Sunday, December 16, 2012


The idea of "knowing" has been on my mind a lot as of late. People think I cannot "know" that God exists, only believe. That might be true for some. But then I ask "How do you know what you know?"  Some examples of their answers might be:
  • I can see it
  • I studied it in school
  • It's scientifically proven
  • I can hear it
  • I can feel it
  • I can touch it
  • I can figure it out logically
  • I read about it
 ...And the list can go on and on telling me how to really know something. There are many ways we think we know things. But the problem is, all of the above mentioned methods are not fail-proof. All can deceive., intentionally or unintentionally. Eyes play tricks, people who write text books or other materials make mistakes or have other agendas or ulterior motives, science is constantly changing because of new knowledge and opinions on that knowledge, our minds forget or embellish, and our emotions have never been a very stable way of knowing anything. Physically, mentally, and emotionally we can be tricked. If we just depend on our senses, emotions, what you read about, or what the "all knowing" majority says about things, then we can very easily fall into believing anything and everything.

So how do we find truth? How do we know if something we learned in our science textbook is correct, or if all these charts and data actually do contain truth or the skewed results of political or personal agendas? How can we know what is real?

I know there is a God. Not because of any of those typical ways we think of knowing I mentioned above. But because of the only source of pure, undeciving truth. The Spirit.

If you have never experienced what is like to be taught truth by the Spirit then I really cannot describe it to you in words. It transcends the senses. It's like trying to tell someone who has never tasted salt what salt tastes like (to use the common Mormon explanation). It is an experience like none other. It happens to me--or I guess I could say I feel it, though it is so much more than that--in the presence of truth. It doesn't need anything outside  of itself to each me truth, though sometimes it will use things I read, hear or learn. It is something that teaches me knowledge my basic senses cannot. It teaches me truth to my soul.

I have had several special, sacred experiences with the spirit. I won't write them here but if you would ever want to talk about them (because you want to understand, not because of curiosity :) ) I would love to share them. Through my experiences with the spirit throughout my life I have come to truly know that there is a God, who loves me, knows me by my name, and is my Heavenly Father.

And this is what I know, and cannot doubt.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Check out my poverty awareness blog!

Hey Friends,
Come take a look at my new blog:

This is my new passion.... fighting poverty. I'll still be posting here every now and again but this new blog is more important to me. So check it out, share your thoughts, ideas, concerns, problems...whatever.

Join the fight!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Why you don't need a man...or a woman

This quote from The Great Divorce by CS Lewis has been in my head lately. The story is about people going to kind of a middle ground where they can choose to either go to Heaven or hell. In this middle ground, the spirits who have gone to heaven already come to meet those who are just arriving to convince them to come to heaven with them. This particular conversation is between a woman who is already an angel, or has chosen to go to Heaven, and her earthly Love, who is deciding now which route he will take.

“I am in love. In love, do you understand? Yes, now I love truly.”Says the woman.
“You mean,” said the Tragedian, “you mean—you did not love me truly in the old days?”
“Only in a poor sort of way,” she answered. “I have asked you to forgive me. There was a little real love in it. But what we called love down there was mostly the craving to be loved. In the main I loved you for my own sake: because I needed you.”
“And now!” said the Tragedian with a hackneyed gesture of despair. “Now, you need me no more?”
“But of course not!” said the Lady; and her smile made me wonder how both the phantoms could refrain from crying out with joy.
“What needs could I have,” she said, “now that I have all? I am full now, not empty. I am in Love Himself, not lonely. Strong, not weak. You shall be the same. Come and see. We shall have no need for one another now: we can begin to love truly.” 

I absolutely LOVE that quote. I think of all the songs, movies, dramas that make romance and love look like it is built around a desperate need. A need to have someone complete you. A need to be loved. I see it in myself often; sometimes I do things in relationships and I THINK I am being selfless...but in reality I am just trying to secure the fact that I am needed, and I am worthy to be loved. If I could put aside my desperate craving to be loved, my motives would be pure and I would love more fully and deeply.

I remember my dad telling me once that I was "co-dependent" on a certain guy I was dating. That I was so obsessed, I guess you could say, with him that I wouldn't be able to function without him as long as I stayed in this co-dependent state. I remember getting furious at my dad and wondering why that was so wrong. What was so wrong with needing someone in your life so desperately? Wasn't that love? When we broke up my life was in shambles for awhile...and I really felt I couldn't function. "We must be meant to be together" I would think, "Or else why would it cause us both so much pain to be apart, even for a day?"

