May 29, 2009

Little Light Bulbs...

I'm in the process of creating a "class" aka "bible study" aka "girls small group" for whatever girls decide to join at work. It's for my beautiful teen girls, and the basics of it revolve around purity. Purity in thought and actions, and my goal is to help them understand truly what they are doing to themselves when they make certain choices or allow themselves to think in certain ways.

In an attempt to help me I went to the store and looked through easily 100 books trying to find things that would give me words to tell them... I found a bunch, but settled on 2 for now. "Lies Young Women Believe: and The Truth That Sets Them Free" and "Wait For Me." I've just begun going through them, but I just thought I'd post the beginning and we'll sorta see where this leads to as I progress through these books in the next month preparing for this class for these precious girls.

My hope is that not only can I reach them and cause a little light bulb to go on in their minds, but also to find my sweet Jesus more in the midst of this. I truly hope that regardless of their pasts they can see how much value they truly have, and that they will choose that value instead of acting on the lies Satan tells them.

I pray little light bulbs go off in their minds and hearts as we spend Summer Monday's doing this. :) Please remember them in your prayers.

May 28, 2009

Theirs Become Mine...

So, I have some of the most amazing friends in the world (no really, it's ok to be jealous). I was talking on the phone to one of them yesterday and she was checking in on me to make sure I was ok, and that nothing eventful had happened since we'd talked earlier. I began after a little prodding, to tell her what was wrong and how I was feeling because she very quickly was able to tell in my voice that I was not having a good day.

She listened and heard what I was meaning more than what I was saying (it takes a special friend to be able to do that). I began detailing out for her my frustrations, and how much it bothers me when I feel helpless or as though I have nothing productive to offer. I hate that feeling, and it grates at my nerves to no end.

But, then she sorta giggled at me and explained how it was no surprise to her. She explained to me how I without even realizing it take people's problems and I carry them as though they were mine. Sometimes I offer advice and help (which is usually what I aim for), but most of the time I do whatever I can to make the problem at least partially mine also so they are not alone.

I guess I never really thought about it before, and I don't really know how or why that is my chosen method of showing my caring and compassionate side... All I do know is, that's exactly what I do. She couldn't have been more right, and I didn't even realize that's what I do. Or, maybe I did and just do it so naturally that I just don't pay attention to it.

She went on to explain how because that's what I do, everyone views me as "their person," they come to me to vent because I am stable, always available, and always wanting to be there and help. I never once viewed it that way, and I'm not sure what to make of that observation... I guess maybe, but I don't really think of it I guess.

She then explained that currently things are so hard for me because not only am I attempting to take on the problems and hurts of others, I am trying to muddle through my own issues that are taking up more time than I am used to or that they should. So, essentially here I am trying to juggle more than I know what to do with, all with intensely high emotions involved... Awesome.

All I know is, when I woke up this morning my first thought was "Lord I'm so empty it's not even funny." (How's the for a good morning thought!?) I've spent the majority of the day reading my Bible.. because I've been ridiculously slacking on that lately... And, what I know is that what I need right now is Him. I need His love and that's about it right now. I don't need people (WHOA!.. if you know me that's significant.), I don't need anything but Him, His time, His face... I need my Savior because I need to feel not empty inside anymore.

Man has this week been taxing.

May 26, 2009

The Fear That Grips...

So, I've found myself in a situation recently where I am.. in plain simple words fearful of what could happen... The situation itself is not new, and in fact has been going on since October... it's just getting progressively more odd and the individual that it involves has been getting progressively more erratic. Up until recently none of the situation scared me, I saw it for what it was, realized the potential danger, the consequences, and the reality of certain aspects if I did or did not respond and act in various ways. I decided I would draw whatever I could and cause/allow it to slowly fade away when I did not nurture the situation.

Essentially what happened is, I was the first to get attention, then it faded when I did not respond, then others began getting it and it was worse, so I drew the attention to get it away from them since.. lets be honest I'm more capable of dealing with certain situations given my background and experience. So, I took the brunt and it worked well for a while. Especially when guy friends stepped in and decided I was NOT under any circumstances going to handle this on my own... ps I love my friends. So, things were going well. Things were under control. It seemed like they were fading away again and this time it would stay away... I'm naive what can I say I guess...

Then, suddenly out of nowhere it got a whole lot worse than it had been before. I decided after not much prodding, and several very concerned guy friends that I would take what I had to the proper people who could actually use what I had. Although, it was all surreal and a little on the odd side, I remained un-phased by the scariness of the whole situation. I realized what had to be done and that is more important than anything. Staying focused and keeping the task and the goal as priority in this situation was more important and took precedence over any and all emotions I had about the matter. I needed to keep my head on straight to help those around me that were nervous, worried, scared, etc..etc.. from getting worse. My perspective was simply that regardless of what the outcome was.. I would take it, good, bad, worse, indifferent.. I would rather anything that could happen happen to me, I serve a bigger God and I am well aware of that.

