Wednesday, December 8, 2010

People pleasing is too exhausting.

People pleasing is too exhausting... Because we're not supposed to live like that. Had a really rough day at work today. Like everyone else in the whole world, I have some great days, some good days, and every now and then I have a few bad days. Today.... was one of those days. I even cried at work today. THAT's embarrassing. Oh well...

Anyway, God kinda showed me (again) just how I need to let go of people pleasing. It's IMPOSSIBLE. I need to just focus on Him and everything will work out just fine. It's SO lame that I worry about what other people think of me 9 times out of 10 more than what God, the Creator thinks of me. And HE's the one who loves me UNCONDITIONALLY. He's the one who is rooting for me and praying for me and praying that I experience victory over sin daily. He's the one who is shaping me into a better person; the person he created me to be.

A friend at work reminded me that there's always people that want to bring you down and make you feel bad about yourself. But today was a good reminder to re-center my thoughts and only focus on what's important in life. If I'm constantly worried about every single person that misunderstands me or whatever, then I'm going to be going about life aimlessly trying to prove myself, which is not the way to live. I'm saying all this mostly for myself, but we have no right to gossip about each other or hold grudges because at some point in life, we're all guilty of the same things. Basically, we're all screwed up in some way and we all need to just love each other and forgive each other. :)

I want to live for God!
I found this from my cousin and wanted to share this. This was exactly the reminder I needed today.



People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered.
...Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be
shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.
What you spend years building may
be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have
and you might get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you've got anyway.
- Anonymous



Friday, October 29, 2010

This life and the life to come.

I just love how the Lord reels me in and redirects me and my motives and my goals for how I want to go about my day. Of course, there is always choice involved, and sadly often times I make very self-ceneterd choices on how I want to use my time. But today, God pulled me back, called me to Him, and I responded and I couldn't have been happier on how I spent my time.

First of all: PLEASE DO call me crazy... 

I'm the kind of girl wheere I would rather wake up at 4:30 in the stinkin MORNING to work out and then go to work at 6:30 instead of going to work out at normal times after work.
And for me- working out and health is pretty important to me....
God kinda showed me that maybe it was TOO important to me right now. If I can rise up early to do something good for my physical being, why can't I wake up to take care of my spiritual being? We are both, and both is important to the Lord. But each has it's place... and according to God, godliness has value for NOW and LATER.


"...train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come" 1 Timothy 4:7-8

So, I'll definitely go with God on this one. :)


I've noticed that I can be in the Word and reading my Bible, but if it's in a busy state- if my mind is cluttered and I'm not allowing the Lord or even asking Him to speak, my heart isn't changed. It's still just as ugly and selfish. God will never force Himself upon us. He waits to be invited. He wants to speak to us and change us into who He made us to be.


"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

Anyway, I'm just SO thankful that the Lord is always so good at giving me what I need. I thought I needed a workout, and I just needed time with Him. To REALLY quiet my heart and my soul and open up my life honestly before Him.

"Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry." 1 Corinthians 10:14

From ALL forms. ANYTHING that is more of a priority to us than God. Anything that even lessens our passion for Him.

The places that many Christians run to for shelter can very easily become strongholds in our lives.
I want Jesus to be the center of my heart. Nothing else.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Ugly Plant in a Cold Season

I went on a run this afternoon and I couldn't find my iPod anywhere. Almost contemplated just not running at all since I didn't have anything to run to. Then, I figured... why not take advantage of silence? So I did. I went on a run. I quieted my heart before the Lord and since I wasn't so cluttered in my mind with music, I was able to hear the Lord a little more clearly.

I asked the Lord to speak to me, and He did. As I was running, I was looking around me and thinking how awesome God is that he is a God of HEALING, RESTORATION, and BEAUTY... among many other things. There was some funky plants I saw and I was thinking... Wow, you're ugly looking... But then I realized that they are in a cold season right now, and as seasons pass, they will become more beautiful.

