Friday, August 30, 2013

Re-churching: Why Do It - Obedience


2001: My core group of friends, up to... some good.
Hello,

It’s been rough. I’ve been crying. My heart’s been aching. I don’t have a clear view of what’s next. It’s scary. I’m scared.

Why go back to the same church that hurt me and let me walk away?

Why not go to another church? Why not stop going to church altogether?

One word: obedience.

Let me tell you about that mean word, obedience – it’s brutal. Obedience doesn’t come naturally to me. I am a very strong-willed person, born as such. “Obedient” is not a word people would use to describe me…

But someday, they might.

The glory will be to God on that day. God’s will be done and not mine (‘cuz a lot of you would die – j/k).

PK called me strong and brave for coming back, though I know that he knows that it isn’t me; it’s God’s strength that I am borrowing. It is God who put the possibility of this kind of strength in my nature.
____________________________

1996: 12 of these people were a part of my church family.
Of the church family, only my mom and I remain.

Why not go to another church?

I have visited with other churches, some of them seem quite genuine and wonderful and Spirit-filled – and I believe that they are Spirit-filled. I have prayed about it; I still pray about it. “God, couldn’t I go here? My friends are here. I like the worship here. I like the people here.”

I have never felt peace about going to another church. There was no sense that I would be allowed to go to another church and be well.

Instead, I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to look around me. See these people? See this church? You are not needed here. This place does not have what you need.

Understand this: no church is perfect. As I’ve heard it from Uncle Mike, “There’s no such thing as a perfect church; if there was, I’d ruin it.”

I would ruin it. Why?  Because I am a sinner. There is no perfect church because they’re all full of imperfect people.

Yet where God is, and his people are loving and obedient, there is grace and mercy also.
____________________________

Why not stop going to church altogether?

I did that recently, for 2 ½ years. I had no intentions of going back. I knew I ought to; I didn’t know if I would. I am not always obedient in all cases.

I am a Christian. I sin. I read my Bible. I struggle. I pray.

And I love God. When one loves God, one wants to be with his people. One wants to be where he leads.

When I love someone, I am motivated to become a better person. It’s the same with how I love God, only God is worthy of trusting that he will not lead me wrong, that he wants my true best.

I have wrestled with God. I have wrestled with the idea of not believing in God anymore. I tried to imagine my life without God.

God is still present, and he is leading me to the church where I was hurt, and the church which will heal me.
____________________________

2005: Mom and I after a church choir Christmas concert.
I was in the choir that year, the "young one."

I’m not at a certain church for anyone else but God and myself. I made that choice a long time ago, maybe around 2003 or possibly earlier. People come and go; God will always be there, so I need to be where he wants me to be.

People may see my return as a “default position” because my mom is there and I do have a few good friends there. Those are the reasons many people go to a certain church (and I’m not saying that is wrong necessarily).

Yet, if one takes God and obedience out of the equation, I have many choices. I have friends in several different churches, friends who’ve known me for a very long time. I have some confidence that even if I chose a church where I knew no one, I would find a new friend. God has been faithful to provide for me thus far.

Do I love seeing Rachel and Zac, and Sonnie, and Royce, and Genesis, and even Derek? Yes. But I don’t have to go to church to see them. I can hang out with my friends away from church. I wanted to be there for people like them and I couldn’t.

2010: Tad, Matthew, Sonnie, Adam, Shelly, and Genesis.
Matt and Genesis are still with this church. I miss the rest.

2013: Me and Rachel - the crying laughers!

And, there would still be the matter of those whom have hurt me, deeply. I could really do without seeing those people. I could really do without the feeling and the public crying.

My mom would love to be the reason that I choose a certain church, but she knows me and we’ve talked about it. She understands that she cannot be my reason, that no person can be my reason. It isn’t in my nature; I am generally unmotivated by people in this respect.

Someone who knew me might be asking, “But didn’t you go to a certain Bible study because of certain people?” Yes and no. Yes, the friends I was starting to make at the time went to this Bible study. No, I went because I knew the teacher, trusting him and knowing that he had great knowledge of the things of the Bible; if he hadn’t been a good teacher, I would have left eventually. Yes, I needed friends at the time, but I more wanted to learn about the Bible.

