Recognizing the Greatest Blessing is Love


In the last few weeks, I had an inordinate amount of interest in my single status. No, it’s not men flocking to ‘rescue’ me from being single¬†but friends who want to save me from an eternal single life. I guess they think being 39 with minute interest in marriage is not normal. I handled the issue like a pro, which means I did not go crazy and spout the “I am woman and don’t need a man” mantra.ūüôā. I¬†understand their well-meaning intention because all those friends are married. Ironically, one friend who has been married for ages is having issues with connecting to her husband, the 2nd person is new to¬†married life¬†with a toddler, and the 3rd, her husband is out of the country for a few months and she is stressed with their few months old baby.

I had the privilege of taking a week of¬†vacation with a long time¬†friend.¬†While on vacation, not realizing the resort was adults only when booked, I was surrounded by majority¬†couples.¬†Is that a sign or something?! (I say sarcastically). I had a few minor¬†uncomfortable moments when it was just me sitting by myself¬†for the nightly entertainment or on the beach to relax. Nothing like being physically alone amongst strange couples to highlight one’s singleness. This was not my first or will it be the last in such situations; however, those things¬†never deter me from doing anything I want to do. There is a certain amount of strength that comes from being able to enjoy life fully as a single and not constantly fearing what others think about being a party of one.

Small Blessings
Small Blessings

So, I just came back from the vacation with lots of pictures in store and decided to resume my lost hobby of printing all my pictures which are stored digitally (a few years worth) and chronologically placing them in albums. As I am going through organizing pictures which starts from year 2010 and choosing a few for my collage picture frame that sits on my mantle 90% empty, I realize a few important things.

1.  I have done quite a few things in my lifetime. I have travelled in and outside the US and have fun evidence of my adventures

2.  I have made friends where I go. I am an introvert who sometimes have a difficult time connecting with people. However, my pictures show that throughout the years I have developed friendships/relationship with others at different moments in life

3.  I have created some good memories. Memories fade but looking through those pictures reminded me that I had good times with people whose company I enjoyed

4.  Caring is sharing. I was blessed to share my life with people who were and some still are important to me. There are pictures with a few people with whom I no longer have a relationship due to falling out; despite that, I can look at those pictures and remember when the relationship was good

5.  A snippet of my life. Those pictures are snippets of good times in my life. We tend to remember the difficulties rather than the pleasure. Those snippets are reminders of pleasurable moments in my life.

6.  God brings people in and out of my life. We tend to forget the people in our lives when things are difficult. We tend to forget the support that surrounds us. Those pictures remind me of the supports I have had throughout the years and sometimes do not realize it. Most of us want to be martyrs by carrying the weight of the world alone. However, when we step back far enough and pull our heads out of our derrieres, then we realize just how many and who God brings into our lives for support. Plus, we see those with whom God has placed us in their lives.

7.  I should not feel unloved. I know that my single never married no children state will at times be a sore spot for me and particularly for others who are uncomfortable with my unmarried status at my age. Feeling Loved is not exclusive to married or coupled people and singleness does not have the exclusive rights to loneliness. Those pictures are a reminder that I was always loved or cared about by someone somewhere (not that I thought I was not).

8.¬† Acceptance of me. I have difficult personality traits (which I particularly like about me). I am not easy to get close to, I can be very upfront, and¬†I don’t apologize for me. I truly¬†like me. Those pictures show the handful of people who accept all that about me. I am not afraid to be myself around friends. I value the friends who come in and out of my life which make the relationship more authentic and trustworthy. The¬†right compatible people¬†accept you for who you are not who you pretend to be.

The collage picture frame is complete and sitting on my mantle with images of friends and family¬†taken at¬†different points¬†in my¬†life. In the center of the collage that takes a 9×7.5 picture sits my favourite bible passages 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8, 13 – the love chapter. “The greatest of all these is LOVE.” I think we become so wrapped up in the image of love being a¬†husband¬†and wife and forget that God blesses us with love and care¬†from many different people at different point in our lives. I sometimes lose sight of God’s blessings and need to be reminded on occasion with mundane things like organizing years worth of photos in an album.

