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My future husband

So my friend Kyler told me today who my future husband is going to be. I love him 🙂

He’s not a skinny little turd like me, he’s a big boy (not like a fatso or anything) with a big voice and an even bigger laugh. He has kindof short black hair and listens to indi music. he’s a man’s man but not the kind that dominates a relationship, just the kind thats enough of a bad A to lead ol Sarah Beth. He’s got some really cool tatoos that are artsy and in no way trashy. his earse are may be gauged. Everybody knows what a nice guy he is. He has blue eyes that say if ya fall i’ll allways catch you. and he also has ADHD, but he has it under controle.

So if you are a man and fit this description please ask me out. Kthnx!

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1. I am addicted to fantasy.

I can’t remember when it really started…so maybe it’s always been. I’ve been reading since I was really young and I can’t say when reading turned to obsession but it did and here I am. For as long as I can remember, I’ve almost literally ate books. I couldn’t read them fast enough. I couldn’t buy or borrow enough. Every single fiction book I could find, especially those with a heroine, I would.

These books gave me a world where I could call the shots. Whatever the story was, I would transport myself into it and mold it how I wanted it. I would make myself the heroine, able to take on anything. I was always very athletic, could fight and defeat most guys. Sometimes I had magical abilities, sometimes I was just incredibly smart. I always looked amazing, said the right thing, oozed confidence, and all the guys wanted to marry me. If I wasn’t reading a book, I was daydreaming inside one of the books.

This got to a very scary point. I almost disconnected with reality. Before bed every night, when I was all snuggled up under the covers, I would start imagining myself in one of the stories. This was a good segway between awake and asleep and helped me to fall asleep very fast.

I remember one night I was imagining myself in a magic story, where I was a young magician learning how to properly use magic. I don’t think I ever fell asleep, or maybe I did. But the imagining/dream was different than it ever had been before. It was real. Not in the sense that I was actually a magician, but that in my mind it was real. It was no longer just a fantasy, it was becoming my reality. And while I was going through this storyline in my head, I knew that there was something wrong. I knew that something wasn’t right. There was a battle going on for my mind, spiritual warfare right there in my bedroom. I remember having the worst headache I’d ever had and tossing and turning, trying to break out of the fantasy and get back to the REAL reality. Satan and his demons had a strong hold and tried to keep me locked into that world.

It was tempting. I was already pretty. I didn’t have to worry about being accepted. I always had a witty line to say. Everything was bright and green. I could defeat evil, every time. I had that one guy who loved me and would do anything for me. But God didn’t let me fall into that trap. His angels were fighting for me and used the headache to break me out of the fantasy, to let me know that it wasn’t real, that something wasn’t right. So I fought alongside them and suddenly I bolted upright in my bed, completely awake…free.

I still day dream. I still love reading and escaping for a little while. I still have that storybook romance waiting to be fulfilled. But ever since that night, I’ve never taken it too far. I’ve made sure to spend the majority of my time in the here and now. The here and now where I don’t always know what to say. Where I’m intimidated by women my age. Where I can’t wait for Prince Charming and settle for Prince No Name. Where I don’t seem to stand out at all. But where I have a relationship with God my Father, Lover and Protector and Redeemer of my soul. And that’s all I want.

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 18For Insignificantly smallthe wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

 19because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

 20For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

 21For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

 22Professing to be wise, they became fools,

 23and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

 24Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

 25For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 26For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

 29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

 31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

 32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

The gospel is the power of God and is used to bring salvation to anyone. It reveals the righteousness of God starting in faith and ending in faith. V16, 17

God has been revealed to all mankind since creation. Every aspect of his power and divinity are inherent in creation and every man has had the chance to understand and accept Him. V20

There are those who are unrighteous, who suppress the truth, that do not honor God or give Him thanks, who have dark hearts and futile thinking. They think they are wise but are fools and replaced God with mere symbols and images imitating His creation. V21,22,23

