25 Things Before I’m 25

25 Things Before I’m 25

An awesome friend recently challenged me to be fearless and take chances; to do what I really want to do with my life. This conversation led me to begin thinking about, if I could do anything I wanted to do, what would it be? So I sat down and came up with twenty-five things I want to do before my twenty-fifth birthday – I will be twenty-two in August, so that’s a little over three years from now. It took a lot of consideration, but here is the result:

  1. Go canoeing
  2. Run a 5K
  3. Go horseback riding
  4. Reach my goal weight
  5. Have a serious relationship
  6. Explore a cave
  7. Take a kickboxing class
  8. Take a Zumba class
  9. Attain my MSW
  10. Move into my own place
  11. Go on a romantic picnic
  12. Visit Maine
  13. Attend a Breakout game
  14. Attend a Military training program (for example: Operation Immersion)
  15. Share my blog with friends / family (none of them know about it)
  16. Go to a drive-in movie
  17. Learn to French braid
  18. Have 3 months of bills in savings
  19. Stay in a cabin
  20. Eat a raw diet for a day
  21. Eat a vegan diet for a week
  22. Eat a vegetarian diet for a week
  23. Eat totally organic for a week
  24. Take a Pilates class
  25. Take a Yoga class

So, there it is; these are my goals for the next three years. Plus, some of them might become reality soon. For instance, I am currently vacationing in North Carolina near the ocean and the house we’re renting HAS A CANOE! I am really nervous and scared of both drowning and being eaten by a shark, but I am trying to talk my sister-in-law into going with me. lol. If she will, I can mark that one off my list this week!

Now back to vacation! I welcome you all to check back in along the way and follow me as I strive to find life, love, and my own happily ever after. Until then…

XOXO,

Selena Rynay

Love At First Sight???

Love At First Sight???

Okay, so to be completely honest, I have never believed in love at first sight. This is because love is so much more than just physical attraction, but connecting with someone emotionally and spiritually. But I somewhat question whether or not it can happen. Now I guess I had better start at the beginning…

Several months ago, I went through drive through at a fast food place and, when the guy handed out my order, our eyes met and locked; and, WOW, there was something so electric and powerful in that moment… instant attraction to this handsome stranger.

Fast forward to August when I got a job at this same fast food restaurant (nothing to do with him, I hadn’t seen him since that day, I was just looking for a second job and they were hiring). So I’ve been working with him lately and the attraction I have for him is a little unnerving. I don’t know how to talk to him, I’m lost for words but I want so badly to get to know him a little better. AND HE IS A CHRISTIAN!!! I’ve been praying about it and feel like God may be guiding us together… I just keep praying and trusting that God will work things out according to His will. Just waiting on God’s perfect timing and having to learn patience (definitely hard, but God’s still working on me). Updates to follow. Until next time God bless!

XOXO,

Selena Rynay

Bullied for Beliefs

Bullied for Beliefs

Okay, so this is something that has been on my mind for a while now. It seems like, especially as we get closer to the November election, people have went crazy where beliefs are concerned. I have literally been in a situation where I was informed that my beliefs are offensive, oppressive, and incorrect and told that I shouldn’t openly practice my beliefs. I am a Christian, but that should not offend you; that is my personal belief and the values on which I live my life. You are free to choose how to live your life yet you want to take that right away from me? How do you rationalize that?
I am pro-life: I do not support abortion. That is my personal choice. I have the right to believe that way. I have the right to pray in public: it would be different if I was screaming a prayer at the top of my lungs in the middle of a store or forcing you to pray with me; but me bowing my head and saying a silent prayer before meals should not offend you just as I am not offended that you do not pray.
How is it that I am ‘hating’ or ‘judging’ by living my beliefs yet you are right in telling me that I am wrong and that I’m a terrible person for believing the way I do? Have I ever forced you into a discussion about my religion? You can come to me anytime and I’ll answer any question you have about my beliefs, but do you even know my stance on most things? If you don’t, that’s a pretty good sign that I’m not beating you over the head with my beliefs as you seem to be implying that I am. I am just so sick of all the bullying and controversy.
My life is not perfect; I’ve made mistakes and messed up along the way. But do you know what makes me different? It’s that I have been forgiven by a God who saw through all my mistakes and could see my potential. I choose to follow His teachings; to live my life for Him. You have the right to choose how to live your life, but I have chosen to live for Christ. That’s a choice that each of us are entitled to make.

