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I know I’m not a special snowflake….

I’ve been seeing the word “basic” used a lot lately to describe females and I didn’t know what it meant. Kids these day with their slang. To be honest, I’m still not 100% sure exactly what it is even after reading this Buzzfeed list but I have concluded that I am not one of these girls. People seem to be making fun of them but if that’s what you like, that’s what you like.

Ever since I was a little kid, I always wanted to fit in. I always felt like I stood out and not in a good way. I didn’t want to be called out for looking or acting different from everyone else. Most of this had to do with the fact that I was one of the very few Asian kids in my school. While I wasn’t ashamed of being Asian, I also wanted to blend in with everyone else. School is rough and kids will tease you for anything that makes you stand out. And believe me I got a lot of teasing.

Growing up, it was always a struggle to be my own person and fit in at the same time. Which is of course what (almost) everyone else is doing. Some just do it better than others. There are some people who have the gift and ability to do whatever they want to do and no one will question them or tease them. In fact, they become the trend setters and everyone wants to do what they do.


As I’ve become an adult, the struggle is still there though I’ve discovered lately that it’s perfectly fine not to be like everyone else. It’s good to stand out when everyone else around you appears to be the same. Sometimes though it can also feel like a bad thing because you feel like because you stand out, it makes others feel uncomfortable because they don’t like different.

Then I got through times in life where I’m living one of these situations:

  • There are some days when I feel like I’m the last one to realize something and I wonder what’s wrong with me that everyone else knew this before I did.
  • There are other days when I’m the first one to get to something and I wonder what’s wrong with me or it because t no one else has done this yet.

I can’t figure this out. I feel really weird about it. I’m pretty positive that other people experience it as well but they just don’t let on.

Here’s the thing. I know that I’m not so incredibly unique that only these things happen to me and no one else. I am NOT a special snowflake. I can’t possibly be the only person among all the billions of people who live on this planet plus all the billions of people who lived before me that go through these things. Maybe people don’t talk about it and just learned how to deal with it on their own.

It’s not that I need approval from others. It’s just I personally hate the feeling of not knowing how to handle a situation when everyone else around me either does or is pretending that they do. To quote Beth from Little Women: “But I don’t like being left behind.”

The crazy thing in all this is that I know however that I am not the same as everyone else and that’s a good thing too!

“For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,  so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:4-6a)

Ultimately, I’m happy with the way I am and have become. I greatly enjoy my interests and my quirkiness and humor. I know that there are people who do appreciate it and others who don’t get me at all. That’s ok. Just like I’m not going to get along with everyone else, I don’t expect universal approval. I still want to fit in but I don’t want to be like everyone else.

Most of you have figured this out YEARS ago but as we all know I’m a late bloomer. Sometimes I just need to talk myself through these situations to figure it all out. That’s just something that’s uniquely part of being me. And I do like being me.

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We Come Running

Hopefully by the time you read this I will either have completed Week 3 Day 2 of Couch to 5k or I will be about to start it. I swear all my posts aren’t going to talk about running but because that’s what I’m doing a lot lately, it’s been on my mind. I don’t post my runs or my workouts on my Facebook though I will occasionally talk about it on Twitter. Otherwise I’ve actually been pretty good about keeping it on the down low. Why?

Because I feel like everyone else can do it better than me. Even though I’m pleased with myself that I can currently run for 3 minutes at a time without stopping seems like it would be uber lame to everyone else. Especially to all my friends who run all the time. (You can run 3 minutes? I ran 3 HOURS) Also multiple posts on any subject that seems like humble brags get annoying because it seems like people are just begging for applause and approval.

Yes yes I know. I’m supposed to be doing this for myself and not for anyone else. I know that the fact that I’ve gotten up and have been running for four weeks now is loads better than all the other people who keep saying they are going to run but don’t.

And I am quite pleased at my progress. Currently I alternate between running outside and on a treadmill. I listen to music while I run mainly because that gets me going more so than an audiobook would. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE audiobooks but I when I listen to them I need to concentrate fully and I can’t do that while running. My mind wonders and the beat of the music is good background noise and keeps me from hearing my own breathing.

