Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Marriage....No political stances here!

Instead of doing day 10: Describe your most embarrassing moment, I can't even remember a really embarrassing one that stands out totally.  I've had too many to mention.  So today in light of the controversy in all this marriage talk, I decided to do one on what marriage means to me.

I am not here to voice what I think is right or wrong, justice or injustice, or try to make people inferior because they think differently than I do.  I just want to say how important marriage is in my life.

In case you are wondering, I did not vote today.  I am really torn about what to vote for.  I can really see both issues, Jesus did say Marriage is between a man and woman but I also believe in separation of church and state.  Although  I take my marriage vows very very seriously I don't believe, I have the right to tell anyone who they can marry, thank goodness people didn't do that to me!  And quite frankly, I'm tired of all the judging going on, on both sides, and didn't want to be judged myself.  People thinking you are not Christian enough or don't believe the bible enough if you vote one way, and people thinking people are prejudiced bigots or close minded for having strong biblical views influence their politics.  Enough of all that talk but yea if you see my mom don't tell her I didn't vote, I think she will be crushed to learn that I didn't share her same very conservative views on this issue.

But what I really think is people are having such a hard time defining what marriage is lately that when something comes up like this we jump all over it to show that we are right and our marriage is of God and etc. but what has marriage come to when it comes to the Christian belief?  Have we made it about, God or about ourselves?  Do we get married because that is what you do in life after a certain age or because of the random circumstances that our lives have come to, that thats just the next step in to do in a serious relationship.  And another thing, why do men drag their feet? I think us women make it way too easy on men these days.  We giving all the milk away without selling the cow (yes I said it).  And then we are stuck wondering if they are even thinking about it.  There use to be a time when men would fall head over heels for women and would do anything to put a ring on their finger fast before other men got to them.  But I'm gonna have to save all that for another blog on dating the Christian way.

I am quite an old fashion girl when it comes to love and marriage.  I believe in the whirlwind of romance but I also believe in approaching marriage very, very cautiously.  I dated Randall for nine years before we got married, and I was still very nervous and scared to do it.  I felt that when I stood up before God and people and gave a vow for better or worse, sickness and health, till death do us part, it was a promise made, and I did not want to go back on my word.  Meaning what you say is very important to me because if people can't take you at your word, what else do they have to go by.

Now I know people change and it takes two to work on a marriage, so I am not downing anyone who has been divorced.  I just want people to not get lazy and get out of it when the going gets tough.  I just read a book, "The Vow" and in this book a couple gets in a car wreck and the lady has a serious brain injury and has to slowly learn everything she was taught again.(It is nothing like the movie) She is a lot different than before and doesn't know who her husband is.  She did not love him or treat him fairly and would revert to a bratty teenager at times saying things like "I hate you, leave me alone."  But he stuck by her and they put their marriage in God's hands.  At one point, he even said he was going to get her back to where she can live on her own but then he was going to let her decide if she still wanted to be with him.     The divorce rate for brain injuries is 80-90% and even good meaning people were asking him why he didn't just get divorced.

The girl had not forgotten her faith in Jesus so she knew she wanted the marriage to work because she believed in marriage and they put God in the center of it and they pulled through together.  They eventually had a second wedding so she could remember one and later on had two kids.  But through this trial they touched people world wide by just staying married in such a hard time when the greater option was divorce.  I was really touched by this story and it strengthened my own faith in marriage as well.

But I guess the point in all this is to just take marriage seriously people.  I'm not going to tell you who you can and can't marry.  I will tell you that it won't work and you won't be happy unless you put God first and read the bible on how to love your spouse, like Christ and the church.  If you are not willing to grow in God and have your marriage based on it then I would advise against it.  But done correctly it can be one of the most cherishing, beautiful things that can bring glory to God.

Monday, May 7, 2012

List 10 people that have influenced you. (pt. 2)

Part 2: List 10 people that have influenced you.

I have so much to say about the people that influenced me that I had to break it down into 2 part blogs.  I don't get to see these people everyday and some of them have come and gone in my life but they have left a big footprint in the person I am today. Soo let's continue....

