Chose Your Memories Wisely

My dad has always said I have a way with words, but I have a theory: if what I write or say has an effect on just one person then it’s done it’s job. So, I just write from the heart.

I have always been a passionate, emotional person. That’s just how God made me. If you’ve kept up with my blogs over the years you’ve heard stories of trials and heartbreak but also triumphs and love.

It’s funny how a year ago I felt lost trying to find my place, my person, trying to understand God’s plan through my own confusion and heartbreak with all that had happened since I graduated with my undergrad. Yet, here today I am amongst the happiest I’ve been, biting my nails as I await for the man I love to propose as he so enjoys teasing me about and making me wait for (as I am a very impatient person and it really is no secret that it’s coming).

As these happy moments occur there are also sad ones. Times where all I want to do is call and brag to her about who he is and how happy he makes me, and I’m reminded that I can’t do that and she will never get to meet this person whom she watched me wait for, for so many years. Though maybe in her own way she already has. At the life celebration party post funeral, I remember Lindsey (cousin) saying, “I’m sure she is up there in heaven cooking something up with God right now.”

Aunt JoAnn was my girl talk person, my second mom. She was older and wiser than my girlfriends and was just enough of a mom but wasn’t MY mom that I felt comfortable talking to her about most everything. My mom knew that if she couldn’t get through to me at times she’d tell me to call JoAnn hoping between the two of them they could get through to my stubborn rear. Most of our conversations centered around God and relationships. It’s been around two years since we found out she had cancer and approximately 15 months since we lost her. The pain fades but it’s still there. Really, it doesn’t go away you just live with it and then something triggers the remembrance. Something good happens and that person is who you want to tell. You don’t know what to do, you need advice so you reach for the phone, only to remember they’re not there.

Today’s trigger: a movie about cancer. I didn’t realize it was going to be a movie about cancer when I hit play. As odd as it sounds I do enjoy those movies because there is always a good life lesson you’re reminded of at the end. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to Lane why I am crying, he never got to meet JoAnn and though he’s heard stories he wasn’t there for everything our family went through. He has had his own trials with family cancer, but the battle and story is a little different for everyone. As I’m watching the movie I silently begin crying at different parts. One part because I’m reminded how my family pulled together during JoAnn’s battle, having holidays at the hospital with her. Another because I’m reminded of how many friends we had help us out both in New Mexico at school with me and in Oklahoma with my family, and the last because when that family lost the girl on the show, I knew exactly what they were going through. I will forever remember that day, the day we laid her to rest. I sat between the two strongest men I’ve ever known, one who just lost his daughter and the other his sister. My papaw held my hand through the entire funeral, I didn’t see him shed a tear. Matter of fact I never have. He is the patriarch of the family. He thought he had to be strong, but midst that tough exterior is a man who held his granddaughter’s hand as he did something a parent is never supposed to do, bury a child. Yet, when Lane asks me why I watch movies that make me cry I just shrug and say, “I don’t know.” When really I hadn’t been able to put into words what it was until tonight: memories. Those shows remind me of my family’s story and the memories that I took away from that experience are loving and triumphant.

Yes, my cousins lost their mother, my grandparents lost their daughter, my dad lost his sister, and I lost my aunt but I am reminded of the strength in family, specifically my own, and that is something that, though I may cry midst remembrance, I will never mind remembering.

Losing someone is always sad, even more so when they still had so much life to live, but you get to chose what memories you hold on to the tightest. Make sure those memories are the ones filled with hope, laughter, but most importantly love.

Maybe she did have a hand in bringing Lane and I together, or maybe she just sat over there and happily watched God as he did what she always promised me he would.

God is good all the time, all the time God is good.



You Live and Learn

It was harsh, it was surreal, but 2017 you taught me a lot. You taught me that life can be cruel, but it keeps going. You showed me what loss was, in every way possible. You showed me that people are cruel, and most of the time they only look out for themselves. You showed me people don’t mind hurting others as much as you would think they should. You taught me that prayers don’t always get answered no matter how hard you prayed. You taught me that cancer is horrid and that love is tough and hard.