I just have a feeling of being late to the game and that everyone else is doing it better than me. I’ve been reading message boards and Reddit on other people doing Couch to 5k and it’s both been encouraging and discouraging at the same time.It’s great to know that other people are out there just like me and finding themselves being able to do things that they thought they couldn’t do. It’s super motivational and I find myself getting pumped up for my next run.

But then at the same time, I feel like I’m still doing it wrong. Like for example, people talk about the number one reason why they prefer to run outside vs the treadmill is because they get bored on it. Call me weird but I don’t find it boring at all. Maybe it’s because of my weird overactive imagination but I enjoy using the treadmill. I know that running outside is better for you but sometimes I can’t do it everyday. I’m not comfortable running during rainy weather and sometimes the heat is too much for me. That being said if I get the chance, I DO run outside but some days I’d just rather head to the gym and treadmill it up.

Or the fact that I feel like I’m running too slow. Yes, I know I’m only week 3 so I still have a long ways to go before I’ll be able to do a 5k in the 30 minute range. It’s just a bit discouraging to read other people’s experience where they are running faster and still in the same time frame as I am.

I know that it’s ok to be different. I know that not everyone has the same experiences that I do and as long as I keep it up, I’m doing a lot better than I was even just a few weeks earlier. I know I need to stop comparing myself to others. I guess it’s just the feeling of everyone else knows what they’re doing, they’ve been doing it forever, and I’m behind.

Interestingly my devotional for today touched on a lot of the very things I’ve been struggling with lately regarding running and my faith. Sometimes I feel like everyone else is so grounded in their faith and they seem to not feel shaken even when bad things happen. I feel left behind because I still struggle and even though I’m doing everything I can to strengthen my faith, I still feel left behind. Even though I’m not giving up on my faith by any means lately it’s been easy to feel discouraged.

But I know I need to keep at it. I’m not about to stop just because of what everyone is doing or how they act. My faith (just like my running) is my own experience and I need to keep at it at my own pace. This devotional focusing on Hebrews 12 sums it up better than I ever could.

Just keep running. Keep persevering. Don’t give up.

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How secure are you about your insecurity?

Have you ever read something and you felt like OMG this is totally speaking to me. That this must have been written for me. And you wonder why on earth you didn’t know about this before? And then you want to tell everyone about it even though you know it won’t have the same impact on them that it did you?

This happened to me the other night when I finally read So Long, Insecurity by Beth Moore. I normally don’t read a lot of Moore’s books. I once did a Bible study of hers but it was quite long and there was a lot of “homework” involved.  It had been sitting in my library TBR pile (which seems to be never-ending) but over the weekend something happened that made me feel like God wanted me to finally read the book. And I started and finished it in one day, which is really rare for me with non fiction books. Apparently I really needed it.

While almost the majority of everyone deals with some type of insecurity (there may be a lucky few of you who don’t at all), we all don’t suffer for the same reasons. What may bother you might not bother someone else. And we may not be able to understand someone else’s issues.

Insecurity is a very ugly thing and causes us to act in ways that are not appealing. A lot of times we really try to hide the fact that we feel this way. For me, a good bit of my insecurity is coming from wanting to feel like I’m normal and not standing out, but feeling like I’m failing immensely. Part of this comes from growing up and physically standing out of the crowd when I wanted to blend in but instead got teased for it.

As an adult, I’ve learned and accepted (though you may not believe it) that I’m unique and it’s perfectly fine that I don’t share the same interests or characteristics as everyone else. As I stated last week, I’m happy with the person I’ve become and while I want to make myself a better person FOR myself, I’m cool with what I do.

It sound silly, even to me as I type this, but I struggle with wanting to just be seen as normal. I feel when I tell other people about things I like or something I’m excited about, other people don’t seem to care. I think because I care so (ok, too) much about what other people think I tend to notice facial expressions or pick up little things more than others. I notice when someone darts their eyes away, gets restless, looks bored, sighs, changes the subject, etc.

Or other people, because they aren’t as interested, tend to knock down things I talk about. This may just be their personality but to me it feels like what I am excited about isn’t worth their time. It’s one thing when I tell a random stranger and they don’t care. But when I tell someone who I do care about and their reactions seem to be bored or uninterested, I feel like I should just shut up because what I have to say isn’t interesting to them. Instead of lashing out, I tend to withdraw.

