One Christian's View On Tattoos


A topic that many people have many different opinions on.  There are more conservative views, and also very liberal ones too.  A lot of Christians have tattoos, while others are convicted against getting any.

In my opinion, neither is right or wrong.

The ones who are hardcore anti-tattoos may beg to differ, but lets take a look at Scripture, shall we?

The most popular verse that conservatives bring up when talking about how tattoos are "wrong" and "ungodly" is Leviticus 19:28, which says:

"You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead, nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD."

At first glance, it seems to indicate that God is telling His chosen people to not tattoo themselves.  And this is true. But, like any passage of Scripture, we need to read this verse in the entirety of its context.  Not only the verses before and after, but also the time period in which this was written.

"(26) You shall not eat anything with the blood, nor practice divinations or soothsaying. (27) You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard. (28) You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the LORD. (29) Do not profane your daughter by making her a harlot, so that the land will not fall into harlotry and the land become full of lewdness.  (30) You shall keep My sabbaths and revere My sanctuary; I am the LORD. (31) Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them.  I am the LORD your God."
- Leviticus 19:26-31

I think it's pretty clear that God is talking to His covenant people of Israel in this passage, and that His commands were specifically for that era and those individuals.  He is commanding them to stay away from specific practices of any of the nearby religious groups - such as, eating bloody meat, practicing witchcraft, cutting hair and beards, prostitution, and cutting one's own skin in memory of dead relatives.  This was a very common practice in pagan cultures as a physical, outward show of mourning.  It's very important to note that it's specifically talking about cutting and tattoos for that specific reason.  It no way implies that it's for body decoration or art.

Let us also look at the original language that this passage was written in.
The word for "tattoo" that is used in Leviticus 19:28 is the Hebrew word "qa aqa" and is the only place in the whole Bible that it appears.  This Hebrew word means to literally "cut", but taken in the context, indicates a mark imprinted onto skin - and I feel that we can safely assume that it's still in reference to marking bodies in mourning for the dead.

Another simple reason why I believe Christians are free to tattoo their bodies is simply that we are living under the new covenant.  Therefore the old Law is done away with and we are no longer subjected to the rules that the Israelites were under.  If we still were, then why aren't we sacrificing animals to redeem ourselves, and why are we eating pork, and not wearing clothes made from two different fabrics?

Today, the tattoo is a decorative art form for self-expression.  (Personally, I don't think anyone should get a tattoo unless it has a personal meaning to them because, let's face it, would you really want something permanently inked into your skin unless it wasn't something that was significant to you?  I think not.)  Just how people use makeup, piercings, different hair styles, body-building, etc. as forms of modifying their appearance, so tattoos are used to change and decorate someone's body and look. And you know that phrase "Outward appearance reveals the inward heart?"  Well, whatever you choose to get tattooed on the outside of your body is a representation of your inward self.

I'm not saying that, since tattoos are not sinful then every Christian should go out and get them!  It's definitely something you need to consider and prayerfully seek God's direction in whether or not to get tattooed.  He convicts every individual differently.  I, personally, currently have 10 tattoos (and plan to get more).  If He has convicted you otherwise, then don't get any.

Tattoos are a life-changing and permanent choice.

Some questions you could ask yourself if you are considering getting some are:

  • Am I legally old enough to get a tattoo?
  • If I live with my parents, would they support my decision or would it be disrespectful to their house if I chose to get one?
  • Would I be defying their God-given authority at my current age?
  • Would I still want this tattoo on my body even when I'm fifty years old?
  • Is this tattoo something my future spouse would like to see on me forever?
  • Is this tattoo easy to hide in case of any future career opportunities that don't allow tattooed employees?
  • Would this tattoo bring glory to God in its phrasing, image, placement, etc.?
  • Do I feel fully convinced that Christians are permitted to get tattoos?

Let me know what you decide on;)


Shoutout to You

Working in the coffee industry has been enlightening in the fact that I get to meet and interact with many different kinds of individuals.

It's also taught me something about life that I'm not sure I would have otherwise ever learned.

Since being a barista for over a year, one huge part of my job that I've come to realize is that a barista is almost like a therapist.  We serve so many different people throughout a shift and by the end of the day, we have had so many stories told to us, so many hugs given, sometimes tears shed.
We're entrusted with narratives of car accidents, weddings, funerals, pets.
We meet the businessman needing a strong cup of coffee to start his day at the office.  Or the mom running errands before picking up her kids from school.  Or the traveler, who is road tripping to this or that state.  Or the high schooler who just attended their best friend's funeral.

