Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just whelmed

As it turns out, I've been temporarily granted internet access. With this in mind, I wrote this earlier today, knowing I was writing it today, intending for you all to read it tomorrow. Which would make it yesterday. I almost read the whole thing in an attempt to edit, but then I remembered that God may have been saying something earlier:

I didn’t get my internet working until today, so this is all about yesterday. I’m actually writing it yesterday. Well it’s now, right now. But I’m planning ahead for tomorrow :))

We got in Saturday afternoon and checked out campus then went and checked in at our hotel. Luckily, Iphone app UrbanSpoon found us the most delicious Cajun café :)) It was perfect! And the people were really friendly AND they had Louisiana Hot Sauce on the table!

I fell asleep early and my mom even earlier than I did. I didn’t sleep well because of the excitement of finally being here! Yes, somewhere between the time of leaving my house, praying for our drive, and entering Louisiana, I was excited :)) So we woke up, checked in at our apartment, moved all my stuff in and unpacked a little. Before I knew it, it was time to grab a quick bite to eat and take my mom to the airport. I was fine eating, and in the car on the way to the airport…mostly because I was consumed in looking for the airport and the fact that we were late.

As soon as we pull up, my mom gets out (she was driving), and I follow in suit. She grabs her overnight bag and looks at me and I can tell she’s fighting not to burst into tears. She told me to be very careful. Make sure I drive with at least ½ a tank of gas in my car. She told me she loved me and that she was so excited for me and that she knew I’d be great. I choked out I love you before I started to cry. Go figure. I got in the car and watched her walk into the airport and I couldn’t move. I realized I hadn’t cried like that in a long time. I tried to contain myself, people were starting to stare, and pulled away.

Through my sobs, I started thanking God for my mom and the fact that she did come down here with me. I prayed that He would take away this horrible feeling in my heart, but I still couldn’t stop. I pulled into a gas station, like I had promised my mom. As I swiped my card and started pumping gas, a large, middle-aged black woman came up to me. The first thing she said was that she didn’t want money, but when she realized I was upset, she quickly asked if I was alright. I said that I would be and tried to smile. She then asked me if I would pay for some gas. Her and her sister were on their way to New Orleans, her mom had just died. Neither of them had any money and they had just put in their last $3 for the 1 gallon it would get them. Of course, I walked over and swiped my card. I didn’t give them much, but she was grateful for it. She asked if it was about a boy, lol, but I reassured her that it wasn’t. I was still crying when I tried to tell her that had just dropped off my mom at the airport. She said it didn’t look like I was from around here. She asked if I knew anyone and I said no and started to cry again, lol. She asked if she could hug me and before I could say yes, I pretty much threw myself on her. And then she offered me some advice:

She said first thing you need to do, is find a church. Those will be the people you want to stick around while you’re here. Other than that, stay away from the locals and keep to yourself. She thanked me for helping her, but that after that, not to help anyone else. Never be out after dark and never go anywhere alone. She asked for my name and then she said she’d keep me in her prayers. As you may be able to imagine, my tears flowed from my eyes the whole time.

Why? Well, just in case you didn’t see it, I’ll tell ya:

1. I did what my mom told me, and filled up my tank. Obey your father and mother.

2. I was upset about saying goodbye to my mom, and this woman comes out of nowhere and tells me about how she had just lost her mother and she was trying to get there to say good bye to her.

3. The first thing she tells me is to find a church.

4. She asked for gas, not money

5. She asked my name to pray for me and gave me pretty sound advice I’d say.

6. She hugged me and didn’t pull away

Should I have helped her? I guess that’s debatable. She could have very easily been lying. I’m fairly trusting when it comes to people in need. On the other hand, I don’t believe in coincidence. I believe that God knew I needed a hug.

Last week when we had company over for James’ birthday, it was a lot more people than my mom and I were expecting. I freaked out, of course, and got stressed but my mom kept her cool. She was a gracious host and reheated leftovers and cooked everything. I had just stepped out of the shower when my friends got to my house and my mom was pulling into the drive way. Nothing had been started, but instead of getting mad, or complaining about being exhausted about her long day, my mom just jumped in the kitchen to help me…when actually, she was the one who was able to put everything together in the end. That morning when I was reading in my bible, I had read a verse in Hebrews about entertaining strangers and it seemed completely appropriate at the time. Not for me, but for my mom. So I wrote my mom a letter. A thank you letter and at the end, I put the verse I had just been reading about. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it,” Hebrews 13:2.

After my post about Kentay, a comment was left about the same verse. Get it?

7. This verse proved itself the very day I read it through my mom. It came up again a second time as a comment. And when I got back in my car after helping this woman with gas, I cried, not because I was upset, but because I knew God heard me.

This verse has been on my mind since I left the gas station. A verse I only read for the first time the day of James’ birthday. I was told recently that I’m a little self-centered, and always have been. Lol, they didn’t mention to what extent, so I took it with a grain of salt, knowing that there was truth in that. Another prayer: that I make this adventure and the adventure of the rest of my life, less and less about me and more and more about the people I come in contact with and how God will help me work in their lives. I want the rest of this trip and the rest of my life to be God-centered. Why? Because I am in love with that feeling I had when I got back in my car and I knew God had heard me. Because I love every time He’s proven Himself in the past few weeks, even though He shouldn’t have to. Amen to that :))

I love you, very much. And to the people I don’t know, because you might be angels. Thanks for keeping up with my life :))

Back to 8:30 time: I've met everyone and they're really nice :)) Someone even read my blog about how scared I was a few days ago! I wouldn't say all the fear is gone, obviously, but it's slowly diminishing. Highlight of today? I made 3 girls take jumping pictures and they still like me...I think, lol. They weren't perfect, but they agreed to try again tomorrow! Real friends :))

Oh! And I almost brought some of my board games, because I love them so much, but decided not to out of fear that I would seem very childish. Looks like I should have, because none of us have anything to do, so we're about to go buy one. I guess that goes to show me that I should always be myself.

And one more thing: I won't read this before I post again. I kinda like the fact that I don't :))

Sleep well! Happy Memorial. Please be safe! I love you! Je t'aime :)) Au revoir

And just one more thing: if you want to come visit me, please do!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Here's something new. I'm so scared, I feel sick. It's currently 12:30. I've been up since 9 and I haven't been able to bring myself to start packing. I may not post this until much later tonight. But it's currently helping my procrastination.

On Wednesday, I was in lab and I was going over the information for LSU. Looking up where I'm staying, making a check-list of what to pack. I looked over the list of the other students participating and I started adding them as my friends on Facebook. I emailed my mentor about research. I was trying to be proactive about it, when all of a sudden I started feeling very sick and lump grew in my throught. I couldn't just start crying right there so I stopped thinking about it and went on with my day.