I look back at my sad little self and have to smile a little. My dad was right. Co-dependency is not healthy. Nor is it true love. It's selfish infatuation and obsession.

You don't need a lover in your life. If you focus your life around Christ and His Love, your needs will all be met. And you will have no need for anyone else. Then, once your needs are met by His Pure Love, THEN you may truly love...pure, unselfish, consecrated love.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making me Strong

Good morning! It is now 5AM and I have been up since around 2:45 AM. I'm pretty wired so I don't think I am going back to sleep, so I am just accepting I am up for the day.

Yes, this is due to my sweet baby girl. I have no idea why she likes to wake up all night. And yes, I am sure plenty of people out there have tons of advice and do's and do not's for me. Well, I've tried them all, read all the books, and I've come to the conclusion that some children are just difficult. And though she is difficult and runs me ragged sometimes, she brings me more joy and laughter than I have ever had in my life. I love her giggles, how she likes to share her stuffed animals with me, how when she gets mad at things she throws them, and how she is instantly comforted when I pick her up. She really is such a joy to me, sleepless nights and all.

As we've been going through these sleeping problems since her birth I've had to learn a lot of patience. I've had to realize I can't fix everything. I've had to come to accept that if I get sleep, I'm lucky. I've learned to lean more on my Savior, whose grace can carry me through each day of preschool and babysitting and mothering and "wife"-ing despite my severe lack of sleep. My goal lately is to eliminate complaining, and be like Nephi, who while he was tied up and miserable but continued to sing praises to the Lord (1 Nephi 18:16 Nevertheless, I did look unto my God, and I did praise him all the day long; and I did not murmur against the Lord because of mine afflictions.) I don't know how he did it, but that is my goal.

One thing that has helped me in this goal is an article written by Leslie Ludy, one of my favorite Christian authors. She writes how our children can make us strong, even, or more like especially, when they are difficult. It is a beautiful article and came at the perfect time for me. Here is the link: The article is  called :Tensile Strength Training. Whether you have children or not it is great. It is a good reminder that the hard times we are given are to strengthen us and train us to stand as witnesses of Christ and to lean upon Him and His all encompassing grace.

Though I am not quite where Nephi was (I still murmur), I am starting to be grateful for the trials I do face. I am grateful to see His hand in my life strengthening me. I am grateful for His daily grace is that enables me to live each day to the fullest, despite the exhaustion. I am grateful for my sweet girl and all the joys and challenges she brings to me, and how already she is making me strong.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random thoughts...Gay marriage and modestly. Two unrelated topics.

HI. It's late, I should be cleaning the house but I have the WHOLE day off tomorrow to do it. So I'm sitting here waiting for the husband to come home reading the news and other peoples blogs. I'm just in one of those thinking moods.
I don't think anyone reads my blog anymore, especially since I don't have face book anymore. I don't really care because people would probably just get on my case anyways. I just need to think through typing right now.
I have been reading about the Chick-fil-A drama. I love how the founder has no problem standing up for what he believes. I love that he doesn't care that things he does will perhaps cause him to lose money. That is incredible faith and courage.
On the other hand, I hate how when he says "I stand with the Bible's view of marriage" and chooses not to support gay marriage, people get all up in arms and automatically label him as a hateful bigot. Our church as well opposes gay marriage, yet we allow "gay" people in our church and would NEVER want any harm to come to them. Just because we believe something is wrong, doesn't mean we will be hateful to the people who are doing what we believe is wrong. That was never a part of or gospel and never will be. People may argue that not allowing two people who are in love to get married is hateful. It's not. I don't hate gay people. I love them. I've had gay/lesbian friends and I love them and think they should be treated with respect. Yet, I cannot support gay marriage because it is something I believe to be morally wrong. Am I allowed to have moral beliefs anymore? It seems that we are all suppose to be tolerant of everyone and everything, yet no one is very tolerant of my moral beliefs.
I like to switch the situation around in my head. Say I really wanted to marry my husband, but I lived in a world where people we're telling me that's wrong and preventing me from marrying him. I think if I had friends that told me they loved me and thought I was a great person, yet would not support me marrying my husband, I would be sad but I wouldn't hate on them. I wouldn't disown them as a friend. I would understand that we just have different views.
And granted, it's easier to think hypothetically. Yet, I still hope that people can see that though I am against gay marriage I am not against people with those tendencies. And I hope we can still be friends.
But, as I see it, it seems the time is coming where the divide is getting larger. People who are tolerant of all but the religious, and the religious. It's a sad relazation.