Me and Kim at a hairshow.
6.) Kim Carriagan.  As the big sis of one of my best friends, I always looked up to Kim.  She was so funny, pretty and just plain fun to be around.  Also, she did my hair pretty much my whole young adult life so I got to know her really well.  I always looked forward to it when it was appointment day to get my hair done, but it wasn't just because I left feeling confident and pretty it was because I got to spend sometime with an uplifting, sweet, genuine, southern Christian girl!  
Not only is she an amazing hairstylist but she is an awesome Christian, as well.  I've seen her go through a lot of her stages in life and seen how she trusted the Lord and gave difficult situations to him.  And I've seen the Lord bless her for her faithfulness and hardships.  When I look at Kim, I think I want to have that faith and confidence that she has. 
Also, when I was away at college and some doors were closing in the film studies major and I started feeling like God was pulling me into another direction in life.  I confided to Kim one day, while in her chair that I was thinking about quitting school and doing hair, she said "now that is the only thing, I can really see you doing."  Quitting school was very difficult for me because I think education is very important but because of financial reasons I had to quit. But to hear her, a great hairstylist, say that I could be really good at it, gave me the confidence I needed to go ahead and pursue my cosmetology career.  And I am soo glad I did!  Not only did she influence me in pursuing my career but she also told me about William Henry Salon (where I work now) and told me, I should try and get a job there.  If it wasn't for her, I would have never found my job that I love so much!  
Being a hair stylist now, I look back and remember how Kim was as MY hairstylist and try to mimic a lot of professionalism and techniques so I can do better at my own job.  So a lot of what I do as a stylist has been influenced by her and that is why she is on this list!!

7.) Somer and Preston Wilson.  Everything I say on these blogs are from the heart so I am not trying to brown nose here, and if you know me, you know I do not brown nose, but I have to give a lot of credit to my bosses as big influences in my life.  They own and operate the salon I work in and they are a part of why I love my job so much!  I could not ask for better bosses!  I could not do what they do, thats for sure!  For one they don't exactly act like my boss which is awesome because I work better when I'm not under pressure. But if I do have a concern or need I feel like they are interested in what is best for all of us that work for them.  They are always keeping the salon up to date and keeping it trendy, just last week they did some remodeling in the reception area and I am really grateful for that.
I get to work with Somer and she is a very talented stylist.  I watch her sometimes and she is a very meticulous and precise stylist. I  have definitely learned a lot about hair just from watching her. Also, I have never heard her say one bad thing about anybody.  I can't say the same for myself but I look at that as a person I would like to be.
Not only are they hard workers but they are great Christian examples.  Someone once told me that Preston had came in and prayed over every chair in the salon before and I thought that was the sweetest thing I ever heard.  They have a love for the Lord that they incorporate that in all of their business endeavors.  If I ever owned my own business, which I probably wont, but if I did I would model it on their business and professionalism.  You can see more of their inspiring story on this link: http://www.williamhenrysalon.com/culture/