And then, I got an email at an address that shouldn’t have been found, and would have required more than just some casual searching. The contents were blatant lies… but, the person claimed I had said these things to them… At this point the un-phased part of this situation stopped being a part of my thought process… I felt myself slip into irrational thinking and fear and I was powerless to stop it.

So, what I really want to talk about is fear that takes over… I felt myself slipping into an irrational fear, I felt my mind going into my pattern thinking type of process, and I began to not be able to explain in any sort of linear fashion. I was scared and I knew it. Not really because of anything other than the possibilities of what could happen. Where do they end? I had a hundred and some odd “what if’s” playing in my head… I knew exactly what was happening and I realized I didn’t know how to feel. Angry? Sad? Scared? Confused? Frustrated? Mad? Worried? Indifferent?... Or was this what I had been planning the whole time.. pull this towards myself so it wouldn't be some other girl. I couldn’t think straight enough to decide what I needed to feel. I forgot who my God is. For a brief moment I felt alone and as though nothing and no one would solve this problem....

"what if...."

How terrible of a place to be.

And then, I sought out first one friend and then the second because I couldn’t think straight enough to think of anyone else who would be able to protect me in this situation. They both validated my feelings, and then began helping me figure out what steps I needed to take.. Linear in fashion of course, because I couldn’t think through what to do. It was like my mind became fuzzy and loud. I was having a hard time even processing what they were talking about, so they both had to step by step me because that's about as far as I could go. If they gave me a whole bunch in a row I couldn't keep straight which needed to get done when.. Like I said, my brain went pattern, fuzzy, and loud. Then, they both began helping me see the humor in the situation, which is exactly what I needed because I needed to find something tangible that would help pull me out of my thoughts. Each of them explained how they would help, both using humor to exaggerate the situation… And, once I began to calm down inside I was able to see my situation for what it is… Someone who God has to save, and regardless I am His, I am His child and He loves me.

I need my God. Nothing’s changed. I am in a world full of “what if’s” and I have two basic options… choose fear or choose God. Every situation I struggle with is based off those two basics.. Choose fear and allow Satan to pervade my mind or choose God and allow Him to cleanse and calm my mind. The reality is fuzzy and loud are what happens when fear takes over... and then when I realize it and ask God to come back into my mind and take over I get clear and sharp again.

Currently I’m bouncing back and forth… I’m worried because there is a very real possibility that things could go badly, and I really don’t want to deal with it when it does... But, I find myself not fearful of it at the exact same time because I would rather it be me than another, my God is bigger, my friends aren’t just gonna sit by and watch, my Savior will save, and regardless this will be another step in my journey that God has laid out for me.. It will all be worth it if I can use this later.

So, while I’m worried I know in the end the good guys win.

May 21, 2009

Resonating Truth...

I was talking with a friend today who is going through an incredibly rough and trying time. I made mention to this friend of the fact that they don't realize what they mean to those around them, and the response was interesting I thought.. They said that most people don't realize (touche), and that if learning what we mean to others becomes our focus we've lost what our focus is supposed to be... Which is God... which is depicted in Galatians 1:10... I thought that was really interesting, and obviously a good point. But, we continued and I pointed out that sometimes it's important for us to know so that we can almost get a glimpse of who we are to God and how he sees us. I can think of all kinds of times when I had a view of myself, a bad day/week/month/year, a misconception of what others thought etc..etc.. and someone or a couple people completely changed my view because they saw what I didn't... And, I'm not talking physical qualities, although those are always nice to hear ;) But, I'm really talking about deep down core.. Who I am.

This friend and I began talking about that and how it's so easy to point to God and say "It's all Him"... and that's true, but I think what makes it "ours" at the same time is that when we allow God to use us, shine through us... etc.. etc.. we begin to act and express things in a way that "rings true" to those around us. We act or say something and we do it in a way that only we could have, which allows us to reach someone in a new or different way then anyone else around us... Then, the more they get to know us and get closer to us the more we point back to God as the source.. and it just clicks with them in some way... It resonates in only the way that it can when God's there. :)

I wish I had the time to sit here and detail out all the many ways those around me have effected my life, pushed me closer to God, helped heal my heart, added joy to my life, created a safe place for me, whatever... But, the reality is, I know too many phenomenal people haha :) I am truly blessed to have found so many in every place I've moved to. I really hope that I am conveying the same thing to those around me wherever I go...

May 19, 2009

To The Hurting...

I know I already posted today, but my heart has more to say... So, here I am.. saying it.

I don't know why but recently.. well ok with in the last year or so. I've begun to see a marked change in the way I look, view, feel, operate when I'm around people who are hurting... I used to really be like "oh I'm so sorry" and that would be the end or I'd adopt this "I'll fix it for you" kinda attitude, but I never really felt anything towards them... My heart was rarely moved.

