But be transformed by the renewing of your minds...

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I knew that it was time to post again, but I'm having a really hard time deciding what I want to talk about. A lot of emotions have been going around this week. I guess I'll just come right out and say it.
I really do sympathize with people who are obviously going through difficult times. I want to help people who make it apparent that they need it, its just in my nature. I like to be there for people because to me, that means more than just having someone to hang out with on the weekends. Don't get me wrong, that is also important for friendships, but I would much rather have a friend who genuinely cared about my feelings and stood by me in a hard time than someone who only wants to be around when things are going smoothly.
Likewise. I want to be there for people when they feel like there isn't anyone left. I think that makes for some of the closest bonds in a friendship.
But have you ever met one of those people who constantly ask for a friend that will be there through thick and thin, to be the support needed, but when they are asked about their certain problem, they clam up or push you away? Am I the only person who finds this incredibly hypocritical, counter-productive, and attention seeking? I realize there are certain problems that one would wish to keep closer to the vest, but if you're asking for someone to share those very problems with, why would you push them away when they offer help? How often and how long are you supposed to continue to push back? Is it better to put your foot down because you know that's what they need, or do you just let it go until its blown over and they come to you?
I'm not sure if anyone else is experiencing this right now, and I hate to be so specific in my blogs, but this has been on my mind the past few days. I'm finding it hard to continue to attempt to help when I keep getting shot down for even trying in the first place.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New Year

I know I haven't updated very recently, but life sort of decided to kick me in the behind so I haven't had much time.
As of late, there have been a lot of changes that have occurred in my life and I feel that it is essential to sort out what is different and what is the same. I think I'm finally coming to terms with who I actually am.
I love to read. I don't care what you say, the book is ALWAYS better. I have loved to read for as long as I can remember and sometimes I prefer books to people. I know enough about myself to know that this comes off as shyness or anti-social behavior sometimes. Truth be told, I think society is completely backwards in its mentality anyway so I don't care much about this.
Selfishness in the right circumstance is not wrong. Recently, I've had to cut off a few portions of my life that were holding me back. Much like you would prune a rose bush so that more roses may grow, I've had to let people and objects go so that I may grow as a person. So far this is actually working out rather well and I don't regret coming to this realization.
Something that I think I've always felt but have never conceptualized til now, keeping your word is probably the most important aspect of friendship to me. If you do this one simple thing, I know so much more about you than you can tell me. I know that I can trust you. I know I can count on you and that you are dependable. I know that you care enough about me to do what you say you will. Likewise, this is why I always make it my first priority when dealing with people to fulfill my promises and keep my word.
Another realization that has really always been in the back of my mind: God is perfect. It is the people claiming Him that are flawed and sometimes radically so. People are the complication, but God, more often than not, gives us simple standards to live our lives by. I'm tired of people's judgement, when God's is really all that matters.
Family is always more important. No matter what. Friends, relationships, acquaintances; they all come and go, but at the end of the day, your family is the only anchor we have that keeps us sane and accountable.
Being selfless is probably the most rewarding and thankless attributes of a person. Ironic isn't it?
Being an adult is hard. I know we were told a thousand times before, but nothing will prepare you for when you finally step out on your own. Making those hard decisions and having to compromise and improvise on occasion is just a part of growing up. Contrarywise, know when to let loose and be immature. There is a time for everything and everything has its season.
Despite my father and step mother's best attemps, I am still a Christian. This is unchanged. What has changed is that I love much more freely, and am still learning to be more so each day. I am slowly learning to treat each person as one of God's creation, instead of holding another social norm of class or pecking order. Everyone is essentially the same. The only difference is resources.
This year I fell in love with an atheist. Given my previous statement, I can see how this might be confusing, but I tell you, this boy is everything I want in a man down to the freckle, EXCEPT for being atheist. He's smart, he makes me laugh more than anyone else, I am myself around him more than anyone else. We are always honest with each other. I trust him more than anyone else on this earth and he me.
I don't make New Year's Resolutions anymore. They're vastly over-rated and are never kept. EVER. However, if I were to make any sort of promise to myself, I think it would be this...
I am finished being what others want me to be so that they'll be more comfortable. I'm through pleasing everyone because if I didn't it would cause problems. I am who I am. I am interested in what I'm interested in. I'm not going to pretend to like something just to fit in with a certain group. I'm not going to compromise my integrity to ensure acceptance. I'm done fighting back the real me. It's high time the real me had her time to shine. I don't need to be what everyone else expects because expectations do not matter if they are not reality. I deserve to be myself. I deserve to be happy too. I deserve to be what I want to be. And I want to be a more loving, sweet, lovely, caring, compassionate, gentle, honest, genuine person. Nothing is going to stop me except myself.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I've decided to start a series of letters to the people that I have something to say to, but have never had the courage or audacity to say in person. Don't worry, most of these are going to be positive, if not all.