Grey – The Irrational Fear of Looking Older Than 25


Natural Grey Hair – The beauty critics¬†semi-obsession in which to yet again¬†criticize women and diminish their self-image/esteem. Grey Hair… oh the horror!!!!

It is very obvious that women are held¬†to very different standards than men. Every day it is a new body image¬†issue in which to become obsessed. In the past and present, women have been negatively criticized for an array of things to include¬†wearing pants suits because it’s unfeminine, working women do not make good mothers and devoted wives, too fat, too skinny, we need larger breasts, buns,¬†lips¬†and top them¬†off¬†with a¬†thigh gap (this one still baffles me). Short hair is too butch; on the other hand, long hair on older women¬†is a no-no, curly hair is too wild, being assertive means¬†they are bitches and not being married with children means¬†they are selfish. Surely, there is nothing left to pick at right?

Wrong, now women are told to be ashamed of the natural change in the pigment of their hair. Debunk primary myth: Going grey does not mean getting old because there are many people who are prematurely grey in their young lives. However, due to the stigma of¬†grey¬†hair being equated to “granny,” many women have resorted to spending quite a bit of money and time¬†to choose any hair colour except grey. It’s almost like an irrational fear of¬†women aging past 25.

My grey journey started from birth. I was born with a grey strand in the middle of my head. As I was growing up, people who noticed it either wanted to pluck it out because it signified that I would grey early or they thought it brought luck. Well, the first view was right. I did grey early – started¬†during my¬†mid 20’s when more random strands started popping up. At the age of 39, I have noticeable salt and pepper hair with a cluster of grey hair¬†concentration in the front. I can proudly say that I have joined the Women’s Sexy Silver Fox Club (WSSFC).ūüôā

While scouring the internet, I noticed that other women have been given negative unsolicited comments about their decision to sport their natural silver; however, I have yet to encounter such impudence. A lesson I¬†learnt long ago was, as a woman,¬†I have to find¬†my strength,¬†develop a strong¬†self-esteem and positive self-image from within instead of¬†depending on¬†validation from others. While I have no issues with women who choose to colour their greys, I do find it sad when some women put themselves through the frequent hide-the-grey torture because they are afraid of what others may think of their natural hair colour. They are afraid that people will think they are “old” and have¬†“let themselves go.” Pure nonsense!

Fear and propaganda are good tools to keep people in line. For me, at 39, I am not old but definitely older and I am in much better physical shape than¬†a number of the¬†people who want to criticize. God gave me one body and I intent to care for it, without fear and loathing,¬†the best way possible with greys and all. The¬†grey hair shaming is nothing more than people who want to instill their own ideas of a woman’s beauty. Sadly, other women lead the way in the shame/fear attacks. If it were up to the objectors, most women would be 25 y/o¬†Stepford wives.

Note: A 75 y/o with jet black hair is as ridiculous a reality¬†as¬†the Kardashian sisters’¬†derri√®res are naturally the size of¬†the Goodyear Blimp¬†– you are not fooling anyone but yourself. You are not 25! (for the last 20 years).

The issue with grey hair (and all body criticism)¬†is so much more than the way a woman looks but it hits at the heart of a woman’s identify and self-esteem. Here is the bottom line, if you want to control others, then implant a negative message which will weaken their self-esteem¬†and cause¬†damage to¬†their¬†confidence. Wala!!¬†You will have people susceptible to any and everything. Despite the¬†attempted brainwashing that we grey-haired beauties are unkept hags because of hair pigment, many women of varying ages and races are embracing and joining the WSSFC. They are fighting back with¬†the awareness that being a woman is so much more than appearance. They are bringing the sexy back to silver hair, strengthening their identity, improving self-image and redefining beauty on their terms.

Cheers to the Women’s Sexy Silver Fox Club

39-Year-Old Crisis


As I am writing this, it now seems like a funny experience rather than a crisis. Not long ago in the distant past, I somewhat celebrated my 39th birthday. It was low key like all my birthdays and I do what I typically would do… take the day off from work and scheduled a day worth of activities while getting calls, texts and Facebook birthday well-wishes. However, this¬†morning I woke up (thank God) and had a minor 39 year old crisis. OMG I am 39!!!!! I am getting old(er).

