One Good Conversation

All it takes is one good conversation.

Today at work, I found myself in a rarely seen or found place. My comfort zone! Alone in a room with an adult, married, Christian man whilst we both enjoyed our lunch hour. This coworker and I had not previously had an actual conversation, but I have overheard him talk about his wife quite lovingly, and we’re friends on Facebook, which was, combined, enough to make me feel quite comfortable.

Not sure how we got there, but eventually we got to talking about what we had studied in scripture, and he shared what he had been learning about how we are to handle grief and death, which lead to me talking about my mom.

I worked exceptionally hard to keep from crying, and managed, but just barely, as I talked about her and how she passed. But what really struck me what his reaction. He too was working hard not to cry, and I could see the tears welling in his eyes as he just sat and listened. Not many people take time to sit and listen these days. And when they do, it stands out to me. But even more than listen, he was feeling my words as I spoke them. That is a rare and often burdensome gift to bare. I know, because I share it, and it’s one of the reasons I literally can’t get very close with more than a few people at once. I just can’t handle it. I feel what they feel, and I can only feel so much before I burst.

Back to this coworker of mine. Our lunch hour ended, and we both gathered up our emotions and laughed a bit, and went our separate ways to the opposite sides of the building where we work. But the whole thing shed light on a struggle I’ve had just recently as I try to integrate myself into this new church group I’m in.

I’m not actually as bad at communicating as I keep making myself out to be. See, at this last group event I went to, I was the only girl on the speed boat (be jealous. Of the speed boat, not of me being out numbered by attractive guys, because that’s actually just overwhelming and exhausting) and though conversation is not readily required when going 35-60 mph over water dragging people on skis, wake boards or tubes, there are still plenty of moments when it’s really a good idea to say….something…. anything…. like, seriously. And I DID. Several times!! And I did, indeed, speak loud enough to be heard and somewhat acknowledged for having said something. But a conversation is a two way street. I can say as much as I want, but if no one picks up the topic and runs with it, it’s just gunna lay there on the ground and die a slow, awkward death. And my introverted self only has energy for a few well place conversation starters before it’s really up to them to come up with a new one.

Don’t take this the wrong way, I did talk to people, and have good conversations. With a girl who later joined the boat, and her husband. I’m noticing that married men seem to be much more capable of conversation… Single guys however… at least, the ones in this group… man.

It only takes one good conversation, just one time when I feel like they are actually interested in talking and listening, and I’ll talk to them pretty easily from that point on. Not totally absent of awkward, but at least halfway capable of forming cohesive sentences. If someone would just take that 10, 15, maybe 20 minutes to get past that initial awkward, I promise, I have something to offer. It may be walled away, but behind the gates is a garden. And the greatest treasure is planted at the very center of that garden– my heart. Not saying it’s easy to get to, but it’s totally worth the trouble, and the path through the garden is actually quite nice.

I talked about this to my Dad recently, and he said to me, “The right guy will see that, and he will take the time to get to know you whether you’re awkward or not, he’ll see what’s hidden behind it and want to seek it out.” Man, I sure hope that’s true. Cause right now, it sure doesn’t feel that way.

~TQG

Please also enjoy this: “Introverts and the inner flame“, a very good little article that relates to mine quite well.

Lioness Arising

lioness

I’m in the process of reading a book titled “Lioness Arising” by Lisa Bevere. Very similar in feel to one of my favorite non-fiction books, “Captivating”, by John & Stasi Eldredge, it takes a deeper look at what makes a woman special, what her role in creation is, and what true femininity looks like through the eyes of God.

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Scripture is so rich with beautiful imagery, and just as C.S. Lewis portrays Jesus as a Great Lion (Aslan), so scripture calls Him “The Lion of the Tribe of Judah”.

lion of Judah

 

It also calls Him the Bridegroom, and we, the Bride of Christ. Lisa’s book takes the example given to us in creation of the dynamic of lions and shows us how to be the Lioness to the Lion of Judah. It’s so far been a wonderful read, I’ll be posting a full review of it to Goodreads once I’m finished with it. So far it has given me a fresh look at myself, reminded me that my power in Christ is far greater than I’m allowing it to be.

