Friday, March 30, 2012

Growing up SOUTHERN

I saw this article on my sister's facebook wall and had to share. It's about southern women....which is one of the defining characteristics of my life. I loved it and actually it pointed out a couple ways in which I am failing as a southern lady -- i.e., I have left the house plenty of times with no makeup or wet hair.

I think growing up southern is interesting. You are keenly aware that the rest of the country is intrigued by you yet full of improper misconceptions...and often times judging you.  My time in DC showed me that people assumed I was uneducated, racist, etc.  I even had someone ask me if white and blacks went to prom together or if we had airports?? really???  We are assumed to be either white trash racists with confederate flags in the back of our trucks, barefoot and pregnant or live in old southern mansions and drink sweet tea, boss our maids around, and plan charity events. Some of what people think is true, some isn't.  For example, the impression that we are highly religious, sometimes in a fake way...very true.  In the south, you are born Baptist or Presbyterian in the same way you are born black or white. It just is.  Others assume we love traditions, and that is true, but I think that the most southerners have learned which traditions are worth keeping.... confederate flags and separate water fountains weren't good, always bringing a meal to a new mom or sick friend is good.

I remember reading when I was a child about how some people in the civil war didn't have slaves, and probably didn't even care about states rights, but they were southern and they were fighting for the South.  I have thought about that a lot.  I am about has conservative and patriotic and loyal as they come, but I love the South.  If there was another war, I think I would support the United States, but it would break my heart to do that. Because I see myself as first, a Christian, second, and American and third, a southerner.  And like this article points out, no other group or region in the country feels such pride as we do.

Important things about growing up southern:

1) follow all fashion rules. White is not okay until after easter...neither is searsucker, lilly pulitzer or linen.  And you must quit wearing these items after Labor Day.
2) Every girl must own  pearls.
3) Smocked outfits are best for children. Babies should not wear jeans til a certain age. Kids should dress like kids, not jr. adults.
4) Double names are acceptable even when you are an adult woman.
5) Sunday Lunches are important. Just as important is never showing up at a party empty handed. Even a bottle of wine or tin of cookies will do.
6) Even girls should know and love SEC football which is clearly the best conference.
7) Yes mam, no mam, yes sir, no sir.
8) The truth can be spoken, but kindly, not harshly
9) You bring meals to the sick and help with fundraisers/charity events
10) you must know how to cook...even if its a few dishes or desserts, you must know.
11) Southern staples: fried food, watermelon, grilling out, bbq, sweet tea, mint juleps, grits -- I dont like fried food or tea very much so I must be a southern failure.
12) A southern woman knows how to be a good host.  Whether throwing an amazing party for your child's birthday, hosting an engagement party, or having people over to watch the game, southern women make people feel at home.
13) thank you notes (I have become bad at this too, its my goal to fix that!)
14) Dresses are most appropriate for church.  Some women wear pants now, but church is fancier than the rest of life so I stick to mostly dresses, especially for big sundays.
15) Always say hello and ask people how their day is -- my friends in DC thought I was so strange for this. I would ask the cashier at walgreens how she was doing, but thats how we were raised-- slower pace of life.
16) Church is important and family is second most important.
17) Front porch sitting is an activity
18) Tailgating is an art form and at Ole Miss, it requires nice table cloths, dresses and sometimes even chandiliers.
19) In the south (and I assume in most parts of suburban or rural america), people still parent their kids... even if the kid goes to daycare, even if he has a nanny, mom and dad come home and spend time with them and correct them and remind the kids who is the parent and who is the kid.  Obviously, even in the South, this has changed some, but most people I know still think a spanking or timeout is perfectly acceptable and expected.
20) In the south, men are still expected to be gentleman....and the women let them.  Sure, I can hold a door for myself or get home safely, but there is no reason to not let a guy do it for me.  Just like he can probably cook himself dinner, but he likes when I occasionally make him supper.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

"What I'm reading" Wednesday (or Thursday) and a Phone Photo Dump

Usually I point to some good articles on Wednesday, but I was too busy confessing yesterday so I forgot. So here are a few Thursday articles.