Others whom have known me will know that I speak the truth. I have been to Bible studies where I had friends, only, there was no study. There were friends. There was the Bible. There was a lot of chit-chatting. There was a hurried reading of a few Bible verses before the scheduled time was over. After a few times of this pattern, I would stop going.

I have always sought out Bible study groups that studied the Bible.

There may be one person who could influence me to go to another church, but I don’t know that he will be a church-goer and I am and will be a church-goer. I will go where my future husband goes.

Obedience is my default position for choosing a church. I want to be where God leads me.

That is all.
____________________________

I did not write this to condemn anyone who might be going to church motivated by family and/or friends. I understand why that may be and it’s wonderful when God allows that to be the case.

I would simply urge you to pray about where God wants to lead you, and then pray about trusting him more…

… and then do it. Take a chance. Go.

He may want to lead you to another church. He may want to lead you right in the church where you are. He may want to lead you to start/ help start a new church.

However it may be, it will be tough and it may be scary. It will also be exciting and rewarding. The rewarding parts may not come for a while, but it will come. I know this because it is promised in the Bible.

Jeremiah 29: 11-13 [NKJV] – For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Trust God to lead, follow knowing that he will not lead you wrong, and when it gets tough, call on him for he is present. How can it get any better than this?





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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Re-churching: Celebrating Laughter and Tears



(A recent Sunday. The pastor, speaking about the Tower of Babel and why God confused the people’s language)

Rachel: That’s why I don’t understand you.

(The pastor, talking about unity in the church and how the Holy Spirit makes it possible)

Me: That’s how I put up with you.
____________________________

See, the Bible is applicable to the present day.





And…

Isn’t it wonderful when you have a friend that just “gets you?” Or maybe she doesn’t get me but she goes along anyway!

After the informal meeting with PK a few weeks ago, I had turned back to Zac and Rachel, whom I had sat with during service. Rachel was talking with others at the moment but Zac saw that tears were in my eyes and asked if I was okay. I was okay. I appreciated that he asked me though. Despite how it may seem, with our play-fighting, Zac and I have become good friends as well. We can and do have more serious conversations and care for each other.

So I adore both Zac and Rachel. I will say this for the rest of my life: I was so honored to have been a part of their wedding party. I would do just about anything they ask me to do (just don’t tell them I wrote that- haha).
____________________________

Sigh. So.

I have been taking the re-churching process slowly and not-quite-surely. I have not gone each week since starting in July. I sort of wait to see if Rachel texts me, because if she doesn’t then I assume she’s not going and I stay home, which I know is not … right to do, but it’s where I am for now.

Our church celebrated its 100th anniversary this past weekend. I missed Friday but went for Saturday and Sunday.

… I didn’t really want to be there, but… it’s important, a necessary part of life at times that one must do that which they do not want to do.

… And I knew that Rachel, and maybe a few others, were counting on me to be there.

Despite sounding very self-centered at times with this journal, I do think very much about others and can be motivated in that way, that God may want to use me to support someone else. I simply stay clear as much as possible from gossiping, even with this journal that they most likely are not reading, even though I hear a lot and witness a lot, and even though I am sometimes asked questions about other people. So, default: talk about myself, even though I don’t like doing that either.

Saturday was a community fair from morning to afternoon. I stayed mostly with Rachel, Zac, and Mama G (Rachel’s mom); the whole family has adopted me, even though my own mom is at this same church and there’s a story about this, as usual. We missed Genesis in the dunk tank but made it to see Zac on the plank.


I got asked several times if I was Jennifer. And then a few of the inquirers introduced or reminded me who they were… and I knew who they were! Haha – I didn’t think I looked much different or that 2 years away would cause such wonder!

It was a good day, but tiring and by the end I had a terrible headache. Still, I cried and cried myself to sleep that night.
____________________________

Rachel texted the next morning, so I got my weak body up and ready to go.

During service, I sat with Rachel and Zac. It was nice singing worship along with them. I still had a headache though.

