Friday, December 30, 2011

...And Who Am I To Think Otherwise?

In 59 days I will be a "Mrs." ...Incredible, right? I am so very excited; time has flown by faster than I ever could have imagined!! If 200 days went by this quickly, then I can only imagine how fast the last 59 will go, ahhh!

Anyways, there is a LOT of stuff that needs to get done still. Wedding related, life related, etc., etc. And I know myself. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, because I'll sit there, and I'll stare at the circumstances, and you know what happens? The longer I look at it, the bigger it gets, the bigger it seems, and then I begin to feel crushed and perplexed and frustrated... My emotions go haywire and I start to freak out and I think I just can't handle it and I wonder where in the world is God working in this? and why me? and why can't it just go easy for my like in such in such person's life? and on and on and on and on and ON go the questions and complaints. Then I hole myself away and bawl my eyes out and sleep and sleep, and bawl my eyes out again, then I vent to the Favorite and then, THEN I do what I should've done at the very beginning--opened up my Word, poured out my heart to Him in prayer, and let those burdens go from my heart and shoulders to His.

It's really quite unfortunate that this is the case, but by no means do I desire to purport myself to you guys like some kind of perfect Christian who isn't in need of some serious growth. Because clearly, I'm not! But amazing things happen when you really confront the truth about yourself instead of just ignoring flaws like they'll just disappear over time. (Trust me, they just magnify!)

Now, to switch gears for a sec...James is such an awesome book, man! I love it. As I'm writing, I just opened up my Bible to chapter 1, and there are like fifty billion sticky notes with stuff written on them from that chapter alone! Not to mention most of the verses in the chapter are either circled or underlined. All that to say that this is a well read chapter in my Bible. Even still, I think this is a good time to go over it again!

Now I'm no Bible scholar, but as I read there are three main things I can pull out that James predominantly talks about in chapter one: Trials (v.1-12), Temptations (v. 13-18), and Adherence to the Word (v. 19-27). ALL of it is good and convicting and essential to the life of a believer, but I'm gonna focus on that last one, adherence to the Word. You know, for a while I was in complete denial that I'm the type of person that lets life circumstances affect my emotions and relationships. I think I got really good at hiding it from myself by saying things like, "Oh, I just learn to adapt quickly," or "I'll be okay," or "Things could be worse." Now all of these things are actually true, but deep down I was using those cliches to smother this fear and doubt that this time the change would be too much for me, and I won't be able to handle it, that things could only get worse from here.

My relationship with the Favorite has played an integral role in me admitting that what I believed about myself was not actually the case. (I mean, it's always easier to think better of ourselves than we actually are, right?) Well this is a rough comparison, I'm gonna reference the section where James talks about how we are not merely to be hearers of the Word, but also doers.
Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Now that was me. Just as though I were looking in the mirror to see if there were any flaws in need of correction, I was confronted with the fact that I really don't trust God with situations (I'd just allow them to overwhelm me until I reached some sort of breaking point). But upon realizing there was something wrong, you know what I would do? Walk away, and completely forget that there was ever anything wrong and in need of fixing. Is the problem gone because I ignored it? Absolutely not! If anything, I am worse off than before because those sins and doubts and lack of trust begin to fester and grow and swell into something uglier and even more self-destructive than before.

Thank God the scripture doesn't end there! I don't have to muddle through my life with false truths about myself and a lack of faith in God. James continues by saying,

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.

There is so much freedom in allowing God to show us what's real about us and to transform us from the inside out!! I stopped letting what God was saying to me go in one ear and out the other; I stopped and listened, then I acted upon what He was saying.

So now, back to all the gazillion things I need to get done between now and the wedding day. Why sit here stressing my little mind about what could be and what might happen and so on? If it doesn't fall under the parameters of what God says in Philippians 4:8 (thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy), then I need to cast down those imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Christ! As I actively DO what God is telling me in order to have better responses to life's situations, the unhealthy and, dare I say, sinful habits and negative responses I've grown accustomed to begin to take a backseat go in the trunk go out the window!