I know I’m not the only one currently dealing with this, I have friends who have been facing the same thing. I write this because I want to let others know that you are NOT ALONE! Even when it seems like they are coming at you from all sides, trust in God’s perfect timing; that person who is watching to see how you handle everything and waiting to see if you back down, that person might be the one who sees something special in you and one day leads your family to Christ. Be encouraged and keep going!

XOXO,

Selena Rynay

When Someone Says ‘You NEED A Man’

When Someone Says ‘You NEED A Man’

‘Okay… I get it!’ That is what I literally wanted to shout today; and I never shout.

So, lets go back to the beginning. A guy I know was giving me and another girl and really hard time before class because we’re both single. He was saying it jokingly… but putting someone down and insulting them using a joking tone isn’t really a good excuse… and he wouldn’t let it go. He called me ‘sheltered’ and said that he really wants to take me to a strip club because apparently that’s ‘what I need’ to help get me out of my shell. I can usually laugh these things off and move on, and outwardly I did, but it bothered me.

I bothered me because I want nothing more than to be in a relationship; I want nothing more than to be a wife and mother… but that’s something that hasn’t worked out in my life yet. I have spent so many nights crying because of the loneliness that I sometimes can’t seem to shake off… because I hold my friends’ precious babies and want one of my own so badly. How can I miss a baby so badly that I’ve never even met? How can I miss a man who I don’t even know? But I do; with all my heart I miss them and feel the loss.

I wanted so badly to tell him that ‘I get it… just let it go’. But as I sat there during class listening to an utterly boring lecture by a professor who really doesn’t seem to like any of us, God placed a message on my heart: you make the decision every day whether you’re going to focus on what your life is missing or all the things you have been blessed with. I have been so down and so discouraged for a while now: trying to manage two jobs and school along with everything else going on in my life and I had been feeling so defeated. Then, last night, I had a long talk with God and He gave me back the peace I have been missing for the past couple months. I had gotten so busy with life that I hadn’t been spending time with Him. And today, when Satan came back in my face trying to make me feel alone, unworthy, unwanted, and unloved God gave me that gentle reminder that He has blessed me; my life is not empty and I am loved by the Creator of the universe. How amazing to feel loved by such a wonderful God! I am single, and I sometimes battle loneliness, but I am waiting on God’s timing; waiting on the man I know God created just for me.

I’m not going to settle and I’m not going to rush His perfect timing. With God’s help, I am going to keep focusing on those blessings and trusting Him with my future. I encourage you all: don’t let anyone tell you that you need a man and rush you into a relationship that isn’t right for you: I learned from experience that it only leads to heartache and pain. Be encouraged that, in God’s perfect timing, He will reveal His perfect ending to your story.

XOXO,

Selena Rynay

Unexpected Blessings

Unexpected Blessings

Sometimes we go through days, weeks, or even months when we just feel like life is so hopeless; it seems like we just drag through the days. Then, when you just feel like sitting down and crying, saying that it’s just too hard to keep going, that’s the moment that God just fills you with such a peace that you want to cry for joy.

Working two jobs and going to school full-time has kept me so worn out and I felt like I was just constantly running with nothing to show for it. I was feeling lonely and couldn’t understand why God wanted me to wait to meet the right man, get married, and start a family; that’s what I want with all my heart and sometimes it seems like it will never happen.

Then, tonight, as I was doing dishes and helping fix lunch for after church tomorrow, I turned uplifting music on my laptop and the songs just touched me and left me feeling so encouraged. I don’t know what God has planned for my life and I don’t always understand His timing, but I choose to trust Him. He has been so good to me and blessed me in so many ways that I can’t even begin to describe… He saw my potential and told me I was beautiful and loved even when I felt worthless, unloved, and ugly. Never let anyone tell you that you are not good enough; God made you beautiful… He made you in His image! You are a child of the King! There is joy in the Lord if we just stand strong and wait on Him! There is hope even when it seems hopeless; my hope is in the Lord for I know He is faithful and just and He will never leave me.

It seems so strange that my encouragement, that my peace and joy, would come to me while doing dished and cooking, but God’s timing was perfect; He knew that I needed encouraged tonight. And I encourage each of you to not give up: you are held by the Creator of the universe and you are LOVED!!! 

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Romans 15:13 (KJV)

XOXO,

Selena Rynay

Strife in the Church

Strife in the Church

First, I would like to define the word strife. Strife is defined as “angry or bitter disagreement over fundamental issues; conflict”. Strife has a way of affecting all of us; whether we are the ones causing the strife or we are the ones caught in the middle of the strife created around us.

What causes strife? Why does it happen?

