Thursday, July 26, 2012

Crushed? That's Nice

For reasons bordering on mere unsatisfied curiosity being cruelly persistent, I now choose to bend to reader request. Again. However, this is not my love life I am going to write about. This is not my personal life I am going to type up. This is what happens.

It has become apparent that I am profoundly unconscious of true male interest. One gets inundated with a separate kind of flirtatious interest, and they can become hard towards realizing and believing someone may actually be serious. (I just may be that aforementioned "one" and I just may be learning to deal with that.) But, I have been asked, does my mind actually run the other direction, towards men? You bet.

What's a girl to do with the soaring emotions bordering on worshipful admiration, melting like chocolate inside, and a burning desire to be loved by a certain one? Yes, every girl has it at one time or another.

  1. First of all, we must thank the Lord that we are normal! Praise Him that you have healthy desires and that you a properly functioning human being.
  2. Then, turn your eyes upon Jesus. Tell Him what you need, want, and wish, and tell Him you desire to trust Him to direct that part of your life since He cares more about it than even you ever can. "Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3:2)
  3. Treat the guy who glows in a crowd to you, like he's your brother, but don't seek him out. What do I mean? I'm not being complicated. These are important ways to treat the guy you are drawn to, but leaving to the Lord.
      • Treat guys how you want your future spouse to be treated by other girls
      • Realize that if he is a man that you are so sure he is, you must give him space to make his own decision about you without pressuring him
      • Do not objectify him mentally through scrutiny: he is a normal human to be courteously respected!

      • Don't change who you are to become more like what you think he might notice or like
      • Realize that if he is the "right one" nothing is going to mess up God bringing you together eventually
      • Avoid silly and useless relationships with foolish guys in the meantime...

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

      • Let your "crush" go and be yourself again. Remember? You really can have a beautiful life without a man in it!

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

      • Realize that your needs are met through one place alone. Now is a great time to live with the knowledge and function of the fact that no man or human can ever meet all your needs. Develop a network of godly friends for support, but most of all a powerful, dependent relationship with Jesus Christ. (Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. Psalm 73:25)

      • Plug yourself in and be passionate in supporting a purpose bigger than you: your church, family, a ministry, community service, etc
Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

I don't have to stuff my desires and pretend I don't have them, and I definitely shouldn't chase them all down. But I must focus my lens and narrow it in on the most important things already given to me to pursue. When it is a guy, I'll know it...And, trust me, so will the whole world.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Recognizing Brutal Adoration

Thankfully, my little sister is more verbal than most. Why do I say “thankfully”? Because I have discovered that her little heart is full of so much unsullied clarity of life perspective that she unwittingly constantly pours into mine. With younger siblings, it is simple to write off the stream of talking as babble mingled with tonic of absurdities, a dash of profanity, and a heaping dose of reproaches, finally poured over an expression of immaturity. But more often than not, it is where true love is uncovered.

Years ago, I was in a difficult relationship that older sisters will get into. My little sister practically verbally shredded the man to me every night before bed through her mental cheese grater, while I groaned back about how hard it was to hear her constant belittling when I was just fretfully trying to “sort things out and decide for myself.” When she was around him, she used her not-so-subtle ways to get across her heart: “he wasn’t good enough for her sister nor respected her adequately.” The story actually includes her vomiting on him. Yes, I am sorry to add that part. Purposeful, direct, explosive vomit is terribly effective communication…if people will realize it is on purpose.

Now that time has passed and he is too (i.e. my dad has asked him four times on our behalf to move on), I can see what my baby sister saw. She was telling me the truth in her own way. I fell on our bed and cried a couple days ago with the realization of how terribly I had treated her through that time, when she really just loved me enough to tell me the truth.

Days still come and go where I take a swing at her verbally (or physically) asking her to “please quit telling me that!” when the reality is…no one else would be brave enough to tell me my glaring faults. Those who have siblings, have been given a treasure in their kin’s brutal honesty, love, and in my case, adoration: that relationship can’t be found anywhere else. (Yes, I do mean “brutal adoration.”)

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

At the recent girls conference, Lauren and Mikaela Cash shared a talk called “Don’t Just Live with Your Siblings.” Personally, I am giving them five stars. Their talk starts at minute 2:35.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Digesting Decadent Disortation

Some people are just so quotable, and I spend at least the following week digesting their words. It is like a delicacy of flavors swirling and mingling together a spicy zing with a tangy sweetness. You close your eyes and its actually some time before you even allow digestion to begin, really, because the flavor alone mesmerizes silently, experientially. Practically speaking, I’m actually talking about Gerhard DuToit, itinerant worldwide lecturer I heard on Sunday.
“When God is at work, the enemy is at work. I hope he never loses your address.”