Last week when I went to see Mr. Mason, I was talking to him about being disappointed in not being able to go to South Carolina. I started telling him about all the reasons I wanted to go and he helped me realize that the biggest reason was to get away from here. He said that it should be more important to me to be going somewhere than to be running away. And I couldn't agree more.

Half way through my sophomore year in high school I had decided to run. To math and science school, lol. I didn't want to be here and I thought life would be so much easier if I moved away. If I could run away from this. Obviously, those were not the best of intentions. I've never regretted the fact that I came back, I'd say I was better off, but I never really thought about it not being God's will for me to run until this recent conversation.

I hope you know how much and how hard I've been praying for this summer. I fully believe in the intentions God has for me either being there, or coming back early, but I'm starting to feel sick at the thought of leaving. Why? Several reasons, to be quite honest. I'm not sure why I didn't think of any of this before, but maybe this is Satan's way to twist my heart and thoughts so that they're not pleasing anymore. Who knows.

This may shock you, but I'm scared to leave my mom. It's not that I don't think I'll manage to be alright with out her, I'm scared that she'll need me and I won't be 10 minutes away anymore. What if something happens and I'm not here to help her or take care of her if she needs me? Granted, I live down the street and I don't come home often, but I know that if something happened to her I'd be close enough to be able to. When I'm 9 1/2 hours away it won't be easy for me to just drive back.

This may shock you, but I'm scared I won't make any friends. I've been told several times not to worry about that. But I can't help it. As much as I like being alone, I hate feeling unwanted. Feeling like an outcast. Not being well liked. I'm scared that I'll do anything to get the approval of my peers. Where will that leave me with God?

INTERMISSION: it's now 11:22...I managed to finish packing and have dinner and a movie with my favorite people :) Where was I?

Right, fear. This may shock you, but I'm 90% deffenseless. Baton Rouge isn't the safest of places. Granted, I don't plan on being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but who does?

The last reason, and the biggest reason, is that I'm afraid for my faith. I'm afraid that I'm not ready for what's about to happen. I'm scared that I won't adapt the culture. I'm scared that my bad habits or qualities will be pronounced when I'm in an environment that I'm not familiar with. I hope that I do trust in God and let Him guide me, but I'm scared that I won't. I'm scared that I'll be so consumed in myself and my hair, and the heat and not having friends that I'll miss my purpose for being there.

I'm so scared, and I know that there's only one way out of this fear and that's to hand it all over. I was blessed with incredible friends to keep me busy tonight and as soon as I finish up my blog, I'll go to bed.

I visited Regan ealier this week and he reminded me of having on the full armor of God. I've heard life refered to a war. That there's a constant battle between God and Satan for our souls. It makes sense that I would need armor to protect me. To help me be bulletproof. Regan described it by reminding me of the Mighty Ducks movie, when the goalie was scared, but good ole Emillio suits him up, ties him to a pole, and just starts hitting him with the pucks! Was he fine? Yeah. Was he scared anymore? Nope. Romans 8:31 "...If God is for us, who can be against us?" His encouragement continued when he suggested I look at 2 Timothy 1:7 that says "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."

Like I said, there's only one way out of these horrible feelings, so here goes everything else I could find:

"The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light." Romans 13:12

"Prepare your shields, both large and small, and march out for battle! Harness the horses, mount the steeds! Take you positions with helmets on! Polish your spears, put on your armor!" Jeremiah 46:3-4

"Make plans by seeking; if you wage war, obtain guidance." Proverbs 20:18

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faight, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the saints." Ephesians 6:10-18

The other day I was reading in Matthew and I'm glad I did, because I was reminded of another important instance.

"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, e saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of me.' At once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him." Matthew 4:18-22

I'm not saying I'm being called to be a disciple of Jesus or anything, but I do want to fulfill whatever purpose God does have for me. Peter and Andrew weren't with their parents, and it doesn't say that they stopped by their house to let them know. At 'ONCE' they hesitation. And James and John were with their father, but Zebedee wasn't going with them. James and John didn't ask to bring him along or question Jesus about what would happen to their father, they just left. IMMEDIATELY. On several instances the diciples were persecuted for the things they would preach, but they didn't stop. Maybe life isn't about being completely fearless, it's about the things that help us day to day to overcome those fears for a higher purpose.

One of my favorite Green Valley songs comes straight from verses in Isaiah 43:1-5 and it's God saying "...Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior...Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exhange for you and people in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you..." I don't know how you read that, but I hear it as a promise. I'm in the process of learning to trust God as a Father and in that, I can imagine my dad holding me when I was afraid. I can hear him whisper in my ear and promise that he'll never leave me. As much as I'd trust that, I know that I can trust God the Father, that much more. "...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:4. It was so important, He mentioned it twice :))

In just 5 short hours I'll be going on a new adventure. Another chapter in my life. Am I completely unafraid now? No, but I trust that God will be with me the entire time. I'm going to be a little selfish now and ask you to pray for me while I'm gone. Pray for whatever you feel I might need, but keep me in your thoughts please. My prayer is that although I may not have on the FULL armor of God right now, it'll all be there when it counts. That I be strong but dependent on God while I'm away from everything I know. That I never lose sight of my one main goal. And finally, for God's will to continue to be done.

In return? Well for my friends that I know are leaving or have left or are away from their families or that are struggling, be rest assured that you're on my mind and in my prayers. I may not know who you are, but God does. I also promise to keep you updated on my journey :))

"Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." Ephesians 6:19-20

Bonne nuit. Merci. Je t'aime et tu vas me manquer! Rendez-vous dans un mois!!
Goodnight. Thank you. I love you and I'll miss you! See you in a month!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

But what does it all mean

I only have a moment before I will begin making dinner. I plan on a longer post tomorrow. Before I leave.

I just wanted to share a brief story. I haven't had much time to talk to God about it, but I feel as though it's important enough to share anyways. Maybe I'll figure it out one of these days!

Remember how I said I live in a bubble? One that I don't step out of often out of fear, or whatever? Well, yesterday when I got to the university the weather looked perfect! I raised my windows, but only partially because the sign on the bank said it was 89 degrees. Although I knew there was a chance for rain, I didn't bother raising them all the way. So I'm sitting, staring at the machine as always and the janitor walks in the take the trash. He's always been very friendly, but a simple hello was more than enough conversation for me in the past. I'm not sure why, but I felt the need to talk to him. Being the semi-awkward person that I am, I asked about the weather, knowing it was nice. He assured me that it was nice and told me to have a good day. I told him the same and he left.

About 5 minutes later, he walked back in and said that he felt he should come let me know that it had started to pour. Bad. I told him that my windows were open and I quickly jumped up and ran out. When I was running through the rain, getting very soaked, I started thinking about dancing in the rain. I wasn't by any means dancing, but I was standing in the pouring rain, getting soaked, thinking about God and I smiled and laughed. When I walked back in, the janitor was grabbing the trash out of the grad student offices and although I was dripping, I had a smile on my face and I earnestly thanked him. He said it wasn't a problem.

