Thursday, July 26, 2012

Take-away Thursday

This post with be random information about me you can take-away with you. I saw another blogger do this list and I thought it was interesting... I'd love for others to respond their lists back to me!

20. I love being tan. The darker I am-- the better I feel (must be all that Vitamin D)!

19. I am EXTREMELY ticklish on my neck. As in I drop to the ground or lose control of my arms and hit things when something even brushes up against it.

18. I think I have hoarding tendencies. I simply like to refer to it as being a pack rat-- you never know when you might need something... so you should probably just keep it.

17. I hate running. Running with a purpose like up and down the basketball court makes sense and I can do that all day long. But unless someone is chasing me with a knife... running long distances, and just because, is not something I enjoy.

16. I contradict myself. AKA.... I just bought and started a running plan to prepare for a 5K! :/

15. I truly enjoy people watching. We as a human race are... let's just say it.... really weird and interesting. Er go.... I sit and watch.

14. I'm super emotional. Thing that I have seen or experienced that has caused me to lose control and bawl in the past week? The Olympic Mom commercials on TV. Have you seen them? E-Mo-Tion-Al.

13. I have climbed a mountain. Not a hill. Not a Texas mountain. A REAL mountain. A 14,258 foot mountain. I may have gotten altitude sickness really bad afterwards. I may have thought I was dying and prayed for the Lord to come down and get me. I may have been absolutely miserable the rest of the day. But by-golly.... I.Climbed.A.Mountain.

12. If you know me then you know my heart for dancing. And my heart for dancing means I am obsessed with the Step Up movies. There has been like 3 already... and the next one comes out Friday. Carter Bear and I already have plans to go see it Saturday!

11. I am such a people person, but I really enjoy being by myself sometimes. Today I treated myself to lunch, a movie, shopping and a treat afterwards. Love God, Love Others... then Love yourself. It's okay to have me time every once in awhile!

10. I truly enjoy singing. It brings me so much joy. I love how the Lord has given me an opportunity to use it to bring Him glory and assist others to the foot of the cross with that gift!

9. My parents think I am going off the deep end. In the last 8 years I have gotten my cartilage and nose pierced, gotten a tattoo, and gone to do mission work in Costa Rica, Hawaii and Africa. Between us... I have a feeling this isn't the end of my adventurous lifestyle. God has a lot of plans left for me I believe!

8. Speaking of traveling I didn't set foot on my first airplane until I was 21 years old. The first time I flew by myself I was mid twenties.

7. My sisters and I made up a language when we were younger... it's more like an accent I guess. Anyways-- we used to talk like that all the time as children. We were extremely weird and awkward but I believe that has grown us up to be funny, sarcastic women!

6. Most teachers don't like party days... However, I still get super excited during them. Same goes for field day (even though that works my nerves a bit more).

5. If you want to make me happy... bring me Mangoes and Powerade Zero Mixed Berry. Yummy.

4. My best friends are still the E's.... we were called that in college because all of our names ended in an E or E sound (Mallory, Stephanie, Shelby, Ali, Ashley, Stacy and Lacey). We don't all live in the Metroplex but still get together a few times a year and group text to keep in touch.

3. My roommate is ca-razy (as I was writing this she actually called to tell me about how a few of her flights got cancelled and how she is staying the night in Detroit haha). Like I said--- crazy! But so funny and such a blessing to me. The Lord gave me a roommate who is just like me in so many ways that we actually can stand living with each other. She is a great friend and someone who will probably be standing up by me at my wedding someday in the future.

2. Christmas makes me happy. Like reeeeaaallly happy.

1. I'm a thinker. Sometimes even an over thinker. I think about the future. I think about conversations before they happen. I think about conversations after they've happen. I think about things and how they'd be different if I reacted a different way. I think and think and think and sometimes think too much! But it's me and who I am.

Friday, July 6, 2012


"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
This verse in Romans 12 is heavy on my heart tonight. How do you turn the other cheek when you have been slapped? How can you forgive when words cut deep? How can you persevere when the ones that are pulling you down are the ones that the Lord placed in your life to uplift, stand beside and encourage you?

