Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Complain, whine, grumble

"Do everything without complaining or arguing" Philippians 2:14

I feel sick. School is hard. I don't like my job. Someone was rude to me.Things are too expensive. I am tired. I am hungry. I am lonely. I don't have money. I can't sleep. Its not fair. I am hot. I am cold. My head hurts. My stomach hurts. I'm getting fat. I am getting old. ...

Some common complaints. Trust me... I am firm believer that everyone needs to complain every now and then. Sometimes, life is hard and things aren't quite fair, and well that sucks.

But what annoys the heck out of me, are the people who complain constantly... which now seems even easier to complain via social networking tools such as facebook and twitter. So for a moment, I am going to complain about complaining...

I honestly have a hard time being friends with people who complain all the time... it kind of feels like its sucking the life out of me.

And I am not sure if some people think their lives are THAT interesting that the whole world cares about every little ache, or feeling, or hardship they experience every minute of every day...

Or if there is some biological need or craving for attention hoping that someone will pity them of feel sorry for their circumstances.

Its kind of like elderly people who only wanna talk about their arthritis and bowel movements when you visit them... its weird.

“The tendency to whining and complaining may be taken as the surest sign symptom of little souls and inferior intellects.”

So, I am going to give you a few reasons to STOP using facebook as your outlet for complaining.

1. It gets old fast. I really do think people who complain constantly are striving to get attention, and wanting for people to have sympathy. And people will, for a while. But after your 357th tweet about your headache or how much you hate your job, people stop caring. Not that people are mean, but you are kind of conditioning them to get used to your constant state of pain. what happens when the day comes and something REALLY bad is going on in your life and you need for people to be praying... you might not get the attention you need if you spend it all up on every little detail of your life.

2. So, you aren't blessed? I think this is the part that drives me crazy the most. No matter how much your life sucks, or how bad you currently feel, you are blessed. But it seems like the complainers use 100 posts to talk about the bad, and maybe 1 to talk about the positive. For people who I know that have experienced heartbreak and pain and focus on that negative of the past rather than the blessings they currently have, just seems kind of sad. If all you can do is complain, don't be surprised when your blessings are taken away, because if you aren't going to be grateful and glorify the blessings more than the struggles, why do you deserve them?

 “Instead of complaining that the rosebush is full of thorns, be happy that the thorn bush has roses”

There are probably 100 other reasons not to use facebook as your outlet. Don't get me wrong, if someone is genuinely going through a hard time, and uses a post to ask for prayer go right ahead.... but we all have little things in our lives that go wrong every single day....

And everyone has to complain from time to time, even if just to vent. But that's what I use my close friends for, not my 879 friends on facebook (yes I just checked the number of friends I have).

I am sure if I wanted... I could make a list of things to complain about.. I fell in a puddle this morning.. literally fell, water up to my waist. I couldn't find a parking spot on campus. My nap got interrupted. My room is dirty and I don't feel like cleaning it.... I didn't sleep well last night... I could go on....

But if Christians use their social media to complain over their struggles rather than brag about their victories... why would any unsaved people want to be a christian?

Circumstances are a part of life and we don't necessarily have control over them.

Joy is a choice.

We affect others with what we say.

Negativity breeds more negativity.

Don't give attention to the haters, that's what they want.

Focus on the good and use every possible opportunity to count your blessings.

Because things could always be much much worse.

But what do I know... I just wanted to complain for a moment :)

"If you have time to whine and complain about something then you have the time to do something about it. "

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Far Far Away

Once upon a time, in a land far far away...

Well, this isn't really a fairy tale, and its not so much about once upon a time as it is the land far far away.

Ever felt far away?

Just in general, from people, from God?

It seems that is the position that I am currently in.

And I know that I isolate myself when it comes to people.

"We hide so we can be found,
we walk away to see who will follow,
we cry to see who will wipe away our tears,
and we let our hearts get broken
to see who will come and fix them,
we stay silent to see who cares what we have to say"

I know that probably sounds dumb, but its just how I deal. I typically don't cling to many people.

