Sunday, July 20, 2008

A couple of lessons my dad has taught me about grace and love

In my part selfishness and part stupidity I had a huge bill on a previous furniture purchase left unaccounted for. I would have faced hundreds in penalty charges if I waited the extra month I desired to pay it off. When I told my mom this, she said they (my parents) would pay it off for me if I paid them back. Hearing of this the next day my dad paid the bill in full and refused to accept a reimbursement. Instead he urged me to put the extra money I would soon be getting into a savings account. Why did he do this? I don’t know. I certainly didn’t expect or ask for it.

I am horrible to my car. Absolutely horrible. The poor thing never saw it coming as I test drove him that cool December night a couple of years ago. Never did he expect the cruelty he would soon endure as I carefully followed the speed limits and always came to complete stops. How could he have known that I would be the type of person to wait 2000 miles over the mechanics suggestion to change the oil or rarely take him in for a maintenance check at the scheduled date? Certainly he never foresaw the many scratches and marks he would suffer as a causality of being my property. Despite my negligence my dad is always the one to remind me of oil changes and maintenance check ups and then even go with me because a princess after all can’t be expected to handle such adult issues…I mean I’m only 27! Any time something is wrong with the car he gives up at least part of his Saturday to help me with it. I haven’t even personally ever washed my own car that I’ve now had for 2 years! A time or two a guy friend did it but the others were good ole dad. I’m sure a lot of dad’s do this, and I am just thankful that mine is one of them.

Anywho…thanks dad for giving me tangible examples of what grace and love look like. (pic to come soon)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My mirror: A friend and foe

Oh mirror how I love thee
You graciously let me know when something funky is caught in my teeth
And make me cautiously aware when I’m having a bad hair day.
How would I maintain relationships without your friendly warnings of impending awkwardness?

And yet you have a dark side too dear foe
You cause deep obsession of hopeful six-packs and beautifully tanned skin.
My late arrival to many occasions can be traced back to the time I spend with you.
Why do you strike such fear in my fragile heart dear mirror?

I can’t get rid of you; your necessity is painfully obvious.
Yet living with you means enduring many stabs to my self-esteem.
Is there a way we can reach an agreeable living arrangement?
Can you make me alert of my wayward appearance without igniting an all consuming addiction to self?

Let’s call a truce you and me dear mirror.
I promise to keep loving and utilizing your great power if you promise to stop magnifying and holding me captive to my every weakness.

Monday, July 7, 2008


This wordle or thought cloud if you will came from my previous entries and words I used the most...interesting....:) Click on it to go to the site and create your own!

(I didn't realize I used the word just so much! Ha!)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

My New Friend

Have you ever met someone who is all around a better person than you? Someone who lives the way you only talk about living thus leaving you to take a serious introspection of your life. Recently I have met such a person.

I grew up in church and with this upbringing has come the knowledge of what makes a “good Christian.” Qualities such as being kind to others, having a patient temperament, being helpful and putting others first. At times though I wonder if this is more of a head knowledge than attributes that are easily seen in my life.

This new friend of mine exudes these characteristics though. He seems to be the first person to lend a hand and find ways to make tasks easier for others. He radiates a sense of peace and calm and though I haven’t known him for long, I’ve never seen him get ugly or talk harshly about another. Most of the time when I see him he has a big smile on his face and truly seems to enjoy life as it is. Maybe there is a dark side I have yet to encounter but somehow I doubt it. What I find the most fascinating and enviable quality about this person though is he doesn’t talk about it. He doesn’t go on long diatribes about how a person is supposed to live. He doesn’t talk about the Bible and point out specific verses on fruits of the Spirit or how to be a nice guy. He just is.

It makes me wonder if I think and talk to much. Do I talk too much about how God says to live and do less actual living? Hopefully that’s not true but my new friend makes me wonder none the less.


I’m not a very neat or clean person. My roommate and anyone who has ever had the privilege to share a living space with me can certainly attest to that. However when I bought my bedroom dresser a few years ago my cleaning skills had a sudden transformation. It has more drawers and room than I know what to do with or have the clothes to fill which has proved very beneficial for me as the bottom ones are now filled with all the crap I don’t know what to do with. Company is coming over and I haven’t cleaned in weeks? No problem just dump everything in the drawers. Old bills that I’m too lazy to shred? Into the drawers with you! I must admit this unintended convenience has made my life much simpler. Don’t ask me what happens when there is no more room in the drawers; I’m currently living in denial about the possibility of that problem and would prefer to live in this delusion for as long as possible thanks.

I’ve realized I do this with my life too. Have a problem I don’t know what do with? No problem just dump the situation into my “I’m not dealing with this right now” drawer. Emotions I don’t know how to handle? Into the drawers with you! While my dresser drawers have actual physical dimensions these “drawers” have no defined space. So will there come a point when nothing else will fit and I have no choice but to take out all my junk and sort through it? Life is so much less complicated when I don’t have to process every little detail of it…but is that cheating? Am I not really living or am I just being smart and saving time and unnecessary hassle?

I think there comes a point when you have no choice but to clean. A point when the methods you are using to fix life are not helping anymore or might even be making things worse. Suddenly everything is overflowing and unless you want to live in a mess something actually has to be done. Over the past year I’ve started going through this tedious process of cleaning my life. I didn’t even realize I had so much junk in there until my overflow came through in an eating disorder.

