Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Heart of a Woman (parts 1 & 2)

Part 1
"I know I am not alone in this nagging sense of failing to measure up, a feeling of not being good enough as a woman. Every woman I've ever met feels it--something deeper than just the sense of failing at what she does. An underlying, gut feeling of failing at who she is. I am not enough, and, I am too much at the same time. Not pretty enough, not thin enough, not kind enough, not gracious enough, not disciplined enough. But too emotional, too needy, too sensitive, too strong, too opinionated, too messy. The result is Shame, the universal companion of women....We feel unseen, even by those who are closest to us. We feel unsought--that no one has the passion or the courage to pursue us, to get past our messiness to find the woman deep inside. And we feel uncertain--uncertain what it even means to be a woman; uncertain what it truly means to be feminine; uncertain if we are or ever will be. Aware of our deep failings, we pour contempt on our own hearts for wanting more. Oh, we long for intimacy and for adventure; we long to be the Beauty of some great story. But the desires set deep in our hearts seem like a luxury, granted only to those women who get their acts together. The message of to the rest of us--whether from a driven cluture or a driven church--is try harder." (Captivating pp. 6-7)

I'm sure I wrote on this somewhere around a year ago. I don't know why I stopped reading the book, but here I am, picking it up again. Finding myself in a place where I have lost sight of God and who I am to Him. Well, ok, maybe I didn't really lose sight of Him, I know He's always been there, but I most definitely lost track of who I am in His eyes. As I was re-reading the first chapter, the above passage stood out to me. I realized that the author was describing me, and I just hadn't been fully ready to see myself as one of those women. In reality, all women have felt this at some point or another. Of course, I don't always feel like a woman....most often I still feel like a little girl, or some giddy teenager. How do you try harder at something when you don't even know what it means in the first place?

"And in all the exhortations we have missed the most important thing of all. We have missed the heart of a woman.

"And that is not a wise thing to do, for as the Scriptures tell us, the heart is central. 'Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life' (Prov. 4:23). Above all else. Why? Because God knows that our heart is core to who we are. It is the source of all our creativity, our courage, and our convictions. It is the fountainhead of our faith, our hope, and of course, our love. This 'wellspring of life' within us is the very essence of our existence, the center of our being. Your heart as a woman is the most important thing about you." (Captivating pp. 7-8)

My heart is the most important thing about me. Then why don't I ever treat it as such. And how does one guard their heart, anyway? Does anyone really know? Because I don't have a clue short of blockading it off and making it more of a fortress to be stormed than a simple lock to be undone.

"....And so the journey to discover what God meant when he created woman in his image--when he created you as his woman--that journey begins with your heart. Another way of saying this is that the journey begins with desire....We think you'll find that every woman in her heart of hearts longs for three things: to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty. That's what makes a woman come alive." (Captivating pg.8)

Part 2
As promised, the follow-up, although I can't promise any more fluidity or sense than the first post. Oh well. (All quotes from Captivating unless otherwise specified.)

"The King is enthralled by your beauty." -Psalm 45:11 (pg. 12)

"I want to be beautiful
And make you stand in awe
Look inside my heart
And be amazed
I want to hear you say
Who I am is quite enough
I just want to be worthy of love
And beautiful."
-Bethany Dillon, "Beautiful" (pp. 13-14)

"And it's not just the desire for an outward beauty, but more--a desire to be captivating in the depths of who we are." (pg. 16)

I know this to be true from personal experience. It's one thing to be desired by someone because they view you as beautiful on the outside, but something entirely different to be viewed as desirable because of who you are, which brings out a great beauty. And the joy, the excitement, in knowing you're desirable, not simply for outward appearances, far surpasses the fleeting happiness in hearing someone tell you you're cute, adorable, or even beautiful. What person only ever truly wishes to be sought after because they fit some physical ideal of beauty? No woman, that's for sure. And really, the key word isn't so much desirable, but captivating.

"For now, don't you recognize that a woman yearns to be seen, and to be thought of as captivating? We desire to possess beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil." (pg. 17)

I've written on the following before, I realize, but that was about a year ago, and many things have happened in that year. Including various realizations....we can call them epiphanies, if necessary.

