Sunday, December 4, 2011


Hello all,
I am moving to a new blog! Please be sure to check me out here! I like the way wordpress works, more than blogger.....thus the change :).

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause!


Thursday, December 1, 2011


Silence. How does one describe silence? Is there really such thing as complete silence? One can sit in total and utter silence from the world. From the things around them. But what about inward silence? It rejoices as you grow and strengthen as a person. It screams at you as you lay in bed, soaking your pillow in your silent tears. It yells at you as you sit alone, reminiscing over past failed attempts.

Silence is a curious thing.

But, is self silence really silence at all? Or is that silence merely a doorway that opens to a path of mental opportunity for emotions to stir within you, and fill every nook and cranny? A doorway that once opened, shines light onto every filed and shoved feeling? All that baggage you threw into your mental room of 'Things of which we do not speak'.

Silence can be a doorway. A doorway that leads us into the very depths of our souls. A doorway that pushes us into greater things. Greater beings. Deeper people. Silence can force a person into a deeper knowledge of himself. A knowledge of who he is and why he is and what he is.

Silence is a curious thing. But maybe silence is an excuse. Maybe really, self silence isn't silence at all, but the gentle shove of a greater One. The God who cares. The God who desires for us to know. To understand. To dig deeper into ourselves so that we are forced to go to Him. The One with all the answers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


I was commenting on a friend's blog today and the security code was 'knerd'......k nerd? I feel like the computer is mocking me and like I should be offended! haha ;P But no, I'm comfortable in my own nerdness. When the Zelda theme song is your ringtone, you get excited over anything that has any remote relation to Doctor Who, and you quote Napoleon Dynamite and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World like it's everyday kinda have to be haha.

Seeing that on the computer made me laugh, but it also made think about messages we receive and what we do with those messages. A person will receive a bajillion messages about themselves throughout their life. I'm only 21 and I've had what seems like a bajillion. Some are good. Some are bad.

I've been told I'm fat. I talk too much. I'm rebellious. I'm annoying. Unwanted. Too hyper. Too childish. etc. etc. etc.

But people don't have to say those things for you to receive those messages about yourself. It can be a look, an action, a tone. Anything. They hit that wall of lies inside you and so you receive them and believe them about yourself.  But in reality, you're not those things. They are lies. You're identity in Christ is the truth. Who you are in Him is who you really are.

Grasping that truth has been one of the absolute hardest things for me. I get so stuck on the lies about me. The looks, the tones, the words, all come back. The replay themselves over and over again in my mind. They hammer away at my heart trying to wedge that nail in completely. But His strength keeps that from happening. His love pushes it out. Slowly....but still. It's getting there.

It reminds me of the book by Max Lucado, You Are Special. The character Punchinello is constantly brought down by others around him. He is told one lie after another about himself. The people around him stick dots on him instead of stars (dots are bad, stars are good). But by the end of the story, he realizes that all the lies that bombard him are just that....lies. That's all. They're not who he is. He's a child of the Most High. Perfect and holy and righteous through Christ. So the dots slide off, because they no longer mean anything to him.

I love children's books. They can be so simple, but have such deep meanings.

I'm hoping one day, all the dots (lies) being held within my heart, slide away. I'm hoping that someday they stop sticking. That someday, I'll truly understand who I am in Christ and accept the truth instead of the lies.

The more He reminds me of who I am in Him, and the more I listen and allow it to sink in, the easier it is. It's a process. It's not an overnight change. But He's constantly embracing me in truth. Sometimes, I push Him away. Funny thing is though, even though I push Him away, He seems to refuse to leave. He's still holding tight. Those moments I give up on myself, He doesn't give up on me. Ever.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Change Is In The Air

This morning, I just stood for a bit looking at myself in the mirror. Not out of vanity. Out of curiousity. I've changed a lot on the inside, and I'm starting to notice on the outside. I've changed from even just 6 months ago. It's amazing how life will do that to a person, ya know? Experiences can mold us and shape us into something totally different.

Some of the changes are good. I'm a more confident, independent person. My musical and artsy side is starting to finally come out more and develop, and I don't allow people to walk all over me as much as I used to. I'm more blunt and say more of what I'm thinking. I don't mind saying when something hurts as much and (although still some) saying what I want to do and my preference. I'm becoming more confident in my opinions (thanks to this blog) and saying what I believe without so much fear.

I'm liking this 'new' me. But it scares me. As I was standing there, looking back at myself, I was looking at an unfamiliar face. An unfamiliar person. I feel like im a walking stranger, to myself. My eyes have a new gaze. My lips a new smile. My face a new glow. Others have even started noticing.

But not all of it is good. The changes are overall beneficial things, I think, but I'm having to learn how to balance them. When to know when the right timing is. For example, it's not always good to be blunt and give your opinions. You have to know when those things should be said.

It's a journey. I'm walking through new territory. A part of me feels like I don't know myself at all anymore, but another part feels like I'm discovering the person I've always wanted to be.

Change can be so intimidating, and so overwhelming. I don't miss the 'old' me, I just miss 'knowing' me....if that makes any sense. I'm thankful that the Lord is so loving that He doesn't leave us where we're at though. Instead, He molds and changes us into who were are meant to be. I'm far from who I want to be and I'm sure from who the Lord wants me to be. But I'm getting there.

It's been some of the most encouraging last 6 months of my life to be able to see that change. To stand back and watch as He works in my life. He is truly so faithful and so loving. He's constantly showing me that as He holds my hand tightly, never letting me slip from His grasp, and walking each step with me. Each step forward. Some are baby steps, some are big steps, but either way, they're steps. Forward. And those changes are drawing me into a deeper relationship with Him.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Unnecessary Stress

This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs. It expresses such a beautiful cry to the Lord. It reveals a young girl who's imperfect and who feels like she's not ready for the mission the Lord has given her. But I feel this song relates to more than just Mary, the mother of Jesus. I can relate to much of it.

I am waiting
in a silent prayer
I am frightened
by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now

This verse is so real. So genuine. So relatable. I love it. But I think this next verse is probably one of my favorites in the song:

Do you wonder
As you watch my face
If a wiser one, should of had my place
But I offer-all I am
For the mercy-of your plan
Help me be strong

I feel so inadequate and ill-equipped to follow through with His plan in my life. I see the tasks He has laid before me, and I shy away in fear. I look at my life and I ask 'Why me?'. Not necessarily in a complaining way, but in an overwhelmed and confused way. I wonder why He thinks that I could accomplish such a thing. 

But then He reminds me, it's not me. It's Him through me. 

I feel as Christians, we put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect in everything. To never stumble and make mistakes. Never say the wrong thing and make the wrong decision. But, I guess what I've come to learn is, He is sovereign. Sounds simple and like a 'well....duh.', yet still Christians are constantly stressing themselves out and adding unnecessary pressure to their lives. Yes, we all have a choice, and our choices have a consequence, but God is bigger than all of that! Adam and Eve ate the fruit, which caused sin to enter the world, but look how much bigger God has proved Himself. They made a bad decision, but He has shined through that dark cloud against all odds.