I guess when I am dealing I more wait for people to reach out to me, rather than the other way around.

Don't worry too much, I definitely have my people that I go through this crazy time in my life, but I guess what I am saying is don't be too offended if we have fallen a bit out of touch. I don't blame you.

I think the part that I am most worried about, is feeling far away from God.

I know that God is ALWAYS there for me.

I know there is nothing I can do to separate myself from the love of God, because He is always right there.

I know that forgiveness for sin isn't earned, that I receive it when I simply ask.

But this distance I feel is more initiated by me.

Not that I desire to be away from God, but I guess for the first time in my life, I feel so ridiculously undeserving.

I feel like I don't deserve to raise my hands in worship, that I am not worthy enough to even speak his name, let alone speak to him.

Again, I know that this rationality is crazy.

Because in reality, we are all unworthy. Every single one of us.

We are all sinners, and we all fall short from time to time.

Sin separates us from God, not that God separates ourselves from him.

Rather, at some point we allow this gap to form between us... by choosing sin over the path he has chosen for us.

I'm certainly not writing this because I need answers or advice... I know that I need to continue and persevering and working on my relationship with him.

I am writing this, because I feel like at one point or another, we all feel far far away.

We all mess and up, and realize that we are completely undeserving.

But he loved us anyway.

So, continue to push forward.

Never give up.

Because you will never be worthy in yourself.

But its his love for us that makes us new, and makes us worthy.

Without it, we are nothing.

"I'd give it all, I'd give for us
Give anything but I won't give up
Cause you knowYou know, You know
That I love you, I have loved you all along
And I miss you, been far away for far too long
I keep dreaming you'll be with me
and you'll never go"


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My side of the story...

"If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12

By the time I post this blog, I assume most people will have heard about my recent news.

I thought for a while about how I wanted to tell the world what I thought or how I felt... and what better way than through my blog.

So the following is unrated, unhindered, and uncensored.

This is the truth, take it or leave it.

The truth is, I know I messed up. I know that there are things in life you can't take back, and consequences for those actions.

The truth is, I don't blame you if you are hurt or disappointed, because I've been on your side of things.... and I understand how it can rock your world when a leader... a friend falls.

The truth is, I know that this affects so many people around me, and one of my biggest regrets is not taking that into account and thereby hurting and disappointing people I love.

The truth is, I understand that its going to be hard and that my whole life is going to change, but honestly all the warnings are getting a little old. I get it, so you don't have to keep reminding me.

The truth is, I am so thankful for all of you who continue to remind us that you are there for us, and that you are praying for us.

The truth is, there are a handful of people that have taken the time to look past their own disappointments and have chosen to be not only supportive but excited. You have no idea how much that means.

The truth is, I know there are going to be people who choose to not support us. So go ahead, grab your torches and pitchforks, ridicule me, call me names, talk behind my back... but please, learn from my mistakes.

The truth is, I know that this situation isn't ideal, and most certainly not what we had planned, but I am continuously reminded that God causes all things to work together for the good for those who love him... so I have to keep believing that this is all going to turn into something far better than we can plan on our own.

The truth is, I don't want you to feel sad or bad for me. Please keep your sympathy for someone who needs it. Prayers and support are most certainly appreciated, but I am not sad.... so why should you be?

The truth is, I am OK. Somedays I have my minor break downs, but I have complete confidence that we are going to not only survive, but we will come out on the otherside victorious.

The truth is, having a boyfriend who takes the heat for me, takes care of me, and looks out for me has made all the difference in the world and I don't think I could do this without him.

The truth is, there are things and people and circumstances that make me feel as if I am not allowed to be excited or happy. This is a first you only get once, and I refuse to look back and not be joyful. Please don't try and take that from me.

The truth is, I KNOW that we were wrong, but we aren't in high school. I am almost finished with college, and he is halfway through... our lives are most certainly not over.. we are adults, we can handle this.