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As a child, my imagination was completely limitless. When arriving home from work, the very first thing my Dad would do was try to guess what animal I was that moment.

“Are you a horse? A puppy?”

“No Daddy today I’m a LION! RAWR!” 

It was a game I played constantly, changing animals several times a day. My grandmother (father’s side) fondly remembers my pretending to be a golden retriever named Goldy. (I said I had a good imagination, not that I was original.) She played along, and when she saw me climb on the couch, she snatched up a newspaper and declared that dogs are not allowed on the furniture!! She chased me up the stairs with the news paper, I ran (ON ALL FOURS, mind you) and dove under some potted plants to “hide”, laughing hysterically. Imagination has always been a huge part of my mental life. Even to this day I create elaborate stories in my head about people I see, conversations I’ve never had, or places I want to travel. Thus my love of fiction novels.

But this notion of being a mighty lioness, lead by the Almighty Lion of Judah into a mission of eternal importance is not just a fairytale, a childhood game of pretend, or a silly day dream. It’s real. 

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In my own strength, I’m far from fearless. But the more I learn to trust in the leadership of my Heavenly Father, the greater my courage becomes. It’s a thrilling feeling.

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Anyway, I hope you enjoy these pictures I found while searching the web for some quotes to go along with this otherwise short post. I cannot yet recommend the book, as I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I couldn’t stop myself from sharing the those thoughts I’ve had so far. :) Hope you enjoyed it.

~TQG

Aslan

The Lion: “I wish I were…”

thatquietgirlyousortofknow:

Really struck by the symbolism in this scene, especially as I am currently reading: “Lioness Arising” by Lisa Bevere.

Originally posted on Thoughts In the Watchtower:

“I wish I were braver,” says Lucy Pevensie in the 2008 cinematic portrayal of C.S. Lewis’s “Prince Caspian.”

Aslan replies, “If you were any braver, you’d be a lioness,” and a smile dawns across her face.

When we next see Lucy, she’s walking alone to face the iron-clad Telmarine army on a bridge they constructed to cross the river.  She approaches one side of the bridge, and the army stops abruptly on the other, stunned to see this little girl standing to block their way.  With a small smile, Lucy draws a tiny dagger and half-heartedly waves it at them.  Then we see Aslan pace with deliberate steps to walk behind her, and we realize the power behind her. 

It was at this point that I burst into tears the last time I watched this movie.  Like many of you, I feel like Lucy tottering on the edge of a…

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Fabletics– Motivation via cute workout clothes!

Not usually one to promote random stuff, but seriously, if you like to exercise and look cute, you NEED to check out Fabletics. And if you do, use my link provided below, and you’ll be inadvertently giving me $10 to spend on my own workout clothes. Thank you in advance! You’re so generous!

http://www.fabletics.com/invite/mopey/

Oh and did I mention the first full outfit is $25? No? Oh. Well now ya know.

Missing you

Before reading my blog, I highly recommend reading this blog. It encouraged me a lot today, and I hope it will do the same for you. :)

As someone who is struggling with a lot of loneliness, it reminded me to appreciate who I am, learn to love myself for who I am and be patient. And don’t misunderstand, I’m not talking about being patient waiting for a man, but just friends. I have plenty of people who I am friends with, but in realty, there are few, if any, who meet all of the following traits:
#1. Not long distance. (I love my long distance friends, but real hugs are way superior to cyber hugs.)
#2. Strong, on fire for God Christians.
#3. Understand how to both listen and speak.
#4. Trust-worthy/Capable of keeping private things private.

But I have had a friend who was all of these, who I could always depend on to listen when I needed them, who knew how to be quiet and listen but also how to give killer advice, and even confront me when I was being selfish.

