Tag Archives: Relationships

the marriage of discipline & trust

SNL_1536_04_Surprise

I’ve struggled in keeping up with this whole blogging thing this summer. Truth is, I haven’t struggled in blogging. I’ve struggled in discipline. I always have.

I grew up as a disciplined athlete, but every other area of my life way always in disarray. When I stopped playing sports, then I really lost all sense of discipline. I’m just not the greatest at being a self-disciplined person, no matter how much I want to be.

And the reason for that is that I’m really good at talking myself out of it. I’m probably the best person to convince myself that I can put certain things off. I can make myself believe so easily that I’ve earned a night off. “It can wait until next week. I deserve to nap instead” has been the motto of my summer when it comes to this blog.

And you know what I’ve also lacked in this summer? Trust.

In my lack of discipline in searching God in my single life, I have lacked in trust that God cares about my single life.

This blog has not only been a way for me to write out some (hopefully) helpful commentary on my experiences within the church as a single person, but it has also been a tool for me to really seek the Lord – intentionally and specifically in the area of relationships.

I’ve come to find that discipline and trust are married. And that they work really well together. And that when one is off running around, not being faithful to their union, the other one just kinda floats around with nowhere to land.

And I’ve also learned that when they are both filling their proper roles – and when I’m actively engaging in both – they form a really great union. (Marriage type union…not construction workers union…)

When I am disciplined in seeking God – through prayer, study of Scripture, meditation on His Word – I can trust Him more fully. And when I trust Him more fully, the discipline of seeking Him becomes a pure joy in my life. Which leads to more trust. Which leads to more discipline…

See what I mean?

But when I’m not seeking Him, I’m not trusting Him. Which leads me to not seek Him. Which leads to less trust…

You get it. You’re a smart person.

So, here’s to discipline. And grace. And a Redeemer that loves even me – the undisciplined sinner that I am. And here’s to trusting that God is God, and God is good, even when I don’t blog for 3 months or so.

*watch Sue’s engagement surprise here!

Tagged , , , ,

great expectations (not the Charles Dickens kind)

lowered-expectations

First of all, I haven’t read the classic by Dickens, so maybe this is exactly the Charles Dickens kind. You’ll have to tell me.

If there’s one thing us ladies can miscommunicate with people in our lives about, it’s expectations.

I would assume that most of us have pretty high expectations in relationships across the board – with family, friends, boyfriends, coworkers, etc.
And I would also assume that we are usually the only one in those relationships that knows about and acknowledges the expectations.

In my life I have placed unknown and unrealistic expectations on all sorts of people in my life.

I have expected a friend to know that they hurt me with their words, so I hold out on communicating with them until they finally come around and apologize. This is a mishap because if I don’t tell said friend I’m hurt, they don’t know they may need to apologize, or that we need to have a conversation about the situation.

I have expected a friend to know that I could really use some quality time (my love language, hhaaayyy) because my life feels all out of sorts, but they’ve already booked their weekend so I don’t let them know I’m feeling sloopy (just made that word up) and instead hold it against them and think, “Well, they really don’t care that much about me then!” This is a major mishap because 1) I’m putting them in the place of Jesus, and 2) again…no communication.

I have expected a boy to realize that spending a lot of time with me is causing my heart to leap to places that may be unhealthy without a definition on the relationship. This is a mishap because I’m expecting the man to know my heart as his own when we aren’t engaged/married/or (potentially) DATING, and this puts him in the place of Jesus. (Whitney told me to tell you that married people can fall in to this trap as well!)

I think I can even place an unrealistic expectation on God when I expect Him to act as my personal genie and just give me what I want, when I want it. This is a mishap because…well…God is the sovereign Creator of the cosmos who came to the world to redeem and restore sinners…not to make my life a Disney fairytale. (But speaking of fairytale, I saw the new “Cinderella” with some friends and it was DREAMY!)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:33-34)

The highest expectation we should place on ourselves is to seek first God’s kingdom. Then everything else falls in to place. I don’t have to worry about unrealistic expectations.

Bottom line, don’t be afraid to communicate and clarify expectations in relationships. It will only help to alleviate heartbreak and confusion, especially for you! And you just might find deeper, more meaningful connections with those around you in the process.

*for all you comedy nerds out there that remember MADtv you’ll enjoy this throwback of Lowered Expectations with Stuart!! and for those of you that have no idea what I’m talking about, go ahead and enjoy for the first time! Click here!!

Tagged , , ,

a Ross & Rachel kind of love

tumblr_m86ztsZ2KX1rvqjsio1_r1_500

I’ve spent a fair amount of the new year watching “Friends” on Netflix. (PS, THANK YOU Netflix for FiNALLY streaming this beloved series)

The more I watch, the more I fall in love with this show. Super witty, heartfelt at times, and just down right fun.

