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Love Freely

#lovingfreelyandlivingstrong

Hey guys, I know I’ve been slacking on the posting area lately. Ever since the holidays, it’s just really hard to get into the swing of things!

I’m working on some pretty awesome topics to post soon, though, so don’t give up on me just yet!

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mawwaige

Exactly.

mannasmadness

imageCurrently sitting in Buffalo Wild Wings working on pharmacology.

Why?

Supercross started tonight. And if there’s anything Drew loves more than me, it’s a dirtbike.

Why come to BWW instead of watching it in the comfort of our own home since it’s heckin cold outside?

Because we are cave people and do not have cable or wifi.

Alas, he drug me out of my cozy fuzzy blanket cocoon into blistering winds to sit here while he stares at a tv for a few hours.

I’m okay with that, though.

School starts back Monday. MONDAY PEOPLE. This means I’ll return to my days of staring blankly at 7 textbooks in a complete caffeine overload daze.

Drew is a very passive person. Quiet, reserved, peculiar, non-confrontational.  Absolutely nothing like me. His level of pettiness is pretty close to mine and we have the same terrible sense of humor, but all in all…

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Confusion

There are a lot of days that I just really feel lost, and like I don’t know what I’m doing. I’ve never really felt like I fit in, but there are times that I’m so sure that I was meant for a different generation or a different world that it’s painful to stay here where I am.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my life. I’m confident that God has a purpose for me and that His will is greater than mine, but it’s hard to walk in faith sometimes. When you don’t see anything positive occurring, and it feels like the entire world is blowing up, it’s hard to stay focused on following the will of someone you’ve never even seen with your own two eyes.

But that’s faith, I guess.

I look up at the sky and look at all of the different ecosystems and biospheres that exist, and I’m amazed at how someone could believe that all of these things were created by an accident. That seems more magical and mystical to me than believing that someone knowingly and lovingly created the world we live in – placed exactly where it needed to be for survival, with everything necessary to sustain us in a way that is (mostly) renewable within itself. To think of the intricacies of the human anatomy and physiology, how everything is in sync (or should be). It’s crazy to me to think that could have occurred by accident. In nature, everything that has not been touched by human hands and humanity, things that remain unmarred by our existence – they are beautiful. They serve a purpose. How could this have happened by accident?

When I start to feel lost, going outside and marveling in the wonder of the natural world usually fixes it. But sometimes it doesn’t. Most of the time that is caused by my depression or anxiety, because no matter how much you can understand something logically, chemicals alter your mood so much more strongly than pure logic. This is unfortunate, but it is the way it is. I don’t believe all this crap that people tell other people (usually Christians) that if they loved Jesus enough they wouldn’t be depressed, because you would have joy and a “peace that passes understanding.” You can have peace and still be anxious. You can feel joy but still be depressed. These are not mutually exclusive ideas. Do not make someone question their faith because of a chemical disorder. Remind them that there is always tomorrow, and to not lose hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and there is a purpose behind this crappy moment in time. Be light like Jesus tells you to be, jerkface. Don’t pull more darkness in.

I guess the point of this post is just this – as Christians, I believe that we are meant to believe in the purpose and the amazing creativity of our Creator. We are meant to be light to people who are in darkness, whether that be sin or depression. We are not meant to be cruel, to intentionally harm, or to be hateful towards people. If God is love, then remember that we are meant to intention our lives to being more like him. And he gives us an explicit definition of love:

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (ESV)

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.”

I added the emphasis to the above verses. Sometimes I think Christians focus so much on what nonbelievers are that they forget to be what they were called to be. We are told to be like Christ, who is God. And God is love. Apply this definition to everyone you meet, and maybe more people will understand why we believe grace is so important, and the changes that can happen when you let God in your heart.

Although love does not rejoice in wrongdoing, it does not insist on its own way. I believe that the lost can be guided more with a gentle hand and a gentle word of encouragement than they can be with a whip and a list of rules so long and ridiculous it would take your entire life just to learn them.

I just know how I feel when I get lost sometimes. Just something to think about.

