Thursday, December 10, 2009

Repacking my suitcase

As you know, I've been seeing a counselor for about two months now. It has helped so much, and hopefully sometime next semester I won't have to go anymore at all. But only time will tell.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with my counselor and we talked about how I have changed so much since I was in high school. I told her that I feel like that the person I used to be is no longer here and that a new person is here. For some reason, I'd been feeling bad about that, thinking that I was supposed to stay the same forever. I don't know why I thought that though.

We also talked about some of the things I learned from my parents while I still lived at home. The things I learned were all good things, but maybe some of those things don't apply to my life as much right now as they used to. My counselor said that it was time to unpack and then repack my suitcase. She said that those things that I don't need anymore need to be taken out and that the things I do want need to be put in.

I had never thought of it that way. I didn't know it was okay to change. I mean it makes sense. I'm not going to be the same person in ten years who I am now. So it makes sense that I'm not the same person I was when I was 16. My morals and beliefs are still the same, but I'm doing things and acting upon things because of what I believe, not because of what my parents tell me to do. I still honor the lessons and important things my parents taught me, but now they have become mine as well.

My counselor said that it was time to turn over a new leaf. It was time to repack my suitcase and start having fun with life. Not too much fun, but enough fun where I'm not on the verge of tears every day. My mom tells me to do one fun thing every day. I agree with her.

I can't believe that I have one week of this semester left. It doesn't seem possible. It seems like just yesterday it was the first day of Astronomy and I was so stressed because I thought I was going to fail the class. Well, I thank all of you who prayed for me. I can gladly say that class is over and that I have an A in it. Woot Woot. I'm so happy.

I'm so excited to go home for Christmas. To see my friends and family and enjoy this Christmas season in a new, exciting fun way. Maybe I'll be spontaneous here and there. Life needs to be more fun than we make it.

So in about a week I'll be repacking my more than one way.
May God bless you and Merry Christmas.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Coffee with God

The other day I was sitting with just my little ole self, and I began wondering what it would be like to have a real-life conversation with God. Yes, I know that we can have conversations with him through prayer and He can speak to us through the Bible and through events that take place in our lives; but what I wonder is what it would be like to sit down in a cafe sitting across from God sipping a latte and listening to the Creator of the universe reveal to me the secrets of his heart.

What would He tell me about my worries and fears that somehow seem to curse me every day? What would He share with me about my most precious dreams and desires that never seem to leave the depths of my heart? What wisdom would he impart to me about the path my future will take and what I'm supposed to do with it?

I know it would be a conversation I would never forget.

Can you imagine that? Just sitting and being with God. Yet that is what he calls us to do even though He isn't physically with us. He may not be with me in the cafe, but I know He is with me in spirit. God calls me to have faith to sit with him in that cafe and still talk with him and still listen to the silence. He reveals many things in the silence; many things I do not ever hear because I am too busy filling my life with superfluous nothings.

This morning in my World Lit. class I had one of these experiences. I just started feeling anxious and my thoughts were going crazy, but I quietly asked God to come and sit with me amidst the chaos of my brain. I imagined him pulling up a chair and sitting beside me, putting his arm around me and whispering truth into my ear all while my professor was lecturing. God was there. He calmed my anxious nerves, and He sat with me for the remainder of the class.

That may not sound like the most orthodox situation, but I think God wants to draw me away from orthodoxy sometimes. He wants to take this box that I try to put him and myself in and chuck it. He gets rid of the box and wants me to experience him in a whole new way. Christianity was never meant to be a set of rules and regulations. It is about an intimate relationship with a savior who loves me beyond what my minuscule scrap of a mind can begin to comprehend.

God has been working on me for a long time now. I know He will never stop, but sometimes I feel the chisel and the fire more than other times. Now is one of those times, but He has used it for his glory. I've been asking him to put a desire in my heart to read his word. Sometimes it's hard to get into his word, but I also know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. I'm not going to grow without the word of God.

The next time you think you are alone at a cafe, remember this post, and remember that you are never alone, no matter what you think. Have a conversation with God; yeah, people may look at you a little funny talking to the air, but I have a feeling that you'll be doing more listening than talking anyway so you don't have much to worry about. God loves those times when his children come to him and are silent.

So enjoy your coffee and enjoy listening to God.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Four weeks of classes, a week of finals, and then some much needed freedom.

School is slowly but surely starting to wind down, and we only have four more weeks left of classes. I am so happy. I don't think I have ever wanted a break so badly as I want Thanksgiving break. It will be so nice to go home for a week and just relax. I've missed my family so much, especially my mom, and I can't wait to go home and just hang out with them and help my mom cook.

For awhile now, I've been church hopping, just not sure I was going to the right church. This past Sunday I attended the church that I went to most of last year. I knew I was feeling called to go back, and I'm so glad I went. It is definitely where I'm supposed to be. The college minister and his wife also have a small group Bible study at their house on Sunday nights, so I went to that last night too. This Saturday they are having a Thanksgiving dinner for the college students at their house and I'm going to help the wife cook. I'm excited. I don't really know them very well, but I think this will help start a relationship that will last.

I've been seeing a counselor for about two weeks now, and things are improving; however, the improvements are very minuscule. If I am having a bad day or just not feeling good, I'm to the point where I can force myself to do something. A lot of times, I just have to force myself out of my shell. It's not easy, but I manage somehow.

For some time now, my relationship with God has been something of a mystery to me. I know God has been there for me and that he will never leave me. But I'm having to battle this whole idea that our relationship is not based on feelings. It is based on fact. He loves me more than I can or ever will comprehend. I don't deserve that love, and I may not feel loved, but that love is there just the same. God also keeps reminding me how big he is. I know I've talked about that before, but I think I need a reminder of that everyday. This semester my classes have just totally overwhelmed me. Not only has God taught me that I can't handle 18 hours of classes, but he has also taught me that he is bigger than all of it.

I'm still battling a few issues that I'm hoping I can work out by seeing this counselor. I don't want to have to keep battling them for the rest of my life. I know that God doesn't want that either.

I enrolled for classes for the spring semester the other day, and I'm very excited for my schedule. I'm taking history of the English language, New Testament History, Foundations of Education, American Literature 2, and 17th and 18th Century British Lit. I'm also taking my first class of field experience which is just observing teachers in the classroom for education majors. It comes to a grand total of 16 hours with which I am also very pleased. I don't think you could pay me to take 18 hours again. It's not fun. I had to drop my writing minor because I would have had to take 18 hours every semester until I graduate, and I simply told my advisor no. I wasn't going to put myself through all that. And with all the classes I'm taking for the English major I will have taken most of what I would have taken with the writing minor. I'm not really worried about it.

My work on our school newspaper is really going well. I'm enjoying it more than what I thought I would. I've also learned how to manage my time with it and get my work done so I'm not also stressed with school work. I've learned that I have a very sarcastic and sometimes even biting voice when it comes to certain topics. But that's why I'm in charge of the opinion page. It's very fun. I was telling my roommate tonight that tonight in the newspaper office was the first time I pictured myself working for a newspaper after college. I love being able to play with the layout and researching the different topics that I write about. It is quite invigorating.

I'm sitting here in my dorm room listening to Josh Groban's Christmas CD Noel. It's beautiful. What's ironic is that it is around 65 degrees outside. I wish the weather would understand that it is November and change to match the month. I mean I love the warm weather, but I'm ready for the festive cold weather that November is supposed to have.

Oh well, hopefully it will get here sooner than later. I hope everyone is staying well and if you're not, then I hope you get well soon. May God bless you as we begin this holiday season.

Until next time,

Monday, October 26, 2009

Another Day

So today has been an okay day so far. Since I've last posted, I've turned 20 years old. I don't really feel different, but I'm glad that I can now say that I am 20. That does make me feel older. When I went home two weekends ago, I saw my family and visited my aunt and my two little cousins. It was so good to see them since I probably won't see them again until Thanksgiving.

I get to see my family next week when my mom and dad are coming up to see me get inducted into the National Honor Society. I'm excited to see them since I was going home that weekend, but now I'm not. That should be fun.

Classes aren't going too bad. Astronomy is doing better. Only one more test in that class. I think the reason why I'm not so stessed about my classes is just that I have no motivation to do anything for my classes, like studying or reading, and I also think my body has just kind of become numb to stress. I know that's probably not good, but now when my plate becomes a little overloaded, I just take it with a grain of salt and go on. It's getting better.

I'm going to see a counselor this week, and I'm so glad that I am. My mom and I have been talking recently, and we've discovered part of the reason for my good days and my bad days and what may be a good solution for my slight depression, if that's what I want to call it.

Getting in my Bible is a challenge. Some days I just have no desire to read God's word. I know that's horrible, but that's just now it is. But I honestly think that God would rather me read his word out of desire than out of obligation. Not to say that I shouldn't read it at all, but that I should want to read it when I do.

I've just kind of felt blah lately. I know that God is trying to teach me things about myself and about him, but he is just teaching me so many things and I couldn't try to record them all here.

I really don't know what else is happening in my life. Not too much big news. Yeah, so that's about it.

