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I believe in the sun despite darkness. I believe in truth despite deception. I believe in peace despite war. I believe in love despite hate. I believe in life despite death. I believe redemption despite sin. I believe in Heaven despite Hell. I believe in faith despite fear. I believe in Jesus despite his crucifixion. I believe in God despite His silence. I believe in myself despite my flaws. I believe in you despite our differences. I believe. – Aaron Kusza

Religion is for people who are scared of going to Hell. Spirituality is for those who have already been there.

Comment and I will select a letter for you.
List 10 things starting with that letter that you love.
Post this in your journal.

I was given ‘B’ by Crystal.

1. Buffy! (It’s first because I’m pretty sure that’s what Crystal was thinking of when she gave it to me. 😀 )

2. Babies (As long as I can give them back when they get cranky, I love them!)

3. Books (Or maybe that should go under ‘C’ for crack cocaine!)

4. Blankets (Specifically my soft, fuzzy one)

5. Bottled water (It’s a lifesaver at work.)

6. Bears (As in teddy bears. I have quite the collection.)

7. Black and white photography (Yes, I’m cheating……)

8. Broccoli (You heard me…..)

9. Bands (Such as Dave Matthews!)

10. Blogging (If it weren’t for this blog, everything would be bottled up inside. And that would be bad.)

Comment if you want to be tagged!

The kids in my preschool can be absolute terrors but they can be pretty darn cute too. Last week, I was out on the playground with one of the other teachers and we were watching the kids run around. There is one little girl, Lauren, who is best friends with a little boy named Jack. They have a complete love-hate relationship and fight like an old married couple half the time. Jack was getting mad because he wanted to play with Lauren but she kept running away from him. So he was chasing her and there was another little girl, Lisa, who wanted to play with Jack and so she was chasing him. But he only had eyes for Lauren. Which made me feel pretty badly for him because she wanted nothing to do with him right then. At one point, she stops running, turns around to face him, and with this little ghetto head nod and her fingers wagging at him, she says “Jack Albright, you are *not* my boyfriend!” And then took off running again. The other teacher and I just about died laughing. I wanted to tell Jack, “Honey, I’d give up and go with Lisa. If that Lauren is anything like me, you’ll be running after her the rest of your life.”

Because, as all great philosophers know, boys have cooties. 😉

I just finished reading ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’. I found it a couple of years ago and it’s been on my to-read list ever since. Very funny, very easy read. I think all women should have to read this book.

At the end of the book, the authors give Standard Suggestions. They are:

* I will not go out with a man who hasn’t asked me out first.

* I will not go out with a man who keeps me waiting by the phone.

* I will not date a man who isn’t sure he wants to date me.

* I will not date a man who makes me feel sexually undesirable.

* I will not date a man who drinks or does drugs to an extent that makes me uncomfortable.

* I will not be with a man who is afraid to talk about our future.

* I will not, under any circumstances, spend my precious time with a man who has already rejected me.

* I will not date a man who is married.

* I will not be with a man who is not clearly a good, kind, loving person.

You want to know why I’m still single? Because I have yet to find a man who meets those standards. I “hate” men because so few manage to live up to even a decent guy level. And that list isn’t even all of mine. Here are some of my personal standards:

* I will not date a man who shows no growth in his spiritual walk or has none at all.

* I will not date a man who makes me look/feel like an idiot in front of my friends or family.

* I will not date a man who only wants me for my body.

* I will not even speak to a man who doesn’t know how to treat me and every other woman with respect.

* I will not date a man who doesn’t treat his momma right.

* I will not date a man who has no purpose in life, gives nothing of himself to others, can’t hold down a job, doesn’t have friends of his own, and simply doesn’t have his act together.

* I will not date a man who claims not to have money and then blows tons of it on alcohol or new toys.

* I will not date a man who isn’t willing to love and build a relationship with my family and friends.

* I will not date a man who gives into violent fits or has a nasty temper.

* I will kick the ass of any man who tries to force himself on me.

* I will not date a man who is inconsiderate.

* I will not date a man who is needy and clingy and doesn’t know how to give me space.

* I will not date a man who makes excuses for poor behavior and choices.

* I will not date a man who blames everyone else for his problems.

* I will definitely not change my mind and date a man who, if he asks me out and I reject him, decides to be a jerk and torment me or calls me a lesbian.

Now, you tell me. Am I unreasonable? Are my standards too high? Do you think I’m full of myself? Or do I simply realize that I am a beautiful, unique, beloved child of God who deserves to be treated as such?

