Friday, March 16, 2012

Not an Afterthought

I have been struggling lately with the feeling that I am always an afterthought.
There is always this underlying feeling that I am never someone's first choice, and that I am just the backup.
People don't get to hang out with the person they really want to, so they hang out with me.
When people get together, they invite everyone they want to and then think, "Oh, I should invite Paige too."
Deep down inside I believe that I do not fall first on anyone's list.
I believe that I am an afterthought.

But, this is very far from the truth.
I am first in God's eyes.
He loves me first, He thinks of me first, He will never leave me out.
And this is true for all who love God.
In God, I am never an afterthought.

"We love God because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I'm on break.
Having recently passed my road test *celebration dance*, this is the first break that I have had where I have not been "stuck" in Avon.
I have the ability to escape to local coffee shops, libraries, etc. if I need somewhere else to... do homework.
Yes, I am the lame college kid who goes home for February break and does a MOUNTAIN of homework. Judge all you like, but I have all but finished my senior seminar book, and done a huge amount of editing and research :)
That being said, the other day (more like evening, but whatever) I decided to go down to the Avon Public Library to get some reading and editing done while my mom and brother were at community group.
It was a productive evening, and I headed back to pick the fam up right on schedule.

Now, my mom recently bought a brand new Chevy Cruze.

It is a BEAUTIFUL car! And it's super fun to drive :) 
It also came with one of those special On Star rear-view mirrors. 
I feel safer on the road knowing that with one press of a button, I can have emergency vehicles, a tow-truck, or spare gas if I ever run out. 
Unfortunately, the placement of these buttons is not ideal. 

Yep. Those little buttons are right above the little flippy thing that shifts your rear-view mirror from shining headlights into your face to not. 
So, as I'm on my way to retrieve my family, the person behind me's headlights are shining in my face.
I reach up to flip the mirror, only to be rewarded with my radio turning off and a ringtone coming through the speakers. 
I hang up quickly. 
I figure out how to flip the mirror and continue down 5&20. 
Not 30seconds later, the car starts ringing again. 
I press the answer button on the steering wheel and call out, "Hello?" 
"On Star Emergency, this is Travis. What is your emergency?"
"Uh... Hi! I, uh, was trying to switch my rear-view mirror thingy so the headlights weren't in my face. I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to press the button!"
"That's okay ma'am. We just have to call back to make sure that you are alright."
"I'm fine! I'm so sorry!"
"You're fine ma'am. Have a good day."
"Sorry again! Goodnight!"

I'm pretty sure my face was just about as red as my mother's new car. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beauty vs. Attractivity

I have come to an interesting place in my life.
If someone were to ask me if I thought I was beautiful, I would reply yes in a heartbeat. There would be no hesitation, no doubt in my voice. I finally come to the realization that I am considered beautiful. I believe that. I know wholeheartedly that I am beautiful. There is no question in my mind about that.
However, if you were to ask me if I thought I was attractive to the opposite sex, I would most likely reply with a no.
It seems like such a conundrum, and I bet there are people reading this thinking, Paige, how is it that you can believe that you are a beautiful woman and yet still not believe that men think you are beautiful?
Unfortunately, I have no answer to that question.
I will however admit that I think it is a strange paradox that I am living.
The thing is, it took me a long time to get to the place where I could even believe that I am good looking.
For a long time, I did not think there was anything worth calling beautiful about me. I thought I was strange looking. That my features were not feminine enough. That I was fat. (Yes, even a skinny girl like me went through an "I think I'm fat!" stage). And, it took me a long time to shed those misconceived notions about myself. There was a lot that I had to work through to be able to look at myself in a better light.
But, even though I still struggle to feel pretty some days, I am in a place where most days I view myself in a very positive light.
That is until you mix in the question of the opposite gender.
That is when I get nervous, I get uncomfortable, I do not feel like there is anything worth looking at or considering beautiful about me in their eyes.
Recently, I was talking with two of my best guy friends about this; one an older brother figure, another who is probably one of the most wise men of God in my friend group. We had been discussing dating when somehow the conversation shifted to me. Somehow this insecurity came out, and my older brother asked me, "Paige, do you believe that you are the full package?"
I was stunned for a second, and then decided to answer honestly. Looking at him, almost in tears at that point, I answered, "No, no, I don't. I don't feel like any guy thinks I'm beautiful or that I'm worth the effort that it would take to be with me."
It was one of the first times I vocalized this outside the confines of the sister relationship I have with my roommate, and to hear it come out of my mouth sounded almost silly, but it was the truth.
So, I think that is the next step for me in this battle to feel beautiful. I must learn that I am attractive in the eyes of the men around me. I need to repair that disconnect between knowing I am beautiful in my being, and knowing that men find me attractive. I'll get there eventually, but until then, I will simply keep taking steps, doing things that seem to diminish the disconnect in my mind.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The other day, I realized that I had not done a reflection post about leaving 2011 behind.
As I thought more about it, I realized that I did not really feel like doing a reflection of 2011 post.
2011 was a crap year.
I don't feel like writing a nostalgic post about a crap year.
I decided that I will look forward.
Even though I am already a full month into 2012, it is already shaping up to be a good year.

