Hey! I know, I know, I disappeared again. I'm mildly drowning in homework, and I haven't had as much time to myself as I'd like, and I am sorry. I've also been feeling a bit empty, not exactly starved for ideas but something along those lines. I guess I haven't written partially because I don't feel God prompting me to write anything, or more accurately, I haven't been able to put God's prompting into words yet. As always, though, if there's an issue you're dealing with, a question you have, or a topic you want to see discussed, don't be afraid to message or email me and I'd be happy to answer/write about it. God bless,
I think often we don’t even realise how much pressure we’re under every day. We’re supposed to do lots and we’re supposed to look good doing it. We should be good wives and mothers, or we should be preparing for this role if we don’t fill it already. Be involved in the church, the school, the community. We live under this “be who you are” ideal but we all know the reality of visual bias and we feel the pressure to look nice, look young, look sexy; all these different things. And it’s stressful. It’s incredibly stressful for us. I said at the beginning of this year that I wanted to try to be honest, or at least as honest as I reasonably can be when posting things on the internet for the world to read. So in a moment of internet-safe honesty, I’m willing to admit that I’ve been feeling this pressure a lot lately. Leaving for college after Christmas break was maybe a little more emotional than I really wanted to admit at the time. I think I was home just long enough to remember why I love being there, with my family and my friends and the town I’ve known for years. Then I had to leave again, back to a place that is still unfamiliar, still not quite comfortable, 1,800 miles away from everything I consider to be “home”. The day before I had to leave, I got sick of packing and thinking and all of that, so I went for a walk. There’s nothing like Colorado sunshine to remind you that God is still good. It was a little chilly, but it was peaceful. It was a kind of peace that I know I’ve been missing for a long time because I didn’t ever set aside a place for it. And now, being back under the pressure to perform, succeed, all of that stuff that I mentioned back at the beginning, I’m remembering that peace and kind of wondering why I do this to myself. Seeking God’s peace is the ultimate, lasting relief to the pressure and stress that we deal with every day. Emotional health is just as important as physical health. I know when I’m stressed, I start to lose track of the ways I should be honouring God. I lose my temper. I stop “working for the Lord and not for men”(Colossians 3:23). And it’s important to take care of ourselves emotionally because God didn’t create us to be tired and stressed and overworked. Take care of yourself, girl. You need it. You deserve it. Take a night off. Take a walk. Stop arguing with yourself and eat the ice cream. We’re all under pressure. We all need a find a way to cope with that, and we all need to remember that no one else gets to tell us we shouldn’t take time to ourselves. Your emotional health is important, girl, and it’s important for you to learn how to take care of it. Thanks for being so patient! As I mentioned, I'm kind of dealing with a lot in terms of my own emotional health currently, but I'm still trying to keep up. As always, feel free to email or Facebook me (see the "Contact Me" link in the sidebar). And as always, God bless.
Nothing is sadder to me than when someone says they "used to be pretty". I actually cringe every time I hear it. Used to, before what? Before you turned thirty and decided you were old? Before you gained weight? Before lack of sleep or depression or stress took their toll on you? Have I ever mentioned Proverbs 31? I think the description of the wife in this chapter is really powerful."The heart of her husband trusts her," it says.She "works with willing hands", "rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household". She "dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong", and she "opens her door to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy." "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". Nowhere in the verses does it say that she's pretty. She isn't described as hot or young or sexy. Because this isn't the point. Verse 30 says that "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." So why is it that we have this idea of "used to be pretty"? I think it comes from our own weariness. We're tired of trying to be this and that to fit different images of what we feel like we should be. I've felt it. That feeling of failure when we look at another girl and think that we'll never be that pretty. What we're really saying is "I used to be pretty before I broke my own heart trying too hard". Outward appearances are deceiving. If you're feeling this way, chances are you've been pursuing the wrong things. Remember what we are called to pursue:"righteousness, faith, love, and peace" (2 Tim. 2:22). God has created you to be beautiful; He loves you before you try to be anything, and He will bring you exactly where you need to be in life. The only "used to" that we need to describe ourselves is that "I once was blind but now I see".
As always, let me know how I can pray for you. You can reach me via email or Facebook. I hope you all have a truly beautiful day.
I’m not always very good at being honest. I don’t like to admit it, but it’s true. Being honest with other people, and being honest with myself, especially when I’m struggling with something. You all know someone like me—the press on, keep going, “conceal, don’t feel, don’t let it show” kind of people. I have to break down and cry before I admit it’s been a bad day or a rough week. I know every excuse in the world to keep people from asking how I really am. It’s a habit, something I’ve spent years developing. And it’s unhealthy. I’ve never been big on New Year’s resolutions. Studies show that only 8% of Americans are actually able to keep the resolutions they make. Almost 40% fail in the first month. But I’ve been thinking and praying a lot as I’ve looked ahead into this year, and I think I’ve decided something. Call it a resolution if you want. I want to learn to open my heart. To be honest with myself, with others, and with God. After all, the first step to solving any problem is recognising there is one, and I’m never going to be able to overcome the things I face if I can’t even admit to myself that I’m struggling. I also need to be more honest with other people. Not that I plan on simply announcing to the world exactly what I’m feeling all of the time, but when you can’t even tell your best friend what’s on your mind, something is wrong. Most of all, I want to let God teach me to open myself up to His healing, because He is the only one who can truly overcome everything I face. As the old year passes and the new one comes in, it’s okay to remember where we’ve been; what we’ve come through, what we’ve done, who has been beside us. But it’s also important for us all to let God usher us into a new year. His mercies are new every morning. Let the New Year be the beginning of something new, something God-led. Something beautiful.