Kings and Queens 2

Okey dokey. Obviously, this is the promise continuation of my previous post. Quick review that’ll help with understanding my post today: “The Queen was in charge of the castle. She supported him and offered him wisdom and counsel when he needed it. If the King was away at war, SHE was the one who protected the castle. She was supposed to be just but strict. She raised their children (with help from the maids sometimes). And, perhaps most importantly, she submitted to her husband.”

Let’s translate that into today’s terms. A Queen is in charge of doing her part to keep the home looking good and functioning well. Does this mean a guy isn’t supposed to, say, do the dishes? Fold laundry? Cook? Not at all! But it also means that some days, when he is too tired or too busy, it is the job of the wife to do all of it. Yes, all of it. Sometimes, taking care of the house means doing the taxes or doing manual work. It means you work to keep it running smoothly and your husband will help because he loves you. And even if he doesn’t, ladies you are still responsible for YOUR actions, not his. Support and wisdom. Yep, that falls on the ladies too. Sometimes, your husband will not know what to do. Yeah, he’s supposed to lead the house, but he’s human too. There’ll be times when he feels absolutely overwhelmed. These are the times when the ladies – the Queens –are to speak wisdom into their husbands (or boyfriends – the responsibilities don’t begin when your married) lives. They are to be walking close to God themselves, so that when this happens they can speak God’s wisdom into their lives. Sometimes, this can be as simple as saying “There isn’t anything you can do. Remember that great and powerful God we serve? Yep, gotta leave it up to him.” (Sorry, those of you who like to problem-solve. Good luck). Sometimes it might just mean reminding him that you (or God) love(s) him. Sometimes, this is where you have to be walking close with God so that you can say what God is trying to tell him. Or maybe, if God is being silent, it’s just speaking Godly truth into his life.

Next! Defending the castle. Sometimes, in a kingdom’s history, there were wars. And sometimes this called for the King to go off to war. Sometimes this was to defend his own kingdom, and sometimes someone else’s – yes, boys, you are called to help defend other’s kingdoms as well as your own – but while he was gone, it was up to the Queen to defend the castle in his stead. If all went well, she wouldn’t need to. But as we all know, stuff goes wrong. Life isn’t perfect. And so, even if the Queen didn’t know how to fight (although knowing how to fight was always a bonus), she had to know how to lead. She had to sit in on meetings and participate in them. Where was the castle weakest? What where the enemies troops? Where did her people stand on supplies and manpower? What did they do with the village people? What equipment did both sides have? What was morale like? If they needed something, how could they get it? Maybe there was an unconventional idea that she had to push through. The Queen was in charge of this and so much more. Have you ever noticed that any of the queens you hear of in the distant past you hear of because they did something? Ladies, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that sometimes we  are underestimated. It irritates some of us. But personally, I like it! Let the enemy underestimate me! It’ll make it easier to kick them to the curb. As Queens (or future Queens), we are powerful. We’re not always called to show that power, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. The Queens are the ones to defend the castle when the King is away.

The Queen was also supposed to be just, but strict. I’m gonna add some stuff to this: the Queen was supposed to have grace and wisdom as well. Tall order, huh? In reality, the just and strict is usually applied to Kings. But Queens are also supposed to be just, and they do need to know when to draw the line. However, the Queens are ALSO supposed to sometimes give second chances. They are supposed to love. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the bible verse, but the Bible tells husbands to love their wives and wives to respect their husbands. This shows a key difference between guys and gals: guys run on respect. It’s important to them. They need to feel needed. It’s how God wired them. Gals, however, run on love. They need to feel cared for and respected. Not helpless – they aren’t – but cared for and protected. This also means that guys and girls have different strengths and weaknesses. Often, ladies find it easier to express love. They are often quicker to come together in a community for help and support. Guys (to many ladies’ exasperation ;P) have pride (ooooh, I said it). All joking aside, they are less likely to automatically go to someone else and instead often try to figure it out on their own. However, their protective instincts are (or at least should be) off the charts. Personally, I think if the guy isn’t 1) Ready to try and work things out first and 2)Ready to fight in a heartbeat if working things out is impossible, then he probably isn’t ready to be a King. If I ever get married, I want my husband to be the type of man that, if he sees a woman getting harassed or attacked on the street, jumps in ready to do whatever is necessary to protect her. Sometimes, though, that just might mean giving up his pride to avoid bullets flying and potentially hurting someone. And I hope that if I ever get married my husband will be ready to do that too, because priorities. So, to get back on track, Queens are supposed to extend love and grace. However, they are also supposed to know where to draw the line.

