A Selfish Politician and Her Pursuite of Happiness

How was this week? I have no idea actually; I am kind of sick of all of this intrinsic thinking, to be quite honest. It has gotten to the point where I’m thinking about ways to improve myself constantly. That’s not why I started this, I started this to eliminate the idols that were in my life because they distracted me from the possibility of a stronger relationship with Christ.

Honestly, looking back, I thought, when I started this, that, in doing this God would see how dedicated I am and reward me with the right guy. It’s silly, but that’s how messed up my thinking was. I, in my selfishness, have turned this into an “all about me” project and it is tiring; it is tiring to always be thinking, “how can I be better?” I am starting to do this wrong, I need to instead think, “how can I strengthen my relationship with Christ?” This journey has definitely made me closer to Him, but, now I am turning it into a selfish thing. I need to start asking, in everything I do, “is this to make myself better for God or is this for my gain?”

I was talking to a friend about maybe doing pageants because it would give me confidence in my beauty, it would help me get rid of my fear of people judging me, and, it would teach me the skills that are valuable in my career path. He said I should do it because it sounds like a good idea. But then, I started thinking that it would be awfully selfish of me; is me being in pageants going to glorify the Lord, or would I be doing it for my own selfish gain?

I want to be a Nurse Practitioner and a politician, I want to do those things to help people. If my main goal is to help people then the steps I take to get there need to reflect that. The minute I turn the steps in my career path into something selfish is the minute my whole life, and my whole career become about me. My life and my career will never be about me, they will always be about serving others. Who would I be helping by being in pageants? I’d be helping myself. No pageants. If I keep asking questions like these most decisions in my life should be pretty simple, hard, but simple.

Unbanning Things

I am now able to do and watch certain things that I had banned before! The point of the banning was to eliminate things that distracted me and made it harder for me to stay focused on my promise until I got to the point where they didn’t alter the way I think.

I can now watch: The Bachelor, Bridezillas, Say Yes to the Dress, and, Four Weddings. But now that I can watch them I don’t really want to…okay maybe The Bachelor.

I can participate in boy talk..although since I don’t have boys to talk about it’d just be me listening to girls whine about their boy problems, don’t really want to do that either.

I can watch romantic comedies, but now I realize how terrible they are. They aren’t even funny! I can’t believe I used to watch such crap. After watching a romantic comedy my first thought is, ‘welp there’s an hour and a half of my life I won’t get back.’ Terrible.

It looks like I had to take a step back to actually realize the things I gave up were stupid to begin with and I don’t really want them in my life. Huzzah to realizations!

My “Wicked”

I had a realization. I think another reason that I sought or seek love from men is because I subconsciously was trying to be like “that girl”: I have never been and will never be the girl who turns heads when she walks into a room, I don’t come out of relationships with guys lining up to date me, I’m not gorgeous, I’m not hot, I am not an extrovert, and, I don’t understand things like, when a guy asks you if you’re cold he really means he wants you to lay down next to him. Instead, I say things like, “no, I’m actually not cold, which is really weird cause I usually am,” and continue to watch the movie. Guys have to say what they mean to me because I don’t speak this secret language that everyone else just seems to get! Once, a guy asked me if I was talking to anyone and I said, “ummm I’m talking to you right now and I was texting my friend like a minute ago…”

Maybe there’s a guy out there who will appreciate that. Maybe there’s a guy who can appreciate that I’d get nervous even if he looks at me, or that I would much rather stay in on Friday nights and watch movies on Netflix than party, that I go out of my way to try new things, that I’m really weird and make random noises when it’s too quiet, or that I’m a total nerd who gets excited about things like volunteering or looking at microorganisms or dissecting things, or that I stare at bugs sometimes because I think they’re cool. And maybe there’s someone who can accept my worst qualities too, like how I can be a bit obnoxious, or how, if I disagree with someone I’m not shy to voice my opinion and stand my ground-I can be stubborn, or how being around new people makes me nervous, or that I put off the first kiss for as long as I can because even thinking about kissing makes me nervous.

