Common Sense

Livin' the dream with hakuna matata!


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Joy

“Joy is a decision, a really brave one, about how you are going to respond to life.”

~ Wess Stafford

New Year’s resolutions hold very little substance for me, however I always seem to find myself joining the hoards of people making them. As I was thinking about last year and the things I made progress in, and mostly the things I fell short in I found myself thinking that grace seemed to be the theme of 2017.

Let me explain.

Last year was definitely the most difficult one of my life, I found myself stressed by the weight of trying to decide on my future, difficult relationships, and new changes in jobs and education. There were very few mornings when I didn’t wake up and immediately feel guilt or anxiety over something that I had been thinking about. The tendency to overthink and indulge in emotions grew to an unhealthy level and I found myself drowning as a consequence.

Guilt is something that I’ve struggled with for as long as I can remember, and even now I often wake up in the morning already wrestling with the feelings of shame and sometimes disgust. Most of the time, I would ignore it and try to think about something else, however it always seemed to be there. Now, let me clarify. I haven’t murdered anyone. I’m not running around at night, vandalizing homes or hanging out with boys of ill repute. That said, I would feel guilty for basically everything else. For not having my devotions, for being deceitful or lying about something, for things I had done years ago, but mostly for feeling like I had somehow disappointed my parents or family. I found myself exhausted by my self-imposed shame, but along with that shame came the constant feeling of anxiety. Anxiety is not something that I’ve always dealt with, but instead has been growing in force in recent years, and a lot of that anxiety spawned out of the guilt I previously mentioned.

I remember a lot of nights trying to get assignments done, but instead finding myself crying about some shame or worry I couldn’t seem to shake. I let myself wallow in a lot of unnecessary emotions, and then felt guilty because I knew that I shouldn’t. These feelings would be followed by anxiety because I didn’t feel like I was making any progress. I found myself in that highly charged emotional situation often, and it frustrated me greatly. I came to a breaking point sometime last spring, I couldn’t handle the freaking guilt and anxiety anymore.

Guilt seems to be a trend in this homeschooled, conservative-Christian community, and for what reason I’m not sure. I suppose that with any tightly knit community there will be a greater pressure to make sure that you’re on the straight and narrow, however I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. I think a large part of why I was struggling so much was because for my whole life when I had done something bad or something that went against Scripture I would need to go to my parents and confess that. However, now I was in a different situation. It was time that I started to deal with those things myself. It’s a, for lack of a better word, awkward time of transition. That transition being that I had to change from a moral code dependent on my parents and their rules, to one dependent on my personal beliefs about the Scriptures. Obviously because I’m still living at home, I need to adhere to whatever rules my parents give me, but it’s time for me to decide where draw the line between right and wrong. Not that I’ve been a will-less waif my whole life, but knowing where I drew that line wasn’t as needed when I was a kid.

That breaking point that I previously mentioned was one that I arrived at gradually. It was obvious that I needed to make a change, so I slowly came to a couple realizations:

  • The first of those realizations was that shame and anxiety are not given by God, rather they are agents used to eat away at joy and contentment. (Romans 8:21; Luke 12:22; Phil. 4:6)
  • Second, it should be a practice of all Christians, including myself, to pull from the freakin’ ever-flowing avalanche of God’s grace, and pour that upon yourself when you become filled with feelings and ideas that are not of God, like shame and anxiety.

Coming to those two realizations lifted a great deal of the burden from me, and placed it on the only Person who could possibly carry it. Grace is not an invitation to remove all responsibility for your actions, but rather a source of forgiveness and peace when you repent of the actions that are not of Christ.

Ok. Since that horse has been beat to death, let me tell you what my resolution for this year is…

After wading through the mire of last year’s emotions, I felt devoid of a crucial characteristic of Christians:

Joy 

For the purpose of understanding it for myself, I feel as though I should define what I mean as Joy.

Joy: The purposeful striving to rid oneself of shame and anxiety, and replace those feelings with contentment, hope, and faithfulness. To be the tangible example of God’s grace and glory. 

Joy is literally my middle name, yet I rarely find myself filled with it. Starting this year I want to strive to be more joyful, to make the conscious decision to respond with joy, and to be a obvious example of how God can work in the lives of anyone.