It can be so disheartening when you are striving as a woman to whole heartedly seek Jesus and that doesn't seem to be enough. When you desire, above all else, to be a clear reflection of Jesus and your appearance is something that they can't get past. Jesus was a beautiful representation of how we SHOULD be. He hung out with the prostitutes, the leapers, the socially unacceptable. He was able to reach people many couldn't because of His grace and non-judging attitude towards them. He was able to present the good news and love them with an agape love because He displayed fullness in, not how they looked or dressed or acted, but because He had compassion for them knowing that they were a sinful people who needed a Savior.

My sinful nature inside rises up when I feel threatened or cut down. However, Jesus was mocked and beaten. He was ridiculed and humiliated... and He took it. Who am I to have this 'woe is me' attitude when I really don't have it that bad? I should be concerned with the One who's worth I should truly seek. Instead of having a fear of man and focusing on what they say or think... I should focus on Jesus Christ's opinion of me. Am I a sinner? YES. Do I screw up? YES. Will I continue to fail Him and those around me daily for the rest of my life? HECK YES. But am I forgiven when I repent? YES. Does Jesus look past my outward appearance and straight into my heart? YES. Will He look upon me one day and say "Good job my good and faithful servant"? GOSH I HOPE SO. If my heart continues to yearn for Him, seek Him daily, meditate on and hide Gospel centered truth in my heart and go out and share the good news reflecting Him in everything I say and do...I believe I will hear those precious words ring in my ears on that day.

::So Lord... forgive my bitterness. Forgive me when I become more focused on the words of man instead of You. Allow me to have a clear picture of what is good and true and right in Your eyes and focus on such things. Let me not become hard to those who tear me down in this world, but love them and pray for them more since it is them who need my patience, grace and forgiveness! And Lord continue to humble me so that I don't become self-righteous... but see myself as redeemed because of what You're doing in me and how You have refined my heart!::

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Virtuous=Strength and Rubies=Pink Pearls

I have decided lately, that if I want to be set apart... and truly live as a Proverbs 31 woman I need to start now. Becoming a wife of virtue and mother whose children rise up to call her blessed doesn't begin once I attain these things (husband and children), it begins now. A Proverbs 31 woman is way more than a wife and mother... it is a woman whole heartedly seeking the Lord and being a reflection of Him in everything she says and does. So I am going to begin this journey. I am writing it all out so I thought, why not share what I learned? It may be interesting and beneficial to someone else! So here we go... this post will be solely about verse 10!

In the King James version, verse 10 is written “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” After doing some research on certain words and meanings of this, I found out that the expression "virtuous" is from a noun meaning strength, efficiency, ability.  Here it refers to strength of character. I also found that this word virtuous, when referring to women, is found in a couple other places in the bible. In the same book of Proverbs (12:4) it says A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband: but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones.” Also, in Ruth it says “And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman.” Goodness… that speech is hard to follow sometimes isn’t it? But even through that, you can see the meaning. Virtue… in this case meaning strength… is rare. Remember, I don’t mean physical strength (I feel like you can find that anywhere you look—the gym, the TV, the parking lot of the mall where two guys are about to go at it over the little teenage girl who could care less but feels important). I mean moral strength. As a 26 year old woman, I notice more and more how rare that really is. When a woman of moral strength and character (or virtue), is seeking and fearing God, going against the gain, believing and freely living in gospel centered truth and despising sin, then she will be set apart. Also, others will take notice. It will be so completely obvious, because it is so completely unusual to this world.

Then when looking at the second part of this verse it says “For her price is far above rubies.” When I began looking into rubies, I found out that back then, when this was written, rubies were actually a Hebrew term for a pink pearl or a type of red coral.  Pink pearls, found in mollusks from the Red Sea, were of great value due to their rareness. So when applied to this verse it makes it more meaningful to me. These were precious to people that found them because they were rare. Something that is rare and precious is costly because it is not ordinary. If you could drive down to Walmart and buy a bunch of rubies or pink pearls there would be nothing special about that gem. Everyone could have it. If you wanted another one… you could buy two. And think about all the rocks you have in your backyard. Are they beautiful? Exquisite? Eye catching? Probably not. The Lord made rare stones elegant, luminous and lustrous. So in referring to this, not only is this woman a gem… but a beautiful, rare gem.