 

-P

15 Reasons Being Married is SO much better than dating

  1.  I never have to be worried or concerned about who I am waking up next to. It’s the same beautiful, loving face I see every morning.
  2. The one guy I always wanted/dreamed about/ hoped I could snag will be my #foreverdate to any event that I will ever attend. (Sorry ladies!)
  3. He’s my #foreverboyfriend. And as of right now, 1 year in, we still act like/feel like we are dating. It’s all the great feelings without any of the worry about breaking up.
  4. I can fight with him and not worry about him just walking out. It’s a lot harder to end a marriage than it is to just say, “I’m over this, bye.”
  5. My best friend gets to watch me succeed (and fail) for the rest of my life, and is legally obligated to love me through it. (Lolz, sorry for the constant struggles and tears babe).
  6. Nobody telling you what is “allowed” or “appropriate” for your relationship any more – you can officially become “one.”
  7. Dating is exhausting, period. Long term relationships are where it’s at. No more mind games, no more guessing if he’s going to call me back or if he likes me.
  8. My husband and I are figuring out the roles in our relationship – how we want to divvy up chores, who cooks more, who’s in charge of laundry, etc. And that’s something that will never change unless we decide to change it! No more constantly figuring out what’s ok to take charge of or what I should leave alone for him to take care of.
  9. I have complete confidence that no matter what comes out of my mouth, he’s going to love me anyway. So even when I’m stupid, a jerk, or wonderful, he’s seen it all and still signed up for more.
  10. The most exciting thing to think about is having a miniature Jon running around our house.
  11. I’ve watched him grow up more in the past couple years than I’ve seen a lot of my other friends and guys I dated grow up in almost a decade.  And I’ve had an upfront and close view, passenger side ride in it all. It’s pretty cool.
  12. #foreverboyfriend again. Remember, your relationship only gets old if you let it. We are really good about going on adventures and keeping things interesting, and we haven’t just gotten comfortable and settled yet! He still makes me feel like a big deal, I still tell him how hot he is and how much I love to tell people “I’m married to THAT hot guy.”
  13. Right now, we don’t have kids and that’s just fine. We have two dogs that we’ve had for the past two years of our relationship that have grown up with us (we got one of them when he was just a puppy). I got to watch Jon go from the guy who thought animals were just animals without personalities, to becoming the guy that’s loving on his dog and treats him like he is his child! (Because, let’s face it, our fur-babies with four legs are our children right now).
  14. When I want to do something, there’s nothing or anyone holding me back. He’s always down to be weird, geeky, nerdy, or adventurous with me.
  15. I always have someone to go to the grocery store with me, and do laundry with me, and clean the apartment and dishes with. There’s something extraordinary about doing the ordinary things with the person who’s the love of your life. No searching, no trying to impress them, just doing gross things like cleaning the toilets, washing dirty socks and underwear, and washing petrified food of off plates with. Doing the “real life” things with him (aka adulating) is the best part of my life. We’re figuring it out and it’s pretty fun.

All in all, dating can be a really fun adventure! But it can also be exhausting and spike even more self-doubt than just a normal sad, questioning young adult trying to figure out what the crap is going on with life.

 

-P

Ruth Chapter 4

So, I finally finished Ruth. Chapter 4 isn’t long, and it is very interesting to read about how the story is resolved between Ruth, Boaz, and Naomi. We left chapter 3 with the knowledge and expectation that the resolution would be taken care of the next day – Boaz was going to make sure of that. With everything we have been given about Boaz and the type of man he is, we fully expect him to keep his word. 

No surprise, he does. That next morning after sending Ruth away and telling her to not let anyone know where she had been, he heads to the city gate. Now, the city gates have an important role in the Bible pretty frequently – they are a gathering place, and a place where “legal and commercial transactions” took place. From here, Boaz calls out to the man that he had told Ruth he was going to ask to be the redeemer first, and if he said no, then Boaz would gladly take Ruth as his wife. This guy shows up (we don’t know what his name is), and beforeBoaz starts the conversation, he gathers 10 elders from the community to be witnesses for the upcoming transaction. He wanted to be sure that there was no way that this guy could go back on his word! From here, Boaz states that Naomi is selling the land of Elimelech, her late husband, and that with this land Ruth the Moabite was to be taken as his wife. The guy originally said yes, until hearing that he would have to take in Ruth as his wife. He then changes his mind, and says that if he takes this offer, he would be jeopardizing his own inheritance, and so he would have to pass. Then he hands Baz his sandal, yards yadda, the deal is done. Boaz then marries Ruth. 

After their marinate, Ruth gives birth to a son, and it is stated that Naomi was given the baby to be his nurse, but then states that Naomi was given a son. So, I’m not really sure, I guess Naomi adopted him as her own?? Who knows. The bottom line is that in verse 15, the women of the town tell Naomi, ” for your daughter-in-law who loves you, who is more to you than seven sounds, has given birth him.”  That’s a really sweet part of the story. Naomi was filled with bitterness – had asked to be called Mara because of it, and felt that she had no future and was completely empty. But God redeems not only her, but sweet Ruth, who had stayed with her beloved mother in law throughout this journey, and eventually became (in a way) Naomi’s redeemer. This son was named Obed, and he became the grandfather of David! THE David. 
After finishing this story, I’m choosing to believe that Naomi was truly acting in the best interests of Ruth by trying to hook her up with Boaz. Maybe she sent Ruth into a questionable situation because she rusted Boaz to be a man of God. Maybe she hoped that Ruth would know the line. Maybe she didn’t care. We may never know her intentions. But if Ruth had not followed Nami back to Bethlehem, David would never have been born. And thus, Jesus wouldn’t have been sired. God’s hand is all over and throughouut this story. It’s amazing to watch his Providence and his plan be fulfilled, exactly the way he wants it and plans it. 

