Thursday, December 30, 2010
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I've promised myself to try very hard not to question God during this loss as well as to not ask the purpose of such a tragedy. I don't think I will ever truly know the reasons behind God's choices, but if it's one thing I know from experience, there's always a reason. What really tore me up is seeing an old family friend today while visiting with people in their home. I haven't seen this person in a very long time and miss her dearly. I immediately ran to hug her & she took my hands in hers and told me she wanted to tell me how special I was to her and that God had some big plans for my life because she could just see his presence with me. She said I just always held this calm presence about myself that could only come from God's peace.
This means more to me than she'll ever know, especially because it came from her. I definitely do not always have everything together all the time, but who does? I felt special that someone had seen that in me since I've always strived to have that. One things for sure, although I hold such a heavy heart for everyone who is just as torn up as I am, especially his immediate family, I've never felt so blessed. I have a loving family and a terrific brother without whom I really don't want to know where I'd be. I don't think I've ever hugged him so many times in a day before. I couldn't take my eyes off of him today, as if with my glance I could keep him safe forever. My prayers go out to the family of my dear old friend and for all others touched by his life. I pray that God gives us all a peace that passes all understanding
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
So, after becoming extremely aggravated, I gave up on my visit to the gym, and told my friend I would not be shopping with her this afternoon. I also emailed my professor for my second class to tell her I would not be present. There just didn't seem to be enough hours in the day...as usual. Anyways, I got done waaaay ahead of schedule (still not in time for class), but turns out I was able to do pretty much everything that I wanted to do today (besides the gym). But anyways, I'm getting off topic.
First thing this morning, right as I'm sitting down in the caf to have breakfast, I receive a text from a family member that just simply says "I love you!" Wow, just what I needed. I was so stressed already, and just taking the time to read that & breathe just made me feel a million times better. I was like whoa...how did you know I needed that? Also, tonight, while talking with a friend and working on some more stuff, I became extremely overwhelmed and in need of a break. It was getting pretty late, but I received another text from a friend inviting me with her & her roommate to sonic for a late night grilled cheese run :) So of course, I can't turn that down. It was just what I needed to destress before the night was over. In other words, God's been good to me today. Things definitely didn't turn out as planned, but He always knows what I need. Just when I think I can't handle things any more, He throws in a curveball. I'm so blessed...Happy Thanksgiving to you & yours this year!!
Friday, November 12, 2010
I wish I could say that things got better after my computer came back to me, and for a while they did...key word--a while. Things were finally getting to a good place where I was happy and things seemed to be going well for me...of course that's when everyone knows you should watch out. Not that things are bad in my life at the moment, they are just very stressful.
The semester will be coming to a close soon, which means that all of my professor treat it as if they are the only class I'm taking, and therefore give me oodles of homework, projects, and various other assignments. Not to mention, the threat of the upcoming final exams. I am currently working on writing a story for my class, as well as for the campus newspaper; I am also writing a 12 page research paper, finishing up 2 websites for my web design class, all the while trying to make sure my social life doesn't crash into the ground. Put this all together and you have one stressful college student.
Although my mind is not all there at the moment because of all that I'm working on, I am thankful for a few really great friends who without, I'd have lost my sanity. I'm thankful for my family and for a promise I read almost every day now in 1 Corinthians 10:13
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape , that ye may be able to bear it."
This always reminds me that I will never be given more than God thinks I can handle..
Thursday, October 21, 2010
The sun creeps up over the horizon;
A new day is dawning.
Another chance for a beginning--
to make things right.
I embrace the day--
Who will I be?
What choices will I make?
Hopeful for a bright future.
The face I pass,
Strategically placed to make me
who I am to this day--
Blessings in disguise.
The sky darkens over the world.
Stars glisten in the moonlight;
Preparing for another dawn,
Sunday, October 17, 2010
The sermon this morning really spoke to me, so I just wanted to express that this afternoon. Continuing on the topic of "growth," we talked about stretching ourselves too thin this morning. This is something I can truly relate too, especially now that I'm back in school.
I have, and have always had the problem of saying no to people. Whether it be with helping someone with their schoolwork, or something as simple as not wanting to turn someone down to do something fun like shopping. I hate disappointing people, no matter the circumstances. It's gotten better over the last few years, but when I'm in school I tend to put my homework and studying on the backburner when someone asks me to do something fun. There are many other things that take the backseat when it comes to my friends lately as well. It's just that I finally feel that I belong somewhere so I've done everything in my power to hold onto that feeling. I've learned though that it's not going anywhere. I've truly been blessed and I don't see God taking that blessing away from me unless it pulls me away from him.
