Category Archives: Girl Talk

Mariah Bronson.

Let me just tell you about my friend Mariah.

She and I were leaders in the Crew, Shadow Mountain’s middle school ministry, last year while I attended Grossmont, and we bonded as we served our delightful seventh graders together and just talked about life. She was absolutely a Godsend during my year at Grossmont with very few genuine friends, and let me tell you, Mariah is as genuine as it gets. Her honesty and openness as well as her true passion for students and just about everyone she meets. She is an encourager and she can uplift you  after just one conversation.  On top of that, she truly thinks hard and has a huge passion for learning.  She has studied things like Mormonism and truly is a woman after God’s own heart.

And now she is graduating from college, getting married to a great guy, and she is well on her way to making a huge impact on the world.  She is definitely someone to look up to, for me and so many other young women.

And Mariah, since I assume you’ll read this eventually, I LOVE you, I am proud of you, and I truly do admire your heart so much.

Ms. Kori.

Meet Kori – one of the most precious and talented girls in the entire state of Utah. She has a passionate heart for Jesus, some serious talent with a violin, and killer blue eyes, and I am blessed to be her friend. I have loved getting to know her heart over plenty of coffee dates at the Yeti (yes, I just gave The Dancing Yeti it a cool slang name) and I just adore everything about her, so I am excited to share the photo shoot we did around her house in Riverton.

(These photos are best viewed by clicking on the first one and scrolling through them with the arrow keys on your computer.)

Dear Future Husband.

 Dear future husband,

Words cannot convey the joy with which I anticipate meeting you, befriending you, understanding you, and falling in love with you, if you’re even out there somewhere. This is such a thrilling thought to me, and you already give me butterflies even though I don’t know you. I know that when I find you, I will not have to settle for less than a man who will stand by my side no matter what we face in life and cherish me more deeply than I can imagine. I also look forward to being challenged to become a Godlier woman because of you, and I joyfully anticipate being inspired by the way that you take a stand for Christ and strive to daily set him at the center of your life and our relationship.

However, there is a season for everything in life. It is with ambivalence and heaviness in my heart I confess to you that right now, I am not ready to enter into a fully committed relationship with you, because I have not yet invested myself fully into the relationship that I am called to value higher than your love or the love of anyone else. I want to offer you everything I have, even if this means that I must first be prepared and refined as gold in a fire. The sacrifice I must make before I allow myself to love you requires all of who I am, and it requires the first priority position of my life. In fact, sacrificing my life to being a servant of the Most High God essentially requires me to make Him my only priority. Before I commit to you, I want to commit to allowing the words “to live is Christ” to come alive in my life, visibly and noticeably.

Once I have given up my life, my pride, and my own ambitions for the sake of Christ out of nothing but utter gratitude for His grace and mercy on my sinful and imperfect soul, I can begin to allow the overflow of love He pours into me to be poured out onto others so that I can love them – not so that you will see this and love me, sweet future husband, but so that they will see that He loves me and how He loves them. And once others can see that I have sold out to the belief in the knowledge that He loves me through the way that I love them, I will be ready to enter a marriage that reflects the way that Christ has loved the Church.

I have been praying for you, dear man of God, ever since I received my purity ring and simply wrote to you the commitment, “I am waiting for you, darling. Wait for me too.” But this isn’t an excuse to twiddle your thumbs and check out until I arrive. While you are waiting, I pray that you are being refined through the same process, being humbled in the same way by His mercy on you and His great love for you, and being transformed into the man of God who has been set apart to be my warrior-poet. When we have both been refined through seeking the Lord individually, I pray that the result does not stem from earthly love, which does not satisfy or last, but that it stems from patient and kind love, the kind of love that 1 Corinthians 13 sets before us as an example and the kind of love that God has shown to us.

I will know it is you, my warrior-poet, when this is the journey you have taken as well. When God has broken you to the point of desperately needing Him more than the love of a woman or the acceptance of others, and rebuilt you to serving Him first, then others, seeking your own needs lastly. I don’t want to pressure you – I have made more mistakes than I care to admit and I know you have as well. I have strayed, I have fallen, and I have failed utterly and completely, but this only allows me to look forward more to catching a glimpse of Christ’s all-forgiving redemption in our relationship.

