Keep On Keepin’ On

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Life has a funny way of repeating itself. We sometimes can find ourselves in similar situations over and over again. The main theme of my life I’d have to say is heartache. And I don’t mean that in just a romantic way. Heart ache through betrayal from friends, enemies, even people I don’t even know – lies, conniving, plotting – just to see me fall. And throughout the years of being broken down and praying and crying out I always come back to the same word…WHY?

Why would God allow these things in my life? To teach me a lesson? Why am I continuously drawn to people who are waiting for me to turn around so they can stab me in the back? Why do people tell lies and get away with it? Why are they doing this to me? And what did I ever do to deserve such treatment?

In the past I’ve festered over these thoughts and feelings over long periods of time. But as I’ve grown in my faith, I’ve been able to accept it and KNOW there’s a purpose. There’s a reason. And while I do need to learn to not give my trust so easily, being a good person to people who end up taking advantage of that are suffering far more than I am. And rather than seeking revenge, I know it’s already been taken care of. Not necessarily by something bad happening to them, although I can’t deny it’s definitely crossed my mind wanting someone to get what they deserve, but I’ve learned that God’s timing is impeccable and perfect.

I could go on and on about the situations I’ve been in. From “friends” talking about me for no reason, to being pre-judged by people who don’t even know me, my ex’s entire family hates me because of a lie their family friend told about me, I’ve had people steal money from me, and others throw me under the bus to make themselves look good. I’m not sure if God is trying to make my skin thicker or what His plan is, but I do know for a fact I haven’t suffered in vain.

From an early age my parents and teachers at school would always say: “Do unto others, what you would want done to you.” Treat people how you would want to be treated, act with integrity, don’t lie, don’t do something that will hurt someone or their reputation, be kind, be generous, be loving, be genuine – at all times. I don’t understand why everyone hasn’t been taught these vital morals in life. I’ve even had self-proclaimed “Christians” do things against me and use me. It’s unbelievable and I’m constantly in awe of what people are capable of. My mom always says, “Don’t ever be surprised because everyone is capable of doing anything.” It’s true. It’s a sad truth, but I can’t let that keep me from continuing to do what is right.

There’s been only a couple times where I allowed someone to make me lose total control. Which I could have avoided easily, and regretted immediately after that I allowed someone to get to me like that. Most of the time though, since I wear my heart on my sleeve, in situations where I should be fuming in anger I end up crawling in a ball and sobbing. It hurts. I just can never understand.

Whether I’ve been left to celebrate my birthday alone, have had a “friend” try to get with my boyfriend in front of me, or been humiliated when I’ve never done anything wrong to anyone; rather than letting that make me bitter I’ve just learned to let those people go. I will never be afraid of letting new people in because that’s just where my heart is. I love having relationships with people and while I’ve had about a hundred different circle of friends so far, those who are true have never left and I’m ever so grateful for those few.

If you’re finding yourself in similar situations or feel like you can’t handle another person causing you pain; rest assured your pain has a purpose. While it may not seem so at first and sometimes things will get so hard you feel like your heart can’t take anymore, God’s plan will prevail and someday you will see what He had in store for you all along. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever suffer, we’re all human and even those you love will let you down, but as long and you’re living in the Lord’s truth, you’ll be able to pick yourself up, give grace, and keep on keeping’ on.

Truth For Today

“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9

“Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so all will go well with you. Then you will enter and occupy the good land that the LORD swore to give your ancestors.” – Deuteronomy 6:18

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To be Flawed, is to be Human

We’re all flawed.

Whether it’s physically, emotionally, spiritually or characteristically. We’re flawed. Every single one of us. With no exceptions. I don’t care who you are, where you’re from, if you wear Loubiton’s and drive a Porsche I can tell you right now, we have at least one thing in common. We’re flawed.

Physical flaws I feel like are the most difficult. You can cope with your emotional flaws. You can go to God and have your spiritual flaws wiped clean. You can evolve in character as you mature and become more wise. But physical flaws, you have to accept. Sure, some things can be fixed, but I think the first thing that needs to be worked on is the spirit.

I was born looking like a normal little baby girl. I had 10 little fingers, 10 little toes & I could persuade anyone with my baby blues. As I grew, a bone in both feet decided not to grow like the rest of me. When I realized that my feet were not “normal”, I would try to hide them. I have a short fourth metatarsal in both feet. Meaning, my fourth toe is stunted and not normal sized. It looks funny, it’s not cute (to me), and I have a hard time finding shoes that don’t bother it.

