Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Heart Matter

I admit that when I first started this post, I googled "funny quotes" because I wanted to begin this in a different way...and as I was looking at these not really funny but stupid quotes such as:

-Ladies first; Pretty ladies sooner
-There is only one perfect child in the world and every mother has it 
or, my favorite
-Marriage is give and take. You'd better give it to her or she will take it away

Clearly these were not written by a comedian. 

Then, as I started to google more funny quotes thinking I would come up with the BEST one, I saw my bible and my devotional and it was like a light bulb moment and I visioned God looking at me laughing and going "Duh" about some REAL quotes! 

The devo was from Matthew 15: 1-14 and several things stuck out to me. This is from the message version (by the way, I would love to hear your thoughts on The Message translation. As of now, I am reading that AND the English Standard Version because from what I understand, The Message is a that right? Either way, it makes it REALLY understandable for me!-Sorry for the long sidebar...just how my brain works!):

"Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, 'Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?.' But Jesus put it right back on them. 'Why do you use your rules to play fast and loose with God's commands? God clearly says, 'Respect your father and mother,' and 'Anyone denouncing father or mother should be killed.' But you weasel around that by saying, 'Whoever wants to, can say to father and mother, What I owed to you I've given to God.' That can hardly be respecting a parent. You cancel God's command by your rules. Frauds! Isaiah's prophecy of you hit the bull's-eye: 'These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn't in it. They act like they're worshiping me, but they don't mean it. They just use me as a cover for teaching whatever suits their fancy'....Listen, and take this to heart. It's not what you swallow that pollutes your life, but what you vomit up." 

My first reaction is the think, "Those dumb Pharisees! Jesus is there with them and they are still acting like that?!!!" and then the devotional says that sometimes we often resemble the Pharisees more than we'd like to admit. Wham! Bam! Talk about conviction! Way to humble a girl! The devo tells us to pray and ask for Jesus-like hearts, one that is humble, transparent, and genuine. 

Speaking of being transparent and genuine...

I was talking to a friend the other day about how, as Christians, I think that we need to be sooooo transparent, especially to other believers! How many of us struggled with depression, loneliness, being affected by HUGE things like possibly a husband who struggles with pornography, or a wife who struggles with fantasizing about a life with another man, or an affair that has affected you indirectly or directly... I mean, we would be LYING to say that we didn't struggle with things. The tough thing is that I feel like as believers we are tricked into thinking that we have to show this almost perfect facade or people won't come to church or if someone knows of our "secret struggles" they might think less of you. And, truth is, they might, but if they are a true believer and friend, and start thinking with a biblical mindset then the BEST thing you can do is to open up to other believers and let them tell you what they've been through or maybe they know someone who can help. 

Now, I am not saying that with this "day and age" of Facebook to change your Facebook status to say everything that comes to your mind or to tell ALL million of your Facebook or Twitter friends that you just found out your spouse was cheating on you or you are so sad you might cut yourself. That's not what I mean. I just mean, be more open to the struggles of others and be more willing to share what you've been through...why else would God have allowed you to go through it?

I realized that that might have sounded like I was a know-it-all and we know we all LOVE it when people tell them what to do, but I am truly preaching to the choir. 

And, to think...I started this blog wanting to just show pictures from my cousin's baby's 1st birthday and my good friend, Lauren's wedding! So, I will leave you with these things! 

Me & The Lovely (now) Mrs. O'Neill!
Sidebar (again!): Most amazing dress! It was her Mom's that they reconstructed for Lauren. Talk about sentimental. It was her "Something Borrowed"
 Lovely Bridesmaids! Her Sister-in-law and Matron of Honor on left, Whitney, then her Maid of Honor and cousin, Erin, then Lauren and I! Loved her color scheme! 
Interior Designers aren't just good for home design! We have an eye for color, too!

 Me & my Hubby! Love him more every day! 
Only took 2 shots to get a good one of him not acting crazy :)
 Lauren and her Momma!
 L and her Mother-in-law (now)

Now on to Karly's party!
I always get these kind of things wrong, but I believe they are 2nd cousins! Grant, Brad, and Holly are cousins and these are their kids. 
Maks and Karly are only about 2 weeks apart!
 And, ALL of the 2nd cousins! Maks, Barrett, Luke, Kylie, Karly, and Bailey!
 The Birthday Babies and then a picture of Karly devouring her cake! So cute! 
She smiled honestly the whole time I saw her!

 MaMaw and her crew of great grandkids!

And, selfishly, two more from Maksim's 1st birthday. I love that someone got this picture of me and Maks smiling at each other and the other is a picture of his bday outfit since we didn't get a good enough shot of it! 
The outfit is from MadiBella. Check it out: 

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