Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Return to Neverland

It's Tuesday! Know what that means? 2 days left until no more class! And 3 until my birthday! And 9 until they set me loose on summer :)) I have been looking forward to this since last summer. I am SO excited. I don't know what I'm going to do just yet, but in due time all will be revealed! And I must say, I've never been so excited to not have a plan or any kind of idea of where I'll be. If you know me, it's a pretty big step since I like to schedule just about everything. Especially the big things! But it's a whole new kind of exciting.

It's been a few days since I've written anything, and for that I'm sorry. Sunday, Megs and I saw Putnam County Spelling Bee, which was phenomenal! So funny...and I do love musicals. Then I attempted to work on homework before going to climb and to bible study. Bible study, by the way, was also awesome! Not a discussion, but just listening. A man came to talk about his life and how God had blessed him even when he didn't know it yet. I found out about this incredible organization that the man's daughter recently started called Vision for Peace. Check it out for yourself at visionforpeace.com!!

I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to get across today, but hopefully God helps me figure it out by the time I'm done.

Something that I've been thinking about lately is children, lol. Not for me! But in general. I love them. I know I've mentioned this before, but today I have a point, I think. Whenever there are little kids around, it's seriously like a magnetic force I can't control! Last week when Meg's and I finally got to meet baby Mara, I couldn't have waited another minute to hold her. I really do think that it's incredible to watch her. She's so small :)) I love watching her be completely human in such a tiny little package. She has facial expressions and stretches and sneezes and yawns! Everything about her is so miniature and perfect. And she sleeps, a lot! And I wondered what it is she dreams about all day long. We dream about things that we know and have seen, but what does she know? What has she seen? Hmm...food for thought.

What are my favorite things about babies? They're magnificent and they have no idea. They are more loved than anything! And there's not a doubt in my mind that this is true. There's not anything I wouldn't do if Mara was crying or in pain to make her peaceful again. But more so than me, her parents would go to the ends of the earth to give her what she wanted in general. As a baby, she is completely helpless and her parents know that and are willing to drop anything to hold her or comfort her or feed her or change her, whatever she needs!

As she gets older, she'll think that she can do it on her own. The first time she rides a bike and falls or when she gets her first crush. When she gets to be old enough to drive and make decisions for herself, she'll think she can handle it and may ask for help from her parents, but probably not. I didn't. She'll grow up and fall in love with someone and leave her family to start her own. As she grows up, she'll need them less and less, which may end up making her think that they love her less and less, but really, they never stopped. The second she asks for help in anything, I know that her parents would be there for her, who wouldn't? But unlike when she's a baby, her parents know that she can make decisions for herself and won't pressure her or be on her constantly. They'll help when they're called. At the first cry for help, they'll be there.

Get it? When we're babies, we're helpless. But God is always there. God loves kids! More than I do! And who couldn't? We were perfect, innocent, loving, imaginative, adventurous, enthusiastic, spirited and so much more! And as children, we are mostly ignorant to how we get through as long as we do, but God is always there. And as we get older, we think we can do it on our own. Sometimes we can, but not forever. Life happens and we'll be crying again and there's nothing like comfort from someone who loves us unconditionally. At our first cry, He'll be there. But we have to be humble enough to know we can't do it without Him. To know, just as child, that our every need will be met when we earnestly call for Him.

So what does this mean? "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven," Matthew 18:3-4. Exactly that. In order to enter the kingdom of God we have to be like children who know that they can't do it alone and aren't too proud to ask for help. Who are innocent and ever loving. It doesn't mean we have to be perfect. Children can also be selfish and tempermental, but they are God's. And just like parent's respond to the a child's cry, so will God to ours.

For the rest of this week, I want to pray to be as humble as a child, to return to a weaker state of mind that knows that I am nothing without the help of a higher power. That I remember that He loves me more than I will ever know or comprehend, and that He's always there for me. That I'm not too proud to ask for help with the simplest of tasks or at the slightest sight of struggle. To thank Him for the tasks that I can't complete on my own so that I remember to whom I belong. And that I have the innocence and love of a child and that I can be as spirited and enthusiastic about life and God as they are.

Thanks for reading. I tried to keep it brief, although I think it took me just as long as normal to write, lol. I hope I made the point God intended for me to make and that you read exactly what you needed to. I hope that we all can grow to be more like children. And my final hope for this week (and life in general) is that when I get ahead of myself, I can close my eyes and think good thoughts and be taken back to where I need to be, with God!

Thought I was gonna say Neverland huh? Tricked ya! :)) I'm too funny...

High moment for today? My mom defended her thesis earlier and passed! Congrats to Momma Maria :)) You're going to be a wonderful teacher!

I love you! All of you, not just my mom, lol

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How you likin' the rain, girl?

Happy Saturday!

