Not for the faint of heart

Today marks the beginning of a new section. As many of you probably know, or don’t, there happens to be a website entitled, “When Parents Text”. Bless their ever loving hearts, parents try, they really do. Their attempts make for much amusement. But who says their spawn aren’t also blunder prone or amusing? To demonstrate this, we three will begin to post various texting conversations we have. No, no, you don’t need to run to the closet and hide for fear of what we might say. I promise only small snippets will be shared otherwise our sanity may be called into question…So here goes nothing. This is not for the faint of heart. Read if you dare.

And to kick things off, let’s begin with a convo which took place on the ides of march, many ages ago, when the air was rank with the scents of battle….Not really….

Katie is gone to Yellostone National Park

Monica: “I think I might drive to your house this weekend, lay down in your drive, rend my clothes, slather myself in ashes, and go all dances with wolves wailing widow… when you return i’ll still be there wasted away to nearly nothing, forlorn and bedraggled.”

Katie: “LOL oooh my goodness! LOL! That would be the most amazing thing. LOL! You can use Scout and Country if you want.”

Monica: “You’ll swoop down, cradle my matted head in your lap, dribble water onto my parched/ cracked lips and I’ll hoarsely whisper, ‘you came for me’…to which you’ll stroke my head and say, ‘of course I did my love. Everything is ok. I’m here now…'”

Katie: “I bet I look mad…I’m walking downtown, alone, laughing to myself. lol”

Monica: “Eh, start bweeheewaahahahaha-ing and they’ll start wondering. If an asylum van rolls up pull some evasive maneuvers and run like a bat out of you know where.”

 

Going Native

Katie: “There’s a cowboy bar here and the barstools are saddles!! LOVE IT!”

Katie: “The saddles were so cool! And they had a grizzly in there that a man killed with his bare hands.”

Monica: “It was actually me. I haven’t said anything before because i’m trying to be humble about it.”

Katie: “You’re so cool monica! It says you cut off his windpipe with your elbow and used your teeth to bite his jugular. Then when he passed out, you beat him over the head with a stick! You’re so brave!”

Monica: “I learned all that in 4-H.”

Katie: “Who knew that someday you’d have to use that to kill a bear?”

Monica: “Well, I did. But there again I didn’t tell anyone.”

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The Beginnings- A Two Part Series: Part 1- Katie and Me.

What a trip.

If any of you have older siblings, you probably know what it’s like to semi-worship said older sibling(s). The ground they walk on is sacred. Their friends are always cool. You have an express desire to imitate almost anything and everything they do. But still, for some odd reason you must compete with them; you must prove you are as good as them and worthy of their notice.

I have an older brother, Luke. We’re 3 years and 5 months apart in age. He’s my only sibling and I love him dearly.

As you can guess, growing up I thought he was reeeeally cool (I still do actually). Because I became his human shadow at the tender age of, well, whenever I started crawling; I participated in his games and worlds of make-believe (note to reader: they were epic). As the time passed I didn’t shadow him every where as often, but I did still light up like the Fourth of July whenever he asked me to “hang out” with him (I still do actually). So, needless to say when he asked me to play volleyball with him and some his friends 4 years ago, I said yes.

Here I must give you a little background of my foray into sports and life in general.

I never considered myself one of the “cool” people (pssh, like I care now, ah *sigh* hindsight). While others were running around smearing themselves across gym floors and ball fields, I was blissed out in my little world of the arts and animals. Give me music! Give me art! Give me literature! Give me dance! Give me knowledge! Give me horses! Give me culture! and so on and so forth…This subsequently relegated me to the nerdier group. I did play some sports. I come from a very athletic family on both sides, so physical activity was/is normal for us. However, I didn’t express a desire to aquire any degree of accomplishment in one particular sport. So, volleyball was not/ is not my forte.

When Luke asked me to play volleyball on that fateful day, my initial reaction was something along the lines of utter elation mixed with panic. My thoughts were as follows: “My brother wants me to come?! Rrreally?? OH JOY! OH HAPPINESS! I’M COOL!….Wwwait. Reality check. That means I’LL have to play. Wait. That means his really cool athletic friends will be there. Wait! THAT MEANS I’LL HAVE TO PRETEND TO PLAY IN FRONT OF HIS REALLY COOL AND ATHLETIC FRIENDS!!! AAAAHHHH!!!” I expressed my concern to Luke in a calm, cool, collected manner. To reassure his calm, cool, and collected sister (I’m sure the half crazed look in my eye gave me away) he simply replied, “Don’t worry, we play for fun. We just hit the ball back and forth. It’s not serious or anything. Don’t worry, Sis. Come on you’ll enjoy it.” I said, “ok *gulp*”.