Raising the children. In actuality, this is supposed to be a job for both the King and the Queen. They are supposed to raise their children well, in a Godly manner. They are in charge of teaching their children how to be Kings and Queens when they grow up. This includes looking for a King or Queen as their partner when they’re old enough. Teaching patience, wisdom, hope, love…the list goes on and on.  Sometimes, they might need help. Like it or not (usually not), sometimes kids don’t listen to their parents. Sometimes, they just need to hear it from someone else. Here’s the thing. When you’re a King or Queen, you don’t just speak truth into the people right around you. If you aren’t ready to speak truth in unexpected situations with people you may or may not know [well], are you really speaking truth to those around you?

And last (at least for now), Queens are supposed to submit to their husbands. Some ladies might not like this. Don’t take it from me, take it from God. In the bible God sets the husband as head of the house. This means that, yes, the King’s decisions overrule the Queen’s. You can discuss things with him, of course. But if, ultimately, he decides on something else, he is the head of the house. What he says, goes. And now is where, Queens, you want to make sure you are looking for a King and not settling for anything less. If it is a partnership between a King and Queen, both partners will be listening to each other and to the Lord, and often they will come to be on the same page. And here’s something that I think often gets in the way when a Queen has to make the decision to follow her King even when he does something she doesn’t like or doesn’t follow her advise. It’s Faith. Queens are supposed to have faith in their Kings. It’s not comfortable – but then again, is following God comfortable? Marriage is the closest thing we have to the relationship between God and the church. It is supposed to mirror that. And so Queens are supposed to have faith in their husbands. Of course he will make mistakes. He isn’t perfect (surprise, surprise). You make mistakes too, and you are also not perfect. But will yelling at him and getting on his case make anything better? No. When this happens, I can guarantee you he knows that he messed up. You will BOTH benefit more from supporting each other than from tearing each other down.

And of course, your job is not only to look for a King or Queen as a partner. “Why are you waiting to be treated like a Queen when you don’t know how to treat him like a King”. YOUR job, ladies, is not only to look for a King (if he’s a King, he will treat you like a Queen), but to be a Queen. You are ultimately in charge of yourself.

So, I’m thinking of making this a series (possibly featuring a guest King to speak to any guys out there). Let me know what you guys think! I know my thoughts were kind of disjointed both this post and part 1, so I apologize for that. Feel free to offer suggestions or ask questions, too! Thanks for reading!

Queens and Kings

Okay, so I gotta type this quick (I’m in-between classes and I still have to pack to go home). So (some of you will know this from my previous posts) I’m a fan of Jaimie Grace aaaaand…she just released her first new song in three years! Party like a Princess is one of the most repetitive songs I have ever heard, but it’s got an amazing message and beat. Go check it out. Anyway. Here’s how the beginning of the song goes:

When I walked into the party everybody just stopped/Even the DJ wasn’t ready, to see me without/A boy who isn’t ready, to be a king/So tell me why would I be chasing him to be his queen/Don’t you know, who my daddy is/Don’t you know, what my daddy did/Don’t you know, who my daddy is/He paid it all, I’m the belle of this ball, so I’m gonna party like a princess…

This is an idea I came across recently (there’s an app called Sprinkle of Jesus that’ll pop out ‘food for thought’ one or two times a day) that said something along the lines of ‘Why are you waiting for someone to treat you like a Queen unless you know how to treat him like a King’. Ignore the horrible grammar in that sentence for a minute. That idea stuck with me.

