Exhausted

As I think I’ve mentioned before,  my mom is very ill. 24/7 oxygen, confined to the house ill. And she never feels well, even on her best days. As with any of us, it’s easy to get grumpy and short tempered when you don’t feel well. Especially when you haven’t felt well for more than two years.
Also, when you’re short on sleep (me) or just worked a long hard day (both dad and I), it’s easy to be grumpy as well. I feel like the trend in my house lately is grumpy and short tempered. And it’s so hard for any of us to be the only one in a good mood, the majority usually wins, even if the majority is on the grumpy side.
I’m very worn out. Often times suffering from headaches, stress related stomach pain and other things. And I’m sure my family is too. Anyway, that being said, please pray for my family and I. We need it.

The Wallflower Blooms

I apologize for having neglected my blog for quite some time. Life has gotten in the way, and probably will continue to do so. But, to those of my followers who are reading this: THANK YOU for sticking with me! For bothering to read this even when you haven’t heard of me for ages! You rock.

Recently something awesome has happened. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve finally started spending time in scripture literally every day with the help of a good friend of mine. And it’s helped me in so many ways. God has impressed upon me the need to start attending church regularly, get into the body of Christ, get connected, start serving, get off my island of isolation. So I began looking for a new church. I finally decided to try out one that is literally three/five minutes away from my house. A smallish church that’s been there for as long as I can remember, one that I attended VBS at when I was a little camper.

I’ve been there four or five times now, and attended the “college” (aged) bible study twice. It had been quite some time since I’d been in a group of new people, and even longer since I’d been in a group setting at all… I was prepared to have my usual insecurities resurface, prepared to be the ultra quiet, introverted, anti-social girl that I have been for so many years. The awkward wallflower, always present but never involved. I didn’t go into it thinking that I’d try extra hard this time to be outgoing, or that I’d force myself to talk to people, I honestly didn’t think about what I would try to do or not do, I just took a deep breath and dove in. And God showed up, guys.

In the past, walking into a room full of new people was like a mouse walking through a room of tigers. I was petrified, internally shaking, heart pounding, basically overreacting in every sense of the word. And if that room of new people was primarily guys, watch out. Multiply that nervousness times a thousand.

This time, after leaving the church service, I did what I’ve never done, and sought out help at the welcome center. The guy at the welcome center was… well… A guy. A mid-twenties guy. And I didn’t even hesitate to ask him if he would help me find the room for the college age bible study. He walked me to the room filled with more twenty something guys and I walked in, introduced myself, and casually made small talk. I got involved in the discussion during bible study, offered my opinion, laughed, joked, and WAS A REAL LIVE HUMAN BEING THE WHOLE FREAKING TIME. This last week I even poked fun at one of the guys because he doesn’t like coffee. WHO AM I?

Answer: A precious child of God who has finally, after all this time, accepted her worth in Christ and let go of her fears of rejection. Amen. I’m so excited to get to know myself as this confident, outgoing, far more charismatic girl I’ve somehow become. I didn’t know I had it in me, but God did, and once I let Him in, he took of the chains of insecurity and set my heart free. Praise Jesus.

Infinitely Valuable

God has given you a gift of infinite value because he see’s you as infinitely valuable. Have you ever thought about that? I have in the past I think, but just recently in my studies and in church this morning it’s become poignant to me (I just had to look up “poignant” to make sure it actually meant what I thought it did).

The song in my previous post speaks that truth very clearly as well. God see’s incredible value in each of our lives, individually.

The sermon today was on loneliness– which was pretty neat, considering loneliness was what drove me to go to church in the first place. I’ve been feeling the need to get involved in a church family and allow myself to be used. And today was the first church I had on my list to attend. I actually only live about 4 minutes away from it, and I used to go to VBS there when I was little.  The pastor talked about how one of the first steps to overcoming loneliness is to love yourself. See yourself as God sees you. If you feel like you are nothing special, and have nothing to offer, you won’t offer yourself– you friendship– to others, and thus will always be lonely. This is a message I feel like God has been drilling into my thick skull for literally years. You cannot just sit and wait for people to come to you, you have to go out there and seek to be a friend in order to find respite from loneliness. (Looked up respite too. It’s like, I know I have good vocabulary, but I always forget if I’m right about what a word means. :P ) One of my best friends gave me some great advice when it came to finding a church to regularly attend. He said to look for a place where you can serve, not a place just to be served. Serving is so much more fulfilling than being served. Of course, this is just my first Sunday at this church, but I came away with a good first impression, and I’m intending on trying it again next week. :) Hoping to be just as pleased then as well. ^_^

Pslams, Mount Zion, and 1 Corinthians 3:16

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

in the city of our God.

His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,

Mount Zion, in the far north,

the city of the great King.

~Psalm 48 1-2 (NRSV)

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

~1 Corinthians 3:16 (NRSV)

Today in my reading I camped in Psalm 48 for a while. Verses one and two caught my eye. Though this verse talks about Mt. Zion, I am named after another Mountain, Mt. Moriah. As I was thinking about the description of Mt. Zion, 1 Cor. 3:16 came to mind. It felt as though God was giving me a hug and saying “You are my temple, my beautiful daughter, in whom I delight. You are covered by my grace, I see you as lovely, I cherish you.” It’s a reminder I definitely needed. God is awesome.

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 MET MY 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)