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 🙂

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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 Wallflower Blooms

I apologize for having neglected my blog for quite some time. Life has gotten in the way, and probably will continue to do so. But, to those of my followers who are reading this: THANK YOU for sticking with me! For bothering to read this even when you haven’t heard of me for ages! You rock.

Recently something awesome has happened. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve finally started spending time in scripture literally every day with the help of a good friend of mine. And it’s helped me in so many ways. God has impressed upon me the need to start attending church regularly, get into the body of Christ, get connected, start serving, get off my island of isolation. So I began looking for a new church. I finally decided to try out one that is literally three/five minutes away from my house. A smallish church that’s been there for as long as I can remember, one that I attended VBS at when I was a little camper.

I’ve been there four or five times now, and attended the “college” (aged) bible study twice. It had been quite some time since I’d been in a group of new people, and even longer since I’d been in a group setting at all… I was prepared to have my usual insecurities resurface, prepared to be the ultra quiet, introverted, anti-social girl that I have been for so many years. The awkward wallflower, always present but never involved. I didn’t go into it thinking that I’d try extra hard this time to be outgoing, or that I’d force myself to talk to people, I honestly didn’t think about what I would try to do or not do, I just took a deep breath and dove in. And God showed up, guys.

In the past, walking into a room full of new people was like a mouse walking through a room of tigers. I was petrified, internally shaking, heart pounding, basically overreacting in every sense of the word. And if that room of new people was primarily guys, watch out. Multiply that nervousness times a thousand.

This time, after leaving the church service, I did what I’ve never done, and sought out help at the welcome center. The guy at the welcome center was… well… A guy. A mid-twenties guy. And I didn’t even hesitate to ask him if he would help me find the room for the college age bible study. He walked me to the room filled with more twenty something guys and I walked in, introduced myself, and casually made small talk. I got involved in the discussion during bible study, offered my opinion, laughed, joked, and WAS A REAL LIVE HUMAN BEING THE WHOLE FREAKING TIME. This last week I even poked fun at one of the guys because he doesn’t like coffee. WHO AM I?

Answer: A precious child of God who has finally, after all this time, accepted her worth in Christ and let go of her fears of rejection. Amen. I’m so excited to get to know myself as this confident, outgoing, far more charismatic girl I’ve somehow become. I didn’t know I had it in me, but God did, and once I let Him in, he took of the chains of insecurity and set my heart free. Praise Jesus.

A Taste Of Adventure

So I’ve been back from Oklahoma for a few days now, been back to work, back in my own bed, back to the daily grind. (Does no one else think of coffee when you hear that phrase? It makes me want coffee…)

My second day back was kinda crazy, my mom came into my room and woke me up with the words “Moriah, I need your help, there’s blood all over the kitchen floor.” As it turned out, my rambunctious and prey driven dog Camo, an Akita/Labrador cross, took off so hard that he ripped open his claw horizontally, all the way into the toe. Looked like a crime scene. I took him to the vet who sedated him, cut off the dangling portion of claw, cleaned it with a saline wash and squirted superglue into the open part of the claw to prevent bleeding. After a day of being high on drugs, he was still whimpering from pain and his toe very swollen, so the vet gave him three pills to take daily, a pain reliever, an anti-inflammatory and an antibiotic. Now he seems much more comfortable and much happier, though still limping some. Silly pup.

My trip was great! Getting to travel alone was very confidence boosting. Nice to know that I can as a matter of fact, make it on my own. Be independent. The wedding was great, I met lots of interesting, fun people, and I had a lot of spontaneous fun, both solo and with my cousins friends. I swam in a saltwater pool every day at the hotel, went to a free concert downtown with a group of people, walked to little cafe’s and diners alone downtown several times, and experienced the fear/rush of having to find my departure gate in the Atlanta airport. Which ended up being a long walk, train ride, and two escalators away from my arrival gate. It was such a liberating time. I actually felt like an adult, not in the “back to work to earn money because I’m an adult” way that I normally do, but in the “I can make decisions for myself and find my own way without help because I’m an adult” way. Normally, because I live with my parents, if I get invited to something or want to go somewhere, I have to ask them first and can’t really be “spontaneous”. But while I was there, no one was really “responsible” for me, my grandparents sort of were, but not to the same degree as my parents would be. So when I was invited somewhere or decided I wanted to walk to a cafe and get lunch, I just went. Maybe told them I was leaving before I went, but didn’t “ask permission” to go. It was awesome. It made me wish I could afford a small apartment of my own nearby, so I could have that sort of freedom at home. But, sadly, a part time Pet Care Associate at Petsmart does not make enough to pay rent or water or electric bills. Unless you want to go without food. Then it might be possible!