On another note...another thing that has been driving me crazy has been the issue of modesty with in our own religion. I have made comments here and there about how it is okay to be motivated by the desire to help others to dress modestly. When I mention that people jump down my throat saying "how dare you blame women for men's dirty thoughts! It's their own fault if they have nasty minds!"
What I see here is the blame game. Well, more than that really. It's just a big mess. The media puts pressure on women or men to be sexy and show their bodies off and so of course we want to do that. Then in the gospel we are taught to dress modestly. So women or men may feel oppressed because we can't compete with the other women who are dressing immodestly. Then when we do show a little skin we get a mean note from the guy in the library telling us how awful we are. We feel guilty and on the other hand we want support to tell us that we aren't that bad and it's his own fault for thinking dirty thoughts that jerk.
On the other hand, men are taught by the media that looking at skimpily dressed girls is normal and okay and healthy even. Then, turn around and the gospel tells you to "not lust". Because there is porn and immodestly all over in the media, they have a hard time keeping their thoughts in line...between the media putting it constantly in their faces and the world telling them they aren't normal if they aren't focused on's a difficult battle they fight as well. Then they see a girl that should be dressed modestly that isn't and a bad thought comes in their head. Then they get angry at the girl and think "what a slut" for dressing that way and blame her.

Rather than blaming each other I think it is important to think of the whole reason of our existence. CHARITY. Without charity, we are nothing. Now let's think of this situation in a more charitable light.

The woman. She feels pressure to dress a certain way but has been taught  not to. She has a dear friend who she knows struggles with pornography. She knows many others around her do as well. She knows her friend has a good heart and is not a dirty minded jerk and is trying desperately to overcome his temptations. She also knows when she dresses immodestly ...even makes it very difficult for him. Not because he's a filthy minded pig, but because he is a human being with his own trials and weaknesses. Knowing this strengthens her resolve to dress modestly. She wants to do all she can to help her friend and others who are having the same struggle.

The man. He feels a natural desire to look at immodestly dressed women. Being a good member of the church he tries not to and tries to keep his thoughts in check. It is an everyday battle for him and some days he is winning and some days he is losing. But each day he fights. Then one day he sees a girl who's shirt is low cut. Rather than get angry at her, he thinks about how hard it is to dress modestly in a society that teaches it is  "old fashioned" or "frumpy" to do so. It is hard to feel beautiful when the world says you aren't unless you show some skin. He understands this, and rather than get angry at the girl, he removes himself from the situation, and focuses his thoughts on other things.

The answer is charity. You can talk "self respect" to me all day. But in the end "if you have not charity, (you are) nothing" (1 Cor. 15:2)

I have lots of other thoughts...about how we really are our brothers' keeper and that we really are required not only to be good ourselves but to not be a stumbling block to others. Salvation is a joint effort, and we must realize that. It is not good enough to try to get to heaven by yourselves. It is never going to work. We need the Savior, and we need each other to support and lift.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Addiction Recovery Meeting

Tonight we had a Relief Society activity on the Addiction Recovery Program the church has. I have read about it and was very impressed by it and was excited to go but I had no idea how powerful the spirit would actually be once I got there.
It was an informational meeting, but at the end we had sort of our own little addiction recovery meeting, following the same pattern used in the real meeting. I bawled my way through the whole meeting. I was in shock at how many of my sisters around my are struggling with incredibly difficult challenges. For many of them, every day is a battle. It was quiet the eye opener.
I have been blessed with a love for people that comes pretty truly is a gift from God. But too often I forget how real these people surrounding me are, how deep there sorrows, how they need love, support, and a friend, and I get caught up with my own selfish thoughts and endeavors or insecurities. So many of these sisters I had talked to associated with but I never had truly reached out to them. Hearing their stories made me want to be a better sister to them, because that's what we all really are right? Sisters.
I think it is so important in this extremely competitive world we live in that we take a step back from the fighting to out do one another and instead seek to uplift and support each other. That is what I loved most about this meeting...there was no judgement in the room and the only thing that was there was love, empathy, and encouraging words. It felt like heaven. And I wish I could hold onto that feeling forever.

