Friday, December 27, 2013

Monday, December 16, 2013

in a sentence.

my ramblings.
in a sentence.
not really though.
more like a few sentences.

Shaun and I aren't fighters. We aren't perfect and we definitely have conflict, but we aren't fighters. He does a good job forgiving me quickly, and he is rarely, if ever, defensive. Conflict in marriage dissolves quickly if you are both on the same team. My brother-in-law Jason told me to always "assume love". We have taken his advice and it really helps. For instance (I'll use a recent example), I could easily assume that Shaun has been leaving our room a disaster lately because he is prioritizing his work over me and my needs, OR... I could "assume love" by deciding right away that he loves me and I am his priority... so the reason for Hurricane Shaun wreaking havoc in our bedroom must actually be because he is extra busy, potentially overwhelmed, and probably unaware of how stressed that makes me feel. When I approach the situation with that attitude things stay calm and together we find a solution. In this case we cleaned together while listening to nice music and talking about life. Hooray.
Sometimes my neck acts a fool and I can't move it. That happened yesterday and today it realllllyyyy hurts. I have a heating pad on it... but I just realized that it isn't getting hot.... Hmmmm....
Psalm 103 is so good. I'm trying to memorize it. I've used several options but rapping it seems to be the best method of memorization. For me anyways. Probably for Eminem too.
Writing, editing, printing, and sending out newsletters seems like it takes a million years. This means if you receive one of mine in your mailbox you should definitely appreciate it.
Even if you don't read it, please at least hug it for me.
If he "isn't into labels"... what he actually means is that he isn't into commitment. I know that you guys "feel really committed"... but reality is you are not committed. If he made out with another girl today he would NOT be cheating on you. That's risky and not a good place for your fragile heart to be. Value yourself more than this and define your relationship. If he won't do it then that is worth being concerned about.
We are going to Michigan on Thursday morning and I CAN'T WAIT!
Get ready for some wonderfully twinkly pictures in the snow.

Lastly, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Because I often struggle with feeling like I've failed. Its so good to meditate on who God is and how He views His children. Psalm 103: 8-17.
Praying it blesses you... 

The Lord is compassionate and merciful,slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.He will not constantly accuse us,nor remain angry forever.He does not punish us for all our sins;He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.For His unfailing love toward those who fear Himis as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.He has removed our sins as far from usas the east is from the west.The Lord is like a father to His children,tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.For He knows how weak we are;He remembers we are only dust.Our days on earth are like grass;like wildflowers, we bloom and die.The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here.But the love of the Lord remains foreverwith those who fear Him.

Friday, December 13, 2013

For the Broken.

This week's video devotional from Beauty Arise Los Angeles. 
A word of comfort of the broken hearted. 
Love you guys.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

on being me.

"Wow, you have a huge forehead."

"Standing next to her, you can really see how flat-chested you are."

"Well... you need to have a body that's in proportion if you want to model...."

"Your eyes slant down on the sides."

"Look at Jess and her cheesy grin. Always."

"You suddenly became thin and gorgeous."

"You look way older than you are. Its probably the lines around your eyes."

"You are very all-American, like there is nothing very eye-catching about you. Its a surprise that you photograph so well."

Isn't it frustrating how deep the words cut? We can hear all kinds of encouragement and piles of compliments, and yet its the insults, or "back-handed compliments", that whirl around in our minds torturing us quietly.

The other day I looked in the mirror and caught myself criticizing my features. Words that had been spoken over me years ago were playing in my head as I examined my "big forehead", and my eyes that "slant down on the sides", and my overall "not very eye-catching" look. Why wasn't I eye-catching? I have a "cheesy grin"? I thought it was good to be smiling. But then someone else told me I am getting "smile lines" around my eyes. Should I smile less? I even replayed something fresh that a friend said to me several few weeks ago about how I was "suddenly thin and gorgeous." What did that mean? Did she think I was big before? I didn't think I had lost weight. Was I not beautiful before? When was I not gorgeous? I didn't think I was changing, but if I am, is that okay? Ugh...