Because honestly, if his people had had it their way, a Moabite wouldn’t have been the heroine in this story. It would have been a “good Jewish woman.” They were told not to take foreign wives, for crying out loud! But a foreign woman came and saved the day, and ended up with an amazing story and an amazing redemption that couldn’t have happened if she hadn’t followed her heart to follow Ruth and adopt her way of life. God called her out of darkness and gave her his light. That’s the only explanation. 

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Ruth 3

So… It’s been like two days since I read chapter 2 in Ruth, and I haven’t come back to it. Mostly because I’m lazy. I could blame it on work and say it’s been busy, but really I just haven’t  been in the right mindset to write this post. So, here we go.

I know this chapter has some controversy over the whole “Naomi telling Ruth to get all dressed up and lay at the feet of a man that was drinking wine” deal, but I’m just saying, there are other things to focus on and gain from this chapter… so…

The opening of this chapter is the conversation between Ruth and Naomi regarding the next step for the relationship of Boaz and Ruth. Naomi advises Ruth to go and seek Boaz after he has had his fill of wine and food, and after she has bathed and anointed herself and changed clothes. To me, this seems very much like a proposition. I definitely had a flashback to Noah passing out naked in his tent after having too much to drink earlier in the Old Testament. There are a lot of Biblical sayings and advisement a about the dangers of wine and drunkenness. But regardless, Naomi is advising Ruth to go and seek Boaz out, and whether with words or not, she is asking and actively seeking his hand in marriage and a relationship that would include more protection and covenantial background than Ruth simply working in his field. And Ruth, being a good and devoted daughter, follows Naomi’s instructions and goes to Boaz and lays at his feet. It even takes a while for him to notice that she is there! But whatever.

From the moment that he sees Ruth, he recognizes that she is seeking him out as a redeemer. She even quotes what he had referenced before about being under the wings of God’s protection, and uses it in reference to him! To me, this is a romantic play on words, and  shows us that she believes he (Boaz) was the answer to her prayers for redemption. Now, the redemption monologue tripped me up for a while. Saying that Boaz was “redeeming her” sent my stomach into knots, thinking that maybe it waas unhealthy, because we don’t need to think of our husbands as “redeemer so” because Jesus is our redeemer. But this was in the Old Testament. This is an Old Testament reflection of faith, before Jesus was even in their picture. Defining redeemed here would probably be in the alternate definition: gain or regain possession of (something) in exchange for payment; or compensate for the faults or bad aspects of. So, he is redeeming her from her singleness. and from her inability to protect herself and care for herself. It may not seem to fit into modern day feminism, but it is what it is.
After Ruth quotes his words back to him, Boaz seems to soften up. He tells her that he recognizes that she is a worthy woman and her devotion to Naomi. He also recognizes that she is asking for a more substantial relationship and he is willing to make that happen to for her. He even tells her that he is going to take care of it soon, and to protect her reputation, he does not want anyone to know she was in the threshing floor with him, to keep rumors from spreading about her being promiscuous. There is so much protection from him, in every aspect of her life. It’s pretty amazing.

There’s another point to be made that when she came home to Naomi with so much barley, Naomi told her not to worry, because she knew that the matter would be sorted out that day. So he’s protective, productive, and a man of integrity and Godliness. What else could you ask for?

Besides having a wonderful base and example of a successful Godly relationship and love, there’s also another deeper meaning to this story. Naomi trusts that Boaz will respond appropriately when Ruth lies herself prostrate in front of him, asking for redemption. She has faith that what Ruth needs will be fulfilled if she approaches him and asks for it. There’s a great lesson in that. Jesus even said, “Seek me and you will find me., when you seek me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13). He again says, “anything you ask for in my name shall be given to you.”

“What you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in his Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ” John 14:13-14.

So, to me this is a great lesson. Ask for it in Jesus’s name! Seek him with your whole heart on your sleeve, and that’s when you will find him. It worked for Ruth!

So my major take-away from this chapter is simply that. You never know what blessings you can get from God if you don’t ask. If they don’t happen, you know that it’s for his glory and the betterment of His kingdom.. but what if they DO?

What would you ask for from Jesus if you knew there was no limit to what you could get? What would you attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail?

These are the types of questions I’m focusing on for now. I know there are some clichés about them, but it’s honestly just good old truth. #truthbomb

 

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