somehow that can still lead to my character being questioned. I am not totally sure why it irks me so badly when my character is questioned.. or I guess when it is questioned by people who should know me better than that.

Regardless, this situation became like a title-wave, I suddenly was face to face with the realization that I am helpless. But, it was more than that, I feel like I am being shown the areas of my life that I feel I have it all together, that I do not really need God to take complete control and guide me...

Jesus is really been working into me the need for my reliance on Him.. even (or especially) when I feel like I have it all together..

So, somehow this situation, that ultimately was not the biggest of deals, lead to me sitting in a small garden with a water fountain and several benches after dark, bawling and praying to my sweet Savior to help me.. explaining that I was afraid of being helpless and not wanting to learn these things that it seems like He is trying to teach me, I was frustrated and I know I need Him, but haven't a clue how to make everything work. I was frustrated that even when I do nothing wrong things still fall apart, and in the process I take the attacks on my character personal. Satan knows where to plant the fears, and I do not like the idea that I cannot handle whatever comes my way. But, the reality is I cannot... Even the smallest of things need to be given over, let go of, relinquished.. That's where true freedom will come...

*sigh* I feel like I have a lot to learn suddenly.

Sep 18, 2009

What do I know?... Lead Me to the Cross...

So, I have had Lead Me to the Cross stuck in my head for days now... I am in no way complaining, but it has been there none the less for three or more days. So much so, that I finally had to buy the song off Itunes because I just needed to hear the song over and over at one point.

I love the simple words and her voice and how basic it seems. I love that she points out that the blood He poured out is also the love He poured out.

After this song, I keep thinking of the one line over and over from another song... "What do I know of Holy?.." This song makes me think, it is so incredibly vivid for me...

"I think I made you too small.." - I can think of time after time when I simply underestimate my Jesus, I forget that I was not there when He created the thunder to roll.. and I was not there when He spoke everything into existence.. JUST by speaking.. I can't do anything even remotely close to that simply by speaking.. NOTHING.. that idea blows my mind.

"Where have I even stood. But the shore along Your ocean?" - What if this is all we get to do until we meet Jesus face to face?... That means there is infinitely more to this whole Jesus thing then we can ever comprehend... The vastness of that concept blows my mind...

"The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees" - I can think of so many times when I thought I had life figured out, together, things were flowing seamlessly.. And then I would have an encounter with my Savior.. and suddenly I was totally overwhelmed with how incredibly small I am. How big He is and how weak I truly am..

Helpless. I can do absolutely nothing without Jesus. Dang.

Sep 16, 2009

The Lyrical Heart...

It has been a long time since I have posted quotes from songs that really hit me. First, I want to say how much I love It is one of my favorite things each day while I work. These songs stir things inside of my heart and I feel like I am the one echoing the words... As though my heart has a voice all its own, and this is what it is saying today...

"Savior I come
Quiet my soul remember
Redemptions hill
Where Your blood was spilled
For my ransom
Everything I once held dear
I count it all as lost

Lead me to the cross
Where Your love poured out
Bring me to my knees
Lord I lay me down
Rid me of myself
I belong to You
Lead me, lead me to the cross" - Lead me to the Cross - Hillsong

"The more I get alone
The more I see I need to get alone more, more
Cause just when I think that I'm alone
Your Spirit calls out to me
And even silence has a song
Cause that's when You come
Sing over me

Still, let me be still
Let me be okay
With the quiet in my heart
Still, I want to be still
I'm so quick to move
Instead of listening to You
Shut my mouth
Crush my pride
Give me the tears
Of a broken life still" - Still - Watermark

"I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

...What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?" - What Do I Know of Holy - Addison Road

I do not really have anything else to add, these songs are speaking from my heart today.

Sep 14, 2009

One of Those Days...

So, today has just been one of those days. It started fine, exercising before it was light out.. shower, head to work.. fight in order to not fall asleep because last night I slept terrible. That should have been my first clue. I never reached REM sleep.. in fact every 30 minutes or so I would wake up and either look at the clock or try to get comfortable, warm, whatever. Anyway, on my way to work I listened to several chapters of the Bible and then switched to worship music. The entire way I just felt ridiculously tired...

Once I was at work I commenced doing random things, but I was blah, assuming it was still just tired, and taking mental note that I need more sleep tonight...