I think what we can do to cultivate that feeling is to stop judging and start supporting. Start giving the benefit of the doubt. Reach out. Stop comparing. Stop thinking so much about ourselves....and start reaching out to love and help our sisters. So many are fighting battles we have no idea of. We must be kind and gentle...because we really never know what others are facing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Monthly Goal Update: The Christ-Centered Life

I feel like I have done well on my goals so far, yet rather than feeling accomplished I am feeling a need to "revamp" my goals. General Conference left me with a fresh desire to redevote my life to Christ. Part of this desire came from talking with one of my sisters about the mission.
"There's just so many rules" she says.
"But you want to live them because it is for Christ! It is a small price to pay," I replied, surprising myself at my own conviction.

As I reflected on my words, I felt a hint of the same devotion to Christ that I once had on my mission. Just that small reminder of what I had in the past, made me want to work for it again, now.

 I want to live for Him and let my heart be his. I know in the past I have felt so close to Him that even the very mention of His name filled my heart with love and devotion. "Jesus the very thought of thee" was the hymn that fit my feelings perfectly. Now, caught up in the busyness of daily survival I feel my relationship with Him is not as strong as it once was. I miss Him. And I want to strive to live a more Christ centered life.

1. I am reading daily. But I don't give myself much time to really partake of His words. I have been very "Martha-like" lately...busy cooking, cleaning, bills, etc. Things that aren't bad in themselves. But my reading has been just another check of the list. I want to sit, drink, partake, of His words and His spirit as Mary did. And as I've thought and thought about it, the only way I can do this is if I get up an hour earlier, where I have time all to myself to think and meditate and rebuild my relationship with my Savior. This is NOT going to be easy, I LOVE to sleep. But, I ask myself, what do I love more, my sleep or the Lord? Right now the answer is easy...but my devotion dwindles when I groggily hit my alarm at 6AM. But that is my new goal. To have time to not just quickly read a chapter but to really meditate and use the quiet time to get to know my Best Friend again.
2. I want to keep having Family night and going to the temple of course, but I want to add one more thing. Daily family scripture reading. Usually I read with Brina before bed, then Brad before bed. My new plan is to have a family devotional each morning before we start our day. Just a short scripture thought and prayer to help us all be strengthened throughout the day and help us develop a habit of family scripture reading.
3. Brina is on a much better schedule now. Now I want to work on my schedule. I want to make sure I am following what God would have me do with my time. I don't want to even know how many hours I waste on the internet each day. I want to prioritize and use every moment of my day wisely...even the five minutes I have here and there. I want to feel peace when I kneel down each night, knowing I used my time according to His will and did not waste one minute of the day He gave me.
4. Exercising is one of my goals I still struggle on, so I will keep that where it is. I feel it is important to have a healthy body if I want to live a Christ-centered life, because then I will be more capable to do all that He requires of me.
5. Service. I feel I have been reaching out more to others than in the past but I still have so far to go. In reading my favorite book "Bonds that make us free" there is a young lady the author talks about who is full of genuine love for everyone. I love the way he describes her, how she makes every person who comes into her circle of influence feel so loved and special, no matter who they are or what circumstances they are in. I want to be like that girl. I want to put aside all my inhibitions and reach out in love and service to every single person I meet. I've been trying...but I know charity is a gift from God and I must not only try on my own but pray diligently to receive this gift.
6. His Will. My ultimate goal in all these is to do His will. I've realized I have taken the reigns of my life lately, not bothering to ask His opinion. I wanted to start a preschool, so I'm trying to do that. I wanted to move, so we did. I want to truly humble myself and put aside all my wants and desires and really seek to know what the Lord wants me to do. And I will do it.
7. Mighty prayer. As part of my "basic" goals I've been praying more often. But my prayers are often my petitioning for the Lord for this or that. I want to really engage in mighty prayer. The article here
is what I will use as my guide. 

