Monday, February 27, 2012

Something's Gotta Give.

Have you ever gotten that strange feeling where you know you're supposed to do something but you have no idea why? There is just SOMETHING inside of you that is pushing you towards this idea placed in your mind? Some call it a gut feeling. Some call it intuition. Some call it their conscious. Some call it God talking.

No Make-up March.

That's the idea that has been placed in my mind for the last week or so. When the idea came up in conversation with a few girls a while back I had no objections towards going through the month long haul without a touch of make-up on my face. I am quite aware of my facial "imperfections" and "blemishes" but I am content in knowing that I no longer need to rely on make-up to feel beautiful. Yes I will admit, there was a time when I would not leave the house till my face was "perfect". But years later, I have found that the women who I find most beautiful are the ones who are radiant with confidence - whether in sweats and with no make-up on, or strutting their stuff with a blazer and heels. Confidence is key. Being content in who you've been created to be is key. Loving yourself - at all times - is key. Those are lessons I learned a few years ago. So why do I feel so challenged to go a whole month without make-up now?

I began to think about my make-up routine: all the things I put on in the morning (foundation, eyeliner and mascara), what I considered the basic essentials (mascara always wins!), what I would skip if I was in a rush (who really needs eyeshadow?), what I would put extra time and effort into if I was going somewhere special... etc. 

I thought it all through trying to find something that I relied on...something that would be a struggle for me to give up...something that would make this upcoming month worthwhile for me... and I could honestly say I didn't mind giving any of it up...all I could think about was the extra half-an-hour of time I would get to sleep in every morning! How wonderful!!! - and then my words came back to haunt me! A few weeks ago I remember telling a friend how the only thing that would seriously challenge me and my relationship with God to the next level was if I sacrificed some of my oh-so-precious beauty sleep, and got up earlier so that I could do morning devotions.

I wish I could take that back. If you know me - you know how much I love sleep. The essential "8 hours" is just not enough for me! But at last - I have found my challenge. I have found the purpose and motivation that I was desperately looking for behind "No Make-up March". For the next month, that extra half-an-hour I spent on my make-up routine in the morning will now be put to better use - spending time with God.

Why am I telling you all of this you may ask? So you can keep me accountable. And maybe, just maybe you'll be inspired to join me. Maybe you're motivation is different. Maybe you can't go without make-up for a whole month - maybe try doing it a few days a week, or maybe go without that one thing that you always rely on to feel beautiful. Be challenged. Pray about it. If you decide to join, let me give you one tip of advice - whatever your motivation - be confident and go through with it expecting to see change!

Monday, January 2, 2012


It's been a while since I've written on here... but I currently cannot sleep and am struggling with my thoughts so I thought I'd process it all out in a blog and clear my head. This may not be the best idea... but goes nothing.


This year I spent my New Years Eve with some friends from out-of-town that attend my school. It was a blast... we had some good laugh's and had fun together. I really am fortunate to have people like them in my life. They inspire me, encourage me and challenge me to the core without even realizing it I'm sure. I am so blessed to have them in my life. We spent the big night downtown at Parliament, and after midnight hit we began to walk back to our car which was parked a few blocks away. As we made the chilly walk back to the car, my mind began to reflect on the past year. I began to reminisce about the amazing things that happened in my life in 2011. I excitedly recalled the many things God did in my life and the provisions which he made available to me throughout the year. However, I also recalled the not-so-great moments of 2011. The challenges that I faced. The mountains that I miraculously conquered, and the mountains that I hate to admit conquered me. I silently decided in that moment not to let certain struggles take a hold of my life in this new year. I made a pact with myself that I would conquer mountains in my life that I had been facing for several years now. I can recall the previous New Year's Eve making the exact same inner-agreement with myself, but this year was different. In my mind, I promised God, I said "God, I am done dealing with this. This year, I will conquer this mountain in my life. It's gone and done with." I was determined. And they say when your determined...nothing can stop you.

It's now January 2. The second day of a New Year. The second day of what many consider a fresh start. A new beginning. A second or third or fourth chance at making a change... and I already blew my agreement. I did exactly what I said I wouldn't do. Was it something huge that will haunt me for the rest of my life? Thankfully no. But still, I was determined. I wanted this mountain gone. Removed. Out of sight, out of mind. And I promised myself that I would not let myself see it again.

That's exactly where I went wrong. Little did I know at the time, that the exact moment when I made that deal in my head was where everything went wrong. That's where I failed my plans. I had good intentions, but you see, I promised myself that I would not let myself struggle with my mountain anymore. I was determined that I was going to conquer my mountain... Have I made my point clear? Although the purpose behind conquering my mountain was to further my relationship with God, I did not include God in my equation. Just a "minor" detail I missed. Oops. I actually laugh now as I realize that my own strength only lasted me two days. How weak am I when I do not rely on the one who gives me strength. It sounds so cliche, but that previous statement holds so much truth. The situation I find myself in reminds me of something I read in Romans just last week. You see, the story that I am given is a God-story. Not an Allison-story. Its a story about what God is doing in my life and how He conquers the various mountains in my life when I rely on and trust in Him. It's not about how I muster up the strength and determination to conquer a struggle. In Romans 4, Paul writes that Abraham entered in to what God was doing for him...and the moment that Abraham entered in to God's plan, he allowed God to set the pace - and that was the turning point in Abraham's life. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own. Paul uses Abraham as an example to teach us that if you consciously acknowledge that the job at hand is too big for you, and trust that God can accomplish what you never possibly could, then your trust in him to do it is what will set you right with God. It's our shift in focus from what we do, to what God does, that causes us to become less concerned about the mountains in our life, and more concerned about our faith in Christ. ...and consequently, as we focus in on our faith, the mountains in our lives will fade away as confirmation of our faith. Yes, there still will be challenges and new mountains will come our way - but they are no longer our focus as we keep our eyes fixed on Christ. In a way its all about trusting God. It's about me figuring out that in order to accomplish anything, I must first submit it to God. ...and when I say submit, I don't just mean saying "Here God, take this.".. I mean, genuinely coming to the realization that I cannot do it on my own. I am not capable in any way shape or form and I need God to accomplish it. And in turn, as I admit my weakness by surrendering each situation to him, I gain his strength. It's a beautiful exchange - it really is, if you think about it. Why would he do such a thing? To prove that he is almighty and powerful? Or for the simple reason that he loves us, and he desires to see us soar and share what he has done in our lives with others. Because remember, my story is not an Allison-story. When all is said and done one day I hope that my life is not a show and tell story of what I have accomplished. But I hope that it is a God-story. He should be the main character on display - receiving all the glory... because he has done great things... and this year I have faith that he will do even greater things and move mountains that I never could, even if I tried.