Jenna and Julianna on my wedding day.
Carol and her husband Jon.
8. Jenna, Carol and Julianna.   (I'm cheating on the 10 ppl rule again!) These are some of my college buddies I met at UNCW.  My college diploma may have gone in vain but my years spent there did not.  I got to make wonderful friends while there.  I mentioned briefly from a previous blog that my college friends helped me through my hardest time but I have to give them some more credit.
When I first met Jenna, I really did not know what to think of her.  This petite girl with blonde hair and a high pitched voice, who told me the first night she met me that she didn't like my outfit when I asked her opinion (I ignored it and wore it anyways).  I didn't know if we would be friends.  But then once I got to know her more I realized what a sweet, honest, and devoted friend she could be. We all need friends that will tell you their opinion whether you want it or not. I think Jenna and I met each other at just the right times in our lives because I was still trying to define my relationship with God and Jenna was trying to get hers more on track with Him, so we got to grow up together in our Faiths.  It was awesome to see her grow into such an awesome Christian woman. I'm glad I met Jenna though because she was the one that introduced me to all my other college friends and she is from Lincolnton, where she lives now, so I get to see her all the time! And I think she is probably grateful she met me because I introduced her to her husband, Josh!
I met Carol soon after I met Jenna.  Carol was the "momma" of the group and I definitely needed one while I was at college.  She would throw all the parties for us and would cook and make all the yummy drinks for us.  She was the life of the party and she was as goofy as I was.  She would do all the things with me that others would be too embarrassed to do.  We even tried to be in the college talent show by making up our own dance routine to Spice Girls. Needless to say we didn't make it. :(  We also would have deep discussions about our Faith and it was refreshing for me to see someone from such a different denomination than me (she grew up Catholic) love the Lord the way I did.
Julianna is my girly, giggly friend.  She is always smiling and always looking to have fun.  Probably one of the sweetest and most organized people I have ever met. She let me live with her even though it was for just a short time, in her apt. She gets her sweetness from her family because she has a ton of adopted brothers and sisters from like different countries.  Her parents are saints.  I got the privilege of meeting them at Juls wedding. When I look at how I want my family to be like I look at theirs.  They pray together and put God first in everything.  They have had storms but they work through it together.  I don't get to see Juls a lot but I know her house is always open if I ever wanna come visit, and hopefully I will get to see her this summer!

9.) Donald Miller.  I know a lot of my facebook friends have seen me post quite a few links for the movie "Blue Like Jazz" in promoting it because it is such a good movie that hits very close to home for me.  I read the book "Blue Like Jazz" when I was in college.  I seen it on a shelve that Carol had and asked her if I could borrow it.  I don't even know why I picked the book up, but I started reading it and it changed my life! With a subtitle of "Non-religious thoughts on Christian Spirituality"on the book, the author Donald Miller, tells his own life story (with beautiful imagery and word flow) about his own growing understanding of the nature of God and Jesus and in a very personable way.  At the time I was reading that book, my own relationship with Jesus was converging from a religious standpoint to a more intimate one where rules didn't matter, I just wanted to know more about God and a personal relationship with him.
My education was causing me to outgrow my Faith in God at the time. If he was the God from what I was taught when growing up that he was keeping a list of wrongs and I had to do this, this and this to measure up then I didn't want it.  Thinking pretty much everyone was going to hell or at least in danger of it is very pessimistic and oppressing not to mention very draining thinking.  And I was tired of it.

There had to be more to it then following the rules.  When I read BLJ, it was like someone was going through the same questions and search and was finding answers to their questions in Grace and the Word.  It was a revelation to me! I had heard of Grace before but I never truly understood it till I started searching for it.  Christian's put God's power in a box but his Grace can not be contained.  I use to think it wasn't powerful enough to cover all my sins and then some.  I thought I could never get to the next level in God if I kept sinning, but learning about how Grace works and how God understands my struggle was eye opening! Even though I wasn't where I was suppose to be, God loved me just like I was and still wanted to use me, and that thought alone makes me want to do better.  I learned that if you are a Christian, no sin, no power in hell can keep you from God's Love and his promises.  I use to think that if I sinned I had better repent then because if the Lord comes back or if I die, without repentance I would go to hell.  Now, I don't have to live in that fear anymore. Now I am secure in knowing that just because I love my God and accept Jesus as my Savior I am saved forever.  I do believe in once saved, always saved because if you really do love God and search for Him and get a taste of His Love, you will never leave him.  There is nothing out there better than that feeling. So Donald Miller helped me get to my next level in my relationship with God and for that influence, I am forever grateful.  Go see the movie or read the book, you will not be disappointed unless you are religious, then you better not because you will probably be offended.

