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Monthly Archives: January 2016

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Image Credits: Brave Words

This post may sound shocking to most people. I am a lifelong Christian and over the years my relationship with Christ has strengthened tenfold. I’ve been through tough times in life and in those tough times, that’s when God’s love for me shined the brightest and when I realized I needed him the most. I always encourage other to strengthen their relationships with God and to read their bibles and to pray more. I myself have been on a schedule of waking up by 5am every morning so I’d have enough time to read my daily bible plan (a verse or two from the old testament, a verse of two from the new testament, a psalm, and a proverb) and to pray. I know that by reading my bible and praying first thing in the morning, I’m more likely to have a better day. Spending this time with God helps to set the mood. It makes it so I go into work more relaxed, happier, and humble. So why would I choose to go Godless for 2 weeks straight?

Well, to start, it wasn’t intentional at all. It happened accidentally and then before I knew it God was almost completely out of my life for 2 weeks.

It started the week of January 17th. I was suffering a pinched nerve that made it very difficult to walk, let alone move. I needed to stay in that weekend to recover, so church was out of the question that week. But I still made an attempt to be there even if I couldn’t be there in person. I read my bible. I prayed. I listened to the live streaming of the church sermon from home. I followed it up by listening to John MacArthur’s Charismatic Chaos sermons that I’ve recently come to love after being introduced to them from a fellow member of my church. I figured it was “good enough”.

But it wasn’t.

I’ve had a lot of things going on in my life at the time. I’ve been very busy. You’re never too busy for God, but I thought I was. God was beginning to slip out of my life. He definitely wasn’t a priority like he should’ve been. One day I’d skip reading my bible and praying. “I’ll just read two days worth of plans and pray more tomorrow. I can say silent prayers — God will hear me,” I said. But one day without bible reading and prayers turned into 2 days and 2 days turned into 3 and before I knew it I went more than a full week without cracking my bible open once.

My church attendance didn’t improve, either. We got hit with a blizzard last weekend and my church, like most churches in the area, was forced to close. Not that I would’ve went anyway (I’m not sure if I would have honestly).

Once God started to slip out of my life, I had a harder and harder time bringing him back into my life. I have been going through some challenging times in my life. Whenever I think I have my life all figured out, it doesn’t quite go as planned. I think I know what I want in my life and when I don’t get my way (even though it just means God has something better in store for me), I feel discouraged and defeated.

To be honest — I got angry at the world — everyone and everything in it. Beyond that, I was angry at God. I was angry at God for not answering my prayers and giving me the things I wanted in life. I felt like I had to close my book and end my relationship with him as a form of punishment. But in the end, I’m the one that suffered. Here’s what happened when I went Godless for 2 weeks.

1. I suffered depression. I feel like every day for the past 2 weeks my mom has yelled at me for being depressed. She said she’d kick my butt if I didn’t learn how to smile. My dad has been a bit concerned about me, too. And they are both right: I was depressed. Days felt way too long. I didn’t want to leave the house. I didn’t want to see people. I didn’t want to really live my life. I wanted to eat, sleep, and lay in bed watching TV until I fell asleep. A night in with beer, Fireball, ice cream, and Netflix sounded great. Except I didn’t just want that on Friday night after a hard day of work. I wanted it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and every moment of every day. Having to do something relevant and meaningful in my life seemed like a bother. I didn’t think I had the ability to do anything meaningful either, because I felt like a completely useless, worthless, waste-of-space human being. Depression will do that to you. Had I have just turned to God and opened my bible then I might have read Psalm 139:14 which would have reminded that “I am fearful and wonderfully made.” This verse alone could have helped me to fight against my crippling depression.

2. I became lazy. This goes hand and hand with the depression. Getting out of bed seemed to take up all of my energy. Putting effort into my appearance was just asking for too much. Ask me when the last time I’ve been to the gym was — can’t remember the answer to that. All I wanted to do was watch Netflix and not much else.

