No, I ain’t a scared little girl no more.

I’ve been called a doormat more times than I can count. They always make it sound like such a terrible thing, like that’s the worst thing I could be. And to be honest, I’ve been harping on it this time. But do you know what I just realized? I am ok with it. Actually, I am more than ok with it.

Doormats welcome people inside. Doormats lets people wipe their dirty shoes on them so they can go in unworried. Doormats are there to take the bad stuff away and open doors. Bullies make you scared and run to hide behind doors. I am done running and I am done feeling bad for who I am. I will no longer apologize for who You created me to be.

People have tried to tell me to be more assertive and aggressive my entire life. I think the reason I am so not aggressive is because I’ve seen aggression and I’ve spent my life trying to be the opposite of that and now I am. Maybe I went too far in the opposite direction, but I would much rather be passive than aggressive.

In middle school, I listened to some advice from what I thought was a friend. I tried it her way. I stood up for myself by being a bully back to a bully. I did not feel better. I did not stand up for myself. I did not win. The bully didn’t stop after I hurt her either. In high school, we both apologized and worked it out. We were kids and it was a learning moment, but I learned then and there that standing up for yourself doesn’t mean pushing someone else down, even when the rest of the world tells you that is ok.

 Mark 12: 30-31 says: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” 

Lord, You have shown us love in more ways than I will ever be able to fathom and understand. The very least I can do is show love to those around me.

1 John 4:7-10 says: Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

1 Peter 4:8 says: Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

Martin Luther King Jr. said: I’m concerned about a better world. I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that. And I say to you, I have also decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. And I’m going to talk about it everywhere I go. I know it isn’t popular to talk about it in some circles today. And I’m not talking about emotional bosh when I talk about love; I’m talking about a strong, demanding love. For I have seen too much hate.

So, while I jam out to Kelly Clarkson, I may not be invincible, but I am a warrior. And I know love will always conquer evil. So, go ahead and send a few punches at me “Cause I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed.”

So, that is my prayer today. I pray that I fight with love. I pray that I love with no abandon. I pray that while some threats are real and some are empty, I pray that I stop running. I pray that the only place I’m running to is you. I pray that I stop hiding behind doors in fear. I pray that I keep being a doormat and welcoming people. I pray that I learn to see my vulnerability as strength. I pray that I stop apologizing for who I am because you created and designed me with intention. It is no accident that I am a doormat. There is a purpose for it. And Lord, I am yours, wholly yours. Lord, I pray that you use me for your glory. Thank you for showing me true love. Thank you for teaching me that love is greater than hate. I pray that I stick with love. Thank you for calling us to love. I pray that I love you with all heart, soul, mind, and strength. I pray that I love those around me. Thank you for showing us the ultimate form of love. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

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You were here.

I called my daddy after class today and he starts asking me about my day and my plans for the day. Then he starts talking about Public Relations and goes on and on about my major. I was like “waittttttttttttt a minute. That’s what I’ve been telling you for almost 4 years now. You’re telling me you were listening the whole time?” This man has infuriated me for 4 years telling me stuff and not understanding what my major is and saying all this hogwash just to get under my skin and letttttt me tell You, Lord. It worked. But You already knew that. You’ve heard my prayers.

My daddy’s response to my question was priceless. He said: “I was trying to toughen you up. I had to make sure this is really what you wanted to do with the rest of your life. If you can defend yourself and sell yourself to me then you’ll have no problem doing it for employers.” He tells me he always knew what I was capable of and what I could do. Then he ended that conversation by saying: “I’m on your team. I always have been.” Shut the front door. Ok.

Fathers show love in some weird ways sometimes.

I spent my Valentine’s Day working, but before I went to work I watched Woodlawn because I had a free credit on Redbox and I hadn’t seen it yet. I thought it was a movie about football, but it’s never just about football is it? Football is about so much more and so was that movie. The movie is about love, Your love. In the movie, the preacher reads John 3:16 which says: For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Then he says if you’re a given a gift, you don’t leave it wrapped. You open it. He said God gave you a gift why are you leaving it wrapped up?

The one question sent my mind running. Then I remembered this speech that Hannah Brencher gave when she said: “I want to fly. I want to breathe. I want to leave this place better than it left me.” I always agreed with her and wanted the same thing. I want to use my gift to make a difference. I want to use what You gave me to bring the world closer to You. I want to share Your love. I want to be a part of campaigns that change opinions and perspectives. I want to be a part of Dove’s #SpeakBeautiful or Coca-Cola’s #MakeItHappy or Gillette’s #UseYourAnd or Always’ #LikeAGirl or Verizon’s Inspire Her Mind campaign or their Powerful Answers campaign. I want to take Hannah’s speech where she told us to be present and intentional and run with it. I want to be part of the change.

In Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl, we learned about how David was handpicked by You. He didn’t look like a king. In fact, he was completely overlooked. You had a purpose for him though. You prepared him in the fields everyday. Even after You chose him, You were still preparing him in the fields every single day. He had no idea what You had planned for Him. I saw this picture on Facebook that said: “Long before Zacceaus couldn’t see Jesus that tree was already planted to meet his need.” You have been fulfilling our needs before we even realized they were needs. You chose us. You made a plan for us. You gave us gifts. You are preparing us every step of the way even when we don’t realize it or even understand what You’re doing. This girl tweeted: “How cool is it that the same God that created mountains and oceans and galaxies and puppies looked at you and thought the world needed one of you too.” 

Romans 12:6-8 says: We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

So, that is my prayer today. Thank you for being here. Thank you for creating me. Thank you for orchestrating a plan for me. Thank you giving me gifts. Thank you for preparing me. Thank you for fulfilling my needs. Lord, I pray that I use my gifts for your glory. I pray that I work as hard as I can to do what you created me for. I pray that I follow your plan. I pray that I share your love. I pray that I shine a light for you. I pray that everything I do, I do it for you. I pray that I make a difference. I pray that I leave this world a little better. I pray that I mean something for you. I pray that the hearts I have touched will be the proof that I leave of your love. I pray that because I was here people will know you were here. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

 

He’s up to something.

Ok, so with graduation coming up, I have been sending out my resume with like a whole bunch of optimism and hope attached to that cover letter. Like my dreams are riding on those pieces of paper. The rejection letters that are following are weighing on a girl’s heart. Ok, most of them say they need someone immediately and to reapply in a few months. That’s fine I can accept that, except I don’t wanna wait. I’m excited and ready to go. There is a couple that say I need more experience, that’s fine because I knew I did when I applied for those but I figured it was worth a shot. You never know what might happen and what doors could open. I wanted to be open to all possibilities. Then there is the one this week that says they appreciate my creativity but decided to go in a different direction. That one hurt a little more than I would like to admit.

Elizabeth Edwards said: “She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.” So, here I am adjusting my sails, adjusting my outlook, adjusting my attitude, and turning all my attention to You, Lord.

I figured I needed a “pick me up.” I pulled out some old notes and got ready to start praying. Inside of my notes I found three fortune cookie quotes that I liked over the years and had saved. They kinda hit the nail on the head for the kind of reminder I need.

  1. “You are a skilled organizer and aware of group dynamics.”
  2. “You have a deep understanding of other people’s needs and feelings.”
  3. “You are far more influential than you think.”

Alrightttttt, let’s put that on my resume and I’ve got the experiences to back that up. Now while I don’t put much stock in believing in fortune cookies, I do think that God gives us little signs and reminders if we’re paying attention.

I’m reading chapter 5 of For the Love by Jen Hatmaker. The chapter is called: “Run Your Race.” In the chapter she says to invest in your gifts and stop downsizing what you’ve been given. She wrote: “You are good at something for a reason. God designed you this way, on purpose. It isn’t fake or a fluke or small. These are the mind and heart and hands and voice you’ve been given, so use them.” Then she says: “The timing is never right. Forget that.” Boy, did I need to hear this. This chapter could not have been timed anymore perfect. But it is perfect, because it’s Your timing. It’s Your details. It’s Your grand design. Every moment of my life has been orchestrated by Your hands and it is a beautiful thing. She ends the chapter with: “But off you go because we were not created to stand still, even though that is safe and familiar and you are guaranteed never to fall or stumble or grow weary. We were made to run. RUN. I’m grinning at you. We all are.” My heart tingled when I read that. Ok, I’m putting my running shoes on now. (Btdubbs, I need to thank Mama again for the new ones for Christmas.)

I also found my notes from Xtreme Winter. In my chicken scratch, written in a hurry, trying to soak in every word, it says: “Don’t miss an opportunity to pray. We have enough Jesus to get by but he doesn’t have enough of us. Step out and quit letting Satan control your life.” Then at the bottom of my notes is written: “I believe I was destined to be here.” Which reminded me of a saying: “You are where God wants you to be at this very moment. Every experience is part of his divine plan.”

So, that is my prayer. I pray that I let today serve as a reminder that you are not finished with me yet. I pray that I remember you have a plan for me. Lord, you have been preparing me and leading me to this point. You do not do things without intention and purpose. Thank you for guiding me. I pray that I continue to follow you. I pray that I set my sights on you. I pray that I adjust my sails. I pray that I give you everything I have and all that I am. I pray that I give you the control. I pray that I keep seeing your hand in the details of my life. I pray that I run my race. I pray that I remember to thank my friends and family for cheering me on and supporting me during my race. I pray that I don’t minimize my gifts. I pray that I put them on display for all to see the work you have done in me. I pray that I keep showing off how glorious you are. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.