Understanding God’s Love

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This morning, as I did my usual procrastination scheme of checking my email instead of doing homework, I came across this living social for a personalized children’s book. I have two nieces and nephew that I adore more than anything so I absolutely HAD to check out this offer!

I came across this page.

” [name], I love you when you’re nice,

               I love you when you’re cranky too.

                              I love you without liking the naughty things you do.”

I paused.

Not gonna lie, I teared up a bit. 

I think it’s easy for people to get this concept of loving the children in their lives, no matter what. It’s in our nature. I love Katie, Mackenzie and Noah, more that I ever I knew I could love anyone! Simply because they are MY nieces and nephew. 

But honestly, when I read this I immediately thought, “Thats how God love me.” It has nothing to do with my accomplishments. Its because of who I am to him. I am his creation, the Bible says that I am his daughter. And for this reason, God’s love for me won’t be affected by “the naughty thing’s I’ve done”.  (sidenote: If I feel this strong love for my nieces and nephews, how much more is God’s love for us, his sons and daughters? I can’t even comprehend that kind of love!). 

How do I know this, that God loves me this much? Here is just one verse (of many) that will illustrate my point. Zephaniah 3:17 speaks of how much God loves his people, it says: “He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

 

 


Christian Mingle

Hold up, don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not on Christian Mingle. (No offense if you are, it’s just that I have an amazing boyfriend.) But I saw an ad today, that used an old Jars of Clay song, Love song for a Savior (you can see it here, Christian Mingle used a clip starting at second 57 or so…).

Not gunna lie, that upset me. People buy into this idea that finding a lover will make your life fall into place and you will live happily ever after. (Even social policy is written with mindset, but lets be real, I could write a thesis on that, so lets save that argument for another blog.) It’s simply not true. And it saddens me that even the church is not exempt from the effects of this lie.

Love song for a Savior, if you listen to the whole song, is about longing for an intimate relationship God. The love and desperation in the song is about that type of love, love for the Father God, not a piece of His creation. It’s not about how an intimate relationship with the opposite sex will fulfill all your needs, it’s about how love for the Father, Creator, Savior, God is what we crave, what we were created for.

Some of you are reading this thinking, oh my-lanta yes! And some of you are thinking that I’m totally cray-cray. Thats ok. But this crazy, passionate love I have for my Savior has lead me to some awesome places.

Just about two years ago, I was packing up my stuff, leaving my home in Tijuana, Mexico, and moving to Costa Rica for an indefinite amount of time. Now I’m on my most challenging adventure- Graduate School! (I’m finishing my first year at UConn’s MSW program, again, that’s a topic for another day…) This summer I have a chance to help a team of teenagers on a short term missions trip, and share this crazy love for my Savior out on the mission field again!

I’m so excited to have this opportunity, and I’ll be sharing more in the weeks to come.

(…but if you just can’t wait, and you are super excited to support me, Team Bing has been updated with information about how…)


truth is truth, no matter the source

I used this photo because Kenzie said that mustaches are cool and I wanted get people’s attention.

Reading for class, so OF COURSE I’m inspired to write a blog.

No, I’m not procrastinating, how DARE you accuse me of that!

I’m studying social work, and this particular reading is about the way women act in groups (relationships) vs how men act in similar settings. Yup, we act differently! Shocking, I know. I came across this:

Tannen (1990) describes a study by Johnstone involving community and contest that concludes that men see power as coming from an individual acting in opposition to others and to natural forces, and that life is seen as a contest. This fits with our understanding of the power and control stage for men. She goes on to conclude that for women, community is the source of power, and that for women the danger is being cut off from the community.

So that means that men need to feel that they have ability to oppose others, to express their ideas to have power. (Keep in mind that power in this context is a deeper meaning. It refers to the ability to have autonomy, to be a meaningful part of the group, but it does not mean to lord over the others). Women are able to have power in a relationship by feeling that are a part of the community.

It reminded me of a verse I always have issues with, as I am SUCH a feminist.

Colossians 3:18-19

Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.

In my newer understanding I see these verses this way:

Women, don’t try to control everything (even though we all know you totally could), let your husband have a say, it will make him feel valued by you.

Men, show your wife that you love her, treat her with respect as an equal, that is how she will feel that you value her.

Ok, I’m no expert on relationships, and certainly no Bible scholar. But I love when I see God’s truths expressed in VERY non-christian literature. And yes, I am procrastinating.


“call me maybe”

I hear this song a few times a day. You know it, the olympic swim teams know it, right now you are probably bopping around singing: “..Hey I just met you, and this is crazy! But here’s my number, so call me maybe…” It seems harmless enough. A girl thinks this dude is hot, so she gives him her number. Then she sits around hoping he’ll call. I feel like this is one of so many songs out there right now with the same theme. Its all about this love-obsessed teenager thinking that person of the opposite sex will fulfill all their expectations.

