Monday, February 22, 2010

Schönheit und Anmut

We aren't even a week into Lent and I already have a lot to say about my Lenten sacrifice.

Honestly, I can't even call it a sacrifice. What I'm gaining is far more than what I have given up.

Let me start off with what I've been struggling with. First of all, I have never felt more vulnerable than I do now. Wearing make-up gives a lot of women a confidence about them. I know that all of you - male or female - can agree that when you look good, you feel good, thus, bringing on a confident stride. Am I right?

Anyway, so when you don't feel very pretty or very "put together", you lose a little of that confidence and gain a little vulnerability. Or maybe that's just what has been happening to me. I can't be sure.

I firmly believe that any human's biggest fear is to not be enough. We're scared of being inadequate. I'm petrified. We're scared we won't be pretty enough, handsome enough, feminine enough, masculine enough, smart enough, strong enough, healthy enough, and so on. For who are we scared we won't be enough for? Mankind, maybe? The opposite sex? Our family and friends? I'm sure it's different with each person. The answer may not even be very important.

So, yeah, I feel like I'm out on this limb asking to be seen past my make-up and into my heart. I'm asking myself to believe that beauty is not skin-deep. I'm learning that the depth of beauty is so vast that to define it as simply your outward appearance would be a lie.

Now here I am. Mascara-less. Blush-less. Concealer-less. It's EXTREMELY humbling but EXTREMELY empowering.

Like I said before, I'm gaining so much from this it's crazy. My friends have really helped me these past few days. My guy friends have just blown me away with their strength for me in my time of mental weakness. My sisters have been such examples of beauty that one can't help but thank the heavens for their smiles.

I know I said I've never felt more vulnerable during this time, but I've also never felt more beautiful in my whole life.

I'm not only doing this for myself. I'm doing this so I can learn more about beauty so that I might be able to help my sisters! In society today, we've lost the truth of what it means to be beautiful. Is it that our grandparents just forgot to tell us that secret? Why didn't they tell their children? How and when did it get lost in the transition of generations? I've learned what I know from Mary and you can bet your life I'll be sharing this little secret with my sons and daughters.

I am a child of God. Beauty was instilled in me from day one. By shining a light on myself and being seen, I can encourage others to do the same. I want you to know how beautiful you are. When I have been going to mass lately, I've been envisioning myself standing in front of Christ as His bride. That may seem a little out of our comfort zones. Trust me, it was weird at first. But it's helped me to believe that maybe I am beautiful because I am the bride of the Holy Father. I am His heart and He is mine.

Beauty shouldn't be kept hidden, my hearts. Could you help me tell the world about it? Let's not keep this a secret anymore, okay?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

I love Valentine's Day.

I'm so aware that that could be seen as weird especially coming from a single lady such as myself. But the day is just a super amazing excuse to tell everyone around you how much you really care about them. To me, it's not just about you and your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/etc. It's about loving everyone!! The day is filled with flowers, chocolate, hugs, and kisses! And to be honest with you, I don't really mind the excessive amount of couples you see out and about on this special day! Yes, most of us want what they have. Duh. But to me, they are reminders of how good life is!

Anyway so I have a hand full of friends who do this thing where they take themselves to a movie or out to eat. Basically, take themselves on a date. Get a little "me" time, you could say. I have never done anything like that before. I can't even really tell you the last time I've been alone for more than 50 minutes. So last night I decided I needed a little Kelly time. Get some R & R for once in forever.

A movie on my own sounded like a good idea so I made my way over to the theater. was the night before Valentine's Day and a new chick flick entitled "Valentine's Day" just came out so I don't really know what I was expecting. But what I got was every couple in the area here at this one theater in line to see the same movie. The couple-iness of the situation didn't bother me as much as the PDA. You may not know this about me, but I despise PDA. So much so that it has taken everything in me not to dedicate an entire blog post just to that topic.

So deep breath...

Needless to say, I didn't stay. Wasn't the right time for a date with myself. Haha..that sounds so lame.

Anyway, I hope you all have had a wonderful V-day!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Lenten Lovin'

The Lenten season is probably my favorite season of all time. I learn and grow the most during this time so it’s always a total win for me. Also, I love the fact that this season has not been completely commercialized like Christmas or Easter. Well…the whole no meat on Friday thing kind of has but that is really it.

I get extremely hardcore during Lent. I’m all about the three traditional practices; prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Through these three observances we work on our relationships with God (through prayer), ourselves (through fasting), and our neighbors (through almsgiving).

Currently I’m working on what I want to do as far as prayer goes. I’m thinking about reading the bible each night since my knowledge of scripture is limited. I have an idea of what I want to do as an almsgiving but I rather keep that one to myself. That one is always more personal for me and I have no idea why.

As far as giving something up to help myself grow, I have chosen… Drum roll, please.

*intense drum interlude*


Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun.

Yes. You heard me. Make-up. “Why,” you ask?

Great question! Well, I don’t typically wear and excessive amount of make-up but I do use it every day to cover what I want covered and to accent what I want accented. It’s embarrassing to say, but I believe it has become a bit of a crutch for me. I never leave the apartment without it on. Even though I wash my face every morning and night, my waterproof mascara is very hard to get off. Consequently, I’ve rarely seen myself without one speck of make-up on.

