Tag Archives: girls

NEW! Affirmation Cards: Encouragement for the Heart

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Hey everyone!

I’m so excited about this. My mom is a fantastic artist over at Sparrow’s Journey by Heather Santos (first link is her blog, second link is her Facebook). She’s a self-taught artist, which is even cooler. She uses her art as an outlet for her thoughts and emotions…and it shows through powerfully in each piece she does.

She recently (January) made Truth Cards for the Brave Girls Club, which were sent to the Philippines as little notes of encouragement to women who were rebuilding their lives after being trapped by poverty (or force) into human trafficking. (They teamed up with Full Circle Exchange to help these women get into lifestyles and careers that would support their families and take them out of the sex trafficking industry for good.)

But as more and more of her customers in the U.S. started asking for these cards, she realized something…

Women and men EVERYWHERE need words of encouragement, just like these.

And that’s where I come in to the story…

She asked me to create some encouraging words to put on cards that she would paint the backgrounds for.

So I wrote down things that I need to hear, things that I’ve been told in the past, things that I tell myself every day to keep me going, whispers from my Creator that comfort me…and this is the product.

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There are several more designs (and sayings) available in her etsy shop (including some more suited for men). They are only $5.50 (free shipping!) and they make a great gift. My mom and her coworkers even handed these out to girls on campus on Valentine’s Day. She said they seemed happy and touched–and I’m convinced that they are keeping these cards close by, for reference. 😉

So if you know anyone who needs encouragement, or if you know that you need one of these around to encourage you (like I do), then consider stopping by.

Because everyone deserves to know that they are loved. That’s what we humans were made for, anyways!

 

Au Contraire, Rose

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Against whom, Rose,
Have you assumed these thorns?
Is it your too fragile joy
That caused you to become
This armed thing?

But from whom does it protect you,
This exaggerated defense?
How many enemies have I
Lifted from you that did not fear it at all?
On the contrary, from summer to autumn
You wound the affection that is given you.

Against whom, Rose,
Have you assumed these thorns?

I’m supposed to be writing a paper about this piece. Instead, I’m writing this.

If tears didn’t accompany you to the end of this piece, go back and listen again. And this time, let yourself feel.

 

Au contraire!

 

You see, I cannot write at this moment, because I cannot stop listening. Cannot stop feeling.

Not just because the music is beautiful. No, if it were just that, I wouldn’t have been so terrified to play it back in November. (My stage fright only comes when I don’t have adequate emotions to express.)

No, not that–but because I have finally understood what it means.

 

Au contraire!

 

Of all the moments in my life, these are perhaps the most beautiful.

 

Au contraire, Rose! No longer must you hold up your thorns to the outside world! I hold you now. Your thorns do nothing but hurt me…and hurt yourself.

No, my own defenses never protect me from that which I defend myself.

They only defend me from that which can protect me the most.

 

Au contraire! You are so wrong, my dear Rose…you are worth everything to me, please wound me no longer!

I am yours. And you are mine.

I am yours, and you are Mine.

 

What a Saviour I have, indeed–One who makes everything beautiful when I am so wrong.

And what a husband I have, indeed–one who reminds me of my beauty as I heal.

My Love Story, Part 5: Long Distance

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Part 1: The Hang-Ups

Part 2: Falling in Love with a Savior

Part 3: Love at Second Sight

Part 4: A Spiritual Leader

We spent the summer together, all day, every day. It was wonderful, and we became accustomed to one another. It was nearly impossible to let go, that night before I left for college. To be completely honest, I’ve repressed the memory (unintentionally) and it no longer exists.

There is a lot of bitterness stored up in this part of my life…and a lot of strong–hardly harnessed, truly–emotions that had no outlet then. This is essentially their first outlet. It’s something I didn’t share then, and I wouldn’t have thought to share now (until this series came along). The following information is an incohesive cloud of emotions that overlap and work together to create a toxic mess.

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I’ve been published by the Good Women Project!

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This is one of the happiest days of my life. I’ve been following the Good Women Project for a year or so now…I’ve read every single post they’ve published since I found them. It’s a blog/website dedicated to helping women live the life they were created to live. It’s a place for community and advice and stories and healing.

I decided I’d go out on a limb and write an article for this month, especially because I’m doing the Great Writers Challenge from Jeff Goins (also, GWP’s theme for this month is “The Working Woman”, and I don’t foresee myself writing for the next two months, “Ask A Married Woman” and “Let’s Talk About Sex Again”…not exactly things I have experience with). The main themes of the challenge are to  put yourself out there, do something brave, and build a platform. This is my first effort to do all of those things.

