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Thursday, February 26, 2015

I'm not Wonder Woman.

I'm feeling heavy today. Like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.
We all get these days.
Sometimes its just a bad day. Sometimes we realize things are different than how we think they should be. Sometimes the future looks ominous and gray. Sometimes our plans shatter before our eyes.

Today, I feel like Wonder Woman has been defeated.
Wonder Woman being me. Even though thats not me.
Obviously, because Wonder Woman doesn't get defeated. She wins. At everything.

I'm laying here feeling defeated because I have this mindset that everyone, everything, and even God has called me to be Wonder Woman.
I have to have everything together. I have to have everything planned out.

Lets put onto paper the next 5 years of my life. 

I have to please everyone around me-- my family, my friends, the bagger at the check-out line.

If I don't go home soon, everyone is going to think I hate them.
Oh please don't be disappointed in me. 
Smile, look like the nicest person that ever was!

More importantly, I have to please God in everything that I do.

I can't have God being disappointed in me.

I have to be in accordance with every doctrine I've ever been taught.

The conflict is too real in my head right now.

I can't have these emotions rolling out of control....

I'm supposed to be calm, not complicated. 

...even when nothing in my head seems to have any order.


I have to look presentable.

I have to have my skin looking nice. Makeup, more makeup.
I can't be looking bald today, lets tease the hair a little more. 
You just ate ANOTHER brownie? Enough said here.

And as the burden gets heavier and heavier and my mind gets more confused by my fight for perfection, I realize that this is exactly what Satan wants me to do.

Its at these times when I'm struggling to be perfect that I question God's perfection.

This is a confession that some might find blasphemous, but its the truth.

How can a perfect God who knows how imperfect His creations are ask perfection from them?

And this is how the Devil gets me.

I confided in my roommate in the midst of my sorrows this afternoon.
"I feel like everyone and everything and even God is calling me to be Wonder Woman and I can't! I just can't!"
"No," she said. "God has never and will never call you to be Wonder Woman."
"Then what has He called me to be?! I don't know what He wants me to be!!!"

God has not called me to be Wonder Woman. He has called me to be the best that I can be, but He knows I can't be perfect. He knows I'm going to fail.

And thats why He gave me Jesus.
Every failure, every heartache, every shattered plan, every broken dream, every crazy emotion, every useless tear, every slip-up, every mess-up, EVERYTHING-- is covered by the blood of Christ.

My roommate put it this way:
God does not call me to be Wonder Woman, but He has called me to be...
Close to Christ
At spiritual peace

This resonated with me in an astounding way.

Close to Christ: Above all, I want to live like Jesus. I want to walk throughout my day by holding His hand and Him telling me how to walk. I want to love people the way that He loves people, I want to extend Grace like He has extended Grace to ME.

Healthy: God made me. He knows how my mind works. He knows how my body works. He knows what I do need and what I don't need. Based on that knowledge, I am 100% certain that God understands what it takes for me to be mentally and physically stable, regardless of what anyone on this earth has to say about anything. And also based on that knowledge, I'm 100% certain that Satan understands what it takes to rip me a new one. And that devil uses outside sources paired with my own self-destruct mechanism to put me down a black hole of confusion, chaos, and insanity.
That fight for perfection? It messes me up in the head. And it will mess you up in the head too.
Look, mental health is critical, people. I'm a psychology major. I know.

At spiritual peace: My roommate put it this way-- despite how you're feeling or circumstances surrounding you, you know you're on the right track. Peace is not an emotion, its a real state of being. Peace does not mean everything is going right, for everything that may be going wrong is leading you in the right direction.

Mm. Let me say that again because God put those words in me just now and I'm feeling preached to.

PEACE does not mean that everything is going right-- it may mean that everything that may be going wrong is leading you in the right direction.

In the midst of crazy circumstances, unknown futures, and shattered plans, we can still have spiritual peace knowing that God has our destination set in the GPS of life.

I'm going to take a moment here to say PRAISE JESUS.

Praise Jesus that I don't have to be Wonder Woman, because I can't be Wonder Woman.

But there is a Superman.
His name is Jesus.
And today I might be a Lois Lane at the top of a rooftop crying for help.
And you know what?
Superman always swoops in and saves the day.

Big thanks to my wonderful friend, sister, roommate, and Jesus-example, Casey.
Please give her support by checking out her blog-- Grace In The Race

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

When things change.

I have this problem.
I take integrity a little too seriously in a wacky way. How is that a problem, you ask?
If I say one thing, and later change my mind about it, my stomach knots.

I used to say that hats were against my religion. I would NOT wear a hat for anything. I thought they smooshed my hair down and I'm a lover of big hair so that would just be a problem.
Then one day, the whole beanie-beret thing became cute to me and I was at a crossroads.

Hat or no hat?
Well, I told everyone that I don't wear hats so that must mean I can't get a hat.
Eventually, I bit the bullet and bought a hat. Multiple hats.
The first time I wore that daggum hat I was so upset with myself.
"Everyone is going to think I'm a flighty hypocrite because I used to always say I would never wear a hat."

Yes, this is how my brain works.

