Thursday, March 31, 2011

What to Say

Dear Friends,

How are you doing today?  I hope you are doing well.  As you can see from the last post there has been some excitement going on with me.  I have several devotionals started, but unfortunately I haven't finished them yet, so you're stuck with me and my non-thought-out thoughts.

The first is that my car is back from the shop and doing as well as it can.  The muffler broke right next to the catalytic converter.  I took it to a muffler place and Big Jim welded it back together for me.  Then I took it back to Doc McGee and he got my lights to shine at the same brilliance (not where the driver light is way brighter than the passenger light).  However, my radio has more shorts in it then just the ground wire, so it still comes on randomly.  Praise the Lord my dad had some money to help me out otherwise I don't know what I would have done.

Second I've been in prayer for two people, and although you might not know them if you want to say a prayer for them and their families I know it would be appreciated.  Alan, whom I tutored in Mexico, lost his best friend last night.  He died in a car crash at the age of 21. 

Back when I lived in Mexico as a tutor Alan's aunt and uncle came to live in the house with family until they got to where they would be missionaries.  The aunt, Kelly, who is only a year or so older than I am, is in the hospital with something that even the infectious disease doctor doesn't know what it is.  She just had her baby four weeks ago. 

My heart and prayers go out to the families of both as they struggle through this.

I've been singing this song since about Tuesday, so if you need a pick me up too here it is:

Keep On Tryin'
by Poco

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Greetings From a Mustang

Greetings.  I've taken over my owner's (Kelli) blog since I have caused her to not be able to post here.  I had been telling her for a while something was wrong, but we have a language problem and she had no idea that the noise she was hearing was actually me trying to warn her.

Well, while we were sitting at McDonald's it happened.  I broke. She cried.  I would try to tell her in English what has happened, but lets face it, she wouldn't really understand that either.  I love her, but she isn't what I would call mechanic-smart.  Look, we all have our gifts, but her knowledge of cars ain't one.

Yes I did say "ain't"  I'm a Texas Mustang.  It comes naturally to me... Meanwhile we are going to see Doc McGee, as he seems to know me and Kelli rather well.  She just has to say her name and he knows.  I'll have you know that the last two times I went for a visit there it turns out it wasn't me at all. 

So forgive her while she deals with me, but to be fair I did try to warn her...

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bring Me Sunshine

Sometimes, even as a Christian, you have days that just bring you down.  They are rough, hard to take, and all of your emotional issues seem to come to the forefront.  Yes you have abundant life and a joy you can't explain, but there are times when you just don't feel that and with good reason.  Sometimes life just flat out sucks.

I've been going through a time period where all of my work, all of my effort, and all of my mental and emotional excursions seem to be for naught.  I've talked about an anti-Midas touch, and I have certainly felt that for a couple of weeks now.  I've cried out to the Lord in prayer and I have received four friends, two words, one song, and a walk.

The four friends were actually a different times, but each one has been such a wonderful relief to me and a blessing of uplifting love.  I really needed their encouragement, and I'm blessed to have them in my life.

The first word I received was from the book of Luke 1:45 (NIV):
Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished.
Then I heard this from Pastor Paul's podcast (Lessons Every Dreamer Must Learn Part 2 Continued) today:

When God is grooming us for greatness He brings us up slowly.
Then of course was this song: I don't think a better video ever came to my attention right when I needed it like this video. It is "Bring Me Sunshine" by the Jive Aces. I'm a sucker for fun time-pieces.

Bring Me Sunshine
by the Jive Aces

I know I sometimes vacillate between the two thoughts "I'm the only one going through this!" and "My problems are so small compared to others why am I complaining?"  The truth is neither of these things.  I went on a prayer walk with my church last night.  We went through the neighborhood walking and praying for each house as we did.  We didn't stop in front of each house, but just walked and prayed.  I never prayed for myself once during that walk and it was so wonderful to get my mind off my own problems.  I encourage you to do it as well.