Because these people rejected God, He did not stop the influence of lust to turn their hearts impure. He did not stop them from dishonoring their bodies. He gave them up to their passions, exchanging love with the opposite to love with the same. He did not stop them from receiving the consequences and the curses that quickly follow these sins. He gave them up to their own minds, filled with evil and malice, covetousness and unrighteousness, envy and strife, murder and deceit. They became gossipers, slanderers, liars, thieves, cheaters, murderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless, and worse of all, inventors of evil. Though they understand their punishment, their curse, their death sentence, they continue in their lifestyle and encourage others to do the same. They exchanged God’s truth for lies. They did not see fit to acknowledge their holy Lord and so God let them follow the path they wanted. V24-32

God is not a God of dictatorship. He is not a puppet-master. He will not make someone do what they do not want to do. Those that want to have sex when they want, those that want to feel miserable, those that want to chase the money, those that want to be prideful, those are the people that are allowed to. Where does God stop you from doing so? When has He tied you to your bed so that you cannot get up and go buy drugs? When has He in any way kept you from what you want?

You were arrested? As a consequence of your own actions, doing exactly what you wanted to do! You were in a car wreck? Again, your actions are responsible not God. Will you curse God for Him allowing you to do what you want and so incur the consequences? You think He should let you have sex as much as you want but not actually get AIDS or pregnant? You think you should be able to sit on your butt all day and get promoted in your job?

Have there been instances that you felt God supernaturally working to keep you from pulling the trigger on that gun or from going to that party or from walking to that street corner? That is not a God that keeps you from what you want, that is a God recognizing that you do not truly want that! God knows you inside and out and can feel your hurts. He knows that you are trying to fill holes that you will never be able to fill. He’s trying to save you. Beware that you do not reject His rescues, because you have no guarantee that they will continue to come. Your heart may harden and His voice may fade away.

spaceball

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Fighting for Sanity

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know. Where the tree tops glisten and children listen to hear sleigh bells on the snow. I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, with every Christmas card I write. May your days be merry and bright. And may all your Christmases be white.”

 

Christmas really is the perfect time of year for me. It’s when hope is renewed, faith is strong, love is abundant, and cinnamon finds itself into everything we eat or drink. It’s happy time, you can’t stop the good feelings and the laughter and the community and the friendships from flourishing. I’m ready for this season in my life again. You’d think that you would hit an all-time low and then recover and never face it again. Which I guess is true, I’m just pretty good at finding new all-time lows. Lucky me, right?

I’m still working this latest one out. It’s hard to work from the end to the beginning, to start with my emotions and my reactions and work backwards to figure out the reasons behind them. It’s very disconcerting to be sad or angry and tired or frustrated and have no idea why. There’s always a little voice in my head going “Really? Why?”

My only solution is to change my surroundings. Maybe I’m depressed because I’m always alone. I never see my roommate, I’m awake when everyone is asleep, and my only human interactions are with my coworkers at work. So I’ve moved back home with my family to see if that doesn’t help. I never appreciated my family when I lived with them, mainly because they weren’t my family then. They were the people I co-existed with. Now that I want them to be my family, I’ve found it difficult to re-connect with them since I live so far away and have such a hectic schedule.  Living at home doesnt change my schedule. In fact, it makes my life a little more complicated I think because it’s farther away from work. But I think it’s worth it to come home to people, to have my sisters dying to tell me what happened that day, to have my brother beg for me to play Transformers with him, to be able to moan and complain about my day to my dad and have him laugh about it with me. It’s worth it to have people waiting for me every day, wondering when I’m coming home, asking what I’m doing later that day.

Scott asked me today if he could be the ring bearer for my wedding. I asked him why he would ask me that and he said “because you’re getting married soon.” Even my little 8 year old brother knows how desperately I desire to have my own family. Part of my moving out of the house was to create my own family and I’ve tried to do so by joining other families, being a mother to as many as I could, seeking dating relationships, and gathering together a “college” family. But these families didn’t last, and while I still value all the friendships I accumulated, they aren’t a daily reality anymore.

 

Maybe instead of looking for a new family, I should enjoy and develop the one I was born in.

