Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wishin' and hopin' and thinkin' and prayin'....

...plannin' and dreamin'.
(Thank you, Nancy Sinatra.)

That's kind of what this summer has been for me. I know I've talked about this before, but I was expecting to have a job this summer and to take a class at the community college. I was hoping to grow in all of my friendships back here at home. I was hoping it would be a summer to remember.

While these things didn't exactly turn out the way I had planned, yet again, God showed me His faithful provision over my life.

..::No "real job" - but I've had odd jobs all summer, giving me things to do and some cash in my wallet.

..::Didn't take a class at the community college - but I got to take it online, saving me gas money and any awkwardness of being in a class with people I didn't know.

..::And my friendships. One friendship, though it has gone through a couple of rough spots (like any normal friendship), has grown and become stronger. At the same time, another friendship changed so much and faded so much, it's hard to know how to respond sometimes. Two other friendships have shown me more about myself (and about them): our personalities, our similarities & differences, our common ground. (I think that speaks for all of my friendships, especially this summer.) And new friends have come into my life: some that may seem silly, in a way, as they are just in their sophomore year of high school. But one especially has made me smile and appreciate her sweet nature. She's mature for her age, yet very innocent. (That has given me something to think about lately.) And, of course, my parents. As lame as this may sound, I consider them my friends. They're the two people in my life who have taught me everything I know, while still allowing me to figure it out in my own way in my own time. They've always been the supportive and loving parents that I've needed, and now I see that the dynamic is changing a little bit. They're still the parents that I know and love (and need), but we're becoming more like friends, as well. Which is a huge blessing for me. And, hopefully, it is for them, too. That will be the hardest part of going back to school: not seeing my two best friends every day (not to sound too lame again).

Anyways, this summer has been one of wishing, hoping, thinking, praying, planning, and dreaming. Having my own wishes & hopes starting as one idea and, because of God's gentle reminders of His sovereignty, changing into desires that I must continually surrender to Him. Thinking and praying about this summer, about the coming school year, about my new roommates and our apartment, about living more fully for Him and growing closer to His heart, about learning to open up my heart to people and allowing, not only myself to get to know others, but allowing others to get to know me. Those things are still daily prayers of my heart. And I trust that He is still molding me into who He wants me to be. And I've been planning and dreaming. Less of the former, more of the latter, to be quite honest.

I feel like I've been given this summer as an opportunity to just enjoy. I was really upset when I never got a job and the class-thing didn't work out how I originally planned, but my Mom said something to me that's stuck with me. She said, "This might be your last summer to just do nothing and do whatever you want to do." Something along those lines. And she was right. I don't know what I'll be doing next summer. I might be home again, which would still be nice. But I might be doing something else - staying at ONU for classes, doing an internship somewhere, whatever else... Only He knows. But I've learned that I need to accept this summer as gift. My attitude has definitely changed from, "Come on, God. I need to be doing something. I need to be busy and productive this summer," to, "Thank You for this break, God. Thank You for allowing me to take a breather and enjoy my vacation. Thank You for allowing this time of rest." Sure, I shouldn't be lazy, but I really believe this summer is a gift; His loving reminder for me to rest in Him and let Him carry my burdens.

Well, this blog turned into something a little different than what I had in mind starting out. But here it is. I'm praising God for His goodness and faithfulness to me. For making His grace and love known to me even more this summer. Keep it coming, Abba. I am Yours.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Chicago is such a beautiful, diverse, exciting city. I spent Saturday there with a couple of friends and walked all over its long and busy streets.

There were times during the day that I would just look around at the huge buildings towering over me and all the people walking, biking, roller-blading, driving, sitting, laying...

It made me realize how small I am. I know we hear all the time how small the world is with all of the technological advances we now have. And, sure, that's true. You can contact anyone as long as you both have e-mail. But I really felt small. And humble. And thankful that Jesus loves me. And amazed that He knows and loves each individual that I passed along the street.

What about me? Do I love them all? Do I make an effort to get to know them? Do I love Him and worship Him each day with my whole self? Not just with my actions. Not just with my words. Not just with my thoughts. With all of the above -- my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Well, I want to love Him with all of me. I want to love others and give, give, give. He has blessed me beyond my worth. And I want to overflow with thanksgiving and imitate His walk. I want to give His love and compassion to others - and always abide in Him and getting re-charged by His faithful grace.

Just some thoughts as I head off to bed after a long, fun weekend. :)

Friday, July 4, 2008


"It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don't use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that's how freedom grows."

(Galatians 5:13 MSG)

.......Thank You for setting me free.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

He > me

I've been doing it again.

Just having that pessimistic, easily-angered, irritated, short-tempered attitude.

And I hate it.
I hate when I act like that, and I hate the way I feel when I'm like that. This cruddy attitude is something I want to completely do away with. I want to REJOICE ALWAYS, as His Word tells me to do. I want to be cheerful, positive, loving, patient, gracious, encouraging; I want to be like Jesus. I want to live in Him each moment. I want to be the best version of me that I can be. I want to be the me that He created me to be.

He reminded me gently, quietly, lovingly...
"I must become greater;
you, my child, must become less."

He doesn't say it in an "I-told-you-so" way. His voice isn't harsh or over-powerful. He simply tells me, like a true Best Friend. He shows me where I'm struggling and He speaks the truth in love to me...
"I must become greater;
you must become less."

He tells me - He promises me - if I will only surrender everything to Him; put all my hope and trust in Him; simply make myself available to Him, He will grow me, use me, bless me abundantly. He offers me all that I could ever want or need. He has beautiful plans for my life. He loves me with an everlasting love. And He knows what's best for me.

And I want His best! I desire His very best. I know that He wants me to live the abundant life He has prepared for me...

So I surrender to Your will. I'm giving You all of my hurts, anxieties, concerns, joys, hopes, desires...they are Yours, Lord! You must become greater; I must become less.

I am thankful for His gentleness. I am humbled by this beautiful message. And I am extremely humbled by the way He revealed it to me. After all the times I have rudely and loudly and un-compassionately requested or told someone to do something, here He is - the God of the universe, the shaper of the stars, the One who humbled Himself to death on a cross - firmly, yet incredibly softly and tenderly, nudging me and tugging on my heart to just rest in Him; to lean on Him; to let Him carry my burdens.

Jesus, You are too amazing and beautiful and glorious than I can ever begin to express. Who am I, Lord? I am so undeserving.

My focus is needing that shift - from me to Him. (Keep reminding me, Lord.)

Tomorrow's a new day. :)