There are a ton of unanswered questions in regard to how some pretty important details are going to work out for the wedding and life after the wedding. However, I know my God, and He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, and before I was even formed in my mother's womb He knew me and knew I'd be getting married in February 2012 and that I'd face situations and struggles outside of my control. This same God who knows all this also has ALL power to work all these things together for my good! That's what He said He'd do, so who am I to think otherwise?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Week and Sore Feet

Sorry I've been gone so long, guys. I just could not seem to work up the motivation or the energy to write a new post. (Something I'll be working on for 2012 ;) hehe.) These past few weeks I've been working a ridiculous schedule at work. I've been a sales associate for Things Remembered (TR) for almost two years now (I do sales, managerial, and engraving duties), and this job has definitely made Christmas the least anticipated season of the year for me! Sounds sad, right? Maybe if you've ever been a sales associate during the holidays, you understand. TR engraves items for customers same or next day, and any items that customers choose to pick up the next day have to get engraved overnight. Big deal, you say? Well, overnight typically means that a shift that would normally end at 11:00pm extends til 8:00am the next morning! Alas. Sleepiness. And soreness. Nothing like standing over an engraving machine for 10+ hours! Thankful for the job, even still. Well, now that Christmas is here, I can officially say that the holiday craze is over (at least for my store), but my sleep schedule has been all out of whack! So here I am, 6:15 in the morning, typing a blog post! In spite of the time, I'm glad to be getting one done. :-)

Anyways, MERRY CHRISTMAS! everyone!! Today is also my younger sister's 19th birthday, so a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout out to her! My family, including the Favorite and my brother in law, had a Christmas Eve birthday celebration for Erin so we could all be together for it, and it was So. Much. Fun. From the delicious food my sis and her husband baked from scratch, to singing along to the Sound of Music, to dancing the Cupid Shuffle to finishing off the night with homemade pound cake and homemade fried ice cream, it was an all around fantastic night!! After we left their place at like 2am, we got our Christmas tree. Better late than never, right? Well typically my family gets it closer to Christmas anyway, so this was no new phenomena, hehe. I was knocked out in the car during most of the tree buying process, except for when I was ever so rudely awakened by gusts of cold air swirling into the car as my dad and brothers tied said tree to the truck :-/ Even more...excitement...followed when we got home... But I won't share those details on here, not yet. Haha. But yes, it's now only 6:31am, and it's already looking to continue being a great day!

In other news, today is the two month mark for the Favorite and I's wedding day!! So incredibly super excited!! It's crazy how quickly time has flown by, and thinking about it in terms of days (62 days!) makes it seem all the more close. There is still so much prep to be done, but slowly but surely it's all coming together.

Hmm, let's see what else I can update you all on... Well, I have been cooking alot of random yummy things lately, and if you couldn't tell by the word "yummy," they've been coming out delish! Fried fish and grits with seasoned tomatoes, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, country fried pork chops, and more! Yum yum yum. I took some pictures, so if I can find them perhaps I'll share :-)

Ya'll familiar with Pinterest? Well, I am new to it and already absolutely in love with it! It has so much amazing cool stuff on there that I want to try! What's really cool is that I found out about it around the same time my bestest and I began discussing how we can become more Proverbs 31-ish in the new year, and we've both seen on the site that we can really put to use! Excitement! Actually, there are more details to come about this; I'll probably share in a New Year's post!

Life is good though, really. The Lord has been so gracious and faithful to continually, by His Holy Spirit, remind me of the things He's been teaching me in His Word, preaching, articles, and other formats. I have got some MAJOR stuff to work on though!! Like it says in James, the Bible really is a mirror, and it is a constant fight to kill my flesh and keep on looking into that mirror and make changes as the Lord leads instead of going away and forgetting what I really look like before Him. The Christian walk is a constant battle, and I'm working on keeping my armor on every day!

Well, this has been quite a smorgasbord of a post!! I could hardly ask you to provide as many snippets of your life from the past few weeks as I've just provided you with, so I'll end this with one question that I'm asking myself also:

What are you doing this year during this Christmas season to really make Christ known to those around you, to set you apart from Christmas celebrations as the world knows it? 

Hmm... Food for thought!

Enjoy your Christmas, guys! :-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving Comes 365 Days A Year

I had such a great Thanksgiving with my family! Unfortunately, my hermanita and her husband weren't with us this year, but my boo and I got to do most of the food prep this year together, which kinda made up for that, haha. Even though we should be thankful every single day out of the year, it is extra special to have a day set aside to celebrate the manifold blessings the Lord pours out on us! No matter our circumstances, the sovereignty of God alone is a reason to rejoice and give thanks! 