We stayed for the church picture and lunch. I got to see some folks I hadn’t seen in a while and got to know a few regulars better. Twice, I got the “I didn’t know [Mom] was/is your mother!” This is because Mom does her thing and I do my own thing, and because Mom is sometimes difficult to keep track of- she’s here, they think they saw her there, and then she’s over in the other place, etc. That is the story of why the G Family has “adopted” me; Mom knows and understands.

At lunch, I finally met the marvelous Nancy; I had been waiting and wanting to meet her. Within months of de-churching, Nancy had sent me a handwritten note full of comfort, encouragement, care, and purpose, all for me; God’s thoughts and her thoughts for me. I carry it with me so that I would remember. She is one of my heroes now and forever.

You never know who’s watching, but someone is.

PK took the opportunity to talk with me again, reiterating that he is at my service. I just still don’t know… that anything can be done. I mean, I am glad to reconnect with PK, and I had held some faith and benefit of the doubt for him before it. For now, I told him that I don’t know yet and that I am still quite tired.

In the bigger picture, I’m still discerning my way and who truly cares and who I can trust and who I can’t trust and who doesn’t give a rip; it’s all very overwhelming for me. And confusing.

So I still don’t have an answer for PK, as to what might be done. I think in other areas, with other people, especially the ones who did the hurting… I’m still looking for some sign of hope that things can and will get better. I didn’t tell PK all of this but I was thinking and I started to cry more.

PK gave me credit for being brave and strong in coming back, and it was much needed credit, because another part of the reason I had walked away was … not having been given the benefit of the doubt, or any credit for the things that I did well, or the effort I made, but I will talk more about this in future posts.

Gladly, I was given some relief in that, still crying after this more recent PK encounter, I was welcomed by Rachel again. We were both in tears for one reason or another.

But we also kept each other laughing too!

By this moment, we were serious talking and crying AND not-so-serious laughing all at once. We were in hysterics for some time.

Then we spent time at their place. The guys were passed out. Rachel and I took a little longer to wind down. I still had the headache and then felt a little nauseated but they took good care of me. Zac had pointed out the vog, so that had been the culprit for the headache (always happens with vog) but I am not certain about the nausea.
____________________________

Later, Rachel took me back to church to meet Mom so we could go home. Mom wasn’t quite as finished at church as she had led me to believe. I helped her with what I could, and then saw that people were still taking down things by the sanctuary. I went down to check it out.

I helped a little with picking up some blocks for something, and then saw nothing else obvious so I asked Ray if there was anything I could help with but he said no. He then talked to me for a few minutes, just reminding me of God’s love for me and how I can forgive myself because God already has and a few other things I really needed to hear, like how Ray sees my good heart – more crying. When we were done, I walked slowly back up to Mom, crying and thinking and thinking and crying.

We finally got home. I still had the headache. I went to sleep.
____________________________

It’s not easy. I don’t have to tell you that. Life is going to knock you over.

What I can tell you is that even when it’s difficult, you are not alone. You can always reach out to God (he will be present), and then if you need someone more physical, you can reach out to me.

Even though I struggle with more than I share here, I have also been able to be present for others whom are/ were struggling with their own things. People, like the G Family and Nancy, have been present for me along the way, blessing me, and I also think that God has allowed me to go through certain things so that I can be present for others, to pass on the blessing.

I mean, God’s been working this in me since at least 2008 when I finally let him. I think I’m growing.

I wished I could have fully celebrated with the church, but that was too difficult, things being what they are. I’m still in the place of crying from pain rather than in joy, but I have to believe that joy-crying is possible!

Yet, I will remember and cherish the memories of celebrating laughter and tears with great friends and new friends.

I thank God and I thank you all.




P.S. After such a long and heavy post, you deserve a positive message – in song form! This song describes, along with many others, where I was, where I am, and where I’m heading and I hope you come along!




____________________________

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Monday, August 26, 2013

My Favorite Lip Products

In my makeup arsenal, I counted 41 lip products, which includes: lipsticks, glosses, balms, creams (in which category I counted the Revlon Lip Butters), stains and liners. I have the most in the lipstick category with 17.

