Wednesday, December 31, 2014

End of Year Thoughts Part 4: A Little More About Love

1. Find Someone You could Love for Who they are-not who they could be.
This is most important. I think both of us, me and my ex, idealized each other. I couldn’t live up to what he was looking for. I realized too, that he wasn’t what I wanted either.
The greatest lie you can tell yourself is that there is no one else. No two people will ever be a completely perfect fit--but, that doesn't mean you should settle.  Be honest with yourself about everyone that you date.
I didn’t think I could change my ex. Yet, I saw things  in the beginning in the relationship that made me think he wanted to change. He thought the same of me.
Lesson: don’t stay with someone just because of who you think they might be later. That is incredibly dangerous territory. Unfortunately, it sometimes takes a crash and burn to remind you what is right. 

2. Find Someone Who Is on the Same Page as You in Regards to Spiritual Matters and the Future.
Spiritually we were not on the same page. His morals did not align with mine. I was so focused on avoiding conflict and keeping the peace that I wouldn’t stand up for what I believed. It led me to allow things I never should have.
Find someone who will encourage your dreams; not someone who will tell you they are pointless or unattainable. Find someone who is willing to go through the journey of life with you. This isn’t to say that hobbies or interests need to be exactly the same. (I want my doll collecting and scrapbooking to be my thing.) Yet, It would be cool to find someone that shares my interest for things like books and the arts.
I also want to say that our ideals for a family didn’t align that well either. There were  aspects of having a family that were important to me. He was not interested or didn't agree with them. There were a few things about raising children that would have been a huge issue later. 

3. Lastly, Guard Your Heart.
It is so easy to lose your mind with someone you have attraction to. Infatuation can be powerful, as I have found. Whenever the time comes again, I am going to pray that my heart won’t become so enamored by them. I want to be able to give myself as clear a head as possible to make the best decision for both of us.
As Christians, the main relationship we must focus on is our relationship with God. Even when you get the guy, God should always come first.
A true man of God will treat you in the way you should be treated, and love you the way you should be loved. He will pray for you and with you. He will want to praise God with you. He will be eagerly willing to study God’s word with you. He will push you to be the best Christian you can be, as you do the same for Him! (1st Peter 3:7, Ephesians 5:25)

Next Article: End of  Year Thoughts Part Five: Life

Saturday, December 27, 2014

End of Year Thoughts, Part 3: Love

I know I have mentioned a lot about my last relationship. That situation changed me. I realized many things about the situation that I could not see before. As anyone who has been in serious relationships before, you know that you are not the same afterwards.

Here are the things I have learned from the relationship:

1. Every Relationship Serves Its Purpose. 
I recall a conversation I had with a friend of mine at school. I mentioned to them that I wished the relationship had never happened. I felt like it was, in some ways, a waste of time. There are many things I regret, and problems I refused to see. Before I started dating, there were many red flags I told myself I would never allow. I decided I would end the relationship if I found them. I was embarrassed that I didn't.

My friend told me something that really struck me. They said that if you learned something and grew from the situation, then it wasn't all for nothing. As soon as they said that, I was reminded that I needed to keep my perspective positive. I had acknowledged that growth occurred. I allowed the regret of what I didn’t do to be an open wound.

It is all about perspective. If you allow it, your mind can become your biggest enemy. I constantly have to remind myself of this verse: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

2. Be Yourself And Know Who You Are. Know Your Worth.
At the beginning of the relationship, I made the huge mistake of going to extremes to avoid conflict. I gave a tolerant, permissive attitude to things I should not have. Over time, it exhausted me. I became a fake version of myself. When we broke up, I went back to being the way I was before--only more wise.

My advice: Before dating, learn to stand up for yourself and your ideals. This is difficult for me, and something I am constantly working on. You can still be polite and kind while sticking up for yourself. If you can’t be proud of who you are outside of dating, then what makes you think you will be while you're dating? Love yourself enough to hold out for someone who truly loves you.

