You were called to be YOU

You were called to be YOU

God isn’t calling you to be a clone copy of the girls you see on Instagram.
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“I didn’t ask you to be her. I asked you to be you.” –God

Seriously, ladies - God is calling you to be you.

God isn’t calling you to be a clone copy of the girls you see on Instagram. He doesn’t care about your futuristic ‘goals’ that you have saved to multiple Pinterest boards.It doesn’t matter to Him how many followers you may have or how many likes you may get. What truly matters to God is what is in your heart - the truest and deepest parts of it.

We spend so much time stalking through strangers’ Instagram’s doing the petty, envy, jealously and insecure stuff. We literally waste the time in our day comparing our lives to others shot through deceiving camera lenses. When in all reality, we should spend our time striving to be well-wishers, go-getters, heart changers and godly gracious givers.

“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30

God is calling you to be you, in the truest form, the most original you. This includes the loud, silly, messy, restless, broken and anxious parts of you. The worst mistakes that you’ve ever made, God wants it all. He wants the good, the bad and the ugly. God has created you for a purpose. You have something that no one else in the world has because you are you and that is your power. You are meant to live a full life that God has prepared for you. Also, those really ugly things that you’ve done - the ones that make you cringe each and every time you think of them. Yeah, God had a purpose and plan for those too.

There is nothing that can happen to us that is out of God’s control.

Jealousy is an ugly, ugly thing. Satan uses many tactics to bring us down and shrink our self-esteem. But let me share with you something that took me a long time to figure out – your worth is not defined by this world. It is not defined by your relationship, your beauty, money, followers or likes. Your worth is defined by what God says about you and that alone. Therefore, make it a point to hide your heart in Him.

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Rescue me from my enemies, Lord, for I hide myself in You.” Psalm 143:8-9

Some helpful verses for when these struggles arise:

“But The Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but The Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” 1 John 2:15

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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I Went To "The Bachelor" Auditions

And here's why you won’t be seeing me on TV.
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It’s finally time to admit my guilty pleasure: I have always been a huge fan of The Bachelor.

I can readily admit that I’ve been a part of Bachelor fantasy leagues, watch parties, solo watching — you name it, I’ve gone the whole nine yards. While I will admit that the show can be incredibly trashy at times, something about it makes me want to watch it that much more. So when I found out that The Bachelor was holding auditions in Houston, I had to investigate.

While I never had the intention of actually auditioning, there was no way I would miss an opportunity to spend some time people watching and check out the filming location of one of my favorite TV shows.

The casting location of The Bachelor, The Downtown Aquarium in Houston, was less than two blocks away from my office. I assumed that I would easily be able to spot the audition line, secretly hoping that the endless line of people would beg the question: what fish could draw THAT big of a crowd?

As I trekked around the tanks full of aquatic creatures in my bright pink dress and heels (feeling somewhat silly for being in such nice clothes in an aquarium and being really proud of myself for somewhat looking the part), I realized that these auditions would be a lot harder to find than I thought.

Finally, I followed the scent of hairspray leading me up the elevator to the third floor of the aquarium.

The doors slid open. I found myself at the end of a large line of 20-something-year-old men and women and I could feel all eyes on me, their next competitor. I watched as one woman pulled out her travel sized hair curler, someone practiced answering interview questions with a companion, and a man (who was definitely a little too old to be the next bachelor) trying out his own pick-up lines on some of the women standing next to him.

I walked to the end of the line (trying to maintain my nonchalant attitude — I don’t want to find love on a TV show). As I looked around, I realized that one woman had not taken her eyes off of me. She batted her fake eyelashes and looked at her friend, mumbling something about the *grumble mumble* “girl in the pink dress.”

I felt a wave of insecurity as I looked down at my body, immediately beginning to recognize the minor flaws in my appearance.

The string hanging off my dress, the bruise on my ankle, the smudge of mascara I was sure I had on the left corner of my eye. I could feel myself begin to sweat. These women were all so gorgeous. Everyone’s hair was perfectly in place, their eyeliner was done flawlessly, and most of them looked like they had just walked off the runway. Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb.

I walked over to the couches and sat down. For someone who for the most part spent most of the two hours each Monday night mocking the cast, I was shocked by how much pressure and tension I felt in the room.

A cop, stationed outside the audition room, looked over at me. After a brief explanation that I was just there to watch, he smiled and offered me a tour around the audition space. I watched the lines of beautiful people walk in and out of the space, realizing that each and every one of these contestants to-be was fixated on their own flaws rather than actually worrying about “love.”

Being with all these people, I can see why it’s so easy to get sucked into the fantasy. Reality TV sells because it’s different than real life. And really, what girl wouldn’t like a rose?

Why was I so intimidated by these people? Reality TV is actually the biggest oxymoron. In real life, one person doesn’t get to call all the shots. Every night isn’t going to be in a helicopter looking over the south of France. A real relationship depends on more than the first impression.

The best part of being in a relationship is the reality. The best part about yourself isn’t your high heels. It’s not the perfect dress or the great pick-up lines. It’s being with the person that you can be real with. While I will always be a fan of The Bachelor franchise, this was a nice dose of reality. I think I’ll stick to my cheap sushi dates and getting caught in the rain.

But for anyone who wants to be on The Bachelor, let me just tell you: Your mom was right. There really are a lot of fish in the sea. Or at least at the aquarium.

Cover Image Credit: The Cut

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The Truth About Politics In Religion And How It Affects Our Relationship With God

They don't have to be mutually exclusive.

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It's evident that religion can and has been used in politics from the values of voters and leaders. However, to use your religion or your relationship with God for making political decisions doesn't share the same meaning.

I've always loved finding all the best facts and research for argumentative work but I couldn't pursue that approach for this topic. Why? Because I've experienced the pattern in my relationship with God of how God defies logic.

God can't be contained to a definition or explanation. I liked the way I've heard one leader express that, "If you hear someone trying to explain to God as if he knows then he's a fool before he starts talking". That's a paradox within itself.

I've learned more recently to identify that the two sides of the paradox that you might wrestle with in understanding God are both true. That, yes, His hands are big and He knows exactly what to do to make you surrender but you'll also find no greater love than with Him because He has the biggest heart and knows what you need better than you do.

I think that accepting this paradox will differentiate between those that view politics religiously versus those that view it from 'what is God trying to do here'? The one that focuses on seeking 'what is God trying to do here?' would represent those with a relationship with God. This doesn't mean that referencing the laws of God exempts you from having a relationship but the love of God is the strength that sustains the relationship over the law. This is also a bit of a paradox because they're both important in Christianity.

There's the difference from seeing God as one-sided which is very prideful, limiting and incorrect compared to recognizing that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.

I believe that what we believe and how we see God will bring limitations or provision on how we can be used in God's plan for His kingdom on earth when it comes to the way the world is run.

God, our relationship with God and the law of God all have to be considered in the things we do as Christians.

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