The reoccurring theme I see in the faces, the smiles, and the stories can be summed up in one word:

s u r v i v a l

We're all attempting to live this life, to get through it one day at a time.  We're all trying to survive.

And we all do it differently.

For example, I'm sitting here in bed, wearing an XXL men's hoodie, eating pizza, drinking pink moscato, and unwinding after a seven and a half hour work day and not getting home till 1am.  That's how I'm choosing to live my tonight.  That's how I'm deciding to survive.

And no, I didn't get everything accomplished today that I wish I had today.  And I may not finish my "to do" list tomorrow.  But you know what?  I'm going to try.  The sun will rise and I will try again.

And keeping trying.

And keep surviving.

And damn it, I hope you do too.

I hope you wake up tomorrow morning, eager for another day on this beautiful earth.  I hope you choose to make it even more beautiful.  I hope you stop and notice a little detail amidst your busyness and smile because you know God chose to do add a spark to your day.
And I hope you keep trying, keep surviving.

This is a shoutout to you.  

There's never going to be enough time to do everything you want to do, but at least try, okay?
Try to make time for yourself.  Reward yourself for getting things done, for getting through the day without snapping.  Because that's a huge accomplishment in and of itself.

Keep up the good work.  You're doing great.


My Writing Adventure | an essay

In which I present to you: my first college paper.

Scribbling words here and there, at any chance I could, has been a lifelong habit of mine.  
Since first learning how to read, I have attempted to write my own stories, my own thoughts, and my own feelings onto paper.
My earliest memory of reading is one in which I clearly recollect a very patient dinner guest listen to me to as I read an entire children’s book about a fox who went to the dentist in an attempt to succeed with his plan of eating his mouse hygienist.  Another memory is of when my year and a half older brother would sneak into my bed, or I into his, and we would hide under the covers as I whisper read The Adventures of Curious George by the illumination of a flashlight.
Going to the library and checking out a dozen books a week was no rare occurrence.  After moving to a small town the year I turned ten, it took only a couple of years until I had read every book in the teen section.  The librarian always asked me for a synopsis on each book upon returning it, and soon began making suggestions to which ones I should read next.  She also became one of my biggest encouragers of my writing gift.
My Mama, though, has always been my main supporter and fan.  As my homeschool teacher as well, she never hindered me from purchasing new notebooks and pens.  I have a few boxes, in fact, stuffed with countless journals I filled during my preteen and young teenage years.  
During a year in high school, I took a novel-writing class at a private trade school in Clackamas.  
At the time, I was particularly fascinated by the Native American culture and the early pioneering days of America.  So I wrote a story of a young girl who grew up in an English settlement, only to discover, as a young adult, that she had actually been born as the daughter of a chieftain in a nearby Indian village.
When I was thirteen, I started an online blog as an outlet for my writings.  It has since grown in a domain-based website called It’s Just Raquel, with over 1.1 million views and has won three international blog awards.  I write, mainly, about personal growth topics, as well as spiritual encouragement, relationship advice, and diverse poetry.  I have written a myriad of short stories, novellas, completed two novels, been paid to write children’s stories for a small newsletter, and have also been published several times on one of the world’s largest leading writer’s websites, Thought Catalog.  In the future, I plan to compile certain articles from my website into a book format to publish as a non-fictional.
I used to journal more in-depth, but as of recently, I mostly bullet journal, record daily blessings, and take notes during sermons and Bible studies.  I also have an addiction to notebooks of any kind.  I’m a hoarder when it comes to spiral-bound journals.  Something about flipping through empty lined pages, begging to be written on, gives me extreme motivation to write and fill them.
I love to learn new things, researching about them, and writing down the knowledge I have gleaned.  This came in to very good use when I was offered a job as the main reporter for a small town newspaper my last year as a teenager.
How my instructor might best assist me in this class is to: challenge me.  I crave a good challenge, and I also receive constructive criticism very well.  I am a student eager to learn more, whether by assignments, pointers on what I have written or how I could have best written it.
What I hope to gain from this class is merely a means to exercise and strengthen my writing methods and techniques.  I am extremely ambitious and goal-oriented, and my perfectionist tendency always strives to do and be better than the writer I was yesterday.


Erratic Prose [at my family's home] | edition 5

Sometimes in order to do something, you need to go back to the place you first did it.

That’s what I had to do to get out of this rut that I’ve been stuck in lately with my writing.

I’ve been so crazy busy, and there have been so many curveballs that I’ve had to dodge in life that I’ve barely had any time to be on my laptop, except for school.
I kept telling myself that I needed to make time to just sit and write but the couple times I’ve been able to, no words would come.

