Just Dance

Dear Younger me,

I am in no way a health expert. I enjoy eating far too much and hate things like running or hot yoga.

I was, honestly, an overweight child; something that caused me to have insecurity about my appearance at a young age.

I can’t give you a diet regiment or exercise plan to explain why I have thinned out. It was a combination of puberty and perhaps eating less out of boredom and more because I was actually hungry.

Know now, above all else, that you’re beautiful no matter what the scale says or the tv tells you what “all” women should look like. God made you. He finds you incredibly beautiful.

I’ve never been athletic, probably because, as an overweight kid, I felt ashamed of my lack of endurance and lack of skill in sports. Basically, I was embarrassed. I still haven’t caught onto the sports playing craze and I am still far too self-conscious to play a number of team sports, even if it’s for “fun”.

Again, I am no health expert, but I do believe no matter how athletic you are, you can find something active you truly enjoy. Others may not think of it as a real exercise, but honestly, who cares? I loved doing Richard Simmons aerobics as a kid and now, I love walking, and doing 30 minutes of Just Dance each day.

Most people would tease me for my choice of workout, but the jokes on them, because I actually want to exercise and I always have a blast doing it.

Whatever it is for you- swimming, walking, goat yoga 😉, zumba, workouts to tv shows or movies- YOU DO IT PROUDLY!

If it helps, just imagine me doing Just Dance in my tiny room in my apartment and having the time of my life.

My Arms can Bend a Bow of Bronze

I wonder, if we could only see the darkest situations in our life from a different perspective, would we respond differently?

When we go through something hard, I feel like we think, So what? This is no different than other people’s suffering or we think Oh, this is just part of life. Both thoughts are true and realistic. However, it treats the situation as though it’s not a battle against darkness we cannot see.

The Bible tells us a spiritual battle is being fought constantly. I believe our darkest situations are like the Waterloos of this ultimate war we are in.

Seeing our dark circumstances in this way may seem counterintuitive, as we may feel scared and unprepared for such a fight.

At the same time, since we are facing how much we lack to fight the fight, we are forced to seek help; ultimately, help from God.

As it says in Psalms:

“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer;

He causes me to stand on the heights.

He trains my hands for battle,

My arms can bend a bow of bronze.

You make your saving help my shield and your right hand sustains me.”

If you are in dark circumstances right now, KNOW you are in a huge battle. That is why it’s so painful and tiring. There will be casualties (friendships ended, your joy diminishing, money loss, etc.).

But, God will provide you with the aid you need. He will give you strength to fight with an ability you didn’t think you had. He will train you continuously to be capable of responding appropriately in these dark times.

He will “sustain you, shield you, and be your help.”

Chivalry is not Dead

Dear Younger me,

Where have all the good men gone?

I’ve felt that way often. Chivalry is dead, right? No one is a gentleman anymore.

Oh, how wrong that is! Not only are there still good men, but you actually have the power to make a man good.

I am not suggesting that you manipulate a man or that you have some sort of control. And God is the only one who can make anyone truly good.

What I mean is, you can, with who you are, encourage a man towards goodness.

Be patient with the boys or men in your life. Just like you, they need time for God to shape them, to become better, kinder, maybe even more chivalrous. Don’t give up on them. Don’t rush it either. If you’re impatient and jump right into the water, you will, of course, wonder where have all the good men gone? You must wait for him to form, just as you continue to become a good woman.

Don’t forget your own conduct and attitude. Instead of immediately assuming or judging a man, encourage him towards goodness, just as you would any of your girlfriends.

Over time, I’ve seen many of my male friends who, at one point in time, may have seemed like they were not a part of the good men category, transform into those heroes we all look for.

Good things do come to those who wait, my dear.

Perfume

Something struck me in Des’s sermon on the unexpected guest.

He mentioned that the perfume the sinful woman used on Jesus’ feet was a tool of her trade (most likely in her prostitution). Yet, she was giving it to Jesus, asking Him to not only to redeem it, but to use it as an anointing.

