Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Most of my friends are male. In fact, my best friend is male. I tend to spend any free Saturday nights I have hangin' out with "my boys", watching movies, talking, laughing about life...etc...And my boys have never treated me with anything other than the utmost respect, never seeking to compromise me or our relationship by blurring the lines between love and friendship. My boys respect my femininity, and have shown me what it means to have a healthy relationship with men...helping to ensure I will never again make the mistakes I've made in past relationships by settling for less than the best. Above all else, "my boys" love Jesus, and that makes all the difference.
When I first saw the commercials for this tv show, I thought...is it really that unusual for a girl to have a bunch of guys as her closest friends? I'm not sure that in itself is unusual. From the world's perspective, though, it is unusual for men and women to be friends, and to respect and protect the relationship by establishing boundaries. (See "Friends", "Seinfeld", or any number of other sitcoms for shining examples of how the world blurs these boundaries. For that matter, see some real life relationships...). I am so thankful that the friendships I have with these men in my life are pure, and that we each have an equal interest in maintaining that purity. I am also thankful that these friendships have brought so much light and joy and laughter into my life...we don't need someone to write a script for us. Our Saturday nights may not make for riveting tv, but I can promise you, they do make for fun and pure fellowship, with no regrets or blurred lines.
Take that, TBS. :)
Sunday, November 26, 2006
'Tis the season...officially!
It's the most wonderful time of the year!!! With Thanksgiving come and gone, we now officially begin the countdown to Christmas day. Even better, though, is the spirit that settles over us in the weeks between now and Christmas. I just love it...24/7 Christmas carols on any number of radio stations...Shiny, sparkly decorations everywhere you look...Peace and love abound, and, if for only a few weeks, people are not only able but are more than willing to put others before themselves.
Yes...this thing called "the holiday season" seems to make the garbage that has accumulated throughout the year seem almost worth it. I cannot say it enough...I LOVE this time of year!!!
As with last year, I am facing the realization that I won't be able to dole out Christmas presents to those that are dearest to me. This is not easy for me, as one of my favorite ways to express love is through giving that perfect gift. One of my favorite parts of this season is taking the time to find the perfect gift...not the biggest or most expensive or the one with the most bells and whistles, but the one that is perfect for the one I am buying it for. One of my favorite parts of Christmas morning is watching others open the gifts I've chosen for them, and seeing their joy as the wrapping paper is torn away and the gift is revealed. It is difficult for me to be comfortable with not being able to do any of this.
Yet, this is just one more opportunity for me to shift my focus to what is most important.
Over the last few months, I've had to grow accustomed to living without a lot of things that bring me moments of happiness. The things I used to take for granted...being able to go to a movie without creating a budget crisis, being able to go to Borders and enjoy a cup of coffee without having to sacrifice a meal later in the week to pay for it, or being able to buy the basic necessities without giving much thought to the cost of these things...all of those things have become points of concern. It is not comfortable, and certainly not something I would have chosen for myself, but it is where I am for now.
Through these struggles, I am learning what it is to be content, regardless of how much or how little I have. I am learning that there is something to be treasured in the simple, every day pleasures...the sunshine, clean air, being able to walk, hear, talk, see...And that I am incredibly wealthy because I have amazing friends who love me and support me through everything.
I know I've said all of this before, and it may sound hollow by now. But believe me when I tell you, the longer I am in this place, the more real these things become to me. Certainly, I am hopeful that my situation will change, and things will become easier. But, for as long as I'm here, it is my prayer that God will teach me through these struggles. I choose to believe that God is using all of this to prepare me for whatever is next in my life. I am a firm believer that nothing in our lives is wasted, and if we will let Him, God uses everything in our lives to further His kingdom through us. I want God to have His way in my life, and if this struggling is one way He is accomplishing that, then so be it.
Monday, November 20, 2006
|Your Vocabulary Score: A-|
Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Important things I've been too tired to write about...
I was baptized yesterday. :) I've been a Christian for pretty much my whole life, and I've had multiple opportunities to be baptized. Until the last few months, I had never really felt any sincere desire to be baptized. I figured...I'm saved and going to heaven whether I get baptized or not, so why embarrass myself by getting drenched in front of everyone? I thought...I'm a little uncomfortable with this, God, so I'm gonna pass. You understand, right?
And I'm sure He did. Just as swiftly as I became convinced of this, however, the Holy Spirit was quick to remind me that Jesus knows all about being uncomfortable and even humiliated in front of everyone. And, after all, being baptized wasn't all about ME...it was about a public confession of faith, honoring God.
So, I mulled it over. I thought...Okay, I can do that. Initially, I felt like I had an obligation to fulfill. I can't say I was excited about it, but it was something I knew I had to do. Initially, it felt very much like a business transaction. I was just holding up my end of the bargain.
With just a hint of reluctance, I signed up for the next baptism service. And then, things began to change.
As the day grew closer, I began to feel much more excited about what I was going to do. It began to feel less and less like a perfunctory duty, and more like a gift I was giving to God. I began to realize...this act of obedience was so much more than merely completing a transaction with God. This act of obedience was going to bring God tremendous joy. That realization made the event something sweet and beautiful.
Of course, I was nervous. After all, the second service at New Hope has a pretty hefty attendance, and I had chosen to be baptized during that service. Not only would I have to get dunked in front of all those people, but I was also instructed to prepare a testimony to share before I was baptized.
As I stood there waiting for my turn, I felt nervous. I thought...I'm going to forget what I want to say, despite the written testimony I have with me. I'll probably stammer, or worse, giggle because I am so nervous. I kept thinking...I just want this to be over. I kept praying...Lord, help me to remember that I am not doing this for an audience, I am doing this for You.
Then, it was my turn. I walked over to the baptism tank, feeling the butterflies in my stomach. Then the most amazing thing happened. One of the men doing all the baptizing extended a hand to me to help me into the baptism tank. I took his hand, and as soon as my foot first touched the water, I felt amazingly calm. There I stood, up to my waist in warm water,in front of who knows how many people, sharing what God had put on my heart...and not feeling the least bit nervous or business-like. It was all for Jesus. It was a very personal, very real moment. I am still processing it. It was the sweetest, most beautiful moment of my life to this point. It's going to be difficult to top. :)
There are other important things I could write about...a friend's laughter, the sweetness of companionship after thinking you had lost that friend forever, the good feeling that comes with having a cup of coffee after a good meal, or the simple comfort of a warm bed to sleep in. All important things. All important things that I am too tired to write about.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This is what happens when I can't sleep...
|You Are A Romantic Realist|
You tend to be grounded when it comes to romance.
Sure, you can fall hard... but only for someone you've gotten to know.
And once you're in love, you can be a total romantic goofball...
But you'd never admit it to your friends!
|You Belong in Fall|
Intelligent, introspective, and quite expressive at times...
You appreciate the changes in color, climate, and mood that fall brings
Whether you're carving wacky pumpkins or taking long drives, autumn is a favorite time of year for you
|You Are 56% Republican|
You aren't a full fledged Republican yet, but it's probably the party that fits you best.
You probably consider yourself an independent Republican. You usually support the party, but you also think for yourself!
Sunday, November 05, 2006
It's been a difficult day. It was one of those days when I just didn't want to be around people. At least, in the morning, I didn't want to. Still, I went to church, sat through a pretty good sermon, then saw a few people after church. All the while, thinking I just wanted to go home and take a nap. I am tired all the time these days, thanks to a totally screwed up work schedule.
Anyway, after church, the object of my discounted affection joined the small circle of friends I was standing with. I wasn't sure what to say to him, or if I should say anything at all, so I just left.
I feel that I am utterly repellant to men. I have resumed to sending out my "Stay away" vibe, because it seems that anything other than that only leads to heartache. I am happy to say, though, that eHarmony has found seven men who are "highly compatible" with me, so something is bound to happen sooner or later. Of course, I've had a profile on eHarmony for a year or so now, and they finally had to relax their rigorous standards in order to find matches for me. I think that's funny, and a very good indication of what I've known for awhile now...Men just don't like me.
So, anyway, I spent some time after church deciding if I wanted to eat lunch or dinner. I didn't have money for both, and I was too tired to cook the macaroni and cheese I got at Dollar General. I've been doing a lot of that lately...deciding which meal I would like to have more, because I often do not have money for both. I haven't been able to buy groceries in weeks, and I tend to eat actual meals only when I am working, as I know I will have a miserable day if I try to go the whole day without food. Otherwise, I just eat apples and peanut butter, or crackers, or things of that nature.
I got home, ate my sandwich from Speedway, and crawled into bed for a nap. Three hours later, I woke up and started on my Psych homework. I've also taken in about six episodes of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air". I'm bored, I'm lonely, I wish I had someone to hang out with, but everything has changed now.
I sometimes wonder if moving was a mistake. This is nothing like I thought it would be. I thought that moving closer to my friends would mean having more time with my friends, but it has been anything but that. I rarely see anyone, and when I do, I'm tired and totally out of it. The friendship I had with someone that I considered my best friend, for all intents and purposes, has completely changed, and I feel completely out of sorts.
I can barely afford rent, let alone everything else, and I am wondering when something is finally going to give, and maybe for once in my life things can go right. It would be wonderful...absolutely freaking wonderful...if at least one thing in my life could be GREAT. Not just okay, not jus something I'm surviving through, but truly and wonderfully great. Is that too much to ask?
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Two or three witnesses
I knew he was speaking the truth. I didn't say a lot, just cried and listened. I know without any doubt that God is going to use every bit of pain that I have been through to further His purposes in me and through me. It is just not easy to keep that focus when I'm right in the thick of it.
Today, another friend of mine sent me something in my email, and I think it bears repeating here. It could not have been more timely. It is from "My Utmost for His Highest":
And why shouldn't we experience heartbreak? Through these doorways God is opening up ways of fellowship with His Son. Most of us collapse at the first grip of pain. We sit down at the door of God's purpose and enter a slow death through self-pity. And all the so-called Christian sympathy of others helps us to our death bed. But God will not. He comes with the grip of the pierced hand of His Son, as if to say, "Enter into fellowship with me, arise and shine." If God can accomplish His purpose in this world through a broken heart, then why not thank Him for breaking yours?
My heart is indeed broken, and the pain is very real. But, if God can use this broken heart to accomplish His purposes, then...thank You, God, for breaking it.
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