My mind was reeling and my heart felt extra heavy.
After a few minutes I found myself praying something like...
"Oh God help me to see what you see. I'm losing it over here..."

I waited and kept staring in the mirror.
I began specifically looking for the good things that I might have been missing.

New thoughts began to trickle in...

My eyes.... they resemble my Dad's eyes and my Grandma Mary's eyes. I love that.
This forehead... its a gift.... its probably the same forehead that someone in my family had generations before me. They would probably be delighted to know I look like them.
This face is all-American. How wonderful. It looks like a Wilson face. I like Wilson faces.
My smile. It reminds me of my mom. She is always smiling. How awesome that someone thinks I am always smiling too.
Smile lines. We are all going to get wrinkly. The best wrinkles must be the ones earned through years of smiling. What a gift to have so much worth smiling about.

The Bible says that the power of life and death is in the tongue. (proverbs 18:21)
I agree. Words are extremely powerful, especially the negative ones. But thankfully we have an even greater power at work within us, that enables us to take our thoughts captive, and replace the garbage with life-giving truth.

I am not the most beautiful girl we've ever seen. I'm not the smartest or most gifted. I am not the greatest decorator or most brilliant motivational speaker. I am mediocre when it comes to meeting the needs of people I love. I am just okay when it comes to cooking and house-keeping. I won't be cast in a Victoria's Secret runway show, or be on the cover of a magazine for being the world's sexiest woman. I am not a fashionista, I am not a talented baker and I am not really a professional anything. I could use some work in the wife department, and I am not super confident in my future mothering skills either...

But I am me. And I'm the only me there is. I am the only one with this particular array of gifts, skills, passions, background, family lineage, physical features and personality makeup. I am incredibly unique. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have something glorious to bring to this picture, because there is no one else like me. I was created to reflect a piece of God's heart that ONLY I can bring, because I am the only me there is. I am irreplaceable. Someone else may be able to do my work, but nobody else can do my life. I am the only me that can fulfill my calling. There is no one else.

So while I could spend hours picking apart my flaws, and even creating new things to despise about myself, I am choosing another way. A better way. To embrace being me. Wonderful and beautiful me. People will continue to have opinions of me, and thats okay. But I will choose to agree with my Creator's thoughts towards me, rather than looking toward other creations to tell me who I am.
What He says will be the truth about me.

And the same is true for you, you know? There is no one else like you. Those eyes. That nose. Your laugh. Your passions. Your skills. Your family. Your story. Its all unique to you. You bring something marvelous to this story that no one else can bring. We need you. So while you could wish yourself away by mulling over everything that is wrong about you, do us all a favor, and embrace being you. You are needed. You are wanted. You are loved. It doesn't matter what has ever been spoken over you, catch those thoughts as they wander through that sweet brain of yours, and throw them out. Replace them with the truth about yourself and move forward. There is so much life to live, and no one can live your life, but YOU.

Praying for you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

comfort the brokenhearted...

What do you do when you don't know what to do? 
What do you say when their precious heart is shattered and none of your words are able to put it back together? How do you comfort someone who is longing for something you can't give them? 
How do you love those who are so desperate for love and yet too broken to receive it? 

That's where I've found myself recently. My heart has been aching with some sweet friends that are going through hell. Each of their hellish experiences look different, but it's hell none-the-less. All I want to do is make them feel better, but I am painfully aware that I can't. 

I've been asking God to show me how to best love my sisters & I heard a song by Casting Crowns recently that He used to give me my answer....
"Just love her like Jesus, carry her to Him,
His yoke is easy, His burden is light,
You don't need the answers to all of life's questions,
Just know that He loves her and stay by her side,
Love her like Jesus,
Love her like Jesus". 

Whether we are going through hell, or we are walking with a friend who is hopelessly broken-hearted, our God is a God of comfort and He wants to meet us in this time. We don't need to have the words to say, or the answers to life's questions, we just need to know that we are fiercely loved and hope is not far away. 

"The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed."
 (Isaiah 61:1 NLT)