Hope your day was more exciting than mine.
God Bless.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Makings of a Man

Before I start the main topic of this post, I must say that this week went a little better for me than last week did. It might have been because both of my parents came to visit me, and I was very busy with homecoming stuff that I didn't have much time to think about me. Today at church was much better as well. I tried a new church today where the majority of the people who attend are college students. Almost every face I saw was a familiar one, and it really helped my overall attitude a lot.

What I want to talk about in this post was inspired by what I saw at church today. The church that I attended this morning had a time for people to come to the front of the church and just share with the church what struggles were hindering their walks with Christ. It was kind of testimonial, but also just being real and lifting one another before the Lord. There was prayer for almost everyone who stepped up and shared what was on their heart. It reminded me that I'm not the only person who struggles and goes through bumpy times. Everyone has those times in their life. No one is perfect.

What really shocked me though was how many young men walked before the church and shared these struggles that were hurting so much in their lives. As a young woman of God, I want a strong, Christian man for a husband someday. I need a man who is going to be able to lead our family in the ways of God and who will be the spiritual head of our home. As I watched all these young men file to the front of the church and then back to their seats, I wondered where the bold men of God are. And then I realized the answer: they are there, but they just haven't had an example set before them to follow. Somewhere along the way the ideal strong, Christian husband and father disappeared from the picture. We see less men being leaders and strong dads and husbands because they were never shown what that really looks like.

It almost sounds like it is a never-ending spiral downward with no end. But it's not. One way that young men can be fashioned and shaped into the men of God who they are supposed to be is if we as young women of God will pray for them. Not praying so that God will bring us our husbands faster, but that when he does bring them our way that they will be ready, prepared and willing to lead as God would have them lead. Our men need our prayers. Whether it be our friends, brothers, dads, cousins; whoever they are, they need us to lift them before the Lord.

I know that my dad has set the most awesome example for my brother of how to be a godly husband and father. But what about those young men who know nothing of that earthly example? What are they supposed to do? Somehow, someway, they either will have to look to an earthly mentor or counselor or solely rely on God. God is the best example of a husband and a father that the world has ever known. He loves his bride relentlessly, never loving her any less for her sin or forgetfulness of him. He is a father who craves the intimacy of his children, never loving them any less for their disobedience and stubbornness.

The makings of a man are found in God. You may not be a guy reading this, and if you're not, then pray for each and every man in your life. Pray that somehow God will get a hold of them and they will be the strong, warrior poet men of God that God has called them to be. And if you are a guy reading this whether you've had an earthly example of a godly husband and father or not; look to God as your ultimate example. As women, we need security knowing that the men we marry will be equipped as devoted followers of Christ to lead our families.

I know I need to pray more for the men in my life. I especially need to pray more for the man God has for me instead of complaining that he is not a part of my life yet. I know that God has all of that planned out, and yes, as much as I don't know how to do this sometimes, I have to give God my whole-hearted trust.

This cycle of lazy, slacking husbands and fathers that our generation is seeing more and more of today has to stop somewhere. I believe that if women of prayer will be on their on knees for their men, then it will begin somewhere in the midst of that prayer. It is time to break the silence.

Have a good week,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Waiting for the sun

The past few posts on this blog haven't been very uplifting or encouraging. So don't count on this one to be either.

Earlier this year in June, God brought out some struggles in my life that I knew I had been facing for awhile. They were brought out due to my job situation and a person with whom I was working. So after much prayer and talking with my parents, we thought we would look into professional counseling. It was a wise choice, and it helped me get through some things.

Well, I haven't seen anyone in close to two months now, and I can tell. I have my good days, and I have my bad days, but the bad days seem to outnumber the good days. Some days I feel like I'm on top of the world when on other days I feel like the world is on top of me. Sundays, for some odd reason, are the hardest days of the week for me. I'm so used to Sunday being a day when I go to church with my family, I sit with my family during the service, and we eat lunch together afterward. Sunday here is so opposite. I don't know anyone I go to church with except for a few people, I feel so weird getting ready in the morning because my dad is not jokingly telling me to hurry up with my make-up so he can get in the shower, and I'm not eating with them after church.

I miss my family a lot. To be honest, right now anyway, I'm not looking forward to the day when I have to move out of my house for good and get a place of my own. I know that a lot can change in three years, but right now that thought scares me. Sometimes I wonder if I am really cut out for college. Some days I am so low that I feel like I could be depressed. I don't walk to talk to anyone or look at anyone or do anything. All I want to do is cry. And through all of this, I feel like I'm letting God down because I'm not being the devoted Christian that I should be.

I am having the hardest time trusting God these days. It used to be so easy for me to trust God. But now it's harder because the things I have to trust him with are bigger: money, guys, my weight, school, job, feelings, desires, and everything else that my worrying mind always finds to worry about. I know that God loves me, but there are days when I don't feel his love or him for that matter. I know he's with me, but it feels like he's a million miles away. I hate that I have to go through this. Maybe this is God's hand bringing me through this time so that on the other side, I'll be closer to him. But honestly, I have no clue.

My mom said she was going to check if there was anyone near here who I could see. I didn't think I would need more counseling when I returned to college. I thought my life would just kind of sort itself out. I guess I was wrong. So here I am, a girl who is turning 20 in two weeks but who feels like she's 13.

I don't mean to write all this as a pity party. But this is simply what's going on in my life. It may not be pretty, but who said life was always going to be roses and sunshine?

Well, until whenever,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Knowing how not to be Perfect

Life is too short wasting time trying to get things to be perfect. I wish someone would've told me my first year of college that it is okay not to be perfect. I wish I would have known that it is okay to get a B or a C in a class and that the world is not going to hold it against you. I wish I would've known that my parents don't want me to stress about getting A's all the time.

For a good majority of my life, I've striven for perfection. I had to have straight A's, I had to make sure none of my friends were mad at me, I literally wanted to be the best in everything I did. A part of me still wants that. A part of me still wants to be the best, but I know now that I just need to do my best and not worry about being perfect.

I'm in Astronomy this semester, and I'm not a fan. I don't like science and I never have. We had our first test on Friday, and I found out my score today. I got a 65%. I wasn't too thrilled. I wanted at least a B. It does make me feel a little better knowing that the class average was a 60%, but again, I've always wanted to be more than just five percent above the "average."

I know now what to expect in coming tests, and I know what to study more. But sometimes it's so hard trying to balance everything. I woke up this morning and it felt like all six classes with all of their responsibilities plus my newspaper obligations just piled on me. I didn't know what to do. I went to the fitness center and ran/walked my two miles, but I wasn't motivated to do any more than that. I usually don't call my parents until the afternoon or evening, but today I had talked to both of them before nine o'clock.

Right now, I'm sitting in the newspaper office waiting to fix the mistakes on my page, not worrying about what I have to do when I get back to my room. I have a test tomorrow in history, I have to finish reading for American Lit., and I have to create some sort of a rough draft for my American Lit. research paper due on Thursday. But I don't care. I should care and a big part of me is telling me to care, but I don't.

My dad emailed me this thing called "Wednesday Words with Leigh" written by Leigh McLeroy. Her topic was about asking for help and admitting that you have a pride issue. I have a perfection issue. I am obsessed with being perfect, and I think if I don't perform to a certain standard then I'm not going to be liked and loved as much, which I know is not true, but I still think that.

I honestly think my parents would be happier for me if I got a C in Astronomy rather than an A. They don't want me killing myself trying to make everything perfect, and honestly, I don't want to kill myself either. I know God is there to help me, but in the big scheme of things I sometimes think that he doesn't care about my petty problems. But he does, more than I know. He's great.

Not knowing how not to be perfect is hard for me. But I want to learn about not being perfect. I want to know how to live imperfectly while still glorifying God with my life.

Whoo! That was a lot. I better go.
God Bless.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rend Your Heart

I went back to my college church today. It was so nice. It felt like returning home. The people there are so great, and I'm actually going to get involved with a small group this year. I'm going to my first one tonight.

I've had a problem lately with beating myself up after maybe I've eaten too much and haven't worked out, or spent too much money, or not doing well enough in a class. I know I shouldn't do this. But this morning when I woke up, I felt so dirty and so guilty. I hated how I felt. I prayed this morning while I was getting ready that God would speak to me today at church. Well, he more than answered my prayer.

This morning in the college class we were in Joel chapter 2 starting in verse 12. If you haven't read Joel in a while, you should read it. I was so good. It convicted me so much. In the midst of working on the newspaper, working out almost every morning before classes, and then trying to manage all my classes, I haven't spent very much time with God, whether that be praying or just sitting at his feet and reading his Word. But in a way I feel that if I leave those other things behind then they won't get done. I get so down on myself if I don't eat very well and then gain weight. I was doing so good this summer, and now I get back and it's so hard again. So if I substitute my workouts with my quiet time will I still have time to work out? Will I gain weight? If I don't stress about my classes as much will I still do as well? Or is God trying to teach me that the world doesn't revolve around getting A's.

