Christmas aftermath

recordd3 recordd

recordd2

Yep folks, that’s right, I got a record player for Christmas. My old soul is now content ;). Today I went shopping for records. So far, my collection includes records from The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, Barbara Streisand, Chicago, John Denver, some classical/instrumental,  Elvis, Simon and Garfunkel, etc :). I’m ridiculously excited. I’m hoping to soon add some Bon Iver, She & Him, The Feist, The Beatles, The Bee Gees, more Simon and Garfunkel, and some others to my collection! Who needs modern technology when you have a record player? I’d much rather have the comfortable crackle sound from a record than any smooth sounding cd!

Hope everyone had a marvelous Christmas!

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Christmas Reminder

It’s been waaaaay too long since I’ve posted! After Christmas, I’ll be up and blogging once again!

be kinddI’ve posted this picture before, but I really feel like it’s such a perfect Christmas reminder. I’m a complete baby when it comes to shopping close to Christmas. Do I decide to be smart and get Christmas shopping done in advance to avoid the madness? Psh, no. Of course not ;P Why in the world would I do that?? *heavy sarcasm*

Today I went to Target to grab a last minute gift, and, as expected, people were rushing and bumping into each other. The chaos was overwhelming. I couldn’t help but notice though, how tired and exhausted most of the people seemed. It’s like, everyone was just ready for this to all be over. I can’t say I blame them. The other day though, this woman working at a store I went to completely made my day. It wasn’t through anything she said, but simply by the way she acted. The deep love that exuded from her and the caring spirit. It made the awful experience much more tolerable.

So, here is just a reminder that, as you’re frantically engaging yourself in the chaos and panic out there, be gracious and loving. Allow the Lord to shine through you. Everyone out there is just a frustrated and just as tired as you. They’re all walking their own story and each have their own struggles and sorrows. True kindness, especially this time of the year, can mean more to a person than a thousand gifts.

The beauty of the word “no”

screaming

What’s this whole idea of not telling your children “no”? How is that even biblical? Heck…how is that even logical? In case you’re wondering…..it’s not….in any way whatsoever.

I’m not a mom. Far from it. I am a part-time nanny though. Being a nanny has taught me oodles. Such as:

  • Teaching a 9 year old boy to talk in a british accent so you two can have lengthy conversations about mostly nothing in particular is incredibly amusing.
  • Verbally describing each spelling word is not nearly as effective as acting it out….which also provides worlds of laughter.
  • Yelling rarely gets them to shutup, and rarely gains their respect. Instead, speaking in your normal tone with firmness gets the point across rather beautifully. I learned that quickly lol

Through nannying, I have learned when to say no and when to let things slide. Sometimes, kids just need to be kids. There’s nothing wrong with that. Kids like to scream, make weird noises, wrestle with each other, go outside and get dirty, etc. I see a lot of moms yell and panic when their child even so much as looks at mud! Lol, for pete’s sake, it’s not like the mud is going to eat them alive.

But, there is also a time to say “no”. I don’t understand this awful concept of not telling your children “no”. It honestly makes no sense to me. Maybe I’m just logically not all there or somehow that tidbit of ‘wisdom’ passed over me, looked down upon my ‘wisdomless’ state, shrugged it shoulders, and passed me by. Either way, I stand pretty firm in my belief that the word “no” is rather beautiful.

I may not be a mom, but I know the outcome and damage from the lack of the word. Even as small children, they learn to disrespect, because why would anyone respect anyone who gives them everything and lets them do anything? Children need the discipline and boundaries. They need consequences to learn that certain decisions lead to certain endings. They will never fully grow up and be able to function correctly as adults without that crucial lesson.

It honestly breaks my heart to watch kids grow up with lack of discipline. No one wants to be around them, and they’re typically just a nuisance. Sounds harsh, I know, but it’s true. If you’ve experienced being around an undisciplined child, you understand.

So many parents these days feel the need to be their child’s ‘friend’, which is great. I’m not against that at all. My mom is one of my closest friends. But there is a time for that. Kids need parents, not friends. They can find friends at school or other activities. But, especially when the child is young, they need their mom and dad to be just that. A mom and dad.

Sick Day Entertainment

Everyone seems to be getting sick these days! The girl and boy that I nanny have both already had strep throat and so has their mom. How I managed to not get it after being in their house all the time, I still don’t know. But I honestly I don’t care lol! I’m just thankful!