(This post wasn't originally supposed to go in this direction, btw. haha. I find that this happens a lot! I'll start writing and suddenly things will take a turn. I figure might as well go with the flow of what my fingers want to type and my mind wants to say ;P )

So, I guess my basic point is, we need to chill. I know personally, I add much too much stress to my life by trying to be perfect. I still believe in choosing wisely and being prayerful about decisions, etc. I believe we should go to the Lord about everything, even the simple things and seek His counsel and guidance and try to make the absolute best decision. Don't think I'm saying otherwise. But, if what you do happens to not be the totally, 100%, greatest thing, it's not the end of the world. God is so much bigger than our decisions and our mistakes. He's got your back :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Twilight Pt. 3: Eclipse

I'm moving along rather splendidly in the series I'd say haha ;P. I actually have a lot more negative thoughts about Eclipse than I expected.

Edward's control issue really annoyed me. He tries to tell her who she can see, who she can't see. What she can do, what she can't do, etc. He obviously isn't trusting her. I can understand him being uncomfortable with her seeing Jacob. Especially since that's his enemy. But him demanding her to not see Jacob is just immature and unnecessary. He just as easily could have stated his concerns, and then trusted her to the rest. But instead he followed her and kept an eye on her without any need to. In his favor though, by the end of the movie, he starts to control her less and doesn't even get upset over her kissing Jacob. I was rather shocked, but I respected him a bit more for that.

I was incredibly peeved at Bella for kissing Jacob though. Yes, she admitted her feelings for him, finally, but in the end, it just hurt Jacob more. I understand she was trying to save Jacob from doing something reckless, but we can't control the actions of others, and his recklessness was very manipulative and child-like.

On a more positive note, I was honestly surprised when Edward denied Bella sex. He told her he wanted to wait until marriage. That was very noble and respect-worthy of him. I also was pleasantly surprised to see the two enemies (Cullins and Werewolf clan) come together and fight for the same cause. Later, the leaders even shook hands. I very much appreciated that.

Right now, I'm not Team Edward or Team Jacob. They're both being idiots at this point. Jacob is less of one than Edward, but he's still lacking in many areas.

Overall, this movie gave me a very sick feeling for some reason. I'm not entirely sure why either. I think it was just the mixture of darkness, control, and hurt going on, and sometimes stupid drama makes me nauseous. Hopefully Breaking Dawn is better...

Friday, November 25, 2011

Twilight Pt. 2: New Moon

I watched New Moon on Wednesday with Hannah (my sister). She's watching the whole series with me haha.

I kept hearing bad reviews about this one. I heard it was depressing, not worth watching, that Edward was controlling in how he left her, and that the music is awful. I beg to differ.

Yes, it was slightly depressing, but relatable. She was real. Here's a girl who has just had her heart ripped from her chest, shoved in her face, and then thrown to the ground and stomped on. Who can blame her?? I felt that this movie is a key part in the series. It showed how much she truly loves Edward, and it explained werewolves (like the first explained vampires). I didn't appreciate how she used Jacob as rebound and to get past her depression though. I would be more gracious if she didn't lead him on, but she does. They came close to kissing even. I honestly feel bad for the guy. I viewed her going after him as only trying to get past Edward. I believe she loves him, yes, but only as a friend.

Was Edward controlling? Possibly. But he was trying to protect her. I see nothing wrong with that. They say love is blind. I agree with that, to a point. Bella has been pretty reckless by going off with Edward. She fell in love almost instantly and went for him whole-heartedly. So, I honestly thought it was rather selfless what he did. He obviously adores her, but he wanted to give her a chance at a 'normal' life. What he failed to realize is just how deeply she loves him. She can't live without him.

As for the music, I actually really enjoyed it. They play songs from a lot of artists I listen to. Death Cab, Bon Iver, Sea Wolf, The Killers, etc.

I don't really appreciate that Dakota Fanning is in it. I just can't take them as seriously haha.

I liked New Moon more than I thought I would though. It wasn't quite what I had heard it was. At least to me. There were ups and downs about it, of course. But overall, I enjoyed it. It wasn't as awful as most people made it out to be :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Gratitude is the music of the heart

...when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. "

I've been watching as everyone posts 'thankful' updates on their status and blog posts. I have a lot to be thankful for, but I lose sight of that a lot. I look at my life and focus on the struggles. I need to realize that my life has much to be thankful for.

I'm a pretty firm believer in finding joy in little things. My old manager at the retail store I used to work at was teasing me one day about how excited I get over small things by saying "Why do you think I make you set up the men's side instead of the women's? You'd be ooing and ahhing over every little thing and trying on all the clothes if you were setting up the women's side. It would take you forever." Which is pretty much true haha.

But it's one thing to find joy in little things, and another to be thankful for all the other things. Especially the trials. It can be so difficult to look at them and be truly and genuinely thankful. This is something the Lord has really been laying on my heart that I need to work on.

I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder. 
~G.K. Chesterton

During the sermon this past Sunday, the pastor said something along the lines of "I am thankful that the tv and cell phones and media can be turned off. And I'm thankful that the stars and moon cannot"

I loved that.

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for many things. To name a few:

  • I'm thankful for my jobs. I nanny two incredibly special and amazing kids. Both of whom I care a great deal about. I also teach piano to some awesome students. Many of which I've been teaching for about 2 years and have been able to be there and watch them grow both as students and people. It's such a blessing.
  • I'm thankful for music. It helps me release my emotions and my thoughts and express myself.
  • I'm thankful for people who challenge me. Who make me question why I believe what I believe. Which forces me to dig deeper.
  • I'm thankful for Tazo Green Tea. It's what I always drink while I study ;) yumyum!
  • I'm thankful for long talks with the Lord. Those times where you're laying in bed, staring at the ceiling, and just talking and resting in His peace and love.
  • I'm thankful for my readers. You encourage me in more ways than you realize and keep me motivated to blog and share my thoughts :)
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have the loveliest of days! :) 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Little girls don't know how to be sweet girls

There are a lot of girls out there with very little self-respect. But honestly, who's to blame them? In a world where respect of yourself and others is being left behind, it's no wonder this is an issue. I've noticed this lack of self-respect become especially damaging when it comes to being in a relationship. Boys aren't brought up to treat girls as ladies, and girls aren't brought up to treat boys with respect and kindness.

As Erin McCarley puts it:

Little girls don't know how to be sweet girls.
Mama didn't teach me.
Little boys don't know how to treat little girls.
Daddy didn't show me.

We've lost sight of chivalry. I personally know a handful of guys who are true gentlemen. They treat the women around them with the utmost care and respect. After being around them, I walk away feeling completely different. I feel important and respected and cared for. Even if that guy isn't a special someone, I still feel that way, and it still means a lot. 

I'm old-fashioned, as I'm sure you can probably already tell. But honestly, is it so old-fashioned to expect to be treated with respect? I don't really think so. I'm not talking about 'Mr. Darcy' old-fashioned even. That sort of guy is fictional and unrealistic. But there is a way to be chivalrous and a gentleman in this modern day world.