"A woman in the presence of a good man, a real man, loves being a woman. His strength allows her feminine heart to flourish. His pursuit draws out her beauty. And a man in the presence of a real woman loves being a man. Her beauty arouses him to play the man, it draws out his strength. She inspires him to be a hero." (pg. 18)

Oh to be so lucky as to experience this. I've been contemplating, and thinking back on my life (mainly high school until now), to try to find even one moment when I've experienced this. There is one time that comes to mind, something within this past year, but the moment was fleeting. I know why I can't come up with many of these experiences in my life. It's because I've done most of the pursuing of relationships. I've never allowed for someone to pursue me, thus inhibiting the true feminine heart within me. That stops now.

"Most of our addictions as women flare up when we feel that we are not loved or sought after." (pg. 10)

This I also know from experience. I am an emotional eater, shopper, watcher of tv/movies. When I'm not feeling loved I turn to any one of those three things. Sometimes in conjunction. Do you ever notice how, when you're feeling especially in need of love the only movies you want to watch are romances or romantic comedies? I certainly do. It's as though I think I can fill that need by experiencing it through others, when realistically, I typically feel all the more lonely or empty when it's over. Only God can fill that hole, that longing in my heart.

He recently spoke to my heart, through a gal at Bible study, on the topic of loneliness. (For when we're feeling unloved, we're often lonely as well.) She shared that she kept going back to the passage in Genesis where God says that it is not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18). He knows when we're lonely, and that it's not good for us to be alone. It was comforting for her to know that God knows this, even if He doesn't rush to the solution. I was blown away when she said that. God doesn't rush anything, why would He rush His best for me? It's me who tries to rush things, to push God to move faster in certain areas of my life. This is where patience comes in handy, and I know He's built that in me. Not sure why I don't see fit to apply those lessons to all areas of my life.

"The longings God has written deep in your heart are telling you something essential about what it means to be a woman, and the life he meant for you to live. Now we know--many of those desires have gone unmet, or been assaulted, or simply so long neglected, that most women end up living two lives. On the surface we are busy and efficient, professional, even. We are getting by. On the inside women lose themselves in a fantasy world or in cheap novels, or we give ourselves over to food or some other addiction to numb the ache of our hearts. But your heart is still there, crying out to be set free, to find the life your desires tell you of." (pg. 19)

Patience, however, doesn't mean I'm to sit idly by and wait, twiddling my thumbs, until God sees fit to bring someone into my life. I must live my life as God has given me, seek Him first, give back to Him that which He's given me, and trust that He knows what He's doing, and His will is best. Then I will see my heart set free, and the desires of my heart fulfilled.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Reality Check

No matter how much I may love him, he's not the man I want. And all my wanting and wishing for him to be that man, doesn't make him that man. And that's almost as disappointing as him not being that man already. He's so close, but not everything I'm looking for. It's mainly the things he doesn't do that points to the fact that he's not that man. So, I have to let that go. I have to be his friend and nothing more. I have to wait for THE man. But before that man can come along, I have to love and live for no one but Jesus.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Worry Not

25"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

28"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." ~Matthew 6:25-34

This passage seems to be the theme for the day. For I have come across parts of it in two different settings. First, today's reading in My Utmost for His Highest, which references 6:30. Second, today's passage selection from Bible Verses for Myspace, which references 6:31-33. And while it's a good reminder for all, I believe it's meant to be a reminder for me, today especially.

Last night I watched a dvd with my grandfather, "Close Encounters of the God Kind." The speaker, Jesse Duplantis, was sharing with his audience the various close encounters he's had with God, all to lead up to one encounter in particular. That of his visit to heaven. (I say that quite literally, and do not desire to debate the man's experience.) The main point of his message being that Jesus is coming.

While his experiences struck me, and in a way, inspired me, it was the genuine nature of his relationship with God that stayed with me the most. Such a seemingly simple thing, it was, yet something I find so difficult at times. His faith, and trust, so implicit. The closeness he expresses and shares. A passionate love for his Saviour, but most importantly, his friend. Jesus is his friend. And the though struck me, do I treat Jesus that way? Do I consider Jesus as my friend?

