Seasons

I went to Bible study last night and I am feeling better than I have in what seems like such a long time. You can never leave God’s presence without being changed. I came in and they had already started. They were in Ecclesiastes discussing different seasons of life. In my mind, all I could think was, “Well what season am I in?… What kind of season is this?… Ecclesiastes is the most depressing book in the Bible!” Eventually I opened up and shared what I was feeling and thinking and the people there that I knew and that I had never seen before just began pouring into me. Everything they said made so much sense to me.

At the end of last year, I said that I felt like 2014 was going to be different. I still feel the same way. The end of this year will not be the same as it has been. I know I’ll look back and see all the wonderful things God has done. Basically, and in short, what I took last night from the study was that God cannot bring me to where He wants me to be this year or in this next “season” if I am not prepared. I visited a church while I was at school and the pastor had all these ladders on the stage. It’s a contemporary church and I didn’t really understand but I went with it and in the end found it so helpful. In all, he was saying that God may try to bring us to a new level, or to a new ladder, but we are so comfortable with where we are that we don’t want to move. A friend of mine was speaking to me last night and she said all of last year was just God breaking her down and how it was so emotional for her, but she began finding out so many things about herself that she had no idea was there. She even said that she began apologizing to people who had hurt her from years back. She no longer focused on what people did to her, but what she had done. That made so much sense. Lately, all I am able to think about is what I did to my ex-boyfriend. He’s done things to me but I’d be the biggest liar in the world if I said I’ve never done anything to him. I’ve done things and said things that provoked him, with and without my realizing it. It hurts a lot more when you realize that you hurt someone, especially someone you love, than when someone you love hurts you.

Almost every night I would lie in bed wondering why I was so sad. I would wonder where all this pain came from because I thought I had dealt with it already. I would try to figure out why every night there would be something new to cry about. But like they all said, it’s a season. I have found out so much about myself these past few weeks and I know I would not be able to go to this next place in my life if I had held onto those things. I never realized I was so selfish, I never realized I was inconsiderate, I never realized I never fully dealt with the pain of leaving my ex-boyfriend. Some things you just push down so far that you don’t even realize that they are there. But God uproots them to eliminate everything completely. God is holy so we must also be holy. How can a selfish, ignorant, bitter girl be taken to do something she’s never done before? We have to get rid of every last bit of that and I know that is what God is doing.

For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, NLT

I don’t know where God is bringing me or what He plans to do, but search me, LORD. Search me and find every fault that is within me. Find in me things that I am aware and unaware of, O God. For You and Your glory. “Más de Ti, menos de mi.” That is serious and that is seriously painful. But God will not leave us to it alone. Dios ES conmigo. God IS with me and He is not going anywhere. I love saying it in Spanish. Normally it’s, “Dios esta conmigo.” But “esta” can be “here today and gone tomorrow.” No, God is with me always. Dios es conmigo. He lives in me, so I abide in HIm.

I went to sleep happy. I woke up happy. I went through the day happy. I am happy.

I was a little worried though, I’ll admit. There have been times that I am happy, think of something, and return back to square one. But the only thing that got me [just a little] sad was the fact that I love to love! I’m not yearning for a boyfriend or a relationship or anything, I just miss loving someone, you know? I miss making sure that someone is cared for, well-pleased, and happy. Obviously it will happen again one day… but of course we all have those nights. Well, maybe… I don’t know. I’m not missing being loved, I’m missing loving. Being loved would be great but I am okay. However, loving someone romantically is such a blessing and such a privilege. Some day soon. And if you are reading this and have someone to love, love them. Really, really love them. Like God loves you.

But anyway, I’m at such peace, such peace. And if I do get a little down again, I’m leaving for school on Monday, so I’ll be back with my Gordon girls to cheer me up and pray for and with me, and that is the best. 🙂 But I can’t help but want to see him one more time. I don’t know why. It wouldn’t help anything. I guess I just want some face-to-face closure. That’s what he did before. I wish we could just once more and the right way this time. But things are different now. I know it won’t happen, but I thought it’d be worth writing down. Even if it did happen, I’d probably forget everything I want to say then end up writing it all on here anyway. I’m probably just feeling this way because I’ve spent the last few hours in the house by myself. Lord knows when I get to thinking, I get to thinking. I don’t know. Sometimes when I’m in the house and I’m to myself (which is pretty much all the time since my car has been in and out of the shop), I’ve been thinking of what I would be doing if he and I were still talking… and with my father not being a factor, we’d be together every second we could possibly be before I left. As soon as he got out of work tonight and tomorrow, I know we’d be together up until the last possible second. But of course, we, as usual, would have no idea what to do and spend most of the time in the car, haha. I can sometimes play out full scenes in my head. Monday morning, too. We’d both go to sleep and wake up really early to be together one more time. You know, we’re different but when it comes to the other, we are just the same. Don’t mind my pleasant reminiscing… At least it’s pleasant. And I’m not sad! I do wish I could see him though. As friends. But deep down inside, I really don’t think he would want to see me at all for anything. He probably wouldn’t even want to catch a glance. I’m sure he’s had it with me and I don’t blame him. We put each other through a lot… But I do sincerely miss my friend. And I do sincerely hope we are able to see each other again. One day.