The first in this series is to one of my bosses. He'll remain unnamed because I don't want this to get back to him. Here goes nothing...

I have always admired your work ethic. Even more than that, I am inspired at how devoted you are to your family. You've asked me a few times before why I have such a vested interest in your family. I don't have the courage to tell you the truth about my life.
The dad I have is not the dad who gave me life. The dad who is my biological father is basically a sperm donor. The dad who raised me is who made me who I am. I love him with all my heart. My dad who produced me, he's a hellion, but I can't help but love him just as much. I see you talk about your family with all the feeling and passion I wish my biological father had for me. I see you talk about your wife with such loyalty and I wish I had parents like that.
The bottom line:I wish I had a dad like you.
I know that if I were to say that in real life, it would be the most awkward and random thing and you would probably look at me like I'm a crazy stalker, but it's true. I hardly know anything about your home life, but I know that you love your family. There is no doubt in my mind about that. I think that is why I get along with you so well. I think it is also the reason I struggle with envy right now. I am envious of your family because I know you're not the most well off family, but I know that you are the model of what the average American family is, and should be like. I admire so much in you, I just hope that you never lose sight of your love of your family.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just a Drop...

So... Here's the deal. I was super stoked to be a part of the founding of Stand for the Silent. If anyone wants to know what that is, leave a comment with your email and I'd love to tell you more about this awesome organization. I digress. Anyway! SFTS took off at alarming speed and I still am a part of the organization like many people, but I feel like it is time to throw myself into something else. I recently became interested in this non-profit organization called Wishing Well. Let me ask you, How much do YOU know about the water crisis? wishforwater.com is a great website about this organization and it's partners where you can learn a lot more about this than I can tell you. I'm not about to tell you to take this jump with me, but I'm about to take a big leap here. I'm even considering changing my major to something that could help this organization more. Pray for me. Pray for this wonderful work that clearly has God's hand in it. Pray for the people in Africa that are dying from disease caused by unclean water. We CAN change this. Let's do it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