3. I became worldly. Netflix was a really great invention. Arguably, it’s one of the greatest inventions in the world (okay, I may be taking this a little too far here). But it’s still a worldly invention. Romans 12:2 reminds us, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Again, have I had taken the time to open my bible during this 2-week period, I may have been reminded of this. Instead I became very much conformed to the world. Netflix became the center of my life. I wanted more and more worldly things (none of which could ever satisfy me or bring me happiness) and I became jealous of everyone who seemed to have more worldly items than I did. I based my happiness off of these worldly things, not my relationship with God. This was a huge mistake. 1 John 2:15-17 states, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” Pastor John Piper further elaborates on this in his sermon titled Do Not Love the World.  Simply put, we cannot love both God and the world. When we choose to love the world, which is precisely what I was doing, we can never be completely satisfied. This is because the things of the world are temporary but God’s love will endure forever (See Psalm 136).

4. I became prideful. The bible warns over and over again on the dangers of becoming prideful. I feel like this  is one of the things I struggle with the most as a Christian, and once I remove God from my life my pridefulness becomes out of control. I did just as Deuteronomy 8:14 states, “Your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God.” I became a pretty stuck-up, stubborn, nasty person who felt she had special entitlements and that the world owed her everything. I was far from humble or appreciative of what I had. And then I experienced just what 2 Chronicles 26:16 warns us of, “His pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God.” My unfaithfulness to God lead me to become more prideful, which ultimately led to my downfall.

5. I couldn’t get along with anyone. No one likes a prideful or miserable person, so this shouldn’t be all that surprising. I am normally a pretty easy-going and never have a problem with anyone. But during my 2 Godless weeks I really struggled to get along with people. Everyone got on my nerves and bothered me. Some people were just trying to be nice and help me, but I didn’t want to hear it. My pride often got in the way and I felt I was above them. When someone didn’t feed into my pride, I hated them. I definitely didn’t do a good job of following the second most important commandment, “Love thy neighbor” (see Mark 12:31). I didn’t really love much of anyone.

6. My anxiety and paranoia took a turn for the worst. I became much more paranoid and anxious. I worried constantly. I thought everyone hated me and was out to get me. I always seen the worst in things, not the best, and I’d play false negative scenarios out in my head. Matthew 6:25-27 says, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?” When God is a part of our daily lives, we know that he will always take care of us and supply our every need. But when we remove God from our lives, it becomes all too easy to forget that. Instead, we choose to worry even though we have nothing to worry about.

7. I became blind. God never let me down or stopped loving me. He never failed me a day of my life and he never will. Yes, he didn’t give me what I want in my life, but if past experiences have taught me anything it’s that the reason I didn’t get what I asked for or what I think I want is because God has something better in line for me. Without God in my life I became so blind that I couldn’t even see all of the incredible blessings that he have bestowed upon me. Take for instance my hearing appointment on Thursday. It was my first hearing test with my new cochlear implant. Prior to receiving that cochlear implant I had less than 7% of my hearing in that ear. I scored a 34% on my word recognition test. I viewed that as “failing” the test and being a horrible thing. All I focused on that day was how bad 34% sounds on paper and how upset I was to lose that 7% of residual hearing (even though it wasn’t much to be upset about anyway). I was so blinded that I didn’t even see how much of a blessing it was to go from 7% to 34% hearing in just 1 month of being implanted. To quote from John 9:25, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”

I learned a lot from going unintentionally Godless for 2 weeks. The most important thing I learned is that I need God in my life. I need him today, tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, and every day for the rest of my life. Life gets hard and without God, it is unmanageable. I am doomed for failure if I try to get through life without God. But as Matthew 19:26 says, “Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

What is it that brought me back to the Lord? The good people of the Lord. People who were open and honest to me. Those who didn’t tell me what I wanted to hear, but what I needed to hear. People who yelled at me for being depressed and not seeing the blessings the Lord have bestowed upon me and people who yelled at me for not seeing the wonderful grace and glory of God. People, my mother especially, who told me that I needed to go back and open my bible. Those who told me things wouldn’t and couldn’t ever get better if I turned my back on God.

I may have turned my back on God for 2 weeks, but he never turned his back on me. He was there for me yesterday. He’s there for me today. And he’ll be there for me tomorrow. The question is, will I be there for him?