Then we had staff meeting, long, mostly not information for me, but I was taking notes regardless. Then an outburst came... thus enter terrible day... Mid outburst and defense.. and rebuttal.. and anger I jumped in to try and mediate proving that both sides had valid arguments and to be totally honest both were justified in their feelings (although one side was not communicating that well at all). Eventually the topic got canned.. maybe too later, who knows.. Had lunch, discovered several people were very uncomfortable with the way things transpired.

So, in my I'm not afraid of people or confrontational way I really felt like I needed to talk to the main culprit of the anger in the entire thing. So, a couple hours later I went and asked about a couple things then casually said "maybe your reaction was a little over the top early?" Instantly I was confronted with anger towards me, suddenly I was a liar and a backstabber and how dare I feel like I can jump in the middle. I begin explaining my intentions and correcting the things I did not in fact say, but were simply misunderstood. Apologized if what I said was misunderstood etc..etc.. But, either way this person decided I should just go away because they have no use talking to me.... So, what do I do?.. Sit down.

That set them off, they began into me about how I have no business talking and sharing my opinion because I am to young to understand. Everything I said was a lie anyway and they knew that for a fact... and I have no business sitting down what in the world do I think I'm doing. I just looked at them, and finally was like "We will resolve this, so I will sit here until we do." Apparently still not the best action because they went on and on about whatever.. and finally I jumped in and was like "ok, you need to realize you did not understand what I said.." so I proceeded to explain what I said (almost verbatim, then an explanation of the intentions, and the things I did not actually say regardless of what they interpreted me to have said. I also explained that it may not be in their best interest to assume I do not know what I am talking about, because regardless they know nothing of my past.. not even past jobs, so although I am young they should not foolishly assume that means I know nothing.

They proceeded to complain about all the things that are wrong, and I countered with all the things that could be better if they utilized resources. After a bit of chit chat I got up to leave, and I calmly said "oh, and for future reference... Don't call me a liar ever again. If you don't understand, or need clarification that's totally fine. But, don't ever call me a liar." They get this sly look on their face and retort with "Why? what would you do chop me?"

*pause* ... Whatever would make them think that is a valid threat, when they have never heard me even jokingly say it is beyond me... Especially in a professional work environment. The only thing I can gather is that they have decided the type of person I am is one who uses intimidation to get my way... Sad day.


I just looked at them and said "No, I would never do that. But I will go over you if you do it again."


After that there was really no salvaging the day. I spent the rest of my work day fighting with not only the emotions of the staff meetings, and then the irritation and anger at being called a liar..

I spent more than half the ride home in silence just talking to Jesus about how I felt and all the things I did not like about what had happened, the things that caused it, and the things I am totally helpless to change. I think the thing that makes it the most frustrating is the issues would be so easy to fix, if people would listen to me.


Jesus, I can't fix this. I can't make them change or want to change even... I can't even make them understand. I don't know what to do, and I'm not even totally sure how to feel about everything. All I know is I am weak and unable to do anything.

Sep 11, 2009

Transparent Weakness...

So, I was talking with one of my roomies via some form of online chat... (we don't often get to be at home at the same time so we resort to technology to stay connected lol) And, she asked me how my "such a girl" thing was coming, so we began talking about it and the things I was sure about and the things I am not so sure about. For example, I am sure I love being a girl haha.. simple, easy, no doubts.. I would never want to be a boy (whew!). I am so thankful I was created tall, athletic, loud (sorry if anyone finds it obnoxious), an infectious laughter, animated, capable, strong willed, determined, etc..etc.. (the list is rather long when I think about it).

But, what about the things I dislike? Once we were talking about it, the thing I hate is pretty simply when I am lumped in with the general populous (especially of girls) in a negative way. I find myself going the extra mile to make sure I am set apart, unique, different.. whatever word you want to give to it, I dislike it when some other girl's shortcomings are lumped onto me and assumed I have the same problems. But, lets be honest, we all do it.. and I know I do it, especially if someone reminds me of someone else either in they way they look or mannerisms. Somehow I associate the two as the same and treat them unfairly due to the downfalls of someone else... I mean obviously this can work the other way around too, and we can think better of someone, or connect with them quicker because of someone else in our life who is a person of significance to us.