The title of today's post is a quote from Twilight (the movie). I thought it was appropriate because of the rainy day we have, but then I realized the only person that might get it was Megs...so I'm sorry I couldn't help but make a Twilight reference, lol. I hope that everyone has enjoyed this beautiful napping weather! I am in the process of packing my entire dorm room because with finals coming up, as well as my mom's graduation party, I should at least attempt to eliminate the stress that I can! My room couldn't look more sad. It's so empty and I just feel like I'm in a prison cell. Slight exaggeration, there's still plenty to get out of here...lol

Today I have a very specific topic to talk about because it's something I definitely struggle with. Maybe not on a daily basis, but this week was particularly difficult for several reasons. Usually, my anger comes from my frustrations. At life, at people, at myself. There's nothing worse than knowing I'm doing something wrong but continuing in it anyways only for it all to fall through. You know?

I mentioned a few days ago that it's hard for me to really trust people, because I can't be in control of them, what I didn't mention at the time was that it's also hard for me to really trust God sometimes. And I'm sure that goes back to not being in control. I know that He has it all covered, but I can't see the bigger picture like He can and it's frustrating when life sort of collapses around me and I can't see around the rubble to what will happen next. I get frustrated because I want Him to be in control of my life, but for someone who likes to know the details and have a plan, it's hard because the more of Him there is, the less I'll get to know. When I'm in control of my life (or when sin is) I know my next move, and I know the outcomes, but when we fully turn it over, we FULLY turn it over to Him. So what I've been praying for is my faith so that I know that He does have it all taken care of and it's ok for me to dive right into Him and to be comforted by that. I've felt that this is the best thing for me because I'm fairly certain that this is the way it should be because "...faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1.

Like I mentioned, this week was particularly difficult for me in general. At the beginning of the week, I'd say I was furious. Knowing that I didn't want any of those terrible feelings, it slowly turned into guilt so I prayed about it. By the grace of God, He answered by keeping me so busy this week that I didn't have time to think about why I was even mad to begin with. Every morning I've also prayed that I handle the entire situation in a way that would be pleasing to Him. I knew that by doing this, I would have to do what wouldn't necessarily be easiest, but I also knew that "I [could] do everything through Him who gives me strength," Philippians 4:13.

In reading Proverbs everyday, I've learned quite a bit about wisdom and making the right decisions, which includes being in control of my emotions, especially my temper.

1. "A hot-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated." Proverbs 14:17
2. "A patient man has great understanding but a hot-tempered man displays his folly." Proverbs 14:29
3. "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1
4. "A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." Proverbs 15:18
5. "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." Proverbs 16:32
6. "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to His glory to overlook an offense." Proverbs 19:11
7. "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control." Proverbs 25:28
8. "For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife." Proverbs 30:33

Just reading these verses again, reminds me that this is the way of life that I've chosen and in that, I must also choose to do the right thing, although it's not easy I know it's what I want. I want to be pleasing to God in my decisions, actions and words. I want to be fully consumed in Him and therefore must continue to be patient and remember that "there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven," Ecclesiastes 3:1.

And finally, revenge:

"Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated." --George Bernard Shaw
"Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge." --Isaac Friedmann
"The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury." --Marcus Aurelius

But the Bible is pretty insightful too. Saying to "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse...Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord...Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:14-21. So there you have it. And it's not easy but remember why we're choosing to do what's right, and that with God, all things are possible. So today, Saturday April 24, 2010, I'm not angry and I have peace knowing that God has it under control. I'm not going to seek revenge because it's not my place to judge. If I'm hurt for a legit reason, then He'll take care of it in due time and if it's not a good reason, then I am comforted knowing that I handled it in a way that is pleasing to God.

I had a lot of verses today, I hope I didn't overwhelm you! It's just that I know my struggles with this and I know what's right, but when it's backed by the Bible, there's not much room for negotiation. It's reassurance that I'm not making things more difficult for no reason, lol.

I've also noticed that my posts are getting longer, for that I am sorry, but I just end up on a roll!! Well, God ends up on a roll in my mind, and I just can't shut up. Thanks for reading pages and pages of what's going on with me and the words that help me get through it all. Hurry and get outside before it starts to rain again! Love you!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Romeo, just take me somewhere...

Oh my my my! It's Earth Day! For a hippie, such as myself, there couldn't be more perfect holiday! I hope that as you read, you are inspired to spend some quality time outside! Hurry, there's not much time left until the sun sets!!! I don't mind if you even finish reading later :))

I had high hopes for today, which usually ends miserably when I attempt to plan for anything, but I wouldn't say today was bad at all! It all started when I put on my fantastic purple and pink flower headband of course! Not to mention my hot pink flower sandals :)) Megs and I finally got to meet baby Mara, who couldn't be more precious! I absolutely love her! I could seriously stare at her all day, babies just blow my mind! I also took a stroll down Dickson and then Megs and I had a lovely picnic at the Greek Theater! The weather you ask? Beautiful! I couldn't have asked for a more perfect day. When I've woken up the past few mornings, it's still been a little dark, but when I woke up this morning the sun was BEAMING through our closed blinds. I couldn't help but close my eyes and be ever so thankful.

