Reflections on My Day - Do Looks Truly Matter?

by Grace 9. January 2018 20:41

It happened again.

Somebody told me I look nice today.

For years, just about wherever I've gone I've always been told that I was pretty. I've heard it from old and young, boys, girls, family, and friends - "You're so pretty!" "I love your hair!" "You have such a pretty smile!" "You're so thin!" "Your eyes are so blue - are those contacts???"

It's not necessarily a bad thing. I love hearing my Grandma, my mom, or my dad tell me things like that. And I like hearing my family and friends tell me I did a good job with my hair or things along those lines. But sometimes, I actually rather dislike it.

Some of you may be asking why on earth, but maybe some of you understand. For those of you who don't, let me explain.

I've often wondered when people have told me I'm pretty, "Why does it matter?" I haven't done anything to look the way I do. I've never tried losing weight - I still remember feeling thrilled whenever I gained more weight when I was younger. I didn't do anything to get blue eyes. We're still not even precisely sure where I got them from. I didn't give myself long, dark brown hair that went from waves towards the top and curls at the bottom. It was just there. I haven't done anything to get the face I have - I've never even worn makeup before. It's a gift from God, to be sure, I didn't do anything to get my looks and can't really do a substantial amount to make it any better - so what's the use in complementing my looks because they line up with the world's standards of pretty? I mean, it's not an evil thing, but it can be useless and oftentimes excessive.

And I know that it can be discouraging to me because I daily strive to be more like Jesus and more focused on Him - I try to be a better sister, more humble, more diligent, more patient, more graceful, more enduring, and many other things. And after working so hard, the only encouragement I get is, "Your eyes are so pretty!" Perhaps I was grumpy when my sibling did something annoying, but at least I have pretty eyes, right??? Again, it's not necesarily a bad thing for people to tell me my eyes are pretty, but I tend forget their comment pretty quickly. It doesn't mean much to me anymore.

The things that really stick to me are things like when a lady at the school walked by and said, "doing a good job, as always!" or when she said "as always, wearing a smile!" Or when my sisters say they love having an older sister. Or when my friend and coworker tells me I'm her 'Saving Grace' because I gave her an umbrella and an extra coat while we were working in the cold and rain. Or when somebody at the fair comes by after I've dealt with a tough visitor and tells me that I'm doing a great job and to keep wearing a smile. Or when my parents tell me they're proud of me for paying for college by myself. That's what matters most to me in my life. Our looks don't matter - God looks at and cares about the inside of us, not the outside. And He doesn't flatter us about our blue eyes and big smiles. He's more pleased when He sees a faithful heart, and we should be too.

And you know what? Most people who are praised for their looks probably already know. Before you told them that they had beautiful hair, an slender waistline, or a handsome face, they'd been told a million times - perhaps they begin to act like me sometimes, wearing sunglasses and a hat when I work at the fair so that people take me a little more seriously. Or they feel vain and proud for something that was a gift, not their own doing. There are some people who need to be told that they're beautiful - that God made them the way they are and they're precious to Him.

But the people who are beautiful in the World's standard don't need to hear it.

It'll bounce off of them, or they'll feel vain, or perhaps, like me, they'll simply ponder why it matters. If anything, some of us just need to be reminded that it's the heart that matters and not our appearance.

My looks aren't a talent. They're a gift. And, although I'm not mad when people tell me I'm pretty, I'd rather hear their encouragement or even their criticism - what I could be doing better in my Christian walk.

Next time you think to tell someone that they're pretty or handsome, stop to think if you have some encouragement for them or if there's a way to compliment their behavior.

And next time you're told that you look nice, tell them that it's a gift from God and that they look beautiful too.

 

Now let's hear from you!

Do YOU ever feel this way? Have you ever wondered why it mattered? What are some of your suggestions on things you can encourage friends in instead of telling them that they're pretty?

 

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Happy New Years Everyone!!!

by Grace 1. January 2018 23:33

Happy New Years Everyone!!!

It's hard to believe that 2018 is already here. 2017 has gone by faster for me than any other year before.

Like a friend of mine said on her blog, it's kinda sad to leave last year behind. It was a huge year for me. It set a whole new vision and purpose in my life - a completely different yet exciting new perspective. Unrealistic dreams became realities; some of which were dreams I never knew I had or fully understood.

