Four Days

Not going to explain my title. You can just wonder your little heart out. It’s a mystery! (Oooh!)

I have spent more time devoted to pray in these last 3 1/2 days than I have in years. Also, I’ve spent more time in my bible per day than I ever have. I’ve done some reading during breakfast, while on lunch break, and right before bed. I’ve spent more time seeking counsel from people whom I trust to be solid believers that I have in…. literally forever.

And I have my answer. It’s firm, it’s supported by my mentors, my family, and most importantly, by scripture. My heart is a peace with this answer, totally. Every time I pray, every time I seek Him, every time I read (and I’m not selectively reading what I think will support my desires, trust me), I become more and more assured of what God wants for me. I’ve gone on walks and prayed out loud to God and been reassured. I’ve prayed in my head while I’m working up patients and been reassured. I’ve sang worship songs in the shower and been overwhelmingly reassured and comforted and wrapped up in God’s love.

I am not anxious, or worried, or fearful. I’ve never been so sure about something in my entire life.

However, I’m not the only human mind in this decision. So, I am restless. God has been so good to me, He has blessed me with frequent encouragers, kind coworkers, and good sleep (a very important gift!) as I have been fighting this restlessness. So ready for the conclusion. As encouraged and reassured as I have been about the outcome, I still won’t be totally at rest until I see it for myself. *sigh* Faith is hard. Leaning on God is hard. Not because of Him, but because of me. He’s proved me wrong in my worrying every single time in my life up until now, why I can’t just leap off the cliff and trust Him to catch me, I may never know… I guess thats a part of being human.

I’m running out of edge though. I’m slowly sliding off that cliff. He will catch me, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get an adrenaline rush on my way down.

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My First Love

As I look back through my almost 23 years of life, I see all the people I’ve loved and lost, from dear friends who walked out of my life, to my mother who went to be with Jesus long before those of us here on earth were ready to let her go, I see something amazing.

With every loss, He brought something amazing out of it. Through each loss, He pushed me closer and close to Himself, and closer to finding a body of believers I can depend on, who will come alongside me in times of trouble. I am so extremely blessed.

Recently I was looking through some old letters written to me by people who called themselves my friends, but in reality proved to be just chapters in my life story, meant to fade away when the pages turned and the plot twisted. These letters used to make me cry every time I read them, and now, for the first time, I was able to let them go. I put them in a box and set it by the curb to be collected with the trash. I no longer need to revisit those memories.

God has brought me to a place of comfort in His love that I have never had before. He has brought me back to Himself. He is my first love. And though I still struggle with self-doubt at times, He never fails to provide me with perfect reminders of His love for me.

Today I fasted from solid foods (my hypoglycemia requires that I at least have protein shakes so I don’t literally pass out 😛 )  and spent more time devoted to prayer than I have in a while. I’m praying for a situation in my life that is very dear to my heart and very important to me. But no matter how this situation plays out, I have come to realize something. I cannot lose my first love. He will always keep me near to Him, He will always be true to His word. He has chosen me as His pure bride. He is all that I need.

Does that mean I cannot be hurt by circumstances? No. Honestly, though I feel I know what His will is for this situation, but if it ends up hurting me, I will survive. I will move on from it. Yes, it will be painful, but He will see me through. I am earnestly seeking His will now and asking that I do not have to go through that pain.

“And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
~John 14:13-14

“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
~Matthew 18:19

“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
~Matthew 21:22

“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
~Mark 11:24

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
~John 15:7

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”
~John 15:16

“In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
~John 16:23-24

” But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”
~James 1:5-8

“and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”
~ 1 John 3:22

I have sought counsel of older, wiser believers, and I have petitioned my King to give me peace about this if I am acting within His will. And I have complete peace. It is all in His capable hands, the same hands that knit the universe together. He holds my heart. I am safe, I am loved, I am chosen.

Boldly, I approach the throne of my Lover and make my request.

Thank you, Jesus, for being approachable, for caring about my heart, and for answering my prayers in ways I never would have imagined. You have outdone yourself time and time again, and I know this will be no exception. Only you are deserving of my praise. You are big enough to handle my hopes and dreams, loving enough to handle my heart with tenderness. I am forever in awe.

~TQG

Ruth & Boaz

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I’ve been told no less than 3 times this week that I am beautiful. At least 4 times that I have gorgeous hair, and twice that I have a sweet spirit. God knows when I need the reminder.

