Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh, Hello! (and why Facebook is unhealthy)

I did, a few weeks ago, challenge myself to write a blog-a-day. Since then though, I've been trying to go through a "virtual world detox" as I call it. Not that I'm completely off Facebook, not on instagram, etc, but that I'm there less often and I don't sit staring at Facebook reading my newsfeed.

Facebook, I've decided, has become highly narcissistic, or rather, Facebook allows people (not excluding myself) to show their narcissistic tendencies. Though I love using Facebook to keep in touch with my friends who I wouldn't stay in contact with otherwise, I don't really want to know all of your life stories. And that's ok. I have a life, I have emotions, I have relationships, and I don't need to spend time worrying or thinking over yours (I tend to think alot) when I can be focusing on mine. It's only healthy and natural. Please don't take this the wrong way. Facebook is great, and all of you are great, but Facebook greatly encourages the comparison game, and I'm not going to play it. I am happy for all of you who have taken vacations, posted pics of it, and such. I'm guilty of being a post-a-holic too. You know, the whole "pics or it didn't happen!" Well, that's a lie.

What I'm getting to is this: Facebook is great, pictures are great, sharing exciting experiences is great, but I need to have a firmer grasp on the real world. Instead of facebook, I need to call my close friends, send them letters, meet people in person, and share my life with those I care about and hear about their lives in turn. Facebook and social networking have become toxic, in my opinion, and in order to save my social life (ironically) and my personal sanity, I am going to be on that site less often and use it selectively to cultivate the friendships I already have.

Yours Truly,
Jane Eyre Rochester

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Death is Unnatural

"What?" you say. "Death is part of the circle of life. You know, being born and living and dying; it's all normal and natural." Yes, it is normal, and the percentage of your fatality is 100% (unless of course you are lucky and are raptured before your body dies). But I would like to argue that death is unnatural.

Haven't you ever been around a little child, confused over death? Children, still not entirely tainted by the world, still hold onto a since of innocence, and death seems to confound them. Why did the plant die? Why is the goldfish dead? What does it mean that so-and-so passed away? I think children are right in their feelings; death is just wrong. Something has been perverted.

And you, doesn't death bother you? I never cease to be sad when a pet passes away, I learn of someone's passing, or on a less serious note, when I hit a squirrel. It always makes my soul twinge. (This is why I can never hunt, unless I was starving. Not because I'm against the idea of hunting, but because I couldn't kill an animal because I enjoy watching it and things being full of life.)

Friends, death was not natural. It was not the way of things. God created a perfect earth with no death and no pain. Full of life and love and peace and purity. And it was very good. But pride led to destruction, and life gave way to death. The beautiful dance of God and his creation, between Him and man and the beasts and the earth, ruptured violently. Man wasn't the only one to suffer:

"19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[h] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." (Romans 8)

Death, though, is not the ultimate end, for death was mastered by another One long ago on Calvary:

"54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[h]

55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[i]

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15)

If Jesus is your life and to serve Him is your goal, then death is only temporary. We look to a time of restoration, when unnatural death is swallowed up by extraordinary life!

Living in victory,

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Part I: A Look at Beauty

Wow, so I had a great turnout among my facebook friends! Thanks to 58 of my ladies for taking my survey on beauty. I had some very interesting results, which I want to share, and eventually expound upon.

Today though, I want to mainly share my findings (note: all the responses were anonymous). The question shows the answer in a percentage format, and in the number of people who selected the answer. Also for those that have totals that go above 58, those questions had the option for multiple answer selection:

1. Do you consider yourself beautiful?
yes 29.31%
no 6.90%
some days 55.17%
I feel prideful answering this 8.62%
Total 58

2. Growing up, where did you get your ideas of beauty, or what was beautiful?

My family 55.17%
the media 63.79%
church 17.24%
my friends 56.90%
I didn't care about beauty 10.34%
Total Respondents: 58

3. Do you wear makeup?
Yes 56.14%
No 12.28%
Off and on 31.58%
Total 57

4. When did you start wearing makeup?
about age 10 3.45%
middle school 48.28%
high school 41.38%
I don't wear makeup 6.90%
Total 58

5. How do you respond to a positive compliment on your appearance?

I think they're just being nice 31.03%
I soak it up and believe it 27.59%
I accept the compliment but don't think anything of it 36.21%
I don't believe them 5.17%
Total 58

6. On an average morning, how long do you take getting ready? (Ex: shower, makeup, hair, etc.)
5 minutes 5.17%
15 minutes 15.52%
30 minutes 41.38%
over 30 minutes 37.93%
Total 58

7. Beauty is …
from the heart 91.38%
a pretty face 31.03%
shallow 6.90%
something I can't achieve 5.17%
Total Respondents: 58

8. Everyone has their own kind of beauty.

True 94.83%
False 5.17%
Total 58

9. At some point in my life I have…
considered myself ugly 77.59%
thought too highly of my appearance 36.21%
relied on others' approval of my looks 68.97%
none of the above 10.34%
Total Respondents: 58

10. There are very few truly ugly people in this world

True 68.42%
False 31.58%
Total 57

Tomorrow, or in the next few days, I want to expound upon my findings.

Contemplating the idea of beauty,

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quotable Words of Wisdom

Haven't had time to work on any deep blog ideas, so here are a few of my favorite quotes, from life experiences, from the Bible, from songs, and others from random places :)

"Amor vincit omnia (love conquers all)"

"You can love and lose, but you cannot love and fail, for when you love you become beautiful." ~Schuller

"Then the time came when the risk it took to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anais Nin

"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31

"You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need" ~Rolling Stones

"Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away.
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright).
Hey, you know they're all the same.
You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn't matter if it's good enough for someone else.
It just takes some time,
little girl you're in the middle of the ride.
Everything (everything) will be just fine,
everything (everything) will be alright (alright)."
~Jimmy Eat World

"Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor." ~Webster's 1828 Dictionary

“The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven.” ~Milton

"Laughter is the closest distance between two people." ~unknown

"I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, and I founded empires. But on what did we rest the creations of our genius? Upon force. Jesus Christ founded His empire upon love; and at this hour millions of people would die for Him."
~Napoleon Bonaparte

"...all the past is not a diminishing road but, instead, a huge meadow which no winter every quite touches..." ~William Faulkner

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. " ~1 John 4:18

"All of a sudden I slid right down her voice into her living room..." ~John Updike (A & P)

"Any fool can see something wrong with the system, but it takes a leader to fix the system." ~Dr. Towles

"Take my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I pass from Earth into eternity..."