But this year will be exciting for me too! God has a plan for this year that is just as big, wonderful, perfect, and challenging as last year was! And while last year was setting a vision for my life, this year is when I will start pursuing that vision. And I'm excited for that!

You know, as I sit here reflecting on 2017, I realize that I made some pretty BIG mistakes. But you know what? I grew a whole lot last year - probably more than I've grown in other years (I mean in character - according to our measurements of my height, I'm shrinking... Our statistics must have been off somewhere along the line). I faced some of my greatest fears (my mom's miscarriage, a car accident involving someone from my family (fortunately the family member who was in it was fine though) and tough timed exams).

And through all of this, I have learned so much about God. There is no one we take for granted more than God. Even when we are in complete awe of Him, we still cannot fully comprehend how great and holy he is. No other can be just yet merciful in the way that He is. And no one else can make an intricate plan for the life of millions and billions and trillions of people and make all of them unique in their life's story, their looks, and their personalities. In addition, none of us can even fully comprehend or understand Him, let alone understand the things He can.

And have you ever really thought about how much it entails to be perfect? I don't think that even Mary Poppins understood what it meant to be practically perfect in every way. (*Gasps*) Perfect in mind, pure of heart, spotless in actions and attitudes. And he accomplishes this easily. Not only from the throne of heaven, but on earth, He was PERFECT. PERFECT!!! That is no small thing. And if it wasn't for this perfect, holy, loving, just, merciful, caring, supernatural God, I would be living the same useless, miserable life that I had been living a few years ago.

Before I sign out here, I want to share with you a few things I did last year, things I want to do this year, and some of my goals:

 

Things I did last year: 1. I started school through OBCL to be a paralegal. This is one of the biggest things I have ever done!

2. I started a blog!!!

3. I made some new friends. I even made a friend through what at first was just an embarrassing accident... (shout-out to Grace)

4. I worked at many new events for TCB (a security and event staff company). I especially enjoyed Clackamas County fair in Canby, OR, but I enjoyed all of them.

5. I helped with a wedding. Ooh, this was so fun! It was such a beautiful wedding, too!

6. I overcame (partway, at least) my fear of timed testing. For those of you who don't know yet, for the three courses I've gotten grades for so far (there were four courses I had tests for last quarter) I got two -A's and an A (100%!). I'm still waiting for grades for the last one. :)

And that's just a fraction of what I did... I'm too tired to remember anything else right now. Just for your benefit, all of you, writing posts at ten o'clock is a REALLY BAD idea I'm finding right now. Should've done my New Years Day post this morning instead of two hours away from the end of New Years Day.

Moving on...

Things I Will Do This Year:

1. I'll turn 18. And in law terms, that means I won't be an infant anymore! (By the way, for those of you who don't know this, the law term for minors is infant...)

2. I'll graduate from law school. I finish in the first or second week of August, I believe.

3. I'll graduate from highschool. Yup, folks. highschool and College in the same year. Cool, huh? Sounds like a pretty good deal to me. :D

Goals For This Year:

1. Be more friendly and outgoing and less shy and reserved. I'm too afraid of people. And being an introvert makes it easy to not even try to engage in conversation with others. I can easily go sit in the corner and write songs or poetry or something. And that's good sometimes, but not for the most part. I really need to push myself outside of my comfort zone and reach out to others more, and think more of how they feel instead of how I feel.

2. Practice piano, violin, guitar, and mandolin more this year. Something I didn't do too well with this year.

3. Memorize several passages of scripture. Another thing I didn't do too well with this year. I'd like to memorize Psalm 23, 119, and several other passages, but I'll go through and set more concrete goals in a few days.

4. Finish reading Lord of the Rings. Yup, this is PRETTY important to me and to another unnamed sibling who really wants me to finish reading it.

5. Work at a new event that I have not worked at before. There's a few more events throughout the year that I'd like to try.

6. Get my DPSST.

7. Work as a paralegal. Possibly even do some internship type stuff before I've finished schooling. We'll see. 

8. Put the birthdays of all of my friends and family and extended family in my calendar and do something for their birthdays. Much easier than doing something for all of them at the same time on Christmas...