So, I got out of bed, looked in the mirror and thought is this what people of a certain age go through? I don’t look 39-I work out and is trying to stave off any excessive weight gain and¬†I don’t have any wrinkles (thanks parents and decent living). While my mind is not taking the senior citizen route, the age numbers are climbing.¬†I literally feel like a 39-year-old in a much younger body (my mirror could be lying or maybe I have early onset cataracts). Should I start dressing differently – more mature? How about my hair? Should I quit¬†wearing my hair in two braids because I am too lazy to find a good hairstyle? LOL…I can’t help laughing at myself as I write this.¬†As a friend of mine would say, this is a first world problem.

What’s my deal¬†about being¬†39? Well, it’s about life expectations for career then a distant second for¬†relationships. I know…traditionally as a¬†woman my crisis¬†should be¬†all about¬†my terminally single status.¬†Oh well, I guess I am a little different. I woke up this morning thinking that my career life does not match that of my younger self’s dreams or my current age. I really believe that I should be further along in my career pursuit.¬†I asked myself what exactly have I accomplished in my life? The distorted self-defeating¬†mind would say “not much” but the reality is I have done quite a bit with my life. I actually have¬†some tales to¬†tell and wisdom to pass on.

In terms of my marital status – I can explain why that issue¬†takes second place as a crisis (okay a very mild crisis). As a child, my thoughts were never focused on the marital side of life. It has only been since journeying in my 30’s that marriage and family has even been a blip on my radar. So, my current spinster (can’t get a man pathetic single woman)¬†or bachelorette (¬†hot sexy choose to be¬†single woman) status only made minor contributions to my crisis because it was never a life long dream/desire. I may have to re-evaluate if I start¬†collecting cats as pets.

Could I¬†spruce up my dating life a bit? Sure! I do acknowledge that as I age gracefully I may encounter a slight snag in the long-term relationship department. Apparently, men of my age are looking for women who are a lot little¬†¬†younger. So, I should expect to get offers¬†(assuming I will ever fully be ready to¬†transition to a MRS degree)¬†from men who range from¬†age 60 and up¬†who¬†are looking for a ‘younger woman.’ Woo hoo!!!!…. I still have a shot at being called a “young woman.”

As a aged woman in crisis, should I start wearing tube tops (hopefully you are old enough to know what¬†that is) and micro mini skirts? Or should I save that for when I am 49? What exactly should the life of a 39 y/o woman look like? Married with kids? Successful career? Traveling the world? ¬†Being a good Christian at church¬†5 (okay maybe 2 or 3)¬†days¬†out of the week? Am I below the¬†39 y/o curve?¬†I thought about it and I really don’t have a good answer.

A 39 y/o woman’s life could range from still living with her parents¬†to being a Goodwill UN Ambassador. While society does place ridiculous boundaries on¬†women’s lives, we put the most pressure on ourselves by believing the b.s. So, God blessed me to wake up this morning but I started the day in the first age related panic of my life. While it only lasted for a brief moment, I could not help but think what is my next step? I cannot say that I am totally thrilled with my current career situation and it is certainly not where I envisioned myself at 39. However, I refuse to fall into hysteria (take that¬†Freud!) and make¬†rash decisions¬†but it has motivated me to start pushing a little harder to reach further for my career or at least job satisfaction¬†and breathe¬†new energy into getting out and enjoying the blessings of being alive for 39 years (thanks God).

Abstinence In A Sexualized World


Surfed the internet¬†lately? If yes, then you¬†may¬†have seen a¬†few headlines relating to sex in the Christian community. First, there was the Duggar’s older son inappropriate sexual touching before he was married, Billy Graham’s grandson’s infidelity in a crumbling marriage, and Bristol Palin announcing her 2nd out-of-wedlock pregnancy despite being a public advocate for abstinence. In the old days, all these visible Christians would have been publicly shamed for the rest of their lives.

The reality is we are all sinners, prone to temptation, and each and every one of us have committed sins and will commit sins in our lives. Welcome to the reason why the Bible talks about redemption. Despite knowing that, I do get a sick pleasure when limelight Christians screw up. Why is that? Because it shows that no one is immune and we need to be careful of our actions when we decide to put ourselves in the forefront as perfect Christian leaders.