You showed me that the ups and downs of life paints a beautiful picture. That sometimes that loss was for our own good, and in the end we are far better off. Some people may be cruel, but some are awesome, and that when life throws you major curve balls your true friends are always there. You showed me that some friends are actually family and they always have your back. You taught me that sometimes prayers don’t get answered because You have something better in store, or You’re using it for Your betterment. You showed me that through cancer, families become closer. You taught me that not all love is tough, and the right person will come along. Most importantly You taught me to love. Love before it’s too late. Love your family. Love those around you. AND love yourself.

There will always be trials and tribulations in life but love can get you through anything.

“Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

For Better or For Worse…

I was talking with a friend the other day; the topic? Divorce. Both her and I came from together families and we recently had both experienced the ‘divorce is almost inevitable nowadays’ attitude. Both her and I didn’t understand this. I never once heard my parents use divorce as a threat. Matter of fact I can’t remember a time the word was ever said, in reference to each other, even as a joke. My Sunday school teacher always told us girls the ‘D’ word should never be allowed in our future homes. The divorce rate has increased with over 800,000 divorces annually (CDC, 2014). Marriage doesn’t quite seem to have the sanctity it once did. “For better or worse…. In sickness and health ’till death do us part,” anymore, are words that are merely repeated, not from the heart. Though, people don’t realize that whilst saying them. By no means am I degrading those who have gone through a divorce, as a spouse or child, but in order to fix a problem we have to address the issue. Here’s what I mean: it takes two people who are equally committed to each other to make things work. I’ve always been told it isn’t 50/50 it’s 100/100. There will be times one has to carry the other, but in the end, the effort should be the same. There will be bad times and struggles throughout life but the promise of “for better or for worse” should stand strong. What does this mean for those of us who are still dating? It means look for people who will uphold those values and put in the same amount of effort as you are. Are you and your relationship a priority to them? Do you communicate about the issues you experience or when they do something you don’t like? If they hurt your feelings, do they apologize or just wait until the smoke settles? Are they lazy or would they do whatever they had to to make ends meet and take care of their loved ones? I could go on but you got my point. In order to prevent divorce you not only have to put in equal effort and take your vows to heart but you have to look for values in a person that would make them a great spouse. If it’s bad now prior to marriage, odds are it will stay that way. What an awful life to lead. Do not go into a relationship with the expectation that they will change for you. Seldom does that occur. People do grow up, mature, and learn from their mistakes but MAJOR changes are unlikely to happen. This is my goal when dating: I want to build the foundation of our relationship on rock not sand and that starts with God. 
 “Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won’t collapse because it is built on bedrock. But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn’t obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash.” Matthew 7:24-27
So far for me, it’s only been sand and when the water rose the foundation washed away. Take the necessary steps when in the dating scene to find someone who is willing to put the extra effort required to build a rock foundation and if you find that the foundation was sand, be strong enough to let it wash away. 

History Doesn’t Always Repeat Itself

So, dating after you’ve had your heart broke a time (or two) can be somewhat challenging. Fear, there is so much fear involved. They take one step that looks like your ex and you’re suspicious; like “Oh my heavens, the way you eat your food with a fork is exactly what my ex did so that must automatically mean you’re going to hurt me too!” It’s unhealthy and it’s toxic (speaking from experience as the girl who got spooked from someone eating with a fork, hypothetically speaking)! But here is the thing: they aren’t your ex, and in many scenarios in life, even those outside of dating, there is potential to get hurt. It’s a part of life. Though, fear isn’t supposed to control our choices or actions. 
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalms 56:3
I’ve been struggling lately at not being afraid. I have experienced so much hurt this year that I’ve lost that fire I had for Christ. I got to the point that I was in so much pain I didn’t know what to do. Praying wasn’t seeming to help. I couldn’t make myself go to church because I ended up in tears every sermon and I was so tired of crying. More than anything I wanted to call my aunt. I wanted to talk to her about how much I was struggling and how much I missed her. I knew that we could talk about God and sort through my pain and I’d be fine but she was part of my pain. Losing her was part of my heartache. Not having my go to person hurts. It hurts. When things in life would go wrong she knew what to say or how to help me handle my anxieties so everything was okay. 