I wanted to write to you and tell you that even in the midst of a rough time that there are blessings, that there are rewards, and that you will get through this.  You aren't alone and no matter what the issue is, if it is truly bothering you then don't worry about how big or small it may be to someone else's problem.  Ask the Lord to guide you through the time and keep on praying for others.

Much Love,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday Fun Edition

I apologize for the lack of post yesterday.  I'll explain later but until then I want to share with you some of my favorites of the week.

Favorite Tweets of the Week:

From Fred Thompson: 25 yr old FL beauty queen kills intruder w/pink .38 pistol. Guy's probably better off dead than having to tell that story in prison.

That was really the only one...

Favorite Video of the Week:

I'm so excited.  I know this makes me a nerdy fan girl, but I don't care.  Vincent D'Onofrio as Robert Goren is perfection.

Favorite Product of the Week:

My Phone!!!  It is an HTC Inspire.  So far we are in the puppy love phase, but it is awesome.

Short update, but I hope you all have a fantastic week.

Much Love,

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Financing Your Freedom

Money, whether you have it or not will always be a constant companion to you.  It is not an easy subject to talk about, especially if you are struggling with it. As I am.  I don't usually like to hear about money or discuss it, but I read an article the other night that changed my mood and I wanted to share it with you in hopes you may be blessed by it as well.

I believe God can speak to us anywhere and through anything.  I had broken my cardinal rule of drinking caffeine after 7:00 pm, and was therefore predictably up after 11 pm, when I should have been blissfully asleep.  To help combat this I decided to read and took a magazine from the stack my Grammy Bear had sent on with me.  It turned out to be the August 2010 Oprah magazine.  I started thumbing through it backwards (as is my usual custom with magazines and I have no idea why) when I came to this article in the front: The Joy Divided (Martha Beck has no head for numbers (just ask her accountant), but she does have a proven strategy for converting money into happiness.)

Obviously it grabbed my attention right away.  Money and numbers aren't my thing.  I always try to pay my bills on time and pay any of them before I do anything fun with my money.  However, when you don't even have enough to pay your bills it can get rough.  I once heard a preacher say that 10% was not a sacrifice.  I beg to differ.  When you only have enough to pay the bills and the tithe would give you some extra cash to do the fringe things you need to do (oil change, new tires, hair cut, pay a little extra on the student loan) it can be particularly tough to tithe it. However, DO TITHE it!  You won't be sorry.

Sorry, tangent... so I wanted to read how this author used her money to receive happiness and how much it would cost me if I wanted to do the same.  I was surprised by her view on it and I thought what a way to look at it.  She divides every purchase up into four categories:
  • I really NEED it, and I really LOVE it.
  • I really NEED it, but I don't really LOVE it.
  • I don't really NEED it, but I really LOVE it.
  • I don't really NEED it, and I don't really LOVE it.
She concluded that you should spend your money accordingly:
  • For I really NEED it, and I really LOVE it pay TOP DOLLAR
  • For I really NEED it, but I don't really LOVE it pay BOTTOM DOLLAR
  • For I don't really NEED it, but I really LOVE it pay w/ funds you can spend on those items
  • For I don't really NEED it, and I don't really LOVE it DON'T BUY!!
What a great principle!

I believe in asking God for wisdom when spending money, but by spending it wisely you can also enjoy what you spend.  Those items that you don't love and don't need just don't buy.  Save it for those items that you really love with your rainy day spending money.  For your bills you may not LOVE certain ones, but you know what service or items are necessary to your life that you are willing to pay for.

This is also freeing for those of you who like to spend your money one way versus what others say you need to spend your money on.  For example a good concert would be more valuable to me than a great pair of shoes.  To me experience is better than tangible items.  However, to others the opposite might be true.  Therefore this idea and principle frees you from any comparison, and it allows you to spend your money how you need and want to without worry that you aren't spending it like someone else is.

