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I’m A World Racer!

It has been awhile since I posted here, and much has happened as the time has passed.

I am now only a couple of months away from embarking on an adventure called the World Race. For now, I’ll be blogging through my World Race blog. I will still keep this blog and will come back to it after the World Race.

Here’s to adventure and living out the dreams God has given you!

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Dating Is Not A Formula (And God Is Not A Genie)

This is the second post in a series my sister and I are writing together. We are taking on common misconceptions in Christian circles about dating and trying to reconcile them with real life situations. Whatever your relationship status–be it happily married, engaged, in a serious relationship, divorced, single and loving it, single and hating it, a complicated relationship–we hope and pray that our words are able to encourage you.

I’m convinced that Christians who give dating advice almost all love math.

Math was never a favorite subject of mine. When I was little, math didn’t seem that bad–I’m really good at basic math. I can wrap my head around those concepts. As I grew older, math became more complicated. Algebraic formulas and geometric proofs frazzled my brain as I worked to understand them. Algebraic formulas made (somewhat) sense to me because there was a structure, a defined procedure to follow in order to find the value of x.

One thing that I have noticed among the Christian relationship/dating advice that I have come across is that almost all of it involves some type of formula.

“If you want to find your future spouse, you must do this, add this, subtract this from your life, add this in two steps later, divide it, find the square root of it, and multiply all of this by the level of patience that you have.”

It is almost like they are telling me to complete the Quadratic Equation, with “x” symbolizing my future husband.

quadratic_formula

“If you want to find your future spouse, you must pray about it as often as you can.” “If you want to find your future spouse, you must be obedient; you must read Scripture daily; you must do everything else that makes you a “good” Christian–give money to the poor, fast, evangelize, disciple, worship, attend church….” “If you want to find your future spouse, you have to be fully content being single.” “If you want to find your future spouse, you must not actively desire a relationship.” And of course, we can’t forget the two most commonly quoted Scriptures given as dating advice—“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).” “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).”

If finding your future spouse is as easy as plugging some life circumstances into a formula and waiting for it to work itself out, there is an obvious answer to the question of, “Well, why am I still single?”–it is because you haven’t done the formula. In other words, being single becomes a result of not fully living out the Christian life.

If formulas based on “good Christian behaviors” were the end-all to attain your future spouse, I should have been married before I graduated high school. The truth is, I am nowhere near entering into a dating relationship, let alone marriage. Just the other day, an older guy joked with me, “You should be married off by now.” The truth is, I can count on one hand the number of guys who have shown a romantic interest in me. The truth is, I have friends who in complete honesty have told me, “I don’t understand why you don’t have a guy pursuing you. You have so many good qualities.” The truth is, I have no answer for the question, “Why aren’t any guys lining up at the door to date you?”
guy_knocking(image credit: Reidsville Baptist Church)

God is not Genie in Aladdin. You can’t just rub a magic lamp (or complete a formula) and have God grant you three wishes. “Poof! What do you need?” “Poof! What do you need?” “Poof! What do you need?” is not how God works. God also does not work in formulas. Jesus consistently called out the Pharisees for their insistence that religious duties and full obedience of the Law were your one-way ticket to salvation. If following specific rules and structure doesn’t give me eternal life, why would I want a specific, cookie-cutter plan so that I could “find” the value of x—I mean, my future spouse?

My life is not a scavenger hunt from God. I do not get any brownie points from Jesus for handing Him a list of things that I have found. “Look Jesus! I found my husband! I had to look all over for him! You sure made that difficult, Jesus.” God is my Provider in all things—including my future husband. Let’s leave the formulas where they belong—back in Algebra class—and live our lives leaning into the adventure God has for us, trusting Him as Provider.

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Making A Comeback

I don’t know if anyone even reads this blog anymore.  I have been quite inconsistent in posting things here. However, a lack of posting does not equate to a lack of writing.  I have been writing and planning things to write and outlining how to write what is going on in my life. I have been overwhelmed with things to write about because so much has happened in my life and in my heart this year.

