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.