Yesterday, my anxieties got the best of me. I lacked trust in the person I had begun to care for because I got scared that he would do the same thing that has been done to me in the past. History repeated itself twice now, why not a third time? But I learned the hard way that he isn’t “them”. He isn’t the person who hurt me before and my actions were unfair and uncalled for. I can see JoAnn now chewing my rear out for acting so selfishly. 

In the end, my attempt to protect myself got me hurt again by pushing away the person I cared for. But it did bring me to my knees in prayer and began to stir a fire in me for my Father once again. The only way to heal is through the Father’s hand and trust that my Father is looking out for me. I’m hoping I can be forgiven for my doubtfulness and that I learned to lean on my God for guidance instead of my own understanding. 

Joyful Suffering

April 20, 2017

My alarm went off at 3:00 this morning. I brushed my teeth and my hair. I threw some make-up on, finished packing my bag, and walked out the door where my friend was waiting to take me to the airport. Yesterday I got the call I had been dreading. My dad told me there weren’t many days left. I got the quickest flight home. My parents picked me up at about 8:30 Oklahoma time, next stop: the hospital.

Today was a rough one. Today I saw my aunt, my second mother, in so much pain she was incoherent. The cancer was literally eating her bones. Her lungs were full of fluid. She could hardly breath. I watched her grasp for air, hold her cancer ridden rib cage, and heard her moans of pain. I watched a woman, who I had leaned on for strength more times than I could count, strain to recognize me as I attempted to convince her to drink some water with childish choo-choo noises (she was coherent enough I got a version of an eye roll for that).

Today was a rough one. Today half my heart was shipped overseas to serve our country. Today I cried tears as I saw pictures of him boarding the plane for what would be his “home” for the next 9 months, pictures of the rifle he’d be carrying, pictures of the boy who had to become a man. I watched the man I have loved, fought, and relentlessly prayed for leave me with a phrase I will cling too in the few messages I got the night before he left: “You’re strong hun, you can handle anything thrown at you”. That phrase and a hoodie was all I was left with. He left behind a single, broken-hearted girl who was forced to become a strong woman.

I’ve shed more tears in the last few days then I care to admit. I have found myself praying in any quite moment I might have. I cling to my phone waiting for the next aunt or deployment update. I have found my stomach churning as I see a Snapchat story instead of receiving the text from him that I desire on his whereabouts and his safety. I have been a hot mess express. The anxiety is high right now. I wonder when I got old enough to handle all of this as I help my mother take care of business for the upcoming experiences my poor cousins are going to have to face. I didn’t really have a choice, I was called to grow up and be mature for my loved ones.

May 16, 2017

I got to Oklahoma at 4:30 this morning. I was up by 8. I had errands to run before I met the family for lunch. I put my dress on, fixed my hair and make-up and met my parents down stairs to head to the funeral home. I didn’t get to make it for family night so my dad took me to see her before we ate lunch. Cancer had eaten away the beautiful woman I once knew but she looked good. My brother kept his sun glasses on. I cried, but I held back so many tears too. I had to be strong. I was about to see my cousins and they had just lost their mom. I was about to see my grandparents and they had just lost their daughter. They all knew how close JoAnn and I were but still I felt the need to be strong for them. I walk in and my papaw hugs me and kisses my forehead. That was something I hadn’t experienced before but I knew he was struggling to express himself. He wouldn’t shed a tear the whole day.

