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.

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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

This is where the title goes if you’ve thought of one

Yesterday would have been my mom’s 48th birthday. Nearly three months since she went home, but it doesn’t feel like it’s been that long. Or maybe it does. It feels like it’s been forever, but at the same time, it still feels fresh, like it was only yesterday.

I find myself being hit with things sometimes quite suddenly… Not long ago I went with a friend of mine to David’s Bridal to pick up her wedding dress. While we were there she saw a thermos that said “Mother of The Bride”, and exclaimed “Oh! I love that! Definitely getting one of those for mom!” Moments like that just ache. I found myself looking around at all the dresses that night, seeing glowing young brides trying them on and their mom’s giving them advice, “Hmm.. I like that one, but I liked the lace better on the other one.” and thinking to myself “I don’t even know if I’ll ever be able to do this without crying…” My mom’s opinion on those things means more to me than anyones. My mom’s opinion on men, her approval, means so much to me.

Yesterday I decided to change my name on Twitter and Instagram, so instead of having my first and last name, it has just the first and middle. Because my mom’s name, Elizabeth, is also my middle name. I’ve always liked it, but in honor of her I’m sporting it even more proudly. Moriah means “The Lord is my Teacher” and Elizabeth means “Pledged to God”. I think that’s a pretty powerful combination.

The Lord is my Teacher,  I am pledged to Him.

Since November, I’ve definitely noticed changes in myself. Good changes, I’d say. Improvements. Ignoring the grief driven first month of eating whatever was in front of me, I’ve made my health a top priority. Doing some form of exercise almost daily and eating much more purposefully than I was previously. I’ve gotten more relaxed around people, become more outgoing, and a little bit better about answering my phone when it rings (It’s a serious problem, haha). I’m less concerned about peoples opinions and I (mostly) stopped hiding from people with cameras, mainly because I wish there had been more pictures of mom. She never liked having pictures taken, so there aren’t many recent ones of her. I’ve also made it a point to do at least one social thing a week. As in spend time with people on purpose not just go to starbucks and sit near people. (Guilty of calling that social time… yup.) Which has helped me immensely, because time around coworkers needs to be counterbalanced with time around those who encourage me with their speech and actions.

I’m trying (still) to find a place to take vocal lessons, but I’m coming up empty on that. Also looking into yoga classes (a pastime I miss terribly, one of my favorite forms of exercise) and still exploring the realm of college classes, trying to decide what to spend my precious few moneys on (I’m aware that moneys is not a word). At 21 I’ve pretty much given up on finding a “career” that I want to pursue, I will argue with anyone who claims that it’s somehow an incomplete view of life to just want to be a wife and mother. Not saying I won’t work, just that what kind of work I do is irrelevant to my dreams. I do love children’s ministry, but in all honesty, I’ve known far too many youth ministers (including my parents) to think for even a moment that you can earn a living that way. It’s a fabulous thing to do, whether you volunteer or do it part-time, but it’s not a career you can live on, in my experience. I’m hoping eventually I can arrange my work schedule in a way that will allow me to do that on the side, because that would really make my heart happy. Kids are such bright stars of life.

Anyway, I’ve been off work today, and gotten almost nothing done except catch up on some missed sleep, wash a few dishes and talk to my dog. He got stung by something yesterday, his ear is very swollen and painful… I keep telling him he’s kind of a dork for managing to get stung by something in 30 degree weather. But he doesn’t seem to understand… Then again, I don’t think clearly when I’m on benadryl either so I can’t really blame him.

Until next time!

~TQG

 

The Future (Ooohhh!)

Lately, I’ve been feeling God’s hand in my life, gently molding my heart. Softening the areas that had previously grown callous, opening me up to new possibilities I may have ignored or been disinterested in before. There’s so much I want to do, and I’m realizing how short life on this earth is. I don’t want to waste the time I’ve been given. I want to travel and visit the people that are dear to me, see the places I’ve always wanted to see. But I don’t know where to begin. Traveling requires copious quantities of money, money that I don’t really have, or at the very least, can’t talk myself into spending all in one place.

