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,