From the moment I walked into the funeral home and saw how many people were there the tears began to flow. I sat between my dad and papaw. My dad hugged me the whole time. I can still count how many times I have seen him cry on one hand, but that day was different. He lost his little sister. I grabbed and held my papaws hand through the whole funeral. It was happy, it was sad, and they played the rock music just like she wanted. It captured her beautifully. My dad walked me up to the casket to see her before we left. I just started bawling and hugging him. When we hit the people outside the emotions just kept coming. I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore. I was told I had to breathe or I would hyperventilate many times.

May 31, 2017

Its been two weeks since the funeral and I still feel the urge to pick up the phone and call her. I put off writing this because I just didn’t know what to say. Aunt JoAnn is in a better place. She asked my dad to take care of her kids so that means I gained a brother and sister. We were really more like siblings anyways. I’ve seen my family take care of each other in the most inspiring way. Although we grew closer as a family it still doesn’t take the pain away.

I beg God to enlighten me on what his plan for my life is. I have experienced so much loss this year that the weight upon my shoulders is making me question if I am strong enough to handle all of it. How could God put the two things that I have been dreading the most on the same day? How could he put my brothers wedding and my aunts funeral in the same week? God what are you doing?!

Here I am reminded of Hannah. Hannah was verbally taunted by her sister wife because she could have children but Hannah could not. Her husband, Elkana, favored Hannah regardless. Hannah went to the temple weeping and begging for God to give her a child. Eli, the priest, saw her and in her distraught state thought she was a drunkard. Eli tried to get rid of her but then quickly realized the situation. He then proceeded to bless Hannah; he said:
“Go in peace. And may the God of Israel give you what you have asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:17

Then came the waiting period. 1 Samuel 1:20 says that before the year was out she conceived. As I’ve read this passage before I have always been like “wow how miraculous it only took a year!” As I read that now and go through my current life situations I am like, “holy cow, how did Hannah do it?” I have almost no patience. I have been in my current struggle for months and still I feel distraught, I am still wondering when this wave of bad happenings is going to end. Like most people in my generation I want what I want when I want it. I am so used to having almost everything I need at my fingertips. Have a question: Google it. Want to talk to my family from 12hrs away: pick up the phone. Typically these things are simple. So, when it comes to God answering my prayers I think that it should happen right now too. I know just like Hannah the things that He has promised me. I know this without a shadow of a doubt! I understand I am being bold but I just know! Yet, I have not mastered the art of joyful suffering (James 1:2-4). Crying is my new norm.

Here I desire to be more like Hannah. I want to joyfully suffer because that is what God is asking of me. I want to lay my worries down at his feet and leave them. Why should I worry if I know what God has promised? He promised He would always protect me and I could take refuge when I need strength. He told me that when I couldn’t be strong that He would be strong for me. He knew this time was coming. He knew I’d be tested to the point that I was unsure if I was strong enough. He knew that I would need the confirmation that I was strong enough from the person that means the most to me. He was answering my prayers, just not how I thought He would. My goal: although I may be facing some of the most difficult life situations in my young life, I will suffer with joy that only comes from my Heavenly Father.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4

