What I Love about Being a Mom

Someone asked me not too long ago what I liked about being a mom. The question surprisingly stumped me because I’d never thought about it. I chose to become a mom, but once I had become a mom, it was no longer a choice. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
It could be that my favorite thing about being a mom is that the good that outweighs the bad. No matter how many times I get frustrated with my toddler, I instantly forget about it as soon as she smiles or laughs or gets hurt.
I wonder if that’s sort of how the Father feels about his children. Hebrews 8:12 says that God “remembers [our] sins no more.” Now, we know that this doesn’t mean that he has no memory of our sins. But it does mean that he no longer holds them against us if we are forgiven in Christ.
It’s the same with motherhood. If I need to, of course I can remember that awful tantrum or that frustrating feeding session, but they’re overshadowed by my love for my daughter. God chooses to “forget” our sins because his love and mercy overshadows them.
My second favorite thing about being a mom is being the only one Celeste wants comfort from. I wish I could say that the Father is always the first and only source from which I seek comfort, but being the sinner that I am, it is unfortunately not the case. And I know enough about life to guess that when Celeste is older, she will go to other things for comfort. (Hopefully it is God.) It’s not a perfect analogy, but when we were young (before sin) we sought only God. When sin came and we “grew up,” we started seeking these other things.
Another thing about motherhood that I love is the parallels between my relationship with my little girl and my relationship with my Father. Motherhood is a classroom in which I learn many things I would not learn anywhere else, and I consider it to be one of the most important jobs in the world.

When I Think I Am Weak

Am I just too caught up on wording? Am I being nitpicky?

The topic on my mind today is one of Lafayette native Lauren Daigle’s newest tunes, “You Say.” Here are the lyrics in case you’re not familiar:

I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough
Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up
Am I more than just the sum of every high and every low?
Remind me once again just who I am, because I need to know
You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing
You say I am strong when I think I am weak
You say I am held when I am falling short
When I don’t belong, oh You say that I am Yours
And I believe, oh I believe
What You say of me
I believe
The only thing that matters now is everything You think of me
In You I find my worth, in You I find my identity,
Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet
You have every failure God, and You’ll have every victory
Besides the line that’s in bold, I think this song rocks. But as the metaphor goes, “A little leaven leavens the whole lump,” (Galatians 5:9), that one line just sours the whole song for me. Do I need to just get over myself?
Some of you may be thinking, “What’s wrong with that line?” Well, the verse that Lauren (or whoever wrote the song) probably got the inspiration from is 2 Corinthians 12:9, where Paul writes that the strength of God is most displayed in his weaknesses. In other words, instead of saying that “When you feel weak, you are strong,” God is actually saying, “When you are weak, I am strong.” God’s strength is what we need when we are feeling weak, not a false belief in our own strength. When I am feeling weak, the truth of scripture tells me, “Yes, you are weak, but God is strong in you.”
It might just be a tiny twisting of this truth, and it’s not for me to say whether it’s intentional or not. But this song would be incredible and very powerful for worship if not for this one thing. Believers should not go around believing that they are strong. They should go around clinging to Christ’s strength.
I know that sometimes I am an annoying little pedant. And I try to repent of that when it’s brought to my attention. But scripture also places a lot of emphasis on the power of words, and I believe it is especially important how we talk about truth. Just a little bit of bad vocabulary can leave a gaping hole in theology, whether it was intended or not. The lesson of the day is that we need to guard our language as zealously as the truth is precious and holy.
And I question myself on this. Am I just hating on Lauren Daigle? I hope not. I really want to like her, and I really do root for her success. She is one of us, after all (a Christian and from Lafayette).
The devil’s advocate in my mind raises one more objection to my objections: Why not just overlook this one little line if the rest of the song is so great? Well, I fire this question back: Why not just listen to one of the many other songs that is well known to be solid in its theology? When it comes to our faith and what our hearts are believing, we can’t afford to take any chances. So let’s zealously guard our hearts, because they’re the wellsprings of life (Proverbs 4:23).

The Mirror Doesn’t Lie, but Our Hearts Do

I can’t trust what I see in the mirror, and I can’t even trust photos of myself.

They say the mirror doesn’t lie, and that may or may not be true, but it doesn’t have anything to do with how you see yourself. Jeremiah 17:9 says that our hearts are deceitful. They will lie to us about anything and everything, including what our eyes see.

I see a bad picture of myself, and I think, “Do I really look like that in real life?” One picture can send me down a deep, dark abyss of depression and self-hatred.

And my view of myself (physically) always depends on my mood. If I’m having a great day, I’m likely to see a picture of myself or see my reflection and think, “Dang, I look good! Why did I ever think I was fat?” But the very next day I could be in a sour mood, and seeing a reflection or picture can make me want to hide under a rock.

So what’s up with that? What does that prove? Well, it proves that we shouldn’t put so much importance on our external appearance. And it reminds me to focus on cultivating the beauty that God finds very precious, which is the beauty that comes from trusting God (1 Peter 1:3-5). The inside beauty. “Charm is fleeting, and beauty is deceptive, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,” (Proverbs 31:31).