But anyway again, I really hope and pray that this peace stays. Being sad all the time really stinks. It’s okay to be sad, but for the right reasons and in the right season.

What defines BEAUTY?

What defines BEAUTY?

You know those ads on the side of your screen that pop up every once in a while? Those inappropriate ads with either a real female or a fake one? Those ads where the only way they know how to draw you in is by a woman’s body? Those ads that seem to believe that the best thing about a woman is the size of her breasts and bottom? Those ads that never promote any other body type other than a Coca-Cola shape? Those ads that honestly, really just make you feel bad about yourself because you’re not paying someone in order to look like that OR because you’re not a “perfectly”-drawn cartoon? Those dumb ads. You know which ads I’m talking about, right? Well, there is only one thing to say about those ads:

FORGET. THOSE. ADS.

They are indirectly defining “beauty” by those “perfect” women with “perfect” bodies that make perfect girls and women feel flawed. Forget those stupid ads. You’re gorgeous. You’re beautiful. And if anyone tells you otherwise, their way of thinking is flawed, not you. Take care of yourself and remember that what your body looks like is what YOUR body looks like. Not like that celebrity’s, not like that model’s, not like that 3D cartoon’s… If you want to better yourself, better yourself for and strictly for you. No one else. Because what’s yours is yours and you can only look like you so be a perfect you. Forget those ads and any other ones you see.

Wide hips, narrow hips. Big booty, little booty. Short legs, long legs. Large boobs, small boobs. Curly hair, straight hair. Lean shape, curvy shape. A little more, a little less. Whatever you are, be who you are perfectly. Don’t let anyone else define you. Feel sorry for that person or those people because they have yet to grasp what real beauty is.

Besides, this is what real beauty is: “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They trusted God and accepted the authority of their husbands.” (1 Peter 3:3, NLT) Oh, wait… oh my… That’s crazy… I do not see anything about a woman having that “perfect” figure. Hm. Well what do you know? Can’t argue with the Bible, now can you? 🙂

You’re beautiful. STAY beautiful- inside and out!

Mark 13

From October 14…

Mark 13 is heavy on my heart tonight… “The coming of the Son of Man can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a long trip. When he left home, he gave each of his slaves instructions about the work they were to do, and he told the gatekeeper to watch for his return. You, too, must keep watch! For you don’t know when the master of the household will return—in the evening, at midnight, before dawn, or at daybreak. Don’t let him find you sleeping when he arrives without warning. I say to you what I say to everyone: Watch for him!” (Mark 13:34-37 NLT)

Why do we sin…? Because we’re human and because we’re fleshly. We have lustful desires and we sin. But WHY? The temptation is always there but is it ever worth it? Can we begin to exercise our willpower THAT GOD GAVE US and say, “No! Get behind me, satan!” to our temptations? Because what if… What if that ONE time you give in, you hear the trumpets? That ONE time, you see the Son of Man (behold, he comes!) riding on the clouds? How ashamed would we be if Jesus the Christ himself returned to earth to gather God’s chosen and we are caught in our mess?

It turns into a question of, “Who do we love more? Our God or our sin?” One cannot have two masters.

Be alert. He’s coming soon.

The Corner Of An Attic

“It is better to live alone in the corner of an attic

than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.” Proverbs 25:24, NLT

So ladies, don’t be a criticizing, nosey, always-over-your-husband’s-shoulder, untrusting, jealous, “who-is-that-girl,” “how-come-you-don’t-take-me-out-anymore” complaint using to get what you want, “you-didn’t-notice-that-I-parted-my-hair-on-the-opposite-side-today” hassling, [Samson-and-] Delilah-type nagging, cantankerous, childish, “you-were-supposed-to-be-home-twenty-two-minutes-ago-because-it-only-takes-you-five-minutes-to-walk-from-your-desk-to-the-car-then-seventeen-minutes-from-work-to-home-so-who-are-you-cheating-on-me-with” accusing, get mad all the time, spending all of your husband’s money, always doing things without speaking with him first, Job’s wife, triflin’, walking around half-naked and showing your man’s goods, telling your husband that you are the best thing that has ever happened to him… kind of wife.