This morning I was walking back from Bell, with the sun shining and the wind blowing at the baby hairs around my face and the Taylor Swift blaring in my ears and I had the biggest smile on my face, that I'm fairly sure has been plastered there all day. I wanted to take it all in! The flowers, the green in the trees and grass, the birds, the very blue sky, the sunshine, the wind blowing and crazy little squirrels...it's all very overwhelming! But it's mostly due to the fact that I did some reading in Genesis this morning, after my daily readings :))

Rereading the story of creation is incredible. I can't even comprehend the immensity of nothingness or what it was like before God made everything. After reading it again, there are so many images going through my mind. I wish there was a movie so that I could witness it all happening right before eyes! For now, my imagination will do. Before God created the Heavens and the earth, I imagine there being infinite light. Why? Because I can't imagine there being darkness with God, right? Especially since this was before sin and such. So there's all this holy light and God separated holy light and earthly light. And the earth at this point was a huge, formless, mass of water so God separated it by making this ever blue sky. And then He contained the water and made land. And then he made the trees! These big and beautiful trees! Some with great tall branches and some with flowers and He made regular flowers! Which means he made all these beautiful colors and smells, aromaticity! And he made the fruits and vegetables! And then He spoke again and contained a portion of the light and made the sun, and to find beauty in the night, He made the moon to capture less light than the sun. And in the sky? He made these great and lesser lights! The stars!! Keep in mind that He has been makinge up things for us to learn about this whole time too...like supernovas, white dwarfs, the entire solar system, gravity, photosynthesis, pollination, plant cells, EVERYTHING! And then what does He do? He made animals. He made the lions, tigers, bears, bees, giraffs, zebras, monkeys, penguins! Every kind of fish and every kind of bird and everything in between! And then He made man! And gave him a wife for his own because it wasn't good that he was alone! And with that He made DNA, RNA, enzymes, amino acids, red and white blood cells, sex, and everything else that includes being human! Everything that we have is straight from Him! Things that take us years to create or to even imagine and He already made it all...in 6 days. It's incredible. He's absolutely unfathomable.

Being in ridiculous math classes and chemistry classes, it's so crazy to think that God made it to work that way. He knows it all! It takes a great amount of thought to engineer the things that we do have and with practically no thought at all He came up with an entire way of life. Every atom and every element! And you know what? We kinda screwed it up by giving in to sin. The good news? If He put all this thought into a finite earthly life, for finite earthly beings, to have beautiful days, just like today, can you even imagine the kind of lives we'll have in Heaven? No.

Talk about beauty :) Everything about today, magnified! Every color brighter and every smile just a little bit bigger. As happy as I was today, I know that there's something so much better waiting, and that's even more incomprehensible. I don't know exactly what Heaven will be like. Clouds? Milk? Honey? Golden streets? Light? There's really no telling! But I know God is there and I know that perfection lies in Him alone. I know that everything beautiful and pure is from Him and I know that He is love and I know that there will be nothing to compare it to. I know that every good thought I have about it, will be surpassed and every hope I have will have already been thought of. Incomprehensible. What a beautiful thought! And for this, my heart is happy. Just think about it a while! The next great day you have, give thanks to God, and then think about it getting better than that. In ways you haven't even thought of and couldn't dream of thinking up.

I know I started this by saying that you should go outside and enjoy the day, but I'm only about to post it and it's already dark, so I'm sorry! What happened and why did it take so long? I FINALLY GOT A NEW BIKE! And of course, I had to go for an Earth Day bike ride, in the dark, lol. Bike name? Romeo. Why? 1. Because it's a boy bike (because I wanted silver) and 2. because he swept me off my feet :)) I do hope your Earth Day has been just as enjoyable as mine!

Psalms 19:1--"The Heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of His hands."

Psalms 107:1--"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever."

Paradise (noun)- heaven, as the final abode of the righteous; a place of extreme beauty, delight, or happiness; a place of ideal beauty or lovlieness.

Thanks for listening to me. I hope you have a fantastic Friday!! I love you! And more importantly, so does God :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Love? Um, no thank you :))

Hello world! What a beautiful Monday! Despite the fact I'm sure we're all trying to hang onto the weekend...

Me? I was in Dallas this weekend for Kelly and Paul's wedding (Kelly is my sister's BFF)! In general, I love Dallas. I love the fast pace and the crazy drivers and getting lost and downtown and all the different highways...ahhh, I'm crazy about it all :) The wedding? Beautiful! It rained (on the ceremony), but there's a special kind of beauty in that. Not to mention the bride! And the flowers! It was wonderful, I love weddings!