Let’s chat about abstinence . First, let me say that I do not believe in abstinence only education. Our society is not set up to re-enforce that concept. Second, abstinence does not address some important biological and situational nuances that typically lead to breaking that vow. Third, abstinence is a difficult practice to maintain especially the more sexually¬†charged you are and the length of your intimate relationship.

I believe there are two kinds of abstinence: one is the letter of the law abstinence and the other is the spirit of the law abstinence. When people talk about abstinence¬†they are referring to no sexual penetration using the male and female sex organs. Therefore, if two people in a relationship never have coitus, then they have fulfilled the letter of the abstinence law. This¬†letter of the¬†abstinence law is very¬†important for virgins and those who want to remain “pure” until marriage.¬†However, the spirit of the abstinence law is very different.¬†This is in reference to ALL sexualized behaviors ie. mutual masturbation, over and under the clothes touching of breast and genitals, anal sex, oral sex, foreplay¬†and everything that stops short of penetration.¬†If Christians should be judge by the spirit of the abstinence law, then¬†a great number would be found guilty.

I applaud the concept of no sex before marriage. It’s a great idea for a number of reasons; however, by the time most couples get to their wedding night they have already engaged in various sexualized behaviors “to take the edge off,” and the only thing left is the grand finale. True abstinence is not an easy feat. Christian couples engage in the same dating style such as spending quality and¬†alone time with their partners. Like all relationships, the two people are instinctively and biologically sexually drawn to each other, and each intimate alone time breaks down the abstinence defenses.

When was the last time you went on a date with a chaperone? Do you always kiss your partner on the cheek with a side hug? When the phone conversation turns intimate do you stop and say “God would not approve because we are not married?” or have you instituted a¬†rule that you don’t talk in the bedroom and not past a certain hour? When was the last time that the most intimate thing you did with your partner was holding hands for¬†longer than 5 minutes?

If true abstinence is to be practiced, then the Christian couple has to become puritanical in every sense of the word. If you cannot do that, then it’s time to have the talk (You should have had this talk already if you decided to be in a long-term relationship). The talk¬†should involve what to do if you can’t wait or the it-just-happened moment. It’s time to have the real sex talk and not the ignorant watered down ‘Christian’ version. The¬†version in which birth control and pregnancy are a reality. The version in which when things go too far how do you work through it instead of being riddled with guilt, shame and sometimes blaming.

It’s obvious that Ms Palin, the abstinence advocate, found her own message difficult to uphold – twice. If it was not for the¬†pregnancies, which is how most Christian couples are outed, she would have been able to hide the hypocrisy. I could take cheap shots at her; however,¬†her failures show the holes in the modern-day abstinence message.¬†I do believe that most Christians are very sincere when they take on the abstinence challenge. However, they fail to see and prepare for the inevitable obstacle which is to underestimate how strong one’s¬†normal sexual¬†desires can be in the presence of romantic partner.

For those who intend on practicing the abstinence spirit of the law, I wish you God speed because you will need it. I also wish that you put in place preventive methods instead of reactive measures. Abstinence in a relationship is a good thing; however, ignoring one’s natural sexual urges will make it a feat to truly accomplish in avoiding¬†ALL forms of sexual activities¬†before marriage.

The Power of Communication


I would be the first person in line to advocate and admonish how important it is to keep the lines of communication wide open with the people in your life. Due to my dabble in behavioral health, I would estimate that the destruction of 99.9% (made-up number) of relationships is due  to the lack of communication.

As Christians, we are taught to have an open line with God. It typically crops¬†up in every church sermon and¬†it’s practiced in every religious setting.¬†That open line is prayer. We are taught to bring it all to God (even though¬†He¬†already knows what is going on). However, we are not¬†encouraged to talk to each other as openly as we are¬†to express ourselves¬†to God. God¬†hears all our stressors, dirty secrets, desires, pain, and even joy but we leave out a lot of things with the important¬†people in our lives.

Lack¬†of communication destroys relationships! Lack of communication breeds misconceptions. Lack of communication creates hurt, animosity and sometimes it allows¬†our thoughts to¬†run amuck. Even though most of us know this, it is sometimes the hardest act in which to engage. Why is it so hard to share with the people closest to you? No one wants to take blame or admit wrong. No one wants to offend the other person. No one wants to point out the speck in the other person’s eye or your own. No one wants to experience that awkward moment(s). No one wants to be uncomfortable.