You know that first day of school or work, lone guppy in the tuna fish school feeling where you instantly know you stick out like a sore thumb?? Yes, that’s how I felt upon entering the gym. I scanned the court and perceived what appeared to be volleyball playing Grecian gods and goddesses surrounding me at every angle. Yes, I felt like Napoleon Dynamite on his first day of school. The gods were warming up for a night of games on Olympus. With every bump, set, and spike of the volleyball I saw lightning and heard thunder peal through the gym. Oh wait, ball, what ball?! The only semblance of a ball that I saw was a blur rocketing back and forth across the golden net. I think the gods could sense an alien was in their midst. They paused their feats of wonder for a moment to come inspect the lowly earthling. Well, in truth, my brother graciously introduced me (Napolean the guppy), to his smiling friends. They were all so friendly, but two lovely goddesses, Katie and Beks, were especially kind. However, their kindness barely registered with me due to my impending doom; my annihilation by volleyball.

The guppy and the goddess, doing the only thing guppies can do, swim.

To cut to the chase, the guppy flipped and flopped on the dry court gasping for air, praying for the light at the end of the tunnel to appear. FINALLY, the light appeared. The first set of games were over. I knew it was my only chance of escape. I toddled over to my brother telling him I was going to run back to my dorm room since I “had to get up early the next day”. As William Wallace would say, “FREEEEEEDOOOOOOM!!”. I split out of there as fast as I could. But as I ran out Napoleon style (yes, imagine his run), Katie and Beks waved saying they’d see me later. I thought, “OH not if I can help it!”, and off I went.

I had good reason to be terrified.

Over the course of the next year, if I ever saw one of the Grecian gods or goddesses come into my view, I would divert my eyes and pretend I was invisible. On several occasions I’d see the stunning Katie in one of the campus buildings between classes. I never said a word to her. I didn’t want to draw her attention to the lowly earthling who dared top Olympus on the god’s night of revelry: “Goddess must not see guppy. Guppy must hide!”

Eventually, through mutual friends, Katie and I began spending time together. As we realized we in fact shared many interests, we began to hang out even more. We’d frequent a local coffee shop to wax philosophical about horses, country living, literature, movies, and so forth while our mutual friend (Lauren) was manning the espresso maker. From there the rest is history….

Austen and Vader, oh I say, quite the winning combo.

Katie is now a sister to me. I love her dearly and thank God he orchestrated our friendship. She has seen me through the highs and lows of life. I’m so grateful I have shared in her life as well. We laugh a lot. We cry a lot, no wait, that’s mainly me (Thanks Humane Society commerials.) We make mischief a lot. We enjoy the simple pleasures of life a lot. I could go on and on. Including Lauren, we three musketeers have shared adventures that will be passed down as bedtime stories to our children and their children and their children’s children….

Thank you Lord for your love expressed through lovely friends.

(coming soon: Part 2- Lauren and Me)

Wind! Words!

 

There you see her, sitting there across the way. She don't got a lot to say...

No, this is not a treatise on the poetic, albeit delusional, love verses sung by the effervescent Sebastian when trying to subliminally persuade Prince Eric to lay a wet one on Ariel. This is a quick, but hopefully thought provoking, look at what scripture says about our conduct, tongue/ mouth, and words…. Words will be the main focus (Do you see the connection now?). However, seeing as the other terms are irrevocably intertwined with this word, they will be touched upon as well. You know, it all flooows, like wind…. *cough* soldiering on…

I feel it is necessary to preface this “outline” by informing you that most of the content is from the notes by Henry M. Morris in my Bible, which is The New Defender’s Study Bible (King James Version). During my study of words, I compiled a list of verses and their corresponding notes, thereby making a quick comprehensive reference. And that is what I’m sharing with you (with a few extra thoughts thrown in)! I hope it blesses you as it did me.

A. Colossians 4:6 (KJV)- “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

“Speech” here is the Greek logos, often translated “word.” Our words are to be gracious and tasteful, seasoned with salt, but also a Christians words should be:

Sound: Titus 2:8-9 “But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

* It is vital to guard both the Word and its’ words against opponents. It is also important to exhort those who believe the Word to act on it, and also to convince those who reject it, being ready always to give an appropriate answer to problems and objections. Those who are contrary will not have a rebuttal.

Edifying: Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” and then Ephesians 5:4 “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking nor jesting, which are not convenient; but rather giving of thanks.”