Maybe there’s no one for me at all and I just have to figure out a way to make that alright in my head. I have plenty of distractions; I have school, Cru, SAGE (student alliance for a greener environment,) I am a volunteer coach for a cheer team for children with special needs, I am a court appointed special advocate-in training, I might get a job at the YMCA (I was told by a man that works there that I should look into it because of my diverse background in sports), I’m working on internship applications, and yet, nothing can distract me from this feeling that I have, this feeling that companionship is not part of God’s plan for me. I hope that I’m wrong, feelings can be misleading, but, I just can’t shake it. People tell me that I’m going to make a great wife one day or a great mother one day and I totally agree but, I have a feeling I’m not going to get that. It’s not necessarily a bad or sad thing, it’s just a little sad for me right now because I am family oriented and I’ve always known that’s what I want. This could totally be an Abraham thing where God takes away my dreams temporarily to test me, but I don’t know, I just have a feeling…

I think the way I deal with this is not by ignoring it or by distracting myself, but, by taking a head on approach. I’ve just got to sit down and tell myself, “look, you’re not ‘that girl,’ you’ve always wanted to be, but you’re not. You’re Elphaba and whether there’s a Fiyero or not, you’ve just got to accept it. Accept it.” I think I can do that. After all, Elphaba is my favorite character in my favorite musical, but even Elphie gets her Fiyero…

Hmm, maybe I need a new favorite character in a new favorite musical…

Happy V-day! 2/14/13

So today is Valentine’s Day and…my goodness gracious. I can’t even put into words how amazing today was. I have been dreading this day all month and have been trying to put a positive spin to it; I thought maybe I’ll just have a date with Jesus, but I feel like I’m always having dates with Jesus and I wanted something more. I wanted to feel love and my goodness gracious did I feel it today!

I received so many Valentines today and yesterday and I wasn’t even expecting any at all. To top off my night I had an amazing discussion with two amazing women of God and I finally understand, Valentine’s day is about love, it’s about showing the people you care about that you care about them and that you love them. I had a Valentine last year, but this year was so much better just to know that I have impacted so many people’s lives just by being their friend. I think that’s worth celebrating.

Idols: My Criticism on the American Teacher

I recently received this book, “Counterfeit Gods” by Timothy Keller, from my mentor because it’s relevant to what’s going on in my life right now. I already like the book a lot, it has made me think a lot about my life. Here’s what I took away from chapter one:

The most painful times in our lives are times in which our Isaacs, our idols, are being threatened or removed (19).

I’m 4 months in and now I’m realizing boys aren’t my idols at all, love is; when I was a little girl I was picked on a lot from 1st to 4th grade, so I figured if no one liked me, it was my fault. It was because of me that I was being picked on. I remember thinking that no one loved me and even though my parents would sneak notes into my lunches that said, “mommy and daddy love you,” I still never felt loved. I knew my parents loved me, but kids spend about 40 hours a week at school, not including after school programs. And nowadays both parents work, our society is one where the majority of the average child’s social life is at school.

School was torture, until I got fed up with being picked on and fed up with telling the teacher, because I think we all know they don’t do anything.

So I bit him. I bit my bully and I’d tell my daughter to do the same.

He ran off and told the teacher and she told me next time he bothers me to tell her instead. I agreed but I had no intention of going to the teacher ever again. So she can do what? Say ‘stop it’ as she had so many times before? No, I don’t think so. My parents and grandparents always sided with me, I was constantly getting picked on by kids in carpool who were in the 4th and 6th grade and by kids in my own class. I was sick of it and if the teachers wouldn’t do anything, I would take care of it myself.

I believe that experience is what made me initially choose elementary education as my major, I know that a lot of teachers don’t really see what’s going on in their classrooms;

I did observation hours/student teaching at a daycare in New York and there was this little girl who was constantly picked on by everyone. She would try and join in with one group and they’d push her and tell her to go away, she’d go to another group and they’d do the same, and on and on. At reading time kids would whisper mean things to her and in trying to defend herself, she’d yell at them and she would be the one who got in trouble.While all of this was happening she’d look at me with this really sad look as if I were her last hope. There were three other teachers in this class, why was I the only one who saw what was really going on? The teachers were all so quick to yell and punish but no one took the time to actually understand situations. This made me angry.

When I was finally done with observation hours it was on to student teaching and I was able to get my hands dirty with the preschoolers. If I saw them being rude I would say things like, “no that was mean, lets play with her instead.”

In one conversation I asked a little boy, “why are you being rude to her?” and he said, “cause she’s littler and she wants this toy.” I said, “well so? You’re smaller than me, is it fair that I be mean to you too?”He replied, “no, I wouldn’t like that.” “So then lets share with her,” I said.