So I decided to go to my family’s.  
I hadn’t seen them since Thanksgiving and my siblings were blowing up my phone with texts about when I was coming to visit next.

So here I sit, in the living room, a Christmas tree in front of me, waiting to be decorated by all of us this evening.  My Christmas music playlist is on shuffle.  The wood stove is burning a cozy fire to keep us all warm.  And I’m craving hot chocolate…  

Give me one sec.  I’ll be right back.

Okay, so here’s what’s been going on lately…

I started school.  And am loving it.  It’s so exciting to finally be taking steps towards fulfilling a dream.  My class is pretty big.  I think there are about twenty of us.  We break into learning teams, which is nice cuz we get to know just a few students at a time on a more personal level.  I like it.  We have reading and writing assignments for this current class.  I got 97 on my first paper and was, needless to say, rather ecstatic.  Classes are held once every week so I definitely have enough time to work on my assignments, and have an evening to look forward to being in a classroom setting.

I got in a car accident the beginning of November.  Fourth one since last summer.  So stupid.  None of them have been my fault either.  I’ve gotten rear-ended twice, and t-boned/side-swiped twice as well.  This most recent one was my worst injury though.  I got a torn disc in my neck and torn disc in my lower back.  The whiplash was nasty too.  And my poor Oliver is no longer with us.  He was totaled.  Pretty sure he’s beyond repair, unless someone has magical hands to fix his poor damaged rear.  And since he’s out of commission, I went and bought myself a new ride.  The new boo is a 2002 matte black Honda Civic coupe.  His name is Wade Wilson.  We get along pretty dang well.

I transferred with Dutch Bros to a brand new location on West Burnside in downtown Portland.  I absolutely love my new Dutch family and working at this particular location has been amazing.  The one thing that hasn’t been too great is the commute.  I still haven’t found a place to move to in Portland, but I’m trusting that God will provide soon.  The sooner, the better would be nice in my opinion, but His timing is always perfect, right?  So I guess we’ll just see where He leads me.

So that’s me and what’s been happening in a nutshell.  I’ve been learning a lot of crazy lessons lately too.  Many of them emotional and spiritual.  It’s been good, though.  God is so good to me.  I feel myself finding Him more and more everyday and just falling more deeply in love with Him too.

Thank you for all the emails and comments!  I’ve been receiving so many even though I’ve been a little under the radar.  Please keep them coming and I will respond as soon as I can.

How was Thanksgiving for you all?  What are your Christmas plans?  Can you believe 2016 is almost at an end?!

Stay warm, peeps!
Sending lots of hugs to each of you.


My Tattoos & Their Stories

I've had a lot of readers ask me to share about my tattoos - what I have, where I have them, why I got them.  So here you are.  Finally.  You're welcome.

1.  Forget-me-not flowers
My first tattoo is of my favorite flower, the forget-me-not.  They've been my favorite flower for as long as I can remember.  My grandma has grown them in her garden since I was about 3.  Whenever she'd take me out to pick vegetables or flowers, I would always look for the forget-me-not and pick a little bouquet of them.  They always fit perfectly in my little hands.  Now, they flower itself is about as big as my pinky finger nail.
There is also a German legend about them that says when God made the earth, He was painting each flower certain colors.  The forget-me-not was so small that it thought it'd be overlooked, so it cried out "Forget me not, O LORD!" And God smiled and said, "I never would forget one of my creations. Here is a little touch of leftover blue that I have". So He painted the flower a light sky-blue, and it smiled, thus making the yellow center.  I love that story.  It holds a lot of personal significance to me because of a certain time in my life when I was really struggling with my identity and self-worth.

 2.  Undone
This one was inspired by the song Getting There by my role model and  favorite worship leader, Steffany Gretzinger.  Also this verse:
“Then said I, 'Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips...and for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts'.”
- ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭6:5‬
3.  Symbols on my left arm stand for "God is infinitely greater than the ups and downs forever."
4.  My zodiac constellation, Aries is on my right wrist.
5.  Spanish tattoo
The tat on my left wrist says "Your will, for Your glory, in Your timing."
My best friend always reminds me to say this, especially during difficult times. She's planning on getting it too but just in English.

6.  This star made of music notes simply represents my love for music and stars in one design.

7.   Innocent Life 
This phrase is written in Elvish font with a cross as the "T" in innocent.  My first name means Innocent.  And my middle name means Life.  So I thought it'd be cool to get a tat that says 'Innocent Life'.  It's not only the meaning of my name but also, a reminder that I am innocent in God's eyes because of Jesus' work on the cross.  It's ironic too cuz the cross hurt the worst while getting done.
The whole tat was kinda painful but when it hurt the worst, I asked my artist "What letter are you on?"  And she said "The cross." And I was like dang..... 
So the whole time I was in the worst pain for that, I just replayed "He endured more than this for me" over and over in my head.  It was really emotional and humbling.