In You've Got Mail, Kathleen (Meg Ryan) says:

“A REAL man, the kind of man a woman wants to give her life to, is one who will respect her dignity, who will honor her like the valuable treasure she is. A REAL man will not attempt to rip her precious pearl from it's protective shell, or persuade her with charm to give away her treasure prematurely, but he will wait patiently until she willingly gives him the prize of her heart. A REAL man will cherish and care for that prize forever.” 

I see time and time again girls allowing guys to walk all over them. To treat them as if they're dirt. To use them emotionally and physically. And that will never change, until girls start respecting themselves. Seeing that they are jewels who should be treated as such. 

I was on the local train recently with a friend and there was a group of middle schoolers on it. There were no seats available, so my friend and I had to stand. But one of the little boys got up and offered his seat to her. It completely made my day. Even though the seat wasn't offered to me. It showed me that boys are still taught to be gentlemen. 

Here is an article I read that you should check out. It is titled 'You are not "crazy" '. It's a message to women from a man. Incredibly touching and encouraging. 

I wish that more girls respected themselves. I wish that more guys respected girls. It's hard to come by, but when you do see it, it's like a breath of fresh air. It just feels so right, because that's how it should be. Girls should be shown more respect and treasured for who they are more than just what they are. 

I'm not throwing guys under the bus here. Us girls aren't helping them much. Girls talk horribly of guys and treat them with little respect. They encourage the view that boys are stupid and animals. Which is....well.....stupid. So really, it's just overall a very vicious cycle.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Twilight Pt. 1

I've been pretty much against Twilight since the beginning. I've refused to watch the movies, read the books and even watch the trailers, and I have done SO WELL in standing my ground......until last night.....

My sister has begged me over and over again to watch the movies with her. Yesterday, we went on a 'sister date' and she finally wore me down. Getting me to watch it was an accomplishment. Getting me to even CONSIDER watching was an accomplishment. I decided though that if I'm going to be against something, I should at least have an educated argument against it. I annoys be so much when people are against something I'm into and they haven't even tried it.

So yes, I watched it.......*says in barely audible whisper* and liked it (oh sin of sins!).........

I've heard a lot of arguments about it. "It teaches kids to be rebellious" "The whole issue of vampires and romance is completely unrealistic" "It teaches girls to think that creepy guys who stalk them are romantic"

I might do a post about each movie. This one is about the first one, because it's the only one I've seen thus far. So keep that in mind as you read on.

For the first argument I've heard "It teaches kids to be rebellious":
1. How can a person be upset about that yet let their kids watch all the crap that's on tv? Have you watched any of the shows on Disney? Nick? They're full of rebellion. The kids are complete brats, and there is absolutely no respect for the parents in them. 2. I see in no way how it teaches kids to be rebellious. Bella chose to not be with her mom because she wanted her mom to have some time with her step dad. That's selfless. Especially since she really didn't want to go to her dad's town. Throughout the movie you see her hanging with her dad often. They have a simple relationship. But it's a relationship. That's more than most these days. And throughout the movie, she makes the best of her situation. New school, new friends, new town. Instead of falling into her flesh pattern of hiding, she steps out of her comfort zone and gets to know the kids there.

"The whole issue of vampires and romance is completely unrealistic and nonsense":
Well duh. But, how many movies, shows and books that are complete nonsense and unrealistic do you allow your children to view? Beauty and the Beast (she's falls for a beast who has anger issues), Nightmare Before Christmas (is there anything NOT unrealistic and scary about this movie?), High School Musical (where do I even start?), Enchanted (she falls on him while wrapped in a towel. He walks in on her while she's in the shower).  My point should be pretty clear now. Arguing against Twilight because it's about vampires and romance and total nonsense nonsense.

 "It teaches girls to think that creepy guys who stalk them are romantic":
Let me begin by saying that there are lots of heroes out there who are creepy. Again, Beauty and the Beast. I'm sure there are more, I just can't think of them off the top of my head. Edward, honestly, isn't very creepy. He's pale, he sparkles, and overall lacks in the manhood department, yes, but that doesn't make him creepy. He follows Bella because he feels a draw towards her and wants to protect her. He constantly opens the door for her, looks out for her needs and places her desires and needs above himself. Unlike most guys in movies these days....actually, unlike most guys in general these days. But Edward has flaws. He's controlling in his protectiveness, he's moody, and he almost kills her through the temptation of her blood while attempting to save her life. So no, he is far from perfect. But I feel that is a positive quality in the movie. It shows that even those who seem so perfect are indeed flawed and need to grow and learn.

So there you have it. Those are my thoughts on Twilight. Keep in mind, these are only my thoughts on the first movie. I'll post my thoughts about each movie as I watch them. I'm sure my opinion will change and evolve as the series goes on.

I'm not a screaming fan, by any means. I don't think every quality in the movie is a good one. There is a mix. But that's the same as with any movie really.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Be Still Pt. 2

I had not originally planned on writing a part 2 for my Be Still post, but a friend pointed out that the post came across as me saying people should stuff their emotions and ignore them. Which is not at all what I believe! When they're stuffed and ignored, they explode at some point.

Emotions are a part of us. They're part of our make up and how we were created. They're there for a reason. Some people are more emotional than others and more comfortable with their emotions. I'm fairly comfortable with mine. I'm learning how to figure them out. Emotions are so fickle. You can feel one way one moment and totally different another.

But that doesn't make emotions bad. Even Jesus is emotional! He wept and He laughed and He empathized and He loved. He still does!

Emotions are a tricky thing. They go up and down. You can't fully rely on them. But, without emotions, I feel like life would be lacking in so many ways. Emotions create music, art, dance, etc. Emotions help us express ourselves.

It's like our relationship with the Lord. We can't base how close we are to Him by listening to how we feel. Some moments, a person feels like they are one with Him, but then other moments, they feel they are separated and like He is so completely far away, and beyond all reach. But, in reality, He dwells inside of you! You can't get any closer than that! And God isn't always a feeling. Yes, there are those special, intimate moments where you feel Him near. But He is always near. We're always wrapped in His embrace. No matter how we feel.

Emotions can be beautiful things. They can encourage and motivate. They're there for a reason. That's what we need to remember. They're not everything, for sure, but they're not pointless and to be ignored either.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Be Still

"Be still and know that I am God"
Psalm 46:10
I mentioned this verse in my post a few days ago. When I say it's my all time favorite verse, I mean that fully. The Lord really showed me exactly what it means. It's a simple verse, for sure, but sometimes simplicity can be the most meaningful and deepest of things. 

It was put on a whole new level for me this past year. 

I'm a pretty emotional person. Not just with crying though. I just feel a lot of what is going on around me. I get caught up in people's problems and struggles very easily. Random strangers will come up to me and share their story, and before you know it, we're both crying. It's been very trying on me. It used to really weigh me down. I would take all those problems on myself and try to 'fix' it. I always felt it was my responsibility to help them in every possible way. I still struggle with this. But sometimes, the best thing you can do for a person is 'be still'. Let God take over and fix it Himself. 

