Christian or Nah?

Spent a lot of time reading today, and one particular thought kept recurring through my head as I read this post by a “Christian” and that blog by an “nonbeliever” and a tweet by a “Christian who is a professional” and then an article by a “self proclaimed heathen” and so on…

Observation for today: If you call yourself a Christian, yet mock those who have overcome failures and defeat, focus more on race, politics and cultural agendas, and create division rather than unity by your words and/or actions,

what is setting you apart from the world??

…and if we are not set apart from the world, why would “they” want anything we have?

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Give Yourself Permission: Authenticity

Too many of us grow up believing we must conform to society, or be molded after our family’s traditions, or conform to our friends’ desires, or even be completely yielded to our parents’ or spouses wishes. When we’ve been constantly conditioned to surrender and submit all willpower, all defiance, all choice to the determination of another, authenticity can escape us, and we might not even realize it.

It really takes hard work to be authentic, because not everyone is going to agree with you on everything. It takes a dogged mindset to remain real when the world around us is full of so much fake that is sold to the highest bidder. It even takes a mental stubbornness to remain grounded in your own beliefs, standards and choices for life, especially if you have someone close to you whom you seek to have their approval, affection or admiration.

The coveting of another’s love can wreak havoc on one’s conviction to be authentic. At times, it will even take some self-denial to preserve true genuineness of soul, because our natural tendency toward selfishness can, often, override authenticity to the point of creating a self-righteous, self-approved, self-promoted state of being, which is never truly authentic in the matters of the heart.

A true authentic being is one who knows herself, the good, the bad and the ugly, and is fully aware of what needs improvement, and is willing to make the, sometimes, hard adjustments to bring the kind of change that will not simply “turn over a new leaf,” but change that will also be magnetic to cause others to desire this same type of transformation to become authentic.

Authenticity comes with a price. Those willing to pay it will reap it’s amazing benefits. Those who refuse will grow stagnant in the mundane, duplicity and hypocrisy of life, until they eventual die a slow, cruel death of fake relationships, dual personalities and a foul, unreliable character.

So, it is up to you, and it up to me.

What will you choose?

I will strive to choose authenticity.

Be Brave. Be Authentic.

Authenticity takes courage and boldness to obtain. This is not because it’s hard to achieve, but rather, because it takes effort and a deliberate decision to be real, not only with others, but with ourselves. It also takes a true appreciation of ourselves, a sort of self-love.

I say, “sort of,” because I’d like to clarify this word I chose. The kind of “self love” I’m talking about isn’t this cultural self love where everyone has to agree with you, appreciate you and understand to for you to be able to “carry on” in your daily routines of living. That kind of attitude has been misrepresented as self love, when all that is is pure SELFISHNESS. No, true self love is when you can appreciate who you are AND who you are not. It is an understanding of your strengths AND your weakness and having the ability to love yourself through all of them. It is even the ability to be able to ask for help when needed, realizing that you’re not made perfect, and there are other people in this world who are better than you, more capable than you and even, sometimes, who aren’t even going to like you.

But you can be ok with that, because you’ve come to grips with who you are and who you are not. You love yourself for it; you’re wearily working on the improvements you need, and you’re okay with those who don’t like who you are, because you’re not living for them anyway! THAT’S authenticity, and that’s “the bravest and most adventurous way to live!”😉💗

Love Me Challenge #22

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The quality that makes me unique the most is probably my quirkiness. LOL. I wrote a little about it here, and I have often found myself feeling annoyed, frustrated or just plain embarrassed by this quirkiness; however, as I grow older, I have come to accept it as a part of me. Now, I work harder to allow Christ to reveal Himself through all of that, and I have realized when I rely more on Him than myself, His uniqueness is all I need! 😉

quirkiness

activerain.com

 

Tuesday’s Treats #15

Rico’s World Kitchen

Location: Buford, Ga

Rico’s is a cool little eclectic restaurant in the heart of Historic Buford. Buford is the town famous for The Mall of Georgia, but sometimes the downtown can get missed, because it’s a few Mike’s away from the mall. Rico’s has been listed in several magazines and articles as one of the best places to eat in Georgia, and I completely understand why. Their food is unique, and it tastes incredible!