So, in a marriage, when one spouse is hurt or unhappy it’s easier to shut up and ignore. In a friendship, when the bond starts to loosen, it’s easier to think the worse than talk about the problem. In a parent-child relationship, it’s customary to say that each does not understand the other due to the age and culture gap. I can go on about the mountain of excuses we tell ourselves because we are too uncomfortable with being open and honest.

For me, I have made¬†similar mistakes with people in my life. The irony is that my job requires me to ask tough and some times uncomfortable questions in which I won’t even blink an eye. To put the importance of communication in prospective then think about: How many times have we dated and even marry¬†the wrong person because we are uncomfortable to openly communicate¬†about things that bother you? How many marriages have been destroyed because the easier road is to find solace in someone else’s arms or push a person away rather than deal with your problems? How many good friendships have been loss because we choose not to speak up?

While I pride myself on being outspoken (a confidence which has increased with age), I do have my moments when it is easier to let things go even though I knew something was wrong. I need to take blame for being a poor communicator at times. One would think that I should know better because this is what I do and teach for a living.

However, in a recent incident in which I was close to writing off a good friendship, I have learned that I need to do better with my communication with people who are important. I saw my mistakes after they happened and I did not take the responsibility to address them in a timely manner. The funny thing is that once “the elephant was acknowledge” it became so clear how a simple misunderstanding could have been resolved before it became an¬†ongoing¬†issue. It was one of those Whiskey Tango-Foxtrot moments that could have been avoided.

So, the question is how many important relationships have you screwed up/unhappy with because you were too uncomfortable to openly communicate? What are you going to do differently to become a better communicator?

When Life is Different from Expectation


When I get older, then my life will…. When I get married, then my life will…. When I get the right job, then my life will….¬†We are filled with a variety¬† of expectations whether they are high expectations or low expectations. For the blessed/fortunate/lucky group, their dreams come true just as how it was expected; however, for everyone else, life can be very different. What do you do when your reality is different from your expectations?

A friend of mine is struggling immensely due to drastic changes that happened in a few short weeks. While her issues require professional intervention, I realize that she is no different from the rest of us who have a hard time reconciling our perfect image of what life should be with what it is. It is very hard to go through our experiences feeling completely helpless and ultimately see ourselves as failures. It is hard to step away from having blinders, tunnel vision, and our individual tales of woe. It is hard to imagine a happy existence as our life do not look quite like how we expect it.

In this day and age, resiliency¬†and thinking outside¬†our ‘perfect’ box¬†seem like¬†a thing of the past.¬†We fall apart so easily; we become incapacitated at the first obstacle; we give up; we blame everyone and everything; we feel excess guilt and shame; we stop searching for a way out and simply accept the mess in which we stand. People stop trying to survive.

As clich√© as it may sound, life is what you make of it. If I committed suicide tomorrow, then that’s what I made of my life; if I decided to go out and take a walk in the park instead of sitting inside, then that’s what I made of that moment in my life; if I choose to volunteer or help someone I know, then that’s what I made of that moment in my life. If I¬†choose to be defeated by¬†circumstances that are not going my way; then that is what I made of my life.

This is not to trivialize that¬†most people¬†will have difficulties and tragedies; however, this is a push to recognize when people have crossed the line from¬†normal reactions¬†to hardship or disappointments¬†to ongoing self-defeat. In other words, we stop finding reasons to give thanks¬†and see the other options life has to offer. Many people become so embarrassed or ashamed of their current situations which drives them to¬†isolate¬†or hide and so the¬†spiral of doom begins. The thing is¬†the average person¬†cannot navigate¬†life’s changes all alone. Without a trusted wingman (friends, family, therapist etc.), it is easy to get lost in¬†one’s personal mess. As much as we need the support from others, we also need to learn to¬†get support¬†from ourselves.

Feel free to Google the story of Sgt. Noah Galloway  a double amputee who is one of many people whose life definitely did not go as expected, found himself in a dark hole, and ultimately found the will and strength to climb out of it.

