Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Waiting Season

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens." -Ecclesiastes 3:1

Well, phewy you might say. It's run through my head several hundred times. Why can't the time be right now?

Right now, the last thing I want to do is to wait for the right time, but that's all I can do. Patience is all I have to bring to the situations and decisions in my life presently, and I must say I'm not a fan. I like to do things and be able to take care of things myself. But with these decisions I'm facing, concerning the future, I can't really do anything. For some of them I know what I want, but I don't know how it would work out. For others, I have no idea what the best path is. So then what?

There is a time for everything, including waiting.

Maybe things will work out how I want them to, or perhaps they'll be completely different and yet completely perfect. But the biggest truth and reality I've been learning is that there's a time for all of that too. It just hasn't come around yet.

Perhaps you're waiting for something too. Perhaps you're growing impatient. Maybe you want to give up on waiting. But do you get out of waiting in line just as you're a person behind the front? I am right there with you in hating to wait, but the rather frustrating fact of the matter is that you will have seasons of waiting in your life. Will you see them through? Will you cut out before you reach the front? Cause hun, you'll just end up going to the back of some other line.

"Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet." -Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Friday, October 3, 2014

Be Strong and Courageous

I don't know about you or where you might be in life, but I know I've been pretty freaked out lately thinking of the future. The "real" world is coming up so quickly, and that's scary. I still feel like a little girl in many ways, and it's hard to think I'll have to be out there figuring out my life soon.

For several years now, I've felt God calling me into medicine, and I believe that's where my heart is, but isn't it funny how quickly and easily our hearts fail us in the face of fear and uncertainty? I know that's what I should do, and I think it's what I want to do as well. However, there are a lot of pieces to that puzzle that I can't see, and I like to see the picture on the box cover when I put a puzzle together.

It's a long journey, and it will be emotionally draining and heart breaking, and that scares me. Will I be able to do it? Will I be able to do it well? Yes and no. I won't be able to do it, but God will. If He has called you to it, He will bring you through it. Don't be scared and don't worry that you won't be able to endure. Wherever or whatever God is calling you to, He will equip you perfectly and completely for it, even if it takes some time.

Ultimately, while we may not know what or when or where we should go, the one known is that we should go. So what do we do when we know we're called but are scared to take that first step on what seems to be a hidden path? "Be strong and courageous." While we may not know the big picture, God does.  It isn't very important if we know all the right things to do or say, or even if we make a few wrong turns along the way, but it is important to at least start moving. He'll walk each and every step with you.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
       -Joshua 1:9

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Do you

Ever have a friend give you the one raised eye brow look? Also known as the "what in the world are you doing? You're a goof" look. I've received it many a time, but I've also given it. We might not always understand one another, and we usually all experience moments of embarrassment when others don't follow our train of thought. Thing is, we're all completely different people, so there will be times when we don't see everything eye to eye. That is ok. Cause hun, just do you.

It's so tiring trying to worry about what others think of you, or trying to keep yourself in a "socially acceptable" box. Who gives a hoot? If we're being honest, it's not like society's standards are all that great nowadays. Plus, while it is a problem that everyone is so concerned about how the world perceives them, maybe that fact can help you begin to loosen up. If everyone is concerned about how they come off, they probably aren't focusing on you. Not that you aren't important or worth being focused on (because you are!), but relax, because most people are in the same boat as you.

Let me tell you, it is so freeing and so much fun to just be who you are. God didn't mess up, so don't worry about other people thinking you're messed up. Now, I suppose I ought to provide a check to all this advice. While you should be who you are, don't take this to mean you shouldn't seek to improve and grow. We all have things we can work on, so be you, but also look to be the best you that you can be! At the end of the day though, just do you :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Friend Zone

We've all seen the movie where a great guy likes his friend, but she responds in turn by placing him in the dreaded "friend zone." We all boo and think how could she do that. But even within the past few hours, I've been thinking that maybe the "friend zone" is the best place to be.

True, no one wants to be rejected or have feelings for someone who doesn't return them. However, I do know we all want to be with someone who makes us laugh. Someone who will go on absurd adventures with us just because. Someone who'll hug us after a bad day. And someone who totally gets us. We all want to be able to be in a relationship with our best friend.

I tend to er on the side of thinking I'll one day meet the man of my dreams and we'll live happily ever after from that moment on... oh wait, I've known him all of two hours. Yes, there are those incredibly romantic stories of people meeting and knowing on the spot they'll get married. But more often than not, love stories bloom out of the years of a beautiful friendship. I think the better you know someone the deeper you can love them. You may not want to be just friends right now, but enjoy it anyway. If it's meant to be, that friendship will end up being the base on which your romantic relationship is built.

