Friday, March 8, 2013

One Thing I've Learned...

If there is one thing I've learned recently about life, and it would be that change is inevitable. Life goes on and times change and people come and go whether we try with all our might to keep it the way we want. Five months ago, I was someone different than I am today. Almost everything in my life has been flipped around and shuffled up. Some of it because of me, mostly because things just happen and evolve. 
 I'm a big believer in change. And yet, I handle it worse than almost anyone I know. I always say, if you don't like where you are headed or the way your life is then DO something about it. YOU are the ONLY one who has the ability to change something about your life that you don't like. But, when it comes down for me to do that, I freak out. I second guess myself. I like steadiness, I like control. When it comes time for me to make a change I automatically think of every unhappy thing that could happen. But really, what is the worst  that could happen about changing something negative in your life? Not a whole lot... And I think that I would rather I change something in my life by choice than something on the outside forcing me to change it, or forcing the situation/person to be different. 
This is where I am. This is me learning as I go. This is me, going with the flow and making changes when I need to. This is me hopefully learning how to let go of trying to control everything and trust that things will end up as they need to be. All I have to do is keep moving the direction I want to go. I just need to figure out exactly what direction that is. 

- Gabrielle 

"We must all turn our backs on the horrors of the past, we must look to the future. We cannot afford to drag forward across the years that are to come the hatreds and revenges which have sprung from the past." - Winston Churchill 

"Having thus chosen our course, without guile and with pure purpose, let us renew our trust in God, and go forward without fear and with manly (or womanly ;]) hearts." - Abraham Lincoln 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Transformations By Renewing.

You know how sometimes you feel like you go through dry spells with God? I feel like that has been happening for a while now. No change, nothing happening, just me being selfish and ugly and not growing where I really need to be. But, I think I'm coming out of that, thankfully. I heard a quote once, something along the lines of, if you feel that you and God are further apart, guess who moved?. Boom. Me. God doesn't move away from us. We move away from Him. Because of one reason, He wants us to change something and we don't. So, we shy away and get further and further apart. The two things I'm seeing right now that I am having to work on, (yay!) is.... 

One, the fear of rejection. I have this in me SO bad. It causes me to not be honest with people, it causes me to compromise my standards, it causes me to draw away from God. Because deep down, I'm thinking about myself, and how I feel, and that I want people to like me and not reject me. But, God says many many times, that we WILL be rejected by TONS of people because HIS way of life is not the popular one. Talk about counting the cost. I have to choose between my selfish desires of wanting to be accepted and God and what His will for me is and what HE wants me to do. As of right now, I think that will be the most difficult thing to do. But, I think I might know the key to getting through it. Loving others. If I love the people around me, I will be honest, because I care about their soul. If I love people around me, I wont compromise, because I love them and me compromising doesn't help them. I want people to be honest with me, because I know that if they are, they love me more than they want my acceptance and more than the fear of upsetting me. It's not right if I want one thing out of friends and family but I'm not that in return. 
Number two, insecurities about myself. Which, I guess comes down to being all about myself again. The only reason why I would be insecure is if I am focusing on myself. They way I look, or the way I act, or my way of life compared to others. Me, Me, Me, Me. When I STOP focusing on myself I'm not insecure! Wow Gabrielle, what a concept! And another thing that goes along with that, (I know it sound cliche), is God made me the way I am, (physically speaking). Why should I question, or have problems with that? Who am I to say He did something wrong? It's like a doll telling the maker that it was made wrong, but it isn't. It was made EXACTLY how the maker wanted it to be made, and made that way for a purpose.  I think this is something most people go through to an extent, definitely some more than others. 
So, to sum it all up. I'm selfish and I think about myself all the time. It pulls me away from God and who He wants me to be and how He wants me to live. They only way to get closer to Him is by focusing on Him and loving other people. For real. Love is the key to everything. And not the mushy love feeling, but love as in hard love. Love that will get in your face and correct you when you need it and the love that will encourage you when you need it and the love that thinks about others before yourself. I get the "Love covers a multitude of sins" scripture now. It does, if you love, you wont sin. Because loving others and God is the exact opposite of sin. 

Don Miller says it best when he says, "The problem is not out there; the problem is the needy beast of a thing that lives in my chest." Truth. 

In love


Monday, April 16, 2012

Christian Bubble

** May offend you **

So, I've been thinking about this for a while now, and after seeing Beware Of Christians ( tonight I feel that I finally need to get it out. Here goes it. 

Something that really bothers me about myself and this whole bible belt and really all of the "christian community" is that we all live in this perfect little bubble world. We don't realize anything that goes on outside of us. We walk around doing the same things we've always done acting the same way we've always acted. We go to church, sing our songs, go to youth group, do our bible studies, but does anything really change? Do we ever think of what Christianity as a whole looks like from the outside? Do we look around us and at ourselves and say, what am I changing? What am I doing different? What makes me different? 

