Éowyn & Faramir

“What do you fear, lady?” he asked.

“A cage,” she said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond all recall or desire “

~Aragorn & Éowyn, “Return of the King” by J.R.R. Tolkien

This quote, and Éowyn the shieldmaiden’s whole story, resonates with me at a very deep level. Especially if you read the portions at the ends of the books that give you more details about the backgrounds of the characters, and details about her and Faramir’s love story. She falls for Aragorn, but he very kindly and respectfully tells her that his heart belongs to another. And it hurts. But then, along comes man she doesn’t expect, and he opens her eyes.

Then Faramir came and sought her, and once more they stood on the walls together; and he said to her: ‘Eowyn, why do you tarry here, and do not go to the rejoicing in Cormallen beyond Cair Andros, where your brother awaits you?’

And she said: ‘Do you not know?’

But he answered: ‘Two reasons there may be, but which is true, I do not know.’

And she said: ‘I do not wish to play at riddles. Speak plainer!’

‘Then if you will have it so, lady,’ he said: ‘You do not go, because only your brother called for you, and to look on the Lord Aragorn, Elendil’s heir, in his triumph would now bring you no joy. Or because I do not go, and you desire still to be near me. And maybe for both these reasons, and you yourself cannot choose between them. Eowyn, do you not love me, or will you not?’

‘I wished to be loved by another,’ she answered. ‘But I desire no man’s pity.’

‘That I know,’ he said. ‘You desired to have the love of the Lord Aragorn. Because he was high and puissant, and you wished to have renown and glory and to be lifted far above the mean things that crawl on the earth. And as a great captain may to a young soldier he seemed to you admirable. For so he is, a lord among men, the greatest that now is. But when he gave you only understanding and pity, then you desired to have nothing, unless a brave death in battle. Look at me, Eowyn!’

And Eowyn looked at Faramir long and steadily; and Faramir said: ‘Do not scorn pity that is the gift of a gentle heart, Eowyn! But I do not offer you my pity. For you are a lady high and valiant and have yourself won renown that shall not be forgotten; and you are a lady beautiful, I deem, beyond even the words of the Elven-tongue to tell. And I love you. Once I pitied your sorrow. But now, were you sorrowless, without fear or any lack, were you the blissful Queen of Gondor, still I would love you. Eowyn, do you not love me?’

Then the heart of Eowyn changed, or else at last she understood it. And suddenly her winter passed, and the sun shone on her.

‘I stand in Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun,’ she said; ‘and behold! the Shadow has departed! I will be a shieldmaiden no longer, nor vie with the great Riders, nor take joy only in the songs of slaying. I will be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren.’ And again she looked at Faramir. ‘No longer do I desire to be a queen,’ she said.

Then Faramir laughed merrily. ‘That is well,’ he said; ‘for I am not a king. Yet I will wed with the White Lady of Rohan, if it be her will. And if she will, then let us cross the River and in happier days let us dwell in fair Ithilien and there make a garden. All things will grow with joy there, if the White Lady comes.’

‘Then must I leave my own people, man of Gondor?’ she said. ‘And would you have you proud folk say to you: “There goes a lord who tamed a wild shieldmaiden of the North! Was there no woman of the race of Numenor to choose?” ‘

‘I would,’ said Faramir. And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many. And many indeed saw them and the light that shone about them as they came down from the walls and went hand in hand to the Houses of Healing.

And to the Warden of the Houses Faramir said: ‘Here is the Lady Eowyn of Rohan, and now she is healed.’

Their love story touches my heart. I love the honesty.

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

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

Flowers

“A wallflower in a world of social butterflies.”

The tagline for my blog has been the same since the day I started this blog, but I don’t believe I’ve ever truly explained it’s origin or it’s personal meaning to me. So I’ve decided that today is the day!

Dictionary.com defines “wallflower” as “a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance.” Though I do tend to be less myself in a group setting and thus mingle on the sidelines a lot, that isn’t my definition of wallflower.

A flower is simple, yet stunningly beautiful. Clothed in more splendor than Solomon!

Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. ~Luke 12:27

A flower does not seek attention, nor crave it. Flowers are sought out because of their beauty and pleasant aroma, as a way of showing love, affection and good intentions to others. Sympathy, because they bring color and life, a peace offering, because they’re tender and gentle. Butterflies seek out flowers to sustain life, they come and visit the flower for a short time to refuel, and then travel on to the next flower, resting for a moment on the petals sometimes as they drink.