So.. Here it is, my biggest issue is, when I am seen as weak, unable, unequal, etc.. etc.. The weird thing is I have no problems sitting before my Savior and pouring out my weakness, asking Him to help me, save me, heal me, restore me, carry me, etc..etc.. no problems admitting those things to Him... In my mind.. In my prayers.. when no one else has to know. Granted, there are a certain number of people that I am totally ok being "not ok" with. My family and several friends, I am ok being weak around because I know from experience it does not lower their view of me or cause them to start treating me as less than capable. I have also come to the point that I will admit when things are bad or not going well if asked, but I do not often volunteer that information... but at least I have grown enough to realize lying about it is entirely the WRONG approach to the situation. I have gotten to the place in my life where I realize I need to be transparent and allow those around me to see the imperfection that is my life on its own, and then see the redemption that is my life when Christ steps in and saves me and fixes things. I have become much more intentional in this area simply for the reason that I do not want to push people away from me or from Jesus because I have pretended to have it all together. I no longer expect people to reciprocate (although I never complain if they do :)

In all honesty.. my transparency is totally intentional.. and totally on my own terms. I can think of times that I did not listen to the pull at my heart to share and connect with someone when they needed me to.. And, I can think of times that I felt I should share and didn't because I didn't know for SURE the person needed to hear me say something.. :/ Sad day.

With this revelation, I still hate being seen as weak and unable. But, now I am starting to realize that this is not my place to determine. I AM weak and unable far more often than I let on... and it is not my place to decide how those around me take it. My hope and prayer, truly from the very core of who I am is, that in all of this I can be a graceful mix of weak and unable, yet strong and capable because of my Savior's role in my life, and that it will be evident that that is all that makes the difference.

When people look at me, I want them to see grace and beauty. I want them to see the me that Jesus created... but only because He is so ridiculously evident in every fiber of my life that it is apparent He is the only reason I am who I am. I want people to be able to see who I am despite who I am... if that makes any sense at all. I mean I want them to truly get it when they see me... temper and all.. I want them to see who I could be, but am not because Jesus has decided to make me and grow me into so much more.

I don't really know what that looks like right now... And, that is ok. I don't need to know until it is time to know...

Sep 8, 2009

Such a Girl...

So, here's the thing.. Obviously I am a girl.. but I HATE when people say, "You're such a girl" .. Even the people I know who are saying it with truly nice intentions. I seriously dislike it... Mainly because, somewhere along the way it got conveyed that being told "You're such a girl" was sort of derogatory, and it was meant in a less than positive light... it somehow means that I am not as good, too much to handle, emotional, and obviously not as perfect as a boy, somehow I am found lacking. I do not have a clue where this understanding came from.. lots of small comments here and there probably.. from both guys and girls...

Growing up, I have always known I hated being compared to the general girl population at large.. I try to set myself apart from them in an effort to "make up" for the retardedness that, lets be honest, IS us girls (especially as a whole). Part of that feeling of needing to make up for girls comes from my tomboy side, where if the boys could do it, so could I. I always have strived to be either better or at the very least equal to them. Whatever I was striving for, it all centered around not being weak. I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy the Martial Arts so much... I have to do things differently (to make up for my lack of strength), but I was always comparable to the boys in technique, speed, timing, strength, agility, etc.. etc..

And, like always, somewhere along the way God started changing my heart. Somewhere along the way I realized my role to play is not the same as the guys... I started acknowledging my desire to be found beautiful.. not just skillful or capable. At some point I realized, I truly love being a girl.. but, it still seems like it is not a good thing to be a girl.. or a typical girl. And yet, if you ask anyone they would NEVER admit that... unless, they had to deal with an emotional, bi-polar, high-maintenance, needy, weak, girl.. then suddenly she becomes "such a girl" again. I can honestly say I am not sure I have ever heard that saying in a positive light. Somehow, it always carry's negative connotations.

In the ever present Jesus trying to mold me and shape me, my views tend to never stay exactly where they are for very long. Maybe, it has something to do with the fact that every single day I ask God to make me into the person He wants me to be. Maybe, it has something to do with the fact that I tell Him to use me and send me wherever He wants to.. I dunno.. either way, He is constantly moving, molding, growing, and stretching me... Constantly. No joke.

So, last night I was talking to one of my best friends.. I love talking with this friend about growing and molding things that God is doing because he always has such a unique perspective that is totally grounded in Scripture, makes sense and always makes me think. Even if I do not adopt all of his views or perspectives, he always gets my mind mulling over the topic.. Which I love...