A Letter to the Struggling Loved One

To my struggling loved one,

For the first time in months when I looked at that picture of us I smiled. I didn’t feel hurt or pain. I simply smiled. That picture was the start of something wonderful, and glorious, but also something extremely painful. The last four months have been agonizing for me. Like my heart was yanked out of my chest. I wasn’t sure what else there was for God to teach me through hurts because I have been hurt so much in the last year. I have lost one thing after the other and honestly have faced some of the most terrible times in my life. I have fallen to the floor in uncontrollable sobs, cried myself to sleep, and called my mom and bestfriends crying more times than I would like to mention. This year my strength has been tested but I also watched my prayer life with God grow. I had forgotten that throughout life you are always learning; there will never be a time you are not learning. I made a prayer wall. I spent hours upon hours upon hours praying for you, my family, and friends. I start my day with a prayer. I sit in my office and type it out every morning because most of the time if I speak it, it just comes out jumbled. I not only learned to pray but I learned to listen to God too. I learned from times in the past where I thought I had heard God and was wrong and now as I listen I can hear him ever so clearly. He’s given me visions of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. God has revealed how He will bring some of my hearts deepest desire, desires He planted in my heart, to fruition. He is teaching me faith and patience as I wait for those visions to be fulfilled and to be blessed with the things he has promised me. Waiting isn’t easy. Matter of fact it is the hardest thing I have ever done. I trust God. My God is a BIG God, but sometimes I still cry. After all I am only human. But when I start praying and a sense of peace washes over me because I remember what I have heard. This hasn’t been easy for me. People say that if we trust God then we shouldn’t worry. I lay down my worries at his feet constantly. I have to do it over and over and over again but I also have to fight doubt with myself. I fight the doubt in myself that Satan has planted and continues to plant as other people question whether I heard God right. I’ve heard God wrong before, maybe I heard him wrong this time too? Then it goes away, because I have never been so certain about something in my life. I pray that you develop the same relationship with God as I have. I know you’re struggling right now too. I know that the reason you have hurt me is because you are struggling and “Hurt people, hurt people” – Levi Lusko. I have a very forgiving heart. I have already forgiven you. Can you forgive me for the times I have put you down when I became angry with you? I hate the animosity that has developed between us when we used to have so much fun together. I miss you. Just because I don’t talk to you doesn’t mean I don’t miss you. I just can’t get through to you anymore so I choose to do all my fighting through prayer. I lift you up in prayer daily. Do you pray for me? I hope you remember how much you are loved. I hope you remember that you deserve to be happy. I hope you find your way again. Most importantly, I hope you turn to God to lead you. You can always return to God. His arms are always open. He is waiting for you.

“But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” Luke 15: 22-24


Someone who cares about you.

It’s not you, it’s Him

Darling, it’s not you, it’s him.

Let me be vividly honest for a moment. I struggle with relationships. I don’t date often because I know I fall fast. For this reason I weed through potential suitors with a fine tooth comb. I don’t enjoy dating. I don’t find it enjoyable at all. In fact I find it emotionally exhausting. So, if I dated someone it was because I saw great potential. For this reason when I get my heart broken, it’s to a severe degree.
However, I feel this great pressure to be in a relationship. I feel it from certain people who consistently ask if I’ve met anyone. I feel it from the world because everyone where I’m from gets married early. I begin to ask questions. Am I not pretty enough? Am I not smart enough? Am I too smart? Am I too mature? God, what is wrong with me? God, why haven’t you sent my Boaz? At this point in my life my strongest desire is to meet my forever person. The Godly man God has designed for me. God, why are you making me wait, you know how I feel? I’ve gone from one bad relationship to the next, God, why are you letting me get into these situations? The last guy, well I even prayed about him. I wasn’t ready for a relationship but I turned to God and sought his advice.  I thought it better to turn to him than mess something up that could have been. He sent person after person who encouraged me to move forward each in their own way. I am certain I heard God tell me to move forward and because I don’t want to fight God, although it’s a lesson I have to continually learn, I moved forward. But I ended up heartbroken again. I have had enough heartbreak this past year alone to last me a lifetime.
Let me give you a tip: it’s Him, it isn’t you. Ladies, it’s God who is holding back your Boaz. You are pretty enough and smart enough. You are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14). I know you feel ready but maybe He is growing you. Maybe He is protecting you from a painful situation. Maybe it’s your Boaz. Maybe he needs to grow. Maybe he isn’t listening to God as He screams, “Son, this is the woman I made for you. Isn’t she precious?” Maybe it’s a combination. Regardless, I know God has a plan. But let me stop here. You’ve heard all of this A MILLION TIMES, right? You’re tired of hearing just be patient, he is coming. You literally want to just scream, “BUT WHERE IS HE??” I know sister, I feel the same. Here is my recent conversation with God:

“God, I tithe. I donate to the needy. I even got two pairs of shoes instead of just one. I donate to organizations monthly. I seek you daily. I try to serve you daily. I share the Gospel whenever the opportunity presents itself. God, why haven’t you blessed me? Your word says if I tithe I’ll be blessed (Malachi 3:10). If I help the needy I’ll be blessed (Proverbs 22:9). I promise I didn’t do it just to receive a blessing. I did it out of love for you but God where is my blessing?”