I realize my personality is different from others. I may also act in different ways than other people. If someone doesn’t like something I do, while inwardly I may think but why not?!, outwardly I’m not going to tell them they are stupid for it. If someone likes something that I don’t, while I may say I don’t like it I won’t tell them it’s stupid. I’m so worried about feeling stupid in front of other people who I would never want to make someone else feel that way because I know how horrible that feeling can be. I feel empathy towards people. I also may overly project how I feel on others.

Anyways all this can lead to some of the feelings I have about being insecure. So when I picked up the book and started reading it, it was like reading a book directly written for me. It’s good to know then that I’m not alone.

I tried not to quote the entire book but these were some of the passages that REALLY stood out to me.

Men are not our problems, it’s what we are trying to get from them that messes us up. Nothing is more baffling that our attempt to derive our womanhood from our men. We use guys like mirrors to see if we’re valuable. Beautiful. Desirable. Worthy of notice. Viable. We try to read their expressions and moods in order to determine whether it’s time act smart and hard to get or play dumb and needy. (page 7)

Are we honestly going to insist on drawing our security from people – men or women – who are oblivious to the inordinate amount of weight we give to our estimation of us? (page 9)

Insecurity refers to a profound sense of self-doubt, a deep feeling of uncertainty about our basic worth and our place in the world. Insecurity is associated with chronic self-consciousness, along with a chronic lack of confidence in ourselves and anxiety about our relationships. The insecure man or woman lives in constant fear of rejection and a deep uncertainty about whether his or her own feelings and desires are legitimate. (page 17)

The insecure person also harbors unrealistic expectations about love and relationships. These expectations, for themselves and for others, are often unconscious. The insecure person creates a situation in which being disappointed and hurt in relationships is almost inevitable. Ironically, although insecure people are easily and frequently hurt, they are usually unaware of how they are unwitting accomplices in creating their own misery. (page 23)

We can be so blessed in certain relationships that our unrealistic expectations often seem met and, therefore, reasonable. We can get away with thinking we’re secure people because, for a time, we have the important things just like we want them. But then change happens, and suddenly we are thrown for a severe emotional loop. We realize we weren’t secure. We were spoiled. One way we can detect insecurity is by our knee-jerk reaction to any level of change in a relationship, particularly if we perceive that the focus has shifted away from us. (page 25)

Overwhelmingly, the men used one word to describe what they do when they feel insecure: withdraw. If they don’t overtly withdraw, they will probably behave in a way, whether consciously or unconsciously, that will make their love ones withdraw. One way or the other, a man who feels insecure will often force space. If quietness doesn’t work, excessive irritation, agitation, or anger will usually do the job……Generally speaking men withdraw when they feel insecure and women cling. Men give off the don’t mess with me vibe. Women give off the please mess with me vibe. (page 194-195)

Women who struggle with insecurity are particularly taken with two divine attributes: omnipotence and omniscience. (page 208) People who are chronically insecure often have an overwhelming tendency to become control freaks. We feel most secure when our environment is in control and since no one is able to control it to our satisfaction, we decide we have to do it ourselves. If someone would do it and do it right, we wouldn’t have to take over, so it’s not really our fault, we reason. It’s our responsibility. (page 209)

People do what they want to do. You can’t make them do something else. You can’t force them. You can’t change them. You can’t deliver them. Only God can…..When we try to do God’s job, we get in God’s way. (page 214)

We can’t control what we don’t know and we can’t secure what we can’t see. (page 214)

There is knowing. And there is knowing too much. (page 218)

When God initiates, He equips us to handle. Even though unsolicited information might have caused pain and great conflict, if God initiated the revelation, He had a goal in mind that was steeped in great love. Even if He used a messenger you didn’t like, HE worked through His sovereignty to open your eyes to something vital…..When we scratch and claw to dig information out of the dirt, we don’t get the same kind of grace that accompanies divine revelation. (page 219)

We pry because we are insecure and then we are more insecure because we pried. God is the only one who can know a person’s every thought, every motive, every temptation, and every flaw yet still feel good about himself. If we want to become secure women of God, we must cease asking questions we can’t handle the answer to. (page 220-221)

The goal in our female relationships should be to encourage one another’s security. Not enable one another’s insecurity. (page 289)