Women, we deserve to be loved. We deserve to feel like a queen. Don’t lower your standards. Don’t waste your time on men who obviously aren’t worth it. You are worth the wait. Men, you deserve to be loved too. Don’t lower your standards either. Work on becoming the type of person you want to be married to and you will have no trouble attracting them.

Because I just re-read these lists and think that we are so right. 🙂

Here’s Jon’s list:

Boys vs. Men

1. Boys will drop a pick up line on you and grin at their own cleverness. A man can flirt without showing off.

2. Boys like fart jokes and everything about them. Men like the jokes too, but they don’t feel the need to act them out for you.

3. Boys hold onto fantasy women ideas and hold torches without ever being able to ask the person out. A man knows that everyone is flawed and will ask her out anyway.

4. Boys take rejection as a personal attack. A man realizes that he isn’t going to be attractive to everyone and that she may just not be in a place to be dating.

5. Boys try to take what isn’t their’s to have. A man works to have what he values.

6. Boys yell, argue, and fight. A man is calm and walks away from trouble when he can.

7. Boys hit. Men hold.

8. Boys say hurtful things to denegrate and diminish others. A man builds others up and is quick to compliment.

9. Boys bitch and moan about problems. A man prays and asks for help when he needs it.

10. Boys hold their pride or rep in the highest regard. A man knows that having a good name is worth more than gold.

11. Boys take the easy road out of any trouble. A man faces the consequences of his actions and does the right thing.

12. Boys cheat. A man knows that a good woman is the greatest of blessings from God in this life and puts her before himself.

13. Boys run from trouble. A man handles his responsibilities.

14. Boys look for you to take care of them. A man looks for you to take care of each other.

15. Boys can’t maintain eye contact. A man can look into your eyes and let you know how attractive you are without a word.

16. Boys look for hot chicks. A man knows that every woman is beautiful in her own way.

17. Boys have to top your story with a better one of their own. A man asks you questions and lets you be the center of attention.

18. Boys are all about “me”. Men are all about “you”.

19. Boys go to the game, or play X-Box when their kids come over for the weekend. A man helps with homework and plays Candyland.

20. Boys boast. Men deliver.

And here is mine (I added a few):

Girls vs. Women

1. Girls ask how they look every five minutes. Women are confident enough to know they look good and smart enough to know if it truly matters.

2. Girls are needy and clingy. Women are independent and have interests outside of you.

3. Girls freak out if you don’t return a phone call. Women are rational and realize that things happen and life is unpredictable. And if you’re truly just not returning her calls, she knows you’re not worth her time.

4. Girls dress provocatively to gain attention. Women can be sexy no matter what they’re wearing.

5. Girls need to have every guy like them, even if they don’t like him. Women know that they aren’t everyone’s type.

6. Girls get their friends to find out if you like them. Women just ask.

7. If you piss them off, girls blog about it and tell all their friends. Women decide whether it’s really worth being pissed over and if it is, they talk to you about it.

8. Girls look to blame everyone but themselves for their shortcomings. Women own up to their mistakes and work to fix them.

9. Girls gossip and speak badly of other girls behind their backs in order to make themselves look good. Women don’t feel threatened by other women and can even sincerely agree when you compliment another woman.

10. Girls are catty and throw each other under a bus to get a guy. Women stand back a minute and know that if you choose the dumb bimbo over her, you aren’t as smart as you look.

11. Girls expect you to read their minds. Women are upfront and honest.

12. Girls take rejection as an insult and plot to make you jealous. Again, women realize that they aren’t everyone’s type and that it’s not a personal attack.

13. Girls bring up your past mistakes in arguments, even the ones you’ve apologized for. Women deal with the problem at hand and know to let things go.

14. Girls create drama and demand that they are the center of attention. Women realize that life has enough drama of it’s own and they cherish the “boring” moments.

15. Girls are in constant need of rescuing. Women can discern when it’s time for them to be the hero.

16. Girls get drunk and use it as an excuse to act like a ho. Women know that a true man will love her for herself, not because she’s easy.

17. Girls avoid confrontation and have no backbone or opinions of their own. Women have their own views and convictions and hold strongly to them, even in the midst of adversity.

18. Girls justify it when a boy treats them like sh*t. Women let them know exactly what “no” means.

19. Girls won’t accept help from others, refuse to listen to their friends and family, and stubbornly take the path they know is doomed. A woman surrounds herself with wise people whom she can trust and she heeds their advice.

