Friday, April 29, 2011

Ok. I probably shouldnt be writing this right now. I can feel my heart racing & my adrenaline pumping. i feel irritated & annoyed. 

Before i was signing off my computer to read the latest book that im reading, i noticed a video that someone had posted on facebook. a video about modesty & what guys think about it. Ok. i was intrigued. i grew up in a christian home & church & know all about that. so i decided to watch the video.

Bad Idea. 

im sorry. i have definite issues with the church & how they go about teaching modesty to women. I remember being in youth group when i was in jr high & basically being told that if i showed ANY type of skin on my stomach, or above my knee, that i was just asking guys to look at me wrong. Oh, and also that i was causing the guys at my youth group to stumble. and that it was my fault because i wore those types of clothes.

Ok. Lets back this train up, shall we? HELLO?! Since when am i responsible for someone else's thoughts? when did that happen?! 

This past weekend i went up to the cities with my dear friend, & one of the goals was swimsuit shopping. I havent gotten a new swimsuit in years, & was ready for a great 2 piece swim suit. preferably one that wasnt going to be perfect for a christian summer camp. 

awful. the whole experience was awful. i will be the first to say that i have a pretty not ok self-image. i do not see the truth when i look at myself. plain & simple. am i working on it? yes. am i completely blaming anyone for it? not quite...

i get what the video is saying. i understand that that is a struggle for most guys. however. that is not my sole responsibility in this life. that should not have been taught to me the way that it was. instead it made me feel like a whore whenever i wore something even remotely risque. 10 or more years later and i still have to ask my friend if its OK to wear an amazingly cute dress to church EVEN IF it happens to fall an inch above the knee.

Now im not necessarily the kind of person to draw lines (at least im working on it...) but come on. If there has to be one drawn, where should it be? Yes. Women should be able to wear clothes. great clothes. cute clothes. APPROPRIATE CLOTHES FOR THE LOCATION. I get all of those things. Im not going to show up at church wearing a short mini-skirt with a tube top & hooker boots (however i do wear my boots almost every sunday...). But what if someone does? should we look down upon them and tell them that they need to change because "they are causing men to stumble?" NO! That would be so completely wrong... but it happens. The looks of judgment are there. Ill admit that im sometimes guilty about that. Of course i still have that seed of judgment in there. But if i judge them i have to judge myself as well.

Ok. So i only watched part of the video, because i had to stop. there was a line in it that said this: 

"Girls, before you go out you need to have your dad screen your wardrobe."

Ok. so then can i add a quote of my own?

"Guys, before you go out with a girl can you have your mom screen your thoughts & motives before you ask that girl out?"


"Guys, can you have your moms check out your personality to make sure that youre not a complete asshole before you say things or make promises that you cant keep?"

Yes. i may be a bit bitter. i would prefer broken-hearted. maybe not even that. just hurt. 


That still does not justify anything. Im sorry. i may be completely stepping on toes right now, but i can say that a lot of my self-image has to do with that. 

i truly feel that if we can teach girls to be comfortable in their skin & with their sexuality, things could be a lot different. maybe even better. instead we tell girls that they have to hide their bodies because guys cant deal with it. 

so what about the girls who make themselves sick after meals? do we tell them to stay away from bathrooms? what about the girls who struggle with gossip? do we tell them to not talk to any other form of life? 

God made women. period. The human form is a beautiful thing, and instead of embracing it for what it is we just dismiss it as wrong & immediately put a label on it & make a law. im sorry, but my life just doesnt work that way anymore.

so here's my theory:

where i should be held responsible, i will take that up and stand by my role. by men... its time to man up. take responsibility for your actions. find a buddy & be accountable. be honest with yourself. be honest with the Lord. just be honest! stop living by your guilt. let the Lord guide you with his grace & mercy to conviction. be wrong! own up to your mistakes and move on. but dont put it back on me. dont make me, or any other girl, take the fall for your thoughts. that was and never has been my responsibility. your thoughts are your own.

so own them.

now. im not perfect. and i can safely say that i will be receiving messages & comments about this topic. and thats great. i would be more than willing to discuss this because i can say that my life has been affected by this in way too many ways. but i can move forward. i can take responsibility for my actions and what i need to do and keep on doing what the Lord has called me to do. I know im not perfect, & i hope i dont come across as that. i just really have a hard time seeing things that i was taught when i was younger, & still seeing it be taught today... KNOWING how it affected & still affects me to this day. im just not ok with that. 

courageously rockin' a kickin' bikini this summer,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

my easter

Alright. Easter has come & gone, and i find myself putting off my last post of that season... even as i sit here at Caribou i find myself putting it off... doing anything that can distract me...