Appropriately, I thought I'd address this love issue. Now, before I spill my guts, know that I have very limited experience in the area, and really, I have no idea what I'm talking about. All I know, is what I feel and what I read, and I'll share that with you. Even though I'm sure I stand alone in my opinions and interpretations and it's very wrong to think the way I do.

As you may already know, I'm slightly mushy. Or very mushy. I love love! I love romantic movies and cheesy lines...it's ridiculous. I'm ridiculous. Since I've been in college, I've been looking at it slightly different though. In high school, it was easy for me to believe in fairy tale endings and to romanticize life, but in college life comes at you a little different, you're almost required to be a little more practical. What I've realized (and again, this is my own opinion) is that there is a difference between loving someone and really being in love with someone. The Bible says we should love everyone, "...love your neighbor as yourself..." Leviticus 19:18, so why would that be a big deal? No, I think that it's when you're in love with someone that's the big deal. Because of this, I think that there can be 'love at first sight,' but it's not really what you want it to mean. The 'first sight' business is just a physical attraction between 2 people. In order to truly be in love, I think you have to know the ins and outs of someone. Know all of someones secrets and choose to not only still love them, but forget about all those secrets. It's when we stop looking at characteristics as flaws, but as reasons why we're in love them. When we can stop thinking about ourselves and be servants to those people, willingly, without notice, and without expecting reparations. You can't get any of that from just looking at someone!

I absolutely believe the God made someone for everyone, just like God made Eve for Adam. I think that the easiest way to be with those people, is to choose the life He wants for us. Free will lets us be with whomever we choose, but when we fully give our lives over to God, we're with whomever He chooses, and nothing can be more perfect than that "because God is love," 1 John 4:7.

What else does the Bible says about this love business? Well, the most well known verse comes from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 saying that "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails..."I have always loved this verse. I think it's perfect in every way. It's so encouraging and it's like a checklist! And I do love making lists and crossing things off. And I think this verse is talking about being in love. All those situations and times when we want to get mad or jealous, and we call relationships love, but they're not. Not if they don't really follow this. I know that's very picky, but I think that's why love is so hard to find. Unfortunately, people end up settling because that's the obvious and easier choice than to be alone and wait, but also the reason why divorce rates are so high!

Not that I can blame people, it's a scary thought, one that I struggle with a great deal. But what it comes down to is trust. I know that I have serious problems really trusting people. Why? Because giving all of myself to someone else takes away all of my control. You can tell them all your secrets, but what if they don't stand by you? What about when you learn to trust them, and they break that trust? What do you do when you love someone, and they wake up one day and change their minds? Or what about when you think there will never be anyone else for you, and you're the one who changes your mind? It's all very scary. The worst part is there's no one to blame. We can't really be mad at someone because they had a change of heart or because what was once good for them isn't anymore. And no matter what end of the situation you're on, I don't think anyone escapes without being a little heartbroken. Or very heartbroken. At that point, how do you learn to trust someone like that again? Like I said, I think that when we've hit rock bottom with love, and we're almost forced to turn to God, that's when we can become so consumed in a relationship so much better. The kind of relationship that everyone wants to be in. Not ones that are based on sex, or anything physical, but just pure love. When you enjoy their company, and the thought of them makes you smile. God's love, agape love. That's what I want. I want to be facebook official with God. So that instead of turning to superficial attention, I turn to Him. That I look forward to prayer like a phone call from someone I love and that I am so in love with Him that I can't wait to tell everyone about it. That I carry this 66 book love letter all the time so that I can constantly remind myself how much I'm loved by Him.

But I know that God made earthly love too. How? Because the first few verses 1 Corinthians 13 very clearly states that you can have everything and still be nothing without love. "If I speak in the tounges of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." Nothing?! Speaking in the tounges of men and angels and we get nothing. Giving up all earthly possesions for the poor and we'll get nothing. Well, this verse isn't really talking about earthly love, it's talking about being in love with God. Not being anyting without having that relationship with Him. His love is self sufficient, and as far as I know, God doesn't love you any less if you never find that special person. But God is love, and He made these feelings to be shared and expressed in beautiful ways that can be glorifying to Him. While His love is more than enough for everyone, He recognizes our earthly desires and satisfy's those desires. It's not something we need, but something He wants for us.

So where do I stand? Well I know that God loves me, and wants what's best for me (and everyone). But that doesn't directly take away the heartache when we get dumped and it doesn't make it any easier to jump right back into the sea and look for those other fish. Knowing that someone like me would still be scared to trust it, He addressed the issue. "That there is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love," 1 John 4:18.

I guess what I'm saying is that I should first and foremost be seeking a relationship with Him. God is the only perfect being in existence, therefore the only way to get this perfect love that will drive away fear, is through Him. That when I'm ready, God will put someone in my life or show me someone who is already in my life and I won't be scared. It'll happen naturally and beautifully and it will happen according to His plan for us. As long as we continue to put Him first in our lives and relationship.

Agape love (noun)- selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature).