As you can see, this is a problem I've been battling for awhile. I have three tests this week and to be honest, I'm not motivated to study for any of them. It's awful. I just really need to pray to keep God as my number one priority no matter what. I know I need to give everything to him, but it's so hard. I guess it's as it says in Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all its righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." I trust that. It's hard to trust that, but I have the courage to trust it.

I hope your week goes well. May God bless it.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Carrying On!

So I'm back at college, carrying on with everyday life. I'm in quite a few classes, but they're going all right. I just have to remember not to stress and to give them over to God, however scary that can be. I want to get all A's in my classes. I've never had anything lower than an A in my life to be truly honest, getting a B scares me. I don't know why, but I think I might just get one in Astronomy whether I like it or not.

My roommate and I are doing great. I have a new roommate this semester, and she's so sweet. She's such a doll. She's very different from the roommate I had last year, but it's a good different. It's funny because sometimes I'm expecting Katlyn to walk in the door, but it will be Katie instead.

I'm in a class this semester called Writing Fiction. It's wonderful. By far, it is my favorite class. Tomorrow I'm leading a lecture in class that I'm a little nervous about, but not too bad. I also have three tests next week, so I'll be studying for those a lot this week too, along with everything else I have to do.

Well, I better get off here and do some homework. Astronomy is calling, unfortunately.

God Bless.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hold My Heart

God desires that we cry out to him. Psalm 62:8 says, "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." He craves for our communication and relationship with him. He is jealous for us. Going through this first week of classes has been stressful, I'm not going to lie. I'm carrying 18 hours and that counts for six classes, all with plenty of reading. But I know that God is sitting up in heaven telling me not to worry and not to stress. I've been so anxious and a little homesick. But I know that God hears all of my cries and that he is right here to comfort me. He just wants me to cry out to him, no matter what.

One thing I have to remind myself is of Matthew 6:33. It says, "Seek first the kingdom of heaven and its righteousness and all these things will be added unto you." God doesn't want me to worry about classes or my weight or being homesick. He wants me to rest in him. He doesn't want me to slack off, but he doesn't want me to stress either.

I think God has brought me to a time of silence in my life. I say that looking at more than one aspect. This is a learning time. God is teaching me and showing me things not through explicit actions, but over long periods of time. Periods of time that require waiting and silence.

Come Away My Beloved, a book I've been reading for some time now talks about this mysterious silence. "I want to make you strong. I want you to be a Devastator. I have brought you to this place. Make the most of it. Drink in the silence. Seek solitude. LISTEN TO THE SILENCE. It will teach you. It will build strength. Let others share it with you. It is priceless. It is little to be found elsewhere." I like that last statement. Silence is hard to find apart from God. The world is so busy, college is so crazy, and everywhere you look there is noise and distractions. God wants us to be silent and take time to rest in him. He doesn't want us worrying about money, or grades, or appearances, or whatever. He wants us resting in him. Jesus tells us in the Bible to come to him and take his burden for it is light. I don't want the burden I've been carrying. It's too heavy. But I know that I can carry the burden of Jesus. It is light.

So if you are a praying follower of Christ, I could use your prayers. I could your intercession on my behalf unto the Spirit. I didn't know this semester was going to be so trying to early. But it is. I know that I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Just pray for me. Pray that my faith and trust in God are strengthened.

I hope your day is filled with wonder and newness. This new day is a gift from God. Let us live with abundance.

God Bless.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Miss UNsociable

Being back at college even just a measly five days has taught me so much. But what's new? Over the summer God really spoke to me and convicted me that I had been putting idols in my life that were distracting me from him. I also had the privilege to work with my work group this summer and got to invest in their lives. Well, combine those two things and you get a whole bunch of information overload from God. It was welcomed, but a little heavy at times.

There was a night this summer when I asked my dad if he thought that I was socially awkward. We walked and talked about it, and we discussed what that meant and what the Bible says about how we should live our lives. In my opinion and I believe out of strong conviction, I don't think God is so worried about how we fit in socially or if we're awkward or not. Let's think about it. Jesus probably didn't fit in socially all the time when he was on the earth. He had his twelve that he was comfortable around and those were the men who accepted him, but there were probably more people than not who didn't like him. I don't think Christ calls us to be liked. I think he calls us to love others as he did.

I've been here for five days interacting with new and old people. More new people than old, mind you. I must say that it is kind of hard for me to do that. When I was younger, interacting with new people was the easiest thing ever for me because I would just put myself out there and go with the flow. But is that what Christ wants? Did he go with the flow? I would say he did not. I know now that when I was younger, part of the reason I was so able to get along with new people was because I wore a mask. I don't like masks. I hate trying to be someone I'm not. I hate trying to be happy and peppy when really, I'm not feeling that way at all. In all actuality, I think I'm a more serious than "let's go out and play a game" type person. I would rather have a deep, intellectual conversation with you then play a game with pretend darts. When one is nearing the age of 20 years old, playing pretend isn't as fun anymore unless you're with a two year old. That's different. But when you're with your peers, pretend is just not fun.

God has taught me this summer more than anything that I am called to love him with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. I'm called to surrender all my idols to him and keep him in the center of my life. I've also learned that I'm supposed to invite others into this wonderful love affair with Jesus Christ. He has changed my life so much that I'm compelled to tell others about that changing love.

Tonight I tried to talk with someone about what God is doing in my life and how I'm so in love with him. The normal response would have been one of happiness and joy of how I'm growing in that. But instead I was basically told that what I was sharing about my life felt like it was being forced on the other person. I think this person thinks I talk about God too much, which I think is a little absurd. And then I remembered the verse in Luke that talks about sometimes we will stand alone when it comes to representing and taking a stand for God. Maybe I was too overwhelming and too much, but I also think that what I said was a very valid point and instead of thinking about it in light of their life, they pushed it away.

I titled this post "Miss UNsociable". I think I did that because, well, that's how I feel. Sometimes sitting by myself with God is so much more fun then having to be with people and try to fit in and struggle not to put on a mask. I want to be genuine with everyone I meet and there are very few people in my life with whom I can be that way. I would rather have five close friends who I can bear my soul to, then know one hundred peoples' names, but to whom I rarely talk.

God is calling me closer to him through all of this. He is showing me that my communication and relationship with him is what matters more than being accepted by people on this earth. Yes, I want those strong, Christ-centered friendships and I do have a few, two are with my parents, but I think those are what he wants me focusing on, not knowing entire campuses and knowing every one's name.

So yes, I may appear as unsociable to the world, but lately I have been VERY social with God. And really, that's all that matters.

This may have been a lot of rambling nonsense, but I needed to get it off my chest. Thanks for reading my ramblings.

May God Bless Tomorrow and all your days ahead.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Continuing With Life

So I'm back at college. Let me just say I'm very glad to be back. I really enjoyed working with the youth at my church this summer, but it was kind of a stressful situation. I'm just glad to be back in the good ole college town and being a simple college student.

Right off the bat since I've been back, God has been asking me to trust him with my money. I think out of all the things that I could trust him with, that's one of the hardest. But I have to remember that it's not my money to begin with and that all he asks is that I am a good steward of it. I'm hoping that when classes start and things start to pick up (like my job) that I can get on a budget and stick to it. I think that would really help me save and not just be an impulsive spender.

My roommate is not here yet; she won't arrive until tomorrow. I can't wait to meet her. My roommate from last year transferred to Union University in Tennessee, so I get to live with someone new this year. I think it will be really fun. I also know the girls who are my suite-maits and I'm super happy that there are going to be here. It will be so much fun.

I bought my books yesterday and the grand total came to $398.03. I wasn't too thrilled, but maybe I'll be able to sell a few from last semester and make a few dollars that way. I don't know. I did get one of my books from a friend for free, so that was a major blessing.

Before I left home to come back to college, I had been realizing more and more just how great and deep God's love is for me, for everyone. I've been focusing all summer on how God's relationship with me is supposed to be like a husband/wife relationship. God has been pursuing me and loving me forever and nothing on this earth could compare with his unfailing love. It's funny how a change of surroundings and people can sometimes cause you to doubt that. But his love doesn't change from state-to-state or from town-to-town. God will always love me no matter what. He desires that I would know him and love him more as well.

Well, I guess I'm going to head to lunch. We're getting ready for Welcome Week here at the college and we've been having lots of meetings and such. It's been fun. I can't wait for things to really begin tomorrow when all the students get here.

May God Bless your day and may you rest in him.
(P.S. Two months from today I will be 20 years old. Wow!!!)


Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dedicated to Those

God has been teaching me so much lately. I've just recently read a book entitled I am not but I know I Am. It was written by Louie Giglio, and it is such a great book. It talks about how the story is not about us. The story is about God and we are just supporting roles in His story. It's truly a life-altering book. It's a quick read, so if you get the time, I suggest you find it.

God has been showing me lately how he wants every aspect of my life. He wants my dreams, my plans, my hopes, my desires, and everything that arises with life. For the longest time, I've worn a purity ring that is a symbol of how I am saving myself for my future husband. But over time I've realized that certain aspect of purity is only a portion of the purity God wants me to have in my life. God wants the movies I watch, the music I listen to, the T.V. shows I watch, the words I say, how I spend my time; he wants it all to be pure.

