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“Ask a Gay Christian” Rachel Held Evans Blog

January 15, 2013
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Thanks to James, I’ve really appreciated reading through Rachel Held Evans’ blog lately. She addresses issues there I struggled with for years. Issues that nearly caused me to leave the church and and even denounce my faith.

I read this article on her blog-“Ask a Gay Christian“- And in it Justin Lee so perfectly summarizes my OWN reasons for staying committed to my faith and the church. He says, “One word: Jesus.” No matter how bad my faith crisis got, or how disheartened I became by the Christian community, I couldn’t walk away from JESUS and how AWESOME he is.

Justin Lee, a gay Christian, says, “The church is human, and we make mistakes. Sometimes we don’t represent God very well at all. But Jesus represented God perfectly as the incarnation of God. He loved the people his culture didn’t love, he interacted with people he wasn’t supposed to interact with, and he refused to distance himself from the people others called “sinners.” Jesus’ harsh words were aimed at the religious leaders of his day who, in their zeal for correct doctrine, were pushing people away from God. He didn’t run for office or yell at sinners through a bullhorn. He loved, healed, and fed people, and then he let them beat him and hang him on a cross.

That’s my God.

Amen

Also, please read this “Ask a Gay Christian” interview on Rachel’s blog: CLICK HERE.  He seems to have come to the same conclusions I have concerning the bible, Christianity, and homosexuality. Honestly, I seem to be surrounded by people who either refuse to associate themselves with the Christian church or who hold very traditional Christian views. I’m always afraid one group views me as a goody naive Christian girl and the other views me as sinful or immature in my faith… you know- the kind of girl a good Christian shouldn’t get too heavily involved with because I’d ‘bring them down’ haha. I feel like I’ve been uncomfortably straddling the fence between traditional and postmodern Christainity. I’m passionate about evolution theories and science, the LGBT community, the bible, AND church. I always feel like I have to choose!

Rachel Held Evans had the same conflict and asks the same questions. Her blog and blog community makes me feel like I’m not alone. It’s kinda nice to read- for the first time- about other people doing the same kind of research I was doing and expressing my thoughts. It is affirmed! There are other heretics roaming! 😉

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Christmas 2012

December 29, 2012
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Christmas was really great this year! Albeit I’m still mysteriously ill and I’ve really been slacking on the whole taking pictures thing, so once again I have to share my experience with a few poor quality phone pics.

(Just a quick update: I’ve done a slew of different blood tests, a round of steroids, a round of antibiotics, and my symptoms have persisted. Full body flu-type aches, no fever, and pressure in my neck/ears/head. Next up: CAT scan and connective tissue test. Ibuprofen has been my best friend, yet it’s totally inadequate. My feelings on the whole thing range from ermergerd what if I’m dying from a brain tumor *panic*! to *sadface* what if this pain will never go away… to I will figure this thing out and everything will be okay *ForcedSmilePositiveThoughts* to meh I don’t remember what healthy feels like, who cares. Right now I don’t care.)

We spent Christmas Eve Eve at Grandma Martin’s house. Keith’s Grandma in Lima.

Keith’s dad, Keith’s brother, and Keith wearing Grandpa’s overalls

Grandma Martin is an incredibly talented seamstress and I will never get enough of her homemade gifts. Ever. Among some other great things we got to bring home this blanket she made for Adry:

It’s just perfect for him.

The next day we went to Christmas Eve service at Cypress, which was just… so awesome.

Honestly, I am totally spoiled. I grew up in a tiny little Nazarene church where the congregation was (and still is!) my family, so I never felt like Cypress was my church… it was just the place I attended. 15 years later, all growed up with a kid of my own, when I visit other churches I feel all aaaaaw I miss Cypress! and I hate missing Cypress services. Now I’m thankful Cypress is my church! It’s just radiating with talent from wall to wall- the sets, the videos, the speakers, the MUSIC. Talent just continually breeds talent in that church, and it’s always so neat to see that people have poured their hearts and souls and hard work into the church for God and for love and for people. Not to mention the constant outreaches we do abroad and in the community, continually making a difference.


Credit: I swiped this video off of Miss Chris Harder’s Facebook

Christmas morning we woke up and enjoyed great family time and a gift exchange.

