The Great Pretender

Recently, I’ve been re-evaluating my career choices, and I’ve come to realize that I’ve been pretending to like something that I really don’t like. So, I’ve been mentally trying different jobs on. And wonder, would this job fit? Would it be too snug, like an uncomfortable pair of shoes? Or would it be too comfortable, like my favorite yoga pants? A career, job, whatever it is you have to do to earn money, should be something that’s challenging, but not too challenging. Slightly structured but not too structured. It should be juuuussst right…maybe that makes me a career Goldilocks. But, this mentally trying on of careers has raised the question , am I pretending in other areas of my life?

I pretend that I enjoy being with certain people, when really I just want to punch them in the face, doing so with all the love of Jesus in my heart. Instead I smile politely and tolerate their presence. (Don’t worry, these people know who they are. My polite smile is pretty obviously a fake one.) I pretend to enjoy certain activities, when all I want to do is sit on the couch with my Oero’s and binge watch something on Netflix. I pretend to enjoy subject matter to try to better my career, but all it does is make me want to take a nap. Some of this pretending is to be polite, but some of it, I wonder if it’s me lying to myself.  Either way you cut it, the pretending is getting to be a bit much, and makes me wonder if my entire life is one big game of pretend.

When I was a kid, my favorite game to play was “House”. You were all kids once, I’m sure your familiar…it’s a game of pretend, you make a pretend life, with a pretend house, a pretend job, pretend kids, it’s all pretend. Sometimes, this game was acted out with Barbie and Ken, sometimes, if there were enough friends around we’d play the roles ourselves.  In my games of house, I was always an educated career woman, who had both a fulfilling career that she loved, and a loving family to come home to. She had a big yellow house with a wrap around porch, went to Disneyland whenever she wanted, and had a rockin’ pink corvette (just like Barbie). She also had big curly hair treated hourly with Aquanet and always wore puffy sleeves, it was the 80’s after all. It was fun, it helped me shape what I wanted my future to be. But it was fun, pretend, but fun.

Real life, is nothing like the pretend game I had envisioned in my 8 year old head. Real life doesn’t have weekly visits to Disneyland, a pink corvette, definitely no big curly hair treated hourly with Aquanet, and for me no yellow house with a wrap around porch. Real life, although full of many many blessings, also holds uncertainty, self doubt, anger, jealousy, and pretending, but not the good kind.

So, with all of this worry about pretending, I do what any  Christian does in this situation. I pray about it, I take it to the Lord. And he assures me, that I can’t pretend around Him. He knows what’s in my heart, and He knows where the “just right” place for me is in this world. He also tells me, that this world is not my home, so everything will feel like those uncomfortable but cute pair of red heels, wearable but still a little snug. My home is where He is, my home is in Heaven, where He has prepared an awesome mansion for me. I can stop pretending, I can be myself.

Now, if only I could get my heart to believe what my head thinks…

That’s where faith comes in, switching it up a little,  letting your heart lead, and making your head follow that lead. And that’s where the pretending can finally stop. When you follow your heart there’s no way you can pretend, because your heart and your calling never lie. See, your calling is from God and God never lies. We lie to ourselves, we lie to each other, we have perfected lying, but God…He’s the only one that will be honest. The only one you don’t have to pretend around.

So, kick off those uncomfortable but cute red heels, maybe pull out the orero’s, relax, listen to your heart, and stop pretending!

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Romans 12:2 NKJV

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P.S. If you like Bluebonnets and various other wildflowers. I will be posting about my tour de Tejas in a few days. There will be flower photos a plenty!

Thought Moth

Today marks 4 years of blogging. The first 3 years were fun and full of wonder, I was even Freshly Pressed (see here and here) ! But this year the magic seems to be petering out. To put out a post has become tedious, and daunting. And it’s not from lack of content, I’ve got plenty of ideas, plenty of photos that need editing and shared, plenty of words (in fact my hubby would probably prefer I share those words on here rather than rattling on about paint colors, yarn categories, or Doctor Who during the basketball game) . I just can’t seem to settle my thoughts down enough on one topic to get something posted. Those thoughts just keep flitting around in my little head like those annoying moths that knock around on porch lights during the summer. Once I feel like I’ve grasped one, I look between my clasped fingers and see that the thought has escaped to join the others to flit around the porch light again. It’s frustrating, and annoying…

All of this reminds of the words of Oswald Chambers in reference to Matthew 6:26-28:

Look at the birds of the air . . . . Consider the lilies of the field . . .