So sit down and go through what you spend your money on.  Cut out what you don't love and don't want, and focus on the stuff you do.  You might even save some money!

Much Love,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Life Application: Forgiving Yourself

To make sure I keep myself humble, and to show you that I always learn more than I can teach I thought I would follow up my devotionals/teaching posts with my life application of them.

Normally I would wait and at least give you more than a day's worth of reflection, but yesterday after I posted Forgiving Yourself I was struck over the head several times on the subject of forgiveness.

The first thing I did was take my own advice and truly contemplate what I thought my worst vice was.  What did I do that constantly made me un-happy with myself and therefore caused me to, at times, hate myself.  As I thought about it I think I came up with it: complacency.

I get into moods where I believe things are "good enough", and I accept that they are and move on.  However, I have found that when I do this that it comes back and bites me in the butt.  Hard.  Suddenly I'm transported back to that great Calvin & Hobbs cartoon where Calvin is trying to sell "Swift Kicks in the Butt for a Dollar!"  And as no one seems to be buying his service he turns to Hobbs and utters, "Why is it that the one thing people need nobody wants?"

I do not want a swift kick in the butt at any price, but time and again I get it.  And I have yet to understand why this happens.  And so it was this thought that reminded me that I, at times, allow complacency to creep in and cause me turmoil.  The thoughts, "If I had only done this..."  "If I had thought about..." So, as I also talked about what is it that I can do to turn this around?

I have to forgive myself or past mistakes will keep coming back and I'll continually beat myself up about it.  Second I have a new question that I ask myself at the end of every task, "Have I done all I can do?"  If the answer is "Yes" then I need to move on. If something happens and I learn there was something else I needed to do then I need to realize that it was an honest mistake, learn from it, and move on.  If the answer is "No" then I need to continue working until I'm satisfied that I've done everything I can do.

For me honest mistakes hurt far less than casual mistakes that could have been prevented if I were on my game.

Second I listened to North Point's 2nd Part of their series Life Applications.  The second part is about the life application of forgiveness.  There are many references in the Bible to forgiveness and we know that to make ourselves whole we need to forgive.  Not because the other person deserves it, but because it frees us from the grudge and residual anger that eats at us.  Even if it is directed at ourselves.  If you get the chance I suggest you listen to it.  Especially the very end when they have an incredible special guest.

I'll come back and visit how I'm doing with this new found thought, but I want you to know that I don't take what I tell you lightly.  If I'm going to teach I have to believe it.  Which is also why they would kick me out of public school as a teacher because I'm not teaching anything as fact when I know it to be false.  That's a discussion for another time though.

I know that forgiving yourself is hard, but I hope that you do.  It will release you from so many beatings that you have given yourself, and suddenly life doesn't seem nearly as harsh as it was before.  Remember nothing is ever destroyed from without unless it was first destroyed from within.

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Forgiving Yourself

I don't think we ever face any tougher critic than ourselves. In fact for many of us our hatred of ourselves goes beyond what we might heap on our worst enemy. And I think most of it comes from the nasty decision to judge.

We judge everything, and while having good judgment is necessary we seem to lack the necessary wisdom needed when making a judgment. Especially about ourselves. Unlike God we cannot judge the heart of a man. So we do the next best thing and look at the actions and words of others to determine how we should proceed with that individual. We see the circumstances and their actions are perceived by us and most of the time we are lenient if we know they have a good heart. However, that leniency is not given to ourselves and I firmly believe it is because we think we can judge our hearts.

I also firmly believe that we don't judge our hearts correctly. I had a Bible Study Fellowship leader that used to repeat this phrase; "We need a high view of God and an accurate view of ourselves." I find in my circle that most have a very high view of God, but an incredibly inaccurate view of themselves. Me included. Part of the issue is perfectionism. I know I strive for it and fail every time. For reasons I don't yet understand I keep trying to achieve it, but the cost of doing so is killing parts of me that need to be nourished. I know I am not alone in this. Our society today demands more and more from us and I think it is crippling us to the point where we are literally killing ourselves. This needs to stop now.