why have i been putting it off? that's easy. something happened to me during the Easter service this year, and its one of those things where im not sure what it was, and it wasnt necessarily great.

let me start this by saying that i love my church. love it. only place that i have ever... ever... ever truly felt the love of Christ. The only place that i know of that the fruit, by all members of the staff, is good fruit that i cannot get enough of. When i make it up to the cities on a sunday morning, i take it as a gift; a treasure. a well of life that will never run dry... no matter how many times i do or do not attend. the Pastor is wonderful. so full of life, love, grace, kindness, compassion, etc. i could go on forever. So when i say all of those things, and then speak about the sermon, im moreso speaking about what happened to me instead of the actual words that were said. just thought id clarify for a minute :)

Ok. i was sitting in church. wearing my easter best. standing there and worshipping the Lord. hoping. begging. pleading. that somehow the Lord would reach. minister. move my heart in some way shape or form.

and then something came over me. not the usual feeling of hope that comes to me on easter, but the exact opposite. 

hopelessness set in. insecurities. fear. insignificance. doubt. shame. worthlessness. failure. insignificance. again.

it all welled up in me before i even knew what to do with it. and i just stood there. i felt like a bag of bones with nothing inside of me, and i kept thinking to myself, "What in the hell is going on? why am i feeling this way? this my my favorite holiday! why? what in the world?!"

i was terrified. but at the same time i had gone into such a strange place there i didnt really have any feeling of terror. i felt calm. too calm. numb? im not sure. but something definitely happened. 

and i started to think about it. the pastor was speaking about how God changes people's lives. he heals them. he takes them from their situation and does great things! I know that God! I believe in that God, and trust that He does those things.

However, as i was thinking about it i started to think about where i am and the environment that has been around me. I didnt grow up in a bad home. i was loved. i went to church every sunday. i fought with my siblings, but still liked them. it was OK. i was average. Ok, so there's no big deal...

but then i thought about everything a bit more... i was never a complete crazed Christian. i feel like ive always had somewhat of a realistic outlook on life. so i was never one of those "happy all the time, glass half-full" christians that walked around with my salvation on my sleeve. it just wasnt my style. 

So where did/do i fall? well... i feel like i was right in the middle with everything. and i feel like that's where i am right now. nothing special is going on. nothing exciting. im not a super christian, but im flaming atheist either. i just am. and i realized that during the service. and it took me to the following verse:

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one of the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth." -Revelation 3:15,16

Those words stuck to & stung me. (And im realizing that it was probably something using those words against me, but there it is.) i felt like i was so easily thrown away... that i wasnt one way or the other, & so i just was blah. there was no taste to me. nothing special or exciting.

***Ok. i feel like i move on any further i just need to say that im fine. im sorting through this. i know the truth. i do not need you all to validate me. words of encouragement are great, but not needed. thats not saying you cant say how awesome my blog is ;), but im releasing you if the feeling to fix me rises up in you...***

if you have read the Harry Potter books, or have seen the movies you have probably heard of Ron Weasley. He is the 6th boy in a family of almost all boys (the youngest is a girl). I love him. In all of the movies, i am completely delighted by him. He's funny. charming. a little insecure. and not necessarily the hero. Harry Potter is his best friend. Harry Freaking Potter. the Boy Who Lived (seriously... just read the books). the Chosen One. So who is Ron in all of this? Is there a point to him being a part of the story? He's not a super villain. He's not the hero. He's not brilliant. Possibly just there for a bit of comic relief. 

Man. That is how i feel. that is how i have felt. like somehow i am easily replaced. its happened. it has been done before. im used to it. not a big deal. i can get over it.

but to feel those things during an easter service. im not quite sure in which basket or file folder that i should place those thoughts. right now theyre strewn across my floor. waiting to be sorted. but its too much. its too hard. 

so what do i do instead? i sit at a coffee shop & write about it for the world to see. 

i feel insignificant. replaceable. fear. doubt. hopelessness. stagnant. tired. forgotten. not heard. 

im not quite sure what to do with that. and what's even harder is having people in the world validate my worst fears. they probably dont mean to. and i dont like sometimes having people manipulate & shape my emotions. but it happens. and im stuck. and im not quite sure what to do with it.

the pastor called for a time of prayer during the service, & i tried so hard to hold it together. SO hard. and i did. but i begged & pleaded with the Lord. I made deals. i told the Lord what i wanted. that i wanted to feel needed. to feel wanted. to somehow have Him show me that im not completely worthless (once again. i know that im not. BUT...). that what i have to say & to give to this world matters. that maybe im on the right track. that i havent completely strayed off of a trail. that i want to mean something on this earth. i dont want to just be a person that gets through life. i want to live mine. and to love it. and to maybe even make a difference. anything.


that's where im at right now. easter was not what i expected or wanted it to be. and, like i said earlier, im still sorting through that. there has to be something to learn. somewhere. so i guess all that i can do is keep begging. pleading. hoping that ill hear something...

courageously crying out,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Alright. So im sitting here with another blog post stirring. a friend emailed me, & said that he was behind on my readings already. Well buddy, looks like im leaving you behind for a little bit longer! :)

Anyway, i blogged about holy week last time, & im still at it. This time, however, it started with Lady Gaga & the women of the View. what?! yes. ill explain.

