Redwood Forest and Happy Hair

Lipstick names are so fun, aren’t they?

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I don’t wear makeup, unless lipstick counts as makeup, in which case, I wear a tiny bit. I’ve always been afraid, however, to go bold with my color choices. Usually I choose a shade just a hint darker than my natural lip color (which is already a healthy pink), just to brighten things up a bit. But recently I found a coupon for the above “Lip Crayons” on Target’s Cartwheel app, and hesitantly chose “Hawaiian Smolder” as my first color.

Yowzah! Totally fell in love with it, so rich and bold. Plus it made my lips super soft. In light of this, I visited the Burt’s Bees website to see what other colors they had, and found a Lip Shade Finder quiz! Having taken it, I discovered that according to this, my best shade is “Redwood Forest”. Having already planned to try a red sometime soon, and having another, even better coupon to use, I seised the opportunity. I am more excited about lipstick than is normal. But hey, it’s the little things.

Also, I got about an inch and a half of my hair cut off today, because it was so long I was getting it caught in my armpit and in the car door. The ends were frayed and frazzled and I couldn’t get a brush through it. So now it’s a much healthier, more manageable length and it feels SO much better.

Why the talk of healthy hair and lip beauty tips? I dunno. Just feel like sharing I guess. I’ve had a weird week, it was both extremely trying and extremely rewarding. I got to spend some time with some good friends, which I haven’t gotten to do in quite a long time. Most importantly, I’m trying to find a new church to go to. Not that there’s anything wrong with the church I had been attending, but I have never felt really at home there. It’s too big and too full, overwhelming with so many nameless faces. I’m hoping to find a smaller, warmer church that I can get involved in and be of use to. It’s so hard to get started though. Especially when you live in the Bible belt. :P

Last but not least, I’M GETTING A HEDGEHOG. He is adorable and I think I may name him Rumple. More about him later when I have pictures. ^_^

TTFN!

~TQG

Food Network Christianity

Today a Facebook friend who I oddly enough have never met in person and rarely talk to had a really cool post that I want to share with you. (I asked his permission first! :D)

His name is Liam, I creepily stalk follow he and his girlfriend on twitter & Instagram because I think they are a cute, Godly couple. You can find them here: His, Hers. (Also both their names start with “L” which is also cute!)

Periodically, I feel the need to write a long post of thoughts I had throughout the day. This is one of those, so brace yourself haha. Also, not all my thoughts are complete and it’s kind of a quickly-typed up mess, so please bear with me. I hope the point gets across.
I came across a verse today that I glance over reasonably often. It’s the kind of verse that people frame and hang on the walls of their home, or a verse that gets slapped onto the bumpers of cars, or one that you see put on mugs.
This basically means that it’s the kind of verse that I look over and ignore. It’s heard so often that it means nothing to me. But when I heard it today, I felt particularly drawn to it. It’s Psalm 34:8:
“Taste and see that the LORD is good”.
Here’s why it stuck out to me today. I think that too many Christians are similar to people who like to watch the Food Network channel. In other words, we watch people make/eat delicious food, but if you’re like me, you’ll never actually make it for yourself haha. You know that the food is probably awesome, but you never actually taste it. You just assume that it’s good.
This transposes to what I’m talking about, because I find myself talking about the goodness of God, knowing that he is good, and having faith that he is good in spite of the bad things I go through, but never truly tasting the goodness of God and feeling it’s benefits. When that’s all we do, we become like the person watching the Food Network. We know that the stuff they’re making must be good, but we never actually taste it. If anything, this verse makes one thing abundantly clear:
God wants us to taste his goodness.
Knowing that God is good is great, and I would never discourage having faith in the goodness of God. But unless you taste and see his goodness, then how can it actually help you? I’m sorry, but watching somebody eat food on TV never once satisfied my hunger haha. And I think that most people are hungry for the goodness of God in their lives.
This then begs the question: how can we taste and see the goodness of God? Well, I think that the answer to this question is actually found in the same chapter, in verses 18-19:
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The righteous person may have many troubles,
but the Lord delivers him from them all;”
If you’re looking to taste of God’s goodness by experiencing a pain and trouble-free life, then I’m sorry, but you’re looking in the wrong place. In this verse alone, David uses words like “brokenhearted”, “crushed in spirit”, and “many troubles” to describe the righteous person. Christianity doesn’t promise that you will never experience hardship, but here’s what it does promise: We can taste the goodness of God and find comfort in him *through* our hardships. God will be close to us when we are broken hearted. He will save us when we feel crushed. He will deliver us when we have many troubles.
Taste the goodness of God when you are brokenhearted by knowing and feeling that he is close to you. Build your relationship with him. Encounter Him in your prayers, because he is close to you.
Taste the goodness of God when you are crushed in spirit by knowing and believing that God crushed His own Son so you could experience healing: “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). This is more than just head knowledge — this is something that can radically change us. God offers you spiritual healing through the sacrifice that Jesus gave, and this is something he makes readily available. I don’t think there is any better way to taste the goodness of God than when we grab onto the truths of the cross.
Taste the goodness of God when you have many troubles by stepping out in faith and believing that God will deliver you from those things and sustain you. Christ did more than just die. He rose and he is living to act on our behalf by interceding for us. He has also given us His Spirit, which will strengthen us in times of conflict. Again, this can be so much more than head knowledge. These are truths we can experience.
I would encourage you to stop trying to see the goodness of God in *spite* of your bad circumstances. Ignoring the bad things and looking at the happy things won’t always fix the problem. This isn’t to say that we can’t taste the goodness of God in the happy things of life, because I think we most definitely can and should. But this passage takes us so much deeper than that. According to these verses, we can taste and see the goodness of God *through* our *bad* circumstances. Even the bad things of life are conduits through which the goodness of God can be conducted — that’s the God that we serve.
Taste of His goodness. Don’t be a Food Network watcher.