Before going to bed, I prayed that I too could experience Jesus the way Mr. Duplantis seems to experience and know Him. That He would be the ultimate desire of my heart. That the first thought in the morning and the last before bed would be of Him.

This seems a tangent from where I first started, I know, but bear with me. Such was my prayer last night. This morning, upon reading from Oswald, and then the Bible Verse for myspace, I realized that part of what's keeping me from my desire is my ability to let the worries of the world consume me. I allow the worries for the other desires of my heart surpass my desire for God. But I am not to worry about anything. It doesn't do any good, but it's also not how God created me to behave. The birds of the air and flowers of the field do exactly as God created them to. And God takes care of them. So also, should I.

I can't worry about J or if his heart will ever change towards me. I should only concern myself with Jesus, with loving Him and building my friendship with Him. Jesus needs to be my best friend, above all others. He needs to be my first lover, before anyone else can be. My Jesus, my God, my friend.

Monday, January 21, 2008

My List

A man who is/has.....
1) Teachable in God's word and ready to take up Christ's attributes.
2) Willing to teach.
3) Continually hungry for God & constantly seeks His will.
4) Willing to cry out in the presence of God & others.
5) Not afraid to just cry.
6) Humble before the Lord.
7) Someone I can follow, not afraid to lead, & I'm willing to be wrong with in following.
8) The same love for me as my father has for my mother.
9) Willing to stick by me in my decision to not kiss until the altar.
10) A gentleman in that he lets me go first in a line, opens doors for me (including car doors), etc.
11) Encouraging to me in my walk with the Lord and points me towards Christ.
12) Continually encouraging & challenging me to get into God's word.
13) A great love for his family.
14) Open & honest about his feelings & willing to share them with me.
15) Someone I can trust to share my fears and feelings with.
16) Somewhat athletic & is willing to either play/watch sports with me.
17) Thinks I'm beautfiul and tells me so as often as he can.

Right now, number 9 is still a work in progress. There have been things in recent days that have changed this choice, yet not. I've changed it, as in, broke that bargain, and am not sure if it's something I still need to hold on to. Only time will tell.


I'm really having a hard time letting go. I know that I need to. Doesn't the saying go, "If you love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, their meant to be yours. If they don't, it wasn't meant to be?" Well, something like that anyway. I still fully believe that we're supposed to be together, and maybe it's just because I want us to be. I can't explain it really. I've seen him at some of his worst points, and he's hurt me during some of those. I've seen him at his best. Despite it all, I love him. I want to remain his friend, but I don't feel I can do that while harboring such strong feelings. I know his friendship is part of the reason I love him. He's very dear to me.

I know what's sparked all of this, despite my best efforts to shut myself off from him. He'll be leaving soon on another short adventure. I'm excited for him, and that he'll get to see some of his good friends. Thing is, as excited as he is to see his friend(s), he's all the more excited to spend time with one particular young lady. And thus my musings, ok, ok, whinings. I don't know her, and know very little about her. I do know how much he likes her. I don't know how she's responding to his pursuit (or desire of pursuit) of her. To some degree, I know, she's holding him at bay. He's hoping for the best, on this trip, and I want to wish him the best. But the selfish, hurting part of me wishes that it wouldn't turn out as he hopes it to. There's this ridiculous part of me that wants to hold on to the hope that someday he'll come to his senses and see that, really, I'm everything he's been looking for. I don't actually know if that's at all true, I only know some of what he's looking for, from various things he's told me. I know we want many of the same things, and as far as I know I qualify.

Ok, I'm over it now. As I've been in process of writing this, I've also been reading through old blogs on a different site. I just need to re-focus, and all will work out as it's supposed to.

Friday, January 18, 2008

One guy


One guy who will make a real effort to get to know me. Someone who'll ask questions before I do, who will be seeking to get to know who I am, without me having to do all the work.

One guy who won't see me as a simple object, purely to be enjoyed for whatever pleasure he seeks. Instead, someone who sees me as a woman, delicate yet strong, fiery and passionate, yet quiet and humble.

One guy who'll see me as a treasure, a gift from God, not to be taken for granted or lightly, but to be loved, respected and treated with care.

One guy who can't wait until he sees me next to talk to me, but will call just to say hi, or that he's thinking of me.