Recently, I've begun to truly feel for them, hurt for them, ache for them, and it's caused a marked change in my prayer life for sure. I used to offer the typical "Lord help them" kinda prayer... And now, I find myself talking less with actual words in my prayers, and sorta just offering up my heart and the feelings my heart has towards the situation. I figure He knows what I mean because he created it.. So, I focus on just showing Him my heart and telling Him I need Him to do something about it, fix it, help them, comfort them, give me words, actions.. give me a way to convey how much I care.. to show them Love the way I should.. to reach them in a manner they need in order for the greater good and for God's plan to come to fruition...

But, I cannot accurately express how much I hurt for the people I care for who are hurting. Especially when, I see them go through the process as it's happening. I mean sometimes people come to you at the end and they give you the whole story and you sorta just take it all in, processing what they're telling you.. and other times you get the play by play as it's happening. The play by play sinks into my heart and it becomes an ever present ache in my heart that stays there until it's solved or until God takes it from there.

Yesterday a friend called and vented about a saga that's been going on for a month or so now. I've pretty much known everything either as it's happened or before it was gonna happen. Yesterday though was different, this friend's attitude on the whole issue was just one of pain and hurt instead of the normal pain with a hopeful attitude. I've never had this friend vent in the manner that they did, and I've never heard the hurt so deeply in their voice. My heart just broke, and I had no words to help. I had nothing. All I could do is say over and over "I know, I'm sorry" and when I explained I had nothing to say beyond that, they said they understood.. But, I hate that all I could do was listen, all I could do was say the same thing over and over.. and the pain that was being expressed brought me to tears. I knew the pain and the rejections my friend was going through, and it hurt to my very center... If I could I would take all that pain back and return there so they didn't have to. I know in the end they will be stronger, better, closer to God, but my heart aches so badly for them, and the worst is that I could do nothing to ease their pain. Nothing... I did the best I could to talk with this friend, and at one point my friend just yelled/vented at me for all the mistakes others have made... for all the frustrations that others have caused, and for every irrational friend they've encountered... All I could do was take it because I had nothing else to offer. So, I stopped trying to push my friend, and just absorbed whatever they needed to dish out, I tried to be whatever kinda friend they needed.. I ignored the painful things said, and I ignored the way they said what they said to me because it really has nothing to do with me... But, I still feel like I failed at being what they needed...

I know I know "you were there for them, that's what they needed" or "you just listened, that's the best you can do".. but that's not enough.. I feel like if I could just share the pain with them it would lessen the pain and hurt, and it would make it more bearable for them.. That's what I want. I can't do that, but I wish I could.

I wish I could make things hurt less for others... I wish I had the perfect words.. I wish I had the worlds best hug, the kind that would make their pain less just by a hug. I wish I could absorb some of their pain and then allow God and I to sort through it... But, I can't... All I can do is watch and hurt with them while they go through whatever they go through. I hate that.

To those who are hurting, I am serious when I say I'm praying for you. I may not have the words... and I may not even have the words when I'm praying... But, God and I are talking and we are communicating and I am pleading to Him for you. I don't say it flippantly, and usually I pray right away so I won't forget... and other times it pervades my thoughts and stays in my heart until it's over. I'm truly sorry you're hurting, all I can offer is the assurance and confidence that it WILL get better, in the end you will not regret it, and you will see God's hand through it if you let Him help you.

Home To Me...

How do you know you're where God wants you? I dunno if this is true for everyone, but it's where you feel home is. When I was thinking of moving to VA for this job, they took me up to the city I'd most likely be living in, and while we were driving through the city I kept thinking "what would I do if this were my home now?" Nothing about it felt particularly grabbing... or foreign, and yet I felt like "ok, well if this is it, I can do it if You help me." Well.. ok I didn't actually say that, but my heart said it to God as we drove..

When I went home this past weekend to visit my family and be in my roomie's wedding it was so completely familiar... Smelled the same, looked the same (except the yellow they painted!!), same people, same sounds.. it was all the same. I felt the love and caring that is a trademark of my family.. and yet, it wasn't the same anymore. I think this weekend I realized how completely in the center of God's will I am in being where I am. I am exactly where I'm supposed to be, as chaotic, hectic, and fast paced it is.. As much as I miss my family, and wish they were closer... As much as it kills me to not be able to be around to fix problems on a daily basis... I am where I'm supposed to be. I am Home here. I am where God has placed me... I don't know completely why, and I don't know for how long, and I'm not even sure if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing to the degree I'm supposed to be doing it. All I know is, I'm following my heart, and I'm allowing my natural flow of actions and reactions to take over... because otherwise I become frustrated and lazy. So, home is here now. I'm not really completely sure what that means, and part of my heart feels like that's sad because that means home is no longer where my family is... But, I am not drawn to their mission like I used to be, I do not desire to change things that we were involved in like I used to... In fact, while I was there I kept thinking "what opportunities am I missing at home?"... which was my first clue.. and then I kept thinking "I wonder if so and so was able to..." just wondering if things got accomplished, if someone was there to care for them, if someone showed them love... It also became increasingly difficult to explain what I'm doing, what I love, who different people are, and why they are so essential to me right now.. I had a hard time explaining the places I've seen God work, and the things He's done inside of me.. I hate that.