Here's a good article on hope...not just eternally, but now.

When God doesn't give you a plan... learning to trust His plan even when you don't see it at the time.

10 things to tell teenage girls...and actually ten things we could all probably benefit from!

Also, I realize my blog has become very boring -- no pictures! So here is an iphone dump from the past couple months!

At our friends' wedding....

Learning to fish like a real Mississippi Girl..... (yes I know this is not how you hold the fish, but I was just holding it up in a victory pose for the picture)

Charity Ball Preparty....

Mardi the rain...

Nola Aquarium (since it rained most of mardi gras)...

At the governor's ball...

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Midweek Confessions

I am linking up with E, Myself and I and my sister Marley to do midweek confessions for my first time ever.

*I have recently upped my working out and my face has responded by breaking out like a teenage boy. I have considered things like not going to Bible Study or dinner with friends because its so ugly looking.

*I think there is something to be said for the view that people eat when they are happy... the past 3-4 months have been great - time with family, great guy, work is going well, wonderful friends... I don't know if I was eating more or just not working out as much but I gained 5 pounds and now am having to kick my booty back in shape.

* I went to a lovely wedding on Saturday...with a very cute sweet date :)  Turns out a boy I used to date who really hurt me was there. (I am used to running into him so it doesn't throw me).. I would never plan to take my BF with me just to rub it in this guy's face, but I can't help but be a little happy that he saw I was fine and happy with someone else.  Everyone likes to look like their life is together in front of ex's, friends who hurt you, or boys that broke their heart, right? (I mean, isn't that the point of facebook??)

*Yesterday I wore a skirt to work that I bought my sophomore year of college.  And, it wasn't one of those classic pieces like a little designer black dress that you are supposed to keep for years. Just a plain plaid skirt from Gap or somewhere cheap.  Probably time to throw that away...

* I aced my first depostion (how have I been practicing law for 2- 2 1/2 years and this was my first depo?? i don't first job was a lot of chancery work so lots of court time, no depositions)...My boss is friends with my parents and said he would have to brag on me-- I am 28 and still was very happy at that fact! Sure, please tell my parents what a good job I did!

* I still refer to my life in semesters...When I say next year, I mean fall 2012-spring 2013, not just 2013 in general.  I have been out of school for 2.5 + years.

* My bedframe broke during June or July. a new bedframe costs only 45 dollars. I just now bought one. Its nice sleeping up off the floor. I had just been sleeping on my mattress. Now its time to start planning my room!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


“Our brokenness also reveals something about who we are.  Our sufferings and pains are not simply bothersome interruptions of our lives;  rather they touch us in our uniqueness and our most intimate individuality.  The way I am broken tells you something unique about me.  The way you are broken tells me something unique about you. That is the reason for my feeling very privileged when you freely share some of your deep pain with me, and that is why it is an expression of my trust in you when I disclose to you something of my vulnerable side.”

 Henri Nouwen

Thankful for -- I hit 100!