Keithy got some socks (that he totally needed haha) and I got hypnotic poison perfume! Which I was excited about! Later on Mom and Dad Martin came over and the scavenger hunt for our “big present” commenced! We had no idea there would be a scavenger hunt or a “big present” that our parents and Grandma Martin went in on together. Later on Mom made the comment, “Weren’t you wondering why you got so little before Keith’s parents came over!?” and I realized I hadn’t noticed at all. I had been completely content and got the most enjoyment from watching my family open the presents Keith and I had gotten for them. It’s just an added bonus blessing that we have families that love us so much that they got together to get us something we could have a lot of fun with!

So anyway, they hid 9 clues and little presents around the house leading us to this:

A flat screen TV! We’d been using a clunky hand-me-down TV box with a small little screen. A 46″ definitely transforms one’s entertainment experience. The boys can actually play 2-player Halo!

 

And it’s definitely super enjoyable to watch our new blurays with our first bluray player on the new TV. I feel as though I am finally living in 21st century Amurica!

Anyway, after our big present the family partook of an excellent Christmas brunch prepared by The Food Woman.

On Christmas night Keith and I took the kid to the Martin household where we exchanged more family time and gifts with Uncle Phil, Scott and Tarah, and ate more wonderful goodies made by Keith’s parents.

Keith and I are very blessed. I love our family. We had a very merry Christmas.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

This turned into a biblical case against ANTI gay marriage

May 17, 2012
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The older I get the more certain I am that there are no certainties. And I didn’t accept this fact kindly. I actually came to the conclusion kicking and screaming. If you know me, you know that accepting uncertainty is entirely against my nature. I am strong-willed and opinionated and like to have things figured out and I don’t have any patience to do so– ALL things must be known and done and they must be known and done NOW.

Is it possible that there is no god? Yes. Based on what “evidence” we have, the best I can say is that it’s a good possibility that a creator god exists. And if he exists, then it’s likely that he is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. And if that’s true, then it’s likely that Jesus was his son, that he was crucified and resurrected, and that if we believe in him we will have eternal life. Of course you hear believers say that they can’t prove God and you just have to experience him for yourself, but even those experiences can be explained away by neuropsychology. The fact is, though, that no matter how much they try, no one will ever be able to disprove God, either. So I began my own personal faith journey by, to the best of my ability, doing away with all of my pre-conceived notions, boiling things down to the bare minimum and working my way up from there. I decided to believe in God based on the possibility of his existance because when it came to a head I thought that if there is a God then I do know one thing for certain: that I want to know him. And you can’t know someone (some THING, some entity, whatever) before acknowledging its existence. And from there I concluded that the best way- the ONLY wayto know God is through Jesus Christ.

Okay, and so then there’s the bible and we’ve decided it’s the infallible Word of God and all that, which, if you ask me, is a hell of a lot trickier decision to make than believing in God in the first place. There is SO much to consider when reading and interpreting the bible. Author, purpose, cultural context, how the original language was translated, and not to mention the canonization process and what made it into the bible we accept as authoritative and what didn’t and why. I completely understand the sense of security Christians feel in interpreting the bible uncritically, literally, unquestioningly. It’s because as soon as one part is questioned it kind of rocks your faith and you have to start questioning everything else you believe. For example, I figure it probably scares the crap out of some to consider the possibility that maybe the world wasn’t created in six days… that the Genesis story was written in poetic story-telling form probably passed down by word of mouth for generations before being recorded by Moses… that perhaps the flood was localized. I used to think folks were vehemently against the theory of evolution because they feared it removed God from the equation, but now I think it’s just because when you grow up learning about God a certain way you get these ideas of who He is and you get comfortable with those ideas. You don’t want the version of God you have in your head challenged because then you start to wonder if you ever really knew him at all. …And you have to face the fact that maybe you didn’t. And that’s a hard thing to face. –Been there done that. It’s when I decided I didn’t really own my faith at all. It was actually a pretty rough crisis.

Okay. so. Sharp thought turn here: what if the practice of homosexuality is not a sin? We’ve been taught that it is… it’s in the bible.

I think it’s safe to say that MOST Christians believe that homosexuality is undeniably a sin- a gross abomination- no questions asked. Therefore gay people, especially practicing ones, have been ostracized from the church. That’s just how it is. People don’t feel loved or welcomed by those who proclaim that their lifestyle is unacceptable and unworthy of equal civil rights. Naturally.

To be honest, (and it has surprised me), the more I study the bible, the less concrete stances I take and the less specific convictions I have. I feel like one of Jesus’ most passionate teachings was to never put law before love. …to never even let it drive wedges in your relationships if it wasn’t worth it. As a matter of fact, if there was ONE attitude that Jesus explicitly condemned, no questions asked, it was self-righteous legalism and hypocrisy.