I’ve spent a good portion of today reading through my bible and fixing and strengthening and repairing my relationship with the lord. I still have a long way to go — a lifetime. In the couple of hours I spent studying my bible and picking up where I left off 2 weeks ago, I already feel much better. I can’t wait to get to church tomorrow. And I am very sorry for turning my back on God. As much as I want to say it will never happen again, I know that that is probably a lie. As a Christian I will fail God and probably turn my back on him many times over. The only things all Christians do perfectly is sin and constantly fail God. But the good news is this — he loves us anyway. He died to save us from our sins — there is no greater love than that. He wants nothing more to help us and have a relationship with us. We just have to remember that, especially during the tough times in life. God will make all things better even if you don’t understand it at the time, but he can’t make things better if you don’t know him. Sometimes, it’s during the hardest times of our lives that we need God the most. We just have to make sure to keep him in our lives and give him room to work.

 

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Last time I wrote I reflected on my last assignment for the NJ Writer’s Group where I had to write about an inanimate object. My crazy story about talking makeup products, strippers, and religion was actually much better received than I expected it to be. It was as different as it could possibly be from my peers’ stories (most of them were actually children’s stories), but everyone said they appreciated my creativity nonetheless and no one seemed offended.

Also, everyone was really happy and excited to see me since it was my first time being there in a few months. I took off before my surgery because I was afraid of getting sick and then naturally I took off for awhile after as I recovered.

Everyone was so excited that they passed the baton to me at the end of the meeting and asked me to choose what I’d like to do for the next meeting.

I decided to go back to my elementary roots and choose something I’ve always enjoyed doing but haven’t done in awhile — a collaborative “finish the story” style exercise.

We discussed the details and rules and decided that what we’d all do is come in with the first 2 paragraphs of our story hand-written and stapled to several extra pages for everyone else to finish for us. We’d pass it around at the meeting giving everyone I believe 2 minutes to add a paragraph or 2 of their own to the story.

I’ll admit that I sort of forgot about the assignment (bad, I know especially considering how I was the one to come up with it in the first place…) until last night. With it being due tonight (in less than an hour to be precised), I was a little rushed, but luckily it’s only 2 paragraphs I had to worry about — not an entire story.

I’m not sure if I ever mentioned it before, but I am by far the youngest in the writing group I attend. I’m only 25 and everyone else is in their 50’s or at least pushing 50. Some may even be a little older. I definitely considered writing a beginning of a story that would make them feel uncomfortable — but actually, it would probably end up having the reverse effect. They may be a bit older than me, but they’re a pretty chill group of people and sometimes the things they come out with are so open and raw that I’m the one left feeling slightly uncomfortable. But hey, it’s a writing group. When it comes to writing, anything goes.

In the end I decided I needed a story that would be open to creativity and could have a strong, quick opening that would be easy to add on to, especially when the writing was being done by others who didn’t have the same vision as I did for the story. I decided I would write s story about a gnome named Norman who comes home as a souvenir from Germany and then comes to life and demands to live a human life instead of staying in the garden with the other lawn ornaments.

I didn’t expect to fall in love with my story, but the thing with love is this: it happens when you least expect it.

A Home for a Gnome

Here are the first 2 paragraphs of my story (if you can read through my crazy handwriting that is). I didn’t want to have to stop!

 

Norman the gnome is my child. I created him. I created Elizabeth and my nameless narrator (darn it why didn’t I remember to give him a name?!?), too. They are my family and I know exactly how they should be. Norman should be a stubborn and feisty troublemaker. Elizabeth should be a little loud, quirky, fun, and very smart. The nameless narrator should be a hopeless romantic, a little shy, and almost bullied or intimidated (non-intentionally) by Elizabeth. Norman will get his way and be permitted to live in the home after putting up a good fight and instead of being a gnome, he’ll act more like a son to Elizabeth and the nameless narrator. But since he’s a gnome people will look at him weird when he goes out in public and he’ll face much adversity. That’s my story.

But here’s the thing: it’s not my story to be had. I am only the owner of the first two paragraphs. All of the fellow writers in the group will have a share in this story, too. They could ship my gnome back to Germany and have Elizabeth and the nameless narrator  get their money back. They could make my gnome the next US president. They can even smash and kill my poor Norman the Gnome baby.

And there’s nothing I can do about it.