Pictured above is their sandwich called, “The Chicken Cuban.” I promise you, when you first bite into it, you will think it is a wonderful pork Cuban. It’s all in the marinade. The first time my husband orders it, he called the waitress over and she knew before he even asked what he was going to say. She assured him it was chicken, and it was due to the marinade and cooking process. He thinks it’s the best chicken sandwich on the planet.

I do think it’s wonderful; however, I’d have to say their “Royal Rooster” is my all time favorite. They (now – it used to be just one) take TWO chicken breast, marinate them in a habanero sauce and fry them, place them on a bun with tomato, lettuce, and mayo. Now, I switch mine up just a little, because I sub in smoked Gouda for the Swiss, and I only have it with lettuce and the bun.

You have a choice of inside dining and outside patio, both are nice. If you time your meal just right, you’ll also get the treat of watching the train run through downtown. I always love that..I guess, I’m still a kid at heart. 😊

They always have the best sweet tea (yes, this is the South! 😉), a creative and delicious daily special and beautiful desserts on display. If you haven’t been to Rico’s, you’ll want to try it! Here is their website for more information.

Be YOU and Nobody Else!

As I sat in a room full of women that night, I looked around and saw those with whom I’ve been friends for years, those whom I’ve known for only a short while, and those whom I had just met this very night. All different, yet, very much the same. We’re all in this world, struggling to survive.

I had watched a comical video on Facebook earlier in the day about different mom-types, and how we tend to compete over whose parenting methods are better and whose are just terrible; yet, when it comes to a possible danger being threatened in the life of a child, we will all pitch in to save that one child, no matter whose it is nor what we feel toward that one mother. I guess, this, coupled with my own beliefs, is why I was prepared when the conversation at the table turned toward parenting styles and opinions on how a child should be raised.

It actually was a very good conversation, and, thankfully, at this table, everyone was gracious in their answers to one another, ever how differing they were… There was one mom who had been, and still is, a full time bank employee. There was one stay-at-home mom who plans to completely homeschool when her three children become of age, another who is at home, with her toddler, right now but plans to return to college soon. One was a full time mom of a teen and elementary age boys, one was a young grandmother who works full time, yet, keeps her grandkids as much as she can. Another was a missionary’s wife who hopes to return to the missions field soon with her three year old and baby on the way, and another was a retired grandma who gets to see her grandchildren often but maybe not as much as she’d like. The rest of the 25-member group was just as diverse as this list.

Each one of them had different pregnancy stories, nursing methods and lengths of time, sleeping procedures (to sleep with parents or not), schooling options and stay home or work full-time choices. We all are as different as the day is to night; yet, we all agreed that there’s not a right and wrong method to raise and nurture your children. Those who adhere to The Word of God for their lives, yes, there are some right and wrongs that we must chose; however, when it comes to the other “surface” issues, we each agreed, “You must find what works best for your family! … What works beautifully for my family may bring total havoc to yours! … Always be open to advice, but never place unnecessary expectations upon yourself to live up to someone else’s methods and standards for your family.”

This is so very true! Never allow someone else to dominate your parenting landscape. Never place another family high on a pedestal and believe if you can only follow their formula to a “T,” then, your family will turn out perfect overnight, and you’ll never have worries again. No, life just doesn’t happen that way. Life is life, and people are people. There is no “magic formula” which makes babies stop crying, children to stop fighting and teens to always choose the right answers. No, this is a journey, and we all must travel it. Each of us are very different, made individually unique by the Master of the Universe. He made us each as diverse as the stars that shine above us.

So, follow your dreams. Dream for your family. Seek His ways, gain wisdom from others and learn what works best for your family. Train up those babies, and let them spread their wings and fly. You can do this! You were called to be… YOU!! You are beautifully and wonderfully made!