So, while part of me is now sad that I no longer feel like I need to be at home with my family.. part of me is relieved because I can focus all of my attention... which really is a misnomer because "all" really doesn't mean everything haha :) It really means "the majority" because I can never just stop reconnecting with people I love at places I've been... I can never just stop trying to help them... It's just different when you realize you're doing exactly what you're supposed to... exactly when you're supposed to..

So, for all the good and bad implied.. Home is where I am right now, and I am thankful and grateful for it. I do however wish all the other people I love so dearly who don't live here.. would move here.. Ok, the end. :)

May 16, 2009

The Mix...

So, I'm at home this weekend for one of my roomie's from college's wedding. She and her now husband are perfect for each other, and I couldn't be more thrilled for the two of them. She is so happy, and knowing her heart and the conversations we have had over and over for months upon months before he was even in the picture... it's just so nice to see those all come through, but only better then either of us had imagined. She is one of several girls I've prayed pretty seriously to find "the one," and either know for sure he's the one or get married before me... I'm thrilled she now is :)... 3 more to go :)

But, in the mix of all of the happiness and the laughter there is always the twinge of "when will it be my turn?" No worries, nothing big, and nothing like I used to feel.. but you see it and it makes you wonder about your own story... When will you find him? How will it play out? How long will it take? When will I get to be the most beautiful to someone?... And then, almost on cue you begin doubting it all.. as though some how you are less than every single other girl who has ever gotten married... That somehow it will escape you. Stupid, we all know it, but the thought is still there.

I was talking with someone last week... or the week before, and we were talking on this topic. When she brought up the idea that we sorta just assume God will bring us what we're "ok with" like we won't get the best... but we will learn to "deal with" whatever he brings us. As though we're the forgotten child who lives under the stairs... How sad, and how limiting of my God.

That idea got me thinking... Do I do this? Sadly the answer is yes, all the time. I see something and my attitude is "I can make this work.." or "I can work with this.." which right away should be a clue that it's not the best, but I begin taking things into my own hands and I start trying to plan, plot, and execute my own idea of how something will or will not work. But, I don't even just do this when it comes to guys, I do this all over the place. I assume for whatever reason that God's plan is for me to have second rate.. How sad. Especially when I look back on the pages of my story so far, every single thing has been exponentially better than I'd planned for it all to be.. So, why do I assume second rate is not just ok, but the plan?.. I have no idea. I'm an idiot I guess.

So, in the mix of being so completely happy and thrilled for my dear Ash, who is now on a new adventure... I'm dealing with a mix of how do I rely on the idea that I'm not going to get second rate?.. I dunno, but I'm gonna have to work on this for sure.

May 13, 2009

I Can Handle It... Wait...

I had one of the greatest conversations last night.. It started with prayer, and flowed from topic to topic, got interrupted, and flowed some more... for about 4 hours. It was just really great, I'm not sure how the time flew like it did, especially given how little sleep I've been getting and how late it was. But, the bottom line is, it was just wonderful.. and it got me thinking about how much I allow the past pains to dictate how I view myself currently. I really struggle allowing my view of myself to be the way God views my life and who I am.. aka who He created me to be.

I remember very vividly about a year in a half ago, I got my heart crushed to pieces by a guy who didn't care enough to.. well care that he seriously wounded me... It was the first time in years and years that Satan grabbed my heart and my mind, and viciously tore me apart from the inside out... So much so, that i saw it, felt it, and couldn't do a thing to stop it. It scared my dad and he said he was able to see the effects it was having on my thought process, my verbal ability, and my non-verbals.. He decided his only course of action was to re-direct my loathing from myself to him... That did not end well, and merely added to the pain and frustration. It was the first time in years upon years that we screamed at each other.. all the while, he was doing it on purpose to make sure I stayed focused on him instead of myself. That night is one of the most painfully vivid nights that I can remember, not so much because of anything my dad did or said, but because it was compounded by my already injured heart. I can't remember everything that was said, but I can remember each emotion that went through me, and I can remember sitting on my bed and the thoughts that went through my head while my dad and I argued and screamed. Once it was resolved my dad hugged me and explained what he had done, and we resolved to not do that again because while I realize what he was doing was a desperate attempt to protect and save me, I needed a different approach. I cannot explain how much I appreciate knowing he has that kind of love for me... Not many will willingly take my wrath, especially knowing what's coming and not caring because that seems the better option.. whoa.

