Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Winding Down.....Maybe

So, we have around two and a half weeks of classes left plus a week of finals. I'm glad this semester is finally winding down. It's been busy, but not as busy as last semester. It doesn't seem possible that this time next month, I will be half way across the world in Asia. I can't believe it. And I will have enough hours underneath my belt to call myself a junior in college. That means that I will be half way done with college. Ahhhh!!!!! That doesn't seem possible.

But it's been a good first half. I've learned lots of things. Being on the newspaper staff has taught me a lot as well. I was also told today by one of my guy friends that I have a glow about me that wasn't there last semester. It was nice to hear that. I think I'm not as up tight and serious as I have been, um, let's see, my whole life. I've always been this uptight "Christian" girl who has had this ideal that you can't have fun and still be a Christian. News flash: you can. You can have lots of fun.

Anyway, I've been offered a position at our school's writing center. It is a place for students to come and get help with papers and English stuff. Stuff that I like. It would be so much less stress than the newspaper would be. I would be done by four every afternoon, I wouldn't have deadlines or interviews, and it would be just less stress in general. The only thing that would stop that from happening is if they couldn't get another campus employment spot for me because I don't qualify for work study. I just know this would help with English learning in general and just being more aware of English rules. I would love it. (I sound like a nerd. :) )

I've been learning more about where I stand with God. I think I've been rushing this maturing process. Not that I'm rebelling against God or anything, but I think I've been trying to learn things and be someone I'm not. I have an ideal in my head of what my "Christian" walk with the Lord should look like, but that's just it. It's an ideal. It's a perfect picture. The realistic picture of walking with Christ through life is a relationship, not an ideal version of something. It's messy and gross and sometimes, you just have to learn things for yourself despite what you've been told all your life. I'm finally learning what the phrase "making your faith your own" really means. In a way, it means finding God on your own terms and getting to know him in a relationship. Not in the way your Baptist Sunday school teacher said was the right way 15 years ago, but the way the Bible says to. I'm not saying the Sunday school teacher was wrong, but the faith I have in God has to be real for me for it to work. I don't know if I'm making any sense here.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the notion of a quiet time. I don't like that notion. How logical of a scenario is this? Let's say I were to get married. The only thing is that I only talked to my husband for an hour out of the day. Just one hour. Then, for the rest of the day, I didn't even acknowledge his presence. That's not a relationship. That's just weird. I don't know what that is. It's certainly not logical. What's the point of being married to someone if you're not going to talk to them? I think God probably feels the same with us. Why are we even in a relationship with him if we don't communicate with him ALL THE TIME? And it's not like we need an appointment or a reservation to talk to God. He's always free. This has kind of bitten me in the butt a little bit lately. I've been so focused on just having that one time of the day when I talk to him that I haven't talked to him at all. And that is not okay. I think it just took a little bit of stepping back and getting back to the basics of what my relationship with God is, right now. Not what I want it to be or what it used to be. But what it is and where God, not myself, wants to take it.

So, yeah, just some things I've been thinking about lately.

The semester is winding down, but right when it will be over, it will pick back up again. Please pray for our team as we prepare for our mission trip. Thank you.

Until next time.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Lonely Day

I think about once a month I just have a very sad, depressing day. Today is that day for me. This mood swing probably has to do with something else, but I just can't shake it when it comes. Tomorrow I'll probably be fine. I'm just not happy today, and yes, as the title of this post says, I'm a little lonely.

God keeps bringing opportunities into my life to be alone. He wants me to talk to him more. He wants me to sit and share my feelings with him, but some days, like today, I need physical company. I don't know what to do with loneliness on days like today. God is not a god of confusion. God is good. I believe these two statements with all my heart, but when I'm in a mood like I'm in today, confusion is the only thing going on in my head.

I wish I could take time away from school and get away with God for an extended period of time. I wish I had more time to devote to reading the Bible and praying. I know God loves me and has awesome things in store for me, but when my best friend and her best friend have boyfriends and I'm left out of their little fun and games, it's hard to get my mind off me.

Life is not about me. Life is not about my feelings, and life is not about whether I feel lonely or not. God loves me. But some days, my brain just doesn't register that. It's like something in my brain blocks that fact from traveling to my heart. Other days it travels just fine. I want to quit having these days when I feel so low that nothing is going to help. On days like this, I want my mom. I want to hang out with all my friends and have a movie party and just be together. But I know what I need most. I need God. I need a great big dose of God.