Isn’t that an absolutely shocking idea? We are told that the girls should be waiting for someone to treat them like a Queen and not settle for someone who will abuse that. But I also want to suggest this – when society slams girls who are super bossy and overbearing (I’m NOT talking about girls who are just confident in themselves), they are actually slamming them for not being Queens. Because you see, being a Queen is also a responsibility. Think about a Queen of a country (medieval times, not a figurehead like Queen Elizabeth). The Queen was in charge of the castle. She supported him and offered him wisdom and counsel when he needed it. If the King was away at war, SHE was the one who protected the castle. She was supposed to be just but strict. She raised their children (with help from the maids sometimes). And, perhaps most importantly, she submitted to her husband.

I’ll elaborate on this later, in a separate post. But think about that, ladies. Why are you waiting to be treated like a Queen when you don’t know how to treat him like a King?

You Learn It

Wow, okay, I am officially really bad at updating this on time. Anyway. Brief little post to get us through to next Sunday.

How many times do we get stressed out over little stuff? How many times do we let little things that go wrong get to us? I see it a lot on Facebook. “Today was so rough” or “Everything went wrong today”. It’s so easy to just let the little things pick at us. But forget, for a moment, all the standard things people tell you and let me tell you a story.

My family teases each other. All. The. Time. If we aren’t teasing each other, that’s when you know that something’s wrong. So, as a little girl, my whole family would tease me. Constantly. And I would get so annoyed! I was little; I couldn’t come up with these fabulous comebacks! And if, perchance, I did get one in, someone else had a better one to shoot me down. Oh, I got so frustrated. I cried sometimes. I threw fits. I got furious. It irritated me. Anyone wanna guess what I do today? I deal with it. Sometime between now and then, I learned that it wasn’t going to stop and I got tired of getting frustrated. The best way to deal with it (and get teased less, “coincidentally”) was to just smile, nod, and walk away. Let the have the victory and get them back later (may I just say that particular revenge is so, so sweet). But also? My family will congratulate me when I nail a particularly good comeback or insult (yeah, it’s that kind of teasing a lot of the time). And I know that if anything big happens, the jokes will disappear (or maybe not) and they will have my back like no one else. So the jokes. Let them roll off my back. It’s best for everyone.

Aaaaand let me tell you another story. I walked into the student center on the college campus. Down the stairs, straight ahead, and there’s Starbucks to the right. I get in line and order my drinks. I pay, then go to the end and wait. But when my drinks come…one of them is wrong. I tell the barista and she apologizes. You know what I tell her? (I bet you don’t). “It’s okay, I won’t die.” Wait, what? I see her startled glance at me, and then she chuckles and hands me my correct drink. “Sorry again” she says, and I shrug and walk away. It’s become my refrain of late. “I won’t die”. Getting frustrated isn’t going to change anything. And it’s a good habit to look on the bright side of things. I remember one rainy day recently when my friend who had hip surgery, I, and one other girl was waiting for her mom to pull the car up. I said: “I’d say look on the bright side, it could be raining, but…it is.” Sure enough, she cracked a smile.

The point of all these tales? Just slow down. You won’t die, whatever happens. Stressing solves nothing. The best course of action is to just take care of the problem and move on. And tease people constantly (but only if you’re willing to be teased in turn. And only if you’re not really hurting them. And…nah, just kidding). It makes life a lot more fun. And of course, if you do start getting frustrated, God’s there.

CHALLENGE TIME!!! I CHALLENGE YOU….to thank God for something different every time you get frustrated, worn out, or angry. And don’t just say the words, conjure up the feelings in your heart. Just for a minute.

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.

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?

Worry, Focus, and Other’s Worry

Well. I was gonna write about something else, but then something happened to derail that. Which is why I’m writing about worry, because that affected me most imminently and directly. So, let’s get to it!