But, through it all it took me almost 6 months to recover enough to be confident again. I mean I put on my facade so with in a week or so, most didn't pick up anything was wrong anymore. That whole instance was simply the last of a long string of times I've been injured by a guy who has lied or decided I wasn't enough... And, while that is a constant struggle with me, I've begun to realize it's less about being enough.. and more about who I am through Jesus, and who I can love because of the past experiences.

I can sit back and remember the pain as though it was yesterday, but I also feel like the pain is simply a memory instead of an actual visceral reaction in my heart. I've grown sooo much because of the pain I've experienced, I've learned a lot about who I am, who I was never meant to be, and how through it all I'm not supposed to do it.. God is. I'm supposed to not be able to handle it or be enough, and I'm not supposed to be able to do it on my own. If I could, I wouldn't desperately need my Savior. I would have no need to cling to Him and His love and grace in my life... I would have no need to seek Him when I'm hurting or feeling lonely and like I'm a miserable failure. So, through it all, it's been a great reminder of my totally inadequate ability to handle things on my own.. which is what I tend towards.

I have a really hard time explaining to people my deep innate need inside of me for how much I rely on and need my Sweet Jesus. I cannot express to you how much I look to Him and cling to His love for me... I wish you could experience it because it's what everyone should have.. It's humbling, it's scary, it's hard, but it's never a disappointment... I promise.

I tend towards the "I can handle this on my own" mentality.. I'm independent, and I know I operate that way. If something needs to get done, I do it because I can so why wait? What I'm realizing is just cause I can doesn't mean I have to or even should... It's ok to not. Weird.

May 11, 2009

The Tortoise... The Hare... And The Snail..?

So, I've begun to realize recently that I tend towards warp speed on virtually everything... I tend to be like my nephew Kaedon when he was first learning to walk.. he never walked actually, he ran.. and every time he switched surfaces he would fall.. so it ended up being extremely comical. But, I've begun to realize I sorta operate my life this way, let me explain...

I've realized recently that not only do I maintain a very busy pace of life, but I also maintain a very fast pace of personal growth. I like to see my progress, even if small I like to know I've not become stagnant. I go to great lengths to talk to people, get opinions, assess the situation, then I make a decision and fly with it.

I tend to be more of the hare, in the tortoise and the hare story.. Although, recently I've discovered a whole new breed of people.. The snail. Haha, these are the people that for whatever reason they come up with, move..... at...... a...... painfully................. slow............. pace............ of........... life.......................... and........... growth...... Good grief! Normally, I begin to not only get impatient, but I start doing things to try and move them along faster. Mostly its because I honestly don't understand the decision to move SOOOOO SLLLOOOOWWWWLLLYYYY... It makes no sense to me, and my obviously limited brain cannot comprehend the reason why. I mean I get that I'm an act first or in some cases while I'm in the midst of doing whatever it is that I'm doing.. But, in reality God has just graced me with a mind that moves faster than I can physically move.. haha his little blessing to keep me from killing myself on accident I think :)

What I cannot understand is why people choose to move slowly. I mean I get it, if they have to wait on something anyway, why not slow down a bit right?... What I don't get, is why choose the slow mode of operation for personal growth, getting closer to Jesus or simply getting out of a situation you hate. Why would you wait when you COULD do it now? I just don't get it....

However, I have begun to realize that these snail paced people will in some cases move faster, but in most cases choose not to... But, in all cases my job isn't to move them. My job is to encourage them, love them, help them, and when need be, carry them... With some people I've only been able to put a bug in their ear to encourage movement, with others I've flat out yelled at them, and with others I've just sat still with them and waited while they thought of the best path to take. What I have realized is, I will probably never operate as a snail.. It's just not the way I was made (I even have a fast heart rate :), but through it all I can learn more and more each day about how to love the snail in a manner that they need to help them move... maybe not a lot, but something to keep them from stalling.. And, no matter the pace I've begun to learn how to accept it and how to understand that it's ok not to move at my pace. My pace isn't "the right way" and their pace isn't "the wrong way"... it's simply a way, neither is sinning (inherently anyway), so, it's ok to allow them to move only when God specifically tells them to, instead of my idea (stolen from Shell) "Go until He says no."

May 9, 2009

Capable Princess...

So, I've been thinking for a while about what role I feel I play in a relationship with a boy who is interested in me. My views and beliefs have changed significantly since high school (praise Jesus!). And, they've even changed in the few months I've lived in VA.

So, while this is not going to be my final answer.. This IS my answer right now, and at least a step in my journey to figure out who I'm supposed to be, and who my Savior created me to be.