And so all of this has got me to thinking. I know that when I was in high school I came across as Miss Goody Two Shoes and maybe a little rude. If I was ever that way to you, or if I came across as better than anyone, I want to apologize. I didn't mean to be that way. I have just been raised in a very sheltered way, and it was difficult for me to relate to people who did not have the same moral standards as me. I know that may seem like narrowmindedness, but in a way, I think that was what Christ called us to have. Go with me on this for a second.

Christ called us to walk the straight and narrow. Yet he also called us to love everyone, no matter what their background or level of moral standards or whatever. So how does a follower of Christ who wants to please God with every aspect of their life live that pleasing life while being acceptable to the world? I don't think the word there is "acceptable." Christ tells us in Luke that we will be hated on his account. Maybe in a way, with our love we can be more appealing. But I honestly don't think that Christ's goal for his followers was for us to be popular and fit in with the world. I think he wants us to love the world, but I don't think he wants us to condone the world's behavior and talk like the world and walk like the world to win the world's approval. Christ called us to be in the world, but not of the world.

So I take this opportunity to dedicate this post to those who I may have offended or hurt or snubbed. But I don't apologize because I hurt your feelings. I apologize because I didn't love you the way Christ would've. I was probably too uptight in high school, and I may still be too uptight now. But I think God wants to draw the line when it comes to our moral standards. If mine are too extreme for you, then I'm sorry. My goal in life is to please God. If I was too uptight or harsh in high school, I'm sorry. But following God calls us to walk the straight and narrow, dying to self and taking up our crosses and following Him.

I don't know if any of this made any sense. I hope I didn't come across as too high and mighty. But it's just something that's been on my mind lately. I will take a stand for Christ even if it means being a little too old-fashioned in my beliefs. I don't long for the applause of mere men. I long for the applause of my awesome God.

Until next time,

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wonderful Summer

If you didn't already know, I'm working with my church's youth group this summer as an intern. We went to Falls Creek last week, and now we're just working on getting stuff ready for our next camp and figuring out what we'll be doing all summer long. When I say we, I mean my fellow intern and I.

To be honest, I really miss college. I've loved being home and sleeping in my bed, being with my family and not spending as much money, but I miss the college environment. I've also learned more about myself and God this summer, and I've only been home for three weeks. Just think of what I'll end up learning being home all summer long.

I really don't have much to say. Kind of funny, huh? Usually I have tons to say. But not today. Maybe next time.

Until then,

Friday, May 22, 2009

New beginnings and sad goodbyes

As I write this post it really is my last day of college. It's about 12:20 in the morning and it's so weird to think that in about twelve hours I'll be leaving this dorm room, packing stuff into my truck and my dad's Rav-4, and telling my roommate goodbye. And I'll officially have enough hours under my belt to be classified as a sophomore in college. Crazy right?

In a way, this is a new beginning. I'm going to be interning at the youth group in my church. I'm on the verge of having a work of fiction published, and I'm leaving my first year of college. It's all so new and different, but I like it, and it's all very welcomed.

I have come to the very profound and unshaky revelation that I have fallen in love with writing. God is my first love and always will be. That is not something to be questioned. And my family comes next, as they should. But I know that God has given me this gift of writing for a reason and that when I write, in any way, shape or form, I am praising him. To call it a passion would be a very harsh understatement. It is something so much more. I feel in a way it is a part of me that needs nourishment just like my soul or spirit would. It's just that little added part inside of me created by God. I don't know what I would do without it.

In the movie "Serendipity," there is a statement made at the end that I don't think will ever leave me. It says something along the lines of how a life is not worth living unless it is lived with passion. I love that. Do you have passion? Are you passionate for something? Is there something that moves you beyond words and expression?

There are little things that move me in life: black and white photos of deep meaning, star-filled nights, the movie "Elizabethtown,"but then there also big things that move me: God, writing, classics written over one hundred years ago by authors such as Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen. Stories of missionaries like Jim Elliot and the other four who were killed for their faith in Ecuador; these are the things that move me.

I don't care what it is that fuels your heart and stirs you to want to be a better person. It doesn't have to be the most profound thing in the world. It can be as simple as a sunrise. But whatever it is, do it. If you love to sing, do it. If you love to help others, do it. If you love to take long walks in the park with just you and God, do it. I am more than passionate about writing so I do it, and I do it often, and I do it to praise the passion-giver. God has given me this gift, this ability, and words cannot express my gratitude for it.

This could be one of my last posts for awhile depending on how often I will be near the Internet when I return home. I will keep updating about the publishing process and everything that will be happening with that. I will also update about the internship and all the camps I will be attending.

Seek God. Run to him and fall into his arms of love. You will find him if you seek him with all of your heart.

Lost in his immeasurable grace and love,

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Always Trusting

With this being my last week of college and having four possibly five finals, God is demanding my trust. I have to trust him with money, time, and the newness of leaving school. I've lived here for nine months and now packing my room isn't as fun as I thought it would be. My room looks bare, and it's weird to think that this time next week, this room will be empty and I'll be at home trying not argue with my brother.

It's also sad because my roommate that I've lived with for nine months is not returning in the fall, and I'm afraid that when this Friday rolls around, it will be a tear-filled day. It will also probably be a tear-filled day because I'll be seeing my mom who I haven't seen for a month and a half. Probably the longest I've ever gone without seeing her.

I'm not eating gluten-free foods anymore because they are just too darn expensive for a college student, and I feel bad asking my parents for money all the time. So I'm still not feeling that well. I know a lot of it is probably due to lack of sleep, exercise, and stress. The three worst things in a person's life. But I'm hoping that after I go to this specialist next week, things will hopefully look a little better. And I'm hoping that being away from the stress of school and having more time will be easier on my system.

I received an email this week from a Publishing company who I emailed one of my manuscripts to about eight weeks ago. They want to publish my book. Contrary to what most of you think I did when I read that email, I was silent, too stunned for words. I still don't think it has set in. Part of that is because there is a stipulation that is rearing its ugly head. I know I need to give it over to God and that if this is his will, he'll bring it to fruition. It's just so hard with something like this. This is a very big thing, but it's also something I've dreamt of forever. Being a published author would be like God handing me the moon. I want this so much, but I also know that God is in control and I wouldn't have even made it this far without him. So I will keep waiting and trusting and praying and see what he does. He is a big God, and my trust is in him.

So please pray that my doubts about this will pale and that my faith will grow with each passing day as I find out more about the publishing process. I will keep you posted if you will keep praying. Thank you so much.

May God Bless You.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Two More Weeks!

(Warning: This is a long post, so if you don't have a lot of time set aside to read blogs today, you might want to come back and read it when you can.)

I went home this weekend for Mother's Day Weekend despite the fact that my mother is in Oregon with her mother. I'm very thankful that my mom is not gone all the time when I come home because there was no food worth eating at my house, and the house was a mess. Our little dog sure was happy to see me though. Since my mom's been gone her world has probably been very bleak as my mom is her companion, if you will. Hopefully when I come in two weeks the house will have returned to its normal state. Let's hope.

I met with my pastor about the internship at my church this summer. It will be a lot of work, but I'm excited, and now I have a lot of respect for youth pastors. They really do have a lot on their plates. We have to plan a lot of events and activities for the youth, but I think it will be worth it and a lot of fun.

Before I left for the weekend, we experienced a small tornado/thunderstorm here on Friday morning. The rain was horrible, trees were knocked down, and all of our campus lost power. Classes were canceled and I went home early. It was so nice. God worked it all out because I had ordered a new laptop the night before since my other one was broken, stopped in Joplin at Best Buy on my way home to have them start setting it up and loading stuff onto it, and I still had time to get home for my hair appointment. I think this is like the fifth different hairstyle I've had between 2008 and 2009 so far. But it's really cute and I think it will be light and cool for summer.

I went to one of my very good high school friend's wedding shower on Saturday, and then after that my brother and I went to Joplin to pick up my laptop which I must say is very nice. I'm very pleased with it. My brother and I also saw "17 Again" on Saturday night. It was really cute, and contrary to what I thought, it taught some very good morals, although there were some parts that were a little questionable. Overall, though, it was pretty good.

I've got two weeks left of my freshman year of college. I can't believe it. I took a lot of stuff home with me this weekend so I wouldn't have as much to pack up when I go home for good. I also have some more good news. I've been hired as the Forum Editor for the school Newspaper next year. I don't know if I've mentioned this yet or not, but I'm very excited. I'll get paid better than I've been paid on Yearbook this year, and I'll get to write more.

I've also changed my major. I've decided to go with English Education and minor in writing. I've never really had a passion for Public Relations and I just don't want to go into it. Teaching just seems more exciting to me and I've dreamed of doing that forever. I was so disappointed because this semester I didn't have any language or English courses. Well, next semester I have four. I think I'll be making up for the lost courses this semester.

