Thursday, December 19, 2013

Phil Robertson For President


Before you go all crazy on me, I'm not actually saying we should vote ole' Phil into office. Just trying to catch your attention... did it work?

I read the interview, and while I can see how some might find it offensive, I don't see that any of it was hate speech or meant to cause such an uproar. Phil was simply stating his beliefs. His belief that homosexuality is a sin. Is this some new profound knowledge that the homosexual community as well as A&E were unaware of? That bible believing Christians disagree with homosexuality as a lifestyle?  I thought this was common knowledge, silly me. 

He didn't compare homosexuality to bestiality per say, he was simply stating, that it was a sin that didn't make sense to him. He also talked about promiscuity, in this same sentence, but of course bestiality is a much more offensive word so we should put that in the headlines. He said it wasn't logical to him, that he preferred women, and didn't understand how men preferred other men. (his language was a bit more colorful as he has been criticized for, but would you expect any less from a country boy?)

I didn't read any statement of Phil's saying that homosexual sin was unforgivable... but that seems to be what a lot of people are saying. If you read this somewhere (from a credible source), please forward me the link to show me that I am wrong. 

He quoted scripture, which is far from against the law, to back up his belief. I didn't see his remarks as anti-gay. Anti-gay remarks in my mind are more threatening more demeaning more something like "Gays are stupid and going to burn hell and I hate them all and they should die" (this was an example, please don't get offended and stop reading my blog).

Wilson Cruz, a spokesperson for GLAAD said,
 "Phil and his family claim to be Christian, but Phil's lies about an entire community fly in the face of what true Christians believe."

And what exactly do true Christians believe Mr.Cruz? I mean, since you are the expert. Obviously not the Bible. Because the Bible clearly states that homosexuality is a sin. And what exactly did he lie about? He stated his beliefs and quoted scripture, what part of that is a lie?

Sarah Palin said it best when she said..
"Free speech is an endangered species"

Isn't this the land of the the free? Don't we have the right to believe what we want? And if you are so secure in you beliefs, why are you letting some dumb redneck from a TV show put you into such a tizzy?

Here is the thing you need to know about Christians, we aren't all alike. The Bible should be our moral compass, but just like everyone else in the world we aren't perfect, we are simply forgiven.

And just because we don't agree with a lifestyle, doesn't mean we hate someone. I don't hate gay people! I have friends that are gay. I am not their friend because they are gay, and I am not not their friend because they are gay. Do I agree with them? No... but I think most people in the homosexual community get that. That we can genuinely love someone and care about them, even if we don't agree with the choices that they make. Maybe I am wrong. 

Maybe what this world is coming to is that everyone is able to have freedom of speech until that freedom slightly inconveniences someone else... and then you lose your job. But where does it stop? And why are we wasting our time attacking some old dude instead of crappy people like the Westboro Bapstist Church (now there is an offensive message). 

Why exactly does everyone have the freedom of speech except for Christians? I could write about this all day, but maybe that's a subject for a different blog. 

I think this was a manipulative interview that got blown way out of proportion. People love to hear Christians talk about homosexuality, because it gives them  something to be offended about and another reason to hate on Christians (Kirk Cameron anyone?). 

All I am asking is that you look at the facts... if its so easy to get suspended for stating your beliefs, then we are all in trouble. 

"If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter." 
-George Washington







Monday, December 9, 2013

Miss Independent?





I've come to very sudden realization that I am absolutely not independent. I mean, are any girls really? 

Now before you get all feminist and girl power on me, I never said that girls lack the ability to be independent. Women are just as capable as men to accomplish any number of tasks. That is not what this blog is about. 

I am 100% capable of pumping my own gas. I totally know how to change my oil (by driving to the service station and having them do it, right?). I can hammer a nail, work a screw driver, take out the trash, mow the yard, hook up the electronics... the list goes on.

I am capable, that isn't the point. The point is, that in my femininity, I desire to be taken care of.

I see women post and brag all the time about their independence. About how they did it, all by themselves. And kudos! That is wonderful... not trying to downplay your ability to fend for yourself. But is that what you really want? Is that what you were created to be?

I think that somewhere throughout the years we've come to this place where the desire to be taken care of by a man is old fashioned, and that real women take care of themselves. 

Can I tell you how much I think this sucks?

And to be honest I have probably been programmed to expect this because I have an amazing Dad that made sure I was taken care of. He bought me my first car (and second). He was always there to fix the things that broke. I never worried about someone breaking in because my Dad is scary and he has a gun. 

I desire, and I think that majority of women desire to be taken care of, to be protected, and cherished. Sadly, there are many men unwilling to do their part. 

We see a generation of men that refuse to be the men of God that they are called to be, but rather sit on the sidelines while women take the lead (no, I am not talking about every guy, there are some awesome ones out there, and if you are one of them, you rock!)

I blame parents, for not teaching their sons about commitment and selflessness.

I blame the media for its constant representation of men who beat, misuse, and objectify women. 

I blame other men for not being better examples to one another.

But mostly, I blame women. I blame you for not demanding more and for expecting less than you deserve.

You deserve to be treated like a queen. You deserve to be pampered. You deserve to feel like the luckiest girl in the world... 