- @leeman729 (Twitter)

 

Wife Material

With the help of one of my very best friends, I’ve been staying in my Bible daily for a while now. Literally daily, which is something I haven’t been successful with consistently until recently. It’s helping me a lot. 

Basically what we’ve been doing is sending a text to one another with what we read that day and at least one thing we got from it. The great thing about that for me is, rather than just reading a certain bit of scripture, I have to really examine it and seek out at least one thing to learn from it. No matter how busy or tired I am, I have to find something, and that searching has lead to a lot of spiritual nourishment for me. It’s also neat to see how different bits of scripture come across to different people, it’s a learning experience.

Recently I was reading in 1 Timothy, and in chapter 5 (verses 4&8) I had a thought about my families current health situations. Right now I’ve had to serve my family a lot, and that’s been really good for me, I feel like I’ve grown a lot through it. It’s very encouraging to know that my actions toward my family in our time of need please Him. I’m no where near perfect, I don’t always have a good attitude, I fail a lot, but those times when I get it right, or at least try to get it right, He is pleased. That’s awesome.  Not to mention, it’s great wife practice! I’m looking forward to being a wife, and eventually a mother, every experience I have now will add to my pool of knowledge for that time. Pretty cool.

 

In unrelated news, I have stopped breeding gerbils now, and am slowly adopting out all except my favorite males. Once I’m down to just my keepers, I’ll be adopting a hedgehog!! (Roll your eyes and laugh, but animals have always been my thing, it’s just who I am. ^_^ ) I’ve already got a deposit down with a breeder to keep me on the waiting list, she tells me she should have a litter in about 3 weeks, and then it has to be weaned before I can come pick it up. It’ll be about an hour drive to go get it, so I’ll probably take the day off and enjoy my little mini road trip. I’m very excited. :D I’ve wanted a hedgie since I was about 14, so I figure at 21, I deserve to go for it.

SO looking forward to the Fall weather. We had a cold front come through about a week ago, it was in the low 60’s that morning and never got over 75f the rest of the day. Absolutely gorgeous. So excited to break out my cozy long sleeves, sweaters, hoodies and scarves. Best time of year ever. ^_^

That’s it for now, folks! Off to clean the microwave, vacuum the house, dust the tables and whatever odd house chores are waiting to be done. :P haha

Prayer Request

Currently, my mom is still sick (that’s pretty much a constant factor) my dad just had spinal surgery, which leaves me as the only healthy, able-bodied member of my family. It’s been rough.

