Friday, June 25, 2010

Well, I'm Done...

... waiting, that is. I used to be "waiting" for the next step in my life, but I've decided to quit.*


Well... see, awhile ago, I was talking to a friend of ours, who has been married for six years or so and still doesn't have children. Her feelings of waiting for the next step and of not being quite fulfilled reminded me of my own feelings about getting married. And I suddenly realized the folly of this whole "waiting" thing.

We wait impatiently to get married, and then once we're married, we wait impatiently for children, and then once we have children, we wait for them to be able to walk, and then talk, and then we can't wait till they start school, and then we can't wait for them to finish school, and then we are waiting for them to get married, and then we are waiting for grandchildren... you get the idea. It never ends!!

What if, instead of "waiting", we just learned to fully enjoy where we are now??

Sure, we need to look forward to and prepare for the next step, but let's learn to be content with where we are right now and not have the mindset of "waiting" for the next thing.

*Not that I've got this down yet; old thought habits die hard. :P

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

We all do it...

"Well, at least I'm better than so and so." "You should be glad I don't do such and such like they do."

I know I do it at times... If I compare myself to most young folks around here, I get a pretty good rating. :P

Many of you (all of you?) reading this blog are "above average". You are given "gold stars" pretty often. And it feels good, of course. We all like gold stars.

But... think about what we are being compared to. The average today is so very low that being "above average" basically means not doing really bad things. That, my friends, is pathetic. (The standard, not y'all. hehe.)

When I joined the Rebelution forum team, I was excited to find that there were others who were ahead of me--people that I could compare myself to and find myself wanting to do more, like they are doing.

However, even if we manage to find some rebelutionaries to compare ourselves to, is that even right? Sure, it's encouraging, and I'm very blessed to have such friends... but: should we really be comparing ourselves to human standards?

I don't think so.

Seems to me that we should, instead, "compare" ourselves to Christ. That leaves no room 'tall for pride! And it leaves us realizing how very much more we have to achieve.

What do y'all think?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I Used to Get Frustrated.

Now I don't. Ever.

Okay, so that's not true.

But I have learned something that has greatly eased my frustration in one area.

I used to get really discouraged... I would want to change some area of my life so bad! And I would try hard to work on it. But I didn't seem to get anywhere.

(Maybe because I only tried really hard for a few days... :P)

Anyway, I would feel like change never really "stuck", and that I wasn't getting anywhere. I would write about it in my journal... what I was noticing I needed to change, and how hard it was.

I would read great books... and feel like I wasn't really getting anything, like nothing really changed. I would pray and ask God to help me. I would talk to my parents.


I didn't see much difference. What's the use? Why try so hard to change if you don't see any results?


Now that I am ancient (kidding!) and looking back on my struggles to change this area or that one, I see much more than I did then. Sure, I may not have changed suddenly or spectacularly.

But now-- behold! Progress!!

Change isn't instantaneous after all! It takes time and effort.

Don't be discouraged when you aren't suddenly kind to your siblings every moment of every day! Or when you don't suddenly pray for hours every day!

Change comes in stages...

Just being really dissatisfied with something in your life or getting really excited about a new way of doing things will start you off.

Doing all the things I mentioned previously (writing about it, praying, talking to adults, reading good books, etc...) will also really help.

And then... you have to take the effort to make those little changes. Over. And over. And over...

I know. That's the hard part.


Do Hard Things! :D

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

In the Course of One's Life...

...there are conversations which change our thinking, and, therefore, our lives. Of course, nearly every conversation shapes us in some way, but there are certain ones that really stand out as pivotal.

One of those in my life may not seem incredibly life changing to you... but, somehow, it was.

It happened several years ago, when I was fourteen. We were sitting at the dining room table, talking about random things, as we are prone to do. We had some friends over, and their mom said something to the effect of ,"I reached all of my goals by the time I was 19." She then explained that her goals had been to get married and have children, both of which were accomplished at that age.

However... she is now divorced, her first child was out of wedlock, and her two oldest children have children of their own... but no spouses.

Now, that might not seem remarkable, or life changing, or even really all that interesting, though I hope you will agree with me that what happened in her life is tragic.

But it made me think:

First, wow, she had the same goals that I have... but her life is not how I want mine to turn out. What can I do differently to avoid that outcome?

Second, I need bigger goals than simply "getting married" and "having children". Those goals leave you without any goals pretty quickly! Imagine being all out of goals at 19!!

So... what have I done since then? How did this affect my thinking?

Well, first, I decided that, instead of just having "be a wife and mother" as my life goal, I'd add something: Become an Excellent wife and mother. (And person in general)

Right then, at age fourteen, I wrote down a vision for the kind of wife and mother I want to be.

"I want to be a wonderful wife. I want to be supportive and submissive to my husband. I want to keep the house clean, and have delicious meals on time, and praise him for what he does, and "dress up" for him, and be cheerful, and take his shoes off, and greet him at the door with a smile, and let him tell me about his day before I tell about mine, I want to look on the bright side of things, and have a sense of humor. I will STAY WITH HIM."

Now, some of those things sound a little funny... but they are what I thought of at fourteen. :) I have added more things to that list mentally, but you get the idea.

"I want to be a great mom. I want to play with my children, and teach them about God, and listen to them, and home school them, and read to them, I want to help them, and feed them good food, and make clothes for them, and love on them, and pray with and for them, and NEVER GIVE UP on them. And lots more things for them and my husband. (whoever he is.)"

Again, some of those things sound a little silly to me now, but you can see what I was thinking.

It's easy enough to just get married and have children without preparing much or striving to be the best you can be with God's help... but you'll most likely end up with an incredibly ho-hum, low impact life--or, on the other side of things, an incredibly painful and unnecessarily difficult life.

Now, of course God can and does use those situations. However, I don't want to make choices that will lead to those kinds of lifestyles--my dreams are much, much bigger.

Sure, I look forward to the romantic parts of getting married and the astounding miracle of babies-- but there's much more to this! If I become an excellent wife and mother, I can have enormous eternal impact for God's kingdom!

"Woman's work is foundation work for society, for the state, for the kingdom of heaven. In the homes of America are born the children of America; and from them goes forth American life. Who has the hand upon these springs of life? Woman.... Woman may think her sphere and work are limited and contracted, but in this she was never found it a graver mistake. In the home she is imprinting herself upon the man; in him she builds up society, in him she builds up the state, in him she legislates, in him she executes, in him she rules. She makes man what he is, so far as human power can operate, Yes, if she never does anything else but 'nurse babies' she can do no grander work. May God impress upon our women the high, heavenly, holy duty of rearing the children of our country, and making our homes places of joy and comfort. Alas! for the State! if our women are to leave the work of our homes and run hither and thither in search of larger rights and larger powers!" William H. Felix, in "The Work and Sphere of Womanhood.

It's exciting to think of how much influence I have as a women! I want to learn all I can so that I will impact the world for good and not for evil.

Which is why I am thrilled about the new book "Preparing to be a Help Meet" by Debi Pearl. I just finished reading it recently, and am looking forward to applying the things I've learned in it as I read it again-- this time taking notes and filling out things. :) I'm very thankful that she's developed this resource to help me reach my goals!