All posts by Alison Cole

About Alison Cole

Alison Cole likes to describe herself as “a freelance useful person”. There are all kinds of people and jobs out there, but she likes the freedom to drop everything when someone is in need and go off on adventures to help out with new babies or anything, especially when it's supporting marriages and family! When Alison is not off nannying, she likes to occupy her time with drawing, painting and writing!

Becoming

I recently had a conversation with a friend about the kind of person you want to be, especially when it comes to finding a spouse. I don’t think it’s advisable to change to fit a specific person. But what about in a more general way trying to become the kind of person that the person you would want to marry would want to marry?

If you are a woman, think about the kind of man you want to marry and the kind of woman he would love; Become that woman. If you are a man, think about the kind of woman you want to marry and the kind of man she would love; Become that man.

That way you aren’t changing yourself to suit a specific person, but a kind of person. It’s about trying to become a good and admirable person.

I’ve been thinking of that word: becoming. Here are two different definitions of the word.

Becoming:
1. Verb: To undergo change or development.
2. Adjective: Attractively suitable.

We don’t use this second definition very much anymore, but I’ve been thinking about how linked they actually are. The goal is to undergo change and develop as a person so that you are attractive. Not just physically attractive, but actually attractive, inwardly attractive. 

But how do we become inwardly attractive? How do we undergo that change? Who are we supposed to become, other than somebody someone else might find suitable and attractive?

The answer is a simple one, though not easy.

“My friend, go to the God of the Word, and thus to the Word itself, and so enter through the door into the sheepfold, that is, into the church, and you will be enlightened; and then as from a mountain top you will see for yourself the goings and wanderings, not only of the many but your own also previously in the gloomy forest below.” (True Christian Religion 177)

Only from the Lord in His Word can we see the gloom in which we have wandered! Only from the Lord and His Word can we correct our footsteps. It is through repentance and regeneration that we undergo change and development. It is approaching the Lord and being the person that He wants us to be that makes us attractively suitable.

And the real end result is that we are becoming angels for the Lord, and so all the efforts we are making to better ourselves is ultimately for the Lord and His Kingdom. And not only is He creating a space for us to live in Heaven, but we create a space for Him to come and live in us now.

“The Lord dwells in what is His own with man, and man in those things which are from the Lord, and thus in the Lord.” (Doctrine of Life 102)

Little By Little

“Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until thou be fruitful, and inherit the land.” (Exodus 23:30)

Do you ever wish that the Lord would give you a sign? Maybe if you’ve read this passage you don’t think of asking for signs:

“A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a sign. But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Matthew 12:39)

But maybe, like me, you wish some things would be more obvious, or something big would happen to course correct your path. Or you seek a big change. “Something dramatic needs to happen and then I’ll______.” “I just need this to change and then I’ll start _____.” Whatever it is, I think we are all prone to waiting for something. Waiting until January first to start a resolution. Or the first of the month, or the first of the week. Can’t stop and make a change in the middle of the week. Nope. “I will go off caffeine this week!” and if I drink some Tuesday, the week is a goner. Gotta start fresh next Monday. Can’t go caffeine free the rest of this week. At least that’s the way my mind works.

Continue reading Little By Little

For the Sake of Others

“Man is born not for the sake of himself but for the sake of others; that is, he is born not to live for himself alone but for others.”

True Christian Religion 406

It can be hard to see how your actions affect other people. I do something selfish but consider it relatively harmless because no one else will know what I do or do not do. But the point isn’t even getting away with something because no one will notice. Sometimes I really fail to see the point of bettering myself. How does running help the neighbor? If I sleep-in instead of going for a run the only person I’m hurting is me. And is it really hurting me? I could make an argument for it not.

Who do you change for? Well, spoilers, you’re supposed to do it because the Lord says to. You’re not supposed to change because other people want you to. Also, they might not want you to change for the better.

Continue reading For the Sake of Others

Variety vs Diversity

Forgive me while I be pedantic about language. But language matters. I have heard many people say that language evolves and while that can be true, it can also cause problems. I know that words like “cleave” have opposite meanings but can usually be figured out from context, but some things cannot be deciphered from context. “She was literally jumping for joy” could mean that someone was excitedly jumping up and down. Or it might mean that the person was just really excited but not actually jumping. Because literally can now mean figuratively.

Language matters. “Different” doesn’t mean “inferior”. Discrimination is not a bad thing. At least not according to the definition. It essentially means to “perceive a difference” or even “to use good judgment”.

But what about words like diversity and variety? We associate variety with flavors of donuts or colors, and diversity with people and opinions, but what do they actually mean?

The dictionary definition of “variety” is “the quality or state of having different forms or types.” Continue reading Variety vs Diversity