Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Birthday Fun

There's really nothing better than celebrating my birthday with family and close friends. For the past three years we have gone to Buca di Peppo and I must say I thoroughly enjoy this experience. It's such a fun atmosphere!! In addition to dinner at Buca, the following week we also had a get together at my parents house in honor of my older brother Jeremy's birthday (April 24th, my dad's birthday, April 18th and mine, April 19th). These times in life are my absolute favorite. I love having all my family together and closest of friends and spending the evening in laughter and fun. I know when I have my own family, I will make these times a tradition and find any excuse in the world to get everyone I love in the same room together! A special thank you to everyone who helped celebrate and make this birthday special for me, Jeremy and my dad! And a special thank you to all my long distance friends who wished me a happy birthday via Facebook! You are appreciated!


















Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trust

I’ve been thinking about this word a lot lately. Reflecting on its meaning as well as reminiscing about the ways in which I have earned trust, broken trust and had my trust in someone shattered. Trust is such a precious commodity that it should be guarded, protected and valued above all else in any relationship.

Trust issues seem to be prevalent in many relationships especially pertaining to the ones romantic in nature between spouses and significant others. Trust is something that until it is lost can be taken for granted, but once lost it’s the hardest thing in the world to find again. Trust unscathed is one of the most beautiful and priceless gifts we can offer one another. Trust says, “I have your best interest in mind; I am looking out for your heart; I value you; I honor you.” And so much more. It’s one of those rare and highly valuable gifts we are able to give and receive at will. We always have a choice whether or not we trust and whether or not we are trustworthy.

Webster’s Dictionary offers a few definitions of the word trust:

1. assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something b: one in which confidence is placed2 a: dependence on something future or contingent
2. a charge or duty imposed in faith or confidence or as a condition of some relationship (2): something committed or entrusted to one to be used or cared for in the interest of another

Definition number 2 got my attention with the words, “in faith”. This implies that there is an act of willful belief in someone prior to adequate evidence shown of their trustworthiness.

Trust is both an emotional and logical act. Emotionally, it is where you expose your vulnerabilities to people, believing they will not take advantage of your openness. Logically, it is where you have assessed the probabilities of gain and loss, calculating expected value based on hard performance data, and concluded that the person in question will behave in an honorable manner.

In practice, trust is a bit of both. I trust someone because I have experienced their trustworthiness and because I have faith in them. For me, the desire to trust implicitly is a desire I cannot control. Its existence is intrinsic and I’m fine with that for the most part; it’s the times where I want to exercise this trust however I am not completely convinced beforehand that the exertion will pay off. This is where the risk comes in. This isn’t entirely new for me in my life; however having the actual pay off is a foreign concept in many ways. I pray this is redefined for me in the future. I look forward to it actually. In the meantime, my assignment in regards to trust is to trust the One that has NEVER let me down. My Savior, Jesus Christ. And His words are comforting to me. He says,

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Ps.9:10

But I trust in your unfailing love. Ps. 13:5

In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. Ps. 22:4

And there are so many more!!

I’m confident He’ll teach me how to trust and be trust worthy as this is part of the firm foundation I know is rightfully mine for the taking.

And as I exercise my trust in this way, I am able to ward off the seeming impediment of skepticism that desires to “logically” piggy back on my personal experiences of broken trust. BUT awareness is power!

Thoughts??

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Deciphering Me

Sometimes my heart is overwhelmed with a sense of wonder at what God is doing and has done in my life and many times I feel completely inept at expressing it adequately, if at all! The most prevalent by far is my sense of gratitude. This is one of the reasons for wanting to blog again. It’s an outlet for me to share what God is teaching me and all that I experience in life. It’s also a privilege to have the freedom to express myself so freely in this beautiful country through an online diary of sorts. My intention in blogging is not to gain a multitude of followers. I do, however hope to encourage people along the way or make them laugh from time to time as I can be quite the goofball and I love to share things that express my personality with others. (And let me just put a disclaimer out there right now to all that I will no doubt offend. I am not politically correct and I write what I feel. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. I say this with all the kindness in my heart!)

One of the most amazing aspects of this life is the God-given aptitude to inimitably express ourselves. This is by far one of the most delectable aspects of life for me. I see each person as a thread and each thread is a different color and texture, when these threads all come together as God intended a wondrous fabric is created. This fabric is a picture of God’s character and personality and we are indeed living expressions of Him. With this understanding comes a sense of freedom for me. If I am uniquely created, fearfully and wonderfully made as God’s Word tells us in Psalm 139:14, then I am free to be uniquely me-an expression of my Creator. So, why do I give way to fears that say “you have nothing to offer” or those subtle but penetrating doubts that say rejection is inevitable if I’m truly myself? Because somewhere along the way I stopped or maybe never truly believed what my Creator says about me and I chose to believe the lie. It’s always a choice-my choice. But that is a sermon for another time.

Part of my personal journey over the last year or so has been identifying how I best express myself and how I can improve on this. I didn’t even realize how much I had repressed for so long. Communication is so vital in every aspect of this life and it’s worth taking time to develop and improve for many reasons, some of which are obvious, some are so subtle. Communication is much more than words though, it’s tone, body language, facial expressions, the written word, pictures, music, verbiage, etc.

It’s such a fundamental process; however it’s one that can get buried beneath or devalued with the challenges, trials and changes that life brings. This area in my life is something in which I feel God is calling me to a higher more refined standard. We each have a story to tell and I want to be a conduit of God’s clear, simple, abundant love and purpose for us.
Having said all that, I am a work in progress. I look forward to feedback from everyone and growing together with friends near and far through this blog. Thanks for stopping by!

No Insignificant People

The following is taken from "You Are My Hiding Place" by Amy Carmichael

To some of us, there often comes such a sense of the vastness of things and of our own insignificance it can ba a shaking thing. It can even shake our faith in the truth that our Father regards with compassion even the fall of a single sparrow. (Matthew 10:29)

To me, one fo the proofs that God's hand is behind and all throughout this marvelous Book we know as the bible is the way it continually touches upon this very fear in us-the fear that we are so insignificant as to be forgotten. That we are nothing. Unconcsiously, His word meets this fear, and answers it-not always by a distinct statement, but often by giving a simple loving story.

Isn't it beautiful that there is no rebuke at all for our human weakness? "The soul of the wounded calls for help, and God does not regard it as foolish." (Job 24:12)

He comforts. He lays His right hand on the soul wounded by weariness, or fear, or any kind of weakness at all. And He says, as if that one were the only soul in the universe:

"O man, greatly beloved, do not fear: peace is with you. Be strong, yes, be strong!"
Daniel 10:19