23 January 2012

"I want to suggest that it's just these places in your experience- where dreams and expectations don't work out- that you are being issued the invitation of your life.  Disappointment is, strangely enough, a doorway to the real adventure.  It's the point where you start to leave behind most of your notions of how your story should read- and enter your relationships with God as a journey.  A true journey, one that's wild and adventurous and not anywhere close to predictable." Paula Rinehart, Better Than My Dreams

This is a passage I underlined in a book I read a few years ago... The book absolutely wrecked me the first time I read it.  Paula's words illuminated these pockets in my heart where I was hiding my dreams because hope was too risky to pursue.  As I am trying to write a message for Wesley tomorrow night, I picked up this book and re-read that passage... I am living those words in this season.  Though I feel like the fog is lifting and burdens are becoming lighter, the Lord has walked with me through a season of me having to embrace some of my disappointments with Him and life.  And now, here we are, on a real journey... Disappointment effects me differently now.  I'm okay with it.  Do I like it? No, duh. But has the Lord increasingly changed my perspective? 100%.  The disappointments I'm facing today make me sad, but more so, they remind me that the Lord has so much for my life.  I can't begin to understand why the Lord would lavish such incredible gifts on my life because I am undeserving of such grace and abundance, but my heart is so grateful.  
This weekend at a conference I attended, I felt the Lord really speaking to me about my purpose beyond this season of school and training, and I was OVERWHELMED.  Like, terrified and incredibly curious as to why the Lord would trust me with the things He was sharing about what might be next.  Jesus is crazy... bottom line.  But I am encouraged by reading that passage that I marked years ago and seeing some of the fruit of it in my life today.  Today disappointment with good things means I'm free to embrace God's best. And I'm super, extra, really excited to see what that looks like. 

18 January 2012

I finally finished a project that I had been wanting to do FOREVER!

I definitely stole the idea from a family I babysat for in college.  They had a fabulous conglomeration of post cards from all over the world from dear friends of theirs, and I loved it. 

I spent the last couple of years forcing my friends to send me post cards when they travel- most of them forget, but some don't and now they will be remembered forever.

Sorry the picture is so awful... I took it with my phone in low light :( But you get the gist... This I see being around my home, wherever it might be, for a really long time.  I have lots of room left to fill it up!

It felt good to finish something I'd been thinking about for years and to create something that means so much to me.  This break from classes has been so refreshing.  I've read 5 of the Harry Potter books.  I've cooked and reorganized.  I've taken a nap! The freedom when I leave work to just go home and do whatever my heart desires has been so wonderful... I will miss this come February, but I am so thankful for it today.  

03 January 2012

I've been intending to write a new year's, "reflect on 2011" blog for days and just haven't found the inspiration to take on such a task... Let's just say I am ready for 2011 to be in the past, and I have such incredible hope for 2012.  Instead of reflecting on what was, here are the truths I want to live into in 2012:

Trust does not mean understanding.
My anxiety does not change God's faithfulness.
My fear does not rob the Lord of His strength.
God is the giver of EVERY good and perfect thing- if it's not from Him, it's not good.
Independence is never God's goal.
God is the only one who sustains and fulfills.

Jesus... in 2012, I want to learn to love what You love, to love what's good for me and for Your kingdom.  

13 December 2011

Had another couple wonderful Disney days yesterday and today... What a nice break from reality. 

I seriously am not sure, I'll ever be happier than watching Wishes with good friends.  That may just be as good as it gets.  

In my finals week at Asbury so currently just procrastinating finishing while I upload completely pointless videos to Facebook from the past two days.  I might have lost all productive energy to finish these things, which is just not good.  I've discovered the problem with doing well in your classes all semester is there is little motivation to put forth effort in the finals... Maybe next semester, I'll try failing a class or two with finals being my only hope... bad idea? Okay, maybe not.  

Highlights to come from the Christmas Break 2011:
1. Finish finals (tomorrow, hopefully)!!
2. Pack, pack, pack
3. Finish Christmas shopping
4. Nutcracker Ballet :) I love holidays and fancy things like ballet.
5. Labelle with Brittany for FOUR DAYS... it's a long time- her family is probably going to be kicking my out on day 2.
6. Home- Lula
7. Charlotte for Christmas with my mama's side of the family
8. Jacksonville to visit my long lost pseudo Irish friend Kyle for a few days
9. New Year's something with someone
10. A break from classes in January (Hallelujah!!)

11 December 2011

Had quite possibly the most unproductive Saturday to ever exist, but I had the pleasure of ending the day with a UCF basketball game that ended in surprising excitement, a lovely trip to Four Rivers BBQ and now settled in at home watching The Holiday and doing "schoolwork." If you count 3 pages in a day as progress, I've made progress.  

