Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Know what makes me feel good?
Thinking that I may have given someone some good advice because:
1) I rarely say the right thing at the right time
2) ...just because it's awesome

I was talking to a friend who's actually about 4 years younger than I am, but she's getting to that age when hormones are especially crazy, and awesome, Christian guys are quite rare (at least at our high school). It was an awesome conversation, and I'm thankful that God allowed me to talk with her. It gives me some encouragement about leading the small group (which is supposed to be about relationships). My friend, Chelsea, also wants to help lead it so that would be awesome. She has more experience than I do, but I feel like I also have some thoughts to bring to the table.

Anyways, observe & comment:

her: at school . . . all I've found so far are boys who either don't know what to do with me or they make fun of me because I'm smart . .
her: I mean, what's so wrong about getting to know me, right?
me: you are SO right. don't settle for less than that.
me: boys kinda suck at that age, if i remember correctly.
me: LOL!
her: ^_^
me: you know how boys mature more slowly than girls? i think it's as if they're 2 years younger than they actually are...
me: and i'm like, "that explains a lot."
her: wow, that's a good way to look at it. and it's true too!
her: most of the guys my age (well, not REALLY my age, actually 15 or 16) are always looking for their next girlfriend instead of focusing on something worth working towards in the future
me: yeah. unfortunately, that's how a lot of them are. but i don't wanna just diss on all the boys -- there are actually some good ones out there.
her: very true. I'd love to add more to my list.
me: for me in high school, i would just try to see what characteristics i really liked about the boys i had crushes on (because i did have a few..hehe). like: how important his faith is to him, his sense of humor, his hard work with grades, if he'd rather hang with his guy friends or be surrounded by girls, stuff like that... and so it's just a good way to see what i'm really looking for in a guy.
her: yeah . . . woah. those are good thing to go by. Mind if I steal them?
me: lol naw, i reccomend them.

It was such a good reminder for myself. He's out there, and if I just keep looking to Jesus -- living for Him, seeking Him -- it will be done in His timing.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

My new RA, Christen, emailed a list of all the girls in our building today. And it just made me excited for school. I only know about 8 girls (out of about 40), but that just makes me feel more excited to meet and get to know the other girls; to make new friends -- which, in a way, kind of surprises me. I'm sort of shy, and yet I'm really looking forward to sharing a building with a group of girls I don't even know. (But it's probably because I'm living with 3 of my closest friends from school - and it's not like I don't know any of the other girls.) There are only a few other girls who are the same year as I am -- most of the girls are going to be juniors and seniors (I'll be/I am[?] a sophomore.) That kind of made me nervous at first, but now I'm looking forward to it -- getting to know some girls who are a little older than me, wiser, more experienced, etc.

Anyway, it's just exciting. Simply thinking about the fact that I'll be living in an apartment gets me all pumped. Granted, it's not a huge apartment - and it's still basically on campus. But it's a step up from the dorms, and it kind of makes me feel even a little bit more independent. Shoot, we'll have a toaster! And a shower/toilet/sink that will only be shared by the 4 of us! And a kitchen sink, table, refrigerator, microwave, oven, etc.! AND our apartment has a little balcony! How nifty is that? I think it's pretty cool! :)

I'm really looking forward to the balcony. I mean, we won't really be able to use it once it gets cold -- and, if this winter is anything like last winter, it will last about 4 months. Even so, the time that I will be able to use the balcony should be awesome. I see myself sitting out there, spending quiet time with God, watching the sunrise and sunset. Oh. Except for that our balcony actually faces the other apartments. Haha. Oh well. It'll still be cool. We'll also have a backyard, sort of, which I think will be awesome. :)

Alright. That's all I've got. Just excitement about the coming school year.
(Secret: I'm not all excited; I'm actually a little nervous already, too.)


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why can't I say what's in my head?

Maybe because sometimes my thoughts are fuzzy and I don't really know what to say at the time - but I come up with something great later. Maybe because I feel like it's not worth it; like I've never connected with someone who really understands my mood and countenance and feelings. I'm not trying to be super needy or anything. I'm not asking for a mind-reader. But I feel like I've never had that one friend - the one who knows my limits and doesn't try to push me past them; the one who knows my likes and dislikes, respects them, and supports me; the one who really knows me, my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses, my hurts, my past experiences, my hopes, my fears; the one who only wants to encourage me and build me up and make me the best version of me that I can be; the one who helps me know Him better, shows me by example what it looks like to be a follower of Christ; the one.
Maybe I'm not talking about just a friend anymore; however, as far as it concerns him, I don't just want to be his girl -- I want to be his best friend, too.

But to get back to the friends thing...
Before I came home for the summer, I asked God to help me embrace the friendships I have here at home. (After a few days of summer vacation, I realized I really only came home to a couple of friends. It was a pretty weird feeling.) And I realize that oftentimes I don't give my friendships my best. I find myself being easily-angered, short-tempered, and impatient. And I hate that. Why am I like that with people I love? I know that, while relationships should be great and fun, they also take a lot of work and effort. It's about give and take. I don't think I've been giving like I should be. Am I? Or am I being like a doormat, letting them just do whatever without speaking up when I feel the need to?

