It’s not over yet.

Heard this song on the radio for the first time about two weeks ago. Absolutely love it. I’m surprised I haven’t busted my cars speakers with this one.

God is doing some fantastic things in my life. I’m officially a member of my church, which is something I’ve never done or wanted to do until now. I’m making new friends, trying new things, expanding my world tenfold, and loving it. It’s scary, but so worth it.

Work is stressing me out some. I sometimes miss having a job that didn’t require studying and certifications. But, I am still enjoying my work, so that is a huge blessing.

Anyway, there is a quick update for you. Maybe more later. I have to get ready for bed, and decide which of three books I have to read will actually be read tonight. We’ll see how it goes.

 

~TQG

 

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 get me wrong, in a group setting, I can kill a conversation without even trying! It’s like a super power! I’m speaking of one-on-one conversations here, where I prefer to live.

Now, 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 gate is a garden. And the greatest treasure is planted at the very center of that garden– my heart. I don’t mean this just from a romantic standpoint, my heart is who I am, and you don’t really get to see it until you take the time to try. 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.

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. 🙂

Learning to be Lovely

Just a quick note, God is doing SO MUCH in my life through my church and the Young Professionals group, working on my heart attitudes. Especially on my opinion of myself. He’s using others to help me appreciate who He created me to be. Showing me what it looks like to let your inner beauty show, and how to like what I see in the mirror. I’m learning to love myself for the first time in so long I can’t even remember. And you can’t properly love others until you learn to truly love yourself, seeing yourself as God sees you: perfect and breathtakingly beautiful. Loving the journey He’s taking me on.

Attractions

As I think back over the recent months, I am struck by the superficial nature of our attractions today. In many ways some adults reflect the same level of understanding about relationships as the kids I worked with. The girls are impressed by the boy’s athletic abilities or looks or car, the guys by her physical appearance, her hair or body and all of them seem to value a sarcastic or perverse “wit” or rebellious attitude. As I was thinking back on this Proverbs 31:29-31 came to mind;

“Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all.” Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.

This led to other passages;

Proverbs 11:16 A kind hearted woman gains honor, a ruthless man only wealth

Proverbs 31:31 Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gates

What struck me was how off kilter we are when evaluating others as men and women, friends and potential spouses and how these verses need to be applied from both the male and female perspectives.

Too often we see the surface appearance, the facade. What we should be looking at is the person on the inside. The beauty will fade, the body will change, gravity will take its toll and age will add lines of character where there was once smooth skin. What will be the same, indeed what will grow is who we are on the inside.

Ladies and gentlemen will you still be happy when you are left with an aging shell of the person you once “loved” and find yourself the focus of the sarcasm you found so amusing when it was aimed at others.

Guys, that girl you think is so hot, is she beautiful on the inside? That guy who is so cool, will his heart be warm and tender to you when your beauty fades and his six pack turns into a keg? If they were struck by debilitating disease or scarred by fire or accident would you still love them? I like this bit of advice given to a young man though I don’t know its origin;

“Marry the most spiritually beautiful woman you can convince to have you”

Good advice but I think it needs a second half, it should continue – Then spend the rest of your life running after Christ so you are able to lead and care for her as Christ loves and cares for us.

Guys spend your time examining the young ladies around you for their inner qualities, kindness, patience, gentleness, tenderness of spirit, a Christ centered heart. One day when you see a woman who possesses these you will be amazed. You’ll blink and when your eyes open you’ll see her for the true beauty that she is, a pearl of great price for which you would give all that you have.

Ladies look to the inside, for a heart that seeks to follow Jesus, a forgiving spirit, a servant’s heart. That strength never fades, it grows.

Fall in love with the inner beauty, the kind and noble heart that follows after God and you will be blessed for life, not just satisfied for a season.