Any time insecurity hits you can be sure that you are afraid of something…..When we set certain conditions for trust, we offer the enemy of our souls the perfect playground for toying with our minds No, he can’t read our thoughts but he can certainly study our behaviors. Once he pinpoints our emotional Achilles’ heel, he draws back the bow and aims the poisonous dart straight at it. He figures out what we’re most afraid of, and then he taunts us unmercifully with expert marksmanship. (page 324)

So if you’re still reading down to here:

To sum it up, I really got a lot out of this book. The situation this weekend was one where my insecurities were coming at me full force. I’m the type of person that instead of lashing out towards other people when this happens, I beat up on myself even more. The whole section about “wanting to know more because you fear” really spoke to me because that’s exactly what was happening. Had I not read this book right after that happened, I would be a mess right now because I’d be dwelling on the limited information I have and would want to keep trying to find out more. But by doing so it would hurt me and I’d just keep repeating the cycle. Instead, I feel like God gave me tools to learn how to combat it and move toward a more positive way to deal with these.

I’m not perfect nor will I ever be. I know that I have many things to work out and insecurities like these are some of them. But I know that with God, he’ll help me through it all.

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11) 

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A Late Bloomer Finally Gets It

Last week I talked about wearing masks and believing the lie that God could never love us. Here’s the second part to that series.

We’re so afraid that the dream can’t come. That if someone actually knew the real us, saw behind the mask, before the makeup that they would walk away. Our fear is to be known and be rejected. And when those things that we fear keep us from being loved and they are held in front of my face, we believe every bad thing about us.

It’s really funny how there’s a fine line as to how much Christians will take when it comes to openness and authenticity. We constantly talk about how we need to be real with other believers and that it’s important to share our problems because we shouldn’t face things alone. And that it’s good to do this in a safe environment with those we trust.

But at the same time if we see someone publicly talk about their struggles, we say they are being too open, over sharing, and some things are best left private. And then we start judging them, condemn them, and even try to shame them for acting this way and sharing it with the world without offering any help at all.

Thus we then repeat the cycle of never sharing anytime we’re going through something tough in life because we need to keep it all together on the outside because as Christians we’re supposed to be able to trust God in everything and never worry.

We can’t have it both ways can we?

Are we afraid to see struggles in other people’s lives because it brings out to light the ones we have in our own? Do we see someone having struggles and feel “blessed” because we don’t have that going on in our lives? Do we just not want to deal with anyone else and their problems because we have our own mess to deal with? Do we place perfect pictures on Facebook of how great our lives are because we are genuinely happy or because we want to brag? Is the intention to make someone jealous or just to show a happy moment?

The last five pics on Facebook I posted are

  1. a screenshot of Josh Groban retweeting me
  2. Me and my friends’ adorable baby
  3. A pic of my move in a tabletop game where I die.
  4. My friend and his baby making the exact same face
  5. All the flights of beer my friends and I were about to sample.

What were the reasons for me behind posting these? Well honestly, either out of sheer excitement at the moment or the baby being so darned cute. I don’t go on trips to photographic places, I don’t have an awesome boyfriend/husband who cleans my car AND cooks me dinner, I personally don’t have a very cute baby, and I haven’t recently had a major life event that I can share with everyone. Therefore I don’t feel like my life is anything anyone would be jealous over. Even IF I wanted to impress anyone, the people I would want to see “how awesome my life is right now” don’t follow any of my social media and therefore have no idea what is going on in my life at the moment. I’m not trying to get likes on these photos to make me feel validated. And let me tell you, getting a billion notifications is not fun either. I experienced that with my Josh Groban retweet. It makes me not want to ever be a celebrity. That was not a humble brag for the record.

I think sometimes I use social media simply just to make sure I’m not alone in how I feel and to see if there is anyone else that can validate my thinking so I’m not weird. I realize that not everyone will be excited about the things I am interested in. I’m not out for universal approval. If I were I’d be failing like a champ because I’ll never get it.

“Really Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time”

And yet…

Right now I’m at a point in my life where I fully enjoy all the interests that I have. It’s taken me a while to realize and accept this. I’m a late bloomer. I know this. I’m sure there are many of you who figured this out the day you were born.

I’m going to tell you this though. It’s hard. It’s really hard when you are excited about something, either an interest that you have or something that you’ve accomplished, and NO ONE can share in your excitement with you. Either they simply don’t care or they don’t share the interest so when you try to explain it, they don’t get it or understand why you’re so excited. And then someone else will come along with something everyone else can relate to and you’re just left alone in the dust.