My family has been having monetary struggles. I’ve been praying about it along with some other stuff, but I got kind of thrown off tonight. Three things I try to pray for fairly regularly is healing for my brother (he’s special needs, think baby in a fifteen-year-old body with a fifteen-year-olds strength and lots of health issues), healing for a friend (she has a chronic illness), and support for my family as they deal with my brother and money and anything and everything else (especially since my brother has/will go through several surgeries recently). Today, something happened (I won’t say what) that put a good strain on us. It included another cost and a lot of strain, especially on my dad. And when dad’s not happy, no one is. And I was sitting in the house, worrying and praying.

We hear it so often. “Don’t worry,” they say, “the Bible says that God will take care of you.” It’s heard so often I usually ignore it. I haven’t had to deal much with struggles along those lines, so that didn’t help it sink in. But today, I looked up the verses about worry. I know all the blabber, but I needed to be able to calm down and let the Bible help me give that worry to God. Situations like what happened are some of the worst for me; it’s when I most need alone time to go and think and calm down and I can’t because I have to take some of the burden from my parents. It’s when I’m so worried that I have a hard time breathing and kinda want to cry and I can’t because I don’t cry in front of others if I can help it. So, when I was dismissed to go watch the food, I looked up those verses on my phone. I won’t spout all the stuff you’ve heard before. If you want help with worrying, don’t listen to a person, just read the verses yourself. The Bible holds power humans just don’t.

This whole situation, however, also had me thinking about focus. I was worried, but my first thought was to pray, and then I kept praying. I was trying to focus not on the problem, but on who could fix it. That also sounds somewhat cliché, which I’m not a fan of, but it’s the truth. When I get worried about something, the first thing I need to do is pray. God says pray about everything, so it goes double to pray when there’s trouble. Once we focus on God – and when we dwell in Him – our troubles start being solved. Generally because God either solves them or provides a way or wisdom to solve them. So while money is still an issue for my family, I will continue to pray about it.

The last thing is about other’s worry, not my own. I mentioned above that the situation was one where I had to stay to help my parents. I feel pressure in these sorts of situations, but the pressure that my parents feel must be so much worse. “I am just really struggling”. They don’t say it often, but that often describes some point in their daily lives where everything is just coming down and they are so. worn. out. I worry, but I am able to deal with it. They can confide in each other, but they don’t fully – or even mostly – confide in either myself or others. I get bits and pieces, and others get bits and pieces. But my parents largely bear their burden alone. And even so, we’re lucky – we have a house, and food, and medical care. We have great friends. My friend, the one I call a sister, gets my brother off of the bus and helps my parents out fairly regularly. She’s also usually game to help watch the boys (I also have a six year old brother called Mr. Energy) and actually enjoys cleaning, which she will also do. She bails us out often. Our family, though they live a ways away (the nearest family member is 45 min away), also helps out a ton. We are so blessed, but how can my parents get away from the wear and tear of everyday life? They get a full day off usually only once a year, on their anniversary. I worry about their worry!

Which leads me to my main thought for the day. I pray about my parents. I pray about their stress, their worry, their health. I pray about their faith. I pray for my brother – I know how hard it is to deal with my parents when they’re majorly stressed. I pray, because God is the only way they can survive day-to-day. I can’t support my parents as much as I’d like to. They won’t let me, and quite honestly that level of commitment scares me. To have to put someone else’s needs before your own and let them dictate every second of your daily life…my parents can’t even just drop my brother off with someone and take a break because of his needs. How often do we pray for the people close to us? How often do we pray for people we aren’t even sure need it? How often do we pray for people who struggle under a daily burden? That’s a big one – so often we see the burden but don’t pray for it because it’s a part of daily life. I wonder – who else is praying for my parents? Who else is praying for their strength and serenity? Who else is praying for their life in general? What about you? Who else can you pray for? Worry is elusive. It tries to creep up on us quickly. Sometimes it’s like a smack in the face, sometimes it’s like a tickle or an itch you can’t scratch. The Bible tells us to take one day at a time. Foresight is important, but we are supposed to dwell in today. Overcome today’s obstacle, and pray for other’s. I very easily feel others pain, but that should just mean that I pray more. What about you?