By my last day there was no boy punching a girl in the face, (that happened on my first day and the little girl got yelled at for crying before the teachers even knew what really happened!) and there was no one being picked on. Everyone played together and it was fun. I really hope it’s still like that.

My point is we don’t realize what affect these kinds of things have on kids, through these experiences idols are created that follow children into adulthood and they don’t go away until the child is old enough to identify and actively eliminate them. It’s our job, as adults, to nip bullying in the bud when we see it happening. Level with the kids, don’t jump to conclusions and start yelling. They’re not doing things because they’re bad kids, they’re doing things because it makes sense to them. Show them why it doesn’t make sense and why it’s wrong.

I wasn’t confident in myself until high school when my basketball coach told me, “if you shoot you have a 50% chance of making it, if you don’t you have a 0% chance.” I was a forward with no confidence. I was useless. But when he said that to me, I got the courage to shoot (I still wasn’t a very good basketball player though haha,) through basketball my self esteem went up and I tried volleyball too, then competitive cheerleading. And I wasn’t afraid to be amazing at track or at writing, I no longer felt like I needed to apologize for being great at something:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate,
but that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant,
gorgeous, handsome, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us.
It is not just in some; it is in everyone.

And, as we let our own light shine, we consciously give
other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

-Marianne Williamson

Even though I am way more confident now, that little, insecure girl creeps back in every once in a while and I am reminded of my past and it can torture me and make feel just as insecure as I did then if I do not remind myself that my life is not about me, it is about serving others in the name of God. It is about using my talents to serve. When my friend sent me a text about my blog the other day I realized that I am serving just by writing and not being afraid of what others will think of what I write.

Being bullied made me tough, but it also made me lonely and lowered my self-image. It made me feel unloved and it made me make an idol out of something that is supposed to be a beautiful gift.

Something is safe for us to maintain in our lives only if it has really stopped being an idol.

That can happen only when we are truly willing to live without it, when we truly say from the heart:

‘Because I have God, I can live without you.’ (20).

SOS 2:3-5-Feb. 1st

Like an apple tree among the woods,

So is my beloved among the sons

I sat down in his shade with great delight

And his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house,

And his banner over me was love.

Sustain me with cakes of raisins,

Refresh me with apples,

For I am lovesick.

This is God’s love for the  church and I want to be lovesick over Him.  But as I start to get frustrated with myself and my feelings and my thoughts Jeremiah 29:11 puts me at ease:

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,

Plans for good and not for evil,

To give you a future and a hope.

Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me

And I will listen to you.

And you will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me

With all your heart.

These verses are my anthem.

Banned Things: No More of My Favorite Eric Floberg Photos!

I am reading Beavan’s “No Impact Man” for a class. How fitting. Anyway, in chapter 7 he makes a list of banned things and it got me thinking, I never banned anything except certain TV shows and obviously dating. Making a list would make this a lot easier for me and it would clear my head and help me focus on why I’m really doing this. So here it is:

1) No more romantic “comedies’

2) No more creeping on facebook pictures of cute couples with my friends

3) No more “harmless” flirting

4) No more watching: “The Bachelor,” (which blows because I think this guy’s a Christian!), “Bridezillas,” “Say to the Dress,” and “Four Weddings”

5) No more boy talk with the girls-sorry girls!

6) No more men college sporting events, unless I have to cheerlead at them (I have a thing for athletes)

7) No more engagement stories and stories about crushes and people dating, etc. (I guess I’ll just have to walk out of the room for those lol)

But here’s what I can do:

1) I can still watch scary movies

2) I can still look at normal facebook pictures

3) I can just be friends with guys

4) I can still watch: “Scandal,” “Revenge,” “Dance Moms,” Cheer Perfection,” “The Mindy Project” (it’s more silly than romantic), “New Girl,” and “Battleground”

5) I can still talk about…everything else!

6) I can still go to the games I cheer at and I can still watch pro sports

7) I can listen to every other story!

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Oct 23-Revenge Sex and Heart Issues

It’s day 23 without dating and I have to say that I definitely thought when I made this promise that I would just stop thinking about boys. But I guess that just because I made this promise doesn’t mean that crushes will just dissolve away.

About a week or 2 ago I sent a text to my ex. I told him I wanted to have sex. I didn’t really want to, I just felt angry. I wanted to get back at God, He had been ignoring me and I made this promise to stay pure when I was 16, for Him, to respect Him and to respect marriage, the least He could do was answer me when I call out.