Unstable and Accepting


Insight and introspection are the greatest gifts to one’s self. Due¬†to certain career training, as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am forced to look inward and become aware of me. Sometimes I do not like what I see. I can have a vengeful heart; I am ready to cut people out of my life in an instant; I am ready to think the worst of people;¬†I am very¬†guarded, and I struggle to forget and most importantly, forgive.

On the other hand, there are lots of things I love about myself. I love my dry no nonsense personality, I love self-discovery, I love my independence and my ability to be resilient. I love that I am smart.  I love the fact that I can be compassionate and giving. While these do not cancel out the negative things, they give me reasons to be thankful to God.

Since I was young, there is one thing I know about myself and it is¬†the excitement of being fluid whether with people, place, or thing. It yells freedom to me. In my adult years, I have come to accept that I can be “unstable.” Being in one place, accustomed to one thing, and routines become old. Even though I have tried to change (maybe somewhat tried), I have accepted that I really need change in my life even if it is small.

Of everyone that I know, unless you are military, most people strive to have consistency in where they live, their jobs, people in their lives and things in their lives. While I do not find that to be boring per say, I do get antsy with the thought of being stuck.

In the recent months, I have moved states, changed jobs, semi-resume my career, and now have a new agenda for my life. For most people, this seem like too much flurry of activities and this can create anxiety. However, for this unstable woman, it’s all a part of my life. The downside to being so unstable is that I lose the comfort of close family and friends. I have to start all over with bonding which is difficult for me. I had also accepted that this unstable view of life was the main reason for never wanting to get married since I was a child. I could not fathom being ‘stuck.’ While I am happy for those who embrace this way of life, at this moment, it does not seem to be written in¬†my stars.

What does this mean for long term relationships. Only God knowsūüôā . Really! only he knows. I have resolved to put relationship issues in God’s hands. While this might seem like a passive way of dealing with my relationship instability, it is the best option on the table. I know and accept that the problem is me. I have been told a number of times that once I find ‘the right person’ then I will change. Meh!! Que sera sera. The only thing I know is that God gave me life and as he continues to¬†bless me with life, then¬†I will continue to live it to the fullest (whatever that maybe for me).

If you are a planner, then plan. If you are a little freer, then go with it responsibly. There are a few things I truly want out of life-to enjoy God’s blessings and give thanks, health of my parents for many years to come, and trustworthy people around me who have my six and I have theirs.

God bless you all and enjoy the life He gave you.

 

I am a Sinner


I am a Sinner with a capital S. This is not a proud status but it certainly is a very real status. In my current state, I will not be one of the 144,000 mentioned in the Book of Revelation. In my current state, I will not be one of the righteous in the first resurrection. In my current state, I will more likely be in the group with the other people. You know, the group in which most religious people either do not mention or speak of badly.

How do I know that I am a sinner? The Bible of course. When Christians read the Bible, they do not imagine themselves being in the group of others. They imagine themselves sitting at the feet of God with a goofy smile in an all-white and bright paradise. If one listens very carefully, Christians will admit to being sinners but not really. They admit it only in the context in which the Bible says we are sinners and lost because of our human nature which was corrupted in the garden. There are other passages that noted we are born in sin and shaped in inequity or that section which reads not one is righteous except….

I can list all my sins to myself and God. I know when I am trying to justify something that is Biblically contradictory. I really do know but in order to stay out of the other group I lie to myself. Every now and then (actually a lot more than I want to admit), I am totally comfortable with lying to myself.¬†I give it some time before¬†I am slapped in the face with the Biblical truth and that becomes the ‚ÄėO shit, my bad‚ÄĚ moment. You know, the log in¬†the eye analogy. Yep, I can admit to having the¬†log-in-my-eye infection (I guarantee that it comes without the fishy odour).

I am the antithesis of a true Christian believer and here are some of the reasons. If you missed most of my blog entries, I have been on church sabbatical for a few years with an occasional appearance. I cannot stand religious rhetoric (oddly I can manage other rhetoric but less tolerant when it comes to Christianity). If being a believer is a matter of life or death, then speak to me plainly in basic and raw human needs and I will understand and show more respect. There is a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to be highfalutin and there is a time to keep it simple stupid (KISS). I really detest majority Christian gatherings because there is a ridiculous and compulsive need to be the perfect Christian. It’s hard to see the real person. This is either a gift or curse but most often than not I am usually able to detect bullshit and can be easily repelled.

