Gardener, giggler, "y'all" user Wii just dance champion. My house is rarely clean, my kids are rarely wearing normal clothes and I am rarely on time. But I have learned there are a lot bigger fish to fry and I am just enjoying every minute of this precious gift called life. Mostly I'm an: Imperfect Person in love with a PERFECT GOD!

My imperfect story

It was my junior year in high school, classes were changing and I was at my locker getting my books.
My locker was right beside “Natalie”. Natalie was the girl who never missed church. She was always very sweet and the only Christian I really knew.

Unbeknownst to her I looked to her as my example of what a Christian looks like. We began talking about our weekend. I was very surprised to hear that Natalie was not the perfect Christian girl I thought she was. She was drinking, sleeping with her boyfriend, and partying just like every other teenager I knew.

If the “church people” do it then it’s okay right?

That was the false idea that sent me down a reckless road during my high school and college days.
With my desire to be accepted coupled with a typical first born people pleaser; it wasn’t long before I was partying and everything else that comes with it. I was popular, I had friends and boyfriends, I was having fun.

I was incomplete.

The parties promised to be “fun” and the guys promised we would be “forever”. The next several years were full of hangovers, hiding, and heartbreak.

adpi

I would have NEVER admitted this at the time but I was searching for my happily every after in a guy.  I kept thinking, “this is they guy that will bring me happiness” And everytime the relationship ended I thought, “If only I was prettier, more fun, or said something different.”

I was jumping through hoops trying to be the right girl for all the wrong guys.

This was a big deal guys.  My story is not so different than most girls at that age.  I saw all the Nicholas sparks movies.  A pretty girl, meets Ryan Gosling and they kiss passionately in the rain right after he says “you complete me”….Oh maybe that was Jerry McGuire’s quote but you get the idea.  I was 100% sure a guy would bring me happily ever after.  And I was 100% devastated every time a relationship ended.

My senior year after yet another devastating heartbreak, I threw my hands in the air.  With utter exhaustion and sheer brokenness I had tried everything in my power to find my happily ever after.  I was sure I would be the crazy cat lady at this point (at the ripe old age of 22, good grief why was I in such a rush?)

  • At the age of 22 my friend “Sarah” invited me to a bible study. I still remember clear as day she was sharing with us the story of the woman at the well. She drew a picture of a cup. Saying the woman was desperately trying filling up her “cup” with men.  The cup seemed great and “full” for a moment but what she didn’t realize is her cup had holes at the bottom.  The fullness was only temporary because soon the cup would leak and become empty again.  (Story from John 4)
    woman-at-the-well
    That was so me! I thought finding the right guy was what I needed to be full and complete.  But in truth, filling my cup with men only left me filling fulfilled temporarily.   Then she talked about how Jesus promised living eternal water so she would never thirst again!

I didn’t know what eternal water was but i wanted some of it!  I remember praying a very un-fancy but totally genuine prayer that went something like this, “obviously my way looking to be full isn’t working, I’ll try your way.”

I didn’t even know what that meant but God started changing me. He held my hand during the next several fragile weeks. I surrounded myself with people seeking Jesus.   I stopped searching for a boyfriend and start searching to learn more about this Jesus guy who seemed so captivating with his relentless love.  It was downright romantic! 

All of a sudden so many things had lost their appeal.  The guy who was sloppy drunk at the bar trying to pick me up seemed 100 times less attractive.  The God of the universe who gave his life for a selfish party goer like me seemed 100 times more attractive.

My heart was being healed by the great physician. The more I fell in love with my heavenly father the less I needed anything else. I wasn’t longing for something, I had it!

My roommate slipped a note under my door that said, “I just wanted to let you know I see the changes in you and I’m proud of you.”

In retro spec, my searching for guys was because I was not whole.  I was looking to be made whole by another sinful human.  Not even the best husband can do that.  I had to be made whole FIRST in Christ.  Then and ONLY then could I have a healthy romantic relationship.

About a year after becoming a new creation, a baptized new believer, I met this really cute youth pastor and for some reason he seemed to like me too. I had huge issues trying to understand why a youth pastor would want anything to do with me. I tried, in my mind, to push him away because even though I knew I was a new creation to God, how could a human look at me that way? How could this perfect guy want anything to do with someone like me?

This is where I want better for you dear reader, I want you to meet the perfect Jesus seeking guy one day and not have to deal with telling him about your past baggage, scars from old boyfriends, and questionable party tactics.  I want two COMPLETE, and perfectly WHOLE people to seek Jesus until they find each other.

I thought I would find happiness in all the wrong places but when I fell in love with my heavenly Father he blessed me with the most amazing husband I could ever ask for. He models Christ to me on a daily basis and gave me a picture of just how much Jesus loves me. 

Are you filling your “cup” with things that are only temporary?

Let me encourage you, Jesus is truly the only thing that can make you whole. He is so in love with the beautiful perfectly imperfect you. He has a well full of eternal water just waiting to be poured on you,

Will you hold out your cup?

 

 

“You know someone needs encouragement if they are breathing.”

Truett Cathy said it best, “You know someone needs encouragement if they are breathing.” 

Everyday we are berated with “you can do better, you can be more attractive, you are not quite good enough.”  But noticeably absent from our culture are the efforts made to appreciate each other. 

Positive Reinforcement is a great way to teach children.  Even train your pet.  And while I’m not trying to get you to “train” anyone to do anything I am saying with all the research that a pat on the back goes along way you would think we would do it more often. 

I think being summoned to the bosses office should at least occasionally be a good thing.  Or taking our kids to the side let them know we noticed how well the were sharing and we are so proud of them.

The forgotten art of handwritten notes is a great way to encourage others.  There is something special about going to the mailbox to find a letter with your name on the outside handwritten.  You know its not a bill, it is someone who took the time to sit down, write something special to YOU, pin down your address, and even found a stamp!  Handwritten sticky notes are also very sweet to leave around the house or to place in a work bag, lunch box etc.  My husband is so sweet about doing this before he leaves on trips.  Sweet little sticky notes to find while he is gone. 

But there is also nothing wrong with sending an uplifting email or facebook message.  I try to be sensitive when i notice a certain person keeps coming to mind.  If I know they are going through a hard time I try to make a POINT (because it has to be intentional) to give them a call or just touch base somehow.  I don’t always do it and I often miss the boat but the times I do get it right it is such a blessing to pass on some encouragement. 

I wonder what our world would look like if we actually told each other how much we appreciate each other and did it often. 

Now if you will excuse me I have a long overdue note to send to a friend. 

 

Just dive in

I suppose the “correct” way to do things is to be completely prepared for every and all situations, to read the manual, to go to the class and measure everything out just right.  But in my experience if i did all that i would never accomplish a thing. 

I think inviting people over for dinner is the perfect example.  I know when i have guests in my home i want my home to appear well kept, have the best meal prepared, the children with stain-less shirts and the fine china on the table. 

A dear friend taught me a valuable lesson a few years back.  It was 4:30 in the evening we were on the phone talking about something completely unrelated to dinner and she said, “why don’t you guys come over for dinner?”  She had little time to prepare, no formal dinner plans, and her home had….gasp..toys on the floor!  I don’t remember what we had for dinner i don’t remember the decorations she had in her living room but I do remember I felt so at home.  I had such an enjoyable time and felt so relaxed in her home we have been dear friends ever since.  I find I enjoy being with the friends that don’t care if there is dust on my pictures far more than the friends that silently compete for the finest decorated home.

So the moral of the story is just dive in already! Have a beautifully imperfect dinner date.  They will probably love you for it.  I think Jesus meant it when he said, “come as you are”  No preparation needed.