May 31, 2012

Blessed by Friends...

Do you ever have those moments where you are in the midst of a relatively normal moment in life, but something about it just strikes you, and you realize how totally blessed you are? I had one of those moments last night. First, let me just say that I love when God whispers in my ear that I should pause internally and take note of where I am, and how blessed I am. I love taking seemingly mundane things in life and remembering to pause and be thankful.

Last night I went to Fort Myer to watch the Twilight Tattoo the Army puts on every Wednesday throughout the summer. It was engaging, fun, and full of an amazing amount of skill and dedication to those skills. Several of my friends are in the Fife and Drum Corps band, and it was a lot of fun to finally get to see them perform.

Afterwards, we all hung out took a few pictures, then made our way to dinner.. There were a several people I had not met before, but mostly it was people who have become friends in the last six months. While we were at dinner, laughing, joke, talking about random things, eating amazing food, it hit me.. I am so blessed. I love these friends of mine as though we have been friends for years, and I am so thankful to know where their hearts are, and to have gotten the chance to grow and watch them grow throughout the course of 2012 so far.

The thing that struck me the most last night was how different we all are, but how much we laugh at each other, and how in just a few months have cultivated true friendships with the only goal to be friends and help one another. This time last year I would not have thought I would be here, with friends like these amazing people, and I never would have guessed at how different life would be because of them. They (along with several more people who were unable to be there) truly have made all the difference in my life here in DC, and I am so thankful and so blessed!

May 29, 2012

The Power Of Propaganda...

For Memorial Day this year I spent some of it at the Holocaust museum in DC viewing the Power of Nazi Propaganda exhibit. My friend and I have been trying to go see this exhibit for almost a year, and only just yesterday were finally able to see it. I am SO glad we did.

The two things that struck me were the level at which the Nazi's understood propaganda, and how to use it to manipulate various groups. They were so far ahead of their time it is ridiculous. It is fairly scary to walk through the timeline starting in 1918 through the end of the second world war. The second thing that struck home with me is that my mom's parents were born in 1906 and 1921 in Germany, but immigrated to the US in the early 1920's. I remember hearing stories that my mom told me of why they left, much of which had to do with feeling like Germany was headed in a bad direction, and feeling as though Hitler was not trustworthy.

It is an incredibly humbling situation to realize how extremely fortunate I am that my great grandparents were able to see the situation before them, and that their actions are what sent my family towards who and what we are now. I feel incredibly fortunate to know that while my family is German, and I am very proud of that, I am even more thankful and humbled that I am part of a German heritage who were not blinded by propaganda. I am so thankful to know that they were sensitive enough to Christ to know that what was coming was not good, and were able to get out in time.

From a Communications perspective I was a mixture of in awe and disgusted at the level of understanding Hitler and the Nazi's had of how to manipulate. It is interesting to look at and compare the ways media and political propaganda are still used in the same ways today. How sad that it is still that easy to manipulate the masses. A few of the things that stuck out to me were the clear understanding of how to communicate a message with very few words, specific colors, and how with the appropriate amount of time and messaging, people can and will be manipulated. I was amazed at how many half truths were told, and how many blatant lies were told.

As I went through the exhibit, my heart broke for the families that were involved, I could not help but look at the various faces in the pictures and wonder at what horrors they faced or what regrets they lived with for the rest of their lives.

When I was almost 15 years old my family filled out a questionnaire on New Years Eve to put into a 10 year time capsule. One of the questions I remember most vividly was: "who is the most influential person?" my unusual answer was "Corrie ten Boom." After going through this exhibit, I maintain my belief that she is certainly among the list of most inspirational people that have ever lived. If you have not read her story, please do.. Also, if you have never heard what she went through, and how she later truly forgave, please educate yourself.. It will certainly put an entirely different light on love, hope, and forgiveness, as well as where strength comes from.

May 25, 2012

Memorial Weekend...

This weekend is going to be awesome, a friend is coming into town to hang out and gallivant around the city, we are headed to the beach with another friend all day on Saturday, and I have no doubt the majority of the weekend will be spent laughing, with great food, lots of adventures, and a whole lot of R&R.