Anyway, we were talking and our conversation got around to a particular guy in my past who whether intentionally or inadvertently caused a ridiculous amount of pain, self loathing, hurt, destruction, insecurities, etc..etc.. in my life. It took me 6 months to recover, and in that time God did a lot.. and honestly He pretty much held me together cause I could not handle any sort of attacks on my heart during that time. I was ridiculously fragile, and He so lovingly knew that and protected me while healing me and piecing me back together better and stronger..

In the course of the conversation I was explaining how everything went down, and how destructive it was on my heart. He so carefully listened and processed, and asked a couple questions, then asked why I thought it had caused so many problems. So, I began explaining the whys behind the story itself.. basically, it was because I made a conscious decision to allow this boy to pursue me, I decided that even though there were obvious challenges because of his honesty it would work, that I needed to seriously work on and learn how to be supportive and submissive, a little more dependent than I had been in the past, and I needed to learn how to be BE pursued. So, I did. I began actively doing things to make myself learn, all the while being scared, but knowing I needed to learn how to do this. And, then in the end for whatever reason in a 30 minute conversation where we were trying to work a couple things out.. he tore me apart. Everything I was trying to learn and do, and the various ways I was trying to grow he shredded to pieces. He somehow attacked my insecurities and planted seeds of doubt into the things I was confident in. Satan had a heyday with this and knew it. Satan KNEW exactly where to hit me and how hard to hit me... I literally was not expecting it, and it blind sided me. My armor was down because I chose for it to be.. and it about killed me from the inside out. I have never loathed myself so much. To this day it literally pains me to remember this whole thing, and how much havoc Satan was able to accomplish inside my heart.

My friend thought for a moment, and summed it all up saying basically I allowed myself to be weak and vulnerable and he tore it apart instead of taking care of that.. Which, is pretty much exactly what happened... I explained a few more details and thoughts..

Then, my friend lovingly smiled and said "You're such a girl." ........... What?!... I knew he did not intend it in any harmful way or in a negative light.. but I honestly could not think of a positive way he could mean a statement like that. So, I began pushing for an explanation for why he would say that. At which point a couple things became clear...

1. I dislike being weak, and being told I'm a girl assumes a weakness I despise.
II. His meaning for saying what he said, and my understanding.. NOT the same.. not even close...
Tres. In an effort to "make up" for all the other crazy girls in the world certain aspects of being a girl I have decided are not good.
Four. I seriously need to take a closer look at the things I dislike, and even the things I do like, and put them to the test in the Bible.

Soo.. With all that said.. Here I go. In the next little while, I will be detailing out where God is growing, moving, asking me to let go, things I need to realize, hang onto etc.. etc.. All in an effort to.. well, grow and become more of the GIRL my sweet Savior wants me to be....

Ugh, why do I feel like this is going to be a ridiculous challenge?.. A positive? I am doing this with another girlfriend... We shall see where God leads us.

Sep 1, 2009

Emotions This is Logic....

So, Here's the thing.. I am always one of those types of people that's strong. I have grown up pretty much my entire life playing the role as the stronger friend... I honestly did not think much of it, just assume it as my role, and I take it on with zeal like I do pretty much everything else in my life. :)

Here's what I know... God is in a constant state of molding me and re-building me.. Totally a potter/clay relationship here... I always can see His hand in things, molding me and changing my heart in various ways in a whole slew of different areas. Sometimes I am ridiculously slow at learning.. and other times it was pointed out that maybe God moves as slow as He does in order to make sure I am getting molded instead of broken... Which was definitely an interesting thought.. that makes sense at the same time.

But, at this particular instance I feel like God and I are dancing.. Blind.. well, no.. I am blind and He's leading fully able to see... Once this concept was pointed out to me, I felt something click inside me. Something inside of me suddenly recognized where I was fighting my Savior and I began to relax and allow myself to be lead. I remembered how unimportant it is for me to see where He's leading me, but that it is so much more important for me to relish in the fact that He IS moving me, and that through it all He is still holding me and guiding me.

I am in constant conflict between my logical side and my emotional side. Whenever I have a severely emotional reaction to something, my logic tends to argue with it in order to figure out where the emotion is legit, and where I am being a retarded girl who needs to check my thoughts. I tend to keep pretty tight constraints on my emotional side in order to ensure that I am not allowing that to rule, or react in an inappropriate or unfair to others way. I really feel as though, even if others CAN handle my emotional tirades, they should not HAVE to handle them... It is something I need to control and be careful of.. not something they have to learn to handle.

