Thursday, November 10, 2016

Dear Future Husband, Part 2

Dear Future Husband,

I think I've started this specific letter about five times. I find it so hard to put into words what I want to say now. In the last year or so since I wrote my last letter, so much has happened. So much that we will be able to share and discuss. I know that this will be a difficult conversation to have. I know that there will be many long, hard talks as we discuss our past, but I'm so excited to learn about you.

I continue to pray for you when I can, and am to excited for our future. With starting college soon I will be putting myself in so many situations that will build my character and my confidence in myself. It will also be one of the greatest challenges of my life, but this may lead me to you. Or I may already know you and just need a little guidance to show me who you are. It will all be in the perfect timing and I'm so blessed I don't have to worry about that.

I want you to know right now, if you are struggling, or stressed, or completely happy and content with where you are, that I love you so much. I may not know you but you are one of my favorite people. Till next time sweetheart!

Love,
Your Future Wife

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

2016 Update - New and Improved Dear Diary

When I started this blog, I had every intention of encouraging young girls and sharing my heart for the Lord. Now I'm not saying that's not what I'm going to be doing now, but I think I have a different perspective in life now. I've lived a little more life than before. I have experienced a little bit more than I can once say. Which is totally normal for people to say.

I still believe 100%, with all I have inside me, that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior. Have I questioned that before? Honestly, yes.

I believe that's why I want to take this blog in a different direction. I want to share my struggles and how Christ has brought me out of those and shown me forgiveness. I want to show encouragement not in just preaching at you, but sharing the true life with you. I don't want to make myself sound perfect, because I'm anything but, but I do want you to know that you're not alone in anything that you think you've done.

I will start of the new and improved 'Dear Diary,' with an introduction and a little sneak peek into what I plan for you to see here soon.

So, my name is Adriana, I'm a newly-graduated, 18-year old, who is going to be moving to Denver this January. I'm so excited to see where this next chapter in life takes me, and to meet new people. I'm really excited to be sharing that part of my life with you as well. To be relaying those times of stress and heartache, but also joy and excitement. I plan on attending the Community College of Denver, and majoring in Early Childhood Education. That's a super exciting field for me because I love little kids, and hope that in four years I will become a preschool teacher.

I have many hopes and dreams for the future, and I can't wait to share those with you.  I also can't wait to talk about my past indiscretions and let you all in a little bit. I'm excited to hear for you all. Look out for my next post, a new Dear Future Husband letter. I love you all, and I'll talk to you all later! Bye!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Fruit of the Spirit-Joy

Quick question: Do you ever focus on the good things in life?

If you just asked me that question I would have been shocked and really had to think about it for a minute. After thinking about all the times I've complained about things, I would have had to be honest with you and say, "No, I don't."

Why is it that we overlook the good when it happens, but the minute something bad happens, that's all we can think about for a week?

The answer, we lack joy.

I know it may seem easy to say, "No I don't! I have so much joy in my life, and I know that I have joy in my life because I'm happy." But are we being honest? The definition of joy as a noun is a feeling of great pleasure or happiness, and joy as a verb means to rejoice. Are we rejoicing when we spill coffee on our favorite sweaters? Or when we get dumped? I know I never have!

After reading the beginning of this chapter, I asked myself, "If bad things happen, why should we be joyful anyway? Why do we need joy in our lives?" Like usual, God answered my questions in an awesome way. His son Jesus was sent to save us, that's why we should be joyful.

"I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them." (John 17:13)

After reading this, I was put to the test of finding joy within myself. I found myself constantly nagging about something that was happening. I had two research projects due, and it seemed not enough time to do them. So what did I do? I was constantly bickering with my siblings and parents because I seemed so stressed. That's when God pointed this out to me as I was reading the chapter. My siblings didn't want to be around me when I was constantly grouchy, and I needed to change that if I wanted to continue to have a relationship with them. 

"Happy doesn't just happen; Joy takes action." -Lynn Cowell in Magnetic

Let me ask you this, would you rather be around someone who always takes the positive out of a situation, or someone who sees the negative aspects of a situation? Someone who sees you crying over a boy and sits to talk with you, to reassure you that God has someone planned just for you? Or someone who sees you crying over a boy and starts going on and on about how they told you he was wrong for you, and that you never listen? That's right, I would want to be around the girl that built me up, not tore me down. In the simplest terms, someone who sees the cup as half full. 

Another term talked about in this chapter, was a joy maker. The girl we would rather be friends with above is an example of a joy maker. Someone who would rather make the world a happy place, then constant sorrow. Here's a question to ask yourself, are you a joy maker? If I had to answer that question, I would say, "Yeah, I try to be. I know that sometimes I make mistakes, but I try to bring joy to as many people as possible." Though I could consider myself a joy maker, I would definitely need some work in this department. 

"Finding joy means finding God."

