Monthly Archives: August 2014

what the Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise has taught me: part 1

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First of all, I included all three of these shows because I watch (or have watched) all of them. I wouldn’t put myself on the “obsessed” level yet, but I’m definitely above “just curious about what’s going on” or “staying culturally relevant.” For example, the first thing I did today when I had some free time after work was catch up on “Bachelor in Paradise” and that’s probably what I’ll do tomorrow because it’s a two-episode week y’all!!

As I was catching up on the show this week, I couldn’t help but feel this uneasy pit in my stomach. I started to feel kinda bad for those involved in the show. I was sad for every single female that ends up in one of those “confessional” moments and says something similar to, “I just want someone to fight for me,” or, “I guess I’m just not good enough.”

Today, those confessions just stopped me in my tracks. I realized lots of things that I’d like to cover in the coming weeks, but we’ll start with this:

Insecurity exists everywhere.

Everywhere.

If there’s one thing I’ve picked up on with the Bachelor franchise, it’s that they really like beautiful people. Every person on every episode is beautiful. And every one of them, at some point or another, doubts themselves. They feel inadequate. They feel as if they are missing something.

It reminds me of the time when Adam and Eve were walking with God in the garden. The Lord had brought them together in perfect harmony and the Bible says that they were “naked and were not ashamed.” Then, they rebelled, went their own way, and did the one thing God told them not to do. The first thing that happens after that bite is that they realized they were naked. And they were ashamed of their nakedness. So ashamed they hid from God.

One of the most compassionate statements in the Bible, in my opionion, is in Genesis 3:11. God asks them, “Who told you that you were naked?”

Who spoke that in to your life? Who told you that you were anything other than beloved?

That’s what I want to ask the contestants on the Bachelor/Bachelorette/Bachelor in Paradise.

Who told you that you were naked? Who told you that you weren’t enough? Who hurt you so deeply that you feel unworthy?

Then I want to tell them about the greatest love of all that can heal all wounds. I want to tell them about Jesus. I want them to feel whole.

We all feel that, don’t we? We all feel inadequate.
We all want to feel whole.
Praise God that Jesus makes us just that. Whole. Complete. Beautiful. Beloved. Wanted. Redeemed.

Enough.

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a note to my 18 year old self

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First of all, I’m still amped up about a sweet (pun intended) friend, Lia Weber, competing on and WINNING TLC’s Next Great Baker!! I had the chance to go to a watch/block party last night to watch the finale and it was, in short, NEAT!! If you like rooting for cool people (even though you already know the outcome), go watch the episode on YouTube here!

We now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Last week I got to take my little sister to college. On the drive back with my parents I started to think about the time that I went to college. I thought about leaving home for the first time, leaving the comfort of the place I’d lived in for 18 years, and entering in to this ‘real world’ that people kept telling me they’d been preparing me for all my life.

I think about the 18 year old Kayla and I want to do a few different things: giggle, roll my eyes, smirk, mean mug, shake my head, face palm, and pat her on the back while saying, “Oh child…”

I thought I could conquer the world. I thought I knew everything. I thought I knew how to make sound decisions and be an independent woman like Destiny’s Child had made me think I was by throwin my hands up at them.

I was slightly remiss at 18.

So, I got to thinking, and here’s what I wish present-Kayla could have said to 18 year old-Kayla if time travel were a thing:

Dear Kayla,
First of all, break up with him. And don’t go back 8 more times. It’s not worth the heartache.
Get involved in your school. You have NO IDEA what this world has to offer and you have the chance to experience a llliitttllleee bit of it in your back yard. Take advantage of that.
You’ve been given a phenomenal opportunity to learn from some of the brightest minds in their respective fields. Don’t take this for granted. Go to class, listen to the professor, and take detailed notes because your future self will come to realize that she really likes to save notes. So don’t slack off on that.
Also, you’ll have a professor/advisor that will teach you what grace is in such a way that you’ll never be the same. Know that he is more than just a teacher. He is a educator in your life that you will come to find as invaluable. And even though he has a degree from KU, you’ll still like him. Just get over it.
Guard your eyes and your heart. Temptation is everywhere and if you aren’t careful, it will lead to sin and shame that will hurt you deeply. Momentary “satisfaction” isn’t worth years of guilt that will be hard for you to let go of.
If you’re hurting, tell someone. People care about you and love you. If you give them the chance to walk through life with you, they’ll grab you by the hand and start walking. Let them do that.
Understand deeply that a man cannot be your source of security, affirmation, identity…basically, he can’t be your source for anything. A relationship/boyfriend is not a bad thing, but don’t make it the main thing which is what you’re prone to do.
Be with Jesus. Know that He loves you more deeply than you can ever, ever fathom. Know that He will be the only one that can heal your wounds and bind up your broken heart. He is the only source of comfort, love, peace, joy, and true satisfaction that you have in your life. Trust that and go to Him always.
These next few years will be some of the hardest, yet most rewarding years of your life. You’ll meet amazing people, lose some friendships, and gain life experience that will blow your mind. Your heart will hurt at times, but it will get better. God is still God, and God is still good. Always.

