Saturday, December 27, 2008

take it all down, Christmas is over; do not despair, but rather be glad.

Christmas was great, even though it took a while for it to feel like Christmas for some reason. There was snow, there were lights...but it wasn't really until the Christmas Eve service at church that it really felt more like Christmas.

I still have one more family party, which was canceled today because of the weather. And I still need to give a few friends their Christmas presents, which should be fun. So, Christmas is not over. Actually, I can celebrate Jesus' birth year-round, which is pretty cool. Sometimes it's hard to remember what Christmas is about, even for a Christian. I find myself making it into a really materialistic holiday. And even good things like spending time with family and being generous to others is not necessarily what Christmas is about. It's supposed to be about celebrating Christ's birth. I'm thankful that we can do that and spend time with loved ones.

I go back to school in about two and a half weeks, which still seems pretty far away but I know it will be here before I know it. I emailed my profs for next semester so I can order my books on ebay or amazon, which should hopefully be cheaper than the bookstore. I'm hoping that this semester will be great. I remember last year, my freshman year... I think I had more fun spring semester, so I'm kind of hoping this semester will be even better than last semester.

I've been watching episodes of Freaks and Geeks on youtube a lot this week. I think it used to be on Fox Family back in 1999. It was an awesome show, and it's been fun watching it again. I wish they would have made more than one season - or at least kept the re-runs on TV.

Anyways, this blog is kind of pointless. I just felt like posting. Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

i'll be home for Christmas.

I have one more final tomorrow morning at 10, then I'll (hopefully) be on my way home. This final will probably be my hardest one yet, so I'm kind of dreading it (and also dreading studying for it ;)). The class (Theories of Personality) was pretty interesting, but it was actually fairly similar to The History and Systems of Psychology I took last year. It was still good, though. I just don't want to study 18 chapters for the exam tomorrow. Yuck.

But then I will be on my way home! Hopefully the roads won't be too bad. It's kinda scary driving on ICE. Yikes. Pray for safe travel for all of us kids driving home for the holidays.

I'm looking forward to this time off from some ways. On the one hand, I really can't wait to sleep in and not go to class for four whole weeks (!!!!), and it means I'll get to spend time with my family - plus, Christmastime is just wonderful anyways (yay Jesus!). But break also means that I won't see all of my friends from ONU every day. It's crazy how close we've gotten - especially with my roommates. I feel so blessed to have gotten to know them better this year. Sometimes it feels like home is here at school, too. Which is pretty cool. Even when it doesn't feel like it, things are happening. And God is working in me and growing me. I feel blessed to love being both at home and at school. I have people who love and care about me in both places and vice versa. How cool is that?

Okay, I need to go study. NOW. :)

Monday, December 1, 2008

two and a half weeks to go

until Christmas break!
...but it's kinda nice being back at school. : )
i'm really blessed -- i love being at home & i love being at school.
sometimes i wish i could morph the two "worlds" into one.
when i first left for college, i wanted to take the people from my hometown to school with me;
now it's more of i want my school friends to come with me when i'm home.
i don't know if that makes sense, but that's how it feels sometimes.


so my dad got a facebook.


i kinda wanted to go to the Christmas lighting ceremony-thingy on campus tonight, but my roomies were either busy or didn't feel up to it tonight. and i'm skipping small group. although i should be studying or at least unpacking the rest of my stuff from thanksgiving break.


so there's a Christmas banquet at school in a couple weekends, but i'm not going. haha. however, i might be going to Chicago with some friends! we will still get all dressed up & i think we might be going to like...a jazz club or something? but yeah, it sounds like fun! i was looking at dresses when i was thinking about going to Banquet, and this is the one that i reeeeally like (but am not getting..hah):

isn't it pretty? it's only $60, too! haha. oh well.


i'm kind of on a picture frenzy at the moment, so...
i'm saving my money up for this little guy:

it's a Nikon D40...about $500, which is actually pretty cheap for a sweet camera. and if i keep saving (and hopefully get money for Christmas & stuff), HOPEFULLY i'll be able to get it by this summer. :) i'm excited!