Growing up was tough enough as I battled being overweight for most of my adolescent years. Now not only was I “fat”, I had weird toes too. I never wore flip flops, I always would either wear tennis shoes or find sandals that covered the front part of my feet. I never wanted anyone to see them.

In middle school, I had to do a project with some classmates that I had just met that year in 8th grade. We rode home with one of the kids and his mom’s rule was you weren’t allowed to wear shoes in the house. I had worn some sandals that day to school and suddenly was faced with this dilemma of having to take my shoes off and expose my feet. I did so nonchalantly and acted as if nothing was out of the ordinary. We went out on the porch to sit and discuss our project when one of the boys noticed my odd looking feet. “Oh my gosh! What happened to your feet?!” I played it off and started laughing. I took my foot and wiggled it near him. He immediately jumped up acting as if there was a snake attached to my leg. It became a joke and I literally chased him around the house with my foot. It’s astonishing how some parents can allow their children to become so ignorant.

In high school I continued to hide my feet. At that point, I had never owned one pair of flip flops. I just didn’t like how my feet looked in them. I didn’t like how my feet looked period. When I’d wear sandals that were open toed but covered the front you could only see my first three toes then dead space where my fourth toe should be. I had a guy friend at the time my freshman year point out that it looked like I had “ninja turtle feet.” Thanks dude.

I think it was finally in my senior year that I decided I was ok with showing my feet and wearing flip flops. When I was a camp counselor at a church we took the kids to a water park and one of the boys thought my feet were the coolest things in the world. Another little girl asked, “what happened to your feet?” I said, “nothing baby, God made me this way.” She said, “God did that to you?!” I laughed it off and walked away. The curiosity of small children is endearing. My youngest niece is four and when she visited over the summer she asked what was wrong with my feet and that they looked weird. I explained to her that God made me have special feet so that I could be different. After that she proclaimed that nothing was wrong with them and that I was special.

The first time I ever got a pedicure I was so nervous. I feel like they’re just staring at my feet the whole time. Most people say they’re cute, some ask what happened, and a lot of people just stare. I was leaving a restaurant earlier this year and the hostess (who was an older woman) looked down as we passed by and continued to stare as I walked away. My friend and I couldn’t help but explode into laughter at her rudeness. Just this past weekend I was trying on shoes for my pageant and a man who was at the store with his wife stared intently at my foot as I walked around with one shoe on. Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

There are times I hate them. I just wish I could wake up with normal, pretty feet. I see pictures of families with their toes in the sand, my sister-in-law has a picture of her feet and my nieces feet with the same color polish, and pictures of couples sitting on the shoreline with their feet being tickled by the water. Sometimes I think the reason I’m still single is because guys are freaked out by my feet. Although I’m more comfortable with them and honestly don’t give a crap about what anyone thinks or says about them, I’m still hesitant especially when I first meet people. I still insist on wearing close-toed shoes on a first date or a first outing. I cross my ankles a lot when I don’t have shoes on to sort of mask the fact that my feet look weird.

Last year I went to a podiatrist. The only concern my mom has is that as I grow older, my toes will keep turning. My pinkie toe is already tucked under and my third toe leans to the right to sort of fill up the gap. The podiatrist was nice, he gently touched my feet and even when he was talking to me after taking my x-rays he continued to rest his hands on my feet which was nice considering I’ve never really had anyone just touch my feet like that. Except for my parents of course. He explained the bone in my fourth toe is very thin and even if I had surgery to correct it, it still won’t look normal because they can only extend it one centimeter. Not only that, but I would probably have to do one foot at a time, and have an apparatus sticking out of my foot that I would have to turn manually to extend my bone. And the fact that my bone is already so thin, it could weaken it even more which will make it more prone to break easily. His other option was amputating it and just cutting it off. My mom was furious that he would even suggest that.

I left with my spirits down, and fought back the tears. The reality that I had to live with odd-looking feet for the rest of my life dawned upon me, but after a few days I didn’t give it any more thought. This is me. This is who I am. I’m flawed, and I’m ok with that. This defect gives me character, and I think it has in a way made me a more tolerant and accepting person of people’s differences. It’s made me want to be an advocate for girls who maybe have the same or a different defect. It’s made me want to design comfortable but stylish shoes for women like me.

Sure, sometimes I feel like my feet reflect me. I feel like I can’t compare with the “perfect” girls, or I’ll just stare at someone’s pretty feet wishing mine looked like theirs. Don’t get me wrong, my feet are clean and I keep them looking right. You will never catch me without polish on my piggies. Sometimes I worry I’ll meet the man of my dreams and then when he realizes I don’t have cute feet he’ll skedaddle as fast as he can. But I KNOW the man of my dreams will really accept me for who I am, whether I have supermodel feet or not.