Elijah made the green bean casserole this year, and it turned out delicious!!! Making it is pretty straightforward ...unless of course your can opener is broken. Ahhh!! Thanksgiving day issues!! Well the Favorite was able to put his knife skills to the test, and at a safe distance I watched as he chopped open the can of green beans, hehehe. 'Twas quite entertaining, I must say. Just glad he didn't lose any appendages!!

He was so intent on it!! How adorable. :) 

I made cranberry sauce from scratch, as I have been for the past few years now. Turned out tasty, but for whatever reason the two bags of cranberries I got from the store made sooo much more sauce than it has in years past!! Weird... Funny story though -  When the Favorite and I went to the store to get the cranberries, as we were approaching the produce section, all of a sudden A BIRD FLEW OUT OF THE GRAPES!! Yes, there was a bird in the grocery store, hiding out in the grapes, eating them! Guess we scared it off! We just looked at each other and busted out laughing. I'm still chuckling to myself now just thinking about it!!

We decided to go the pre-cooked turkey route, primarily thanks to the hermanita and brother in law getting our turkey for us! I am SO glad it was precooked too, because I really wasn't feeling like putting in the work this year to do it from scratch, hehe. It was really quite tasty, though. Yay Butterball!

Now, check out these before and after pics of these rolls we get every year! You butter them, let them thaw, let them rise, then bake them!! We ended up letting them rise for a SUPER long time so they went from 


to THIS....

Hahah!! They were pretty much swelling up over the pan! It was fun to poke them though; they were definitely the most abnormally plush rolls I've ever had! Tasted really good fresh out the oven though!

Pretty much all the food is ready to eat....

Mr. Turkey and Mrs. Ham....

Joshua planted himself right in front of the turkey, and I can't say I blame him! I was ready to eatttt....

My hubby to be is just too cute. :)

Erin's home from Howard for Thanksgiving break!! Not to into taking pics right now... but once the food's getting served, smiles pop up all around!! 

My mommy is so pretty! And she got her braces off! Look at that sparkly white smile! :-D

Daddy insisted on getting some dishes done RIGHT before we were about to eat!! Typical, hehe. He's looking forward to dinner, too, especially since we were eating around 5:30 instead of our typical late dinner :-/ 

Smiles :-)

Yep, that's my plate. And that's not even all the food!! That's just all I could fit on my plate at the time... (sidenote, my dad makes the BEST sweet potatoes in the WORLD!!)

Our food preferences are quite different, and we're still learning to adjust! But included a few of my Favorite's  choices on the Thanksgiving menu this year, so yay :)

She kept trying to sneak extra ham!! But I caught her in the act ;-)

There's me!! Haven't quite made a dent in my food yet though... 

Falling into a food coma... 

The Favorite is falling into a food coma, too! 

I HAD to make some ice blue raspberry lemonade koolaid :)

Erin and Daddy having fun dancing off the food! :) So sweet.

Hope all of my readers also had a FANTASTIC Thanksgiving this year!! Anything special happen? What'd you do? I'd love to hear! Next up...CHRISTMAS! :-)

O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever!!  ~Psalm 30:12b

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Having Fun Isn't Hard When You've Got A Library Card!

I love Arthur, man. Nope, I didn't accidentally write that in the present tense; I still enjoy the show now! :-) Arthur taught me how to spell "aardvark", the greatness it is to own a library card, and all sorts of other cool stuff! Ya know, I think I just may get on Netflix and watch some Arthur after this :) Just kidding, maybe some other time. Lol. Anyways, in case you didn't know, my status is from a song on Arthur, that you can listen to here, it's pretty awesome. It randomly popped into my head when I looked over at the stack of books I have next to my bed that are on my "to do" list to read!

Technically I didn't get most...well, actually any of these books from the library; a friend let me borrow them! (She actually just got married a few months ago, and I so admire how she and her hubby have actively been drawing near to the Lord, and thus to each other, from their dating, to engagement, to now!) A couple of the books are actually from my personal library though (personal library = the box in my closet I just started unpacking two days ago).

One thing I really want to do is take in as many resources as possible in preparation for becoming a wife, and Lord willing one day a mother! The first and main resource will continue to be my Bible, and the other books will just be supporting literature. Here are some (or maybe I'll just include all!) of the ones that I plan to have finished between now and February...

