Sunday, May 29, 2011

Knowing and Believing.

So this is my struggle- Taking what I know in my head to be right and true and believing it in my heart to be what’s real. Knowing and believing have never been so different- It’s like a fact that I know and can share a hundred times, but I’ve yet to convince my heart to believe anything but lies. I know the facts, and I never question them, but when I look at my life I wonder if I’m an exception?

There are no exceptions to the Truth, you just have to be patient. God always proves Himself faithful, but can you say the same thing? It’s like I can give him everything BUT… There should be no BUT in what I bring to the King.

I want to believe, really I do, but I find myself struggling, dealing with this truth. And it’s not about faith, or what I know to be True, it’s about having strength to seek You- to seek You above all else and all this world offers.

You see, the thing is, your voice is the still small one- always in my head, but this world can be so loud, and when loneliness is yelling, the world seems like the only way out. It’s offers are so tempting, and appetizing they seem, but tempting is only a few letters short of temporary, and I’m searching for the real thing.
So God, take my heart off this string; don’t let me be tempted by what the world brings.

I’m a smart girl, and more importantly, I know the Truth of You and what that means. Convince my heart, Oh God, and let me see, the power of love brought from the King.

I’m over this world and all it’s misleading- make my heart Yours with the rest of me. Put this world to shame, and shine your light on my destiny.  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Remind yourself that...

This is for Camellia Jones, who is very good at reminding me most of these things on a weekly basis .

Remind yourself that ...

Exercising most certainly permits you to eat whatever you want throughout the day .
You are allowed to eat all the fruit flavored candy you want ... it's fruit, right? Duh .
It's not about how long you exercise, just that you do, in fact, exercise .

You are allowed to complain about having to work, as long as you are thankful for the job by the end of the day .
There's nothing wrong with avoiding certain coworkers . It's normal .
Your countdown to the weekend can most certainly begin each Monday . It gives you something to look forward to every day !

A phone call with a best friend can cure just about any problem .
It's okay to ask your friends to tell you that you're prettier than your ex's new girlfriend .
There's nothing wrong with needing your best friend to delete his number from your phone . We've all been there .

And remind yourself that ...

It's perfectly okay to stay in bed until the early afternoon . It's summer . Duh .
Sometimes, you just need a really great dramatic cry . About nothing .
There is nothing wrong with being at the coffee shop as much as you are at home . We all need a place we can go relax .. this does not make you a coffee addict .. at all .

Some times, your grandma might not agree with what you wear . This doesn't make you immodest . It makes her your grandma .
Your dad will always (even when you are married with 3 kids) say that you are "too young" and wonder "why you are rushing it?"
Your brother will always want to know "where the second half of that dress went?" Again, that does not make your dress inappropriate . That makes him your big brother .

Road trips with best friends really are the best memories to be made .
Sometimes doing nothing is what you need to do . There is nothing wrong with just being for a while .
It's okay if you are afraid of babies right now . This fear will most likely dissolve before you have one of your own . Hopefully .

Remind yourself that , no matter what happened today, night is coming to wash it away . Tomorrow will have a new beginning , and new adventures of its own . Happy Thursday, you all .

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dear Girl,

Dear Girl,

Stand up, girl. You are beautiful. You are strong, and you are worthy. Do not call him; do not let his ignorance be the measure of your standards. Stand up, girl. Do not settle for that. Do not settle. Do not compromise His desires for you for his desires of you. Do not overlook the little details. Stand up, girl.

Be bold. Be fierce. Know what you want, and wait for that. Wait for it. Wait for him. Wait for Him to bring him to you. Do not look for him because you will not find him. What you will find is a watered-down version, a less perfect illustration of what you know He has for you. Be bold.  Remind yourself daily that you are a prize, not a pattern. Remind yourself that there is better for you than what this world offers. Remind yourself that there is someone who knows how to treat you; someone who will do those things you are hoping for; someone who knows what he has in you. Be bold.

Hold your head high, and stand in confidence. Stand in confidence of God's grace, and what he has blessed you with. Embrace Him, do not embrace them. Embrace Him, and let Him do a work in you. Let Him use you and lead you and guide you... eventually to him. Hold your head high, and stand in confidence. Do not wish away this time in your life. Do not rush through the days, ready for the next. Take in each minute, living in it, preparing for the next.