Jesus never really brushed the topic of homosexuality. Unless you consider Matthew 19 where Jesus, in answering a question about divorce, reiterates that male and female become ones flesh, what God has joined together let no man separate etc., and that not everyone can accept that teaching because there are “eunuchs who have been made so from birth” (etc.).  “Born eunuch” was a common term in Jesus’ time for men whose sexual tendencies were NOT toward the opposite sex (as opposed to men born without testicles). So, to me, this is at LEAST evidence that Jesus acknowledged that some were not born heterosexual and he did NOT condemn that.

In the new testament, Paul also mentions homosexual practices. In 1 Corinthians 6, Paul lumps men who have sex with men with the wrongdoers who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Of course, Paul was speaking with the people of Corinth which was known for its pagan prostitution practices and rampant sexual immorality. As a matter of fact, it is very possible that Paul was referring specifically to these pagan practices rather than homosexuality in general. Another interpretation is that the original greek word Paul used for men sleeping with men- “arsenokoitai”- is actually a very rare word and hard to translate. Since there were many common terms for homosexuality in Paul’s day, if he was referring to homosexuality in general then perhaps he would have used a more commonly known word.

But even if we assume that Paul WAS referring to homosexuality in general… I mean, let’s be honest: he also taught that women ought to be veiled when praying, shouldn’t teach or have authority over men, and will be saved through childbearing. I’m just saying. Paul was human and his understanding was limited to his time and culture. I think it’s better to take away principles of his teachings rather than hang on word-for-word, because if we take what he said about women out of context of his time and culture, it would seem that he was entirely sexist. It probably wasn’t a good idea to practice homosexuality in Greece in Paul’s day due to the breakdown of the family unit and widespread disease.

ALSO. God created Adam and Eve to become one flesh and commanded them to populate the Earth. Of course. That makes sense because that’s what was needed. Does that apply to us today? If a heterosexual couple married and decided to purposefully NOT have children, would they be just as outside the will of God as a homosexual couple?

So, is homosexuality a sin? I don’t know; I can’t say for certain. However I DO feel passionate about making sure sexual minorities do NOT feel ostracized, unwelcome, judged, or less than among Christians (or anyone). And I do NOT wish to deny them equal rights based on a couple of inconclusive biblical mentions.

On an emotional note, I’ve seen what denial and shame of sexual orientation does to people. It kills them to fight it. I’ve seen them live a life that feels unnatural in order to gain approval and acceptance, and they have destroyed others’ lives in the quake of their front. I think if anything is worthy of judgement or condemnation, it’s the way we have judged and condemned homosexuals; it’s the way we have held the law over their heads, putting it before our love for them. That’s not Jesus’ way. That’s not what he taught us to do. And the more we fight against gay marriage, the more we exacerbate this issue and divide.

 

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Five Things

October 29, 2011
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Comment to this post, and I will list five things I associate with you. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your LJ (or just add a reply back to me). Other people (including me) can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

Amanda gave me: Church, Adry, Where The Wild Things Are, Tattoos, Family

Church: Church has definitely been the single most influential force in my life besides God himself and my immediate family. I have no idea where to begin to even explain how crucially influential it’s been, so I’ll just start from the very beginning before I was even born. My Nazarene roots. My grandfather (my dad’s dad) was a Nazarene pastor and then regional superintendent when my dad was growing up, and then went on to be the president of the seminary and then an evangelist. So my father has been to more services, classes, camp meetings, listened to more sermons, talked to more theologians, and read more literature than probably everyone reading this combined then doubled. My uncle kind of followed in my grandfather’s footsteps and is now a theology professor at Mount Vernon Nazarene University, so besides him my dad knows more about religion and Christianity and theology than anyone I’ve ever met or any pastor I’ve ever heard preach. He was the rock solid spiritual leader of my household growing up, and I continue to go to him with everything. And I really appreciate his wholistic approach to it… I’ve never heard him quote a verse word-for-word at face value without context.

So in my family, when I was growing up, church was not an option. You got your butt up and you went to church unless you were on your death bed. And you went to church on Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, AND Wednesday nights. And you volunteered your time on other days, too. Oh yeah! AND my mom owned a cleaning company that cleaned churches, so I was in church buildings every other night, too, haha. I do not remember complaining about it, either (’til I was older and my home church shut down and we had to find a new church) because it just became my home away from home. And I’d say that just about ALL of my lifelong friendships with people who I consider my family either started or were nurtured at church. I can’t remember life without them, I love them all so much, and they’ve each played a major role in my life.