Tomorrow will probably be so much better. I don't know why today isn't. Until next time.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

So I've added a little something to my blog, and I just wanted a post to try out how this looks. It was really fun to do, and I just like the look of it.

The weather here is beautiful, and I think I've finally made up my mind about what I'm going to do for my major. I think I'm going with journalism and English. That's where I feel my heart tugged more, and writing is what I love to do.

Easter was good. I didn't go home because spring break had been just five days before. I stayed here and hung out at my college pastor's house all weekend long. I was sitting in church on Sunday, and although the message wasn't the traditional Easter message, I think it touched me more than any Easter message ever has. I keep thinking about how God chose to send his son to the earth to pay for our sins before sin ever entered the earth. God loved us before we ever had a chance to live. I've been whining about not having a guy, but I have God. His love is far and above any love this world can offer. Now don't get me wrong, I long to find that love on the earth someday, but it won't consume me.

There is a song by Tenth Avenue North, a Christian band, called "Love is here." The chorus reads as follows: "Love is here, love is now. Love is pouring from his hands, from his brow. Love is near, it satisfies. Streams of mercy flowing from his side. Love is here."

We sang that song at church on Sunday, and it just kind of hit me. I've been waiting for love to show up, but it's been here all along. I just have to embrace God in all his splendor. God is so unfathomably good.

So next time you walk outside and see the flowers that are in bloom and the trees leafing out, remember that God loved you before he even created them. What a way to think of spring.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife

I watched a movie tonight called The Time Traveler's Wife. If you went to the movies at all last fall or have rented any movies that came out last fall, you might have seen the preview for this movie. I did. I saw it preview many times. Every time I saw the preview, I wrote the movie off as probably being lame and unrealistic. But after watching it tonight, I must disagree with myself. The movie is exceptional. No, it's not the most moral and ideal movie, and granted it is very depressing and I did cry, but when it was over I was so thankful God doesn't create people who time travel.

The movie may not teach some great upstanding, noteworthy lesson, but I think it helps the viewers cherish the people in our lives even more, which may be even more valuable than a noteworthy lesson. Lessons are forgetten, but after experiencing that movie, I don't think I could ever forget to appreciate another person who is close to me.

If you've read my blog for any number of days, you know that falling in love in the future is something for which I dearly hope. I want to fall in love, and I want to experience that love to the fullest measure I can. But if I had to experience the kind of love that Clare, the wife in the movei, experiences, I don't know what I would do. At the end, relief washed over me that I will never have to experience that. True, I won't know when my husband is going to die or that I will give birth to a child as Clare found in the movie, but I think the only person who should be able to know those things is God. And I think God doesn't want to tell us all those details because they would be too overwhelming for us. Part of me does want to know those things, but they are better left in God's hands.

Our last reading assignment in American Literature was to read a set of poems written by William Carlos Williams. I had never heard of Williams before this assignment, and as I began reading the poems I wondered if the man was mentally okay when he wrote them. But then I came to his last poem. The name of it was "The Ivy Crown." This is the poem.

Please read it. It's beautiful. I think I've read it nine times. I don't know what prompted Williams to write it, but that is the kind of love I want. The poem mentions a line that says, "I love you or I do not live at all." I want to find that person who I won't be able to live without; that getting out of bed everyday won't be worth it unless that person is alive. I must clarify, of course, that God makes every day worth while, and I know that it doesn't matter if I never meet than man because God will always be enough. But that part of me still exists that wants that intimacy with another human being. God created that in me, and I would be lying to say that didn't exist.

At the very end of the poem, it says that love is past all accident. That is so true. Thank goodness God orchestrates our love lives, our careers, everything about us. I'm just so blessed knowing God already has someone out there for me. I don't have to worry about how long it will be until I find him or how long I will spend with him. I have a great faith that all in God's timing I will be blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

This poem shows me that even though hard times come, we work through them and we will our way through the briars. God brings people into our lives, and we should appreciate them, love them and be as intentional as we can with them. We never know when they could be taken from us. I want this poem read at my wedding. I may change my thoughts by then, but right now, I'm thankful for the lesson it teaches me.

Please read the poem, and please watch the movie. I never thought I would feel so strongly about a movie or a poem, but God can use anything he wants, can't he?

Well, until we next meet.