Thursday, May 30, 2013

When you have a good heart...

I would like to take a minute to discuss this image. I saw it circulating on Facebook quite a while ago and I had to snag it up, which is something that I do from time to time when something in particular bothers me. (Which it is actually probably not a really good habit to go collecting things that bother you. But I do it so I can discuss it - if with no one else, then with my husband, poor guy.)

Anyway, what bothers me so much about this is that I don't think that these qualities are necessarily those of someone with a good heart. In fact, it sounds more like someone who is trying to make an excuse or make a reason for the fact that they think they are a good person doing good things, but somehow they always seem to feel hurt instead of having good emotions.

I see a lot of things crop up on Facebook where a person posts something with the intent to receive compliments, comfort, and consoling, and this, to me, just smacks as one of those things.

So, I ask you: what is a person who helps/gives/loves too much?  

In my experience, this is a person with low self-esteem and low self-worth. They want to help solve your problems or give you advice/items because they want to feel valuable. They love you "too much" because they want to feel loved and they don't know how to love themselves (or because they don't realize that God loves them).

Since these people have a low value of themselves and use the opinions and views of others to define who they are, they often do not know their own limits or boundaries. This causes them to overextend themselves, whether you have asked them for help or they have taken up the cause on their own. They don't know how to stop and say, "I love you, but I can't do that for you right now." And since they don't have a high value of themselves, they often don't know when to say no to things that compromise their values, morals, or beliefs.

These so-called heartfelt gestures, though, usually are not committed with the best interest of the recipient in mind. A person with low self-esteem can actually be an incredibly selfish person. They move from person to person, action to action, cause to cause in an effort to create value for themselves through the appreciation of other people and organizations. When their desperate and frenzied attempt to earn someone's love backfires and the recipient becomes angry or irritated, the person with with low self-esteem can't face the fact that maybe they behaved badly. Instead, they feel sorry for themselves and think, "Well, I guess I just help/love/give too much because I have a good heart. I should be appreciated more."

It certainly isn't the sign of a "bad" heart if you know your limitations and boundaries and can say "no" when appropriate! And we learn what times are appropriate by having an active relationship with God and regularly spending time with Him in His Word.

And, what about trusting "too much", you ask?

There is no such thing as trusting "too much", in my opinion. The person who is truly trusting might get hurt from someone who takes advantage of that trust, but it is the deceiver who is in the wrong. 

A person who believes in and trusts God can take heart knowing that God sees all things and remembers the times that His child is hurt or taken advantage of. We need to trust that God will choose the appropriate action to discipline those who have done wrong, and we also need to trust that He will choose the appropriate time to do it.

Additionally, when we have an active relationship with God and regularly spend time with Him in His Word, we will have a better idea of where our trust can be placed because God will direct us. We certainly can't expect humans to be as trustworthy as God, but that doesn't mean that humans are untrustworthy to a fault. We can trust that in where God leads us, our efforts will return fruit.

So, what if this image seems reasonably true?

I would suggest that you examine yourself and your motives. Are you truly helping, giving, and expressing love because you love the recipient, or are you doing it because you want them to love you and express love to you? Do you have an active relationship with God where you regularly talk to Him and spend time with Him in His Word? 

If you read this, and you find that you're facing feelings of anger and resentment, I would suggest having some prayer time with God and really digging deep into your heart and motivations. I am not trying to point any fingers or place any accusations, but an intense emotional reaction could indicate that you are in denial. It's best, in my opinion, to lay it all out bare before God and let Him help you sort it out. It could just be that you're having a really rotten day... or it could also be a sign that God wants to do some work in you. ;)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blog Redesign!

I was thoroughly unhappy with my original blog design. It was finished hastily so that I could have some idea of how things were going to work with Blogger. It was decent, but it looked to me to be childish, pixelated, too busy, and kind of messy (there was just too much colour and too many shapes all going too many directions). Plus, while I think quite a bit of it suited me, there was something out of place that I couldn't put my finger on. Basically, I just wasn't satisfied with the overall look and feel of it, so I made a new one. :)

Back in January, I found a good portion of the comics that I had drawn while working at the riverboat casino (the ones that I thought I had lost for good). I was happy, but I knew those weren't all of them. Well, about a month ago, I found the rest of them and scanned them. Then, today, I snipped a few pictures of myself from the comics to make a new Facebook profile picture and cover image. I had so much fun and enjoyed it so much that I decided to redesign my whole blog theme!

Green has been my favourite colour since I can remember - since I was a little girl and I sat down with my Little Golden Treasury and read along as The Color Kittens mixed all the colours in their search for green. When I was younger I preferred a sea green, but as I got older, I came to appreciate olive, especially olive drab. This was convenient since, for a long time, I also have been very fond of military designs, insignia, and the wartime designs and imagery of World War II. (I credit Molly McIntire, the American Girl, with the earliest budding of my fascination, and well, if you know anything about the book series, you might draw a correlation between it and the name of my blog. ^___^)

Now, you might be inclined to think that this love for military-esque things came from the fact that I am a Marine Corps wife, but you'd be wrong. I was driving my Barbies around in an olive drab G.I. Joe Jeep as a kid instead of a pink convertible (because the Jeep was green, and Barbie fit better in it than the convertible .. and the Jeep was really more open and airy than the convertible any way...) and wearing boots that my Army uncle said resembled combat boots when I was still in high school. No, I think that my fascination with the styles of the military just made it easier for me to accept the transition into being a military wife. (That, and Girl Scouts. We sang cadences while we walked double-file -in pairs- everywhere we went. We also participated in morning and evening colours ceremonies, especially at camp. So hearing the Navy Corpsmen run past my house in the morning singing their cadences or hearing evening colours out my bedroom window are in some odd way comforting.)

Someone might look at the olive drab map bag that I use at a purse and just think that I am being "moto". Moto, in the Marine Corps, stands for "motivational" and would mean that I was being supportive. But, that's just being me. Just like I would rather wear camis and boots than business casual (especially the "woodlands" camis, which I still think should be called "forest" if they're gonna have "desert"), and I like to hang my necklace pendants on ball chains, and I think canvas is the most awesome fabric ever. No, moto for me are the USMC patches that I have glued (and need to someday actually have sewn) onto my purse, the key chain I have of my husband's boot camp photo, the USMC pin I sometimes wear, or the key chain I got while visiting my husband at MCT that says "Marine Corps Wife: Toughest Job in the Corps". (Lord, I had no idea at the time how true I would find that statement to be a few years later!)

My point is that the kind-of militaristic design of this blog is not some homage to the base we live on or the organization that signs my husband's pay checks. It's just a part of my own aesthetics. And it really doesn't reflect on whether I agree with the military or not - I like to keep a rather romanticized view of the military. It makes it easier to deal with the fact that I have lost a lot of respect for the military just from being a spouse.

Sooooooo.... all rabbit-trail ramblings aside, ta-da: there's a new blog design, and I like it! :D /throws confetti