But we settle for fear of never finding someone else. We settle because we would rather be miserable than alone. We settle because we stopped believing that we deserve more. 

I find myself in a position of having to be more independent these days, and I hate it. Like seriously, I hate taking out the trash. 

But I've come to the realization that independence isn't for me. My life is much more full when I find myself trusting and putting my hopes in God. My day is better when I know that there is another person I can share my burdens with and depend on. 

Independent... dependent... whatever stage in life you find yourself in, I hope that you remember that God has plans for you. I hope you never settle. I hope you always remember you deserve so much more. 














Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks



"November is the month where everyone who complained on Facebook for the past 11 months suddenly becomes thankful for 30 days"

I love Thanksgiving... wanna know why? I love to eat, duh!

But I also love this time of year, simply because even some of the most dreadful people decide to be a little more chipper and grateful. Yeah, its totally a bandwagon, but hey, I would much rather see a post on why you are thankful for each one of your cats, than more griping and complaining. Am I right?

But as I read, I wonder if people are really thankful, or if its just the thing to do; expressing thankfulness via Facebook. I mean its day only 27, and people are running out of things to be thankful for. 

What has really gotten my attention is that a friend of mine who just last year said , "I am so ready for thanksgiving to be over... I am tired of seeing what everyone is thankful for" has decided to this year jump on the 30 days band wagon! 

Write what you are thankful for on Facebook or don't. Spend 30 days gushing about your blessings or one. Just remember this. 

"Not what we say about our blessing, but how we use them, is the true measure of Thanksgiving"-W.T. Purkiser

Don't just talk about it, be about it.

Day 9, you are thankful for your kids. But when we the last time you told your kids that? When was the last time you took them out, to do something special just for them, to remind them what a blessing they are?

Day 14, thankful for your husband/wife. Do they know that? Do you remind them often how blessed you feel to be part of their lives? To learn and grow and share and face this world together?

Day 21, thankful for you parents. I read a quote that said, we are sometimes so busy growing up that we forget our parents are growing old. Cherish your moments with them. Don't just call them to watch the kids, call to ask about their day. 

Thanksgiving isn't a day... Well, technically it is, but stay with me. 

Being thankful 1 day a year isn't enough. Bragging about your blessings for 30 days isn't enough. I'd like to see 365 days of thankfulness start trending world wide. 

Thanksgiving is a lifestyle. What you do with the things you've been blessed with makes a difference. Will we continue to simply acknowledge them with our words, and refuse to be grateful with our actions?


Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a good night!


Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading the things my crazy mind comes up with! Please continue to like and comment and share if it's something you read resonates in you... 


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

No cares



And not a single care was given that day...

Can I tell you how exhausting this is to me? To hear you (or rather read) talk about how much you don't care?

And this may not apply to you at all, but in general, I am just so done with hearing about cares people don't give. 

Their empty cup of cares, the IDGAF (I don't give a fruit loop, right?)... We get it, you don't care, about anything at all. 

This mentality that seemingly breeds in our young people that its easier to just not care. Well guess what Sherlock, you are right! It is exponentially easier not to give a hoot. 

By not caring, you are saving yourself a whole lot of trouble. Sparing yourself from heart break, protecting yourself from getting attached. And the time! Caring takes so much of your time, that by not caring can be devoted strictly to yourself. 

It's easy to shut down, to not give a crap... it's the latest trend in fact. 

But by not caring, you are basically sentencing yourself to never doing anything special or noteworthy or memorable. 

Care, and you will most certainly get hurt. It's a risk to open up your heart to things and to people. 

Its scary to be passionate about something outside of yourself. 

But I guarantee you that people who don't care will never see their dreams fulfilled. 

You were created to be a world changer... we all are. Each of us was created with something specific to accomplish in the life. We have different dreams and goals. We were created to make a difference. 

You will never find fulfillment in the selfishness of not caring. 

I think the only way any of us will every be truly happy, is when we find our passion. You can't be passionate and not care... 

So find what makes you tick, what makes your eyes light up... figure out what makes your heart beat faster, your smile to curve, your brain to go 317921340981237 miles an hour thinking and dreaming and planning. 

CARE! whatever you do... find something to care about... something to devote your life to. 

Not caring, hardening your heart, becoming passionless is a scary place to be. 

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman


Monday, November 25, 2013

Who I was

(me in 2007)



Everyone changes. It's the circle of life. We grow older, get more mature, hopefully we become more wise. 

But not all changes that happen over the course of life are positive. 

Sometimes we become less active and more stressed. 

We allow failure to make us fear. We let brokenness harden our hearts. When things don't turn out the way we planned, we become bitter. 

Situations that are beyond our control sometimes turn us into the people we never intended to be. 

Sometimes, I wish I was who I used to be... because I've let circumstances change me. 

I used to be so much more encouraging and resilient and independent and hopeful. 

Lately, I can't get past what is going on right here, right now, at this moment. 

The dreams in my heart have taken a backseat to the things that I can't change. 

I'm not writing this because I have it all figured out. 9 times out of 10 I write because I am struggling. Because I've come to some sort of realization, and I think maybe, just maybe, someone else out there needs to hear what I have to say. 

