Monday, January 31, 2011

Comparison is the kiss of death

quick side note: My high school English teacher use to say the phrase in the title all the time. She was such a great woman of God. In case she reads this post: I Rachel! How's ap English going?

This world is so focused on comparisons. We are always striving to be as good as someone else. Whether is sports, academics, beauty, fame, musical abilities...the list goes one. Quite frankly I'm exhausted. I've noticed a rather terrifying trend in my life lately though, not only am I comparing myself to other people in the above areas, I also compare my relationship with God to my close friends relationship with Him.

Sometimes it seems that for every step I take towards God, they take ten. I get so caught up in watching them to see how I measure up, that I lose sight of my own progress. Thankfully, Jesus is still watching and  a few nights ago while praying with friends, I heard that still small voice asking me why I cared so much about what everyone else was doing.

My God is a jealous God. He wants, and deserves, my undivided attention. Focusing on other's relationship with God accomplishes one thing: It makes me crazy. It also takes my focus off of God and puts it on myself.(I guess it accomplishes two things.) The more I focus on me and the less I focus on Him the less I grow. I also start to resent others because they have the relationship with God that I wish I had.

I have a wonderful relationship with my Savior. We've been together for more than a decade now and I don't intend to give up now. Thankfully, He isn't giving me up either. After that gentle question about why I cared so much about what others were doing, I've made a conscious effort to pray that I would stop comparing myself and instead focus on my own growth. Since then, I have seen a difference. Its not that I don't care about the spiritual growth of those I love, I just don't compare my growth to theirs.

How about you? Do you find yourself comparing yourself to others? Let's get a hold on this together!


Friday, January 28, 2011

Why I'm not a very good blogger

I love blogs. Seriously, I have a loooonnnnggg list that I read on a daily basis and many more that I read when I have extra time(re:when I'm wasting time and not doing schoolwork or the dishes.). Here's the thing though, I'm not such a great blogger. I love writing here at my little blog home, but I don't write as often as I need too.

Whenever I get blog writing advice from someone they always say,"Write every single day. Even if its about something pointless or mundane, write EVERYDAY!"

I don't write everyday. Sometimes, I forget. A lot of the time though, I'm just lazy. Sorry! Thank you to those out there who keep reading even though I'm not a very good blogger. I'm making a commitment to write more. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my little corner.


Monday, January 24, 2011

One Word 2011

I've been hearing a lot lately about the one word challenge. Simply put, rather than making New Years resolutions, which I never do, you instead choose one word to define your year. You focus on this word all year and try to live by it. Example, you choose the word 'faith' and live by that word all year long. At first I said I wasn't going to do this. I'm doing a lot this year and I didn't feel the need to add something else to my list. But I just couldn't get rid of this idea. It kept popping up everywhere. Online.On blogs.On the radio. Everywhere. I like to think I'm a pretty smart girl, so I got the picture. God and and I then had a conversation which basically consisted of me saying, "Well, if this is what You want, You are just going to have to give me this word." And then He did. My word for 2011 is:

give more:
of myself
glory to God.

When I first got the word, I was skeptical. This year has been one that has emptied me. I just didn't think that i had any to give. I still feel that way sometimes, but He is my portion and will keep me from stumbling on this journey.

So, what's your word? Consider joining me and choosing to live intentionally this year.

                                                         Psalms 118:1

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What you blog about when you have nothing to blog about

Please enjoy the ramblings in the following post:

*I got my dad an early birthday present....George Strait tickets! My dad is a HUGE fan of George Strait and he(George) is going to be in Cinci this March with Reba and Lee Anne Womack. He and my mom are so excited!(Me too!)

*Speaking of concerts....I'M GOING TO SEE THIRD DAY!!!!! I don't think I've every spoken for my love of Mac Powell Third Day, but let me tell you, I.Love.Them. I'm going with my concert buddy/best friend/former youth leader Diane. She and I are nothing alike, but that's what makes our friendship special.

*I have approx. 3 full days left on my Daniel Fast. Honestly, this week has been the hardest. I thought the first week would be the most difficult, but no. I don't really want food, I want coffee. To be specific: I want a skinny vanilla latte made with soy milk from Starbucks. I don't care what people say about Starbucks, those people can make a soy latte that'll knock your socks off.

*I've decided to bring back phrases such as,'knock your socks off.'

*Another fun event coming soon: the Pioneer Woman will be visiting Cinci next month on her book tour and my cousin Melissa and I are going to meet her!!! I am a huge fan of her blog as well as her cookbook and I have very high hopes for her soon to be released novel. Now all I have to decide is: what to wear! I think this special occasion is just the time to finally get one of these beauties....