For example: there are many times when I like something and I’m literally the only female in the group of people I hang around with that does. There have been many times when I’ve been considered one of the guys when it comes to shared interests. It’s great fun during that specific time period because I enjoy stuff like beer, tabletop gaming, and comics. But then they go back to their significant others who are the complete 180 of me and I’m left alone. And it makes me feel like I have to be something/someone else in order to have that too. That there’s something wrong with me where I’m cool enough to do one thing but it’s not enough to have everything else.

It’s hard to watch all my female friends go through the process of being single to being a girlfriend, wife, and mother while I’m left behind. And now that I’m literally the last one of my girlfriends to be single, it’s sometimes hard to not think if I’m doing something wrong or if there’s something wrong with me. There’s also the Christian side of this that tells you you can’t pursue and you need to wait. And also the view that if a guy wants something, he’ll go after it. Well with that logic, what happens to all the women who are never asked? Does this mean they are never wanted? What’s going on here?

I believed it was my fault that no one wanted to go out with me and that the responsibility for it rested squarely on my shoulders. If I were more spiritual, or more beautiful, or less opinionated guys would be into what I was selling.

But I know that it’s not true. I know that I can never be what I’m not. God has made me into the way I am and while I can tweak and work on things, I’m ultimately the person that I am.

Something I’m trying to accept: Even if no one else I know personally likes something I do, it does not mean that I am doing something wrong or that I am so weird and must change myself.

I’ve always felt like an outsider and that something must be weird with me because no one else likes what I like.  No, I don’t think I’m some sort of special snowflake that is so incredibly unique. When I really think about it, even though I would have liked to have been part of what everyone else does, I’ve always done my own thing. I’ve always gravitated towards things that the majority doesn’t really go after – from types of food I like, to TV shows, to books I read, even down to celebrities I like. Almost everything I like, the majority of people I know won’t be into it because I discovered it on my own. It suits me fine to have my interests but it would just be awesome to be able to share in the excitement with people you actually know. There’s always the internet but when you’re with friends, it feels odd standing out.

But I’m learning to accept that it’s ok to be different. I mean I wish people wouldn’t put me down for the things I like even if they don’t like them. That’s actually something I’ve never understood. If someone is genuinely excited about something and they tell you about it (in a non bragging way, but still) why on earth would you shoot them down with a “Why do you like [certain thing]? That’s so stupid.” There are many things that many of my friends do that I have no interest in. It doesn’t lessen what they do just because I don’t.

There are hard days. Yes. I look at many Christian women who are strong believers, awesome at what they do, are gorgeous, and yet they are single. I’ve read or heard them say they struggled with it because they didn’t/don’t really want to be in that situation.I can’t figure out why in the world they are single. And it makes me wonder if THEY can’t find anyone, what makes me think that I can have any hope?

But whatever God wants to happen will happen. I don’t know His ultimate plans but right now I do know that I’ve enjoyed becoming the person that I am now. And while yes, I can always work on some things, I am happy with how I turned out. I am who I am. I come with quirks, flaws, and baggage. I think my laugh sounds too loud and my sneezes weird everyone else out. But you know what? I’m happy. I’ve reached that point in my life where I’m not going to change myself just to get someone else. I’m not going to try pretend to be someone I’m not just to keep and maintain any sort of relationship. If someone wants me to be something I cannot ever be and doesn’t allow my true self to be appreciated then you’re not meant to be in my life in that particular way.

I’m no longer hiding behind any more masks. This is me.

And me is awesome.

We have some pretty big ideas of how our lives should go. We feel pretty strongly about what we don’t want to happen, and we’re perfectly willing to spend our entire lives fretting and fussing and not trusting that—whatever it is—God is for ushttp://shereadstruth.com/2014/07/15/please-thank-2/

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Don’t Believe the Lie

Although I laugh and I act like a clown
Beneath this mask I am wearing a frown

This is going to be a two part series. Part 1 is from other people’s thoughts and then part 2 will be next week with my own thoughts.