The month after next I’ll be turning 21. If you follow my blog and read it much I’m sure you’ll correctly assume that they’ll be no “partying” or getting drunk for my 21st, but there WILL be alcohol. Not much, just some. There’s an apple ale that I’ve wanted to try for a long time, so I’m thinking of buying just one bottle (beer bottle sized bottle) of it to try. It’ll probably be nasty, but that’s okay. If I’ve never made it clear before, I don’t have an issue with drinking, I have an issue with getting drunk. So, if you can’t have just one glass of wine or just one beer, don’t drink. If that’s not a temptation for you, by all means, enjoy your one glass. Some people are more sensitive to the effects of alcohol and probably should not drink, so if that’s you, don’t. Some people have alcoholism in their family history and thus wish to avoid it altogether, and I highly respect and honor that decision, and if it bothers them to have others drink around them, I would definitely never drink while with them. If I married a man who felt that way, it would be my pleasure to honor him by never drinking again. But, as that is not the case for my birthday, I’m going to have my one small drink. Funny enough, I love margaritas, but only when there isn’t any tequila in them. I like just the crushed ice and the fruit flavored mix, so it’s like a slushy. Tequila is so sharp, it ruins it completely. Which amused my father when he made me an alcohol-free margarita a while back. ^_^ I think they call that a “virgin” margarita, but I have an issue with using the word virgin to describe anything other than what the bible uses it for. Just a personal preference, I like to keep certain important words holy.

I think that’s one of the ways our culture has degraded itself, using meaningful words flippantly so many times that they no longer have weight when used. Much like the word “awesome”, which should mean “inspires awe”, but we use it to describe everything. I’m guilty of this too, but after trying for like a month to stop using it, I never managed to prevent it from slipping out. So I gave up. 😛 I don’t think God minds, or at least he hasn’t seen fit to press upon me the need to change that verbal habit. And he does with other things regularly. Such as “suck”, as in “that sucks” which I feel very convicted about not using, “screwed up”, “pissed off” or using “god” as an expression of anything other than speaking about God himself. Though the first three of those are not “bad words” per se, I feel that the use of them is tacky, degrading, and does not conform to any of the biblical standards of what our speech should be as holy children of God. And the bible makes it extremely clear that God’s name is holy and not to be misused, so it’s important to me to honor that.

For those of my non-Christian followers who look at Christianity as a list of do’s and don’ts, I hope you realize that I don’t put these parameters on myself because I think God won’t love me if I don’t or because I think it’s what I have to do, I do it because God died for me so I can have eternal life, and I want to honor him in anyway I possibly can. I do it because I want to. Because by doing it, I set a better example of the purity of Christ, so others will be less distracted by me and more attracted to Him. My personality, my appearance, are works of art that he created, drawing some attention to myself in the right way is fine, but distracting people with crass speech or unkind words is not. Or immodest clothing, actually. Immodest clothes distract the minds of both men and women and takes their thoughts off of what is pure and right and tempts them into either lustful thoughts or criticizing thoughts, whereas attractive, modest clothing causes appreciation of the excellent design and beauty God created. Which I think it pretty awesome.

Anyway, I’m kind of wasting my day off by sitting on the couch in gym cloths. I will actually go to the gym…. Eventually…

We All Have Our Vices

I am one of the (many) girls who has random and very sudden attacks of the “why am I single, does no one want me” blues. Been suffering from that for a few days now. So naturally I did the most logical thing you can do when in this situation…

I did my nails. (with awesome nail wraps that I got from my manager whom I work with. Check out her stuff: Here)

Then I waxed my legs. With a kit that costs $8… I do not recommend this at all. Please don’t. If you want your legs waxed just pay to have it done, it’s a lot less… awful.

Then I used the same nail wraps to do my toes.

I went shopping, but I didn’t buy anything! Except Annie’s gluten free Alfredo mix!

And lastly, I watched “Frozen”, because Olaf makes me happy.

For some reason, making myself feel more girly and pretty makes me feel better.

Oddly enough, I did actually almost get asked out while at work the other day, but when I told the guy I was looking for someone who would lead me closer to Christ, he gracefully bowed out and left.

Also, I wore one of my Doctor Who shirts to pick up a print order I had at Staples and it started a very fun conversation with a very nice, pretty attractive guy who works there. Though he was quite possibly a bit older than me. And I think he thought I was weird. I was picking up a gerbil poster. Apparently girls who have gerbils are weird. I dunno. Whatever.

As semi-encouraging as those kind of things are, it’s not just my ability to attract a guy that gets me down. It’s the extreme shortage of guys worth attracting that sits in the back of my head and festers. How do you even find one? And if you do, what if he doesn’t even like you back?

I don’t know. But that’s where I am currently. And I have pretty nails to prove it.

Is Marriage…okay?

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For years I’ve read countless books on singleness, marriage, love, relationships, sex, etc, trying to mature my views and my heart as to what God asks of me, and to make sense of the ache in my heart. What I’ve found is that Genesis has the simplest answer to all of my questions.

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Genesis 2:18, 21-23

I put in bold the wording that really stands out to me.

Even in perfect unity with God, Adam’s relational status was not deemed “good” by the Creator until he had Eve.