I know what you are thinking. You are reading way too into things! Chill out Robbie. Hear me out… What inspired me to want to write a blog about this song. This part: “Before you came into my life, I missed you bad…” Um, not possible. I think you are confusing the emotion of missing a person and what you are really feeling: lonely and incomplete. The first time I stopped and listened to these lyrics, I was moved, honestly. What has happened to this poor girl to make her feel like she is so incomplete and missing something until she meets this hot guy? And what kind of message is this sending to teenage girls? That they need a man to be ease the loneliness they feel?

Sorry to be such a debbie downer. It’s just that it’s so backwards. Why aren’t there any messages out there for girls teaching them that they need to be content with who they are before they can even think about allowing another person into their lives? There’s no songs on the radio that say,”Hey, God made you in HIS image. You were created to reflect the perfection that is God.”

…and in case you are worried that I take life too seriously, don’t be. I still sing along everytime that song comes on the radio. It’s just so catchy.


…been a while…

Last time I wrote was January. JAAAAN – UUU – AARR – YY!!! For those of you who suck at math, its been six months. Since then three BIG things have happened.

Katie

1.My sister had her baby. I’m obsessed with Katie, soooo cute!! (photo cred: I stole that image above from Becca’s facebook)

2. I met an amazing man. We’ve been dating for 3 1/2 months. He’s in Brazil right now, advancing the Kingdom with Merge Missions. Feel free to stalk him on facebook 😉

3. Last, but not least! I got into Uconn’s MSW program!

Yeah, change of plans. Last time I wrote I was planning on moving back to Costa Rica for a while. As I prayed about it and got some encouragement from friends, I realized that I was ready to take that step and apply to grad school. I really had no idea if I would get in, or how I would pay for it if I did. But I got in! AND got some grant money and loans. Needless to say, I am really excited. Like, REALLY excited! I’d been praying about going to grad school for years now, and now that its happening, it almost feels unreal.

Well, I just wanted to throw a quick update out there, for all my avid followers. Both of you… no, lets be real, my parents probably never read this.


reality hits you hard bro

I posted an article from BBC the other day on Facebook. It was about how the bad economy in Europe has lead to a rise in abandoned kids in Greece. Family’s cannot afford to feed their children so they leave them at homes, or on the streets. It’s heartbreaking. But it’s reality. (…reality hits you hard bro… sorry this is serious, but I HAD to throw that in there… if you don’t get the reference just skip this parenthesis… or ask Rob or Justin…).

It is a reality that faces so many families in developing countries. I was reading the article and thinking about this, as I was sitting in my parents amazing living room, on the most comfortable couch ever, watching netflix on their huge TV. I am so blessed to have amazing generous parents. But not everyone is. The fact that there are so many children whose parents cannot even afford to feed to them, keeps me from being able to live here, in Connecticut and fully enjoy it.

The Bible is full of verses that speak on God’s heart for the poor, the needy and the hurting.

Psalm 72:4 – He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the
needy.

Psalm 140:12 – I know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause
of the needy.

Isaiah 58:10 – If you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of
the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like
the noonday.

God has put it on my heart to be a part of his solution. In two months I’m leaving again.  I’m moving back to Costa Rica to do a three month internship with Casa Viva (http://www.casaviva.org/).  I’m so excited. Casa Viva is a Christian organization that is putting kids in foster care, while making efforts to help the families of the children, so that they can eventually restore the family unit.

Please pray for me as I make plans to leave again.

  • My sister, Becca is due next week, and I’m sure once I meet my new little niece it will be hard to want to go.
  • I need more monthly support.
  • I am looking into getting U of N (university) credit for this internship.
  • I am (as always) praying about going back to school. I may have found a university that is completely online and will let me take classes internationally.

boogers all over and eating scabs

Yeah, I said boogers. I subbed this morning. I saw more disgusting things this morning than I have in a long time. I have a newfound respect for teachers. And I only subbed for a couple hours.

It was a great break from the job I got almost as soon as I came home. I’ve been working full-time at Starbucks for about two months now. Don’t get me wrong, I love it there. The people I work with are wonderful, we have really nice regulars, it almost feels like a little community. But it was really nice working with kids, it had been a while.

Something hit me while I was subbing at this Christian school. There was a sign in the stairwell, it had a picture of a sad face a picture of a happy face. The sad face was before Jesus, the happy face was after Jesus. It really stuck with me, and bothered me. I have had some tough moments in my 27 years. I know that through all of them, whether I invited him or not, Jesus was there and sad with me. But even after I had invited him into my life, I didn’t always feel him there. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t there. I feel that picture is telling Jesus that if you are sad, you can’t really have Jesus in your life. I know its not the intention of the poster to say that. But it just didn’t sit right with me. I thought of kids I know that have serious things to be upset about: dead parents, divorced parents, step-parents that leave. Kids don’t always know how to process those things, sometimes things just hurt. What is that poster saying to them? How much more does showing love to those kids communicate Jesus’s love them, even if they act out? Even if they eat their scabs? I don’t know that particular boys story, but I just hope I was able to communicate Jesus’s unfailing love to a child.