I don’t appreciate the trend among the culture today of letting yourself feel what you feel and following your heart. Frankly, I think it’s a bunch of bullcrap (sorry mom). Jeremiah 17:9 says that, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick,” so why are we trying to follow it…?

Wallowing in your own feelings, whatever they may be, rids yourself of Joy and places your own desires at the forefront of your mind, and we’ve been called to do neither of those things.

I hope I haven’t gone down the melodramatic (possibly passive aggressive) teen girl blogger trend, and if I have, well…..oops. 😀 I do appreciate your taking the time to read this emotional rollercoaster, and I hope that God can transform my lack of humility and longwinded ramblings to something that gives Him glory.

So here’s to a year of purposeful joy, and acceptance of grace.

~Susanna

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I won’t share my bathroom.

The state of California has added “Gender Neutral Bathrooms.”

 

No.

I’ll just hold it, thank you very much.

My only question is, “What exactly do the commodes look like?”

Sweet toilet

I guess that’s beside the point.

So what is the point? I know that those types of bathrooms are wrong and gross, etc. But, why?

Here’s the thing, I do believe that there are people that are attracted to other people of the same sex. And while I don’t think it’s just a choice to be that way, it is a choice in whether or not you act on those feelings.

Acting on same-sex attraction is still a sin but I would put in the same category with drunkenness and a porn addiction.

It may or may not damage your physical body but it will control your spirit and anything that replaces God in becoming the center of your life, is always a sin. Yes, even if it’s true love.

Buddy the Elf

Let me clear clear then, because the word of God strictly condemns anyone acting on their same-sex attraction, (Leviticus 18:22, ESV) and because our founding father’s revered the Bible, than those bathrooms and any law or  conviction in favor of a gay strictly just because they’re gay is unlawful. If that didn’t make sense let me put it this way, when Thomas Jefferson wrote that all men be treated equally he was saying that no one should be treated better than anyone else, including gays. So if a case is ruled in favor of a gay person simply because they’re gay then we’re not following the laws of our land. It goes the other way around as well, if a person was condemned because of their gender or non gender, then that would be wrong too.

Maybe you’re thinking, why does this little girl even care? Because someday this little girl is going to grow up and personally, I want to live in world where these types of issues have already been cleared up. Where we won’t have to fight these fights or preach these positions anymore. They’ll just be understood and welcomed.

Maybe I’m dreaming of some type of utopia, but I think we could get a lot closer to that utopia than we are now.

Starting by demolishing those gender neutral bathrooms.

Hakuna Matata all,

Ciao baby!

~Susanna

 

 

 

 


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Say Goodbye to Creativity

My generation is going to pot.

Now from the earliest age parents are shoving screens in front of their children. Instead of building blocks, they’re given an iPad with Fruit Ninja (I don’t get how games like that can be so pointless, yet so addicting). This issue is becoming more and more common and it’s one that really bothers me. When I was “growing up” (because I’m still growing obviously. 🙂 ) technology was not a big deal. I can remember playing games on the computer, but most of the time mom just sent us outside with orders to not come back in until we had been creative. It was awesome.

Creativity abounds when you’re outside.

Working Out

When kids are given games and toys that allow no room for their imagination, it isn’t just an “easy” toy for the parents, it’s hurting their ability to be creative and imaginative. Another problem with these types of games is that it teaches kids that fun has to come immediately. In games and movies the entire plot to a story is given in a couple hours, so they’re given “fun”  or “entertainment” in a very short amount of time. Then when they get older and are given books to read they can’t do it because they want that entertainment right now! Our country is obsessed with what is quick and convenient, and that hurts our ability to be like Christ, because we’re so consumed with what is best for ourselves (what’s most convenient) that we forget to consider those around us.

Well, anyway this is something that was brought to my mind this past weekend when we were at my sister Hannah’s graduation from college. We were sitting in our seats, trying to hear Dr. Ben Carson give the commencement speech. However our hearing was being impaired by the family behind us who were talking about their disease and letting their daughter turn her iPad at full volume during Dr. Carson’s speech! I had a hard time remembering to show them Christ when all I really wanted to do was take them out.

Chipper Man

But anyway, that’s all a bit besides the point. 🙂

Recently I found this quote by Mr. Albert Einstein, ““Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”  I love that. 🙂

I guess in about twenty years from now our country will realize that the average I.Q. is the same average as is in the common ape and they’ll then decide to trace the problem, which I believe is a sever lack of creativity.

