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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tongue Twister?

This is the second installment of my Single Sentence Sunday. If anyone else wants to do it, great - leave a link to your blog in a comment, and we can all read your sentence (there is also this button in the sidebar). If I get enough people that like it, I'll have a McLinky for you all next week and a category for the 'single sentence'. If not, I'll continue as the only one who does it, and that's just fine! :)

Hurt people do hurt people, but Jesus loves hurt people and gave his life to heal hurt people so that they could start to heal people instead of hurt them.

Sueño, part 3

In the first two parts of this mini-post-series (as I have just now named it), I wrote first about my view of dreams in general and then about some specific dreams that I have. As I wrote part 2, I realized that there needed to be a third part that addressed how I have been dealing with these dreams and where I go when I'm terrified of pursuing them.
Lately, I have been reading through the book of Romans with my friend Megan. We have been reading through books of the Bible and after we finished the last one, she let me choose, and Romans has always been a favorite of mine. This will come into play in a minute.
Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to write and communicate. I didn't necessarily take it as God's promise to me, but I knew it was a dream that was placed in my heart by him. I always took a poke at writing here and there and I always loved English classes, but I never took it too seriously. I always thought that I would just do it when I grew up.
So here I am grown up - and terrified.
As I have sought God more intensely and in a deeper way, I feel him pulling me toward pursuing what I've always known I should do. But here's the problem: I feel like a grain of sand on the beach of bloggers, authors, and people with much better things to say and much more eloquent ways of saying them. I am very aware of my insignificance and my lack of knowledge and/or talent. I want so badly to begin writing avidly, but I feel small and transparent to everyone around me. Everyone blogs. Everyone can write.
What makes me different? Why would I think that God would use me? Why do I have a burning desire to do something everyone is good at? How can such a small rock make the splash I've dreamt of making?
(Sorry this is long, but stay with me...)
Here is what God's been showing me:

Romans 4 talks about Abraham and his faith in God. By his faith he was made right (verse 3). This caught my eye, because I have so lately been prompted to action, but I have not had faith that if God was leading me, he would accomplish what he wanted, which really is all I desire. But what really got me was this:
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. (verses 20-21)
Although I've never heard God promise this to me audibly before, I have known it in my heart and my spirit, and it's even been prophesied over me before (don't get freaked out; it's ok if done Biblically). If God really wants to do something, who am I to stand in the way? My lack of action shows my lack of faith. When God is leading us somewhere, our own insecurities or self-awareness are actually roadblocks to his will. We prevent his work in our lives by false-humility.
If God wants to use me, so be it. I've started writing. I'll keep writing and hopefully be led by him as I continue to seek his face. Believing in his promises are freeing, perhaps terrifying, but amazingly, wonderfully freeing.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bacon Gouda and Bullies

So, it's the very end of Friday, but I wanted to do this, thanks to my new blogger friend A Lil Story!

My Little Life

1. Do you sing karaoke? If so, what is your go to song?
Goodness - I used to enjoy it a little bit. Then I married a man who can sing, and I felt infinitely insecure. The last song I karaoke-d was "R-E-S-P-E-C-T" at a birthday party. It was wonderful and fun. On our honeymoon, Billy entered a karaoke contest and won. He sang Michael Buble's "Home" and we won a bottle of tequila, which we promptly gave to the people sitting beside us. Needless to say, they became Billy's biggest fans.

2. What is your favorite coffee drink?
Easy - decaf triple grande no-whipped mocha from Starbucks. Yep - I get it every time. If it's before 10am, I follow that with a bacon and gouda sandwich. See?!
3. If you could choose your own name, what would it be?
I love the name Esperanza. It means "hope" in Spanish. I've dreamt about naming a daughter that, but I would just die every time someone said it in a southern accent over the beautiful Spanish way it should be said.

4. Were you ever bullied?
Nope. One time in first grade, however, I wanted to go home and I told my teacher that my arm hurt. When my parents picked me up from school, they asked me what was going on (my arm was fine). I made up a wonderfully extensive story about the bully that was just awful to me. When they found out it was a lie, they acted surprised. I talked to my mom recently and found out they weren't. I wasn't as great of a story-teller as I'd thought.

5. How often do you eat fast food?
Too often. We're trying to back off of it, but I just can't separate from Chick-fil-A. It's so lovely and I have it at least once a week. Besides that, though, I don't really eat it often. I'm more of a deli kind of girl.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sueño, part 2

This is a continuation of Sueño, part 1.
Well, I said that I was going to be sharing my dreams. Although I hope that you can relate to having big dreams or even dreams similar to mine, I am not writing this for you. This is something I need to do for me. What I hope you will find is something inside of you - a way to recognize your own dreams and a way to share them. I believe that taking these dreams out of my heart and placing them onto this page (or post, I should say) will make me take them more seriously. And perhaps you will post your dreams on your own blog and that will help you take yourself more seriously - I don't know. If you do, I would love to read it, so let me know.