8 & 9.  Trees and Mountains
For quite some time, I've wanted to get a tattoo that represented my beautiful Oregon home.  It is known as the second largest forested state, and I have always been in love with the tall, gorgeous woods I have lived around.  So I thought "Why not get a tattoo of some graceful fir trees?"
And I did.
I've dreamt of getting my beautiful mountains tattooed onto my body journal for almost a year.  So now I have one ankle tattooed with my Oregon home representation, and my other ankle shows my second home in Peru - the Huascaran Mountains, the largest ones in the Andes chain.

10.  The Arrow
Before it can fly, an arrow must be drawn back.  Every inch is harder as it stretches and pulls it taut.  The arrow seems to be moving farther away from the target as it's pulled backwards, but it is the only way it will truly reach its target. 
The arrow is us.  The bow is life.  And the Master Archer is the Giver of life and the Author of our stories, aiming us in His perfect direction.


And yes, I will be writing an article about my view and convictions on tattoos.  Keep calm and stay tuned.



Bible Talk | How To Study the Bible & Recommended Devotionals

What book has led you closer to God?

Favorite or recommended devotional?

How to study the Bible?  The SOAP method?  Or what would you recommend?

What would you say is the best way to study the Bible?  (Or, I mean, what do you do?)

What devotionals would you recommend for someone who wants to begin reserving some quiet time for the LORD every day?

These are all questions that I have received on my ask.fm.

First of all, everyone has different methods for studying the Bible.  Like I've said many times before - your personal relationship with God is your relationship with God to make your own.  It's between Him and you.
Some people study in depth every day, with a study Bible, a concordance, taking tons of notes, highlighting verses as they go.  While others read a couple verses before they get out of bed and meditate on those throughout the day.

There's nothing wrong with either of these.

God never told us how much time we have to make for Him, or when, or how often.  It's not about who does it how and when.  It's about loving Him and meditating on His Word, hiding it in our hearts, and obeying what He has said.

"Your Word have I hidden in my heart that I may not sin against You."
- Psalm 119:11

"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
- Psalm 119:105

"This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
- Joshua 1:8

"But He answered, 'It is written: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
- Matthew 4:4

I'm a perfectionist.  Always have been.  So when I started really growing in my relationship with God, and realizing my identity in Him, and my love for Him, I strived to have a good solid Bible study time every day.  This is a good goal to have.  But whenever I couldn't, or didn't have as much time as I wanted to, I would get really upset with myself and just give up on my time with Him.
That wasn't the right course of action at all.
I needed to give myself grace and remember that I can't always do things the way I want to.  Sometimes I won't be able to have a two-hour devotional time, but I can have two minutes.  And in those two minutes, I should ask God to show me everything He wants me to take away from whatever passage I am reading.

Like I said, I used to have a good solid Bible study time set apart every day.  I would get out my devotional journal, my prayer journal, my Bible, my highlighter pens, my worship music, my day-to-day devotional and I would shut my phone off and just read and write for as long as I wanted to.
But now, guess what I do?
I wake up in the morning, turn onto my side, open my Bible and read as many chapters as I want/can before having to get up and start my day.  No highlighter pens, no journals, [sometimes] no music.  I've simplified.  Because right now, in my walk to Jesus, that's what He wants me to do and how He wants me to spend time with Him.  Before, I was stressing out too much about having it all together and making notes and highlighting verses and making my journals look pretty, and then when I couldn't do that, I would just slack in my Bible time because I "didn't have time for everything".  I didn't have time to make it perfect.
And He was like "Raquel, you just need to want to spend time with Me.  And I will meet you there."
(It was also a lesson on being less of a perfectionist too, that's for sure.)

So my greatest recommendation, as far as how to study the Bible, is to seek Him and ask Him how He wants to spend time with you.  You may be at a time of your walk with Him where He wants you to really study and make a window of time in your day to take notes and mark certain verses and look up words in a concordance.  Sometimes that's a really good diving board to growing a solid relationship foundation with Him.
But for others, He may just want some one on one quiet time with you.  Just you, Him, and the Word open in your lap.
Every relationship is different.  Every time spent together is different, based on the relationship.  Just like going on dates.  Sometimes you're feeling like being wild and crazy and dancing at a concert till 2am.  But other days, you just want a quiet dinner at home, snuggling and watching a movie.  Both are good times, both are fun, you learn things about each other during both scenarios.  But most importantly, you're together.  And that's all that matters.

