Knerd

knew

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 conversation….well….you 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.

buttons

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.

Advertisements

Change is in the air

girlmirror

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.

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 🙂

Twilight Pt. 3

twilight 3

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…

Twilight Pt. 2

twilight 2

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 🙂

Gratitude is the music of the heart…

…when its chords are swept by the breeze of kindness. “

bubbless

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! 🙂

Little girls don’t know how to be sweet girls

door

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.

Twilight Pt. 1

twilight 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 is….total 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.

Be Still Pt. 2

 

birdcage

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.

Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God”

Psalm 46:10

birdcage

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’.