20. Girls compare you to other men. A woman appreciates each man for his unique qualities and characteristics.

I have recently come to a conclusion: I can’t stand most people in my age demographic. People my age still tend to believe that the world revolves around them. They don’t consider other people and how their choices will effect those around them. They are catty and stab people in the back. They think that life is one big party and to hell with the consequences that will arrive with the morning light. Self-absorption and immediate gratification are the order of the day. Every day. In short, they are immature.

Now of course I’m not going to hop onto my hypocrisy broom here and say that I never have my moments. Heck, I have my days. I have done things that I know will hurt someone else. I have thought only about myself and my wants. I have made some poor decisions and have lived and am still living with the consequences to many of them. I am not perfect. However, I also know how to shake myself, put on my big girl panties and say “That was stupid. That was wrong. Something needs to change.” I own up to my mistakes and I try not to make them again. Unfortunately, I am also a very stubborn person so sometimes I will continue to do whatever it is for awhile. But the whole time, I know it is wrong. I may justify it to myself but deep down I know it is wrong. And eventually I stop justifying and I say “This needs to end.” It is part of being an adult to recognize your mistakes and own up to them. Owning up to them doesn’t just mean admitting them. It also means taking steps to insure I will not make them again. Saying “sorry” doesn’t matter one wit if you are only going to turn around and pull the same stunt.

Last night I went to a club with some of my friends. I was already in a bad mood and was wanting to take a book with me. I was not in a mood for drunk people, guys hitting on me and trying to feel me up, or anything about the whole party scene. But I had agreed to be the designated driver so I was stuck. Plus part of me was hoping that once I got there I’d be able to relax and have fun. I should really know better by now.

My cousin was there and he kept the drunk frat boys away. But we were still surrounded by drunk people. And most drunk people are irritating. I’m not against going out and drinking a little. I’m not against dancing. What I don’t like is getting so drunk you can’t walk or remember what you did 5 minutes ago, and bumpin’ and grindin’ with people whose first name you don’t know.

I can see why the fundamentalists are so strict. And sometimes I want to go back to thinking that way. Because when you give people freedom, that means they’re free to abuse it. They are free to make their own decisions and a lot of the time, it’s going to be poor ones. I know why they want to keep a leash on everyone. The reason I don’t subscribe to that is it doesn’t work. The more rules you give people, the more ways they will find to break them. I saw it at Liberty and I see it now. It is human nature to rebel against someone else’s standards. Either way, mistakes will be made and consequences will be suffered. Most of the time the natural consequences are worse than any punishment a human could dole out.

The thing is, I don’t mind when certain people drink. But there’s a reason. They know how to be adults. They know when enough is enough. They know how to take responsibility for their actions. When most people get drunk, they get loud. They start cussing more. They get in your personal space. They get touchy-feely. When my grown-up friends drink, we talk about theology. The Trinity. (Haha, Rob. 🙂 ) Social justice. We know how to have fun without making out with the nearest victim. Or hanging all over someone who clearly doesn’t want our attention. Or getting to the point where we’re holding each other’s hair back or holding each other up so we can walk. Has each of us had our stupid nights? Yes. I don’t know about the others but it took 2 times of my being drunk for me to say “No more”. And both of those times were in the week of my 21st birthday because everyone wanted to buy me a drink.

Partying it up all the time is no way to go through life. We are called to be so much more. Especially if getting drunk means you make those associated with you look bad. And it almost always does. I have been absolutely mortified by the actions of people when they are drunk. Common sense goes a looooong way. And people my age don’t seem to have a lot of it. People my age make me want to become a nun and take a vow of silence. There is an adult way to go through life and there is a childish way. I try to choose the adult way. Now, how do I handle the people who choose the childish way?

False Self

* Security and significance achieved by what we have, what we can do, and what others think of us.

* Happiness is sought in autonomy from God and in attachments.

* Identity is our idealized self (who we want others to think we are).

* Achieved by means of pretense and practice.

* Maintained by effort and control

* Embraces illusion as a means of attempting to become a god.

True Self

* Security and significance achieved by being deeply loved by God.

* Fulfillment found in surrender to God and fulfilling our vocation.

* Identity is who we are – and are becoming – in Christ.

* Received as a gift with gratitude and surrender.

* Maintained by grace.

* Embraces reality as the place of meeting and being transformed by God.

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