The Truth About Fairytales

When I was 10, I was a really cheesy romantic.

But I wasn’t one of those girls who watched Disney movies, dreaming of the princess I would be someday. No, I’d watch Star Wars and wait for the scene where Han Solo and Princess Leia kiss and be like, “Awww I want that!”

So I wasn’t your typical romantic, but I knew, even at 10 – that I didn’t really mean it when I yelled, “YOU HAVE COOTIES!!!” at every boy who passed me.

My first celebrity crush was this guy:

Love your vest, give me those flowers

I’d watch Home Improvements, or Huck Finn, or listen to his voice on Lion King and be like, “Hold my hand and tell me I’m pretty and can we maybe sing I Just Can’t Wait to be King together just ONCE?!!!”

Me and JTT were destined to be married, until this:

Only 2 of you are attractive.

I had a crush on NSYNC for a long time (everyone but Joey, Chris and Lance). I only wallpapered my wall with Teen Beat and J-14 NSYNC cutouts for a year or two.

Somewhere after 13 and before 17, I started developing crushes on real life people and that’s when I realized one very important thing that Disney movies and TV shows and NSYNC don’t tell you… SPOILER ALERT:

Romance and being in love isn’t anything like those movies/TV shows/books make it out to be.

In fact… ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT:

All of that stuff in the books and movies are super impractical in the real world.

In movies the boys who like the girls throw rocks at their windows at 3am. When the boys don’t get the appropriate response they always climb up a tree to your second story window (which you left unlocked) and end up in your room.

News flash for you boys… girls don’t wake up from their REM looking like this:

Not real life.

We look more like Tyra with no makeup and pigtails:

Real Life.

Boys who love girls in movies yell out embarrassing things in front of huge crowds of people with their arms outstretched, revealing wayy too many personal things about your relationship with strangers.

They also grab you in public places randomly and quickly dip you for a kiss (sounds romantic but, think about it practically: he grabs you from behind without you being aware and throws you within inches from the ground. Other things to consider: what if he drops you, what if he slams his head into yours mid-kiss… etc.)

This is what you want to look like.

This is what you look like to the rest of us.

The romantic guys in movies and books and TV shows are mostly just creepy (ie. crawling through your window) and over-thoughtful (think about how long it would take for you to clean up a room full of rose petals).

I shouldn’t have to preface this by saying girls like nice things but, “Girls obvi like nice things” it just doesn’t have to be all the time… and it doesn’t have to be some grand gesture. (ie. giving you a rose every time he sees you)

You’re going to have your romance in your own way. My romantic things might be drinking a cup of coffee in a special spot, or going on a bike ride, or whatever. Your romantic things might be watching a specific movie together or eating breakfast for dinner. Whatever it is, I think it’s safe to say that you don’t want a guy that just can’t stop playing footsie with you under the table, or someone who whispers sweet nothings into your ear for hours.

Annoying

Ladies, it’s easy to feel the need for a fairytale romance – heck I catch myself thinking about it sometimes. But, practically speaking, there aren’t many guys out there who keep a stash of live roses in the backseat of their car so they’re ready at a moments notice. Don’t hold out for those guys, because they aren’t real are few and far between, and people don’t say this enough but… I don’t think that’s what you want.

If you’re single and you’re feeling down and out and you’re thinking, “Whatever, she’s in a relationship so she doesn’t know.” Just remember, I haven’t always been in a relationship… before I was dating Jason, I was dating no one – I just mostly wished I was dating JTT or Justin Timberlake.

So Dreamy.

I had to learn about my romance in the moment. And honestly, I’m still learning. But I can tell you this much: it’s nothing like I imagined it would be.

My knight in shining armor likes to play video games and drink iced vanilla lattes, he buys Star Wars novels and has tattoos, he’s a quiet guy but he is one of the funniest people I know, and he’s only bought me flowers a few times (and only one time just because). You know what the most romantic thing about him is? He had the guts to ask me out one day, decided to date me even though I made a stupid joke about what time we should meet, and now he loves me for me.

While our story would make a pretty boring romantic comedy, it’s the perfect romance for me. Have standards, but make sure your standards are attainable and realistic. Look for your fairytale, but don’t think it’ll look like ___________ (insert any romantic comedy/Disney movie/romance novel here). Your romance is out there, don’t write off those random guys so quickly, who knows… that “Regular Guy” could be your “Knight in Shining Armor”.

