(Skip the first two full paragraphs if you feel it's too long...lol)
Yesterday afternoon I went to Barnes & Noble for a while. I picked up this book that my friend pointed out the other day since he heard it was a great book and...I guess I trust his judgement. :) I wandered over by the windows where the reading chairs were. As I was getting situated into my over-sized, over-stuffed seat (just the way I like it...), I was taken aback by a warning, "Get the EFF outta here..." I paused with confusion. Was he talking to me?? The stubborn side of me brushed it off and sat down. I then looked over at the man to which the warning belonged and realized he was talking to his book! Haha, it was a book about some war...I want to say Vietnam. And by the man's appearance, I'd assume he had been in that war. He commented to the pages here and there as I settled in and opened the pages to my own book...
I knew Rob Bell by the videos he's made, but never have I come across his books until now. This one describes the relationship between sexuality(energy geared toward outside sources like relationships-not only romantic) and spirituality. He has this ability to express the deepest concepts through the simplest of words...
But here's what I'm getting at...!!!
Through the first chapter, he described how sexuality has a lot to do with humanity (Rob Bell, please forgive me if I butcher this explanation! lol). He described one of the concentration camps that was receiving aid after the holocaust and wars were over. It was horrifying to read the description of it all: the corpses, filth, and the people who, after all that, looked like corpses and were now completely numb to the filth. They were no longer human because people stripped away their identity...all they had were the numbers printed on their bodies.
It's also like when a group of guys see a girl walk by them and one of them asks his buddies, "How do you rate that?" And they go about putting numerical value to parts of her anatomy.
They are no longer human...just a number on their arm.
She is no longer human, but degraded down to a "that."
For some reason, a massive order of lipstick came into the concentration camp from outside aid. At first, it didn't seem to make sense, but suddenly a scene of these women who had been imprisoned and starved were wearing lipstick and something deep down seemed to be glowing again. There was a description of a woman, dead and bare in her bunk, with scarlet lips. In her hand she clutched that tube of lipstick. That hope of being human again.
And as for "that" girl, when looked over like a thing, she became an object. And it didn't only affect her, but those guys who looked her way. They lost sight of who she really is: a person. A woman. She has a history, dreams and, most importantly, was made in God's image.
All of these people were meant to be looked at as more.
On my way home that day, I drove past a group of shirtless guys running along the road...
Bear with me here, I'm going to be very blunt, but I know you'll appreciate it cuz I know you've been here too.
My first reaction was to look away, embarassed in an empty car that my mind may take me to places I didn't want to go...
But then I thought about what I had read and looked straight at them while saying this to myself:
"These guys were made in God's image. They have a past and hopes for the future. They have weaknesses and strengths, mistakes and pride..."
WOW!!! I can't even explain what a difference that made.
Today, my brother was watching TV and as I passed by I heard a preview for a movie. In it the man said to the woman, "I think you're beautiful...and I just want to spend some time with you."
What validation to her creation! It's no wonder why women long to know that they are beautiful. It affirms the Creator of her beauty. How you treat the creation is much related to how you feel about the creator.
Finishing the next chapter was like a cherry on top. A perfect ending to my short time at the bookstore. The chapter was called something like, "Sexy on the Inside."
One of the final paragraphs described to me exactly the girl I want to be:
(Rob Bell in reference to a girl he knows):
"I've realized over time that she is a deeply connected person. There is a certain potency to her presence that is hard to describe. She owns no property and she lives as simply as she possibly can because she committed early in her life to give everything she had to making the world the kind of place God dreams it could be. It is a joy to be with her because everything matters in her life. Nothing is shallow, or trite, or superficial. She's very funny, and smart, and compassionate - a magnificent human. Because she's been exploring her own soul so long, she knows herself inside and out. She's at peace, and it's contagious."
Monday, May 28, 2007
Haha, wow, so I'm really bad at keeping track with when I blogged last...anyway, last thursday, my good friend bree & I took my dog, Gucci, for a walk and shot some amateur photos around the neighborhood...
Our town is so cookie cutter that it's hard to find interesting things to shoot...nevertheless, we had fun and my dog enjoyed the walk as well. :)
What an interesting day...it started out very weird, but things pulled together as the day went by. God woke me up that morning with open eyes to just how wonderful my friends are and how much strength and support He brings me through them! I couldn't ask for better friends!
You guys are great :)
((PS>>I'll post the weekend updates later...))