*Wisdom of a Kindergartener*
Me: Do you have a question?
Girl: No, I have an answer!
Me: Yeah, what's that?
Girl: I wanted to tell everyone, that God loves you even when you're bad!

"He who will pass life away in bounding from one pleasure to another, must not complain if he acquires neither wisdom nor respectability of character."

"You cannot love a fellow-creature fully till you love God."
~CS Lewis

"Surely God is my Salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, The Lord, The Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." ~Isaiah 12:2

"...There was a tanging in the midnight air- silence was dead and sound not yet awoken- Life cracked like ice!- one brilliant note and there, radiant and pale, you stood... and spring had broken..." ~This Side of Paradise

"Love is passion, obsession, someone you can't live without. I say, fall head over heels. Find someone you can love like crazy and who will love you the same way back. How do you find him? Well, you forget your head, and you listen to your heart. And I'm not hearing any heart. Cause the truth is, honey, there's no sense living your life without this. To make the journey and not fall deeply in love, well, you haven't lived a life at all. But you have to try, cause if you haven't tried, you haven't lived." ~Meet Joe Black

Savoring words,
Mrs. Rochester

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Hopeless Bibliophile Shares a Few Favorites

I am a hopeless bibliophile (aka, lover of books). I am hopeless because I can't be cured, and I can't stop buying books. I have so many I intend to read, so many literary adventures I intend to take, but never enough time. I look at my grand collection of mainly second hand books, sitting their sadly on the shelf, and mentally tell them, "I'll read you some day!"

But anyways, when people realize I was an English major or a bookworm, they immediately start asking me questions like "have you read...?" or "what's your favorite author/book?" The answer to the first question is usually no, because I read mainly the classics. I don't read trending novels (unless it's the Hunger Games). Life is too short to waste your time on poor quality literature. Spare me the Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks. If I want romance, I'll watch a movie. Better yet, I'll read a well-developed romance in a piece of classic literature.

To answer the second question though, I have no one favorite author, though I have a few I am very fond of, namely: CS Lewis, Tolkien, F Scott Fitzgerald, and Charlotte Bronte. I really can't claim a favorite author because besides CS Lewis, I haven't read many books by one author. Also, I've tried reading other books by an author I thought I liked (because I loved one of their books) only to dislike another. So, authors come and go for me.

Therefore, I'll provide a list of some of my favorite books/literature, in no particular order:

-Jane Eyre
-Phantom of the Opera
-The Awakening
-Grapes of Wrath
-The Scarlet Letter
-The Screwtape Letters
-The Great Divorce
-Their Eyes Were Watching God
-This Side of Paradise
-The Great Gatsby
-The Importance of Being Earnest
-The Shack
-To Kill a Mockingbird
-A Wrinkle in Time
-Brave New World
-Fahrenheit 451
-The Giver
-Anne of Green Gables
-The Hunger Games Trilogy
-The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
-Little Women

What are some of your favorite books or authors?

Forever trying to catch up on her reading,

Sunday, November 10, 2013

I'm a Pet Person, Yes, I am

Ok, I realize this is a fluff topic, but I'm working on cranking out some more thought-provoking ones in the near future and need to do some research prior to it. So, here's a nice "fluff" blog post for today.

Guess what, I'M A PET PERSON! And, if you asked me cat versus dog, I'd say both. I love them both for different reasons. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Now, some people may say cats are of the devil (ahem, Mr. Rochester), but cats are quirky and no two cats are the same. Some cats think they're dogs, and some really are mini terrorists. For instance, my cat will run up to your car when you pull in the drive way, meowing all the way, and rubbing your legs as you half trip over him as he insists on escorting you to the house. It's a little more hit and miss with finding a good one with a cat, kinda like a fresh avocado. Dogs are great because yes, they always want to see you but that also means they demand more of your time. A dog is like having a mini person in your family, that happens to drool and have a wagging tail.

But, considering I'm in a tiny apartment and didn't want to pay the pet fee, I currently have 2 goldfish, Penny and Leonard, and a Betta, Tristan, and a cutey-pie hamster, Rogue. It satisfies my pet need for now. You see, growing up, there was never a time we didn't have pets. Chronologically, this is the pets I've had in my lifetime: beagle, a mutt dog named freckles, 2 hamsters, a bunny, 2 ferrets, lots of fish, possibly 5 other bettas, four cats, Misty our corgi. That doesn't include things from the wild I tried to make into pets, namely a lizard, box turtles, frogs, toads, baby bunnies, snails, etc.

As you can see, I just can't live without something living to take care of. I got by with having bettas in college, but I'm enjoying having a hamster for now. When we get a house, have more room and more money, Mr. Rochester really wants a golden retriever, and I'd kinda like a little dog like a chihuahua. :) I can dream.

Loving on God's creatures,

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Things I Make For Dinner that May or May Not Be Worth Trying

I'm not a great cook. But, I do have a knack for throwing things together that only take about 20-30 minutes to prepare. Here are a few of the meals I make on a regular basis for me and my husband:

1) Tuna Melts: You'll need a slice of toast, mayo, canned tuna, a tomato, and American cheese. Make an open-faced sandwich with the cheese first, a tomato slice 2nd, and the tuna/mayo mixture last. Then toast for about 5-10 minutes.

2) Crab Alfredo: So super easy. Cook pasta, then dump a can of crab meat in and half a jar of alfredo sauce, or a tomato/alfredo sauce.

3) French toast for dinner: Need I say more?