And also, there’s Ross & Rachel.

Even if you’ve never seen a minute of Friends, if you live in America and are over the age of 12, you’ve heard of Ross & Rachel and know about their frantic, often confusing, on-again-off-again relationship. It’s possibly the most notable storyline of the show. I cried the first time they broke up (last week).

However, as unpopular as these next words will be, I’m not a huge fan of their relationship. I don’t really want a Ross & Rachel kind of love.

They can’t seem to trust each other. They are extremely jealous at times (see: trust). They can be manipulative. I’ll just stop there while I still have some friends of my own left (no pun intended).

Yet, as I think about it, I kind of do have a Ross & Rachel kind of love. I can’t think of a relationship I’ve been in where I have always been 100% trusting, non-jealous, and not manipulative to some degree. But I don’t want that. I want to love in such a way that trust is easy and I don’t have to maneuver my way around to keep the guy.

And the only way this is possible is with Jesus.

Apart from security in Christ, I’m never going to trust someone. Apart from identity in Jesus, I won’t be able to keep myself from manipulating another human.

When I come to fully know the love my Jesus has for me, I can then know how to love another person fully. I can see how unlovable, untrustworthy, and undeserving I am, yet still chosen. I can act out of that great love, because Christ completes me. And chances are I’ll have a love greater than Ross & Rachel.

Now pardon me, I have another episode to watch.

*enjoy this fun little video montage of the lovebirds from the internets here!

Tagged , , , ,

it gets better

SNL_1521_01_Cold_Open_Amy_Poehlers_House

When I think about heartbreak, two instances in my life stick out vividly. Once was a time when a “friend” pretty viciously attacked my character and motive and it made me question and evaluate every friendship I’d ever had in my life up to that point. No big deal.

The other time was by a boy.

The time the boy broke my heart was HARD. I look back at the night it happened and feel bad for my friends that had to deal with my weepy self. I say “weepy” as if I just cried a little bit and whined for a while. It was more like ugly-crying so hard my facial features were unrecognizable and I couldn’t form normal human sentences.

It. Was. Rough.

Looking back, I can honestly say the reason it was so rough was because I had placed all of my security, fulfillment, and approval in the relationship. I lived like this man could save me.

Then it came crashing down.

In reality, it was more like a quick trip on a sidewalk rather than a huge crash.

From both of these experiences I’ve learned a major lesson: life gets better.

It doesn’t get better because I now have amazing friendships (which I do). It doesn’t get better because I’m in an awesome relationship (which I’m not).

It gets better because I now see Jesus more clearly than I ever have in my life.
It gets better because I know within my bones that I am loved and approved by the God Most High.
It gets better because Christ has fought for me and won my heart.

I had a conversation last night with some very dear friends and told them that the one thing I wish young girls (and boys too) could understand is that life gets better.

Friendships are hard. Relationships are hard. Life is hard. But going through it with Jesus makes it so much better.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
-Psalm 118:8-9

Know that God is on your side. And know that it gets better.

*for a sweet pep talk from Bon Jovi, click here!

Tagged , , ,

i am not the point of my life

This past weekend I had the privilege of being on the camp staff for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes College Weekend of Champions. (To see a couple minutes of how awesome it was, click here!)

While at CWC I sat on a panel with 5 other women to field and answer questions from a room full of female college athletes. Any guesses as to what topic we discussed for the first 40 minutes?!

If you guessed hunting you are wrong. It was relationships!

20140528-193311-70391161.jpg

Shocker, right?!

There were tons of really good, deep questions. For one of the questions, I can’t remember what it was exactly, but my mouth opened and I answered. My answer to whatever was asked was, “What’s the point of my life? Is the goal of my life to get married, or is it to live in obedience to the Lord?”

I really caught myself off guard with that one, but I realized that’s really what God has been teaching me over the past couple of years. He’s been gently asking me the question, over and over again, “Kayla, what is the point of your life?”

And He’s been so kind in reminding my heart that I am not the point of my life. My life is not to be self-serving and all about me. Even if I get married, my life will still not be about me! It will be about loving my husband and submitting to him as his wife. It won’t be about how he can complete me and fulfill my every need.

I think sometimes we can get caught up in the assumption that being a follower of Christ is all about us. That He owes us something. That we’re entitled to His love.

If His love were based on entitlement, I would be the farthest from receiving it. Apart from Jesus, I am nothing. My life does not belong to me. And the point of my life is not to seek after earthly pleasures that will leave me empty.

Now, am I anti-marriage? Absolutely not! If God has the gift of marriage planned for my life, then I will gladly accept. BUT the point of my life is not marriage. It’s Jesus.

And apart from Jesus, marriage isn’t even that great.*

*and I say this after many discussions with married people that really love Jesus. Stay tuned this summer for some legit guests posts from some of them!

Tagged , , , ,