The truth is, it stresses me out to hear everyone tell me their opinion of what we should, shouldn't, can or can't do. I appreciate advice and tips, and I am definitely taking notes. However, at the end of the day, we are going to do what we feel is best for us.

The truth is, we can't take any of it back. So why not be happy?

So what is the lesson? The moral of the story?

I guess I have learned a lot about being judgemental, a lot about learning not to judge someone based on their decisions or mistakes. We don't know why people do what they do, and it isn't our job to judge or condemn, but rather to love, forgive, and understand.

I've learned that people are far from perfect. Everyone has their struggles. I've started to think that the church as whole would be a much better place if we didn't try to hide our imperfections, but rather if we were able to be more open an honest maybe we would get the opportunity to reach out to more people. Its amazing to me how many people have shared with me their personal struggles lately, and I wonder how my life would be different if all this honesty had come a bit sooner... if I had the ability to be honest sooner.

I have learned a lot about friendship, about the kind of people that I want in my life and the kind I don't.

I have learned about myself. I've learned about stepping up, about doing the things you have to do.. about growing up.

I have learned that happiness doesn't come from everything going as planned, but from the decision to be happy and from the people you surround yourself with.

And I have learned that there is a lot left I have to learn... cause Lord knows I definitely don't know it all.
I have learned about love.

I have learned about forgiveness.

I have learned about hope.

There it is. How I feel, what I know, and what I have learned. My hope is that people will read this and take the time to have a different perspective from their own. To stop judging others and start loving, and to learn from others mistakes.

This is my side of the story...

"If we judge people, we have not time to love them" Mother Teresa

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Surprise

Surprise me...

Yesterday I got one of the most amazing and thoughful surprises from a pretty incredible man that I just so happen to love.

However I took a vow of social media silence on the subject just in case other people might view the gift as corny... dare I say un-manly?

So I can't tell you what it was... but trust me it was AMAZING and probably one of the sweetest gifts I have ever received. Sorry ladies, he is all mine ;)

I told you that to tell you that I absolutely love surprises. Big surprises, little surprises, corny surprises (those are my favorite).

I don't just love getting surprises, I love to give surprises.

Just ask Jacob, I probably text him at least once a week and tell him I have a surprise for him... and its usually something small like my leftover chicken from work (he is pretty easy to please).

I love Christmas and birthdays... I don't think I will ever hate getting older, just cause it means i get to have another birthday!

I don't understand why anyone wouldn't love to be surprised.

But I guess there are those surprises, those unexpected events, those things that catch you off guard. The kind of surprise that takes you off the course you originally intended.

Things change, people make mistakes, stuff doesn't work out... surprise...

Life may throw you a metaphorical curve ball, but we all have a choice.

You can choose to give up or you can choose to push forward.

Expect the best, plan for the worst, and take what God chooses to send.

Life is full of surprises, the good and the bad.

But I choose to believe that even when things don't turn out how I want, even when I feel as if I've messed up beyond repair, even when life just plain sucks... That God is good, and that are much bigger, better, and even more amazing surprises in my future.

Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord..."

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Addict

"You do anything long enough to escape the habit of living
until the escape becomes the habit."


I saw something pretty disturbing the other day.

I was walking into a grocery store and I saw this woman bent over right outside the door, but I couldnt quite figure out what she was doing.

It wasn't until I was leaving the store that I actually saw.

She was digging through the ash tray and saving all the cigarettes that weren't completely used up.

My first thought, was thats disgusting.

My second thought was, how sad that she can't afford cigarettes.

My third thought... this would make a good blog.

Because you see, she wasn't digging in the dumpster for food. She wasn't asking for money to buy milk... she was addicted.

It didn't matter that she couldn't afford it, because one way or the other she had to have it.

We live in a culture full of addicts.

Our first thought of addicts is drug users, right?

The woman who sold her kid just to get another hit.

The guy who killed someone over a few dollars to afford his next high.

But what about the other addicts?

The girl who is hurting finds her high by shopping and digging herself thousands of dollars into debt.

