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  • Looking Back…

    January 7th, 2015

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    I doubt anyone still reads this blog, but if you do, I just want to put this out there.

    I look back over this blog and almost don’t recognize the person who wrote here. I was a naive nineteen-year-old, with absolutely no experience of anything I was writing. I had bought into the idea that the world was all black-and-white, that God was stuck inside this little box and had to do everything according to the rules in them. I had never been in a relationship and was merely spouting theories. I had absorbed ideas pushed by people who seemed to have all the answers to a picture-perfect Christian life, and I was just mindlessly – if not passionately – spouting them.

    Now, almost seven years later, at twenty-five, I’m a completely different person. I’ve lived life now. I’ve been in a relationship and seen that rigid “courtship” rules don’t work, that each individual person has to follow God’s individual plan for their life. I’ve realized through studying Scripture the grave, crippling error that ideas like “emotional purity” and “betrothal” and “defrauding” are. I’ve realized that being “modest” doesn’t mean sticking with a rigid set of rules in clothing or taking full responsibility for men’s actions. I understand the error of words I threw around so carelessly like “patriarchy” and “courtship” and “role of women”. There has been some seriously fiery trials in my life within the past few years, and as I’m left here,with absolutely nothing in my life the way I thought it would be back when I was nineteen (both for the worse and so, so much for the better), I have to shake my head at how the standards I held to so rigidly, depending on them for happiness, have failed me so miserably. I depended on a set of rules and outward standards to prove my worth, instead of depending on God and allowing Him to truly guide my life. I squelched the dreams and desires He had set in my heart since birth, and tried to fit a mold forced on me that I was not made to fit. I understand the crippling power that legalism had over my life, and the harsh, unloving, utterly unChristian judgmental attitude that I displayed at times.  Pointing fingers is not the answer to solving problems, and now that I’ve been on the other end, I understand the pain people suffer when they are trying to follow the Lord and being judged by finite people.

    I’m not throwing the baby out with the bathwater entirely, although I’ve steered away from those that I once followed so ardently. I still have my faith, still believe 100% in a God who loves us and died for our sins. I *do* believe that you are responsible to show Christ to others and lead others to Him, but that you show His love by the way you treat others and by His love shining through you, not because you look, sound, and act completely different from others. I still believe in the sacredness of sex, and I believe that it is best saved for marriage – but not that you are somehow less worthy if you come to the altar without your “technical” virginity intact. I don’t believe that “staying pure” includes affectionate physical contact – both in a romantic relationships and just with your brothers in Christ – or that “liking” a guy can “give your heart away”, or that not marrying the first guy you have a relationship with is a failure. I don’t believe that never talking about sex or acknowledging the sexuality that God has hard-wired in us solves problems, but rather creates huge new ones.

    I don’t believe that higher education is a sin, but rather something good women can use. I don’t believe that young, single girls should not have the opportunity to work, to go to school, to use their talents and hobbies and pursue their dreams. I believe there can be a place for Christian women outside of the home, and they can use their talents just as much as men can to change the world. I still believe in strong marriages, and that motherhood is the most important career a woman can have. But it’s not the only one. Some women will never have marriage. Some will never be able to have kids. And I think that God is able to use women for many different purposes. Single women should not feel a failure because they’re not married. They can still be used mightily by God. Women who are infertile are not failures at marriage. I still want to eventually marry – to marry a man who will love and respect me, who I can work beside as his equal to impact others. I still want to eventually be a mother – and perhaps even homeschool – not because I think that other options are sins, but because I loved it. Please don’t take from this that I hated my life. I love my family. I don’t regret a minute of growing up in a large family, of homeschooling. While my parents made many mistakes, I cannot completely blame them. I blame the leaders who sucked naive trusting young families into believing that their formulas were “the way” to perfect families. I blame people who used their position to gain power over others.