70. Grace.  I don't know if its because of Easter or just my age, but I have been focusing more and more on grace lately. I've been discouraged by my sin, but not as defeated as it used to make me feel. SO thankful I do not have to be perfect, that when I fail, He still loves me.
71. went to a wedding this weekend of 2 sweet friends. I love seeing two God-fearing people who honored him get married.
72. my lunchtime workouts -- makes me feel I did something "for me" during the day
73. new episode of new girl tonight
74. having a place to stay when I am in Brookhaven -- it's nice to not always have to commute so long to work so staying at my parents house a couple nights a week is fun.
75. early bedtimes -- admit it, you occasionally like to take an early night too!
76. Sweet letters in the mail
77. suntans
78. when God works it out for you to read the Bible verse or devotional you NEEDED to hear at the exact right moment.
79. Books on CD- make my commute more fun!
80. porch swings
81. Fresh Seafood
82. Picnics -- my small group girls and I have one planned for this weekend!
83. My upcoming trip to Oxford for baseball games
94. my little sister found a roomate for Ole Miss-- a girl I know from my small group. I am so excited the Lord provided a godly fun roomate for each of them!
95. Doctors.  My poor roomate is in her first year of residency and I barely ever see her. It made me so grateful that there are men and women who are willing to work so hard and train so hard to take care of us.
96. my roomate Constance. She help me put together my new bedframe!
97. having a new bedframe
98. I am starting to plan my new bedroom and I am having so much fun with that. Thankful to have the ability to slowly put together a room
99. Thankful for showers. My shower is currently broken. My handyman BF promises to replace it next time he is in town. Taking baths this past month has reminded me how much I like showers too
100. Baths -- taking baths all month instead of showers has reminded me that sometimes its good to slow down long enough for a relaxing bath!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Lots to be thankful for on Friday

56. Thankful for surviving my first deposition alone. (It's crazy to thing i used to go to court alot with my old job but have never done my own deposition til today)
57. getting to sit in the pretty weather tomorrow and watch my cousin pitch at his college baseball game
58. my protein granola bars (they are SO GOOD)
59. lipgloss
60. Mississippi
61.  ice cream trucks (I was thinking about how I wish I saw these more....)
63. crystal light
64. pearls
65. tacky Christmas lights - even if you wouldnt decorate your house that way, you know it makes you smile!
66. Fridays!
67. Margaritas (I can be thankful for that right??)
68. Finding unused giftcards in your desk!
69. my nephew Jack....oh, I am sure I already said him...
so...69. fireplaces
70. spaghetti

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thankful for..

41. sugarfree snowcones-- such a treat when you are dieting.
42. clean laundry
43. date night tickets to see the hunger games
44. my brother Blaise who turned 22 today (lucky to have one boy in our house full of girls!)
45. bright colors
46. relaxing night last night- caught up with roomie, did laundry, and watched tv (calm nights are rare for me!)
47. an Easter dress my mom brought me home from Boston
48. feeling the pain the day after lifting weights! YOU KNOW ITS WORKING :)
49. Paris
50. pencil skirts
51. Blaise Family Beach Reunion...counting down
52. smocked dresses on little girls
53. pink painted nails
54. making homemade donuts with my nan
55. ansley's prom dress (seriously, she has two prom dresses, for two proms, and the long one is so elegant, if i was as tall as her, I would wear it) She is going to be gorgeous....

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What I am reading Wednesday

I know I am not married, but I am not immnune to being part of an affair (or having an affair when married). I think this is an excellent article about how affairs begin.  It's always the small things right??

This article hit the nail on the head about lies singles believe (and whats even sadder is these are lies we are often taught by the church and other Christians!!) My personal favorite  - when you are ready or mature enough, you will get married.  As if people who get married younger are a lot more mature.. Some are mature, some got pregnant and had to get married, some couldn't wait sexually, some were settling, some were in love and knew that they would grow up together-- all the same reasons people in their late 20s get married!! I once had a girl tell me the reason I was not married but my sister was must be because I am way less mature than her. Ok, whatever. My sister is plenty mature so that may be true, it may not, we may bothe be immature for all I know, but she didn't earn marriage by achieving a certain level of maturity, no more than I will have earned it when I get there.

Here is a good one on Tim Tebow.  Same truth applies to us: we may not know what our future holds, but we know who holds our future.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making it Work

I was at the lingerie shower/girls weekend of a dear college friend this weekend. She is a pharmicist (with a pharmacist schedule which gives her several days off every 2 weeks but also requires she works long days and work every other weekend) and her soon to be hubby is a resident (so his schedule changes monthly and he has months with virtually no days off, months where he works nights, months where he is on call alot, etc.) Additionally, they both had some family issues during their 2 year courtship and engagement.