One way that we can ensure we are joy makers is following God. In the book of Nehemiah, we see the affect joy drainers could have on you. Nehemiah was helping the Israelites rebuild Jerusalem after the Babylonians destroyed much of it. Men came and mocked Nehemiah and the Israelites for what they were doing. But what did Nehemiah do? Kept doing the work God told him to do. This story is so inspirational to me, Nehemiah chose to keep his head high, and focus on God and His plan instead of what people were saying. 

The story of Nehemiah is truly inspirational because he continued to follow God's plan instead of letting the joy drainers get him down. 

I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. (Psalm 31:7)

In this verse, David finds his joy where? He finds it in the Father's love. He found his joy in God. 

Another great problem many girls have nowadays is finding their identity in a man. A quote from the book says, "Boyfriend-based identity crumbles with a break up." This is so true! I've found that so many girls my age are constantly with someone, because they feel like that's what makes them a person. I watch a very popular short called The Bachelor, and this past Monday night's show was the "Women Tell All" special. As someone who watched the season, and had many questions, I looked forward to what these girls had to say.

One thing though, was an accusation against one of the girls in the final six. The accusation was that she was lying to Chris's, the bachelor's, face. Saying one thing, then turning around and saying something totally different with the rest of the girls. But I caught one thing that she said that really spoke to me. Many of the girls felt that she wasn't being true because she said she loved the single life, and that she couldn't see herself getting married anytime soon. When confronted with that, she said, "I've learned that you have to love yourself when you are single, then to rely on someone else to full you with that same feeling." That's exactly what I had just learned about after reading my chapter.  We can't allow our joy to be sucked out because we don't have a man in our lives. We have to stand against what everyone is saying and say, "I'm single and I'm happy." Then, when that someone comes along, there will be so much joy because you don't rely on that person for happiness.

"Don't hang your joy on waiting for 'the one.' Seek Him-not him!"

I know that I get caught up in it too! Being single in high school, and wanting to protect my heart, causes me to tread lightly in the dating world. There was even a point when I asked myself why I had so many standards. Why couldn't I just test it out a little? Because God doesn't call us to test it out. He says to follow Him, and the rest will fall into place because we are following His plan for our lives. So instead of worrying about when you'll meet your future husband, or why you don't have a boyfriend when all your friends do, draw closer to the creator of joy. My favorite saying is, "Run as fast as you can towards God, and if someone can keep up, introduce yourself."

Find joy in Him, not the world.

I encourage you to draw closer to the Lord this month, and every month after. Let Him create His joy within you. I pray that we all find ways to be the joy makers of this generation, than to become the joy drainers of this generation.

"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." ~C.S. Lewis

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Fruit of the Spirit-Love

Do I choose to please me or please someone else?

This is one of the start up questions to this chapter, and one that I find myself asking myself constantly. The problem is, I answer without really thinking about it, and the answer is almost always about me. I like to think that I make choices that benefit someone else, and they might in some way, but the truth is that they benefit myself more than anyone else.

I've always seen love as a romance thing, or family thing, and never really a universal thing. I've never looked at someone and said, "They are my brother or sister in Christ, and I love them!" I've never seen strangers as anything but that, strangers.

In this chapter, it talks about the many types of love that we will encounter in our lives. The first being Eros love. Eros love is the one we see in movies, the one that friends tell us about when they have a new boyfriend that makes them feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Eros, or erao, is the Greek word for intense or passionate love. This is the type of love that lasts for a little while, but doesn't really have any lasting substance in our lives. These feelings are powerful, and also a selfish love. This is a love that is me-centered, or when you ask yourself, "What can this person do for me? Or how does this person make me feel or look?" When you get over the "honeymoon" stage of this kind of relationship, the happiness and excitement dies out. Then the relationship follows close behind.

The second love it talks about is Storgeo love. Storgeo love is a love that comes naturally. It's the love that we have for our family.

The third love this chapter talks about is Phileo love. Phileo love is a friendship kind of love. The love that you know you have for your best friend because she's so cool, creative, funny, spontaneous, etc.

The fourth, and biggest, love that this chapter explains is Agape love. Agape love is the kind of love that we all are striving for. It's the love that we read about in the fruit-of-the-spirit list, and it truly stands apart from any other kinds of love. Agape is not shallow, or self-seeking,  it's not wrapped up in the physical or emotional feelings. It asks, "What can I do for the other person?"

"In agape, I deliberately make a decision to love another person, to value him not because of anything that person has done or can do for me but simply because that person is precious. I choose to prize him, to be devoted to, appreciate, and respect that human." From Lynn Cowell's "Magnetic"

Agape love is the love that the Father has shown us by sending His son to die for our sins. He could have said, "They're just going to sin anyway, this isn't worth it." He didn't though! He loves us so much, that He sent his perfect son in our place of punishment. Love can't get anymore unselfish then that!