    My goal in my life? To go by the Bible, and by the Bible only. My life in the past three years has been one of taking every single thing in my life and examining it by the Scripture. Not the verses that people picked and chose to fit their pet beliefs, but just 100% the Word of God. Yes, my life looks drastically different from the girl who started blogging in June 2008. I never thought I’d be in college, have a job, been in and out of a relationship, kissed formulas goodbye, worn pants and shorts and even swimsuits, have an occasional drink, kissed a guy who wasn’t my husband, identify as a feminist, enjoy being single, be in theatre, or agreed with things I thought were completely against my worldview. It’s been difficult in a lot of ways. But I believe that this balance, trying to show more love and compassion, and ridding myself of all these unBiblical trappings, has actually put me on the path to being a better Christian. It’s given me a new love and compassion for others that I never had.

    To anyone that I pulled astray, offended, or misled in any way by what I wrote here, I ask for pardon, and I ask that you give me grace. Grace in the knowledge that I was an enthusiastic young girl who thought I had all the answers and wanted to share that with others, and had to learn the painful way that I totally, completely did not. But God was faithful to show me my error, and He is leading me into a more balanced path. And to those who have tried for years to shine light on the errors others like me believed, don’t give up. Even the hardest, staunchest supporter can see the light. One of the things I am most thankful for are the friends outside of my legalistic circles who stood by me even when I snubbed them and their “worldly” lifestyles, who showed by love and not by shunning that maybe you didn’t have to follow all the rules to be a good Christian. Maybe it was about a relationship with Christ, and not that you wore the right clothes and talked the right talk and did the right things.

    I’ve seen it happen in bucketloads around me. The girls I blogged with, girls I knew, girls I read are all coming to the same conclusions. We’ve learned the hard way that formulas and boxes just. don’t. work. I’m writing this now for the next generation. For girls like my sisters, who were little girls when I was learning this and who are beautiful teenage girls now. I want them to know that God loves them, that He thinks that they’re important, that being women doesn’t make them any less in His sight. That they don’t need to be ashamed because they think a boy is cute, that their hopes and dreams don’t have to be squelched, that they’re responsible for their own thoughts and actions and no one else’s. I’m writing this because I don’t want young girls to ever come across my blog and get sucked into all this the way I was. Life has taught me a lot, and in the words of one of my favorite songs,

    The more I live, the more I learn.
    The more I learn, the more I realize
    The less I know.
    Each step I take, each page I turn,
    Each mile I travel only means
    The more I have to go.
    What’s wrong with wanting more?
    If you can fly, then soar!
    With all there is, why settle for
    Just a piece of sky?
    (“A Piece of Sky” from Yentl)

    I don’t know what part of my future blogging holds. Frankly, my life is getting far too hectic for the kind of constant blogging that I used to do. I have a job now, I’m in school, and I’ve finally gotten into theatre and am pursuing the deep, hidden dreams that were squelched for so, so long. But I do want to share – share what God’s done in my life, what I’ve learned. I’m praying about exactly how He wants me to do this, and I’m prayerfully considering someday writing a book about it. But for now, I’m moving stuff out of my life that holds me down, that reminds me of that life I’m not living any more. And the blog is part of it. I just don’t want to hurt others any more by it…it was a well meaning mistake, but it was still a mistake. I’m planning to delete this in a few weeks, but I wanted to put this out there before I do.

    Thanks to any still reading this, and to all those who followed me through this journey. The Internet is a pretty crazy place, and I’ve learned a lot through my journey of being a public (however small that way) part of it. When I started, I wanted to become a huge blogger like the girls I read. In the six years since I started I’ve gotten a small following of people who have become close and dear friends, and my blog is nothing like what I wanted it to be. And I’m so thankful for that.