I'm not sure what compelled me to talk to him. I'm not sure why on earth he'd come back to tell me it was raining. He didn't know my windows were open, but God did. I have to believe that God takes care of me, even when I don't ask. They say God works in mysterious ways, I'd have to agree.

Today, I stayed a little later than usual again and again he came in to get the trash. A little less awkward, I thanked him and asked for his name. Kentay :) Of course, I'm not sure how you spell it. We chatted briefly. As it turns out, I used to ride the bus with his younger twin brothers. One, of whom, I ran into just the other day, who showed me the same friendly kindness. I never talked to them when we rode the bus together, remember that bubble? However, it didn't stop them from being nice to me.

I'm glad I talked to Kentay yesterday and made an effort to chat with him today. I hope that I've shown him the same kindness he's shown me. I hope that there's a higher purpose than just saving the interior of my car, but if there's not, I do think I've taken the first step out of my box. Which I'm sure will come in handy as I leave everything and everyone this weekend :))

Goodbye for now! Salmon for dinner :)

I love you...very much

And in case you were wondering, I'm not going to re-read before I post. Second time now!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Where have I been?

It's officially been over a week since my last post. There's been a lot on my mind lately and I must admit, it wasn't mostly about God. I opened my Bible yesterday at church for the first time I think in the past week and it was kind of a rush. How about I fill you in on last week....

So I found out Sunday that I would moving to Baton Rouge, to which most people would be excited to hear because they want me home. It's fine :) I started looking through the packet of information that was sent with everything from my itinerary to the campus map. I'm really excited about being in Baton Rouge and experiencing this huge new place with loads and loads of new people and new adventures. It was hard telling people at first, because of the unwanted sympathy, but I'm ok :) More than ok, I'm excited!

This past week I've also worked in lab everyday which was good. I do love spending time in there, it just gets rough when I have a million things for school that I need to get done so it's hard during the semester. I'd say we got a lot accomplished, but luckily I'll still have plenty to do when I get back as well!

Monday was the Gossip Girls season's entirely ridiculous that I love that show, but I've seen every episode nonetheless. I can't wait for next season!

Tuesday I saw Glee and followed that with watching Singing in the Rain. It's my new favorite musical! It combines everything I love about movies, especially classic movies and puts it to song! Love :)

Wednesday Megs came into town. We had lunch at Kosmos (fave) with Jennifer, Kayla, and Kaylyn. It was fantastic! It was soooo good to see them and catch up at least once before we leave or get too busy.

Thursday was a busy day in lab. Our samples weren't running through the machine correctly and it took about 2 hours just to clean the preparative machine so that the samples wouldn't even run properly. That was followed by a fabulous Farmington High reunion at graduation! I love Katie Ball so much! I'm so glad I got to see her graduate and that she'll be at the U of A in the fall!

Friday I went into lab for just a little while because the other machine was being worked on as well...but that's fine! I ended up spending the afternoon in Mr. Mason's classroom catching up. I feel very blessed to have him as a mentor not just in school but someone that cares for me on a spiritual level as well. I love being able to go back and talk to him and be encouraged by him and his life. It gives me a new perspective. I then drove to Muskogee to watch my other Katie graduate! And by my, I do mean Megan's little sister. I love that family and I'm so glad they shared that experience with me :)

Saturday I drove back and baby sat for the sweetest 3 kids in the world. You know how I love children :) They were so innocent and sweet and pleased by the smallest things. I loved it!

Sunday I woke up and went to class at church. I was nervous but I prayed before I went in that God show me what I needed to see or open my ears to what I needed to hear. The sermon was about grace, which I don't feel adequately well read on, so I'll tell you more about it when I find a good starting point. What meant the most was the kindness a few girls showed me. You know I don't really feel comfortable at church? I'm kind of a baby when it comes to doing it alone. These girls were so nice and talked to me and were interested in me. They invited me to sit with them for the service and they even took my number to invite me to other things they'd be doing. I'm excited about my new friends :) On top of that, I found my favorite couple, who have known me since I moved here but I haven't seen them in a few years. I felt like the prodigal son. They weren't angry that I had stopped going to church or strayed from what I believed in, but overjoyed to see me. It makes my heart happy! I spent the afternoon at Lake Fayetteville biking, climbing, manuvering, and adventuring the area with Brandon and Ben, which was followed by Bible study to which I was joined by my dear friend Addison. An experience I can blog about another day.

I guess recapping my week reinforces the point I wanted to make. Did you see anything in my week that would be considered bad? Unchristian? Me neither. But did you read a single time when I opened my Bible to spend quality time with God? Me neither.

I didn't even realize it until yesterday morning at church. I may not have been doing bad things or making bad decisions, but I don't think I was really choosing the right ones either. I wasn't being proactive about my relationship with God. I don't think I lost Him by any means, I just think I got caught up in life being so good right now, that I didn't think I needed Him. Subconsciously of course, becase if you had asked me at anytime, I know I would properly answer that of course I need God.

Why might you need to hear this? I know that I'm very OCD about several things, but I never really saw it as a problem. Among the conversations I was having with Mr. Mason, one was about my blog and my OCD. How I read and re-read each post before I publish it online. How when I go back and read some that I've had typo's on, I just want to delete the whole thing and retype my mistakes. He challenged me to type an entire post and not re-read it or fix or change anything, to just post it. He said that God would take care of getting my point across, without my help. The throught made me cringe a little. Not because I don't fully believe God is capable, but because it's a pet peeve of mine to see misspellings, especially when I've done them. He reminded me that I don't know who reads this. I put it on facebook for anyone and everyone to stop by and absorb. If someone reads it, and only sees perfection, they may not get what I was trying to say. They might get intimidated and not read anymore. I know that's silly, but I also live with myself, and I know that I'm not perfect. Far from it. But if someone reads that doesn't know me, they might be turned off by the whole idea of what I'm doing.

So here's my attempt to kill 2 birds with just 1 stone. Not that I'd ever purposely kill a bird....but bird 1: I'm not perfect. That's why I wanted to tell you that as often as I've blogged in the past, and as strong as my faith as been recently, it took me a week to realize that I hadn't really spent any time with God. I know this isn't new, but we're all prodigal sons. God isn't mad that we left, but joyous when come back. I'm sorry if I've intimidated you at any point and I'm sorry if I've left you with the impression that I'm perfect. It's true, I like order to things and using the correct spelling, but if it stops me from doing what God wants, or worse if it stops you from reading what you need to, then disorder is fine with me too.