On that joyous note, I say goodnight. 🙂

Hakuna Matata people,

Ciao!
~Susanna

 

 


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Yolocaust.

Perfect.

Perfection at its finest.

Do you know why the saggy pants trend started? Let me enlighten you.

In prisons if you wore your pants saggy it meant you were “open for business.”

And I don’t mean you were starting a bakery.

So before you buy these pants…process it in your mind.

JB

Have a great week all!

Hakuna Matata!

Ciao baby!

~Susanna

 

 


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Happy Anniversary, Lil Baby Blog.

Dear Common Sense,

Today you are 13 months old. I would have celebrated your 1 year anniversary but frankly, I completely forgot about you.

You’ve taught and given me a lot this year, everything from punctuation (still working on that sucker.) to making yourself an outlet for any creativity that I possess. I’ve confessed to you my severe lack of dancing skills and how much I loath mornings. I told you many weaknesses including how terrible I am at making conversation. I’ve told you a lot of stuff that had been on my mind or things that I noticed were weird and you’ve listened like a gem. 😀

When I first made you I imagined myself being famous world-wide for my writing. I also imagined that no one would ever read you. Neither case has happened and I am completely happy with what you have become. I probably won’t write to you for the rest of my life but I am looking forward to whatever God has in store for us in the next year(s).

Your ever mentally insane friend,

Susanna

Welcome to Year 2, I’m sure it’ll be cray cray.

nicholas cage


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Happily Ever After

Within two weeks this month there are to be two weddings. One of them has already happened and it was exactly what a wedding should be, God honoring and completely beautiful.

Weddings

Weddings seems to bring out the wishes that almost every girl wants, to live happily ever after with the person you love. We see pictures like the one above and think “That must be bliss,” we know in our hearts that we first have to completely fall in love with God before we can ever truly care for our husband, but it sometimes seems like it’s gonna take forever for that to happen! We just have to remember that somewhere out there is the person that we’re gonna love for the rest of our lives and since God’s timing is perfect, all we have to do is wait.

For some girls, this person is a cat. For others this person may only exist in your books and for the privileged, this person is a real man. 😉

Since I’m still waiting and have no desire to be in any kind of relationship there are several things about them that I don’t understand. Things that others think of as romantic or a good date idea while I’m over here thinking,

How?

Underwater Kiss AKA, drowning.

Drowning

Yeah, couldn’t do that.

Honeymoon? Heck to the dadgum No.

Camping

Couple Tattoos,

Couple tats

Hopefully we can tell your gender.

….I mean, ok. I see what you did there.

......

So maybe I’m just not very romantic, buuuuttt then again.

My idea of “happily ever after” would probably be traveling the world with muh man and doing any and everything that God calls us to, as long as that includes Europe. 🙂 But then again, there’s a good chance that getting married isn’t in my future, so if that’s the case, then I’ll do exactly what I planned before…just this time it’ll be God and I, and maybe a few dozen cats. 😉 Either way, I intend to live life to the fullest.

Franklin Quote

Hakuna Matata

Ciao Baby!

~Susanna


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My Unrealistic Fear

When I was little I was terrified that I would be eaten alive in the deep end of a swimming pool. By what?

A shark.

Childhood ruiner

I knew that it would come into the filter vent thingys at the YMCA and attack me. For this reason I tried my best to not go into the pool with out someone else with me. Why?

They would get eaten first. I would stay close to the side for a quick getaway and leave them to die. I wasn’t worried that they didn’t stay at the side like me,

Your loss.

But sometimes I would forget that I was terrified and jump right into the pool.

Then I remembered,

Completely Adorable

I ain’t dyin’ taday!

Dog

Weird thing was, I wasn’t scared of sharks in the actual ocean.

This, was my death sentence.

Sharks

It was a toughy…

And to be completely honest with you, I still have that heart stopping fear at times when I go to the pool.

Solution :

I have swam exactly once in a pool for the past year.

Fear now gone.

I’m feelin’ pretty bbbaaddd…

Gangsta

So for all you with a fear, follow my advice.

Have a good night

Hakuna Matata!
Ciao Baby!

~Susanna