    Lastly, to those who read or know me who still believe these things…please don’t think that I look down on you or think that you should drop all your beliefs just because I reevaluated mine. I respect your opinion and still love you dearly. If I did not, I would be no different from the judgmental person I once was, and I would have accomplished nothing. One of the doctrines which I believe is the concept of Individual Soul Liberty, which is that “every Christian has the liberty to believe, right or wrong, as his/her own conscience dictates.” If I tried to control someone else’s conscience by insisting that my way was the only right way, I’d be no different than those I am trying to disassociate myself with. Do I disagree with you? Yes. Am I going to try and shove my beliefs on you? No.

    Thank you all again, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do in life!

    Alexandra Rovirosa
    January 2015

    Well, I’m Moving…

    February 19th, 2011

    …as in my blog, not myself.

    I’ve been debating this for a while, and am finally now doing it! So please point your browers here from now on…

    www.alexandra-thevalueofone.blogspot.com

    Thanks so much for reading with me for the past three years! I’m really excited about my “new” blog…see you there!

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

    February 14th, 2011

    This is not a moaning and groaning Valentine’s post. I’m not hating it or renaming it Single’s Awareness Day or wishing that I had a man. I’m perfectly content and happy.

    I also am not pretending that I do not want to be married someday. That I would not be happy if next Valentine’s day sees me with a special someone.

    This Valentine’s day, all that seems trivial.

    This Valentine’s day, I am just happy that we are all together. That we are all here together as a family. So much could have happened and by God’s grace, we are all here together as a family. And what does it matter what happens or what we do, as long as we’re together?

    This Valentine’s day, I am reminded more than anything else of God’s eternal love. The knowledge that we are always held “in the palm of His hand” and that he he will always “raise us up on eagle’s wings“. That his grace and peace are always there when we need it. That He is always, always there for us.

    “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:39-39

    He’s Happy…

    February 14th, 2011

    “It was strange, but as I stood there I felt his hand slip in mine as if he were standing beside me and comforting me…Tim was telling me, you see, in his own little way, that he’s happy. Truly happy now, and that we must cease to grieve for him and try to be happy, too.” 

    “But however and whenever we part from one another, I am sure we shall none of us forget poor Tiny Tim…or this first parting that there was among us.”

    - A Christmas Carol

     

    I love you and miss you, little Tiny Tim. I know that you’re truly happy now. Love, your Sissy

    Baby Mine…

    February 9th, 2011
    Ever since Joey was a baby, I used to sing this song to our little guys when they were babies. Zach even sings it with me now when I rock him before naptime. When I held our precious little Tiny Tim in the hospital, I sang this to him, too.
     
    Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging comments and emails…every one means so much. Someday I’ll be able to share all the ways the Lord provided and how he answered so many prayers, but for now, this song is for my precious little brother, my little Timmy the Angel.

    Baby Mine, don’t you cry.
    Baby Mine, dry your eyes.
    Rest your head close to my heart,
    Never to part,
    Baby of mine.

    Little one, when you play,
    Don’t you mind what they say.
    Let those eyes sparkle and shine,
    Never a tear,
    Baby of mine.

    If they knew sweet little you,
    They’d end up loving you too.
    All those same people who scold you,
    What they’d give just for the right to hold you…

    From your head down to your toes,
    You’re not much, goodness knows.
    But you’re so precious to me,
    Sweet as can be,
    Baby of mine.

     

    Dedicated to my precious little brother, Timothy Alexander Rovirosa.
    Our Tiny Tim…our own little Timmy the Angel.
    My head knows that you are in Heaven and that you are so happy.
    My head would not ask you to come back.
    But my heart wishes that you were here,
    and my heart is having a hard time letting you go.
    I miss you so much.
    You are so precious to me,
    Sweet as can be,
    Baby of mine.

    Please Pray for my Mom

    February 3rd, 2011

    My mom was having some cramping this past week, and then this morning about 2 or so she started leaking fluid. So they went to the emergency room and had a sonogram, and the baby apparently had died about three weeks ago. They’re inducing labor as soon as they move her to her room. Please, please pray for my mom, that there will be no complications or anything. Thank you all so much.