The brands and types of lipsticks I have are: Sei Bella (a division of Melaleuca), M.A.C. matte and cremesheen, Revlon Super Lustrous matte, Avon Ultra Color Rich, Maybelline Vivids and Color Whispers, NYX matte, and Rimmel London with Kate Moss Lasting Finish.

My favorite lip color tends to be fuchsia, or a deep vivid pink. My favorite fuchsia lip products are M.A.C.’s Moxie (matte), Maybelline’s Vivid Rose (Vivids), and Sei Bella’s Fuchsia. From the photo, they do look fairly similar, with Vivid Rose being like a combination of Moxie and Fuchsia.

Swatches in natural light


Lipstick was probably the first makeup product I used on a regular basis. I started with natural looking colors, or I should say color because I used the same one lipstick over and over again, repurchasing it for years. I think it was an Almay lipstick; it brought some moisture and a bit of color to my lips. Due to my current attraction to bright lip color products, it has been difficult to find the perfect natural lip product for me.

I do have Sei Bella’s Clay Rose, which is a perfect natural lip color for me, but I have been rationing it until I find a suitable replacement because it is not in their permanent line. The one I have found to be the most comparable, for the time being, is the Rimmel Kate Moss #17; it is about the same tone as Clay Rose but with a little more pink in it.

Swatches in natural light


I have recently started to like real red on my lips. It began with my birthday last year when I had my makeup done by a M.A.C. artist and she used Charmed I’m Sure on me. I like it so much that it is yet the only red lipstick that I own; I simply cannot imagine needing another red. Though, I do consider other reds on occasion, but so far, I have always come back to a strong satisfaction with Charmed I’m Sure. I still don’t use it that much because it was a limited edition from the Marilyn Monroe Collection.

Swatches in natural light

Photo of what the M.A.C. artist used on me last year -
Cherry lip liner, Charmed I'm Sure, and Phiff!


I also enjoy Sei Bella’s Raspberry, also being rationed. I would say it is a pinkish light red color; it looks a bit coral in the photo. It was my favorite lipstick until I got into the fuchsias. Avon’s Charged Cherry is a beautiful shade on its own, but I also do not have easy access to it as it seems that Avon refreshes their lines often and I got it to help out an Avon representative. It also seems very fancy for everyday wear, for me, because it contains quite evident purple and red shimmer.

Swatches in natural light


Charged Cherry, showing the sparkles in it

Other lipsticks that I own and enjoy are M.A.C.’s Ravishing, Maybelline’s Shocking Coral, Cherry on Top, and Pinup Peach; I suppose these are more peach and coral shades. The first two are brighter shades; the latter two are from the Color Whisper line, which tends to be slightly sheerer finish than a regular lipstick, leaning towards a tinted gloss look/ feel.

Swatches in natural light


I find that I don’t enjoy using lip gloss as much as I used to. I do enjoy M.A.C.’s Phiff! which I also got during my birthday makeup session; it is also a Marilyn LE item (photos earlier in post). I save it for special occasions or when it’s not a special occasion but I just feel like it, which hasn’t happened yet.

I do like the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Lovesick (photo earlier in post); I would add it to the fuchsia category. I like the formula, which gives a lot of color and some moisture to my lips, and leaves good color when the gloss wears off.

I have a tendency to forgo or forget the use of lip liners. I hear that the NYX lip liners are good, and they are affordable, yet I haven’t used them enough to have formed an opinion on them myself.

The Melaleuca Sun Shades Lip Balms (not pictured) are a staple in my lip collection; I keep backups of them. I usually have two floating around which are on active duty status. My favorite scents are Mountain Mint, Lemon Gum Drop, and Strawberry Daquiri. I prefer the Mountain Mint one slightly more because it gives that pleasant tingly sensation; the other two don’t.

I also have two fresh Sugar lip balms and a Burt’s Bee’s lip balm (not pictured), but I haven’t used them enough to have formed an opinion on them yet.

A note: I will say that it’s safe to assume that I enjoy the formulas of the lip products I mentioned in this post, though I am not very discriminating or well versed as to the finer details of different lip products, as I do not own nor have as much experience with lip products as someone more deeply involved with makeup. I do not notice the feel of glitter chunks and such, as I am not usually rubbing my lips together that often; I also do not mind scents much, as I usually don’t notice them after application. I will mention that the Revlon balm stain has a mint scent and the M.A.C. lipsticks have a light vanilla scent.