I hope and plan to post more blogs in here in the very near future. It might happen before the new year, or it might happen after the craziness of the holiday season wears down.  But whenever it happens, I’m making a comeback to the world of blogging!!

 

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23 From 23

 

 

Today is my last day as a 23-year old.  These are 23 images from my 23rd year of life.  There is one image that I did not take in the collage, but that’s okay.

 

Even though it wasn’t always easy to see or understand, a LOT happened in my life while I was 23. Through it all, God is still good and is faithful.

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”–Proverbs 3:5-6.

 

 

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Honduras

Princesa
Going to church Prayer of surrender

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Soccer

I love the US Women’s National Soccer Team.

And that is all.

😀

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iTunes

EXCITING NEWS!!!

Oh, hey there, iTunes...

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World Cup

Finally, the 2011 Women’s World Cup is here!

The first two matches have been played, with Germany beating Canada 2-1 and France beating Nigeria 1-0. Even though Canada didn’t win, the fact that they got a goal in gives hope for other teams in the tournament. Why? Read this excerpt from Fifa.com:

No clean sheet for Nadine
Germany goalkeeper Nadine Angerer went through the whole of China 2007 without conceding, a record she looked set to extend until Sinclair’s superb set-piece. In all, Angerer had gone 622 minutes without letting in a FIFA Women’s World Cup goal. An even higher total, 679 minutes, had elapsed since the Germans last conceded in the competition – against Sweden in the final at USA 2003, when Silke Rottenberg was between the posts

Germany is a very solid team and is favored to win this tournament, even without their home field advantage. They have won the past two World Cups.

Brazil is also a serious contender, even though they have not won a Women’s World Cup. That in and of itself is kind of amusing, since Brazil is such a powerhouse and everyone knows the success of the men’s team; Brazil is a country obsessed with soccer, and yet they have not won a Women’s World Cup.

I am still cheering for the US team, even though they were the last team to qualify for the tournament. FIFA still has them ranked as 1 in the world, but this tournament is crucial to the success of women’s soccer in America. A lot of people said that the 1999 World Cup was the most pivotal moment in women’s soccer. It was, I’m not doubting that. But the US team has a lot riding on it’s shoulders–the expectation to continue to be the best, the pressure to prove themselves now that “the veterans” are no longer playing, the responsibility of reminding a nation of what it is like to embrace women’s soccer.

I love soccer. I love World Cup time of the year. 🙂

wwc

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God makes my paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

This one verse has spoken so much to me this year. Tonight at work, in the middle of ringing up customers, an overwhelming sense of joy invaded my heart. It wasn’t because I knew the customers or anything, but I simply just loved being in that moment, helping them and making them happy. A handful of my co-workers have started to call me “Smiley” because I’m always smiling.

In two weeks, I will have been at this job for four months–longer than my time at jobs where it made perfect sense for me to work. When I was applying for jobs a few months ago, I applied to many, many, many places. When I applied to my current job, I felt so under qualified. In my own mind, I never would have said, “Oh, I WANT to work here.” I never could have pictured myself saying, “I love working here.” Thankfully, my steps are directed into the paths of God, and not my own paths. I can’t make my paths straight on my own. Yes, I still deal with frustrating customer situations. Yes, some days seem to drag on. But my heart gets encouraged so much almost every day I go in to work. An encouraged heart at a job where I’m paid to be helpful, friendly, and smile? I’ll take that any day. Becoming friends with my customers and co-workers is an added bonus.

Is it my dream job? Nope.
Do I see myself staying there forever and ever? Nope.

But it is where God wants me right now, without a shadow of a doubt. When it is time for me to leave, He will show me and then guide me into the next path that He has planned for my life.

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Photo Challenge Day 22

The challenge: A picture of something you wish you were better at.

The result: 

The guitar and I are acquaintances, but I’d like the friendship to go deeper. It’s just really hard to find the time to do so.

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