I am really excited that this weekend starts with an early dismissal from work, and a chiropractor adjustment, but I am also careful to remember why we celebrate Memorial Weekend. So, thank you to all of you who have served, are serving or the families of those same people.

May 23, 2012

Beauty of the Heart...

I have read so many amazing blogs lately written by men and women alike talking about the beauty of women. Each blog has addressed aches, insecurities, accomplishments, frivolous things, important things, eternal and fleeting things.. Basically you name it, and I have recently read a blog about some perspective on beauty. Most of what I have read has been of serious encouragement to me, not because I am struggling to any great length with beauty, but because I am honestly trying to keep my eyes focused on what true beauty should look like...

If I am being completely honest, I vacillate between confident in who I am and how I look, to hiding how I look behind the correct fitting clothes. I do my very best to approach how I feel about my body in a correct way, reminding myself that my value is in Who's I am, not how I feel on any given day. I work to ensure I eat (at least mostly) correctly instead of allowing my momentary feelings to dictate what goes into my mouth. But most of all, I try to be vigilant in not allowing comparing thoughts of another girl's beauty to define my own, and then subsequently allow the view of my beauty to define my worth.

But even still, it takes a lot of work to not allow thoughts of my "beauty" to consume me; but, it is hard.
There are days where I desperately wish my "fine but not flat" stomach was tone and flat.
There are days I wish my acne would just leave me alone already...
There are days I wish my crazy hair would just decide what it wanted to do.
There are days I wish.... I wish... I wish... Fill in the blank because I have probably thought it or wished it.

How frustrating to live in a constant state of struggle with my view of my own beauty!

There is a small part of me that wants to chant over and over that wanting to be beautiful on the outside is vain and pointless, but that just does not ring true to me.. I know without any doubts I was created to be beautiful, regardless of how I feel today. So, instead I work to focus on what does ring true, "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... and in this case, the beholder made me to be beautiful. I was made to showcase the creators beautiful side, but also His fierce, merciful, loving, caring, and unique sides. I was made (along with all the other girls in the world) to showcase a specific set of attributes that guys do not have.

As I get older, I do not want to be filled with memories of longing to be beautiful, but I would rather be filled with memories of experiences and a confidence that only comes from Christ. When I am fulfilling my purpose in Christ I feel confident, I feel beautiful, I feel capable, and I feel as though I radiate from the very core of who I am.

I struggle daily with the way I look at my physical self. I view myself as "fine" or "ok," and as much as that frustrates those around me, and as much as I am truly thankful for all my amazing family and friends that tell me and explain the beauty they see, it is Christ alone who can whisper to the very core of my soul that I am beautiful, and He alone sees me and knows my thoughts as I stand in front of my long mirror and judge whether my "fine but not flat" stomach is flat enough to wear a particular shirt on any given day.

Lately however, I have been sloowly shifting my focus from the right now, this morning as I pick out an outfit perspective, to the lifetime view of my physical body... When I am 80, will I be able to look back and be satisfied with my body, shape, beauty, activities, experiences, and feel as though I had a healthy view all those years? Or will I look back and regret the time wasted like a vapor worrying over whether I was not perfect in my own eyes? Taking a long distance view of my body puts a different perspective on it for me... I do not want to spend my life in wasted vapors wishing I was made like someone else, I would rather spend those precious moments becoming who God intended for me to be, so that I can radiate who He is throughout ever bit of my body, my heart, and my mind... whether I meant to radiate Christ or not.

Oh my dear Lord, please help me.

May 22, 2012

Leadership, Obey, and Marriage...

Spend about .03 seconds around me and you figure out I am a leader, I have a dominant personality, and I am not afraid to step up and try, even if that means I might fail. You also will realize that while these are definitely defining characteristics of me, I am also just as happy to follow someone else's lead as long as I have no moral objections... With that being said, one of the biggest challenges with being a natural born leader is following someone who makes poor decisions or makes decisions that you do not understand the reasoning behind.There is a vastly different approach taken by great leaders and poor leaders (which really tend to just be managers). You see, great leaders inspire us, they teach us, encourage us, educate us, and in doing these things, they also motivate us to action. To simply obey someone because of their position is not effective nor do I think it is what we are supposed to do (**please note I realize there are certain situations such as war/military that require obeying, but since I am not in these situations I am referring merely to my own life/situation).