Our pastor also asked us again today how are relationships with God are. Although I know that I have a long way to go, I've been really pleased with where my relationship with God has been heading these past few months. Of course the growth has been slow, and it just something I take day by day, but I'm looking forward to the future results :)
One of the last things that the pastor left us with this morning was something he was told by a member of our church. The candle may burn brightly when lit on both ends, but once the two flames meet in the middle, theres nothing left to give. This can be true of so many situations. When you take on too much, eventually you'll become burnt out and can no longer offer anything to anyone.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Usually I only blog about our church's sermon series, but I was really touched by the one from yesterday's service, so I wanted to share it with you. It was about growth-whether that be spiritual growth, personal growth, etc. We started off with a verse from 2 Peter 3:14-18, which reads:
"So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. Bear in mind that our Lord's patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, dear friends, since you already know this, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of lawless men and fall from your secure position. But grow in the grace and knowlege of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and forever! Amen."
Our pastor had brought with him two plants--one full of life and healthy, the other dry and lifeless. "Which plant do you want to be and what are you willing to do about it?" he asked.
To have a spirit like the plant that's constantly growing and full of life, it takes discipline, commitment and help from fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We can create the conditions, but only God can create the growth we desire. It can be a very slow process. I've noticed this lately within myself. I desire to constantly grow and yearn for God's presence in my every day life. It's been a very slow process, but every now and then I can see myself getting closer to where I desire to be. With the help from BCM on Monday nights, and my weekly girls bible study, I find myself being held accountable for growing closer to God and spending more time reading my bible or daily devotionals.
Growing in faith takes the help of prayer, scripture study, community, worship, service, sacraments, fasting, and giving. Through these things, God will create in us that spiritual growth we need.
We ended the sermon with a quote from John Wesley which said that he called communion a "means of grace." This can be compared to a form of "miracle grow" from God to help us grow :)
Until next time, keep growing!
Monday, September 27, 2010
This was one of the titles of the songs we sang at BCM (Baptist Campus Ministries) tonight. We started off the night just like we normally do on Monday nights, but after we sang and talked for a few minutes, our leaders told us we would be doing things a little differently tonight.
We walked to one of the classroom buildings on campus, where there were 6 stations set up throughout the whole building. At each station, was a bible verse, along with a devotional and a few prayer suggestions. We were asked to take our time to thoroughly read the verses and the suggestions written below, then to take a few moments to pray to God for whatever was on our mind. This was repeated at each station.
I was just in awe the whole time at those that had attended tonight. When I stopped to think about that this week is Homecoming Week, as well as the week before mid-terms, each student's homework/stress load has got to be pretty heavy because of everything going on. I know that I'm being tugged in a million different directions with school, homework, family, friends...it's just so hard to balance everything. Yet through it all, these young adults put aside everything for the night just to be together and to pray to God. I just feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful group of people on this campus. I pray for everyone who attended tonight, and even those that didn't, that God be with them this week as they get through the stresses of daily life. Also that each day, their "stress slate" be wiped clean so that they may see each day as a blessing from God.
That's one reason why I love the picture I chose to represent this post. God's hands are over all of us and he'll never let go, no matter how hard times may seem...
To start off the sermon, our pastor began by saying that bad things don't happen to good people, because, well...there are no good people. After this statement, you could look around and see some people who got maybe a little defensive or confused, and for some you could hear gasps. To back up this belief, we turned to Mark 10:17-18, which reads "As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. 'Good teacher,' he asked, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?' Jesus answered. 'No one is good--except God alone.'
This passage pretty much sums that up exactly. None of us are perfect/good except for God. The better question to be asked is, why do bad things happen to people who are 'trying' to be good? Some say that God causes these things to happen to teach us a lesson. Examples of this can be found in Proverbs 3:11-12, as well as Hebrews 12:5-6. Our pastor went on to say that he didn't believe this 100% and that it's probably not a good idea to say that to someone going through a rough situation, because usually we cannot see what God is trying to show us until later on, in hindsight.
It is also say that sometimes bad things just happen, but it's God's nature to bring good things out of them. This is true, however it is mostly because of our sinful human nature and rebellion against God and His will that causes us to be in painful situations. I agree with this completely. I cannot say how many lessons I've learned that could have been so much simpler had I just followed God's will that I felt tugging on my heart. Then again, maybe it's better that I learned the hard way in hopes that I will not repeat my bad decisions from my past.
We were left with this quote: "Jesus didn't suffer so that you won't suffer. He suffered so that when you suffer, you will be more like him."