Bird 2: I love summer. I've been very stress free since it began. It's great! The problem I've had, that I only realized yesterday, is that it was easier to depend on God when I was stressed. When my life isn't going the way I want and when I need Him. If God were a boy I was dating, I don't think He'd appreciate it very much that I only called when I needed something. Whether it be a favor, someone to trust in, or someone to listen to me. He's not just someone to dance in the rain with, but someone I should be having picnics with in the sunshine too. Through the good times and the bad, I know that God will be with me, but I know that I have to earnestly want Him there. Everyday. Rain or shine. Good or bad.

The month ahead of me I'm sure will be filled with struggles that I will most certainly depend on God to get me through. My prayer for the next few weeks will be that I learn to keep God by my side all the time and not just when I need someone to carry me through. Afterall, if this relationship is going to work, it can't be just drama all the time, we have to have fun together too.

I hope that you read this and can see that I struggle, even when I don't realize it. I don't want you to think that I live a perfect life everday or that I am able to keep God #1 everyday, because I can't. I falter. I can't recount every moment or thought I had last week, but I'm sure Satan didn't have to work very hard to win me over when everything is good and the sun is shinning.

I'm so thankful for my friend Addison and the conversation we had last night. I thank God for bringing him into my life and for letting me be part of this time with him. For Bible study, and reminding me of where I came from and where I'm going.

Mason: challenge taken and conquered. I won't re-read this, fix or change anything.

I love you for reading this. I love you if you don't read this, you just don't know it, lol.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bring on the rain

I normally start posts with what I've been up to recently. Unfortunately, lately that's been nothing. Last night I went and had dinner with a few old friends from high school, which one could consider nice. It really depends on what one would consider nice though...

My mom has been out of town the past few days which was good and bad. It's bad because staying at home alone sucks sometimes. Especially when I'm bored and all I want to do is watch movies but no one is here to partake with me. On the other hand, I enjoy being alone. I enjoy the responsibility of keeping the house in order and picking up after myself. The silence still drives me nuts though.

After dinner last night, I came home and went to bed. It was perfect because I was pretty tired even though it was only 9:30. I was nervous about going out with my friends after dinner and not being true to who I am, to be quite honest. I felt as though I would have ended up making decisions based off of peer pressure, which has never really been something I handled well. Today I feel as though I lost a good opportunity to be myself and still have fun. Sometimes I don't give God enough credit. Could I have made it the whole night and not made one bad decision, possibly so, but I wasn't willing to step outside this little box out of fear. That's just a side note. Maybe I'll expand on it some other time.

So this morning, I woke up at several random times of the night. I suppose that's what it's like when you go to sleep early and don't really need any more rest. I finally gave up at 8 and decided to make better use of my time by making french toast :) In case you're wondering, it was absolutely delicious! I'll make them for you sometime!! After cleaning up, I got ready for church. Yes, you heard me correctly, church. Not only did I go to church, But I went to a church that I chose, and not because anyone made me. Upon arriving, I was overwhelmed and immediately thought the worse. I didn't think I'd like it and I almost got back in my car, but I walked in anyways. I'll tell you more about the experience some other time. After church I was in such a great mood! The sun was out for the 3rd time this week and it was warm and beautiful! I decided I was going to come home and sit in the grass and read in the sunshine! Since I was so excited, I also thought I'd blog about what I learned at church. As soon as I changed and walked into the kitchen, it had started to pour again. So instead I grabbed a blanket and put in Twilight :)) I promise I'm getting to the point soon, but now that I've told you up until the climactic point of today, I should go back and tell you about the journey I've had the past month.

As you may know, I work in a lab on campus. I love it! So much more than class. I wish I could just go there and not worry about school, but that's not the case. The project I'm working on is ultimately working on the prevention of Alzheimer's Disease which immediately drew me in because of my grandmother. Phase 1 of the project is done here, where we make the peptoids. Phase 2 is done at the University of South Carolina where they actually test the peptoids. When I started looking into what I'd be doing this summer, going to South Carolina was at the top of my list. I contacted the professor there and she informed me that she was not currently being funded but that if something came through, she'd let me know. No big deal, I didn't really want to move away from here at that time anyways.

As the semester progressed, I started feeling more and more bombarded with school and living here and being here this summer. I felt trapped and I remember crying thinking that I'd never get away from here. Don't get me wrong. I love NW Arkansas and I love going to school here. It's just that my future is coming at me so fast that I feel like before I know it, I'll end up with a job I won't be able to stand in a city I don't like. I want to be able to get away and travel and enjoy life in other places. I want to move to a big city and be overwhelmed by new things and not the same things I've seen everyday since I was 11. Anyways, a couple weeks after that I was accepted to this research program at LSU and despite the fact that it was only a month long, I was excited to be moving away from here. I signed the papers, agreeing to give them 1 month of my summer and I sent them off! I started praying for my summer there and that God help me to live accordingly while I was there.

What would happen next? I got an email from the professor in South Carolina letting me know that she had just gotten funded. Entirely too excited, I called to see if I could even apply since I had already agreed to go to LSU, and TC said to go for it. Of course the second I applied I started praying that I get accepted, but the excitement kinda turned to guilt shortly there after. I was worried that if I got accepted, not only would I make myself look bad for not going to LSU but make my school and department look bad as well. Within the next few days I woke up to read this verse in Proverbs 22:1, which didn't help me feel any better. It says "A good name is more desirable than great riches, to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." There it was. God telling me that I shouldn't have even applied because I had already agreed to go somewhere else, but I persisted in what I wanted regardless. I wanted to move to South Carolina for so many reasons, but one being that I'd be able to leave here for the whole summer, not just a month. I think that the longer I could be away from everything I know, the more I'd learn to depend on God and the better this relationship would be.

When I was in school, the days seem to drag on because I was only waiting for the day I'd find out where I was going to be. I attempted to find the best in both places and I promised myself I'd be excited no matter what. After all, I was still getting away. I pray about this everyday and I gave it God. We talked and I'd tell Him that I just want for His will to be done. At some point, I told myself it was ok to want to go to South Carolina, I can't help my obsession with the east coast. It's ok to want things, as long as I understood that God's will would come through in the end. So then my prayers turned to desperation and I'd pray for His purpose for me, but follow that with reminding Him of how badly I wanted to move to Columbia. This past week, I realized that I had been begging Him for so long, I was sure He got the point by now. And it kinda hit me, God knows how badly I want to move there so if it didn't happen right now, then that had to mean He had a plan for me either in Baton Rouge or for when I move back home.

Everyday since school let out, I've only allowed myself to check my email at certain times of day. I've started thinking in not only the central time zone, but also figuring in my head what time it was in Columbia. In attempting to control my email habit, I feel like I made it worse because I'd look to see how much longer it would be until I could check it again. My sister has called everyday and Rach has texted me so many times asking if I had found out yet, but there was still no word. I sent an email last week and then this past week I called and sent another email. Finally, my excitement turned into anxiety. You know how I love having a plan? Well I can't really plan anything when I don't even know where I'm going. I hated when people would ask. I hated thinking about the rest of the summer and not knowing where I was going to be.