So why do I spend my time so focused on what I can't change, instead of focusing on what I can?

Honestly, I have no clue... but I am pretty tired of it. 

So, instead of wishing I were to hopeful, encouraging, resilient, independent individual I used to be... I decided I am going to be that person.  

I am going to have dreams and work towards them. 

I refuse to let minor setbacks derail me completely. 

I am going to get things done... 

And I am going to encourage the sock off the people I come in contact with day to day.

Why? Because these are the thing that make me happy, that make me who I am. Not the problems that I am facing, not the struggles, not the disappointments.

I can't completely be who I was, because like I said, we all change. But decide today that those changes are going to be for the better. Decide that the changes that occur in life will be ones that bring you more joy and fulfillment. 

It's time to be the person you were meant to be...

"She knew this transition was not about becoming someone better, but about finally allowing herself to become who she's always been"

Friday, November 22, 2013

I know sometimes it's gonna rain

There are two types of people in the world: Planners and well non-planners.

I was thinking about this today while I was driving through WKU campus in the rain....


WARNING: The following is going to be highly metaphorical and will require quite a bit of reading between the lines... I am writing about rain boots... I am not really talking about rain boots.

Something I noticed while I was driving to work was that of the thousands of students walking to class in the rain, there was an overwhelming amount that were not properly dressed for the drizzly day. They were walking around with long jeans and flip flops (I don't think anything in the world is worse the walking around in wet blue jeans all day). I could see them blinking rapidly as the rain was pelting them in the face as they hurried to their next destination... They were definitely not prepared. 

But then there were those decked out with their rain boots and parkas. They had fancy umbrellas and top of the line rain coats. They were well aware of the inclement weather before heading out, in fact they most likely didn't run out and buy these items that morning. They probably bought them months ago, in anticipation that one day, it might rain. 

Preparation is a good thing... because let's face it, no one enjoys walking in the rain on a cold day.

But is preparation always a good thing? Isn't it equally important to be spontaneous and have a sense of wonder and excitement?

You see, I think the tough thing about growing up, is that we become planners, because well, we learn that it's no fun to be wet all day. But in becoming planners, we become overly cautious. 

We run out and buy our rain boots, and instead of checking the forecast, we decided to wear our rain boots... every single day... just in case... 

Because you never know when it might rain. 

My best advice? Keep the rain boots for, well a rainy day. But don't be so afraid of the rain that you refuse to get wet at all. 

Make plans for the rain, but don't live your life in fear of getting caught up in a shower. 

Yeah, its a little risky, but it is impossible to enjoy today's sunshine if you are so worried about tomorrow's rain. 

"Some people feel the rain, others just get wet" 
(Playing in the rain with my MCUSA friends back in 2007)


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It is well with my soul



Ever heard of Horatio Spafford? I assume few have. 

Horatio had a terrible life so it would seem. The Great Chicago fire of 1871 ruined him financially. He made plans to travel with his family to Europe after his financial interests took even more of a downturn during the economic decline in 1873. While finishing up some business arrangements, he sent his family ahead to Europe. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship sank quite rapidly after a collision with another vessel. His four daughters did not survive. Soon Horatio made plans to sail to Europe to meet his wife whose life was spared. As they were crossing the Atlantic near the place where his children were lost, Horatio was inspired to write the words to the now famous hymn...

"It is well, it is well with my soul..."

The first time I heard this story was during my year as a master's commission student in Phoenix, AZ. 

And I am still absolutely amazed by the overwhelming peace he must have had. I can't even fathom losing my daughter, especially not suddenly... so unexpectedly.

I have had much much less tragic things happen in my life that cause me to freak out like its the end of the world. 

Reading the lyrics to this song, it isn't that he wasn't in pain or didn't miss his daughters. 

He understood that everyone's life on earth is but a vapor, and he found his hope in the life to come. 

To have such peace in knowing, that in end we win... 

God, please give me peace that surpasses all understanding. That even when I am faced with trials, my trust and my hope will be found in you. That when I fail, when I hurt, when I fear... I will still be able to say; It is well with my soul. 

“And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.”  Colossians 3:15



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Confessions of a first time mom


Let's be honest. I am far beyond a perfect mother.

My curly headed cutie leaves the house 9 times out of 10 without me fixing her hair. 

There may have been more than one occasion when she had ice cream for dinner or pizza for breakfast. 

When I was pregnant, I couldn't read enough of what the experts had to say about pregnancy and raising children. Now? Well lets just say I've taken a more learn as you go approach, as I have found much less time to read. 

When my kid throws tantrums (which is hardly ever) I can't help but laugh. I know I shouldn't, but its just so stinking hilarious to watch her completely lose it because I made her throw away the McDonalds cup from last night. 

One second I am adamant about her sleeping in her bed, and the next thing you know she has been in my bed for 3 weeks straight. 

Her clothes don't always match. Actually, if she is just going to the babysitter all day, I can almost guarantee they don't match. 