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
- Although it's not the most important thing to me, having my own dorm room pretty much rocks...(even if I'm hardly ever in it.) :)
- Friendships really do make college that much more enjoyable
- I love the relationship I have with my boyfriend, but friendships should always come first...everything always works itself out so there's time for both ;-)
- Never forget your family...they'll always be there for you so take care of them.
- Younger people look up to me a lot more than I thought they did.
- Even though it's hard to get dressed up @ 7:30 in the morning, it makes you feel soo much better about yourself, lol
- Friends are friends, no matter their origin. I can use all of them I can get.
- Holding your feelings inside doesn't do anything, but leave you lonely at night, so share your feelings with those you love.
- I actually enjoy my filming class waaay more than I thought I would. I'm looking forward to the projects we'll have every few weeks in my class...even if that does mean more work on my end.
There are so many more things I could add to this, but I really am about to be late for class, so this will have to do for now. Until then....keep reading, and keep writing
Sunday, September 19, 2010
At 10, I went with about the thirty other students who attended to grab a cardboard box to sleep on. We were allowed to have that box, as well as one blanket for the night. I found a pretty large box that I shared with 2 of my friends. It started off not being so bad, but as the night went on, the box became more damp and uncomfortable. There were bugs, and not to mention the threat of someone just walking up to you while you're sleeping. Luckily we were on campus with security and chaperones, but I can only imagine what someone would have to go through on a daily basis with these less than desirable conditions.
Before I had really gotten into the mindset of a homeless person I found sleeping outside to be quite peaceful. My friends and I had placed ourselves next to the fountain on campus so that we would hear the water as we fell asleep and the weather was nice thankfully. I could not imagine doing that for days, months, or even years as it is with some homeless people. I was only outside for 8 hours and had the privilege of using my dorm's restroom when needed...in a real case scenario, this would not have been possible. I experienced waking in the middle of the night shivering from the cold, even though it has not yet reached Fall. I felt very blessed at 6am the next morning to be able to head back to my dorm and climb in to a nice warm bed with a roof above me and a place to stay. I pray for all of those who are in need and for all of the charities and organizations that try to lessen the amount of homelessness we have today.
Sunday, September 5, 2010
This is just a few lines from a really good song I've come to love. When it's posted as my facebook status though, it usually means I'm having a rough time, and yes, it was posted just a few minutes ago. I don't know what's up with me lately, but I'll just go from being so happy and then just kind of have a slump. If this is the devil playing games with me, he needs to stop...like now. If it weren't for some really awesome friends I'd have never made it through this year so far alive.
I'm writing this blog in hopes that it will help me sleep. I'm supposed to be having an awesome day on the lake tomorrow with my friends and family so I really could use the rest. I just feel so blessed to have so many people in my life right now who will talk me through these stresses that just keep popping up. Until then, maybe I should try to rest? Sorry for the rambling...goodnight bloggers! :)
Take me, mould me, use me, fill me
I give my life to the Potter's hand
Call me, guide me, lead me, walk beside me
I give my life to the Potter's hand.
This part really spoke to me after our pastor reminded us that no matter what the world may tell us "this is my body and I can do what I want with it, etc." that as Christians this is "not our body." Christ bought us at a price...a very high price and we are His children. I want to live my life in a way that anyone who meets me, sees me, knows me, etc. knows that I am a child of God and He lives in me.
The first question answered this morning was: Should a Christian have a tattoo? We then turned to Leviticus 19:28, which says "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am Lord." If you look at this passage literally, you would answer the question with no, Christians should not have tattoos. Then again, you would also have to say that Christians should not have pierced ears or any other piercings. My pastor then went on to explain that the Israelites during this time period were surrounded by many different religions and cultures; one of them being Egyptians. Egyptians believed in order for their God to recognize them in the afterlife, that they needed to tattoo their bodies. Taking this into consideration, God was telling the Israelites not to tattoo images of other Gods on their bodies, kind of like the commandment for idolatry. The part of the scripture that refers to "cutting yourself" goes back to the Pagan ritual of them actually cutting themselves to honor the dead.
The second question we came to was: Should a Christian be cremated? The scripture used for this question was Genesis 2:7, and 3:19. There is belief by some that say that when God resurrects our "bodies" after we die, that He won't know where to "find" those who have been cremated. We ended this question by saying that our God is powerful enough to resurrect us from wherever we are, so that cremation did not make us any less of a Christian.