Thanks for taking the time to read my rambles about things I really have no business rambling about. I hope that the rest of your week is absolutely fabulous! I love you :))

Now back to Monday!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Great Merriment Batman!

And happy Tuesday to you!

My organic test was yesterday, haven't checked to see how I did yet...I'm nervous despite the fact there's not much I can do about it now, ya know? Surprisingly enough, I wasn't stressed throughout it like all the others, although I feel I have my allergies to blame and God to thank.

This morning was quite possibly the most difficult morning to get up all semester. My allergies were tearing me apart and I was exhausted from the lack of sleep I've had recently. Regardless, I got up and read my Bible at my desk. The sun brightly shinning on my face, making my head throb just a little bit...

I went to my morning classes and I felt like death. My nose was running and super dry and my hair was all over the place. My eyes were watering and my throat felt closed. Granted, I'm a bit on the dramatic side, but still, I know we've just about all been there.

When I was done with lab, I came back to our room and I had nothing to do! So for whatever reason, I went for a run, my favorite. But not just any run...it was my first outdoor run of the year. I had contemplated where I would make a path and approximately how long I'd be gone for. Luckily, someone else had something better in store...

As I was running down Maple, and then down the sketch street to Wilson Park, I ended up going past a trail that I've seen several times and always been curious as to where it went. I changed course, it wasn't part of my plan, but I'm so glad I did. Although there were other runners and bicyclists, there were mostly trees on either side and creek on the other side of that. It was beautiful. So for the rest of my run, I thought about everything that I was thankful for. When I stopped, I was gently reminded of something else.

First, I'm still very much thankful for my allergies, not because I love the side affects, but because I love flowers and laying in thick grass. I'm thankful for color's and for being able to see them. I'm thankful that I could hear the water from the creek and for the fact that I can listen to music. I'm so thankful for my health, because so many people want to run and can't. I'm thankful that not only am I in college, but I am so lucky to have scholarships that pay for it. I'm thankful for all the wonderful people I have in my life. I have an incredibly supportive family and despite the fact that my mom and I rarely see things the same, she loves me, and I'll never doubt that. My sister is beautiful, inside and out and she helps me set goals and has never stopped encouraging me. Megan always keeps me on my game. She's my best friend. She always listens when I need someone to talk to and she always goes along with my ridiculous ideas. And I'm thankful for Rachel who never fails to make me smile with a random text here and there. She's one of my oldest friends, and I know that we'll be friends when we're old too. I'm so thankful for Regan, and for the incredible qualities that God's given him. I haven't known him long, but he's very quickly become a influential person in my life. I'm so thankful for Adam, because he never ceases to put a smile on my face, even when I don't want to. And there are so many more people and things, but I could go on forever! And I'm sure you have homework of some sort...

On my way back I passed quite the group which lead to me what I'm probably most thankful for, and that's children. If you know me, you know I'm obsessed. They're beautiful, all of them. I'm so thankful for their innocence and for their pure hearts and their unconditional love. What an amazing God. I'm so thankful for His love. For giving me another day to glorify Him. For the cool of the morning and night and for the heart warming sunshine in between. For sending His son to die for me. For giving me life and taking away pain.

Yesterday morning I prayed that I could have uncontrollable joy. That it would be contagious and overwhelming. Today? My heart was and still is so happy. For the rest of the way back on the trail I had the biggest smile on my face. I'm sure people had no idea why because I had sweat just flowing from my body, but I was. I am so incredibly blessed. I forget all too often and get swallowed in the bad things that happen day to day, but I need to start remembering that God has given me everything I need. That at the end of the day, His love conquers all. That I'm nothing without His help and guidance and that there's always hope when you play for the right team.

"My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance." 1 Samuel 2:1

Glee [glee] (n)- great merriment; open delight or pleasure; exultant joy; exultation.

I'd say that sums up my day :))

Oh, and I love you! Thank you for reading

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Let me dooo it...." -Stuart

Hello you! Believe it or not, I missed you :)

I have an Organic test on Monday that I've been studying for since spring break. Why? Because I have failed both of my first Organic tests. I wish I could tell you that I didn't study for them or was nervous through the whole thing, but that wouldn't be true. I studied and was confident and when I get the scores back...well clearly I went wrong somewhere. Several some wheres apparently.

So my test is Monday, and I've read every chapter and each day I decided to tackle homework for a different chapter. Monday was great. Yesterday, it was a little harder, despite the fact I had spent most of the day working on it. I had taken a short break and when I walked into our room...well, it's a certified sauna. To fix this problem, we've been leaving the window open. The problem? Pollen. And a certain amount of wind. Although I could clearly see the pollen covering my desk, and I knew Megs was already having problems with allergies, I just tried to focus and ignore it to continue to work. Eventually, my nose started to itch as did my skin and my throat. So I took an allergy pill and continued to work...but it got worse and it had gotten later and there was still a great deal that I needed to get done. I was SO frustrated because as hard as I tried I couldn't focus anymore. So I got up and cleaned everything on my desk, the window and the window sill, but that didn't take care of what was already on me :( At about 12:30 a.m. I had had enough and went to shower. At about 1:30 I took a look at what I would need to get done today in order to stay on track, only to find it was twice as much with half the time.

