Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Woman

She may not seem like much at first glance. A passerby might think she was shy or stand offish. A friend would know better, but a sister knows it best.

She keeps to herself mostly, sharing her radiant smile with those she trusts and loves most. She does not use words in a flippant manner, but speaks carefully, weighing each thought before actually speaking it.

She isn't the life of the party and doesn't 'entertain the crowd'. This doesn't mean she's boring. Far from it! Inside the depths of her quiet soul contains a vast knowledge of her surroundings. She sits, quietly, observing those around her. She picks up on the slightest thing, things most people wouldn't even think twice about.

Though she is quiet it doesn't mean she is passionless. No, indeed, a deep and burning passion flares brightly in her chest, but only those close to her have the honor to hear her deepest thoughts. Like a treasure trove she does not let just anyone in. Those that think they know her may be assuming wrong for there is always some other hidden gem they have yet to discover.

She continually surprises those around her with these little jewels.

So, she may sit quietly at first, observing and thinking, processing every little thing that comes her way, but once you have gained the trust of this wise soul, you will see the most beautiful thing.

A smile that warms the soul. A compassionate heart that aches, yearns, and loves more deeply than most. A wit unmatched, a quiet wisdom, a bit of sarcasm.

In the dark of night, when true hearts come forth and the sharing of sorrows and secrets commence, her wise self gently encourages and guides those who need it and are willing to listen.

So deep is the cavern of her soul, so magical this treasure of hers that one could get lost just trying to understand it all.

Who can fully understand the workings of this amazing creature. Not I, even though I be the closest thing to her. I feel as though I have barely chipped away at the smallest of diamond rocks in this vast personality.

I sit back and admire, though, wishing I could be more like her. To be as wise and as understanding, for sometimes she can understand me better than I know myself. Perhaps, just perhaps, by more observation on my side, I will come to pick up some ways on how to be more like her. She is one of my heroes. She is my sister.

Many know so little and yet think they know so much. But there is not another person I know who is so caring, so passionate, so loving, so perceptive, so tender, so amazing. Her life has touched so many in so many important ways, sometimes without them actually knowing what she has done. So quiet is she in her helping of others. Yet even complete strangers feel as if they can simply open up and tell her their tale.

Yes, she is my sister. She is an amazing woman. A mysterious woman. I am lucky to be so close that I'm able to glimpse her beautiful soul. For once you get to know a little bit of her, you find yourself wishing you could find out more and wishing you could spend more time around her. Just being around her is wonderful.

So don't pass by the woman who sits quietly, observing those around her with a glint in her eye and slight curve to her lip. The best treasure is worth searching for and taking the time to find.

A tribute to my amazing sister on her birthday. I love you so much, sis!! This little thingy doesn't really do you justice. You're an amazing person and I'm so blessed to call you sister. I honestly don't know what I would do without you by my side. Don't ever forget what an amazing and beautiful person you are. Love you!!!

*All photography credit goes to Mosey Photography


Thursday, December 10, 2015

When His Grace is Sufficient

Too often I try to be a perfect little Christian. You know, the kind where we always put on a face, no matter how we're feeling. We had to give such a perfect image... or at least, that's what we feel like we have to do. Yet, day by day, I fail miserably at this formidable task. Look happy when I'm as low as dirt?  Try to make others feel good when I myself am crying from all the pain on the inside?

Let's try to be realistic about this for just a moment. We feel this pressure that, as Christians, we have this higher standard to uphold. That suddenly, being sinners saved by Grace, we now have to act like saved by Grace people and throw that sinner part in the wind. Oh wait, I just remembered... we can't.  We're sinners. Period. Before we were saved by Christ's blood, we were sinners. After we were saved by Christ's blood, we're still sinners.

Yes, we are covered and our names are in the lamb's book of life, but the point is, we're still sinners.  I don't know about you, but I'm rather weary of trying to pretend I'm something that I'm not.  I can't continue going on, day by day, pretending that all is well with me when it isn't. Yes, we are called to a higher standard now of living, but that doesn't mean that we won't sometimes stumble... and when we do, we experience that grace and mercy all over again. Why do you think there are so many verses TO CHRISTIANS in the bible talking about God's mercies are new every morning or turning away from our wicked ways?  It's because God KNEW we would continue to fall into sin. He knew it from the beginning of creation, before we were even brought into existence.