When I step back and look at Christianity as a whole, I see a bunch of different "denominations". I see a bunch of people who either stick to strict religious beliefs and laws that they think will allow them to "go to heaven", or a see people who say "saying a prayer" is all you have to do, we're sinners, go on and have fun (yolo, right?). But when I think about what it's supposed to be, isn't there only supposed to be one belief? One way? Why are there so many denominations?
 I see people who use Christianity as a business. Just a way to get income.
 I see it used as a way to make people feel good.
 As a way to manipulate people, and as a way to feel better about yourself. 
I see it used in all sorts of different ways that it is NOT supposed to be. But we all are in this "Christian Bubble" that we are oblivious to. We all walk around not changing anything, not doing anything about the downward spiral of this religion that SO MANY claim to believe in. And yet, where is the proof ? Where is the proof of this belief? That it's true. All I see is everyone going through the motions of what their parents or family did, or picking a denomination/belief that is most suitable to their lifestyle. I'm not trying to sound self righteous, I'm including myself in this. We need to seek it out for ourselves and LIVE it. Not say it, not use it when it's convenient, but really whole-heartedly live it. 

I just wish we could all stop and look at christianity as a whole and see how we are representing the God that we say we do. With myself I see that a lot of the time there is NO difference in the way I present myself, the entertainment I chose to watch/listen to, the things I do and how I act. I want to stop and look around and BE the different one. I hate having the term religious put with my name; because I don't see being religious as being a christian. Being religious is stale and monotonous. Religion is what people misuse to make others and themselves feel good, to make money, to manipulate, etc. Being a Christian should be a totally different thing. But, sadly, when you look at Christianity, it's not. 

If I weren't a christian, and if I didn't believe in God, or if I believed in a different God there is no way that I would change my mind by looking at the "Christian Bubble". We don't even live out what we preach, why would someone be a part of a religion that is full of hypocrites? They wont. Or if they do, we're just leading them down the same path into easy believism and a medicine to "numb" the pain. Not the real answer or cure. 

I challenge everyone who reads this to take a step back and really look at your Christian Bubble that you live in and evaluate it. Know I will be doing the same thing. What are you representing by the way you live, really?

Check these links out:
Beware Of Christians
Jesus V Religion

Lots of love! Gabrielle

Sunday, November 6, 2011

significant words

Never give up; I’m sure many people have been told that at some point by someone in their life. It’s one of those sayings we hear all the time. But, I believe it is one that most people are so used to hearing that they don’t really grasp the meaning of those three simple words. And yet, those three simple words, never give up, are the most significant words someone has ever said to me. And maybe it’s more than just what the words mean, it’s more of how they are said to me. The way the words come alive by the way they are lived out in front of me.  
Plenty of people have told me to never give up in all the different things I have tried to do. I am not the athletic type but every time I try some sport I always hear “never give up!” from various people who know that it definitely takes some effort on my end to keep up. In school, plenty of relatives, friends, and teachers have always told me to “never give up!” when I get stressed out and my work seems to have piled up in an insurmountable amount overnight. Every time something hard comes up in my life I always hear those words, “never give up!”, but the only person that has actually impacted me with those words has been my mom. I guess because instead of just saying those words, she lives those words. She really doesn’t even have to say them with words, her life tells me to never give up, because no matter what happens you can always push through with God. 
If you look at my mom now you could never guess the things she has been through, seen, or done. At one point she was homeless, she was a single mom and went through college, she’s been through abusive relationships, she had major health problems, she’s been angry at God and wondered why he put her in the different difficult and trying situations she has encountered throughout her life. Many times when people see her now that knew her in the past, they’re surprised she’s still married to my dad, they’re surprised she’s alive, and they’re surprised at what God has done with her life. She is a mother of 7 kids, speaks at women’s conferences frequently, is highly involved with our church, and is well known within the community. But the only reason she is who she is today and is such an amazing mother, wife, mentor, and example, is because of one thing. She never gave up. My mother pushed through all obstacles in her life with one mindset, I will never give up and God will see me through. She’s told me to never give up, like many others, but to me words are just words until action is added. What has made her saying it so significant to me is that she lives it, shows it, and preaches it by the story of her life. She always says to me, ‘Gabrielle, no matter what, never give up‘; And I don’t ever plan to. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Love This.

This is an awesome song and video... and I believe it is definitely blog worthy. Enjoy :] 

- Gabrielle 

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Thousand Little Diamonds.