Here's what my schedule looks like for the Fall 2009 semester:
Astronomy (I have to have it for my physical science.)
American History 1492-1877 (also a general education course, but I think I'll like it)
World Literature (a gen ed, but it's about literature so that's good.)
Fundamentals of Speech Communication (also a gen ed)
Writing Fiction (a class for my minor)
American Literature (a class for my major)

I'm very excited for my fall classes. I'm taking 18 hours, so I'll have a full plate, but I think it will be fun. I'm also still hoping to get to study abroad spring of my junior year, so I'll be praying about that as well.

There is this song that's been playing through my head since last Monday in chapel. The lyrics are as follows:

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath
The weight of his wind and mercy

When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these
Afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great your afflictions for me

Oh how he loves us so
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us so

We are his portion
And he is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in his eyes
If grace is an ocean we're all sinking

So heaven meats earth like a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart burns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about the way

He loves us
Oh how he loves us
Oh how he loves us
How he loves us
Oh He loves

These lyrics have been swimming through my mind, and I can't seem to forget them. It's kind of nice though. I don't really want to forget them. I need to be reminded on a second by second basis of how much my Father loves me. I forget so often.

I recently finished a book entitled The Shack. If you haven't read this, get on Amazon, go to the bookstore, I don't care what you do, just find a copy of this book. It's written by W.M. Paul Young. I'm not going to elaborate on the story line because if I did, I would ruin it. It's probably the best book I've read in a very long time. It's fiction, and it's just amazing. I say a lot of things are amazing, but this is like ultra amazing. I will say this though, have a box of Kleenex's near by because you will cry. And it's not like a gushy romance story cry, it's like God's changing your world cry. But that's all I'm going to say. Just find this book.

I can't believe that in two days it will be a whole year since my great-grandmother passed away. The days have gone by so fast. I miss her so much. Sometimes it's still hard to comprehend that she really is gone, and that her beautiful house is just sitting down on the farm empty. I ask God to send her my love often. I miss her smile, her cute, fragile self, and the way she would laugh when we caught her without her horse (walker). This has just been a very different year. It's been a year full of change and a year full of learning new and valuable lessons about life. In a way, I'm glad to be going home in two weeks, but on the other hand, I love this town. I this college, I love the friends I've made, I love my roommate who will be leaving me, and I love the sense of independence that I have. It's great. Time just doesn't care though. It just scoots along, and we have to accept its speed whether we like it or not.

You probably didn't know this was going to be such a long post, but I feel like I've just got a lot going on. By the way, if you are a praying person, you can pray for me this week. I've got a lab final in Biology and Computing (not sure which one of those is going to be worse), and I've just got a busy schedule on top of all of that. We'll see how much sleep this girl gets this week. Hopefully more than last week, but we'll see.

If any of you would like to discuss The Shack after you read it, please feel free to do so, but I don't want to ruin it. It's just so good.

Let this week be a God blessed one for you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Weekend Down South

I went to Texas with some friends over the weekend and had a blast. There were five of us stuffed into one car, but it was worth every scrunched minute and hour. We had a few awkward moments on the road and off, and I think I took in enough calories over the weekend to make up for the next month. I did go work-out tonight, though, so I'm trying to get back on track from my food and fun-filled weekend.

On Friday night, we ate, watched a movie, ate some more, and then we went to bed. Well, we tried to go to bed. Sarah and I stayed up talking until around 2:41am. That's going to be something we'll have to watch next semester as she will be my roommate and that will not be a good habit to start.

Saturday we woke up and had breakfast that was very scrumptious. We even had thick crisp bacon. Definitely better than cafeteria food. Then we went to Dallas. That was so fun. I hadn't been there in around four or five years, and it's changed so much. It's so pretty in a modern, sophisticated sort of way. It's definitely not as beautiful as my family's farm, but it's still pretty. Before we headed to eat lunch/dinner, we stopped at the Dallas Cowboys' new football stadium. It's still under construction, but it's so pretty. I'm not really a fan of the Cowboys, but it was an NFL stadium, and anything NFL is awesome for me.

This first picture is of the stadium. The second is our whole entourage. From left to right: Katlyn, Me, Sarah, Katie, and our wonderful host and dedicated driver from Oklahoma to Texas and back, Christina (A.K.A. Nina).
That was so much fun. I was so thrilled just to be that close to the stadium. Pretty sure that's the closest I've been to anything NFL. Now if only I could just get in one. One day.....
Then we went to Frisco for lunch. We ate at on the border and OMG, it was amazing. The best food I've ever had, hands down. They came out and made guacamole for us right there at our table, and I about died. So good. Then I ordered a shrimp fajita, with really good vegetables, and chipotle honey sauce. Let's just say my tummy was very happy.

Then we went shopping at Frisco's Mall. That was fun, although, it was a little ritzy. I did get two really cute shirts, some earrings, some workout shorts, and a great scarf. Sarah and I also tried on some dresses and we have a great memory from that that we won't soon forget. Let's just say it was a little awkward, so much so that I won't discuss it on the World Wide Web. But it was very funny.
We went back to Nina's house and watched Mama Mia, which I must say was a little corny and I ended up getting that song stuck in my head, and we ate more food. Story of our lives. It was fun, though.
Sunday we went to Nina's church, and then afterwards we went to her Mimi's house and had lunch. More food, but it was great too. We had fried chicken that was breaded perfectly, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and a salad, and for dessert there was Italian Cream Cake. I could've burst. I really wanted to curl up sleep right there at the table.
Then we had to leave and Nina's mom gave us all little goody bags filled with candy and little nick-knacks to remember our time in Texas.
The ride back was fun. We stopped to use the restroom as our first stop and then Sarah bought a Diet Mountain Dew. About twenty minutes later, she had to use the restroom again. That was at Big Cabin, and I thought we should leave her. Ha ha. But we didn't. We got back to good ole college town at around 9:30 last night, and I was so glad not be scrunched in that car anymore.
We have plans to return to good ole Texas soon. Probably in the fall semester. I loved everything about our trip. The girls even got me with the classic rattlesnake eggs in the envelope trick. Let's just say there were not rattlesnake eggs in the envelope.
Three more weeks of my first year of college. Two of classes, the last one finals. Can't wait. I'm hoping to make A's in all my classes, but we'll see what happens. I'll post later about the update with my major and all. I've got to go now, though.
May God Bless you, wherever you are.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kisses from God

So today started out okay. I woke up tired--a usual state these days--and forced myself out of bed. There was no hot water, so I only ended up washing my hair. I can stand washing my hair in cold water, but not taking a cold shower. Needless to say, that woke me up.

It was kind of dreary here today, and I was still tired after my Biology class so I skipped chapel. Today was my first skip all semester, and we get seven skips. I tried to sleep, but my mind was doing one hundred other things and wouldn't let me.

Finally, it was time to go to my favorite class, Intro to Music. You probably can't taste the hint of sarcasm there, but it's not really my favorite class. Sometimes it's hard to keep a good attitude in that class, but today I did better, and to my great surprise, the class actually went by faster. It was wonderful. I was so pleased.

Then I went to lunch, and I ate with my roommie and future suite mates. That was fun. They always make me laugh. I went to the yearbook office to work on some stuff before heading to my Old Testament Class. It was a good lecture, and I'm learning a lot about the prophets.

Then I walked back to class with my body begging for me to sleep. But I didn't want to sleep. I had wanted to sleep earlier, but not then. I went back to the dorm, checked the mail because my mom had sent me a check for my trip to Texas this weekend, took it to the bank, went to Wal-Mart, and then went to the park to walk/run. Well, I had made it once around the park walking briskly, and I started on my second time. I was running, then walking, then running, then walking. I don't really believe in running with all your might except in our spiritual race in life. I will run for little segments to get my heart rate going, but the only time I'll flat out run for you is if there is a fire. Other than that, I don't see a need to sprint. So I kept up with my little pattern. (Funny side note: our park has a peacock in it, and as I was walking past it today, it really starting squawking, or whatever peacocks do. It was so loud, and so funny. It kind of scared me.) Anyway, I was at the top of this hill and could see my little truck off in the distance when it started to sprinkle. I thought, "Well a sprinkle isn't too bad. I can handle this." I walked a little further and the sprinkle turned into a light, steady rain. And slowly but surely that light, steady rain turned into a full on downpour. I started to run then, but my poor little not-used-to- running-body tuckered out on me. I just walked in the downpour.

It was kind of neat though. I've always wanted to just walk in the rain and not care if I get totally soaked. It's just kind of fun. I was laughing so hard. Lately, I've been battling with choosing God's love over falling for worldly romance. Walking through that rain, feeling the cold moisture land on my shoulders and face, it was easy to choose God's love. No other man on this earth can kiss me with rain. No other man can make it rain. I laughed in such a way that I never had before. I almost wanted to cry. It was as if everyone of those raindrops was a kiss from God. The rain smelled so fresh and made my skin so soft. It was probably the most romantic thing I've ever experienced.

When I got back to the truck, my hair was soaked as were my tennis shoes and socks. But I didn't care. It was all so fun. I was so caught up in being soaked with God's love that nothing else mattered.