Just recently I experienced one of my 'down moods'. You know, the ones where everything just kinda hits you like a train? All those emotions go flooding through your mind and you feel as if you're going to drown in it all. Unfortunately, I was at a party... not a great place to suddenly have a 'break down', for lack of better words. But hey, gotta get hit at the most inopportune times, right? 

Thankfully, one of my 'Titus 2 women' noticed and helped me get away. We snuck back to her room and we talked. She encouraged and lifted me up when I needed it most... but the thing she said to me that stuck the most was that 'God can handle all of your big emotions'.  See, I was feeling guilty, yes, guilty, for being so emotional. What was wrong with me anyway? Everyone else was having a grand ol' time and I was ruining it by letting my emotions come into play. Of course, I didn't ruin anyone's day and everyone had a wonderful time, thankfully.  But it was good for me to be reminded of that simple fact; that God can handle my big emotions.

Too often I forget the whole point of my relationship with Christ. Sometimes I start viewing it as a 'Father up in Heaven.... who looks down at us'.... but I kind of forget that whole 'Father' part... I mean, when I have a problem, I love talking to my dad about it. Why? Because he's so full of wisdom and good advice... so why do I forget that my Father in Heaven is the same way and just as approachable as my father on earth?  Because as soon as I forget that, everything else comes crashing in.

Thoughts of doubt fill my head, I start feeling like a failure. All these problems start rising up, so I put more burdens on my shoulders. I try to carry it all and when my knees finally buckle under the crushing weight, I blame myself and feel guilty for not being joyful about it and putting on a face.

It's like we forgot that relationship with Christ. He is the one Who wants to carry our burdens for us. Yet somehow we feel like we have to do it all ourselves. And here's why, for me anyway, I think I do it.  I feel like it's  a 'proving myself good enough' kind of thing. Like, I can handle it because 'I'm a good Christian and I know how to deal with all this junk'.... but apparently, I don't. Because the way we're supposed to handle that junk, as Christians, is to give it to God.   We're not supposed to try holding it all ourselves. We can't. We physically, emotionally, and mentally can't truly handle all of it. And God knew that. Again, He gives us mercy and tells us that He knows we can't handle it and what we need to do is to give it to Him because He can.

Yet again, however, we do this thing of turning our backs on that offer. We don't need His help. We can handle it because, after all, I've got God... oh wait...

So I stop and think for a moment and realize just how silly I'm being. Here I talk about the fact that 'I'm just a sinner who's been saved by Grace' and yet I act like I was just 'saved by Grace' as if I didn't have anything to be saved from, really. As if I'm perfect and I live a happy and wonderful life because if I dare to say anything to the contrary, I'll be snapped at.

But who are these 'people' we fear are snapping at us? Who do we fear to be judged by? Other Christians? Just people in general? And yet, they are the one thing that we shouldn't worry about at all. Because we don't need their approval ratings. We only need God's. Yet time and time again I find myself wondering if people are going to approve of this action or that. If people will think I'm lame because I did this or that. Or if I will lose my witness because I've crumbled under the weight of my burdens.

Then those words come running back through my mind.... "God is big enough to handle it all."

Why do I keep trying to be perfect when I already know it's impossible? It's like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube... it ain't happin'.

However, there is a standard to live by. But the wonderful thing is that, though we have instructions on how we now need to live our lives and grow in Christ, we still have the verses that remind us of God's mercy. He knows it's a journey, one that lasts a lifetime. As we walk along our path, there will be days when we are solid and tight. But there will also be days when the pain and grief that surround us come crashing in over our walls and we have to learn to let go.  We just have to close our eyes, hold out our hands and let God rescue us.

Stop listening to the lies about how we have to be perfect. Because, as my Titus 2 woman friend also reminded me, if we were perfect, there would be no room for God. No need for Him. And that is actually a very sad thought. I can't imagine my life without Christ. He is my everything, but that doesn't mean that I'm not also human and a sinner and I will still fail on my quest to become like Him. Sometimes I just have to let His grace be sufficient for me. I have to stop holding on and just be held, broken as I may be. He will hold me together if I let Him.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm Going on An Adventure!