School also requires money! And I’d like to do some of that as well. Though I have a semi-pessimistic opinion on the real value of a college degree in the working world, I do want to gain more skills. Skills I’ll actually use. I’ve got ideas, but they’re all very subjective, and I can’t nail one down. At least, right now I’m struggling to do so. I love working with kids, but not in a way that I can really go to school for.

It’s frustrating. I get asked so regularly what my “plans” are, and I want to answer them with something like “well I’m going to school for _____ and I’m going to get a job doing ____”. Today though, I had a devotional that focused on this verse:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. (James 4:13–16)

Now I know this verse isn’t saying that having plans is evil, it’s saying that you should always bear in mind that God’s plans are above yours, and He often changes your course without telling you. You can’t predict your future. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. (Isaiah 55:9) But what this verse and that devotional made me wonder today is this: Perhaps my answer to them can just be “I’m in the process of seeking God’s will for my life”. Not that I’m just waiting for words in the sky telling me what to do, but that I’m looking at all my options, weighing the benefits and praying over my decision. At the moment, if I’m honest, I have say it’s not a very satisfying answer, but it’s the truth. I desperately want to set a course and start working toward something, but all the somethings out there are expensive, and money can only be spent once. Can I ask my readers to pray with me, that God helps steer me toward the right path? Helps me make a decision, before I lose my mind? 😛

Whatever may come, I’m praying for some major “progress” in 2015. Some sort of progression toward the dreams God’s laid in my heart. 2014 ended in heartbreak. Hoping that 2015 can begin with healing, and a fresh start.

~TQG

Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust

dreaming

They’ve done brain scans on people experiencing heartbreak. Interestingly enough, they’ve proven that your brains physical pain receptors light up light a Christmas tree when experiencing heartbreak, it’s not just “hurt feelings”, it’s real, undeniable physical pain. Have you every been toasty warm and then jumped into a freezing cold lake? That feeling of your chest seizing up, electric pain preventing you from breathing? That’s it. But also, at the same time, heat, boiling, burning in your stomach, aching, clashing with the cold of your heart and making you sick.

I’ve felt that. The day my first “best friend” started stealing from me.

The day I got a letter from a friend so dear we called each other sisters, when she told me she hated me and that she never wanted to see me again because I had sought help after discovering she had been having suicidal thoughts.

The day I received a letter from the father of, funny enough, the friend who helped me survive the above heartbreak, saying that I was no longer permitted to see her or communicate with her.

There are others, more recent ones, that I just can’t bring myself to talk about currently…

trust

Just now I was writing a letter to God. Not an angry letter, but a hurt one. Because I thought I understood what He was doing, I thought I’d figured it out, but I was wrong. My own understanding still seems to make so much sense to me, but He obviously has other plans. I thought I could see the path ahead of me, but now it’s shrouded in fog, totally hidden, looming in mystery and whispering words of fear into my weakened heart. I’ve asked Him to give me some form of encouragement, some sign that the dreams I have are not going to be left as mere fantasies.

Let me repeat, I’m not angry with God, and I still believe He has a plan, and that it will work ultimately for my good, the good of my family, the good of my future, etc. But I just can’t see how. And I hurt. I feel like the walls are closing in on me, and I’d just like one aspect of my dreams, hopes and prayers to get a definitive answer, just to keep my heart alive.

Also, separate from that, I’d like to figure out what the heck is wrong with my vehicle so I can actually have wheels again. That would be great. Preferably without costing a lot of money…

I won’t pretend that I’m not asking for a lot. It’s a lot to me, at the very least. A wisp of smoke to God perhaps, but I am a speck of dust in that wisp, it feels huge to me.

Let’s be Adventurers

whatwewant

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. 🙂

A Dream Fund

Only a couple people currently know this, but I have a separate savings fund in my bank account called “Special Trip Savings”. Originally I titled it “Honeymoon Savings”, but it made me sad whenever I saw it, since I can’t actually see progress in the marriage department of my life.

