Saturday, January 30, 2010

Who am I?

"You can never be truly happy unless you look like the girls on the covers of fashion magazines.  See their perfect skin, toned look, slim body?  See their beautiful eyes, nose, and mouth?  Their gorgeous, perfect hair?  The sparkling white teeth?  That is how you need to look, how you should look."

Of course, magazines never actually say that, but the pictures boldly profess just so.  No matter where you look, magazines, pictures, internet, TV, all are advertising women's looks.  Why?  1. Because men are visual and will fall for anything beautiful, alluring, seductive, etc. 2.Women will try everything to measure up to what is being advertised.  Pretty sad, isn't it?

We all fall into the trap.  "My body isn't slim enough, my hair isn't curly/straight, my teeth aren't white and even enough, my skin isn't clear and perfect, I don't have fashionable clothes..." the list could go on and on in greater detail.  "I don't measure up."

But honey, you're beautiful to me!" our mothers assure us.  In all honesty, we know that doesn't satisfy our inner want of beauty, perfection, acceptance, self-glory.  Yes, self-glory.  What is it all truly about?  For the attention.  Absolutely.

When you're walking through Walmart or the Mall, and see girls walking by in super short shorts, revealing, tight shirts, heavy makeup, strutting about as if they were "Miss Model of the year!" you know they are attention seekers.  They get their attention too.  After all, you noticed, and oh how you know others have noticed too.  Especially guys. (They aren't blind after all.)

Don't we as well try in our own way to get attention?  "No, this shirt isn't really revealing, but it does fit a little snug.  Same with the jeans.  Oh, I wouldn't dare wear those shorts I saw on that girl, but I'll wear these jeans that fit me snug all the way.  They aren't that bad...really.  And my makeup, no, it isn't too much, maybe just a bit too much blush and eyeliner, but it isn't that bad...really."

There.  We convinced ourselves.  Thankfully I have a mama who always knows when to say no.  Many a times I've been saved by her wisdom. (Thank you Mama!)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing clothes that flatter our figure.  After all, we can't hide away in a big trash bag all our lives.  But that doesn't mean we go extreme.  Same with makeup.  Let me tell you I like to wear makeup.  But I have had my times.  I used to wear way too much, but again, my wise mother knew when to discipline me.  I'll thank her all my days.  Now I think I'm not as bad.  Heavy makeup just screams "I WANT ATTENTION!"  We are blessed with different beauty and makeup is just supposed to enhance that beauty.  I know I don't want people looking at me just because I have dark rimmed eyes, big pink cheeks, thick foundation, and weirdly colored eyelids.  Sounds like a clown to me. (exactly what my mama has said before!  Funny how certain things I didn't want to listen to are the things I use later on.)

What does the Bible say?

"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning or plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; but let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price."  -1 Peter 3:3,4

"In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."  -1 Timothy 2:9,10

"That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."  -Titus 2:4,5

"Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised."  -Proverbs 31:30

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's."  -1Corinthians 6:19,20

"I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."  -Romans 12:1,2

Unfortunately, there are not many passages that deal specifically with these matters.  However, we have a clear understanding of how we are supposed to be.

Here is a question I'm sure every girl asks at one point in her life: Who am I?  "I don't seem to fit anywhere!"  Why do you think we try to get all this attention?  We want love, acceptance, but also glory for ourselves.  "What is man's chief end?  Man's chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever."  (1 Corinthians 10:31)

In this life we are not supposed to be out finding glory for ourselves.  God is the one who is supposed to get all the glory, praise, and honor.  No one else deserves it.  We are nothing. (Galatians 6:3)  He is everything.

Psalm 139:14 says, "I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."  Remember in Genesis where it says God made man in his own image?  That is true for every single person, man or woman, boy or girl.  We girls especially need to keep that fact in mind.  We are looked upon by God as a beautiful masterpiece.

But there is another side.  We are fallen, depraved, sinful human beings.  Not one of us can attain perfection.  All the so-called "models" really aren't as perfect looking as we are led to believe.  Magazines, pictures, the internet, and TV, all enhance any pictures or movies before we even see them.  Faces are cleared, teeth are whitened, pounds taken off (isn't it amazing what computers and technology can do?), hair is lengthened and thickened, skin lightened, scars are covered, moles, birthmarks and blemishes are removed, and in the end, that person does look perfect.  Just think, you would look like that as well if the same was done to you!  Do we really want to compete with fake?  Everybody comes in different sizes, shapes, and colors.  Nothing can change that.  Wouldn't you rather live life happy and joyful for who you really are, instead of constantly trying to be something you could never attain?

I'm sure if we ever caught any actresses right when they got up from bed, or in their bathrobe straight out of the shower, we would see their natural selves.  They would be natural and regular women just like the rest of us.  Not even they are perfect.  Their computer-generated pictures are, but not they themselves.  Think about that next time you look at Hollywood pictures or movies.  It isn't even real!  Sad what we have to try to measure up to.  Things that aren't even real.