Except for my Lord or told to by Him, I see no reason to obey someone, let alone obey them blindly. To obey someone takes away the choice because it is understood that you were commanded, were informed of what your actions will be; much like a child is told to go brush their teeth and get into bed. While being commanded is not something I respond to kindly, I will gladly choose to follow someone, there are even times that I choose to follow without having all of the details, namely because I trust the person and their judgement.

Now that I have established in possibly the broadest sense my view on leadership and obeying in general, I think leadership, obeying, and marriage are an entirely different ballgame than any other type of leading/following. I also realize that I am about to launch myself into a conversation of sorts that I have no experience in due to my status as "single, never married," however, while my thoughts may change at some point in the future (near or far), this is where I currently stand on the idea of marriage as it pertains to leading, following, obeying, submitting and God...

I firmly believe that regardless of the natural ability for a wife to lead (i.e. my natural tendency), it is the God designed role of the husband to lead their marriage, which is not to be confused for making all the decisions. I think the type of leadership required in a marriage more resembles a couple dancing than anything else. In order for the leadership of the husband to work well and effectively, it requires the husband to ask the wife to "dance," move, and follow his plan and guidance, but in no way can he accomplish it without truly asking and her choosing to accept each and every move he purposes. When a couple is dancing, the man has no hope of effectively or gracefully completing the dance if his approach is to lead with force or abrupt decisions, instead the most graceful and successful dances require the guy to know what he wants to do, and gently yet clearly asking his partner if she will follow. The success is contingent upon the signal from the guy being clear, and then the girl choosing to follow or not. Once she has chosen to follow, she has the freedom to add flair, additional footwork or change up the speed at which she completes the moves (sometimes, not always is there this opportunity to change footwork and speed..). But, her freedom to change the small things as she follows the guy creates a dance which is both more graceful and more beautiful than he alone could have ever hoped for, and it could never have taken place had he tried forcing her to move. However, the effectiveness, grace, possible style and speed that the whole dance takes on is completely dependent on the guy to know where he's going and how, as well as the trust he has cultivated with his partner. The more familiar she is with him and his style, the more likely she is to follow without knowing where she will end up. Sometimes, she will recognize the pattern and other times she will be completely lost in the love and joy of the dance.

So, back to my view of what it means to lead and follow in a marriage. While I think it is the role of the husband to lead, I do not think that equates making all the decisions, nor do I think it means deciding on his own, I think it has much more to do with spiritual leadership, which is also not to be confused with him taking the place of God for the wife. I think she is still just as responsible for pursuing and putting God first in her life as he is. However, men and women have dramatically different views of the world, and I think that fact is not only interesting, but essential and on purpose. Viewing the world differently with varying approaches allows couples to not only make the "correct choice" but also to use the best possible tactic in the situation. I think the best marriages are when everything is tackled as a team... Which does not mean everything is equal or fair, but that the expectation is that each person is in it with the other person's (or entire family's) best interest at heart. I think to lead AND to follow is hard, but hard for different reasons. Once married if the wife suddenly just starts "obeying" her husband, she stops being the woman he fell in love with because while they were dating she is not commanded to submit, that only takes effect once she becomes his wife. Sure there are steps and processes towards "two becoming one," and I have no doubt part of this process includes the girlfriend learning to be a fiance, learning to be a wife... but she cannot merely switch to obeying him, nor should that be what he wants, and if that is, then there is either a lot of fighting in his future or a mere shadow of the marriage he could have had.

So, I 100% agree with the Bible that husbands should "love their wives" and wives should "submit to their husbands"... but, let's not forget we are also told to " Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ." (Ephesians 5:21)...