    Bible Reading Adventures…

    January 22nd, 2011

    So this year our pastor offered this little schedule thingie where you can read the Bible in a year. It sounded like a good idea, so I decided to get one and use it.

    I’ve started reading the Bible all the way through several times in my short, unevenful :-) life and always managed to peter out in the middle of Leviticus. This schedule is set up really well, and Lord willing I will be able to get through it all this time.

    I wanted to start this because I’ve been impressed lately with the importance of having a consistent daily Bible reading time. In the midst of busy schedules and mile-long to-do lists, it seems like Bible reading gets put on the back burner when it should in fact be the very first thing.

    It’s not that I haven’t wanted to do it…but for me it’s all about establishing a habit. I look at the things in my life that I do practically without thinking. How did I get to where I don’t need to tie a string around my finger to remember to do them? Because I made a habit of them.

    Now, I started the schedule rather late…so I’ve been doing quite a bit of catching up. Hopefully by next week I’ll be caught up where I should be. But praise the Lord, I have had a week of consistent, every day Bible reading. And it’s completely and totally amazing how the Lord has used it this week in showing me things in my life – through the scheduled Bible readings.

    In Genesis alone, in a book that frankly I know like the back of my hand from not only numerous readings in the previous failed attempts to read through the Bible, but from school and teaching the stories over and over again (the advantage of having wee little siblings as well as ones in your age group – you learn everything twice – once yourself, and once teaching it to others. :-) ), the Lord has shown me so many things.

    I want to share them all eventually – how in Genesis 2, a chapter practically memorized from my marriage-at-eighteen-obsession days, the Lord showed me something completely new – the incredible importance the wife’s role is to the welfare and life purpose of her husband, or Genesis 22, on Abraham’s faith that God would provide, even though it seemed as if He would have to pull it out of thin air.

    But this has been such a blessing all ready, and it’s amazing how in just a week, I am all ready getting to where I am anticipating the next day’s reading. This schedule has really been wonderful.

    Now, with the Lord’s help, I’ve just got to stick through Leviticus….

    Psalm 91

    January 20th, 2011
    It seems that so many people are facing trials right now in their lives. Whether it’s huge ones, like little Annabelle and her family, or my friend Kate’s brother Jared, or even little teeny trials in our personal lives, there is always someone who’s hurting and in need of comfort.
    I just wanted to share this psalm that had such an impact on my life in a time of deep trial in my own life. I hope this blesses someone as much as it blessed me.
    Psalm 91
    He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
    I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
    Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
    He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
    Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
    Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
    A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
    Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
    Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
    There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
    For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
    They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
    Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
    Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
    He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
    With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.
    

    Friday Night Babysitting Party…

    January 17th, 2011

    So this past Friday Mom and Dad were out for dinner with some friends.
    And we were left to hold down the fort.
    So we decided to have a bit of a party.


    We got pizza.
    And yes, it was all gone by the time we were done.
    It’s called three teen guys in the family.
    Although I must add that they’re not the only ones responsible for mass pizza consumption.
    It’s a very famous fact that Emma (8) once ate six pieces of pizza at the age of two.


    The little kiddies with their pizza.
    Pizza-from-the-store (as in Papa John’s or Pizza Hut or whatever) is a bit of a luxury here.
    So this was exciting stuff, you know.


    Even Ben was in on the fun.
    He eats as much pizza as anyone else in the family.


    We watched some Hogan’s Heroes on the new Christmas present from grandma.
    And now I must take this opportunity to say what an awesome grandma I have.
    Not just because she gives lovely presents. Just because.
    But this present was really nice. :-)


    Coca-Cola and Papa John’s Garlic Sauce.
    Which is pretty much amazing stuff.
    The sauce, I mean.
    I really want to find a recipe.


    My plate.
    Spinach alfredo pizza…I do so love.
    Very, very much.