Something that just hit me is that when I really spend quiet time with the Lord, I'm a better friend. I'm more clear-minded, caring, and gracious. And when I don't spend time with Him, well, I'm grouchy and over-emotional and irritable.

Duh. That makes sense.

I always need Him to be my focus, my First Love -- because He truly is. I am so thankful that I can come to Him -- come running and crying to Him -- and He always takes me with open arms. I am thankful that He never lets me down or hurts me.

I want to really love. I want to love like He loves me; like He loves us all. I want to love like He has called me to love. Agape. I don't want to be a doormat, but I want to show some people my heart. That means taking risks, trusting people with the most precious part of me [my heart], and allowing Him to use me - even if it's really hard at the time. Just typing this makes me a little timid, unsure of what exactly He's up to or what He's going to do. And yet, I have peace, knowing that He only wants the best for me.

My favorite Jon McLaughlin song is "Proud Father." Here are some of my favorite lyrics from it that really say it all:

...hold on to someone,
who'll love you through the hot,
and the cold.
And hold on to someone,
who'll love you
no matter what they know.
Just hold on to someone
who'll love you when you're hot
and when you're cold.
And hold on to someone
who'll love you
no matter who they know

Open your mind
So colors of skin you embrace.
And open your eyes
to harmony coming of age.

It won't always be easy to love
when you give and you never get back...
but no one's intended to die
with their heart still intact.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Book Reviews and Very Nice News.

I like the feeling of finishing a book. Especially if it's really good - or if it's a classic. In the last month, I've finished two really good books (quite a feat for me; even though I enjoy reading, it was really hard to find time during the school year). I finally read the classic Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: really not a tough read (but maybe that's just because I knew the story from watching the [Keira Knightl(e?)y version] movie 16493618908 times); it was a beautiful love story, with lots of funny moments.

And I just finished Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe by Fannie Flagg - another book made into a movie, which I've seen 9163652037 times. As weird as it is, I actually like the movie better than the book -- but that's probably because I grew up watching the movie and reallyreally love it. Even so, the book was really good. Fannie Flagg's writing makes me feel like I'm in the South in the thirties (although a lot of the book takes place in the fourties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties...). Some of it was really funny. Some of it made me feel awkward reading with my parents in the room (even though they didn't know what it said as I was reading). Haha.

ANYWAYS. Enough book reviews.

The weather has been amazing this week. I can't seem to get over it. I really don't like when it gets crazy hot and humid, but it's been awesome lately. I love to experience His creation (especially when it's sunny with a high of 75!).

I had a minor breakdown the other night with my mom...
See, I had this whole plan for my summer: get a job; either pass the math test or take the class; etc. And it's funny how things don't always turn out the way you plan...and it's funny how they do sometimes. I never got a "real job," even though I turned in a handful of applications to places like Maurices, Dollar Tree, the library, Family Video, Goodwill...and I never heard back from any of them. However, God has still provided - just in a different way than I thought. Since I have the coolest parents ever, they have been paying me each week just to do the house chores. I really didn't expect that to happen -- they were excited for me to get a job, too, but when it never happened I guess they felt bad for me. Because it's not like I didn't try. I really did. But I just haven't had any luck with a job. Anyways, they pay me to do laundry, vacuum, dishes, water flowers, etc. (They rule.) I've also picked up some extra cash babysitting, taking pictures for a wedding reception, and I'll be vacuuming my grandma's house.

As you may have already known (because I posted a whiny blog about it before), I didn't test into the math class that I was hoping (and expecting) to. While I still think it's kind of stupid that, after my 3 years of hard math in high school with all A's and B's and the fact that I don't want to do anything with math, I still had to try to test out of Algebra I. Sadly, I didn't. Haha. And there were no classes for that particular math level at the community colleges around here. But, again, God provided. I'm taking the class online through WIU which, even though it's way more expensive than I thought it would be, is kind of nice because I just work on it whenever I want and it's not too hard. (Unfortunately, though, I tend to worry about stuff -- including this math class. Pray for me about this?)

God has shown me over and over again that He provides for me. I am never in need of anything because He is faithful to give me all that I need. Sometimes it takes me a long time to get that through my head. God is sovereign; God is God; He is in control.

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
(Matthew 6:26-27)

God has also reminded me that He has awesome plans for my life, and I need to surrender all of my desires to Him.

Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
(Proverbs 19:21)

He knows my heart; He knows exactly what I need and what I desire. And He wants the best for me. And I reallyreally want His best for me. I don't want to settle; no, I want what He has lovingly and intricately planned out for me. I want His best; therefore, I will seek Him and commit to Him my whole self - heart, body, soul, mind, strength...

Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.
(Proverbs 16:3)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Hello Blogger/Blogspot.

I am starting over with Blogger.
I'm not sure if I'll post on this or not, but we'll see.... :)