I used to hate the idea of being a "princess" I always viewed them as helpless... Until Princess Jasmine came along.. haha That's right, she was always my favorite because she was capable and strong.. and of course lets not forget insanely beautiful! I liked that she had a tiger too ;) But, I soon forgot about my liking of her.. and began once again to despise the idea of being a princess.. mostly because every girl I knew who was described that way was 1. High maintenance 2. whiny 3. Obnoxious 4. Helpless and 5. Shallow. All qualities I barely tolerated in girls I knew.. so I hated the idea of being described as one... and still to this day it baffles me how THAT, is what guys look for in a girl to pursue first.. I was always told they were "girlfriend material" and I was "wife material.." yet now most of them are married and I am still just as single as they come :)

Recently (within the last year or so) I've begun to revisit the idea of being a princess.. Not because I want to be a pink wearing, crown toting, carriage riding princess.. But, because there is something about being a princess that means being beautiful and treasured.. Both of which I want. Now, what I don't want is to become helpless.. my parents raised me better than that, and that quickly becomes boring anyway.

What I want is to be a capable princess. One who CAN do anything I choose, one who has the ability and the knowledge to carry out difficult tasks... One like the princesses in Lord of the Rings.. Beautiful, capable, and they were seriously needed to complete the mission in some manner or another. They are faithful, loving, beautiful, strong, and can wield a sword with the best of them! ;) ... Yet through it all they are cherished. Not adored as though they are God... but cherished, cared for, loved, and sacrifices are made to ensure they are taken care of... aka unconditionally loved (agape kind).

Its like in dancing... I LOVE dancing. And, what I mean by that is, I love real dancing, where you have a partner and he moves you effortlessly around the floor, and it looks smooth, beautiful, and of course fun! But, when you're dancing, if the girl doesn't allow him to lead it becomes awkward, rigid, and doesn't flow... not to mention can become aggravating. But, when it's perfect is when the guy leads, and the girl not only allows him to lead, but CHOOSES to follow his directions... both verbal and non-verbal. When I'm dancing with a guy who lets say knows how to Salsa dance beautifully.. I can follow awkwardly because I don't know where he's moving next so I fight it or delay in following.. Or, I can allow him to move me, and just trust his ability to "feel the music"... No matter how good I am, it doesn't look as good, isn't as much fun, and doesn't feel right if I lead... that's his place even if I know how to.

I'm not interested in men who don't lead because "it's easier to let her." Nope, be the man and man up... I want him to push back, be the man I can look in the eyes and tell he's sending me the signals to dance and twirl with him in our beautiful flowing dance.. and then decide I can trust him enough to follow his directions. I'm not interested in a man who lets me lead because I can... I will quickly decide he is not worth following, because otherwise just like in dancing.. we won't move anywhere, it won't be beautiful, it won't be fun, and instead it will just be awkward, rigid, and it won't flow right.

I've decided I like the idea of being a princess... but really I just want to be the capable princess.. I want my prince.. Because, lets be honest, he's always the dashing one that's buff and the hero of the story.. ;) But, we also have a father who is the King... and I want my prince and I to follow our Savior King... Yet through it all I want to know that I am cherished for who I've been created to be, and that he will go to great lengths to create our dance together so it's beautiful, fun, and flows... Even if we have hard times we will be dancing through it together knowing that it's the best most beautiful thing we have because he's leading and I'm trusting him enough to follow...

Knowing that what we have, is pleasing to our King.

May 7, 2009

The Scars That Form...

A long time ago I LOVED a Faith Hill song where she talks about the meaning of life.. and she mentions apple pie, and all these random things that basically are the "small things in life." My dad asked me "do you know the meaning of life"... This is where you as a teen always want to have some smart comeback.. but, you realize that it's sorta a trick question because no matter what you say, you know you're gonna be wrong.. So, I think I made something up about the small things in life.. and then added the scape goat "I dunno.." Dad began detailing out for me something that just clicked in my head... Life is about relationships. My relationship with another person and my relationship with God. There are few things that matter.. but that pretty much sums them all up.

I mean thinking about it.. We never get our feelings hurt or become deeply scarred by our dog who ate our favorite shoe... We never shake our fist and try to punch the sky for not being the color blue it was yesterday... We never cry because the grass has to be cut again... it's just silly to think about those things.. Everything that matters seriously to me has to deal with a relationship.

So, with that being said... I wish more people would take it seriously. That nice little saying "sticks and stone may break my bones, but your words will never hurt me.." LIES. That, as my dad would say is Satan's biggest lie.. It's his big crappy crap crap story he has convinced us.. That we are somehow this one man island, and don't need your approval.. This idea simply allows us to live in denial and it allows the pain and hurt to overwhelm us at some point maybe years later...

I can count the hundreds of times someone I know has made some comment that seriously wounded my heart... I can think of specific times when what someone said.. or in some cases DIDN'T say fractured my heart.