Ladies, you aren’t alone. Many others, as well as myself struggle with this too. I trust God with my life, but sometimes I worry. Sometimes I question God. Sometimes I’m impatient and sometimes I don’t listen. Just because I’m Christian doesn’t mean I don’t struggle! I have to constantly lay all of this at my Father’s feet. I know his plans for me are great. Gosh, I’ve even had people tell me that they felt God telling them how great His plans for me are. Yet, I still struggle because knowing His plans for me are great doesn’t take away the pain I am experiencing now. But keep on trusting. Keep on hoping, I promise I will do the same and remember: it’s Him, darling, it isn’t you.



“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well”. Psalm 139:14

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10

“Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

Don’t Ignore God’s Call

This picture was captured in a moment of pure bliss. Should it have been? Probably not. A friend and I were unloading trash out of the back of my truck into the trash pile behind my house and I might have accidently closed the tailgate on their finger. At the moment in this picture they had locked me out of my truck. They might have been a tad salty that I was laughing so hard at what had just happened. To be fair I was laughing at their reaction, not them getting their finger smashed. They took this picture of me as I was trying to catch my breath and attempting to get into my truck; and I have to say, it is one of my favorite pictures.

This picture to anyone else would just seem like any normal picture but for me, knowing the backstory it is a moment that captured the wholeness of God’s beauty. I don’t mean that in a conceited way, bear with me. This picture captures the raw beauty of love and friendship. It captures mistakes and forgiveness. It captures caring for one another. It captures the simplicity and joy of life, right before it all came crashing down. You wonder how do I get that all from a picture? Well I lived it. When I look at this picture these are the things I am reminded of.

Love and Friendship

I didn’t have to help this person haul off trash that day. I could have done anything else. They didn’t have to help me later on that week clean out an old disgusting house I had promised to clean out for my dad or go “treasure hunting” in an old falling down house on one of our places. They could have been doing anything else too!

Mistakes and forgiveness

I didn’t mean to smash their finger nonetheless it hurt them. I humbly said I was sorry (I might have been giggling when I did so) regardless they forgave me and it became a laughing point for both of us later on.

Caring for one another

We had a blast simply working together. Yes, we could have been doing anything else but because we cared for each other we took the time to help each other out. That is what you do when you care for someone.

Simplicity and joy of life

We didn’t have to spend any money, just working and being together was enough. We laughed, we made fun of each other, we pulled chunks of wood and old paint out of each other’s hair. Simply spending time with those you care about can make all of the difference. Money or even alcohol doesn’t make a moment special, the people you spend it with do and those are the moments that you are going to remember as the “good ole times”.

All of this wrapped up in one picture and there were many more moments like it. The most difficult thing is that sometimes, as humans, we fall into a difficult time of life that pull us away from each other. When you care about someone though, you don’t just walk away and that can be quite challenging. God puts different callings on each of our hearts, and just because someone else hasn’t received the same calling as you doesn’t mean that what you have heard is wrong. For as long as I can remember I have prayed that God use me as a tool to spread his word. Our goal as Christians should be to be Christ-like and bring others to know and walk with Christ. God is simply using me as I prayed He would, though at times it becomes very challenging. So when it has been put on your heart to help someone and be there for them do not let others discourage you. Friends simply want the best for you and seeing their friend get hurt can be tough, but search out the will of God. Continually pray that you are on his path and He will guide the way.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

Old Fashioned

You are a daughter of Christ, do not forget that you should be treated like one.