Here’s what Oswald had to say about it:

“Our heavenly Father knows our circumstances, and if we will stay focused on Him, instead of our circumstances, we will grow spiritually— just as “the lilies of the field.”

I take from that, focus on our heavenly Father instead of those annoying moths that keep escaping my reach, because our Father is always within reach. And if I stay focused on Him, then the right thought moth will come along.

Anyways, all this to say, it’s my blogs 4th birthday, and even though I’ve kind of been ignoring her the past few months, I’m glad she exists.

To celebrate here’s some daffodils in a mason jar!

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springflower3Happy almost Friday Eve everyone!

 

JOY

I started writing this post January 30th, here we are on the last day of February and it’s still not posted. In fact, I haven’t even touched this poor little neglected blog since the second to the last day of January. Odd, how life works. Guess I needed time away from being an active participant of the interwebs for a while. There comes a time when you just need to take a seat and spend some time in the audience.

Anyways, on with the show…

Many bloggers have what they call a word of the year, a word that they will focus on throughout the year. And they will usually write an inspirational post about that word, and how it will be somewhat life altering. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

I on the other hand, don’t write posts with the intent of altering lives…as I selfishly indicated in this post, I write for myself. But, if any of these random words I have strung together here do touch someone else in a special way (and yes, I know what that sounded like.) then great. But in the end, these posts are for myself, to look back on. And with that in mind, and to be a trend follower in a way, I’ve chosen a word to think about as I muddle through the path set before me. And to remind myself what this path is really all about:

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I will seek joy in the small things, joy in the big things, joy in the happy things, joy in the sad things, joy in anger, joy in tribulations, and yes…I will even seek joy while I’m scraping last nights dinner off the dishes I was too lazy to do the night before.  And, I don’t only want to be a joy seeker, I want to be a joy giver, a joy bringer, I want to be the Santa Claus of joy!

Actually, that can’t happen because Christ already has that title, but I want to be as close to the Santa Claus of joy as I can possibly be. If there were one of those carnival strong man games that measured how full of joy you are, and there were a Jesus level, I’d want to be at that level. I want to be so full of Christ-like joy I ooze it onto those I encounter.

I pledge to myself, to avoid those things that I have allowed to take my joy, and if they are unavoidable, I will try to find joy in those situations. I’ll be honest, I’ve sort of failed at this lately. With some annoying health issues cropping up the past couple months I’ve found it hard to be joyful, and even harder to spread joy. Instead, I’ve been spreading the grump, it’s like a horrible infectious disease that eats away at it’s carrier and can easily rub off on those nearby. But, that’s gonna change because I can hear those bells…the Santa Claus of eternal joy is always near by all I have to do is listen.

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all residents of blog world!

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I hope you are all eating lots of pie, opening lots of presents,  and more importantly, remembering why we get to eat lots of pie and open lots of presents…

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Luke 2:11-14

Shoot Happy: Rejoice and be glad

So, yesterday was national no beard day and national cupcake day, I’m a little more excited about the latter, but I do like a clean shaven man. There’s something about a beard that makes me wonder what their hiding behind there, plus there’s all the food that gets stuck in them…..Anyways…this post isn’t about beards and cupcakes, although riveting as both those topics may be, I’m here to continue on with my 31 days series about the nifty fifty, or the 50mm lens. You can start reading from the beginning  here.

This past week I’ve dedicated to some of my fave florals I’ve shot with my sweet fifty. And since I like to keep this interesting, I’ve added a verse to each photo. How can you enjoy God’s art without thinking on His word as well?

Today, this last day of my series within a series, otherwise known as Florals Week, I’ll be sharing a shot I took of my favorite flower (only flower) growing in my backyard. Rose moss, it’s an extremely resilient plant, and it really has to be to survive my non-watering ways and the dogs trampling ways. This annual has been re-seeding itself and growing every year for the past 3 years. And every year it grows bigger, brighter, and even more beautiful than the year before. All without me tending to it and the dogs knocking over it’s pot on a regular basis. It’s almost like, this little rose moss plant is smiling through it all, like it knows that each day is a gift from God.