 And, in order for a husband to lead his wife, he is told to love her:

"If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13

I think it is important to point out, it is not the job of the wife to make her husband love her, and it is not the job of the husband to make his wife submit. Both commands are between the person and God alone. I do however think it looks slightly different for every couple due to the different strengths, abilities, skills, weaknesses, etc.. No two marriages will look the same, which means the leadership/teamwork styles cannot look identical either. Leading me will look dramatically different than leading any other woman because of my strengths and weaknesses, as well as my (possibly) future husband's.

From my entirely naive of personal experience view of marriage, I think it is one of the most difficult, challenging, frustrating, but entirely worth it choices two people can make. And, I challenge you to re-evaluate your view of leadership, obeying, and marriage once more after viewing this video about Ian and Larissa's marriage.

Talk about a true authentic loving marriage.

May 21, 2012


I found this on a poster on the metro last week..

This is the name my oldest nephew gave me when he couldn't say my name.. Which then molded into my other munchkins using it.. And then translated into several friends using it as well.

It is one of my all time favorite nicknames. Love it and the people who use it!

May 17, 2012


I have been in such a rut lately.. Not the depressing kind or even the scary kind, just the blogging kind. What I always find odd about about getting in a blogging rut is that it typically means lots of things going on in my head.. and more often than not my life in general. But, it is as if my rut stems from feeling the need to write down profound things... Which let's be honest virtually never happens haha! So, I am not entirely sure why I would feel the need to say something "inspired"...

However, since I do not have anything of major importance, I thought I would share a hodge podge of things...

I am nearing the end of Inheritance, the last book in the Eragon series... And, as always, I am slightly sad that this fantastical story is almost over! The thing that has caught me about this series, like many others, is how much I can picture the story, I can feel the emotions, and agree with the sentiments and determinations of the various situations. I am a huge fan of the strong capable women, and there is always a part of me that would like to believe if I ever found myself an elf or surrounded by dragons that I would act similarly ;)

I was texting with one of my favorites yesterday, and we were discussing what motivation and determination look like... Motivated means something along the lines of "to stimulate towards action," and subsequently determination means "fixed towards a goal" (both of these I picked one of a few possible descriptors)... While I think motivation is more important because it means you are doing something, I also think it is less difficult than being determined; mainly because to be fixed on a goal means knowing what the goal is... I feel like as Christians the only way to accurately be fixed towards a goal is to "fix our eyes on Jesus," and then everything else will fall into place.. Which is not to be confused with be easy, successful or clear since I am fairly certain none of those things are promised to us.

I had an interesting conversation with a new friend recently about whether "Wives submit to your husband" really means "women obey because he's the leader" ... I think I will mull this over a bit more and post on it later...

May 15, 2012

Boldly Go...

For the most part I am a fairly bold person. I tend towards "going" until God says no... and I often operate under the "what's the worst that could happen?" However, like anyone else, I get into comfortable ruts of just going through the motions of my schedule. Work, homework, random chores, various errands, and the occasional hang out. Nothing real exciting, and more or less just normal life... And, I kind of hate the normal mundane ruts.. Not because they are normal, but because they are often indicative of my acceptance of mediocrity, which I hate.

I have been thinking lately about the normal comfortable life, and how that is not exactly what we are supposed to do or more importantly who we are supposed to be. I mean, really, there are dozens of stories in the Bible that really inspire me to truly be bold and try something new... Mix these stories in the Bible with friends who have been encouraging me to be even more bold than I am used to or to try something entirely new that scares me or freaks me out a little, and you have a recipe for being molded into who I was really meant to be. Do not get me wrong, I am not talking about foolishly going or throwing all caution to the wind, I am talking about refusing to allow fear or anxiety control my life. A couple of my dear friends lately have repeated the mantra "what's the worst that could happen?" ... Which has caused me to pause and think about the situation(s) before me.. and more often than not "the worst" really is not deserving of that title, and really should be something along the lines of "most uncomfortable." But, I refuse to be controlled by potentially uncomfortable circumstances...

So, in light of this type of thinking, "...‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.
‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,..." - Isaiah 41:9b-10a

Be bold. Summer is a great time to decide to be bold and go until God says no!

May 10, 2012

Revising Life Goals...