When I’m sick, all I do is lay on the couch or in my bed and watch movies. All day. But not just any movies. Oh no, I have specific ones ;). Here’s my list of sick day movies:

The Little Mermaid:

Littlemermaid

Beauty and the Beast:

beauty and the beast

The Princess and the Frog:

frog

The Man From Snowy River:

snowy_river   Pride and Prejudice (the Colin Firth version, because, well, I have all day ;P):

pride_and_prejudice_2  So maybe you’re starting to see a pattern. All are romances, and mostly romantic dramas. Also, I do love my Disney movies when I’m sick :). Sometimes, if I’m up for another movie (at this point, Im usually delirious from all the tv and laying around lol) I’ll add in Aladdin or some other Disney princess movie.

Hope you’re all staying well this year and away from the sniffles and sneezes!

Legalistic Bondage

Alrighty people, here’s the biggie I’ve been working on! Enjoy 🙂

I wasn’t raised in a very legalistic home, but I knew many who were. I found that, (opposite to what the parents were expecting and hoping), through their control and rules, the children usually ended up going in the complete opposite direction of what was originally taught to them. Interesting….

I’m going to focus on just a few areas of legalism. It’s a ginormous subject that would require more than just one blog post to cover, but it’s a subject that weighs very heavily on my heart. I’m going to cover these specific questions according to my personal experience and observation:

  • What exactly is legalism?
  • What is the point of legalism?
  • Why do so many Christians feel the need to enforce it?

Legalism, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is a “strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code”. Ok. Great. So basically….rules. What exactly is the point of rules? Again, to go to a professional resource, the Merriam-Webster Dictionary says “a prescribed guide for conduct or action”. The second definition for Rules is “the laws or regulations prescribed by the founder of a religious order for observance by its members”. Hmmm…I find it really interesting that a religious definition is the second definition. Maybe that’s because most people view being ‘religious’ as a list of “do’s” and “dont’s”. So, in a nutshell, legalism is a set of rules placed by religious people to keep themselves more comfortable, less swayed towards temptation (or so they hope), and basically a way to control themselves and others.

Legalism, as stiff-necked as it sounds, provides a lot of comfort. It helps a person know exactly what he/she can and cannot do. It can be a security blanket. It puts things in black and white with no gray areas. But life is full of gray. Some things are black and white, for sure, but some aren’t so easy. I think legalism can also be protection. Some parents ground their household in it to protect their family. So, out of love and care. But that also isn’t right. It’s not allowing the children to grow up learning how to make decisions on their own. I can justify rules when children are small, but there comes a time when you have to let go and trust that you have done your best. I know that I’m not a parent yet, so I’m sure when I become one my view might change…..but…..I don’t know. Maybe it won’t. ANYWHO! There I go, off on a rabbit trail ;p……

When you talk to a non-believer about Christianity, most of the time, their fear is how much they’re going to ‘have to’ give up. Ditch the alcohol, swearing, clubbing, etc. Why is that one of their first responses? The example many Christians give is that when you accept the Lord as your Savior, you have to give up everything of this world and all your desires, to follow Him. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. I agree. We, as believers, die to ourselves daily. But, the issue is in the root and follow-through of this belief. When you set yourself a rule, such as, ‘because I am a Christian, I will no longer drink alcohol’ you become a slave to that rule, which is really being a slave to yourself and your flesh, because you are the one who set that rule. Many Christians set rules such as this because it is comfortable, not because it is biblical. They place themselves in bondage to legalism. I’m not saying to throw the towel in and go get drunk. Hear me out. Making rules for ourselves will only lead to bondage and misery and it will end in failure. It is self-focused, not Christ-focused.

Many believer’s even focus on laws of the old covenant. But Romans 7 is filled with reasons why those rules, now that Christ has fulfilled the law, are putting us in bondage. Paul, in Romans 7:4-6 clearly states this by saying:

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of theSpirit and not in oldness of the letter.”

So, because of the death and resurrection of Christ, we are dead to the Law. In fact, it even says sinful passion were aroused by the Law! Telling someone “no” automatically makes them says “YES!”.

Ok now, let’s back up a bit. What was the point of the Law? To show us our inability and inadequacy without Christ. In Romans 10:4, Paul says:

“For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.”

(This is out of the Amplified Bible. It gives a bit more detailed of an explanation, which I appreciate).

So there, Paul clearly explains that the Law was there to lead up to Christ. To lead up to the glory and miracle of His death and resurrection. I think so many people focus on the miracle of the resurrection, but forget that more went on there than just Him coming back from the dead. I’m not suggesting that it isn’t a miraculous happening. It is. Without a doubt. But we can’t ignore what also happened. It fulfilled the Law, which means, we are no longer slaves to the law. We entered into a completely new covenant. A covenant of freedom.