So how can I obtain these things? How can I strive and successfully become a woman of virtue? Well, first I have to take that "I" out of it because it is impossible to do by myself. I am such a ridiculous screw up that this is not something I can do at all. It has to be Jesus. It has to be Jesus doing a great work in me. My eyes must stay fixated on the author and perfecter of my faith and He has to give me abundant grace over and over again. I have to work at obtaining that moral character. This means that I must die to myself daily and take up my cross and follow my Beloved. In the good and the bad. The hills and the plains. The rain and the shine. If I desire to be described as rare, beautiful, virtuous, luminous or exquisite I must remember that I am none of these things... it is JESUS in me!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Call to be Set-Apart

Greetings blogging world. I was recently burdened to write again--it has been months-- and woke up yesterday feeling that burden and having some ideas but no direction. I try to be very careful with what I write because of the following I have of people, that I don't know personally, but that follow me on here. I just want to be very intentional with my words. Then, this morning I woke up about an hour before my alarm clock went off and with thoughts in my head that would not allow me to go back to sleep. This may be offensive to some or many of you. It may hurt your feelings because you have enjoyed one or both of these things. Pre-cursor... I am not here to condemn but to remind. Uplift. Encourage. And edify. This is my opinion and I know this will not be popular of the world-- but I am not supposed to be of this world anyways. So with that... here I go!

Lately, directed towards the female population, two things have become crazy popular. One is a book and one is a movie. Both are damaging. I am talking about the book "50 Shades of Gray" and the movie "Magic Mike". (Insert guarded walls flying up and angry faces forming.)  

I have grown to love reading. A good romance. A tearful ending. A plot twist. Its so easy for me to get wrapped up in these things and check out for days at a time. I've been known to read books (plural) in a week. But when I heard about this book and the fan following they were displaying I was shocked. The amounts of women I knew that were devouring this book was hard to believe. I even heard about someone's grandmother being on the library's waiting list. It always made me twinge a bit when I would hear people talk about it, but it wasn't until recently that I have become completely sickened by it. Because... let's not beat around the bush... it is porn ladies. It may not be visual, but it is giving you images in your mind that will be stuck there. As a Christian woman, desiring and striving to be set apart,  I cannot support or promote this book. Let's look at it from some of your vantage points (I'm not married yet). Imagine you were cleaning your house and you stumbled across your husband's stash of porn or Playboy magazines... you would, most likely, be hurt, upset...maybe even get mad and yell. Men are visual.... that is why this appeals to them. Books like these appeal to women's minds.

I'm not married. I hope to be someday. I desire to be a Proverbs 31 woman and love and cherish my husband. I long to be his helpmate and come up alongside of him and do more Kingdom work together as one than we could apart. But if I... even now as a single woman... read stuff like this I will have an unclear, and tainted idea of what a marriage looks like. I will have these images in my head of what my husband should do for me physically and take away the desire I have for my husband and place it on something that is fake. So if I have in my head that this is okay because I don't have a husband I am justifying this and lying to myself. I'd be finding my desires from an unnatural source. It is porn. 

Next, the movie Magic Mike. This was really convicting for me because some of my favorite actors are in this movie. I love Channing Tatum... and this movie is a reflection of his life. He was a male stripper before making it in Hollywood. But all of this goes along with everything I wrote above. It's taking things that we should not be looking at and putting them out there for everyone to see. I have seen teenage girls that are 17... that I taught in Sunday School a few years ago... going in groups to see this. It breaks my heart because this will only lead to a long road of destruction. I have situations from 6 years ago, and images in my head that I cannot get out to save my life. I never intended to see them-- but you better believe that Satan has used those images and situations in my life. Jesus is good and I am His forever... but we were never promised an easy life. We knew difficulties and trials would arise.

In 1 Peter 5:8 it tells us... "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour."  We are to be on watch... it this case the devil comes in the form of a man named Christian Gray and a handful of strippers. He uses this to take our eyes off of and steer us away from Jesus. It's terrifying how simplistic his tactics can be. By reading a book? By watching a movie that's rated "R"? How can that truly harm me? It can and does...Jesus warns us to avoid the very APPEARANCE of evil. Every form of evil. And to guard our hearts, for they are the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23). In Galatians 2:20 it says "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and have himself for me!"

So stray from these things. Be set-apart and remember that Jesus desires us to think on eternal things... not things of this world. "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." -Philippians 4:8

"How can we love sin, when we remember that because of our sins Jesus died?"
-J.C. Ryle"