Sunday, September 21, 2008

Look at the stars, look how they shine for you.

Just got back from working out with my roomies. Since Amy works there, she can go (and she can bring friends) whenever she wants. It was soooo nice to exercise, especially with just the 4 of us.

This weekend was really stressful. I felt way behind with my research paper and finding sources. Turns out, I'm doing pretty okay with all of that. I wish I would've known that earlier so I could have avoided a tearful Saturday evening. But Mom came to visit, which made my day so much better. We went out shopping, had lunch, and just hung out. It was really nice. I love my mommy. :) She also knows how to comfort me, what I need to hear (even when I don't want to hear it), and she can tell when I'm stressed. I can't hide it from her very well. So it was nice to have her here in the midst of my homework breakdown. I am so, so blessed with amazing, godly, loving, supportive, fun parents. I can't express just how thankful I am for them. They are my twin pillars, without whom I could not stand. God has blessed me far beyond what I deserve, and I am so grateful.

I am also thankful for my roommates, friends, other family members, the list goes on... It's easy to forget how much I have; I realize how often I take people for granted. A couple of weeks ago, God helped me realize what I really need to invest myself in this year -- and not just this year, but for life -- relationships and love and Him. During one of our roomie prayer times, Amy Jo prayed that our focus and our "worlds" would not be centered on homework this year. Of course, homework is important and without studying, we're not going to do very well. But there's so much more to life than that. Olivet really does have a lot to offer us, allows us to serve and love others through ministries, groups, clubs, etc. And I really want to invest myself fully in Jesus, in His Kingdom, in His Great Commission -- by loving others, loving everyone (even when it's hard), serving others, putting their needs above my own (even when I want things my way), give-give-giving and getting refueled by His Spirit each day, moment-by-moment....

I just want to really live life. I really want to love. (And, honestly, I don't know if this is selfish or just normal, but I want to be loved, too.) Without Him, this life is meaningless. That's what we've been talking about in Sunday School as we go through Ecclesiastes. "Everything is meaningless," Solomon says over and over again. In the end, both the wise and the foolish die. Everything is meaningless...without our sovereign God.

"A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind." (Ecclesiastes 2:24-26)

"I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him." (Ecclesiastes 3:12-14)

I want to live this life by living in His Spirit moment-by-moment, walking and talking with Him, loving like He does, and to find satisfaction in Him alone. My life is His.