It feels like summer to me. Granted it hasn't officially started by a calendar's standards.. but who *really* goes by that, anyway?

Summer is one of my favorite times of year. Which is funny.. because I think I say that about each season.. well, except for Spring. But that's only because it's always terribly windy here in the Spring, so it's not very enjoyable. =P

But I absolutely adore summer. Really do. For some reason it brings back very sweet memories. A certain smell or view... it just is wonderful. Hard to describe, but I have a feeling most everyone will get it. ;-)

The other thing about summer is that it seems to be the time to really get out and do stuff. That's the time you're the most free somehow.

Well, I had a ton of exciting stuff just land in my lap recently. Well, almost in my lap. ;-) First off, I had an opportunity to go and be a seamstress on a big movie set. I was ecstatic about that one. How cool would that be?!? I mean sewing costumes with a huge budget? Um yes please!! However, as I dug deeper into what would be required for it, I found out there were some things I really didn't want to get in to. So, that door got shut. But I have to say I was still pretty thankful for it, because it was a pretty obvious door. Sometimes they are hard to tell apart from 'obstacles' that you need to over come.

The other super exciting opportunity I've got coming up is actually acting with a big local theater. Albuquerque Little Theater. Some might know it because that's where Don Knotts and Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the "I  Love Lucy" show) started out. So it's pretty big. I've seen a couple plays there and they are outstanding. And now, I finally have the opportunity to go and audition. Don't know yet if I'll get in, but hey, just being able to try out will be amazing!

And so all this has gotten me to thinking... all these amazing things that are happening right now.

I know a lot of my followers are single young ladies. Perhaps some of you are waiting for 'Mr. Right' to come along and sweep you off your feet. Others might not be waiting for that so much, but maybe waiting on some other big event to happen.

Well, with all these things going on, plus seeing so many people getting married or engaged, it's made me realize how extremely precious and unique my time as a single person is.

I'll say first that I know being married is a wonderful and marvelous thing. A visual picture of our relationship with Christ as His bride. So I'm not saying that its bad in the least- just sayin' that now.

But to go on from there.... our time as a single is truly amazing. You are, essentially, very free. I realize you might have a job or other commitments, yes. But if you really think about it, you're pretty much on your own.

And then you realize.. you have got all your resources available for something really important. You're not spending them on huge grocery bills for a growing family, or paying for your kid's clothing, doctors, etc. (again, those are definitely a *blessing* when you have them!). Instead, they are all there for your use. And you can use them for something really important.

Serving God.

Honestly, there is no greater calling on earth for a follower of Christ than to serve Him. Whether it be by serving Him in the home raising a family that follows in His footsteps, or you're out on the mission field.

However, as you look at the different stages of life, there are some things that are easier to do while you're single. For one thing, if you felt called to go on an extended missions trip to another country, or even just out of town, you'd be able to, essentially, pack up and leave. You wouldn't need to worry about making sure it was going to work out for your family and husband, or anything. You could just go. You could volunteer some place that takes up all your free evenings. You can go and bless mothers with baby sitting or regular nannying.

There are seriously a lot of things you can do.. yet, sadly, I see a lot of young ladies who are simply pining away for the day prince charming will arrive. Now, don't get me wrong, I've prayed for that day, too. But the thing is, I've come to realize that, you know what, that day may never come. Do I want to waste my *entire* life waiting and pining for something when I could have just been *living* my life? And better still, living it for Christ??

Statistically, not everyone is going to get married. So right there I know there's a big chance I may never get married. Yes, I'd like to some day if God brings it all together like I know He will when it's that stage of His plan. But until that happens or until I die, I want to live my life out to its fullest extent. God gave me this wonderful, amazing, and beautiful life.

Why waste it?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Am I Thinking?!?

Wow. It has been an extremely long time since I've been over here.... Shameful, really. Especially since I have so much going on. So much to talk about. So much to share. Which is actually funny... I've written up several posts.. I just haven't posted them. =P Maybe I should do that... huh.

But here I am, anyway. This shall be a rambling post. Maybe do a few lists or something. Yeah. Let's do that.

1) I've been really busy (in case you couldn't tell from the lack of posts). But surprisingly, I haven't been as busy and some might think. Yes, I live a life and that right there is chaotic and messy and beautiful. Yet there are so many other things that play into that.