The guy who isn't an "alcholic" but can't seem to go a day without it and most certainly can't function in social settings without that buzz.

The girl who eats to numb the pain.

The girl who starves to feel the pain.

The guy who uses girls to prove in some neanderthalisitc way that he is man.

The thief.
The adulterer.
The liar.
The gossiper.
The bully.
The hypocrite.
The addict..

It seems like we are all addicted to something.

Its the something that makes your life worth living.

Something that becomes as vital as breathing to your very existence.

You see, I understand addiciton.

I understand wanting something... anything to numb the pain. To feel better. To feel happy.

I've been there...

What if instead of sex, drugs, and alcohol, we became addicted to our relationship with Jesus?

What if like the Junkie, we spent every waking hour when we were gonna get that next high... that next moment alone with Jesus.

What if like the alcholic we felt like we couldn't function in society without him by our side.

What if we really lived like Jesus was vital... like the air we breathe.

Why do we turn to things that temporarily numb the pain, when Jesus already took all our pain and sins upon the cross?

My question is how are you living your life?

Are you addicted to the things of this world?

Or are you truly addicted to Jesus?


"Reality can be Hell when you are only visiting. God save me from myself"


Friday, May 6, 2011

The Man Who Can't Be Moved

I have always loved this song. Something very idealistic about a man who has loved so deeply and passionately that he is willing to risk everything. Not only is he taking the risk of never being loved again, but also of not ever having a life. He refuses to be moved until his love comes back to him, regardless of how long it takes.


I guess I am so fascinated with it, because it seems a man who loves in this way is rare. Most guys are unwilling to wait for you to get ready for a date, let alone his entire life waiting for your love.


I know its somewhat dramatized and unrealistic, but it still draws me in. I find myself wondering if anyone has ever really loved me that much, or if better yet if I have loved anyone. A love this deep and pure and unconditional seems impossible...

People date, they break up, they move on...

Its kinda the circle of life I suppose.

Even though the love that is quite beautifully displayed in this song is tragically unrealistic, it still fascinates me.

What would cause someone to forfeit their entire lives in the hope of finding that love? Not a guarantee, not a good chance, simply a hope... a wish, a dream...

Because you see, as the song ends, we never find out if the girl goes back to the corner where they first met... where the man who loves her is camping out in his sleeping bag refusing to move... waiting for the day she will return.

I was thinking about the depth of this love... of how it doesn't matter if the girl ever shows up, because the man is going to love her anyway.

This is how Jesus loves us.

The depth of his love is completely unfathomable.

But you see, Jesus came to this earth specifically because he loves you.

He died on the cross, because he wants to give you life.

And he is waiting, ever so patiently for you to come to him.

And he doesn't care how long he has to wait, because he will wait for you as long as it takes.

He waits when we make selfish decisions, when we turn our backs, when we walk away...

And while we were still sinners Christ died for us Romans 5:8

He died for us, he loved us, while we were still in the middle of our sin.
While we were spending our time being unfaithful and untrue.

He didn't sacrifice his life with the promise that we would come to him, only the hope...
Because you see, it doesn't matter if you ever choose to accept what Jesus did for you, because he did it anyways...

He gave his life knowing many would never come to him.

So he stays there, waiting... not hiding, but waiting out in the open, refusing to be moved. 

And he will wait forever, if forever is what it takes. 

So in world that has such a distorted view of love, its nice to know that there is a man who can't be moved...

And he is waiting, with his arms open wide.

"Cause if one day you wake up and find that you're missing me
And your heart starts to wonder where on this earth I could be
Thinking maybe you'll come back here to the place that we'd meet
And you'd see me waiting for you on the corner of the street
So I'm not moving
I'm not moving..."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Even if you fall

"I'm holding on for you,
I'm fighting for your life.
And when your blinded by this jaded world,
I'll be your eyes.
Even if you fall,
I won't let you break.
When all the noise is telling you
To run away,
Run to me."

Its pretty cool when God reveals things to you in unexpected ways. Today it just so happens to be through a pretty amazing four year old boy. 