I mean do not get me wrong.. I fail on this more often than I would like to admit, but it is seriously something I am working on with intention. Lets be honest, I am one of the most easily excitable people ever.. and I tend to vent at loud volumes, but all that is different than allowing my emotions to control the things I say in that state. I hate watching people react to things I have said because of an out of control emotional response that I did not check with my logical rational side. I hate watching others do that to each other.. and the excuse of "you're a girl, it's ok for you to say out of control hurtful things" .. No, that's NOT an excuse. I know I am more emotional than most guys simply because I am a girl, I am aware that my hormones play a role (what girl is not aware of that?!).. but seriously.. that does not give me a free pass to lash out at people because I "feel like it" .. no no.

It is interesting though, because through all of this I have had several conversations with different people recently talking about this topic, and they have helped me hash out the why's behind all of it. I love hearing their different perspectives and realizing how in certain areas I am still very guarded and wounded because of things people have done or said... Which allows me the chance to see it and grow, allow God to change and heal my heart some more. One friend and I were discussing this, because at the moment it was pertinent information for our conversation. My friend told me a couple times that it is ok to be emotional I am a girl after all.. and my friend insisted they could handle it.. and while I appreciate the incredible thoughtfulness... just because my friends CAN handle it.. does not mean they should ever have to handle it. At one point in our conversation my friend pointed out that it is ok for me to rely on them and be vulnerable and weak...

Instantly, my mind I went through all the reasons why it was not ok for me to be weak and vulnerable.. Which, to be honest kinda caught me off guard. It has been a really long time since I have had a thought like that... Apparently, I am not as far past this trust issue as I thought or hoped, at least in certain areas.. (Dang it.) Because of this, and because I am an external processor I told my friend that I simply do not know HOW to rely on others when it comes to being weak and vulnerable. I am just used to being the stronger friend, the solid one, the loyal one... I am unaccustomed to being the weaker or more vulnerable one.. It is definitely an odd feeling for me. When I am hurt or emotional, my way of coping is to clamp down on my emotions, more so in an effort to make sure I am understanding the reality of the situation, and not just the perceived situation based on my clouded emotional state. Sometimes in certain areas, I think I do alright, but in others, I simply do not do well at all. But, I also pointed out to my friend they they are one person telling me it is ok, and whether they are right or not, I have had others.. potentially hundreds of other people either in action or words contradicting them... I mean, do not get me wrong, I have several friends who are faithful, loyal, trustworthy, and have done more to restore my heart than I can accurately portray in words. God has put particular people in my life to heal and restore various areas of my heart, and I am so unbelievably thankful to God for these friends. But, in any case, it causes me to be even more careful not to be the one hurting them, but helping them heal from whatever hurt they are dealing with. I realize that these other people are fallen as well, hurt, and wounded individuals.. healing and moving past those hurts is no easy feat.. it is a slow and arduous task even once you realize their reaction is based off of hurt and pain of their own, but it is worth it in the end once God has healed and made these things new in my heart.

Aug 28, 2009

Comfortable In My Skin...

So, I was asked today to share my experiences with being a "taller, bigger girl" with a girl who is very young, and taller than those her age ... haha... It sounds way worse than it was meant, I am thin, and getting thinner cause of my working out... But, I am ridiculously muscular for a girl and I am tall.. Which, compounding those also means I weigh more. If you ask anyone around, weight is not an issue I am self-conscious about. I have never had an eating disorder to the amount of starving myself or puking to maintain weight... I always consider calories, but I fight that battle in my head.

So, here's a bit of my story about being comfortable in my own skin...

I have struggled with self image (like every other girl I have ever met), especially through high school, and the beginning of college. It took me a long time to find "my style." All I recognized during that period of time, was my abnormally tall and large boned body compared to those of my friends who were all ridiculously tiny beautiful girls. I noted it, and tried to ignore it, but it effected the way I viewed myself. For a while, I attributed my issues with the fact that they had boyfriends and I did not.. "if only.. then I would feel comfortable in my own skin." If I could find just ONE person to find me more beautiful and cherish me more than anyone else... I look back and that feeling makes my heart hurt. Knowing that I was so focused, and cause myself so much inner turmoil and pain.. That instead of focusing on my sweet Savior I was focused on how badly I wish I was created different.