* It seems surprising at first glance that “foolish talking” and “jesting” would be condemned as in the same category of sins as fornication and filthiness. Nevertheless, there are many biblical warnings against “every idle word” (Ma 12:36), and it may be significant that the only biblical reference to “jesting” is a warning against it. Sin and salvation are sober, serious issues. Therefore our speech should draw others to Christ, not push them away. We must be examples of Biblical morality in this morally depraved world.

Meaningful: Matthew 12:36 “But I say unto you; That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

* Evidently the words men speak will have a bearing on their degrees of reward in Heaven, or degrees of suffering in hell.

Quiet: 1 Thessalonians 4: 7-8, 11-12 “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit… And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you; That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.”

* vs. 7-8: God hasn’t called us into uncleanness, but holiness. We are to be holy in all areas of our life including how we speak. The Holy Spirit indwells within us. We are temples, therefore it is insulting to Him to engage in any behavior that is unclean. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”)

* vs. 11-12: One should “diligently strive” to be silent and calm except when speaking is necessary, gracious, and purposeful. Christ soberly warns against every “idle word”, and Paul warns against “foolish talking”. Also we are not to be meddlers in the affairs of others. In other words, mind your own business and don’t gossip! (1 Peter 4:15 “But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.” busybody = meddler)

Trustworthy: Colossians 3:9-10 “Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him…”

* It is simple, do not lie to one another. We must mean what we say and say what we mean. How can we win others to Christ if we can’t be trusted.

 Clean: Colossians 3:8 “But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.”

* As in verse 10 (see trustworthy), We are to put on the “new man” which is “renewed in knowledge” after Christ who is our ultimate example of conduct.

* Ephesians 4:22 “That ye put off concerning that former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts…” Put off old conduct which is corrupt.

B. Conversation = Behavior

Luke 6:45 (NASB) “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

*Listen to your own words and you will get clear indicator of your character.

* You may be the only “Jesus” someone will ever encounter, let your conduct, your lifestyle honor the King who died on the cross for all mankind. Speak with, in, and through love.

*The word “conversation” can be translated to mean conduct, lifestyle, and behavior. Two scriptural examples of this are:

* 2 Corinthians 1:12 “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world…” We are not to conduct ourselves through “fleshly wisdom”.

* 1 Corinthians 2:4 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power…”

If we have “grace in [our] hearts”, we can exhibit grace in our speech. In ordinary conversation, we need to have a gracious and helpful reply to whatever is being said or asked.

* Colossians 4:6 (again) “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

* Colossians 3:16- 17 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by him.”

 

C. Controlling one’s tongue

Christians are commanded to keep their speech in the context of a possible testimony for the Lord. It should never be deceptive, abrasive, trivial, inane, fearful, compromising, idle, or hurtful to our Christian witness in any way. It should be: (NIV ’84)

Truthful: Ephesians 4:25 “Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.”

* By putting on the “new man” we cast out old ways of speaking. The new man must speak in truth, by truth, and of truth for we are members of one body unified to bring glory to the Father.

Gracious: Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

* Our speech is to be free from corruption, but it is to be filled with that which is edifying and ministers to the hearts of others.

Serious: Ephesians 5:4 “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.”

Relevant: Colossians 4:6 “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.”

Courageous: 1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”

* Our “answer[s]” in defense of the Gospel are to be careful and logical; never boastful, arrogant, prideful, or ignorant.

Corrective: Titus 1:9 “He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”

* Hold fast to the word. Guard it and be able to give an appropriate answer to problems and objections.

Always Purposeful: Matthew 12:36 “But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.

As a Testimony for the Lord: 2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.”

Proverbs on the Tongue (NIV ’84):

Proverbs 18:21 “The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.”

Proverbs 12:13 “An evil man is trapped by his sinful talk, but a righteous man escapes trouble.

Proverbs 13:2-3 “From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things, but the unfaithful have a craving for violence. He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.

 

The tongue as a flame:

James 3:5-6 “Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.”

If the tongue is a flame, think of what it could potentially ignite for Christ when used for good and not evil!!

Word out- Monica (yes, i just said that)

Que Pasa

This past Sunday the message at church was on “an appraisal of my thought life”, with the main tagline being What I think determines how I act.  This was a perfect message for me to hear because 1) I haven’t given that much thought to my thoughts and how they affect me and 2) talking about “acting” in life is good for me because I feel absolutely stuck.  The message continued on to say that thoughts produce ideas, ideas make a plan, plans lead to an action, actions lead to practice, and practice leads to a destination.