I really can't bring myself to spend a ton of money on toys/clothes/anything that won't last her more than a year. She is a baby and she grows so fast, and I can't see spending $100 on an outfit she is just going to ruin when she eats her ice cream for dinner. Seriously, I would say 95% of all of her clothes are gifts or hand-me-downs... I've spent hardly anything on her wardrobe brand new from a store (unless it was on the clearance rack).

We watch Barney every night before we go to sleep. Literally. I know... babies shouldn't be watching TV... you shouldn't watch TV before bed... It works for us and we will probably keep doing it until it doesn't. 

I don't post a picture of my kid every single day, I typically don't rush her to the doc over every little cough or sniffle, I let her drink some of my coke from time to time, I use her to throw things away (she LOVES to throw things away)... I mean I know none of this is terrible, but its definitely not getting me mom of the year award.

But for all the things I don't do and all the things I am not... I can guarantee that little girl gets at least 50 kisses a day from me. I tell her I lover her constantly. My favorite part of the day is cuddling and watching Barney... no lie. Its my goal in life that she will grow up knowing that she is beautiful and intelligent and unique. That little girl will never have to wonder if she is loved or accepted. 

But maybe being the perfect mom isn't about being perfect. Maybe its our imperfections that make us the moms that we are. I mean, I'm thinking someday, that ice cream for dinner thing is gonna make me an awesome mom in her eyes. I honestly don't care what moms around the world think about my parenting... The only opinion of my mom career that matters is that of my children. And I can guarantee I am going to do my rootin-tootinist to be super mom in their eyes. Nearly 20 months in and I definitely don't have it figured out, but I look forward to learning more about how to be a mom from the most amazing little girl on planet earth. 

I love you Olivia Quinn Starks... You make my life complete. 




Monday, November 11, 2013

Is modest really hottest?



I grew up in church. Like its always been a part of who I am. Through high school, church was my extra-curricular activity. I sang in the worship band, I helped with the youth, I performed in drama... it defined me. 

Seeing as I grew up in church, there were a lot of lessons I learned over and over and over...

But one that was recently brought back to my mind was the topic of modesty. 

Christian girls are pretty much pumped full of modesty juice from birth. 

If you wear that, he will be interested in your body not your mind. Leave something to the imagination. If you dress trashy, you will attract pigs. And my favorite, you need to protect the minds of your fellow brothers in Christ by dressing modestly...

We get taught from a young age that real men respect modesty, and if we want a real man, we therefore must dress to attract him.

Church camps with knee length shorts, swimming parties that required one piece bathing suits, dresses that had to be measured, hallelujah checks for shirt length  ... lots of rules lots of different situations. 

But can I tell you, I feel like this is a standard that isn't set for the men?

We are warned that the way we as females dress can tempt a male. But why is it my responsibility to protect him? Why isn't it his responsibility to respect and cherish modesty like we are taught men will when we were younger.

I bring this up, because I was part of a conversation recently with men who were talking about a female and her barely there clothing. The conversation was extremely derogatory, and somewhat insulting to me, seeing as I had to listen to it. The funny thing is, it wasn't a celebrity, this was a girl we all knew, and these fine young gentlemen were drooling for lack of a better term. To make matters worse, these individuals were Christians, many of whom grew up in church just like I did. 

Why didn't they learn to respect modesty? Why didn't they develop into men who find women who dress indecently as unattractive or at the very least feel sorry for her need to show her body for attention? Isn't that what we as women are promised? That if we do our part, the Christian men will step up and do theirs?

Do men really respect modesty, or is this a lie we are fed as children? Or perhaps in those Sunday school lessons, the teacher dropped the ball by focusing on how we as women dress, rather than expecting the men to be leaders. 

I'm not saying I don't agree with modesty. I'm saying that modesty should not be solely the job of women. I think that if we want our girls to grow up living modest and pure lives, we need to instill that respect in our boys. Women cannot be the forefront of modesty. Because let's face it, when a girl who spends her whole life striving to be modest, ends up in a conversation with christian boys who are oogling women with zero modesty... she might begin to question everything she has been taught. 

It is time to step up and be men. To refuse to be a part of conversations that degrade women. To encourage the women in your life by showing your respect for modesty. Because lets be real... everyone grows older. A body is only young for a short amount of time. I hope that you spend more time looking for someone who challenges you and encourages you in Christ and less time worrying about what she looks like in a bikini. 

"Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." -Proverbs 31:30


Monday, October 21, 2013

Wanted

I wanna make you feel wanted- Hunter Hayes

Can I just tell you how much I love being a mom? Like I really think I have the best and most intelligent and most beautiful almost 19 month old in the entire world. And I love being her mom. I love her laugh and the way she screams "I LOVE YOU". I love the way she smells after bath time. I love holding her in my arms. I love her mean face and her kisses. I love her crazy personality. 

Know what else I love? How much my little girl teaches me about the depth and height of God's love for us. 

Friday evening it was just Olivia and I home at bed time, and we have a pretty good routine. Olivia and I fall asleep in the bed watching Barney, and Jacob moves her to the crib when he gets home. Seriously, thank God for Netflix, cause we watch Barney every single night.

But Friday night, I sat her in my bed, turned on Barney, and decided that there were a few things I needed to do, so I left her in the bed while I went to do some cleaning up. 

