Friend.

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship lately. There’s so many different forms and so many complications, it’s a wonder any of us have friends. For instance, I absolutely consider my family friends of mine, but not in the same way that my peers and I are friends. And I have friends that are girls, and friends that are boys. Same word, but it’s not quite the same. Ah, the curse of the English language as stupefied by the Americans. Too many meanings, not enough words.

Succumbing to my curiosity, I looked up the word “friend” on dictionary.com. They have this neat little section that explains the origin of the word and how it evolved over time. (The first time I saw that section on the website, I got pretty excited. It’s just so cool to find out how each individual word has changed and morphed as society has!) So, let me summarize the evolution of the word “friend.” The word first appeared in Old High German as friunt, but quickly morphed into the Gothic word frijōnds. This word for friend is a cognate of the present participle of frijōn, which means “to love.” I thought that was interesting. The origin of the word “friend” meant “to love.” How many people do we call “friends,” but yet we do not truly love them? The Old English language then adopted the word from the Saxons (who had been going around Europe invading and bringing bits and pieces of language along with them. Apparently they borrowed the German’s frijōn and then brought it to England.) In Old English, the word was frēond, and meant “friend, lover, relative.” The English embraced a much wider interpretation of the word and applied it to people they were close to, romantic attachments, and family. The word still held true to the root of love, however. It was still used in situations where the “frēond” was someone you did love. The Middle English changed the spelling slightly, but the meaning remained the same. The next major occurrence of the word came when Quakers took the name as the Religious Society of Friends. The love remained, though. Quakers have been known to show love to everyone they’ve met through providing shelter, help, and encouragement to others. Eventually the word came to mean “patron,” as in a person who funds someone or some organization. I suppose you could say these patrons did it out of love, but I have a feeling that’s when the word “friend” lost it’s sense of love. People began to associate “friends” as loosely, the opposite of an enemy. So, even if I don’t like you, if you’re not my enemy, then you’re my friend. Not much love incorporated at all. With the rise of social media, the word has taken even more deterioration. Facebook specifically uses the word “friends” to describe the people you have agreed to let join your site and view things thereof. I have Facebook friends I’ve never physically met before. (i.e. “Hey friend me on Facebook so I can see your constant flow of selfies!”)

So, with all that said, what should the word “friend” mean nowadays? Because we lack better terms, we call almost everyone our “friends.” From what I’ve seen, if you try to be more specific and say that someone is an “acquaintance,” you seem stand-offish and relate a level of dislike towards that person. What are we supposed to do? How are we going to categorize all the people we’ve ever met if we have roughly two words to describe them: “friend” and “not my friend.”

But at the same time, do we really need to categorize people like that? Maybe we’re on to something. Maybe our liberal application of the word “friend” is a good thing.

We are called by God to love everyone, including our enemies, (Matthew 5:44) so if we call nearly everyone we know our “friends,” whose root meant “to love,” aren’t we just fulfilling what we’ve been called to do? That had a lot of commas. Let me rephrase: The root of “friend” meant “to love,” and God calls us to love everyone. So, shouldn’t we call everyone our friends?

Of course, it’s all in the heart. We can throw the term out as many times as we’d like, but are we truly being loving towards all the people we call friends? That is the hope. -convicted shiver- Pardon me while I go through my Facebook friends list and delete anyone I don’t love. Ha, just kidding. However, there are people on that list I need to actively work to love. Perhaps my Facebook list is a blessing in disguise! It gives me a good list to prayerfully consider how I am loving those people.

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Updates!

Exciting things have been going on here at Dance to Life! 

Thank you for everyone who has recently followed the blog, and many thanks to those of you who have endured from the beginning.

First update!

I just wanted to remind you all what pages I have here. On the menu bar above, you can find my Hello! page, the Plights of a Princess page, the Geek Central page, the Princess Modesty page, and the latest Quote-a-day page.

The Plights of a Princess page is all the posts I’ve written about problems we modern-day princesses of the King of Kings face.

The Geek Central page has links helpful for studying, learning, or being a geek.

The Princess Modesty page has a whole extensive list of trendy, modest clothing store links you can find online.

And the quote-a-day page is all the posts I’ve written about inspirational quotes and what they mean to me.

 

Second update!

If you’ve already visited the Princess Modesty page in the past, you might want to revisit! I’ve added a couple more links that you might find helpful! (They’re some of my favorites so far!)

 

Third update!