I have a fairly extensive "bucket list" that I have been compiling for a few years now... However, I am completely revising the list to organize it differently and add more to it. In Mark Batterson's book  The Circle Maker he shares a list that is impressive to say the least, but is also incredibly inspiring. He has his list broken down into different categories, such as his experience goals, goals he wants to share with others, giving goals etc.. And, the more I have been thinking about it, the more I realized that so many of my goals are awesome, and I intend on keeping them, but I like his way of organizing them better. I like the idea of separating out the different goals based on areas of my life, which then actually has created more space and creativity for my goals.

So, while I am not done revising my current "before I die" list... I do think I have an idea of categories I want to use to separate them out into... (and likely add more things to each list) Experiences, giving, traveling, and personal..

This list is not complete, they are not in any particular order, and I have crossed through the ones I have already accomplished, but I am fairly confident these have more added to them later, but I think this is a good place to start:

Watch either the sunset or sunrise from each side of every ocean: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, Southern
Have a croissant at a French cafe 
Go wine tasting at a vineyard in Italy 
Ride an elephant
Go dog sledding
Go on a Safari in Africa
Scuba dive
Ride a camel in the desert
See the Pyramids at sunset 
Drink whiskey at a pub in Ireland
Go on a multi-day biking trip
Tube down a river
Visit ancient ruins
Stand on the Great Wall of China
Learn to roll in a kayak
Learn to snowboard, and ski
Learn to wakeboard and water ski
Drive a sports car over 100mph
Stand inside the Taj Mahal
Ride through the Panama Canal
Go Sky diving
Horseback ride through a coffee plantation
Go to the Kentucky Derby
Go white water rafting
Live in a house with a window seat and wrap around porch
Tango in a milonga 
Go parasailing 
Go paragliding
wim with bioluminescent plankton in Puerto Rico
Climb a volcano
Climb a glacier
Go rock climbing
Watch the sunrise or sunset over the Grand Canyon
Watch the Northern Lights 

See a shooting star 
Ring a church bell
Move somewhere new alone
Go on a cruise
Participate in a giant food fight
Climb a mountain
Ride a helicopter
Choose fifty favorite places to relax and connect with God
Attend the enitre summer Olympics  
Zip line through a canopy  
Drink lemonade on the front porch swing on warm summer night  
Have a big wedding celebration with everyone I love
Christen a boat
Be in Spain for running of the Bulls (but not participate)
See a glacier in Antarctica 
Learn to surf 
Learn to paddleboard  
Dive with Manta Rays in Hawaii  
Spend a night in a treehouse 
Swim with a whale  
See and/or climb Mt. Kilomanjaro and Mt. Everest
Snorkel the great barrier reef in Australia
Ride a gondola in Venice

Set foot on all seven continents 
Set foot in all fifty states
Cross the Canadian border
See Cuba 

Straddle the equator on two continents
Take a road trip across the U.S.
Have an exceptional time in Greece
Attend Loy Krathong, the sky lantern festival in Thailand  
Take a month long vacation without computers    
Attend La Tomatina in Spain 
Live in another country for a year 
Go to Fiji  
Spend a summer touring Europe
Go to Hawaii with my family
Go to South America with my sister

Make butterscotch from scratch (I have a recipe.. now I just need to get all the ingredients and do it!)
Build a house from start to finish
Get art in a gallery 
Attend a Black and White Ball
Grow vegetables in my own garden 
Be a published artist
Write a book or novel
Be conversational in five languages: 1. English 2. Spanish (this one comes and goes) 3. Sign-Language 4. Greek 5. German

Get my second degree black belt
Get a tattoo (I have two)
Do two pull ups
Go berry picking and make completely homemade pies
Own a very large dog 
Make my own perfume 
Organize a retreat
Learn all the Latin ballroom dances: Argentine Tango, Salsa, Cumbia, Merengue, Cha cha, Bachata, Rumba, Mambo, Bolero, Samba 