So, now back to legalism. When we place legalism on ourselves, we are placing ourselves back under the law. That same law that Christ died to free us from. No, we may not make for ourselves the same rules that He did, but it’s still for the same reason. To work harder towards righteousness, to please Him more, to become more like Christ, etc. But again, that’s the old covenant. He dwells inside of us. It’s not so much about being like Him as it is allowing Him to live through you.

When a person is placed under so much bondage, they grow weary and can’t help but break free! We long for freedom. Why put ourselves under such tiring bondage when we can be free? Christ came so that we might have freedom.

If you want to be respected

What’s a girl got to do to get respect in this world? This is a question I ask myself occasionally. In a world where few people respect each other and where most things have become socially acceptable, that can seem near to impossible.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (author of Crime and Punishment) expressed:

“If you want to be respected by others the great thing is to respect yourself.  Only by that, only by self-respect will you compel others to respect you.”

Which is exactly what I have found to be true. But honestly, how many people respect themselves? Very few, from what I have seen. It’s sad to watch people allow themselves to be treated with disrespect. To hear that they honestly believe they’re not worth much and so, they’ll take whatever treatment they get, so long as they feel accepted and loved.  emma

I’ve never been a huge Harry Potter fan, but I respect this girl. Why? Because she demands respect. She doesn’t follow the social norm of dressing like a slut and acting like a brat. She takes a stand on respecting herself, therefore making others respect her.

I lacked greatly in self-respect until about 5 months ago. I’m sure I still lack somewhat, but, honestly, realizing who you are in Christ is the key. I found that in Him I am worth it. I’m not someone who should be walked all over, used, and treated with no respect. I’m a child of the Most High, the beloved of Christ. I used to care so much about what everyone thought of me, but I can never please everyone, I need only focus on pleasing my Lord. Once that went through my system and hit my heart, things changed drastically.

Who cares if self-respect isn’t “in style”, it’s a timeless beauty that everyone should possess.

The root of all heartache

william

Came across this on Pinterest. The statement struck me at first as rather flawed, but the more I really thought about it, the more I saw the truth in it.  Expectations have potential to ruin a lot of things. But, I’m going to focus more on a dating relationship in this post.

A lot of people get themselves tangled in a relationship for all the wrong reasons. I can really only speak from a girls point of view, but a relationship can provide a lot of security. Being with a guy makes one feel accepted…..for a time….., it can make one feel safe emotionally, less lonely, someone to always go to, etc. But most of those things only last a while or come here and there. They’re temporary.

Most girls go into a relationship expecting the poor fella to meet all her needs. To always sympathize when she’s upset. To understand everything about the typical female language. To be interested in every single one of her interests. To tell her everyday how beautiful she is to him and how much he loves her. The list goes on and on.

In reality, a guy can never ever meet all those expectations 24/7. That’s asking him to be a god. Which is impossible for the poor guy. So, a lot of relationships end. I’m not completely blaming girls here, btw. Guys expect a lot of girls too. I’m just writing from a standpoint that I’ve experienced and can better relate to.

But, some expectations are good to have. To expect a guy to faithful at all times, treat girls with respect, love the Lord, be a leader in the family, etc.

Expectation is the root of all heartache. That doesn’t mean though that those expectations are necessarily wrong. Some expectations help you pinpoint exactly what you want in someone. There comes a point when you have to know which expectations are true, legitimate ones, and which ones are just stupid and nonsense. More often than not, I’ve found, girls have ridiculous expectations of their men. It’s so sad to watch the guys try and try, but fail time and time again.

I’m not encouraging one to lower their expectations, only to figure out which ones are the real and necessary ones.

Love at first sight *swoons*

luggagee I was right, all that anxiety was over nothing! That’s usually the case ;P. Anywho, mom and I went to visit the location I’m considering moving to. It’s an old hotel and the person who owns it is renting the rooms out. Cool, right? I’m super stoked.

We walked in the doors and……well…..is it possible to be in love with a building? If so, I experienced love at first sight. The inside is incredulously fantastic. It has red carpet, chandeliers, wide staircases with huge banisters, etc. It’s simply…..no, there’s nothing simple about it…..let’s just say, it’s gorgeous. The rooms are spacious and wonderfully old. There are two rooms in particular I’m interested in. They both are very nearly the same, just one is a bit larger. They have a bedroom and another side room that is smaller. Perfect for a study nook/studio for my music!