4) Chicken Parmigian: This can be made with friend chicken or regular cooked chicken tenderloins. Cook/thaw chicken. Cut into small pieces. Add to pasta with marinara sauce. Add lots of cheese. (I use the colby-jack cheese mix)

5) Chicken fried rice: Cook rice. Cook chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put rice and chicken in frying pan with oil. Get the pan hot, crack an egg in it and stir til cooked. Add soy sauce.

Ok, that's all my cooking secrets :P

Domestically challenged,
Jane Eyre Rochester

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Til Divorce Do Us Part: A Look at the Sad Reality of Marriage

In the United States, only 1 out of 2 marriages will survive. Fifty percent will end in divorce. (

According to Irvin, who wrote the article "32 Shocking Divorce Statistics," in October of 2012:
41 percent of first marriages end in divorce.
60 percent of second marriages end in divorce.
73 percent of third marriages end in divorce.
Folks, it doesn't get better the 2nd or 3rd time. The phrase, "three's a charm" may apply to attempting a sport, cooking a dish, or learning a new hobby, but not matrimony.

Further, "In America, there is one divorce every 13 seconds. That’s 6,646 divorces per day, and 46,523 divorce per week.

The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years.

People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry (if they remarry at all).

The average age for couples going through their first divorce is 30 years old."

Irvin also posted some interesting facts on the likelihood of divorce:

"If your parents are happily married, your risk of divorce decreases by 14 percent.

People who wait to marry until they are over the age of 25 are 24 percent less likely to get divorced.

Living together prior to getting married can increase the chance of getting divorced by as much as 40 percent.

If you’ve attended college, your risk of divorce decreases by 13 percent.

The Barna Research Group measured divorce statistics by religion. They found that 29 percent of Baptists are divorced (the highest for a US religious group), while only 21 percent of atheists/agnostics were divorced (the lowest)."

The last fact is very interesting. Many of us who are Christ followers have known that the divorce rate among Christians is just as high as that among non-Christians. Why is that? Why would someone who understands God's sacrificial love and the sacredness of a holy union, choose to break that establishment? It is truly sad.

Divorce doesn't just affect partners; it affects their children as well:

"Forty-three percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers.

Seventy-five percent of children with divorced parents live with their mother.

Twenty-eight percent of children living with a divorced parent live in a household with an income below the poverty line.

Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these children, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage." (Irvin)

Though my generation can't remember it, there was a time when divorce was rare and marriage was honored. Gradually, laws and customs holding together sacred matrimony fell apart as new ones replaced them. Let's take a look at historical facts provided by Princeton University (§ionid=2787&submit):

"Until the latter part of the nineteenth century, divorce was largely proscribed by law and shunned in practice... Most marital disruptions occurred not as a result of divorce but from desertion or informal separation... [It] seems likely that all but a small minority of marriages survived until the death of one or another partner..."

"Divorce rates in the United States began to rise shortly after the Civil War and continued on a steady upward course for more than a century... the pattern of prevalent divorce was firmly in place in this country even before the divorce revolution of the 1960s."

"Nonetheless, there was a sharp increase in the incidence of divorce from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s. During a span of a decade and a half, divorce rates for married women more than doubled (from 10.6 per 1,000 in 1965 to 22.8 in 1979)... Other researchers...projected that more than two in every five marriages would end in divorce when divorce rates reached their peaks in the middle 1970s."

The article suggests that divorce rates may actually be lessening for multiple reasons:

"It has long been known that early marriage and lower education are associated with marital instability. Thus, the pattern of delayed marriage might have had a role in curbing the rates of divorce."

"Another...source of marital disruption, associated with early marriage, is premarital pregnancy. Fewer marriages today occur as a result of a premarital pregnancy."

Interestingly, though not preferably, "growing rates of cohabitation before marriage may have brought down the rate of divorce. As more and more couples elect to live together prior to marrying...That is, a growing number of Americans are divorcing without [actually] marrying, making the official divorce statistics a less reliable barometer of union stability."

The article's sad summation: "For all these reasons, it is probable that the modest drop in divorce rates does not indicate a higher propensity toward marital stability. Instead, the composition of those marrying has changed in ways that only make it appear that marriages are becoming more stable."

On a personal note, I have no direct experience with divorce, but I have seen the pain and psychological disturbance it causes. I have four very close friends, and three of them come from families of divorce and/or remarriage. It's become so prevalent.

Mr Rochester (my new nickname for my husband) and I have decided to buck the trend of wishy-washy marriages built upon the sand. We've agreed marriage is hard, and the gravity of it is truly terrifying when examined, yet at the same time, utterly beautiful. I remind myself, when I start freaking out over marriage being forever, that God is for us!!! GOD IS PRO-MARRIAGE!!! And if you desire to have a godly, healthy, lasting marriage, He's there right beside you to make it happen. But, you must invite him into your individual hearts and your marriage first.

The marriage trend can only change when people have a better understanding of themselves, their worth, their purpose, and their Creator. Healthy marriages start with healthy people, emotionally and spiritually. And the Great Healer is ready and willing to attend to our wounds.

Will we let Him heal our hearts and our marriages?

Mrs. Rochester

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

My Dear Isabella (a self-composed poem)

My Dear Isabella
(January 19, 2013)

Beneath the cypress tree
along the winding forgotten road-
In the hot noon hour of un-metered time-
your straw hat hung in the shade,
your pure, icy gaze
gored my soul like a lunging bull,
my wounds bled truth.

Your gaze scorched me like the sun,
heat spiraled me into hallucinations.
Your aura,
scarlet and gold
exited your being
yet remained wired to your core.
Your spirit, a fay,
an essence from the gods
bringing immortality.

My fingers traced your strong jaw-line,
yours violently plucked my heart strings.
The gods, the fays, want souls, not silver.

Guns and swords leave cleaner wounds,
dear Isabella.
You left me small,
a mewing kitten,
yet a beastly ape-man.
Large and unruly,
Yet powerless.
My jus de vie drained,
a crimson-colored pool on the floor.