It is so easy to tear down and so difficult to build up, but I think as women we have an innate ability to build each other up. Now, we all know women and have been victims of those that easily tear us down, but I say today, right now, we take our power back. Let those that tear people down be shown for what they are, and let you, yes you, start to build up another. The first way we can do this is with ourselves.

Take your biggest flaw. I mean a real flaw. One that doesn't paint you in a good light. One you struggle with: critical of others, over-eating, no filter when speaking, hot tempered, financially irresponsible, whatever the case may be, own that flaw. I don't mean accept it as good, I don't mean to continue in it, and I mean own that it is part of you. Now, if you are religious ask God to forgive you of that flaw. If you aren't then we will join you in the second part and I now want you to forgive you. Do it. Now. Once you've accepted and forgiven yourself for the flaw you hate the most about yourself you can now take it and help yourself.

If you are critical of others, take that eye for detail and pick out the good things in someone. Then compliment that person. A great placed compliment can go a very long way. If you over-eat think about who might benefit from the food you’re eating. For everything you eat donate the same amount to your local food bank. If you have no filter when speaking repeat this phrase every time before you open your mouth, "Even a fool is thought wise, if kept silent." (Proverbs 17:28) Then proceed to speak. If you are hot tempered find out what your trigger buttons are and become passionate about a solution to help alleviate the anger trigger. And if you are financially irresponsible find out small things you can do to help you become better at managing your finances. There is a solution out there for you, and your deepest flaw can reveal what can become your biggest treasure.

You are stuck with you until you die, and you are certainly worth the love and care you give to others. Having self-love doesn't have to be selfish. It can fulfill your role in helping others.

Get It Right
by Lea Michele

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Love Story

"Do not let your hands hang limp. The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”  Zephaniah 3:16-17
I was on my way to my usual Friday Night dinner with dear friends and I was thinking over the week.  I, of course, was flipping through stations as I was in my dad's truck and not my radio-deprived car when Bruno Mars' song, "Grenade" came on.

I have the song nearly memorized and wasn't thinking much about it until the chorus came,

To give me all your love is all I ever asked,

Cause what you don't understand is
I’d catch a grenade for ya
Throw my hand on a blade for ya
I’d jump in front of a train for ya
You know I'd do anything for ya
I would go through all this pain,
Take a bullet straight through my brain,
Yes, I would die for ya
As a single girl I have certainly thought of what my "prince charming" might be like, and I don't know of a single person who wouldn't feel excited if someone felt the same way the person in the lyrics does.  This got me to thinking about who in my life might have this same sentiment for me.  And like a ton of bricks it hit me: Jesus.

As many know I've been reading Waking the Dead by John Eldredge, and much of the book is focused on the love of Jesus and the powerful Enemy (Satan) who hates us.  So, I wanted to share with you a love story that you might not be aware of, and one that you are fully apart of:

My favorite stories always started with someone who didn't know their worth and the hero who saw it and did everything to rescue the person not only from themselves but from a very powerful enemy.

I think we could all be describing ourselves or someone we know in this scenario.  There are so many who don't know their self worth and understand what an incredible human being they are.  God saw it.  He not only created you but loved you so much he sent a Hero to save you.  You are not bad and horrible, sinful yes, but so worthy of love and of course forgiveness.

Jesus saw you, all of you, and loved you so much that he willingly laid down his life to rescue you.  To bring you back to him and his father so that you could live forever with him. And until you got to them he sent you a guide to help you through the dangerous perils that we all have to fight.

The best stories are not only where there is a hero who fights, but where the main character has to fight and learns that they too are of value and bring something to the story.  That, my beloved is you.  God sent Jesus to rescue, Jesus loved you enough to die for you (and if you were the only one he would have willingly died for just you), and Jesus sent the Holy Spirit so that you could continue in this world until you are re-united with your savior, hero, and love.