When I first started blogging back in April, thinking of a name was the hardest part. I finally came up with Dance to Life, because of my love for dance and my love of life as a reborn Christian! Only recently did I realize I subconsciously came up with that name from the name of a perfume I have, also called Dance to Life. Not really an update, but an interesting factoid I suppose.

 

Fourth update!

I’m looking for a guest writer who would be willing to write on this topic: “What being salt and light in this world means to me” (That does not necessarily have to be the title, in fact, in probably shouldn’t. That would be a pretty lame title, in my humble opinion. Let me know if you’re interested. My only requirements are that it be a post to glorify God, and that it cite the Bible.

That is all, fellow dancers to life! I hope you had a wonderful weekend,

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Teenage girl? No thanks.

There’s a reason many younger 9-12 year olds dislike teenagers. There’s also pretty good reasons why the teenager’s parents dislike teenagers. In fact, I dislike teenagers. Teenager. Just another label thrown at my generation. You could call me lots of things: kid, girl, teenager, teenage girl, etc. What should we be called? And what’s the difference?

Last week, a woman I had talked with a little bit told my mom that I was certainly a young woman, not a girl. And then I got to thinking. What’s the big difference between young woman and a girl? Certainly age has something to do with it, but I know many young women that are much younger than me. So, here’s my list of differences between a girl and young woman:

1. Respect

I’m talking about respecting elders, parents, peers, but I’m also talking about respecting yourself. Insecurity and under-confidence are not typical of a young woman. Girls are often insecure, unsure of who they are yet. A young woman knows who she is, who God sees her as, and is happy with that.

~1 John 5:4
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.
 

2. Courage

Girls have those adrenaline rushes and feel compelled to do things (often stupid things…) and may call that “courage”. Or they bite down and ignore any feelings of fear or doubt. (Which, in many cases, are good feelings of doubt.) They forget that “courage is not the absence of fear…” A young woman has courage: courage to stand up for what she believes in, courage to stand out by doing what’s right, and courage to sit down and ignore peer pressure.

~1 Corinthians 16:13
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like (wo-)men, be strong.
*parentheses added 🙂

3. Beauty

In my (admittedly limited) experience, girls seem to define beauty as an outward appearance quality, something you could recognize by just looking at a picture. They think that how much makeup you wear, how skinny you are, how fashionable your clothes are, how perfect your hair looks etc. makes you beautiful. If that were the true definition, we’d all miserably fail. I certainly wouldn’t make it anywhere near ‘beautiful’. A young woman understands that beauty is not something you can just see by looking at a picture. It’s something that radiates off of women who are beautiful on the inside, in the way they interact with others, but mostly how close they are to the Lord and Savior. It’s said that “you are who your friends are”. God is the epitome of beauty and majesty, and so it makes sense that beauty is relative to your relationship with the King of beauty.

1 Peter 3:3-4 
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

I, for one, would rather not be a girl anymore. That was a stage of life that God has used in my past, but now I need to strive to be a young woman after God’s own heart. Teenage girl? No thanks.

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Why I’ve decided not to join the military

So…I’ve grown up as a military brat. And, admittedly, I have liked being a military brat. There are hardships that most people probably don’t have to endure, but then again, there are hardships I’ve been blessed enough to avoid. I know a pretty good amount about military stuff, of course taking into consideration the fact that I am a girl and the fact that military logistics doesn’t fascinate me like they do some. I can’t tell you what my dad does in the military (I honestly don’t know) but I can tell you ranks, some planes, some military history, even some jobs.

So, why wouldn’t I want to join the military? As far as I’m concerned, I think I’ve got a pretty good headstart on everyone else who wants to join.

I’ll admit, I did consider joining when I was younger. I was probably about twelve and I had made up my mind that all males were absolutely disgusting and that I would never, ever, ever get married. So, in order to continue the lifestyle of a military brat that I had previously carried on (ever since I was born with my birth-abroad certificate), I concluded that I must join the service. Plus, I had convinced myself that I could find some active-duty job that I would like. Haha, as if an active duty person could just pick the job they wanted. Ah…childhood dreams.

So, what changed my mind? I suppose a mixture of things changed my mind. First, I decided that maybe I could get married someday, after all, men don’t all act like immature 13 year olds. (I’m bashing your gender here a little bit, males. Don’t worry, I’ll give you an ego boost later on). I also realized that joining the military wasn’t the only way to continue my “moving-around-all-the-time-and-not-knowing-what’s-next” legacy. There are plenty of jobs that have the unpredictable schedules and constant transfers. But the biggest thing that changed my mind was a realization that maybe women aren’t meant to serve in the military.