My dear, cruel Isabella:
life and love are not fleshy fruit
to devour.
They are smoothed stones,
old, tried, true,
yet hard and unrelenting.

Remember the cypress tree,
cite your empty promises.
Souls are not owned,
by you or me,

but by the ever-tumbling realms of eternity.

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Few Random Faves

My last post was about pet peeves and personal irritants, so I thought to counteract that, this day's post would be about random things that pleased me versus peeved me. :) Here goes!

-candles: lots of candles, candlelight, scented candles, pillar candles, taper candles, floating candles, CANDLES
-Goodwill: as in the store. I love the feel of a good hunt for fun yet cheap clothes
-the color blue
-anything potato
-hot tea: black, green, white, herb, it's all grand
-naps: not the piddly kinds, but the 2+ hour kinds
-vanilla scented body spray/wash
-jersey sheets
-techno/dance music
-Indian food, on occasion
-TOMS shoes
-stuffed animals: I never really grew out of them, and my husband let me keep mine mostly because they're from him :P
-Chihuahuas: This is a recent discovery that I wasn't even aware of! But, lately, I've been wanting one.
-plants: I love green growing stuff, especially in the house
-painted toes: you always need that splash of color, even in the winter
-Almond snickers: because they're yummy and rare, and because I can eat them, unlike the peanut kind
-Antique/thrift stores
-Young adult fiction: some deep themes and usually easier to read than a Russian novel though...
-Classic literature: is always one of my faves
-Dried flowers: I love saving my roses :)
-Photography: editing it, taking it, viewing it
-Just Dance: yeah, I'm an amazing dancer. I learned all my moves from this game ;)
-Cheddar peppers form Sonic
-Sonic's ice: you can chew it :)

Alright, plenty for now. I'm itchin' to go play some just dance!

What are some of your faves?

Enjoying simple things,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Personal Pet Peeves (just because)

For today, I would like to share a few personal pet peeves, you know, those little things that bother you that really make no difference in the grand scheme of life but will rub you wrong all day. So here it goes:

*wearing black with brown
*wearing black with navy
*wearing scrunchies
*dark lip liner (it's weeeeiiirdddd looking)
*mixing gold and silver jewelry
*digital clocks in the house not being exactly synced, but off by a minute (example, my alarm clock and my husband's alarm clock)
*Putting out Christmas items before Halloween
*"Happy Holidays"- No, I don't want you to have a happy holiday. It kinda sounds like "take a hike," doesn't it? I think I'll stick to Merry Christmas.
*Wearing leggings as pants
*Wearing "unwalkable" shoes (really...I mean, unless you want to just sit somewhere and look pretty, save yourself the pain and us the shock)
*Not putting ice in soda (it's waaaay too fizzy, AND who wants luke-warm soday? Eww.)
*Leaving lights on in rooms I'm not in
*smudged fingernail polish (you know, when that one didn't turn out right, but all the others did)
*loose change (where is all my money going? how much do I have wandering around the house?!)

Ok, I think that's it for now. I know I have more, but I'll add to it later ;)


Saturday, November 2, 2013

How Fruity Are You?

Yep, how fruity are you? Are you displaying spiritual fruits, fruits of the Spirit? Here's different categories of godly fruitiness:

Paul, in Galatians 5, made a distinction between fruity behavior and not so fruity behavior:

"19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

Good fruit: love, joy peace, forbearance (patient endurance), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

Bad fruit (rotten tomatoes): sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, orgies

I was reflecting on this passage last night after I received some disappointing news. God has chosen to close 2 doors I was sure I could easily walk through. No, or not now, He had said. In the wake of my disappointment, a whole slew of negative attitudes and perspectives came to the surface, and I realized they were not fruity, but more like rotten tomatoes. I was seeing impatience, self-focus, jealousy, and an impure heart. I was full of pride, bitterness, and I felt like I was in the right to feel that way. It was time to take a spiritual inventory.

So that night, I pulled out the Scriptures and read Galatians 5:22. As a believer, I should be living out my life full of all this good, heavenly fruit, but my my heart did not have love, joy, peace, patience, or feelings of kindness. I was in love with my ideas for my future, with myself, and not with God and others. I was discontent and restless, not sitting in joyful peace, which God gives us despite our circumstances. I felt angsty towards others, towards myself, towards God's plans. I was not in control (as always) and I didn't like it. I didn't agree with what God was doing. I don't like not having the answers. But then I realized, having love, joy, peace, etc. in my day to day life would make me a happier person, and no one was keeping me from this fruity life but me.

Therefore, I have decided to use this "waiting" time that I did not expect, this area in which I could be moping in disappointment, to see other areas of branching out. To love on others, to practice patience, to cast my idols of my own dreams and demands before God and re-evaluate my priorities.

Are you living a fruity life?

Savoring God's fruit,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Be Here Now

I have this condition that I call "not here now," which is the opposite of the affirmation that one should "be here now." Perhaps it's my slight ADD or OCD, CIA (gotcha on that one ;)), but whatever the case, I find myself thinking backwards into the past or straining forward to see the future. Hardly am I ever reflecting in the moment or sitting still. In fact, I think torture for me would be forced immobility. If I don't move or twitch, I get restless. Sitting still for long periods of time makes me tense.

So I have this problem. I rarely reflect on this present moment, or am wholly there in that moment. Which of course lessens lots of things in life like listening skills, savoring your food, enjoying a shower, relaxing during my commute and not just getting there, remembering a sermon or lecture...etc. Es no bueno.

How can we work on not being distracted, or focusing on the present? Life is only a necklace strand, each strand composed of moments en-captured in pearls. Beautiful pearls. Pearls forged in the rough oysters of life. But we can't look backwards and focus on the time when the strand broke or over-focus on the finished masterpiece. Life and the art of living are created pearl by pearl, moment by moment. Christ said, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Solomon, a wise man, once reflected, "There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace."