It wasn't 5 min, and this happened....



It didn't matter that Barney was on (and she loves Barney). She wanted to be close to me. She would rather lay on the concrete floor near me, than in the comfy bed watching Barney. 

Of course I thought this was the most precious thing I had ever seen and immediately dropped what I was doing to go cuddle and watch Barney with my little girl. 

She wanted me to be close to her. She didn't want me to be out of sight. She wanted to feel me next to her. She wanted me. 

I truly believe that being wanted is one of the most powerful things in the world... because I believe our Savior also desires to be wanted. 

Why else would he have created free will? It would have been easy for him to force us to be with him, but that isn't real. He gave us the choice, because he wants us to make the decision to want him, even though he knew many would reject him. 

God desires to be close to you, and he wants you to desire his presence in return. 

Do you desire to be close to God no matter how uncomfortable that may be? Or have you decided to be comfortable where you are instead?

The God of the universe gave his only son, so that he could die a horrific death, so you could live in heaven eternally. He did this because he wants you. 

He wants your quirky and crazy parts. You don't have to be perfect. He created you... he knows you make mistakes. But regardless of the imperfections. He wants you. 

God wants you. 

I guess the question you need to ask yourself is, do you want him as well?

Not in the superficial raise my hands at church, try to be good, say a prayer once in a while kind of way. But in deep, do whatever it takes, heart wrenching, uncomfortable kind of way. 

In a walk 1,000 miles, hold a boom box over your head, take a bullet kind of way.

Because in this kind of love, its all or nothing. 

"We love him because he first loved us" 1 John 4:19

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Wrecking Ball




I came in like a wrecking ball
Yeah, I just closed my eyes and swung
Left me crashing in a blazing fall
All you ever did was wreck me
Yeah, you, you wreck me



"Their minds are full of darkness; they wandered far from the life God gives because they closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him." Ephesians 4:18

We seem to live in a world where building up walls to protect ourselves is far too common. 

People give away their bodies, but not their hearts. 

They listen to the words, but they don't believe. 

And they leave, before anyone has the chance to walk out on them.

They give up before they fail. 

 We are so afraid of falling to pieces, that we refuse to fall at all. 

Can I let you in on a secret?

You are no as breakable as you think.

You will survive. 

But by building up walls and closing off your heart you will never know how strong you really are.

They say it is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. And I think its true...

Because even love that isn't returned shows you the capacity to which you are able to give and love and cherish. A broken heart proves just how much you can take.

Don't build up walls. Don't harden your heart. 

Because even if you fail miserably, you tried. 

"We are not nearly as fragile as we think we are, but we will act as we believe ourselves to be. We have the capacity to be astoundingly extraordinary, not just in spite of where we have been, but because of it..."

The failures and heartache and the pain are all part of making you into the person you were created to be. 

Guard your heart, but never build up walls that forbid you to feel. 

Love is a risk. Loving anyone or anything has the potential to leave you broken. 

Love anyway. 

"To fear love is to fear life. And those who fear live are already three parts dead"



Thursday, October 3, 2013

Five to one

No one here gets out alive... 

I had a discussion with a man the other day. He had just found out he has esophageal cancer. He was telling me the doctor came in, prepared to break the bad news to him; that it was cancer, and it was bad. He told me how the doctor was astonished at how well he was taking it. He didn't seem shocked or upset. He seemed as calm as if he were to tell him his health problems were caused by the common cold. The doctor asked him, why he wasn't more grieved over the situation. His response?

"I'm 70 years old, and everyone has to die from something. I guess cancer is the way I'll go"

He then continued to sing to me the lyrics of "Five to one" by the doors.

I thought how amazing it is to be that at peace with what was basically his death sentence. How beautiful it would be to accept death in this way. And then I get on Facebook and see mother's freaking out over breast feeding, and cancer causing lunch meat, and so on and so forth...

Here is my issue, I am most certainly not saying you shouldn't be cautious. But it seems that some people lead such careful lives that they don't really live.

I had friends that were having a heated discussion over products that cause cancer.

Haven't you learned by now? EVERYTHING causes cancer. Cell phones, chocolate, artificial sweeteners, even FACEBOOK has been linked to causing cancer (Google it, I swear its true).

If we stop using everything that has ever been linked to cancer, well, there won't be a whole lot left for us to use.

Don't get me wrong, I don't treat my daughter's health so flippantly. But I am most certainly not going to deprive her a life because of my own fear.

This issue goes so far beyond our health. We are so inhibited by fear and propaganda that we would rather stay holed up in our own little bubbles.

But Jim Morrison had it right.

We aren't going to make out alive anyways. Everyone will die from something at some point (unless you make it to the second coming of Christ).

I know this is a little morbid, but I think to truly make a difference, we need to be at peace with this within ourselves. I think when we truly come to terms with the fact that no matter how hard we work and how healthy we try to be and what we do or don't eat, that we are still going to die, maybe just maybe we might take more risks.

And maybe these risks won't simply be selfish ambitions.

Maybe we will start to take risks that actually matter. Risks that will have an eternal significance to someone.

We are so afraid of the outcome, that we barely live.