The Perfect Couple.

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A worship leader’s appearance on stage: the appropriate response

I’ve been struggling with a series of blog posts I’ve read in the last few days. I’m going to share my thoughts here because my brain is going crazy.

A worship leader’s appearance on stage: the appropriate response [in my opinion, for what it’s worth]

1 Corinthians 12: 4-6

4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

God gives each of His followers a different gift. They work together to form His body.

 12 Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by[c] one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14

He delights in His children and blesses us with talents that can be used to bring glory to His name. The beauty of our God is that He doesn’t discriminate against us because of race, or stature, or appearance. He doesn’t bless only skinny people with the gift of worship or being on stage. He doesn’t bless only men with the gift of leadership and teaching. He doesn’t bless only women with the gift of administration. He doesn’t give us gifts based on anything but our abilities and heart.

Worship leaders are given the opportunity to be in front of people, and that is a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly. Those on stage should be mindful of their appearance – but to what extent?

Certain measures may be put in place by your church leaders to ensure that your worship leaders are not distracting from the worship taking place on stage. For example: my church asks that women not wear short skirts or low cut tops as to not provoke lust. The men are asked to wear collared shirts. Everyone on stage is asked not to wear ripped jeans or shorts. There is nothing wrong with having a dress code, it ensures that everyone stays within a certain guideline that is acceptable for the stage. If a church starts discriminating against size, race or gender – that is when a follower of Christ gets into dangerously judgmental territory. That is when a church begins to fall away from the heart of God.

I recently read a blog post that posed a very critical and judgmental statement: excessively overweight men and women should not be allowed on stage as they may be a ‘distraction’ to the congregation.

We all have different struggles. My brother or sister may struggle with obesity, or being overweight. They may struggle with it because it is genetic, perhaps they have a disorder, or maybe they enjoy food – and this is their struggle. Who am I to judge their heart and abilities? There are plenty of overweight individuals who are actively seeking a healthier lifestyle. There are plenty of overweight individuals struggling with their weight because of a disorder, emotional trauma, or illnesses. There are plenty of overweight individuals that can run 10k’s with no issue and are WAY healthier than me.

The Pharisees were fascinated by Jesus and challenged Him on two things:

 13 The Pharisees challenged him, “Here you are, appearing as your own witness; your testimony is not valid.”

14 Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going. But you have no idea where I come from or where I am going. 15 You judge by human standards; I pass judgment on no one. 16 But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me. 17 In your own Law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is true. 18 I am one who testifies for myself; my other witness is the Father, who sent me.”

(John 8: 13-18)

We are not capable of passing sound judgement against our brothers and sisters. If we feel someone is sinning, we want to point them in the right direction. And church leaders, sometimes feel entitled to make those decisions. But it is not our place to judge. [Remember: Judgement and Discernment are two very different things. Discernment is God given. Judgement is not.]

The Pharisees once asked Jesus, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

(Matthew 22: 34-40)

Most importantly, we are called by God to love others as we love ourselves. This is, not surprisingly, one of the hardest commandments to follow.

As far as having ‘excessively overweight’ individuals on your worship team… I don’t see a problem. As I said before: who are we to judge their heart? If someone is distracted by it, that is their issue and I hope they can take that struggle to God. Remember: struggling with weight, or struggling with being distracted by someone who is overweight – both are struggles, both are the same, both should be taken to God.

I am glad my God doesn’t judge me by my struggles. If He did, I would be long gone. I am a sinner, and so are you, by God’s grace we are forgiven, redeemed, and made free.

So when it comes to a worship leader’s appearance on stage – you should be mindful of your attire, if you look in the mirror and you look ridiculous, change your clothes. If someone is offended by your tattoos, brush it off, it’ll be okay. But, if someone denies you the chance to use your (real) God-given talents because you are overweight, I’d challenge that person to dig down deep and see where their reservations come from (themselves or God). I don’t think everyone who simply says they can sing or play an instrument should be on stage, but I think those of you who have a real gift should not be denied solely on appearance.

I leave you with this story of judgement by men and redemption by the Creator:

A woman, cast out by the men and women in her town, was brought to Jesus because she had committed adultery – an unforgivable crime.

They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”