10.)Which leads me to my last one, Jesus.  Here I go again but I can't help it, I have to share it.  It is in my core, my soul and that is the most influence anyone could ever have on me.  It is literally like the scripture Jeremiah 20:9 "But if I say 'I will not mention his word or speak anymore his name,' his word is in my heart like a fire, shut up in my bones.  I am weary of holding it in, indeed I cannot. "  That is how I feel when it comes to Jesus.
I just finished the book "The Vow" in it a couple tell their story of misfortune when they get into a wreck soon after they are married and the wife suffers from a severe head injury and doesn't remember her husband.  She has to spend half a year rediscovering who she is and relearn how to do everyday task like walking (even though she was a prized gymnist.)  In the story a couple of weeks after the accident she feels that something is missing in her life and gets a prayer journal.  It was just so neat because she was so in love with Jesus before the accident that she had forgotten nothing of her strong Faith in Him, it was in her innermost being and soul that even a severe head injury could not make her forget.
That is how I hope I am.  I will admit that I don't read my bible everyday but I am in a continuance prayer with my Father.  I don't get on my knees but I will talk and pray while I do other stuff.
Jesus is just the coolest person I have ever heard about if that sounds cheesy, oh well, I guess I'm cheesy, but I love how he changed the world in just 3 years of his ministry.  He is the only one of the 3 major religions that says "I am God."  Buddha just searched for god,  Muhammad just claimed to be a prophet.  That is why Christ is the most controversial because he claimed he was God.  There are over 400 prophecies that he fulfilled in the Old Testament, thousands of years before he came (look them up yourself). When I think of God, I want him to be personable.  I want him to understand my heart and what I'm going through.  I am so thankful that God himself, came down to my level with the same temptations and struggles that I have.  He not only walked where I walk but he has been there and worse.  If you want to believe there are other religions just the same, you do that, but I chose to follow Truth and Love.   Because Jesus died for my sins, I have hope everyday that I can make it.  I have a personal relationship to the God of the Universe and he listens to me, because Jesus made a way with his perfect blood that was shed for me.  The people from the old testament had to follow rules and rituals to communicate to God and so do other religions, but with Jesus, it is way past that!  That kind of thinking is soo 2000 years ago! Because of the sacrifice there is not one person holier than the rest.  God is no respecter of persons, there are people with more Faith, but we all have that potential and I am learning more Faith with each day.  So yea, I think Jesus has had the most influence in my life!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 9. List 10 People that have influenced you. (pt1)

Day 9.  10 People that have influenced me. (pt 1.)

I have had the blessing of being around a number of wonderful, exceptional people in my life.  There are way more than 10 people that have influenced my life.  But this is going to be probably long anyways so I will start with the first 10 that come to mind. :)

my mom and step dad.
1. MOM.  My mom is definitely one of the most influential people in my life.  Though, we don't see eye to eye on everything, I love her.  She has done an excellent job in raising me.  She did not make my life easy though, lol, which is a good thing (most of the time).  She wasn't a perfect mom but she didn't raise me to be a sissy, neither.  I remember when I would start crying in public or probably from getting spanked, she would say "Dry it up!", and I would too!
Most importantly, she did teach me to be a good young Christian lady although she probably would not have allowed me to be any other way.  I could not go out of the house with short shorts or any cleavage showing and till this day I still have to dress modest or I feel really weird.  She was hard on me but when I did mess up, she was quick to forgive but her disapproval was the real discipline.
She mad sure I grew up slow but actually gave me a lot of earned freedom when I was a teenager.  Because she made me go to church 3 times a week, I had a really close bond with my youth group where I made good friends that helped me get through my high school years without falling into to too much peer pressure.

Randall and I on prom day.
2.Randall.  Had to throw this guy in there again.  But really sometimes I wonder what kind of person I would be if I never met and started dating him at 14.  I don't think I would have turned out half as decent! We basically helped raise each other!  14 is a very impressionable age and meeting a cute, popular, very dedicated Christian guy pretty much keeps you on the strait and narrow when your trying to date them.  He has really been the strong rock in my life at the very hardest times.  When I would question if our relationship was meant to be or God's will, he would just let me hash it out while he waited patiently for me to decide.  He never faltered when it came to peer pressure in high school and never tried to be someone else but himself.  If he didn't believe in something, he wasn't going to do it, period.  I wonder what this world would be like if there were more men like Randall in it, who stood up for what they believed even if it wasn't what the majority believed.  Someone who has never broken a heart and would always put you in front of them, no matter what.  An ideal husband.  I know it sounds like I am bragging on my husband but I would say this stuff even if I wasn't married to him!  I'm just glad I tricked him into being with me for 12 years and hopefully I can trick him for many more. :p