  • What are your favorite lip products/ colors? 
  • Do you have certain criteria you look for in lip products?







*For reference, my skin is a medium tone with a cool yellow undertone (M.A.C. C30).

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Not My Usual Post


Not the chocolate from today.
Hello,

This is not the usual sharing of information. If you are a sensitive type, or male, you might want to click out … now.



The story goes: I …

I went to the store today with a list of various items. I walked around in different departments like makeup, books, office supplies, kitchen supplies, etc.

What I ended up purchasing… what I realized, as the lovely cashier rang me up, was that my purchases were… like a “PMS Pack.” It was a very feminine bag of stuff: two feminine care products, underwear, and, to top it all off, chocolate! That is all.

I did not find what I wanted in the office supplies. I did not find anything I liked in kitchenware.

No, I am not PMS-ing. Currently. Actually, I don’t PMS often, but that’s a different subject….

I don’t find such things embarrassing; it is a part of female life. It just amused me because I don’t think my shopping trips have ever come together on a theme such as it did today, and because I don’t see myself as a stereotypical female. For instance, the chocolate is a recent thing and normally I do not crave chocolate. I don’t buy new underwear that often either, meaning that I will wear holey underwear until it’s cold in its grave and entirely unusable because no one sees my underwear anyway.

I don’t know – I just thought this was a funny coincidence.

Also, if I had realized it sooner, I would have gone to the male cashier instead, perhaps give him a look to see if he’d be uncomfortable or something, have a little more fun with it.

Anyways, that’s the story. Don’t know if it was humorous for you or not. I thought I’d give it a shot.


Thank you for reading! Back to our regular program lineup…. 






Monday, August 19, 2013

MBTI Basic & INTP

Hello,

MBTI stands for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. One can find a better description of the MBTI here: [The Myers-Briggs Foundation: MBTI Basics] 

Or, one can read on for my understanding of the system.

Based on 4 preferences in an order, each with 2 choices, the MBTI generates 16 different personality types.

The first preference involves one’s “favorite world,” whether one prefers “to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world,” with the choices being for extraversion (E) or introversion (I).

The second preference is about the type of information one likes to process. The choices are between sensing (S), taking in basic information, or intuition (N; “I” already used for introversion), deriving meaning from the information.

The third preference has to do with how one makes decisions. The thinking (T) choice prefers to look for “logic and consistency” while the feeling (F) choice prefers to “look at people and special circumstances.”

The fourth preference is regarding structure, or how one orders their information. If one prefers to have decisions made, then one probably has the judging (J) choice (not to be confused with being “judgmental”). If one prefers to remain open to “new information and options,” then one probably has the perceiving (P) choice.

Based on this system, I am an INTP.
____________________________

The MBTI Foundation’s site says of the INTP:
“seek to develop logical explanations for everything that interests them. Theoretical and abstract, interested more in ideas than in social interaction. Quiet, contained, flexible, and adaptable. Have unusual ability to focus in depth to solve problems in their area of interest. Skeptical, sometimes critical, always analytical.”

I would say that I can be described with the above statements. It is a general description that I think describes my natural state of being.

I brought up the MBTI and my self-assessment because I have found it interesting as far as self-discovery and trying to express myself to others, especially in my writing. A lot of the writing I have been working on has had to do with expressing who I am (it’s the title of this journal, after all) and how I view things, but there are a lot of pieces that I haven’t posted for one reason or another. I may reference the INTP thing in later posts; I already see INTP traits in some of my posted pieces.

In my opinion, the MBTI is a general personality type indicator, as it says. The system was based on Carl Jung’s cognitive functions, which goes deeper into one’s inner workings. In studying the Jungian cognitive functions, I believe more strongly that I am an INTP by that system as well. I have also gotten a clearer understanding of myself; this will be a topic for another time.

For now, I will leave you with a cautious thought: if you get interesting in “typing,” view it as a tool. What I mean is that it is useful for things like creating better communication between oneself and another person or in understanding one’s preferences and such. I would be careful not to take these ideas and think that one can have anyone “figured out.”

