Archive for the ‘Pride and Worth’ Category

A Me-Centered Mindset

December 21, 2007

I have a confession. This past semester my priorities in life have gotten way off balance. Its been a hard few months, some of the “hardness” caused by me, some not. To be clear, I should probably go back to the beginning.

This past summer was one of the greatest times of my life. My early mornings were spent in reading His word and praying. I spent my days serving, being with godly friends, and relaxing. I read many good books. I spent time on the Rebelution, on Ladies Against Feminism, and other encouraging sites. While of course I sinned, my primary outlook on life was one that brought glory to God.

Than in August, my lovely bubble got a harsh poke. People that I loved (and still do love, just to clarify) treated me in a hateful, rash, harsh manner. While this was a sinful act on the behalf of those who did it, the way I reacted (in my thoughts, and also in some of my actions) was also sinful. Daily I replayed the incidents in my mind over and over. My convictions were shaken. Much of my families hatred is centered on my father; and I began to doubt whether he was truly right in what he believed. (Those who are angry at us are very feministic.) I should have seen this as a warning sign to read more on biblical womanhood, to read my Bible, to talk to my dad about my feelings. But instead, I kept my feelings inside. Unfortunatly this was only the beginning.

Soon after I started taking college classes at a junior college. I still was resolved in some things- to wear skirts, to be an example of godliness, to spend my time wisely and not slack off. But, as the semester moved on, my discontentment grew. I wanted all that I could not have and I especially wanted my family back. I wanted it all- to have a great relationship with the Lord, to be a godly beautiful young women; but to also not have to stand firm on my beliefs. Obviously, that is impossible.

As the months continued, I grew in discontentment. My times with the Lord faltered, becoming shorter when they needed to be longer; less consistent when they really needed an increase. On the outside my life seemed fine to those around me, but on the inside I knew I was missing something. I worshipped the Lord but I missed the times when worship was the highlight of my life. I missed when reading the Bible was a delight, not just something that had to be done. I was not completely aware of all that I felt- generally I could supress these thoughts behind thoughts of all that I was missing out on.

During this time I also started to consider a career. Now, a career in itself is not sinful, but my motives were. I didn’t want to stay at home, serve my family, and follow their rules. I wanted to be on my own; in my own apartment, doing whatever I wanted to do with my time. I thought about going into social work- what a great way to serve others! While that is a way to serve others, my heart was definitly not focused on serving. It was focused on me.

Than, in November, my grandmother died. She was one of my favorite people on this entire earth, and I loved her so much. Unfortunatly, the few months before she went to Heaven were not spent together on good terms. While we still loved each other very much, things were keeping us apart. When she died my heart just went into grief. I needed the Lord, and I knew it. My times with Him, my prayer, and my worship grew more consistent.

But, that wasn’t enough. I was still discontent, prideful, and a bit angry. For those of you who have seen High School Musical 2- “I want more!” was my basic attitude. My thoughts and focus in life were about me and what I was missing; not on Him and what He gave up for me.

Finally, a few weeks ago I started to realize my wayward ways completely. I kept thinking about how I wanted to go back to summer, to the time when my heart was in line with God’s word. I went back to my favorite blogs and websites; and realized that I wanted to be feminine and to be submissive to my father again. I wanted that more than anything. A few days later I watched the Return of the Daughter’s DVD. That really did it. I knew I wanted the attitude and the lifestyle that the girls in that movie had.

In the last two weeks, my heart has changed a lot. While I definitly regret many of my sinful choices, I don’t regret the trial as a whole. I learned that what I have is exactly what I need. While before, I may have been tempted to have a “the grass is greener” mindset, now I know that the biblical way is the best way to be happy.

Girls, please learn from me and my mistakes! Don’t have a me-centered mindset in your actions and in your life. Prefer one another over yourself. Honestly, serving others even when it is one of the hardest things to do brings so much more satisfaction than living for yourself. Its a hard lesson to learn, but an oh so important one. Stick to the convictions that you believe. Don’t follow your heart, follow the Word of God. Don’t go astray.