me and my big (but short) sis.
3.Beth.  I really don't know where to begin with this crazy girl, but my big sis has really had a big influence in my life.  Now when it comes to our personalities (and looks) we are like night and day!  But when I think about how I was as a little child, I can not imagine how I could get through early life without big sis.  I followed her around everywhere, she was like my lil momma.  I would do anything she told me, one time she even tricked me into eating shampoo because it looked like honey!  But she took care of me and was very protective of me.  I was extremely bashful and didn't usually stick up for myself, but I would go tell big sis and she would do ALL the trash talking for me.  One time she actually took a tin lunch box and whacked a girl with in the head with it that was picking on me.  I look back at myself as a little kid and think "this big ole world would just have swollowed me up and spit me out if I came into it without my big sis."  Her opposite type A personality has really helped my type B personality from being type loser because I look up to her a lot. She is a hard worker and very motivated and I look at those qualities in her and want to match them.  Her competitiveness and "motivational words"  (like today while I was doing her hair, "You should really work on your shoulders. lol) I take with a grain of salt and to heart while also wanting to punch her in the face at times, really help. Our goals in life are a lot different but because of her, I have more goals, so that is why she is a very influential person in my life.

Steve got to marry us!! 
4. Steve Morrison.  Steve and his wife Shelly have had a big influence in my life.  They were my very first youth pastors.  In a time of my life when I was scared and new at a church, they took me in and made sure I felt welcomed.  They became almost like another set of parents for me but in a good way.  I felt that they loved me and cared for me as if I was their own child.  I will never forget when our youth group went bowling one Saturday and some guys were asking or talking about me or something and Steve told them to leave me alone, I wasn't interested in a very fatherly way. Now to most teenage girls that would have been very embarrassing but I had never had a father figure in my life and it made me feel so special and loved.  I thought it was so sweet!  Also if there were ever a pastor that I respected and believed to hear from God, its Steve.  Being a teenager is hard and I would often find myself praying fervently in the altar over situations in my life and he would always come pray for me, but when he prayed for you, he would take you in a bear hug like a father would and just hold you and let you cry it out while he prayed for you.  I tear up now just thinking about how I needed those hugs desperately some weeks.  Also, when you are growing up and learning in your Christian faith, you usually have a lot of questions to ask God.  I remember I had one big question to ask God and I will never forget when Steve had called me to the altar and he told me I was asking that question and he told me what God had answered to that question.  I had never told anyone my question either!  The Lord had showed me how real he was through Steve that day and I will never forget that.

our youth group friends on our wedding day.
5. My Youth Group Friends.  I know this is cheating a little bit but I had to include all these people. Now that we are all married and some having kids these days, I don't get to see them like I use to but I just would like them to know that they have had a huge influence in my life.  If it wasn't for these people, I don't know where I would be.  I am still friends with a lot of them even though we all go to different churches now.  I have to give a special shout out to my two longest bestest friends: Laura Taylor and Wendy Aderholdt.  We have been through thick and thin together.  These 2 girls probably know me more than anyone else except Randall.  Because we share a lot of past experiences together we can relate to each other more than anyone else.  With Laura I can ask her opinion on anything and I feel comfortable that I can give her my opinion also, without her getting mad.  We have a lot of the same interest in mind like church, saving money, doing house work, etc.  Also Laura and Nathan are some of the best of friends you can have.  If you need someone to come help you out with yard work because you don't have a clue what you you are doing, they will come help you!  Not too many friends are so readily available when you need them but you can always depend on the Taylors and that is why I appreciate them so much.
Wendy and I have a lot of similarities also.  We have a keen eye on fashion (if I do say so myself!)  and house decor.  We have an appreciation for the same style.  thrifty.  And we have a lot of the same views on a good number of things.  Wendy is the kind of person that will open her house to anyone and try to be best friends with everyone, but not in a 'i have to be popular way.'  She just literally takes time and is friends with people.  I have a good time with her husband Daniel too, who also happens to have grown up in our youth group too.  If there is something that your thinking about someone but you would never say, Daniel will say it for you, and it is hilarious!! He is one of a kind and tries to be all hard rock with his tattoos and unkempt hair but he is really just a teddy bear!  I have always looked at him as the brother you would get excited to see and who would always make you laugh.  Although we go separate paths in life, these people will always be close to my heart because they are the only friends I got to know long enough to grow up with, and have really had an impact on my Christian journey.