Love doesn't just give up either. There are going to be many trials in life, there are going to be times where you ask God, "Why?" But the thing is, nothing can tear us away from our perfect Father. Take a look at Romans 8:37-39, it explains just that.

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)

As we being our walk of faith, it's not going to easy to love everyone we come into contact with. Nor is it going to be easy to take the high road when someone wrongs us. But it's what God calls us to do. He says to forgive as He has forgiven, and that's just one of the many ways to show agape love to someone.

I encourage you this month, to ask God how you can better show agape love in your life. Ask God for guidance as you go through the struggles of learning to love, and listen for His still small voice in your life. As you go through this journey this year, just know I'm going through it too! Here's a link to my Twitter, so if you ever need anything, just ask.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Fruits of the Spirit-The Beginning

For Christmas, my dad got me a devotional that I was really excited about. It's called Magnetic and it's written by Lynn Cowell. If you want to check it out, here is a link. I've already read through the first chapter, and it's really opened my eyes to the way I should be living as a daughter of the King. I felt that I should share this with you, because what Lynn does, is she takes a life experience of her own, or one that most everyone has been through as teaches us how to act like a follower of Christ. She doesn't put anyone down, but uses everyday experiences to teach us to not be of this world.

In this devotional, she takes the fruit of the spirit, and breaks it down into our everyday lives. I cannot even begin to tell you how much the first chapter alone has changed my perspective on how to love. I've been praying the past few days on how I could bring this up, and I feel lead to take a chapter every month, for that fruit, and talk about it. I felt lead to bring this up, because I know that as I was growing up, I never felt like I was honoring God with everything I did. I didn't know what it was to completely surrender to God. I'm starting to understand it now.

I recently went on a youth retreat with youth groups locally, and had such an amazing experience. I saw so many people commit their lives to Christ, and I just was in awe at the Holy Spirit moving through those kids. It was very inspirational.

While on this retreat, I was able to read the first chapter of Magnetic. I began reading the second chapter, but stopped when I remembered something the speaker said that night. "To completely surrender, you have to give yourself completely, then take it one step at a time." I prayed that God would show me why He didn't want me to continue, when it was shone to me. I needed to take some time and reflect on what I was learning.

So, the reason why we are here, me writing this with a delicious cup of hot tea next to me, you reading this, is because I believe that this was meant to be shared. Starting next month, I will be writing a post for each of the fruits that I am reading about. I'm starting with the first fruit next month, so I can continue to pray about what I'm going to write about, and ask the Lord to use me for His work and not some blog post.

I just ask that you pray for me as I work through this time, and I encourage you, come along with me on this journey. It won't be easy, but I just have a feeling that it is SO worth it!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Boyfriend/Husband List

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

As I've grown up, I've always loved this verse. This verse talks about Jesus's love for all of us. If we substitute love for His, we get, He is patient, He is kind. He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He is not rude, or self-seeking, He is not easily angered, and He keeps no record of wrongs. He does not delight in evil but rejoices in the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. He never fails. 

Now you may read that and say, but He does envy, and I would reply no He doesn't, He wants us to worship Him and love Him, but He doesn't get angry with us when we don't. Then you might say, but He does keep a record of wrongs, which I would reply, in all honesty, He doesn't. When Jesus went on that cross, all our sins were wiped away, we need only to ask for forgiveness and try to stay away from the sin. 

Jesus has shown us how to love, and what true love looks like. The apostle Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 what love is. I've been through a couple of relationships in the past, but none of them were ever self-less on both ends. Either I just wanted to the guy because he was the most popular, or he had some selfish reasons to be in the relationship. It was never what is described here. 

Thinking about my past with boys, and my future with my future husband, I decided a few weeks ago that I needed to make a list. So many people make lists about different things, so what's so special about this list? It holds the standards that I'm going to hold to myself, and my future husband. I've never wanted to share something so bad, but there never was a time like this to really share my husband list. So without further ado, my husband list. 

1. He is patient
I made a "Dear Future Husband" letter a few months back, and in this letter, I asked for patience as I fell into my role as a wife. I'm looking for someone that won't fly off the wall at the first sign of trouble. I know that I will burn dinner, and not have a backup plan, but I also know that with enough practice, I will get it right. I also know, that when we start a family, the kids will be running around and making lots of noise, that's what kids do. I don't want someone who is going to yell constantly because he's watching a game. 

2. He has the same faith
Most people put this first, but I decided against it. Sure it's important, the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 6:14, "Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?" Yes it's important, but at the same time. I don't believe that God would lead us to someone who He feels we need to fix. I believe that if the timing is right in both of our lives, He will bring us together.

3. He is not proud
This one is pretty important to me, because we are called to be humble many times in the Bible. We are supposed to be confident in who we are in Christ, but not so overly confident that we have a mindset that we can do no wrong. I don't want someone to tear me down to build themselves up. A relationship is selfless, not selfish. 