Your times with God are your dates with Him.  He loves you and wants to have a relationship with your soul - the one He created and put in you.  Figure out the best way to grow and love Him back.  He'll show you.


Recommended devotionals:

  • Come Away, My Beloved | Frances Roberts
  • Pearl of Great Price | Joni Eareckson Tada
  • Valley of Vision
  • My Daily Pursuit | A.W. Tower
  • Experiencing God Day by Day | Henry T. Blackaby & Richard Blackaby
  • Then Sings My Soul | Robert Morgan
  • To Live Is Christ, To Die Is Gain | Matt Chandler


Religion Vs. Relationship

I hate it when people label me as "religious". 

Christianity is a religious term, just like Buddhism and Hinduism and Catholicism. But I don't practice a religion. 

My faith isn't a religion.  It's a relationship that I work at, that I cultivate, that I have with God.  Just like any other relationship I am a part of - such as with my parents, my siblings, my relatives, my friends.  
Knowing the difference between these two words - "religion" and "relationship" - is very important for any individual to understand about the Christian faith.  Not only do we follow Christ, but we also love Him, and we obey His Word because our love for Him compels us to.  I don't have to do a daily a, b, or c to make sure my faith is secure and that, if I die, I'll go to heaven because I remembered to follow those requirements.  
The Christian faith is based on belief and trust that once you ask God to forgive you of your sins, believe that Jesus Christ came to this earth to take the penalty for every crime you've committed against the Triune God, the Holy Spirit will come and reside in your heart and make you a new creation. 

This does not mean that you are now perfect.  This does not mean that you will never sin again. 

What it does means is that you believe that Jesus' blood was enough.  That His grace is all-sufficient to cover ANY sin - whether big or small in our eyes (because in God's eyes, it's all the same).  And that no matter how many times you slip up and falter and stumble, God will never let you go and say "You've had too many chances. You're on your own." 

Being a Christ-follower is about cultivating a relationship with your Savior.  It's not a matter of "how good you can be for how long", but about living day to day with His glory as the forefront of your actions, the reason you do what you do, so that others can see His hand in your life.

Because my faith is a relationship with Christ, it will look different than my pastor's relationship with Him, my best friend's and my coworker's.  Just like the bond I share with my Mama is different than with my Dad, or the closeness of my friendship with my best friend is a different relationship than with my boyfriend.  My relationship with Christ will differ from yours.  And that's okay.  There's no one way to be a lover and follower of Christ. 

It's all you and God.  This is where personal convictions come in, such as how God convicts you to do or not to do certain things.  Tattoos are a good example.  Personally, I don't view it as a sin to get them and I have several.  He has convicted me to never smoke or do drugs, but for other Christians, maybe that's something they're okay with doing.  It doesn't matter what the world thinks of you, or even other Christians.  Your relationship is between you and God. 
Yes, we are called to encourage and admonish each other as siblings in Christ and warriors in His army, and if a professing Christian is blatantly sinning or living a life of lust and greed and worldliness, we must speak to them with God's Word in hand.  Nevertheless, He is the ultimate Judge and will deal directly with their heart and soul in His timing.

In the meantime, I'm gonna keep living for my God because what I have with my Creator is more than just practicing rituals and obeying rules.  It's more than a religion.  It's about a relationship.


A Challenge To My Fellow Women

I've heard many women of my generation complain about “how chivalry is dead” and “guys don't know how to treat us well anymore” and how they “wish we could go back to the day and age where men were real men and respected us”.

My question back to them is always - Well, are you giving them an example of a true woman and someone who deserves respect?

I am NOT saying that guys should treat women the way their character deserves to be respected.  (Because, honestly, I think women should be treated with dignity across the board - no matter her age or occupation.  And men don't treat women half as well as they should.)
But really.  
Are the women of this day and age setting an example, being a woman, demanding the respect and treatment they deserve as the female sex?

I remember a time when a a guy friend of mine paid me one of the greatest compliments I have ever received.  He said: ‘You deserve recognition [as a lady].  You make me want to be a better gentleman.’
When he told me that, I was like "Wow".  I felt a sense of accomplishment, in being able to encourage my guy friend to feel the need to be a better gentleman.  And the fact that he felt that his chivalry wouldn’t go unnoticed by me - because I actually care that men act like gentlemen - was flattery in itself.

