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.