It’s hard to just let go of the story like that. Especially when I already think I have it all planned out exactly how I want it to be. But who’s to say someone else won’t have a better idea? This will be a great exercise for not only getting to know other writers, but learning to view things in a different perspective, too.

But I am wondering — what happens if I like everyone else’s version of my story? What if I were to publish it with everyone else’s contributions? Would it still be my story, or is it a collaborative story that needs everyone else’s names on it for legal purposes? My guess would be the later, but I’m not quite sure. It’s definitely something I should ask Laura about when I see her tonight.

I’m definitely looking forward to contributing to everyone else’s stories tonight, too. I just hope I don’t completely butcher them all. I can definitely have a creative mind (creative here is slang for “weird”.

Regardless, I have to go and get ready. Group starts in just over a half hour! Stay tuned for a follow up post with my post-meeting reflections!


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Image Credits: 180 to Christ

If you clicked on this link to read this blog post, then obviously my header worked.

Those who don’t know me that well probably think I’m nuts. I don’t have a boyfriend. Instead of a boyfriend, I have a laundry list of ex-boyfriends and failed relationships. My longest relationship is hardly worth celebrating. It ended almost exactly 3 months ago, was with a man I only saw about once or twice a month, and in the end I got cheated on and realized I was in a bit of a one-sided relationship.

But, that’s kind of the point. That’s kind of why my relationships never work out. I want a husband, but everyone that I date just wants a girlfriend (and sometimes that is even stretching it thin. I’ve had an ex or two who didn’t even seem to want that much of a commitment.

I am far from being anywhere near ready to get married, which I have stated time and time again. But what is the point in dating without marriage in view? I am a Christian. I believe in biblical relationships. No offense to those who are into the casual fling, those who just want to swipe right and find someone to sleep with tonight, those who don’t want any commitment. But that’s not me.

I don’t want someone to just take me out to dinner (although I do appreciate it).

I don’t want someone to just buy  me things (although it is nice).

I don’t want someone to just take me on vacation (although it is fun).

I definitely don’t just want someone to hook up with and to keep my bed warm tonight (no further comment needed on this one).

I want a husband.

I don’t want someone temporary. I want someone for forever and for always.

Those of you who know me better will not at all be surprised by anything I say in this post. In fact, it may even sound familiar, especially if you are a fellow Christian who shares some of the same beliefs.

Perhaps you’re familiar with a little book by Joshua Harris titled “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”?

I’ve written about this book on here in the past and the way it changed my view on dating and relationships. I’ll admit that I don’t always do a great job of listening to Harris’ great advice, but I try and I’m much better than I was a few years ago.

Harris says a lot in his book that I agree with that can help me to further explain why I want a husband. Here are a select few quotes that especially speak to me:

“Deepening intimacy without defining a level of commitment is dangerous. It`s like going mountain climbing with a partner who isn’t sure she wants the responsibility of holding your rope. ”

“Dating distracts young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future.”

Harris also went on to explain a lot about how you should be ready to make a sacrifice in your relationship. You should be looking for a lifetime commitment and preparing yourself for it — thinking in terms of finances and family.

I agree so much with this. That’s probably why I’m single.

I’ve been told I can be a little too intense in relationships. Too fast. I even had my most recent ex-boyfriend’s grandmother say that to me prior to our breakup.

But guess what? I’m not sorry. Not even a little bit.

I don’t want a boyfriend, I want a husband.

I want someone to show me they can keep a steady job with a steady income.  You don’t have to be rich, but you should be able to support a family or at least be working towards getting to that point (maybe you’re in school so you can get a degree to get a better job, etc.). I don’t want you to have a good job so you can buy me stuff; I want you to have a good job so you can work towards a better future — so you can afford a nice home, support a family, etc.

I want someone I can stand living with. If the thought of living with you scares me more than it excites me, then why bother?

I want someone who grew up with similar morals, values, or a background.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way.  I didn’t think it was that important to have similar backgrounds. It is okay to be different, but you should probably share similar morals, beliefs, or ways of living. It’s hard to manage if you don’t. For example, my most recent ex frequently went on vacation with his family. But they didn’t have nice home cooked meals or take care of their home at all. When I visited their home I was a bit horrified. It was dirty. There weren’t enough bedrooms for all of the people living there. There wasn’t enough furniture. I’m not saying it was wrong. It was right for them, but it wasn’t right for me. Our upbringings were so vastly different from each others and we each believed that our background was the “right” one. We couldn’t really compromise because they were both so different. I need someone who comes from a similar background with similar morals, values, and beliefs as me. Someone who values family life, the home, and simple things like keeping the home tidy and enjoying family meals together.

