Jamie Grace

Hey y’all! Okay, no, I’m not country. But I do use y’all upon occasion. This week I wanted to talk about Jamie Grace.

I’ll say this upfront: I really like Jamie Grace. I like her music, and I like the way she’s crazy and real and has no problem sharing that with her fans. Okay, onward.

Have any of you stopped to listen to her lyrics? Let me put a few of them below:

Little girl dreams

Are bigger than they seem

I’m thinkin’ ’bout the future in my daily routine

Here’s from a different song:

I get to know you more and more

And make every single day about you

I wanna live like I can’t afford

To spend another second without you

Something from the first song struck me: am I thinking about the future daily? Am I thinking about what I want to be able to tell my husband, my kids, and anyone else? My thoughts about the second song run along those lines too. I’m not living my life right now like that verse described.

For those of you that have read one of my first posts (I forget which one), you know that I struggle with masturbation. Those first lyrics are from a song called White Boots, and it basically talks about abstinence and uses as an analogy about white boots and a white dress. And not abstaining from sexual intercourse is getting them dirty. I can’t help but think that my boots are already dirty from masturbation and quite honestly, I regret that. I really wish I’d be able to go into marriage with white boots.

Of course, something else that I like about Jamie Grace is that she’s single and really wants to be married but is (seemingly, anyway) so so good about waiting on the Lord. Whenever she does marry, the Christian single community will lose a valuable ally. But I also can’t help but think that she took that desire to be married and let it pull her closer to God. She freely admits that she longs to be married, and a good majority of her songs are about it, but it isn’t an unhealthy obsession. In fact, it really seems to be healthy. A line from another one of her songs describes it well: “I don’t mind saying how I feel/As long as I stay true and keep it real”. And she does. She keeps it real, and she doesn’t blow it up into something it’s not.

Of course, for all my praise, she’s not perfect. I may not see them, but she has imperfections. I think it’s important to not be delusional about that. But I also think that we can learn a lot from her.

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Red Letter

Hey guys. This won’t really be a run-of-the-mill post, exactly. This is going to be a letter to a friend I have now, and friends I may have in the future. It expresses some of my thoughts, as me, and might give you guys some insight into stuff too.

Let me explain the original situation first. Flowers were donated to my school today. I got two bouquets and managed to get one for a friend who was away today due to health issues (I basically go to a boarding school. See my page for more info). She came back this evening, and I gave her her bouquet and let her pick some flowers from my two – since I had two. She knocked the flowers out of the cup, we went to the bathroom to take care of the mess. While coming back, to warn her about my flowers sitting in the entryway to her room, I said “Watch out for the pretty ones.” Now my letter will explain the rest.

Friend,

I’m sorry. I realize how that sounded, but I didn’t really mean my flowers were prettier. I was trying to come up with something witty, something better or more intelligent than “watch out for those”. Mine were blooming since they’d been in water longer, so prettier just popped out. I got nervous, a little. I don’t think you understand. I know how awkward, crazy, and/or insensitive I sometimes sound. But I don’t know what else to do. Really I just want to make sure you’re still my friend. I’m so so so socially awkward. You say you are too, but let’s compare for a minute. We are both in our junior year of high school, our first year at this accelerated school. We live in the same wing of the same floor. I am healthy, you have a host of health problems. As we walk around, a host of people come up to us. Any given moment, any given place, it’s plausible for someone to come up and say “Hey, how’s it goin’?”. You say you don’t like to talk to people, but you go around and you know so many people. You know what’s going on in their lives, you say hello, you’re so involved. Maybe you don’t like talking to them all the time, but you still don’t understand. Because as you say hi, I don’t even know them, nor do they know me…and we live in the same building and have all school year. You talk to people and ask them for help and anything else. You hang out with them, and not only with them but with college students too. You have so many friends, and how many guys have/had crushes on you?

I have two people I basically ever talk to, and that’s you and my roommate. How do I tell you you’re the only one who ever invites me anywhere? I’m not dumb. I value my personal relationships so so dearly. I know more pros and cons than you do, I know the power of those skills, I know the technique behind them. I just can’t do them. It’s so natural for you. You build a relationship with ease in 5 seconds that I can’t build with all the effort in the world in 6 months. I know, I know, you don’t like talking to people, you prefer to be alone…you still don’t understand.

Did you know that without you, I would never leave my room except for classes, meals, and, when spring comes, volleyball all alone on the outside court? Even when I’m so bored I could scream, so tired of my room, it’s better to be there and on a screen than out watching everybody having fun with a friend and not approaching me, or worse…scaring away someone who does approach me. Even volleyball. I can play volleyball outside for hours with people passing and not have one person approach me, but the instant you come out six people ask if they can play too. You don’t understand.