9. Finish our CD. Me and my siblings started this sometime last year... We really need to finish it...

10. I forget... maybe I'll remember tomorrow what I was going to put here. All comes from staying up to late. BAD IDEA. I'm a morning person, by the way. "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man (or girl!) healthy, wealthy and wise!" as Benjamin Franklin put it (although I obviously added the part in parentheses...)

Well, there you go! I'd better go to bed now... This post should get the longest post of the year award. Yay for any of you who actually read all of this... I'm very long-winded when it's late and I'm tired.

Happy New Year! And goodnight!

 

Now let's hear from you!

Are you excited for the new year? What are some of your goals? Your favorite memories from last year? Things that will happen in your life next year?

 

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Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

by Grace 19. December 2017 10:26

Hello everyone!

You don't mind if I post songs that have nothing to do with Christmas during the Christmas season, do you?

If you answered no to that question, then good. If you answered that you do mind, don't look at this post until Christmas is past and you'll never know I posted it during the Christmas season unless you read this part of the post or look at the date on the top.

Here's a song I wrote recently (oh, by the way, if you couldn't tell already, it's not a Christmas song). I haven't completely decided what order I want the verses to be in, but I'm thinking this is probably how I'll keep it. Hope you enjoy!

 

Looking Higher, Reaching Farther

Chorus: I'm looking higher, I'm reaching farther,

I want what's better, I want what's best

And so I'll stand uncompromising

Whenever I'm put to the test

So I'll keep walking on the narrow and straight

I'll be watching, and I will wait

I'm looking higher, I'm reaching farther

Than this world could ever dream

 

Verse 1: I'm not defined by what others say

Or by the standards of the day

I am defined by my faith in Jesus

And what he's done for all of us

 

Verse 2: I will not settle for the first man

Who says he loves me and asks for my hand

I'm waiting for the one God has chosen

I'm waiting for a godly man

 

Verse 3: When I am ever tempted to fear

I will remember that the Lord is near

I'll trust in Him; I'll fear no evil

For everything's in God's control

 

Verse 4: I won't judge my worth by how I feel

'Cause what I feel often isn't real

I get my worth in Christ alone

The greatest status ever known

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? What did you think about the order of the verses? Did you have a favorite verse? Were you irritated that I posted something that wasn't Christmas-related during the Christmas season? If so, I don't really want to know...

 

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Song Suggestion: Thankful

by Grace 24. November 2017 17:48

Hey everyone!

Here's a song for the Thanksgiving season! It has a little mix of bluegrass and southern gospel. I've not been too impressed with some of this group's more recent songs (a little too modern for my taste) but I did like this song. The track for this song kind of makes me think of the Bontragers a little bit (I posted a link to their song "I Have Been Blessed" a few weeks ago).

Well, anywho, let me know what you think of this song!

Thankful

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? What are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

 

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Song Suggestion: I Know All About Scars

by Grace 18. November 2017 22:17

Hey everyone! I realized that I forgot to post a song suggestion last Thursday! Haha! If I do that again feel free to post an angry comment or send a mad message through my contact page and I'll go ahead and post something! xD

Alrighty, here's an interesting one. Listen to it twice. First, imagine it is Jesus talking to you, and the second time imagine it's a Christian brother talking to you. Then let me know which you think fits best.

Happy hearing! ;)

I Know All About Scars

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the song? For those of you who liked the song from last week, did you notice that this is the same group? Have you heard this song before? Who did you think was the speaker in this song - Christ or a fellow Christian?

 

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Finals Exams/Fear and Anxiety

by Grace 13. November 2017 21:35

Hey everyone!

I'm starting my quarter finals test tomorrow (for those of you who don't know, I'm a student of Oak Brook College of Law (OBCL.edu)). My quarter finals exams will consist of four 2-hour exams, two tomorrow, one on Wednesday, and one on Thursday. And for the record, one of my greatest fears is timed tests.

But I thought I'd just hop up here and let y'all know that even when we're facing our worst fears, we can lean on Jesus and HE can relieve us of our fears.