I am disgusted by the way women treat men these days, but yet they still insist on being treated well.  You should do unto others what you would have them do to you, right?  That's a Bible verse that is constantly quoted - when it's in a person's favor to use it.  But when it's used on them, it's suddenly "something from an old book full of stories".  I'm serious.  I'm done seeing guys trampled on and walked all over, but made to treat women like queens, to have their feet be kissed and every wish and whim fulfilled.

A friend of mine texted me today and said that after two successful dates with a girl who he really liked - and who claimed to really like him - she suddenly stopped returning his texts and phone calls.  Just flat out dropped off the face of the earth.  Not one peep of a message back to him.  Now there is absolutely no excuse for that.  She didn’t block his number.  She just ignored him.  You don’t ignore someone for however many days.  Even if I’m extremely busy with work and family and life stuff, I always try to make an effort to let people know “Hey, I’m busy at the moment.  I’ll get back to you when I have more time to focus on a conversation.”
My friend asked me why women can't just be upfront and honest, but kind at the same time.  They're either brutally extreme or don’t communicate in the least.  Now what kind of an example is that setting for the guys we want to be kind and honest with us?!  Women are always saying "Why can't he just tell me if he likes me or not?"  And "Why can't he just talk to me or ask me out instead of being so shy around me?"  Well, why can't you do the same thing?  Why can't you be honest and tell him "Yes, I am interested in you" or "No, I would rather decline a date invitation, but thank you for asking”?  There's a way to do things in a straightforward, direct, yet nice way. 
Something I've noticed about women is how hard it seems for them to say "no".  And I get it.  We're sensitive creatures.  We're afraid of hurting a guy's feelings.  But hey, this is the real world.  Feelings are always going to get hurt.  If you're honest and upfront with them, that's the best way to go about anything.  But be kind at the same time.  And the way a guy responds to your answer is not in your control.  You don't control the way he reacts.  A good, sensible, respectful man who respects you - and women in general - will be mature about any and all responses that he receives.  

There was a guy who I had gone out with twice.  He was super sweet, we got along well, he was very creative in his date planning, just an overall super sweet guy.  I didn't feel any special connection or feelings with or for him, though, and when I ended up dating another guy, I told guy #1 - "Hey, I just want you to know that I'm not interested in pursuing anything with you and you deserve to know that I am seeing someone now so please refrain from pursuing me."  The guy I was with at the time said that guy #1 was going to totally flip after reading that text from me, but guess what?  
He responded with maturity.  
He said something along the lines of "Thank you for telling me.  I hope that whoever you with knows what a lucky guy he is."  
Now that, ladies and gentleman, is a sign of a good, sweet, kind, mature man.  He knows how to take rejection.  Not in the pity-party "oh she played me" sort of bullcrap way, but “oh she found someone who makes her happy and for that, I am happy".  He set an example for me.  And I will always be grateful for that, and respect him for the way he chose to react.

If women are asking why chivalry is dead, then maybe that's a reflection of the examples - or lack - of courtesy and grace that men are receiving from the women around them.

So I challenge you, my fellow women, if you're demanding respect, give the men something to esteem and honor. 

Rant over.

I know that I will probably get bombarded with feminist comments and emails on this article.  Maybe something along the lines of "your article was sexist" or "not a tribute to strong women".  But, trust me, I'm saving that for another time.


How I Found God

“How did you find God?  Like, what happened?  What clicked?  What does it feel like?”

A friend of mine texted me this question out of the blue tonight.  
It took me a while to respond.  
Not because I didn’t know what to say.  
I just didn’t know how to say it.  

Here's my futile attempt.


I believe the Bible is the infallible Word of God.  Whatever it says is right and true and holy.  
One verse in it talks about how man has fallen short of the glory of God.  
This means that we as humans cannot compare to God’s glory and because of the sin in our lives, there is a barrier between us and Him.  

But there is hope!  

Because God loves His creation, He wanted to save us from ourselves, from the sin that we carry in our imperfect souls and that is in this world, so He sent His only Son to come to this earth and die for us, making Himself a human sacrifice.  And because of His blood covering us, God no longer sees our sin.  He sees His Son’s perfection and selfless love.

As far as how I found God, well, I didn’t.  

He found me.  

Because since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes, His eternal power and His divine nature have been clearly seen by all, so no one is without excuse of His power and glory.  You can’t look at this universe, the galaxies, a newborn baby, a snowflake, a fingerprint, without seeing His beautiful and perfect design.  He’s a Creator who is intimately acquainted with His creation and takes delight in showing His glory through His work.  He wants to have a relationship with us.  That’s how He designed for it to be in the Garden of Eden, but man chose sin over God and thus began the barrier between human and holy.  