so i'm asking for money for Christmas, which is kind of a boring gift - but it'll pay off. no pun intended?
howeverrrr, i told my parents that, instead of $$, i would reallyreallyreally like the complete series of Gilmore Girls (all 7 seasons!). because i love ittttttt.

but if they can't manage that, i'll just take...

haha :)

i know this is only a TV show, but i am starting to like logan even more than jess. i've never been much of a dean fan except at the very beginning. jess has always been my favorite of rory's boyfriends, but now i'm leaning towards logan.

anyway. back to reality.

this was basically just to waste some time/avoid homework & unpacking.
but today was pretty good. it was snowing, which i like. :) and i wore my new boots. aaaaand i was actually pretty friendly and confident today, which was an awesome feeling. i need some more of that.

okay. i'm off like a dirty shirt.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

my heart wants more.
my heart wants to truly live.
my heart wants people;
genuine, truth-seeking, fallen people,
who are saved by grace, just as i am.
i don't want to take life and people for granted.
i want to get to know others.
i want to let them get to know me.
i want to be loved.
i want someone to love who i really am.
i want him to love me, my heart, my spirit,
the part of me that will go on forever.
i want to be confident and optimistic and real and unafraid.
i want to display God's faithfulness and beauty and love to everyone.
i want to be more than who i am right now.
but i don't know how.
i need to be in His Word so much more.
i need to be so much closer to Him.
no wonder i feel like this.
i'm not going to Him for everything.
i think i need this break to find rest in Him
and to surround myself in Him.
as well as with other people who love me.
pray for me? that would be great.

"[your beauty] should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight."

- 1 Peter 3:4

Saturday, November 22, 2008

is it Christmas yet?

only a few more days til i head home for turkey break, which i'm pumped for. not so much even thanksgiving day...more of just getting to be home with family. i'm thankful for them. and my friends. and lots of other cool people. and lots of other stuff.


it's not even Thanksgiving yet and i'm in the mood for Christmas and snow and mistletoe.

i'm glad, though, that we can celebrate Jesus year-round. i'm glad that He's with us always, our Emmanuel.


here's some pictures of what's been going on in my life.... : )

these are some of the coolest girls you'll ever meet (my roommates & me ;))
amy, amy jo, emily & me.

here's half of the kewanee kids that go to olivet... :)
the 6 of us, though, try to get together once a week. it's known as "kewanee dinner" and we're so cool that we have non-kewanites joining us. haha.

went to see my favorite band, Relient K, in Chicago at the House of Blues with some cool kids.

and i voted in the presidential election for the first time in my life!, which was pretty cool, even if mccain/palin didn't get it. ;)

and i turned 20 on november 6th! it was an awesome parents & good friend, annie, came to visit me that weekend. and we had lots of cake, presents, and parties!


it's been a good semester, but i can't believe it's almost over! time goes so quickly!
(i love college, by the way. :))

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Living and active.

today i was printing some stuff out from my parent's computer, and my dad's Bible was sitting there. so i picked it up and decided to look through it a bit. (his is KJV, which i am not extremely familiar with as i typically use NIV.) so, i opened to where the bookmark was keeping place - which was Ephesians - and i got a slight chill when i saw the way he had marked it all up and wrote notes in the margins. my goodness, i thought, this looks just like my Bible! i hadn't really gone through dad's Bible before, but it was super cool to see how similar we are as we study the Word. this simple thing was such a blessing today. my heart has been heavy all break, but this was something i needed to see.

