Thursday, February 17, 2011

Breaking Down and Building Up

Women have a way of comparing ourselves to others and building our worth based on that. I remember that someone once told me that girls checked out other girls more than they checked out guys or guys checked out girls - because we're studying them, wishing we had their legs, their hair...or we're tearing them apart, criticizing them because of our own weaknesses. Isn't this a tragedy? No one understands the heart of a woman (other than God) better than other women - and yet we exploit that fact.

It has been 2 years since I've watched The Bachelor, but this season I am completely hooked. I love the psychology of human nature. I love the desire and heart of women. And The Bachelor encompasses so many positive things that girls dream about(being wooed, romantic dates, cocktail dresses, and roses) and so many negative things that girls experience (rejection, being compared to other women, wondering if he likes you, feeling foolish, not feeling good enough)... As we watch the show, we understand how the women can feel special when he pulls them aside, but we also understand how they can feel weak and confused.

The show is set up in such a way that all of these women are constantly comparing themselves to the other women. Feeling inferior (or superior if you were Michelle) to each other. And, while I believe some of them do form real friendships, they are all hoping the other woman goes home.

I'm also studying Hannah this week (Read 1 Samuel 1&2). Hannah's husband had two wives and, while he seemed to favor Hannah and love her completely, Hannah felt second best... because she couldn't have children. Hannah was sad and bitter, desiring to have a baby. She was looked down upon by the other wife and, I suspect, she didn't feel good enough for her husband. Even though her husband loved her completely just as she was - Hannah couldn't accept that. Of course, God had a plan for Hannah - and that story has a happy ending.

Left and right we're trying to be better than the next girl. Maybe we should stop looking around and start looking at ourselves. If we all, as women, focused on trying to be the best person, the best woman, that we could be - then I think we would all come out ahead. If instead of looking down on each other, we built each other up - then it would make us all better women. If instead of flaunting ourselves to look better, we respected what we have and presented it modestly, then we wouldn't cause other women to feel inferior. If instead of trying to turn every man's head, we focused on being the best partner for the man that God has blessed us with - I think that everyone's relationship would be much better.

How many hearts would be left unbroken, relationships left intact and tears left uncried- if we quit trying to be better than each other and instead focused on building one another up and being the best we can be.

I have my flaws, and I could sit here and name off the reasons that I am not as good as so and so...but so could she. I have my imperfections. Imperfections that sometimes cause me to feel inferior and not good enough. But so does every other woman out there. And maybe if I took more time to notice the positive things about the beautiful women in my life - then little by little we could build one another up.

It's okay to want to be better. I am a firm believer in always striving to be better. Just don't spend your time and energy trying to be better than her.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Coffee and High Heels

I have fallen short on my daily entries...

I remember being in middle and high school and daydreaming about what it would be like to have a professional job, a career. Those daydreams were filled with the sound of rushed high heels walking on hard floors with places to go and people to see and the smell of coffee in hand. Images of hurried phone calls, quick typing, and arms full of important paperwork. Business meetings and presentations. Doing lunch. "I have a presentation in the morning to go over the new cover pages", "I'll fax that to you as soon as possible," and "Let me me look over the files, make some changes and get back to you."...all seemed to be the jargon that filled my mind. Ahhh...daydreams.

This morning I gave in and stopped at McDonalds to get my small caramal frappe with no whipped cream. I wore my grey suede boots, which make an important noise as the 2.5 inch heels hit the floor.
 I came in and went to work finalizing the layout for a booklet I've been working on. It's the largest print project that CAS has done; and, since it is my creation, I am very excited to see the printed product. I met with our graphic designer to go over the layout and format of the booklet. After that I popped in our web guy's office to go over event registration and then discussed the frustrating aspects of departmental brochures with another colleague.

Once back in my office, I quickly looked over our Psychology and Socialwork brochures - deleting comments and making the changes so that we can get those printed as soon as possible. Then I edited the quotes for the booklet and sent the revisions to Jonathan to be changed. I remembered that I needed to send in several requisitions for supplies and projects, so I quickly filled out that information.

This past weekend I met a wonderful young lady at our scholarship competition - she's interested in being a wedding planner and has a passion for video - so I typed an email to her, giving her information and encouraging her. After that, I drafted our deposited student newsletter - which goes out monthly to our future CAS students.


On my lunch break I did make an effort to go to Walmart to look for Valentine's Day stuff. A long line and the desire to save money stopped me from buying anything. This year I will go sentimental - which is much better for Valentine's Day anyways.

Back to the office - where I wrote thank you cards to each of the students that I interviewed this past weekend. What a blessing it is to have such great students considering their future at Campbell! It's a great place to be!

And in the midst of all of that...I realized that I'm exactly where I dreamt of being. I am the woman I used to dream about. My life is beyond blessed. How awesome is it when you get to live your dreams coming true! I mean, who can ask for more than coffee and high heels...

For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
 plans to give you hope and a future.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

5: Business Ventures

I love mixing hobbies, passions, talents, and dreams. And it's great when that mixture can create a product that you can look back on for years to come. A product you can be proud of. It's also a blessing when that product brings in a little extra money.

Photography - Derrick and I both enjoy photography. I love warm, cute, capture-a-private-moment photos. Derrick is great at the magazine-editorial shots. I enjoy editing, making something good even better. He is meticulous about editing and knows a bit more than me.
It's something we both love - and something we can do together. Last year I was blessed to do three photo shoots: a wedding, a couples' christmas pictures, and individual shots...I hope to grow even more this upcoming year and have the opportunity to do some more photo shoots. Of course, it seems like everyone is getting into photography these days, and I'm definitely not the best out there. It's just something I enjoy.

Music Videos - I have always told Derrick that he would be good at music videos. We both have a passion for music. All kinds of music. And we both love the art of music videos. In fact, when we first started dating, we would spend Monday mornings (before we had class that afternoon) watching music videos. Now, he has the opportunity to work on a few Meet the Band pieces, and we're hoping that he can start doing more in the music industry. If you know a band or artist who would be interested in having anything from a 30-second concert/cd annoucement to a music video to a behind-the-scenes meet the band documentary done - let us know!

Book Series? - I published a book three years ago and haven't done much since then. It was a great experience, but the book had no deeper message that I was passionate about. It was a story. Not a message. Since 6th grade I have written probably a couple dozen short stories and novellas, many of which I had forgotten about until recently. Those stories, those characters, those messages are something that I was passionate about, and I hope that I can be passionate about it again.
There could, very possibly, be another printed book in the near(ish) future. I have been working on the first book in a series. A book about redemption. A book about finding your way back home. A book about regrets and heartache. A book about secrets. A book about God's forgiveness, grace, and mercy. There is still much work to be done - but stay tuned!

Here's a very small morsel for anyone who is interested. I'll be keeping you updated!

"Victoria Ryan had been driving all night. No one knew where she had gone. That had been her plan all along. The dusty Texas road was laid out before her. A path to anywhere she wanted to go. Anyone she wanted to be. Now, in Northern Texas, she was as far away from herself as she could run."