I could go on… I have so many memories and stories.

Adry: He made me a mom, what can I say. I love that kid more than my life. I still cry every single day he leaves. (I wonder if that’ll ever end?)  He’s crazy and weird and about the most defiant human being I’ve ever encountered maybe besides myself, but I wouldn’t trade any of it and I wouldn’t change him. I love my life with him and I am incredibly thankful for him.

Where The Wild Things Are: This reminds me of crazy wild kids, awesome imagination, and the warmth and love of home. Which about sums up my childhood. I think it’s a wonderful, magical children’s book (probably my favorite) with a lot of nostalgic value.

Tattoos: Well, I have a tattoo! And I love it! hah. I’d like more, but that’ll probably never happen… Maybe she associates tattoos with me because I appreciate alternative style? Not that I’m like a tattooed rocker girl, but I like that scene. Um, I DO have a rockstar boyfriend 🙂

Family: My life. I love home. I love traditions. I love get-togethers. I love making memories. I love family meals and laughing and poking fun at each other and being ridiculous. I love that I can go to them about anything. I’m glad my parents dragged us around when we were kids, making sure we attended each and every event and celebration in support of each other because now that we are all adults it’s ingrained in us to make sure we are there for each other no matter what. I know that I can count on my family. And I love that we are all friends and have great times together.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

For when I am weak, then I am strong.

January 26, 2011
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Ever hear a quote a thousand times, and you get it, but the thousandth time it really hits home?

Photobucket

“Some complain because roses have thorns, others rejoice because thorns have roses.”

You know that roses are my favorite flower. The delicate beauty, the passion they represent, all of the colors and variations…
BUT ALSO, roses are a reminder to me of the bible verses that I often cling to. You know, the ones about the thorn in Paul’s flesh (whatever tormented him) that he begged God to remove three times, but God did not remove it. Instead he told Paul that His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness. When I hear that story I think of a single red rose: Paul sees the thorn while God brings forth beauty.

Anyway, lately I’ve felt like my life is a chaotic whirlwind of a giant FAIL. I’ve been craving stability and peace and comfort, and I’ve been searching in all the wrong places. I never wanted to be a single twenty-something and I still don’t. I hate it. I’m trying so hard to be patient and do what’s best. (Trying and failing. Miserably.) Half the time I have no idea what’s best. As a matter of fact, I am certain I had a better grasp on life when I was seventeen than I do today.

I’m taking for granted everything in my life that IS right and good and beautiful. I recognize it… I’m just too depressed to appreciate it and prioritize it.

Photobucket

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Appreciation Project

December 27, 2010
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December 23 AP 357– Christmas Eve Service at Cypress– The amazing children’s activities they had set up. I ADORED it. After service we took Adry into the old sanctuary, which the children’s ministries now utilizes, and right off the bat they handed us a little red drawstring bag that Adry could fill up with the candy that they had displayed in cute little baskets around 3 or 4 tables. Then he got to visit Santa (AND Mrs.) Claus. He sat on his lap and we snapped a few pictures. They also had “Silly Band Trees” from which the children could choose 4 silly bands, another table at which children could decorate their own bracelet, and also a cookie decorating table. It was well organized, it gave children that autonomy they LOVE (you know, instead of handing off premade gift baskets or telling them exactly what to do… it was their own little Christmas world). I basically just thought it was really neat and Adry loved it.

December 24 AP 358– Christmas Eve. Try to think of a more magical, nostalgic, anticipation-filled day of the year. I think Christmas Eve even trumps Christmas… It’s THE night Santa comes!

December 25 AP 359– JESUS. Our Emmanuel: God With Us. It is by Jesus ALONE that we know God. Without Jesus God is an intangible, unknowable spirit. Through Jesus ALONE we learn of God’s character, love, promises, compassion, and commission. He is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life. There is nothing I appreciate MORE than the fact that He sent his son so that we may know Him.

December 26 AP 360– My new camera! EEEE!!!  Canon Rebel 500D and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  I have a LOT to learn and it will be a HUGE (and well worth it) time investment. I’d love to take a few workshops and get photoshop and become a decent photographer. Just as a hobby of course. I’m so excited to document Adry’s growing up in beautiful photographs.