This book is amazing already! This topic and these lessons excite me, and it's like ahhh, I really am about to be a wife, and one day a mom! That's enough to bring me to my knees right there, and cry out the Lord to make His Word clear and real and apparent and evident in the fruit of my life! 

I started this one a couple years ago, and never quite finished it... I figure now is as good a time as any to pick it back up though!

Single, dating, engaged, married, EVERYONE can read this book. It's crazy how the world's view of sex and things related to it can begin to subconsciously permeate our thinking and distort the way GOD views it and how we should also see it! Plus this is by Piper!? Looking forward to getting to this one.

I was lost but now I'm found! While this typically refers to the person lost without Christ then being found by Him, I am actually referring to the fact that I borrowed this book from my bestest years ago and definitely thought I lost it :-/ But lo and behold, it was in the unpacked box, go fig! I was LOVING it before I semi-lost it, so I'm definitely looking forward to getting back into it. EVERYONE READ THIS!!! It's amazing. And now I get to relate it to the covenant of marriage, woohoo!

Just like Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, people have super distorted views of marriage in the world today. (Think, Kim Kardashian. I could care less about her, but everyone was blowing up Twitter about her and her ridiculously, shamefully short "marriage.") Walking in reality about the purpose of marriage, expectations, and more is essential to starting off strong! (I talk like I've been married before! hehe. This is just what I've heard. ;)

I don't know what to say other than I am absolutely intrigued and I already know that this book will have some crazy great application points. And conviction points. Gahhh! Good stuff.

That is quite a few books, don't ya think?? That's 826 pages, not including Disciplines of a Godly Woman and Our Covenant God. (I didn't feel like getting up to get those two out of the box in my closet.) Good thing I like to read!

Again, reading the Word is essential and should always be the primary source of gaining wisdom in every area, but specifically biblical womanhood, since that's what I'm trying to grow in! One thing that really made me happy was in the intro to Feminine Appeal (or maybe the review? I don't recall) it said that for the readers who don't have a discipler or other such Titus 2 figure in their life, this book can serve as that mentor! I thought that was cool. There are definitely several examples of biblical womanhood I can think of in my life right off the bat (my Madre, for one!!), but the supplementary teaching will, I think, be very beneficial for me.

So this is probably a good spot to insert that these aren't books that you should only read if you are engaged to be married! Preparation should begin before the engagement season! (Not to say I haven't been preparing, I'm just saying...umm...foot in my mouth?...yeah.) I've already suggested Feminine Appeal to a friend, and I haven't even gotten through the first chapter; it's just that good! VERY convicting, but God's Word being brought to light and seeing how He can make me into a beautiful example of a godly woman definitely stirs me to change! Oh, but as I was saying, I definitely encourage my female readers to check these out! And yes, the male readers too, if you so desire hehe. Plus a couple of them, like Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, Our Covenant God, and When Sinners Say I Do aren't written *just* for women. :-)

To my engaged and married readers:  What kind of prep are you doing or did you do prior to getting married? Books? Sermons? Counseling? I'd love feedback, as I am open to checking out new tools and ideas and passing them on to others!

To my single, dating, and confused readers: (I'm kidding about the confused! ...actually I'm not, I suppose it is quite possible to be confused about your "relationship" status...!) What kind of prep are you doing now, or would you like to do, not just for marriage, but in becoming the type of woman or man that God desires to make you into? Any good books, or groups you get involved with? Anything? I'm all ears!, eyes! You know, since I'm reading, not listening... haha. (Don't mind my corny jokes. You don't have to laugh. I do though.)

Definitely looking forward to seeing what you guys share! And who knows, maybe I'll end up posting up some reviews or lessons I learn from the books as I go; we shall see...!!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lessons Learned The Hard Way

The source of my frustration is hanging on the back of my bedroom door, and the black sheet placed behind it only magnifies the flaws that were obvious enough. Spots and stains, rips and tears, alterations, discoloration---this isn't what a wedding gown is supposed to look like! 

Tinged, but easy to clean. Hemmed, but not torn or adjusted. I purchased with an expectation of receiving an almost perfect dress. Not completely without flaw, but something close. It's been days now, back and forth, back and forth with the seller, how could you sell something so obviously messed up!?

