Saturday, May 29, 2010
LESSONS LEARNED AND MORE TO COME...
So how about a few key lessons from the semester?
1. The importance of building trust: I learned this lesson in my intercultural adjustment class, which I've talked a little about before here at myHandH. To build trust with someone, you must be willing to both be vulnerable and to accept their vulnerability. Mutual respect is ideal in an interpersonal relationship, but grace often "trumps all" and gives room for one party or the other to be pardoned (oh if only my professor could read these thoughts and put them toward my grade). Trust is necessary in foundation building when trying to bring someone to the Lord...it's also necessary for good friendship.
2. The Lord does not work by our time frame (and we should be glad): Being an RA this year has been a blast and a challenge. I did not expect God to work out difficult emotional struggles while I was in the position. In fact, I was often frustrated by the Lord's choice in time frame for my soul's deep cleaning. I, however, came to realize in a practical sense what it means to trust that God knows what's best for me.
3. The beginning of life is really an incredible thing: I saw this as I spent a bit of time with Levi. He is precious and the way God's used him to bring the family together in a stronger sense is incredible.
4. Little mistakes don't mean I'm "kicked out" of the kingdom (by any means): Our God is a God of grace. I'm still learning this lesson. He does not condemn me with statements and thoughts full of blame; he does not shake his head in hopelessness over my blunders. My God loves me!
Thanks for joining me for the semester... more thoughts, wonder-ings, inspirations, and passions to come this summer.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
WHERE I AM
A quick post before I head to study for finals...
Today ends the 30 day coffee fast I have been on. So this morning I had a decaf vanilla latte with an extra pump of vanilla. Thanks, Starbucks! I thought buying a treat was called-for. And what did I learn during this time? That the joy of the Lord really is my strength. He provides for me in times of stress, exhaustion, and craving... during the times I would tend to turn toward a warm bev for comfort, I instead repeated that scripture to myself. "The joy of the Lord IS my strength..." (This verse always reminds me of my sweet niece, Keilah Joi- whose name meant strength and joy.)
I received some very exciting trip details for my quickly approaching trip to Turkey! As I read more about Paul, I can not wait to stand where he stood, hang out where he hung, and be challenged be the extraordinary way he preached in the most unlikely of cities. Of course this fun Pauline tour will come after three weeks of hard work at camp, which I'm also looking forward to.
While sippin' the coffee with Marianna and Brit this morning, we perused a garage sale. And I am currently sitting in my find of the day: an old director's chair! (I'm sitting toward the right side because the left has a big rip and needs some mending). I plan to distress it, stain it a darker wood color, and sew on some fun canvas fabric patches on. If that doesn't work, I'll just resell it at my garage sale!
Peace and blessings... especially if you too are preparing for finals!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
There are a couple of issues looming in my mind. Firstly, I've been thinking of my ideal household; the household where I want to be a wife and raise my children. Ideally, I want to raise my children to live simple, green lifestyles (this is second, of course, to instilling in them the spiritual convictions and passions my husband and I will share). I want our household to be one in which we recycle everything possible, buy as much slave free food and clothing as we can, practice composting and bulk gardening, never buy a dryer but air dry all our clothing to save energy, use insulation and windows for temperature control whenever possible, and use low watt light bulbs... I dream of this!
However, I also dream of (and feel called to) living overseas for at least a major season of life. Being a missionary is what I want to "do" when I grow up... but I also long to be a wife and mother who is able to raise her children in (more or less) an American home. I'm not worried about these contrasting goals because I know the Lord has placed both on my heart for a reason. I do, however, wonder how my future look... as we all do.
Thought #2: Since I've become more and more passionate about green living in the past couple of years, I really want to get people on board with me! It's one thing for me to practice a low energy and recycling lifestyle (which I'm not perfect at, and that's ok!), but I don't feel like I'm making much of a difference for the earth unless I get people to join in! I spent a good chunk of time with this dilemma before the Lord yesterday. I said, "God, why can't I admonish others to recycle? Recycling is so easy!" He brought me through a journey in scripture and I finally sat on the example he gives us regarding creation.
God loves us more than the bird of the air, the beasts of the earth, and the flowers of the field... but he still loves them! People are, and will always be, more important than things. I need to practice that. It's fine and dandy for me to encourage others to join in the green living frenzy, but if it becomes a hindrance on a relationship, it is not worth it. Thank you, Lord, for humbling me. I truly am called to be a good steward of your plant, but I am firstly called to be a good steward of your people!
Monday, May 10, 2010
100 THINGS I'M THANKFUL FOR
Yup, today is one of those days I just need to write down a big, fatty list of things I'm grateful the Lord has given/done for/blessed me with. In coming to the end of a year of hard work, service, and good friendship it seems hard to say goodbye... but I want to use these last few weeks to be thankful to the God of all! Here goes... I'm thankful for:
1. The Holy Spirit... who interprets my sighs
2. My parents
3. The way my best friend Jamie knows how to make me feel appreciated
4. My sister's creativity
5. Christmas... trees, lights, and desserts
6. (speaking of which) Chocolate!