Funny, I had been planning for a few weeks to write a blog post on this subject. Then we had a guest preacher on Sunday which can be hit or miss depending on the subject matter and/or style of teaching. This week it turned out to be a hit because the sermon ended up being almost exactly what I was going to write on. I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE GOD.

I’ve paraphrased the sermon here, so not direct quotes but pretty much the gist of what I got out of it.

We’ve all got troubles. But we don’t like letting other people know that we do.

Ephesians 6:10-17 talks about putting on the armor of God so, among the things you will defend yourself against are flaming arrows. These arrows show us our shame, remind us of our secrets, and whispers the lie that God could never love you.

The power of this lie is that it plays on our deepest fear, which is that we want someone to KNOW us, the REAL us and not the person that we pretend to be on a job interview. We want to allow them to see the skeletons that are in the closet but also want that same person to love us.

We’re so afraid that the dream can’t come. That if someone actually knew the real us, saw behind the mask, before the makeup that they would walk away. Our fear is to be known and be rejected. And when those things that we fear keep us from being loved and they are held in front of my face, we believe every bad thing about us.

We try to defend ourselves by putting out a version of ourselves that we think is lovable. We take all the real stuff and put up yellow caution tape and say keep out. We put up the good stuff on Facebook because what will happen if others see all the other stuff? They’ll walk away.

“When you meet somebody for the first time, you’re not meeting them. You’re meeting their representative”. Chris Rock

We only show the version of us that we think others might love. We only get out the stuff that we think is worthy of love.

What if someone saw behind the mask? What would someone say if they really know us?

Satan shows you your sin and tells you God doesn’t love you. God shows you His Son and says “Oh yes I do.”

A friend of mine wrote a comment in a Facebook group we’re in and gave me permission to share parts of it here. I feel like it pretty much summarizes what the message on Sunday was saying but with a personal touch.

I stopped dating when I was 19 and didn’t go on another date until I was 23 ( I think?). Guys. Never. Asked. Me. Out. I went on about it kind of ad nauseam on the blog back in the day, and everyone had a reason for it that read kind of like these articles. I was too “picky”, I was too “contentious”, I was too “masculine”, I was too chubby and didn’t care for my physical appearance enough to attract a man. All the guys I knew were *right* not to ask me out because I was, apparently, at 23, a hateful spiteful disgusting hag.

The gross thing is, I *believed* them. I believed it was my fault that no one wanted to go out with me and that the responsibility for it rested squarely on my shoulders. If I were more spiritual, or more beautiful, or less opinionated guys would be into what I was selling.

Between 23 and 25 I began to start rejecting the “theology” that had kept me single for so long. I started Online dating and saying yes to everyone, and I went on a lot of dates with a lot of disappointing men. No, not “they have a blue collar job and that’s beneath me” disappointing. “I can’t carry a conversation” disappointing, “I have no real life plans” disappointing, “I figured it was about time for me to stop being an irresponsible playboy and settle down” disappointing. I thought that these kinds of guys would be the only ones who could ever possibly like or be interested in someone like me, because the message I heard constantly and internalized was “You’re not good enough.” I was beyond settling, I thought I needed to find someone out there who was willing to settle *for* me. “You’re not good enough” resonated with me because it was something that I had internalized a LOT as a bullied child and a young adult who just never felt she could chin up on the adequacy bar. No matter what I did, I always felt like people around me were disappointed. That was baggage I carried into my relationships.

After a four month relationship with “I didn’t finish high school and am dangerously emotionally attached to my mother” disappointing, I started to suspect that there was a common denominator in the kinds of guys who asked me out. — They were guys who wanted to date the kind of woman I was trying to sell myself as. The idyllic quiet, unassuming, unquestioning sweet gentle good Christian girl I was trying to learn to be. They wanted someone who was going to mother them, care for them, make them happy and solve all their problems. The Conservative church had taught me that I was supposed to be a problem solver. My role was to be a “helpmeet” and if I couldn’t live up to whatever that entailed for whatever specific man I was supporting, then I was a failure as a woman. I finally had to come face to face with reality: I could never be that woman.