Alright, I've delayed long enough. Here they are (of course, I have tried to pick broad ideas that encompass all of my very specific ones - that would take too long!):
  • Write: Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to write. I am obsessed with words, and I love to communicate. I guess that I should also include the dream of speaking into this category, which is a recent addition to my life. I recognize that God has placed this dream on my heart and that I should pursue it. I think He wants me to use my love of words and my black-and-white personality to share Him. However, I'm scared to death of failing in this, and I am even more terrified that I won't be relevant. You see, relevance is very important to me because of my next dream---
  • Change the World: Yep, I said it. I don't know if there is a piece of everybody that wants to do this, but for me, it's a really big one. This one scares me more than the first one, because it seems impossible. I am very aware of my inadequacy.
  • Adopt: I always thought that this was an awesome idea. However, when I went on a mission trip to Brazil with my family in 2007, we met a little girl that changed my life. She was in an orphanage but not available for adoption because her parents were still alive. We all fell in love with her, and I knew from then on that I wanted to adopt (along with having my own). I am blessed to have married a man with the same dream. Here's the little girl, Grazieli... isn't she precious?

  • Missions: I spent 4 years on the mission field growing up. It changed my life, broke my heart, and gave me an incredible perspective that I am so thankful for. Even if we never do mission work in a foreign country full time, I want to be mission/outreach-minded. Whether we are in our community, our country, or abroad, I want to be living as a full-time missionary. I want our (someday-)children to have the same global-mindedness that I was allowed to cultivate. I want them to love everyone, no matter their color, culture, or religion. And I want them to know that we do everything we can to be God's hands and feet extended. We have a long way to go.
You may notice that I mentioned some of the struggles that I have with these dreams. The first struggle was admitting them to the world and to myself. However, my doubtfulness and insecurity are things that hold me back consistently. As I was thinking about this post, I realized that I could not help but include a third part. Sueño, part 3 will include where God comes into all of this, and how I am overcoming these insecurities.

What insecurities do you have about your dreams?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Inspired Sunday

I have been inspired by The Happiness Project to do a "one sentence journal" blog day. The actual idea is to do this daily, but I think I have too many words inside to limit myself this much all of the time. However, it is a really cool idea, and I'm dedicating Sundays to it! Not only does it make you think about what you really want to say, but, as an aspiring writer and an English major, I think it's a great way to focus a thought into just one sentence.

So, here's to the beginning of :

Today's journal sentence:

Lately I've been pondering my inside-person, and I am discovering what God means when He says that He sees our secret lives; it makes me feel like a baby bird that has just been pushed out of her nest - terrified but oh-so-free.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February 20

I know that I said that my next blog was going to be Sueño, part 2, but I just had to do a quick notice today because it is World Day of Social Justice. It's an international, globally accepted date that is focused on spreading awareness for social justice. I know that sometimes it may feel as if we can not do anything because it is such a huge, overwhelming problem, but we can! There are tons of organizations that want to make it accessible to us, no matter how much we can give - some even ask us to pray, and to devote our time if we have no money. There is always a way to help, and if you just can't, then please, please, spread the news and the resources!

  • International Justice Mission - You can give any amount if you wish to help with money, and on the website, ijm.org, they have specific ways that you can raise awareness! This one is my favorite because they actually work with the political side of the issue, which makes them extra effective.

  • The Mocha Club - The whole idea behind this is that 2 mochas a month ($7.00) can be effective. Check out all of the things that giving up 2 coffees can do at www.mochaclub.org. I mention them because they also deal in social injustices.

  • Compassion International - This is such an amazing organization. A huge way to right an injustice is to personally support a child (or two, or three, or ten) by going to Compassion.com and ensuring that they receive a Godly education and love from you and the wonderful Compassion people who come in actual contact with the children. Through this, you see products of your effort, and it is amazing and rewarding.
Do what you can! Spread the word!

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6

P.S. - Read today's earlier post, Sueno, Part 1, and see how you can answer the question - I'm looking forward to sharing and hearing!

Sueño, part 1

In high school Spanish I had to do a project called "Sueño," which means dream. On a poster board, we had to list out some dreams we had in Spanish, of course. There must have been a certain amount of dreams that we had to list because I remember people including the most absurd things, places, celebrities, and activities on their boards. Needless to say, it was not really what anyone dreamed of, and we were all thinking of enough articles to place on our lists.