-Natasha Victoria

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100 Thoughts on Staying At Home

December 13, 2007

As you know, last night Natasha and I watche Return of the Daughters. It would be the most though provoking movie I’ve ever seen and worth watching. Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin produced and directed it I think. I’m not sure, but i know they had a huge hand in it.  Staying home isn’t for everyone. But I think it should be at least considered to be considered. :)

 I wrote this because it’s the only way I can logically work out my thoughts on college/career/ministry vs. sahd. For the reader’s sanity, I got rid of my horrid typos. Forgive the lack of complete thoughts, punctuation, etc. I wrote this as I thought. Pretty much word for word. I did come to a conclusion for now. God may change it, but what I came to is something I think I could truly serve the Lord with. I went back and forth on this. I hope it’s a little profitable to you, as it shows the inner battle some of us do face when thinking about these types of things. Please pray that no matter what I do, I’d do it for His glory and trust Him to guide me and lead me.  Perhaps my logic is wrong. Perhaps I’m wrong. I trust that if I am, God will show me the truth. I’m gfrateful that He knows even when I don’t. I am so human it’s not even funny. Feel free to laugh at me or think I’m wrong. I do it all the time! Just be nice.

100 Thoughts On Staying at Home

1.       I don’t want a career during marriage…

2.       If so, why during single years?

3.       My dad doesn’t have a ministry

4.       I’d go insane living my family. We just don’t get along

5.       I could start my own ministry my sisters could be involved in when they’re older under the wisdom and direction of my parents

6.       I want to go to college

7.       Why do I want to go to college?

8.       College is expected of me

9.       I’d get to hear a sermon and go to a worship service 3 to 4 times a week, maybe more if I was involved with the youth group

10.   I’d still live near my family and consult my parents if needed

11.   I don’t even know what I want to do if anything at all

12.   I suppose there are some things my mom needs help with

13.   If I want to run my home efficiently some day, how will I learn how to do it?

14.   I could learn here, creating it into some what of a home I’d like to have

15.   I don’t have to not get along with my family. It’s called love. Remember 1 Corinthians 13?

16.   Yes but… I dunno.

17.   I don’t have enough resources to learn how to be a sahd

18.   I guess I do

19.   I could always take classes and things

20.   I do want to make money

21.   What would I spend it on besides gas money and personal money? What would I be saving for?

22.   I don’t even know if I’ll get married. What could I possibly do?

23.   I don’t want to live with my family for the rest of my life

24.   The word “career” sounds so snobby. I don’t wanna wear business suits and go to meeting. I don’t actually desire a career.

25.   I would like to be like those girls on Return of the Daughters but my family wouldn’t support it.

26.   They’d say I could do so much more

27.   I love the environment of Masters. I don’t want to miss out.

28.   I love my family because they’re my family. But they’ve never been there for me. But that was my own fault I guess. I don’t feel like I could confide in them like those girls did.

29.   If I did get a job, what would I do?

30.   Teach?

31.   Teach what?

32.   It’s not like there’s a business I could start. Really, I have no mad skills.

33.   I could be a party planner or something. Or interior decorator. Both of those things are somewhat simple to accomplish

34.   But I don’t want to spend the rest of my life having a career. What and empty life!

35.   I could do what Miss Mary does. She lives with elderly Christian ladies and helps them out. She learns lots from them. But she has a job too. She works for mercury insurance.

36.   I don’t know.

37.   I don’t want to me a missionary.

38.   I don’t think foreign mission work is suited to me. I’m not bold or brave or flexible. I don’t do well under stress either.

39.   I just want to get married and have kids.

40.   If only I could play the piano or something. I could teach piano or become the next August Rush. J

41.   What are my dreams?

42.   I should have a life dream bigger than marriage

43.   College isn’t evil, especially master’s

44.   If I got married, I’d dunno the career thing and take care of my home. If I had kids I’d take care of them too.

45.   Am I realistic or silly?

46.   Why do I want to serve in a ministry?

47.   If I went to masters, it’s still not perfect. Some things I could pick out and remember that they’re not biblical, but other things I’d need to ask my parents. Would they be readily available?