It started out with just $40 in it, but in just over two years of adding between $20-$60 bucks per pay check, it is at just over $700. And I’m still at a loss as to what to do with it. I have another savings fund which I’ve used for car issues, college and occasionally for holiday money, and it has a good bit more in it, so I don’t need to worry about saving this for emergencies. But do I still save it for my honeymoon?

Another fact: I’ve dreamed for quite a while now of visiting New Zealand. But I really don’t want to go alone. Half the fun of an adventure is sharing it with someone else. So I’ve thought that maybe, possibly, I could go with my husband. Someday…. And we’d need money for that. A good bit of money. Yet it just seems so far off and unlikely to me that I wonder if I’m just day dreaming. Maybe it’s all a romantic fairy tale in my head and won’t actually happen. Maybe one day I’ll be 30 and still single and forced to use the money to pay rent–since I can’t be so ridiculous as to think I can just live with my parents forever. Though living alone just seems… terrifying. I hate being alone with a passion. Occasionally I like a little bit of time alone, but to live alone, to have no one to come home to, to tell of the details of my day, or sit and chat with—that just seems like a nightmare.

I’m in a bit of a paradox when I say that, being that I don’t spend much time cultivating my social life. Though I spend a great deal of time and energy on being a good example and upholding my standards at work, the rest of the time I spend in books, or with my critters, and little time with like-minded people. Probably because I meet very few truly like-minded people. And I’ve been sick at least once a month lately for reasons I wish I knew, so that leads to a lot of time at home on the couch watching Doctor Who and depleting the worlds tissue supply. Fun. 

Maybe I just think way too much, and need to just shut my mind up. That is always a possibility.

Think a little porn is harmless? Think again.

Warning: this video contains a few images that may potentially be a stumbling block for men. Guys, if you are actively struggling with porn or lust, you may not want to watch this video. However, I will say, this video speaks the truth and preaches the gospel, and I wouldn’t be posting it if I didn’t want people to see it. So, it’s your choice.

Click Here if you would like to see it.

When Life Gets Real

Brought my Dad to church with me, and then to lunch with the group I usually hangout with. Always enjoy doing that, letting my friends meet my dad and vice versa. Afterwards we went to Petsmart and I got two gerbils, both males. Henry and Oliver. Back in my middle school/high school days, I bred gerbils. So they’re a fun, familiar little pet. They have big personalities.

Last night I became possessed with an idea, one that I need to pray about and meditate on a bit, an idea inspired by a Skype chat I had yesterday with my best friend. Something to do with my future, especially education wise. I’m excited about it.

Beyond that, honestly, I am stressed. Unemployed and sick of job hunting and tired of the workplace drama. I wish I had more money in savings, so I could take a break from it all without worrying about money.

I didn’t get enough sleep last night, woke up at 5:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep. That may be one cause of my current attitude. Even so, I’m struggling so hard with being frustrated over life right now.

I need a word from God right now. I’d love it if He would just tell me what to do.

~TQG

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And The Bride Wore White

I’m reading “And The Bride Wore White” by Dannah Gresh, and I came to a startling realization.

I have not been pure.

I have been physically pure, but I have been emotionally and mentally loose. I have not guarded myself, protected the heart God has given me. I can look back on how I’ve handled myself with guys and can see so many ways that I completely blew it. I wore my heart on my sleeve, giving it away far, far too early. And I didn’t just hurt myself, but those that I care about and love.

I wish so much that I could hop in a time machine and go back, not make all those dumb mistakes and rewrite the past, but I can’t.

God’s plan still continues. I haven’t blown it that badly, He still has a fantastic plan that is going to unfold in my life. Probably in a way I don’t expect! But it still hurts to see the emotional scars I’ve inflicted upon myself and others.

Experience is a brutal teacher, as C.S. Lewis has said. But you learn. I pray that I will not repeat my past mistakes. With God’s help, I’m sure my future will be amazing.

~TQG