The final question we had time for today was: Is suicide an unforgiveable sin? Our pastor put some statistics on the projector which go as follows: there are 1 million suicide attempts each year, 1 in 15 succeed. This statistic has doubled within the past 10 years. From there we talked about several suicide attempts in the bible. A couple examples are King Saul "fell on his sword," Samson, and Judas. According to Jesus there is only one unforgiveable sin, and that is the sin of blasphemy. The scripture we talked about was Matthew 12:30-32. The sermon was ended by saying that if anyone was in such a dark place as to think about suicide, that not to bet their life on this part of the sermon. Our lives are not our own to take away. Christ bought our bodies at a price and we are forever His.
More Q & A to come next week! Until then, keep reading :)
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
There could never be a more beautiful you
Don't buy the lies, disguises, and hoops they make you jump through
You were made to fill a purpose, that only you can do
So there could never be a more beautiful you.
Sometimes I doubt myself, as everyone one of us does. There are so many distractions to get caught up in, so many "lies" this world is telling everyone, but especially women. That you have to look a certain way, wear a certain size, etc to be beautiful. Recently a friend of mine shared a story with me that reminded me of this. She too, doubted how beautiful she really was and it became a huge distraction in her life. I'm happy to say that things are going much better now, but when I look at her, I just cant see how she could have ever thought she was anything but beautiful. I guess that's just the way the world wants us to feel. That way, you'll buy their product, or whatever it is that it takes to keep the business world alive. The only thing that really matters is that you have a beautiful heart, full of love for others and for God.
When I tell someone I've "always loved to write," that is definitely not an exaggeration. I mean sure, I had those childhood dreams of becoming things like a ballerina, and I even recall wanting to be an art teacher at one point; but I have ALWAYS wrote. Mom likes to tell the stories of traveling to tailgate at the Carolina football games and when time came to go into the stadium I had a bag full of pencils, crayons, and paper. These were not for coloring...I simply sat there and took notes on the game...who was winning and what inning, that kind of thing. As lame as it may sound, it all makes sense as to what God's plan has truly been in my life all along. I've never really wanted anything more than to write. When other kids were playing video games, I was writing stories on construction paper, drawing the illustrations, and binding books together out of ribbon or staples. It's what I loved. Mom says before I even really knew how to write, I was telling stories and begging her to write them down on paper for me so that I wouldn't lose the ideas.
So to answer my professors question...I've always loved to write and have never really had a choice as to what I needed to do. Writing is my passion and the one thing that I feel that I have to express myself. I feel truly blessed to have been given this opportunity of sharing words to whomever will listen.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Tonight my friends invited me to BCM (baptist campus ministry) on campus. I remembered them all going last semester, but I never really went because I guess the main reason was that I wasn't Baptist. I now know that that is not important for this particular group. Their main goal is Fellowship, Love, and Christ. I had a great time...it was nice to be surrounded by other Christians on campus and to share our experiences, sing songs, have devotionals, and even play games.
It was just amazing to me as I looked around the circle of teenagers worshiping God when there are so many other things to do in a college community. It was refreshing to see no one playing with cell phones or distracted by many other technologies, but yet instead to simply share in the fellowship of fellow Christians. I look forward to going back every week for a similar worship experience.
I left BCM feeling revived and refreshed and almost on top of the world. I should have known it wouldn't take long for the devil to try to bring down these feelings and almost leave me in tears. Thankfully I am reminded of a song that we sang tonight that I'll share with you...
When the darkness closes in,
And I'm on my knees again,
I call your name,
I call your name,
'Cause it is the sweetest name I know,
This part of the song "Call Your Name" is truly what can get anyone through the tough times in their life. I'm hoping it will help me tonight, as well as other nights and that anyone stumbling across this blog will find it useful also. Until next time...God bless!
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I'm on a floor with most of the friends I never got to see last year, except for in class. So far I've had about every meal w/ them and gone out with them a couple times. It seems to be going well and I couldn't be happier. I may have my own dorm room this year (which I love), but I'm definitely not alone here.
My classes have been pretty okay. I don't know too many people in them, but hey...that just means I can branch out and meet new people. Most of my classes (with like 1 exception) are in my major/minor range, so I'm loving every minute of it. There will definitely be more projects and harder assignments this semester, but I'm bracing myself for it. More updates to come in the life of a college student :)
What's right for me,
I'll have to see--
just what the future holds.
The options are many,
but how will I choose
the path that makes me complete?
So until I see
what's right for me,
I'll keep my head held high.
I'll reach for the stars,
never lowering the bar,
to show all that I can be.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I've been looking forward to today for a few days now. My boyfriend has been off visiting his friend for a few days and I had this big surprise date planned for us this afternoon when he got home. Of course I would plan something outside on a day like today when it's absolutely pouring rain. He had no idea what I'd planned for tonight, and I'd rather not say in case he happens upon this blog anytime soon. When I called him to tell him the news (that our plans had changed), I started to cry some just because I was disappointed. He laughed (I guess because he felt sorry for me and knew I was being somewhat dramatic), and reassured me we'd still have a good time.