I pull out my camera. Flash on. Flash off. Snap! Snap! Snap! So many pictures, so many angles of so many flaws. Righteous indignation, man. I paid alot for this dress!

Put the dress away, or leave it? Forget it, it can't get any more messed up than it already is. Leaving home, returning hours later, immediately regretting that I didn't put it back. The last thing I want to do is go to sleep with that overbearing, beautifully flawed dress looming over me.

I stand. I stare. The white on black. Then it hits me. This is what He's trying to teach me.

That. Dress. Is. Me.

to be continued...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When Life Happens

Today has been some kinda day, man, SOME. KINDA. DAY. (The caps are very necessary. You gotta get the emphasis!) And I don't mean it in a bad way, but I am just shaking my head just in awe at...everything! And I don't mean it in a good way either, per se, just in a wow-look-at-how-life-just-happened-all-up-in-my-face-when-I-wasn't-even-expecting-it-to kinda way. You get me?

So this morning I take my dad to the slug line, as usual, nothing new there. (For all you non-DC area readers, slug line is our lingo for the commuter lot! I'm too tired to explain much further than that, so if you still don't get it, Google has just become your best friend.) I went back to sleep when I got home, and when I woke up, I just laid in bed for a bit thinking, Wow, I overslept again!? Let me go ahead and going for this day! A couple Sundays ago my pastor preached this EXTRA-convicting sermon about daily devotions, and did I mention it was convicting? I had gotten so caught up with stuff happening in life that I had been putting my time with the Lord on the back burner. (Sidenote: That affects EVERYTHING. No joke.)

Okay, rewind!

Oh, right! So ever since that sermon I've been much more diligent with spending quality time with Jesus, and this morning I grabbed my Bible and my Our Daily Bread, or whatever that little devotional pamphlet is called. The reading for the day was from Acts 16, when God let Paul and Silas to go to Macedonia and spread the gospel and the people they met along the way and the persecution they faced that eventually led to souls being saved. (Take some time to read it! Gotta love Acts!) Well the message in this devo was basically saying to be open to the Lord's leading and not get frustrated when plans don't go how we foresee that they should because ultimately God is sovereign, and He has a plan to work all things together for good! I meditated on this, and really felt the Lord leading me to seek Him regarding changing my perspective on how I view "mishaps" during my everyday life.

Alright this is getting long-winded and it's about time for me to go to bed, so let me attempt to speed through the rest (attempt being the optimal word). That beginning part was the foundation though! So I had my devo and the Lord kept it on my mind. That's when I tried on the wedding dress I raved about yesterday. Can I just say... I shouldn't have raved so early? Okay, I'll say it: I shouldn't have raved so early. I'm not going to get into the whole situation, but saints/readers/friends, please be in prayer that I can...handle some things. Lol. No really! Butttttt, guess what?? The Lord has a plan with this little detour, and I must say I look forward to seeing how it all turns out! Once all is well and good, of course I'll share in more detail. ;-) But this was the first thing during the day that had me really applying what I read in my Word.

While my mom and I are handling my dress situation, another situation arose: my brother's super nice football cleats got stolen!! Right before practice, with a game coming up soon! Seriously, though? People are trifling, and it's super shameful how students just go stealing other people's stuff! Grrrr. Rant over. Anyways. So my mom had to pause to handle that while I'm still trying to handle something with my dress and this is right. before. work. UGH! Bad timing!! ...or wait...God has a plan right? I calm myself down and stop freaking out and I smile and I chuckle and I say to myself, Detour, that's all! (Oh, and an exciting highlight with the shoe situation! Whoever stole the shoes managed to leave them on one of the benches on the field after my brother's practice without being noticed. Praise the Lord! He probably convicted him into giving them back to their rightful owner--however indirectly lol.)

So I finally get to work, right? I got there for a little after 3:00pm today, and though I wasn't too down or frustrated about the prior two situations, I was immediately confronted with issues at work, one of which may leave me out of a job! Now at that point my anger and frustration were really starting to rise, and it was showing. So I turned away. I breathed. I reminded myself that no situation that arises is outside of the Lord's knowledge or control, so what am I doing wasting time and energy worrying? I let it go, left it at the Throne, and I'm trying not to take yokes on myself that Jesus wants to take from me. How freeing! And then along came a customer who I really enjoyed working with, so that lifted my spirits.