I wrote about my journey as a self-proclaimed workaholic. Here is a short excerpt:

I work hard. I always have.

And so, it was fitting that I chose quite possibly the world’s most daunting major: Music Education. In four years time, I have to rack up 135 credit hours of 0 and 1 credit courses. Those, along with homework, hours of practice, concert band, marching band, pep band, trombone choir, and attending concerts and recitals made every day into a 14-hour day. But I liked it, because I liked being busy. I thought I was “seizing the day”, not missing any opportunity, because I had no leftover time. I was doing as much as I could with the time I had. That’s what I thought was important.

People sometimes asked me what my hobbies were, or what I liked doing. “Well…I like playing trombone. I like school,” is what I found myself saying. Yeah…probably the lamest answer ever. I didn’t have any hobbies. I was consumed by work.

Click here to keep reading.

This is the first time I’ve ever tried writing for someone/something/somewhere else, and I’m thrilled that I actually got published on my first try. I really can’t believe it. I’m so humbled and I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me with this passion for writing.

My Love Story, Part 4: A Spiritual Leader

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Part 1: The Hang-Ups

Part 2: Falling in Love with a Savior

Part 3: Love at Second Sight

I was elated by Matt’s decision to get baptized. The testimony he gave at the baptism was quite touching. All I could do was be incredibly happy for him and encourage him despite his fears.

But I still couldn’t help but believe the wise advice that everyone had always given me. “He still can’t be your spiritual leader.” And I talked to God about it. Talked at Him. Let’s be honest: when He brought it up, I always cut Him off before He could say anything—“I know, I know, I’m wrong. He can’t be my spiritual leader. I’m taking care of it. Don’t worry about me.” How silly of me–to tell Him not to worry about me. HELLO. God of the universe up there. He loves me where I am! (These are things I wish I could tell myself back then.)

Well, I was really just avoiding the feelings of failure that I thought God would speak down towards me. How foolish! What He was really trying to say was, “I see you. I know your heart, and I love it. I love you. I want to give you everything—you don’t have to do anything else (and I could imagine Him shaking me at this point), just accept what I want to give you!” Now, what he could have meant by “I know your heart” could be any number of things; I think it is a mixture of “I know you love me and want to please me” and “I know you’re stubborn, so I just made your non-Christian into a Christian for you. And what’s more, he’s gonna be your spiritual leader.”

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My Love Story, Part 3: Love at Second Sight

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If you haven’t already, you should definitely read Part 1: The Hang-Ups and Part 2: Falling in Love with a Savior.

So, when we were all sitting in Taco Bell late one night after a jazz band gig, after all the instruments were put away and we were spending our spoils on the cheapest food around, Die-Hard Atheist and his agnostic and open-minded (read: indecisive) friends sitting around him had some questions for me.

I had tried to stay out of it…unsolicited Christian input (not any OTHER religious input) is typically pushed away in those conversations. Nevertheless, I found myself sitting in front of a panel of non-believers, being grilled with all the classic questions. “What about the starving kids in Africa? How can a God of love let them suffer?” “What about the people who have never heard about your religion? Why are they condemned to hell?” And all the common criticisms and misconceptions that go along with it. The Crusades. Legalism. Hatred of homosexuals.

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My Love Story, Part 1: The Hang-Ups

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My favorite story to tell is that of my love life. For some reason, I love to recount the story of the different guys I’ve dated and what I’ve learned. Perhaps because the greatest life lessons come from your closest relationships.

This is just a story. I’m going out on a limb even posting this, because I often get terrified of what people think of me, or how people might perceive those who are mentioned in my posts (even if no names are given). And I want to say before we jump in…these guys that I dated had tons of good qualities and it wasn’t that “they weren’t good enough”. I simply want to show you what happens to me when I allow someone so close who does not have the same worldview as me.

But if you’re a single Christian man or woman, looking for a spouse one day…please, please take heed of all this. I’m not writing to teach a lesson. I’m writing to show you my heart, and what happens to it when you give it to a human to twist and turn it, and not to a God who knows what He’s doing when he twists and turns it. This is my journey of figuring out that He comes first, because no human can ever do everything He does for me.

I had always been told to never date a non-Christian man. I had been told (and oh, I learned) that non-Christian men couldn’t love me to their or my fullest potential, that they couldn’t be a spiritual leader, and that our differing worldviews would clash and it would never work. Furthermore, I had been told (and oh, I learned) that a man would never truly change his heart and mind to follow Jesus by being with me…if he did, it would only be for me; and if it was truly for himself, he still could not be my spiritual leader. We must be at the same place spiritually in order for him to lead me. (Refer back to my last post for some links to some even better reasons that I didn’t know then.)

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