Here are just a few of the reasons:

1) I've already gone on a trip to NYC
It was my first trip there, and it was AMAZING! I cannot wait to go back. Maybe long term? I don't know. But I now know I can hold my own there.

Graduation is almost in my grasp. I have the ability to count down the days. Not necessarily on my fingers and toes, but none the less, I can number them.
I mean, c'mon.... Don't all these people look so happy?

3) The proposition of moving in with a GREAT group of girls.
Who doesn't dream of living with a group of friends at some point in their life? It seems like an experience that I simply do not want to miss out on. And, the good news is, the more girls we gather, the better the proposition of renting a house is, and the cheaper the rent will be. SCORE!

4) Turning 21 in May
Whereas most college students dream of turning 21 so they can go out and get wasted using their own ID, I have no such desire. I'm excited to turn 21 so that I can buy my own cooking wine and amaretto to bake biscotti with. I know. I'm boring.

5) Being in two of my friends' wedding in October.
They have been an awesome example of a healthy, Godly relationship, and to be able to stand with them and watch them exchange vows, become one, is such a wonderful privilege and an honor. Besides the fact that I'm paired with my best guy-friend and he and I are going to have a blast!

6) Getting my drivers license. (FINALLY!)
I know, I know.... I'm almost 21, and I still can't drive. Whatever. Bring on the jokes.

7) Romance?
I don't know. I'm happy where I'm at, while not wanting to stay here very long. There's part of me that really just wants to get out, spend time with single guys, get to know more people, and drink plenty of coffee while doing it :)

8) The next step?
For now, I don't know what awaits me beyond 2012. And, for the time being, I am content to bask in the peace of uncertainty. It is such an oxymoron, but it aptly describes where I am at currently. At peace with not knowing what awaits me. I figure God will tell me when the time comes. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cry of the Vulture

Tonight, as I lay in my bed, my mind has been drifting about, thinking about different struggles, different instances in my life, and all sorts of frustrations that can bog me down if I let them.
As my mind wandered, it flitted upon a statement that it grabbed hold of and ran with.
Men are unreliable.
It is something that every once and a while will glance across my mind, but I am usually able to suppress with thoughts of the wonderful men in my life, but tonight, for some strange reason, it has taken wings and flown in circles about my mind like a vulture circling its prey.
The vulture cried out to me about Jon, the boy that promised me so much, and failed to bring any of those promises to fruition. Oh, how I long to just not care about it any more. I pray to become indifferent towards him, after all, that is better than allowing his mere existence to break me down. And yet his failings have added to the vulture's cry.
It mentioned my father. A man who has never been a stable figure in my life. Someone who I have fought more with and has been the root of much frustration, mostly because I do love him so dearly. But, even through that love, so many of his actions throughout my childhood and teenage years screamed out that fathers were not to be trusted. That men are so very unreliable. And so the cry of that vulture grows louder.
Then it circles around to David. A man who should not be on this list, and yet my mind stuck him there. He was a father figure that was as fathers should be. He would have given his right arm to ensure the mental, emotional, physical safety of me and my brother. Although he was not perfect, he loved fully and gave of the deepest part of himself. But my mind claims, what that vulture in my mind cries out, is that his death, though it was nothing of his own doing, proves further the unreliability of men.
And so that vulture circles, crying:
Men are unreliable.
Men are unreliable.
Men are unreliable....
It is not something that I want to thing.
In fact, everything in my being bucks against the thought.
And yet, tonight, whether it just be my current emotional state or if it is simply where I am at in my healing process for the time being, I cannot shake it.
So friends, pray for me.
Because, I need to know that it is all worth it.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Come and Rise up from the Grave