My mom.

In 3 months and 22 days, it will have been one year since she went home. But it sure doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. The pain of her loss may be duller and less obvious most of the time, but it only takes one little reminder, one well placed memory, to bring it right back up to the surface again. Tonight is one of those nights.

I don’t have much to share or any great insights for you tonight, just venting a bit.I need a hug. That special kind of hug that doesn’t feel even the slightest bit awkward. That’s gentle and loving and understanding without having to say it. I need a mom hug. But only one mom in the history of ever was qualified to administer that kind of hug to me. I guess I’ll just have to wait.

~TQG

Awkward Silence

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Disclaimer: this is from Pinterest. I didn’t make it, I know nothing about the dude who said it, and I don’t have a tumblr nor to I visit the site. I just like this quote.

Today I had a moment of “awkward silence” with someone, and after I got home I saw this quote. It made me feel better about myself and my social foibles. Why do we feel awkward about a moment of silence? Must every moment of time spent with someone be filled with speech? And really, if someone avoids you because you’re sometimes “awkward”, are they really the kind of person you want to be around? After all, a friend that you have to be interesting around just to keep their attention, isn’t a real friend. We’re all boring, guys. I mean, really. We’re all very interesting too, if you take the time to appreciate each person’s own unique qualities and interests. We’re all awkward in our own way, we’re all awesome in our own way.

Anyway, I’m sort of preaching to myself here. Don’t think that all my “don’t be ashamed of your social problems” talk is me speaking from a point of confidence. It’s a huge weakness in my life, but I’m working really really hard to heal it, with God’s help. Getting there slowly but surely. Sometimes I just need to type up a little pep talk to myself. Maybe one of you needed one too. :)

I learned a thing!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been trying to figure out one thing, one very simple thing that everyone else seemed to know about themselves, but I didn’t know about me….

What color are my eyes?

When I wear red or blue, they look blue and gold. When I wear green, they look green and brown (aka, hazel). With every different color I wear, they look totally different. They’re not hazel (brown & green) or green, because they have blue in them. They’re not blue, because they have hints of green and a good bit of gold in them….

If you’re sitting there thinking “Yeah, so? Big deal.” You obviously don’t understand my struggle. I had the hardest time filling out my drivers license application… “Eye Color:________” I DON’T BLOOMING KNOW. (I picked blue.)

Now, as an Ophthalmic Technician, I see A LOT of eyes. This has made me every more annoyed with my own eye color. I see people with BLUE eyes. Different shades, darker in the middle and lighter on the edges, but just BLUE. Or just GREEN, or just BROWN. But then I started to see this:

Sectoral Heterochromia

Sectoral Heterochromia

Sectoral Heterochromia is when a section of the iris is a different color from the remaining part of the iris. And it’s pretty stinking cool. But it’s not what I have. So I continued my search until I finally discovered it.

The great mystery of why my eyes are so hard to categorize…

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia

Central Heterochromia. Different colors, focused in individual rings centered around the pupil.

I don’t have an eye color. I have three. And what they look like depends on which color stands out against what I’m wearing.

I HAVE NEW KNOWLEDGE. NEW UNDERSTANDING. I FEEL SO SMART.

Happy Independence Day, and enjoy this new random fact I have bestowed upon you.

Want more info? Click MEEEEE

The Gift of Personality Types

Another definition of “Introvert” is “highly sensitive person”. Not highly sensitive as in “Watch your step around her, you might look at her the wrong way and she’ll assume you hate her!”, but more like “Man, I don’t know how she does it, but she always seems to know when I’m upset about something, even if I try and hide it…”

Introverts, being quiet and more prone to thinking deeply about little things, often pick up on subtle non-verbal cues better than the average person. Yes, it can make us more likely to read into things incorrectly, but no personality type is flawless!