I have the amazing blessing and opportunity to babysit one of the coolest kids on the planet.

He is one of the absolute sweetest little boys and I absolutely adore him.

He is extremely smart, very funny, and lots of fun when we dance and play.
You see this amazing little boy was born with cerebral palsy. It amazes me how smart he is and how much stronger he seems to get from week to week.

His parents are incredible people, and I really do hope they know that I admire them for how much they work with and push him and continuously hope and pray to continue to see miracles.

When I first started watching this amazing little boy, I was quite confused. Because you see he has difficulty with getting around and he sometimes falls and hits his head.

I wondered why his parents didn't cover their house in foam padding to prevent him from ever falling and getting hurt. Because I was honestly scared to death that he was going to fall and get really hurt when I started watching him.

As time went on I realized, I am sure his parents would love nothing more than to create a world where he could never fall and get hurt. Where they would never have to see him cry and get another knot on his head again.

But if he never learned that it hurt to fall, then how would he function in the world outside the bubble? How would he ever learn to walk?

It would be easier to just keep him safe and never see him have to go through the pain and frustration of learning everything the hard way.

I was thinking about this tonight, and realized God feels the same way about us.

The times when we fall on our face, the times when we learn things the hard way, the times when we are frustrated and just want to give up... Its because God loves us.

Its because he knows that we may never learn to walk spiritually if He never allows us to fall from time to time.

He can't create this bubble for us to live in, because that isn't reality. Reality is, sometimes life is hard.

Sometimes we are gonna mess up.

But God doesn't allow these things because of a lack of love, but rather because of an unimaginable irrevocable kind of love.

His love is unconditional.

He believes in us... So much that he gives us the opportunity to choose to mess up and to figure it out on our own.

He pushes us and encourages us, but at some point we have to choose.

Because in this kind of love, it isn't forced or romanticized.

It doesn't live in an imaginary world where everything is perfect.

This kind of love, the same kind of love that the little boys parents have for him, is the kind of love that is heart broken every time you fall. But this kind of love knows that sometimes falling is the only way we will ever learn.

I realize now why I have gone through some of the things I have gone through... because without those trials, without those struggles, I wouldn't be walking today.


So maybe you are going through a difficult time. Maybe you can't seem to make the right decision. Maybe you feel like things are falling apart.

Sometimes I feel like God is sitting up in Heaven begging and pleading with us to make the right decisions, wanting so desperately to come down in the middle of our situation and rescue us.

But maybe its his love for us giving us the freedom to choose. Maybe He wants us to know that we are strong and capable... and that He is waiting with arms wide open every single time we fall.

That's the kind of God I serve.

"For God so loved the world..."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wrap me in Your arms

God is our refuge and strength an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth be removed...

Ever felt like the world was literally crashing down around you?
 
Something happens and suddenly nothing is the way it used to be.
 
Something like the man you were sure you were gonna marry decides not to love you anymore.
 
Or you make a terrible mistake and you can never take it back.
 
Or maybe the doctor told you or your loved one news that is simply unbearable. 
 
Its like your world starts to fall apart, starting with your heart.
 
I don't cry often, but last Thursday was an exception.
 
Because you see all the "God has it under control" and "just have faith" cliches don't really mean a whole lot when its your situation.
 
This is MY life... and MY heartache...
 
There is a God who loves me, who wraps me in His arms...
 
Because you see, no one has the perfect words to fix it.
 
No one can say anything I don't already know.
 
I have faith.
 
I know God is control.
 
I trust that He will give me the strength I need to endure any situation that comes my way...
 
It still sucks.
 
The most amazing thing is, is that we have a God who knows exactly how we feel.
 
He experienced what it felt like to be alone and hopeless and afraid.
 
And he knows that some days there are no words that will bring comfort to our hearts.
 
That's why we have a God who will simply wrap us in his arms.
 
I believe God can speak to us, in a variety of ways.
 
But I believe He knows that many times words aren't what we need.
 