These are both good questions and the solution to the problem lies in the answer to these questions. Imagine a beautiful garden… this garden represents your life; your heart, your soul, and your mind. In the middle of this beautiful garden, Satan plants a seed. It’s a small seed that begins by slowly pushing up through the soil. When he plants this seed, he fertilizes it using grains of pride, hate, and jealousy. It’s slow to take off, barely growing at first. But then, as time passes, the little plant begins to grow faster and faster. It becomes an invasive plant, spreading throughout the beautiful garden and overtaking the beautiful plants growing there. This plant is strife and it continues to grow as it feeds on the pride, hate, and jealousy Satan planted it with. No matter how many times the plant of strife is mowed down, it is nourished by the pride, hate, and jealousy found in the ground and once again takes off and grows wildly in the garden. You see, it was only mowed down; the root and fertilizer remained there to shoot up once again. The beautiful plants that are being overtaken by the strife represent the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of God which may be destroyed; this spiritual fruit includes our love, joy, and peace (Galatians 5:22-23). Unfortunately, this is often how it is in life; strife comes on strong, is mowed down but not completely removed, there is a short time when everything seems fine, but the roots are still there and shoot up once more. It is a dangerous cycle and, each time the plant comes back, it’s a little older, a little stronger, and more well rooted.

So, what does the Bible say about strife?

Proverbs 27:17-27 He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears… Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: So where thee is no talebearer, the strife ceaseth. As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; So is a contentious man to kindle strife… Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation. Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: And he that rolleth a stone, It will return unto him.

Proverbs 17:1 Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, Than an house full of sacrifices with strife.

This verse tells us that a house full of sacrifices will not make up for strife; we would be better to not have sacrificed at all and got rid of the strife. Think about some sacrifices made to Christ… fasting, for one. We could fast for a week straight but it wouldn’t make up for strife in our hearts: the fasting would be in vain.

Proverbs 20:3 It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: Therefore leave off contention, before it be meddled with.

This verse explains that the beginning of strife is like letting out water. Imagine taking a glass full of water. The water in your glass is strife. Now turn the cup upside down over the floor and dump the water. You now have made a mess; strife is covering the entire floor, running in different directions. Can you put the water (strife) back in the glass? Can you make it go back to the way it was? No. You can mop up the water and wring your mop out in the glass, but the floor will still be wet and will take time to dry. This is how it is in life. You let the strife fill you up inside then let if flow over to those around you, covering them in your strife. One common way this is done is through gossip. Often, our strife is aimed toward either a person or group of people and, when it builds so much in us, we will go to others and tell them how ‘terrible’, ‘aweful’, or ‘un Christ-like’ that person is and, by doing so, may plant those invasive seeds of Satan in the heart of the person we are talking to. Once that seed has been planted (or the water has been dumped) it’s not so easy to take it back. You can work to mop up a portion of it, but some remains.

Proverbs 17:19 He loveth transgression that loveth strife: And he that exalteth his gate seeketh destruction.

2 Timothy 2:22-26 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

“The servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men…”

God’s Warning to Us All

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

In this verse, God puts strife right there with murder and idolatry. You may think that strife doesn’t seem so bad, but it can be just as dangerous and deadly as murder, only the wounds it leaves are often internal wounds that can’t be readily seen.  Furthermore, the verse goes on to say that those that do these things, including strife, shall not inherit the kingdom of God. God is very serious when it comes to strife; it can alter where you spend eternity.

So Where Does Strife Come From?

James 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: But love covereth all sins.

Proverbs 28:25 He that is of a proud heart stirreth up strife…

Proverbs 22:10 Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; Yea, strife and reproach shall cease.

This verse goes as far a to tell us to cast out the scorner causing contention, strife, and reproach! This may seem drastic, but think back to the earlier verse that talked about the water that goes out. Just like the old saying ‘A bad apple can spoil the whole bunch’, strife can be passed from one person to others and corrupt the entire church.

Strife is a dangerous tool used by Satan to damage God’s church. Even if it is continually mowed down, it will continue to grow back until the root is also removed, the ground is tilled up, and God’s fruit (the fruit of the spirit) is once again planted and nourished. Removing the root is not something, though, that we can do in ourselves; we must pray to God that He will remove that root in us and forgive us to allowing it to grow. Only then will we truly be free from strife.

When Heartbreak Comes

When Heartbreak Comes

Two months has passed since my last blog post and, with it, many things have changed in my life. The blog post from March talked about a guy I had met and that I really liked. Well, our first official date with just the two of us was on March 19th. We went to dinner then to the movies; I really had a good time. When he dropped me back off, he told me he had a good time and that he would text me, but he never made an attempt to kiss me. I had never been kissed, I still haven’t, so I was somewhat nervous that he would try to kiss me and I wouldn’t know what to do. As it turned out, though, we just talked when he dropped me off. I was both disappointed and relieved; a strange combination, I know. Following that date, we texted back and forth for almost two weeks.