I get it. I know my limitations. Most of the time I remain completely level-headed. But occasionally I don’t. I get nervous that my odd humour will make you think I’m too weird, that my tendency to laugh to much might make you think I’m trying to hard – or an idiot – or that I might laugh at something you don’t think is funny and you end it. I know it’s unreasonable. But what if you did? What if our relationship just slowly faded. I can’t laugh over Starbucks with God, much as He’s my Savior whom I love. If we stopped hanging out, I’d be stuck in my room, asking myself what I could have done better. Wondering if I’ll ever get another friend. I’ve made four close friends my whole life, and you’re one of them. .

I didn’t mean that my flowers were prettier. It was that tiny, tiny niggle of fear. I’m not desperate. I’ll restrain myself and avoid torturing myself too much. But it does scare me. I can see myself all too easily having no friends as I grow older. Or having the one best friend, who’s so close I call her my sister, but being far away and so we can only call, and I’m stuck at work or my house all day. I can operate in society now. It used to be much worse. But there are times when I just can’t quell the panic at the idea that I might be stuck alone. I’m independant. I’m an expert actress. You’ll never see any hint at this in my face. But being alone? You have no idea. Wondering if you’re just staying with me out of pity or compassion? Yeah, that happens. You say you’re an introvert who likes being alone. And I’m telling you, you have no idea.

Catchup

Ugh. Cheers to my bad memory and bad timing. How long has it been since I’ve posted? Two weeks? Anyway, I’ll be seeing what this post is about as I write, so here goes!

Jeremiah 17:7 says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Isaiah 40:31 says “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Malachi 3:10 says “”Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Hm. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? Guess I know what I’m talking about! To that extent, though, I think I should talk about what’s been going on in the past few weeks.

My friend here at school (the one with the nonprofit) has been having problems with her hip. It hurts her so much that she is currently using a wheelchair to get around. My brother went in Thursday to get a new VNS (his hospital stay in December was because of an infection that happened in the surgery site after they replaced the lead, he ended up having the whole thing taken out) and it went well. I’ve been struggling with my previously mentioned sin. School has been stressing me out.

Maybe I just need the reminder that I need to trust in the Lord and work on growing closer to him. It’s true that my relationship with him has been backsliding. I hate to admit it, but…I was ignoring that. I still don’t want to face it. I don’t want to have to put in the extra work required to grow my relationship with him. But how can I not? I heard something interesting today in the youth group. One of the leaders mentioned that he’d seen videos of former witches turned Christian, and that they said that satan has a number of devils assigned to every person on the planet, and only them. They are charged with watching us go about our lives and studying us, getting to know us and where we are weakest, what can be used to trip us up. Doesn’t that make sense? We know – I know – that satan is trying to trip us up. He wants us to sin. So doesn’t it make sense that we would be studied to that effect? I don’t know if that is true, but I know that he is trying to make me fall and that he knows my weaknesses. For goodness sake, I’ve indulged in them enough. It’s like waking up. I know I’ll feel better all day and tomorrow too if I just get up, but I choose to keep dozing anyway. Actually, when it’s put like that, I feel like an idiot.

I guess the Bible puts it plainly. I need to hope in the Lord. If I do, I’ll receive strength and blessings. If I don’t, I WILL come to ruin. What about you guys? What do you struggle with? What has a hold of you?

Thankfulness

Hey guys! I’ll make this brief. When was the last time you took a step back and looked at your life? Especially when it feels hard and uncertain? I was thinking about this today. My brother was in the hospital over Christmas break. He had 6 surgeries in as many weeks. My parents were stressed. My other brother hates doing homework (surprise surprise) and the workload for my family went up because of the hospital stay. But this morning? I started thinking. During prayer requests, people were praying for all sorts of things. Cancer, broken families, stress…my brother was in the hospital, but he’s not about to die. My family has issues, but I know I can always count on them if I need them because we all love each other. Even the little stuff – I have a DS, a tablet, a smartphone. My family has a nice TV. We’ve had 2 Xbox’s, one of which just broke recently. Right before it broke? We got a working Wii & 3 games for $50. We have two laptops and my mom has an IPod. My dad had a tablet before it broke. We have unlimited WiFi. And thinking about it, there are times where in retrospect I can SEE God providing for us so we’d have food & clothing. I have a friend who’s really more of a sister. And you know what? As I’m typing this I’m sitting in my dorm at one of the top high schools in the US!

My family has been so blessed.
I have been so blessed.

Now, I really just want to pray for those who need blessing. Those who have broken families. Those who have no materialistic things. Those who are absolutely exhausted with life. I want to pray for them because I have more than enough. My cup overflows. If you ignore your troubles right now, if you take a step back…does yours? Is it REALLY that empty?