This morning i was watching the View (hey. its a good show sometimes alright?!) and they brought up the controversy surrounding Lady Gaga's new song "Judas." If you have not heard, she released this song earlier this week. What everyone's enraged about, im not sure. i mean, i get it, but someone at any given time is going to stir up controversy. Anyway... 

they started talking about predestination vs. free will right there on daytime tv! I was a bit intrigued, & decided to keep watching. they were talking about Judas & Whoopi Goldberg said, "the only person who didnt have a choice was judas. without him having done what he did everything else could not have followed. he's doing what he had to do."

Now, free will & predestination are the last of my concerns right now, but it definitely got me to thinking, and once again it brought me to my researching nerd that is in me. What is it about Judas that stirs up such strong emotions in me... and NOT the emotions that you may be thinking. I felt compassion for him... grace... sadness...

"When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins to the chief priests and the elders. 'I have sinned,' he said, 'for I have betrayed innocent blood." (matt. 27:3,4)

Here's the part that really sticks into my mind. What Whoopi had said earlier about how everything else that followed could not have been...

Judas' story had to be a part of this. Peter's betrayal had to be a part of this story. without those things, the prophecy would not have been fulfilled...complete...So who am i to judge? 

The thing that's interesting then is the thought about Judas & him being possessed or having a hardened heart, or what have you.  Here's the thing. a man is a man. a woman is a woman. a human is a human. i believe that God has grace & love for all... ALL. everyone. 

So what do i think that means for Judas? I think that means that the Lord has grace for everyone. Everyone. i think that by saying that there is no grace for him, that is saying that there's no grace for me. because then we would be talking about how one sin is greater than another, and i just dont agree with or believe that. 

So, what am i trying to say? Well, im probably offending a lot of you. And if not, im sorry for saying that i did. However, i truly believe that the Lord had & has grace for Judas. i think that the Lord knew his heart the same way that He knows mine. im not a bad person, but yes... i make mistakes. some bigger than others. but mistakes nonetheless. and yes, i know & believe that there is grace there. So if that can be said for me, than the same must be said for him. there must be grace for him... 

Yes, it's a part of the story. Yes, it's a tragic part of it. But yet, it's one that needs to be told. and it's one that we would not be able to do without. 

So who knows? not me. Who cares? Well, that's tricky... i do. i believe that if there is grace for me, then there is grace for everyone. 

im not sure what im trying to say or what im trying to let out into the world. but i do know this. the Lord is still working in my life & i can FEEL it. i can SENSE it. I know that the Lord is maybe doing something great... im not sure. but i do know this: if i believe that there is enough grace for me, then there is was enough grace for Judas.

In the words of Frederick Buechner... "In any case, it's a scene to conjure with. Once again they met in the shadows, the two old friends, both of them a little worse for the wear after all that had happened, only this time it was Jesus who was the one to give the kiss, and this time it wasn't the kiss of death that was given." (Daily Words)

so there you have it. im asking tough questions. and getting answers. who cares whether theyre right or not. i know that the Lord will change my heart if it needs to be~

courageously blogging about Judas instead of making out with boys,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

my mind is flooded with thoughts today. im not even sure where to begin.

i was going to type up a bunch of different words that would describe how i feel, but the one that i keep coming back to is "hurt." i hate that word. a lot. however, that is not the theme of this post... or at least im hoping not.

this past Sunday was Palm Sunday. the day where little kids parade up & down the aisle with palm branches in hand. the day we celebrate Jesus riding into town on a donkey, while palm branches are placed on the road before Him. 

i found it veny interesting this year. ive always enjoyed Holy Week. i only grew up really celebrating Palm Sunday & Easter, but as ive gotten older im more aware of the week & what it truly means.

a friend of mine emailed me a link that he thought i would like. it was regarding Palm Sunday & it gave me, not necessarily a different perspective on it, but it definitely made me think. heck, it even made me dig out my bible & do a little research on my own. 

after i had read the article (click here to read it) immediately went to the dictionary & looked up the word "hosanna." here's what says: (an exclamation, originally an appeal to god for deliverance,used in praise of God or Christ.)