I want a husband who is more than just my companion or my partner, but also a father.

I want kids. Not now, but in the future. And if I can’t have kids then I want to adopt. I believe this is what God would want me to do. I need someone that is dependable. Not just for me, but for my future kids, too. The thought of my partner being a father to my child shouldn’t horrify me, it should excite me because there should be no doubt in my mind that my children will always be taken care of, loved, and supported.

In my last relationship I began to fear for my future. We both wanted kids, but I began to question how well that would work. I never ever want to feel “stuck” in a relationship or like I am settling, especially not when it comes to my kids. My parents always taught me that no matter what is going on in your life or your relationship or whatever, your kids always come first. I got scared as things in my last relationship began to get more serious because I couldn’t see my boyfriend — whom I was trying to view as my future husband — as being a great loving, supportive father. I know he would’ve tried his best, but would the children always be his priority? I didn’t think they would be. I was never his priority; his job was. I could see him choosing work over our kids. I didn’t want that. I want a husband that will be there to love, cherish, and support our kids as much as I will. Because parenting shouldn’t be a one-sided effort; it takes two to make a child and it takes two to raise a child.

I want a husband who is there for good times and bad times.

It is so easy to be there for someone for good times. I think this is where most relationships go wrong. Everyone, including myself, loves the worldly view of dating and relationships. Who doesn’t like to go out for a nice dinner, have fun at an arcade (or I guess to speak in terms of my generation….which I’m convinced I don’t belong in…have a few shots at the bar). These are the best times of a relationship. But what happens when those times end? Usually the relationship ends, too.

I don’t want things to be like that.

My parents taught me what love really is. They taught me the importance of having someone there for you not just for the good times, but the bad times too. You need to be able to depend on each other, because sometimes that’s all you have.

Take my parents for instance. They were in their early-mid 20’s with two young kids at home. Only been married for a few years. My dad was dying. It couldn’t have been more terrifying for my mom. A lot of people in her position might have walked away. They wouldn’t have been able to handle the thought of losing their husband and being forced to raise and support two young children on their own. But not my mom. She stood by my dad every step of the way. She fired half of his doctors even his surgeon as he was about to operate on my dad because she didn’t feel they were treating my dad well enough (good call, since they weren’t). My dad was too sick and weakened to make these kinds of decisions on his own. He had to depend on my mom to do it for him and she not only did it, she excelled.

This is what I want in my life. A love so strong I never have to worry if I can depend on my mate — I will know I can.

I want a husband that I can live both separately and together alongside with. I want a husband that understands the importance of giving me my freedom and independence and doesn’t try to change the person that I am. I want a husband that not only allows me to be myself, but one that loves and cherishes all of the parts of me that makes me unique. I want a husband that never stops pushing and encouraging me to be the absolute best possible version of myself.

But at the same time, I want a husband to exist along side of me. We’re different just like how Adam and Eve were, but we’re the same altogether since I am a part of you; I am your rib. We make all major decisions together, as a team. It’s never a quick “yes” or a quick “no”, but instead it’s a mutual decision that we come to together that will help us both to grow as children of God and to strengthen our relationship with each other (and if kids are involved, our children, too).

I want a husband. It’s not enough to just date around or to have another un-meaningful, waste-of-time relationship. If we’re not going anywhere or if you don’t want marriage or see that as the ultimate goal here, don’t waste my time.

I’m not looking for someone for a season, I’m looking for someone for forever.

I’m looking for my husband.

But at the same time I know that a husband isn’t something you just go out and find (trust me, I think I *FINALLY* learned my lesson about online dating. Re: it doesn’t work. Took me long enough to learn that.)

All I can do is work on being the best version of myself. I can work and pray to God that I can become more like a Proverbs 31 woman so that I may be prepared not only to find my husband at the appropriate time, but to be not a good, Proverbs 31 wife to him, too.

