Too Hot–Not Really

So I like the song “Uptown Funk”

Major reason is because I have a roaring crush on Bruno Mars (But S is my one and only forever), he’s cute, he’s got a great voice, and it’s fun to admire him.

“Uptown Funk” to put it lightly is not a Christian song. Euphemisms and self absorption abound. I think part of what I find so charming (apart from the hot beat, and awesome vocals), is the “I don’t give a damn confidence”. I mean take this snippet:

“I’m too hot (hot damn)
Called a police and a fireman
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Make a dragon wanna retire man
I’m too hot (hot damn)
Say my name you know who I am”

He’s so hot he makes a dragon want to retire, I don’t think I’m that hot. I don’t really think anyone is. But to sing it boldly, maybe I admire it a little. Oh, I know that in Christian talk, we are servants, we love and we see others as greater than ourselves. That is the lifestyle I want as a new creation, the old me though the old me wants to walk into a room and have people say “hot damn”.

Actually it’s funny, S and I were in premarital counseling and the pastor, is not who’s officiating (since our officiant is in another state), but he knows both of us fairly well and he made the casual remark that I don’t like talking about myself. Which is true for anyone who knows me, which is ironic being a writer and writing, but hey writing is so much easier than sharing my heart through words. Plus they’re looking right at me! But here’s the thing I want people to think I have it going on. That I’m an awesome writer (with the talent to back it up of course). I love a good compliment. I like admiration. But the reality is that’s not the life I should be seeking. At the end of the day I want God to shine his face upon me and be proud of me. I don’t like that I need human affirmation. I pray about it and God’s working on me, but I get the feeling it’s going to be a lifelong journey. What makes it hard too is I know I don’t even deserve it.

Not to say I’m a talent-less slob, but I’m not the big deal I want to be. I’m an average person in the best way. I think I’m practiced and getting better at many things in my life, I’m getting to be a better human, that’s for sure. But I don’t have it all together. I get stressed out when I do pretty much anything involving wedding planning. I hate talking about myself. Job searching makes me feel like throwing up. Sometimes I lose touch with my family members for too long periods of time. My prayers are mush. I get angry at dumb things. I spend too much time in my pajamas. I am irrevocably human as I aspire to holiness.

I’m not too hot, frankly a lot of times I’m lukewarm, the kind that makes God spit me out all over the table. But I am loved, and in that love I am made holy. So I don’t have it all together (and well, even Bruno Mars isn’t actually too hot). And probably I should not look to man at all and only to God. Thank goodness, in a modern world full of choices, and technology, and catchy songs there is a God who loves and forgives and says Juanita, when you’re on fire for me, that’s all you need. Because, hot damn, God is awesome.

Glitter on,

Juanita

My Word for 2015 (aka Happy New Year!)

I have always liked the idea of a word of the year.

It’s so powerful because words especially in the English language are so multi-layered and if it’s a verb (as mine is) there are a million words you can choose to go after it.

But before I share 2015’s word I have a few thoughts on this past year.

This past year was an incredible one. It was one of my best by far, and also one of the most challenging.

It taught me a lot about love, how to open my heart to people  I may only know for a short time, how to better love my fiance, how to love my family and yet not continue my role as compliant child, how to love and be there for my friends without being used, and to open my heart to new love: namely Miss J, who despite having dementia still has much love to give and receive,  and my new roommates who are such kind and godly women I am still amazed I found them. More than anything it taught me the power of action and presence, over words and intentions.

This year I was brave. I spoke in front of my entire school and shared my testimony, words that continue to shape me and keep me accountable. I went back to camp when I was scared that I would be lonely and miserable and postpone my future and wound up honestly having the best summer of my life. I decided to take a chance and let God know moving out would be amazing and he gave me a job and a place to go that have been major blessings and so easy even as they have greatly challenged me.

I prayed more than ever before, I’ve spent so much time in my prayer journal and on my knees than ever before. And I have such a long way to go, but my relationship with God is even stronger. He is the one I am leaning towards and choosing even when other things distract. The Holy One has guided me in so many ways, I’ve made decisions because I heard His voice, and while the path wasn’t always easy and some paths I’m still not sure what’s at the end of the journey, but the journey has given so much peace I know it’s only because of God.

I tried new things. I started this blog. I went on a trip to Baltimore with my best friend. I moved. I joined a group of women to not only create a whole play by sharing my personal stories, but I also committed to performing that play into the new year. I cooked a few meals all by myself. I watched more new shows and movies than I have in a long time. I said yes to adventures with friends and initiated adventures in a way I’ve always been to timid to push for.

So what is my word for 2015?

Seek.

This morning I was reading my Bible a bunch of Scriptures that included the word seek. Honestly I have no idea why except that I could not sleep and simply longed for rest and to be in his presence.  Among them I read Isaiah 55 which is aptly titled “Invitation to the Abundant Life”.

That is what I long for. Oh, I feel so close some days and so far others. On a slightly unrelated topic my fiance reminded me last night that as long as I keep moving upwards as I keep striving to be better that’s what truly matters. Mistakes happen, I’m human, but what is the bigger picture of my life?

That is why I choose seek for next year.

I want to seek the Holy One’s presence.

I want to seek love.

I want to seek the opportunities that God has for me.

I want to seek out the broken, the hurt, and the unloved, and give to them out of unconditional love.

I want to seek the life that I’m meant to live regardless of what my family thinks or how uncomfortable it is.

I want to seek challenges because if I’m not growing, I’m dying.

I want to seek, I don’t want to wait, to worry, to fester, but to seek and go after whatever will help me best live a life that glorifies the Holy One and offers unconditional love to everyone I interact with.

Seek. My word for 2015 a year that’s already set up for great things between my fiance and I getting married, being a part of this Women in the Bible play, and everything in between. I’m going to seek with all my heart.

What’s your word for 2015?

Glitter on,

Juanita

P.S. Since I’m going away to my grandmother’s for the next few days and will not have access to the internet, I will not be writing again until the new year, for now feel free to go back and look through old posts, comment and share your words, or to take your own break. Thank you so much for reading, it has been such an encouragement to me.

Glitter on

I like glitter. I like shine. And like Mandy Hale I think the best glitter is that which comes from within.

Jesus called us to be the light of the world, it’s something beautiful, holy, and true within us, it’s not artificial or fake and we can only set it free when we know who He is.

I’m not sure why I’m focused on glitter. I’ve liked it as much as anyone over my life, but I’ve never been obsessed. Somehow though glitter speaks to my soul right now. I want to spread it wherever I go, like last Thursday I talked about how glitter never dies, it’s both it’s blessing and it’s curse. As anyone who’s ever used glitter you know you can make a beautiful creation, but for days afterward everything you touch gets glitter on it. That’s what a life lived abundantly looks like, everywhere you touch love comes out. That’s the plan anyway.

Happy Thursday!

Glitter on.