7. The accessibility of chocolate
8. My friend Brittany, for stretching my mind
9. Knowledge of social injustices... and the power to pray against them
10. An opportunity to travel this summer
11. The fact that I was not allowed to watch PG-13 movies until I was 16
12. My brother's level head
13. My sister-in-law's love for her son
14. Greeting cards
15. Psalm 1
16. The ability to sing
17. The ability to hear... if I didn't have it I couldn't sing
18. The way our crappy or embarrassing memories get covered by grace
19. My friend Marianna's honesty
20. My roommate Anna's light heart and soulful intentions
21. My health
22. A staff of RAs who love me
23. My boss, Katie, who has given me so much stinkin' perspective this year!
24. The fact that my brother-in-law feels like a real brother to me
25. My mom's ability to put on a holiday... and to hold the family together, even when she doesn't know she's doing it
26. Seasons of rest
27. The cross
28. Freedom to worship Jesus openly
30. Art... doing it and looking at it
31. The way little kids make things simpler
32. The hope of a future that is already taken care of
33. My ability to lead
34. Being the youngest child and often getting the permission to revert back to that
35. Our family's house
36. My old roommate and friend Lydia, for challenging me to choose what's right in the Lord
37. My GEM girls... for having fellowship together weekly
38. The Duggars... they truly are an encouragement to me when I watch them on TV
41. My high school friend Stephanie, who calls once a month
42. My other old roommate and friend Eileen, who makes me laugh about high school
43. Food to eat multiple times a day
44. A journal to write in
46. The fact that I was a minority growing up
48. Feel-good movies
49. The Chariots of Fire song
50. My Dad's emerging reminiscent side
52. Biblical teaching at school and church that is sound
53. My past with ice skating
54. Ice cream cones
55. Clean water to drink, bathe in, and cook with
57. The ability to read
58. The getting-to-know you process
60. Plenty of clothes to wear and choose from
61. A great minivan to drive!
62. The fact that thinking of 100 things is a challenge... and a reminder that the list should never end!
63. My dear nephew Levi
64. The beauty of differing ethnicities.
66. Dancing in the rain! And just the rain itself
67. Los Angeles
68. Many opportunities to serve in my area
69. A new church
70. Missionaries to pray for
71. A comfortable bed
72. A chiropractor
74. My friend Josilynn's sense of humor
75. Boring classes made for doodling and note-passing
76. Interesting classes that wiz by!
77. Valentine's day
78. Owning a printer
79. Dude! Owing a lap top
81. Paved streets
82. Hot showers
83. God's love
84. Orange poppy flowers
85. The miracle of pregnancy, birth, and infancy
86. National Geographic magazine
87. The Catcher in the Rye... for stretching me and for developing my empathy
88. The StrengsFinder
89. Sticky notes
90. The Lord's presence and Fatherly touch... especially on a rough day
92. Giving up coffee for a bit
93. God's financial provision for me and my family
94. Owning a cell phone
95. The sequins on the back of Sparklettes trucks
96. Beautiful landscape
97. The accessibility of the beach and mountains
98. Farmer's markets
99. The Word of God
100. Any reader who made it this far!
Friday, May 7, 2010
I'm feeling a little too collegiate today.
I dried my dishes with a pillow case,
I'm on paper number 25 out of 29 this semester and I've come down with the worst case of writer's block,
I'm writing with a cinnamon-scented smencil,
And all I can think about is this summer...
All of the above + the gift of having a car = a weekend at home!
Saturday, May 1, 2010
I know blogging about work is a risky thing to do, but I'm doin' it! As many of you know, I work as an RA at school, but I have another on campus job as an office assistant in the Campus Safety department. I've had this job for almost two years and am so grateful for its steadiness in my life.
On this particular Thursday, there occured a really funny day at work. First, someone called our office wondering what we could do for her because her dollar had been sucked up by the vending machine (k, I'm exaggerating, but it was still really funny). We had a good laugh about that, seeing as we can not to a thing about the functionings of on campus vending machines! Then, I was asked to dig through my mailbox to find a letter I was supposed to have RSVPed to... after digging for a while, I pulled it up, all rusty and crumpled and such. It had been put there just a few days prior. The rust? I don't know how that happened. THEN (oh this is the best part, I hope I tell it funnily), my friend/coworker Alex and I were called back to our bosses' office for a "student opinion". I was handed a piece of styrofoam and told to, "eat it". I, obviously, questioned what, when, why, how, etc. Eat it? And then, I was informed that it was an emergency loaf. An emergency loaf? Yes, meant to be consumed in case of an emergency...lemon vanilla flavored. So, I carefully and hesitantly put the "loaf" int my mouth and started chewing. Hmm. Now, I wouldn't choose it as a stack, but it totally resembled a lemon bunt cake! Weird, weird, funny day at work.