In my mind, clearly God messed up. I was not pretty enough, skinny enough, short enough, tall enough, my hips were too big, my legs were too muscular, my shoulders too broad, my athletic build wasn't right, my hands were too big, my hair too thick, too curly, my eyes squinted too much when I smiled, my laugh was too loud, my feet too big, my stomach not flat enough, my butt not big enough, I wasn't dainty enough.... How terribly sad to have my world view through those eyes...

To this day, I still compare myself to the girls around me, on bad days especially I struggle to control my thoughts... However, I have begun to be able to separate the thoughts in my mind (Praise Jesus)... The biggest difference is now it does not grip my mind like it used to. When I was younger, I could not look at a beautiful girl and not compare myself, I was unable to view her beauty apart from my own. Somehow somewhere I got a scale.. and her beauty was a direct reflection on me and mine... Now, after a lot of self inflicted pain, I can look at a girl and think "wow, she's really pretty.." and it does not automatically diminish my view of myself. Most times now the scale is not her vs me.. it is her, and it is me, they are separate. Her scale is her own, my scale is my own, they do not overlap.

In total honesty.. There are parts of myself I seriously dislike.. The things I do not like have nothing to do with the girls around me. These things are simply things I dislike. I do not like my stomach, so, I decided one of my big goals once I moved down here is to change that.. to actually do something about my dislike. I have decided I am tired of disliking something and not doing what I can to change it.. in a healthy manner. So, in an effort to change my view, I now work out every morning before work. I hate running, but since I am seeing results, I am content to make myself get up insanely early to run or do a core work out. I do not like my feet, they are ok, but I seriously dislike when people touch my feet. If I have socks on it's ok, and if I am close to them or know them well it is more ok.. but overall I am not a fan of others touching my feet (adding to it, they are extremely ticklish). I do not hide them like I used to, but I also do not focus on them.

Because I do not want to be ruled by my dislikes, I know that I have to be vigilant in where I allow my mind to go when I am struggling with the way I look. The thing that makes it hard, is even if I do not have any interest in a guy, I still desire to be found beautiful to him... Not saying I want him to pursue me or fawn all over me (that gets awkward quickly), but to know I am at least attractive... It is a bigger desire than guys realize. I have been and am still working on re-orienting my thought process on this.. and as cliche as it sounds, finding my beauty in my Savior makes a difference.. I am not even sure where I would start though in explaining HOW to do that to another girl.. it is a slow arduous process..

The biggest breakthrough I have ever had in this area, was when I realized how few times I tell others I think they are beautiful, attractive, hansom, etc..etc.. In fact, I rarely was doing that, even people I think are absolutely stunningly beautiful and attractive I was not telling them. My reasoning? Surely they must know it, hear it all the time, don't need to hear it, or just simply don't care to hear it... Then, it dawned on me that they need to or at the very least appreciate hearing it just as much as I do. This revelation is one of the big reasons it does not bother me for people to know I find them attractive.. guy or girl. Now I go out of my way to compliment the physical attributes of those around me. Which, lets be honest, sounds funny, especially since we are told that "beauty is fleeting," but the bottom line is, since we find value there regardless, being reminded that someone else also finds us valuable in that area... it allows me to hopefully at some point get the chance to help them realize their value is truly elsewhere.

So.. through all this... currently I am comfortable in my skin, I like who I am, and to be totally honest, my focus is just elsewhere right now. God has done great things and has changed the way I process through this.. not just my views. My looks are not really on the forefront of my mind.. I mean I think about it enough to put makeup on, do my hair, and wear clothes that work for my body type. However, if I do not have time.. I no longer feel self conscious that I do not have my makeup or hair done. I have decided that if I need to, other things need to be truly priority. However, once I have done all the typical "getting ready" things.. I am done thinking about it for the day, it no longer is in my mind.

I love my Savior, and I am content in who He has made me, and what He made me to look like. There are aspects of myself that are not perfect, but no longer does it effect the way my mind goes into self doubt and loathing. I can appreciate the looks and personalities of those around me without it causing self doubt or contempt of myself. I realize I am not, nor will I ever be size 2.. my bones simply are not made to be that small.. or anywhere close to that small. I am ok knowing this, and I am content with the way I look.

I praise Jesus for this shift in my perspective... I just hope He can use it to rub off on a couple other girls too..