We all have flaws. We all have things that make us feel insecure. My challenge is that we embrace and start accepting our defects. Your flaws are not who you are. YOU are who you are. Your heart, your character, and your spirit is what will make people want to be around you. Not whether you have a hollywood smile, the perfect tan or long thick luscious hair (which is another thing I want haha). Just accepting who God made us, and admiring his creation. It’s easy to fix a crooked tooth, a lot harder to fix a crooked heart. Be warm. Be gracious. Be humble. Be generous. Be loving. Be true. Be YOU!

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– Here they are! My flawed little piggies 🙂

The Underlying Issue with Domestic Violence

I literally just heard a woman on national television talking about the Ray Rice scandal saying, “If a woman hits a man, she deserves to get hit back.” A fire started rising in my chest. WHAT? I seriously don’t understand that concept or why this seems to be a common thought across the board. I don’t care what a woman does whether she entices or provokes a man or not, a REAL man wouldn’t lay a finger on a woman. Period. Not even in a joking matter.

In the past I’ve been “man-handled”, not in a violent way so I can’t say I’ve been there, but I have a zero tolerance attitude towards it. Luckily I’ve been trained and know how to defend myself, but my first thoughts are that I shouldn’t have to. I had a “friend” who wanted to “get my attention” in a loud place and while I was walking away he grabbed my ponytail and pulled me back. You don’t even want to know how angry I became. He seemed so confused that I was so angry so later I explained I am a woman, NOT a dog and that he had no right to lay a finger on me. For any reason. The correct way would be to actually move your feet and touch my arm.

Why do men feel it’s ok to do this? Why don’t women speak up more in defense of themselves? There’s a combination of problems here. It’s not just one side, it’s both. Men aren’t being taught how to respect and have reverence for women, and women aren’t defending themselves. No matter how insignificant the situation may seem, even guys who I’ve dated that have “playfully” been rough with me, I have always said, “I am a lady. I’m not a boy, so don’t treat me like one.”

A woman is delicate. A woman is a jewel. She is beauty. Proverbs 31:10 says, “A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.” No matter what, that’s how EVERY woman deserves to be treated. She can be arguing, she can be disrespectful, she can be accusing, she can even be physical; but the true test of a man, is to be just that. A MAN. Walk away. Get yourself out of the situation. Anyways, a real man would never be attracted to that kind of woman anyways. And a good woman, would never accept that type of behavior.

This is something we need to address so that the generations behind us know that violence is not the solution to anything. If we teach them to surround themselves with good people, respect others, and treat everyone how they want to be treated, then it’s possible we could see a change being made. If it’s broken down to them that way and addressed at an early age and reinforced as they mature, I think it’s definitely something that will resonate with them for the rest of their lives.

Waiting For God’s Best

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It seems as I’ve gotten older, I continue to refine and be more specific as to what it is I’m looking for in a partner. If anything, a majority of my past relationships have taught me exactly what I’m NOT looking for. 

From my experience, a staggering number of men pretend to be what they are not. They want to end up with a good woman, so they play the part. But it’s all fake. They fake being cordial, they fake being a gentleman, they fake having respect for you, they fake having any sort of values and most of all they fake caring about you at all. Not just as someone they’re dating, but as a human being. If you can’t care about someone on a level of them being your brother or sister in Christ aside from being attracted to them, then there’s a problem. 

I’m holding out for someone special. Someone who will accept me for who I am, won’t judge me on past mistakes, and who has standards. Someone who challenges me to be the best version of myself (sometimes I lack motivation) and he will probably be someone just as picky as I am. I think it was Jefferson Bethke who said when he came to Christ he then started seeing all women as his sisters, even those he wanted to date he treated them as he would a sister.

Although it’s not easy waiting for someone worthy to come along, I know it will be so worth it. The time I spend in life groups, furthering my education, my career and focusing on volunteering opportunities rather than going on dates, will pay off. It seems as though when people try to “hook me up” with guys they rave about how successful he is and financially stable and whatnot. But that’s not what I’m looking for. What I’m holding out for is stability of the heart; a partner to not go through life with but enjoy life with, someone to laugh with (sometimes at), will hold me at my weakest and will be immediately calmed by the touch of my hand. Someone who doesn’t focus on material things, who looks at me as if I’m the only girl in the world, and will be ok with the fact that I MIGHT be better than them at some sports. Specifically ping pong. I realize no relationship is perfect no matter how good two people are, at the end of the day, we’re all human; but I know God’s best for me is out there somewhere. We just haven’t met yet…or it might be possible we have…