    I love Hogan’s Heroes.
    I especially love Colonel Klink.


    Nick didn’t want to get his picture taken.
    Spoil-sport.


    Self-portraits are always hard to take.
    And it’s a bit blurry. But it’s the best of the bunch we took.
    So after we had pizza we played some little kiddie games.
    Like Candyland. I haven’t played that in years.
    Then the little ones went to bed and the older seven of us played Seven-Up.
    Then the girls and I watched one of our Andre Rieu concert DVDs
    And stayed up till two in the morning watching it,
    Singing along to the songs in English and humming along to the ones that weren’t
    And clapping and cheering at the end.
    It really is amazing.
    Sometimes I still can’t believe that I actually got to go to one of his concerts.
    The Lord really is so, so, so good in giving us all those little things.

    So it was a really good Friday night.

    Happy New Year!

    January 1st, 2011

    I hope you all had a very Happy New Year! It was a great one for me. The Lord really blessed this year. We had a lot of really, really tough times, but so, so many wonderful ones, too. And I can’t wait to see what this year brings!

    And yes, I’ve been absent…been enjoying Christmas vacation waaay too much! A post with pics of the lovely things I got from my awesome family and friends is coming soon, but until then…

    Here’s a New Year’s post, with a recap and what-I-want-to-happen-this-year! :-)

    Recap:

    January
    Learned some very valuable lessons about life
    Was sick most of the month
    Saw Cranford…and LOVED it!
    Saw A Tale of Two Cities the Musical in Concert on PBS

    February
    Had a meeting in Tennessee…and were snowed in!
    Got sick again. :-)

    March
    My very first crush, Fess Parker (known for his role as Davy Crockett), died. That was sad.
    My dear sisses-in-Christ Kate and Tori came to visit for a week! Amazing, wonderful visit. Love you gals!

    April
    I was sick again
    Easter!

    May
    My 21st birthday!!! Went and had lobster tail with my dad. First time having lobster, you know. Loved it.

    June
    Met (as in cyber-met…not real-live met) my dear, dear bloggy friends Michaela and Anna! And have spent six happy months talking all things singing/singers, musicals in general, chocolate, Europe, and everything under the sun. :-)
    Began planning the Think of Me gown

    July
    Nick graduated
    Got to spend a lovely week with my bestest sis Tori when they came down for Nick’s graduation
    The Historical Costume Inspiration Festival was announced…and I began working on the TOM gown in earnest!

    August
    Spent the month working on the TOM gown. :-)
    Saw The Young Victoria and L.O.V.E.D it. Probably my favorite film of the year.
    Went on vacation to Truman Lake and had a lovely, amazing, relaxing week.

    September
    Saw Wall-E and Up and fell in love. I want to marry Wall-E. If I were a robot.
    Finished the TOM gown. Hallelujah.

    October
    The Think of Me gown won Best Reproduction!!!!!!

    November
    Went to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee and had an amazing two weeks with the Ransom family…going to Dollywood…a lovely, lovely time!

    December
    Had a very relaxing Christmas with family!

    Some things I’d love to happen in 2011:

    Get closer to the Lord and my family.
    Get really good at voice – and have nothing happen so I can have my spring recital!!! I am SOOOO looking forward to that!!!
    Get more piano students
    Get better at the things I do around the house
    Start another gown.
    Finish this awesomely amazing novel Tori and I are writing.
    See my dear Kate and Tori again.
    Meet Mich and Anna in person
    And last but not least….I would. Absolutely. Love. To. Go. See. Tori. In. England. England is all ready one of my top three places-I-have-to-visit-before-I-die. How convenient that my closest friend lives there now…good excuse. :-)

    So…hope you all had a Happy New Year! And praying that 2011 brings more joys and blessings than you can hold! Thank you so much, each and every one of you, for sticking with me and filling my blogging life with so much fun!