Thankfully, I had been becoming involved in a less conservative church over the years, with women who reeducated me in who I was. I was loved regardless of my doing, and that my ideas were not less worthy simply because they originated in my female mind. These strong women of faith retaught me to trust my own discernment when it came to seeking out God’s plan for my life. I came out of that season and I began to get a different perspective on dating: What if — instead of waiting on guys who didn’t ask me out to take me on a date, or accepting whatever crumbs might fall off that fundamentalist table — I began to date the kinds of guys *I* wanted to marry? Decent guys with good life plans who shared my goals and interests. So I began to consciously seek those guys out. I worked hard to surround myself not with guys who talked a good “spiritualized” game, but with guys who were engaged in their careers, who set goals for themselves, and who had hobbies and interests beyond impressing people with big talk and being seen at Church and friend events.

All this to say, sometimes we put too much emphasis on the asking. At the end of the day, in any marriage, you both have to learn to make decisions together, as a couple. If you know what you want out of a relationship and you see those qualities in another person, then run after that! There is no biblical mandate that says you can’t. Don’t internalize the story that you are only worth what washes up on the beaches of your life, or you might end up with a bunch of six pack rings and some kelp and a lot of time on your hands.

Well said. Probably better than what I’ll be saying next week, but I’ll still give it a shot.

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SOAP Moments or When I Say Stupid Stuff

Two of the faults that people call me out on all the time is the fact that I overthink and that I can be too quiet sometimes. They tell me that I should talk more and not worry about how I come across to others.

But want to know why I’m so paranoid about the things I say?

I wish I was one of those people who say clever things all the time. Every word that comes out of their mouth is either witty or full of humor. They are the eloquent speakers who never need to write or practice beforehand because everything that comes out of their mouth is golden. You know who these people are and you know who you are. It’s a gift.

Instead I am someone who says awkward and stupid things if I don’t think carefully before I speak. I don’t know why it happens. I mean believe me, I really hate all the word vomit that just pours out. I say things that make no sense. I say things that could make people uncomfortable. I say unnecessary information. I sometimes hurt people.

Examples:

  • One of my best friends was having a mild allergic reaction from taking a sip of my strawberry margarita. While in my head I was genuinely concerned and wanted to help, because I was scared for him what came out of my mouth instead was some stupid remark about I hope he doesn’t choke to death. His response was appropriate in which he yelled at me for making him panic more and to which I felt like a horrible person and went to the bathroom and cried.
  • Someone can ask me a very vague question and then for reasons unbeknownst to me, I end up blabbing things I had no intention of bringing up earlier and I can totally see that the person doesn’t care and is only nodding out of politeness.
  • When I’m emotional, my filter seems to come down and I will say things that shouldn’t be said because they are mean and hurtful. Maybe it is true, but I should have either not said it at all or just used some tact. I hate it when I hurt someone because of how I was personally feeling at the moment.

When moments like these happen, I call them SOAP moments. SOAP moments refer to a time back when I was 18 and working a summer job. There was a guy working with me that I was trying to impress and one day we were all sitting around talking. And I was thinking too hard to try to say something clever. And then for whatever reason, the first thing to blurt out of my mouth was about how in Fight Club, they make soap using fat from liposuction clinics.

Why on earth, I thought this was a brilliant thing to say, I don’t know. I just remember the conversation coming to a halt and the guy looking at me like I had suddenly grown two heads. And it felt all kinds of awkward and horrible. Since then, any moment when I say something stupid is referred to a SOAP moment.

This is akin to my Dale Jr. incident about telling him he was better looking in person than on TV. I SAY STUPID THINGS WHEN I DON’T THINK.

I know some folks can brush it off immediately and don’t care. But for me, I hate it when I do. I hate the awkwardness I feel creeping on me. I hate the looks I get when people are tired of me yammering away and I can’t seem to stop. I hate feeling judged for saying the wrong things. I hate when I hurt people accidentally by saying something hurtful unintentionally.

The worst is when my intentions are trying to honestly be helpful or sympathetic and instead I make myself come across as uncaring or spiteful to someone who I care very much about. It’s funny when someone does this to me, I feel like it’s my fault. When I do this to someone else, it still feels like it’s my fault. CAN. NOT. WIN.

And because I would like to avoid all these situations, this is why I overthink and stay relatively quiet. Better to not say anything than speak without thinking and sound stupid or hurt everyone. So now you know!