But my being emotional doesn't just apply to other people. It applies with myself. 

Imagine a bunch of caged up birds. There they sit, squished and smothered. The cage is never big enough to fit them all. But once they're released, they go everywhere, and you'll never get them back in that cage.

Those are my emotions. Once they're released, I get overwhelmed and confused and depressed. 

But the Lord has been changing that. He's teaching me to 'be still' in those moments. To listen and watch. Being still emotionally and mentally has been such a foreign concept for me. It's hard to try to gather all those 'birds' back and make them shutup. To just rest in the peace and stillness and to open my heart to listening to Him instead of always talking to the Him.

Prayer isn't just about talking to Him. A big part is just listening. He has so much to say, but so few of us give Him that chance. We just ramble and go on and on about whatever. At least I do haha. 

So, to wrap everything up, being still and knowing is more than most people think. I see that this verse is taken for granted time and time again. It's a more 'common' one and so people don't really meditate on it. But I encourage you to meditate on it and listen. See what the Lord shows you and what areas in your life you need to 'be still'.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm a pretty open person. You ask and I'll usually feel comfortable answering. I used to be a lot more open than I am now. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I've noticed that people are so closed off when they first meet someone. Not that I can blame them. It's hard to be real and open, especially when there's the risk that you being you won't be accepted. People aren't quite sure how to respond to someone who is genuine. It's abnormal and somewhat intimidating.

Trust is a big issue in today's society I think. People trusting people is starting to decline rapidly. There was a time when you could let your kids outside to play and not think anything of it. You knew they were safe and that no harm would come to them. Now, in today's world, you barely let them out of your sight. Why? Because you don't trust the people around you. People have abused that trust.

When trust is damaged, it's hard to get it back. It takes time and constant proof that you're a trust worthy person. Even then, nothing is guaranteed.

I used to be a very trusting person. But when a person gets burned enough, their faith in people starts to fade. At least for me it has. I'm still trusting, just not as much. I step with more caution and open up less. I look carefully behind every door and step over every pebble.

I'm not convinced this is good though. I don't think it's altogether wrong, but unless you trust people, you could miss out on a lot. Even when that means being hurt. Without pain and without hardships a person doesn't grow. I'm not suggesting to trust any and all, but maybe step out a little. Open that door a little more widely.

Deciding whether or not to trust a person is like deciding whether or not to climb a tree, because you might get a wonderful view from the highest branch, or you might simply get covered in sap, and for this reason many people choose to spend their time alone and indoors, where it is harder to get a splinter.
~Lemony Snicket

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I don't know the key to success

.....but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
~Bill Cosby

Why does one struggle with feeling like a failure? If you were the only person on earth, would you feel like a failure? Probably not. You wouldn't have anyone to compare yourself to. No one to feel like you constantly have to please and satisfy.

Failure is a big thing for me. I'm not entirely sure why, but it's a struggle I'm all too familiar with. Not failing so much as feeling like a failure. Any little mistake and my emotions plummet to feeling like a complete idiot and totally inadequate. I say one wrong thing, make one wrong look, use the wrong tone, or whatever, and I start beating myself up about it.

Our emotions do not define who we are though. No matter how much of a failure I feel like, I'm still not one. How can one be a failure when they are complete in Christ? Our identity in Him is not being a failure. That doesn't even fit in the equation.

Most 'failures' aren't failures really, anyways. They're simply building blocks to strengthen and deepen our growth in the Lord. Failure is defined as 'lack of success'. But, is it really a lack of success if you have learned and grown from your mistakes?

I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
~Thomas Edison

Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.
~Henry Ford

I think if we would keep that perspective, accept who we are in Christ, and keep that mentality, messing up wouldn't be quite as horrible an experience.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stifling, this day is stifling.....

I love this song. I can relate so much. Not so much in the way she's meaning, but in a way that speaks to me. When I'm scared of being wrong or feel like I have to defend myself, I fight. Not physically. Anyone who knows me knows that would just be pointless haha. I would never win ;P. But verbally. I load up my mental weaponry and fire away. Whether I'm right or wrong. It becomes a pride thing.

When two people become defensive with each other, there's really no point in even continuing a discussion at that moment. It won't lead anywhere. Both sides are just trying to make the other person admit they're wrong. Logic is thrown out the window and emotions rule.

I started noticing how defensive I can get about a year or so ago. At first, nothing changed. I noticed it, yes, and I talked to the Lord about it, but change doesn't happen overnight. It takes time. Sometimes lots of time, depending on the person.

Something is changing me
Real slow from the inside out

I'm noticing changes beginning to happen in me though. I'm now able to feel when my defenses go up. When I notice it happening, I'm learning what it means to put them back down again. How? By accepting the truth. We don't need to defend ourselves. If we are wrong, the Lord will reveal that. But He is our ultimate defender.

I've had several battles come up recently. It's been incredibly encouraging to see the areas where the Lord is changing and molding me. To see that I am growing, even if I don't always feel like it. To watch Him take hold of me and calm my spirit down in the midst of chaos and emotions. My favorite scripture is:

"Be still and know that I am God"
Psalm 46:10

That verse has meant so many things for me, but in the instance of arguing, it has showed me to be still. To know that He is God. To be still and watch Him work.

So, instead of fighting until I win, I'm learning to let it go. To not defend myself so much and instead allow Him to defend me. And I'm learning to allow Him to soften my heart when I am wrong so I'm willing to admit that. Feels like death sometimes haha, but it's worth it and I'm learning.

Life is full of learning. Almost everyday there's something new He's showing me. It can be so overwhelming and so tiring and so discouraging. But it can also be amazing and encouraging and if I allow it, growth. I'm just taking one day at a time right now. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Beauty Is Pain

But does it have to be? That really depends on your definition of beauty.

I have an account with a coupon company, and they send me discounts to various things. Almost everyday, without fail, something for hair extentions, teeth whitening, weight loss programs, etc. comes through my email. Almost everyday, without fail, I start questioning my appearance. I look down and wonder if I should lose more weight. I smile in the mirror and wonder if my smile is unlovable because of my teeth. I brush through my hair and wonder if it would be more beautiful if it was longer.

That's exactly what those companies want you to do. They want you start questioning the way you are. If you didn't, you wouldn't need them, and they would be out of business.

So yes, outward beauty can be painful, if you allow it to be. Or it can be completely pain free. Instead of allowing those companies and society's definition of beauty to have that much control over you, you can make the choice to realize you're beautiful without the pain. You're beautiful exactly how God made you.

But then there's true beauty. You can look all around and see gorgeous people walking down the street everyday. But are they truly gorgeous?

Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.
1 Peter 3:4

Before I go further, notice the word 'merely'. I know of too many people who take this verse to the extreme and believe it's saying NO outward adornment. No jewelry, no makeup, etc. But it's not. It's simply saying, beauty is not outward. True beauty is inward. We should not rely on our outward appearance for beauty. It should be our heart.