*The above post wins the award for Most Links In One Post.Ever.

*I haven't seen Emma in two weeks. #goingthroughwithdraw

*Last week I talked briefly about delurking day. Basically, its a day when those of you*waving hello* who read my blog or any blog and don't comment, comment! Let me tell you something, in the blog world, comments are like Christmas to a blogger. Seriously. They're are favorites. So please, say hello! I think you're awesome. Seriously.

*Finally, I encourage you to check out the blogs listed on the left hand side of my blog. I'm a obsessed big fan of blogs and these are some of favorites. You will find some great ladies on those sites.

*Just kidding, that wasn't the last one. I just thought it would be. I also wanted to let you know that I might be changing the look of my blog over the next few weeks. I haven't made a firm decision, but I'm kinda always changing everything thinking that it might need an update. My little blog home is still pretty new and I'm still testing out paint colors, you understand? Right? hello?....

*Finally,(seriously this time) I love ya'll. Thanks for reading my blog. It means a lot.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Giving Credit Where It's Due...

I love my blog. Really I do. I love the people who read it. I love the people who comment on it. I even love the people who get annoyed when I post links to it on facebook. I also really, really love my blog background. Here's the thing though, I didn't make it. that's right. None of it. Dont' worry I didn't steal it, but I wanted to share with you some of the websites that help beautify by blog. All of the sites that I use are free to everyone. I.Love.Free.Stuff. and apparently they love making it for me. It's a beautiful union. Anyways....

My blog background, header, as well as the little black and white signs that say "follow me","archive", ect. all come from a wonderful website called This site it, like i said, totally free, though I think you can pay them to do a custom design. They also have twitter and myspace backgrounds. It's a great website so go have fun!(Thanks to Melissa for introducing me to them.)

A site that I just recently came across is This site too offers free blog backgrounds, headers, and all kinds of other things to make your block great. This is where I got the sign in the right hand column that says, "If you are here you are awesome."(which you are, btw.) They offer lots of cute stuff for you block. Very vintagey type designs. Check them out!

I don't really get any of my designs from here, but I use the free version of gimp to edit my headers. I have a little bit of a background in design(I was a writer for my schools online magazine and we used gimp, adobe, ect.) but if you've never used an editing program before gimp will be super confusing. They do offer helpful tutorials online.

Thanks to the designers who not only help make my little blog home beautiful and welcoming, but also do it for free. Click on the links to visit their sites and see if they have something to make your blog more beautiful too!


Friday, January 14, 2011

A List: The Daniel Fast Edition

Some of you might remember that a few weeks ago I wrote a post about how I was going to be doing the Daniel fast for 21 days in January. I've purposely been silent about it since then because I once had a teacher(I went to a Christian school) tell me that one shouldn't talk about fasting, which is Biblical. That is should be something that is just between yourself and God. I totally agree, but wanted to share with you some of the things that I've learned since starting this fast. Therefore, in no particular order....

1. Vegan food needs more salt.

2. God isn't going to get mad if we accidentally buy vanilla soy milk instead of plain soy milk. He doesn't sweat the small stuff.

3. I can live without coffee.

4. There are only so many combinations of beans and rice....

5. Brown rice is very hard to make.

6. Fruit really does make a lovely dessert on its own.

7. Getting up an hour earlier than normal to pray and read the Word really does make a difference in everyday life.

8. Fasting is really about putting ourselves aside and serving the True God rather than the god of me.

9. Memorizing Scripture makes all the difference when it comes to battling the enemy. If we have the very word of God on our tongues, he(Satan) doesn't stand a chance.

10. Eating the way that God intended us to doesn't just effect ones weight(though that's a nice bonus) you will also sleep better, have better looking skin, and be more alert through out the day.

11. God is good.

I'm only a little more than half way through the fast and I have to say that it has been one of the best experiences of my Christian walk. God is so faithful to His children.


I also learned that apparently today is 'delurking day'. So if you've been reading this or any other blog, but have never commented, today is the day! Its really easy and its such a treat for any blogger to receive a comment. So...comment!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Lonely Mitten

We got about five inches of snow on Tuesday. Here's the thing about the snow, my dog, loves it. Seriously, its her favorite thing EVER. So, Tuesday night when I got home from work I unlocked the door and as soon as I opened it, Charlie, my beloved beagle, runs out the door. Another thing about the snow, Charlie loves it so much that she tends to run off more in the winter than any other time of year. So, Charlie darts out past me as soon as I open the door and I immediately went after her. I finally got a hold of her and literally, tackled her in the front yard. I did get her inside and put a leash on her and then take her for a proper walk.

Somehow, during our wrestling match, I lost one of my mittens. I love my mittens. They're beautiful.