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Wow! I just spent a whopping 12 hours with the Barlows today! CRAZY! But great of course! I got over there a little after 10am and went to work with Sarah...by 1:30, our friend Jenny came by to hang out so we all spent a good long while chatting before we decided what to do next. In our attempt to go to Cheesecake Factory, we landed at Red Robin instead! Mmmm....
Afterward we were all SO full! Lemme tell ya it was almost difficult to walk around! After a while we decided to go swimming to shake off the feeling of all that food in our stomachs. The water felt soooo good....I'm so glad my friends convince me to do things cuz sometimes I don't realize what I would miss out on....
From there, Sarah, Jenny, Natalie and I (all in our swimsuits of course! lol) had a special "spa treatment". Haha, it was an amazing multi-head steam shower!!!! We all felt sooo refreshed afterwards.
After drying off we just hung out some more and Mrs. Barlow came to the rescue with some strawberries, blueberries and blackberries to save us from our sugar cravings! Did I mention we dipped them in chocolate? YUM!
Well, here's to a refreshing day. :) It's really gotten me pumped to start getting outside to do activities more, I love it! What a beautiful day.
This is what God's taught me a little more about today...I've really realized how much I tend to settle for the good things. And that's okay, but I don't hold out for the GREAT things that he really does want to bless me with. They're the things I'm not sure about or don't know exist...I don't hold out because I don't go out on a limb to trust beyond what's in my reach. And this is in regards to such a vast array of things!
Haha, let's put it in terms of photography: I thought about shopping for a camera and what kind I want. I immediately thought, well how 'bout a canon rebel xt/xti? I mean, it's simple, it's basic and I don't really need anything extravagant (I'm mostly a practical person, I guess!). But as I was lookin in the mirror this morning with those thoughts God replied, Why aren't you holding out for a 20D? I know that's what you want deep down, Sarah. Why do you have to settle for something that's just okay in your eyes and Mine? Don't you know I want to bless you with more than you give Me credit for? Please, just let go of the security you find in being close-minded and just let Me do what I want to do for you!
It was the same with my computer situation this past year! Though I didn't hold out, He still came through and blessed me out of no where with the computer I'm typing on right now. :)
So I'm waiting on him to show me more than the standards I lower for myself all the time...this is so much more than materialistic, too...
He's such a bless-er!
Monday, May 21, 2007
Man oh man! What a year God has brought me through! There's so much that I've learned it seems difficult to fathom...what a big God I serve--and what blessings He has bestowed upon me! I just...ahhh...let me just list out the things God has opened my eyes to:
--Love is not simply defined by a feeling. It is exactly what the bible says it is! And there is no fear in perfect love. Perfect love is only found in Christ.
--I have been so naive about the way life is to be lived!
--Grace is so important. You can't just run away from difficult relationships (though I have that tendency!), you have to show unconditional love even if dealing with that person seems hard.
--Faith is the foundation for miracles...and miracles aren't always displayed in a grand performance. A lot of times they are overlooked.
--Purity is all about becoming. It's not something we had from the beginning and have lost. We were born with impurity and sin, but strive to break away from those chains to become more.
--Words are a powerful thing. They set things in motion even if we don't realize it. That's why holding your tongue is important.
--God never overlooks tithing from an honest giver. He is our Provider, and not just financially, but in EVERY way! We are to put Him to the test to provide for us--He WILL come through!
--Living with uncertainty=living w/ complete reliance on God. Uncertainty is a good thing.
--I need to enjoy where I am in life presently instead of getting caught up in growing up so much. Ecclesiastes talks about being happy and enjoying the days of our youth while still living a life that follows God's commands.
--Trusting God is so much more freeing than trying to control my circumstances.
--Making judgements of people is not my responsibility. Loving them regardless is.
--It's so important to let go of the past, especially when it has already been forgotten by God. Don't live in the past--it could become your future.
--Honesty, laughter, and real love are the key factors to great relationships.
--When you want to win an argument (esp. a theological one), have proof/backup.
--Crying is necessary.
--So is laughter.
--Both bring you closer to people.
--"The King is enthralled by your beauty"--Psalm 45:11 ENTHRALLED!! How in love can ya get??
It's all about vulnerability. Towards God, towards other people...it grows you so much and gives you such endurance to just keep moving.
Well..that's my summary for the year...it's been unbelievable and every single moment unexpected. I feel so stretched and pulled even still cuz I continue on in learning about life.
On Sunday, my pastor said this, "I don't think there was ever an ordinary day in the life of Jesus. There were always challenges He had to face..."
I hope I can say the same for mine...wooo....that's one of those dangerous things to hope for! But so worth it :)
Love you guys! I hope to start updating this more often then I have during the year so don't go away!