I like to think that everyone has those moments in their life where they decide what the rest of their life is going to be like. Or maybe some people just know. I'm not one of those. Unfortunately I have to figure out where I want to go in life. And right now is one of those times. You see, with my family (if you're a female) your life goes like this... You are raised learning how to cook, clean, take care of kids, do all the womanly/motherly things, you go to school and to college to find a husband, you can get a degree in something but it's not really serious, it's a "just in case I have to work someday for some strange reason" kind of degree, once you get married you have kids and raise them the same way. For some people (like one of my sisters) that sounds fantastic, and that's exactly what they've wanted to do their whole life. Stay at home, have a family, raise kids, etc... But for me that's not cutting it. I feel as if that is such a narrow minded way of living. It's so boring, is that really all life is about? Is that how you want to be able to sum up your life at the end of your days? Not me. I know that eventually those things will come, i'll probably get married, i'll probably have kids, and i'll probably raise them close to the same way I have been. But that's not what I want my life to be about. I feel like there is so much in the world that I haven't seen, and that I haven't done, and so many people I haven't met, and cultures I haven't experienced. Living a life perfectly mapped out seems so dull and unfulfilling. I want to experience things, I want to see things, I want to do something, not just live a simple preplanned life. 
I know that although I want that, that I might not be able to do that. Which is something I struggle with. I was sitting outside tonight on my parents back porch looking at the stars. There are so many... and the night sky is so HUGE and beautiful. It's like a thousand little diamonds, and It just makes me realize even more how gigantic the world is and how many things there are to do. And how little time I have and it's slipping through my fingers every day. I don't even know how to start really living. I don't want to get stuck in a rut and find myself in one of those cliche lives. But I also know that I have to want, above all that, to live the life that God has planned for me. I don't think that he would have me live a dull simple life if my heart really doesn't want that. But still, I know that maybe that's not what he has planned for me. And I have to be able to accept that. As hard as it might be. And I my head knows that if I ask God, and I trust him, that he'll lead me in the right direction. I know all this stuff in my head, but still i'm afraid to make a decision to totally do that. I always ask myself the 'what if' questions... "what if God has something totally different planned?" "What if God wants me to live the simple mapped out life?". But now that i'm thinking about it. Part of not living the mapped out dull life is not asking the 'what if' questions and going for it. 'What if' only holds me back. 
So here is to not being held back and going for it. Here's to not living the mapped out life. Here's to believing that there is a greater plan. And here's to following that plan. Every time I look at all those thousand little diamonds in the black night sky, i'm going to remember that 'what if's' get me no where. And whatever future I have ahead of me is going to be great. I just have to grab hold of God's plan and go with it. "Man plans his way, but God directs his steps." 

- Gabrielle 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Here's to not falling for everything.

Music of the hour: Switchfoot, Creed, NeedToBreathe, Train

I've been challenged recently to re-evaluate my standards in friends, guys, my entertainment, etc, pretty much just all the standards in my life. I've been thinking about them recently and what my standards should be because I call myself a christian, and what they actually are. I'm sitting here in my student center at my "christian" college and I'm listening and watching some of the people here and I'm shocked at some of their standards. Because what I've realized is no matter what you say your standards are they way you live actually shows what they are. And although i'm shocked, i'm thinking to myself, what does MY life say my standards are? Am I the exact same way, but too blind to see it?  I know one thing, I don't want to be that way. I want to be able to see myself for who I am and to be able to continually grow and keep my standards high. But I have to say, in the recent months I know they've gradually dropped. It's like I've dropped them without even realizing that I have, just because it's easier to make them just a little lower, then a little lower. I guess because it seems like so many things out there don't reach. But  that's the point of having standards, isn't it? So you are able to weed out the things that don't reach and keep the things that do. I like that saying ' If you don't stand for something then you'll fall for everything'. I think it's pretty accurate. Because if you don't have a point to where you don't accept something, then everything goes. It might actually be that since my standards have dropped some, then maybe I didn't really have them set in the first place. I think I've just taken, or gone with what my parents standards have been and now that i'm not at their house anymore it's kind of like some of them I've kept, and some of them I haven't. I know what I really need to do, to make sure that I don't fall for everything and that I don't just settle, I need to make my own standards for things. And by actually making them, I mean own them, keep them, don't falter in them. So... here goes it. 

How I choose to live my life: 

Has a heart that's seeking after God. (if this is true, everything else will fall into place)

Have good morals. 
Don't bring me down in my standards. 
Encouraging when I need it. 
Push me in the right direction. 

If it could cause someone else to stumble, then don't go there. 

I will keep my word. 
I will be the best example that I can to others around me. 
I will continue to look at myself and with Gods help change into who i'm supposed to be. 
I will give up what I have to (things in life), I won't compromise.
I will NEVER give up and quit (walking with God). 

Philip 3:13 

Love! Gabrielle