I'm really thankful for today.  
For a day off with no real pressure to accomplish or do.  
For friends who take me as I am- lazy day and all.  
For sappy Christmas movies.  
For new friends becoming great ones. 
For best friends knowing my heart.  
For American sports. 
And most importantly, for Four Rivers ;)

08 December 2011

Ever have one of those days where the very issue you feel like you've gotten nailed down decides to prove it's not dead yet... That was my day.  Always fun.

As I drove home tonight my heart was so uneasy- feelings of insecurity and loneliness and unworthiness and fear... And of course it took me until 11pm to really seek the Lord about it.  Fighting it all day in my mind was totally not working, but I always give that option a good run for its money.  I got home.  Fought with myself for about 10 minutes about whether to turn on a movie or read a book and just try and forget things or to force myself to spend some time with the Lord.  Jesus won this time (I'm not sure why I don't let him win every time, but alas).  After spending a moment, recognizing and agreeing with the Lord that He is good; He is trustworthy; He is sovereign; He is always in control; He is never surprised, etc.  I opened my little devotional and in sentence 1 was tearing up... EXACTLY the words my heart needed to hear.  Like a traveler lost in a desert, my heart was instantly refreshed and quickly broken.  Broken because- bottom line- I just suck at seeking first God's kingdom.  He knows precisely what I need, and I am so hesitant (especially in this season) to seek His heart for me.  Just like a lost wanderer, I am often daily in need of rescue.  I so foolishly resist time and time again.

"Your needs and My riches are a perfect fit.  I never meant for you to be self-sufficient.  Instead, I designed you to need Me not only for daily bread but also for fulfillment of deep yearnings.  I carefully crafted your longings and feelings of incompleteness, to point you to Me. Therefore, do not try to bury or deny these feelings.  Beware also of trying to pacify these longings with lesser gods: people, possessions, power.
Come to Me in all your neediness, with defenses down and with desire to be blessed.  As you spend time in My Presence, your deepest longings are fulfilled.  Rejoice in your neediness, which enables you to find intimate completion in Me."  Sarah Young, Jesus Calling

06 December 2011

well... hello long neglected blog

Today, while washing dishes, almost as quality thinking time as the shower, I was pondering why I have such a hard time blogging this semester.  It's not a time issue, really.  I make time for the things I want to do like reading the Hunger Games books twice in one month, painting my nails, Facebooking, etc.   So that's not the problem... 
It's not that I don't have things to write about.  My life is super boring event wise, but the stuff in my head- totally entertaining.  I would know. 
Rather... here is the issue: writing things down sometimes makes them feel real.  It's hard to ignore the truth when it is staring you in the face (I've also been avoiding journaling, just in case you were wondering).  
The truth of my life at the moment is this... I don't really know who I am anymore, and I have no idea where I'm going with my life- at- all.  Let me explain.
Since last February-ish, I've been walking (with Jesus) through the absolute hardest season of my life.  No real reason why.  Lots of little events, lots of thunderstorms in my heart, lots of messy relationships... This season is really shaping my personality.  I'm becoming a girl who has like 2 friends, who might cry more often than she should, who would rather read 10 books in a weekend than go out.  I have taken to avoiding BIG MAJOR life decisions because it's just to stressful to try and think about all the details.  Totally not the college me, most definitely not the high school me.  This conundrum has lead to the directionlessness (I know it's not a word, just go with it) in my life.  I need to make these decisions within the next 2 to 3 months- some sooner, some later, but generally...
1. Where would I like to do my counseling practicum? Orlando? Georgia? Some other random city? 
2. Once I settle on a geographic locale, which counseling center has openings for practicum students and wants to take me on?
3. Where do I want to work while doing my practicum? Serious job like people with college degrees should have or fun jobs that are useful for ignoring the real world?
4. Where do I want to live after graduation? Florida or anywhere else in the world? If it's Florida, I need more practicum hours and classes.  If it's anywhere else in the continental United States, I can most likely graduate in December (of 2012).  Yes... 
5. Do I want to pursue licensure immediately or pursue more ministry related things?

Just a little sampling of the questions rolling around in my head... These don't even begin to touch the "Why Gods?" or the "How is that going to work out?" or the "When is my turn?" kind of questions. These are not leaving a lot of space for poetic words or creative thoughts.  Starting next week, I will begin to deal with these (I promise!)- just as soon as I get back from my 3 days at Disney :)

All I can say is, Jesus take the wheel ;) But don't listen to that song... Listen to this one All Your Life