48.   We’re not poor. I could afford college with a job

49.   I don’t want a boring job like working in an office all day.

50.   I don’t have a vivacious love for blood, so being a nurse wouldn’t work.

51.   I guess I think marriage is the chief end of all things

52.   There’s no such thing as fairytales

53.   If I really wanted to get married at like 19 then I’d have to marry someone several years older than me. I dunno how realistic that is.

54.   I don’t have much talent.

55.   What in the world could I do, sahd or college girl?

56.   I don’t like the way things are run at my house

57.   Problems are put aside not handled

58.   I could write text books- hah!

59.   It’s not like I wanna be a CEO or something.

60.   When I say ministry, what do I mean?

61.   I do like photography.

62.   I could be a wedding photographer. Well paying, enjoyable, creative, and requires no degree, although it’d be nice to get a BA at COC or something. It’d look a little better on my resume.

63.   I could be a magazine photographer.

64.   I love photography. There are many options.

65.   I could be any kind of photographer. Nature, magazine, wedding, baby, family, portrait, wow. Possibilities are endless.

66.   I do have somewhat a skill for photography, but that’s something that is developed.

67.   I could even take photography classes at COC.

68.   This has potential.

69.   It would be a nice balance between staying at home and having a job/career/ministry.

70.   I know what looks good, if I do say so myself.

71.   With a part time job I could afford college classes and camera equipment.

72.   I wonder…

73.   Do I have enough skill?

74.   I’m not perfect

75.   No one is

76.   I do love photography

77.   I could still learn how to care for a home through the tutelage of my mom and other women in my church

78.   I wish I knew where I would be in three years

79.   Photography is a skill I can develop here and now

80.   It’s not necessary to have a degree or go to college

81.   It would allow me to be creative with something I love

82.   It’s an ambition that is realistic, I think.

83.   I wonder how I would get photography jobs?

84.   I could always offer to people

85.   Through word of mouth, word of type, and the WWW, plus ads and things, anything is really accomplishable in this realm

86.   Hm

87.   The time is majorly flexible

88.   It’s not something difficult to learn about

89.   As long as I had a camera and transportation, it’s doable.

90.   I do love weddings and other events

91.   Would anyone hire me?

92.   Don’t rely on what ifs. Your god is big enough to do anything.

93.   How could I develop skills now?

94.   Take all the opportunities you have to take pictures.

95.   You have a bike right? Ride down to the light house, to the mall. It’s good exercise and healthy and enjoyable and easy

96.   It would be flexible with ministry opportunities

97.   It would be a ministry to people.

98.   I could tell them what other photographers pay and allow clients to choose how much they’d like to pay me. I’d be happy with 5 bucks. That could by me a roll or two of film!

99.   I could do my own editing- I have some skills in that area, if I do say so myself. However, there is ALWAYS much to be learned and improved

100.                        To God be the glory forever and ever, amen.

The Return of the Daughters

December 13, 2007

Last night Bethany and I sat down together and watched The Return of the Daughters; which of course was compiled by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. I had ordered it a few weeks ago and was looking forward to watching it. I hoped it would explain more of the topics in So Much More, as well as help me to work through my “college issues”. :D

I was not disappointed. While at times I was a bit sarcastic (Will they show anyone who does not have a billion children?? Does everyone live in a mansion??) in my thoughts going into watching it, I have since repented of those thoughts. The movie shows a wide variety of families; all in very different situations. There’s the father who is a truck driver, as well as the father with the Phd. I enjoyed that thoroughly.

For the last few months I have been really struggling in my thoughts toward college, as well as my walk with the Lord. I see now that my self centerdness and my pride in (possibly) wanting to move out and have my own job was completely wrong. Those actions in and of themselves are not sin- but my motives for such things were wrong. I wanted to get away from my parents and lead my own life, which was very wrong of me. I need to learn to love my family. Its one of the first things in Titus 2.

I’m not sure what my future holds. I don’t know whether I will get a degree while living at home, or if I will primairly help my father with his ministry, or if I will do something completely different. Only the Lord knows. And I’m willing to trust Him with my future entirely and take one day at time.

-Natasha Victoria

Oh, to Learn and Be Taught!

