#5 – Making a Statement…of the Fashion Variety…
I actually wrote a blog on this topic before (check it out!), but it’s been such a profound change in my life that I’m forced to add it to my “Top Ten Discoveries” list. At first, I seriously didn’t know what flipped this switch in my head that made me go from “I just want to be comfortable” to “GAW! That shirt/dress/jacket/necklace/outfit/etc is AWESOME!”. But after pondering as to why this change took place, I think I can pretty much sum up my reasons for wanting to “look put together” in two words. Ready for this?
When I say my husband is the reason for this new found love of fashion, that doesn’t mean he purposefully instigated it. He is not that superficial. It is, instead, a change in perspective on my end. While I still believe that men should love their wives/their girlfriends/the other females in their lives no matter what their appearance (they SHOULD!!), I’ve slowly started to realize how important it is for me to also understand that males are wired to be visual creatures. I don’t believe young ladies should be “dressing to attract” (a.k.a. “let’s see how much more skin we can show” – the purpose here isn’t to be sirens luring young men to their doom, ethically speaking). However, I don’t want to demand that he love me no matter what if I’m not making an effort to be loving by looking my best for him. That’s just unfair…love is a two-way street, and marriage demands effort from both parties involved. Plus, it’s fun to come up with new outfits…and the shopping is, more or less, therapeutic.
#4 – College Sports – GO RIGHT THROUGH FOR MSU!!
Both InChul and I love sports (understatement of the century!!). In this one sense, it was unfortunate for us that we attended a school that did not have NCAA Division I sports. Instead, we would try to adopt teams that we were at least remotely associated with (i.e. I was a Georgia fan because both of my sisters, and now my brother, went to/goes to UGA). I for one never understood the undying loyalties a person held toward his/her Alma Mater, watching/going to games, resplendently decked out in the respective colors, singing the same fight song time and time again…it almost bordered on “annoying”.
That is, until we started working for/with MSU. Now that we have a college team to call our own, it has finally hit me why all of my friends who went to Division I schools were so crazy about their school teams. It becomes a love affair, with all of the ups (when the team is winning/doing well) and downs (teams are doing poorly/losing) that comes with such a relationship (not unlike a marriage). It’s a whole ‘nother experience that has brought us that much closer to one another (this is the FIRST TIME we have been die-hard fans for the same team!!). It’s life-changing, feeling like you’re part of a larger sporting community. We can definitely say we bleed green and white.
#3 – Literary Influence: The Tangible Kingdom (by Halter & Smay)
This past October, InChul and I attended a three-day seminar together at Trinity Church called “God Space” (w/ Hugh Halter & Doug Pollack). It was at this seminar I was introduced to the book/study called The Tangible Kingdom. Basically, the book speaks on the idea that God’s Kingdom needs to be made tangible (real) through the church by using the New Testament church (for those curious, check out Acts 2:42-47). The culture and mindset of the world has changed…and Hugh Halter did an excellent job explaining that we as the body of Christ needs to create this “incarnational community” to bring relevance back to the gospel.
<from jacket summary of The Tangible Kingdom, by Hugh Halter & Matt Smay>
I’m still in the process of reading this book, but it’s really eye-opening. This was a concept that had been formulating in my mind for a while – the church having lost its relevance in society today needing to be brought back to its original goals and intent. But it was only after being introduced to this seminar and book (and then going through The Tangible Kingdom Primer: An Eight Week Guide to Incarnational Community with my new Trinity Growth Group) that the idea was consolidated. To know that there is hope for purpose and relevance yet as the church (God hasn’t given up on us yet!), it bring a new found sense of devotion and excitement to being a follower of Christ. It truly has renewed my faith and made it that much stronger.
#2 – Say it in a Song: “Into the Glorious” by Christy & Nathan Nockels
I’ve been a fan of Christy Nockels since she and her husband Nathan started up their duo as “Watermark”. The first song I ever heard by this group was “Gloria” from their first album. Since then, Christy has been one of my favorite female Christian artists.
However, the song that I’ve heard recently that has completely changed my perspective on worship and praise is a new song from her latest album Into the Glorious called…well…“Into the Glorious” (the title song, of sorts). Worship had become a bit dry for me. I enjoyed singing at church and listening to music, but my heart wasn’t in it anymore. I had a hard time connecting with God as I had in the past, and I didn’t understand why. It was when I heard this line from this song that God shook me of my worship complacency and gave me reason to sing again…
The idea that God was calling me…in the midst of an “ordinary” Sunday worship session…to lift my voice to fall upon His holy ears…and that in that moment, my life would be making this collision (sounds so dramatic) with His glorious majesty…it blew my mind that He would want to interact with me in this way. Needless to say, my worship life has changed. There are still days when I don’t feel like singing or worshiping God. But then I remember that I’m passing up a chance to commune with the glory of God…and I can’t help but sing, pray, or even dance (well, bounce up and down in the driver’s seat of my 2006 Toyota Corolla anyway…usually listen to music in the car).
#1 – The “Light Bulb” Idea: Be Still…and Surrender to God
|My “Be Still” Role Model…|
Yet another discovery that I have blogged about previously (read here). Being able to surrender and be still before God has been a difficult task for me (even after my recent revelation). However, once I am able to relinquish control over things in my life that I knew He wanted me to surrender to Him (it’s a constant back and forth), this heavy mental/emotional burden would lift, and I would be able to enjoy life once more. I look forward to the day when this “surrendering” business becomes more second-nature to me, because it’s MUCH less stressful and more enjoyable to be set free from the continuously aggravating thoughts of diminished self-worth that, eventually, lead to depression. It’s never been more freeing to depend on Him.