After two weeks, he asked me out again. We made plans for that Saturday night. I was excited and nervous; nervous mainly because I had decided to take the initiative and kiss him at the end of our date. That Friday morning, though, I got a text from him saying that something came up and he would need to take a rain check on that date; no further explanation and no time set for another date. It really hurt; it felt like I was being rejected. That evening, though, while walking with my sister, I got another text from him; this one confusing. He asked if Sunday at 10 still worked for me; the confusing part being that we had never discussed a date or time for another date. I respondent with a simple text asking ‘What?’. He then asked me out on a date for Sunday at 2:30. The first part seemed odd, but I didn’t think much of it. We made plans for him to pick me up Sunday.

Fast-forward to Sunday morning after church when I am getting ready for our date. I get a text from him just before our date saying that I can just meet him at a certain restaurant in town at 2 (30 minutes early which barely given me time to get there) because that’s where he is going to eat. His text made him come across as a total jerk and, when I showed my Mom his text, she said that I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to. But I knew that texts could sometimes come across totally different than what was intended, so I went. He acted strange all through lunch; stared off into space a lot and didn’t seem to be paying attention to the conversation, blaming it on him being sleepy. At the end of lunch, he hugged me in the parking lot but hung around my car seeming really nervous about something, told me he had a good time and that he would text me, then left. I was confused at the end of that date; I didn’t know how he felt because he was acting so strange. All I had to go on was that he told me he had a good time.

Fast-forward again to the following Tuesday, two days after our lunch date and I still hadn’t heard from him. I had class all morning that day then went straight from class to work and worked until late that night. When I got off work and back to my car, I had a text message from him. It was short and to the point: he said he didn’t see me and him going anywhere in a relationship and that he didn’t feel that things were ever going to take off and that I should find someone else. I was so hurt and felt so rejected. I cried the entire trip home which was almost an hour drive. The tears didn’t stop when I got home; I cried for hours that night and ended up giving myself a migraine. The following morning was not better and I ended up talking to my supervisor and she gave me the day off work. All of those insecurities and feeling of worthlessness came rushing back. I spent hours analyzing what was wrong with me; why he didn’t feel the same about me as I did him.

Five days later, when I was finally working through the tidal wave of emotions, another shock wave came my way; a friend informed me that he had been dating another girl for the past two month… the same two months he had been dating me. As it turns out, the date that he had on Sunday at 10 was with her… he had sent me the text by accident after mistakenly deleting all the contacts from his phone. This once again sent my world spinning. Did he even mean to ask me out that last time? Was it just that he accidentally sent me that text and then didn’t know how else to get out of it? That was enough to knock my confidence down a few more notches.

How did I eventually move past this? I had to take responsibility for my own choices and disobedience. I prayed about the first date and God let me know that I was okay to go out with him; I didn’t have that clearance on the next date. Why? Because I knew that he wasn’t where he needed to be with God. I know many would disagree with me, but, as a Christian, I won’t date someone who doesn’t share those Christian beliefs and values. Some things he had mentioned during our first date sent up red flags; his drinking habits, his relationship habits, his disrespect for some people, and the fact that he insulted people that he knew I was friends with. Why did I not immediately break things off and not go out with him anymore? I was desperate… I wanted a relationship, I wanted a husband, I wanted a family. For as long as I can remember, my number one goal has been to be a wife and mother and I was getting impatient thinking that it would never happen; I was to a point where I was willing to settle. I realize now that this was a great mistake on my part; I was knowingly letting a relationship continue with someone who didn’t share my beliefs and, if I had been obedient after our first date, I could have saved myself a lot of heartache.

Where have I came since then? I have spent the past two months once again gaining the confidence and boldness that I need. I have often pushed myself outside my comfort zone, something I would not have done before. And, with each time I push myself to confront uncomfortable situations, the more comfortable I am when I am once again faced with that situation. I have a long way yet to go, but I am slowly and surely getting my to where I need it to be. I am still single and childless… but I AM a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend, a youth leader, a student, and an employee. There are so many things that I am, why complain about the things that I am not? With God’s help, I will wait on HIS timing… for everything happens in His time and taking things into my own hands only leads to unnecessary heartache; a lesson I learned the hard way. Until next time…

XOXO,

Selena Rynay