Hmm. that was pretty interesting to me. what was even more interesting to me was the fact that their cries & shouts spoke of deliverance. they wanted to be freed from the Romans, and they thought that this was the man that was going to do that. 

here's where it gets interesting...

just days... DAYS later the same people are gathered around crying & shouting out. but not what you would expect. what came from their mouths was anything but the sweet sounding word "hosanna." 

"Which if the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor.
"Barabbas," they answered.
"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked.
They all answered, "Crucify him!"
"Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" -Matthew 27:21-23

what a far cry from the words of praise & deliverance that they had asked for just days earlier.

but its true. and its still applied to everyone & everything today. isnt that what we ask for? deliverance from our problems. from our circumstances. from our hurt? yet what do we do to the thing that can quite possibly save us the most? we yell for it to be crucified. or we ignore it. or we somehow tell ourselves that God is obviously not looking out for what we want.

i know that i am completely guilty of that. i had emailed a friend the other day & had said a couple of things that i am, for some odd reason, going to share with you. The conversation went like this:

" Its been a good day today, but my mind is riding the merry-go-round of life. Ive been praying so much lately... wondering what the Lord is doing or going to do. Im a bit frustrated, because I am a person who needs reasons... answers... and I don't feel as if im completely getting them from the Lord. He probably has a great reason for it, but come ON!"-Me

"just keep being patient, and God will give you your answers. whether they'll 
be what your hoping or looking for, that's up to Him. nonetheless, they'll be revealed in time." -My friend

"... the Lord is tricky I feel like sometimes!" -me

Yes. i know that the Lord is good. and i know that He hears us & listens & acts. but it got me thinking. 

what about my life or my circumstances am i not seeing? is the Lord trying to do something else here? the people were crying out to Jesus to save them from the Romans. but He didnt. not at that moment. He did something greater than that. He saved them from themselves. He saved them from their circumstances. all of them. He was doing a new thing and it was something that could not been seen. 

so im sitting here before i get ready for work wondering. wondering & asking myself what could some of those situations be in my life? what am i missing? what bigger picture is out there that i just dont have the vision to see? im not quite sure, and honestly, as a person who has perfect vision (yeah be jealous) its a bit annoying. im THAT person who needs to either know (or at least guess at) what's coming next in a movie. before i get invested in a character, i sometimes need to know if i should get invested in them or not. because if they die i will feel robbed. so this whole "not being able to see the big picture" thing gets a little irritating to me. like i said earlier "He probably has a great reason for it, but come ON!" that's how ive been feeling on a regular basis. not necessarily lost, but as if im waiting for the next clue. and i am not a patient person when it comes to things like that.

so there you have it. i feel as if this year's Holy week is shaping & molding more than ever before. im not completely caught up in it, and i havent immersed myself in it as much as i have before, but i am aware. and open. and i can tell that the Lord is stirring something in me whether i know what it is or not. 

so all i really know & can do is just keep praying that the Lord will show me & guide me. and maybe even cut me a little slack & give me a pair of glasses to put on. if only for a moment~

courageously crying "Hosanna",

Thursday, April 14, 2011


As i sit in my usual thursday spot at barnes & noble, my thoughts are stirring of the recent happenings in my life. Now, before i continue let me just say that nothing exciting has happened that i can really explain. it's more matters of the heart. so dont worry, im not engaged or moving to a foreign land. 

So one of the things that i did this year was give up caffeine for lent. now you may be asking how that works because you can obviously see my sitting at my table sipping my carmel macchiato. well, like i said, i gave up caffeine... not coffee. that may sound complete absurd and like im just half-assing it but i promise i gave up something that means something to me.

Caffeine has been a constant in my daily life for... oh i would say a couple of years. why? because its a freaking addiction. and i knew that if i went cold turkey, that my head would kill me for it. that and i obviously need caffeine to keep me going day to day. 