“Good dead people are everywhere, but man, they are good and dead.”

“When God’s people lose the spirit of repentance they lose their power.”

“Realize the depth of your ‘inheritance’! Don’t lose the reality of your riches.”

“Abram also had a wife, so watch it!”

“Your brain should be a concordance, accessing references of Scripture on any topic you desire.”

“Are you really processing ‘the new and the living way’ in the way you should be?”

“It costs more to hold things back from God, than to give what He asks.”

Horseradish and Wasabi
“Don’t go back to that which you are so sure of that justifies you in such a legalistic way.”

“There are levels of the presence of God, and the degree to which it comes is in proportion to the degree of our brokenness before Him.”

“When God puts things together, He will turn up in the midst.”

“Don’t be distracted by anything but the centrality of Jesus and His indwelling.”

“It is never what we are doing for God, but what God is doing through His channels.”

“If you have favor with God, you will have favor with people.”

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Do WHAT to My Parents?

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

“What does it mean to honor my parents?” I frequently asked myself as a frustrated teen.

Then I inquired again as a young adult, as I continued to wonder at adapting this illusive concept into practicality.

Now that I’m (potentially) old enough to be your mother, I may have “figured it out!”

Does “honoring your parents” mean…

  • Thinking of them with every action or attitude?
  • Attempting to frame your life around their desires for you?
  • Allowing your parents to vicariously live their dreams through you?
  • Only doing their ideas or suggestions, while setting your own aside?
  • Forcing yourself to “suck up” to them, so they make life easier?
  • Adopting their standards or convictions so they are happy?
  • Choosing not to “think for yourself” to make sure you don’t collide with their opinions?
  • Keeping your mouth shut around them, so they don’t know x, y, or z?
  • Forfeiting honesty towards your own heart, so that their life is easier?

If you answered “yes” to any of these, I argue with you that your parents are not actually being honored and you are wasting a life that is actually yours.

If you strongly reacted that these are insane thoughts you would never dream of thinking, I argue with you that you may be more drastically selfish than you give yourself credit.

I don’t know all the details, but for me and my life…This is the “honor” I have come to realize.

  • Living a life dedicated to Someone eternally more important and loftier, than even family…and sacrificing your desires to reach higher goals for the cause of Christ
  • Building your life upon the gifts (time, lessons, wisdom, discipline, etc) your parents have given, but ultimately choosing for yourself how you build thereon.
  • Investing reciprocally in the family’s needs (time, cleaning, financial, food, etc) without motive of gain
  • Pursuing a relationship with your parents in the realization that no beautiful friendship is one-sided
  • Attentiveness to their needs and what they are telling, showing, or teaching you
  • Mutual respect, and often respect for their God-given authority more than waiting for it to be deserved
  • Thoughtfulness
  • Gratitude

When I found this place of “honor” my parents were more “pleased” with me than they ever were before when I vacillated between unhealthy "worship" like the first list, and a continuous frustration with “not measuring up.” Be yourself. But be the kindest version of yourself living for a higher purpose, and as a by-product it is certain your parents will be honored.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Why Want What

Things on my Want So Very Badly List...

  • Go surfing

  • Black BMW
  • Backpack through Europe
  • Be a rock climber
  • Be married and have kiddos

  • See God use me
  • Run a marathon
  • Go to Italy and soak it in

  • Go snowboarding
  • Motorcycle
  • Know God more intimately

  • Be my best me
  • Be with friends that I miss...

What's on your list?

Its easy to get things on the list like
  • Please others
  • Be better than others
  • Collect money

Why do we do that? Could it be because of...
  • Pride
  • Shallow Reality
  • Compensating for past hurts

Think about it...Why do you want what you want and where will it take you?

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Beauty in The Valley

The day finally dawned with sunny breezes, and my tumbling, excited thoughts. I scrambled to get ready to make it in time. I had prayed for this day, for so long: and here it was...the Becoming Beautiful II Conference!

Ruth and I speaking together. She's a treasure!

Lies skit with friends
Learning about Beauty Myths
and dressing in correct proportions and colors for you.
Our models are Lauren and Mikaela.

