Tuesday, December 30, 2008
One thing that is super hard for me to deal with is change. When my life is going well I just want everything to stay that way. I don't like having to get used to new things. Very rarely do I see change as good. When I think of change is has a negative connotation. Which is wrong because its been proven to me that some change can be so rewarding and so worth it. But for some reason I have a really hard time handling change. And not just my own change but the people in my life changing.
I know it happens, and I've gone through plenty of change myself, but I just have a difficult time dealing with people close to me changing. Like when you meet someone and they are just so happy and funny and goofy and then a couple months later you realize you haven't heard them laugh in awhile. Or they just turn into a negative person or grow distant. There comes a point where I start to blame myself and think that maybe I'm the reason they are being like this. Maybe something I did or said hurt them or affected them. Or maybe my mere presence in their life is a negative one. I know thats over dramatic but honestly that is where my mind goes when someone I'm close to grows distant. I know life is hard sometimes, and I completely understand going through times of turmoil and difficulty. It is just depressing to me to see someone going through that.
I'm a fixer. I want to fix everything. Even things that aren't in my power, like taking something back or someone being sick. I hate having things out of my control. And when someone is sad or going through a hard personal time I don't know what to say or do to make it go away. And most of the time there is nothing that I could say or do to fix it. This is especially hard when its someone I care about deeply. I'm one of those people that wants everyone else to be happy even if I'm dying on the inside.
It's quite frustrating honestly and I really wish I could find a way to get over.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
26In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. 28The angel went to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you."
29Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. 31You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. 32He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."
34"How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"
35The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called[c] the Son of God. 36Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. 37For nothing is impossible with God."
38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said." Then the angel left her.Luke 2:1-20
1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.
4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Since I am the Global and Local Outreach assistant I get to see all the wonderful things our church does for the community. For those of you that have seen my office you know that my building is quite tiny and most of the time cluttered with overflow from the either global or local projects.
Well, for the past month my entire office building has been packed to the brim with christmas presents. Every year around christmas time we do a couple different projects such as, Project Angel Tree or Adopt-a-Family. The congregation gets together to help out those in need. With the economy being the way it is this year we were quite worried about what kind of response we would get to these projects. I am so proud to say that Central really stepped it up and did above and beyond what we asked.
I've had multiple people come into my office and hand me checks for hundreds of dollars just to donate to help buy these presents. The other day I had a lady come in and tell me how her and her husband struggled all year and then right around this season they had been able to afford all of their bills and provide for christmas for their family. She said they had some extra money left over and wanted to donate it. She stood there and wrote me a check for $200. It honestly almost brought tears to my eyes. This family that could have very well used that money decided to help out someone else.
Throughout the past two weeks we have had nearly 100 families from the community come in to our office to ask for help to provide christmas for their families and we have been able to help every single one. And the church itself didn't have to spend one penny. The congregation provided it all.
It has been worth all of the clutter and mess and dora the explorer dolls to be able to see a smile on the face of a single mother of 4 or a disabled and unemployed father or a women who had to donate her plasma for money just so she could pay her bills.
It's been an amazing and humbling experience and again, I am just so proud to be a staff person and a member here.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
After my feelings of hurt and frustration, I got to be happy again. I honestly have amazing friends. I can not even say how lucky I truly am to have friends that will be there no matter what.
Even though we don't see each other often, my girls from high school will always be my best friends. It's hard when our schedules are all so different and we are living such different lives but when it does work out for us to get together its like we never left.
The girls that actually made the time to see me while I was in town last night are absolutely wonderful :) We all complain when it doesn't work out but when the opportunity is available for us, I'm glad we can all get over our past frustration and just enjoy being with each other.
Like we were saying last night, when we said best friends we meant that in 30 years from now if we needed each other we would still be there for each other in a heart beat, And I know that its true. We have all been through so much together and really grown up in the past 4 years but we've stuck together. And while we have made other friends, I know that we will always have each other.
I just love you girls :)
Sunday, December 14, 2008
I'm going to write 3 separate blogs going through each emotion. Here's the first:
This is probably going to piss some people off, cause some controversy or maybe even be used in a sermon, but i'm ok with that. I am far enough removed now that I could honestly care less if these feelings or my words get to certain people and they feel offended.