Each pearl, each "time," is beautiful when held in God's hands, with all things working together for good, not because the world is perfect, and each moment painless, but because our God is perfect. He allows us to rest in the moment and "be here now" because He knows our past and goes before us into our future, giving us peace.

Savoring each pearl,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thoughts on Halloween

Everyone has different views and feelings towards Halloween, most of them instilled in them from childhood. Some never "celebrated," others attended "fall festivals," some dressed up as the grim reaper while others' mothers made them lady bugs or angels on October 31st (I have been the last two). My mom allowed me to go trick-or-treating and fall festival attending in my various creative outfits, usually something like a hippie, cowgirl, or gypsy that I'd pulled together out of my own closet. She usually inspected my candy after to make sure all the packages were sealed and no one had attempted to poison me.

Our home was decorated in a "fall celebration" theme. We once had a fairly cute ghost decoration I remember when I was in kindergarten, but the family consensus was that it bridged over into the darker, less innocent side of Halloween and shouldn't be kept in the house. In college, I was once Catwoman and then someone in a really pretty Victorian looking dress with lace gloves (I dubbed myself Rose from the Titanic. It looked appropriate).

So how should Christians approach Halloween? Is it a demonic holiday? Should our children participate? Can they dress up as ghouls and witches, or only super heroes and princesses? Should we attend "haunted houses" and watch scary movies around Halloween? Are we dabbling in the spiritual world, or is it all fun and games? Where is the line?

Clearly, this is a grey area of Christian liberty. But it's still something I mull over in my brain. What are your Halloween experiences and thoughts?


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Attempting to become a non-pansy blogger...

Yes, a non-pansy blogger. Not as in the plant, but as in hit and miss, here and there, and willy-nilly. Blogging and I need to be in a committed relationship, 1) Because I enjoy it 2) Because writing is therapeutic for me and 3) Because I think it brings a small ounce of joy into my readers' lives.

So my goal for now is to instate a 30-day challenge, to write a blog a day, no matter how pitiful the subject, for every day of Novemeber.

Here I go! Wish me luck :)

Ready to share my thoughts,

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Marriage 101: Fears debunked and real-life application


Before I got married, this word was rather frightful to me, even when I was happily engaged (ask any of my friends, they can attest to this). I think the sheer magnitude of it scared the pants off me (not literally), since I don't believe in divorce and I only believe in a forever commitment. Can I really love? Will I feel "trapped"? How do I care selflessly for someone else when I'm despicably self-focused? These were all thoughts that rushed through my head. Less important thoughts included things such as "Can I cook?" and "What's 'simmer' mean?" Seemed like rough waters ahead in the domestic realm.

I discovered that it was not nearly as terrifying as I thought, for I had forgotten that I had many support systems, namely God, my husband, and my parents, in that order. Thankfully, neither my mom or mother-in-law is a Martha Stewart, so my cooking attempts sufficed, and sometimes wowed my husband. That was a happy surprise. I've been grateful from the time we started dating for my mans's patience and encouragement, and that has only grown and become more evident in our marriage. I remind myself, and him when he's hard on himself, that neither of us have been married before. Therefore, we're going to blunder, fumble the ball, misunderstand, get frustrated, and whatnot. And it's OK. It's OK because we communicate and we have made a commitment to love.

We committed to love the other, which doesn't always mean you'll like each other. And this is also OK. As my parents' kid, I remember telling them at times "I love you, but I don't feel I like you very much right now," which was the truth. Like/dislike, happiness/sadness...these come and go. But the underlying foundation in my family growing up was love, and even when we weren't happy and didn't like each other at that moment, there was still a commitment of love. And that's something my husband and I share as well. We intentionally tell each other we love each other, kiss goodbye/hello, and pray together before we fall asleep.

Honestly, adjusting from being engaged to married was not that difficult. My husband and I would spend all our extra time together except for sleeping hours, so the only difference was that he didn't have to go home after 11pm. We still have fun, if not more fun, now that we're married. And there's no thoughts that if either of us slips up, the other will call it off. We are home, and we are forever together :) And though we're still in the "honey-moon" phase of our relationship and I know relationships and life aren't all smooth-sailing, I'm along for the ride. I'm content because he's not in control, God's in control. And my husband and I continuously give our issues to Him. And as long as we do that, and remain committed to each other, I'm not afraid. "Perfect love casts out fear," and this love is God's love. A marriage built on that love can be fearless, fun, and fulfilling. And that makes me excited about the future :)

Thursday, September 19, 2013's been awhile because...I GOT ENGAGED IN MARCH AND MARRIED 4 WEEKS AGO!!!!

Sorry I've been MIA in the blogger world, but after Valentine's day, my engagement quickly followed and five and a half (or so) months later I walked down the aisle in a long white dress and said "I Do." Then of course was the honeymoon, and now we're settling into real life. (What a let down, I tell you.) But, thankfully this is just the beginning of the journey, and we will be having many more adventures and exciting times in our lives together, til death do us part. I'm quite happy, and he is too, if you were to ask him ;). Engagement story and wedding/honeymoon adventure stories may follow, along with domestic mishaps(I can't cook, ha). I'm learning slowly along the way. I'm a work in progress, and am so grateful for my patient Savior and gentle, encouraging husband. Both which are invaluable to me.

Treading new paths,
Jane Eyre

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Home is...

The older I get, the more I change my views on what "home" is. It started in college, when I would get confused in saying "I'm going back home" in referring to college when I had been staying at my home of the past decade for the weekend. That was an awkward time. Which "home" I meant became confusing...was it "home-home" or "school-home"? And did that offend my parents to call school home? Now that I've moved out, home is not where my parents live, where my pets reside, where my old nick-nacs and trophies collect dust.

No...home is where the people are that I love. Home is less and less a geological location, but rather a state of comfort in the relationships that mean the most to me. I have at least two homes then, possibly 3 or 4. The phrase "home is where the heart is" can be so true. And though it may be sad to say this brick edifice in which I grew and cried and learned who I was is not really my home, it is also liberating. No one can destroy my home. My home is where there is love: with family, with friends, and ultimately with Christ. And because of the last one, I am always at home wherever I may roam. My heart, though often restless, is always at home.