This is the first session, recorded live, called "Finding Beauty in Your Valley." Yes...that's me talking all over the stage, and my sweet friend, Ruth. The talk starts at minute 12:41. I pray God uses these words to bless you, as much as He has powerfully used the same truths in my life...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Community Expansion Networking Protocol

Or...How to Make Friends

  • Go to a coffee shop you frequent

    • If you do not regularly attend life-saving, redemptive, breathing sessions at a local coffee shop, now is the time to change your life forever.
  • Smile at people as you get in line, and avoid intimidating body language (avoid doing it and people who are expressing it)
  • While waiting in line, subtly listen to everyone's conversations
  • Offer personal solutions to the problems being publicly broadcasted
    • This is touchy, but important
      • If someone says to the barista, "I traveled four hours to pick strawberries with my children yesterday and when we got to Snoqualmie, the fields were empty!" Respond with helpful info like, "My family has an organic, u-pick berry farm and we can't get enough people out in the strawberry field this week! I just picked a five-gallon bucket this morning. Here is my mom's name and phone number on this napkin..."
      • Whereas if someone says, "Seriously man, my wife's girlfriend is going so crazy, I'm actually glad to escape the house to work in the morning!" Do not respond at all. Pretend not to hear.
  • (Depending on how that went, you may have just completed a successful personal community network expansion. But wait, there's more!)
  • Find a comfortable chair and settle in with your drink to read, do some work on a PDA, notebook, or other electronic gadget

  • When someone sits nearby, or at your table, access whether to greet them or not
    • If they do not fit your stereotype for stalkers, serial killers, creeps, or pervs, greet them with a sincere smile and welcoming "hello."
    • If they do fit your stereotype for one of the above, pretend not to see them, while watching them very carefully. It may be a good time to put your sunglasses on indoors, or leave.

  • When they respond to your welcoming "hello," offer a kind and honest remark. 
    • Say things like, "I love your shoes! Where did you get those?" 
    • Despite the honesty or sincerity you may feel, do not say things like, "Have I seen you before, like at the gym? Those amazing biceps look familiar!"

  • Then talk about life and the surprising mutual interests you most certainly have
  • I'm pretty sure you'll have a new friend
  • Maintain your connection and a reason for your contact and you will have completed a successful community network expansion protocol!

If you need some more pointers, I'm sure I will run into you at Starbucks and we can talk more, then.

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Sunday, July 15, 2012

What If I?

Ever say to yourself...

"What if I make the wrong choice?"

"What if I choose the wrong marriage partner, school, or job?"

"I could blow my life up with just one misstep!"

Not so fast.

Psalm 26

26 Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.
Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

Did you read that? Trust in the Lord and you will not slide. Keep your perspective fixed on Christ's lovingkindess and truth, asking God to examine your heart. It is a promise. He will keep you, if you trust! So hang on tight. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Refuge of Gratefulness

What do you find irresistible?

“I adore simple pleasures. They are the last refuge of the complex.” 

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

My list of simple loves for today...

  • Sitting in a coffee shop 

  • Fireworks

  • Chatting with girls about their life

  • Rodeos

  • Making treats for hard working people...and presenting them so I can watch their face light up

  • Suntanning

  • Being just a little too spontaneous

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

  • Walking alone and meditating in created nature

  • Vintage lovliness

  • Working out and running

  • Pro baseball games

  • Planning and organizing a big event for someone else

  • Being up early and busy in a quiet house

  • People eager for supper

  • Feeling tiny
Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

  • Peaceful relationships

  • Dressing classy and comfortable

Friday, July 13, 2012

Worthy of Honor

I knew a man, once. He could have been my uncle: he was so kind, sweet, thoughtful, and tender. Every time he saw me, he would call me over and share an encouraging word and a big, friendly hug. I love his wife dearly, and look up to his daughters 100%: they could be my big sisters any day. One of his daughters told this story once...

When C was sixteen, she got up the nerve to go talk to her daddy about something very important. She explained to him how much she loved him, but how much it hurt, scared, and frustrated her when he would sometimes get loud, harsh, or angry. He heard her. He committed to never do that again, by the grace of God. And he did not. End of story.

I respected him before I heard that...But after? I almost died of respect overdose. What kind of man does that? That's love. And that's Mr. Reed. I will miss him so much and my heart goes out to those who were close to this dear man.

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sixty-Three and Strong

Ever read something and wonder if you wrote it? 
This is definitely it for me...

Psalm 63

King James Version (KJV)
63 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.

Source: via Johanna on Pinterest