It’s also freed me. Instead of worrying about how I look, I trust what my husband says about my appearance. If he says I’m not fat or ugly, I’ll believe him, because I know I can’t trust my own eyes, but I can trust him. And also trust what God says about me, which is that I’m part of the beautiful bride of Christ.

Diet, Exercise, and Weight: The Nightmare Conversation

It seems I can’t spend any time with other women these days without being subjected to a conversation about diet, exercise, and weight. It is honestly something I’ve come to dread.

My personal stance on the aforementioned is neutral in nature. I try not to think too much about what I eat. What should be important is not what I’m eating but why I’m eating and how much. And when it comes to exercise, I know that I need more of it and am currently taking steps to have more of in my life. Read More »

How Does Introversion or Extroversion Affect Writing Style?

I’m excited to be doing something a little new for this blog post! This blog so far has been a collection of spiritual and Christian reflections on sin, anxiety, and Christian living, among other things related. Recently I have rekindled my passion for book writing, thanks to Jane the Virgin, in fact! Jane’s an avid romance writer and seeing her episode after episode struggle to keep up with her passion was a huge inspiration for me to get back on the horse.

So I guess this is my debut as a fiction writer. The organizer in me is already thinking about starting a different blog just for talking about that, and keeping this blog about spiritual stuff. (We’ll see what happens!)

That being said, I have also recently tried to make connections with other bloggers and writers, and lo and behold, I’m already doing my first collaboration! The aim of it is to see how different personalities, specifically extroverted and introverted personalities, affect writing styles and make us the different and unique writers we are. Below is a series of questions, interview-style, to let you learn more about little old me and my writing style:

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What to Do When You Just Don’t Feel Like It

A mistake that many of us make is waiting to do something until we feel inspired. For instance, this morning I didn’t feel like doing my usual freewriting exercise, but I managed to get it done anyway. And I felt good afterward. I also didn’t feel like reading the Bible. But by the grace of God, I did that too.

It’s a catch 22 that we often face in life, especially with the Bible. Every Christians knows that reading the Bible is something they should do, but most if not all Christians struggle with a lack of desire or motivation to do it. The mistake comes in when we decide to wait until we feel like it. In my experience I have found that the longer I wait, the less desire I have to do it. Feelings follow actions, not the other way around. And this is never more true than when it comes to reading the Bible. We generally do what we want to do. And apart from the Spirit of God giving us that motivation and desire, we won’t ever want to read the Bible. So what do we do?

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Can You Lose Your Salvation?

I’m slowly reading through the Old Testament. I might not read every day, and it’s definitely taking me longer than a year, but I’ve never gotten this far through it. I’m in Judges right now, which I think is the most gruesome, depressing book in the Bible.

Over and over again, the Israelites sinned and turned away from the Lord. This led to their own destruction and oppression. When it got so bad that they finally put their idols away and turned back to the Lord, the Lord saved them. Over and over. The problem was that they were constantly falling back into damnation.

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Bringing Chaos Back Into Order

I have suffered from what I think is severe anxiety for some time now. It’s always been there, but because I have woken up to it and begun to try to fight it, it has been fighting back even more fiercely. I would like to work through my anxiety and see where the spiritual problems end and where the chemical ones, if there are any, begin. But just the prospect of trying to sort through all my stuff makes me anxious. How ironic! That’s why I’m glad that, as a Christian, I have community that’s committed to seeing things in me that I can’t see myself. That community includes my husband. We had a talk about it last night, and I think I’ve begun to figure some things out about my anxiety, praise be to God.

My thoughts, desires, and motives are like a tangled up ball of yarn. As soon as I try to pull one string, the knots just become worse. I realized that my anxiety largely stems from the desperate desire to control things. Not only do I want to have “a place for everything and everything in its place” on the outside—a place for all the things in my home, for instance—but I also want to have my mind perfectly ordered and under control.

That ain’t happening.

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Facebook Free and Just Fine

It’s been a couple weeks since I deleted my Facebook account. Although there were a couple temptations to return to share a photo or video, for the most part it has been surprisingly easy not to get sucked back in. What helps with that is the fact that I have an Instagram account. I restored the app to my phone recently and have been using that for a couple days. I still want to be able to share charming photos and videos of my little one, and Instagram is the perfect place for it. This is what I’ve noticed about Instagram versus Facebook and why I feel healthier on just Instagram: Read More »

Abstinence Culture: A Call for Reform

I remember learning about abstinence in high school, about saving myself for marriage. It was a lofty ideal that I’m not sure I even put much thought into. I was quite the follower then and because people I respected said I needed to, I vowed not to have premarital sex. But my reasoning was hollow. I was saving myself for marriage not out of love for my future spouse or obedience to God, but out of the flawed thinking that keeping myself pure physically meant that I would keep myself spiritually pure.

After several years and also a few scarring sexual experiences, I now realize that the abstinence culture I grew up in damaged me. Yes, my sexual sins damaged me all on their own, because sin is does that, but I’m convinced that the aftermath of my sexual deviance was far worse than it should have been. Instead of my sin leading me to repentance and closer to God, it condemned me because I had developed the idea that virginity was my salvation and worth.Read More »