When I got home, I was ex.hausted. And hungry. If you know me, you know that is never a good combination. If you've read any number of my blog posts, you know that is never a good combination. So I took off my shoes, and walking gently (my feet ache after standing on them for 8 hours straight!) I head straight to the kitchen, purse and coat still on. After downing a tasty piece of chicken (I had the chicken ready for dinner for my fam before I even left for work! GO ME!! hehe), I was ready to relax. A lovely email reminded me that my dress situation isn't over, so I handled that as much as one can at 1:00am, then called my boo. Lemme just say...when it pours. Yep, that's right, ya'll, it ain't ova!

I won't disclose our conversation, but when we finished talking all I could do was cheese and laugh. And certainly not because we'd just had a funny conversation. (Trust me.) I could probably attribute part of my weird reaction to the fact that I was tired and I can randomly have these maniacal giggles when I'm lacking sleep, but in reality I was actually feeling (and still feel) kinda excited!

Like I said before, this day has been somethin' else. But to be able to see God's Word ALIVE in this day in the reality of it's application is bringing me ridiculous amounts of joy. And you know what? I count it a privilege that God would see fit to allow me to go through such things as this; though minor in the grand scheme of things, and certainly temporal, I see them as a beautiful opportunity to grow closer to my Lord and be conformed into His image! Plus I get to love on and support my amazing hubby-to-be in the process, and I seriously just can't think of a greater gift than that.

"Disappointment--His appointment,"
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God's better choice for me.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 12:12

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yes, I'm Still Here!

Just in case anyone was wondering I have not fallen off the face of the earth or disappeared into world wide web oblivion. What's that you say, no one was wondering? Ah, who cares. :)

Life has been bizzaayyy lately, and Lord knows I want to blog more frequently but unfortunately it just keeps getting pushed further down on the priorities list. Can I give you some highlights though? ...I'll give them to you anyway!
This busy woman you see right here is me. Though I totally should've totally  photoshopped my  face in and used Paint (the program...not actual paint!) to color her arms brown. Eh, oh well, you get the picture. P.S., thanks Google Images!
I GOT MY WEDDING DRESS! Today actually. And lemme tell you it is lovely!! I went the non-traditional route and bought my otherwise insanely expensive way outside my budget dress used! Sites like recycledbride and oncewed are ahh-mazing, wish I woulda come up with the idea for those sites!

I've been cooking more! Yes, I could've put that in all caps, but to be honest, it just doesn't come across quite as epically (is that a word??) as something like getting a wedding dress. However, I've made all sorts of tasty things lately, like fried smothered pork chops, deviled eggs (more about that delicious disaster in another post), brownies, cakes, and more! I really do enjoy cooking...when I feel like it lol. I should probably try cooking more things my babe likes to eat since, ya know, we're getting married and all. Eh, he can try new things ;-)

I changed the name of my blog!! Now if you didn't notice this, please don't tell me. Just pretend like you were shocked when all of a sudden you clicked on my page and *GASP* My Life: Perpetua was gone!! I like the new title though, don't you? Maybe you'll like it even better once I explain why I actually changed it. Hehe.

I've got a bug! ...a shopping bug that is! I never used to be too big into shopping for clothes and shoes, though I did like purchasing things now and then. Ya see, I typically preferred to break my budget on something more temporarily satisfying such as say...yummy food! But now, I have a problem. A serious one. Hi, my name is Ashley, and I am addicted to TJMaxx! Lol. I'm serious though! Now I like to buy clothes, shoes, AND food, and my Things Remembered budget is getting squeezed to the Maxx! (yes, pun intended! corny, I know) One look at my purchases though, and I can't say I feel too bad. Girl's gotta look good, right? ...scratch that. Girl's gotta (help) save for the wedding and the future and college and ahhh! Okay, honest truth, it's just a couple cute splurges now and then ;-)

I'M GETTING MARRIED!! Yeah, I know that's not new news, but I think have good reason to be ecstatic! I love my man, and I do not exaggerate when I say I CAN.NOT. WAIT! to be his wife. I'm gonna be a MRS.!! I always thought Mrs. sounded old. Whatever, I'll take this matronly title any day. Well, in 123 days, to be exact... :-)

There is so so much more I want to share! God has really been teaching me so much it's crazy and exciting and painful and refining and ahhhh so much good stuff. I really want to discipline myself to make time for writing more, because I love to do it, I want to blog! Sounds easy peasy, right? Now to actually get 'er done!