Everyone's earthly outcome is the same. But your eternal outcome is formed by the choices you make.

When we are driven by eternity, we everything that keeps moving us forward is not of this world but of the world to come, then and only then will we see change.

No one lives forever... Better make it count.






Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Closed for Business

Wanna know what I love about my blog? It's that I can write what I think and what I feel and you can agree or disagree, that's fine. But this blog really isn't about you, now is it?

Everywhere I turn today, everyone is talking about the government shutdown. I mean, yeah, its a pretty big deal. And while I don't understand it all, I can see why it causes some worry and well upset.

But while reading through comments, I was actually disturbed by some of the things I was seeing my "friends" say via their social media.

The first thing that I found absolutely unnecessary was their complete disrespect and hatred towards our President. Let me be the first to say, I absolutely do not agree with all of Obama's policies, morals, and agendas. But then again, I didn't exactly see eye to eye with the candidate I voted for either.

The point is, he is our President, and while I am sure I have said this before, I feel the need to say it again. His position requires your respect. It doesn't require you to agree and blindly follow. It's a respect that even allows you to challenge the policies that don't line up with what you believe to be the right way. You can respect someone and not agree with them.

I've seen far too many Christians bashing the president. Turning to their facebook pages to rant about the things in government that need changing, but rarely do I see any of them making a change.

Respect your president. Why? Because I believe it's what Jesus would do.

The second thing I found personally upsetting was the rant I saw about government assistance. Apparently its upsetting to some that the government decided not to let people on food stamps starve while they are temporarily shut down. How dare they?

The common misconception about government assistance is that everyone, or at least the majority, are lazy people who refuse to work and simply mooch off those who do.

I'm not saying the system is perfect, but they are doing the best they can with what they have at the moment, and if you have ideas to better government assistance programs, please write to your local congressman, not your facebook friends.

The reason I find this personally offensive is that I have been on government assistance. I was on Medicaid during my pregnancy, that my personal insurance wouldn't cover. I used WIC to help provide food for my daughter while she was young. And we also had Audobon, to provide assistance with paying the daycare bills.

And you wanna know something? I worked! Beyond a short stint when I was unable to find a job, I maintained employment. But I was struggling, and in an attempt to become more independent and not become a burden to my family, I turned to government assistance for help.

My daughter is 18 months old, and as of this month, we are no longer on any form of government assistance, and I am pretty proud of that.

But to be honest with you, I am really not sure what we would have done without it for a while, short of beg our families for money.

So, why do we always have to believe the worst in people? Why must we believe that everyone on government assistance is trying to take advantage? Why must we think that our President has anything but the country's interest in mind?

You are free to have opinions. But before you go around accusing the ignorant, please look in the mirror and make sure the ignorance isn't your own.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Haters are my Motivators





I am an extremely emotionally unstable individual. 

You wouldn't think that would you? I admit, I put on a good front. I NEVER cry in front of anyone. I keep my mouth shut much more than I want. I bury it all inside until I explode in solitude. I can keep it together, for a while. But it always comes bursting out. 

I admit this because, a lot of the reason that I get upset and emotional is because of the way I have allowed other people to control me. Not that anyone barged in and forced me at gunpoint to do anything. 

But the thing is, I let what others say when I am not around affect how I act. I let what people do to hurt me, deplete my love for people. I allow their words to take place in my heart. Instead of dealing with the hurt, I allow it to make me bitter and cold. 

I don't adjust to things well, I never have. I have a hard time compartmentalizing. When I get hurt, I really just don't know how to let it go. 

I mean its not debilitating. I am still quite functional. But I have let this pain inhibit my life in a way where I was simply getting by, but not really living. 

I am pretty sick and tired of just getting by.

I became someone I never wanted to be, simply as a means of survival. I became defensive and hard hearted to protect myself from further damage. I became suspicious and deceptive to always be one step ahead.  

I allowed you to change me (well not, you, you... the metaphorical you, calm down). 

I allowed you to steal my passion and my hopes and my dreams, all in pursuit of becoming more of what you thought I should be... all because I never felt smart enough, good enough, pretty enough...

But you see... I'm done.

I quit letting you control my thoughts. Because I am not what you say I am. 

I'm finished letting you define my happiness, because my joy isn't dependent upon how you act. 

Because you see I have a terrible habit of putting my heart out there. Of throwing myself full force into something, only to fail/get rejected/find out it's not turning out like I thought it would...

But, the point is not the outcome. The point I suppose, should be my willingness to take a step in any direction. The point should be my reaction to the outcome and how I decide to move forward, rather than the outcome itself. 

Because shutting down simply because I've been rejected has rarely solved anything.


I think the worst decision I ever made was allowing someone else's actions control my emotions, my thoughts, my hope...

So I'm gonna be courageous and passionate and brilliant. I am going to take chances and continue to pour my heart into it. 

And if you try to bring me down, well that's on you. 

I'm going to keep shining and thriving.

Because you don't define me. 

I am so much more than what I have been. Just wait and see. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Man I feel like a woman



When a woman says do whatever you want, do not do whatever you want. 

I think its pretty universal. That men see women as complex alien beings that they will never even be able to begin to comprehend. 