They started a relationship in not so great circumstances.  Its not like they were already in love and then the busy, different schedules, she works all day, he works all night started happening. It happened from the get go. No honeymoon phase. They had to work from day one just to get to know eachother.

We were talking about their upcoming wedding and how they met (through her brother in law and sister) and I said, "What I want to know is how y'all ever got to the point of marriage considering you have had different schedules since the beginning!"

And what she said is so was something along the lines of, "we just decided to make it work."

Isn't that so true? when you know that the other person is right, you will work through a lot of bad stuff to make it work.  I know for a fact that they would often meet for breakfast after his night shift and before her afternoon shift. They made it work. And ironically enough, now that they can finally live together (well, after April 14th.....), they will finally see MORE of eachother than before.  Even if its just a few hours between different shifts, they can see eachother a lot more.  All that work has paid off --- and will pay off even more when he finishes residency.

It made me think of relationships I had that didn't work. Sometimes it was because one or the other of us did not want to make it work.  Thats not always a bad thing. I know of one guy in particular who I am still friends with but neither of us was willing to compromise on what we wanted which may have been partly because we were stubburn, but it was in large part because we weren't right for eachother.  Why work so hard for something that wasn't meant to be longterm?

It's kindof a measuring stick.... when the circumstances are hard, am I willing to work hard to make it work? If I am not, then it might be because this is not the right guy.  Because when the guy has been the type of guy for me, I have worked.  I'm sure that the difficulty in arranging time together made my friend and her then boyfriend realize really quickly how serious they were about eachother.

And, you know what?? Deciding to do what it takes to make it work because you love someone is good practice for the future...because marriage is guaranteed to be difficult.  However, these two have already laid a foundation of doing what it takes to make it work and making it through difficult circumstances together.

So, yes, their story did not begin as a fairy tale per se....unless you've read a fairy tale that involves two people pulling out their calenders to schedule time together.  There was no meeting, falling in love and then spending every blissful waking minute together....But this story will have several chapters, the kinds with ups and downs, and two characters who face life's problems together -- a much better read than a cheesy fairy tale :) The kind of book you can't put down.

And for all those boys that either I couldn't make it work with or they couldn't make it worth with me, even for all the pain, that's good. Because I want someone who works as hard to make it work as these two did.  Totally worth the wait (I am pretty certain she would say he was worth the wait too !!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


The other day I posted an article about the importance of teaching our children that the Bible is about Jesus, not them, not a list of morals they have to follow.  The author of that article wrote The Jesus Storybook Bible (JSB) which my sister loves and I love (although I don't have my own copy since I don't have kids...but I plan on buying one soon, because I am 28 and still get a lot out of it!). Yesterday, this blogger posted this excerpt from the JSB and I loved it so much that I wanted to share.

Even though I know that my faith is about my hero, not me, it is so easy to get bogged down by the days where our sin doesn't seem to decrease and our worries and heartache only increase.  I catch myself gossiping or being bitter or see that my faith is not fruitful...and I get discouraged.  But instead of taking that discouragement and failure to the throne of the King, the savior who can help, I try to help myself.... I will get nowhere without Him...and even if I "improve", I will still fail...which is why I need a hero.

Sorry to beat a dead horse, but in a culture that is all about self improvement -- or all about grace and love (but no guidelines or looking at our sin), it is so important to spend every day knowing what a failure we are and knowing that our failure can't stop the hero.

Anyways here is the excerpt from the precious adornment blog (also keep this family in your prayers as they wait for their baby to come home from ethiopia!)

Now, some people think the Bible is a book of rules, telling you what you should and shouldn’t do. The Bible certainly does have some rules in it. They show you how life works best. But the Bible isn’t mainly about you and what you should be doing. It’s about God and what he has done.

Other people think the Bible is a book of heroes, showing you people you should copy. The Bible does have some heroes in it, but (as you’ll soon find out) most of the people in the Bible aren’t heroes at all. They make some big mistakes (sometimes on purpose). They get afraid and run away. At times they are downright mean.