Unconvinced, he began to tell me of a wreck he saw on his way home this afternoon. Apparently a man in his truck had "fish-tailed" on the interstate when cut off because of another driver's blind-spot. He said he saw the man & his truck go front-end first into the median, throwing the man's head through the windshield and slinging him back into his seat. We talked about it for a little longer, and then I hung up the phone so he could finish driving. Then it hit me...I'm sitting her upset because something minor, like the weather, upset my plans that could easily be carried out another day, while someone's life was just possibly altered forever. I'm praying the man in the accident was okay, but if he wasn't...his family's lives will permenently be altered...plans they might have made could quite possibly never be carried out.
After contemplating this for a minute or so I went to stand underneath my front porch just to listen to the storm...let's just say that I'm completely over my change of plans for the evening. My prayers go out to that man and his family. Things may not always turn out as planned, but I need to be a little more flexible when they don't.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Anyways, I'm babbling. Tonight I was helping my brother study for his chorus exam tomorrow...you know, counting out measures, naming different notes & vocabulary terms--stuff like that. I never really had to study when I took chorus because of myself being in band in high school for all those years. It just kind of came naturally. After we'd finished studying, I started remembering my high school days and how far I've come since then. I remembered playing my flute in the band and all the wonderful friendships I made because of being part of that group. So yes...I did it...I pulled my flute case from out of hiding (I haven't touched it in over a year--at least.) and I began to play. I couldn't play as loud as I felt because I didn't want to disturb the whole house, but nonetheless, I played. I can't describe how good it felt, honestly. Then I remembered how amazing playing always made me feel; kind of the same feeling writing gives me. It takes all of my stress and problems away to the point of helping me to forget what I was even worried about in the first place.
Call me a nerd, dork, whatever. I've heard it all. It was just nice to play again :)
So welcome back old friend...
Monday, May 24, 2010
"Choose a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life" -Confucius
Sunday, May 23, 2010
My summer has been pretty bland so far. I guess it's because this is the first summer away from a school where I actually felt that I had a home. I really miss being in school with all of my friends and being involved in that "community" of people. I have had some fun with several close friends of mine though during my time off so that has made everything worth while. Tomorrow is my first "official" day of my internship for the summer, so I'm slightly nervous, but VERY excited to begin. The reason I say "official' is because I went last week, but there wasn't anything for me to start on yet, so the man I'm working for sent me home for another week. It was disappointing, but I'm now ready to start tomorrow.
I can't believe that this time last year I was freaking out over transferring schools and worrying about whether I would fit in anywhere at all. I'm happy to say that I have found my college family and I couldn't be more happy w/ how things are going. I love college and even though I sometimes say I'm ready to graduate....I know I'll miss being there on campus. I've got time to worry about that though. I'm proud of all that I've accomplished lately. I've knicked a few habits that I hated, such as biting my nails. Things are good with the boyfriend and the family right now, and I also have learned who I can and cannot trust which is always good. And finally, I feel good about the path I'm now heading down tomorrow with my internship. I hope it's everything I expect it to be. Details to come soon!
The first Sunday we talked about God's presence in our lives and whether we are sometimes afraid of the Holy Spirit to fully take control over every part of us. Should the Holy Spirit really be scary though? Of course not...God's spirit comforts us, counsels us, guides us, convicts us, and above all, will never leave us.
After all, God's presence is first shown in the very first verse of Genesis in the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God also created each and every one of us in His image. What could be scary about the God that created the very foundation for the world we live in today?
Next, we talked about God's power. This particular sermon really spoke to me because lately I have been going through some problems. It seemed that I'd hit a rough patch that I couldn't quite get out of. After this sermon, I realized that the reason I continued to sit in this problem area was because I hadn't gained the confidence to give God control over these situations. We talked about God's power being like dynamite--it's powerful, dangerous, and overwhelming...but with this power, there is nothing that we cannot do! I decided to give my situations over to God...not just part of it, but everything. It seemed that slowly, things started to get better-I had God on my side and I couldn't lose.
The third Sunday, we talked about having a spirit-filled life. This is probably something that all of us need to work on in one way or another. The bible verse was from Galations 5:8-18. In this Bible verse, it explains how every one of us is lost in darkness without God's light to show us new insight. It goes on to say that we should all rebuke the acts of the world and evil, and instead do what is pleasing in the eyes of the Lord. We should not live as fools, but instead, live like those who are wise. Finally, we should not be drunk with wine, for it will ruin our life.