Now about that time discipline thing? It's 1:53 a.m., which equals past my bedtime. Which is also about to equal either laying down in bed and watching something on Netflix  or laying down in bed and reading The Broker by John Grisham. Which is better? Well, seeing that the last time I watched Netflix before bed I watched For Colored Girls and went to bed depressed, I'll probably go for the book. Anyone else see the movie? Wait, don't respond to that question! I'll have to post about that movie at a later time, and you can talk then. In the meantime, I need to go to bed! :-)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bible Pride

Now this is a well used Bible! Even has mine beat! ;-)
Photo courtesy of Google Images. 
My favorite Bible I've had to date was a Christmas present from my dad back in 2001 or something like that. I had to have been in about 6th or 7th grade. The tiny KJV came with an adorable green Bible cover that I overstuffed with church bulletins, random notes, and tracks. As I got older I would eventually decide to ditch the cover, but the Bible I kept close. I used that Bible all the way up to my freshman year of college. At least 312 Sundays that Bible was used, and though my devotional times were not always consistent, I still used it frequently throughout the week too. Needless to say, the Bible became old and quite worn. The silver that lined each of the pages had long ago faded, and the binding threatened to fall apart at any moment. But it wasn't until I was presented with a new Bible that I reluctantly began to let it go.

I wish I could say that the primary reason I was reluctant to change Bibles was because part of Genesis was falling out or because I was ready to change to a study Bible or something. Nope. I wanted to keep this Bible because it was so used, and you could tell it.

Now this might sound absolutely ridiculous, but think about it. Have you ever looked at someone's Bible before and thought, "Wow, do they ever even use or open that?" or "Wow they must be really close to/spend alot of time with the Lord, look how used that Bible is!" Come on, I know I'm not the only one who's had that thought, even in passing, before.

I first realized that I had this mentality when I traveled to South Africa last summer. I mentioned before that I stopped using my little KJV freshman year of college. That's because one of the Christian groups on campus gave me one of those paperback NIVs, and because I had never read the Bible in that version before, I was eagerly eating up the Word, understanding stories and lessons in new and clearer ways. The old and worn KJV has been shelved ever since.

As far as the new NIV was concerned, that became my only go-to Bible. In spite of its larger size and the fact that it was paperback instead of leather, I still used it, and used it well, might I add. So many verses underlined, so many notes in the margins, so many things highlighted. And as I became more and more involved with Impact, I got deeper and deeper into studying God's Word, and my Bible showed the effects.

So let's fast forward to the whole South Africa thing. The Favorite decided that it was as good a time as any to invest in a new Bible. (And yeah, he was right! In hindsight, haha) Well I definitely did not want a new one. What was wrong with my two and a half year old obivously well used Bible? Either way, he got me a knew one that I had picked out, and I immediately began going through and underlining my favorite verses. It had to look like I at least read something outta there! You know what was going through my mind? "Here I am about to go on a missions trip to South Africa with a bunch of other students who have awesome testimonies and walks with the Lord and as soon as they see my Bible they're gonna think that I don't spend any time with the Lord at all!"

Reading it, it sounds pretty ridiculous, I know. But that's how it was! And it was at that point that I had those thoughts that the Lord really convicted me of one thing: PRIDE. Did I really believe that the way someone's (including my own) Bible looks was a direct reflection of their personal walk with Him? Crazy.

Now don't get me wrong; I love old Bibles, and I love holding on to copies of the living Word of God that I've had for years. It's nice to be able to hold on to the same Bible; often there are memories and lessons scribbled on the margins of pages, reminders from the Lord written on the extra pages in the back. It's when pride begins to subtly creep in and distort our reasons for holding on to the same when the issue arises.

That new Bible I took to South Africa has gotten it's share of use, but to be honest I have no idea where it is right now. (I moved, and it somehow got misplaced.) So went back to using that paperback NIV, then still ended up switching to a little leather Bible I borrowed from the Favorite. And you know what? Who cares! Either way I am reading God's words to me. He knows where I am in terms of my alone time with Him, and that is enough for me.