I was talking with a friend earlier today and he made some comment about how he's never seen me in a bad mood. haha.. I laughed at him and said, he has, I just go to great lengths to cover it.. which got us talking about why... Which lead to talking about what has caused me to be so incredibly close to my family.. I explained that when I was little (and still home schooled) we had family.. essentially decide they were done with us, and virtually an entire side of the family decided we were disowned and not allowed to talk to them anymore. At 7 I remember my parents pulling my brother and I into their laps and trying the best they could to explain why we were no longer allowed to see Grandma and Grandpa. Now, you might think "no big deal, you were 7..." Well.. when my earliest memory is when I was a year in a half.. and I was reading at 4... remembering things vividly at 7 is a cake walk... I was an extremely aware child.

What I remember from that time period is a couple things.. My parents trying so incredibly hard to be a fortress for my brothers and I (my sister wasn't around yet)... I remember weird random distant relatives coming in and taking the place of loving us unconditionally... And, I remember the rainiest, coldest, dreariest spring and summer ever... I remember at that point we were solidified as a unit, we looked out for each other and cared for each other.. and to this day there is no one who makes me feel safer than my family.. My older brother was my first best friend, and he and I will always have a special connection because of everything we've weathered together... No one can piss me off like him, and no one can comfort me the way he does...

What I remember also, is what I took away from that time... I understood at the age of 7 that I was not good enough.. pretty enough, smart enough, etc..etc.. to be loved unconditionally. I mean who's Grandma and Grandpa can't love their granddaughter unconditionally?... That's what I heard through it all... It didn't matter that I have these amazing parents that are just exceptional and loved me unconditionally... So, at that age, I learned what it means to have a disagreement and have someone.. "hate on you" for it. I learned what it feels like to be excluded or told you're not "good to have around"...

One of my all time favorite quotes by an unknown author to me...

"If you've ever met a gentle, loving, and wise person
who radiates the love of Jesus,
I can almost guarantee that they have suffered deeply."

So, with that being said, that is why I work so hard at loving others. It's why I try so hard to show them they are important and why I try so hard including them and making them feel a part of the "in crowd." Because, I've realized that unconditional is a choice.. a determination.. and I've begun to realize just what that looks like in light of what God's given me.. I've also learned that it has nothing to do with the other person... Much like at 7, nothing was my fault enough to make an entire family disown me...

Let me be clear.. I LOVE my family, I've forgiven them, I will do anything for them... but I still carry the scars. We've mended and resolved as best we can, and my parents, brothers and I have chosen to forgive.. but, we still carry the scars from it... Our scars have helped shape us. I would never choose to have that time taken away from my family.. We became who we needed to be for each other and for others later because of that time period.. It was just incredibly painful to go through, but it also solidified who we were for each other.. And that is more precious to me than it would have been otherwise..

Love is my choice because I've got the scars to show for when love wasn't someone else's choice...

May 6, 2009

Not For You...

Something that perplexes me.. Why do people find it so hard to say what they believe? I mean I understand that essentially it's fear of rejection, getting accosted, being proven stupid.. whatever. I get fear. What I don't get is when you KNOW you are right, and choose to be silent. How can you believe something is THE way and not speak about it?.. or show it.. or talk about it at all?

If something is truth.. how can you choose not to believe? Nothing can be "true for me, but not for you".. Life doesn't work that way. It either is or it isn't.

Here's what I'm NOT saying.. I'm not saying be stubborn and bull headed and refuse to listen because you know you're right. The Bible is pretty clear about seeking wisdom and learning. So, I believe it's important to listen and evaluate, if for nothing else it gives you more things to either prove your side or it corrects flaws.

Be teachable. Be loving. Be compassionate. But, just BE something.. don't whimpily decide you're gonna just float by.. decide to do something.. Each day, choose to say things like "God bless you." or some of my favorites are "Jesus loves you" "aww, God is soo good!" simple things that are not offensive, especially delivered correctly, but it allows people to know exactly where you stand.

Seriously, I do not understand how Christians.. or anyone else for that matter can say "I believe this with all of my heart, but it's ok that you don't"... That's a terrible view point! One that I can't get my mind to wrap around.. Well, actually I refuse to allow my mind to be ok with it. When people say "that's ok, it's what I believe, but it's just not for you..." I feel like screaming and shooting them in the face.. SERIOUSLY!?.. Come ON! That's such a ridiculous point of view.. what you're really saying is one of two things...

"I don't know if I believe this, so I don't want to argue my point.." or
"I don't care if you know the truth or not cause I don't really care about you."

Awesome. Jerk.