True beauty comes from within. It comes from knowing and accepting who you are in Christ. Knowing in your heart, not just your head, that you are beautiful inwardly because you are His beloved and He has created you.

But true beauty also comes from experience. From being molded and formed into the person He wants you to be. That beauty is painful. Being chiseled and cut can feel like death. But that pain and that cutting away of ourselves is beautiful. It's love at one of it's very deepest levels.

I posted this quote a bit ago, but I think it sums most of this up:

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

-Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Friday, November 11, 2011

Escaping the obvious

I went to a concert with some friends last night, and while we were there, I couldn't help but notice a guy sitting at the bar. At first, I just noticed that he was very attractive, but the more I looked, the more I saw. He looked so lonely and troubled. He sat there, in a contemplative mood, playing with his clear plastic cup of beer, and occasionally took a sip. Several girls hit on him throughout the night, and each one he politely, but firmly, turned down. All around him were girls and people talking loudly, but he barely moved and never even looked at them. Just sat there staring into space.

It made me think about the things people do to escape. Escape from life and reality. Escape from the hardships and troubles. There are lots of different things people do to escape. Mine are schoolwork and music. It's peaceful. It's calming, and it helps me de-stress. I try to find a secluded, cozy corner in a coffee shop, then set up my laptop, and pull out my books. I usually am in the mood for calming music (not TOO calming though ;P) so, I set up my itunes and plug my headphones in. It's incredibly relaxing. I look forward to it pretty much every day.

I don't think that escapes are bad. Sometimes, just relaxing and not thinking about life is the only thing to keep some people sane and going. But many people overdo it. They love the escape so much, that's all they do. But an escape is only temporary, even if that's all you do. At the end of the day, you still have the same problems and the same things to work through and deal with. You can never escape things forever. No matter how hard you try. It catches up with you and demands attention.

Seeking the Lord and His thoughts and input on such things is always so beneficial. Also, just giving those things to Him is the ultimate 'escape'. Instead of running and hiding all the time, we should just give them up. He wants to fix them, and strengthen us in Him. We have to allow that. Easier said than done, I know. But it's possible.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I analyze pretty much everything. Every word spoken, movement taken, look given, etc. I love to sit in a coffee shop, with my headphones over my ears, and just watch. I just find people so interesting. How they respond to different situations, and how they react to different things.

I was watching myself the other day. Analyzing every movement, look, word, and thought. Sometimes I start wondering, why am I the way I am? Experience forms us into the people we become. I'm only 21. I have so many more experiences to....well....experience. Life, really, is only just starting. Sometimes that thought excites me. All the possibilities ahead, the dreams to achieve, people to meet, etc. But then sometimes, it terrifies me. All the pain to endure and hardship to work through.

Bottom line: Growing up is tough.

When you're young, you see the world through your naive, innocent eyes. You believe in dragons, fairies, and happily ever after. Then one day, that look starts to fade. Reality starts to hit. The childhood bubble pops and life begins. Sometimes I want to go back.

I'm not saying reality is bad. It isn't. It's just hard. There is good and bad. Up and down. But reality is life for what it is. Full of pain, struggles, laughter, fun, sorrow, etc.

My 21st birthday was probably one of my hardest birthdays thus far. I evaluated my life. Where I am vs. where I wanted to be. How I am vs. how I wanted to be. I had certain goals and dreams I wanted accomplished. But, obviously, God's plan was very different than mine. I touched on this in one of my posts in September.

Instead of feeling like a failure, which was my original emotion, I've started seeing that I'm where I'm supposed to be. I may not be where I had hoped, but I've learned a lot and I've grown a lot, and am continuing to do so. Life is full and life in Him is abundant. Each day, He's teaching me how to embrace that and trust Him.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

If you judge people.... have no time to love them.
-Mother Teresa

This is a bit of a vent post, I suppose. Not just about others, but about myself too. We are all guilty of judging. I see it almost everyday. I'm guilty of it more times than I like to think about.

People are constantly judging. They judge anything and everything. There is rarely a time someone won't find fault with another person.

But who are we to judge? Are you in their situation? Maybe you've been in a similar situation, or perhaps you feel you know exactly how they should act, but that gives no person the right to judge another. In reality, we are not that person.

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
James 4:12

Why does it feel so natural to judge? To look at another and fail to just love them for who they are? At the place they are at?

You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
Matthew 7:5

I know personally, I hate when people judge me. It stings and buries itself deep inside of me and haunts me. I love pleasing people. To upset and frustrate them, especially the ones I love the most, makes me disappointed in myself. I start questioning every choice I've made and replaying every situation in my mind to see where I went wrong. Which is horribly wrong in itself and is insecurity on my part. But, my point is, judging people, instead of loving them and encouraging them, can stick. And not in a good way.

But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
John 8:7

Not one of us is without fault. We are all guilty of sin and messing up, whether we admit it or not. So really, what's the point of judging? To make ourselves feel like we are better for 'knowing' what to do? To demean others?

Instead of pointing the finger of judgment and acting like we know everything and exactly how to handle each situation, lets try to love. To accept. To help each other grow in the Lord and encourage one another to follow His will.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Beautiful People

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen."

-Elisabeth Kubler Ross

Friday, November 4, 2011

The embrace of all embraces

Generally, people seem to take a lot for granted. I know I certainly do. Recently, through a friend, the Lord reminded me that I keep taking the most important thing for granted. Him.

When I'm down or annoyed with myself, or my self-esteem is blazing with doubt, I know automatically to look at Jesus and see myself through His eyes. Automatically, my mind tells me 'He thinks I'm beautiful. He created me in His image. Etc, etc, etc.' But lately, He's been showing me that I'm missing the mark. Yes, I know all those things in my mind. I know all the 'right' answers. But do I really know it? Like, really know it?

Heart knowledge is so completely different than head knowledge, I've been learning. I was brought up in church. I always knew the answers in Sunday school and the right thing to say. But I really didn't know much of anything. A person, I believe, doesn't really know the "right answers" until they've experienced God.

I've been taking Him for granted. And because of that, I keep missing out on experiencing Him.

He hugs us each and every day of our lives. No, it may not be in the showy, grand, explosive way we're expecting/desiring. But, from what I've seen, it's perfect. Simple. Overwhelming. Breathtaking. So perfect.

I used to be an avid reader. I don't have as much time to read anymore, but Louisa May Alcott has always been one of my favorite authors. A few years ago, I was in a book store and exploring the section where her books are. I found one I didn't own, but, me being a cheapo, decided $7 was too much ;P. I went back a week later to see it on clearance for $3. Again, I decided it wasn't worth it. The next week, I wandered once again to the clearance section. Amazingly, it was still there. Even more amazingly, it was only $1. My heart screamed. You know that moment when you feel overwhelmed with feeling loved and cherished? You look around to see if anyone notices the dorky grin spread across your face? Yeah. That was me haha.

