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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mascara!!

Ok... so this is NOT a paid advertisement!  I consider myself a connoisseur of sorts when it comes to mascara.  It is the one cosmetic item that I just can't live without!  My lashes aren't the longest, but aren't super short, either.  They are decently thick.  BUT, just like my hair, they are STRAIGHT.  So, no matter how much mascara I put on, they don't look a lot different because they grow straight forward.  Even when I curl them, they just fall back flat in no time.  I recently came across my favorite mascara to date!  Rimmell Lash Maxxx.  It comes in a black tube with a hot pink top.  It has kind of a funny applicator, but it is great!  One coat makes my lashes look fuller, way longer, and it holds them in place!  If you have the same issues I do with your lashes, try this out!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This is NOT my home.

I have spent my entire life trying to conform to this world.  Much of my life consisted of someone trying (out of love) to convince me to change who I am.  "Sis, you are going to HAVE to stand up for yourself."  "You are SO sensitive."  "I can't believe you would still be friends with them after they did that to you."  And, on and on and on...

I am grateful to God for the way he made me... now.  I realize that my faith has come very easy to me because I have never felt like I truly belong here on Earth.  I cannot boast about my gentle spirit, patience or slow anger.  Those are all gifts to me from God and I, myself, had no control over the personality traits and spiritual gifts He bestowed on me before I was ever even born.  But, I used to really dislike the way I am.  I remember being young and figuring out our spiritual gifts in Sunday School.  Mine, of course, was mercy.  And, I so often I felt like that was a double edged sword.  While I relished in the fact that God gave me certain gifts because He had special plans for using me to glorify His kingdom, mercy is not always fun.  It is hard to explain to people why you would still carry on with someone who has hurt you greatly.  It is hard to explain that you see beyond that to the hurt they are feeling inside themselves and you just want to "fix" it.  God sometimes gives me the ability to truly feel someone else's pain even though I've not been in their situation.  How do you make someone believe that you "know how they feel?"  And, sometimes you want to shut off that ability because you just don't want to feel that!  Over the years, I learned to quit watching the news, to look the other way from homeless people on the side of the road, to turn the TV when the St. Jude's Telethon comes on.  Maybe that sounds awful, but if you knew the times I sat and bawled for an hour after hearing or reading something, with the knowledge that there is nothing I can do!!!

It cracks me up when people refer to me as "laid back."  I am... on the surface.  And, it is true that I don't anger quickly or yell or get outwardly excited about things.  But, on the inside I am anything but laid back.  On the inside I am in knots constantly and anxious all the time.  I think this is because I feel so out of place here on Earth.  It is so hard for me to comprehend the evil that surrounds us all the time and the behaviors of some people are just beyond my understanding.  And, if I had to name my biggest struggle in my walk with God, that is it!  Worry.  Instead of trusting Him to take care of everything, I worry and fret over everything. (In example: checking the door locks several times each night!!)  When what I should be clinging to is this:
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7

All my life I have been told to stand up for myself.  But, God says: "Blessed are the gentle[Or humble, meek ], for they shall inherit the earth." -Matthew 5:5  I've been mocked for wearing my heart on my sleeve and being so quick to tears, but God says to me: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." -Matthew 5:4.  The world shakes it's head at me for those I have forgiven "too easily."  But, God's word says: "So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you." -Colossians 12-13

The  more time goes by, the more thankful I am that God made it so easy on me.  I hear people say they are not ready to go to Heaven.  They feel like they will be missing out on something this world has to offer.  And, while there are many beautiful, joyous things here, I cannot wait to meet my maker!  God made it so that I would never be totally comfortable here and that makes it so much easier to long for Him and His ways!  I have experienced the peace of the Holy Spirit and the thought of living with that constantly is very appealing to me!  But, I know that while I spend my time here on Earth, my eyes must be on Jesus.  This time here is short, although that is hard for us to fathom.  Those of us who have chosen so, will spend an unimagineable eternity in Heaven.  The trials of this world will pass along with the money, bills, posessions, housework, etc... What will matter is HOW we chose to live while we were here and how we treated the people around us.  As Jesus was preparing his disciples for his departure from this Earth, he said this to them: (it is my favorite verse) "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Therefore, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."  Don't get too comfortable here!  One way or the other, we won't be here long.  But, I know I can have great peace while I'm here.  I wish you the same, friends.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

What's on the top of your list???

So many of us have that imaginary list of priorities in our mind.  In my mind it is a picture of a piece of notebook paper with a neatly typed, (don't ask me why it is TYPED on notebook paper....) and numbered list.  It is an idealistic thing in my mind.  Of course, God is #1, then my family, then....  But, this last couple of weeks I've taken a good, hard, painful look at what my list REALLY says - in real life.  Because in my head, things are always ideal (I.E. the picture of ME in my head is of a slim 18 year old I used to know!) I've come to realize that God is nowhere near the top of my list.  And, really, neither is my family.  Sure, I love them the most, but do I show them that the most?  I mean, if I'm real with myself, my computer and housework has been coming before my family and God.  Sure, the housework I do is for my family, in part, but how many times a day to I tell my children, "Just a minute."  And, do I ever truly go back and take that minute to be truly present with them?  Not nearly enough.  It makes me choke up just thinking about it.  I've come to realize that even my bestie comes before God, truly.  If I have a complaint, a worry, a praise, a joyous thought, a funny notion - I call or text her.  I don't go talk to God about it first.  I don't take the quiet moments often enough to listen to what His spirit is telling me. 

This morning I went and laid in my almost 10 year old daughter's bed as she was waking up.  I held her in my arms and it took everything I had in me not to just start bawling my eyes out.  When did she quit crawling in to my bed at night and my lap to be rocked and read to.  When did that happen???  I missed it.  Truly, life is just busy and there is no way around the fact that I have to do laundry and cook and clean.  But, I know in my heart, my idealistic list of priorities needs to be made more than just an ideal...