A very wise woman helped me to really look into the heart of the matter.  Girls are very impressionable and I fall just like every other.  But I have two wonderfully Christian minded parents who always eventually steer me right.  Thank God for them!  Without them, I'd be your average-attention-seeking-self-glorifying teenaged girl who only wanted the world's praise.  Thankfully, my Savior's and parents'  approval is all I need!  One day down the road I'll have a husband to please, but since I'll accept no other than like my daddy, he will care more about my heart and who I truly am than if I look like Miss Model.

Yes, I too have wanted attention.  I am a girl.  But there is no purpose.  Why would we want the world's attention of we already have God's love?  Why would we want men to look at us with admiration if one day we will only one man will love us "till death do us part"?  I want a godly, Christian man who will lead his household in the ways of God, not the ways of the world.  Therefore, I shouldn't be trying to gain the attention of the world if I am not to be living according to the world.

My future husband, he'll be one in a million, just like my daddy.  Whoever he is, I want to keep myself pure from the world's influence for him until the day we wed.  How much more special our love will be.

Who am I?  I am a child of God who needs nothing else than His love and acceptance.  Now that He has saved me, I am His forever.  I need not pick daisy petals to figure out His love for me.  I am His child, and nothing can ever change that!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Virtue of Patience

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." -Galatians 5:22, 23

I know I have already written once on the Fruit of the Spirit, but as there is so much to cover in these two verses, I thought I would do so again, especially because I struggle so much in these areas.

Impatient really ought to be my middle name.  I know y'all have heard that expression before; however, I am in earnest.

I am redheaded. Does this mean I have a horrible temper? (...where does that come from anyway?...)  Well, to truly know that you would have to be around me for a few days.  I know my siblings could give you an accurate account of my temperament.  Very accurate.

Now to my point: Patience.  There isn't a day that goes by when I do not get impatient with something or somebody.  An example: Teaching Clara to read.  She has came along a bit since I last wrote of her progress, but she is still going kind of slow.  Perhaps it is my lack of teaching abilities and impatience which is hindering her? ...Probably.  Anyway, I know I shouldn't expect her to start reading perfectly after the first week because learning to read is a long process that takes time and patience.  Yeah.  Tell that to me again?  I'll need it for tomorrow.

Patience is a virtue.  All the gold and silver could not buy it.  It takes time (and patience!) to acquire it.  The most important thing: one cannot have any virtues whatsoever without first having Jesus Christ in their lives.  Not one person could ever display the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives without having Christ first and foremost. (Romans 11:36)

Want a funny example of my impatience? (I dearly hope others have had these moments so I don't feel left out.) 
Once when I was ten years old (well, yes, this has happened more than once..) I was desperately trying to situate my hair in a particular fashion. ( it was a simple hairstyle really.)  I had done it once before and liked it so well that I wanted to try it again.  But this time, however, my hair would. not. fix.

I worked...and struggled...and frowned...took it down...tried again...worked...and struggled...frowned...became angry...grew very impatient...felt like yanking my hair out (which I halfway tried to do) and finally gave up.

Sounds stupid and funny now, but is someone had came along just then, I would have bit their heads off. And if I recall correctly, my "particular fashion" was really a simple bun style, ye it had to be that certain way. (Funny how girls are so picky.)  My problem: I was very impatient.

Perhaps if I had took a deep breath, smiled at my reflection in the mirror, and tried again, I might have succeeded and not have  been so grumpy.  As it was, I gave up in impatience and anger.

Patience has always been a hard struggle of mine.  But then, I struggle in every area of life, so every struggle is a challenge.  I know I'm human and accept that, as we all should (Galatians 6:3), but there are times when my failures overwhelm me.  I cry, complain, become bitter and cold, think I don't deserve God's love and mercy (which I don't), weak, cowardly, a failure, the list could go on and on, until something reminds me...

But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."  -Ephesians 2:4-9

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." -Philippians 4:13

"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." -Hebrews 12:6

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." -James 4:7

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." -Galatians 2:16

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." -2 Corinthians 5:17

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." -Romans 12:21

"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but that which I hate, that I do." -Romans 7:15

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." -Romans 8:18

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." -John 8:36

There are so many wonderful promises in the Bible that I cannot even begin to list them all for their numbering.  God is a righteous and loving Father, yet just and firm when need be.  After we are saved by Christ's atoning blood, that is what God sees when He looks upon us.  When we trust in Him, believe, confess our sins, repent, and look to Him as our Savior, our sins will be washed away.  All God sees then is Christ's blood that washed away our sins.  Isn't that wonderful?  Even with all our many failures, He is faithful and just to forgive us.  A better promise we cannot have than that He will never leave us or forsake us.  He is always here, always providing, always protecting, always loving.  Such a magnificent King!

I feel down a lot, but am always lifted up by my Lord.  There is no better place to be than in His arms!  How proud I am to be His child!  His love overwhelms me.  How could the All-powerful One love me, a sinner?  Such love, such mercy, such wonder, in such a King!