Paul says, "Don't be under the influence of alcohol. Instead, live a Spirit-filled life. Be under the influence of the Holy Spirit." While under the influence of the Holy Spirit, you will act differently, think differently, and even talk differently. Our pastor went on to say that there are many reasons that people may drink alcohol, but a lot of similar reasons involve that it gives them confidence or comfort. He did not say that having a drink was wrong, but it is wrong to drink for the purpose of getting drunk. Although I don't drink, I'm sure that there are other things that I or others use for comfort. Instead of these things, why do we not turn to the Holy Spirit for that comfort?
To wrap up our Ghost series, we talked about God as the transformer of lives. In Acts 9:1-18, is the story of Saul and how God transformed his life. Saul was transformed from from someone who hated Christians, to one of the most powerful missionaries. After Saul's "transformation," he decided that he could no longer use his actual name, and therefore changed it to Paul. Although God loves us the way we are, he loves us too much to leave us that way.
In Romans 7:15-24, Paul writes that he has all of these good intentions, but cannot get past his sinful nature. I believe every one of us is like this because we were all created with a sinful nature. Without God's presence, power, and spirit, we cannot be transformed into his design.
Monday, April 12, 2010
I was in a car for almost 9 hours the other day, which of course means I had a lot of time to think. My brother was in the front seat and something came up about his 16th birthday being within the next month. All I could keep thinking about was how much older and more mature he's become. I'm definitely not ready for that...my mind flashes back to when he was just a few years old and was of course jealous that I was older. I remember him getting really frustrated, looking up at me and saying, "I can't wait until I grow up and be older than you." All I could do was laugh because of course we all know that isn't possible, but as a young child he did not. Oh how the times have changed. I'm so proud of the young man he has become. I know I'll see great things from him in the future.
I also began to think back to my past, such as when my grandmother, before she got sick, used to keep track of my growth on the wall of her pantry. When they had to move out of that house, that was probably the saddest part about it for me. She kept track of mine, my brothers, and cousins growth. It had to be the first thing accomplished when we came to visit. I miss her so much it hurts sometimes. Then my mind flashed to memeories such as those from middle school and high school. It doesn't seem quite so long ago, but it really has been quite some time. I'm proud to say that I'm still great friends with some of the same people that I met in middle and high school. Some people have faded from my life, but then again, that happens with everybody. I guess the true friends are here to stay. I'm truly blessed to have such wonderful friends in my life.
I'll be graduating in 2 years from college (maybe less). I'm going to be involved in an internship this summer and some of my writings are being published as I write this very blog. It's such a great feeling to see my name underneath a headline or caption. I'm proud of all I've accomplished, but sometimes I feel that life is passing me by and that maybe there should be a "pause" button for life every once in a while. I guess all I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure what's waiting for me out there, but I'm hoping I can embrace it and make it my own.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
I had sort of an 'epiphany' moment yesterday while driving home. This whole week I've been referring to what has been happening as luck, or as a blessing. It has most certainly been an amazing blessing, but as for luck...not so much in my opinion. I've come to the conclusion, that in most situations, not all, but most, that you have to make your own luck. This internship never would have been possible had I not picked up the phone to make that interview with the company; my pieces would have never been published, had I not had the courage to submit them for judging. You see, I almost did neither of those things, but I felt a push in that direction, and couldn't be happier that I did.
I've finally started to learn that if I don't put myself out there more, I'll never get noticed. I think I knew that all along, but I've always been too shy of a person. I guess that's why they say that journalism has a tendency to turn those that are shy into courageous people :)
None of this would have been possible if not for God, and I couldn't be more grateful. Hopefully this is only the start of greater things to come :)
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Today has been quite an interesting day. I'm not complaining by any means though. This morning I had an interview for a possible internship this summer. I've been putting off calling the company for weeks. I say that I've been really busy, but part of me thinks this is my minds way of telling me I really am growing up and it scares me to death sometimes. I had to skip class to go to said interview, which was fine until I found out I had missed a test in that class...luckily the professor was very understanding and willing to work with me on that.
The interview went GREAT! I now am looking at an internship this summer where I should be writing articles, taking photographs, as well as designing layouts for a magazine :) There might even be some video recording thrown into the mix there somewhere. I'll be willing to try any new branch of journalism to further my career. I've been stuck in this rut for so long of only wanting to write for a newspaper, never really wanting to branch out to public relations or broadcasting, but with the way the media market is rapidly changing, so should my mindset.
