What I have realized is people do get judged for being a Christian.
Not by people who aren’t Christians.
But by people who are Christians because they don’t act Christian enough.
My question is:
By what standards?
You pursue your faith in different ways than them.
You go through different trails than them.
And you see the world in a different way because of your past experiences than them.
Don’t let the Christian world bring you down because you aren’t satisfying their laundry list of things you must do to be a great Christian.
You are a great Christian.
Because you are not of the world, but you understand the way the world is cruel.
Because you are not afraid to step out of your comfort zone in the most peculiar ways.
Because you lead by example, not by words that fade away from memory.
Because you are a light to those that are not already in the light, but fading away from it or those who never felt it.
Because you respect people and do not see yourself as higher than them.
Because you understand what the meaning of Christ’s love is, and you love those he loved, even if they don’t love you the same way back.
There must be more, but I think you’re a great person.
Don’t let your own faith get you down.
Don’t let people define how much you love the Lord.
Just love the Lord and the rest will come to you.
So, today was my last official dgroup meeting with these girls I’ve gotten to know very well the last four years (some only a year). To end off, one of the moms decided it would be a fun project to get a picture of the girl with qualities written around her that people give her. What I did was stand in the center of the white board, and they wrote around me while I was standing there. It wasn’t until they were posted on facebook that I found out what these qualities were, and it was so humbling to see what these seven girls thought of me. They believe I am:
- Have a beautiful voice.
- Life o’ The Party!
- Absolutely adorable.
- Strong and independent.
- (and finally) The future Mrs. Luttrell.
The last one is a stab at the fact they truly believe I’ll get married to my current boyfriend, and we just don’t know that yet, but I laughed.
All these qualities are qualities I hope to carry onward with me into college, and that people there will know me as this. It was such a joy to do the same thing to each one of the girls, whether it was funny or dead serious, and I am so thankful we did. It has instilled in me a new confidence, and I can’t wait to look at this when I’m feeling down about myself. I love them all so much.
I’m tired of being a people pleaser.
From now on, the things I do will purely be because of my drive and passion.
Not an excuse to try and impress others.
I won’t pretend to be perfect, or ok, or fabulous even though I’m having a crappy day.
I’ll pick the battles I want to fight, and the battles I choose to leave alone.
I’ll do what makes me happy.
Not because it’s selfish, but because that’s the only way I’ll stay sane.
Keep Adventuring and Stay Not A Grown Up (x)
“Would you be able to say ‘Keep Calm and Stay Sassy?”
I am allowed to overact because then I can go on adventures.
Lately, I’ve been looking in the mirror and not being happy with what I see. My face breaks out 24/7, with like, three days of clear skin. I have scars all over my body. My belly has been retaining water like crazy. The unpredictable Texas weather leaves my skin dryer than a desert. My nose is always red because of allergies. My hair is stringy because I’ve given up doing it every morning. My face is without makeup because I’m too lazy to put it on and take it off. And I just figure, I’m not happy with myself.
Then, after complaining about every aspect of my appearance that day, I go through Facebook and look through old pictures of me where I looked beautiful, or, thought I did. Not once, this senior year, have I felt “beautiful” when I’ve gotten ready for school or work or church or a date. There’s always a flaw left somewhere that I can’t fix and if I try to fix, it’ll just get worse.
What is this poison I’ve let seep into my brain that fails my sight to see the thing that’s really in front of me? What is the fog that covers my mirrors and tricks me into seeing the most miniscule mistake that only I see? Why has my heart turned black when it comes to complimenting myself in the mornings or before I go to bed? What is this monster I’ve become?
Lord, equip me with proper eyesight and true wisdom to see that I am your creation, perfectly and wonderfully made. I am beautiful, but in a different way. Let me see the natural beauty within me, as your love pours out. Be the reason people gravitate towards me, because your beauty outshines me. Hold me when I’m vulnerable, and banish the evil thoughts when they penetrate my heart. Your word is truth, and your plan is just. I pray for the girls out there just like me, who are feeling a little less than beautiful.
I love being in love with someone who is in love with you.
I just thought I should warn you ahead of time.
People gradually change over time. This is common knowledge. Our surroundings influence us, our experiences shape us, and our company makes a name for us. I am not the same person I was years ago. My thoughts are different, my humor has changed and more noticeably, I look different. But so does everyone around me.