He's been showing me so many new things lately, and I've started a new book. Well, actually two, but one's been occupying my time more than the other. He's filling my head with ideas that I write down, in turn, glorifying him.

I'm going to Texas this weekend with four other girls. I can't wait. I haven't been to Texas in about four or five years, and I miss it so much. I don't miss the heat and humidity, but I do miss the memories that were once made in that grand state when my aunt used to live there. What fun times those were.

Well, I really should study for my computing quiz I have tomorrow, but I want to leave you with one last thought.

The next time you wonder if God is really there and if he really cares about your life, wait for a good downpour and go and just stand in it. How many times do we run from rain? No one wants to get wet, but clothes dry and life goes on. Get wet in God's love and let him kiss you. It will be a kiss you won't soon forget.

May you have a God Blessed rest of the week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Awaiting summer and all its glory!

I think I have around three and a half weeks of school left plus finals week. That doesn't seem possible. The days are going by really fast and last week went by like a blink. It's when I sit in the classes that I don't like that make it seem like the end of school will never get here. But I know that I don't have much longer left. And for this I am so thankful.

I'm considering changing my major, again. For a long time, before I ever graduated high school, I wanted to teach English. Then I decided against it because I didn't want to go back to school after getting out of school, even if it was just to teach. To be honest though, I have no desire to go into Public Relations. I think the reason why I wanted to double major in that with writing was because I thought it would be easy to get a job and it would help me get a start in writing. But I've never dreamed of working in that field, and to be honest, I can't see myself doing that when I get out of college.

Two nights ago, my roommie and I watched this movie called "Freedom Writers" starring Hilary Swank. This movie was amazing. It reminded me of why I had ever wanted to teach in the first place. I even looked at the hours on our school website and it would be totally manageable. I also think it would put my parents a little more at ease. Not that I should pick my career based on what my parents think, but with the way the economy is, we have concurred that it will probably be easier finding a teaching job than a PR position. Plus, I will have summers off to write, and I would have holidays and weekends off with my kids. I know I have to be wise about my decision, which I will because I will consult God about every step of making it, but I also think that using common sense is wise in a matter like this.

I'm still praying about it though. I'm going to talk to one of my high school teachers who made an impact on my life and ask her how she knew she was supposed to teach. I told God a long time ago that I would do whatever it was he wanted me to do. I don't even know if teaching is the career he has for me or not. But thinking about teaching leaves me with a greater peace than PR.

I started reading this book by Frances J. Roberts called Come Away, My Beloved. I had never heard of it until one of the girls who I know here at college found a copy and posted an exert from it on facebook. Once I read that, I knew I had to have it and I ordered a copy from Amazon. It's probably one of the best books I've ever read. It's written as if God is speaking directly to you in an intimate and personal way. There are times I just want to cry because it's so breathtaking. The book is the original version of it, so the language is old English written with all the "thee's" and "ye's." But I love it. I'm also reading like four other books right now that I hope to finish soon along with all the reading for my classes. Then I also have books I haven't even started that I want to read. I wish I had all the time in the world to just sit and read and write. I would have to take breaks to sleep, eat, and work-out, but other than that, I would be set.

Anyway, I hadn't blogged in a while and I just wanted to catch up. Today is beautiful, and it's just a taste of the beautiful summer God has coming my way.

Hope your day is beautiful and gorgeous too.
God Bless.

Monday, April 13, 2009

In love. . . with this guy I know called God.

I'm back at school from my long weekend, and it was so nice to go home. I did go to the doctor's office on Thursday when I got home and they drew my blood. I found out today that my iron is low, but everything else is fine. They also ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen (which I must say was a little awkward, especially since a guy did it), but I did get to see my liver, one of my kidneys, my gallbladder, and my aorta. It was kind of neat to see them because I had just studied them in Biology and now I know that they really are in there.

My mom and I went to Joplin on Saturday and had a ball. I love her so much. She, of course, was her goofy self and we made some pretty funny memories that day. We went by this place called Suzanne's Natural Foods. I found some gluten-free stuff and for the past 48 hours, I have been gluten-free, and already I feel better. Granted it is difficult to eat things without gluten, but I've noticed that everything (or almost everything) that contains gluten is not good for you. I've eaten really healthy these last 48 hours and I'm sure I will continue to as to avoid what I had been going through.

On Wednesday I'm going to another health food store with my roommate to try to find some more food. My mom and I also found these books at the health food store in Joplin about dieting based on your blood type. I thought it was kind of odd that one's blood type could have a correlation with what one eats, but after I read a little bit of it, it really opened my eyes to a lot of pertinent information. In these books (mine was for type O blood and my mom's was for type A, although she isn't sure if that's her blood type, but she thinks so), it breaks down each food group and tells you what foods are highly beneficial, what foods are neutral, and what foods to avoid. Over winter break I ate a lot of oranges because I love oranges. After about a week of eating all these oranges, my face started breaking out. Well, when I looked in this book under the fruit section, it told me to avoid oranges. This book equates highly beneficial foods to medicines and foods to avoid as poisons. So if oranges are like a poison to my body, no wonder I broke out. Under the grains, breads, and pastas food group there was nothing highly beneficial for me except manna bread. I don't even know what that is. But it told me to avoid gluten and every kind of wheat. Funny huh?

Thanks for all the prayers. I am feeling much better. My mom said that my doctor was writing me a script for an iron pill so I will be starting that shortly and hopefully that will help my iron deficiency.

School is going good, although I'm getting ready for it to be out. We have five weeks and finals left, but I think it will go by fast. This weekend I'm going to a play with a friend that our college is putting on. It's called "The Importance of Being Earnest." I've seen the movie and it's great, so I'm really excited to see the play. The next weekend I have another Welcome Week training weekend. Then I'm going to Texas with some friends the first weekend of May. After that we're having a lock-in with the kids from the Wednesday night ministry that I work with on the second weekend in May. On the third weekend, I'm going to a training for the pregnancy crisis center that I will be continuing with in the fall, and then I'm done. The fourth weekend in May I'm going to one of my really good friend's wedding. I'm so excited for her and I know she will look beautiful. (Love you, Hannah)

So that's what the rest of my semester looks like. That wore me out just thinking about it. I enroll on Wednesday for the fall semester. That doesn't seem possible. I'm going to be a sophomore in college next year. Time goes by so fast.

God is still teaching me more everyday, and I'm learning to fall more in love with him. He romances me and shows me how much he loves me. I couldn't have a better guy in the whole world.

I hope your week is wonderful. May God Bless.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Good Dose of Humble Pie!

If I could say one thing about the last week, it is this: I know God is working on me. And by that, I mean he is humbling me with every experience I go through. He wants me to become more like his son, and the only way to do that is to break my pride. For some reason, my pride has gotten in the way lately and has bloomed, but not in a very pretty way. It's funny how well God knows us. He knows the exact things that will hurt the worst, but also the things that we will grow from the most.

He's also, once again, showing his unfailing love for me. The other night my dad called me saying that my pastor from back home was looking for a female intern to work with the youth at our church this summer. Our youth pastor resigned about a month and a half ago, and they already have a male intern. It would be a paid position, and I would get to work with youth, more specifically, teenage girls. My mom has been praying for this for a long time. I didn't even see it coming. I had been worried about finding a summer job, but God just kind of brought this one my way. He's so good.

I'm going home this weekend to get some tests done. My mom and I think I may have a gluten intolerance along with lactose intolerance. I didn't really think about the lactose thing because I don't break out or have any symptoms when I take in lactose, but she still thinks it could be there. We are also going to get my thyroid tested. My iron has also been low, but we think that could be related to the gluten thing. I don't know what to think. If I am allergic to gluten, the majority of the foods I eat will be out the window. I'll have to learn how to eat all over again. Thankfully, though, the condition is becoming more common so manufacturers are starting to make foods without gluten. I will give updates as soon as I return. Hopefully, there's nothing too wrong with me.

Well, I have class in about twenty minutes so I better wrap it up. I hope you have a lovely Easter and may we rejoice that he did rise again and waits to come get us some day.

May God Bless during this season.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Lesson Number.....I don't know, I've lost count.

So I didn't get the RA position at my residence hall. At first, I was a little upset as can be expected. Then I called my mom and vented a little bit to her. I know God has a reason for not allowing me to have the position. I don't quite know what that reason is, but I'm sure that I'll look back on this someday, and I'll know the reason then. Some good things that have come out of it are that I will have more time to spend at the pregnancy resource center where I will be mentoring starting in the fall. I will also be able to get a job, hopefully. And I'll have more time for my classes and being with friends. Not that I wouldn't have had that time with friends, but being a RA is a constant 24/7 job.

I think God has already taught me a few lessons since discovering the outcome earlier this afternoon. 1.) If I would've been offered the position, my room and board would have been paid for and a very great money concern would've been fixed, just like that. What if God is saying, "Jana, I want you to depend on me for all your financial needs. You never know how I may surprise you and fulfill them. I want you to keep trusting me"? I can almost hear him saying those exact words. 2.) The second lesson he's teaching me is humility. I could get into a long drawn out discourse about something, but I won't. Just take my word for it, I'm very humbled right now. That's for sure. 3.) And thirdly, the big kahuna if you will, he wants me to stop being so much of a planner. Where have we heard this before? Uh, let's see, maybe the first three weeks of when I got back to school in January. God keeps teaching me that his ways are not my ways. And I know that he has something better for me since I didn't get RA.