Someday there will be a little girl who follows you around. She looks up to you and aspires to be like you. She pays attention to your every move, even when you don’t realize it. She may even call you mommy, aunt, sister, or she may just be someone special. Everywhere we go, everything we do is setting an example for this little person. They are impressionable. We face so many challenges these days with young girls not thinking they’re, good enough, pretty enough, or skinny enough and those little girls pay attention to how we view ourselves and can pick up bad habits if we are not careful. There was a study done that showed that daughters criticized their body in the same way they overheard their mothers criticizing their own bodies but that isn’t the only thing these young girls pay attention to. They also pay attention to how the men in our lives treat us. If these young girls grow up seeing men not express the chivalry that was long ago a society standard then they are more likely to think that the modern treatment of women is more acceptable because it is what they have seen.

Women this means that as a generation we must look for a man who values us as daughters’ of Christ and treats us as God would want us to be treated. Getting the car door, making a phone call instead of texting, walking on the roadside, and walking to the door to pick you up for a date are not gestures of the past and they are not that difficult. Yes, I am old fashioned. My grandpa would get on to men for cursing in front of us women. I was probably born in the wrong era but I am also encouraged to bring back the standards that have fallen to wayside. I envision someday a man meeting with my father to ask for my hand in marriage. I envision a man who treats me in a manner that makes his daughter want to “marry daddy” when she grows up. But that starts with us. It starts with prayer and asking God to send men of God our way who have been taught respect and chivalry. It starts with holding ourselves to a Godly standard and requiring the men who pursue us to meet that standard. I hope to be the cute old couple in the Walmart parking lot grinning from ear to ear as my husband still gets the door for me some 40 years later. Act like a woman of Christ and God will certainly send you a man of God. Those men are out there; just wait for God to send them your way.

“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” 1 Peter 3:7

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

“An excellent wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom,
and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
“Many women have done excellently,
but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the gates.”
Proverbs 31:10,26-31

Letting Go

I was a born fighter. I am known for getting back up swinging after being knocked down. As a high schooler that fight was mainly focused on my dreams and goals; things like winning livestock shows and speech contests, and I was very successful. But as I’ve matured and do almost no competing I have found that the fight has shifted somewhere else. I have this thing where I don’t give up on people easily. Although, I have also found that my control over this is far less than the control I had at being successful. I would say my speech to my dad in the living room 9 times in one night. We would write down questions as we were driving from place to place so I could spend my Ag period at school looking up the answers. When I was finished with my work in Trig I’d write my speech in the back of my notebook making sure I had it down to a “T”. While I couldn’t control how the judges chose or how much someone else practiced I could control how prepared I was when I walked into the room. With people it is far different.

img_8649Koda likes to join in on prayer time!

I’m a believer in the whole “cross oceans even if they wouldn’t do it for you” theory. I want to be a Godly example of someone who cares, but caring often leads to hurt. Tonight I did my best to let go of that hurt. You see that hurt made me angry, and that anger weighed me down. That anger was only hurting me. As a Christian I sought council for guidance to help me let go of the feelings I was harboring. After a conversation with my youth minister’s wife I sat down and made two lists: a list of hurts and list of all the things I loved about the person who hurt me. You know what? The list of loves was significantly longer than the list of hurts! It is so easy to focus on the bad that we forget the good we see in people! When I finished my lists I taped the “love list” to my prayer wall and I burned the hurt list. Yes, I burned it, in my sink, I was safe I promise! I prayed that as this list disappears so do all of the feelings I’ve been holding onto. It’s called GRACE and God freely gives it to us!
img_8648-1Koda on his rug by my prayer wall… he doesn’t leave my side! 

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
We do not deserve God’s grace but he gives it anyways. In our walk to be more like Christ, we should also do the same for others.
img_8650-1My prayer wall. 

I heard this quote several days ago:

“The only thing harder than forgiveness is asking for it.”

Maybe for some people, for me I find the act of forgiveness far more difficult. Regardless God calls us to forgive. When you do you’ll find this amazing weight lifted off your shoulders (or maybe it’s just the endorphins from catching stuff on fire, only God knows!)
img_8644-1When you’re done all your left with is ashes. You can’t make heads or tails of once was, it has all been burned away.