No, the Bible isn’t a book of rules, or a book of heroes. The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne—everything—to rescue the one he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!

You see, the best thing about this story is—it’s true.

There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.

It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every Story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece of the puzzle—the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture…

[The Jesus Storybook Bible, pp. 14-17]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Thankful for....

31. late night convos with my roomies
32. babies
33. old sweatshirts
34. K-LOVE
35. the way my family circles up and holds hands to pray at mealtimes
36. that my sister, brother in law and nephew are moving to Baton Rouge next year
37. football saturdays
38. mild winters that don't get very cold (like this year!)
39. weddings of sweet friends
40.  when you start laughing at something silly and can't stop.

Monday, March 12, 2012

What not to say....

Please please read this post by a fellow single blogger....about the awkward things people say.  I might have to do a follow up post of some of my favorite singles stories.

Luckily, I just get annoyed or laugh at what people say, but people have some funny, irrational, silly, insensitive things to say about singleness.  a few people are downright cruel....  Fortunately, I understand what its like to sometimes say the wrong thing so I understand when other people do.  This should give you a smile :)

Thankful for.... 15-30

16. Spring weather
17. Sermons that point to the gospel
18. my friend Avery (its her birthday today!)
19. manicures and pedicures
20. good talks
21. sleep
22. chocolate chip pound cake
23. a weekend in the country
24. sunday dinners with family or friends
25. a job to go to each morning
26. Satudays
27. holding hands
28. Christmas trees
29. cell phones so we can keep in touch with family easier
30. navy blue (one of my favorite colors!)

**Apparently there is a blog post on how to do a gratefulness list (of 1000 things) -- so I plan on reading it this week and might be changing the format of my list! But the point remains the same: find small things (or big things) to be grateful for daily.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Behaving in love

Check out this article on behaving in love v. being in love.

I am not married (thus the reason for my single lady blog...) but I found this article encouraging. One of the greatest problems in relationships (and I think one of the biggest fears of my generation in getting into relationships) is that people think you have to feel "in love" all the time.  Sometimes you don't and you have to work at it. Sometimes you act in love when you don't feel that way, and sometimes you act that way and then the feelings follow.

Love is feelings and actions...and sometimes not all together.  (and sometimes all together) But the point is, when you say those vows, you are preparing for those days...for better or worse-- ie, some days you will annoy me or I'll be angry or you will be insensitive or we will go through a hard time and have to work hard at being close...FOR BETTER OR WORSE. behaving in love.

It seems society is lacking this level of commitment in all relationships-- friendships, family, etc  but most importantly in marriage.  Anyways, I don't have any wise words to add, just that I agree with this article and wanted to pass it along!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Leave him better than you found him

I once read that godly dating should be done in a way that even if the relationship ends (end even if it hurts), it should be done in a way that leaves the other party better for having known you.  I agree with that concept.  In a way, dating relationship are friendships and all friendships and relationships should help the parties grow.  My friends sometimes irritate me or upset me, but most of the time I find them to be encouraging presence in my life-- not to mention people the Lord uses to grow me, point me truth, and show me Himself in a new way.

Am I doing that in dating?  What would this look like?

1.  During your time together, encouraging, correcting and building up in a proper manner.

Whether you marry this person or not, your affirmation and encouragement could help him make changes for the woman who does.  Do you point out the good? When addressing the bad, do you do it kindly? or are you manipulative and harsh?

2.  Always talk about the gospel at some point during dating (even if casually)

Not only is open communication about spiritual matters a good way to learn where  they are spiritually, it may encourage someone's faith to grow.  If I walk away from a dating situation because I realize he is not serious about his faith (a good reason to end things) but I have failed to share with him why my Savior is so important to me, then I have wasted an opportunity.  Those few dates may have been a get to know you time, but I could also have used them to talk some about my faith.  You never know if that sparks a curiosity or even a friendship that may lead to more discussions.