Another thing I thought of ,though, as I was driving to Wal-Mart after my long and needed talk with my mother is that I am a dreamer. I love to dream (plan) about things to come. I know some of the things I dream about are dreams given to me by God. Some of them might not be. But when I dream about something and wish for it like I did this, anticipation rushes through my veins like nothing ever has. It's stronger than adrenaline, it's just this powerful thing. But then, when things don't go the way you planned and dreams don't come true, you have to take a step back and wonder, "Why did I dream so big with this, yet only have my dreams dashed?" or "What is the point of dreaming at all if there is always that chance of disappointment?" Those are very good questions. And one could say that yes the safer thing would be to stop dreaming altogether and not have the opportunity of disappointment. But I would say that dreams are from God. Whether they are fulfilled or not, they are given to us for a reason. Some of my dreams have already been fulfilled, some have not, and like today, some get dashed. But the point is to never stop dreaming and that dreams are just dreams. They may or may not come true, but imagining them coming true is a delightful thing.

I don't know what lesson this is in my long line of "God Lessons" that I've been taught because trust me, there have been a plethora. But this one is just as poignant and pertinent as the one before it and the next one. Maybe learning this lesson was more important to God than me being a RA. Who knows except God?

Tomorrow my Old Testament group presents our group project. I'm really excited, and I think all our hard work will pay off and we will get A's. That's what I'm hoping for. I guess we'll see.

Thank you again for listening to me talk about my weird life and random lessons from God. But I guess in God's eyes, nothing is random or weird. It's just how he planned it and how he designed us.

I need to go. I have to read for my music class and work on our paper for the project. By the way, if you want to check out our video we made for the project, this is the link Just watch it and laugh. You'd have to hear the whole presentation for the video to make sense, but just laugh. It's pretty funny.

God Bless.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm back at school. This was actually the first time I've left home and haven't been sad to leave. I don't know why it was that way, but it just was. My brother and I didn't get along the best over break, and not that my parents are overprotective, but I'm just not used to having them around all the time. Let's just say it's been wonderful to get back to school and enjoy my freedom. It tastes wonderful.

I had my second Resident Assistant interview tonight. I thought I was going to have a third one, but they said I would find out by the end of the week. I will let you know what happens. I've told God that no matter what happens, I've learned a lot from applying, and there is always next year.

When I was home on break, I went with my grandmother to her dentist's appointment in a town that is about an hour and half from where I live. It was fun, and we got to do a little shopping in this cute little town. We stopped at this old shop (reminded me of a Ma and Pa shop) that was starting to add booths like at an antique place. Well, one booth had a little display of rings that had little diamonds in them. They're not real diamonds, but the jewels shimmer like diamonds and the actual band is some sort of silver. Anyway, I bought one for $2.75. I didn't know why I was buying it at first. I just knew I like it and it was cheap. But throughout the day and the rest of the week I figured out what it means to me, what it represents in my life. This ring will be a daily reminder that God needs to come first in all I do. I need to seek him and his wisdom in every situation. I need to make him my first love and be faithful to him. I've realized lately just how great his grace is. There is no bounds to it, just as with his love. He goes with us every mile that we mess up. I call it the Nth mile. No matter how many times we think we have blown it, he's still there. Just fill in a number and that's how many times he walk with you and more. I find that overwhelming and myself even more undeserving of his grace and love. I'm so thankful he chooses to love me. But I know I have a part to play. I have to give him my whole self and serve him with my whole heart. It's a relationship and so many times the relationship struggles because I don't uphold my end of it.

Lately, my quiet time has been kind of shabby. I've just been so busy, but that is no excuse. This morning I woke up 30 minutes early and prayed and read my Bible. It was just me and God and it was great. I've started reading The Journals of Jim Elliot by Elisabeth Elliot. I found the book at an old book sale a couple of years ago and started to read it then. But it's a little deep and I just don't think I was ready for it then. But Jim Elliot is one of my biggest heroes along with his wife Elisabeth. If I could meet one person, it would be Elisabeth Elliot, and if Jim were still alive, I would meet him as well. But their story and their life's work are amazing. They are both a great inspiration to me, and when I read what he wrote so long ago, I stand amazed at his devotion to God. Everything, whether it was breathing or going to class or exercising, Jim did it for God's glory. Sometimes I don't even feel worthy to read his words, but my goal would be to emulate his life just like I want to emulate Christ's life.

It's hard to believe that there are only two months left of my freshman year of college. It's gone by so fast. And I have loved every minute of it. Some of the days have been rough, and some of the nights have been rougher. But God has been there every minute of it, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I've learned so much that I wouldn't have learned had I stayed in my hometown or gone to school where God didn't want me to go. God has become my constant, my strength. Without him, I wouldn't have made it this far, and without him, I will go no further. I've learned that my relationship with him is more about just feeling a certain way when I read my Bible and pray. It's just about being with him and listening to him. It's about opening up the Bible not expecting a feeling when I read scripture, but reading something or interpreting something that motivates me to live differently.

Well, I'm going to go work out with some friends since I actually have some free time tonight. I will update with more later.

May God Bless you and may you live for him.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Sweet Home!

I have one more week until Spring Break. I will have earned it too because I have six tests this week. I have four on Wednesday and two on Thursday. Contrary to the stress I should be having, I think I'm handling it quite well. When I first figured out I was going to have all those tests in one week, I kind of freaked out, but God had to remind me that they are just tests. He's in control of those too.

I talked to my mom last night on the phone for almost an hour. I love our conversations on the phone. If you would've asked me this time last year when I was in high school if I would love going home and love talking to my family on the phone when I got to college, I would've told you no. I was so ready to get out of my town and get away from that school. Now, I miss it. Not really the high school part, but the family and the familiarity of the town. I think I've realized more this year than ever how much I love my family, especially my parents. They are still and will always be first and foremost my parents, but after that they are my best friends. I look forward to talking to my mom so much. I was sitting here studying last night thinking that I should call her when all of the sudden the phone rang. It was her. I guess great minds think alike.

Today in church the pastor talked about being a genuine Christian. Being real. Not being a hypocrite and someone who lives a lie, but someone who is real and open and honest about life. I wonder sometimes how different the world would be if we quit expecting perfection from everyone. We all make mistakes. We all fail at some point in life. Why not accept it, forgive that person, and help each other not to make those same mistakes again. I've had to learn a hard lesson in the past few weeks. I've realized that without the love of Jesus in me, I'm not a very nice person. That's been noticed by one of my really good friends, and we had to talk about it. I don't know why, but sometimes I just have this problem of being nice to people. I don't do it on purpose, it's just that unruly side of me that's not under the will of Jesus. It's something I have to work on.

God can take such simple things and teach us great lessons from them. Being nice, being real with people, and loving the safety and comfort of home. Don't take what you have for granted. Whether life is hard right now, whether it's great; know that God is right there ready to show you something new about him.

Well, I don't know if I will post again this week before I leave. But if I don't, I will update when I return from Home Sweet Home.
God Bless.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Letting God be Awesome . . . because He Is!!

I survived last week, and I ended up making a 97 on my first Biology test. I was so thrilled, and I thanked God so much. I called my mom the morning of the test and ended up crying on the phone because I was so nervous. I'm glad that's over with, and I'm also glad that now I have had a test in all my classes and I know how to study for them.

There is a Spring Writing Contest that my school puts on every spring, and I'm entering it this year. I debated on what to write about at first because (go figure) my dilemma is not that I don't know what to write, but that I have four different ideas in my head. The other day, though, I just made a decision. I've decided to write a short story about my great-grandmother. I ended up writing it Friday night. My roommate was gone to St. Louis with some friends, and I stayed up until almost four in the morning writing it. (I think if I ever do write novels for a living, I will write in the wee hours of the morning. There's just something about writing and creating when everyone else is sleeping.) I reread it a few times, and I cried, of course. I still has some tweaking to do, but I think it will be good when the deadline rolls around. I also wrote a research paper for the Old Testament group that I'm in over the weekend. If you can call wanting to write a research paper a selfish act I guess you could because that's how I look at it. I wanted to write it because, not trying to boast here, writing is my forte and I wanted us to get a good grade. We don't present until April 3rd, but I hate procrastinating. Now all we have to do is edit it as a group, and it will be done when we get back from Spring Break. We also have to film a movie presentation for the class. We're researching the behemoth and leviathan from Job chapters 40 and 41. It's a very interesting subject, and I've learned a lot from going in depth in the research world. God uses some very obscure objects to make a very huge point.