I don't think there is a better story.  And unlike the song that inspired this song, you have the ability to love back and know from you heart outward how much you are loved.  You just have to accept the love.

If you have any questions I'm here.

Much Love,

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Saturday Fun

So, as I continue to navigate and find my voice I think Saturday's should be reserved for more fun.  I love the weekends, not that I know anyone who doesn't, but sometimes I think it needs to have a little more fun.

With that thought in mind I have some fun Saturday blog.  At least I will attempt to have that.  My humor doesn't always come across the screen correctly.

Now these titles will change as I get bored easily, but you know I'll find the best of whatever.

The Best From Twitter:

I spend a lot of time on Twitter because I can actually be on it at work without my work suffering (unlike Facebook).  And it was a great week on Twitter:

1. Gary Sinise re-tweeted me for my mom.  His awesomeness took an even bigger leap in my mind.  I didn't think that was possible.

2. The Wall Street Journal had the best article title this week on the NPR scandal: Video Killed the Radio Czar.  That made me giggle.  Loudly.

3. Pastor Paul Sheppard is back to doing his podcast sermons.  I clapped. 

4. I failed at 'Name That Movie' Quote Game from The Pioneer Woman.  Badly.  Just a future warning I fail at the game 95% of the time.  Unless the  movie is The Sandlot.  I get that one.

Fashion Finds of the Week:

1. Charming Charlie - a necklace and pair of earrings are only $12.97.  That's pretty good.

2. Adorable black dress from Torrid.

3. A great royal blue summer dress from Forever 21+ (formerly known as Faith21)

4. Like I would ever pass up great shoes:  Black Wedges, which I fully intend to buy for summer.

Best Video of the Week:

Narayanan Krishnan

(I saw this on Bethany Joy Galeotti's blog.  It truly is inspiring.)

Enjoy your weekend!

Much Love,

Friday, March 11, 2011

Beauty & The New Purse

Last night I went to Charming Charlie for a Ladies Fellowship night.  The store was big and open and the jewelry was arranged by color and such beautiful items: necklaces, earrings, headbands, rings, shoes, sandals, boots, purses and so much more!  The store clerks were nice enough to put some looks together for us, and because of the group we even received a discount.  On top of all that my friend, Chastity, did the devotional.

I often go back to the subject of the devotional which is found in 1 Samuel 16:7:
But the LORD said to Samuel,"Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
Chastity went on to talk about how we are a society that looks at the physical appearance, and as much as I feel it as an over weight woman, I know that all women and most men feel it to.  And it goes beyond health.  I'll save my feelings on health for another day, but suffice it to say I don't believe running people down or being rude, in any capacity, is the way you deal with someone who looks out of the "norm".  As all it seems to have done is to strike fear in the hearts of many people to the point they are ruining their bodies just so they won't be seen as fat.

And yet God specifically tells us to look into the heart of a man.  It is not the physical appearance that determines how incredible a human being is, but their heart.  Who among us has not seen someone achingly beautiful, only to see their beauty turn sour when they open their mouth to spew anything but kindness and goodness?  The opposite is true to, we've seen someone with a physical appearance that isn't as pleasant to the eye, but they open their hearts and their actions cause us to see way beyond physical appearance to the beauty of their soul.

In fact I think the best example of this is actually from the movie, Shallow Hal.  I know it got slammed by many people, but I think the lesson from it on physical beauty vs inner beauty was spot on.  My question is why don't we focus more on those traits?  I can be just as guilty and the minute I am the Holy Spirit convicts me, and I am reminded that they are a person of worth.  The second greatest commandment then comes flooding into my heart, "Love your neighbor as yourself", and suddenly I see something in that person that I never would have seen with my blinders on.