Over a book, you might say? Yes. Immediately, I knew that was a God hug. Him whispering 'I love you, my darling. I just wanted to remind you today.' He knows our desires and our hearts better than anyone. He knows what makes me smile and laugh. He know exactly how to make me feel like the most special and adored girl on earth.

He gives hugs and reminds us of His love everyday. It's so easy to take it for granted though and ignore. Being a receiver can be easier said than done. Receiving such love and such passion for ourselves is overwhelming. At least for me it is.

I've been trying to recognize and accept His hugs. To not take for granted the kind word of someone. The encouragement of a stranger. The book on sale. To remember that I am His beloved and He's loving on me every moment of everyday.

So next time someone compliments you, or something random makes you smile, etc., try to remember.......He's embracing you in His love.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When disappointment strikes

I'm realizing that, when disappointment strikes while I'm nannying, I'm the one there to pick up the pieces. It's been a huge challenge for me. Sometimes I feel like I'm walking around blindfolded and having to inch my way forward one cautious step at a time. At times, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing.....ok, more like most of the time.

I had a situation come up recently where both kids I nanny were faced with a huge disappointment. It took what seemed an incredibly long time just to get the boy to stop crying. We ended up having to skip a lot of homework that day because he was too overwhelmed with the disappointment.

A friend posted this article on facebook today on how to motivate an upset child, and I found it to be very encouraging and exactly what I needed to read.

Maybe someday I'll have it all figured out. How to handle kids when they're throwing tantrums, moody, using unkind words towards other, etc. But for now, I'm continuing to stumble along and learning a great deal about myself, life, kids, and being a nanny.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

"Hold on to what you believe, in the light.....

.....when the darkness has robbed you of all your sight" -Mumford and Sons

I know a lot of people struggle with depression. It has sort of become an 'unmentionable'. A problem that comes up time and time again, but many people continue to shove it down and ignore it.

Prepare yourself for a long post. I apologize for the lengthiness of it. This is a subject I feel very passionate about and feel led to share my thoughts on.

It's a moment where one can feel completely overwhelmed with sadness. And by moment, I mean awful period of time. A moment where you feel you are kicked into a deep, dark pit and no matter how much you try to climb your way out, you always fall back down. Eventually you lose strength to even try to climb out. So you just lay there. Giving up on one thing at a time.

But God says:
Anyone who is among the living has hope. -Ecclesiastes 9:4

Depression isn't something to be ashamed of. Those who struggle with it are just that. They aren't depressed people. They are merely people who struggle with depression. It's the same as people who struggle with anything else.

She dried her tears and they did smile
To see her cheeks' returning glow
How little dreaming all the while
That full heart throbbed to overflow

With that sweet look and lively tone
And bright eye shining all the day
They could not guess at midnight lone
How she would weep the time away -Emily Bronte

Hiding it and shoving it down never solves a thing. It only allows it to build up until it explodes over everything and everyone. Which is always a mess. Instead, we should be encouraging one another to get to the root. To know exactly who we are in Christ. To be comfortable to go to each other for help and encouragement. I know for myself, having friends who are just there for me means the world and helps more than they probably know.

But ultimately, knowing who I am in Him and His view of me has been the most healing.

He reminds me often that I can only see a small portion of the real picture. I get so bogged down with the 'now', that I forget there's more going on. I have certain motivational lines stuck around my car to remind me. One of which includes:

"from this one place I can't see very far. In this one moment I'm square in the dark. These are the things I will trust in my heart, You can see something else" -From This One Place by Sara Groves

The reminder that God is sovereign and that He is crazy about me makes any day better.

"For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With His love, He will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs." -Zephaniah 3:17

I've struggled with depression for the last 2 or 3 years. I don't feel that it makes me a weak person. In fact, it's made me a stronger person than I was before. Sometimes, I believe, a person has to sink to their very lowest to even begin to grasp His love. I'm not sure I've sunken to my very lowest, but I've come close, and He's helping me grasp His love more and more each day.

This past year I've had a harder time with depression than any other time. At one point, I just sat and cried to the Lord asking Him to give me a reason to keep going. A reason to hope.

He answered. Just like He always does.

He gave me a glimpse of the world in a new set of eyes. A new love for the people here. Instead of allowing me to keep looking in the mirror, which only showed me my own woes, He took hold of my shoulders and lovingly turned me around to face a new direction.

Do I still get down? Without a doubt. But, just as with any experience in life, He's deepening my understanding of what it means to daily die to myself and allow Him to live my life for me. So the times that I get down are coming around less and less. Sadness isn't quite so comfortable anymore, and not quite so common.

I'm not writing this post to dump and share like it's my diary. I'm writing this so you know you're not alone. There are people all around you who get it. Who have been there. Who care. For those who struggle with depression, remember, you're just that. You're not a depressed person. You're a person who struggles with it. Your identity in Christ overpowers the clasp of the sadness. It's your victory. He's your victory.

That moment when you give up on yourself, remember, He never will. He'll always fight for you.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I am the right brain

I came across this picture while spending way too much time on Pinterest ;P. It got me thinking. I feel like artsy people get so much attention. Whether it be good or bad. But from what I've noticed, most is good. Being artsy and creative is what most people seem to want to be. It's the 'in' thing.

I sometimes see that left brained people get pushed to the side a bit. They get crap for being 'geeks' and whatnot. People seem to think that just because their work isn't as showy, and possibly slightly confusing, they're not as 'special' or whatever.

The truth is though, we're each different. We're each unique. I may be a right brained person, but that doesn't make me more special than a left brained person. People who function more with their left brain are just as artsy and creative. Not in the way most would imagine, no. But they are. Just in a different way than the norm.

And that's why I like this picture more than the top one:

It shows that both sides are exploding with creativity and ideas. That neither of them are less-than. They're just different.

Monday, October 31, 2011


I have mixed feelings about Halloween. A part of me feels it's a great opportunity to let kids dress up and be whatever they want to be for a night. Whether that be a fairy, a ninja, a princess, or whatever! I love seeing people dressed up :) It satisfies my inner child ;)

But then another part of me is disturbed. This year I was driving through the neighborhood I nanny in and was honestly shocked by the gruesome scenes displayed in various yards. I was talking about it with the boy I nanny and his response was 'yeah, well, there is another yard that's much worse and it's really scary'.

What's the motive behind all this? Is Halloween just to freak little kids out? Personally, I'm not ok with that. If older kids and adults want to be completely terrified, that's there decision. But children have no choice in the matter. They run up to each house excited about the outcome, only to run back screaming and crying.

This year, Halloween has been put in a new light for me. It can be fun and innocent, for sure, but it can also be disturbing for the innocent.

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Dancing is more than getting the steps right...

.....It's about feeling the music and moving to the music. It's about losing ourselves in the embrace of someone we love. Above all, it's about joy." -Ken Gire

I love dancing. I'm a fairly clumsy person, but when I dance, I feel graceful and more connected to the music.

Recently, I was teaching a sweet couple how to waltz. It reminded me that learning to dance is like learning how to live life.