I am an INTP but I am always firstly Jennifer. The way that adaptability manifests in my thoughts and actions may be different from how it manifests in another INTP type person.






Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Re-churching: Another Smashed Brick

I thought I ought to talk about the effect that the encounter with PK immediately had on me.

When I returned to church in July, I was reluctant to do so. For me, it was like I was a victim being made to return to the scene of the crime as the offenders were still present. It was like that scene of the crime was my own home that was now entirely theirs and entirely not my own anymore. It was like I was creeping in, trying to stay under everyone’s radar, because I simply needed a place to live.

I know that may seem like an exaggeration to some. I’m simply trying to describe what it felt like for me. I didn’t want to expose my presence there, even with people I trusted. I didn’t want to talk to people. I was on edge the entire first Sunday back.

The bright spots for me were my mom and friends whom I knew to be supporting my return: Rachel, Zach, and Genesis.

I was closed off to all others.

I had built a wall. Even though I knew it would have to come down eventually. Even though I didn’t want there to be a wall.
____________________________

What the PK encounter had done was to smash one of the bricks in the wall. It let in some fresh air. A hint of sunlight washed in.

Immediately, a piece of me was restored to health.

I still have a ways to go. I still have to find my bearings and my place there.

And yet I was able to take initiative in visiting with a few people whom I knew would be glad to see me. When I had de-churched, a reason for it was that I had used up all the initiative I had. I was tapped out. I had nothing left to give. So now it felt good to see a part of me starting to come back and show.

I visited with Aunty Wendy, Dear Yasuko, Aunty Erin, Royce, Aunty Shirlynne and Uncle Mike. I was introduced to Mrs. Libby and introduced myself to Bernard, whom had been sitting with Aunty Wendy when I went to greet her. The Pastor had asked me how I was doing and he said, “You’re smiling- that’s good!”
____________________________

I’m not always (I should say, I am rarely…) good about relating such experiences back to the Bible, but I will try (practice builds skill, right?).

I think Matthew 6: 14- 15 fits here. It reads, Jesus speaking: For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Even before I had de-churched, I had been praying that God would help me to forgive the offenders. Indeed, I had forgiven, yet forgiveness is often a process. As Pastor has told me, forgiving someone is not a one-and-done deal.

Anyways, with the PK encounter, even though he was the one apologizing, even while not knowing what had hurt me or certain that I had been hurt, in a way it was like I was being forgiven for having felt hurt.

I know. I just heard the “wha…?” in this blog room. I don’t think like most people would.

I just think it’s a description of what happens when someone acknowledges your hurt; you can more easily release the hurt because someone else recognized it and you know you’re not crazy for having felt it. The hurt was real. I didn’t just make it up. I’m not alone in the healing process.

I apologize. My mind went on without me. I’ve lost the track of how it had related Matthew 6 to the subject of this post. I’m not likely to regain the track quickly. Like I said, I need more practice.

Take down your wall, even if brick by brick. Help someone else take out a brick from their wall.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for praying. 



Previously related posts:


Monday, August 5, 2013

Re-churching: A Sign of Hope

Hello,

Let's get right into it!
____________________________

De-churching was not an easy decision to make. I pushed back the day of leaving as long as I could stand it. I suppose I was searching out something, some kind gesture that would tell me that I was wrong for wanting to leave, or would give me hope that things could get better.

One of the main reasons why I eventually de-churched was because I had been alone in my pai

n for so long through the ordeal. I don’ t mean to say that I wanted others to hurt just like me, sort of a “misery loves company” way; I mean that it seemed like no one cared that I was hurt.

It wasn’t like no one knew that I had been hurt; most of the time I keep my pain to myself, but the pain I received in church, people knew. I made difficult efforts to seek reconciliation.

I felt like those with whom I was seeking reconciliation did not care. No one acknowledged that I had been hurt by them, no one took responsibility. A hurt doesn’t have to have been intentionally inflicted to be a genuine hurt. I had tried present my hurt only to be replied to with explanations that implied that I was unjustified or crazy for feeling hurt.