3. Handle breakups kindly.

If you need to end something, accept your feelings and don't blame them for what you feel. Do share some reasons for why things aren't working out, but you can share flaws in you or them or the relationship without attacking. 

4. Respond to breakups correctly.

Even if breakups are handled right, this is still hard to do.  Even if you are upset, try not to attack.  I think it is fine to speak your mind and even stick up for yourself (if attacked) or disagree with their reasoning, but this can be done in a Christlike manner.

5. Handle conflict well.

Fight well. Confront well. These are skills needed in friendships and with family, and particularly within marriage. Start practicing now. Even if the man you are dating ends up not being the one, maybe you have gained some insight in how to handle differences or vice versa.

6. Show Grace.

We all grow from the realization that God and others show grace.  Maybe your forgiveness of mistakes in his past (or vice versa) encourages Him towards a deeper understanding of the Lord's grace...maybe it gives him the courage to keep fighting temptations or heartache or fear.

7.Take the high road.

Some dating situations don't end in a moderately painful breakup. Some end due to lying, deceiving, cheating, abandonment, addiction.  I recognize that and there is no reason not to stand up in the face of that and say No, I will not handle this.  Or if he chooses to attack you while he breaks things off, you have a right to defend yourself.  But, as you do so, do so firmly but kindly. As you take the higher ground, as you refuse to attack or name call, you could leave someone with a taste of grace (see above) -- you never know when those planted seeds will grow.  Some day, years from now, they may be seeking and remember how you handled things well.

Personally....there are times I have handled things poorly and when I have, I have regretted this.  But, I have tried the last few years to leave the man better when it ends...and that has meant not attacking during the breakup and biting my toungue to not spread dirt to people he may know, praying that my heart forgives, and striving to be polite in situations where I am forced to interact with men I have dated.  I have failed at this a lot, of course, but I find that the thought of 'I'm leaving them better than I found them' helps me a lot.

I dated a man last year who was not the right man for me (obviously) and we both knew and I drug my feet on ending it (wrong of me)...why? because he was the nicest guy.  But, when I did finally end it, I made a point to do it kindly  and he made a point to handle it well.  And it sucked for awhile because I liked him, but now things are fine. And when anyone asks about him, I only have the best things to say about him...and strangely enough, I truly hope he meets the right girl for him soon.  It hit me today- what a great guy he is if even after a breakup, my first thoughts of him and how he treated me for a few months are only I leave those I date the same way? Do people who have dated me think good thoughts of me and well wishes??  What a challenge  to leave men better for having known me.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

1000 gifts: 1-15

Starting my list.....I will update a couple times a week

Today, I am grateful for:

1. my parents
2. my jackson family of friends
3. Oswald Chambers "My Utmost for His highest"
4. March weather!
5. the ability to run
6. Jack Nolan Evans
7. my sisters
8. my brother
9. watermelon
10. eggs
11. my trip to BR yesterday - got to see my sister and Jack and my boyfriend got to meet them too
12. sundresses
13. Sushi
14. hymns
15. the book of James


Saw this on a friend's facebook and thought I would share....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Power of Words

"Edify, Edify, lift your sister up. Edify Edify, lift your sister up."

That was a cheesy chant we used to say at Kanakuk.  I think we liked it because edify seemed like such a grown up word.  Why say encouragment when you could say edification?? But the sentiment is true: our words have the power to lift up or destroy.  I always thought of encouragement of a friend or family member as being something praising -- Good job! thats the best cake I have ever tasted! What an amazing party you threw!

But as I am growing up, I view the power of the toungue as more than just pats on the back, but also just affirmation of  God-given qualities that someone else may have and be using but feel unsure of or may have been gifted with but unsure of and not using.

