Thursday, February 13, 2014


Yesterday my friend and I were making a funny video of each other.  When I sat down and watched what we had created, I was amazed at what I saw.  Was that really me?  Do I actually sound like that?  Is that how I laugh, and the way I move my hands when I speak?  

I never see myself candidly like that.  I look at myself in the mirror so many times a day, yet I have no idea what I look like.  In my head, I look like the girl in the mirror -- every hair exactly how I've placed it, nice posture, everything.  But really I don't look like that.  I laugh, look perplexed, listen to others talk, open doors, trip, lounge on the couch.  I never see myself then.  I don't see the real, live me, when I'm really being.  

And my friends, those around me, see me differently than I see myself.  They see how I act, the words I say that give a picture of who I am.  They see the way I stand, sit, talk, and laugh -- and accept it as me.  But that isn't me either, really.  They don't know the me inside myself.  They can't see my motives, my worldview and limited, unique perspective.  They see a part of me, but no one will ever understand completely all that it is to be me.

The only one who gets to see both -- the way I am outside of me, and who I am inside of me -- is God.  He has the perfect perspective...which is why it makes sense that His thoughts on my life are the most important.

Anyway -- all of that to get to this -- I've recently been wondering about the lies I tell myself.  There are some lies so deep within me, so subconscious, that I don't even question them.  It's like the lie I tell myself about my voice.  I hear myself speak, and I accept it as how I really sound.  But, when I hear myself on a recording, I discover that the voice inside my head isn't quite accurate.

There are other lies I let myself believe sometimes.  Lies about being ugly, or stupid, or insignificant.  About not being enough or inconsequential.  Sometimes I tell myself lies that make me feel better than I am, too.  My heart, which knows so little, says I'm smarter than I am.  That I'm better than others.  That I deserve so much.

These things I tell myself are not a conscious decision I make.  They came from my culture, my experience, and the finite, sinful flesh that I dwell in.  And yet, I have the ability to follow after One who knows the truth.  One who tells me pointblank that, though I am nothing on my own, I am His beautiful daughter.  I matter, I have purpose, because He has given it to me.  And He knows who I really am.  He created me -- body and soul.  He should know.  And so, when I run after Him, I discover myself.  I'll never see me by listening to those around me or by looking in the mirror.  It's only when I surrender to a God so big, so infinite and beyond me, that I find myself.  It's terrifying to give myself away -- to say YES to all that He asks of me.  Yet, it's where I find contentment, too.  And Joy.  And a Peace beyond what I could know on my own.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Wait, you know what Angry Birds is, too?!

It's funny how things work out sometimes.  Like when I learn about the man who invented steam engines, and a Jeopardy! question asks about the same thing.  Or when my mom gets a Hyundai, and suddenly it seems like the roads are filled with them.  And I feel like the world discovers things as I discover things.  But, really, they've always been there.  I'm just seeing them for the first time.

It's the same with Joy, really.  When I decide to pursue a life of Joy, I discover that Ann is doing a Joy Dare on her blog.  But this isn't the first year she's organized it.  It's simply the first year I've paid attention.  And, with taking on this dare, this dare to count 1,000 blessings, I've found so many things I've never seen before.  They've always been there, but I'm finally seeing them.

They are little things -- like hugs from good friends and warm, cozy slippers -- but they make all the difference.  Because, when suddenly I see these blessings cropping up everywhere, I'm aware of something so much bigger than myself.  Even though each little Joy is small by itself, counting 1,000 blessings illuminates a God that watches over every minute detail of my life.  He's there, every moment of my life.  And He's given me everything I need.  Every breath.  Every smile.  Every new opportunity or trial that I face.  He's given it to me because He knows me and loves me.  What better reason do I need to be joyful?