After my interview, the boyfriend came to see me at school for lunch. Then, I convinced my professor in my last class of the day to hold class outside, which was so nice. It was fun except for the constant breezes of pollen :-/ Finally after an eventful day of classes, I found a nice surprise of chicken nuggets and macaroni in the cafeteria, which was awesome. Looking forward to a celebratory dinner with the boyfriend tonight. I'm so thankful to have such amazing friends and family who I've been able to share today with. I couldn't be happier! Okay, soo...I would be happier if my school workload wasn't so heavy at the moment, but hey...I'm growing up...it was bound to happen sometime!
Sunday, February 28, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
I'd almost forgot that high that I feel when I see my name underneath a newspaper headline. It's indescribable really...it's like butterflies in my stomach. That may sound silly because there's of course nothing to be nervous about, but it's just this amazing feeling I get in my gut- like God's showing me that I really am heading down the right track with my life. I can't say that I mind!
It's the smile on a friend's face,
The thrill of the chase--
For something new.
The exhilarating rush
Of a new sports car,
Making the big bucks,
Or traveling afar.
But for me--
It's oh so simple;
All I need is my trusty
Pen or pencil...
To carry me away
To a faraway place,
Where no one else exists,
In time or space.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
- It doesn't always have to be two extremes...sometimes there can be a compromise in the middle :)
- You can't make everyone happy-so don't stress yourself out trying.
- Sometimes you just have to step back & take a look at the bigger picture...things are never as bad as they seem.
- I never thought I'd say this, but...you really don't have to plan everything out in advance. Great things can happen without a plan. (My dad would be proud, haha )
- College is a lot more fun once you branch out and make friends
- If you truly care about someone, then you can't stand in their way of true happiness; no matter what that may mean for you.
- No one is ever quite what they seem
- Love will never end up like a movie, so stop expecting it to happen that way
- If you have a problem, it's better to talk them out with a friend, rather than letting the emotions build up inside you
- Procrastination is NEVER a good way to avoid stress. It always comes back to bite you & brings even more stress along with it than you had before!
- It's good to have balance in your life.
- Being away from home doesn't mean you love your family any less...it actually makes you love them more
- Pictures truly can't capture the beauty in every moment...no matter how many you take.
- You really don't have to see someone every day, or even every month to be their best friend.
- Although an experience may seem scary at first...just embrace it; it could lead to true happiness
- Life will never stay the same, so you have to try to keep an open mind to these changes that will inevitably occur...
- You really don't need everything you "think" you do...be happy for the many blessings you already have.
- Professor-to-student relationships are extremely important, both in and out of the classroom. (Sometimes they have connections for getting a job, lol )
- No matter how hard to try to avoid it, you're going to grow up and most likely turn into your parents. (Love you mom & dad!)
- Friends could be the most important thing going for you, so don't let anyone stand in the way of that.
- Love is not the typical definition that you can pull from a dictionary. It's a verb.
- It's not so scary to just walk up to a practical stranger and introduce yourself...you may just have a lot in common after all.
- Exploring other options doesn't mean you've got to change your mind completely...it just means you're open to new things.
- Finding something you're truly passionate about gives you a totally different outlook on life.
- And most importantly-God will never let you down...He can take the weight of anything off your shoulders. (Yes, I already knew this, but sometimes you just have to be reminded)
I hope you've enjoyed my ranting...feel free to add your own recent life lessons!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Here's the second synopsis of my church's new series, The Vow. So, I'll start off by asking, do you give love a bad name?
The correct answer is yes, we all do at times. Whether this is the type of love given to a spouse, a boyfriend/girlfriend, best friend, or even a parent. God says that when a person looks at your relationships, they should see His love being reflected through them. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says,
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
My pastor put this Bible verse on the projector screen and asked the congregation to replace the word love in these verses with their own name. That should be what each of us strives to be. To me, that is very hard. This is one of my favorite Bible verses, but it also very hard to maintain all of these aspects in every relationship. That doesn't mean that I can't try harder to do so though.
He stated the 3 A's that can destroy a relationship, but more specifically a marriage- 1) Addiction, 2) Abuse, 3) Adultery. Any of these three things can destroy a relationship, but doesn't mean they cannot be mended through counseling. The biggest threat to relationships is complacency. After a certain amount of time in a close relationship, the "fuzzy" feelings are starting to fade, and we tend to criticize the people we love most. Those criticisms, no matter how small, can eventually build up a wall between you and another person and slowly the only things we see in that person are the bad...we start forgetting all of the good times. I admit that I too, am guilty of this. It does build up a wall, but with forgiveness, the wall can slowly be torn down and our relationships can be re-ordered so to speak. I'll end with 2 quotes I found to be really encouraging from his sermon.
"It's not about the chemistry, it's about character."
"It's not about choosing the right person, but instead, choosing to be the right person."