On top of that, this week was depressing because it has stormed everyday and I've been trapped inside. I know I'm dramatic about everything, but it's how I see things, lol.

Back to today: I was laying on the couch, enjoying Twilight, and despite the fact that it's Sunday and most people don't work on Sundays, I checked my email anyways. And there it was. What I had been waiting for. It took me a second to open it because I wanted to take it all in. The past month came down to this email. So I opened it and I start reading. As it turns out, a lot more people applied than they had been expecting. Notifications weren't sent because they were waiting to hear back from the 10 they had selected. I stopped reading, and texted my sister. I promised I'd tell her first. I was still kinda shocked that it was all over. That was it. A month I had been waiting and it only took a matter of seconds to collapse the thought.

A lump quickly grew in my throught but I didn't want to cry, but I was upset. All of a sudden I wasn't in a good mood anymore. My sister called and we talked about it. She gave me encouraging words, but that made it worse. I didn't want her sympathy. I knew I was going to be fine, it just hurts right now. I tried not to be rude, but I'm sorry if I was V. When we got off the phone, I didn't want to watch Twilight anymore and I didn't want to read or blog I just wanted to sleep. I turned my phone on silent and I laid on the couch pretending that it wasn't happening like this. With sympathy being poured on me and alone and with the rain. I felt trapped, so I slept. I woke up and just wanted to sleep some more. I didn't want to face it and I didn't want to have to tell anyone, but I couldn't sleep anymore. I tried, but it was not happening. So I laid there and I started talking to God about this. I apologized for going back on my word and being upset, for being childish and for letting it consume me the way it did.

After laying there a while, my thoughts went back to church this morning and I realized He had already comforted me and given me words of encouragment. Looks like I'll be blogging about what I learned afterall. As much as the sermon meant to me this morning, it took on a whole new meaning when I could apply it to myself. Nathan (the preacher) talked about God being God just because He is. Not because we need Him or did anything to deserve Him, but we are because of Him. That we have to learn to trust His will with an open heart and through anything. Trust is something I've been dealing with a lot lately, so it home. And then he talked about Job, who is one of my favorite people in the Bible. And as I laid there, being the only person at my pity party, it made sense.

By getting upset I wasn't trusting Him, I was upset because I wasn't getting what I had wanted. I wasn't getting what I had planned for. But wait, what? God isn't God because of me? Yeah, He is who He is because He is just that awesome. His plans, don't revolve around me and what I want all the time. And it doesn't ever have to revolve around me. My job isn't to be rewarded for following Him, it's just to follow Him and trust Him, no matter what and through anything. "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised," Job 1:21. Recap: Job had just lost all of his children and wealth and everything he had worked for, and he was able to praise God. Nobody was taken away from me, and my skin isn't rotting off. My life could be worse...

Case 2: The son of God was about to be crucified. As he's in the garden of Gethsemane, he prays "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will...My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done," Matthew 26:39-42. Crucified. Not moving to Baton Rouge. "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-- whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of Him," 1 John 5:14-15. I used this the other day, but I only focused on the part that said 'He hears us' and the 'we know that we have what we asked of Him.' But taking a second look, the most important part of the verse says 'according to His will.' I can ask for whatever, but I should focus more on the according to His will and the may the name of the Lord be praised parts. It says that we'll have what we asked if we asked according to His will. There's not a doubt in my mind that God heard me ask a thousand times to move to Columbia. I am being reassured that God has something different in store for me. It's not what I wanted and it may not be specatcular, but my life should be about Him and revolve around Him. I didn't want to hear it as I read the email, but I know it's true. Why else would I have had a refresher on trust this morning?

I'm enjoying the current state of sunshine with the possiblity of more rain to come. I don't control the weather like I don't control what happens in my future, but I want to grow in God and learn to dance in the rain. May the name of the Lord be praised!

I'm not upset :) Pinky promise! I'm excited about Louisiana, the Cajuns, the food, the experience, spending time at home, and brushing up on my French!

Dear God, thank you for having a will for us and having a plan for me. Without your guidance, I wouldn't know where to start. And thank you for the gentle reminders that the world does not in fact revolve around me and that you being awesome has absolutely nothing to do with anything I am or have done. Amen

I'm sorry this may have dragged on a bit. You should expect it by now :)) Nevertheless, I am sorry. I love you! And thank you for taking the time to read!

Laissez les bons temps rouler! Bring on Baton Rouge!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Help! I need somebody...

I think the Beatles had a good thing going...

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being around.
Help me get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me?

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need You like I've never done before...

So here's what's up. Almost 2 months ago I woke up and I couldn't be the same me anymore. It wasn't getting me anywhere so I tried life a new way. A new life where I attempted to fix my priorities, and you know what? I honestly believe God took my smallest effort at that point and handled the rest. He put the exact people in my life to help me get somewhere. Anywhere away from who I was. To take the sinful thoughts and nature and make me want and yearn for something better. I know it wasn't me, it was all God.

I've grown up in a conservative household. Always going to church, camps, rally's, the whole shebang. At each, praying. But honestly, I don't know if I've ever prayed as earnestly as I have the past few weeks. Maybe I have and I just don't remember, but nothing has ever felt so real. My prayers are conversations and because I'm learning to accept His will, I feel like my prayers get answered everyday in the craziest of ways.

How? Please allow me to share:

1. A few weeks ago Megs and I were in the lab and for the life of me I couldn't open this bottle of Acetonitrile. Now, usually I have a problem opening bottles but luckily there's this rubber opener thing that I use and it's never failed me...until then. Megan saw me struggle, so she walked over and starts pulling other tools out of the container. The wrench wasn't opening it any easier and neither did any other tool we attempted to use. What next? We start banging the side of the cap against the corner of the counter! After all these failed attempts, my thoughts turned to God. I remember thinking about Daniel in the lions den and how God quickly heard his prayer and protected him. I remember having a quick convo with God and asking Him to open the bottle with all His powers....silly, and slightly rude, but I thought it nonetheless. I felt guilty for questioning God after, so when Megs and I talked about calling someone to open it for us, I considered that His way of opening it for me. I'm not sure if Megan was calling someone or just texting someone but I remember taking the rubber thing again, and twisting off the cap easier than ever. I laughed and I told Megan about how I asked God to open it. I could have considered it a coincidence and just been happy it was open now, but I chose to give credit where it was due because I know the cap didn't budge at all as long as Megs and I were messing with it.