When a woman says, "I'm fine!" she is most certainly not fine. 

Women rarely say what they mean. 

Women hardly say what they want. 

Men, can I let you in on a secret... we are just as confused about it all as you are!

We are hormonal and indecisive and needy and independent and stubborn and giddy and broken and creative and beautiful and angry and compassionate all rolled up into one human being.

And it is completely possible for us to feel all of these emotions at the exact same time. While I have heard that it is possible for men to be thinking of absolutely nothing.. How can you think of nothing?

Women are unique creatures as a species as well as individuals. 

But in the famous words of Mel Gibson, What do women want? (And you don't even need to shave your legs to find out!)

*Someone to listen
Look guys, we know, you are the knight in shining armor and you are genetically programmed to save the princess from the dragon. And trust me, there will come a time in every girls life when she will desire someone to rescue her... flat tires for example. But mostly, we don't need you to fix it, or tell us that we are being irrational for feeling the way we do. We don't need you to pick sides. We don't need to you to tell us aren't allowed to run that person over with a car. We know that! But sometimes we need to be angry, or sad or happy. We need cry and laugh and feel free to do so without being judged. I think all women need someone who will listen.

*Passion
Women need passion in their lives. I am not talking about the romantic kind. Women need to be passionate about something. To feel as if our lives have meaning. A reason to wake up every morning. Lots of things can be a woman's passion: family, ministry, work, volunteering, friends.. anything really. A life without passion is no life at all. Because here is the deal, as a woman, every once in a while, there is gonna be a day when we feel like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. And when that day comes, we might just want to go hide under the covers until we feel better. Moments like this is when our passions will keep us from retreating and give us reason to keep fighting. 
"The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy"-Yves Saint-Laurent

*Hope
Does this really need explaining? Everyone needs hope. Without hope, we perish. 

*To be pursued
I don't care how unromantic a woman is, everyone woman desires to be pursued in her own way. Personally, expensive jewelry is not my thing. But plan a picnic or take me on a coffee date and I feel like the luckiest woman in the world. I feel most loved and pursued when I spend quality time with the ones I love. Women don't only need to be pursued by their significant others, but by their friends. Ever have one of those friends that expected you to do all the calling and all the planning? It gets old really fast. Women need to pursue each other in their friendships. 

*To be herself
When a woman is comfortable in her own skin, there is no limit to what she can accomplish. Sadly we live in a world that tries to tell women they need to look, act, be a certain way. When we refuse to be the women that God created us to be, we are mocking the masterpiece that he created. You aren't perfect. But you are fearfully and wonderfully made. So BeYOUtiful!

*Love
To love and be loved in return is one of the most powerful things in the world. Love really can change the world.

This is by no means and extensive list. Women need to laugh and be appreciated and feel beautiful. I would love it if you would add to my list. Tell me what you as a women want/need. 

Being a woman is confusing and wonderful. Be proud of who you are! God created a woman to accomplish things that men cannot. That is powerful. Don't be ashamed of your femininity, own it. Be graceful and powerful. Be proud and courageous. Be daring, Be bold, Be a woman! 

Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.- Nora Ephron


Thursday, September 12, 2013

If I die young...




Dedicated to the memories all of those who passed far too young. 

No weeping
No hurt or pain
No suffering
You hold me now, You hold me now

Death, is tragic. But the death of someone young? It seems completely unbearable. 

We try to make sense and reason, but it seems that we will never know in this life why people die so young. 

Death is hard concept for me to grasp in itself. How one minute someone is with you and the next they are just gone.

But what do we consider young. When is a death less tragic? 60.. 90?

If we think of this in terms of eternity, we all die young. Our short time here on earth is nothing compared to that of eternity. 

What we do with that zero time, makes a difference in eternity. The things I say, the people I affect, the change I instill, the hurt I cause... it all matters. 

Knowing that our time here matters, doesn't it make you want to do better, be better?

If I die young, I want my friends and family to know how much I love and care about them. I don't want to wait until tragedy happens to start holding them closer. I want to hold them close at all times.

I don't want to spend my time complaining about how fast the time goes rather than enjoying the time I have.

If I die young, I want to see lives changed. I want to make a difference. I want to change the world.

I want to be known for my compassion for people and my passion for Jesus. 

If I die young, I don't want to waste another minute.

But the truth is, we all die young. Everyone of our lives will end too short it will seem. Too short to give enough, love enough, experience enough, share enough, dream enough...

So don't let another moment pass you by. 

Be not afraid of death, be afraid of the un-lived life. 




“Time," the Captain said, "is not what you think." He sat down next to Eddie. "Dying? Not the end of everything. We think it is. But what happens on earth is only the beginning.” 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For those who won't remember



"A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today, our nation saw evil -- the very worst of human nature -- and we responded with the best of America. With the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could." George W. Bush

I was a week away from turning 14 years old. School hadn't been in session very long, when a teacher from another classroom came in hysterical. Her husband was supposed to be flying that morning, and the news broke about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. 

I thought they were saying "train center". I had no idea what they were talking about. At 14 I assumed it was a flight malfunction, or maybe the pilot had a stroke or something. Then the 2nd plane hit.