There are those called to remain single, but honestly, that is (and should be) very few of us. We were not designed for it, plain and simple. And not just because we have a sex drive. It has very little to do with that. Marriage is one of the strongest forces on earth, capable of humbling us, teaching us selfless, righteous love. Marriage isn’t to make you happy, it is to make you holy. It is true that you should learn to be happy in your singleness and focus on Christ, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say you must be content in your singleness. It’s a nearly impossible goal. God didn’t expect Adam to be content without Eve. And that wasn’t because he “couldn’t control himself sexually”. After all, there was no sin, and until the creation of Eve, the thought of sex wouldn’t have entered his mind. He didn’t even know what a woman would look like.

We need companionship. The kind that connects us at the soul level, which is something that only marriage can truly bring. To be fully and completely known by another human and loved anyway is one of God’s most amazing gifts.

Secular culture is screaming at us that we can sleep with whomever we want to and do whatever we want to.

I’ve noticed the Christian trend is often saying we ought to remain single if we can “control ourselves”.

Extremes are not the answer. We are designed to be tied together by Christ with one person and through that relationship, God will smooth our rough edges, teach us how to truly love, and as a team the three of you (Yourself, your spouse and Christ) can accomplish amazing things for His Kingdom.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

~Ephesians 5:25-27

The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD.

~Proverbs 18:22

A wife of noble character is her husband’s crown, but a disgraceful wife is like decay in his bones.

~Proverbs 12:4

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

~Ephesians 5:31-32

The Bible is packed with verses about marriage, speaking about it’s benefits, spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. Why we’ve taken one section in 1 Corinthians 7 and made it into this false ideal. Paul was given a very unique calling in which he couldn’t have been married. His purpose on this earth was fantastic, but full of pain and strife that a marriage just didn’t fit. God is merciful. Paul was given the gift of singleness (read “He no longer had a strong desire for a marriage relationship). Paul says in 1 Corinthians 7:1-9:

Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command. I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

(Note: “Widows” in that era were women no longer of childbearing age whose husbands died and were given the job of guiding younger women and being prayer warriors for the church. They had a very important roll in the church family. However, girls widowed while young were not to be cared for by the church, but were to remarry. If you doubt this, do some research about Hebrew culture at this time.)

Later in verses 25-40 he explains his view on this further, and a if you remember to read this in context with what was happening to the Christian church at the time, you will begin to see a new perspective. He begins with this:

Now about virgins: I have no command from the Lord, but I give a judgment as one who by the Lord’s mercy is trustworthy. Because of the present crisis, I think that it is good for a man to remain as he is.

When you look back historically, the church was under attack. Christian men and women were in the midst of a different era. If you couldn’t control your lust, then get married, otherwise spread God’s word and try not to get martyred. Not a quote obviously, but that’s basically what it boils down to. If a man is asked to denounce Christ or be burnt at the stake, he can take that upon himself and ask God for the strength to hold out. But if a man is told to renounce Christ or watch his wife be burned… That is a whole different level of pain.

Paul mentions that a married man or woman’s interests are divided between God and their spouse, and that is true. However, living in such a way that you love your spouse with a Christlike love is one of the best ways to grow in righteousness. Concerning yourself with your spouses well being humbles you. Loving your spouse is a ministry. Not just to their heart, but in the hearts of those who see this love being played out. Learning to appreciate God’s design of your spouse is an experience of worship.

When I read 1 Corinthians 7, I see a highly misunderstood letter that is filled with wisdom primarily directed at those who originally received it. The church members in Corinth. It must be understood in the context of it’s time. Not that it doesn’t have merit now, those rare few who are given the gift of “singleness” (read, the gift of a lessened desire for a spouse) are more free to focus on certain aspects of God’s Kingdom. A different part of the Kingdom than that which married couples are to tackle together with team work.

If you desire a spouse, but are currently single, odds are some well meaning friend has said to you, “Maybe you are called to/been given the gift of singleness.” Noo. The “gift of singleness” isn’t that you can’t seem to get a date and thus will be single for life. It’s that your desire for a spouse is lessened by God and replaced with a stronger desire for and contentment in Him alone.

Desiring a spouse doesn’t mean God “isn’t enough”, it means God’s plan is  meant to be fully realized by the connection and humility you will gain by having a spouse.

I’ve written two other blogs similar to this, feel free to check them out.

Ministry or Marriage?

I’m Looking For Someone To Share In An Adventure

Random Thought

I slept better in the ski cabin than I do at home. Even though I was in a bed that was too large for the sheets I brought, kind of cold, and didn’t have the familiar sound of my ceiling fan. I realized this was because I had so much less on my mind. Nothing stressful, nothing worrisome. Just thoughts of snow and adventure. The voices of the guys downstairs as they talked softly to one another, trying to stay quiet and not wake the others, was relaxing to me. I couldn’t understand exactly what they were discussing, but just their voices seemed to calm me and help me drift off. Odd how that works. I actually miss that. Weird.

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.