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Ramblings

There are so many demons to fight. So many lessons to learn and implement, so many skills to use and streets to navigate. It’s overwhelming, it’s underwhelming. It’s too much and way too little. It’s real and it’s fake, imagination and reality. To be lonely is hard. To be lonely in a room of hundreds of people is suffocating. It’s debilitating. It’s demoralizing. It’s degrading. It’s easy to mask, easy to hide. But then again it’s hard. So very very hard. To pretend is what you have to do to survive. Because once you stop pretending, then the loneliness is not only a part of your reality, it’s a part of your identity. It becomes who you are, a self-fulfilling prophecy. A never-ending cycle that you can’t pull out of. A hole that you can’t fill, a vacuum of space that stops time while you are crushed with the pain. You want to reach out your hand but don’t have the strength to. You’re fully aware and yet fully deceived. You know the heroes among you, you can recognize their power. But your fear to alienate keeps you back. Your fear to be identified as the desperate, needy, clingy, drowning individual that you are keeps you from seeking help. You want the healthy to want to visit you in the psych ward. You want someone to see that you just want a friend. You’re tired of filling your life and your bed with people who don’t really care about you. You’re tired of seeking friendships with people who are just as screwed up as you are. So you pray and you pray and you pray that God will send you help. That He will rescue you. And you try and seek after Him every second of every day, to fill those empty holes with His presence. But it is increasingly harder and it’s increasingly easier to be distracted by the nonsense around you. It’s easier to send a txt than it is to pray. It’s easier to feel safe when you sleep with arms around you than when you read a verse. Not even the peace of God lasts you. It too fades away and you have to be re-charged, just like the empty friendships that come and go. It’s no wonder you pray so earnestly for that spouse. Because once he comes, the waiting is over. You’ll finally have someone who loves you. But God loves you? It’s a truth that cannot be denied…but hard to realize. What is love? Is it possible to be loved but not feel like it? Is it then my fault that I don’t feel loved?

How can I feel when my very skin is numb, when I’m floating in empty space where sound and light and warmth can’t survive. There’s nothing above or behind me, below or in front of me. There is no up or down or left or right. The joystick is broken and there is no going home. It’s just how things are. This is reality. You don’t miss comforts when you have never experienced them. You forget about how good a bed feels when you’ve slept on the ground for years. You adapt to your surroundings and become thankful for the days you aren’t insane. Because who says love exists when you can’t see it? It’s all around us, it changes peoples lives, it’s all there is, it’s in the DNA of every molecule of life and unlife. Love is not real until it punches you in the face.

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Learning to Lean

The past few months have been pretty cool God-wise. Little by little, our relationship is growing from acquaintances to good friends. I’m really starting to realize how much He cares for me. I can feel His love for people overwhelming me at times, which is new for me. I’ve always been empathetic or wanted to help people but never before have I started crying just because I’m so happy about who a person is or proud of what they are doing…even people I don’t really know. I feel God’s presence a lot more often now…it’s pretty cool, it’s like God taps me on the shoulder just to remind me He’s still here and in my head I always say “oh hey God” or “oh hey Jesus”…like our own little joke :).

I’ve gotten pretty consistent about doing a little time in the morning with Him, although I’m still working on the whole discipline thing. I’m done with Proverbs 31 woman so now I’m reading through Celebration of Discipline again as my bible study, because I still haven’t gotten it lol. I read my Oswald Chambers, a little excerpt from My Princess (this little book that has letters from The King to His Princess, based on a certain verse in scripture…ministers directly to my heart everytime, just like God was talking to me right now.) and read a little of the Bible as well. That’s usually all I have time for, that and prayer, before I have to rush off to work.