December 27 AP 361– Confidence. I’m seeing pretty clearly today and I’m feeling pretty positive. I like ME. I do. I like my dreams and who I am in general, despite my current roadblocks and struggles…  I like my general life ethic and I know that I’m going to get over this hump and I’m going to have a lot to offer. I know I’m going to get over myself and I’m going to be a great daughter and sister and mommy and future wife. I’m very confident.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Appreciation Project

December 16, 2010
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December 8 AP 342– Icing. I’m just sayin’.

December 9 AP 343– Trippy movies that make you think and keep you guessing. And movie night with Adam who introduced me to Vanilla Sky. And we also got a dose of The Big Lebowski which is always fun.

December 10 AP 344– OSU interview opportunity! Exactly where I wanted to be! OSUMC was my goal job destination and I thought it’d take me a while to work my way in there. I mean, I have no idea if I got the job, but I sure do appreciate the opportunity to even try for it! I’ve heard of people with a lot more experience than I have waiting several years for an interview there. It’s a really great place to work.

December 11 AP 345– Chicken noodle soup (with Cholula!). The perfect soothing food for a terrible sore throat and congestion. And also a total unexpected ‘sick night out’ for Steak n Shake and the movie The Tourist. So, remember how Nick and I pretty much never go out when we hang out? Because we are lame or broke or both, I don’t know. So Nick asked to hang out on Saturday night and I informed him that I was really totally completely gross and ill. He was all, that’s cool we can still hang out. So I figure that as usual, but especially that night, we’d stay in and take it easy and I’d huddle in a blanket and sip on soup and intermittently groan in misery. You know, SICKY things. But no, it came time to hang out and he was all, I’m takin’ us out! What inopportune timing, right!? I wondered how I’d survive, but it turns out that it kind of took my mind off of being a sicky. And now guess who has come down with the same sore-throated, runny-nosed bug as me? Yep- Nick. (And Adry and my mom and I think Rebecca as well. This thing was contagious as heck.)

December 12 AP 346– My NYE Resolutions. I am excited to start them. A new game plan for losing weight. I want to be WILL BE at goal weight within 2011. I want to have my foot in the door at OSU Med Center and start back at school within 2011. And some other smaller goals/ routine changes.

December 13 AP 347– December snow! I LOVE that it snowed on December 1st to kick off the Christmas month. I think it has been beautiful. Also annoying, but mostly beautiful and Christmasy.

December 14 AP 348– Interview accomplished (with Laryngitis from my cold, but thankfully my voice held up) and everything seemed to have gone well. Holding my breath!!! I should hear back next week.

December 15 AP 349– The peace that floods my soul when I accept His forgiveness and grace… and ‘Nothing but the Blood of Jesus’ came to mind and I got it stuck in my head for the longest time. That song, without fail for the past 15 years, has reminded me of my grandfather. In Arizona, at the last service he preached in the evening before he died, his mic was left on during the praise songs so he was recorded singing that song… maybe the last song he ever sang. I remember when the cassette tape of his last sermon came to my grandmother’s house and the family all gathered around to listen to it. I mean, I was pretty young (11) but that memory, and his voice singing that song, is etched permanently in my brain. And I’m pretty thankful for it.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

‘rediscovering faith’

December 7, 2010
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“Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand.”

I just finished C.S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed. In the midst of my own grief- albeit a different kind of grief- I’ve had the exact same thought. Over and over and over. I know I’ve voiced it a few times, too, in not so many words.

And I love how he related grief to a winding valley in which each bend reveals either new landscape, or what looks like the exact same landscape you thought you’d already left behind. You wonder if you are just going in circles, but you aren’t.

Each day that I feel I’ve taken three steps back I just have to remind myself, “It’s a process, it’s a process, it’s a process. Not a state, a process.”

And I keep moving forward. New bends, new landscapes.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Stumble and Fall

November 3, 2010
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October 30 AP 303– Getting all winter-suited up with good deals. I’m totally NOT a shopper. And if I am I’m not a bargain shopper because when I DO shop my main goal is to get in and out as soon as possible. And if I end up with something I don’t like or that doesn’t fit? Tough, I live with it. I have no idea why I am like this, but I can tell you one thing I know for sure: I did NOT inherit this from either my mother OR my father, and as much as Dad likes to complain that Mom dillydallies and takes forever in stores he’s not Mr. Lightning McSpeedShopper himself. Me? I am. So when I can walk in a place (Kohl’s) and within forty minutes have a winter coat, winter boots, winter boots for Adry, and hats and gloves all for $100 I feel pretty accomplished.