Alot of you may know about a certain situation I went through at a church about a year and a half ago. Still thinking back on it, I have never felt more betrayed, hurt, used, or stabbed in the back. I never understood how someone who is supposed to be leading a church and a group of people could do so much damage to a specific family out of pure dislike. I still don't understand how they could ever have justified their actions by their position of leadership. This person to this day still disgusts me. I don't know if I have ever had such harsh feelings for anyone else in my entire life. These events were so heart shattering that I began to question my faith and left church altogether.
There is so much I could say about this individual but I'm trying not to stoop to their level. Because unlike this person I don't talk about their personal life and spread rumors and take other people's words for truth when I really have no idea.
These things were not done just to me. This person attacked my whole family. That is something I am just not ok with. Now, I'm not saying my family is perfect, we definitely are not, but I will say that my parents live their lives above reproach. My parents are 2 of the strongest Christians I know and try every single day to live their lives to honor God. And that is something they have instilled in us kids. Although we slip up, we always find our way back. So when someone accuses my parents of doing something that is complete garbage I find it disgusting. Just because your "friend" told you this does not mean its true. If you are leading a church, you need to do as the bible says and go directly to the source. I put "friend" in quotations because i find it quite ironic where this person is now.
I can't say this is all bad. Because the greatest thing to ever happen to me came from all of this. Because my parents are people of God, they turned to him in this and found where God wanted them to be. Through all this, my parents made the decision to leave that place. They stepped out and stepped into a new place I like to call Home.
Out of all of the yuck and hurt, my family found Central Christian Church of the East Valley. I honestly cannot express my gratitude for this place. It restored my faith and my very fast diminishing relationship with Christ. I have never been more proud to be a member of any church. I have never felt God more present or more the focus any other place. At Central it's not about popularity, its about meeting Jesus. It's not a place where we focus on the staff or the rules or what people say, we focus on the people and their relationship with God. The leadership and staff truly live God-honoring lives. They use the bible as a teaching tool rather than a way to enforce rules or call people out on their sins.
All I have to say is Thank You. Thank you to that place and those people that have tried to break my entire family down over the past 2 years. We aren't even there anymore and you are still talking about us. Now that every member of my family is gone, I hope you are happy. Because I know we are. And you're latest decision was really more of a blessing, because now they can get out of that place where they were not being blessed and move on with their lives which are going to be so much better without you in them.
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Here are some pictures:
Ashley, Me, Amy and Kim!
All the girls in our hideous sweaters!
Me kicking Joe's butt at snowboarding on the Wii!!!
Joey and I in our matching red sweaters :)
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I am thankful for:
-Jesus Christ. He has given and blessed me with so much this year it's uncomprehendable.
-My family. Mom, Dad, Court, Justin and Kelsey. It's been a rough year and 1/2 and you guys have put up with me far more than I deserve.
-Jonathan Anthony Montoya. My best friend in the whole world. Again, you've been there for me day after day after day and I am so lucky to have you my best friend.
-Central Christian Church. Not only for giving me a job, but for being a truly God-honoring church. I have never been more proud to be a part of a church. The staff and members here are some of the best people I've ever met.
-My college small group girls. Amy, Ashley, Halley, Bethany, Brittany, Cassie, Michelle, Holly and Karin. Within the past couple of months you girls have shaped me into the person I am today, always encouraging me to be the captivating woman that God created me to be. You are some of the greatest friends I've ever had. You accepted me with open arms and brought me into your group of friends and introduced me to even more amazing people.
-Joe DiMercurio. You are one of those amazing people I was introduced to. I am so grateful to have you and to be able to call you my boyfriend. You bring a whole new level of happiness to my life every single day.
-All my friends. New and old. From my girls from high school to my "table" to Mike and Sarah. You all have impacted me more than you can imagine. Thank you for your friendship.
-My high school small group. Ashley, Christina, Hannah, Jenelle, Melanie, Sidney and Taylor. As much as I am supposed to be leading and teaching you, you girls have taught me just as much. Thank you for opening up to me and trusting me like you have.
-Freedom of religion and from persecution. Working in Global Outreach has opened my eyes to how lucky we truly are to live in America and to have our freedom. We can pray and sing and dance and be loud and public about our religion without the fear of torture or even death.
-My bed. I absolutely love my bed. I'm so grateful I don't have to sleep on the streets. I think thats something we all take for granted.
-My house, car, clothing, food, make up, straightener, water, TV, shoes. Everything that I am spoiled with that I think of as a right instead of a privilege.
There is so much more that could be added on to here. I hope and pray that you take time to remember the things you are thankful for or to let those people know how much you appreciate them. There is no greater time of the year.