I am the antithesis of a true Christian believer because there are aspects of the Bible that does not ‚Äėsit well‚Äô with me. If I could get away with just doing ‚Äėgood deeds,‚Äô and having my own private Father-daughter time with God, then I would be the best Christian ever. Do not be mistaken, there are amazing aspects to Christianity ‚Äď the love from wonderful people, the caring for others, someone on high looking out for your best interest in the afterlife etc. If that was all there was to making it through the Pearly gates, then I would definitely be the first in line.

I am a defiant person who still believes in Christianity. I see the value and the benefit in having a belief in God; however, I am still defiant to certain things which therefore puts me in the group with the others. My sins are my own and I take full responsibility (as I should) for every single one of them. Even if I did get my act fully on God‚Äôs track, I would still not be a typical Christian. I know that I do not fit into that box. I am a sinner and not in that stupid religious clich√© term. I am the real deal ‚Äď you know, the ones that Jesus died for on the cross but too stubborn to get it right. I have no intentions of bullshitting anyone with a pretty picture of me. What you see and hear is exactly as is (I am still allowed to have my own personal secrets), take it or leave it because I may¬†not be a proud sinner but I am certainly not hiding or pretending.

 

 

The Deception of Beauty Enhancement


A friend had sent me a video of a woman beautifully made up. The image of her carefully painted face was absolutely stunning. Everything was perfect and she was the vision of black Barbie. In order to demonstrate how she became such a vision, the artist had to remove all her mask to start from scratch.

“Good heavens! what the hell?” was my reaction when she was barefaced and¬†au naturel. She was no longer stunning but¬†passed as less than attractive on the beauty measurement stick. Pimples, skin discoloration, etc. She epitomized the idea of dramatic makeover. I could not help but do a Google image search for dramatic makeup before and after and became very aware that this young lady is not the only woman who skillfully change¬†her appearance to¬†look very different from¬†her true self.

Thank heavens I am not a man! One commenter on the young lady’s transformation was that it is imperative for men to take their women swimming on the first date. This is to remove everything false in order to see the true woman. There is a joke which involved a man taking a woman home from the club¬†and in the morning, he discovered that¬†she removed her hair extensions, spanx, fake nails, padded bra, make up and very high heels to reveal someone totally different from the woman he brought home. If you follow the entertainment news’ latest beauty trend,¬†then one could add: fake tan, collagen for lips, butt implants/injection/padded underwear, Botox, and even temporary breast enhancement. Where does the masquerade end? What’s a guy to do when he first meets a well-groomed young lady? Do most men have to wonder if the women they see¬†are deceptively enhanced?

When¬†did it become okay for women to¬†feel so ashamed¬†of their image and¬†are driven to falsely advertise themselves as someone completely different from their true selves? Do we really believe that false advertising is the best way to enhance one’s self-esteem or to feel attractive? While I have no issues with make up and using it to cover minor imperfections, it is something completely different from literally putting on a new face. Contouring is a new word in my vocabulary which means the ability to change enhance one’s facial features with make up – eye’s wider, nose thinner, high cheekbones, lips fuller¬†etc. Frankly, the art of contouring belongs in the theatre and performance¬†art shows.

There is a feeling of empathy for the single men who have to weed through the beauty façade of women. There are women who believe that a new guy should never see them without X item until they have been dating for an extended period of time. This is as deceptive as a man wearing false hair or caps to cover his baldness, a padded underpants to give the illusion of a larger manhood, removes his wedding ring when the Mrs is absent, or drives a flashy car and spend excessively to show wealth while he is in heavy debt. This is a good time to use the verse do to others as you would like to be done to you. Keep it real!

