Friday, January 30, 2015

When Middle School Girl Syndrome Strikes

I have a confession.

You know that girl from middle school, never really seemed to be quite "with it" (especially when it came to following directions - um... what did the teacher say???), who may have had a few (ok, quite a few) phrases like "I love Lime Soda" and "Lime Soda is so sweet" coupled with hearts and flowers doodled all over her notebook?

Yep, that was me.
(And don't tell me you don't still come up with nicknames for crushes).

Ohh, the days of Middle School Girl Syndrome (MSGS - yes, I will trademark this one day) when I yearned for that magical moment when Lime Soda would realize that we were just meant to be! He would realize how smart, funny, pretty, etc, etc I was and ditch the plastics, *gasp* breaking the middle school hierarchy!

Time has (thankfully) put nearly 10 years between me and those days and while I can say my tastes have progressed from liking boys for their wavy blonde locks, winning smiles, and jock statuses, MSGS still likes to rear its ugly head.

So what is a girl to do???
Let's analyze this scientifically, shall we?

There are two components to MSGS, which we shall call the self-worth component and the romantic component.

Coming from a girl who had her first crush at the ripe ol' age of 4, boys, well, they've always been kind of a big deal.  Fun, goofy, confusing...
And, not having been raised a Christian, I quickly bought into the lie that I was only beautiful, or smart, or good if a boy saw that in me.  So I spent my days daydreaming about the day when I would be noticed and seen as lovely.  Imagine! The entire self-worth of a girl riding on the shoulders of a middle school boy! Thank God I was too shy to muster even a word around Lime Soda, because had he been a clever and malicious guy, the whole thing could have gone south really quickly.

Encountering God's truth has allowed me to experience freedom from the lie "I will only be good enough when he thinks I'm beautiful, when I'm complimented, when..."
Knowing that you're worth dying for and infinitely loved by the Creator of the universe has a way of changing your perspective on things - so when I feel tempted to believe that my worth is only a function of how appealing or attractive I am to guys, I return to this Truth.

It goes without saying that I am a romantic. Under my list of favorite things I have sunrises, sunsets, starry skies, and flowers. Love is the best thing in the world.  (I mean, God is Love, so this statement is 100% true, 100% of the time)  I am also a very imaginative girl, and while I am grateful for this gift that God has given me, it isn't without its trials.
Often times, doing my homework turns into daydreaming about that cute guy I'm crushing on now, and the following thoughts invade my brain:
What did he really mean when he said....?   He's just so great, I wish I could get to know him more... Do our personality types work? Hmm... what does the internet say about our Myerrs Brigg?  Does his sanguine balance out my melancholic?  What will happen next?  There are so many ways this could play out! Lemme imagine all of them!
Next thing I know, it's been an hour and I still don't know the difference between DNA Polymerase I and DNA Polymerase III.

This is where trust in God comes into play - majorly.  The desire for a boyfriend (or husband) is only natural, and God given.  The opposite sex is so different, and personally I am soooo grateful for this. But obsessing and feeding this desire for a relationship with one of them with our imaginations is counterproductive to the purpose to which God has called us.  It feeds idolatry and can lead to emotionally objectifying guys (not cool). It is SOOOO important to remember that God is calling us to trust Him with our entire lives, and this includes our hearts, minds, and imaginations.  Surrendering these to God is so scary because we hear the echo of Eve's question in the Garden of Eden - will God hold out on me? Can I really trust Him?

In times when I find myself becoming too focused on a particular guy (or really with anything else I want) I've begun to pray for mercy and to say to myself Jesus, Lover of my soul, I trust in You.

Truly, God wants to fulfill those desires we have in our hearts - He gave them to us, but He also knows us wayyyy better than we know ourselves!  He's our Creator!

So wait on the Lord, take delight in Him and He will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
(After He's done a little molding).

Keep fighting the good fight! :)
<3 Aina

UPDATE:  I now know the difference between DNA Polymerase I and DNA Polymerase III - it involves reverse the exonuclease function of Polymerase I that aids in DNA repair! HA! Take THAT MSGS!!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

In Defense of Princesses

In 2001, a movie (perhaps you've heard of it?) called The Princess Diaries became a commercial success, grossing $165,335,153 worldwide. More than 10 years later, Frozen became a worldwide hit that was the staple of 2014. The common factor? Yes, Disney, but also princesses.

The popularity of these princess centered movies isn't singular, though. Tangled and The Princess Bride have become staples in our culture, and even in America, we're fascinated by figures like Princess Diana and Kate Middleton (in particular, her fairy tale story).  Seriously, how many of the best princess movies are the ones where an average girl discovers she's royalty?

So what gives? Sure, maybe it makes sense for imaginative little girls to want to be princesses, but the rest of us? Maybe it's time we just grow up...

Or not.

Our fascination with royalty reveals a deeply entrenched desire that points us to the Truth. Through Christ we have inherited the Kingdom. Our true identities lie in the fact that we are sons and daughters of the one true King.


We are princesses (and princes ;) ).

At this point you'll probably have one of two reactions.

Reaction A:
Awwww!!! I'm a princess??? That is SO cool, I knew it, deep down it had to be true! *proceeds to sing first Disney song that comes to mind*

Reaction B:
Cute analogy, I see where you got that, but let's be practical here. How does that affect my daily life? I don't really see myself parading around in a tiara.

No, no tiara is necessary.

But there are TOTALLY practical ramification to this!!

Stick around for a post coming soon where I (do my best) to show that this romantic view of life can be just sooo good for your personal growth and adjusting your attitude towards life.

Peace & joy,
<3 Aina

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Body Image - How the Search for Beauty has Changed through Time

Unless you've been living under a rock, or perhaps in one, you're well aware that one of society's favorite things to talk about is women's bodies.  And while this interest is one that has followed us through the ages, this article shows that, well, standards of beauty?  They've never really maintained a single standard.

For some perspective and a kinda cool brief history lesson:
Check it out!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

After an 18 month sabbatical...

I return to the blogosphere!

A little older.
A little wiser (?)
A little less angsty (?!?)

And I totally have life figured out this time round...

or not.

It has been wonderful to be able to return to this lil blog o' mine - like a time capsule and testimony of how the Lord has been working in my life.  And to be able to see the blessings that He has showered on me since I last wrote.  And the trials He has allowed.

I'm looking forward to sharing what He has been doing in my life!!  Watch out for more posts in the coming days!

In the meantime, enjoy some Aaron Shust! :)