Home in His hands,

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hope for the Black Thumb

Lately I've stumbled across different types of bulb flowers that can be grown inside, year-round, without dirt. Just rocks and water. I was elated. I first discovered this a few months ago when the mother of the girl I babysit had these bulbs and plants growing in practically all her December. I was intrigued. For Christmas she gave me some paperwhite bulbs. These grow into a lovely, tall plant with small, white daffodil-like blossoms. And, they have a pleasant aroma :). Other perks: The plant grows and lasts for about a month, the bulbs are super cheap, it makes you feel like you can garden, and brings some cheer to the winter cold.

I also discovered that amaryllis bulbs can be coaxed to grow indoors. I bought a gigantic bulb, larger than my fist, about three weeks ago and planted it in a fishbowl with rocks. Nothing happened...for a long time...and I was perturbed because the bulb cost about ten bucks. Just recently, a little red bud is beginning to poke its nose out. This plant is definitely trying my patience, but if you've seen an amaryllis flower, you know it's worth it ;).

If you'd like to know, I have quite a collection of plants in this room (only ones that are fool-proof, for those who have nothing close to a green thumb). I have a "lucky bamboo" plant in rocks in a vase that's lived for 2-3 years. Its name is Ming. I have three different jars/vases containing growing paperwhites. I have the amaryllis. And I have some philodendron clippings. It's quite nice.

What kind of plants do you like to grow? Do you like certain indoor plants?

Overcoming my "black" thumb,

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Day 30!!!!!!!: True Love is Like a...what?!?

I found this pic on Facebook and could not resist discussing it. But first, I would like to congratulate myself on successfully writing 30 blog posts, though, it did not turn into a consecutive, blog-a-day experience like I had hoped. I still felt it was good to get myself back into blogging semi-regularly (I must confess this venture took possibly over 2 mos...teehee...).

So this picture...what are your first thoughts? Caption reads, "True Love is like a walk in the clouds." My thoughts: "Mmmm...that's sweet...oooh Disney romances are lovely...clouds and sky are lovely optimistic...and Disney love is so neat and tidy...and wait...that's not realistic...PAUSE!" True love is like a walk in the clouds???!! I surely hope not. Now, infatuation, and the rush of new mutual interest can feel like a drug-induced high with side-effects of faster heart rates, sweaty palms, shivers up/down your spine, warm fuzzy feelings and such. But true love is more like a walk on the ground, with the earth beneath your feet. You need solid grounding/foundation for it to be real and lasting. There will be flowers and beauty and joy. There will also be thorns, rain, rocks, and potholes. And the irony is, that if you expect love to be a walk in the clouds, you will find it to be anything but. You'll find yourself disillusioned with your significant other when life sets in, and ultimately disillusioned with yourself.

True love is commitment. I've been told this over and over by my parents and others wiser than me. But they're right. The marriages that last aren't free of care or a waltz in the skies, with pleasant puffy clouds. Ask any elderly couple. They'll tell you their heartaches and struggles, the battles they fought TOGETHER, the times they wanted to throw in the towel and DIDN'T, the times when getting out seemed easier than fighting for love. Whoever talks of that? Fighting to keep love alive? "Oh, how utterly unromantic...I will naturally have only feelings of deep affection and adoration for my significant other..." If you believe that, you're setting yourself up for multiple breakups and possibly divorce in your future.

True love is death. Yes. You read that right. Christ is true love, and his death was the ultimate proof of his affection. True love is death to self. This is true in our relationship with Christ and our relationship with our spouse/significant other, and guess what, it doesn't come naturally! But we are called to show this more difficult, yet more real, true love. Paul laid down this standard for love in marriage: "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord...Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her...each one of you also must love his wife and he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband" (Ephesians 5). We're not talking about cloud-walking here. We're talking about tough love, the kind of love that says, "I will always love you, even if I don't like you right now, even if you hurt me, even if you fail to love me the way I receive love..." This is love.

Enjoy your Disney movies, your chick-flicks, your cotton-candy-love books and movies and pop songs, but remember, true love is not a walk in the clouds. It's a journey of sacrifice, full of roses and thorns.

Learning to Love as Christ,

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 29, part II: Ask some questions! Answer some questions!

This was inspired by a blog post by my friend, and since I want to make this blog more interactive, I thought I'd give it a shot. So here's some questions, with my own answers.

1) Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

Well, I don't like being cold, so the other three and especially Summer when it's not too hot. I love flip flops and painted toes and stargazing, and the over-all laid back feel.

2) Least favorite movie genre:

Horror/Scary/ imagination doesn't need any more ideas to creep me out, thanks!

3) Favorite music genre:

Umm, most anything but country and secular rap. But I like electronic/dance/trance music a lot :)

4) Favorite fruit:

Mmmmm, maybe bananas because they're cheap and low maintenance...peel and eat!

5) Mac or PC?

PC :)

What are your answers? Any questions for me?

Feeling quizzical,

Day 29! (almost to 30!): Selfish=Self Ish. Prone to Self. I know I am.

When I was a kid, I remember musing over the word "selfish" and thinking how it sounded like "shellfish," but had nothing to do with aquatic life. Apparently my mind has always loved words :). But to the point, being selfish or selfishness is a real issue in our country, society, social circles and most importantly us, the individual (myself most definitely included).

A couple of my friends have married within the year, and the one thing they repeatedly say is "I didn't realize how selfish I was until I got married." (Oh no, I I ever in for it! God bless my future husband...) I know I'm selfish. And I'm not going to deny it. Not having siblings growing up didn't help that, though it's no excuse. To be honest, I can be friendly, kind, giving, and caring occasionally if it's not required of me, but choosing to be self-less (less of self) regularly and not looking to please me first is NOT easy. And I'm learning that through my close relationships. I find that perhaps the main reason relationships are messy and often painful is that they show you yourself and all your inward ugliness, like a mirror. They require you to stretch, grow, rebuild, and rethink. They won't allow stagnation or apathy in order to stay alive.