Paul, the owner of the company I work for, had a heart attack a few days ago. I walked into work and he was in the process of having it right then, firefighters were walking in behind me. I’ve never had anyone I know or care for even go to the hospital for something possibly life-threatening so I was completely freaked out. I tried to hold it together as much as I could but when Paul was leaving he gave me a hug and told me not to worry and I couldn’t stop from crying, I had to go to the back and try and compose myself. He’s doing ok, but the doctor said if he doesn’t get rest and stop his workaholic lifestyle, he’ll die. So everyone in the company is stepping up and taking charge of different aspects so he can stay at home and sleep. Eric took his car so he can’t go anywhere and everyone has been ordered not to call or txt him and not to respond to him if he calls or txts us. That was a disappointment to me because I really wanted to send him encouraging txts, to let him know I cared for him and am praying and such. But I found a way around it 🙂 I asked God to give me encouraging verses or words for Paul and I’ve been writing them on little cards and mailing them to him. I don’t sign them, so they’re anonymous. I like it better that way, I know I have that desire deep in my flesh to get recognition for things I do and instead I just want to hear that my cards really helped him in a dark point of his life.

So as manager, I’m going to be at the store all the time now. I gotta pick up all the shifts that can’t be covered until we hire some more staff. So in just an hour or so I will be opening it up and I think I work all the way until close.

One thing I love about my job is the people I meet and the relationships I form. At our company meeting, Tiffany said it best by saying that we never know the impact we might have on someone. I want to have an impact! We have a regular that everyone calls Granny and she told Tiffany that she keeps coming back because she knows that she is cared for here. Just thinking about it now brings tears to my eyes because that is exactly how I want everyone who walks through our doors to feel. That store is my home, and everyone who comes in is my guest. I want to do everything I can to make them feel comfortable and I want to listen to them and hear their hearts and encourage and equip them for their day or their week as much as I can. The past few days, Oswald Chambers has been talking about how Christ is supposed to flow living rivers through us and that we seek a strong relationship with Him, not so that we can benefit but so that these rivers constantly flow through us and affect everyone around us. That’s what I want! And I think that’s what I’ve been feeling, in small doses, the past month or so. Oswald says to “never allow anything to come between you and Jesus Christ-not emotion or experience-nothing must keep you from the one great sovereign Source.”

That’s one reason I told Michael we couldn’t date anymore. I don’t think an occasional date is bad but we were moving towards a relationship and I was already starting to shirk responsibilities a little bit at work, spending my extra time with him rather than my family or developing my relationship with God like I wanted, and we had already fallen to temptation a couple times. The whole thing was taking my focus off of helping Paul out with the company and trying to really understand this whole relationship with a Being who isn’t physical (ps, those of us with the love language of touch…how does God fulfill that?! I can understand Him fulfilling those with words of affirmation or gifts or service or something but what about physical touch?). He wasn’t very happy about it and tried to convince me otherwise. I’m pretty sure he’s still mad at me, but I just hope he understands in time.

I’ve been looking for some good praise verses in the Bible because I have started to want to praise God when I pray. Like just tell Him how awesome He is. And I feel like I get stuck in the same kind of things to say and I can’t branch out. Today I ready Ephesians 1:15-20 and I liked that…I might memorize that one. If anyone knows of some more, let me know!

I’m not giving up on my ministry ideas…I’m just having to postpone a little bit. Beto is having to postpone as well, he’s working on making Kidridge freaking awesome at TCAL. But I’m really excited to see it happen!

Warren Samuels spoke at TCAL this morning. I really miss that man. He and Paul have such an authentic passion for God and what He’s doing…it’s so refreshing and inspiring. I miss being with both of them. Hopefully I’ll be able to invest some time in them in the next few weeks. It’s hard because there are so many people that I haven’t seen in forever that I really want to hang out with. Maybe I should make a list? That might make it easier lol.

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One of many struggles

It’s so hard. It never seems to get easier. How can I open myself up to someone I barely know? How can they expect me to? And then how can they be mad when I finally do? How can they reject me for who I am? Isn’t that what you wanted? To know who I am? Why else would you ask? Do you want me to just tell you what you want to know, what makes you feel good? Because I can do that. I know exactly what you want to hear.

Is it my fault that I’m confused? That maybe I think I should get to know somebody well before I start deciding I really like them? Should I not be upset if the level of physical is not equal to the level of emotional intimacy? Am I supposed to be ok with skipping over several important aspects and steps in a dating relationship?

How dare you.

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