One guy who's just as content sitting together in the same room, even if we're doing different things, as he is snuggling on the couch while watching a movie.

One guy who can't keep his hands off me, but knows when to because I'm not comfortable or it's not appropriate.

One guy, that's all I ask.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

"for he who promised is faithful"

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

What is this hope? It is the hope found in Jesus Christ, in His death and resurrection. Knowledge that because of Christ's death and resurrection we have the hope of heaven. We no longer have to fear death in this life because there is a new life that follows. An eternal life, with a new body, no pain, no suffering, and constant, unfailing love. Not just someone else's love for us, but constant and unfailing love for a gracious, and just, Creator. Belief in this love, which even before we reach heaven is constant and unfailing, and the expression of that love through the death of His Son on the cross is where our hope lies, and this is the hope we profess.

What does it mean to "hold unswervingly" to that hope? To hold onto it without faltering, taking no turn to the right or left, without retreat. That no matter what happens in our lives, whether it be bad, good or extreme, we continue to hold steadfast in the hope of our salvation. We continue to believe the truths and promises offered us by God, through His Word. When we hold to these promises, believing in them despite circumstances, we will not falter. We may stumble, be tripped up, but so long as we keep our eyes on the prize, eternity with a God who loves us beyond comprehension, we will not fail. To continue to live life with God's promises in mind, not allowing circumstances to sway our relationship with Him, is to "hold unswervingly."

"[F]or he who promised is faithful." God is faithful in fulfilling His promises. And there are many promises, not the least of which is His promise, spoken through the apostle Paul, that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). And no matter the circumstances that require us to hold so unswervingly to our hope in Him, He is faithful to complete the work He began in us. He knows His plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11) and He knows how He will fulfill those plans, though we may only have a glimpse of what those plans are. The exhortation is to trust in Him, and in His promises. It is an affirmation that He is faithful to those promises, and therefore, trustworthy.

And yet, despite all this, I still have a hard time trusting. Probably because He's telling me no to something I want. What I don't trust is that I don't know what's best for me, but that God does. Because I certainly like to think I know what's best for me, especially in regards to relationships, in particular, romantic relationships. Thus far, romance, and relationships stemming from romance, seems to be the bane of my existence. I feel like I go in circles when it comes to this area of my life. It's the bane because I don't always trust that God knows best, and that His timing is perfect. But when I get to that place of contentment, or trust, and things are going well, then enters someone who has the ability to change all of that. Not that he wants that ability, nor does he realize he even possesses it, but I grant him it. Whomever he is, he becomes my focus, instead of God. The desire for a relationship, companionship, human love, becomes an idol in my life, and I place any of those things in the place that rightfully belongs to God.

I've noticed, as I've done this, that the man in question typically doesn't return the feelings I have for him. Which should be an indication that I'm not on the right path, and need to refocus. But by the time I realize this, it seems, I've allowed my heart to get too involved. I have yet to learn how to guard my heart. I so desperately want someone to give my heart to, that if I think I've found that someone I let whatever guard I have down, and attempt to (with some success, even if it's not received) give it away. Once you give your heart to someone, it's really not all that easy to get it back, if at all. And what you do get back isn't everything, there's always some part of your heart that stays with that person. Sure, God can make you whole again, but that's just as painful as giving parts of yourself away. Because often, it requires the reopening of old wounds so that they may heal properly, thus leaving a scar instead of a scab.


I'm beginning this blog solely for me. I've no intention of sharing it's creation with others, but if others happen to find me, so be it. I realize that nothing on the internet is truly safe from the eyes of those who seek, but here I make no apologies and will hide nothing. All of my emotions, pains, questions and rantings will be displayed here, for the world to see. At this point, I care not about the scorn nor the offense of others. This is MY blog, and if you take offense, then do not read it. Anything written here is purely conjecture and opinion, hardly ever fact, but very often truth. Although, I must distinguish that I hold a difference between fact and truth. What I hold to be true does not make it fact, although many facts are in reality truth. I believe there are absolutes and will not apologize for that, but will very often write in light of these absolutes. I also know there are grey areas of life, and may write in a way to try to bring those greys into distinctive black or white. Again, conjecture and opinion.

Welcome to my world.