You are beautiful. Tell yourself that. Remind yourself of that. Daily. Let Him fill you up. Let Him measure your worth. Let Him be the standard for what you deserve. Do not settle. Stand up, girl.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

About my Dad.

My father is a quiet man. If you know me, chances are you still don't know him. He works hard and does what he can for those he loves. He says what needs to be said and leaves the rest for small talkers. He's up early with the sun, and I remember the days he wouldn't be done working until after dark. He can be mean or stubborn or encouraging or gentle- whatever the need might be. He's got curly hair, thinning from age, but it's enough to make you wonder how he might have been at 22. Although he doesn't say much, you can tell he probably has a couple stories worth sharing. He grew up in the cold, learned from his brother's mistakes, and worked for what he had. He headed down South at 21, and except for his family that brings him back every now and then, he never returned to Illinois.

He was a runner. He ran miles and miles, and maybe from more than just the pavement, but he'd never say for sure. It was running that brought him to Alabama, and ultimately into the life of my mother. He always was an honest man, and he gave her all he could: a pair of earrings, her first car, all the love and stability a home could hold. Whatever it took, my father did.

He was a carpenter by trade, a humble but noble career. His works were beautiful, perfectly crafted into a sturdy home, a place a family could rest and be. In his creations, children were raised and houses became homes. In his creations, people came to life and memories were made, and in his creations, we were able to have our own family, our own home, our own life and memories made.

He would bring home animals he found in giant paint buckets, and together we'd nurse them to health and watch them fly or crawl or slither back to life. He'd pull bicycles out of his truck on our birthdays, and one day, when he opened the door, two puppies hopped out. He'd take trips to the store for ice cream or donuts, or crackers on those sick days. He'd carry us where we needed to go, and watch us as we walked away. To school and practice and spend the nights we'd go, and there he was when we got home.

If he's taught me anything, it's to work hard, save a lot, and take time to do what you love. If he's showed me anything, it's to know when to speak and when to listen, and how to love with all you have. If he's helped me in any way, it was to believe in myself and figure out how to do what needs to be done; it's how to become someone I want to be, and how to wait for what I deserve.

Tough love has no more perfect picture as my father, and I know no better man. I am so grateful, more and more as the time goes on, for who he is. I am so grateful, more and more as time goes on, for all the times he's told me no, and the stubbornness I got from him that leads me into my own, sometimes with his head shaking, and sometimes with a smile on his face as he watches me go.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'll praise you in this storm.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and our strength. And ever-present help in times of trouble.

I am overwhelmed right now by what's on the news- It seems like hurt and loss have come to everyone I know, like pain is felt by everyone in this world, and like it continues to rain in so many ways on this life and this place.

I hear of these storms, see the pictures of people who have lost all, of all who have lost people, and I hear stories of girls struggling to know how precious they are in the eyes of the maker. I hear stories of heartbreak and of families torn apart by war, and I think to myself, "why do I have it so good, and why do I complain when it gets hard for me?"

I know that God is in control, and to him be the glory, but sometimes I do wonder "Why, God?", and I feel silly because who am I to ask the creator of this universe "why?", or to even think for a second that nothing good can come of what's happened and what's to come.

Who am I to say that all this world feels is pain, and the truth is, we live in a broken world, so sometimes that's just it- the world is just broken.

But to God be the glory and I mean that whole-heartedly. In our trials, in our pain, God is glorified most high, and if it takes pain and loss and destruction and other high costs for us to raise our hands and fall to our knees and finally realize the detrimental need for a Heavenly Father, then shame on us for not realizing sooner. Shame on us for waiting for loss, for only saying our prayers when it seems to be dark. Shame on me for questioning "why?" when the answer to why is quite clearly me.

I am why it takes so much pain and so much hurt for God to be called on, glorified and searched. And I ask him, God search my heart, but he already has and this is what it took. So here I am God, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry for doubting and certainly sorry for shouting "WHY?" when I know why, and it doesn't even matter. There's still so much to be thankful for, and you- perfect and worthy- are so merciful that you lift me up when my heart is hurting.

So God, no longer will I ask "why?" and drop my head in ignorance. I'll say to you and this world that I live in, "To God be the glory, and in all things lost, God has a reason, even at such a high cost. His plan is so perfect and his timing is too, he is merciful and just and makes all things new."

I'll glorify you and I'll praise you in this storm. I'll thank you for the cross and the cost that's already been paid, and I'll realize today, that you reign over all, and to you be all praise.