2. Remember that special birthday present God gave me at midnight? So on the eve of my birthday I went over to my friend Danae and Danielle's new apartment. Their whole family was in town for the occasion! I love this family sooo much and I did want to see them and hang out for a while. The small family get together quickly turned into a party and not really what I had thought would be how I'd ring in my 20th birthday. I thought about Megan's 20th birthday and how we spent the last 10 minutes being silly and taking pictures and I was jealous. I didn't want to offend my friends by leaving so I stuck around. I started watching Steal Magnolia's and reading People magazine. I was feeling desperate so I went to the bathroom to be alone and I almost cried. I wanted to be silly and take pictures on my birthday not watch Steal Magnolia's with a People magazine. I asked God what had gotten into me. Why would I have stayed so long? What good was I doing there? Why couldn't I be taking silly pictures? I went back and sat on the couch as Danae walked it. She wasn't participating in festivities and she didn't seem happy at all. As one of my closets friends, I felt bad so I asked her to sit outside with me and she opened her heart :) About halfway through our conversation, I realized why I was there. It wasn't to celebrate my birthday, it wasn't about me at all. It was about being there for someone I care about, when no one else really was.

3. That same friday I was planning on going and picking up all my summer recruitment tanks. I was particularly excited about it because of the birthday bike ride I had been planning all week for Saturday. The perfect occassion for these new tanks, right? Well they didn't come in. I was disappointed, but obviously my life could be worse, lol. I just planned on wearing a t-shirt, no big deal. When I got over to Danae and Danielle's, they started talking about these shirts they made for spring break. Since they had extra, I was going to get one! Awesome, new shirt for my bike ride, right? God one uped me when Danae brought down a purple tank. Something so petty, but I have to believe He heard me, right?

4. I'm about to get real honest. Around the same time I let God take control of my life, I kinda started to like someone. Someone who had been there all along. I didn't mean to, it just happened. I tried to resist, but I couldn't. I asked Megan to keep tabs on me. Let me know if I started putting this new whatever before my new whatever with God, ya know? I started praying about it too. I asked God to let me know what to do, because I certainly had no clue. The more I hung out with him, the more I knew I liked him. It was a completely different feeling and for the first time in a long time, I think I was really happy letting myself just be happy with him. Can you guess what happened next? He woke up and changed his mind. I don't think I realized how much I liked him until it was gone. In a flash. Quit cold turkey. And I cried, my heart ached. And then I opened my Bible. It sucked, bad. But it was what I had prayed for. God knew I wouldn't give up these feelings easily, so He kinda had to take them away. I had one plan, but in turning my life over to God, He had something else in mind. My heart hurt, but I knew God wouldn't hurt me on purpose, or without having a really good reason or something better in store.

A lot of things like this have happened in the past few weeks, I just can't remember them all. From small things like having a tank top to wear on my bike ride, to who I should and shouldn't date. God took care of it. I honestly believe that. So what does that have to do with now? There's some heavy stuff on my heart. Being the meticulous person I am, I tried to think of the best way to handle it without getting hurt, or anyone else getting hurt. I came up short. I couldn't think of anything. So I called my mom and I just cried because I had no idea what to do, and the answer was so simple: she told me to pray. After all these great things and small things that He had taken care of, why would I not think he'd take care of this? Why would He not be the first place I run to? I guess what I'm saying is that I still have a lot of learning to do. I still have a lot of myself to give over.

So I prayed for what's going one in my life and then I apologized for not going to Him first and then I thanked Him for always being there in the past, and I told Him I'd let Him take control of the whole thing. I'm so thankful that God cares about the everything in between, but more thankful that I can let Him take the big stuff as my mind draws a blank.

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us-- whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of Him." 1 John 5:14-15

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

"...The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." James 5:16

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18

"...the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

"By joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it." John 14:13-14

Yes, yes I feel better now. Amen.

So I resolve to give it God. That, and the fact that I still have no idea where I'm moving to this summer. On a brighter note, God blessed me friends to keep me busy during the days so that I don't check my e-mail every 5 minutes of everyday. Today? Picked up my new camera, followed by an ice cream date in a hurricane with my love :)) First picture to commemorate the occasion:

Now I can sleep :)) Goodnight. I love you!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mirror, mirror on the wall...

I would just like to give a warm welcome to Summer 2010! You have been missed! The past few days, post graduation, have been great! Sleeping non stop and being completely stress free! There was one point this weekend, when I relapsed just a little and my body went into panic mode because I was having fun and not studying and then I realized it was ok! Bekah being here this past weekend was phenomenal :) Best part? Interpretive dancing in a field for the cars driving by. Another good part? The scratches I have on my chin where the tree attacked me when I tried to hug it. Success!

Bad part of the last couple of days? I think I've gotten lazy. Scratch that, I know I've gotten lazy! Fact: Today was the first morning since Friday I woke up and read my Bible. I've had conversations with God and I've prayed, but honestly it just didn't feel the same. This morning I apologized and jumped right back in :) On top of that, I gave myself a new goal for the summer, which shouldn't be too difficult, and that's to read through the New Testament. There's so much good stuff going on, and I'm hoping it keeps me focused so that I can achieve Godly goals. I like routine too much to keep it entirely random....

Something that's been on my mind lately, since my birthday was a few weeks ago, is beauty. It was personified this weekend when my aunts were in town for my mom's graduation. When I think about myself and the things I'd like to change, it seems reasonable, but when I heard my aunts, I thought they were being just plain silly. So here it goes, for the thousandth time you've probably ever heard this, what you look like on the outside, doesn't matter. And you know who it really doesn't matter to? God, who is the only person we should be trying to please.

When I was in high school, I ran almost everyday. I go back and look at pictures and it blows my mind to see myself. But the other part of high school I remember, is cheerleading practice. Everyone always comparing their bodies to each other and the ridicule girls, including myself, would get for various and ridiculous things that can't really be helped. I had never really had a problem with my body, especially after all the baby fat melted away, until I got to cheer in high school. I remember looking at myself in my cheerleading uniform and still thinking I was too big to have it on. I remember being teased because certain parts of my body weren't big enough. At one point I remember being so down about it, my mom agreed to whatever it took to help me be more comfortable with what I looked like.

When I got to college, most of the superficial was gone, until I joined a sorority. All of a sudden, no one talked about how beautiful or perfect they were, it was obvious, lol. I thought it was about keeping a good appearance and making our house look good. As a freshman, in a completely new environment, that's all I could see. All these beautiful older members who so effortlessly were perfect in every way. The catch? Being older, mostly means you start to care less and less about what others think of you. You start to realize that there are more important things than looking good. And how do I know that? I think I'm one of them. Now, I can't imagine changing what I look like or what God made me to be. And I've learned that the less make up I wear, the better my skin feels. The less I blow dry, curl and then straighten my hair, the less dead it looks. And the more I run to relieve stress instead of to lose weight, the healthier I feel.

Good news: in college, you meet all sorts of different people who are all sorts of different sizes and shapes and colors, and all of a sudden, you forget. It's so easy for us to see someone else hurting about their looks and tell them they're beautiful, and yet so hard for us to tell ourselves the same things. More good news: those comforting words are just as applicable to ourselves. The bad news: the world may still see us for what's on the outside, and it won't always be easy to remind ourselves to care about what's on the inside, but God wrote it down for those times when we can't remind ourselves, saying that He "...does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart," 1 Samuel 16:7.