I felt like those around us whom knew there was tension did not care enough to do something about it, or when they did, … this is a little more difficult for me to explain the effect it had on me so I will simply say that it had not eased my pain at all.

The underlying message I got was that it was still all about the others and that I was the only wrong one. The others needed protection from Big Bad Jenn.

So, I de-churched. At first, I had a couple of messages from people, but then mainly silence. It seemed like I had been forgotten.
____________________________

This past Sunday, after service, someone approached me (we’ll call him PK). PK said that he didn’t want any junk between us. He offered an apology in which I saw and heard his sincerity and care.

I teared up. We hugged.

Good times.

PK had asked if there was anything he could do and I didn’t have an answer right then. He left the door open for me by saying to let him know. This has helped me to feel safe in the friendship and that is important to me.

I was able to walk away feeling free and hopeful that we’ll be okay again eventually.
____________________________

PK and I will have to have a talk sooner rather than later. I have a few things to apologize for as well. I will probably have to try to explain myself because I don’t want to feel like that again and I don’t want him to have to apologize again. I don’t want to have to apologize again.

I had seen PK once just before re-churching. I was out of character, keeping my distance and holding my tongue where I would usually stop by and greet him. I didn’t mean to be impolite but I ended up being impolite because I didn’t know what to say.

When I’m not okay with someone, and it’s an important matter to me, I have difficulty behaving like everything’s okay. My mind goes on hyper-play. My nature is to want genuine relationships and it’s difficult for me to pretend. I want to work things out as soon as possible and I have a difficult time understanding why the other person doesn’t want to.

I appreciate the encounter with PK. I don’t enjoy having conflict with someone. I sensed a trust in our same faith in God, and a trust that I would want reconciliation.

It has been so long since anyone had given me the benefit of the doubt in the whole situation.

It has been so long to have had good tears.
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Sigh. This is still the beginning. I have a lot further to go.

Two and a half years later and I’ve finally gotten my kind gesture, a sign of hope. It’s never too late.

Thank you for your prayers.




Previously related post: [Who I Am: Re-churching]

P.S. If you know who PK is, then up your respect for him; you probably shouldn’t say anything about this to him. I didn’t say his name here because the fact that I had held something against him is not to be used against him in any way; there are always two sides to the story and I was not blameless in the conflict either. And actually, PK was one of the least offenders.

Still, I wrote and posted this story because it was an important encounter in this re-churching journey.

As always, thank you for reading.

Humbly,
Jennifer




Saturday, August 3, 2013

A Girl with Green Eye Shadow

I love green eye makeup on me!

We went to dinner to celebrate a birthday and this is the eye look that I wore. I didn’t show the rest of my face because I didn’t have my face or hair done yet.











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Products used:
(No primer)
Barely Branded [70]- Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal
Edgy Emerald [50]- Maybelline Color Tattoo
Golden Sage [333]- L’Oreal Infallible E/S
Soft Brown – M.A.C. (not shown)
Highlight, Rock & Roll [TS29A] – NYX Trio
Ash [ECP03] – NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder
Nude Eyes [Champagne, Pewter, Black]– Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips eyeliner trio
Physician’s Formula Organic Wear Mascara

Everything shown can be found at the drugstore. Soft Brown can be found at a M.A.C. store or counter, or on their website.

Swatches: Barely Branded, Edgy Emerald, and Golden Sage
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I used Barely Branded on the inner part of the lid and Edgy Emerald from the middle to the outer part, up to the lid. I would describe it as more of a light jade green in color.


Golden Sage was laid down on the outer corner and blended towards the middle and above the crease; it is a leafy green color with a slight golden shimmer to it. Soft Brown was used to soften up the edges just above the crease, on the inner part of the eye.


The Highlight from Rock & Roll went under the brow. This matches my skintone almost perfectly and with a satin finish.



I lined the upper lash line with the Black Shimmer Strips eyeliner. Champagne lined the lower lashes, with Pewter lining the outer corner on top of the Champagne. These liners last a long time, but I would recommend allowing them to dry and set. For me, especially on the upper lash line, I keep my eyes closed for about a minute after applying the liner or it tends to transfer to the rest of my lid because of my eye fold.