Don't stay with someone just because they appear to be interested in you.

3. Find Someone Who Appreciates Your Mind For What it Is.
One of the biggest issues between my ex and I is that our thought processes were worlds apart.

I’m constantly analyzing things and trying to find the bigger picture. It is how I understand the world around me. He was the type to take things at face value. That was his way of understanding the world.

Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with the way he thought. He just could not understand me. He was often asking why I was ‘over-thinking’ everything. I began to suppress that side of myself because I thought something was wrong with me.

Belongs to Walt Disney Company

We just have different ways of looking at the world. If someone just can't 'get' you when you've been together for a decent length of time, it may be a good idea to call it quits

Next Article: Part three, A little More about Love

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

End of Year Thoughts, Part 2: Spiritual Life

This year was a year of growth for me in many ways, including spiritually. These were lessons I already knew. Sometimes though, it takes experience to understand and know it. There was a lot that happened the past few years that put some things in perspective for me.

1. God is the only one who will never, ever, let you down.  When we put our complete faith in people, we will almost always get let down. (Hebrews 13:5) People are imperfect, where God is complete good. For a while, I ended up putting certain people above God-which was the worst thing I could have done. It often occurs when you don’t realize it is happening.  Always make sure that He is the top priority in your life.

2. He will work everything out. We spend so much time worrying everything. The truth is, if you belong to God, you will always be taken care of. (Matthew 6:25-34) Our plans may not work out the way we want them to, but God will use our bad circumstances for good! (Romans 8:28) While the break up I went through broke my heart at first, I would not change a thing. It led to me getting a good job with sweet kids, and then starting at Freed-Hardeman University in August. I have met so many amazing new friends and have gained some wonderful experiences already. I know that it is only the beginning of God’s purpose for my life.

3. His will always prevails. We can always say that we are going to do this or we’re going to do that. Yet in the end, if it is supposed work out, it will. If not, it won’t. (James 4:14-15) You can pray for something to happen, but God knows what is best for you. (Jeremiah 29:11)

4. Lean on your brothers and sisters in Christ. I will admit that opening up about my struggles is a difficult thing for me. It is something I have to work on. If I can open up to you about those things, it usually means I trust you. It can be difficult to ask for prayers and help from my brothers and sisters. I have found when I step up and ask for prayers, it makes it easier to be stronger. Sometimes, we must seek out help from others. We can’t do this alone; no matter what society says. (James 5:16)

(Next Article: Part 3, Love)

Sunday, December 21, 2014

End of Year Thoughts, Part 1

My Calendar for 2014 :)
A few weeks ago, when I changed my calendar to December, I started thinking about how 2014 has been the most insane year of my life. However, it was a good insane; but the beginning of my year started off not-so-good. In February, my first boyfriend and I broke up. When you make plans and they don't happen, it can leave you confused wondering what direction to take next.

God has proved faithful. Time and time again throughout my life, I have found that when I hit a roadblock, He helps me find a way out. After the breakup, I prayed for Him to show me where I was to go and what I was to do with my life now. I ended up starting a new job working at a daycare with precious babies in April.

Last year, and earlier this year, I thought for certain I was going to be working in the beauty industry. Working at the daycare opened my eyes to something much greater and to me, more fulfilling. I never went into work wanting to be elsewhere, and I never left work feeling like I could be doing something better. I loved it.

Over the summer, when my sister came home from school, we had multiple conversations about me going back to school and careers. Finally, she suggested to me that I go to Freed-Hardeman with her. The more I began to think about it, the better it sounded. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

I ended up signing up about a month before school was to start. Even within just my first semester, I don’t feel like the same person anymore. A few short months has changed me. I feel more confident, and I feel so much encouragement from my classmates and people I sing with in Chorale.

I have learned so much this year about being a Christian, love, being myself, and more of what it means to be an adult. In my next few blog articles, I will discuss more of what I learned this year about these things. As always, it is my prayer that my thoughts will be encouraging to my readers.