Before He found me, I was just a wandering soul, living in a human world, content in my own way of life.  No person wakes up one day and decides “I’m going to follow Jesus.”  It doesn’t work like that.  There has to be an inward change of the heart, and then an outward declaration of faith.  

But the only One who can change the heart is the Holy Spirit.  

You see, God is a God of order.  He is not chaotic.  He plans, He purposes, He predestines.  Before the foundation of the world, He foreknew His chosen ones, the ones He would conform into the image of His Son.  And the ones He predestines, He calls.  And the ones who come, He justifies.  And the ones He justifies, He glorifies.  

What does it feel like?  Well, I will be one hundred percent honest and say that the Christian life is no easy journey.  It’s not all sunshine and roses once you’ve received His calling and committed to a relationship with Him.  


Because it goes against human nature.  

We want to be our own god.  We want to make our own decisions.  We want to make our own rules.  God gave us His Word because He knows what’s best for us and what is evil and what is right.  And through it, He tells us so.  The enemy, also, wages wars against God’s people.  We do not fight battles against flesh and blood but against evil spirits and the world forces of darkness.  The war has already been won though.  After He died on the cross, Jesus was buried for three days, yet rose again, defeating the greatest curse - death.  

He has overcome.  
And we will win.  

For greater is He who is in us, then he who is of the world.  

And I consider that anything I suffer from in this present age won’t be worthy to be compared to the glory that I will receive when I die and go to heaven.  

So no, I didn’t find God.  He found me.  

And by His sovereign unexplainable love, He chose me as one of His own.

What does it feel like?
It feels like the most freedom you can ever have, the greatest victory you will ever experience, and the sweetest love you will ever receive.

And while the Christian walk is a difficult journey to follow, I will never regret my commitment to Him.  He gave His life for me, so I’m living my life for Him.  

And He is so worth it.


50 Ways To Pray For Your Future Husband

  1. Pray that he lives in accordance with God's plan for his life
  2. Pray that he would be steadfast in the knowledge of his identity in Christ
  3. Pray that he will be learning to lead your future family 
  4. Pray that he is a hard worker
  5. Pray that the LORD will bless his job
  6. Pray that he be a witness for Christ wherever he goes
  7. Pray that he is blessed with godly friends
  8. Pray that he is surrounded by people who bring him up, not tear him down
  9. Pray that he learns to love as God desires him to
  10. Pray that he would lean on Christ in his trials
  11. Pray that he will hope in the LORD
  12. Pray that he would learn to trust, and trust the right individuals
  13. Pray that he will be content
  14. Pray that he would have a giving heart
  15. Pray that he would sacrifice himself for God and others
  16. Pray that he will always seek God first
  17. Pray that he will submit to God and any authorities that are over him
  18. Pray that he would trust in God's plan, not his own
  19. Pray that he would give everything to the LORD in prayer
  20. Pray that he would seek wisdom
  21. Pray that he would set aside daily time to spend with Jesus
  22. Pray that he would have a humble, teachable spirit
  23. Pray that he learn to control his anger
  24. Pray that God would give him discernment
  25. Pray that he wouldn't let past relationships affect his relationship with you
  26. Pray that the LORD would teach him to be a good husband, and likewise you, to be a good wife
  27. Pray that he would submit his fears to God
  28. Pray that he would fully grasp his purpose in Christ
  29. Pray that he would constantly be reminded of God's love for him in everyday life
  30. Pray that he would boldly declare the Truth of the Gospel
  31. Pray that he would grow spiritually through reading, studying and prayer
  32. Pray that he would be bold and confident in sharing Christ's love with others
  33. Pray that he would be quick to forgive
  34. Pray that he'll live a self-controlled life that is a result of his salvation
  35. Pray that he will grow and flourish because of his trust in the LORD
  36. Pray that others can see God through him and the way he lives his life
  37. Pray that he will be faithful in all things
  38. Pray for his maturity
  39. Pray for his integrity
  40. Pray for his protection against temptations
  41. Pray for his purity
  42. Pray for his patience
  43. Pray for his family, and his relationship with each of his family members
  44. Pray for his discernment in handling finances and that he would be good with his money
  45. Pray for his health
  46. Pray strength over him
  47. Pray for his humility
  48. Pray for his heart
  49. Pray that God's face will shine upon him
  50. Pray that God will be glorified in your future marriage


Loving Someone Is A Privilege

Loving someone is a privilege. 