I've thought this every year about this time, but I really came to realize these feelings this year. My boyfriend and I tried several times to have a special night together...the first time, we get snow so bad that the roads wouldn't allow us to go anywhere. The second night, everyone apparently had the same idea we did and the wait for a restaurant would be about 2 hours. Instead of our romantic dinner and a movie we'd had planned for weeks, we ended up at a mexican restaurant for dinner and ended with a snowball fight at school for the first night. The second night, we had a lovely meal in the food court at the mall, haha. Well, this may not sound great or even funny to some people, but to me it was perfect and way better than I could ever have expected. It's not about the gifts or even that day really...Valentine's day should just be another day to show someone you care...a day that should really be every day.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
So...what does love have to do with anything? There are two answers. The first answer is Absolutely Nothing. The second, is Ultimately Everything. Here, let me explain...in John 13:34-35, Jesus gives a command that is often forgotten:
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love on another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
When I first heard this, I was a little taken back. I've never really thought of love being a command from God; I've just done it. I'm the kind of person who tries to be nice to anyone, whether they've hurt me or not, which sometimes means I get called things like a pushover. Anyways, I'm getting off topic. When you think of love, what do you think about? Merriam Webster's Dictionary had a lot of different answers- strong affection for another person, an object of attachment or devotion, and even an attraction based off of sexual desires. These are all typical answers that people in today's society may think or say is their definition of love. Well, not that any of these were my definition, but I certainly had never thought about the definition I received from my pastor.
He told our congregation to treat love not as an emotion, but a promise to another person. I guess I'd just never thought about it that way, but it really makes more sense. People tend to think of love as something passionate, with warm fuzzy feelings and butterflies that last forever. I do to a certain extent...I've dated the same guy for about three years now & I'm proud to say that I still have those fuzzy feelings when I see him, but I know that in long-term relationships, those feelings don't always last. My pastor went on to say that when couples say "I do," they're relationship is full of passion and those warm feelings. More often than not, when those feelings fade, they tend to feel that their relationship is dying or some even may try to find those feelings elsewhere from others. God commands each and every one of us to love each other, even when we don't feel like it, or more specifically when those "fuzzies" are gone. An emotion can't be commanded, but actions can. Love should be treated as a verb; something we do for others when we feel like, when we don't, or until we feel like it. Just like when there are times you don't feel very close in your walk with God...does that mean you should give up on that relationship? When you stand before God and vow to love this person for the rest of your lives, it's a promise to make things work, even when they aren't in the best of times.
Although I'm not married, and don't plan on being so for a while, it was great insight into my current relationship and advice that can last me for the rest of my life. I'm really looking forward to the next 3 Sundays in this series! Until then...thanks for listening!
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Saturday, January 30, 2010
My freshman year of college was going to be the greatest...or at least that's what I thought. I went off away from home, not too far, but just far enough. I left everything behind-my high school friends, my family, and my boyfriend of almost 2 years at the time. I thought it would be good to get a fresh start and to become more independent. For the first semester, I had a lot of fun; I missed home, but I met some interesting people, and someone who is now my best friend. When she decided to transfer after that first semester, my college life just slowly went downhill from there. Not that it was her fault or anything-I just honestly had no idea where to go. I missed home terribly, I had hardly any good friends, and I missed my boyfriend and was tired of never seeing him or any of my other friends from home.
I was miserable for quite some time. I tried hiding it from everyone, but my true friends could see the change in my personality. When I finally gathered up the courage to tell my parents that I was unhappy, I was actually surprised at how they handled the situation. They too, had seen a change in me, and were glad I had confided in them. I told them I wanted to look around at more colleges, particuarly one closer to home. My dad seemed at first to be more understanding than my mom. Now that I look back, I know that that's only because my mom wanted me to truly be happy, and not to feel like I had settled. She didn't want me to rush into a decision, just to regret it for the rest of my life.
To make a long story short, I ended up coming back home. I go to school just down the road from my home, but I still live on campus. People ask why I would be willing to pay that much extra to live there, when I could easily commute from home. My answer to this was simple. I wanted to still be independent from from home, but still live close enough to come back if I ever needed to.
Webster's Dictionary describes a niche as a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted. That's the way I felt when I finally decided to come back home. When I made that leap of faith to transfer schools, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I feel that this is truly my niche, as is writing. That's why I labled my blog 'niche.' I feel that just as I found my niche as far as colleges, that writing has truly always been my niche. It's helped me get through some of the toughest situations in my life. Writing is the only outlet that truly lets me express my feelings-writing bears no judgement, it's simply there & allows me to be myself, which is a rare thing...