Don’t Call Me Religious!!!

Okay, you guys. This is a burning… whatever you want to call it. My face squinches up whenever someone describes me (or even themselves) as “religious.” You know who was religious? The Pharisees. The Pharisees were religious. The religious people in the Bible were those who strictly abided by the law of Moses and were quick to punish someone who did not (like dragging a woman caught in adultery, who may not even have had clothes on, to Jesus [John 8:1-11]). Though in reality, they were pretty corrupt themselves. I don’t know too too much about them (I’ll probably write on them specifically when I get to the New Testament), but I do know that those were the people who were the ones who were trying to stone Jesus (who must have been an incredibly fast runner, by the way… always slipping away like that). JESUS, I said!! The One Who came to save! The religious people in the Bible were the ones who read the Word of God but when Jesus came and God’s Word “came true,” for lack of better words, they did not even (all) believe Jesus was the Messiah. (They were divided at certain points… In John 9 when Jesus healed a man born blind on the Sabbath and the man brought himself to the Pharisees, “Some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man Jesus is not from God, for he is working on the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘But how could an ordinary sinner do such miraculous signs?’ So there was a deep division of opinion among them.” [John 9:16]) I don’t want to get too much into the religious people of the Bible because I have not read the New Testament in full and do not want to say anything that is not true. But I just wanted to give that “background information,” you could say.

The religious people today, to me, are the shake your finger, point your finger, tell you you’re “going to hell” if you don’t change, “God don’t like ugly”-saying, “God hates you if you’re xyz”-believing people. What IS that? We can’t speak for God UNLESS it is written in His Word (and we use that specific word correctly) or He directly (and sometimes indirectly, but we have to be careful) speaks to us. Romans 5:6-8 says, “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (NKJV) If God did not love us or hated us for our sin, He never would have sent Jesus to die for us! God is the God of LOVE, not hate! So for someone, in my opinion, to say that God hates a person because of a sin they commit makes NO sense! Does God even say that He hates anyone in the Bible? Again, I’ve yet to read it in its entirety but in the Old Testament when He was warning the Israelites to not live as those He was driving out of the Promised Land in Deuteronomy, He says that He gives us the CHOICE of a blessing or a curse. God did not want to curse them! He LOVED them. The SINS the people were committing were detestable to God, NOT the people. How many times did the Israelites break the rules? How many times did God show His love and faithfulness? Mhm! Deuteronomy 23:4-5 says that though Balaam, son of Beor, was hired to curse the Israelites, he wasn’t able to. 5″But the LORD your God refused to listen to Balaam. He turned the intended curse into a blessing because the LORD your God loves you.” (NLT) And in Isaiah 1:18, God shows His love for us when He says, “‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.'” (NKJV) LOVE! We are sinners by nature, therefore, everyone who has said, does say, and will say that commits sins as well! And a sin is a sin is a sin! If you break one Commandment, you have broken them all! James 2:10 says, “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” (NLT) So no one could ever say that God hates you because you sin this way, but loves me because I only sin in this “little” way. And sin does not only come by breaking the Commandments. If a person knows that something- ANYTHING is wrong and then does it, that is a sin! James 4:17 says to “Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” Whether it is boasting in anyone but the Lord, not tithing (which is robbing from God, but there is so much more to tithing than just giving, so I may have to get into that later), swearing, becoming drunk, partying, etc. How many times do any of us do something feel the need to go through the ol’ have-fun-today-then-go-to-church-and-repent-on-Sunday process? Seriously, none of us can say that we are more right with God than anyone else. We do not know a person’s struggle and lifestyle like God does, nor do we even know our own like He does! God loves us IN SPITE of our sins! And He always has! That’s why He sent Jesus to SAVE us and DIE for us so that we may LIVE for Him then eventually live WITH Him! Amen! That deserves a “HALLELUJAH!”

But I think I have gotten off topic… haha. But basically, “religious” people, to me, are those who condemn, rather than convict. People who speak out of disgust to “change” a person, rather than out of love to help them. I am not religious. I can’t think of a word to describe my faith or relationship with God, but one thing’s for sure: “Religious” is not the word!