Praise God for friends though, we’ve been so blessed to have friends coming out of the woodwork, from Facebook especially, learning about our dilemma and stepping up to help us. Making us dinner (and bring paper plates so we won’t have dishes!), running errands for us when I’m at work, it’s been a huge weight off our shoulders and a big encouragement.

Still, emotionally and mentally, it’s hard on all of us to be down like this. We are struggling. We’ve spent a lot of time in prayer, which helps a lot.

Speaking of which, if any of my blog followers would be so kind as to pray for my family, that would be awesome.

 

 

When it rains it pours… and then it floods.

Sometimes you get a splinter. Figuratively speaking, something small causes a small amount of pain. And then some time later, maybe hours, maybe days, maybe weeks or months, something bigger happens. And some time after that, something even bigger. And some time after that, something pretty dang big. And some time after that, A FLIPPING HUGE thing. And suddenly your feel like there’s an elephant sitting on your chest, and you can’t breathe, and you can’t talk, and you can’t see clearly through the tears.

Sometimes it’s all just entirely too much. And if God wasn’t holding me up, taking some of that weight, holding my hand and helping me through, I’d be squished by that elephant by now. But even with His help, it’s still hard to breathe.

My 21st birthday is in 8 days, and I just want to crawl under a rock and not talk to anyone and not say anything or do anything or be anything. I want to stop smiling and acting like I’m okay, like nothing’s going on. Because I’m the Christian girl, I’m supposed to have it all together, I’m supposed to be okay. But you know what? Being a Christian doesn’t mean I have it all together, it means I was falling apart, and God put those pieces back together with his grace and mercy. It means that when I cry myself to sleep, there’s someone listening, someone holding my heart, keeping it from giving up. It doesn’t mean I’ll never have bad days, bad weeks, bad months or bad years, it means I won’t have to face them alone. I have a right to feel my pain, I have a right to show it, I have a right to be a mess sometimes.

And God gets that, Hallelujah. Jesus wept. He felt that the burden was too heavy and asked the Father to take it from him. Elyon, give me the strength to say “but not my will, Your will be done”.

Learn to be Lonely

Phantom Of the Opera is one of my favorite “romantic” movies (it’s actually kinda twisted if you think about it, but that’s a topic for another post) and on the soundtrack there is a song called “Learn to be Lonely” that I hate with every fiber of my being, because it feels so accurate.

I know I’m not truly alone, I have Christ, and my parents. But the friends I’m really close to are across the US from me, and the people I know locally I find hard to connect with. And I try to just cope, to go to work and go to the gym and be productive, but truthfully,

I am so lonely. 

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but my mom is very ill. She has an auto-immune disease that attacks the lungs and muscles, so she’s very weak, gets worn out easily, and she’s on 24 hour oxygen to keep from feeling so lethargic. There is no cure, nothing really truly helps. It either stays the same or gets worse, unless God chooses to heal her. Due to this, she doesn’t often leave the house, and she doesn’t like having many people over, since she can very easily get sick from new germs and in her fragile condition, it could be deadly. I know she’s lonely too, but all I can really do is pray for a miracle…

Because of this, I can’t really invite people over. Or at least not often. And if I go out to spend time with someone, I get regular texts from her, “Where are you guys now?”, “Are you having fun?”, “Are you coming home soon?” etc. She’s lonely, and I get that. But it’s also making it really difficult for me to get out and socialize. I haven’t been to church in months, because my Dad usually works Sundays, so if I go, my mom is left home alone. After church I usually hang out with some folks and go to lunch, getting home around 2pm. She doesn’t like being alone that long, and she usually wants me to be back right after church and bring her lunch. She’s not selfish, and it’s not her fault, I’m certainly not trying to blame her from my lack of a social life. But her illness is definitely a contributing factor in it all. And there isn’t anything either of us can do about it. It just is.

I don’t know what the answer is, all I know is I feel emotionally dead much of the time, with moments of brightness when I get to talk to my close (yet long distance) friends. On the 4th I got to talk on the phone with a friend of mine who’s been a counselor at a camp all summer and thus is only able to talk on the weekends. (I’m sure I drive him a bit crazy on those weekends, haha) And I feel so much better after things like that. Just some laughter and silliness and getting to enjoy a bit of companionship.

Maybe I need to save up and buy a state and move all my friends there….