They're also white. Do you know how hard it is to find a white mitten in five inches of snow. Yeah. So now I only have one mitten.

One lonely mitten.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

On Singleness

I had the rare pleasure of sitting down with a friend from high school and having breakfast this morning. We talked for probably two hours. A huge focus of our conversation was singleness. My friend is not single, she has been in a great relationship for about five years with an awesome guy. I, on the other hand, am single. We talked a lot about why otherwise attractive, successful, smart, funny, responsible, ect. women are still single well after the traditional age when most would be married. We asked ourselves, if God says He will give us the desires of hearts and the desire of heart is to be with someone, then why aren't we?

I don't know if there are any easy answers to these questions. I think that this is just one of those situations when God says to us,"Just trust me on this one." Some of us do and some of us go on The Bachelor. The older I get, though, the more I wonder, "If I want to be a woman who passionately follows after God's heart and does Kingdom work in this world, will I be 40 and still single?" I know so many woman who are in this situation. They have committed themselves to following God and are doing so...alone.

I think that God puts us into seasons of singleness for many reason. One of the reasons for me is, I have to be completely okay with just God. I have to be content to live the rest of my life, just the two of us, before I can have a the type of relationship that glorifies God. Honestly, I'm not there. I wish I was. I'm closer than I was last month, but still I fall short of contentment.

This I know for sure though: God loves me. He loves spending time with me. He enjoys our mornings together just as much, if not more, than I do. So, I know I will get there. A day will come when I will be able to wake up and not long for anyone other than my ultimate Bridegroom. How I look forward to that day.

When I begin to get discouraged I remember this, "God is incapable of wasting our time."-Beth Moore. God doesn't waste time with us. He uses every second of every season to our advantage. So this season of singleness is not a time of waiting, but rather a time of growth. Its a time for God to continue to mold me into a woman after His heart.


A great fictional book on singleness is "Never the Bride." It's a beautiful portrait of how God loves us.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolutions

Disclaimer: I do not make new year's resolutions. Never. No Ma'am. If I want to change something about myself, I just do it. Why should I wait for January first? Now be that as it may....

This year I've decided to make two new year's resolutions. Over the month of December I noticed a few patterns in my life that just did not match up with they way I want to live my life. Normally, I would just change whatever habit that I didn't like. Here's the thing though, December was nuts. Absolutely crazy. I did not want to put pressure on myself to change something when I knew that I was not in a very good place to follow through with the commitment. So I went against a long held conviction that new year's resolutions are dumb and decided to implement these changes starting January 1, 2011. I wanted to share my resolutions with, do you mind? Oh good, I was hoping you wouldn't. Here goes nothing...

1. Get a handle on my bank account. I'm very fortunate to have a job that I love and also make enough money to support my coffee habit. I'm not very good about keeping track of how i spend my money or about saving it. At this point I will likely be paying for part of my college education(which isn't cheap) and I need to be saving money for that. Also, emergencies. Happen. Cars break down. Hospital visits happen. Pedicures happen*wink*. I need to be prepared for that.

I also believe that they way you handle finances is often a reflection of the rest of your life. If they are disorderly and out of control, so goes my life. I want to please God in every aspect of my life. Currently my bank account does not reflect that. I've been blessed, how can I use my finances to bless others if they are out of control?

Therefore, in the coming year, I want to be diligent about keeping a check register. Writing down what I'm spending. I don't like to have to guess how much is in the account. I also will be better about prioritizing my spending. First comes my tithes, then comes my bills and whatever is left over is the money I use for everything else. I've already made some strides in my savings. I've set up through my work to have a percentage of my check go directly into my savings account. The trick is not break into that money when I don't have enough to buy something I want in my checking.

The Bible tells me that I can either serve God or money. I want to serve God with the money that He has blessed me with.

2. My second resolution is to read one book a month. By book I mean a title that will somehow help me grow spiritually. Last year I was blessed to do an internship at a local church. Every single person I met and had the privilege of speaking with had one thing in common: they read. A lot. Everyone was always telling me about the book they were reading, or recommending a book they had read. The emphasized the importance of never being ok with where you are at, but always striving for something better.

Therefore, in 2011 it will be my goal to read one book during the course of a month. I read a lot already, but sometimes it takes me two months to get through a single book. Mostly due to laziness rather than time constraints.  Speaking of time constraints, I'm busy. Really, really busy. I know one book doesn't sound like much, but for me its going to be a challenge, but I"m really excited.

Last year was full of lots of junk. I'm so looking forward to getting out of the pit of last year and stepping into the Light. I want this year to be a beautiful reflection of the grace I have been given.

What about you? What are your goals/resolutions for 2011?

Love and Happy New Year,