Before you get all political-correct-nazi-ish on me, let me explain.

Many, many men come home from war with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). My thought is this: if men have such an issue with going to war, how in the world do women endure it? For me, at least, women are so much more emotional and are supposed to be more loving and gentle. This is by no means scientific, and none that I’m saying is, but I hope I can give you some thoughts to chew on. In addition to PTSD issues, there is the problem of male-roles vs. female-roles. I’m not going to say a woman’s place in the kitchen or any of that nonsense, but I am going to say this. It is the men’s job to protect and guide the women towards Christ. There’s a reason that men are stronger, bigger, prouder and just generally more tough. (There’s the ego-boost, guys.) It is the women’s job to love, nurture, and encourage personal relationships with other believers and with Christ. How is a woman to love on a battlefield? How is a man to protect other active duty women on the battlefield?

I’m not saying that any of what I’ve said above is a blanket statement for all. I understand that God can-and does- use military women to impact the world for Christ and to serve others. I will not limit what God can do. And I most certainly do not judge any woman for serving in the military. I have the utmost respect for them, probably more than I do for active duty men. However, I do ask that you pray for your own convictions in this matter. Please don’t judge anyone for their decision, whether it be yay or nay. But do consider that God has a plan for everyone and he has laid out specific roles for men and women to play.

On kind of a sidenote, I’ll explain why I even wrote this post.

Last year, in the first semester, I did pretty extensive research on matters involving the military draft. It’s really an interesting topic. To see what people are trying to pass-legislative-wise- I looked into a website that has tons and tons of bills that have been written. I don’t know which are legit, and I honestly didn’t spend much time there. I was just trying to get a feel for what people wanted to get passed. One bill stated that women should be required to sign up for the draft, just like men, when they turn eighteen. That kind of got the ball rolling on this whole thought process. Questions came to my mind: Should women be required to sign up for the draft? Should women ever be drafted? And so on.

Thanks for reading and please comment your thoughts!

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Modesty from a non-Religious Point of View

Before reading this, please understand that I won’t be able to fully represent a non-religious point of view. The fact is, I am religious. I am a Christian and hope to live like I am. The reason I am writing this is not to say that modesty is not a command straight out of the Bible (because it is) but I would like to point out that there are many reasons to dress modestly, even outside of the Bible.

First of all, modesty is classy.

Modesty adds so much class to a woman’s style! I, for one, do not understand why anyone would want to walk around looking like trash. Fashion is such a beautiful art form, when used correctly. It can allow a person to express themselves, look more classy and professional than maybe they really are, and just look so put together. It can, at the same time, allow a person to look carefree and natural. It’s amazing what fashion can do for a person’s class.

Second, modesty allows for originality.

Even if dressing half-naked wasn’t wrong, it’s still the norm. The majority of people around us dress half naked. Well, in almost everything else, I strive to be different, original and all my own. Why, in fashion, would I decide to suddenly follow the crowd?

Third, modesty makes a statement.

Modesty makes all kinds of statements:

  • I care about how I look
  • I have class
  • I dress for what feels comfortable to me, what feels like my style.
  • I dress to have fun, and not to show off.
Above all, modesty has more options!

Contrary to popular belief, modesty gives you more opportunities to be creative with fashion. After all, if you have more material to use, the more things you can do with it! But with a pair of booty shorts and bikini top…not much creativity sprouts from that picture.

Again, please understand that these are reasons to dress modestly OUTSIDE of the command Scripture gives us. Always remember that the Bible DOES command modesty, and that is why we should dress modestly. Like most commands in the Bible, there are benefits to doing what God says!

Have a wonderful week and God bless,

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P.S.

Need some inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board.

The Modesty Survey

The Modesty Survey

In 2007, Alex and Brett Harris, along with several friends, began a project that rocked the world of Christian teens. I heard about it through reading their book, Do Hard Things. (Sad side-story: I have, to this day, never read the entire book. I guess that’s one hard thing yet to do…) Anyway, I was intrigued and looked it up. It is seriously amazing. I found it so encouraging and inspiring that so many people (guys and girls) cared about modesty… If you go to the link above, scroll down to see the petition. Hundreds of men, young and old, plead with the women of the world to heed Biblical wisdom regarding dress. It’s really humbling, actually. I know I’m not perfect in this arena, but God help me, I’m going to try.

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Cover of "Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebel...