Monday, September 12, 2016

When you question what you've been promised

Ok sisters how many of you have ever asked the question: "What do you do when you find yourself doubting the goodness of God?" Not that He is good, but that He is good to you. I'll be honest, that's where I'm at. 

I don't just know it, I believe it: God is good. He does good. I know and believe He is good because I have seen His goodness. 

But sisters, I confess, I'm having a hard time seeing His goodness in my life. I have seen Him be good to those around me, to my family. I have seen Him be good to my sisters and my parents. I have seen Him be good to friends and bodies of believers. I have seen His goodness across this country and heard of His goodness from across the seas. 

But I am having such a hard time seeing His goodness in my life. I feel like this begs for me to ask myself a few questions: bear with me, I'm working through this as I write. 

1) am I doubting His goodness because I don't feel His goodness? 
If we're really honest with ourselves, we know that as ladies, we base so much on our emotions. Even matters where they shouldn't be the main contributing factor, we're quick to inject how we feel about something. God gave us emotions, I have no doubt that He knew He was making emotional creatures, but that doesn't justify our overly emotional responses to life. 

2) am I doubting His goodness because it's not what I think is good? 
Ouch. This hurt just writing it. I believe He is good, and I believe He can show His goodness go me, but am I missing it because it's not how I want Him to be good to me? Have I decided how He should be good, and when that doesn't happen, I become disappointed and feel He does not show His goodness to me? I dare say yes, I do. 

3) am I doubting His goodness because I am consumed with what He does for me, instead of what I should be doing? 
The very same verse that tells us of Him working for our good, tells us that His goodness is for those who love Him. Have I inserted a genie filter and stopped loving Him deeply and well? Have I gotten too used to His goodness that I now expect it in very specific ways and stopped being thankful that I get to love Him at all? 

Sisters, readers, friends, whoever you may be, God is good. He does good. Sometimes He is good and you get to see it immediately. And sometimes He is good right now, and you don't know it until later, but He is always good. 

“we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him...” Romans 8:28a 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

I've been so happy lovin' you

I had about a million good reasons for changing my job, and since quitting the one to more to the next, I've had no regrets. But I would be lying if I said that the actual job changing was without pain. In fact it's been one of the most painful job transitions I've made. When you leave a nannying job, you leave more than just a job; you leave this little person you love so very dearly.

Pictures have been coming up on my newsfeed from two years ago when he first came and I confess, I have actually cried a little. I miss him.

I keep looking at this picture.

I keep thinking about that sweet lullaby that Uncle Jesse sang on Full House. The one line, "I've been so happy loving you" keeps playing though my mind. Although nannying did not come without it's own little baggie of trouble, I was so very happy loving my little Bear.

I can't wait to make coffee all day. I can't wait to smell like coffee at the end of my shift. I can't wait to serve people and build relationships with customers. But I confess, I miss my boy.

I'm ready to move on to the next adventure, but as there's a time for everything, I'm not totally over this job.

I still miss his silliness.

I still call bananas "buhnahs"

I still have the little blanket you used for nap time.

I hope dearly you come by for gelato for time to time baby, your nanny loves you still! :)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Confessions from a chubby girl

Confession: this post is already mega hard. I hate to be this kind of vulnerable.

Confession: I'm about 60 pounds heavier than I should be for my gender, height and age. 21 years old. 60 is a big number. It feels too big. It's devastating because I don't even have pregnancy or illness to blame for the extra weight. It's just there. 

Confession: it's not actually the mirror that I hate so much. In fact, sometimes, I like what I see in the mirror. Sure I'd love to lose the belly, but the mirror isn't my worst enemy; its pictures. It's caught off guard, it's not being able to pose the most effectively, it's being caught in an outfit I detest how I look in. It's getting tagged in one of ~those~ pictures. I don't hate what I see in the mirror, I hate what I see in the pictures. 

Confession: I pray to get the weight off. I've watched my eating closely, and then nothing changes, or I just pack more weight on, and I feel frustrated and discouraged. So I stop being so careful. But all the while I'm pleading with Jesus to help me get it off. My weight is just steadily climbing, and I'm looking to Him for help because this isn't healthy, I know that. It's not like I'm stuffing bonbons and Twinkies in every day, I just can't shake the weight. No matter what I've tried. 

Confession: I feel like I look like I don't care about my body because of how massive I am. I do. And I'm trying to take care of it, but I don't have time to dedicate to a regular exercise routine and that frustrates me to no end. So I try to be more active during my days, but I know that's not doing much. 

Confession: sometimes I get out of breath doing the simplest. And I feel like a land yacht when I do. I'm 21! I should be at my healthiest right now. 

Confession: sometimes I feel like the only reason I've never had a relationship is because of my weight. Because no guy can see past the chubby to get to know me. Because I don't have a good body, I'm not worth their time. 

Confession: I've cried off and on writing this post. The humiliation. The shame. The embarrassment. It's so much. But people see pictures of me, and no. I'm not ignorant. I see it. I know it. My jeans tell me every time I put them on. The scale yells at me every time I dare to step foot on. I know I'm not losing the weight like I hoped. I know I'm not losing the weight at all. 

Confession: I'm not giving up. I hate this weight. I hate it enough to keep trying. To keep eating good for me foods, to keep walking the long way just to get in extra steps. I'm going to keep practicing portion control and drinking lots of water. I'm not going to stop trying my very best to be the healthiest me I can be. 

Confession: I dread the struggle, but I can't wait to relish in the ending. When the weight is gone and I'm healthy again. I can't wait to be beautiful inside and out. I can't wait to not hate pictures of me. I can't wait to be able to share clothes with my friends or order off of Jane because I can actually fit them. I can't wait to be able to buy the cheaper junior jeans because I can wear them without looking hoochie. I can't wait to love bathing suits again. I can't wait to want to hangout at the pool with people because I won't be hiding behind my towel any more. I'm ready to be the very best me I can be. 

Confession: I know Jesus isn't a genie who takes away the thorns at the first request. But I also know I can't do this without leaning into Him. This is the body He gave me. And I'm going to take care of it. And I'm going to do it with His help. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Why Every Life Matters

How dare we.

How dare we get into little wars of who matters more.

How dare we say "my skin color means my life, and the lives of those like me, matters (exclusively)"

Obviously, that's not what people are explicitly saying, now is it? But it is by every means what they are implying, even when they do not intend to.

Isn't that just how things go? We cause the biggest offenses when we do not intend to.

How dare we.

How dare we say we are superior to one another on the basis of our skin or the uniform we wear or the people that we know or the job that we have.

How dare we decide to implement a system of status and importance on a person's life, and display it like brats in front of the eyes of children who are watching people say "I am better than you"

How dare we.

How dare we think one life is more precious than another, all lives are precious.

Every person, who has ever existed, in the history of the world, bears the Image of a perfect God. And if that person never saw outside the womb or if that person has seen the whole world, it does not matter because every single person is an Image bearer.

Every person was made, in the Image of God.

Every life matters, every single one, because the Father so lovingly planned out the days for each and every life. Not even the hairs on your head are miscounted by Him.

Brothers, sisters, fellow human- our sole purpose in life is to bring God glory. That sounds churchy, and impossible and impractical, and a whole gamit of other things. But its what our lives are built for. See the thing is, we can chose to give Him the glory, in all things, but if you give it or not, He's going to get it.

Let me be clear, GOD. GETS. THE GLORY. But we don't give it to Him when we decide that one of us is better than another. We don't give it to Him when we decide that because I am ________, I matter more.

We matter because we are apart of His plan for His glory and we have to stop because this isn't about us!

When "us" is the focus, the focus is wrong!

The sinner and the saint, Christ has died for both. There was no requirement we had to meet for Him to die for us. I am not better than you, because Christ suffered for us both. I am not better than you, because especially in the matter of eternity, I stand in the same, desperate, helpless place as you do. I am not better than you because like you there is nothing I can do to change that.

Our lives only matter because Christ has given us value. Our lives only matter, because He is worth living for. Our lives only matter because He is worth all the glory. Forever and ever.

Finding Stillness

The ac finally cut off. It's been roaring for what seems like forever. Isn't it funny how irritating sounds like that are when you don't need whatever it is making that sound? (As in, I'm freezing right now.)

I'm the kind of person that generally loves sound. When I'm home alone, I will often cut the TV on in the living room, and have music playing in the kitchen while I work because I like having sound. I don't like feeling like I'm alone. Even though I love my alone time, I like it better when there's people in the house. You get me? I like being by myself a lot, but I like knowing there's people around. So sound satisfies when I am home by myself.

And yet, sometimes the noise is endless. Sometimes it drones on and on, pounding in my ears, relentless. Sometimes I can't handle it. Sometimes the ac makes me what to smack its creator.

I think the need for silence is God given. I think we shove so much down our throats and into our ear canals that we stop hearing Him. And yet He waits as patient as He was yesterday, and will be tomorrow, beckoning us gently to a place of silence and stillness with Him.

"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,I will be exalted in the earth.'" (Psalm 46:10)

We are a people so full of sound, we forget the stillness He calls us to. Honestly, I have no extensive point for this post, I'm just straight up too tired so this is about as deep as it's getting.