The whole deceptive enhancement¬†creates a dilemma for the average girl next door.¬†The extraordinarily perfect beauty that make up etc creates does not exist in nature. Very rarely will you¬†find a woman who looks any thing¬†close to¬†these enhanced visions of beauty; however, when we are bombarded by these false advertising everyday, we tend to see the average natural beauty as less than. Consequently,¬†men begin to¬†set the beauty bar requirement¬†high and women transform themselves in order to keep up. Take for instance the ever popular entertainment special about ‘Stars without makeup’ which¬†is definitely a sight to behold. The comparison is dramatic and sometimes startling. Some trashy rags even go as far as to say these women are ugly without makeup. In reality, we have become so accustomed to the deception that we¬†accept the¬†parlour tricks¬†over the real thing. I too had the same¬†reaction when black Barbie transformed back to her average beauty self. I can shamefully admit that I thought the true image of this young lady was ugly in comparison to her enhanced image.

I will reiterate that I have no issues with women wearing makeup. I too will wear lip gloss and brow filler due to my thinning eye brows; however, I will never be accused of looking like someone else nor will I¬†ever be lauded as a great beauty. As a single lass, I truly prefer men to¬†see my au naturel state with all¬†the imperfections of which there are many (at least in my eyes). Confidence in one’s imperfect self is a hard pill to swallow and many women were not taught this lesson.

Happy 2015! What to do?


Happy new year to my blog followers. I do appreciate your audience to the unconventional¬†craziness that runs through my mind. I wish God’s blessings on you all. Every new year I do the same thing. I typically say a prayer of thanks and¬†hope for a blessed year. I am not a new year resolution person because I think such things are pointless. However, I do make up goals as the¬†days progress or as I see fit.

My friend asked me what will be different this year. I truly had to think long and hard about that. I treat the new year the same way I treat my birthday – It’s just another day that will pass in which¬†I am blessed to be alive. However, in the spirit of friendship and conversation, I scrounged up a few things.

Here goes my tentative plans for 2015:

There is a potential major change coming in my life and with it I am hoping to tweak a few things.

I am planning to become more involved in a social life again. I have my cyclical period in which I am out and about and then other times when I am totally isolating and being an home bound lazy bum. I am in the home bound lazy bum period¬†which means it’s time for a 180 (after the weather gets warmer).

I was asked if I wanted to date more this year. I am not a fan of dating so the answer was no. However, with the intent on being more social, I am open to meeting people of the opposite sex with the potential for …¬†(only God knows).

I am determined to fit comfortably in my favourite jeans again and tone my body. The fat creep around my waist and upper body is unacceptable. So, decreasing my large portion food¬†intake in combo with exercising will be an ongoing vigilance. ”¬†According to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, family physician and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, ‚ÄúOur best evidence identifies regular exercise, a good night‚Äôs sleep, and plenty of sex as our best bets at increasing our muscle-building hormone king (aka testosterone). Try and ‚Äúget some‚ÄĚ every night.¬†”¬† :-)¬† Exercise – check, good night’s sleep – all depends, plenty of sex – ROFL. I think I can accomplish 1 1/2 out of 3. It’s a good start to fitting into my fav. jeans.

Minimize some bad habits I have indulged in that¬†are¬†adding to the barrier between me and God. This one will be the challenge of the year. Being ‘bad’ can feel so good at times which makes behavior¬†change hard.

Quit cursing, it’s unladylike. I remember years ago when the f-word was foreign to my ears.¬†¬†Now, I use it occasionally and ‘shit’ is a staple in my vocabulary.

Initiate contact with friends. As an introvert, I tend to withdraw from others into my solitary comfort zone. However, there are people in my life who have been there for years and I do not initiate contact with them. My goal is to nurture those friendships because they do mean a lot to me.

Dance more. I grew up dancing. It’s a natural part of my life; however, I notice that I had stopped. Dance more doesn’t necessarily¬†mean dance parties; it just means putting on the music at home and dancing.¬†It doubles as great exercise too!

Continue to honour my parents. I have been doing an intermittently crappy job with being a good daughter. I do believe it is my duty (biblical or not) to assist my parents due to their elderly nature. While what I want to offer is not the same as what I can offer, it is still my responsibility to do my best.

Blogging frequency may drop. I am running out of interesting controversial Christians-don’t-talk-about materials to¬†ramble on¬†about. If you have ideas, send me a line.

There it is. Those are some of the things to address in the coming year РGod willing.