I don't know about you, but when I think ahead to my wedding day, I picture myself being ecstatic about being able to officially start spending the rest of my life married to my best friend, not to a stranger. So, this "friend zone?" Maybe it's not all that bad after all.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Golden Rule Pt. 2

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you..." -Matthew 7:12

Well, my friends, I set out several days ago to specifically think of putting others before myself. I thought of what I would like others to do for me, and I hoped to turn around and do those things instead for others. Here is what I had thought of for myself:

Someone to help me clean my room! (it's a tad messy...)

To not worry about having others judge me

To have a peace of mind over finances

To be loved/ to keep being loved

A beautiful night out filled with fun (preferably a date, but a girls' night out would be good too ;)

Over the past few days, I've thought of how I might look to other's needs, and I must admit that I failed rather miserably. When my mom asked me to clean up my stuff around the house, I thought that'd be a great way to show her love... a day later most of it was still lying around. When I would want others to love me, I didn't want to show love to some family friends who were over (I had no patience in socializing). I did succeed in having a great girls' night out with some friends, but was it more about them than it was about me? I don't know.

Overall, these past few days weren't so golden in this respect. It's such a reminder of how easily it is to grow into tunnel vision! You can spend all the time you want with loved ones, but are you spending all that time loving them? You can see people, but do you care about people? 

This is definitely an area in which I have a huge amount of growth yet to do, and maybe you tried the Golden Challenge and found it difficult too. But let's keep giving it a go, okay? Even if it takes a lifetime, I think it will be worth it if each and every day I become even just a little bit better at loving others. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Golden Rule Pt. 1

"So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you..." -Matthew 7:12

I'm sure we've all heard this or a paraphrase of it. I'm also sure many of us haven't done this, at least not very often. A supposed "golden rule," it would hope to have society be the best it could be- can you imagine if we all looked to others and thought of them more than we do ourselves? Maybe following this rule would only amount to making someone's day, but maybe it could be so much more. Maybe more people would be heard, understood, seen. Maybe there wouldn't be so much hunger or so many broken people. I don't really know, but maybe.

One of my favorite websites (SheReadsTruth), gave the advice of asking yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them. So here it goes, I'm going to think honestly of things I would like, and then over these next couple of days, I'm going to look to give/do them for others around me. We'll deem it the Golden Challenge :).

So, I would like...

Someone to help me clean my room! (it's a tad messy...)

To not worry about having others judge me

To have a peace of mind over finances

To be loved/ to keep being loved

A beautiful night out filled with fun (preferably a date, but a girls' night out would be good too ;)

Well, I'll get back to ya on how it goes!
And you can certainly join me in the Golden Challenge if you like! Who knows, but maybe something beautiful will come from it. Just maybe :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Freedom: God bless America (and the world)

I know I'm a few days late for being all patriotic and such, but I don't think it needs to be Independence Day for me to be thankful for where I live.

America. Yeah, we have a lot of downfalls, and we do a lot of stupid stuff here, but how lucky are we? We are free! Free to live our lives without the fear of a ruthless dictator. Free to pursue our hopes and dreams. Free to do what we want with our lives. Free to practice religion and faith, whatever that may be for us. I find that so amazing and am so grateful for it! Even more so when I hear of so many people around the world who don't have this freedom.

Today I went to church with my family, and it wasn't in the basement of a house or out in a cave. I am free to gather with other believers openly to worship and seek out God. So many other people don't have that. So many people are persecuted for their faith and are forced to hide it. And here I am, some Sundays not wanting to go just so I can get a few more winks of sleep.

I have freedom, but do I live freely?

We are a free people, and we have the freedom to elect who will lead us as a nation. Yet just the other day, a couple of my friends were thinking they might not even vote in the next election. They didn't want to have to research. And I don't blame them! It's not an easy process, but it is a freedom that we are blessed with.

We are free, but are we living freely?

Anyone of us would fight fiercely if our freedom was threatened, so why do we always seem to be taking it for granted? We are free indeed. As Americans, and as Christians. All the more so as Christians! Christ has set us free, but I know I for one don't always live like I am. But why? Freedom is so incredible, and whether as Americans or Christians, it has been hard won. Maybe because freedom can seem scary at times or the harder choice. But it wasn't meant to be that way. A caged bird will burst forth into its freedom. Why? Because freedom is oh so very sweet and oh so very precious! And it is oh so worth it.