This got me wondering, can we take the “tools” in our life, the moments when we have sinned, and give them to Jesus to redeem them, even anoint them?

Think about your lowest moment, when you strayed far away from God’s path for you. God, Jesus, has already redeemed that moment through His death on the cross. But, He can also anoint that moment, using it for good.

Oftentimes our lowest moments, God uses for His glory. When we struggle with purity for years and God uses that to help someone else struggling with purity later on in life. That is God taking our bad experiences and using them to help others draw closer to Him.

Just as the sinful woman is remembered for perfuming His feet, taking her sinful past and using it to glorify Him, we can hand over our bad experiences, our low moments to Jesus for Him to use for His glory.

 

Painting: Copyright Daniel F. Gerhartz. www.danielgerhartz.com

Let it Go

Dear younger me,

How do you let go of a crush?

I’m still trying to figure that one out. When I like someone, I like them for years…because I don’t fall easily. On one side this is good because I am loyal and I certainly know my own heart and feelings. On the other hand, this can make life miserable…. wondering so many ifs.

As you age, you crush on far fewer people, you’ll spend more of your time serving the Lord and loving on others with no holding back. One day, you’ll get hit though. A guy will seem to show up on your radar and because of your imagination and innately good desire to be married, it’ll consume you. I wish I could give you advice. All I know is the truth. The truth is, God controls your story. God can bring about your love story. This means, you don’t have to worry over every interaction, worry over the timing of everything, you don’t have to worry about getting the guys attention, because God has the perfect timing, God gave you the holy spirit to lead you, and God can easily work in that guy’s heart to pursue you.

I wish there was a medicine to take away the nerves and the pain, but truth be told…I think that just takes practice and discipline. If you want God to be your total focus, then keep praying, keep speaking that. It may take time, but God certainly honors you for wanting such a wonderful thing. Don’t worry about the guy. God can worry about that. Allow God to work His magic if it is His will.

His Time or Mine?

There were so many great truths in Pastor Des’s sermon some time ago.

I personally love when a “typical Sunday School” passage can mean so much to us in our different stages of life.

In the story of the feeding of 5 thousand, Des felt the calling to trust in God even if it doesn’t add up. There are 5 loaves- and 2 fish, 5 thousand people to feed, it’s impossible! But not with our God!

Des’s reminder gave me a renewal in energy and hope.

After having a couple of long and stressful weeks myself, I found another truth in this story that the holy Spirit (and Des) helped me reach.

Jesus had gathered his disciples together and told them they would get in the boat to retreat and rest in a solitary place. Yes, Jesus is fully man and fully God. However, He feels just like us. He was probably tired, weary, and as Des pointed out, mourning over the death of John the Baptist. A rest seems in order for both Him and the disciples.

Yet, they go to their solitary place and hungry, thirsty, helpless crowds follow them.

Rather than seeing the crowd and turning them away, Jesus had compassion on them. He welcomed them.

That’s where I felt a conviction: my time, my day, belongs to God.

Even after a tiring week, He can still use me in others’ lives. Perhaps I want to go home to rest, but my friend needs help with a paper or with babysitting. Perhaps I see someone drop a million papers.

Am I going to respond like Jesus? Will I trade my own time for His time?

What will you do when He calls you to serve even when you feel tired?

Jesus welcomed it.

Are you ready?

Dear Younger Me,

There may come a day when you feel you are ready. You’re ready for “the one”.

You love God. You’re fulfilled by Him. You know Your worth is only in Him. You know yourself well. You have made friends with loneliness. You’ve embraced your single years. You are ready! That’s the truth!

So, why haven’t you met him yet? Where is he?

Just remember that you may be ready, but perhaps he’s out there still growing. He may not be ready.

In that case, you don’t want to meet him until he is the partner the Lord has made for you. And you certainly do not want anyone else.

Continue to trust in the Lord’s timing, but also know, you could absolutely be ready, but that can still mean wait.