Well, this morning I was thinking and praying about my real dreams (in life, not in sleep) and I was reminded of that poster, and how if we had been asked to be truthful and serious, what I would have said. Honestly, the thought of putting my dreams out there scares me. I feel as if I either saying or writing them will do one of two things: one, that they would be plucked right out of my mouth and off of the page and taken away into some abyss forever and they will join all of the other proclaimed dreams that people have and never do - I take my dreams very seriously, and I think that if I share them, then you won't take them seriously; two, I think that if I put my dreams into word boxes and mark them somewhere, I will have to achieve them, and I'm terrified that I can't do them.

I always said that I didn't share all of myself with people because I was too deep thought of life in very strong, serious terms, and I could overwhelm them. And that is partially true. I remember a few times when I have sat down with a girlfriend and told her a dream that I had and she either glazes over, doesn't get it, or, just recently, I had someone say, "You know who would be really good at that?" and proceed to tell me who else would be better at accomplishing my own dream.

But, lately, I have had less and less of an excuse. For one, Billy has helped me tremendously. He takes me seriously and believes that everything God has placed on my heart can come to pass. I have also been meeting with an awesome girl that is a lot like me - very serious and 'overwhelming' at times, and she has really specific personal goals - and our commonalities have been inspiring because when I was younger, I truly felt as if I were the only person who took life this seriously, and that I needed to back down. Together, we are reading Beth Moore's So Long, Insecurity and that has been opening up my eyes to my own insecurities and how they have been holding me back from what I feel God wants me to do.

I can't help but think that I'm not the only one who feels this way. What are some of your dreams - the one's that you are scared to say out loud? or write down? or share with the www so that everyone might hold you accountable? I'd love to hear yours, because my next blog post will be mine. I'd like to be in good company.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Valentines Weekend and Date Night with Densons

  1. Valentine's weekend was wonderful!  Billy surprised me and took me to a Bed & Breakfast downtown, which I have always wanted to do.  We ate at Fleet Landing, which is where we ate the night we got engaged!  And then, we went to Kaminsky's in the snow.  It was the best Valentine's ever.  We actually celebrated on Friday night, but I'm so glad that we did because it snowed!  I know that everyone in Charleston felt as if it were their gift, but that night, I felt as if it were mine.  We had such a fun time!  The Bed & Breakfast was really cute, and it had a community-ish feel that we weren't sure about, but ended up really liking it because we were together.  Being married is the best!

  2. On Thursday night (Feb. 18) we had Robbie and Chelsie Denson over.  Chelsie came over early while Robbie and Billy went to a meeting at church.  Chelsie and I cooked our wonderful, semi-gourmet meal, and almost everything turned out beautifully!  The guys loved it, and that made it even better!  We made zucchini, which wasn't wonderful, but alright; honey-orange chicken breasts, which were so good; twice-baked potatoes, which took forever to cook, but were so worth it; and a chocolate chess pie, which ended up looking like a chocolate mess pie, but Chelsie and I still blame it on the pan, and maybe the fact that we forgot an ingredient!  Either way, it was so fun.  Also, after our meal, Billy and Robbie worked on de-clogging our sink (that I clogged - oops!), and they did it! It was so gross, and they were so proud of themselves, as were we.  It was great to have them over and to get to cook with Chelsie, and even greater that the guys cleaned up after we cooked![gallery link="file" columns="2"]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Shakespeare, Valentines, and Small Group

It's been forever since I've posted a blog, but with such good reason!  I am taking a pretty hefty load this semester and I think my writing brain gets bogged down with all of my Shakespeare essays.  Actually, though, I do enjoy reading Willy a lot more than I thought I would.  I'm such a nerd - but so thankful to have this chance to learn.

Speaking of learning, I have really been doing a lot of it.  And yes, I mean scholastically.  I love my major and I feel like a sponge.  In fact, I have been working on writing some articles for a teen girls magazine.  I'm pretty nervous about it and have been seeking God about what I should write on, but really, I'm more excited and motivated than anything.

In the same vein, I've been learning a lot about God.  I have been humbled by my small group this semester - all of the girls are awesome and we've really been challenging each other.  Also, doing this adopt-a-block stuff is really teaching Billy and me what kind of things we want to do.  It is amazing to know that you are where God wants you and the peace you get when you are doing what he's placed on your heart.  For us, it's outreach, and the ministry we've been allowed a small part in is humbling us and teaching us so much.

Speaking of Billy, I am learning SO much about being a wife.  Sometimes it's not easy, but it is so worth it.  He brings out the best in me and he challenges me in so many ways.  And tonight, he told me our valentines day plans - I'm super excited!  He's romantic and I love him and I love being married to a total sap :) It's what I've always dreamed of.

Ok, so I will be trying to blog more often - but if you have any comments, especially ideas for a teen girl's magazine article, please leave them!