So for the past few weeks, I've been praying that God would send someone in my life that could help me see how change genuinely works in people because I'm ready for something to change in my life. 
I'm not sure how many of you know what the title of this post means, but think extended youth rally for college students and you've pretty much got the idea.
I didn't know what to expect when I arrived at the church early Friday morning, but I feel like keeping no expectations made the weekend more enjoyable. And how could I have had any expectations? I have never been to this particular function and I knew absolutely no one who was there.
We arrived in Tulsa around eleven and played with some kids in an apartment complex that might have been Section 8 Housing. We had a lot of fun, but we were exhausted by the time we got to the conference.
The Park Plaza CoC is incredible in size. I was a little overwhelmed, even attending Memorial the past few weeks. But it was a good time over all. As everyone started to arrive, a group of students from Austin walks through the door. We were all kind of mingling amongst our group and slowly branching into others, when this girl about my height and about half my size walks up to me and says, "Hi, my name is Vanessa!" She was very spunky. So I told her hello and that I was Amanda. "Oh my word! Every Amanda I know is super cool!" she said. We talked and laughed and she introduced me to another girl from Austin who's name is Erin. They were both very sweet girls. I had only known them less than ten minutes when Vanessa insisted I sit with them. But they're not just the normal people, they're front rowers. I didn't have a particular objection to this, in fact by the end of the conference I sort of grew to like it.
I can't say too much without feeling like I'm bragging, but I just have to say that the Lord has a funny way of sending exactly what you need exactly when you NEED it.
I hate to be "that person" but there are a few criticisms I have of the conference. For one thing, I do not believe that the use of instruments in worship is scriptural. I tried very hard to keep an open mind about what was going on this weekend, and I'm not saying that we just went crazy, but some boundaries were pushed if not crossed.
We had lots of prayer time this weekend, which is good, but I do not think that playing songs while asking someone to be alone with God in prayer is in any way helpful or scriptural. I am not saying I'm going to go walk into everyone's church and tell them exactly how to run things, but it was very distracting to me and I didn't actually get much praying done during that time. It was more distracting that there were people singing while we were supposed to be praying than the instruments that were playing in the recordings they were running. This was just the main instance that comes to mind because it was the biggest deal to me.
I feel like I have come to terms with a lot of issues in my faith that I have problems with. I am a firm believer in Ephesians 5:19. I still do not believe instruments are acceptable in worship, they're not biblical as far as I can tell and they're simply too distracting. I believe there are different types of worship and that no one should be made to feel like less of a person because their expression is different from your own. At the same time, I think it is disrespectful to the people around you to say, "Accept my habits because I'm not going to change them just because they're causing you distraction in your personal worship to the Lord our God." That, to me, is selfish and un-Christlike in nature. I am more a believer now of acceptance than I ever have been, and by acceptance, I mean the acceptance offered to us by Christ because Christ does not care WHY you come to him. However, at some point he does care why you stay. God can not make a MESSAGE without your MESS.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Obama Post

I'm sorry if it's politically incorrect to say this, but Obama may not have done much right, but he was right about the fact that it is time for a change. And I don't just mean the country. How long has it been since you took a chance? Or has the economy got everyone too scared to take chances? When was the last time you did something you LOVED to do instead of something you HAD to do? And why did we start settling less than happiness? I'm not so naive as to say that everyone is going to be happy 100% of the time. That's simply unrealistic. But when did we start forgetting to take in the simply pleasures in everything that when all added together made us happy? Why did we allow television to become our entertainment instead of letting our entertainment be going over to a friend's house and enjoying their company? Does anyone else miss the simplicity of life that we've seemed to have lost? All I see today is technological advancement. Men and women walking around with the newest iTech, if you will, or the newest Lambo, or BMW. I miss the simplicity. Even now, this seems entirely hypocritical seeing as I'm typing this on a laptop, in a Starbucks, listening to Acapella music on my iTouch 4thGen. Yes, I know. Stab the hypocrite, but hey. I'm also a broke college student who has come from humble beginnings and knows which side of the tracks she was raised on. God be with your thoughts today. I hope you look for Him in your everyday life like I try to do. Because those who seek, they do find. =] Go with God

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

God is good ALL the time!

And ALL THE TIME God is good! I have been changed. I have been changed by the love and grace of God and you know what? IT FEELS GREAT!! God is SO good! God's grace is SO big. There is NOTHING under Heaven or in Heaven that can separate me from the love of God.
For so long I've been listening to the voices around me tell me I'm not good enough. For so long I've played the victim. For so long I've listened and trusted every voice but God's.
When I get right down to it, it does not make sense that I continue in my old habits, my old life, my old sins. Sin has been living in me.
Today I saw what the joy of God is. It is His love, and it is His son. It is His grace. It is His power.
Some things only God has the power to change, and I'm here to tell you, once you let Him have that power over you, you will never feel so free again.
Tonight a brother told me to start loving myself. I've been thinking about that extensively. I am going to love myself. But it is because of God that I am able to do so. Without God's love, there is no cause or reason for love, because God IS love.
Tonight I have let down my barriers. I've come to terms with my sins. I've made a lot of mistakes. I've got a long way to go in my Christian journey. But you know what? Despite my sins, God still loves me. God's grace is SO good; He can love me. He does love me, when all of the voices told me I wasn't good enough. I didn't deserve it. I was unlovable. But God is for me. Who dares to stand against me? That is not arrogance. That is the confidence and the joy I've found in my Lord, my savior, my brother, and my friend. Jesus Christ. <3