Next time your patience runs thin, think of God's patience with you.  Didn't He give everything for us?  We should be able to give our all for Him.  Even in our sin and disobedience, He is always faithful.  He remains patient with us; therefore we can try, through His help, to be a little patient with those around us.

Note to self: Do.Not.Fly.Off.The.Handle.Next.Time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Beautiful Days

Yesterday and today were such beautiful days!  Upper 60's and lower 70's in temperature; blue skies; birds singing; squirrels dancing (really); lazy white clouds; grass just barely starting to turn green again; really beautiful days!  No flowers out yet except for a few dandelions, but they'll come out soon enough.  However, my point is this:  here it is January, and we are experiencing Spring!  I love it! 

Yesterday, beautiful day as it was, we went outside for a couple of hours and I just had to take some recent pictures, being that I haven't in quite some time.  Enjoy the pictures of my wonderful siblings!











Just a note, Liberty did not join us outside, that is why a picture of her is not included.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Feeling a little dissatisfied?

 Ever since I was little, I have wanted to be a great writer.  I remember trying to write made-up stories when I was really young, at eight and ten years old.  What a thrill it was to put down that story in my head or make up a real live person, all in my imagination of course.  I wish I still had those stories I tried from years back.  Wouldn't they be something to re-read!  Perhaps give me an insight on the little-kid-brain I used to have. (...that might still linger?)

Even today I still try my hand at writing stories.  But there are so may times I get dissatisfied with myself.  I can't seem to put what I want exactly into words, I can't make that person seem real enough, I can't find the right word, or I just can't seem to do it!  I want to give up right then and there.  Yet, God has given me that ability, meager though it may be.  Don't we all get dissatisfied with things every now and then?  It seems like everyday I find something I'm not satisfied with.  Writing, playing my instruments, cooking, school...the list could go on and on.  However, I need to realize that everything is a gift from God. 

He has given us everything we could ever need.  He has supplied us with everything He had planned out from the very beginning.  Nothing is the opposite of what He already intended.  Our looks, body, families, friends, possessions, abilities, everything is exactly the way He intended.

So, next time you want to frown down upon something, remember God gave that to you, and you should never be dissatisfied.  Be content.  Yes, I know it is hard, but we can try.

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."  -Philippians 4:13

Through Him all things are possible.  But make sure you give Him all the glory; everything starts with God.  Remember that.

Now I feel ready to work on one of my stories.  Writing does that for me.  I always feel refreshed and energized after writing down my thoughts.  I may not be able to word things right but...I try.  I do thank God for everything He has given me.  Praise Him along with me!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Answered Prayer?

Yesterday we awoke to find snow on the ground.  Snow, in Georgia!  Yes, yes, it is true.  Just take a look see.

However, as you can plainly see, it was not much.  Too bad.  I was hoping we would get enough to throw snowballs, make snowmen, etc. 

Seriously, I knew here in Georgia we would not get that much snow.  Nevertheless, God answered my pray didn't He?  We received some snow.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Remembering Christmastime...

I have to admit: I didn't take hardly enough pictures over the last few weeks.  I regret that more than anybody.  However, there are a few I'd like to share.

~Christmas Photos~

A few of the things I made.  I didn't take a picture of everything I made though.  Now I wish I did.

I think Liberty really enjoyed Christmas.

My darling brother

Happy as can be!

Sweeter than sweet!


Lots of laughs

Little Prairie Girls




 Busy at work!



Liberty loved Christmastime!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

An amazing gift: A New Year

I know, I know, I know.  I again have to catch back up on my blog writing.  If I would just keep up, then I wouldn't have to worry about cramming all that has gone on, in one post.  Of course, I could make it really long, but that might be overwhelming, on both sides.

So now the holidays are over.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, then the new year flew right on by.  Our company came and went (we had loads of fun, by the way!), and now we are back to school (how does one go back to school after a two-week vacation?).  Yes, everything is getting back to normal. (normal?)  However, I have a confession:  I actually liked being out of the norm. 

All the excitement and hustle bustle that went on was, well, exciting.  Of course, a little rest is much appreciative, but after things settle down, life can seem a little...boring?!  Not really.  Seriously, after certain times pass, then we can look forward to the new things God will bring along.  That also brings excitement.

Now it is 2010.  It almost seems odd to me.  I have now been born for fifteen and a half years.  Fifteen years doesn't seem that long, is a long time!  God in His goodness and grace has so wonderfully blessed us with more than we could ever need.  True, in this world we may not be considered rich, but we do have the almighty Lord over all.  He is the richest blessing we could ever have.  He has given us a new year in which to live for His glory.  All praise to Him for that!  Isn't life such a precious gift?  Now He has given us more life on earth.  A new year is a bright, shining example that He still loves us.  Isn't He wonderful!

We should strive to serve Him more this new year, for didn't He give everything for us?  We can at least give Him a little in return!  Of course, nothing we do will ever pay the price He paid for us, but we can still serve Him, give Him all glory and honor, and praise His name to all people!  He loves us so much; let us love Himin return!

But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."  -Ephesians 2:4-9