I'm not saying we should throw appearance out the door, or let people continue on in very un-healthy habits, but I think if given love and encouragement, that perhaps, true beauty will start to mean more to you and to me.

All of that being said I actually bought a new purse.  My beautiful orange Kate Spade was an incredible 2009 Christmas gift that I've proudly worn since then.  In fact I refused to give it up until I could find another purse that would catch my eye.  Last night I did.  I'm retiring my beloved purse for the time being, but make no mistake it will be back.  Beauty like that should never be resting too long (just like you!).

So this is my new beautiful yellow Berkinish looking bag.

May someone see your beauty today.

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Patience for Tuesday

Today when I woke up it promised to be a great day.  Yesterday was incredible.  I actually watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent with Goren and Eames while I got ready.  Then for lunch I got to eat Don Pablo's.  For dinner I swung by Schlotskyz for a brown bag and Sprite, and then zipped over to a dear friends house to watch some TV and just hang out.  It was truly a great Monday.

Then I woke up today after some bizarre dreams, but still feeling good.  All was going well, watching White Collar, and then I went downstairs.  From that point on it has been a twist of fate and a patience builder.  The first issue at hand was the living room.  The electricity was out.

Went to the panel, no switches were flipped... suffice it to say we are calling an electrician.

Went to work.  Our email issues got worse.  With no help from the third party we are in recovery mode. And not ten minutes ago one of the battery power packs went out and brought down several others...

Say a little prayer for me as these hiccups happen.

Much Love,

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What This Single Really Thinks

Its not that I want to remain single the rest of my life. I do at some point want a husband and children. However, right now, I'm enjoying the freedom that comes with being single. Every life style has its pros and cons, but since I don't know about the married life I can only account for the single and childless one.

With that said, I would like to address some "issues" that come with being single and childless.
  1. The I-Know-A-Girl-Who-Got-Married-For-The-First-Time-at-40+ Story.  While I and others realize this story is suppose to make us feel better that we are still single.  That is not always how it is taken. Be careful with this story.
  2. Any time someone talks about the troubles of being single and you look to the one single person you know.  I enjoy being single.  Yes it has its issues but from what I've gathered so does being married.  Don't make me stare at you every time someone mentions being married.  You won't like the focus.
  3. Telling a single person it must be nice not to be bogged down with responsibility.  You mean not having to check in with another person and ask their permission before I do it?  Yes it is.  However, please don't take that to mean I'm not responsible.  I've kept my dog alive for over 13 years now and while I did step on his tail a couple of times he has forgiven me and I continue to scratch his belly.
  4. Assuming I must hate Valentine's Day.  I actually enjoy the day.  It is a day of love.  No matter who you love. 
  5. Finally asking or implying that I don't like children, men, or family vacations.  Do children who aren't taught to obey and keep their hands and feet to themselves so they can wipe their food and anything else over my outfit and scream and yell and run around places without repercussion annoy me?  Yes.  However, children for the most part are a delight as are babies.  The best part is giving them back to their parents when they're no longer happy and fun.  I like men.  They're awesome.  I know some great ones.  I just haven't found the right one yet.  And family vacations are the best.  I get to get caught up with everyone, I can hang out with whom I please, for any length of time, and my family is cool.
Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.  I hope this helps anyone who wants to interact with a single realize we are people too.

Much Love,

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Irritation Game

I don't know about you, but nothing robs my joy faster than an irritation that could be avoided if the other party would play fair.

The easiest of this example is in driving.  When you've waited in the long line of cars to exit and someone comes speeding down the right side and then tries to cut in.  It makes me want to get out of my car, and punch that person in the face.  It is a red-hot anger irritation.  It is also something that seems to be unavoidable and constant.

I will be the first to tell you that I don't yet have the tools or help to fix this yet.  But I suspect that part of it comes from the Enemy.  If you are entirely focused on the irritation then it is hard to see the other things around you.  It puts you in a foul mood in which you take it out on everyone else.  I'm sure you've seen the commercial depicting this very thing.  The hard part is when you realize your actions were the one that caused the downward spiral.