2) We've been in an extremely busy time of year for the ranch. Working cows every. single. night. That gets rather exhausting and leaves little energy for other fun things (like blogging). However, we are finishing up this week and then we'll have a big working weekend and be done! YAY! I love the ranch seasons, but when they are almost done, I'm definitely ready for them to be!

3) I've still go my nanny jobs. I love them because they fit me so well. But they've also grown me in ways I never would have imagined. There are some days I come home just exhausted, wondering why I'm doing this in the first place... and then I remember that those momma's, well they get this every single day. And me coming in once a day gives them a bit of a break. A rest. And that makes it worth it. Oh, not to mention the ADORABLE cuties I get to watch.. hah! Or those bittersweet moments when the littlest one is finally old enough to pronounce your name correctly.... or when your heart melts because the one child that doesn't express emotions very often tells you he loves you. All those moments are so beautiful. So precious. It makes every single day that I'm working so worth it. It also makes me look forward to a time when maybe God will bless me with my own children someday. And I can look forward to those same things.

4) I've been taking a web design class! HTML And CSS. Boy it has been an adventure! Lots of learning, lots of crying, and definitely lots of frustrating moments. But that, too, has also been good. I find that if I'm not learning something... well, it's just not a great place to be. We should always be learning, growing, improving somehow. I wanted to do web design. So when I found out from a friend about these Christian guys that teach IT stuff online, I had to check it out. After doing some praying and thinking, I signed up for the class. Needless to say, my family is rather excited... course not because I'm doing this, exactly, but because when I'm done, I'll be able to design websites for them. Ranch website, sister's photography site.. lol! But hey, it will give me that much needed practice.

5) I have recently been presented a very exciting opportunity. Only problem is, I don't know if it will actually happen. So I don't want to say anything yet. But I would appreciate your prayers! Mainly that if God has this in store for me, He will open up all the doors for it and guide me through. And that I will listen well. ;-) But it is just SO very exciting... I honestly don't think I can survive the excitement! ok, ok. being a bit dramatic, I know....

6) I have realized that it is time to move on from acting in my beloved ABC drama group. This is extremely bittersweet. It has been so very fabulous working with everyone and acting and being a part of every production (not just on stage, but back stage, too). And now, I say au revoir. Granted, I won't totally drop them like an old shoe completely, but my acting days are over with them. This is very sad. I really don't like this side of the 'growing up' thing. However, I'm still looking forward to participating in ways like stepping up as assistant director or taking over costuming full time, or helping with props, etc. However, the sweet part out of all this is that now I maybe have some time to start pursuing some different adult theaters. There are a couple that are somewhat local and I look forward to possibly participating in some of their plays. We'll see what the Lord has planned!

7) I feel like I have recently been pushed into a growing season. These are very good, typically. It means you're maturing more, growing more, etc. The only problem is that they are really hard to go through! The end result might be great... but the journey is hard. And then, of course, there's the realization that there is never an end to the journey. It continues on until you die. That then puts you in a rather sullen mood, on some days. Other days it doesn't bother you one bit and you are ready to face the challenges ahead. I am, however, finding myself hitting the 'low point'. The point where I start wondering what in the world I'm doing. Where I wonder if I'm messing up God's plan or if I really am just following Him blindly, trusting that He'll lead me... Of course, I know He'll lead me.. it's just my interpretation of His directions that I worry about. Because, after all, I am human. *sigh*. Gotta love this thing called growing up, right? At least I have an amazing prayer support network of family and friends who keep me covered daily. =)

And there's a nice wrap up to a much needed post. Maybe not much needed for my readers because, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd abandoned me at this point.. But it's much needed for me. I've decided this blog is like my 'therapy', if I actually need it. A place other than a quick face book post to really share my thoughts. That being said, after having been burnt out a little bit back with my writing endeavors, I now find myself willing and ready to jump in again. I may never accomplish the large novel I want to complete or publish any more books.. but if I'm just writing on here, even if no one reads it, I still feel as if I've done something. For myself, maybe, but it's hard to hold back when the urge to write something pops up almost constantly in the day.

So, all that being said, it feels good to be back. To be home again.