Cite your source(s)


I’m a plagiarist.

And the copy and paste shortcuts on my keyboard weren’t even utilized.

It started out innocently enough. I’m at work receiving praise from a colleague, and we’re not talking the throwing-flowers-at-my-feet-let’s-erect-a-statue-in-your-honor praise, we’re talking the one-pat-on-the- back-and-a-teeth-showing-smile praise.

And I received it without any hesitation.

No online websites or articles were copied and pasted (including Wikipedia), no one received $20 dollars from me in exchange for a B paper on sustainability in Eastern Europe, and no books from the library were harmed in the making of this act of plagiarism.

All I did was forget to cite my source. (Even after years of constant threats of expulsion from institutions of higher education and multiple copies of the MLA handbook.)

When someone comments on my seemingly chronic state of smiling, I receive it without any hesitation. When someone compliments me on a wise word I said, I receive it without any hesitation. When someone notices my personal contentment and joy, I receive it without any hesitation.

I receive it as if I am the one responsible. As if I, through personal hard work and perseverance, created within myself a content, joyful, and wise spirit. As if I manifested these characteristics of my own accord.

But I know full well that every good and perfect gift comes from You[1].

The hope I have in your grace and Christ’s sacrifice[2], gives me a joy that radiates. Your love[3] keeps me in a seemingly chronic state of smiling[4]. Your Holy Spirit grants me wise words in difficult conversations[5]. The promise of Christ’s power to give me strength in all situations cultivates contentment within my soul[6].

This is all a sign of Your hands at work—not mine.

I’m guilty of taking Your work and passing it off as my own.

I’m a plagiarist that needs to start citing her Source[7].

Your child,


[1] James 1:17

[2] Ephesians 2:1-10

[3] John 3:16

[4] 8+ hours of sleep helps. Also, peanut butter. Also, Youtube videos that involve fluffy puppies.

[5] Romans 8:26

[6] Phillipians 4:11-16

[7] God

I am NOT cool


Remember that phase I went through in elementary school where I would wear a blonde wig around with a black beret? I’m pretty sure I also tried to convince people I was Australian.

This would have been cool except that I have enough red curly hair on my head to make wigs for every man, woman, and child in Northern Ireland with enough leftover for replacement fur for Scottish Highland cattle. Also, apparently all of my attempted accents sound French. Which would have made more sense with the beret (alas, hindsight is always 20/20).

To everyone who was unfortunate enough to experience me at that time in life must have thought I looked ridiculous.

I was NOT cool.

At the tender age of twenty-seven, I’m still not cool. At least, in the world’s eyes.

Because I’m a Christian.

Movies, television, and songs all say I need to look like a model, love recreational and casual sex, and party like there’s no tomorrow.

Of course I’m not cool because as a Christian I’m called to do the exact opposite—stand firm in the promise God created me for a purpose, looks and all; sex, while awesome, is to be saved for marriage; and while we are to enjoy the life He has given us we aren’t supposed to be getting drunk and living recklessly. To the world, my life sounds awful. Void of all the things that are supposed to make you feel alive and happy. I’m swimming against the flow of today’s tide. I’m counter-cultural. Christianity is counter-cultural.

Christ was counter-cultural.

Christ wasn’t the cool kid on the block. He wasn’t the strong warrior everyone was expecting. He was a humble servant who said crazy stuff like “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” He spoke in parables and answered your question with a question. He said if you want to follow him you have to deny yourself and pick up your own cross. He captured many, but lost many more. And he died the death of a criminal on a cross.

But he also did some really notable things. Like turning a few fishes and loaves into enough for five thousand people. Or casting out demons. Healing the sick. Raising people from the dead. Including himself. So that we could have eternal life.

Now that’s pretty cool.

Being a Christian may mean that my co-workers aren’t going to invite me to Happy Hour after work because they know I don’t want to indulge in gossip about everyone else at work. Being a Christian may mean I can’t have sex with my boyfriend until I’m married. Being a Christian may mean I’ll be playing board games instead of drinking games on a Friday night. Being a Christian may mean that people may make assumptions about me and my beliefs or judge me because of who I serve and who I believe in. Being a Christian may mean that a television show of my life wouldn’t make it to primetime—or even straight to DVD. Being a Christian may make me seem not cool.

But being a Christian also means I have a fulfillment from something, someone greater than myself, greater than anything this earth can afford. I was created and called for a purpose by a Heavenly Father who knows the exact number of hairs on my head. And who knows the plans He has for me even before I was created. While life isn’t perfect, and I am not perfect, God promises comfort, peace, and strength when I seek Him and seek Him with my whole heart because he sent His son to overcome it all. He forgives me when I screw up. Daily. His mercies are new every morning. Being a Christian means I make sacrifices for things of this world to pursue things that are of Him—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Being a Christian means my time, money, and life are not my own—but belong to someone who holds me in His Hand. I can choose to pursue Him and let Him lead me to His best for me. And He has a best for me. Being a Christian means I have the choice to accept Christ as the Savior of my soul and Lord of my life. Being a Christian means Christ gave His life for me so that I can live forever with Him. All I have to do is say yes, and follow with my heart, mind, soul, in words and in actions, denying my earthly self to follow You—my heavenly Father.

Being a Christian means I’ll look ridiculous to anyone who experiences me at this time in life because of the love I have for You—like a blonde wig and a black beret on a redhead. Like David singing and dancing when the ark of your covenant finally came back to the temple.

I’ll become even more undignified than this when living my life for You.

And I’m cool with that.

Your child,