~My Dad 🙂

He wrote this as a post on his Facebook, and it hasn’t gotten nearly enough attention. I see plenty of “hot” guys, and I’m frequently asked why I don’t “go after” them. I’ve even been told “Y’know, if you really wanted a boyfriend it wouldn’t be that hard for you to get one, you’re just too picky.” Well you know what? A guy that is spiritually “hot” will last a lifetime. Being on fire for Christ truly is the sexiest quality a person can have. I’m willing to wait for that.

About a week ago, I brought an apple to work with me. I love apples, and this one was a HUGE, organic, fuji apple. One of my favorites. I was sitting in a park near my work when I took my first bite. I nearly threw up. Though it was bright and firm and gorgeous on the outside, the core had rotted, and the flesh was bitter and blackened. Any thoughts of the sweetness the exterior had implied were totally gone, and all I wanted to do was find something to get the horrible taste out of my mouth.

Why would I seek to marry and become one flesh with someone who’s rotten on the inside? Of the few men that I’ve actually been interested in, rarely was I struck with their looks when I first met them, but their gentleness, kindness,  strength, and desire for God. Their looks grew more and more appealing the longer I knew them, the deeper my knowledge of their faith, until I could see nothing but who they are in their features. And it was beautiful.

And the guys that have caught my eye with their looks, most have shown to be hollow on the inside. Consumed with themselves and their wants….

Not to say all attractive people are selfish, but that looks should be a secondary qualification when evaluating if they’re someone you want to pursue a relationship with. I have indeed met a good number of extremely attractive men who were also awesome, Godly men. But sadly for my sake they’ve so far all been married. ^_^

Anyway… that’s my little mini rant of the evening. It’s 12am and I’m dead tired and very sore, so I’ll be off now. TTFN! 🙂

~TQG

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

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Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

~Psalm 103

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. 😛

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

Jesus Time!

On the road to Asheville

On the road to Asheville

Meant to post the above picture before but hadn’t bluetoothed it from my phone yet! So there ya go!

Today was so great. Three girls at my VBS have taken a special liking to me, they insist on holding my hand wherever we go and sitting on my lap or next to me. They are super cute. Here’s a snippet from a conversation we had today:

“How old are you?”
me: “I’ll be 20 next month.”
“So you’re 19?! Wow. Are you married yet?”
“Nope, not yet.”
“Then who do you live with?!”
“My parents!”
“But, you could’ve moved out when you were 18! Do you at least have a boyfriend yet?!”
“Nope.”
“Why don’t you have a boyfriend! You have to have someone to marry so you won’t live with your parents forever!”

At this point I just started laughing and then they all began to tickle me.
This is what happens when I somehow get unofficially promoted from “helper” to “Leader” and have to keep track of 10 kids.

Later on during music, they shoved me on stage and made me dance. I did alright considering I haven’t been practicing the moves to these songs at all, but of course they told me I was terrible and they can do it way better. haha

Music time at VBS

Music time at VBS

After VBS today, I had to make a trip to get gas and go to walmart to get supplies from my Operation Christmas Child box which my kids made me promise to bring tomorrow. As I pulled in to the gas station, I saw a couple in the walmart parking lot with a sign that read “Stranded: Need Gas Money”. Now, I’m a fairly skeptical person, and I never give cash to people by the side of the road with signs. I just have all these visions of them going down the road to a bar and blowing it all. But today, the moment I saw them, it was like God just said “Help these people.” So I ran across the street and told them to meet me at the Garden center entrance. After I got gas, I drove down there, got them each a drink and enough money for a tank of gas. When I went up to talk to them I gave them the list of Bible Verses from my VBS and told them that I don’t usually do this kind of thing, but today God told me to, and not to thank me but to know that it’s all because of Jesus. The husband was extremely thankful and said that he is saved and knows Jesus as his personal Savior, and thanked me for sharing with him.

Now, I can’t know for certain that he was being honest, or what they will end up doing with the money I gave them. But the point is that they were shown kindness and were told about Jesus, and beyond that, God is in control. All that matters is that I do what I was told. And I have to say, an experience like that was well worth it.