During one of my rougher points so to speak someone pointed out this verse to me.Romans 7:18 -I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.

Hmm…so there it was in black and white in the bible even that nothing good is there! Oh great so what now? How am I going to change if I can’t? (Sounds like crazy talk.)

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Somehow by the crazy grace of God He has been doing the cleaning of my life for me. Which I think is completely awesome! When I started trusting God and stopped trying to control or fix everything I started changing on the outside too. Don’t ask me how God does that. How trust and surrender equal transformation. Maybe He’s just that big…one of His great mysteries or something. I’m not saying I’m perfect now or that trusting God is easy or I even do that right but I do know is that my life has changed a lot since I made the decision to. And even though this room is nowhere near spotless (and never will be) there isn’t as much crap hiding in drawers either!

Luke 17:33Whoever clings to his life shall lose it, and whoever loses his life shall save it.

My Big Gold Coach Purse

I’ve found a new security blanket. Yes, I’ve discovered a new pathway leading to a feeling of automatic acceptance by Dallas and everything that that means in my mind.

I used to stress about being a size zero. I was a size zero all through college and for several years after. Sometimes I wouldn’t even fit into that, but I wasn’t about to buy children’s clothes. It used to be that I was just small and that’s how it is. Then it became a competitive thing and what I based my identity on. I was the girl who cared enough about her body and being healthy to exhibit self control in eating and workout at least 5 times a week. I knew it was appreciated in the circle I surrounded myself with. I would be a liar if I didn’t say that I myself judged those who couldn’t or should I say wouldn’t control their weight. “How unhealthy! Just eat right and exercise!” I would scream at them in my mind as I was finishing off my 4th or 5th glass of vodka and seven. But alas my body has changed, and my mind recognizes that I am living a lie to call myself healthy and eat less than 1,000 calories a day. I’ve come to accept this, or at least have learned that I should. I am starting to appreciate that joy does not come in being a certain size. I’ve come a long way since then. I hardly even recognize that former self and am embarrassed to recall my previous conceit.

This past Christmas, I became the proud, new owner of a big gold Coach purse. I’ve had coach purses before but none of them screamed as loudly HEY! Look at me! I like it though. It has gold hardware and a big gold strap, and I think it’s fun and sassy. I’ve also noticed that I can look like a total slob and yet when I am carrying this purse suddenly it’s okay. I can go to the mall straight from the gym without hitting the shower; I still have class…see the purse. I can bum around all day in my yoga clothes. I can buy things on sale without feeling cheap. I have money darn it…see the purse.

2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, and the new has come!”

This verse is helpful when I struggle with body image yet somehow it hasn’t helped my materialism.

I don’t think I have a conclusion to this rambling. Maybe I should get rid of the purse in an effort to prove my identity is in Christ and not in material things. But my new found confidence feels good and I just hate having to put on real clothes instead of bumming around in my workout gear…ha..


All through middle school and high school I ran track. It was something I experienced some success in, and I loved it. There was a girl on my team who loved to run as much as I did but unfortunately she was not blessed with any sort of natural talent or speed. In fact I don’t remember a single race that she didn’t get last place in. The funny thing is her parents didn’t seem to realize this. I guess they were in denial because they went to every single one of our track meets and even though she never won or even passed anyone they cheered and encouraged her as if she had just won an Olympic gold. For some reason this really annoyed and frustrated me. At first I thought it was sweet and good of them to be so encouraging I mean after all she is their child that they love. But after awhile I just didn’t understand why they would let her believe it was okay to keep doing something you aren’t suited for. If they were ever to ask for my opinion I was ever ready for an enlightening explanation about the facts. (fyi—they never did) The thing is we were sprinters. We weren’t running a marathon; anyone who can run can finish a 200m dash. The purpose is to be faster than the other competitors or at least not come in last. My parents knew this. My dad wouldn’t even come to my meets if he thought I wasn’t working hard and would have a bad race. Why waste your time right? This is not something I still dwell on as an adult; I only mention it because it mirrors my thinking for a long time about Christ. I just couldn’t understand why He (the God of the Universe) would choose to send his son to die for us. It was frustrating and it didn’t make sense. Why waste the time? Who cares? I finally reconciled myself to the belief that He felt guilty. I mean we didn’t ask to be created right? And now because of Adam and Eve we were doomed to eternal damnation so knowing that He, Jesus, wouldn’t be dead forever He died for us. Maybe he felt some sort of moral obligation but love no love didn’t make sense. At least not that kind of love. And just why would God love us; we are mere clay to Him….right? In college a friend sent me the following passage of scripture: Hebrews 12:1-3

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

I’m sure there are many lessons one might take away from these verses, but the part that stuck out to me is the word joy. Jesus loves us so much that it was joyful for him to die on the cross?! I find it so incredible that He actually wants a relationship with us that badly. Jesus could actually want and find joy in dying for us. I can’t say that I have now been able to wrap my mind around His amazing love or ever will, but I am learning to accept that there is such a thing as unconditional love. It is possible to love without reason. Not that I will ever be able to love the way God does, but just knowing that kind of love exist brings me comfort…and joy! :)

1 John 4:15-16
If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.