Wait for me, darling. I’m waiting for you, and in the meantime I’m running full speed towards the throne of the King. I’ll meet you there.

Frappuccinos and chivalry.

(This was written during finals week; somehow I never ended up publishing it. Mah baaad!)

I’m sitting in a comfy chair in the corner of Starbucks right now “studying” for my literature final on tragedy in drama. Needless to say, reading my Bible and blogging sounds significantly more enjoyable. Since I’m already in a Bible-reading, journaling, prayerful mood, something that just happened in front of me triggered a crazy analytical response faster than I could think it out, so here goes an explanation because I thought it was interesting. I’m just trying to distract myself from Oedipus Rex for a little while longer.

So you know those vertical hanging posters in the entry of Starbucks advertising the new (delicious) coconut Frappuccino? A lady just walked in and knocked one of them off of the hanger while rushing to get in line, and it crashed down pretty loudly. She stopped, frustrated, and tried to hang it back up unsuccessfully. The dad sitting with his kids at a table across from me stood up and offered to help her, so she handed him the sign wordlessly and walked away as he hung it up. I was taken aback by her rude attitude, but he did the task anyway, making sure it was aligned perfectly, then he sat back down. But as she was getting in line, he glanced up at her almost as if he was hurt – or at least as if he was expecting a thank-you, which he entirely deserved.

I realized then that so often that’s how women end up treating chivalrous men. It’s frustrating to see women who aren’t thankful for men who open doors and treat women respectfully, all in the name of proving that we are as strong as them and we can “do it ourselves.” Maybe I’m old-school in being a huge fan of chivalry, but I think it’s how it should be. Sadly, with the attitude that so many women have, eventually even the strongest, most Christlike ”Warrior-Poet” (as Leslie Ludy likes to call them) is going to get discouraged, lose hope, and fade away.

But here’s the really amazing and uplifting part about all of this: The ultimate Warrior-Poet, my King Jesus, will never, ever stop coming to my rescue and waiting for me to acknowledge His presence, despite my continuous rejection of Him. The infinite, limitless love that He has for me is insane. I rarely ever thank Him enough, acknowledge His presence enough, or praise Him enough, yet all he has for me is unfailing love in return. I can walk away from him without thanking him for doing something he did not have to do as much as I want, but He is always there to catch me when I fall – and He doesn’t even bring up the fact that I rejected Him. WOW. Our God is an awesome God.

Beau·ty [byoo-tee]

This advertisement appears in the recent issues of Professional Photography magazine promoting an image retouching company. It juxtaposes an unedited, naturally pretty young woman to a heavily retouched doll that many people would identify as “flawless” or “perfect.”

Although this is simply the company’s attempt at drawing in business, I can’t help but think it characterizes the influence of the media on young women’s idea of beauty today. It screams, “See that girl on the left? She is not as beautiful as the girl on the right. You should try to look like the girl on the right!” But the thing is – the girl on the right does not exist! She is not a real human being, but the girl on the left is, and she possesses honest, natural beauty for which the world has lost appreciation.

When girls who are still developing their self-image and figuring out who they are begin to believe that the girl on the right is how they should look, no wonder their expectations get completely screwed up! We tell girls that their freckles, their flaws, and the details about them that make them unique should be covered up, smoothed out, and brightened more than they already are, and this hides their individuality and their God-given beauty. If we are made in the image of the perfect God of the universe (Genesis 1:27), why are we trying to cover all that up in the name of the world’s beauty? It breaks my heart when young women focus so much on meeting this unrealistic goal, which only gets higher and higher as they get closer to reaching it, that they miss out on nurturing and developing the incredible beauty that they already possess because of their Creator’s loving formation of them, knitting them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-18). He designed them so that their definition of their beauty need not be focused on braided hair and gold jewelry (1 Peter 3:3), which are not meant to become their top priority because they fade away and do not last past a fleeting moment (Matthew 6:19). Instead, God knows that the appealing qualities in a woman that do not fade away and what have more lasting value and impact are a “gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4) with meaning and purpose.

While a lot of young women already know this, what they’re doing about it is an entirely different story and so many people need the reminder as it is so easy to just get caught up in the commercial realm of beauty that the world is constantly throwing at them. So are you defining yourself and other people by God’s definition of beauty or that of other flawed human beings?