Next 5 influences coming on their way next blog...

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Day 8. 5 Passions You Have.

Day 8.) 5 Passions I have.

There are quite a few things in life I feel pretty passionate about.  It is very hard to just narrow it down to 5 things.  I have a lot of daily interest and passions that probably change here and there. I like being healthy, right now, I am getting into running again.  I usually quit when it starts getting too cold outside and I can't keep a dry nose.  I like decorating and finding bargains and especially cooking.  But I guess, my main passions when it gets down to it are what I base my life on.  So here are a few of the important ones.

1.) JESUS.  Of course I had to throw that one in there, but it IS a passion of mine and its not going away anytime soon.  I love him, and I love him more than my husband.  Basically if it wasn't for God, I would not have my relationship with my husband.  I have been a dedicated Christian for 12 years now and it has been a journey.  There were times I questioned and walked all over him but he has always looked at me with such Grace and favor and Patience, I always come back to him.  I am amazed at the accuracy of the bible and everytime I have a question or a doubt, I find it in there.  I have had the priviledge of studying the bible for 12 years and I still have a ways to go, but I have learned so much that I could never go back on my Faith with Jesus again.  It has just made my life so much better.

Some people look at the bible and think it is just a book of rules and regulations and if you don't do this or that you will go to hell, etc.  But its so much more than that.  It's about an intimate relationship with God through his son Jesus Christ, who gave up his life for You.  Even if you were the only person from then on that had accepted it, He would do it.  If you can come up with a better symbolism for Love then by all means show me, but to give your life for someone that is undeserving is what I define as Love.  After the Cross, the rules are unnecessary! Following rules does not take you to another spiritual level or bring you any closer to God.  God loves you just the way you are.  BUT he does love us so much that he doesn't just leave us that way.  The rules are more like a guideline, God wants you to have the most abundant life, he can give you, if you trust your life with him, he will make it better.  Don't trust your human emotions or your desires, they will ALWAYS fail you.  But if you stick to the word, it will  NEVER FAIL YOU.   I got off on a tangent because thats what you do when you talk about your Passions! :)

2.) PURITY.  This goes in hand with self esteem issues and self worth, I see women go through a lot on a daily basis because of a lack of.  Randall and I dated for 9 years before we got married and we waited until we were married to do the deed.  Crazy, right?! Wrong! If you think its crazy then you have fallen to what society deems acceptable and not what God intended.
Now I am not beating anyone up who struggles with this because I may have not been guilty of this sin but I been guilty of probably the rest of them, so who's counting right?

Anyways, we decided early on in our relationship that we were going to put Christ first and that meant relying solely on him.  Not what my girlish, giddy teenage feelings were telling me but what the bible says about it.  And if I had to do it over again, I would do it the exact same way.  I looked at our relationship as more of a courting.  I liked Randall and I thought he was a great guy but I had other things in life to do and I gave God my relationship and always said "If its meant to be, it will be."  I did not worry if he liked me or if I was pretty enough or smart enough to keep him.  I did not worry about ANY of those things.  That is a load off of a girl when you don't have to worry about impressing someone you like a lot.
I see a lot of girls or women now, trying to keep men, trying to chase them down.  Catering to their every need.  I don't believe in that, at all!  I learned early on in my Faith that I am of importance! I mean God, himself sent his only son to die for me, so yea, I'm Important. lol.  And I wasn't about to chase NO man! They should be chasing me! The bible says a Godly women is more precious than rubies.  And if you are with someone that does not appreciate you for everything you are, then they are not the one.  If they are still on the fence about marrying you, then they are not the one!! God made a woman's heart to be won, not gave out to whoever seems right at the moment.  And God made men's hearts to compete for women.  Why else would we swoon over simple gestures like someone buying us flowers or doing something thoughtful like leaving a love note.