Start and run my own business
Form a workplace with people I love
Make my own list of the hundred best things to eat 
Go a day without speaking 
Plant a tiny orchard 
Run a 10k
Throw a block party
Shoot every major gun: Pistol, Shotgun, Rifle, Muzzleloader, Revolver
Start a fire without a match
Run a half marathon
Blog consistently for 10 years
Finish and publish "Facts of Life" 
Own a Beach house with friends

Help someone get through college
Do something for someone they can never repay
Tithe my whole life
Start a non-profit or help run one
Buy stock on my own
Get in the habit of grand loving gestures 
Be debt free by 35
Use my work to improve lives
Remove money as a concern from my life
Gift 1 million dollars to missions (not tithing)
Help my family become debt free
Give people in ministry free vacations at the beach house

A lot of these actually go in a couple categories, but are best "housed" in the particular category they are in. And, as always, this is ever changing.. or rather, ever growing. I feel much better about this list now that it is separated out into categories instead of just a solid list... Many thanks to Mark Batterson and his book The Circle Maker for the inspiration to do it this way!

May 9, 2012

Gay Marriage and Christians...

I spend a great deal of my day online, it is a part of my job, and I love it. I enjoy reading news articles, interest stories, blogs, twitter, facebook, youtube.. I mean you name it and I at least partially am aware of what it is (or will be tomorrow haha).

My favorite medium is blogs, I love them. I love getting a deeper insight into someone's view of the world, cause let's be honest, 140 characters while providing a wonderful platform for laughs just does not connect my heart to yours... So, I blog.

However, upon occasion I get fed up with the "trends," I get tired of reading all the different perspectives on things going on in the world, I get frustrated at both sides of the argument attacking the other for their incompetence, their ignorance etc... etc.. Each side claiming the other is for one reason or another stupid, idiot, un-christian, christian, unloving, loving.. blah blah blah. I just get tired of reading the (thankfully) first amendment right to share opinions.

While I definitely have my own opinions of gay marriage, Obama, government official's views on religion and gay marriage.. the thing I keep coming back to is:

"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the opportunity. Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person." - Colossians 4:5-6

Did you catch that? 
"Conduct yourselves with wisdom toward outsiders,  
making the most of the opportunity.  
Let your speech always be with grace."

The thing that I am the most frustrated with is the lack of ACTUAL conversation about this (or any other hot topic) issues. What is NC saying by voting against gay marriage by such a resounding 20% (which is a huge margin)? Clearly there is reasoning there.. but no one is asking what it is, instead the people who think it is a mean or hateful decision are turning into bullies and name calling or accusing the people who voted against it of being (fill in the blank). Then, in response some Christians are not responding with grace. Instead, they are taking this opportunity to antagonize the situation... Yes, thank you for your sharp wit, but really shut up cause you are hurting the entire conversation at large...

Instead of taking this opportunity to reach out to a very hurt and broken community, and openly admit we are against the sin not the sinner, we are "fighting" back in a manner that causes our voice to get lost in the collective internet noise.

So, once again, as I have said before,
"You were made for so much more than these shadows of who you are clinging onto as your identity. 
You were made for more."
And, once again, I always come back to caring more about the individual's state of salvation and brokenness, and not really caring about the laws, the public policies or the media's dogging of the issue... If I am going to say I believe in the Bible and its Truths (capital T), and then if they come into conflict with the government's laws, I have to choose the Biblical laws over the government's.

And, to be clear, I have yet to meet anyone who is not completely and totally sinful. Your sexual orientation does not make you better or worse, it makes you fallen and broken.. regardless of if you are "straight" or "gay"... You are broken and sinful. 
I am broken and sinful too.
"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.... 
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:1-2, 38-39

May 8, 2012

I am Not Talented...

I was talking with my mom today on my drive home from work, and while we talked about all sorts of random things, I keep thinking about one of the last topics we talked about. I was telling her about an article I read where a star (ok Zac Efron) talked about how he was not ever the most skilled, but worked the hardest, and I explained to her that I feel the same sentiment about myself. I am not like my siblings, my older brother is ridiculously smart (which takes after my dad) and can build I am pretty sure anything, my little brother has charm, strength, and wit for days, and my little sister is creative with more wisdom and intelligence than most anyone you will ever meet even though she is only 14... And, I feel as though most of the things I have are due to an incredible amount of hard work, not because of any gifts or talents.