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Maybe my little rose moss plant realizes something that we haven’t quite grasped. That today is the day that the Lord hath made, that today is what we have been given, this very moment we are living in right now is what the Lord has made. And you know what? We should rejoice in that knowledge, and be glad in this moment that the Lord has given us.  Worry, anger, strife, those take the joy away from our moments. It’s a matter of hanging onto the joy, even through all of those things. To live like the lowly rose moss, to smile and prosper even though we haven’t been watered in a week, to blossom and make beautiful flowers, even though we’re knocked down.  To rejoice and be glad in this very moment.

Shoot Happy: Becoming Less

While this post will be magically appearing in the morning in readers and inboxes near you, it was written pretty late last night, or early morning. But it’s right now for me…how’s that for a nice time paradox. Did I mention it was late? Anyways, keeping with the monthly post series and this weeks florals series within a series, today I’ll be sharing a shot of some pretty white roses I shot at sunset the other day, with a verse from John.

psalm330So, becoming less so that God can become greater. The way I interpret this verse is this; we have to put ourselves, aside, to allow the Lord full reign in our lives. It is only then that He can show His greatness through us.

Shoot Happy: Treasures

Over the month of October, I’ll be trying post everyday. These posts will be centered around all things nifty about the fifty, they could be about how awesome the 50mm is, or just some cool shots captured while enjoying the nifty-ness of the fifty. You can read this series from the beginning here.

To go along with this plan of a daily post about the 50mm lens or to share a shot taken with my nifty fifty, I’ve decided to set aside a week just to show off some of my favorite floral shots accompanied with a verse that I’ve found to be meaningful.  Today, is a verse taken from Matthew 6:19-21…

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In this materialistic world it’s so easy to get caught up in the getting and the taking, and the hoarding. I have a house full of stuff that I don’t need, and makes me wonder where I really keep my treasures. Are they in heaven, or am I trying to make a cheap replacement by stock piling earthly treasures.  And with that thought, I’m off to clean out a closet…

Shoot Happy: Joy in the Morning

Over the month of October, I’ll be posting (or trying to post) everyday. These posts will be centered around all things nifty about the fifty, they could be about how awesome the 50mm is, or just some cool shots captured while enjoying the nifty-ness of the fifty. You can read this series from the beginning here.

This week, I’ve been posting florals that were shot with my trusty nifty fifty. Each shot is accompanied with a short verse that has spoken to me in some way.

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Shoot Happy: Continuous Prayer

Over the month of October, I’ll be posting (or trying to post) everyday. These posts will be centered around all things nifty about the fifty, they could be about how awesome the 50mm is, or just some cool shots captured while enjoying the nifty-ness of the fifty. You can read this series from the beginning here.

This week, I’ve been posting some floral shots I took using my trusty nifty fifty, these shots have been accompanied with a verse that has some meaning to me. Today a verse in Romans seemed to speak to me:

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“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly (or faithfully) in prayer…”, that pretty much sums up the life of a Christian right? At least, that’s what we’re supposed to do. But being the disobedient children we can be, sometimes we don’t always do what we’re told to do. We like to whine, worry, and only go to prayer as a last resort. It is not until we’ve floundered and fallen flat on our faces that we finally realize that what’s expected of us is so very simple.  We just have to continue rejoicing, hoping, being patient, and faithful all the time.

Shoot Happy: Plans

 

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So many plans, I have so many plans, for my home, for my work, for my relationships, for my life in general. I worry about my plans panning out, I spend countless hours planning my plans, and I spend many more hours wallowing in the disappointment of my plans that have seemingly failed. But then, the Lord gently reminds me, that it is His plans that prevail, He knows best.  Those plans that I’ve spent so much time worrying about, don’t matter in the big picture. I just need to focus on the Lord’s purpose, and pray that His plans become my plans. And those failed plans, I can’t waste my “heart” space on them, because they might just lead to an even greater plan that is not my own.  After all, God does have my heart copy righted, all rights are reserved to Him,