To help keep me from going into this vicious cycle is I sing.  At the top of my lungs.  No matter who is in the car.  If it is the President he should sing along.  If you have a bad voice all the more reason others should join you in a loud chorus.  If you don't like singing I suggest screaming.  I recommend this even if someone is in the car with you.  Encourage them to scream with you. It may very well seem silly at first, but once the focus is off of the irritation the easier it is to get that joy back and see the Enemy fail.

I sing whatever is on the radio or MP3 at the moment, but I find this song helps ease my anger a little bit:

Take a Look Around (Mission Impossible 2)
by Limp Bizkit

That's right Limp Bizkit. Don't ask questions. Just sing.

"I know why you wanna hate me
I know why you wanna hate me
Now I know why you wanna hate me
Because HATE is all the world has ever seen lately."

So now, even though you're being a jerk I will be nice to you. So, there!

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Defense of Cinderella

When I was in the second grade I remember sitting in a large circle with my classmates as our teacher explained that we would be re-enacting Cinderella.  To keep things fair all the girls would be given a number, and a copy of that number was in our teacher's sack.  Whoever had the matching number would be Cinderella.  My number was 23.

It was as if from a dream because that was the number my teacher pulled.  I, Kelli, was going to be Cinderella.  In my second grader female mind I had just won the lottery. Immediately after I had won, one girl, who was considered the prettiest of the class, asked what I would be wearing.  I answered I was going to wear my favorite dress.  She said she had a better dress and I could borrow it.  I politely declined because I wanted to wear my dress.  After all I was Cinderella and I could wear the dress I wanted.

Then as it came out that I had declined the kind offer the suggestion I let this girl be Cinderella started.  I didn't let any of it get to me though (even at that age) because I knew they were jealous of my win.  On the day we were to dress as our characters I had my favorite dress on (wish I had a picture of it), but when I got to school some of my joy was robbed as I realized how much more appropriate for Cinderella that the pretty girl's dress would have been.  She had a beautiful white gown on and mine, well it wasn't a gown.

Other girls started pointing out how I should have let the pretty girl be Cinderella, and even though no matter what I wouldn't have given that spot away, I'll never forget that moment when I thought, perhaps, I should have.  Even by second grade I had though that my outer beauty was more important than the fact that I was Cinderella.  No matter what I looked like I was still Cinderella.

This memory came to me last night as I was praying for healing of my broken heart ( a process to be sure).  Much of the hurt I have faced was always about my outer beauty.  I am a "big" girl.  I was a beautiful child, I look back at old pictures of me and for the life of  me can't figure out where left that sparkling girl at.  She's still here with me, but I have suppressed her because as I was told in the second grade, and believe now, I'm a false Cinderella.

However, because of this prayer to heal my broken heart, and this memory was one that needed to be healed, I have a new perspective.  One I hope will help you.  I still am Cinderella.  In the Bible many decisions were done by casting lots.  It was seen as asking God to write the story and choose the path.  I won that lot.  And I want you to know that you have too.

Cinderella's prize is not that she got to marry the prince (that was a blessing, but it wasn't the prize).  It is that she gets to become the outer princess that she always was on the inside.  Her means of getting there may have been by a ball and prince, but the reason we long for her to win is that she is not just physically beautiful, but gracious, kind, and beautiful on the inside.  Cinderella becomes what she was always meant to be: a princess.

And if you are daughter of the King then that does make you a princess.  You have an incredible, beautiful heart, and the enemy (much like Cinderella's step-family) will to steal, kill, and destroy that heart.  Jesus is healing that one moment in time and showing me that it didn't matter the dress I felt like a princess and I am, and He wants me to tell you that you are too.

Join my friend and sister and ask for the healing (if you haven't) for that broken place deep in your heart.

Much Love,