With dancing, you stumble and lose your way. You have a hard time following and are determined to go your own way at times. Life is the same. I stumble often and lose my way and my sight of the narrow road. I decide that I know what's best and that I know exactly what step to take next. Which only causes me to stumble more. When you dance, you have to follow, 100%. At times, I've had various students dance with closed eyes, so they don't become distracted with the things around them. You become one with the music and person who is leading you. Each step you take is carefully guided by them. Each step in life that we take with the Lord is carefully and lovingly guided by Him. Each time we close our eyes and rely fully on His leadership, we walk without stumbling or falling.

The author of this quote is unknown, but it's so true:

"Anyone who says sunshine brings happiness has never danced in the rain."

Especially when it comes to dancing with the Lord. Dancing with Him in the good times is complete bliss. But learning to dance with Him during the struggles and the hardships is even more beautiful and amazing. Learning to enjoy the unexpected, to loosen up and go with what He brings us. Learning to fully let go of yourself and become one with Him and His will. That's true dancing.

"If we fall in love, our feet will follow. If we draw close to Him and stay close, we won't have to worry about our feet or where He may be leading them" -Ken Gire

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Challenges with patience

There are many challenges to any job. Some days can be fabulous, and others a huge test of ones patience. I work as a part-time nanny. It's a job I love. I love my kids and being a part of their life. I love helping them with homework and watching them grow. They're awesome kids and make my days so much brighter.

But, as with any job, not all days are amazing. There are ups and there are downs. A roller coaster. You can't predict what the next day will bring. What challenges you will face.

Something I've really learned though, is that no matter what sort of day I'm having, I have to still be just as patient and just as calm with them as I would be on a good day. Which for me, has been an incredible challenge. Patience isn't something that comes naturally to me. Especially when kids are yelling and arguing.

Nannying has been such a great opportunity for me to grow. To learn to be more stable and go with the flow. It's showing me my flaws and my weaknesses on a daily basis. That's definitely not something I particularly enjoy seeing. But sometimes the hardest things are the best things. It's helping me grow more into the woman God wants me to be and it's allowing me to learn exactly what it means to allow Him to live through me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Burden of Burdens

I've had several people give, or attempt to give me, advice. I've also given, or attempted to give, advice to others. But in all honesty, who am I to give advice? To act like I know exactly how someone should live their life?

We've all had experiences that enable us to help others more, but I think so many people advise with the wrong motives. I can't help but sometimes wonder if it would be better to not advise at all.

Antigone's Clamor recently did a post on burdens, and it inspired me to write a post about my thoughts.

I agree that we are called to carry each other's burdens, but I'm still trying to fully understand exactly what that means. I tend to physically carry others burdens. Which is exhausting and unhealthy. I'm not talking about being able to cry and laugh with people. For me, it's more about taking their burden upon myself, and relying on myself to fix it. Sometimes I feel like Christian from Pilgrim's Progress. I take those burdens and heap them on my back until I want to fall over from the weight and pain.

I've been learning how to let go. To trust. To accept and realize that the Lord has it all in His hands. It's not my job to fix every problem. It's not my job to take it upon myself and bear the burden in the way I have been.

Right now where I'm at in life, the Lord has been showing me that bearing the burden of another is to be there for them. When they need to cry, I can be there to cry with them. When they need to laugh, I can be there to laugh with them. When someone needs to just dump and talk something out, I can be there to listen. Bearing the burdens of another can also mean talking about them to the Lord. Lifting them up in prayer and watching the Lord work.

This goes back to giving advice. I think sometimes advice can be given with the wrong motives. It can be given because we are trying to 'fix' or control someone else's situation. It can be hard to give advice and allow the person to make the decision on their own. To have the freedom to not take the advice given them.

"The true secret of giving advice is, after you have honestly given it, to be perfectly indifferent whether it is taken or not, and never persist in trying to set people right. " -Hannah Whitall Smith

In reality, we're not them and we're not in that situation. I'm not saying that I'm completely against advice, I just feel that it's given too freely and not always for the right reasons. Maybe, instead of giving it so often, we should encourage one another to lean on Christ and go to Him for answers. Pray with each other and learn to rely on the One who knows exactly how to handle each situation. This applies to those who are in the situation, and those who are wanting to 'fix' their problem.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

An overflow of emotions

“There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion that if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, spilt on the ground like water, can never be gathered together” ~Henry Longfellow

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Till death do us part

As I was driving home today after teaching, I couldn't help but notice the sweet older couple in the car next to me. They were talking away pleasantly, and she had the cutest red hat on. In a world where the divorce rate continues to go up, it's not as common a sight as one would hope.

From my view, it's hard to imagine leaving a person you fall in love with. I can't understand losing that affection for them and forgetting why you married them in the first place. But, my view is inexperienced.

So, what does it take to stay with the person you fell in love with when you were young? To stay true to the vow 'till death do us part'? To still be in love even after 50+ years of marriage?

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You don't see what you possess...

....a beauty calm and clear.......

I absoultely love this song. It pertains to so many people I know. They look in the mirror and fail to see what everyone else sees in them.

This is for everyone out there who has a hard time seeing what lovely people they are.


Sunday, October 16, 2011


I had a very freeing moment the other day. So, sit back and read as I share this glorious revelation.

I think people put many legalistic burdens upon themselves. I know I certainly do. But the Lord is so faithful to release us of that unnecessary burden. Recently, He did so for me.

I've always believed if you date more than one person, you're a failure. Crazy, right?

I've dated more than one person. Each time I've dated another guy, I felt like I was digging myself deeper and deeper into a hopeless pit. Bringing myself lower and lower on the chart of perfection.

I realized something the other day though. Yes, some people only date one person, and that's great for them. But each person's story is so different, and to say that one way will work for everyone is crazy talk. God has a different path for each of His beloved. Through each dating experience I've had, it's been an amazing opportunity to learn. To grow. To be strengthened in the Lord. It's also allowed me the chance to see exactly what I like and what I don't like.

So, the Lord revealed that, instead of digging myself into a hole, I've been digging myself out of one. The hole of legalism.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Time of Brokenness Pt. 2

I know a lot of people say that the Lord won't give us more than we can handle. I don't agree with that. If He gave us only what we could handle, why would we need Him? What would draw us into the safety of His embrace and cause us to be more dependent on Him? Nothing. When people can handle every situation on their own, they become self-sufficient and rely only on themselves.

This past year, He allowed one situation after another that overwhelmed me. Did I try to handle it myself? Of course. Time and again. Did it work? Usually only made things worse ;P. But because of that, I was forced to look to a source other than myself.

I will admit, God wasn't the one I turned to first. I'm a very independent person, and like doing things on my own. I guess in a way, I like proving to myself that I can solve situations on my own. So, I went to other sources before I went to God. And again, epic fail. I ended up hurting more people, hurting them more deeply, making the chaos more chaotic, and allowing myself to spiral into more confusion and depression.

Overall, I couldn't handle a single thing that was in my path, on my own.