So there are my revamped goals. They feel a lot harder to me than my "basics" but having accomplished those gives me encouragement. I feel the need to start these is now, for time really is so precious and I am so good at wasting it. Now is the time to repent. Now is the time to strive to rebuild my relationship with my Savior. I miss Him. Now is the time, and I can't wait.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Prayer for Wives

I grew up in the bible belt. Yes I am a Mormon through and through but with my dad being a Chaplin and my friends all being evangelicals, I ended up in a lot of different religious services and came to love the music, culture, and people of the bible belt. I love the services, I love the focus on Jesus, and I love their overall goodness and devotion to the Lord. I know that we as Mormons don't typically write things as "a prayer" but I heard this on KLove the other day (Christian radio station) and had to share. It is a beautiful prayer.

A Prayer For Wives
JD Chandler

Heavenly Father, you have called me to honor and serve my husband in grace, humility and love, and yet I so often let worry, insecurity and fear overshadow that calling. Unburden my heart from worry and expectations. Teach me to relinquish control of my life and marriage to you, for only you are strong enough to carry and sustain it.
Lead me to a place of deep trust and intimacy with you, so that I would seek no emotional fulfillment elsewhere, but would bring to my relationship with my husband a rich overflow of confidence and strength, making of our home and marriage a peaceful, restful haven. Show me how best to love my husband, supporting and respecting him, praying for and trusting the work of your Spirit in his heart and life.
Give me the wisdom to value what is eternal, so that I might be truly content with my present circumstances, and not fretful or anxious over family decisions and finances. Teach me to be beautiful as you define beauty. Let me be a creative and enjoyable friend and companion for my husband, gracious and kind, gently in disagreement and quick to forgive.
Only as you lead me will I become the woman and wife that my husband needs. So lead me, O Lord. Amen.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monthly Goal Update

1. Daily scripture study: Doing it! And it really honestly has made me a better person already. My thoughts are more on the Savior and I realize so many areas where I need to improve. I feel like scripture reading helps me think more proactively rather than the just floating through life attitude I sometimes get. And it's a good feeling...not like overwhelming "I have so much to do" but excited to strive to be better. What helped me most to get on the ball with this was to tell myself to "seek the Lord first" before I get on facebook, look for apartments, or clean the house. Those things can wait, He is first. It really helps, and my days are much more productive when I start them out that way.
2. We are having family home evening pretty good too. It is definitely not elaborate, just usually a spiritual thought and that's it. Sometimes I do forget though so I want to do better at not forgetting and actually thinking and preparing for it rather than just picking a favorite scripture.
3.Baby B is doing much better. I wouldn't say she has a schedule yet, but she has a pattern. Usually it is three naps a day and ten to twelve hours of sleep a night. I am very happy with that and she is much happier when she gets her sleep! I would like to get her more on a schedule so I can make sure I'm not planning to go visiting teaching in the middle of her nap or something, but I am very happy with her "pattern" now.
4. The past two weeks I've read and prayed with baby B every night. What helps is I bought a little board book of Book of Mormon stories that have rhyming words. She likes to touch the pictures and hold the book while I'm reading. It's so cute.
5. Totally failing on this one. We've decided a gym membership is a luxury we really can't afford right now so I have a new plan. On the nice days Baby B and I will go for a run. On cold or rainy days or days I don't want to run I will do a work out dvd....not sure which one though yet suggestions are welcome! I want something that is really TOUGH so that I don't get bored with it after a day. :)
6. My angelic mother-in-law is still doing most the cooking, bless her heart. I have tried to make meals here and there but it seems the days I try are the days B is more demanding and doesn't give me time. BUT I have made a menu of one month of healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and that is a huge step for me!
7. Not doing so good on this one either....It is hard to remember this when I am so focused on my little baby. But reading my scriptures has helped me set some goals that will hopefully help me do better in this.

That's it for Feb! If things keep going this good I'll add a few goals! Baby steps!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Friend in Jesus

"Whether you are wrestling in prayer over potty training your toddler, or laboring over the eternal fate of your child's soul, the victory lies in wrestling, importunate, diligent prayer." -Leslie Ludy, Set Apart Girl Magazine

I pray about everything. All the time. A lot of times over the tiniest struggles I'm having. Sometimes a voice in my head says "why do you keep bothering God with that, that's silly." While I do believe there are things that we should not pray for ("God, please make me rich and powerful") I have come to believe that it is okay if I run to him with my silly little problems. I think of the parable of the importune woman. Importune means to beg for, persistently without ceasing. In the parable, the woman pleads her cause to the unjust judge so persistently that finally he gives in. God loves us and when we come to him in importune prayer, rather than seeing it as annoying, he is touched by our diligence and faith. It is okay to come to God with our pleas of "Help my baby to take a good nap" or "Help me to know how to raise this child." No matter the seriousness of the desired thing, if it is a righteous desire, large or small, he will come to our aid.