In reality, having fear is a sign of lack of trust. Let's say you went to the doctors and they said that you had a disease and that they would need to operate on you for you to get better. But you cry, "No way! That's just plain CREEPY! You're not cutting into me! That's terrifying! I don't care if you drug me to sleep first! I'm afraid!" The doctor shakes his head and says, "you don't trust me, do you? Well, if this is the way it's going to be, you're just going to have to deal with this issue that's cutting away at you."

Folks, anxiety is a sign that we're not trusting God enough, and as a result, that fear will be used by the devil to cut away at our souls. And I can attest to that; I'm still scared to death. But when I pray about it, the Great Physician begins His operation I start to feel better. However, if I don't let go, the pain of fear drains me so that I'm not as efficient for the purpose God has created me for.

Now, fear is something that takes time to rid yourself of. In fact, we cannot be fully immune to the temptations (yes, temptation -- a lack of trust in God is a SIN) of fearing and not trusting God until we get to heaven and are fully sanctified in His presence. But it's something to work on, and letting go of your fears and leaving all in God's care is glorifying to Him.

So for all of you who are like me, shaking in your shoes and wondering what to do and how to do and where to do and what to do and then realizing your muddled brain is going in circles, cast your cares upon the Lord and put your best effort in for the glory of God. Give Him your all.

Eccl. 9:10

Blessings and Prayers for you all!

 

Now let's hear from you!

What struggles and challenges have you been facing that cause you to fear? What are some of the Bible verses you refer to when you're fearful, stressed, and anxious? What is your reaction when frightening things come up - praying or panic?

For those of you who haven't seen yet, check out my new 'About' page on the sidebar!

 

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Our Lives are Passing Times

by Grace 7. November 2017 10:42

Hey everyone! Today I finally have some of my own inspiration to share with you! 

Let me know what you think!

 

Our Lives are Passing Times

The years are flying quickly by,

And time is flying fast;

And someday that is coming soon,

Our lives here will be past.

What have we done with what we have

To make our lives worthwhile?

Have we reached out to troubled souls?

Or giv'n the world a smile?

God's given so abundantly,

More than we'll ever know;

The least that we can do for Him

Is His great love to show.

Our lives are spent most selfishly-

In gaining for our pleasure,

And though things we get or want aren't 'bad',

It's all just earthly treasure.

And while we're  spending all our time

Enjoying what we've got,

We forget the ones who really

Haven't got an awful lot.

God's given so abundantly!

The least that we can do

Is to reach out with what we've got

to help a soul or two.

It isn't truly thankfulness

To hide with all our stuff,

And then ignore the ones

Who haven't near enough.

We would not have anything

If it weren't bestowed by God,

So we should help the weary souls

Who harder paths now trod.

You can't bring earthly things to heav'n,

And soon I'm sure you'll find,

It matters not what we'll bring with us

But what we'll leave behind.

 

And hey, just for the fun of it, if you can tell what rhyme scheme I used, comment below and let me know! Perhaps I'll do a post on rhyme scheme soon.

 

Now let's hear from you!

Did you like the poem? Any suggestions on how to make it better??? 

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Patience my Child

by Grace 7. August 2017 21:45

Hey all! I'm back! Fire off the cannons!!!

Here's a song that I wrote recently. This is something God's been telling me a lot recently! If I have my way, this will eventually make it onto our CD, but my way doesn't always happen in circumstances like these... Oh well. We'll see what happens. At any rate, here it is and let me know what you think!

Patience My Child

CHORUS: Patience, patience my child

Patience, patience my child

I have the answer

And remember

That I'll not forget your name,

Patience, patience my child

 

VERSE 1: I was wrestling through a struggle

So I lifted it in prayer

And I waited for a while

But my prayer for this trial

Didn't seem to have an answer

I great despair I asked Him

If He had heard my cry

He smiled at me, and this was His reply

(Chorus)

VERSE 2: When you're faced with life's decisions

And you ask God what to do

But it seems the Lord above

Who's always looking down in love

Wasn't looking down at you!

Stop fretting for a moment

Know that He will make a way

If you listen close, you will hear Him say

(Chorus)

 

Now let's hear from you!

 

Did you enjoy this poem? Is God currently teaching you this lesson too?

 

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