My ex, (who is a non-Christian), told me that it wasn’t a good idea because it’s not what I really want. He was right, I didn’t want to. I just appreciate that he cared about me enough to not let me throw away what I believe in because of a rough patch. He knew I would regret it and honestly if he had said yes, I can’t for sure say that I would’ve changed my mind at the last minute. A part of me says I would’ve bolted out of the room, but I remember how alone I felt, I remember how low I was and how my whole life seemed to be unraveling. I remember feeling that God had abandoned me. Not many people know about this, I’m really good at pretending everything is okay, (I’m like Bree from “Desperate Housewives” that way.) And I had always felt that you should keep your struggles to yourself. But I was obviously wrong, I mean just look at what that did to me.

I’m not proud of this weak moment but it’s just a reminder of Matthew 26:41, which is now circled in red pen, highlighted, and starred in my Bible.

Later, I talked to one of my friends and told Him about the craziness happening in my family and in my personal life and how I felt that God had abandoned me. He told me to remember the story of Job; he said that sometimes we may feel like God is ignoring us when really, all things are working according to His plan. And His plan is perfect. Even if you are thinking that He is not very just or that He is not very loving, He is always in your corner. My friend told me to remember that all we can see is the snapshot, it is only God who can see how the movie plays out.

I know, he should be a minister.

This gave me comfort, but I was still having problems trusting God. In high school, track was my favorite sport, not only because I was good, but because I viewed it as an individual sport. If I didn’t get a new personal record or if I lost I knew it was because of something I did. If I won or broke a record, it was because of something I did. Me. Alone. I hated relays because if we didn’t do well it was hard to tell who screwed up. See I learned very early on to do things on my own if I want them done “right.” I had a great childhood, but I have a huge family and I got to watch family members make mistake after mistake. I learned from them and steered clear from that, I’ve gotten pretty far thinking for myself and directing my own path so someone telling me to trust someone with my plans for the future was absurd. Even if that someone is God.

I’m a planner, when I was in the 8th grade going into high school, I had my whole 4 year plan mapped out. I knew exactly what classes I would take and when I would take them; I knew what sports I would play and what clubs I would join.

Letting go and letting God is going to be hard because even though He has my best interest, I still think my plans are perfect. As my mentor says, “it’s a heart issue.”

Oct 20th-Jealousy

If life is only about God and my life is dispensable, then He should just let me die and rest in peace because I do not care anymore and I am tired of fighting for everything when everyone around me seems to just be getting everything. I’m becoming bitter and jealous of my friends. ESPECIALLY the engaged ones, the ones dating, and the ones with internships, everyone’s lives just seem to be falling right into place. Meanwhile, my family is going through the longest “rough patch” ever. “There’s always something,” as my grandmother used to say. I would laugh when she’d say it and listen to the most recent drama, but I was a child, and now, as an adult, those problems don’t seem so funny to me anymore.

But family drama aside, my personal life has always been a fight as well. I was never the girl who was asked to the dance in high school. Even though everyone continuously told me I could have my pick of the boys, I never felt that way. In my head if a guy liked me I was the lucky one, which made people question my judgment when it came to boys.

Anyway, if I’m going to be forced to live this life, I don’t want to fight anymore, I want to live not just survive. I don’t know if I need God to do that, a life with Him is starting to look like a life of misery…

Oct 17th Down the Slippery Slope I went…

So me and God have been on the outs for a few days now. I just can’t believe that God, who is love would let me hurt so badly, (I had just gotten out of a relationship in September), I’m pretty sure I want to start dating again though. My ex says I deserve a better man but can’t he see that him admitting that makes him more attractive!?

I just want someone who will be there. Since God seems to want me to grow old and die alone (this was funny for me to read lol) and since He’s ignoring me I feel like I’m just going to start going backwards. I need like a sign or something to show me He’s doing something and not just sitting on a golden and red velvet chair with his back turned to me.

It’s like that Paramore song, “I’ll never let this go, but I can’t find the words to tell you, I don’t want to be alone, but now I feel like I don’t know you.” That’s how I feel about God right now, I don’t want Him to leave me alone, but I don’t feel like I don’t know Him.

The Bible is starting to just look like a bunch of words. I need more. I’m going to pray for more.