(here are pictures of dad's & my Bible respectively; mine is in Ecclesiastes.)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

pride and summertime come before the fall.

i know that we're technically in the season of fall, but this week still had that summer-heat feeling to it.

and i found myself longing for true autumn weather when i can wear sweaters and jeans...and see the beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges of the trees...when i can simply inhale and exhale the air and really feel fall.

i can't explain what it is about this season, but it sparks something in my spirit, in my heart. it's a sort of expectation, a knowing that God is moving and working and that He is going to use this time in my life as He does with the earth and its seasons. He is a sovereign God. He uses all situations for His glory -- both the bad and the good. when we go through trials, we often ask Him, "why are you letting this happen, God??" and it is in those times that He lovingly holds us and whispers, "rest in Me. I will use this to bring beauty. cling to Me." God is sovereign.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

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.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

my heart is open and willing; so take it.

So, I'm on week 3 of classes. And, amazingly enough, the homework load has not been too terribly bad. Probably because I've been praying about it every stinking day. And God won't let me be pushed beyond what I can bear. I love how He faithfully shows me how He fulfills His Word in my life - even in small ways. (However, I still need prayer with my classes. I do have a few projects that I know about already - and it wouldn't hurt to get a jump on them while not too much else is going on.)

Before the school year started, I asked God about what He might want me to be involved in this year. Last year I was in a couple of groups, but I wasn't very committed, to be quite honest. I don't want to be like that again, but I would like to be involved in at least one extra thing. I'm not the most out-going person sometimes; I definitely need my personal time. So there's a part of me saying, "Don't worry too much about being involved. You'll have to do things that aren't very comfortable sometimes. Just do classes and have some fun."

Yikes. I don't want that mind-set. See, I don't have a job or anything (my parents have told me time and time again that they'd rather me not worry about having a job now since I'll be working for the rest of my life; they rule) -- but sometimes I feel like I have extra time and sometimes I feel like a big slacker. All 3 of my roomies have jobs and are at least mildly involved in stuff whether it's band, helping out at a church, Bible studies, Sister-2-Sister, etc.

And at the same time, I also thing it's okay. I've not even been here a month yet, right? There really haven't been too many opportunities yet; some, yeah, but not TONS.

Festival of ministries is coming up. I want to follow God's leading. I want to be involved. I want to grow. I want to grow alongside others. I want to love and be loved. I want to invest myself in things that matter, in things that will last (which aren't things at all). All that lasts are our hearts, our souls -- people. I want to invest myself in relationships and love.

I'm looking forward to this weekend, though. My friend, Annie, is coming up to spend the night and celebrate Amy Jo's birthday. We're going to Chicago on Sunday, which should be good times. And I have choir retreat on Friday night! I love those girls. I sincerely feel blessed to be a part of this wonderful group of young ladies.

So, yeah, I guess I am doing stuff. I guess it's just that I find myself comparing myself to others. How lame is that? I know better than that...

"Each one of is created as a unique vessel for God's own purposes (2 Timothy 2:21). We are not to live our lives in self-conscious self-improvement; we are to live in God-consciousness with a deep awareness that we have been purchased at great cost. We are to glorify God in our bodies and in our spirits, which are God's." (From The Titus 2 Woman study)

What a loving and gracious God we serve. I want to know Him more and more. I am thankful for the hunger for His Word He has been giving me lately. What a beautiful mystery is our God. I am His. I am completely His.

Lord, lead and guide me to where You want me. Open my heart to You. I want to be obedient to You. You know my desires and hopes; take them, and mold them into what You want. I want to delight in You daily, moment-by-moment. Your Word tells me to delight myself in You, and You will give me the desires of my heart. Here are my desires; here is my heart. It's all Yours.

Can you fathom the mysteries of God?
Can you probe the limits of the Almighty?

They are higher than the heavens—what can you do?
They are deeper than the depths of the grave —what can you know?

Their measure is longer than the earth
and wider than the sea.

Yet if you devote your heart to him
and stretch out your hands to him,

if you put away the sin that is in your hand
and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,

then you will lift up your face without shame;
you will stand firm and without fear.

You will surely forget your trouble,
recalling it only as waters gone by.

Life will be brighter than noonday,
and darkness will become like morning.

You will be secure, because there is hope;
you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

(Job 11:7-9, 13-18)

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. :)

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.... :)