More disheartened than I was before my shower, I decided to try and work on something less frustrating like Diff Eq. Megs was asleep and our room was silent and almost dark and for whatever reason, as I opened my book I just started to cry. I was so overwhelmed and I felt hopeless about everything. I read Psalms 57 in an attempt to make me feel better, and it got me through math. When I woke up this morning, it wasn't any easier. I was exhausted and I still had a lot to get done. I wake up early so I can read my Bible and pray and my heart just wasn't feeling it this morning. Nevertheless, I got up and did so anyways. Instead of going over my usual prayer list though, I broke down. I felt selfish, but I prayed that God would take away my stress, take away this lump in my throat, take my anxiety, help me to focus, help me to remember that I want to glorify Him and just help me make it through today. As I stared out my window, the dark and misty morning did not reassure me of any kind of blessed day I would have. I remember being upset that the sun wasn't out on top of everything else. I even checked my phone to see if it would last all day and sure enough it said lightning!

The remainder of my morning was spent stressing over a Fundamentals test I had yet to study for and Fluid Mechanics homework I had yet to start, or even look at really. When I'd get discouraged, I'd try and remind myself that God was in control and I'd say a quick prayer letting Him know I still needed Him. And then the most beautiful thing happened...when Megs and I walked out of Bell to take this horrid Fundamentals test, the sun came out and I couldn't help but smile. It warmed my heart :) It may have been brief, but when I needed His reassurance, He was there to make it happen. He didn't hide or make me suffer with it and all of a sudden I felt ok. I still had a massive pile of work to do, I'm still exhausted and sleep deprived, but I knew He had listened and acknowledge our conversation this morning. What a magnificent God, my heart is happy :) I ended up finishing more work than expected and was slightly happier than I have been the past few days.

On that note, I want to appologize if I've been hateful in any way. I want to thank everyone in my life for being so patient with me! Especially Megan because no one gets it worse than she does :) If I don't respond to your texts the next few days, it's not because I hate you, but because I'm avoiding being mean.

For the rest of this week and this semester, I'm going to leave this class to God. If He doesn't want me to pass, for whatever reason, I want to be at peace with His decision and follow through with His plan for me. I want to remember that God is constantly showing and telling me that He has it all under control, despite the fact I like to think I do. Last week I was talking to a very dear friend of mine about a stressful situation. Something else I've learned from Jennifer is that it's almost insulting to God when we try and take control and do life our own way. When I was trying to give peace to my friend, I reminded her of the footprints in the sand poem. All those times in our lives when we really need Him, He's there; He's carrying us so that we don't have to carry ourselves. When we try and do it ourselves, it's like we're fighting to be dropped. It's insulting that we forget He can do it all. Like trying to throw someone a surprise party who just wants to throw it for themselves. Just silly!

As finals approach quickly, I am going to continue to pray for not only myself, but friends I know that are having the same struggles with classes. It's hard and overwhelming, but God knows what He's doing.

Anyways, I really like Stuart from Madtv, so appropriately, I thought I'd give him credit for a silly title :))

Have a beautiful day! Well, tomorrow since it's late! And the rest of the week too while you're at it :))

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Hello friends! Happy Easter to you!

I just got back from a brief trip to Searcy, AR for Spring Sing at Harding! It was incredible, just as it was last year. All the performances were great as was Nate and the other 3 hosts. I already can't wait to go back and visit and hopefully it's sooner than this time next year! I want to thank Addison, Nate, Neely, Dillon, Alex, Cam and Reese for a wonderful Sunday afternoon. Thanks to Neely for letting me crash in her room and Addison for going with me. And of course, I thank God for getting us there and back safely, for amazing friends, for the lesson I learned, and on today, for sending His son.

Appropriately, I went to church this morning. What I love is that just a few days ago I wrote about not going to church and how I wondered if it's affecting my relationship with God, and today I feel like I got His answer. But I can tell you about that another day :) Why? Because today is Easter, and I had a much bigger lesson to learn.

It starts last night after Spring Sing. When the announcement was made about the winning performance, the audience cheered, but no one was happier than those clubs. Long after the crowd had dispersed the entire cast was still on stage screaming and jumping with their trophy proudly in the air. They had accomplished something, they had heard good news about their efforts...