In middle school, going to the Town Square was the cool thing to do, or going to the movies with an obnoxiously large amount of people. In the present, I absolutely hate seeing twenty awkward middle schoolers crowd a place… the noise irritates me, but at the time we didn’t care. I mean… they didn’t care… because, well, I was never allowed to go. “Boo-hoo”. It bothered me alot though then, because I started getting separated from my friends because I wasn’t “cool” enough to go to the Town Square or movies on Friday and Saturday nights, even though it was my mom who kept me home. I remember running up to my room, crying, after the millionth time of me asking and her rejecting and I just screamed, “WHY ME GOD? WHY ME?”
Fast forward to high school- me dating a senior my freshman year. To summarize the year of heartache, he left for college and we stopped dating; however, I was very emotionally attached, as every girl gets with their first “real” boyfriend, and it was a struggle to get back on my feet again. I remember asking God, “Why you would put him in my life to take him away? Why me God? Why me?”
Skip a little ways to junior year when most of my prime leaders all moved away at the same time. My youth pastor, Matt Fogle, who had been a mentor of mine, an encourager, and someone who truly believed in me moved to Illinois to lead another youth group. Mrs. Wright, my beloved PALS teacher who truly invested her time into me, got to know my heart to lead, and challenged me everyday to do something more. And finally, Lauren Bair, my incredible small group leader who got to honestly know my heart more than anyone has in such a short amount of time moved to Houston after only being my leader for a year. I remember asking God constantly, “WHY ME? Haven’t you done enough?” After every single one of them sat me down and gave me the same talk.
Finally, people change. It’s just the way things go. Some people choose to party, and others don’t. I’m one of those who don’t, but those that I’ve worshiped with, prayed with, led with, mentored with, talked with, had a bible study with, started to. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Claire, this doesn’t have anything to do with you, though. This isn’t your fault. It’s their choice.” And I know that. I realize that God gives everyone the gift of free will, but I still took it on as my responsibility for them partying and leaving the gospel and the promises they made behind. It weight heavily on my heart for months, and I would ask God, “Why me?”
It wasn’t until I was sick to my stomach one night, by myself, where I finally heard the right connotation of the word.. the right emphasis… that after all these years of being selfish and asking God, “Why would you hurt me in this way? Why would you take him away from me? Why would you take my encouragement away? Why would you take my friends away?” it changed to
“God. Why me? Why would you keep my heart for you so strong? Why have you chosen me?”
This realization and overwhelming peace led me to the conclusion that my heart has been set in stone and personally chosen now because He needs me to be strong now. He has called me to resist and live up to something higher… to be patient and attentive. To learn from Him without compromising His gospel for Satan’s guilty pleasure. He needs me now. And now my question is,
“What can I do? What is my purpose? Show me, why me.”
Like relationships, plans, extra-curriculars, and my dreams?
Well, I’m really glad He did.
Because those closed doors led to barely opened ones I just had to be brave to walk through.
And once I did, I moved on.
And my life took a different path.
And I’m not the person I could’ve been,
But I’m the person He has called me to be.
To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! This is my very first original to write on the ukulele. So be kind to the sloppy playing. Just a relaxing little love song that brings my favorite characters together. A little back story:
Most important, love takes sacrifices. Now, I haven’t had any true sacrifices in this department, but I’ve seen incredible ones from the role models in my life. You can’t buy love, but it doesn’t come cheap.
Now, about the chorus.
I would love to have a fight like Noah and Allie. I’m so used to being afraid of putting myself on the forefront of arguments and keeping my opinion to myself that I’ve never had a full on scream fest with a guy (my parents, yes). So I would love to be honest and forward with my husband like they were in the Notebook.
Fly away like Peter and Wendy. I’ve always imagined during school what it would be like if I could just fly away out of here. But I would love to do it with my own, Peter.
I want to have many adventures like Carl and Ellie. I want to travel with my husband to wherever the Lord needs us. I want to travel the world for pleasure. I want to learn new things from different people. Traveling, is essential to my existence.
Finally, let’s be honest, Mickey and Minnie. Forever. They’ve been together since Mr. Walt Disney threw them together. You think about one, and the other is right there with them.
And my perfect idea of a Valentine’s date is watching a movie and ordering a heart shaped pizza. That’s it. I don’t want anything else than to curl up in sweats and gorge in gooey cheesy goodness. Saves money, and you don’t run into nasty crowds.
But this is my song. Wrote it and recorded it all in one day. I hope you enjoyed it very much, and have a fabulous Valentine’s day!
Much love, Claire.
and in that moment i swear we were infinite