I’m watching everyone I know, coworkers, friends, family and people I don’t even know getting engaged and married and having kids left and right. People that are younger or not much older than myself. It’s awesome, seeing everyone so happy, pursuing futures with their new spouses. But it’s also kinda hard. I have to keep reminding myself that I would rather be single than with the wrong person, or lower my standards just to get affection.

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What I’m looking for is totally worth the wait. I know my creator is thrilled to reveal His plan. He’s got my love story all written out, each step I take traces the lines of His pen. I grow closer each day to the moment when clarity hits. He delights in romance, the joy of learning to love someone completely and fully.

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My man is being prepared for me just as I am for him. A man after God’s own heart. Who loves God more than he loves me, and puts God first in all he does.

I studied the book of Ruth again recently, and I have to say, I just adore the love story of Ruth and Boaz. It’s so imperfect.

Tragedy, hard manual labor, long sweaty days in the sun.

A medaling older woman who gives questionable advice requiring Ruth, a woman, to essentially make the first move. (A big deal back then!) She literally tells her, wash yourself, wear your best perfume and clothes, but do not let him see you until he has finished eating and drinking. I don’t know if they were drinking water or wine, but regardless. She’s getting her daughter in law ready to wow an unsuspecting man after a long hard day of work. Sneaky old lady.

But then, Boaz, a kind hearted, honorable man, sees her hard work and blesses her for it. And takes her forwardness with such grace.

“May you be blessed by the Lord, my daughter; this last instance of your loyalty is better than the first; you have not gone after younger men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, do not be afraid. I will do for you all that you ask, for all the assembly of my people know that you are a worthy woman. But now, though it is true that I am a near kinsman, there is another kinsman more closely related than I. Remain this night, and in the morning, if he will act as next-of-kin for you, good; let him do it. If he is not willing to act as next-of-kin for you, then, as the Lord lives, I will. Lie down until the morning.”

So she lay at his feet until morning…

I strongly encourage you to go read this book to get the full picture. There is no question that he liked and was attracted to her, but yet he sought out the course of action that was honorable and in her best interest, all while reassuring her that regardless, she would be taken care of. Even in the way that he asked her to remain for the night rather than go alone back to her home with Naomi.

I also love how when Ruth recounts the story to Naomi the next day, Naomi says “Wait, my daughter, until you learn how the matter turns out, for the man will not rest, but will settle the matter today.”

I get the feeling Ruth was jittery and nervous about what would happen and where she would end up. I can relate with that.

I also like the honest, but very strategic way Boaz poses the idea to this other next of kin. He is totally honest, but it’s clear he is definitely hoping to be the one to redeem Ruth. It’s precious. I can’t help but see in my mind a mature, wise man, talking to this other next-of-kin, his heart pounding, praying under his breath that God bless him with this strong, hard working, worthy woman.

The whole thing is just dripping with raw humanity, and it’s beautiful. It makes my heart smile. God has such a great sense of humor.

I’m not perfect, and I never will be, but I’m hoping and praying I will be a worthy bride to my own Boaz someday.

 

Comfortable Silence

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I love people who can hold their own in a conversation. Who can fill in the gaps that I so often leave. Who can gently draw me out, even when I’m not actively trying to participate. Conversely, I love when those same people can just sit quietly with me and not insist on filling the silence. Knowing when something is worth breaking silence for and when it can just go unsaid. It’s a skill few people possess. Most feel extremely uncomfortable with silence.

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After writing the above portion of this post, I went and had thanksgiving “dinner” (it was lunch, but whatever) with some good friends of ours, then went and walked about 2 miles on a local dam, came home and did some housework while listening to music from an app that recently appeared on my Android after an update, it’s called “Milk Music”. Pretty neat little app. It lead to the discovery of a song called “One” by Ed Sheeran.

“And all my friends have gone to find
Another place to let their hearts collide
Just promise me, you’ll always be a friend
‘Cause you are the only one.”

The whole song is quite good, but those lyrics particularly spoke to the way I feel sometimes. Like I have to ask for assurance from the people I truly call friends. Assurance that they aren’t going to find a reason to leave me behind. I guess there is no way to truly guarantee it, but love is worth that risk.

On another note, this Sunday I have my interview to become a member at my church. So thrilled to have found a church family that I want to become apart of. That I enjoy actively being apart of. Such a blessing. God is good.