I've always noticed this in dating relationships, and I am assuming marriage as well (althought I am not there yet) -- many people will say the man will step up and be who he needs to be for the woman he loves...or the woman will correct her flaws and improve herself for a man that causes her to want to.  In my own life, I have noticed this to be so true....but I don't think it's simply a desire for both parties to step up and be their best self to impress (although thats part of it), I think its that in a romantic relationship, especially at first, both parties are so adoring and point out the positive character traits of another person.

"You're so encouraging"  "I like how you are thoughtful" "You always have a plan and have things together." "You challenge me to see things a different way" "I love how you are so loyal to your friends" etc. etc.

When you are dating someone and they say something about a personality trait, you start to think maybe I am that way, maybe I am encouraging, and naturally you feel confident enough to be more encouraging (to be more yourself) because someone noticed that quality.

What if I did the same thing in all relationshps? What if we all do? Instead of saying "great party, one of the best this year." Couldn't I affirm a friend and tell her she has a real gift for welcoming people and it always makes us feel at home?  The quality is always there, but hearing it stated could encourage her to use her unique talents more.

I loved this blog post today dealing with this issue.... the author states how someone told her she was nurturing and she said, "It produced in me a confidence (wholly unwarranted on the basis of the observation of my eyes) that I am “nurturing.” And I could tell, instantly, that the confidence that I am nurturing was powerful in itself for calling the quality into existence in me."

She challenged her readers to point out a character trait or virtue in another -- kindness, faithfulness, etc - and watch the power of words cause that already existant quality to swell. As I said, I have noticed this happen in dating relationships, I want to make it happen in all relationships.  Use my words not to hurt, and not even to praise and stroke egos, but to simply point out affirming truth.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Gratefulness/Brokeness to Beauty

Brokeness to Beauty is probably the reoccuring theme in my life.  I look at pain I've gone through and even worse pain that so many close to me have experianced and often wonder if the Lord can redeem that.  I think the problem is that He does redeem and restore, but we have a hard time accepting an idea of good that is different from what we once knew or what we thought would happen.

Example: Even if I met Mr Right tomorrow and got married 6 months from now, I think I am still going to be frustrated that I went through a broken engagement, that my life took awhile to work out, that I had to wait.  I had a picture in my head of how it would work out (and a picture that came not from my own preconcieved notions, but from what was my reality for awhile) -- that I might have a hard time accepting a wonderful blessing that comes in a form or timeline I did not want.

I think the same can be said for those who have waited for Children or to buy a home or to finally get into the job/ministry/missions they wanted. Or waited for healing from physical pain...When we get to the blessing, how do we not let the years of waiting hurt us, color our views, make us bitter? My biggest struggle and fear is to not let myself get frustrated at God when his blessings come on His timeline not mine.  I should just be grateful the blessings come, but I can't help but think what were the years of waiting for???

And I know I am not alone in this.  Thats why I loved this blog post about bruises leading to beauty and this blog post about what God means for good.

maybe the problem is that we already have an idea of what life is supposed to be. What I think is best is not necessarilly whats best.  And maybe what needs to be adjusted isn't God's timeline but my idea of what's good (and everyone else's idea of what's good)  I would hate to miss the learning along the way and more importantly, I would hate to miss the joy of His blessings when they come because I am still arguing with Him about His timeline.

So my current goal in life is to stop having such a preconceived notion of when things have to happen, to start seeing the purpose of waiting, to enjoy my blessings now and to just appreciate the blessings when they come, rather than be angry they didn't happen earlier.

I am considering doing that 1000 gifts gratefulness list thing, but I haven't read the book yet.  However I get the concept. It makes sense. We all struggle with wishing for certain blessings and wishing they came on our timeline that we often miss the small blessings each day.  I'd like to start counting.  I think my time wouldn't feel like waiting always if I noticed what the Lord was doing now, not what I wish he had done now.

anyone do a gratefulness list?? Tell me about it. I'm dying to know and excited to start counting my blessings.  I want to see how even the bad things are used by God and how even small blessings saturate my daily life.