I went to lunch with my mom and she and I were talking about my life and where I am and what I’m doing.  We agree that if I’m going to be “stuck” for a moment, I’m in a good place to get stuck.  I’m not working at McDonalds (all hail) or living with a creepy serial killer rapist.  I have friends and family who love and support me.  But Still something needs to happen.  Maybe not right this second, but sometime soon.  This would all be so much easier if I just hated my job.  But I don’t.  I love my job and the people I work with.  Which is a blessing.  And Brooke and I have some really great conversations about Christ which I don’t think she gets from her sister and her other friends, so that’s good.  

But I don’t want to stay here forever.  I want to do something else.  The question is, what is that?    Horses are my passion.  No questions there.   I strongly believe God used these amazing animals to solidify my relationships with my best, most wonderful friends, Monica and Lauren.  So, do I use this love of horses and do something with that?  Do I stay at the job I love and continue to make money and pay off bills?  Do I do something CRAZY and move to someplace out of my comfort zone like LA for a little bit?  My mom suggested going back to school, but I don’t know what I would study or how I would pay for that.  Oh to have the mind of JK Rowling.  I’d love to be an author.  But the skills aren’t all there. At least not yet.  Ha.  – Lauren I’m sure there are millions of grammatical errors in here, don’t hold it against me. Haha. 

Anyway, going back to the message at church, our pastor mentioned that since our thought determine our actions, if we are focusing on worrying and stressful things, we will feel worried or stressed.  He was talking about conditioning our hearts and minds to be quick to prayer instead of conditioned to worry.  This hit me hard because I am such a worrier. And it’s so simple.  I always feel better when I talk things out with the Jesus man.  When I got back from lunch I was talking to Brooke about this and she showed me a devotional she had just read this morning about thinking and our minds and how “the way you think determines the way you feel, and the way you feel determines the way you act”.  Sound repetitive?  I love when God brings things together like this.    The devotional also pulled in Romans 8:6 which says, “The mind of a sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace”.  

It seems so obvious now, that the mind can affect you so much.  I just haven’t focused on revamping mine.  I think that once I condition myself to become quick to pray instead of panic the “real world” will seem less daunting.   I know the feelings of panic are not of the Lord and I need to learn to fight back.   I think I’ll also talk to my pastor.  I’ve been mulling this idea around a lot and I just don’t see a downside to it.  

I mentioned them earlier, but in all seriousness, knowing that Lauren and Monica love and support me as I try to navigate life gives me so much confidence.   Friends like these don’t come around often and I’m so blessed to have two!  You’re the voice! 🙂

So, signing off for now.  I know that this was crazy and jumbled, but so is my brain at the moment.  

Mischief Managed.

Jumping on the Bandwagon

I recently had a discussion with one of my friends about people who refuse to like things just because it’s become popular. This is a thought I have frequently, partially due to the fact that I aim to be extremely intentional with my life and also because one of my pet peeves is duplicity.

With that said:

Dear Diary… Only kidding. Diary entries? Sure this could be life from my perspective in diary format, but I learned quickly to never keep a diary—excuse me, journal. I was the child who wrote everything down everyday religiously, so excited about all the new life experiences—and three years later I’d return to that chapter of my life and look upon the pages with horror at how shallow I had been or how many boys I’d had a crush on or remember the parties I’d gone to and what I talked about with my friends, etc….

For shame.

I was only satisfied when all the pages had been ripped from the spine and thoroughly destroyed in order to ensure that no one ever knew that part of me. I had an aversion to writing real life experiences down for a very long time.

So naturally I now turn to doing the exact opposite of my fear by posting entries online.

Blogging therapy.

Blogging was never on my bucket list, despite majoring in creative writing, but now that I am out experiencing the world, I’ve decided it’s a fine time to start actually using the degree I spent hours stressing about when I had three papers due on the same day, plus thousands of pages of reading left to do because I had procrastinated. (I got smarter my junior year.)

A study break, senior year. We never took pictures of us actually studying, but I promise we did.

The result of too much studying and not enough sleep.

Here is a big “thank you!” to my wonderful parents who did not freak out when I told them I was going to move to Texas to become a wrangler at Pine Cove and NOT use my education professionally. I’m sure many would agree that a writer is not defined by his/her profession. Anyone can write about experiences in life, which is what I plan to do here…and I will be joined by a couple friends actually.

Thank you, Jesus, for my two dear friends, Katie and Monica, who are willing to go through this with me. They are just as crazy as I am. Really, they are. We are like the same soul represented in different paintings by the same Artist. Different story, same heart.

I hope everyone is privileged to share life with their own Katies and Monicas of the world.

"Got it!"

A best friend would never bail on you, no matter what obstacle was in the way!

 

Lauren signing off. Until the next time!