I feel like an Israelite sometimes. In their case, God proved Himself faithful time and time again. Yet, they still doubted. In my case, God proves Himself faithful time and time again. Yet, I still doubt.

I'm trying to learn to doubt less. To just give things to Him immediately instead of going about it the hard way. It's easier said than done. At least for me it has been. The amazing thing is though, no matter how many times I've doubted, or done something my own way, He hasn't given up on me. Even when I give up on myself, He's still always right there. Waiting for me to finally run to Him.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Time of Brokenness Pt. 1

I often hear people talk about struggles and trials in a completely negative way. I honestly can't say I blame them. It's hard to see blessings in times of hardships.

I found myself really thinking about what the point of struggling is. People have many reasons. But today, I feel very led to share my perspective. I don't think there's necessarily one reason for every life situation. But this is one way the Lord has really opened my eyes this past year.

It's been a hard year for me. Filled with brokenness. I've learned more about myself, and more about the Lord than ever before. Yes, it's been the hardest year of my life, but because of that, it's been the greatest.

He calls us to 'Consider it pure joy' (James 1:2) when we face trials. I used to read that verse with a confusion-filled glaze over my eyes. He's been clearing that view. That doesn't mean I'm excited when I face a trial, but He's showing me a different perspective, and that verse is starting to make more sense to me. It's not necessarily a happy, excitement, like what a child feels on Christmas morning. From my experience, at this time in my life, it's a gentle peace. A reassurance that it's not in vain. He has a bigger plan. Bigger than I can even imagine.

It's like He's been preparing me. Everything He's brought me through has a reason. A reason that includes more than just me. He continues to confirm this by bringing people in my life and situations in my path. He's now able to use me in those situations, whereas before, He couldn't.

All the trials a person goes through gives them a great advantage. It helps them relate to more people, thus being able to be used more by the Lord. It's not a punishment. It's a beautiful shaping and molding process. Painful? Without a doubt. But He's making you into the person He knows you can be. A person that He can love through and help people through.

So for all those who read this and are going through a difficult struggle, just remember, there's a bigger picture at hand. He might be preparing you for something that's to come. Everything He allows is because of His passionate love for His children. The deepest, and most gloriously overwhelming love a person will ever experience.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The beauty of the tattered

I love this chair. Not necessarily for it's looks (although I do love the looks), but for what it represents. It's a reminder. There it sits, tattered and torn, used and abused, yet, to me, it's still beautiful. It reminds me that, no matter how worn and tattered we are, the Lord can still make us beautiful.

Each of us have our own story. Our own failures. Our own struggles. But no matter what we've been through, in Him, we're still beautiful.

And it's for this reason, I haven't even tried fixing the torn and tattered fabric of the chair. It's been through a lot, yes, but it's still beautiful. And I like waking up to the reminder that no matter what, He can make everything beautiful.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

So there I am, standing outside a student's house....

......knocking on their door. No answer. I pull out my phone and call them, only to find out, they're out of town. Funny thing is, the night before, a small thought entered my mind to text them and see if they were going to be home for their piano lesson. Why in the world would I even question such a thing? Why would that thought enter my mind?

Everyone wants to be cared about. They want someone to care about the small things. Not just the big and exciting things. To understand, or at least try. Everyone wants a reminder that says 'Hey, I thought of you today, and just wanted you to know'. Most people get too wrapped up in their busy to remember to remind loved ones of that though. But God doesn't. The depth of just how much He cares never ceases to overwhelm me.

Similar situations have happened to me a lot. Driving to a student's house unnecessarily is a small thing. Yet, He cares so much, He tried to protect me from that. Did I listen? Psh, of course not ;P. But that's ok, because it ended up being a blessing.

He reminded me just how much He cares.

He reminded me that He's thinking of me, protecting me, and caring about every detail.

Even the very smallest.

So never forget. Never stop listening. He cares. Even if we can't always see it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Contentment through new eyes

I'm a dreamer. When I truly allow myself to dream, I dream big. One dream I have is that I want to be a missionary. Not necessarily overseas (although, I would welcome that in a heartbeat), but even just right here. I want to be right in the midst of the battle of love. Go on the streets and get to know the homeless people, sit and pray with the ones who have lost a loved one recently, encourage and help a teenage mom, etc.

The other day, I was becoming restless and discontent with where I'm at. I'm a nanny, piano teacher, and work at a retail store on the weekends. Keeps me busy, yes, but I wanted to be involved in a big ministry. Something grand and huge. To be honest, somewhere I feel I'm actually making a difference. This has been something weighing heavily on my heart. Feeling like I want to be more involved, but not seeing where the Lord wants me. Frustration and dissatisfaction blurred my vision temporarily.

I started talking to the Lord about these frustrations and desires to do more. He answered. He always does. Just not always the way I want. As I was sitting in my car driving down the road to go nanny one day, I started becoming even more anxious and worked up as I was discussing it with Him. But then my Spirit became still. Peace began to settle in. He gently reminded me to just listen. To "be still". So I sat in the peace and listened.

He opened my eyes that day. He started by walking me through a typical day for me. Wake up, study some school, go nanny, teach piano. Then He took me deeper into that day. He showed me that when I nanny, I'm influencing the lives of two very special kids. Two kids I love greatly. Then He showed me that I have student's who have the opportunity to see Him every time I teach, if I allow it. He showed me that I am involved in a huge ministry. Right where I'm at. My kids (the ones I nanny, and the ones I teach) are my ministry. Everyday, I have the amazing opportunity to allow the Lord to love them through me.

So, I guess my point is, He's teaching me to be content with where He has me. To seize every opportunity He puts in my path. Maybe someday, I'll go overseas and be a missionary, or something 'grand' like that. But for now, He's giving me the precious chance to be used in a grand way now. It may look small to those looking in, but for me, it's huge. It's beautiful. And it's exactly where I'm supposed to be.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Ever have that moment where you're walking to the beat of your own hardship and struggle, but then you decide to look up for a single moment and notice a complete stranger smiling at you? Makes your day, doesn't it?

The deep beauty in a smile is so profound to me. Although small, it has the power to do great things. At times, it can speak much louder and touch more deeply than words. A kind, caring smile from a stranger can completely uplift my spirit and encourage my soul. Anyone knows, days can be tiresome and filled with hardships no one will ever know about. But just the feeling that someone cares can make them diminish slightly.

God performs miracles each day. I believe blessing us with the ability to smile is one. So why, if we are given such a beautiful gift, do we use it to wound? Why are we not taking every opportunity we stumble upon to just show someone we care? Whether it be in the drive-thru of a fast food joint, or in a bookstore, or wherever.

"Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing." ~Mother Teresa

I challenge you today to smile. Don't be afraid to care. To show that we're all in this together. Life is a challenge, so anything to help encourage is always a lovely thing.

"A smile costs nothing but gives much. It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he cannot get along without it and none is so poor that he cannot be made rich by it. Yet a smile cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. Some people are too tired to give you a smile. Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give." ~Author Unknown