Sincerly,
Kayla

ps. your car will get totaled in a hail storm in April of 2012, so just be emotionally prepared for that. And when you call Whitney to tell her about it because your parents are at prom and won’t answer their phones, try not to have a mental breakdown.

*if you’d like to see what made me fall in love with Amy Poehler, click here!

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when being a competitor doesn’t make sense

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I love competition. I love the thrill of having a specific time frame to complete a specific task. Whether it’s needing 3 more runs in the last inning or getting my teammate to guess the word and pass the round-thingy before the Catch Phrase! buzzer goes off, I want to be the one fighting for the win. Being a competitor is simply engrained in who I am.

However, I’m a little tired of competing right now. I’m tired of continually battling in my own strength. I’m tired of thinking that singleness is just another hurdle to jump over.

As an athlete, I can do things to make myself better: shoot more baskets, take more reps in the batting cage, run a little farther for a little longer.

But when it comes to contentment and joy, I can’t do anything. I cannot earn my starting spot in the line-up. This is one game I can’t win. I can’t muscle my way into God’s grace, mainly because He’s already extended it to me. He’s already invited me freely into Himself.

I’m reminded of the people of Israel fleeing Egypt in the book of Exodus. They get to the Red Sea and basically throw an intense mean mug Moses’ way. “Dude, you know Pharaoh is getting closer and we have this impassable body of water in front of us, right?! Did you realize you were taking us this way? I told you we should have stopped for directions 1000 paces ago!”
And Moses busts out some timeless truth,

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. (14:14)

Yet, I act just like Israel. “Hey, God, you know I’m still single over here? You realize this isn’t the plan I had thought of, don’t you? You do know what you’re doing, right?”

Dear Kayla,
The Lord will fight for you. You just need to be still and trust in Him. Rely on Jesus, not yourself. Stop competing for something that’s already been won. Rest in Him.

In the fight for joy, contentment, peace, etc., being a competitor doesn’t make a lot of sense. Letting Jesus be Jesus makes sense.

*to see Amy’s monologue featuring some sweet K. Wiig dance moves, click here!

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Cliches: Part 2

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Another awesome phrase/cliche us younger Christian women like to throw out every now and then is: Dance with God and He will let the perfect man cut it.

First of all, I grew up Baptist, therefore I don’t dance. Sssooo, I’ll probably never get married.
(calm down, it’s a joke…)
Secondly, I’ve definitely pinned that quote typed in front of a mountain, or sunset, or field, or something along those lines. I’m as apt as the next person to lean in hard to cheesy, cutesy, feel-goody quotes that the internets provides.

Now, what’s wrong with this cliche? What’s wrong with picturing God as a loving Father dancing with His little girl then randomly letting some dude cut in during their favorite rendition of “Butterfly Kisses”?

Well, nothing is wrong with picturing God as a loving Father, because that’s what He is. What’s wrong is the end game of me not dancing with the Lord anymore. What’s wrong is envisioning God as a cosmic genie that if I just hang out with for a bit and give some select seasons of my life to, He’ll bring along Mr. Perfect to carry me through the rest of my life.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: God is not a being I can manipulate into giving me whatever the heck I want.

Also, if I do meet a guy that I could see a marital future with, and he even thinks he’s cut God out of the picture…C YA homeboy. To stop “dancing” with God is a big no-no. A man cannot take the place of Jesus in my life.

I do, however, think it’s a great mindset to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). So if that means dancing with God, then dance away! But don’t think you can two-step* into marriage by faking your way through a relationship with Christ.

Love Jesus for the sake of Jesus.

*if you ever want to see some legit two-stepping, invite my parents over for a dance party. Seriously.

To see Triangle Sally tearing it up on “The Worst of Soul Train,” click here!

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