It's a shame that there aren't more people that look at hearts than what's going on physically, it's also a shame that our society tells girls at a young age that they should strive to look like this or that and put women on magazines half dressed and then airbrush them to impossible skin tones and sizes. It's not real. And people who make friendships based on such things aren't real friends. And relationships based on such things isn't real love. But God is real, and He will really love you no matter what. If we're too tall or too short. If we're unproportioned in our bodies. With red, brown, blonde or anything inbetween hair. Red and yellow, black or white skin :) He loves everyone, and He made everyone with a specific plan for them. So finally, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 says "I also want women to dress modeslty, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God." I don't think this is necessarily saying don't braid your hair or wear any jewelery ever again, but it's saying that we should recognize that none of those things matter when we worship God.

Final thoughts from Proverbs 31:30: "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." A few weeks ago, I started noticing more gray hairs and the wrinkles around my eyes and I started to feel old! I know, I'm not, but I can only imagine these things getting worse as I do get older. But you know why I have wrinkles around my eyes? From smiling so big and laughing so hard. And I'm not sure where or why I have gray hairs, but if they do come from worry, then they came from the hardships and obstacles that I've been through with God. I don't want to get rid of proof that I've lived my life accordingly. I may dye my hair someday or purchase anti-aging creams eventually, but today and hopefully forever, I remember that I'm exactly who I am because God made me. On another note, it's not always easy to be who we are because we want to be well liked and popular and for girls, it's assumed that guys care more about what's physically there than a girls heart. But that's not always the case. I still fully believe that God made everyone's perfect match, and that in that, they don't see flaws they see beauty. Guys worth dating, will see our hearts and deeds and will praise us because we fear the Lord.

Dear boys, I understand that none of this may relate to you in any way. But I am not so easily fooled, and I am sure that there is just as much pressure for guys to be, look, and act certain ways according to the media. It doesn't matter either though. And when you look for girls worth dating, the ones caught up in themselves or their looks shouldn't be the first way you go.

On another note, I love the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty. I hope that if I have daughters, I will be able to show them the difference.

I love you! Happy Tuesday! And don't forget about Glee :))

Oh and just in case:

Fake (adj)- to conceal the defects of or make appear more attractive, interesting, valuble, etc; to pretend or simulate; to trick or decieve

Beauty (n)- a quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations, a meaningful design or pattern, or something else such as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest; something excellent of its kind; extraordinary

Friday, May 7, 2010

How about ya stop and smell the roses

Well hello! I'm sorry it's been so long. I promise I'm not avoiding you :) As you may know, this past week was finals week. Scary huh?! I can't believe the semester is over either! I'M A JUNIOR! Neat :)) And if you must know...I passed Organic! By the grace of God, I must say, because according to all my previous calculations that was near impossible!

So yesterday morning, at 7:30 was my last final. After that I needed to come home to start preparing for my mom's graduation party tomorrow! Yaaay!!! Although it's been hectic, it's nothing compared to this past semester, I guess I could call the new craze a breeze! After tomorrow, I will officially have not a care in world! I cannot wait :))

One of the errands I was running yesterday involved going to Walmart to pick up the basics...drinks, cups, and a few decorations. Being the impatient person that I am, I always park on the garden side because there are never people over there to park or check out! After my last final, I was in such a good mood! So good, that when I walked through the garden, I HAD to stop and smell the flowers. I just walked down the isle, with not a care in the world. The sun was shinning and the color's were BEAUTIFUL! As I get to the back, what would I find? A clearance section?!?! Ok, 1. I didn't realize you could clearance flowers. That's ridiculous. 2. They looked just as beautiful as all the others! I was outraged! Well, as outraged as I could be with a smile still on my face and all my troubles behind me....Anyways, it was in this moment I decided I have a new passion, recuing the unwanted flowers. I ended up buying a gagillion flowers and potting soil...the whole 9 yards, lol. Ridiculous? Sure, but I hated the thought that people would put something so beautiful at a lower price! Why do they get to decide their value??

As I'm driving to my next destination, I'm listening to some crazy stuff on the radio and I can see the flowers in the floor of my car and I turn off the radio and I start complaining to God about how sad I thought it was that the flowers had lost their value. And ya know what? He spoke to me :) Kinda...He lead my thoughts to think about flowers, literally. They were made in the beginning, and like everything else, with a perfect design and purpose. They are to be beautiful, colorful, cheerful, and fruitful to multiply. But sometimes, in the wrong environment, they get weathered. They lose their petals and their leaves brown a little and someone else comes along and deems them useless. The nerve...

And then God lead my thoughts to my own relationship with Him, and I realized I am one of those clearance flowers. I've been weathered and tested and I didn't pass it too well. My leaves have browned and I've lost almost all of my petals. I'm not at the potential that was intended for me so the world came along and told me I was useless. That trying to reach my full potential now, would be a waste. I'd never bloom and be beautiful or fruitful. And it makes a lot of sense when I tell myself that, but when I think about those flowers, it seems silly. Why? Because I know that they just need the right kind of help. In the right soil, with someone caring for them, I honestly believe that they'll bloom. Get it? God is my gardener now. And I'm not saying in any way that I am God, but I am trying to save these flowers, like He's trying to save me. He's put me in good soil and He's cared for me. I'm not perfect and I have a lot of growing to do. I need to get rid of all the dead leaves that I carry, so that I can blosom into the Lord!

For the rest of the time in the car, I prayed that my relationship would be like that of these flowers. Sure, once I was mostly useless, and I felt as though I'd never reach my full potential, but it's completely different with God at the wheel. That I let God rescue me from the clearance section, and plant me in His garden. I want to bloom and I want to multiply my faith by telling others.

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

On another, but still very similar note, part of being in God's garden, means were deeply rooted with all His other flowers. Meaning, we should stick to other people trying to grow and bloom for God because it's encouraging to be with people just like us. Who were once told the same things we were yet there we all are, proving them wrong. Because we are something, to God. Our value in Him never changes and we will never be less valuable. He will never put us in the clearance section.

Finally, I realize that I read into the whole flower thing a great deal. It's pretty out there, I will admit, but what can I say? I'm dramatic :)

Finally again, this one was short, and it's late, so technically right now my mom's party is in just over 12 hours.

Finally again again, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17. So I guess if you're a boy and you don't want to be in a flower garder, you could be a stick of iron! That sounds pretty manly!

Happy Summerrrrrrr!!!!!! I love you!!!