I pray every day that God will help me to become more patient. Lord knows this is one of my biggest vices — I am an extremely impatient person. I try to rush through everything in life. I wish I could see my future and who my husband will be today, but I know that I can’t. I pray that God will help to view my singleness as a gift and to use it in a way he intends me to to better honor and glorify him and to use my gift of singleness to serve him. For there is no better relationship we can have, regardless of our marital status, then that with our Lord and creator.

I can pray that God will lead me to my husband and help me to develop or build upon a friendship — the foundation that we will need before we can begin a courtship and then “dating” (which is much different than the worldly version of it) and then talk about marriage.

It is a process, and not something that happens overnight. But at the same time, I don’t see a point in entering into any “relationship” without having this in the back of my mind.

I want a husband. And one day, in God’s perfect timing, I’ll have my husband.

 

 


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Image Credits: Derick G

For those of you who don’t know, a few months ago I joined the NJ Writer’s Group. This is a group of individuals that meets about twice a month at the Margaret Heggan Library in Sewell, NJ. The group is open to anyone in the area I believe ages 16 and up. We meet in a library conference room and discuss writing strategies, book publishing, and other related topics. Sometimes we even have assignments.

For our January 12th meeting our assignment is to write a 1-3 page story using an inanimate object as the main character. This is certainly a unique and challenging assignment. Initially I wanted to use this exercise as an excuse to get back to writing my crazy cheese story I started back in college. However, I realized that story is far too advanced and complex now to be able to tell a part of it only 1-3 pages. I decided it was best to start over from scratch for this new project.

Writing short stories has always been a bit of a challenge to me. I am a novelist by nature. 1-3 pages is hardly enough for me to complete a single thought. I knew if I was going to tell a story in 1-3 pages, I’d have to focus on one main even or scene. I began to brainstorm some ideas and came up with the idea of a story about a couple’s first date — told in the perspective the woman’s makeup products.

I began to think about the kinds of things women would ask each other after a first date, things that people would assume, and why a woman might wear makeup for a first date and if the products could talk, what they’d say. The biggest thing that came to mind was sex. Many men and women will go on a first date and wonder if they’re going to have sex. Friends will ask if the new couple had sex, or when they’re going to have sex. Women may use certain makeup products to draw more attention to themselves to increase their chance of receiving sex.

I didn’t like this way of thinking. As a Christian, I didn’t want to write a story about sex.

But I did just that. I even made one of my main characters a stripper.

As I grow closer in my walk with the Lord, I have had a stronger and stronger desire to use my talent, or my writing skills, in a way that glorifies and honors the Lord and brings his word to his people. That was my goal with writing this story. I don’t have the impression that most of the members of the NJ Writer’s Group I intend are believers. I have the ability to bring the Lord’s word to them. It may be the only time they hear it. I took advantage of this opportunity.

I write about sexual immorality and promiscuity in my story and why I believe it to be biblically wrong. I even quote Galatians 5:19-21 which states:

19The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
I am taking a huge risk with this story. It is unconventional and likely not at all what the group will be expecting, but if it brings the word of God to the people, it is well worth the risk, regardless of whether they like my story or not.
I’m not entirely sure how well I followed the directions for this assignment. I intended for Roxxy’s lipstick, Ruby, to be the main character, but I feel like instead I ended up with Roxxy as the main character and the story simply being told by her makeup products — Ruby the lipstick, Violet the eyeshadow, and Maxie the mascara. Making inhuman objects main characters is so different from what I’m used to and much more difficult that I anticipated. However, I really appreciated this assignment because it forced me to be much more creative than I normally would be and to “think outside the box”.
You can read my story below. Please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think!

Seeing Through the Eyes of Truth

                “You’re home early,” Violet remarked. She was wedged inside her home – a red plastic makeup bag .

“It’s not that early — it’s 9 o’clock”, Ruby replied.

“You guys are never home before midnight anymore,” said Violet.

“Roxxy didn’t seem like she wanted to stay out very late tonight”.

“That bad, huh?” Violet snarled.

“No, it wasn’t bad — just…different.

                “Okay, tell me everything. Where did you go? What did they talk about?”

“Well they just went out to a diner. Nothing fancy at all. It was pretty quiet.”