Job, up until these chapters, has been questioning God why these things have happened to him (i.e. losing his family, possessions, and livestock). God comes back with the explanations of the behemoth and leviathan in those chapters and basically tells Job that he needs to cool it. He shows Job his need for humility in the face of these hard times. God also shows Job his need to trust in him. This is such a needed lesson for me. The imagery from these two chapters is really amazing, so if you get the time, you should read them.

I also picked up a RA application today. If you don't know, RA stands for resident assistant. She/he is someone who lives on the hall of a dorm floor that is kind of in charge of that hall. They are there to assist any of the students and also lead in hall activities. A perk for being a RA is that you get your room and board paid for. This would be such a wonderful blessing for me because this college is kind of expensive. It's not the only reason I'm applying to be a RA, but it's one of the reasons. I've told myself though, since there are a few girls applying for the position, that even if I don't get it, God will provide the money in another way. He has for both semesters so far, and I know he will continue to do so. He's just that awesome.

Well, it's closing in on dinner time, and I'm getting a little hungry. I hope it is warm where you are because it's not so warm here. We had snow over the weekend, and it's kind of chilly. I can't wait for spring.

May God bless your week.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hanging On in the Hands of God

I've come to realize over the last few weeks that I've been tricking myself for a ridiculous amount of time. I tricked myself in high school thinking I had found my best friend who would always be there for me. I tricked myself when I got to college thinking I had found another new best friend who would always be there for me and be able to tell me anything. Tonight I found out differently.

God has been showing me that until I can find total satisfaction and rest and peace in him, then I will not find fulfillment in earthly relationships. My friends and my relationships can't meet all my needs. Only God can do that. I guess I've always watched Anne of Green Gables way too much and dreamed of the kind of relationship that Anne and Diana had. But is that kind of a relationship really possible here on earth? I don't know. I've yet to find it. I just know that God has been stripping away everything from me until all I have left is him. I'm a very relational person and I would love to find that one person that I could spill my heart to, but God's been trying to get my attention and tell me, "Hey, I'm that one person." It's just hard because he's not a tangible being sitting right next to me. His response is not audible.

Sometimes I wonder if Jesus ever felt lonely. He had twelve disciples with him, he had his mother and brothers, he had his followers; but in the midst of that vast array of people, did he ever just feel like no one understood him, like no one really knew him? That's how I feel. I feel like even though I know people's names and I know who they are, I don't have any relationships where I feel I belong. I know it's just my freshman year, and I know I have three years left of college, but I just thought this stage of not having a best friend would end when I arrived at college. The obvious has been there all along, but I didn't want to accept it. God has to be my best friend, my true love, my everything before anyone here on earth can fill those places. God has to be first in everything I do.

We've all been taught that when we first accept Christ as our Savior that we are babies in Christ. Well, I accepted Christ when I was six years old. I've been a Christian for thirteen years. I noticed that similar to the age when teenagers start to rebel, I am at the "spiritual age" where I am rebelling God. It's like what Paul says in Romans 7. He does what he doesn't want to do, and he doesn't do what he wants to do.

I wish someone would've written a book about the realities of college. Not the feel good, "College is great" side of college; the part that says, "Homesickness is real, weirdness is inevitable, awkwardness will happen, and not being able to hear God is normal." No one prepared me for this. I thought it was going to be happy days and no worries. That couldn't be further from the truth. Don't get me wrong, I do really enjoy the freedom and I love that I'm getting an education and learning a lot, but it's just really weird. I don't know any other way to describe it.

Some good things that have happened recently are that I have finally figured out what I'm going to major in. I'm going to double major in Public Relations Communications and Writing. Both majors are 36 hours and so I will have plenty of time to complete both in four years. I am also considering studying abroad. Every time I think about it my heart goes crazy and I just get so excited. I would love nothing more than to study literature in one of the most historical literary capitals of the world: London. Wouldn't that be amazing?

I'm also learning to re-trust God with the little things. He has funny ways of doing it, but he does it. He's such a great God. I'm glad he puts up with all of my inconsistencies and craziness. Thank goodness for his renewed mercies every morning. Thank goodness for his unfailing love.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring Break Anyone?

This week I've already had two quizzes, one test, and then tomorrow I have a quiz, and Friday I have another test. Then next week I have three tests one on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. It's a wonderful life.

This semester has been good so far, but I think I've mentioned before that life is weird. I don't know if I thought it would change when I got back this semester, but it still hasn't. I'm taking a lot of classes I don't want to take, but I have to take them because they are general education requirements. There are just things I wish could be different about life, about myself, and about a lot of things. They really are just petty things that I need to give over to God and surrender to him. They aren't important, well to me they are, but in the big scheme of things they aren't that important. They could be changed so easily, but there's this small part of me called my flesh that won't let them go. It's part of being a sinful human, but I guess I just need some prayer.

Well, with that said, pray for me as well as I take my tests and try to make it until Spring Break. I will be really happy when that part of the semester rolls my way. I just have to tell myself that this time next year, I will be taking classes I want to take working toward my major!!!

That's all for now.
God Bless!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Third Times the Charm!!!

This is first week in three weeks that nothing tragic has happened to my truck. Praise be to God. Sometimes God just gives us little tests and sometimes they come all at once.

I went to our crisis pregnancy center to volunteer today for the first time in over a month. I missed it so much. I was so glad to be back and getting back into the normal routine of things. Not much is going on here. My roommate and I are hosting a prospective student this weekend for what's called "Bearcat Days." About 200 seniors in high school are coming to stay Sunday night, and we get to host one in our dorm room. It will be really fun. I was a bearcat last year, and I can't believe that it's already been a year since I stayed here. Incredible.

My roommate also invited me to attend a Disciple Now weekend at a church not too far from here. I would be in charge of a group of girls ranging from 7th grade to seniors in high school. I'm very excited to do this. It will be the first weekend in March and I can't wait. (By the way, Disciple Now is like a weekend retreat that churches host and it's just a very close setting to grow deeper in your walk with Christ. That's a rough description.)

My roommate is also going home with me not this weekend, but next. It's going to be so much fun. She's never been to Oklahoma, and I'm excited to be the first person to take her there. Fun times.

Well, I've got to go take pictures at the basketball game for yearbook. Makin' the big bucks. Ha ha. Not really.

Until next time, God Bless.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

God's Grace and Love!

So yesterday, I had another learning experience about God's amazingness.

I was out of class by 10:45 yesterday morning, and I didn't have anything until 12:30, my bio lab. Well, I thought I would go to Wal-Mart and run some errands in my hour and forty-five minute break. I didn't want to waste any time. So I headed back to my room after I ate lunch, and then headed to Wal-Mart. As I was backing out of the dorm parking lot, I noticed that my steering wheel was hard to turn. I thought it was weird, but I didn't think much about it. Well, then I noticed when I put it into drive that the gas pedal was hard to push down. This didn't surprise me because when I first started driving the truck I noticed the gas pedal stuck in a certain spot. I just usually give the pedal a little more pressure when this happens and it works just fine. Not so yesterday. I was almost out of the parking lot when I really stepped on it, and it just kind of flopped. There was no normal pressure to it, no normal "gas pedal" feeling. It felt like it was broken. Thank goodness it still ran and didn't stop moving on me in the middle of the road. It only went like 10 miles an hour, though. But I guess that's better than getting it stuck at like sixty miles an hour. That wouldn't have been good at all. And praise the Lord the brake pedal still worked. So I just kind of coasted into a parking lot nearest to where I was, and I was already just panicking and freaking out.

I called my dad and I was on the verge of tears. He told me to call the guy who had worked on my truck first semester. Then he could tell I was crying and asked me why I was upset. This wasn't a very good statement for him to make because (1) I didn't even know gas pedals could do this, and (2) I'm a girl, by myself, only back at college my second week, and I didn't know what to do. I told him I was flustered, and he, of course, told me not to worry about it. Mr. Fix It.

So I went into the dorm and found the number to the auto shop and called them. To make a long story short they didn't actually get to my truck until 3:30 yesterday afternoon. They actually came to the school to look at it. I popped the hood and the guy knew exactly where to look. I'm not going to try to explain what was wrong, but it was all due to the mechanism that controls my gas pedal cable not having enough lubrication. It was caught on something and that's why the pedal "broke." So he fixed it enough that I could drive it out to the shop. He followed me all the way and told me that if it went out again, he would tow it. Thankfully, I made it to the shop just fine. When I got there, he just sprayed some stuff on the mechanism and now it works so well.

The thing I learned the most with this is that no matter how insignificant or trivial a problem may be, God is still in control. I was so flustered yesterday. I was freaking out and not trusting him and afterwards, I was sorry I hadn't trusted God from the beginning. And the best thing of all was that it didn't cost me anything. The guys at that auto shop are the most amazing guys in the world when it comes to cars. They are so nice, especially to the college students because they know we are poor.

Anyway, just wanted to share. Just remember that no matter what life throws at you, no matter what "gas pedal breaks" in your life; God is right there waiting to fix it if we will trust him and let him into our lives. I think I've been pushing God away lately. Not consciously, but I've still been doing it. Yesterday was a way of him pulling in the reigns for me. He called to me and I heard him. I ran into his open arms. One is grace, the other love.