Cut the TV off, turn the music down, sit before the Father. Be still before Him. He is God. He will be exalted.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Dear Future Husband

Dear Future Husband,

Per the sage advice of several older, wiser women, I have worked as hard as I possibly can to shed my expectations of you. For ten or more years, I have tried as diligently as I can to drum away my ideas of your face, physique, and voice. I've chased away images of you working on your car, or painting in our flat. I've put ideas of your hobbies, jobs, interests, tastes in music, food, and movies, and even your nationality out of my mind. I have tried to erase my expectations of your personality, your temper, your background, your height, your hairstyle, your everything. It is so sorely unfair of me to have expectations of you, and I know that from time to time, I've built some up, and I don't have it all right. But I think I've done ok putting an image of you out of my mind.

But there's something you need to know.

For as many ideas that I don't have about you, I have so many for our marriage.

I have been the blessed daughter of two amazing people. But the legacy goes deeper. You see, I watched as my grandparents, married sixty years, kissed and held hands. I watched as my ailing grandfather wept over seeing his Darling in a rehab environment. Even thought I know it's helping her get better, his mind couldn't grasp it. And that's a thing that I love. She is still so patient with him.

Even with his fragile mind, she loves him. Even when his world is muddled and confused and frustrating, she's the only thing he knows and loves. Even when he asks the same question 15 times in a row; even when he forgets what he's done with her things; even when she can't physically handle helping him do things, she still loves him. Her love is deeper than "in love". His love is deeper than "in love".

They have built a marriage of "Three Strands", and 60 years, two kids, 9 grandkids and a growing number of great grands later, this is so evident. The only constant in their life, is the cord of Christ, the cross of Christ.

This is the expectation I have for us. This is the kind of marriage I long for us to fight for.

Better or worse.

Richer or poorer.

Sickness and health.

Love and cherish.

Till death do us part.

I want to be decades deep and still just in love. I want to be 60 years in and still just as willing to love and serve you.

But I can assure you the only way we will ever have this kind of forever love, is if we both are first madly in love with Christ.

So please, wherever you are, whoever you are, whatever you're doing, fall in love with Christ first.

This kind of marriage is such a testament to His mercy. Their marriage has brought Him glory...isn't that what marriage should do? Bring Him glory?

Isn't that what our lives are to do? Bring Him glory?

I don't know that I do that well every day, or ever, but I hope I can bring Him glory as a single person until I can bring Him glory as your bride. Until we can with our marriage.

So I will continue to push away expectations of you, but I can assure you I'm storing up many for the quality of our marriage.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

To the One Who Stayed

To the One Who Stayed,

This post is not easy. I feel like I've endured a roller coaster of emotions and I'm trying desperately to get off, but just when I think it's done, that it's all over, it takes another loop. Another uphill climb and another downward spiral. It goes on and on and I'm weary.

Its not all your fault, I get it. But I confess, all day yesterday, until this morning, I was so angry with you. All you wanted to do was leave, but it was so unlike you. You broke my heart and for the first time in the whole of my life I wanted to shout at you.

Sweet, loveable, gentle, docile you.

I wanted to grab your shoulders and plead with you. I wanted to release the floodgate, banging the doors behind my eyes. I wanted to scream and cry and pitch a fit. I wanted to explode for the pain in my heart.

You are so tired. And that breaks my heart. How I want to ease your pain and bring you joy. I can't, but I want to. I know you are tired. I know you are done.

But you're not done.

I am so selfish! I want you to be here with me! I want you to meet whoever I marry. I want to know you approve of him.

I want you to meet whatever children the Lord blesses me with.

I want to talk books and big words with you. I want to talk about family history and geek out over names with you.

I know I'm being so incredibly selfish, but I still want you here.

But if you're ready, there's one thing I need to say:

If you're going to leave, I understand. I love you, I'm going to miss you, and I promise you I'm going to cry a lot, but do me one favor. Please, just one.

When you leave, be you. Be you when you go from here.

Do you remember who you are?

You're sassy but sweet. You like scrabble and novels and fresh picked figs. You like coffee infused water and gooey butter cake. You like things that grow and you always have plants in your windowsill. You like bird watching, wave watching, and 500 piece puzzles. You follow baseball, and basketball and a mired of other sports I didn't even realize.

You have the patience of a saint! You've endured 30+ years of excruciating pain with minimum complaint, and been the faithful, joyful wife of an ailing man. And the gentle, peaceful woman in the life of so many.

So when you go, please! Please be you! You've fought wars of loving a PTSD husband, crippling arthritis, a number of other minor and (semi)major when you go, please don't just wane to another war, you're a fighter, a soldier. When you go, go like you. Still be you. Leave the way you have done all things: with gentleness and strength; the kind I hope to one day attain. Stay the lady I love and admire so very much.

But for now, one last thing.

If it's ok with you, please stay.