I realize I come across as very.. abrasive on this topic (along with a whole bunch of others).. But, the bottom line is if our goal is to be perfect, then why are we second guessing what we know to be true? Why are we so worried about people looking at us like we're dumb?... The irony.. not one single time has anyone ever yelled at me.. I've never once had someone tell me I was an idiot, or cuss me out, or act rudely. Why? Because I state how I feel, and allow my actions to prove I truly care about them regardless.

It IS possible to disagree.. and let them know you don't agree with their actions or statements or whatever.. and then still choose to show them the Love you take for granted daily.

Think about it. They will never understand the love you've been shown by Jesus... So, how dare you not share when you can.

May 5, 2009

Something's Off Inside...

So, I realize I tend to not focus completely on.. well everything.. I try, especially when it comes to people. I really do try to give them my undivided attention, even if it's just for a few minutes. I just feel like if I look someone in the eyes and acknowledge them, remember what they told me, and just take a moment to connect, I feel like if nothing else, I gave them the most valuable thing I could for the moment. I've been known to be talking to someone, reach over and grab someone else that I needed to talk to without even looking at them, and just hold onto their sleeve, or their hand in order to keep them from walking away.. all while still focusing on my conversation with the person I was talking to. haha.. how's that for multitasking?

Lets be honest, I'm NOT a linear thinker.. Never have been. I like to call myself a "pattern" thinker. haha. What that means is I have all the same pieces to my puzzle as you... I just don't put them together in sequential order. lol

However, even still.. knowing all this I have had THE worst time focusing the last couple days. I mean work, conversations, etc... etc... I've discovered that the only real way to ensure I can focus at all is to.. well not focus. Sounds odd I admit, but the reality is for whatever reason I have to encourage my mind to not focus on one thing, but 3, 4, even 5 things in order to give each thing a moment of undivided attention, only to then jump to something else and back again. Even right now I have 8 windows open on my computer and I keep popping back and forth between them. Work, emails, IM's, another work project, Google searches, paying bills, and back again.. I mean ridiculousness! Who does that?!

Last night I decided I was tired of myself.. I was tired of being unfocused, I was tired of not feeling like I had everything together like normal, I was tired of feeling like I was restless, so, I cleaned a bit, took my normal longer-than-it-should-take-anyone-ever to get ready for bed pace... Then, even though it was already midnight-thirty, and I had to be up in 6 hours, I read my Bible for a while, almost an hour in a half to be exact...

So, the real question then is, what's bothering me? I dunno. I can't tell you what the problem is. I don't know why I have nothing wrong, but just feel... "off" in my spirit. I thought of calling a bunch of people to see if everything was ok, but decided that aside from my Dad and brothers, not many would be up or appreciate a 2am phone call for no real reason..

I'm not a fan of the "I dunno" feeling. The one where you can't articulate anything actually wrong, but there's just something off.. You can feel less patience inside, less focus (obviously), and you're heart's not necessarily heavy, but it's not joyful either. It's just a clear some thing's not correct, but I don't know what it is. It's like a void inside.. a bubble that isn't bad, but doesn't indicate good either. So... I prayed about it asking God to reveal what I needed to know, when I need to know it, although I'd prefer for it to be sooner rather than later, but I'll accept whatever I get.

May 4, 2009

When Others Care...

Ok, so it's been a pretty interesting week or so. I've been in situations where I was.. I guess the best word is slightly nervous about the situation, but trusting that it would turn out for the best... Only to then have two absolutely amazing guy friends swoop in and insist (without me asking) to take care of the situation. And, to top it all off, they were rather insistent when I objected and gave my reasoning. I threw pretty much every reason and card at them that I had.. all the while hoping they would persist... And much to my actual amazement they did. I loved it and I liked that they were able to fight every reason I had for why they didn't need to worry or be there... Their arguments were legit so they won... plus they're bigger haha ;)

So, thank you guys for being friends when I told you it wasn't a big deal haha :)

The second memorable one is my ever faithful friend who also insists on being my friend regardless.. She constantly is doing things for me, going out of her way to help me or check in on me or whatever she needs to do in order to help me and make my life less stressful... Thanks Brit.

The third is one of my mentors right now... She is just a wonderful woman (and seriously rings my mother all over the place!.. haha probably why I like her so much :) She tells Brit and I all the time how much we mean to her, how much her and our Sunday School teacher (her husband) love sitting and talking with the two of us. We bless their lives.. which Brit and I were talking about how we don't feel like we've done ANYTHING.. She also has been very vocal telling me things my parents have been telling me for years.. but I sorta always blew it off because they were my parents.. and "required" to tell me it lol But, earlier she told me in response to a comment I made about thinking I was very average... Not in a "woe is me" way, just a very realistic view (or so I thought).. But, she like my parents told me that I am anything but ordinary in my approach to life, personality, beauty etc... etc... It was so encouraging.. and very interesting :)

It's the little things that make a big difference when it comes to encouragement. :) Thanks to everyone who cares and makes it known. I love you all bunches :)