So for the past week, I’ve been planning. List after list after list saved on my laptop. My poor computer must think I’m a freak (if it didn’t already haha). I have a list of things impossible to live without, a list of budgeting, a list of things I can do while living there, a list of everything the building offers, etc. This will be my first time to move out, and I plan on being ready!

I won’t be actually moving until February, but I want to be completely prepared. I figure knowing what I need to shop for and prepare for now is a good call :). Thrift stores, here I come!

My List of things that are impossible to live without:

* = things I already own or partially own

Bedroom:
*bed frame
mattress
*futon/couch (in case a friend stays the night)
*wardrobe (like narnia! ^.^)
*mirror
*tv
*video games
*cabinet for tv and video games
brightly colored pillows
gray or mustard yellow bedspread
*blankets (because I get cold easily)

Sitting Room:
*bookshelves
*booksbooksbooks!
*vintage chair
rug?
*keyboard
*acoustic and electric guitar
*ukulele
*violin
*desk

Kitchen:
random vintage style plates
*silverware
pan
skillet
bowls
cups
measuring utensils
fridge
toaster oven

Bathroom:
shower curtain

Misc.
pillows
*posters/pictures
*random luggage
*old typewriter
record player
*records
*alarm clock
*’20s projector
random in-case-of-emergency medicine

So really, I don’t have too too much to shop for! I’ve been collecting random things here and there for a couple years for when I moved out. Looks like that might pay off! I’m sure I’ll add to that list over and over again as the time gets closer. Any suggestions from my readers are most welcome!

My life is about to take a huge turn. Moving out is a grand step to growing up and becoming more independent. I’m nervous. I’m terrified. I’m overwhelmed. But, I’m also excited! I’ve been screaming and jumping up and down inside like a 5 year old lol.

So, we’ll see how everything goes! Hopefully I’ll be prepared as best as I can be 🙂

“If the Lord fails me at this time, it will be the first time.”

~George Muller

stree

This is a late night post….which isn’t typical for me, especially since I usually post while nannying or in the morning. But here I am. Sitting up in bed, trying to calm my mind by listening to Balmorhea. Since I’m studying natural health and my family are strong believers in natural health, I already took a natural, calming herbal remedy. But…still…here I am. Still exhausted, but very much awake. This has been a typical night for me for the past week. I lay in bed, eyes closed, for at least 2 hours….thinking. Always thinking. It’s like, no matter what I do, my mind goes back to the same things, same fears, same anxieties.

As I’ve been laying here, I realized, I’m just stressing over basically nothing. Well, nothing in the span of eternity. It’s something for me lol.

There’s a pretty strong possibility that I’ve found a place to move to (I still live with my parents). That’s a huge step to me. A step forward towards greater independence and growing up. It’s exciting! But so beyond stressful.

I lay in bed, tossing and turning, while ideas and thoughts and concerns wage war in my mind. Who knew there was so much to consider and think about when one moves out! ;P  If only I had a ‘mental activity’ off switch!

Why do we stress so much? I see people everywhere who stress and panic over….well…..dumb reasons. Stress is a lack of trust. It’s a lack of trusting that your worries and fears are important to the Lord, and that He can handle them much better than anyone. Even yourself. At least this is the reason for me.

I will admit, I can be a bit controlling at times (something the Lord has been breaking me of haha). I know what I want most of the time and how I want it done. So to give what I want over to someone else, even when that someone is God, feels like death sometimes. My hands are tightly clenched over the ‘treasure’ and my fingers have to be pryed open…..one by one…..until my jewel is exposed.

Tonight, the Lord has been holding me close. There are times, when I can just feel it. Not in the way a person holds another person, but in the way it feels to be emotionally held. Emotionally protected and loved. As I lay here trying to make my mind shut up, He gently whispers “Beloved, I’ve got this. I brought you this far. I’m not just going to drop you now. I love you completely and want the absolute best for you. Let Me take care of you. Let Me hold you and show you just how much I love you and show you My glory”. Then He brought to mind Matthew 6:25-32.

“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.”

I think learning to let go and trust is probably a life-long lesson. George Muller has been a constant inspiration in my life ever since I was young. His consistent example of trust has been so encouraging.

“The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety.”

~George Muller

This post has ended up being much longer than anticipated! So, I’m going to end it now and try to get some sleep. I’ll leave you with this last quote by George Muller:

“If we desire our faith to be strengthened, we should not shrink from opportunities where our faith may be tried, and therefore, through trial, be strengthened.”