Sunday, July 25, 2010


Fact: I have never thought of myself as beautiful.
Truth: I am beautiful.

This truth hit me like a sack of rocks today, knocking the breath from me, and flooding my mind.
You see, I have been reading "Captivating" by John and Stasi Eldredge lately, and I think that it has been one of the most influential books in my life. I'm only about 3 chapters into the book, and already it has been more healing for me than almost anything else I've ever read.
I think every woman, every girl needs to read this and let it influence their lives like it's already been affecting me.

I wasn't able to go to church today. A number of circumstances made it impossible for me to go to my home church and I decided to have church with just God and I today.
Best choice in a long time.
I took my Bible and "Captivating" down to a nearby coffee shop and sat and read for a couple hours.
As I was reading "Captivating", God spoke something to my heart that I have heard so many times. He said, "You are beautiful," and for the very first time, my heart BELIEVED it.
My heart cried out to me, "I AM beautiful! I am beautiful for my GOD is beautiful and I reflect HIS beauty! I AM BEAUTIFUL!"
At the sound of this, I could not stand the overflow of joy.
I burst into tears.
And even now as I write this, I am starting to tear up with the joy this brought me today.
If you know me, you know that I do not cry at the drop of a hat. I have cried twice today because of the joy God brought me with that statement.
I am beautiful for my God, whom I love, is beautiful, and I reflect His beauty.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Snakes and Doves

There seems to be no connection between snakes and doves, and yet when we are walking in the Christian faith, God gives us a very clear direction to be like both snakes and doves.
In Matthew 10, Jesus is sending out His disciples to do ministry. He gives them clear direction on what they should do, and what they should expect while ministering.
In verse 16, He warns them that they will be venturing into a den of wolves dressed in sheep's clothing and it is because of this that He tells them, "be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
What exactly does it mean to be as shrewd as a snake?
In Genesis 3:1 it describes the serpent (or the snake) as "more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made."
In other words, the serpent was shrewd.
As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, to be shrewd is to be marked by clever discerning awareness; to be given to wily and artful ways or dealings.
It is this shrewdness that gives us insight into peoples lives. We see the problem where the problem lies. We call the crap like we see it.
Discernment. It only comes to us when we seek after God's own heart. Only then are we able to see what He points out to us.
As Christians, we are to be shrewd in the sense that we are sensible. We are to be prudent. But at the same time we are not to be deceitful.
We are to be innocent as doves.
World wide, the dove is seen as an image of peace. It is simple, lovely, innocent.
Innocence is freedom from guilt or sin. It is to be blameless.
Blameless like Christ was blameless.
People should look at us and see God's glory shining through.

Be shrewd. Be innocent.
Be a snake, but be a dove at the same time.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Power of the Testimony

Recently I listened to a podcast by Bill Johnson about the power of your testimony. Our testimonies are some of the most powerful things that we are given by God, and when we share them with other people, we release the power of God onto their live, the power that can cause a similar event to take place in their lives.
I've been wrestling back and forth with this since I listened to the podcast, mulling over it, meditating on it. It simply struck a chord in my spirit. One question has been running circles in my mind and spirit.
If I shared my testimony, revealed to people the change God made in my life when He became MY God and not my mother's God, how would people be changed?
How would they be changed?
I could think that my testimony would bring them to know God, or know Him better. I could think that it would set people free from the chains of depression. I could think that it would restore the hurting, heal the wounded, mend the broken.
But there is also the fear of man that resides within us all.
The fear that people will reject me. The fear that I will be harshly judged. The fear that I will be labeled and defined by my past actions and put in a box because of them.
I will not be put in a box.
And I will never be defined by my past actions.
It's not who I am now.
I think that's where the power of my own personal testimony is located; the difference between who I was and who I am.
Who I was was a depressed, lonely, teenager who thought no more of herself than the scum of the Earth, broken down, trodden on, ready to give up.
Then God became more real to me than anything else in this world. He brought me up out of the pit that I had dug myself into, and showed me who I really am. It took a good year or two of Him driving it into my thick skull, but God is patient, gentle, and firm, and soon enough, He made His point very visible to me.
Who I am is a forgiven, saved, beautiful woman of God. I walk all my days in His presence. He tells me I am loved. I am treasured. I have a purpose greater than that which my mind can comprehend. He shows me His hand in my life and reminds me that even though I walked through some dark days, He was there with me, watching over me, never giving me more than I could handle. He tells me that He is mine, and that I belong to Him, which is a more amazing thing than I can even tell you.
He is the only one I truly love with everything in my being.
And although I had to go through a very painful time in my life to get to the place where I am at right now, I am able to say that I would never trade those days for anything. They brought me to where I am now, and they gave me the power of a testimony.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ode to Humidity

Oh, humidity...
Why dost thou despise me so?
Enough of that.
I think the better question would be, Paige, why do you hate humidity so much? Well, that, my dear friends, I can answer!

Point A: My Hair.
When it's humid out, my hair does this

Which, isn't that bad... when it behaves. It's the mass of curly frizziness that gets all in my face that I just can't stand! There's almost no way to get it out of my face and keep it out of my face. Not cool hair, not cool.

Point B: Sweat
When it's humid, especially when you're painting all day, you sweat... a lot.
The other side to sweating a lot is that I end up stinking badly. When you shower, you get out and just start sweating again, so you just stink again, no matter what your efforts are to smell nice.
After a while you just stop caring.
Like now.
I stink.

I'm gonna go shower.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In Case You Haven't Noticed...

It's hot out. Really. Really. Hot.
And by hot, I mean for the past few days my apartment has been somewhere around 95 degrees. Yes. Hot.
In fact, it's been so hot that my boss, who is an ex-marine and was stationed in Iraq for a while walked out from the building that we were working in said, "Whoa, flashback. I suddenly feel like I'm in Iraq again!" Oh, yes. As hot as Iraq.
Because it has been so hot, Monday and Tuesday night I camped out in one of my friend's rooms because it was slightly cooler.
Wednesday night I slept on my living room floor with a fan directed towards my head.
Then last night I came up with a, well, more "creative solution" as my mother so handily put it.
On campus, people are able to rent out buildings for conferences, gatherings, and, hey, why not? family reunions! This whole week the Olmstead family has rented out the biggest dorm on campus, which also happens to be the only air conditioned dorm. Now, although it's a big family, there is NO WAY that any one family could fill this dorm! And also, because very few, if any, of the family members go to Roberts, they have to leave the doors unlocked so that the family can go in and out of the building without any problems. This also leaves the doors unlocked for poor souls like me who just can't stand the heat any more.
Oh, yes. A friend and I spent the night in this air conditioned dorm.
What was funny was that my friend Shorty went to the dorm before I did, and when she went up to second floor, she took the elevator... Which also happened to have some of the family members in it. OOPS! Now Shorty being 4'10" and just about as cute as can be gets in this elevator with two family members with a backpack on and a pillow in hand. She looks at them and says, "Hi! I live here. It's too hot in my dorm. Can I sleep here?"
How can you say no to that?
They laughed, smiled, and said yes, and when they all got off the elevator, Shorty went and found a room for the two of us to sleep in and cranked the air conditioning. Oh how much more do you enjoy air conditioning after you've lived in a 95 degree dorm for days!
I came up to the room not 15 minutes later and we slept in an amazingly chilly room.
Best night's sleep in the past week :)