Saturday, May 16, 2009

Guard your heart, girl!

"Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

Our hearts house who we are...our desires. As John Eldredge says in his book, Desire, "Everything that makes life worth living flows from the heart. Intimacy, romance, love. Adventure and meaning and purpose. Courage and sacrifice and joy." No wonder we're told to guard our hearts!

I can't count the number of times that I've been told as a Christian single to "guard my heart" in regards to relationships with the opposite sex. I fully agree that girls do need to guard their hearts in those relationships, but I also think it extends beyond those relationships and beyond applying only to girls!

I think we overlook guarding our hearts with friends because we think we need to share everything with every friend. I had to learn the hard way that every friend can't be trusted with my entire heart. I'm sure that I'm not the only person that has experienced the hurt and pain that comes from a friend when you realize you've trusted them with a part of you/your heart that they couldn't handle. I will admit that it's hard to determine who to share what with without being fake! I finally learned that there are degrees of truth. This has allowed me to be the real me with all my friends, but each friendship has its own level of truth. I have friends who are, what I call, my heart friends. These are the friends that I can bare my soul to and know they can be trusted with that information. Those heart friends were determined over time because character had to be revealed.

It's hard to know to what extent to guard your heart in relationships, but I've found that it's good to land somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of too open and too guarded. I've been both extremes. We all know that when we're too open, pain is inevitable! Being too guarded can be painful, too. It causes us to close ourselves off to what could be really great relationships. I don't think God wants us to live life this way. We were built for relationship with Him and others. Some of my greatest learning lessons have come out of situations where I let the guard down. Those lessons haven't always been painless; but, as someone once told me, "Stretching and growing is always painful." I don't want to be so guarded that I miss out on something that could be really great!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's time to come clean

Hello, my name is Angela AND I am a Starbucks addict.

Readers of I'm Just Sayin: "Hello, Angela."

Really???? What's not to love about Starbucks?! I guess for some it is as Tom Hanks' character in You've Got Mail says, "The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision making ability, whatsoever, to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short. Tall. Light. Dark. Caff. Decaf. Low fat. Nonfat. So people who don't know who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee, but absolutely a defining sense of self!"

I've been drinking coffee most of my life, but Starbucks allowed me to take that coffee addiction to a whole new level! It opened a whole new world of coffee opportunities for me! I could couple two of my favorite things in one and caramel. What more could a girl want?! Well, lots, but that's an entirely different blog!

For me, Starbucks is more than just is an experience!

When you walk in, you are greeted by the rich coffee aroma! That smell soon gets into your clothes and hair, which I must say is like taking a little piece of heaven with you when you go! I wish I could figure out how to bottle that smell!

I love meeting friends at, as I affectionately call it, The Bucks! You don't have to worry about them kicking you out because you've been there for hours chatting away, reading a book, or working on your computer. You can settle in to one of their deep, comfy chairs and let the stresses of the day just melt away and enjoy your cup of coffee.

It's my happy place! SIGHHHHHHHH :)

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Are you content?

Philippians 4: 11-13 "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who give me strength."

Do you ever wish that you could learn the secret of contentment that Paul learned? What is it that causes us to become discontent? I think we struggle with contentment because we are always looking for the next best thing to make us happy, which we equate with being content. That next best thing comes in many forms: more money, more power, cars, houses, jobs, and the one I've dealt with the most...getting married.

Being a 30 something single, I can relate to this one! We are taught from the time we are little girls that we are princesses. Well, we all know what happens when you're a princess...a prince on a white horse will com in to rescue you & whisk you away to live happily ever after. This isn't what God intended for us at all! He wants to be our Prince that comes in to rescue us! If we aren't content in Him, then nothing else will bring us true contentment...not even marriage!

I, like most other single women, desire to be married and have a family. Those aren't bad desires, and I fully believe they are God given desires. I think we can make the mistake of looking at those desires as the point in which our lives can start. I've heard it said that if you are aren't content before you get married, marriage isn't going to make you content.

There is a much deeper desire within me to pursue Christ and the purpose He has for me. I have a desire within me to work with young girls and women. I have no clue where God is going to lead me in this area, but He is continually opening doors and I'm walking through them. I've found that when I pursue Christ and His calling, the other desires fade into the background. It doesn't mean that I've abandoned those desires...they just aren't the most important to me. A man was never meant to complete me. That's God's job!!!! If I'm doing my thing and pursuing God, then if/when God brings the guy, he'll just be the icing on the cake.

I think this was the secret Paul learned: if you pursue Christ and the desires he places within you, your striving for all those other desires ceases. It's easy to be content when you aren't trying to seek out the next best thing to bring you contentment.

A Smile on this face...

I've decided that somewhere within me is a magnet that attracts the most bizarre men...I call them my crazies! Just like any single, available girl, I do want some interest from the opposite sex. However, there are some that I wish would not pay me any attention at all! In the last few weeks, I've had a string of them. My favorite to date happened yesterday morning.

Picture it....

I'm driving down the interstate in my exit only lane prepared to merge onto yet another interstate while singing "Defying Gravity" from the Wicked soundtrack at the top of my lungs. Suddenly, a crew cab F350 truck in the lane next to me gets a little ahead of me and there is a man leaning half of his body out the back wind of the truck waving wildly at me. Well, of course I look because he could be trying to tell me something important like, "Hey, you have a flat tire!" This was not the case! When he knew he had my attention he gave me a cheesy grin and then did the Joey backward head nod, as if to say, "How you doin'?"

I was shocked!!!!! I mean, seriously?!?! What did he think I was gonna do???? Did he think I was gonna gesture with my thumb & pinky next to my face as if to say, "Call me," then hold up a poster board with my number plastered on it?!