“That doesn’t sound at all like Roxxy. This was just the warm-up, right? The calm before the storm?”

“What do you mean by that?” Ruby asked.

“Roxxy isn’t a diner kind of girl. She’s either a “wild night out at the bar”, or “expensive luxury dinner” kind of girl, or both. Usually both. And quiet? Pfft. As if.”

“Yeah…but like I said…she was different tonight. It was just a quiet night at the diner. There was hardly anyone there. All I could hear was them two talking and some faint music in the background.”

“What did they order?” Violet asked.

“Nothing major. I think he ordered a hamburger and she just had one of those wrap things. And coffee. They drank a lot of coffee,” Ruby replied.

“No alcohol?”

“They didn’t even sell it,” said Ruby.

“Roxxy going out on a date and not drinking? That’s a first!”

“Well, she didn’t really have the option. Jared picked the place.”

“She could’ve left”, replied Violet.

“She didn’t want to. She was really into him. They had a nice conversation going.”

“Well, what did they talk about?”

“Lots of things. It was really quiet so they were able to talk a lot. They actually had some deep and meaningful conversations.”

“About what?” Violet inquired.

“Religion mainly. He seems like a religious guy.”

Violet burst out laughing, clearly in disbelief.  “No way. I don’t believe it,” Violet said in between bursts of laughter.

“No Ruby is one hundred percent correct. I was right on top of her lashes the whole time. I saw that she was really into this guy,” said Maxie.

“See! I told you!” said Ruby.

“But this is Roxxy we’re talking about. Roxxy is as far from being religious as you can get. Did everyone forget, Roxxy is a stripper.”

“Yeah, normally. But like I said, she was different tonight.”

“Did he know she was a stripper? Usually, that’s the whole reason guys ask her out…” Violet stated.

“Oh he knew alright.”

“But he didn’t take her home like all of the others do?”

“No.”

“Was he blind? Deaf? Stupid? All of the above?”

“No, he actually seemed like a really good guy.”

“So what exactly did he say about religion?”

“Actually he used it to talk to her about stripping.”

“Really? How so?” Violet asked with wide-opened eyes, clearly stunned by Ruby’s response.

“I…I don’t know. He recited some bible verses. Lectured her about being prideful and causing people to sin. Something like that.”

“Galatians 5:19-21”, Maxie replied.

“Wait, what?” Ruby and Violet replied in unison.

“That was the verse,” Maxie replied, “Galatians 5:19-21: ‘The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

“How do YOU know? Violet asked.

“I was there, unlike you,” Maxie replied, plus Roxxy opened it up in her bible the minute she got home. I was still on her lashes; I read it with her.

Violet pouted before replying, “I don’t know why you and Ruby got to go tonight and I didn’t. Ruby didn’t even do her job tonight and I don’t know why she’d use mascara over eyeshadow…you really don’t do anything anyway.”

Maxie and Ruby shook their heads and rolled their eyes.

“She didn’t need you. She wanted to be more modest I guess.”

“Then how come Ruby still got to go?”

“Can’t answer that for you, but I can ensure you she stayed in her assigned seat tonight. Her date didn’t have a single lipstick stain on his shirt collar.”

“She really didn’t kiss him at all?”

“Nope. And I don’t think she will anytime soon.”

“Is she even going out with him again?” Violet asked.

“Yeah actually he mentioned bringing her to church on Sunday,” Ruby replied.

“Since when does Roxxy go to church?” Violet inquired.

“Since meeting her new boyfriend, Jared, and getting right with the Lord”, Ruby replied.

“Wow. This sounds serious. Do you think we’ll be replaced?”

“I don’t know. She seems determined to put her stripper days behind her, and fast. Hate to break it to you, Violet, but I think you’re already on your way out the door. Her dark violet eyeshadow was always just part of the act. But don’t feel bad, I’m sure I’ll be right there behind you.”

Violet never got the chance to reply. Before she knew it Roxxy reached into her red plastic makeup bag. She pulled out both Violet and Ruby and tossed them in the trash, saving only Maxie. She no longer wanted to cover her eyes or draw attention to her sinful lips. She needed only to keep her eyes popped wide open to see the truth that has always been right there in front of her.

 



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