October 31 AP 304– Dave’s life, love, and legacy. I appreciate Dave’s influence on our lives and all of our memories with him as much as I miss him. I appreciate the friendships he fostered, and that he was the glue that tied so many unlike people together– He brought them together with such an impact that they will always feel that connection.

I miss your jokes, I miss the laughter, I miss that edge you brought to the group, and I miss all of the encouraging things you made sure to say to me. I wonder what you’d say to me now? I hate that your beautiful family doesn’t have you here, and that they miss you more than I ever hope to comprehend.

November 1 AP 305– Ben and I cooperate/get along. So, if I just said, Mr. Douche DoucheBagington Strikes Again and you had ONE guess, who would automatically pop into your head?  My lips are sealed, but I just want to say thank tha lawd my soon-to-be ex husband kept his screws tightened and cares enough about Adry to treat me decently and have patience with me and work things out with me. Thank tha lawd he wasn’t all, “I’m going to leave you and my son! What, you’re upset about that? What, you have an opinion about that? Psh, unacceptable! I’m going to chase rainbows and ponies and cut myself off from the entire disapproving world! And then I’m going to call you names and play the victim. THAT’LL SHOW YOU!”

November 2 AP 306– Isaiah 40.

The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve just straight up been having a lot of trouble trusting God. No, no- It’s more like I’ve been having trouble wanting what He has to give. I have faith in Him. I believe his promises. I also believe I’ve mucked up a lot of my life by not listening to Him and going my own way. He wants faithfulness, and He wants obedience, and He wants surrender and I just want to feel good. I want to run away from my depression, I want to indulge. I want to be selfish- you know,the epitome of sin. Because I don’t feel like I have the strength to be anything other than that. Because I have this idea in my head that following Christ means taking up my cross. It means hard work, and it will make me feel outcasted and lonely. And I suppose that’s what following Christ DOES mean, but it also means I can lean on him and find rest for my soul because his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal

Girl, You’re Amazing

October 20, 2010
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October 16 AP 289– Counter Culture Kids. The ones who know who they are and do not compromise. My generation is one of instant gratification and self-absorbance and noncommittal complacency and unfaithfulness. YOU give me hope for the future and my children. Stay strong. Do not conform. Renew your minds and guard your hearts and strengthen your character and value integrity. Revive spirituality. Young people, YOU have the power to revolutionize the Church of Christ, and to influence all those coming after you (like my son). This culture is seeping with filth and it is infiltrating the home and destroying families. Be rebels against this standard; STAND for something.  You are my hope 🙂

October 17 AP 290– My foundation as a young Christian and all of my spiritual “mountaintop” experiences as a teenager. I grew up in a Christian home, but I didn’t really become a Christian until I was about 16, and right away I experienced the radicalness and passion and abandonment that often accompanies a decision to repent and surrender. I experienced and felt unexplainable things… things I look back on and can draw strength from. In Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers stresses over and over that a Christian must not continue on in the mountaintop experience, and he must live most of his life in the valley of mundane, giving each moment up to Christ for strength of character and perseverance and to learn what ‘to love’ really means. And so… I appreciate the valley right along with the mountaintop.

October 18 AP 291– Nick took Adry for a play date with Jameson while I worked. He’s good with my boy. He’s good with kids period. I appreciated knowing Adry was in good hands and having fun with two people he’s grown to adore.

October 19 AP 292– Morning zoo trips. The BEST time for the zoo. It was cool and there weren’t any lines… oh, and it was beautiful with all the fall foliage and harvest decor. I also totally appreciate Hutch coming along with us and helping out. Adry loves his Auntie Hutch.

October 20 AP 293– The song ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars. Okay, so back on September 28th (I know this date because I had to to back through my Facebook profile to find the link) I was having a terrible day and being really down on myself so Nick sent this video to me:

I’d never heard this song before at the time, and I fell in love with it. So sweet, right!? And now Bruno Mars is all touring the talk shows playing this song and the radio plays it all the time, so I get to hear it every once in a while, and every time I do it reminds me of Nick. This morning we were in our own separate cars heading our separate ways and he texted me, “97.9”, and there it was again. He called it my “theme song”, hah, and told me that when he heard it for the first time back in September he knew it was perfect for me. So yeah, I guess I’m totally amazing and don’t believe it ;-). No, but it’s just nice to randomly hear a sweet song that reminds me that someone out there wanted to make me smile. And it makes me smile all over again.

(Plus, Bruno Mars is kind of incredibly adorable, right?)

Categories: Ciao Bella Vita : Daily Journal