When we are afraid or hurt or even broken beyond repair, He is holding you.
 
You don't have to be strong.
 
You don't have to have it all together.
 
Its OK to cry and be angry.
 
And its OK if you don't cry as well.
 
Because however you need to deal, know you aren't alone.
 
Know that there is a God who is passionately and irrevocably in love with you.
 
And on days when your heart is torn, he will be right there to help you pick up the pieces.


Friday, April 8, 2011

You hold me now

All that I know is I'm breathing, all I can do is keep breathing...


I am far from perfect. Which is astoundingly hard for me to admit.

Ive messed up, made mistakes, sinned far more than I would ever like to own up to.

Owning up to the mistakes Ive made has been one of the hardest things I have had to do.

Ive reasoned with myself that it wasn't that bad. I talked myself in to believing it didn't happen. I convinced myself to repress the thoughts and feeling and hope that it would just go away.

That's not how it works.

You see, for the longest time Ive dealt with anger and shame simply reflecting the fact that I am not perfect.

A very wise person was telling me just last night that its a daily struggle. That we aren't just going to wake up one morning and suddenly have complete victory over sin. That some days we are gonna succeed, but some days we are gonna fail and fall right back to the place we never meant to be. But when that happens you can't stay down. You have to get back up and you have to keep pushing forward.

The only real failure is when you lay waiting in your failure.

No one is coming to rescue you. No one is going to make you get up and move forward.

Its up to you, and its up to me to stop beating ourselves up over the past or even the present and move on.

Because you see, its been easy for me to blame my failures on circumstances, on others... but when it comes down to it, the only person I can blame is me... and that is a tough pill to swallow.

The Bible says to be careful when you think you are strong, because its in those cocky moments when we think we have it all together that we typically fall flat on our faces.

So own up to your mistakes. Deal with it. Talk, cry, scream, write, pray... whatever. Realize that your flesh is weak and may fail from time to time.

But God will never fail you.

We have the power to be more than conquerors, even when we refuse to tap into that power.

I am not perfect. And there have been lots of tears coming to terms with this. But I know, that even when I mess up, run away, back down, turn my back, spit in his face, ignore his voice, fail him...

I know he loves me.

And he is holding me, and reminding me that its gonna be OK.

"No weeping no hurt or pain no suffering you hold me now you hold me now"

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Priorities

"Seek the Kingdom above all else and live righteously and He will give you everything you need" Matthew 6:33



Maybe you have noticed some silence from my end of the social networking... maybe you haven't. For those of you that have, its been exactly ten days. Ten days of no facebook and no twitter.

My biggest reason for this break from the social network was time. I realized just how much time I really do spend facebook and twitter stalking.

I am not against social networking at all, I am actually quite excited to get back to it. But when my social life (real or through the portal of the world wide web) is so time consuming that my time with Jesus is affected, something has to change.

So, I did it. I turned it off, for ten days... that wasn't the original plan. The plan was to make sure I was up to date on my One Year Bible and back in line with my priorities. And I guess ten days is what I needed.

This experience has been crazy. Social networking has become so important in our culture, I felt so out of the loop and i honestly had no idea what was going on in anyone else's life. But, at the same time, I felt so close to God.

So I am not writing this to seem "holy" or to make it appear that I am anything special. Actually I feel quite embarrassed that I even had to take these measures to get back on track spiritually.

But I just want to encourage you to make sure your priorities are lined up. If your behind in your bible reading, turn of the TV. If you can't seem to find time to pray, put away you phone for a while. Lets keep the main things the main things, and continue to change the world together.


What is Paigerific? I’m glad you asked, although I don’t have an exact definition to offer. Paigerific is my thoughts and my heart. Paigerific is my passion and my fear. Paigerific is my success and my failures. Paigerific is my blood, sweat, and tears. Paigerific is more than just simply word. It’s a million different words all rolled into one. Words like hope, grace, determination, imperfection, love, faith, insecurity… The one word I would use to describe myself? I am Paigerific.

 


Paigerific
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