Maybe I’m reaching a bit, but aren’t we as Believers supposed to be like flowers in a world of lost butterflies? Letting them drink deep of Christ’s love through us if they so choose, and being available to them when they need us, but not fluttering about in their faces, trying to get them to come look at US and how pretty WE are and how amazing WE are. Allowing the aroma of Christ to draw them to us in a way that show’s His glory, not ours.

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.” ~2 Corinthians 2:15

I see very few, if any, examples of Jesus trying to gain more followers. I see a lot of examples of Jesus being a pleasant aroma of love and forgiveness, letting people come to Him when they’ve finally decided their way wasn’t working so well. Jesus is attractive, in the sense that His character is welcoming, loving, but also strong, and a little bit wild.

Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

“He’s wild, you know. Not like a tame lion.”

~C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia

I see so much raw, wild beauty in being a follower of Christ. His aroma is on us, running through our veins. If we just take the time to tap into it and let it flow freely, people will notice. Like a single wildflower in a dried up prairie, the little lost butterflies will seek us out when they need something that can sustain them on their journey. And even when they fly away from us, the nourishment Christ provided through us will stay with them as a constant reminder.

How amazing is that? That is why I strive to be a wallflower in a world of social butterflies. Maybe one day I’ll be a wildflower, but then again, maybe there are butterflies who wouldn’t be able to find me if I were in the middle of the crowd. Ya never know. Either way, God is awesome, and His wild beauty is beyond words.

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Delight Yourself In The Lord

Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord
and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when people succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

~Psalm 37:3-7

Today the church service I usually go to got canceled because of a church event, and I wasn’t feeling particularly social, at least not social enough to go to a church event, so my dad and I watched this service from Liberty University instead.

Such an encouraging message, exactly what I needed to hear today. Highly recommended. In a time when I’ve felt like I’m barely surviving work, this message reminded me that I don’t have to be serving as a missionary in some foreign country to glorify God. I am a missionary every time my fingers touch my keyboard, every time my feet leave my front yard, and especially when I clock in at Petsmart. And that is something I desperately needed to be refreshed on. “Trust in the Lord and do good”, it’s not complicated. Trust God, live in a way that honors Him. It’s not about how many people you lead to Christ or how many enemies of the faith you win arguments with, it’s about the way you live. The thing God wants from us more than anything is our love, and when we love Him, our lives will reflect His glory in a way that attracts people. It opens the door to tell people why you’re so different from the world around you. Doesn’t mean they will necessarily drop what they’re doing and follow Jesus, but they certainly won’t forget the light they saw in you. Maybe they’ll ignore it, or maybe they’ll seek out the same light for themselves one day, but that’s between them and God, you planted the seed. I don’t know about you, but that is exciting to me. 🙂

Anyway, it feels like an eternity since I’ve been really encouraged, so I just had to share it. I hope this message encourages you too.

~TQG

Just The Beginning

And for us this is the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures…had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story, which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.

~C. S. Lewis

Dreams Don’t Turn to Dust

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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…

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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.

Note To Self

Dear Self,

I know you struggle sometimes, but in case I don’t tell you enough, you’re beautiful. Thank you for being so strong and transparent, the world sees you even when you feel invisible. I appreciate your heart and your stubbornness. Your willingness to love even after being discarded and forgotten is admirable. I’m so proud to know that you’re growing to acknowledge your worth in God’s eyes. And if I could tell you one thing it would be this:

You are never as broken as you feel. Sure, you have a couple of scars, and a couple of bad memories, but then again, all great heroes do. Jesus sure does.

God’s got this. All of it. He has a plan for you. I know you’re scared, scared of loss, of rejection, of loneliness, of seeing your dreams fade in the desert of this world, never getting the chance to sprout and grow. But God knit you together, dreams and all. He will bring them to life for you, just you wait and see.

 

Pslams, Mount Zion, and 1 Corinthians 3:16

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

in the city of our God.

His holy mountain, beautiful in elevation,

Mount Zion, in the far north,

the city of the great King.

~Psalm 48 1-2 (NRSV)

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?

~1 Corinthians 3:16 (NRSV)

Today in my reading I camped in Psalm 48 for a while. Verses one and two caught my eye. Though this verse talks about Mt. Zion, I am named after another Mountain, Mt. Moriah. As I was thinking about the description of Mt. Zion, 1 Cor. 3:16 came to mind. It felt as though God was giving me a hug and saying “You are my temple, my beautiful daughter, in whom I delight. You are covered by my grace, I see you as lovely, I cherish you.” It’s a reminder I definitely needed. God is awesome.