Disclaimer: We live in a dangerous, sin infected world. Never should a single woman pick up male hitch hikers, or stop and give money to men standing by the road. It is not safe. If you have a man with you, that is one thing, but please, be smart and don’t put yourself in a dangerous situation. If you ever feel particularly called to do so, please pray about it before hand and ask God to show you what you can do for that person without putting yourself in harms way.

Until next time!

~TQG

I’m Baaaccckkk

Been back for a while actually, (two whole days!) so I figured I better tell y’all (I’m from the South, okay?) how it went!

The trip was awesome. Crazy, but awesome. We took three cars, and had walkie talkies in each car so we could play games and talk between the cars. Which made it super fun. When we arrived at the Church we were touched to find out that they had planned a party after the service for us with pizza and soda. Upon finding out that I and another girl were gluten-free, they sent someone out to pick up salads for us both. While we all ate, the pastors wife and the church secretary sat down with us and we had an amazing talk. Lots of tears were shed, and we made some amazing new friends. All in all, the trip was a huge blessing.
Oh, the group I went with was a total of 12 people, 6 girls and 6 guys! (How it ended up even like that I do not know.)

The day after, I went to my first day of VBS! It went really well, I’m the helper in the third “Crew” of second graders. Second grade has a total of 7 crews, which means we have about 70-80 second graders. (Did you say yikes? You should.)

That night, I went to Bible study, which was outstanding. I actually got involved in the discussion for the first time. Mainly because I disagreed with the group leader about something I am passionate about, but it was a great lesson, and I learned a lot.

Today, after a fabulous morning at VBS, I went to my job interview (which is at the second campus of the same church the VBS is at) and it went extremely well. The two ladies I interviewed with are such sweet, Godly women. They said they will call me sometime next week and let me know.
Just fyi, in case I didn’t mention it, the job is at the Church’s Day Care/Academy, I would basically be a care-taker/teacher for them.

I’m fairly amazed that it’s only Tuesday. I am wiped out. It’s been such a great week already and I’m hoping it will continue on that route.

Anyway, there is your update! More to come later!

~TQG

Children! Road Trips! Adventure!

So, this upcoming week is going to be quite an adventure. For me, anyway.

First, on the 19th and 20th, I’ll be baby sitting a 5 year old boy and a 6 month old girl from 7am-5pm. I just met them today, super cute kids. The little girl is the happiest baby I’ve ever met. She’s teething, and she thought my wrist was really tasty. (They also have three cats, which is cool. I like cats.) Spending an entire day alone with two balls of endless energy will be quite a new thing for me. But, seeing as I’d like to get a regular nannying job, this will be a good trial run to see how I can handle it. The commute will be pretty intense, they live waaayyyyyyy on the other side of town. But for two days it’ll be worth it. (Thats what a GPS is for!)

After that, on the 23rd, I’m going on a road trip with my Bible Study/College and Career group people. We’re going to visit the Young Singles group at a Church one state over from us, about 2.5 hours away. Spend the day hanging out with them and exploring the area, and hopefully being back home around 9:30pm.

The next morning I start a week of volunteer work at a local Vacation Bible School. I’m the 2nd Grade assistant. I’ve done this before several summers ago; last time, I got horribly sick with a cold on the last day and had to go anyway, and was popping cold meds like candy all day. Which was terrible. But still very worth it.

That may not sound like a lot to you, my dear reader, but for a recovering hermit, that is a lot of goings on! With people! And active children! I held the little girl I’ll be watching for about ten minutes, supported on my right arm, having lifted weights today, and my arm is so tired. Who needs the gym? Lift a baby a bunch of times. Strap the baby to your back and do baby-squats. Run while pushing a stroller. I mean, really.

Anyway, that is what’s going on with me! I’m not sure if any of you really care, but just in case you do, now you know.

Also, I wore contacts all day today and I’ve gotten pretty used to them. I can see! I can wear normal sunglasses while I drive! Woo!

So yeah. TTFN, readers!
~TQG