Something I've realized recently is that choosing God is common sense stuff. Regan explained it by describing a situation where we're having a discussion and all of a sudden I don't like where he's going. I disagree with everything he says and so I start to argue and yell and cuss and cause a huge scene. I leave and am crossing a street, so distracted that I don't see a car coming straight at me, but he does. He runs out and saves me. Would I still yell and argue and cuss? Not at all. I'd be absolutely grateful to him because he saved me. I would owe him my life. I know that if that were a real situation, there's nothing I wouldn't do to merely attempt to make up what he did for me. See where I'm going? It's a lot more obvious when we think about it like that.

A few days ago was Good Friday, approximately 3 ;) There are two very distinct sides to the argument of how "good" it actually is. I can't help but be biased to my own opinion, but everyone should get a say. Sure, Jesus Christ died in a horribly tragic manner. It was terrible and reading the story always makes me cry. But without Good Friday, there would have never been an Easter Sunday. Jesus wouldn't have been entirely man if He didn't die as a man as well.

It's not new that Jesus died for my sins. It's something I've known for a very long time. The lesson I learned? That there's a difference between knowing something that we hear and knowing something that we feel because when we truly feel the good news, we'll rejoice, just as the winning clubs. As Christians, we know that God loves us, but when we truly decide to turn it all over to Him, that's when we feel it and the words take on a whole new meaning. All of a sudden they're not just songs we sing, but praises to God. It's not just a prayer it's a discussion. We know that God sacrificed His only son to die for us, but do we feel the love that was put into it? Do we feel his mercy and grace? I think that when we do, that's when we rejoice! When we feel like we've won and are so excited about the good news that we can't wait to tell everyone about it.

Like I said, the good news isn't new and sometimes all we need is a little perspective on the situation to really appreciate it for what it is. God saved us by putting His own son in front of that car for us. We owe Him everything that we are and everything that we do. I know that I want to glorify Him with my life, for people to see me and know that I am His, first and foremost. There is nothing that we can really do to repay Him, but God knows that and the beauty of it is that He chose us anyways. Jennifer mentioned a few weeks ago that one person's sin alone would have been enough for God to send His son. As terrible as it is to know that Jesus would have been crusified even if He was just saving me, that's incredible news. God loves us so much more than we even realize. He knew each of us and knew the mistakes we would make, the bad things we would think, the way we would mistreat people and chose to save us anyways. He knew we would yell and argue and cuss and still saved us from that car. That's very good news :) If that doesn't show love, I'm not sure what does.

On that note, my final thoughts are on the ending of Lent. Thinking about the sacrifice that God made to save me, I'm glad that I in return made a sugar sacrifice for Him. It's the least I could do, for 46 days, for someone so awesome. While I have had sugar today, giving up something for Him is only the beginning of many more sacrifices that I want to make for Him. It's merely an attempt to pay back the debt I owe Him for my life. A life that I want to live in Him.

That's all for now!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Oh Elphaba...

Happy Happy Happy Good Friday! -Although Megs and I seem to disagree on how happy the thought of today may be :))

I love that the rain came today! I was hoping for sunshine but our dorm room has been a furnace and it's nice to walk in and not melt :) Thanks for looking out for us God!

This morning the Chapter I read was Proverbs 2. At first I didn't really think about commenting on it because I didn't necessarily think it had a whole lot of meaning. Ridiculous, I know, considering every part of the Bible has a whole lot of meaning.

Allow me to back track and explain what I learned about Proverbs from Regan and reading a little from 1 Kings. The main author of the book is Solomon, although the last 2 chapters I think are by a couple of other people. Solomon was not only the son of David, but the son of Bathsheba! When it was his turn to be king, God asked him what he wanted so the He could give it him (1 Kings 3:5). Instead of asking for a long life, or wealth or to kill all of his enemies (1 Kings 3:11), Solomon asked for wisdom. He was about to be king and had no idea where to start, so he prayed that God would give him the wisdom to be able to discern fairly and be a just ruler. As you can imagine, God was more than pleased by his request and said that He was not only going to give Solomon what he asked, but He was going to give him "both riches and honor" and in verse 12 God says "...there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be." That has to be one of the greatest accomplishments I've ever heard of. He is legitimately the wisest man who ever lived. Incredible. The book of Proverbs is his heart flow. Everything that God was sending to Solomon and that Solomon could put on paper.

Knowing all this, I've been praying before I read that God open my eyes so that I can really read what it's saying. That I can want to be as wise as Solomon and take to heart what God is saying thought him. This morning, chapter 2 was all about the benefits of having wisdom: basically making wisdom sound like candy! Which, it is. The first chapter describes wisdom as a scorned woman almost, so the second chapter is her other side. "For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul" (Proverbs 2:10) and "Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse" (2:12) not to mention "He holds victory in the store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless..." (2:7) and finally, "For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding" (2:6). There you have it! Wisdom is straight from God. So when I choose to sin or make bad decisions, I'm being foolish. And in choosing to be foolish, I give up all rights to the glorious things God prepared and has in store for the wise. When Solomon asked God for wisdom, God didn't say 'okaaaaay, BUT first you have to...' He just let him have it. Therefore, by the same reasoning, when we ask God to help tear us from our foolish ways and to instill wisdom in our hearts, He won't deprive us. God is on our side! The hard part is being willing to give up those foolish things we choose to do and know that things are better that way.