Oh and finally just one more's only 13 hours until the love of my life will be here :)) RGL, you know who you are :))))

Goodnight America, and Happy Saturday!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Let's hold hands

SATURDAY!!!! my birthday :)) Sure, it's currently 7:35, and I could have slept in...but my only goals for today are to go on a VERY long bike ride and write in my blog! And there's not a moment that I want to waste today. I also need to finish Organic unfortunately. On a brighter note, Megs and I are also going to lunch! I keep comparing my birthday this year to the one last year...and I'm sorry if you were with me last year on my birthday, because I couldn't have been a bigger mess! I was up this early last year, but not because I was attempting to enjoy my day, oh no. I couldn't sleep because my phone had gotten stolen. On top of that, I'm fairly certain everything else went wrong as well. This year, despite the fact I'm spending my day with my nose in an organic book, it's been a wonderful week. It could be because I still have my phone...or it could be because I am spending more time with Someone else. I'll go with the latter.

Before I talk about what's been on my heart lately, I want to thank everyone who has sent birthday wishes. It doesn't matter if Facebook had to remind you, but it really means a lot to me that you took the time to say something! Especially all the texts and phone calls and voicemails I got just after midnight. Faves :))

Shortly after midnight I got the most wonderful birthday blessing, but I could write an entire blog about that in itself, so I'll wait a few days! But remind me...

I have a lot to say today, and that's because it's not the easiest of topics. I want to make sure that I say the right things so that no one ends up confused and thinks I want to die or anything.

Today, on the anniversary of my birth, I want to talk about my inevitable death.

It's scary. Along with other things, death isn't something I deal with particularly well in general. When I was 10 my dad died, and I'm still trying to get over it. And I know that I'm going to die one day, and that terrifies me. I'd say it was legitimately one of my biggest fears because I don't know when it'll be. And you know how I like to make plans....

So there's this song that I'm absolutely in love with right now. Surprisingly enough, it's country. The song is also about death. When I first heard it, I didn't hear any of the words, all I heard was this girl's voice and it's beautiful! I knew the title so I attempted to read more into it. I listened to the chorus the most, but all I could think about was how sad the whole situation is when we die. Then I listened to the verses, and I'm not sure how they meant it to be, I certainly didn't write it, but it's actually an incredibly hopeful song. I love it so much, it's all I've listened to all week. Literally, it's on repeat. Earlier this week, I even sat in my room and paused the homework so that I could just listen to the words and say them to myself, and I cried. Out of joy, I mean! The song? If I die young by The Band Perry. Please go listen to it :) I'll share the lyrics with you though:

Lord, make me a rainbow, I'll shine down on my mother
She'll know I'm safe with you when she stands under my color's
Oh, and life ain't always what you think it ought to be, no
Ain't even gray but she buries her baby

The sharp knife of a short life
Well, I've had just enough time

If I die young bury me in satin
Lay me down on a bed of roses
Sink me in the river at dawn
Send me away with the words of a love song

The sharp knife of a short life
Well, I've had just enough time

And I'll be wearing white when I come into Your kingdom
I'm as green as the ring on my little cold finger
I've never known the loving of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand
There's a boy here in town says he'll love me forever
Who would've thought forever could be severed by
the sharp knife of a short life
Well, I've had just enough time

So put on your best boys and I'll wear my pearls
What I never did is done

A penny for my thoughts, oh no, I'll sell 'em for a dollar
Their worth so much more after I'm a goner
and maybe then you'll hear the words I've been singing
Funny when you're dead how people start listening

Oh the ballad of a dove, go in peace and love
Gather up your tears and keep them in your pocket
Save them for a time when you're really going to need them
Oh the sharp knife of a short life
Well I've had just enough time...

This isn't the exact order of everything and the chorus gets thrown in there occasionally, but this is all good stuff.

This is what's been on my heart this week and I listen to this song everyday to remind myself and to pray these things to God. 1. At every given point in my life from now until the day I do die, I want to be able to say "I've had just enough time." I want people to know to whom I belong. I want to share my faith with as many people as I can. I don't want to live a single day and not be the absolute best person I can be, the exact person God wants me to be. I want to live according to God so that I'm not afraid of death. 2. I want to die knowing that I was the best person I could be so that when I get to God, I can ask Him to make me a rainbow. If it happens to be before my mom, I want her to know that I was the best person I could be. So good, that she'll be comforted knowing that I am safe with God. 3. I never want to be far from God. I want to be sent away with the words of a love song. I want to live a life so close to God, that I'm a positive influence on my friends and family. I want them all to know that I lived life to fullest with Him by my side and that they will want the same thing for themselves. That they'll find so much joy in the fact that I had to have gone on to a better place, that they'll save their tears for another occasion. That they will be able to reflect on my life and say that despite the fact that I was "green," I had just enough time to be the light God calls me to be.

Proverbs 1 today talks about living a life as such. Being wise. The first few verses are the prologue, but they're incredible in themselves because they describe qualities that we should all want and strive to have: wisdom and discipline, a prudent life, being just and fair, discretion, discernment, understanding, knowledge. And then verses 8 and 9 say "Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching. They will be a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck." This is followed by a calling to a good life. One where this son (or us) doesn't give in to sin by stealing or killing or cheating because that's not living a life according to God's purpose for us. "For the waywardness of the simple will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm" Proverbs 1:32-33.

If we live a life where we choose to fear the Lord, we'll be rewarded. We can be made rainbows (or something more manly if you're a guy, I suppose) and have eternal life with Him. After all, this earth is only our temporary home and He made us to go back to Him. All this that we have will go away! "Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with His promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness" 2 Peter 3:11-13. "...when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savor, so that having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having hope of eternal life...but avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless," Titus 3:4-9. I'm sure you kind of get the same things I did now...

Being with God means I follow His plan and not my own. It means I don't get any kind of plan, and I can have a say, but He makes the ultimate decisions. It means that when I've done my job here on earth, He'll take me and I should be ready at any given moment. I shouldn't be afraid of His plan, I shoult trust it like I'm trusting in my struggles and obstacles that they'll all serve a higher purpose. Even in death. This week, I don't think I'm as scared to die. And I know that as my faith grows stronger and deeper, that fear will completely go away and I will know that I have had just enough time.

Final thoughts? The part of the song that says "never known the lovin' of a man but it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand," is one of my favorites because I was confused at first and thought it meant that she was holding God's hand. I don't think that's what it means anymore, but what a beautiful thought. 4. I want to be so close to God that when we meet, He just holds me like a little girl in her daddy's lap. That He wraps His loving arms around me and when we leave that place we can hold hands, because as much as I love holding hands when I'm with my friends and my mom, I want to know what it feels like to touch God's hand. A thought worth a tear of joy.

Thank you God for another year of life, I hope that I have many more to come but more than that, I pray that I stay close to You forever. Please hold my hand

I hope that you have a beautiful day! It's now 10:20, but I warned you it was long...thank you for reading :) and as always, I love you!

"Therefore, dear friend, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever! AMEN" 2 Peter 3:17-18