It's a rare occurrence when someone trusts you with their heart and gives you the power to either bless or break it. 
But everyone loves differently, and needs to be loved differently. And because love is selfless, it's important to love them the way they need to be loved.

While your significant other may need words of affirmation, but you are more of a physical touch sort of person, learn to love them through words that they need to hear. Or if you feel loved through acts of service, but your partner feels love most through gifts, then they need to learn how to help you with projects and not expect you to feel love from them through buying you gifts that they would like.

Relationships take time and effort. You should never change who you are for someone else, unless it's in a healthy way. And learning how to live and love to make your partner happy and feel loved can be a rough road sometimes.

Relationships aren't easy. It's about two imperfect people choosing each other above anyone else they know or will meet and continuing to choose that person through the good, the bad and the ugly. 
Learn about your significant other. 
Learn how to love them because afterall, they're giving you that special honor to care for them and their heart. 
They don't need you to survive this life. 
They're choosing to let you be a part of it. 
Don't take that for granted. 

And don't let them regret their choice.


I Support the Right To Bear Firearms

With all these stupid gun control debates, I thought I'd show my support of firearms by posting this picture. 
I grew up around guns. I shot my first one when I was about eight years old. 
My uncle taught me how to aim, Mama taught me how to squeeze the trigger, and my other uncle taught me how to breathe while shooting. 
I've shot rifles, pistols, gone skeet-shooting, and target practiced. 
Guns themselves aren't harmful.  It's all about who's handling them, and who's pulling the trigger.  In this day and age, I actually feel safe knowing that firearms are nearby and that I can use one if need be. 
I believe they should only be used in self-defense, to put meat in the freezer, or for practice shooting in a safe area.
I support the right to bear firearms. And will use them without hesitation to protect myself and the ones I love.


6 Ways To Know You're Guaranteed To Lose Me

1) If you ever lie to me
Honesty is one of the key elements to any relationship.  I trust that someone is telling me the truth until they give me a reason not to trust them anymore.  And once that happens, that trust will take forever to rebuild.  If ever at all.

2) If you ever yell at me
I've had too much experience with guys looming over me, demanding this or that, and thinking that raising their voices at me will make me "listen better" or "pay attention" or that that's the best way to get a point across to me.  But it has the opposite affect.  I lose respect for them.  I get scared.  And above all, want to be as far away from them as possible.

3) If you ever manipulate me
I don't think girls realize how easily guys tend to manipulate us.  It took me a while before figuring out that the way a certain guy would talk to me, and ask me things, or try to get me to do things for him, were all forms of manipulation.  The second a guy says or does something to make YOU feel bad, it's manipulation for something that he wants you to do.  I've had too much experience with this and am very aware now of when it's happening.  Thanks to a few jerks I've had the pleasure of knowing.

4) If you ever give me a reason to not trust you
I would never be in a relationship with someone I didn't trust.  And by trust, I mean, trust in and with anything.  Money, girls, my belongings, my family.

5) If you ever hurt me
I don't know which is worse - physical or emotional abuse.  I don't think either can be weighed in a spectrum of painful damage.  I've experienced both and I can guarantee that if either happens just once, you won't get a second chance.

6) If you ever stop pursuing me
This may sound like an attention-seeking, childish reason, but in all honesty, there's nothing worse than falling for someone, going through the honeymoon stage and then one day, waking up and realizing that they're "used to you".  If you truly love someone, you will pursue them indefinitely.  You won't take them for granted.  You won't assume that they'll just always be there.  They're choosing to love you, as you should choose to love them.  And show them this love.  Even if you aren't a super heart-to-heart, oozing feelings type of person, there are always ways you can show your significant other that you appreciate them, and love them in the way they need to be loved and how they need to feel valued.


Reason Vs. Choice | a poem | #NationalPoetryDay

It’s true that the initial motivation for why you fall for someone is because of an obvious reason.

It can be anything from the way they smiled at you when you first met
  How you can’t breathe when they’re around
    How their very existence makes you thankful for your own life
      How you are when you’re around them

These are all wonderful reasons to love someone.  But the choice of love is another matter
For to stay in love with someone is a decision, a choicenot because of reasons. 

Reasons come and go.  Reasons change.

There will be days when they won’t smile at you
Where you’ll be too mad at each other to let your breath be taken away or your heart skip a beat
There will be a time when you wish you didn’t have to see them at the moment because you hurt each other so badly
And there will even be a time that you don’t like who you are when you’re around them.

It’s in those moments that you must decide:

  Do I love this person for the good memories of reasons that I have stored away?

    Or do I choose to love this person simply because no reason is good enough

      And because love is the ultimate incentive?