Well, here's a fun little update that ive decided to write. The first couple of days were AWFUL. my head hurt so bad, and all i wanted to do was sleep... not watch anything, not read, nothing. just sleep. i was not a happy camper to say the least. oh, and then a couple of days later i decided to have a little bit too much of a martini and was sick. i know. not smart thinking on my part at all. 

anyway, after the first few days had passed, i felt really good! i wasnt experiencing the caffeine hits, i wasnt shaky or super freaky because i hadnt eaten anything but was hyped up on caffeine. i was calm. oh what a wonderful feeling that was! 

yes, i had to adapt a bit. my dear friend made me my own little press pot of decaf coffee for breakfast... it was so wonderful~ (i will admit. im not too much of a decaf fan, BUT it will do)

Throughout this whole process ive been trying to figure out what im to be learning about myself & the Lord. Well, i learned that i dont need caffeine to survive. and thats good! what else have i learned? i learned that its really easy to get addicted to something, & before you know it it has you by your throat. and there's really nothing you can do about it...

but what ive been learning lately has been really interesting to me. The one thing about ordering decaf at a coffee shop is actually making sure that i get decaf. im so close to the end, and im not wanting to mess this up. im wanting to be so careful that im actually doing what i say that im doing. i will not mess this up! i mean, i know that there's grace if i do, and that im really the only one that will care but still. anyway... i realized today that i am completely OCD about asking the barista & double, even triple checking to make sure that they in fact made me decaf espresso. i know. it sounds a bit crazy. but who are these people? do i have any reason to trust that they will make my coffee the right way? no. but i do every other time, so why is it different now? Im not quite sure yet. i have my hunches, but still. its kind of ridiculous when i think about it. 

but i think that by putting my life in others' hands is kind of making me a bit jittery. yes, i understand that my actual life is not in their hands, and maybe im being a bit melodramatic about it. shoot me. but, this is something that is important to me, and im just wanting to be careful. 

so that's where im at with my lenten fast. i dont THINK ive had any caffeine yet. i have been drinking coffee here & there, but im not dependent on it. today its more of the warm fuzzy feeling of drinking it at a bookstore...

so why am i writing all of this? im not sure. better question, why are you still reading this? im not sure about that either. but maybe its because you love me. or you want to bless me. or you want to get some new dirt on my life. or perhaps you stumbled upon this somehow. or maybe you work for the government and are finally trying to uncover my secret russian espionage days. no matter what your reason is, i say thank you. thank you for reading & caring. or just reading. thank you for walking through this thing called life with me... i wish i knew who you were my dear blog readers, but maybe its better that way...

Courageously cursing in a blog post about lent,
 (ps: see. it says decaf. i guess i didnt need to ask her for the 3rd time after all.)

Monday, April 4, 2011


Today while i was at work, i decided to read for a little bit. i was still frustrated about my reading from last night, so i just decided to flip through & see where the Lord would take me. 

These are the verses that struck me as truth today:

"...For why should be freedom be judged by another's conscience?" -1 Corinthians 10:29
I feel as if this verse speaks for itself. I really needed to read this today. I know that if i am in the wrong somewhere in my thinking that the Lord will show me. Until then, i will continue to try & show love~

"... and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing." -1 Corinthians 13:2
Once again... love~

"And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." -1 Corinthians 13:2

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love." -1 Corinthians 16:13,14

So there you have it. thats what i want. to love the Lord, and to love others. Yes, i know that i will fail, but im not perfect, and i dont claim to be. But i want to try...

courageously loving (or at least trying to~),


that's all i want to do. write. but i have nothing to say. not to myself. to other people, yes. so maybe thats what i should do. write letters to others, but not send them. 

but that's where my mind knows that its being tricked. i then feel compelled to send it. but i dont want to. i dont want to write for anyone but myself...

so in a way i feel like im stuck. 

i want to write great things. i want to write simple things. i want to write to feed my soul.

but somehow my brain just gets in the way... i end up writing for others. or tell myself that its not good enough. 

what is this thing in me? i want to be great at something... but im not sure what that great thing is. 

i want a big life for myself, but what am i doing to accomplish that? anything? is there anything that i really can do?

im not sure. im asking myself all of these questions, and then some. and keep coming up with nothing. 

but maybe its not about the answer, but rather in the asking of the questions. maybe that's enough. maybe just for now.

i was reading last night. i know that my heart was ready to receive. but maybe my mind wasnt. or isnt. im not sure. but it was hard. it was hard reading & having more questions flood my mind. 

what do i do with that? im not sure yet. i do know that i dont want to give up. not here. not on this hill. there are other hills that i know are not meant to be climbed by me. others, yes. me? maybe sometime. but this hill right here... this reading & writing disconnect... it is meant to be climbed. by me. 

so that's all ive got. im heading out for work soon. ill have my books with me. maybe ill pick them up. maybe i wont. im not quite sure yet. but i do know that ill try. ive got to try something. 

there you have it. that's what my life's looking like right now. a lot of unknowns. a lot of questions. few answers. but, like i said before, the answers are somehow in the questions...

either way. i dont want to stop writing. or reading. or learning. or growing. im just not sure how to go about anything. or if im even accomplishing anything. 

courageously & honestly writing (or at least attempting to),