My mom laughed at me and we talked about how interesting it is to hear other people's perceptions of us, and to really voice our own perceptions. She commented on how silly it sounded for me to talk about how little skills or talents I feel like I possess naturally, and pointed out a few things I am involved in... But, what is funny is while she was explaining I could definitely see her perspective, but I also think that even still, the vast majority of the things I have accomplished (getting my black belt, graduating college, getting a double masters degree..etc..) are all due to working hard, not necessarily because of any skill or talent I have. I mean, let's be honest, I am not the biggest fan of school, I do not enjoy nor understand most math, I dislike most sciences, and english is hardly a favorite topic of study so all of them require a great deal of hard work in order for me to succeed.

Then, mom was pointing out the similarities in feelings she has had, and how there are times she will think about how she wishes she was able to just give a little more to something, maybe that little bit extra would make all the difference, but then someone comes along and reminds her of all the things she is doing and all the ways she is making a difference, and how that changes the perspective.. Which, got me thinking about all the things I am involved in, and while none of them really require natural skills or talents, I am incredibly satisfied with the things I am doing and accomplishing or have done or accomplished.

Please do not misunderstand me, this is not a cry for compliments or a woe-is-me post at all. This is merely me looking at the way in which I operate, which has really been cultivated into a work ethic to succeed. I am not at all upset at my lack of natural talent, and I am sure there are things I am talented at, but really I am not necessarily interested on dwelling on those things because I am unsure that there can be the same sense of accomplishment for things you do not have to work for. While I may not view the things I have succeeded at or accomplished as due to any natural talent, I am completely aware that I approach life with in sorta a full tilt perspective... I mean, why not try to attain something? Why not work my hardest to see if I can do it (whatever it is)?.. But, then at the same time because of having to work so hard, I also realize there is a very real chance I will not succeed, which then subsequently leads me to pray about the tasks I am trying to accomplish...

So, once again, work (hard) like it depends on me... and pray (hard) like it depends on God.

May 4, 2012

Old Familiar Pains...

It has been almost two years since I have had to endure the rigorous activities, therapies, etc.. etc.. of my often shifted and out of place joints. And, while I am thankful it has been almost two years, I have also been hoping to avoid it all for quite some time still... However, I realized a couple days ago that my hips are messed up, my back is not aligned correctly, and my neck and shoulders are not exactly happy as of late. Which means, I need to find a chiropractor in the DC area to put humpty dumpty back together again. I have loved my last two chiropractors and am not exactly thrilled about looking for a new one again...

However, I am hoping this time it is a significantly reduced program to help put all my joints back together where they are supposed to be, but considering that I almost fell getting out of a car the other day due to my hip giving out and then realizing last week I could not sit still or my back and hip would lock up, realistically it will likely be another challenging recovery process. I am pretty aware of exactly how bad of shape my tendons and ligaments are right now... Should be a lovely, hopefully not painful, but likely long process to get it all straightened out once again.

May 2, 2012

Sweet Friends...

I love my friends who are totally and completely different than me.. (especially the ones that are introverted haha) I have said it over and over again, the world does NOT need clones of me!

I love all of my friends, but the introverted ones often feel dramatically different than me, probably for so many reasons, but they tend to be the ones who have gentler spirits, more compassion, think before they speak, are shy, cautious or are much more careful about what they share with others. I think I find all of these qualities precious in them because I realize that for whatever reason they have entrusted me to be a part of their lives and with information they hold close and privately, and that trust is inherently special and treasured by me.

I enjoy the perspective of my introverted friends because the world is dramatically different than my view of it. Often times, their approach causes me to pause and think about a different world view, which could also be why most of my best friends are introverted. ;)

I love my sweet friends who have different perspectives of the world, there is just a different cadence to my relationship with them, they bring out Christ in a new and fantastic way. I love when spending time with these friends gives me a totally different view of who Christ is, could be, and will always be. Such sweet cherished moments in my busy often chaotic life.