My final thoughts: I turned on my iPod as I was leaving organic this morning and music was playing that I wasn't in the mood to hear. I pressed next and next and next until it came to Glee, something I can't say no to! The song was Defying Gravity and I laughed to myself over the split second thought of how staying Christ-like and wise is a lot like defying gravity. We will never be perfect enough to fly, sin is in our human nature, but won't it be awesome one day to know that the effort you put in here, will help you defy gravity somewhere else? A few moments later the sun came out for a very brief few minutes and Megs and I later decided that the sunshine was God's way of saying "I like." Here's the first verse of the song for you to think about:

'Something has changed within me, someting is not the same. I'm through with playing by the rules of someone else's game. Too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep. It's time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap...'

BTW, Glee comes back a week from next Tuesday! April 12th! Check it out, it's the feel good comedy of the year :)) I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend and travels safely!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


First, it's my mom's birthday! YAAAY! Happy birthday Mom!

Second, I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming response I had to my first post :) I never thought I'd be the type of person doing this, yet here I am. I love writing my thoughts and it's so encouraging to hear that you took the time to read them. Thank you. And I just thought I'd mention that discussion is welcome! I honestly don't know a whole lot, this is mostly how I feel or how I see things. So if you have an opinion of your own, please share!

Third, and most importantly as always, I want to thank God for giving me the courage to be able to write about what I feel. To not be afraid of criticism or not fitting in. For giving me a new kind of mindset and for helping me reorganize my priorities. And also for all your encouraging words :))

For the past week I've tried waking up earlier in order to read just 1 chapter out of my Bible. I'm starting with Proverbs because a friend recommended it. I had every intention of talking about what I read this morning, until a little later in the morning when I was reading my book "How to stay Christian in college." Up until now, it's kind of been a recap of God's love and power and mercy. Today I got to the part that starts talking about entering this college battlefield. I legitimately didn't make it far before getting discouraged.

He was talking about the 3 major types of groups that Christians encounter entering college: naturalists, postmodernists, and the do-it-yourselfers. As I was reading I realized that I didn't really have any professors that could be counted as either of the first two groups and as I read the description of the do-it-yourselfers, I realized I might be one.

The book groups it a lot more dramatically than I would say I am. It says that these people take what they like from all sorts of religions and combines them to make there own and that's how religions like Scientology happen. Well, I'm not a Scientologist, but of the different religious churches I've visited or know anything about, there are things I like and don't like about all of them. Personally, I don't think that any one of them is perfect or necessarily doing EXACTLY what God wants.

I should go back and explain my background a little bit for those of you that don't know. I am very conservative, despite my mom's ideals and the discussions we've had. I was raised going to a Church of Christ and when I was in middle school through the beginning of high school, I was at church as often as I possibly could be! I went to every youth rally, every Sunday/Wednesday night devotional, every church camp I could get into and I loved every minute. The first semester of my junior year in high school I stopped going to church when I moved to Hot Springs, although I'm not entirely sure why. At first it was hard because I couldn't drive so I was going to have to pick one that they drove to and I didn't like that either. So I'd go to church when I went home and I assumed that was enough.

Being in a new place and surrounding myself with people I didn't know was crazy. At Farmington my reputation was set, but in Hot Springs I could be whomever I wanted and people would assume that that was who I was. All I what I wanted was to fit in. I wanted to be friends with the pretty girls and be well liked. Despite the fact that I had never even tasted alcohol nor had the desire to, despite the fact that I knew right from wrong and despite the fact that I knew the consequences, I drank. Not because I wanted to, or because I was curious, but because I knew it was wrong and it was a rush. Not my faith nor morals nor values had never been tested like that before, and I put them all aside for that one night.

I immediately regretted it but before I knew it days had gone by and my fate at ASMSA had been determined. I felt so guilty. Not about disappointing God, but because I had let down my family. I had lost my innoscence and a new reputation had been set for me. My first Sunday back at church was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Facing not only my friends, but their parents, and all the adults who had been at those devos, youth rally's and church camps. They were coming up to me in flocks letting me know that they were praying for me and that they still loved me and so did God but their eyes told different stories and the judgement burned the little pride I had left. So I stopped going to church.

Sure I visit churches with friends and I have friends of all sorts of denominations. But that's not what I want. What I want is a relationship with God, not to be part of a church or have a religion necessarily. I thought this was a great plan, until earlier today when I read about those do-it-yourselfers. I'm not starting my own religion and I'm trying not to twist the words that I read, but I can't help but think that I'm still going about this all wrong. I know that going to church would help me learn and grow, but I have a Bible right in front of me and I have a desire to know God and I can pray. But is that still not enough? Thoughts?