And I saw him, Death with his mighty sting, exhaling in every breath of life he brings. To the grave he gave victory, triumphing over life with the fear of endless sleep, endlessly we hind from our mortality. Mortally wounded from birth we lie to ourselves from infancy. Infinitely investing time in a life that will inevitably be taken by this creature that now stands before me. Death. He manifests himself on ordinary days. His six-foot stomach growls with hunger pains. For his meal, he cannot wait, so we are forced to taste it even before the grave. We are all dying. There is no other way. I see him in Haitian and Japanese earthquakes. He's hating the escapees of his cruel wakes. I see him in poverty. Impoverishing the quality of life for regions that are reachable and in those with the reach that find reason no to reach out to treat what is treatable. I see him in disease, taking life out of uninfected, yet affected families. I see him in oppression, pressing down on the oppressed and the oppressor. I see him in depression, in prozac and pain pills, in razor blades and bed-side wills. I see him in abuse; physical, mental, emotional misuse. I see him in spiritual confusion, material obsession, physical possessions. I see him in marital transgressions. Childhood remorse from an ugly divorce. I see him in our slavery to appearances. Appearing to care more about our images than those in dying villages. I see him in our ignorance, ignoring truth for some comfortable inference. I see his emergence in our churches as we pull out emergent diversions as deterrents to religious differences. Go on the defensive defending our way of worship, making community worthless. Death is killing us before we even enter the surface of the earth, we are in service of his words. "It is finished," the end of our birth. We cannot hid from his wretched curse, for Death and his grave we constantly rehearse. Even God Himself was coerced. Divinity immersed itself in humanity, humbly taking on flesh, scorning vanity. The world saw His way of life as insanity, insisting He cease speaking of this radical Christianity. But man found Him guilty, accusing GOD of BLASPHEMY, performing the ultimate usurpation by slaying Christ on Calvary. But through their cowardly cross, Jesus bought mankind with amnesty, championing over Death with the beauty of His fatal injury. And I know, many still doubt, and rightfully so, bringing up this inquiry, "What does that poor Jewish man dying on a Roman tree 2,000 years ago have to do with me?" I reply simply, "Christ came and died to marry His bride to be, and though Death could kill the Groom, it could not kill the ring. God made us one with Christ and life in matrimony's cling. And now the undying church, His everlasting wife can sing, 'O Death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?' For we have risen above your misery. We will not succumb to your finality. We have overcome your infamous mystery. And in the infinite reign of Christ's ministry, for we are the Resurrection, the insurrection of fatality. We are the risen Deity, the intersection of a dead and living body. We live through imperfections for we died to become holy. We cannot be contained by the mouth of the grave. We are the willing slaves for the one that rose from that garden cave. We pass from death to new birth. We gave the grave to the earth. And we claim today the cross's worth. The body of His rising. We are the risen church. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

And We Return to the Thought of Beauty...

I find myself going back so often to beauty.
It is a concept that everyone is striving for on one level or another.
It surreptitiously creeps into every aspect of our lives.
These little reminders of all the beauty around me always takes me back to ponder my struggles with my physical beauty.
It has really only been within the last few months that I have gotten to the point of truly believing that I am beautiful.
There is one instance from this fall that sticks out in my mind as a reminder to me that I am in fact beautiful.

My church does an end of the summer weekend retreat at a camp down on Canadaigua lake, and I have gone the past two years.

Last year, it was FREEZING the entire weekend. It was about 50 degrees, and windy, and rainy, and we all froze.
Now, the irony is, this year it was SO HOT. It was in the upper 80s the entire weekend, and so humid that you felt like you were swimming through the air.
Good thing the camp is on a lake.
This year, one of the nights we were there, we did a worship service; the entire meeting was filled with song and prayer.
Because I was the resident bassist for the weekend, I was on the stage for the entire night, and had a spot where I would sit when I was not playing.
When I play at a normal church service, I usually make myself look nice. Take the time to shower, do my hair, my makeup, and dress nicely.
Since it was so hot out, we had to scuff away the top sand
so we did not burn our feet... lol
However, since we were at camp, I had been running around playing volleyball, and jumped in the lake just before coming into worship practice. I had no makeup on, my hair was in a messy, wet, dirty, lake-smelling bun, and, since it was camp, I did not care.
The next morning, I was eating breakfast with some wonderful women whom I look up to at my church, and one of them said to me, "I just have to tell you, last night when you were sitting on the stage, I was looking at you and I thought, 'Paige is so beautiful!' and I just thought I should tell you that."
Then, the another woman who was sitting with us piped up with a similar comment.
I was astonished.
How could my dirty, smelly, sweaty, fresh-out-of-the-lake self be anything considered beautiful?
And yet, here were two women only a few years older than me, women that I can only hope to be like when I get a little older, and they were telling me that what I deemed disgusting they saw as beautiful.

That day has stuck out in my mind for the past three months as a reminder to the fact that God has in fact given me an innate beauty that I do not HAVE to try to amplify.
This obviously does not mean that I am going to stop taking care of myself, or that I am going to stop playing with my hair or my makeup, but rather, it gives me hope on the days that I am struggling to view myself as someone worth looking at.
It screams out at me saying, If you are beautiful when you're sitting fresh out of the lake, sweating profusely, with no makeup, then why do you worry so much?
It says to me, You ARE beautiful!
Although it is slow going, I would say that 90 percent of my days, I look in the mirror and am happy with what I see.
And that is a big feat for a 20 year old American girl.