True evil is not something I had become accustomed to in my short existence. But there, on the TV screen I was witnessing evil in its purest form. 

We watched in disbelief. Teachers were crying, but this horrendous act was so difficult for me to wrap my mind around. I didn't cry. I wasn't afraid. I simply could not comprehend what was happening. 

We will never forget.

But will we? Have we?

It amazes me that there are current high school students who don't remember that day, that middle school students weren't even born. This day that shook our nation is simply a history lesson, like pearl harbor. 

Young people who easily confuse Osama Bin Laden with Sadam Hussein. Young people who can never grasp the despair that was felt that day. The day the world truly stood still. 

But how do we remember, but continue to move forward?

We remember by honoring the men and women who continue to serve in our military, law enforcement, fire departments, EMS services, hospitals, and so much more. 

We remember by setting aside this day to pay tribute to the lives lost. 

We remember be retelling the story for generations to come. The story of a great nation that was not defeated by the acts of terrorism.

We remember by continuing the sense of patriotism and community that was prevalent in the weeks following the attacks. 

We remember by praying for our political leaders to make wise decisions.

We remember by always remembering how blessed we are, and remember that those blessings can be taken in a moment.

It's not longer current events. It's history. History that many of us were a part of. 

Never forget, because when we forget, we become complacent. We get comfortable. 

“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” -President George W. Bush

God Bless America








Thursday, September 5, 2013

No regrets?



My struggle as of late, has been a tangle of regret. I know. We aren't supposed to regret things. We are supposed to look at everything as an experience that has brought us closer to the people we are trying to be. No regrets. Look graciously at your past, and be thankful for the mistakes and the hurt. After all, that's what got you here. God bless the broken road right?

Am I the only one that feels like calling bull crap? 

Don't get me wrong, there are many mistakes and a lot of hurt I would make/take all over again. For example, my daughter was not born into the most perfect of circumstances. But I would gladly do it all again to have her in my life. 

I have a lot of regret, and there are very few exceptions to that.

And to be completely honest with you, it bothers me when people live their lives shouting "No regrets". Have you never wronged, hurt, betrayed anyone? Can you really say with full confidence that you are completely content with those past decisions? 

I am not saying you can't make peace with the past, but to say that you don't regret causing someone else pain just seems extremely careless and slightly egotistical in my opinion. 

So yes, I have regrets. Big regrets.

But a lot of what I regret are the chances I didn't take.

In college, I was so afraid of the things Christians warn you about, that I never took any risks, I never made any friends. I went to class and I went home, end of story. Now that everyone is starting back to school, I sometimes wish I had the opportunity to do my freshman year over again. 

My point is, don't let anyone make you feel like less of a person because you have a past of regrets. I have often felt almost un-Christian because of the way I feel about my past. 

When I think of no regrets, I think about my future. While I can't go back and change the things about my past that I regret, I can learn to live my life forward. I can choose to make everyday something noteworthy. I will always have past regrets, but I can learn from those mistakes. I can take those things that I am not so proud of and try to make myself a better tomorrow. 

If I knew then what I know now...

I would have tried harder, I would have been more outspoken, I would have said no, I would have made a bigger deal out of some things, and smaller deal out of others. I would have apologized sooner. I would have taken more risks, made more friends, made more memories. 

But I can't. I can't go back. I can't erase the hurt. 

But I have hope for my future. Isn't that all we really need? Hope... 

So here is to taking more risks and being proud of the years to come!





Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Monster



I tend to try to see things from alternate points of view. I never want to be viewed as narrow minded. While, we may not have the same belief system, I will at least attempt to understand your thoughts.

So please be understanding as I write what I am about to say.

My heart feels sad as I learned of the death of Ariel Castro. Is that shocking? Suicide never sits well with me, regardless of the situation. 

I am sad for the women and the families that will never get to experience the justice of seeing their captor serve his sentence.

I am sad for the family of Castro, because regardless of what kind of monster he is or was, he was someone's son, brother, friend...

And I am sad for Castro. I am sad that the mental state he was in, lead him to abduct and torture innocent women. I am sad that he learned all to quickly the horrors of being held captive. I am sad that he felt that death was better than serving the sentence that he thoroughly deserved. 

But mostly, I am sad for the people rejoicing in his death. This doesn't mean that I excuse or agree with the actions that lead him to his prison cell. 

I believe that God is fair and just, I however find it hard to imagine God rejoicing over death. 

I honestly could barely even watch the new footage as it replayed the nightmare that these women lived. 

I am not a supporter of Castro.

But I am a supporter of mankind. 

I am a supporter of the idea of grace and forgiveness and love and mercy. 

What Suzy says of Sally says more of Suzy than Sally.

Maybe he did deserve death for his actions. But don't we all?

The wages of sin is death... isn't that how it goes? Don't we all deserve to die?

And what about forgiveness? If all sins are the same, did Jesus not die for Castro as much as he died for me?

I don't have all the answers. I don't even know where to being to make sense of such horrendous circumstances. 

But I believe the day that I start celebrating death, is the day I should stop looking for monsters under the bed, and begin to look for the monster inside myself. 








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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