Too often, with those I love, I forget to look to their needs and how I can serve them, or I convince them to choose something that makes me happy and forget the importance of letting them pick their favorite ______ (fill in the blank). In a close relationship, if you win the battle, no one wins. If you choose to give, and think less of "take," both parties win, and grow.

The key to curing selfishness lies with the cross. As John said about Jesus, "He must become greater. I must become less" (John 3:30). When we learn to give ourselves to Christ, our dreams, our all, we can rest assured and not feel the need to grasp for attention, affection, or "our way." We can understand and share love, not the mushy kind. The kind that is sacrificial, that says "your needs must be put above mine." Paul writes to the Philippians, "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (Philippians 2:3). But do we, do I, give in hopes of it coming around? Do I give in expectation or receiving? Yes, as the saying goes, "what goes around, comes around." As Proverbs puts it, "he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed" (11:25). But that is only a pleasant side-effect, not a motivation.

I think a major break through is reached when you find joy is self-sacrifice and bringing pleasure to others not to get anything in return. And I think I'm on a personal journey of embracing that by first embracing the love and sacrifice of the cross, every day.

Learning slowly,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 28!: List of Questions I Ponder (And would like to know the answer to)

I'm always brimming with questions and mulling thoughts around. I was constantly that kid with questions in class that wanted to make sure I understood the assignment or wanted to know more in general. I also loved (and continue to love) asking my dad questions; he's like a walking wiki site. :) So, here, for day 28, I give you a list of questions I wonder about:

1. How do candles work? How is the wax the fuel?
2. Why can't you find the big dipper in the wintertime? Where is it in the night sky?
3. Why do people think they can drive in the rain/fog without their lights on? (ok, that's rhetorical)
4. How long did it take Adam to name all the animals?
5. Did the animals have a different sort of communion or even communication with man before the Fall?
6. What makes a fruit a "superfruit"? (example: acai, mangosteen, dragonfruit)
7. Why don't we ride cows? Are they not trainable for this sort of thing?
8. If we are so far from stars in our galaxy and those outside our galaxy that it would take a very long time, maybe years, before we saw their light go out, how long would the sun be gone/extinguished before we realized it?
9. If "no one can hear you scream in space," then why are we listening for extra-terrestrial evidence?
10. Why do we carry umbrellas in rainstorms, particularly lightning storms? Aren't they made out of metal, which attracts electricity?

These are the sorts of things I ponder. What kind of questions do you ponder?

Lost in thought,

Day 27!: Honoring our Soldiers- Do you? Do I?

This blog is the direct result of a scene I witnessed at work. There was an older man, with white hair and the often seen veteran black baseball-style caps with the stars or troop/war in which they were involved. Usually when I come across people like this, I'm kind of thrown off and not sure how to respond. I feel like their experience and my lack of experience creates a wall between us, and that, in a way, they are "saintly" and beyond me. I therefore treat them with the same courtesy as anyone else, usually accompanied with probably not-so-clandestine-starings at their hats.

So a man like this came into my work place and was checking out at the other register. Two younger men, probably late twenties or so, were checking out at my register. I finished their transaction and thanked them like I do all customers, but then I watched them. One of the young men went up to the man at the register, courteously approached him, and said "Thank you for your service." I was in awe. (Why don't you ever do that, Jane? a voice inside me asked...followed by, Why don't more people do that in general?)

If I had known my grandfathers, hearing their stories of service in WWII and Vietnam would have been priceless to me. Alas, I never heard it told from their own mouths, and I've never really heard a veteran talk much about his experience. Perhaps that's another reason why the "wall" as I termed it forms. Some veterans I feel don't want to talk about it, or, if they did, I'm not sure how I would receive their information. But how selfish is it of me, to not thank a man who gave years of his life so that the world in which I live could be as it is today? Did he not leave behind a sweetheart, a wife, children, his youth, his innocence? War changes a soul. A soul willing to die for his country is also willing to die for the collection of its citizens, the individuals, like you and me.

I'm reminded of an occurrence that happened four or so years ago in the Colorado Springs Airport: My parents and I were waiting to board our flight back home, and were bored-ly sitting and glancing around to glimpse anything noteworthy (that was me, probably not my parents). All of a sudden people started standing up, and a round of clapping growing into an applause rose from the crowd. A plane had just landed and a troop of soldiers had just arrived at the airport, finally home from service. One by one we saw them exit the door connected to the plane ramp as they entered the airport. Men, women, older, younger, with camo and duffel bags...there were so many. And they kept coming. I believe we stood at least five minutes, and not just my family, everyone. Everyone continued to stand and applaud the soldiers until the final one had disembarked the plane. My mom had tears in her eyes, and everyone was so earnestly respectful. It was one of those moments that felt very real, and tangible, and full of meaning. And the man at the store, reminded me of this moment. I hope he had an honorable welcoming home, too.

In light of all this, I've been encouraged to be much more assertive in expressing my gratitude to any members of the armed service, whether present day or soldiers who served before. And it doesn't matter the government, and if I agree with them, because the armed forces, like our country, is made up of individuals. And these individuals have made many sacrifices physically, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, socially, etc. to make our lives a little safer and our country a little better. The least we can say, is Thank You.

Pondering and reflecting,

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 26!: Books- I'm addicted, and I don't want help!

So, I haven't blogged in quite a few days, and my roomie reminded me to get on that (nicely). ;) Therefore, I'm blogging about a state I find myself in: surrounded by books. I often rationalize book buying...or rather...I hardly ever say no to buying a book, especially at a good price. I primarily shop used books, so a book at $1-4 dollars is like a no-brainer to me.

Subsequently, my shelves are heavy laden with books upon books. Lots of them are classics; I'll see a classic and grab it for future reading, because the English major in me values classic books and knows that "eventually" and "someday" I will read them...all...idealistically.

Also, unlike splurging on food or clothes, books are longer lasting and life-changing. They provide new insight and greater wisdom, while taking you to far away lands to meet new people. For mere dollars! Um, yes, I'll take that.