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone :)
Monday, November 24, 2008
I have absolutely no motivation towards school anymore. I value learning and education so much but I am so ready for this semester to be over. Going to class is about as fun and ripping out all my hair; which I feel my teachers are doing every time they talk. I am one semester away from getting my Associates and I'm seriously contemplating stopping there, or at least taking a break. I'm just over it right now.
I am in super need of a second job. I LOVE my job at Central but I am just not getting the hours. I can not quit GO so I need another part time job. I don't think I have ever been this worried about money in my whole life. It stresses me out way too much.
I'm just ready for the holiday break! I need a vaca and recharge session. Sometimes I wish we came with batteries so when we started to die down we could just put in new ones and be up and ready to go.
When I was little my daddy used to always tell me he wished I would stay 2 forever. I wouldn't mind being 2 years old right now.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
That took me in and out of buildings
Behind windows, walls and doors
And I thought I found it
Couple times, even settled down
And I'd hang around just long enough
To find my way back out
I know now the place that I was trying to
Was you, right here in front of me
And I wouldn't change a thing
I'd walk right back through the rain
Back to every broken heart
On the day that it was breakin'
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here
It's amazing what I let my heart go through
To get me where it got me
In this moment here with you
And it passed me by
God knows how many times
I was so caught up in holding
What I never thought I'd find
I know now, there's a million roads
I had to take
To get me in your arms that way
In a love I never thought I'd get to get to
And if that's the road
God made me take to be with you
And I'd relive all the years
And be thankful for all the tears
I've cried with every stumbled step
That led to you and got me here, right here.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
-1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Years ago, someone that I respect greatly told me that if you could replace the word "love" with the name of another person and all the statements were still true than it was true God-honoring love. I just thought that was a cool way to define "love."
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Experience: the most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. ~ C.S. Lewis
Sunday, November 9, 2008
"Take into account that great love and great accomplishments come with great risks." -Dalai Lama
"Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed." -Storm Jameson
"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything that it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more." -Erica Jong
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -Mark Twain
Monday, November 3, 2008
In 1999 a gruesome discovery was made that an Illinois hospital was shelving babies to die in a soiled utility room who had survived their abortions.
The Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act was introduced in 2001 to provide legal protection to all born babies, wanted or not, including the right to medical care.
Then-state Senator Barack Obama voted against Born Alive 4 times in 3 years and was the sole senator to speak against it on the Senate floor in 2001 and 2002.
In 2002, the Federal version of Born Alive passed unanimously in the US Senate and by overwhelming voice vote in the House. The pro-abortion group NARAL even went neutral on the bill.
But In 2003, Barack Obama voted against the identical version of Born Alive in Illinois. Then, for the next 4 years he repeatedly misrepresented his vote until it was recently discovered in the IL General Assembly archives.
For more information and to view the add running in battle ground states, click link below.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
The chapter continues by talking about the "Fallen Eve" and how we as women take on one of two different defensive mechanisms of some kind. One is to be controlling and the other is to be desolate. For me, I am the controlling one. The book described me perfectly.
After getting hurt the controlling one refuses to be vulnerable. Check. She guards her heart against everyone including God. Check. She has to be in control of every situation for fear that things wont get done. Check. She blocks out any type of meaningful relationship for fear of being let down yet again. Check. She doesn't take risks for fear of being rejected. Check.
A little over a year ago I went through the most painful series of events in my life. (Most of you know alot of about this.) In response to that pain I turned into the controlling Fallen Eve. I pretty much said screw you to everyone in my life and especially to God. The next year following those events I was the epitome of controlling Eve. I hate the person I was. I don't even know who she was at all. The crazy thing is after all of that, it all went away when I came back to God. That's how I know things happen for a reason. When I had pushed God away I felt a void. I started trying to fill that void with other things but it was never completely filled until I let God back in.
My favorite verse is Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, GUARD YOUR HEART, for it affects everything you do." For me I take that a little too seriously I think. At some point you have to let down our guard and let people in.
To me, being vulnerable is being weak. I hate that I think that way. I wish I could think of it as being honest. Without honesty where would we be? That's something I have to work on.
The desolate Fallen Eve is too vulnerable. She's needy and almost weak. Definitely not me.
The question is: How do we stop from turning into either of these Fallen Eves? Can we?
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A couple days ago I posted a note on Facebook about my political views and I've been overwhelmingly pleased at the responses. I was very careful not to say anything negative about the candidate I am NOT supporting, but was still kinda expecting a debate or some backlash from it. I have received nothing but support and encouragement from what i said.