Happy Thanksgiving, from TQG 🙂

Lioness Arising

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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”.

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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

Home Sick

No, not sick for home, or sick of home, but literally sent home from work because I’m sick. Can’t be sneezing and sniffling when you’re supposed to be examining peoples eyes.

Not happy about missing 7 of my 8 hours, but it’s a welcome break all the same. Hopefully by tomorrow I’ll be feeling well, and not miss a second day.

It’s been a good thing though… I spent some time reading James, journaling, and dealing with some things I’ve had on my heart. I had a sudden paradigm shift this afternoon as I wrote in my prayer journal. For years, whenever I’ve struggled with something, I’ve prayed for God to removed the obstacle, or to give me the strength to overcome it. I’ll be very honest, when praying this way, I’ve never really had much success. Today as I sat there trying to understand why, I realized I’ve had the wrong motives. I could have just as easily said “God, make my life easy so I don’t have to struggle”, or “God, make me strong so I can figure things out on my own”. That may not have been what I said, but if I’m honest, it is most definitely what I was asking for. And when I asked with those motives, it was like talking to brick wall.

Today as I began to pray, I changed the emphasis: “Jesus, show me how to rely on Your strength, to rest in Your righteousness. Make my heart sensitive to Your heart, and Your desires, align it with Your plan. Embolden it with Your courage and confidence that only Your Spirit can supply. Be my strength when I am weak.” The power I felt as I wrote these words down in a letter to God was amazing. There is power in prayer! Amazing, beautiful, awe-inspiring power! Like feeling the Holy Spirit smile as if to say, “Ahh, there you go. Now you’re getting it.” 

Really refreshing and encouraging feeling.

In other news, I’ve redesigned this blog! It was in need of a serious upgrade. If you’re an email subscriber and don’t visit the actual blog, please do come check it out! I intend to continue to personalize it as I have the time. Hoping to find a header image that better reflects the theme of my posts. Feel free to send me ideas if you come across something.

I’ve now been at the clinic for 9 weeks! I’m enjoying my work there, and eager to continue learning more. Also, my Dad and I have been attending a new church and we’re really loving it. (If I’ve mentioned this before here, just ignore me, I’m sick and on lots of cold meds.) So I’m very excited about that. 🙂

Beyond that, I’ve got nothing new to report!

I’m gunna try and get over this nasty cold now! 😛 Go do something fun outside in my place! 🙂

~TQG

Ambulances

Ever since November 22, 2014 I have had an emotional reaction to seeing ambulances running lights and siren to or from an incident. I’ve always made it a point to pray for police officers when I see them running code or stopping a car, having family members and friends in law enforcement makes you more sensitive to the dangers of their job. And I’ve always made a point to pray for the people I see involved in car accidents along the road, but it hasn’t been until now how important ambulances, EMS, and EMT’s are. My mom wasn’t currently in critical condition when she took her last ride in an ambulance, but that ride marked the last time she traveled anywhere, the last time she sat in a brand new recliner her parents had purchased for her, which had only arrived hours before.

There is something sobering about putting yourself in another persons/family’s shoes. What does that ambulance ride mean for them? I remember looking through the blinds in the computer room of my house, watching them roll my mom, who laughed and joked with them the whole way, out to the ambulance and load her in. I remember a sense of just, complete denial. “This isn’t necessary. She’s being over dramatic. She could have walked out to a car on her own. She’s fine. She’ll be back in no time, she’s getting better.” But as much as my brain tried to convince me that everything was fine, my heart was heavy. I spent the rest of that day alone in the house, listening to the clocks tick, wondering what it would be like to live in a house without her and trying to convince myself that wasn’t going to happen.

And that’s what comes to me every time I see an ambulance. So I take a few moments and pray for them, for the EMT’s, the family. Because I know what it’s like to feel like you’re floating in an ocean of unknown.

I say all this as a reminder, to you, my loyal readers. It’s very easy to get to the point in your life where you just motor along, totally absorbed in your life and your mission and your purpose. Taking time to set all the “you” aside and put yourself in another’s position, pray for them not with pity, but with empathy, is something indescribably valuable. Not only is prayer powerful, and you are no doubt having an impact on their life as they fight the battle of this world, but opening yourself up to another’s struggle helps you better appreciate your own blessings. At least, it has for me.