Women, you ARE of very much importance so stop chasing after men and giving your heart and body away to whoever and WAIT for the man that God has sent for you.  Its hard but it is sooo worth it!

3.) LOVE. sigh, I could really go on for hours on this one.  I just think it should be mirrored as God loves us.  Love God, love people.  Cliffnotes of the bible right there!  God loves us with a Selfless love and thats how we should love people.  We should look at people like we don't see any of their flaws, but someone made in the image of God who loves us unconditionally.  Not just your friends, not just your church friends.  Yes, we are called to be separate but not isolated.  If you are a Christian and your only friends are Christians than you are not loving like Christ loves us.  Jesus hung out with the outer margins of society.  Hmm, what would that be today? hm, who does society pick on a lot? Maybe, homosexuals?! yes I said it.  Jesus would probably be hanging out with homosexuals and strippers and maybe some drug users.  AND some church people/modern day pharisees would probably be talking about him like the pharisees did back in the day.  Jesus pissed the churchy people off some much that they crucified him.  I mean, if you think about it, wouldn't you be pissed to if you were a very religious person who prayed aloud everyday went to church everyday and memorized scripture and followed every rule only to see someone claim to be God's son but they were hanging out with people you thought were beneath you and they recieved the same salvation as you do.  I've been there, I was that religious person who thought I was better than people (although I fooled myself into not believing that.)  I thought, since I was following the rules and being a good little girl I was making it into heaven and others who didn't measure up to where I was, probably weren't.  The church has turned a lot of people away based on this assumption and it is a sad thing.  We NEED more Love not just for people like us but love for everyone.   If you are still confused on what love is read 1 Cor 13:1-13.

4.)FAMILY.  I think all these passions somehow connect somewhere.  Family is important.  I won't harp on this one because I am probably preaching to myself on this one.  I don't get to see my family as often as I like, but family is very important to me.  I just got to see my only aunt this weekend and I haven't seen her since probably before I got married which is 3 years ago.  That is sad on my part, I should be more involved in my families life and make it a point to hang out with them more.   But yes, having a close family is another priority and passion of mine.

5.) HEALTH.   Overall being healthy is another passion of mine.  Now I am NOT the model figure when it comes to being healthy but I do try.  I love the way being healthy feels.  I hate the feeling while I'm working out for the 30 min to an 1hr workout but I feel so much better the rest of the day.  I hate the way I feel when I eat bad foods so for the most part I stick to healthy stuff because it gives me energy and makes me feel better.  I hate to see someone abusing their body with anything, food, cigs, drugs, alcohol.  We only live once and living a healthy life is not only good for your body image but it can be a selfless thing also.  Especially if your married.  I started working out after I got married because I did not want to be one of those people that got fat after they got married.  Now I know there will be times in my life where I won't be able to workout like when I have babies and other very busy parts of life but that is no excuse to letting yourself go.

Life is a gift and we are only given one so don't abuse it.  I don't have any grandparents alive today.  I lost my grandpas early in life and my grandmaws a little later.  My mom's mother was a diabetic and did not take care of herself.  She died when she was only 53! Thats young! Looking back now she was walking around like an 80 year old.  She is in Heaven but she missed out on a lot in life and that is sad for her and us.  My other maw-maw was an energetic healthy eating little machine but she was a chain smoker she lived longer but I had to watch her go through excruciating pain of getting her lungs drained out every week for the last couple of months when she was alive.  She was drowning in her own fluid in her lungs from smoking!! Its 2012 people and smoking kills and damages your body a lot.  We have enough knowledge today to know what to eat and what to do to not poison our bodies.  Live healthy people its the best way to live!!