So, do not pretend you're still in chains. Be free! For you are free indeed.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life: It's no Picnic

Life can be pretty tough sometimes. It will beat you down and leave you in shock without any apology. Let's be honest, life can be a total B#@$%. I think the hardest thing about it that will get to you, is the element of surprise and uncertainty that it brings. In an instance, things can change and plans can become nothing but dust in the wind. It's hard, and I wish it didn't have to be that way. But it does. That's how life goes. It's the good the bad and the ugly, and often times, the ugly overwhelms us and blocks our perspective from all the good.

When you lose something or someone you love, the shadow of loss will cloud you. But given the healing of time, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later, you'll have the vision again to realize all the good that came before. You got to have something or someone to love, even if it wasn't for as long as you would have liked. You had good, wonderful memories, and in time, you'll be able to smile looking back on them.

It may hurt, and that's okay! You're human and sometimes we all need a good cry and at least a solid 1/2 pint of ice-cream ;). Let it out and acknowledge the hurt. But also acknowledge time when it starts to bring about healing in your life. You might not want to move on, because you don't want to forget or accept that you have to leave something behind, but you need to be open to what's ahead.

It will be different, and it will be an adjustment. But if you open yourself up to the good that life can offer, you'll find something or someone to love again. You'll be able to make more good memories and have happiness in your life again. It will just be a new happiness. Perhaps even a better one than you could have anticipated. But the key through all of this, is time. Give it time and give yourself time.

I'm sorry for what you have to go through, and I wish life didn't have to be so hard. But I'm not sorry that you've loved and that you've lived. And I hope you aren't either.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

One Day

In being completely honest with myself, with the help of God and friends, I've come to realize and admit that I am totally unfit to have a relationship at this point in my life. I've struggled with wanting a relationship, specifically with wanting to know my husband, for a long time. Well, last fall and now here at school, I've met two wonderful young men. Both are godly and have a heart for Christ. I barely got to know the one from the fall, yet I found myself being distracted with thinking of wanting to date him! I've gotten to know the one here at school much better, and he is such a sweetheart and is funny and makes me smile :). He is a gentleman and a talented singer, but the fact remains, that I still don't really know him. Yet, I catch myself daydreaming of what it would be like to date or even to marry him! What?!

Now, I don't think these thoughts or my desire to be in a relationship are necessarily bad things, and I do believe that God created an inert desire to be in such a relationship. However, I feared these had begun to spiral out of hand, to where they were almost even like idols. I spent (and still do spend) so much of my time thinking about them... more than I did (and sometimes still do) on thinking about God and my relationship with Him! I should be controlling my feelings, not the other way around. At this point, I think if I were in a relationship, I would get so caught up in it and devoted to it, that I would begin to push God aside in order to give my attention to the relationship. I had started to do this, and I was only thinking about a relationship!

So, due to this sad reality, I've come to realize my need to really put in a concentrated effort into pursuing my relationship with Christ. I need to grow in my faith before I try to start up any kind of earthly romance. Whether this guy is the right one or not, I need to work on becoming the right woman. And not simply for my own sake, although this is crucial.

You see, I hope to be in a relationship with a godly man, and I would want to be able to encourage him towards Gods, and vice versa. However, right now, I fear I wouldn't do this effectively. I wouldn't want that for whoever I date/marry. I would want, and do want, the best for him and his heart.

Therefore, I've come to make the decision to redirect my attentions. I'm not going to pursue or initiate  any relationship. I would love to one day, but it wouldn't be right now. Hopefully, through this time, I'll be closer to God and have the type of relationship with Him that allows me to be completely satisfied, with or without a man. Maybe you should try something similar?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Time and Change

Time goes by so quickly. I can't believe my first year of college is almost over. It's been good and bad; there's been ups and downs. There's been a lot I've learned, and I've met some wonderful people... and some weird ones :). I've been challenged, and I've grown. But one thing's for sure, ultimately, it has sure been a great adventure!

Change can be scary, and I know I was worried about going to college, but you need change. That's how life goes on. Not all change seems good, but you can make all change good. You can accept it, use it, and benefit from it, or you can run in the opposite direction, fearing what it might bring. Maybe you've been putting off a change because you don't want to lose the life you have now, but who knows, maybe the change will bring an even better life to you.