Second, lesser thought for you along similar lines… I’ve been going on long walks lately, about 2.5 miles. Last time I did this, about half way through, I realized that I was walking along staring at the ground. For good reason, the route I take is quite rocky and uneven in places, and I don’t like twisted ankles. But, when I realized this and looked up, took in the scene around me and looked ahead instead of right where I was, I instantly felt better. Like, emotionally and physically felt a lot better. As it turns out, looking down slightly constricts your air ways, so you feel very slightly light headed if you’re doing something strenuous and looking down the whole time (oops). Seeing the light of the sun and the wind in the trees always makes me a happier person in general. I’m way too tired at the moment to make some great life lesson out of this about not getting caught up in the struggles of the day. Instead, just, look around at how beautiful everything is when you walk and… y’know.. Breathe.. normally… It helps, I promise!

I think I’ll head towards the bed now. heh…

~TQG

Crazy little thing called Life

Today, classic Moriah moment, I have used my day off to take my dog to the vet, go grocery shopping (yay, sushi!) and watch old episodes of a show that I mainly like because one of the male characters has really amazing eyes. Okay, that’s not literally the main reason I like it, but it’s definitely a perk.

Quick movie recommendation for you though! Last night I went to see “Old Fashioned”. Despite the fact that this movie is perfect for conservative people who love love stories and desire to honor God with their entertainment choices, it’s suffered from an extreme case of under-advertizment, so few have heard of it. But it’s definitely a movie you should spend your time and money on.

Cons: Obviously low budget, starts off a bit cheesy, the actors are a bit wooden with their lines at first and you’ll probably find that there’s a lot of awkwardness that you can’t quite place.

 

Pros: I figured out the cause of this, however. In most movies and TV shows, the lines are delivered so perfectly, spaced so evenly, that there is literally none of what you actually get in real life human interactions. Such as pausing for thought, deciding what to say, missing a word or just saying something that doesn’t really come out smoothly. And any “awkward” silences are often filled with some sort of subtle background music or distraction to draw attention away from the moment of silence. This movie is not like that. The more I thought about it, I realized that this movie felt awkward because you never spend 2 hours just watching people talk, without also thinking about how to contribute to the conversation. This movie was literally like watching real people have real conversations. All the awkwardness of actual human interaction still intact and untampered with. And it made me smile. It made me feel more human.
Also, super adorable love story. Free spirited girl learns what it’s like to be truly loved and respected, uptight man learns to accept forgiveness from his past, and to open himself up to experiencing life at it’s fullest (without compromising his desire to honor God).

So yeah, go see the movie. Get a whole group together to go see the movie! Take your whole church to see the movie. Something like that. 🙂

On a totally unrelated note, I learned a valuable lesson this week. You cannot be everyones friend. Oh, how I’ve tried. But no matter what lengths you go to, some people cannot accept real friendship.

Real friendship isn’t just going out for coffee and having fun together. Sometimes it’s calling them up in the middle of the night crying and needing prayer. Sometimes it’s confronting them about something they’re doing that’s damaging to themselves or others, telling them a truth they’d rather not hear about themselves. In a true friendship, you soften each others rough edges, bear one another’s burdens, and lean on one another as you journey through this wild ride called life. Being in a friendship with someone should make you a better person. It should make you more like Christ.

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And not everyone will let you be a friend. Some people are happy to have fun with you, bear (some) of your burdens with you, call you up crying and needing advice, even correct you when you need it. But the moment you see a genuine problem and try to do the same, even in a loving manner, they throw up their arms and claim you aren’t really a true friend because you aren’t “accepting them for who they are”.

We all have that tendency, it’s part of being human. Odds are we will all have that reaction from time to time. But when that reaction is the only response you get, there is a serious problem. One sided friendship is not friendship. And it is damaging to remain in a that kind of relationship long term.

That’s something I’ve always struggled with, and until recently I’ve never been able to make that decision to finally let go and move on. And even though it’s sad, it’s also freeing. You don’t realize how much the negativity of others brings you down until that negativity is gone. It’s a kind of maturity that I’m so glad God is creating within me. Honestly, with everything I’ve been through in the last 6 months, I’m finding it easier to open myself up to God and let him unshackle me from the things that have been holding me back. Pain has a way of doing that to a person, if you let it.

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Anyway, I’m about to head out for a long walk, and my laptop is telling me it’s got %12 battery remaining. But that’s what’s going on with me. 🙂

~TQG