For my eyes, I prefer to wear false lashes but my right eye has been itchy lately so I went with mascara. This PF one is not waterproof and had smudged under my eyes within 2 hours.

Do you like the look?

To find out what I ordered for dinner, check out [My Year of Health: Dinner Celebration]  
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For reference:
Eye shape: Almond eyes, folded lid with parallel crease
Eye color: Dark Brown
Skintone: Medium with cool yellow undertone
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Friday, August 2, 2013

Healthy Go: Too Ambitious?

Hello!

I haven’t done too many HG posts lately. I don’t know where my mind has been, or I mean, my mind has been scattered here and there, just having a blast (my mind is) while being difficult to focus on any one thing.

(Warning: this is going to be a bit rambly)

So… it’s now August 2013…. It’s been little over a year since I started HG; I think I started in June last year. I don’t know what I thought I’d be like in a year when I started. I did think that I’d be further along than I am at this point.

I thought I’d have lost more inches and weight than I have. I thought I’d be more consistent and doing harder workouts by now. I thought I’d be in better shape.

I mean, yes, I’ve been stressed and depressed and physically sick at times; such things can slow one down. And the plan was to make gradual changes in lifestyle which I will be able to keep up with and maintain/ or improve going forward. I’ve never been one to try this-or-that diet. When I’ve wanted to lose weight or get into better shape, it’s always been through exercise; with HG, I’m making all-around lifestyle changes, exercise and diet (food intake, not fad diet), as well as mind and spirit.

Also, health is not the only thing I’ve been dealing with in life. I’m struggling in a lot of areas of life, mostly internal things, I think.

Anyways, what I’m saying is that I am more ambitious than simply losing a few pounds and inches, which is basically what I’ve accomplished in the year. I’m glad to have made progress and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself (I am easily very hard on myself) for not being as far as I wanted to be at this point.

All those reasons I mentioned above (stress, struggles, etc.), I don’t like using them as excuses. Life is always going to have struggles and challenges. Yes, I’ve been dealing with a lot, but nothing more than anyone else goes through.
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*Breathe*

I probably ought to practice more of what a good professor taught us: Begin with the positive.

It’s too easy for me to push myself to the ground.

I didn’t start this post with the positive. Here it is:

  • I have lost inches, pounds, and a size
  • I have more energy than I did a year ago
  • My mind is still cobweb-y but clearer than a year ago
  • I have been more stable in emotions (I think)
  • I’m at a point where I can build strength (“leaks” have been repaired and no longer in panic mode; I’m no longer simply trying to keep from gaining weight)
  • I am moving more (could use more consistency and attack in this)
  • I enjoy healthier options (haven’t felt deprived of anything)
  • I’ve learned to cook/ or gone back to cooking a few healthier dishes
  • Thinking healthier is starting to become second nature
  • I got my dental health check up


So, my ambitions were high but not all for naught. Good has come from them.

Should I adjust my ambitiousness? How does one do that? How does one expect less of oneself?

At least my ambitions keep me going, even if I don’t meet them in the time that I intended to.

For a while, I was struggling and going seemingly nowhere in my academics, but now I’ve got Part 1 done and onto Part 2; I wanted to quit a long time ago, but where would I have been? –probably wishing that I hadn’t quit.

I think I shall keep my ambitions high as long as they keep me making progress. I have to practice keeping them mine, as I know in other areas at least, people expect me to make quicker progress and such; I understand that, as I expect that of myself, but I have to accept at times that I am doing what I need to do and I will get there. Keep disappointment and that type of depression at bay; I have enough to deal with.
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STATS (since January 2013; in inches)

Weight: 152 lbs
Neck: ………12.5
Chest: …....38
Arm: ……….11.75
Forearm: ….9.25
Waist: ……..31.5
Hips: ………37.25
Thigh: ……..19.5
Calf: ………..14
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Sorry, I don’t know how my ramblings can help anyone but if you’ve found hope, encouragement, something helpful, then I am glad! I do have a point/ helpful idea sometimes, don’t I?

Glad you’re still with me, or if you’re just coming along now, wonderful!


5 more months in the year – let’s keep going!



For another way to follow my healthy journey, visit [My Year of Health] with short posts (almost) everyday!