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Athazagoraphobia (say that 5 times fast)

I went to go see the movie Divergent with a friend the other day. I read the book when it first came out so I thought it was an alright adaptation. I felt things transferred well from book to screen. (Aside: Dauntless has the best outfits. Black is always very chic.) The scenes that stuck out the most was when Tris is tested with her worst fears and has to figure out how she will face them as well as also discovering what Four’s fears were. And it made me think about what I would be facing if I were to go through that test. (or God forbid a boggart)

I know I would probably see a bunch of Ronald McDonalds as well as dying by being crushed by a steamroller (thank you Who Framed Roger Rabbit for this fear). Perhaps being in complete darkness or rats with really long tails would show up too. But I know definitely what would be in that test would be the fear of being forgotten.

I don’t mean after I die if people forget about me. Hopefully I have a good legacy and I’ve made some impact on this world that I’m not completely wiped out from memory the moment I depart from this earth. No, that doesn’t bother me because I know where I’ll be after I die and what happens on earth after that will not be of concern to me.

No, what I’m afraid of is something happens to me RIGHT NOW and I died, and no one knew. For years. This is what happens when you’re single and read news reports of people dying and no one knowing they were missing.

Out of sight, out of mind.

When I read about how people accidentally die IN THEIR HOME and they aren’t found for months, even years that really scares me. Did not a single person think to go check up on them? Did these people not have friends? Did they not have family nearby? Did they have so little impact on this world that not a single person cared to see what happened to them?

I know I have this fear because I’m single. I don’t have anyone constantly keeping track of where I am. I could go on a drive and disappear and no one would know. I’ve been tempted to just stop posting on Facebook, Twitter, all the rest of my social media, not answer my phone,  and just disappear to see if anyone would notice. Part of me is terrified to do this because I’m afraid that no one would. The funny part is that I have had friends who have done this. They purposely wanted to disappear and when I did try to contact them, they actually got annoyed that I did because they wanted to be left alone. You just can’t win can you?

However, I realize that this is a completely selfish fear. I know this. And I know this because I think about this song.

Settle down, it’ll all be clear
Don’t pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found
Just know you’re not alone

I don’t have to choose to isolate myself. As an extrovert, that would actually kill me faster to force myself to be alone all the time. Spiritually, I know I’m not alone. And physically, I can choose to not be a hermit. I mean, hopefully people would discover me after 5 days?

In the meantime, that’s also a good reminder for me to check in with other people. Just to see how they’re doing. Even if people are complete introverts and have horrible social anxiety, I would like to believe that one still wants to know that at least there is someone out there who cares to see how you’re doing. I just need to not fear.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)

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A Thing I Fear the Most

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I’m about to reveal something that is a deep and dark secret.

I have a fear of Ronald McDonald.

Stop laughing.

I don’t like clowns to begin with. Male clowns are actually the worst.

It began in kindergarten. Mind you, my parents didn’t take my sisters and I out that much when we were very little. I don’t ever remember going to McDonald’s before I turned 5 nor did we watch a lot of TV during that time.  So my interactions with this clown was very limited if any. I remember going to a school assembly and being excited. Then as I’m seated high in the bleachers with my classmates, this man comes out dressed in a yellow suit, white makeup, and red hair, and I remembered suddenly being terrified.

I don’t know why but I just remember a sense of fear gripping me and I was glad that was I high up and away from him. To a five year old, the image of a man who covered his face with makeup and that garrish red wig was enough to provoke nightmares. And they did.

I remember this nightmare as clear as when it happened 25 years ago. My younger sister and I were running together in a world where everyone was turning into Ronald McDonald’s. It was a very bleak world as we ran and hid from clowns left and right. We got behind a car and stopped for a minute to catch our breaths. I turned to her to make sure that she was ok, and then saw that her hair had turned red. I woke up screaming.

To this day, I will not approach anyone dressed up as Ronald McDonald. Those statues of him on the benches in front of the restaurants? I avoid them. Like I said, I don’t like clowns in general. If you are a horrible person and want to make an enemy of me for life, all you have to do is dress up like one and you will ensure that 1) you will never be friends with me ever again and 2) you will inflict deep trauma on my life. Maybe for this reason, I rarely visit the inside of an actual McDonald’s in the fear of him randomly hanging out. For the record, I never wanted to visit McDonaldland. Grimace, Hamburglar, Birdie, and the gang can all hang out without me.

Here is the first commercial starring him. Tell me this is not terrifying.