Anyone who truly knows me knows that I don't chew gum.
In fact, I've been preaching against it for YEARS. Anyone who asked for gum or offered gum, I would have a conniption with.
I also love onions. Sometimes *cough* always after eating onions, I either smell like them all day or taste them all day. Which is annoying. And when nobody has mints, guess what everybody has?
Gum. There have been a few instances where, in desperation, I take a piece of gum to get rid of the onion catastrophe. And every time, whoever distributes the gum gives me DOWN THE ROAD for breaking my vow against gum.

I'm telling you all this to say: Its okay to change your mind. Its okay to prove yourself wrong.

Disclaimer: This does not apply to everything. For example- marriage, 3 months into being clean of alcohol/drugs, children, etc.

I'm talking about more trivial things that are less trivial in the moment.

You see my header up there? ^^^^^^
Eiffel towers.
Paris. On my bucket list.
When I started looking at colleges, the biggest deciding factor for a school was whether or not they offered an abroad program. Literally, my biggest dream in life had become the top places on my bucket list. My mind got a little chaotic with all these big fancy places in the world and how I could get there before life could come in and drown my dreams.
But you know what? The freaking Eiffel Tower was never the first thing on my list. It originally started out with the Palace of Versailles, and the only reason I wanted to go there is because I have this obsession with Marie Antoinette and to see where she once lived would be crazy awesome.
And then Paris is like forever advertised as the greatest place ever and its also commercialized and you can buy a billion eiffel tower things and so because nobody knew what the Palace of Versailles was, I told everyone my dream was to go to Paris because its only 30 minutes down the road from Versailles.

Am I looking crazy yet? Stay with me here.

So as you know if you keep up with my blogs, I get to college and start to reconsider my dreams because I'm beginning to think they're a little selfish. I go back and forth between planning to pack up and move to a new country for a few months and just throwing the idea out completely. Then summer comes and I open a savings account for a possible future trip. At the same time, I'm beginning to ask myself why I wanted to go there in the first place.
Pretty architecture?
I had convinced myself for awhile that it was for the people but when you don't speak a lick of French it kinda becomes apparent that you can't really interact with people.
So I take a French class.

What do you do when your dreams change?

A couple of months ago I dreamt about Paris and it was exciting. But I've realized that in all my dreams about that place, the pretty picturesque view comes and fades rather quickly.
And I've began to ask myself: have I been so focused on something that I can experience for a few hours that I've pushed aside what I'm going to be spending my life for?

I want people to understand that I'm not the same girl I was 2 years ago when I began telling everyone my dreams of visiting a country that I know barely anything about but looks pretty.

And I believe that God has changed my heart for the better. I've questioned my dreams because of my calling. I feel God has a high calling on my life-- as anyone who follows Christ should feel.
And theres been a rather hefty shift in my way of thinking.
Because my calling has become my dream.

I'm writing this because I know people like to question other's decisions. Especially when this topic has been one that I've been completely obsessed with for so long.
But I've began to think about where and how I've been called and none of those things involve fancy places across the pond.
I've been called to people to bring the people the Kingdom of God.
I've been called to be a woman of strength right here and right now.
The list goes on.
Some of you might say: Its just a trip. Whats the big deal?
Heres the thing, its an expensive trip. A trip that takes a big chunk of money that could simply go to more important things.
It all comes down to this: I'd rather get the ball rolling to where my dreams now lie, a dream that is going to be a continuous, forever thing, than throw money towards something that lasts a few days.

1 John 2:17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Positive Post

So I'm procrastinating on piles of homework this lovely Sunday morning to write some of my thoughts because I just feel like sharing the positive stuff in my brain.

Don't you wish more people would do that? Share the positive stuff instead of the negative stuff. Its so much more enjoyable.

Enjoyable. En-joy-able.
I just wrote this word down and immediately the middle syllable stood out to me.
Joy. We so often believe that joy is for a specific situation. It comes and goes.
And I, especially, can admit that my joy comes and goes in a matter of minutes. I could be the happiest woman on the face of the planet and then BAM, someone turns on the most annoying song in the world or I break my fingernail or I check my bank account and see its not as full as I'd like-- etc... The smallest negative thing can turn my joy into defeat. Which is another reason why I wish more people posted positive stuff.

When we are surrounded by negativity, how does one maintain their joy?

I'm here to say this morning that life is meant to be enjoyable.
Maybe not the way you think.
Our God is ABLE to ENCIRCLE our hearts with JOY.

I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!
It would be a lie to say that this joy came from the middle of nowhere.
I've got so much to be thankful for this weekend and God has revealed so much to me the past couple of days. He has helped me push through circumstances and His grace has me completely overflowing with joy.

But I have been convicted of the fact that I don't always portray this joy. Sometimes I'm a ball of negative energy when other people need me to be positive.
So I have a challenge for us this morning-- what if we could be positive in the midst of some of the most negative moments of our life?
And how do we do that?
Worship. I don't know how anyone could worship the Father with a frown. I don't know how giving your all to God could fill your heart with dread.
He is the keeper of peace.
He is able to encircle our hearts with joy.

Hey, something else... Smile. :)