I’ve been reading a lot about the differences between the extroverted and introverted personality types, and I noticed a rather annoying trend. I seems to be that most of the articles written on the subject are basically trying to communicate one thought universally: “Be gentle with introverts, they’re fragile” and “Just learn to accept extroverts loudness and lack of sensitivity”. And that’s just not true! Introversion is a gift, not a curse, not a disability, not hindrance. Extroversion is a gift as well. Not a “con”, not a trait to be kept under control to avoid “damaging” the poor little introverts.

If the world consisted purely of the socialite extrovert, where would the mystery be? Who would you go to when you just needed to sit and talk about your problems to someone and have them listen without telling you about all the times that “same thing” happened to them?

If the world consisted purely of introverts, the world would be too quiet. Amusement parks would be far less crowded, and we, as a nation of introverts, would be all locked away securely in our comfort zones with no way of knowing the adventure waiting for us out there.

Extroverts can be great listeners. Introverts can be bold and adventurous. We work together, as differing personality types, to bring out the hidden qualities within each other. As an introvert myself, I love spending time with my extroverted friends. They gently push me out of my comfort zone, their enthusiasm for trying new things is infectious, they draw me into a brand new world of experiences. I would have to ask them what/if I do for them exactly, but from what I see, I think I help them learn to slow down their pace. They have to work harder to learn about me and it slows them down and helps develop their patience. They learn how to take pleasure in discovering things about their introverted friends, rather than just receiving offered information, as is often the way extroverts get to know one another.

We’re not opposites, trying to get along. We’re two sides of the perfect coin, learning how to be better versions of ourselves.

Extroverts, don’t apologize for who you are. You give us the gift of adventure! Without you we might never climb the mountains of the unknown. Thank you for giving us that extra little push to greatness.

Introverts, don’t feel disabled by your struggle to let people in, those who really want to know you will enjoy every minute of the adventure of getting to know your heart. They’ll fall in love with your mysterious charm.

Let’s work together to bring out the best in each other.

Goal !

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My healthy journey has been a bit of a rollercoaster. From being over 200 pounds back in 2009 while my Dad was in Iraq, going through a gluten allergy and becoming a gym rat, I’ve come a long way. In January of this year I weighed in a 185lbs. Not happy with that at all, I decided to devote myself to drinking more water, exercising at least 3 days a week, and eating correctly. Both getting enough calories and the right kind of calories. I purchased a Fitbit ChargeHR, which has helped me SO much to gauge how much I need to be eating, and how my exercise effects my calorie intake.

Yesterday, my dad and I got a new scale (our old one broke), we split the cost of Fitbit’s Aria Wi-fi Smart scale. It measures BMI and body fat percentage as well as weight, and uploads your weight progress to your fitbit dashboard automatically whenever you weight yourself. And today I finally met my weight goal! Officially within the “healthy” fat % and BMI range at 167lbs!

So pleased with my progress. Exercise wise, I only do about 15-25 minutes of cardio (Usually elliptical, arc trainer or stair climber), and then about 25-30 minutes of weight lifting and calisthenics (Such as assisted pull-ups, dips, squats, incline crunches, bicep curls, and other various leg, back, and ab exercises). Doing hours of cardio is not the answer, ladies. Just FYI. Building muscle is the key. Muscle will literally burn fat for you while you sleep. It raises your metabolism, allowing you to eat more and burn more calories just by existing. And unless you’re taking steroids, it will not make you look bulky or manly, I promise. I do a lot of different kind of incline crunches and ab work, building my core up, and it’s helped define my waistline a lot! I’m very happy with it. :)

Anyway, my next step is to continue to lean out more, tone up my thighs and arms a bit, and continue to get stronger. My goal is to be able to do 2-5 pull-ups with no assistance. Currently I use about 85lbs of assistance, so lifting just under half my body weight. Working up slowly to more weight.

My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I want to be healthy, strong, and capable of whatever task He sets before me. Because he doesn’t always move the mountains that stand in your way, sometimes He wants you to climb them.

Until next time!!

~TQG