"Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son, Jesus Christ." - George Washington

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Florida, Spring Break

I was very generously invited to take a spring break vacation to Disney World and I wanted to share it with y'all, since it was simply magical! =) There were six of us altogether:  Melody - our hostess and chaperone, Kolby - Melody's son, Me, Kristina, Melinda and Stacie.

Kolby Avery Alouiscious Trouble Gullible Cook

We had to do something to while away the 24-hours in the car... No one honked

Yes, this is right behind the apartment we stayed in. Pretty cool

Me, Kristina and Stacie

There were several 3D shows and rides so we had to take these sort of pics at each one =)

Melody is such a punny person.

Kolby is a ladies man, they can't get enough.

Haha, a Bug's Life 3D show =)
(Me, Kristina, Stacie and Melinda)

The only way to drink a Coke

Everyone loves Kolby, even the Monsters =) By the way, Kolby is the biggest Chip 'n' Dale fan you'll ever see.

Meeting the Big Guy =)

Johnny Depp *ahhhhhh*

 I think we should get together...

In "Morocco", at EPCOT

Kristina met her crush, Woody, from Toy Story

Of course, you can't go to "Britain" without a photo of a telephone booth =)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Stop Comparing

I'm back, once again, and I apologize for the absence. I know it's been a month, but I was on a long vacation in Florida (such a welcome break from the Iowa snow!) and in my free time, I never felt led to write anything. I'd rather give you a break with nothing to read than a bunch of useless babbling.

I had a lovely Bible Study this morning and I wanted to share it with you. Lately I've been wading through Romans, the doctrinal book of the Bible, and trying to pick it apart since Paul is so difficult to understand. Today I'm in Romans 12, a very popular book, and since each verse is a message in itself, I've only been studying one verse every morning. This morning's verse was Romans 12:3:

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

Yeah, we've all heard this one and we all think we're pretty decent at following this concept; no real need for change, huh? Let's see how good you are at not thinking too highly of yourself.

Have you ever heard how "men compete, and women compare"? It's a funny quirk of our natures, it's how we were made; men are the physical ones, and women are the emotional ones. I'm a female so I'm going to focus on the sin of comparison. Sorry guys.

Comparison comes in a lot of forms and the two most prominent are comparing yourself with others, and comparing others with yourself. They're at opposite ends of the spectrum. The first - comparing yourself with others - is a self-deprecation, a comparison that makes you feel inferior and depressed. It's looking at others and coveting what they have. The second type of comparison - comparing others with yourself - is a prideful one. It is the mindset of thinking that you are the standard of perfection, if only in one area, and looking down on others because they appear to be inferior. You know the type, the girls who give you the up-and-down when you walk into the room. That's the kind of comparison I want to apply Romans 12:3 to.

To illustrate this kind of comparison, I'll use an example that came to me this morning. It's a rather silly one, I can't believe it trips me up so much, but my comparison pothole is... how much of my Bible is underlined. Lol, yeah. I like flipping through my Bible because of all the verses underlined and all the notes I've taken. I like to lay my Bible open to an inked-up page when I'm at church or camp, even though no one will see, or care if they do. I count righteousness and studiousness by the amount of lines and letters on the page. Can you see how ridiculous this is? One of the obvious flaws in this theory is that not everyone likes to take notes in their Bibles. Not only that, but everyone underlines differently. For instance, my mom mostly underlines, she doesn't do a lot of scribbling, and every underline is perfect, she always uses a bookmark. My art teacher on the other hand makes her Bible look like some crazy impressionist work of art! So many colored pens! So many notes! Not only that, she also draws a lot of lines connecting certain verses and points of interest. This has turned out to be a pretty good example because this is what happens when we think too much of ourselves and compare other girls, just to look down on them and make ourselves feel "righteous" or "fashionable".

God has made everyone exceedingly different and to compare yourself and someone else is just foolishness. Even though you may have a strength or two that your best friend (or arch enemy) can't match up to, they have their own gifts that you can't hold a candle to. We also have nothing that God hasn't given to us. We have nothing to be proud of because it all belongs to God. My Bible could end up in a garage sale if God decided that I was getting a little too carried away with my underlining skills.

Girls, don't compare, it leads to contention and distrust. It can ruin a friendship, even a lifelong one. And don't fall to the other end of the spectrum, thinking poorly of yourself. Putting yourself down is NOT humility, it is another form of pride. You are still focused on yourself. The only way to fix this problem of comparison is to FORGET yourself, and love others. Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.