Below is what i wrote on facebook:
So, I'm not really overly verbose about my polical standpoints and i tend to keep my opinions on politics to myself to avoid an arguement but this time I'm really passionate about this election.
In the 2008 election I am fully supporting John McCain and Sarah Palin.
I understand by writing this I may be opening a can of worms and inviting ridicule but I really dont care. I do not look at anyone differently at all because of who they vote for. Some of my very best friends are Osam- i mean- Obama supporters. Everyone has their own opinions and it is their right to have them. And all I ask is that you respect my opinions the way I respect yours. I'm not a huge follower of politics and I certainly don't know every detail of each candidates platform but i do know the ones that care about the most. I don't believe that you will ever agree with every single view of any candidate but if you know which ones are most important to you and find a candidate that feels the same way you do then there you go.
A few of my biggest cares are:
education: While Obama is trying to lower college tuitions which is every college students dream come true, McCain is making more money available and lower interest rates. By making more money available it allows students to still pay for their education. I've come to realize that if you pay your own money for something you value it a little more. I think that Obama is giving students the easy way to do college, while McCain is proving that life is hard but you need to be equipped with the knowledge of how to overcome those diversities.
abortion: I am pro-life all the way. Obama supports abortion and that literally makes my stomach ache. McCain supports other options after birth and more accessible adoption plans, his being an adoptive father himself. Ronald Reagan said "I've noticed that everybody that is for abortion has already been born." How would you feel if your mother had aborted you? Exactly, you wouldn't know because you wouldn't be here.
gay marriage: I know this is testy, and i'm probably going to get burned for this but I am against gay marriage. God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. I know you've heard that one before but its true. Marriage is between one man and one woman, take it back to the anatomy of your body. it's pretty obvious why God created your body the way he did. Being a Christian and knowing what God had planned for marriage there is no way I could support gay rights. Obama is against gay marriage but supports civil unions. To me, thats a cop-out. Complete BS. What's the difference? None. If Obama was really the " strong christian" he says he is, he would know what God had to say about the issue. McCain is against it. It's that simple. I agree.
Immigration: Obama wants to provide illegal aliens with the same opportunites as citizens and wants to make it easier for them to be in our country. McCain wants to close the borders. I don't know about you but being a resident of Arizona this is something I deal with on an everyday basis. I understand that America is better than Mexico but if you want to come here do it the right way. They are not helping our economy at all despite what some like to say. And the fact that illegal immigrants are getting better financial aid for college than I am is crap.
Health Care: Obama wants easier access to healthcare; AKA raise our taxes to pay for other peoples healthcare. McCain believes is restructuring health care plans so that every person at their particular stage of life can pick their own coverage and afford it.
Taxes: Obama wants to raise taxes to help the government. McCain does not. I don't want more of my paycheck to be taken out to pay for the governments mistakes, thanks.
Gun control: Obama wants to regulate it. McCain supports private gun ownership. Our founding fathers thought guns were important enough to put into our Constitution and our country is based on our Constitution. I'll stick with the foundations.
There are many issues at hand and some I support Obama's viewpoints, but there are too many things that are important to me that I don't agree with.
I also have a hard time trusting a man who was raised Muslim being the leader of our country and the fact that most of his campaign funding was from an "anonymous source" traced back to Suadi Arabia.
John McCain bleeds Red, White, and Blue. He has devoted his enitre life to serving this country.
Obama had only been in the Senate for 143 days when he announced his run for presidency. John McCain has 26 years in Congress, 22 years of military service including 1,966 days in captivity as a POW. I'm pretty sure McCain has a little more experience.
I also am totally bugged by the fact that Obama has become a fashion statement. Younger generations are going to be persuaded simply by who their favorite actor is or what they think is "cool" instead of looking up the facts. Being a first time voter myself and a trend analyis as I like to call myself, I really had to look up the facts in precaution of just following the trend, and I am not a trend follower, I'm a trendsetter :) haha. But seriously.
So that's my politcal views. They aren't indepth and I don't want a debate or anything, I just needed to get it all out and voice my opinion.
I believe that either candidate will be able to run our country, but I strongly believe that one will run it better.
So therefore on November 4th, you will see me wearing a John McCain shirt and checking the box next to his name.
Thanks for the encouragement everyone :)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This blog will also be somewhat of an outlet for me. Things always seem to get better after I write them out so this is going to be a kind of cheap therapy foe me. Ha :)
Well here we go.