Friday, December 26, 2014

Psalms 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart. I've always seen that as a bit of a threat. Too invasive. But it's taken on a different meaning entirely. Search me, O God. Examine me, O God. Like a doctor examines his patient. Know my heart. Discover the disease that eats away at my quality of life! Know the burden I feel. Try me and know my anxious thoughts. Test me, quiz me. Check my symptoms. Listen to my concerns and my worries about what is going wrong. See if there be any evil way in me. Reveal to me where I am going wrong, where I am crippling myself. Identify my sin and wrongdoing. Lead me in the way everlasting. Lead me to the cure. Teach me the correct path, the different method. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Those Big Little Fears

Honestly, some days I wonder if I'm not related to a mouse. Fear keeps me tucked away in my hole in the wall. There's not very likely going to be a cat out there. But there could be, right? So here I stay. Meanwhile, everyone else in the world seems to be having a grand time. Or maybe that's just the lie of social media--everyone just LOOKS like they're having a good time. But back to me. I'm not saying that the reason I often am at home is because I'm afraid. That's just because I love my home. These thoughts originated from a movie I watched today in which the main character made a vow to say, "Yes!" to everything (not the greatest movie, however). But I guess that made me think for a moment. How many things am I saying, 'no' to simply because I'm afraid? Could it be possible that I am closing doors that Christ has opened because I do not trust him to take care of me? And how much am I missing out on by just being passive? By neither saying, "yes" or "no" and just not doing anything? Will I live my life to the fullest that Christ would have me to do? Yes. Yes, I will. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Praise Idol

So. Last week I read a book titled, "What Do You Think of Me? Why do I care?" By Edward Welch. The title itself speaks volumes. However, I think some people might avoid this book because the title sounds like it could be all about how you should just do what you want and not care about what people think. In short, the point of the book is to take your eyes off of yourself and others and put them on God. It is to fear the opinion of God more than the opinion of people. The book answers three questions that you should be asking yourself. "Who am I? Who is God? Who are other people?" For example, in a majority of situations, if I were to answer those questions in complete honesty, I would say, "I am important. My needs, my reputation, my image are most important. Other people are here to make me happy, to fill my needs, to build up my image, to think highly of me. God is distant and does not care. God does not look at me with admiration." Most of the book is spent just looking at God--His holiness, His awe factor, His worthiness of praise. Then the rest of the book is about how I should be living a life of love, because of Christ's love for me. I should be loving more than I want to be loved. It's not a fix-all. That's a choice you have to make. But enough about the book. Here's my struggle. In that short book, so many issues that I have were addressed. But the problem is, reading and doing are two different things. I know I should be patient because good things come with time. This past week I have been made aware of just how often I do things simply so that I will be praised. I'm addicted to their love. To that I am a slave. Jesus, save! Take me, take my desires away! 'Till only you remain. 'Till all I want is Your praise, Your fame. Do you know how hard it is to break a habit that really has no meaning to it? Like popping your knuckles. There's no right or wrong involved. And even that is difficult. Trying to break an idol? It seems impossible. And in reality, it is. Maybe that's why my struggle is so hard--I'm trying to do this myself. But how does one do it with God? Like seriously, how does that look? Is it just moment by moment, asking Him to take control? That's the conclusion I've come to. But even that is hard. Like half the time, that doesn't even cross my mind. Then on the other hand, I think I'm slowly becoming more sensitive to Him and His voice. I'm a work in progress, I guess. I mean, I know everyone is, but sometimes I think/wish that I'm the exception. And then it comes full circle back to that idol again because really, I just want to be perfect so people will think highly of me or at least like me. I need Jesus. That's my fix, my solution. That is the only answer I have to my problems. This journey, it's tough. But I can see myself growing, so I guess that's a good thing, right?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pre-Game Jitters

So today, I'm doing my first family photo shoot. It's also my first photo shoot of a child under 8. I'm not SUPER nervous. But inside, there's a teeny little insecurity that I won't be good enough. Good enough for who?! I'm sure the family will love any photos I give them. But what about everybody else? All of my other potential clients? Who am I doing this for? Who is my audience? On the surface, I'm obviously taking the photos for this family. But deep down in my heart, what is my drive? Why do I even pick up my camera? Why do I post them on social media? So I will be liked? So my idol of approval will be satisfied? For an audience of One. The One who gave me this ability, who gave me this creativity. For Him, I will do my best. Even now, I am tempted to think in the back of my mind, if I do this for Him, He will reward me my making me the best. That's not the piont. He is the purpose behind it, win or lose. Famous or not. Success or not. Because if I do my best for Chirst, I will always be a success in His eyes, even if I'm a failure in eyes of the world. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Who am I?

I'm pretty sure that's one of the most commonly asked questions, especially of people my age--Who am I? This year, I have discovered more abut myself than ever before. I've learned that I don't stick with stuff. As is clearly evident in this blog. And my YouTube channel. Yep, that was just a complete and utterly embarrassing fail. Really, like who do I think I am? But, I'm going to try once more at this. For my sake. Not because I think the world needs to hear me. Not because I want to be popular (well, not completely anyways). Because I want to write. Because I can. No matter how many views or followers I have. Want to take bets on how long this will last? 
     So, back to that one question. Who am I? I'm a foodie. I love to make food, and like to eat it. Baking is my speciality. I'm a photographer. I'm new to it and not very good. But then, who is when they start out? 
    Well folks, now I feel like the biggest cliche in history. A foodie photographer writer. That's something you see every day. Pinterest is my best app (I would say friend, but then that would just add 'no social life' to this perfect cliche called my life). So yeah, sometimes I feel a little lost in the world. I'm not unique. Not in my eyes anyways. Due to living in the country in addition to being an introvert, my social circle is smaller than a loop around the main isles of Walmart. It doesn't help that I resist the party mentality like a mule resists a bath. Soo yeah, that's me!
    So just where is Jesus in all of this creative mess of mine? I am really struggling with this one. How do I do all of this stuff for His Glory rather than my own glory? How to I seek His approval rather than the approval of people? I'm working on learning the answer to those questions. But, like most other things, it's a process.