That point brings me to what made me make this decision. During this past winter break, there was a about a four day period where I just stopped putting make-up on. Eventually, the mascara came completely off and I was left with being completely natural. I took one look at myself and immediately went for the mascara and blush. It was in that moment, I realized that that was a problem.

Here I am preaching to all my fellow sisters that they should love themselves and understand that they’re beautiful while I’m over here unsatisfied with myself until I make my face up.

Make-up isn’t a bad thing, mind you. It’s fun to make yourself up! As long as you understand that you are beautiful without all of that nonsense on your face, you’re good to go. I’ve just recently realized that I may not actually be there just yet!

So make-up it is. I’m ashamed to say that I have a feeling it’s going to be a really tough vice to give up, however, I’m confident that I will learn and grow in a big way.

Best of luck on your Lenten promises!!

I'll be sure to let you know how mine goes!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dear Nicholas Sparks,

Please stop writing pretty things to me.

Love, Kelly

"I had always imagined the words would be hard to say, but they weren't. In all my life, I'd never been as sure of anything, and as much as I hoped to one day hear Savannah say these words to me, what mattered most was knowing that love was mine to give, without strings or expectations."
-From Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Typically, I can read an ol' Nicholas Sparks book and maintain the thought process that the book is just a story and, in many cases, can get a bit ridiculous. Nicholas Sparks is a hopeless romantic and it shows in his work.

And though I don't really care for the love story in this one, that line was just absolutely beautiful!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Am Dinosaur. Hear Me Roar.

#2, Libbs, and I went to Wal-Mart at around midnight a couple of nights ago for an emergency brownie run.

Libbs went to go get some deodorant while #2 searched for the brownie ingredients she needed. While kind of wandering around looking for her after I had found what I needed, I finally spotted her in the middle of one of the aisles.

I stood at the end of her aisle and did this raptor imitation I do. The raptor is a development between something from Avatar and this dinosaur thing Cray-Cray does. I don't know why I do this, but I am ashamed to say I had been doing it all weekend in Lafayette at this conference we went to. There are pictures...

It comes complete with a screeching/growling sound and body motions.

So I'm standing there at the end of the aisle in the open doing this....thing. I figured no one would see because it was about 12:30 in the morning and no one was really there.

In the corner of my eye I saw someone stop. I looked over and it's these two young guys just staring at me with these faces of confusion and shock.

Can you blame them?

I was pretending to be a raptor...

I felt my face get really hot and so I looked down in embarrassment. I told them sorry in a quiet voice -- I had no idea why I was apologizing -- and proceeded down the aisle to #2 who was killing herself laughing at this point. I literally laid on the ground in the middle of the aisle and curled up into the fetal position mourning the loss of my dignity.

I made a silent vow to myself right then that I would never leave my apartment again.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I Am Not Perfect

I am not perfect.

I am stubborn and hardheaded. I have an extreme amount of pride that gets me in to trouble more than anything. I lie...A LOT. I’m lazy. I am an adult who skips meals because I literally forget to eat. I don’t take care of myself well enough so my friends and family suffer. I have let so many people down this year that I'm afraid to count the casualties. I am an overly dramatic person. Most of the time, I’m too passionate for my own good. My head is so far in the clouds that I fear I’ll never come back down again. Six out of the seven days of the week are bad hair days for me. I am the world’s biggest hypocrite. I am also the most self-centered person I have ever met. And like everyone else, I am my own worst enemy.

I have woken up every day for the past month and prayed to God that I may love like Christ and live like His mother. But do I ever succeed? No. Never. Not one day. Talk about a blow to the ole ego, eh?

It kind of makes me sick to my stomach when I think about how badly I fail every day.

But then I remember.

I am not perfect.

But I am loved. Not just loved but adored. He adored me so much that He died for me. No matter what I have ever done or ever will do, He will always love me in the most unconditional and purest way you could ever imagine.

I am not perfect. I fall every day several times a day but I’m trying. I swear I am. I am trying to figure out how to live a life that will glorify my Father. I’m just a girl. I’m just a very flawed girl who is trying to make it to Heaven and get my loved ones there, too.

I am not perfect. Despite all of my imperfections, I am proud of who I am and who I’m growing to be. A man recently told me that “we weren’t made to be comfortable.” He said that we are constantly being stretched like this for a reason. That if we are comfortable, something is wrong. So now I get it. These imperfections are blessings, right? They are forming and molding me to be the woman I aspire to be. Without these flaws, how will I grow? So I get it.

So why am I telling you this? I honestly have no idea. But I guess I'm just saying that you guys are wonderful people. You know why? Because you are a creation of the hand of the all-powerful King. You are strong and worthy of His love. You are GOOD. So good. And yes, you're imperfect. But that is an absolutely marvelous compliment!! You are becoming God's original masterpiece. No matter what your age, you are constantly growing and you will never stop. Now put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

Straight frontin’.
(Sorry. I had to add thug life somewhere in here.)