Also printed in the same article of the quote above are the words to this beautiful hymn: A Friend in Jesus. These words ring so true to me as I have seen His hand in even the tiny details of my life:
  1. What a friend we have in Jesus,
    All our sins and griefs to bear!
    What a privilege to carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
    Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
    Oh, what needless pain we bear,
    All because we do not carry
    Everything to God in prayer!
  2. Have we trials and temptations?
    Is there trouble anywhere?
    We should never be discouraged—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Can we find a friend so faithful,
    Who will all our sorrows share?

    Jesus knows our every weakness;
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
  3. Are we weak and heavy-laden,
    Cumbered with a load of care?
    Precious Savior, still our refuge—
    Take it to the Lord in prayer.
    Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
    Take it to the Lord in prayer!
    In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
    Thou wilt find a solace there.
  4. Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
    Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
    May we ever, Lord, be bringing
    All to Thee in earnest prayer.
    Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
    There will be no need for prayer—
    Rapture, praise, and endless worship
    Will be our sweet portion there.
What better friend could we have?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Obsession with PRETTY

(She is SO pretty)
I want desperately to be pretty. I don't know why or exactly when this unsatisfiable desire hit me, but it has been so hard to tame it. I think it started somewhere in middle school. I was painfully shy (no really, people would ask me questions and I was too scared to say anything back for fear of saying something stupid so instead I said nothing) but then boys started to pay attention to me. And somehow in my silly little mind I equated attention from boys=self worth. Which later became being pretty=attention from boys=self worth. So for most of my life I've struggled with this notion in my head. I know it's not true, I know that I am of infinite worth because I am God's daughter. But for some reason I can't get myself to believe that wholeheartedly. It is an everyday battle. I see the  photoshopped pictures of Victoria Secret women and it makes me feel so insecure about my own body and features. I know it's silly. They aren't real. Just pictures. But still I can't help but feel horribly inferior. Then I look around me at real people with perfect features, perfect make up, perfect hair, and I feel more inferior.
These ones are real, and there is no way I can compete.

But I shouldn't compete. It doesn't matter! One day we will all be old and wrinkly. I know, I know, its inner beauty that counts. I know that! But why do I have this worldly desire to be "hot." I want it so bad! How do I get rid of it? It's never going to happen. And even if I could magically be turned to pretty...would it really satisfy this longing to feel of worth? No, of course not. No worldly thing will.

My obsession with being pretty has ALWAYS been debilitating in one way or another. When I was younger, it caused a rift between my friends and me because I was jealous. I never loved them as much as I could have because I was too jealous. As I got older, it kept me (and still does sometimes) from focusing on others. I get so caught up with thinking how I don't measure up to my idea of pretty and all the things that are wrong with me that I totally forget there is a world around me and people with much more serious needs than me and people who need love and care. And I am just so caught up thinking how my chin is so big or something of the like that I don't notice anyone or anything.

What I really want deep down inside is to give it up. To stop wanting to be that perfect, flawless, worldly pretty. To just be me. And not worry about it. I want to forget about me and my features and my body and my looks and focus on others and how I can serve and help others feel loved. I don't really want to be focused so much on myself.

I'm just not exactly sure how to get there. I think it all starts with my thoughts though. I must "take captive every thought" as it says in the bible. When my thoughts start going towards "me me me" I just have to kick them out like I would any other degrading thought. When I see pictures of perfectly perfect women I just have to resist comparing myself. When I see other beautiful girls pass by I must focus on loving them rather than jealousy.

And I really just gotta love me. Sometimes I think I get glimpses of how God sees me, and loves me, and then I can love myself. If I strive to get closer to him, then I will better know myself and better love myself.

And when I love myself I can be free of my obsession with being pretty. I'll be free of feeling inadequate. And I'll be free to focus on others and helping them feel loved. That's what I really want. More than being pretty.