Be wise with the choices you make in your life, but also be audacious. Don't let fear hold you back from moving forward in life, from embracing change. Time will go forward with or without your consent, you might as well go along with it and with the new seasons it brings. In a blink of an eye, months will turn to years, and you'll be somewhere entirely different from where you are today. I  hope it will be someplace better. I hope you'll have had joy and difficulties that have made you stronger. I hope you'll have met some incredible friends and grown in leaps and bounds. I hope you'll have let change into your life, and I hope you'll go along for the ride. Because after all, it sure is a great adventure!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Love: It's a Do Thing

"Being devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves."
        -Romans 12:10

How do we do that? What does that look like? A little while ago, we talked at school about who our neighbor is. I think by thinking in those terms, we can start to know how to apply these verses. When I think of applying these verses, I instantly picture my family or my sisters in Christ on the basketball team. But, these verses aren't only for the ones we already love. They don't say "Honor your family..." or "Being devoted to your Christian friends..." (although of course you should). I believe they're more open ended. They say, "one another." That's whoever you're around or could ever be around. It's anyone but yourself.

These verses call us to love our neighbor. When we start to see past ourselves and start looking at others as our brothers and sisters, it becomes a whole lot easier to honor and love them. It doesn't mean it will be easy- you still fight with your siblings. It does mean, however, that you'll be quicker to forgive, quicker to help, and quicker to encourage.

Sometimes you're going to really dislike someone. They'll get on your nerves; they'll do and say things that aggravate you and hurt you, but we're called to be devoted to them all the same. Just as you (hopefully) keep on loving that silly brother or annoying sister, you need to keep loving those around you. Keep actively loving your neighbor and pursuing those around you with Christ's love, because that's what love is: it's a do thing.

Can't Wait?

I can't wait for the future! I'm so excited to start my dream job of being a pediatrician! I'm excited to get married and have a family! I'm even excited for summer to come in a few months! I'm excited and so hopeful for the future that I often miss the joy of today. I anticipate and daydream about an upcoming event so much that it often doesn't live up to my expectations or dreams.

On the other hand, I also haunt myself with the past, with both good and bad things. Replaying events over and over, analyzing every detail, instead of simply enjoying the memory or letting go.

So what about today? It's where I am right now after all. Shouldn't my focus be on the present? While I do think it's good to have goals and plans for the future, I don't think we should let the view up ahead cause us to lose sight of the path directly under our feet. By constantly looking forward, trying to see what's just around the bend or over the hill, we might stumble over something directly before us. And if we are constantly looking over our shoulder to what was, we might run into a tree.

I love the movie, Kung Fu Panda, and while it's cheesy, it is true that it offers some good life lessons :)

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the 'present.'"

So enjoy this beautiful gift, enjoy today!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Worn Out

I don't know about you, but I've certainly been feeling tired lately. It's hard with all of life's demands always bombarding you; from staying up late doing schoolwork to spending time with friends, there's so much that seems to zap your energy.

The other day in chapel, our chapel director reminded me to find refreshment in God. I might be tired and have nothing left to give, but Christ always has an abundance. He may not take away the stress, but He will give you the strength and joy to get through it. Matthew 11:28-30 has been incredibly uplifting to me:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

All we have to do is come to God. That's all He asks of us in order to find rest. Yet often times when I get weary, I tend to feel sorry for myself and forget to run into Christ's loving arms.

I've been listening to a song called "Satisfied In You (Psalm 42)" by The Sing Team and the bridge has been reminding me where my heart should be even when I feel drained.

"Let my sighs give way to songs that sing about your faithfulness 
Let my pain reveal your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is you."

I hope you aren't worn out, but if you are, may you be refreshed!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy New Year: My Resolution

Happy New Year! I can't believe it's 2014 already. Life seems to go by so quickly. For this reason, I've decided my New Year's resolution is to be more spontaneous: to do less planning, worrying, and analyzing, and more, simply put, doing.

I just saw the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, a movie of a man who finally steps out of his day dreams into real life. That's the life I want to be living: one of engagement. We all only get one go at this life, and I want to make the most of every day I'm given.

We weren't meant to simply wander through life, but to live it.

Yes, it is important to be wise and cautious and to sometimes plan. However, you can't get so hung up on all of that, that you forget to actually do what you planned. It's ok to jump and get hurt every now and then; I think God will pick us back up. I don't think He ever intended for us to just sit on the sidelines though, even if it's safe.

So live it up this new year! Get some skin in the game and live each day engaged :).

"I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel. I don’t want any of you sitting around on your hands. I don’t want anyone strolling off, down some path that goes nowhere."
-Ephesians 4:1 (Message)