Who I’ve Become; A Rant on Self-Love, & a Trip Down Memory Lane

Our world is rather obsessed with self-love at the moment. Be who you are, be authentic, love your flaws, don’t change yourself for the approval of the world.

Those are all rather neutral ideas. But they can easily be abused, I think they need to be updated to fit a more biblical standpoint…

Be who God created you to be, and who He is making you to be.

Love the way God makes up for your flaws. Your flaws allow Him to shine through you.

Change yourself for the approval of God even if that means loosing the approval of the world. Or, rather, let God change you into something He approves of, and don’t worry what the world thinks.

Let God’s love shine authentically through you.

Over the last three-four years, I have gone through some major changes that have helped me realize those things…

November. 22, 2014, my mom passed away at age 47.

March 2015, I began a new career in Ophthalmology.

June 2015, I met Peter, and…

March 2016 …soon after began my first courtship with him, which lead me on many wild and exciting adventures of travel, self-discovery, and fear-facing. Car crashes, long talks about marriage, delved so deeply into who I am with the help of a truly amazing man by my side.

April 2016, my dad got remarried to a really lovely lady who is now, obviously, my stepmom. And I gained two step siblings.

September 2016, Peter broke off our courtship, which was extremely difficult, as the last 6 months of our relationship had gone amazingly and the only reason to end the courtship was that he felt he was meant to live a life of celibacy. A calling he has felt most of his life, but he sought God through our courtship to see if he was meant to marry me. He felt he was not. But we have remained very close friends and still love one another deeply as such.

December 2016, I obtained two certifications in Ophthalmology. OSC & COA.

January 2017, I moved from the house I grew up in into a house with a roommate.

July-ish 2017? I began developing a friendship with Jonathan, a lovely fellow I’ve known as long as I’ve known Peter, but had never really sought to spend one-on-one time with. He’s my adopted little brother now. He’s a gem. I love that guy dearly. ❤️

December 2017, Got my first tattoo. A memorial for my mom.

June 2018, Got my second tattoo, a reminder that Jesus has paid my debit in full and my battle is won by His blood.

And now, here we are, June 30th, 2018, and I am just a day short of one month away from being 25. In among those above dates are countless road trips, hours and hours of laughter, tears, literally thousands of dollars worth of fuel and fast food, moments of fear, moments of joy, dashed hopes and hopes turned into realities, and lots of good music. My heart aches to be able to go back in time and relive the moments of discovery I’ve had over this stretch of time. So many good memories, woven together with so much pain. Growing pains that have lead me to where I am now. Stronger, wiser, more confident, freer than I have ever been.

I still struggle hard sometimes with things. Temptations, fears, laziness, etc. But I love the person God has made me to be. I love the heart he has given me towards certain people and certain struggles, I love the adventures He’s taken me on, I love the risks I’ve taken and the way those risks paid off in my life…

I feel that now, for the first time ever in my life, I can say that I honestly do love myself. Not for what I’ve accomplished, but for what God has accomplished in and through me. I love the way He’s used me to love and provide for people. I love the way He’s dashed all my fears against the rocks and sent me out into the ocean of His love to drown. Dying to who I thought I was, and coming back as someone far, far better than I thought was possible.

As I sit here today in a very weird rocking chair (seriously… it’s strange..) typing this, with my tattoos and my Oklahoma shirt that I got in the airport years ago on my first solo traveling adventure, I cannot wait to see what God’s going to do next. I still have fears, and insecurities, and doubts, but the excitement far outweighs it all.

Anyway, all this to say… Love yourself. But not in the way the world tells you to. Keep going on adventures. Keep being spontaneous. Never stop exploring. And let God lead.

 

 

 

 

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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.

Dance Gypsies

If you saw the previous post, and the POV video from the rollercoaster I rode on Saturday, consider this post “Part Two”!