December 8, 2007

Being taught is a humbling thing. No, I don’t mean doing schoolwork or going to classes. Rather, I mean being instructed, corrected, and confronted graciously by God. He uses people, circumstances, writing, and His Word to change and purify our hearts.

Recently, I confronted someone. and let me tell you, it may have been the stupidest serious thing I have ever done. I was so proud in my course of action. I was so selfish and rude! When this person humbly and graciously and lovingly replied in a letter, I was immediately broken. It pains me to read this person’s word and remember those that I wrote. I’m so ahsamed of myself and my actions.

But as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that God has answered my prayers for humility and for refining by fire.

I’m only a teenager. I’m not a wise adult, a teacher, a Bible major, nothing. When it comes down to it, I am but dust. although I aspire to be like Him, to honor Him, I am only a baby. I have so far to go before I can even crawl!What a thought! It’s so humbling t remember that I am completely dependant on Him. I can do nothing on my own. He is so gracious to do all He does and chooses not to. God has forgiven all of my sin, all of my transgressions. Past, present, and future wrongs He has chosen to overlook and instead see the righteouness of Christ! While I an unrighteous, He declares me righteous. Wow.

Next time you’re confronted in whatever way, remember that is an act of love and of grace by God. He is so holy- it would be more just of Him to just declare my unrighteous and send me right on my way to Hell. After all, that is what I deserve. Yes, He is just. But He is merciful too! Confronting me about my sin is a merciful thing of Him to do.

I am learning. I am being taught. And despite the pain, I am thankful in the end because i know that somehow, He will be glorified.

Love to the Bakery Readers,

Bethany

Worth, Pride, and Walking.

December 3, 2007

I’m convinced that we, as humans, were built with the desire to be valued, seen as worthy, loved, desired, and cherished. Each and everyday this desire burns in my own heart. I desire to be valued, to be seen as worthy, to be loved and desired and cherished as someone special. I struggle with this. I struggle to remember that the only one I should be desiring this from is God. I should be living for Him, my Something Greater, not for myself. I know that I am but dust. that’s why my flesh continually fights against it. I am so proud- I desire to be built up and looked highly upon. I’m so proud that I think I should be served, i should be spoken kindly to. Have I not realized that I deserve nothing?!

Last night I was once again reminded of this, of my pride. I realized that not only is being provoked by people and events in my life is not only sinful but prideful too. I have not been a good example for my sisters, let alone have I been a good sister period.

Ephesians 4:1-3
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Philippians 1:27-28
Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; in no way alarmed by your opponents–which is a sign of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.

Colossians 1:9-12
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.  May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience  with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.

1 Thessalonians 2:10-12
You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you believers. For you know how,like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and charged you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory.

I need to walk in a manner worthy of God! Of the Gospel! When I look at a billboard or an ad in a magazine, the photos, text, and style help me to make a judgement about the product or company. If the ad is obviously inapporpriate or the product seems useless, I move on and I may be disgusted or annoyed. But if the ad is promotign something worthwhile or good, then I focus more on the ad, I might research it, I might buy it, like it, and endorse it. People do this with everything. If we are not walking worhty of the Gospel, of the calling which we have receieved, then the world is going to think we are all hypocrites.

Walking in a way that pleases Him is the most important thing we can do. In light of God, being valued and seen as worthy by the world is nothing because as His children, we are valued by Him, the King of Kings.

DISCLAIMER: I hope I didn’t confuse you with this post. There are rambling thoughts of mine. We should be walking worthy of Him so as not to be hypocrites and to show who God and what Christianity really is to those who may have misconceptions. We should not be tryign to please man or be valued through our actions. I know I may sound confusing, please forgive me. I can’t think of another way to explain my thoughts. And I am no better than any one who reads this. I’m writing this from my own experience and I struggle to make my walk match me talk every day of my life!

So let me put up a couple of questions for thought or discussion:

  1. Where have you seen pride in your life?
  2. Are you walking worthy of this calling? What needs to change?
  3. How are you going to change?
  4. What are you saying about God through your life?
  5. Is the way you’re living show your love for God?
  6. What are you living for?

In Christ Alone,

Bethany