So, I'm admitting I have an issue (not a problem), and that it probably won't be resolved, because I'm content with my addiction!

Any other book addicts out there?

Sincerely, Jane

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 25!: I'm Brand-name, and One of a Kind

I'm a BIG thrift shopper. I love Goodwill, and other consignment stores, but I particularly like Goodwill because of their outstanding prices and the sense of personal satisfaction when after digging through dozens of people's old closets you find a steal. I'm very excited too when it's a good brand I know, or, a "trendy"/"in" brand. So as I deftly flit through the racks, my fingers are constantly locating the tags. Sonoma...No Boundaries...Old Navy...(a brand only my great grandmother might know)...oh wait...Ralph Lauren?? Gap?? LOFT?!! And this FREE PEOPLE?!?! (If you don't know who Free People is, no worries. I didn't until a few months ago. They're just really expensive and often really cute styles. It's all in the name...sigh)

I was browsing through the purses today..."mmmmm, granny mom might wear that...oooh! Old Navy...that has potential..." when a thought struck me: We put a lot of stock in brand names and visual identity, and that's not just in clothes. We flit through people as if they were a rack of "potentials," writing off this one, labeling that one: "Nope, she's a prep and a bad-girl. Nope, he's a jock, so he has no brains. Nope, she's a nerd; she's not in touch with reality. Nope, he's poor and dresses weird. Nope, she makes me look bad."

Is this true? Or is it not?? I think we do it more than we realize. Sometimes it goes like this: "She has lots of money; she must be a snob. I'm going to avoid her"...or..."She's so annoyingly spiritual and goodie-two-shoes..." In reality, that wealthy lady may just be blessed financially, not a snob, and very giving and hospitable. And, that super spiritual girl, if you really got her to speak truthfully, has probably got some battle scars and a more "human" demeanor under the surface. Don't write people off. And that's a reminder to me too.

In short, we're quickly skimming the tags on people's backs and asking "who made you?" just the way you would in skimming clothing merchandise. "Oh, you're off-brand...generic..." But wait!!! God says that every hair on your head is numbered, and that his thoughts for you are more than the grains of sand by the sea. And that goes for EVERYONE!!! Therefore, EVERYONE is brand-name, God's brand. Every tag says "hand-made," "one-of-a-kind," "delicate." We are all individually crafted, knit together in our mother's womb as Kind David said it. And each person is fragile and in need of assurance, love, and respect. God loves every article of clothing in His closet, and who are we to call God-brand off-brand and cheap?

Reflecting on how much God values every human being,

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 24!: Where are the Family Men?

Ok, so technically I'm writing 2 posts in one day, but I don't count it because last night's was at 1 am, and then I went to bed, and now I'm awake. Hence, I call this a new day.

I felt compelled to write this post after observing a heartwarming scenario currently going on right outside my window, as I type. There is a super sweet family that lives next door with four kids, and they really have a solid family. You can tell they love each other, and love their kids. Right now, the dad is giving his son pointers on football. Just one on one time with the kids :) Perfect. Beautiful.

When did society start telling men that being a family man was restrictive and not worthy of respect? When did the men start believing that lie? I respect every man I see out shopping with his kids, holding a small child, sharing smiles with his daughter. In a way, I value that more than a mother with her kids. A mother naturally will bond with her children, but a man who takes that time to connect and love on his offspring, is a wonderful rarity.

I pray that the men of this world will embrace godly fatherhood and take leadership in their families, loving their wives and loving their children. What a shame to miss out on one of life's greatest blessings, raising and nurturing one of God's special gifts, your child.

Kudos to all you family men out there!


Day 23!: Thanks, 2012. It's been grand.

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my faithful blog readers! I hope this finds you all well and eager for a new year at the threshold! I always come up with deep, theological, thought provoking blog topics, but I also always sit down too late at night to blog and don't feel like putting much thought or research into it. Therefore, I shall be cliche and blog about the new year. :)

With every new year, I'm always certain it will be the last. "2000??? (you remember Y2K) We shall all surely die!" Well, that didn't happen. 2012...that year seemed so distant and far away as it lay printed on my college completion plan, marked with May 2012-Graduation. And well, that happened. The world didn't end. God has not come back for His people yet. And look, it's another year! I suppose I should stop being shocked and assume the world will keep spinning and leave God to the details ;) He's really good with those. And I'm really bad at them. Correction: I'm REALLY good at details, so good, that I get lost in them and forget to be at peace about the forest (not the trees, or leaves, or holes in the leaves, goes on and on).

So I've established that God is good with details. And God has been good to me and blessed me, as He promised He will in His Word, throughout the year 2012. List of 2012 blessings/accomplishments:

1)Graduated from college!
2)Went to Disney World for the first time
3)Maintained a great GPA
4)Moved out and now beginning to live on my own (sans the major bills my parents still pay, thanks you two!)
5)Learned through heartache the type of woman I was, and the type of man I would have and the things that I wouldn't settle on.
6)Solidified some of my close friendships
7)Began babysitting for the first time!
8)Was pursued and wooed and convinced (yes, it did take some convincing) to begin dating this amazing man of God whom I now love very much :)
9)Was blessed and had my horizons expanded by teaching and building relationships with international students at school
10)Enjoyed God's creations, specifically the night sky this summer. Saw my first shooting stars!

2012 wasn't all roses, hence my blog title, roses and thorns. But without the thorns you can't have the rose. Without the darkness, the light is not as brilliant. And I know that God is my light, the ultimate Gardener, and the One who can turn sadness and brokenness into Beauty. My Redeemer, who not only redeemed my soul, constantly redeems my situations and experiences, shedding a heavenly perspective on them and showing me His hand and guiding love. In short, I'm not afraid. Yes, I'm nervous, timid, concerned, but in my heart of hearts, I'm not afraid. I'm right where I want to be, in His hands. 2013 will be a good year, because I have a good God.

Resting in His provision and love,