After leaving Carowinds, we went to a dance hall in Charlotte, for some Contra dance! Contra is a very easy to learn, fun to practice dance– no footwork, just memorizing some terms and listening to the caller. It’s such a fun way to get out of your comfort zone. It makes me feel like I’m in the Pride & Prejudice days. ^_^ This time, there was a guy there who talked to me while we danced, gave me some pointers on how to improve my dancing, taught me a few new moves, and also gave me this bit of advice: “Dear, if a man tries to spin you, but is to lazy to lift his arm high enough that you don’t have to duck, he shouldn’t be spinning you!” Which really amused me. He was an excellent lead. Really understood how to make the lady feel guided and protected throughout the dance. Contra has a LOT of spinning, if your lead isn’t careful, he can literally spin you into a wall, another person, or trip you if he’s not leading well. It’s his job to guide you through the moves and use caution to avoid spinning you off into oblivion! Trust me, it’s happened.

Likewise, I reached a whole new level in my following. It’s taken me such a long time to learn how to relax and follow the leads direction, go where he sends me, stay loose and easy to guide. Yet, be aware of where I’m supposed to be, so that if he does have a moment when he forgets where to send me, I can give him a gentle push in the right direction. Sometimes that means literally grabbing his hand and bringing him with you to the next move, which really doesn’t come naturally to me at all. Maybe being tired and physically exhausted from a long day riding rollercoasters helped me be more relaxed in it all. Whatever the cause, that night was one of the best nights contra dancing I’ve ever had.

No obligation to watch this whole video, but at least watch the first four minutes. This is the actual dance hall I was at! 🙂

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.

Let’s be Adventurers

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I am so desparate to travel. See more of this big, beautiful world in all it’s majesty. But I don’t want to do it alone. I want to share those experiences with my husband *says the single dateless 21 year old*. I have money put away for it, I have lots of ideas and dreams and hopes all stored away in my head, longing to escape and run wild and free. So many people have told me I should be using my single years to explore, do what I’ve always wanted to do, try new things, travel, etc. But as inviting as that sounds, I want to have those experiences with someone I love. I want to have scrapbooks filled with pictures of us in crazy places doing crazy things, so we can look back at them and laugh at our silly 20-something selves, together.

Maybe I’m missing out on some really grand solo adventures, but I still think they’d be much better with company. 🙂

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

Nails!!

So, one of my managers at Petsmart has a little side business thing, she is a consultant for Jamberry Nail Wraps, which I’ve tried and really like! Feel free to check her out on Facebook Here and visit her website Here. If you decide to order, and it asks you “Is Sarah *insert weird last name* your consultant?” Click yes. She gets commission that way, and I like her, she deserves commission. She is a cool lady. 🙂

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New Blog– GERBILS!

ATTENTION BLOG FOLLOWERS WHO ARE ANIMAL LOVERS:

I have started a blog about my gerbils and gerbil breeding exploits. If you care to, please visit this link and follow that blog. I will be posting cute gerbil photo’s regularly as well as info, tips, and care guidance. Ya never know, you may just end up wanting a pair of gerbils! 🙂

Click to visit The Happy Gerbil

Good Shtuff

Happy Almost Thanksgiving, guys and gals!

I have been so busy lately that it feels as though time is flying by. But, I am loving my job, it is the perfect fit for me. I look forward to getting there and being able to take quality care of the the little creatures we have. Also, I have decided that I won’t be getting a guinea pig… I’ll be getting TWO guinea pigs. They are social creatures and I’m worried about the one getting lonely when I’m not around. Plus, the cage I’ve decided on is plenty large enough for two to live out their lives happily. Teo, one of the two guineas, is likely to be released from the Quiet Room (aka, the place where we keep any sick animals while we treat them. A quiet, low stress environment) shortly. He’s just finishing up what will hopefully be his last week of meds, and then he’s in the clear! I can tell that he’s gotten bored, as we don’t give toys to the ill animals so as to minimize the spread of germs and keep them calm and restful while they recover. I’m excited to bring him to a fun, interactive home. He gets happy and chirps at me whenever I take him out to give him his meds. (Which are in cherry pulp, he thinks it’s a treat!)

Also, on a totally different note, I have been able to share my faith at length both with coworkers and with a few customers in the short 3 ½ weeks or so that I have been working here! So thrilled. It’s obvious to me that God has put me right where I am meant to be. And that is an awesome feeling.

Anyway, there is a short update for you!

For those Black Friday shoppers, please don’t get trampled.. It’s not worth the savings if you’re dead.

Lastly, HOW IS IT ALMOST CHRISTMAS?!

 

~TQG