4. He can let things go
I find this one the one that I've had a lot of problems with with past boyfriends. When someone does something wrong, there is always that one person who brings that up to get a laugh out of everyone. I don't want something to go on in our relationship that is totally embarrassing, and he tell everyone to make me look bad. I'm sure he wouldn't want me to do the same, so I don't want him to do such things. 

5. He respects family
We all have those family members, or friends, or coworkers that we don't particularly like. Does that mean that we are rude to them? Or that we talk badly behind their backs? No! I know that whoever my future husband is, that he will be marrying my family, and if I'm not kind to my family, why should he? I'm very loyal to the people that I surround myself with, so I will be very protective of my family when someone has something to say about them. I don't want to constantly have my guard up when we get home from a family function because he's going to have something to say. I think that we will all go through tough times, and that family is there 97% of the time. He should be just as protective of his family as I am of mine. Remember ladies, if he respects his mom and sisters, he will respect you!

6. He is kind to everyone
I know that when we have a bad day, we want to lash out at the world. If you work as a cashier, or something to do with the public, and you've had a bad day. I know that it's easy to just get to the end of the line so you don't have to deal with people anymore. I know we all have those days, but if you strive to be kind, it could turn your day around that fast. I know there are times that we won't get along and that he's going to have to go do something, so instead of lashing out, he will take the good with the bad, and he will make it a mission to try and be as kind as possible to everyone. 

7. He can talk it out
Like I said before, I'm not going to get everything right on the first try. Sometimes I'm going to be upset and forget something, and that may cause some friction in our relationship. I'm okay with that. Couples have to get over bumps to get to the end. I'm not okay with him storming out, and coming back thinking everything is all better. I need to talk things out for my sanity. The saying don't go to bed angry, is something I believe in strongly. 

8. He perseveres
There will be those times where we want to give up, and I know it would be easier, but I also know that it is so rewarding to get over the bump and enjoy the ride until the next one. I know that nothing is ever easy, but I find it so attractive for a man to constantly strive for his relationship. I think it's so attractive for a man to want to be in the relationship so much, that he literally put it before his friends, and even his family. 

9. He is trustworthy
Trust is the key to a relationship. If he isn't showing you that you can trust him, maybe it's time to reevaluate the relationship. 

10. He knows when he's wrong 
I know that many people in today's society would tell you that a confident man is a man that you should be striving for. To a degree, yes it is. You want someone who will take charge and be the leader of his family, but you also want someone who is going to be able to say, "I'm sorry." These are hard words to swallow for anyone, but even more for someone who isn't humble. 

This list is for my future husband, but it's also for me. I can't expect someone to work so hard for a goal if I'm not willing to strive for it either. I encourage you to sit down, and think long and hard about your list. If you do write one, make sure it's reachable, and that you would be willing to evaluate yourself to and make the proper changes. 

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to be his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)

Friday, December 5, 2014

His Lamp for My Feet

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.(Psalm 119:105)

A few months after I wrote my last post, I felt myself slipping in my faith. I didn't realize how important it was to be constantly working toward a goal of bettering yourself. I've been able to seek out a new counsel, and find some amazing role models to look up to. Of course there is going to be times that we slip and fall, but to get back up and keep living for Jesus is the greatest thing you can do.

One of those role models are Lauren Demoss who is the founder, and writer, for thefulltimegirl.com. This is an inspirational site for the average girl, with a heart seeking God, and one that has helped me realize many things in my spiritual walk with God.

Another role model is Kristen Dalton Wolfe who is the founder, and one of the many writers, for sheismore.com. Another inspirational site for girls of all ages. This site talks about everything. With so many different authors to read about, I can't imagine someone not finding an amazing role model to keep an eye out for.

Though these lovely ladies have amazing websites that I could probably talk about all day, my biggest pick-me-up in this time of redemption, was the Bible. I've never read the Bible cover to cover, but I've started in August, and the knowledge that I've obtained is so powerful! I never realized how amazing it was to wake up, and spend my morning in God's word. Never did I realize that when it came to temptation, that it was like God tapping me on the shoulder and saying, "Let's go to My Word."

In the past few months, I've had an amazing journey! It's been filled with slips and falls, but know that even when you do make that mistake, God's there. Even when you feel so ashamed, He's there with His hand stretched out saying, "It's okay. Let's try harder next time." Our God is a patient God. He doesn't look down on us with disgust, or shake His head in disappointment. He waits for us to find our way back to Him.

So my challenge for anyone reading this right now is, dive into the word. Start at the beginning of each testament and read as much as you can. Make a certain time of day your Bible time and read. Even when you're tired, read as much as you can to really grasp what Jesus is trying to tell us. I promise it's worth it.