Fall is a representation of shedding. The trees shed leaves; flowers shed off their petals; and we need to be daily shedding off our old self. The harsh cold and winter will allow parts of them to die and then be 'reborn' into something different. Something beautiful... Maybe even to the point where you wouldn't be able to recognize them as what they used to be.



Basically, I had a heart check... I am an ugly plant in a cold season. I just need to wait on the Lord and REALLY trust that He WILL DO what He set out to do.

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6

God ALWAYS keeps His promises. It's in His very nature. So, even me... Someone who can be SO stupid and SO stubborn... and make some of the same mistakes over and over again can change because God WILL do it. I just need to meet him with a willing and obedient heart.

I'm ready to keep pressing on... and let the old self die off and put on the new... I'm ready to let the Lord work and make some changes. "I can do ALL THINGS through Him who gives me strength." Phil 4:13

"Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Phil 3:13-14

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Waiting

Right now, I am in a season of waiting. So many times lately, godly people have spoken into my life and "waiting" has been a reoccuring theme. If you're anything like me, those 2 words should never be put together! I found myself getting a little more frustrated as time went by because... Well, I just made my oatmeal in less than 2 minutes tops.
So in a world where instant oatmeal and direct deposit exist, who likes to wait?

Earlier this morning, I was sitting by the fireplace (which is one of my top favorite things to do in the whole world) reading 1 Samuel. I was blown away by Hannah's heart and her persistence in prayer. She was earnestly seeking the Lord for a son to give to her husband. In that day, barrenness had a huge stigma. It was considered by rabbi's to be a curse from God- an indication of sin or something wrong in their life. Despite the implications barrenness had on her, Hannah perservered in prayer; she went through years of waiting, weeping, and praying. One day, she prayed for a son yet again, and this time, she promises the Lord that if He granted her a son, she will dedicate his whole life to God as a way of giving him back.

God finally answered her prayer. He was just waiting for her prayers to be aligned with his heart. I love that God is never in a rush the way we are. He is so patient and gracious with us. Even though it was a "slow" process; years went by. Through that time, the Lord cultivated in Hannah more intimacy and more of a heart for Him. Initially, Hannah wanted a son to give to her husband, but God wanted a prophet (Samuel) to give to the nation. I'm SO glad that God always sees the bigger picture.

I want to be like Hannah and instead of looking at the areas of life that I am waiting for and; my areas of "barrenness," I want to give my future back to God before He even grants it to me. I want to always look to God to fulfill that empty space in my heart. I don't ever want to look to a job or to a person to fill me the way only God can. So whether it's nursing school, marriage, money, or you name it, I want to surrender my whole life every day, knowing that no matter what happens, He WILL use it for His purpose. He ALWAYS comes through for His kids. I'm thankful that whenever I have moments of selfishness, the Lord has a way of always bringing me back to His heart. I exist for Him. He does not exist for me. I want to live for a Kingdom that is much bigger than me and my little world.





Not my will, but YOURS be done, Lord.
So, here's to waiting and waiting well. :)


Sunday, June 20, 2010

My Harlow Adventuring Experience Thus Far...

I had my first 4 days at Harlow, and we are currently on a Father's Day break. I am so excited to have time away and spend it with family.

I hadn't been out at Harlow since '05 and it's a completely different experience than I last remembered. Obviously, it's a completely different crew for the most part, and I'm older and I'm different than the last time I was there. I was there years ago for the wrong reasons and I was very distracted. Plus, I was in high school... Don't think I need to say more than that. Other than... Yikes... This time, I want to be there for the Lord and for the kids.

Won't really go into too much detail, but prior to applying to camp, (even though it had been YEARS) I felt like God was leading me back to counsel there. I was really SUPER excited about going to camp, but then once I got there, I felt a little weird about it. Doubt started creeping in. I went through a point where I started wondering if I made a mistake coming out to camp. Being relatively outgoing and slightly extroverted, it weirded me out that I started shutting down. Even though I'm slightly extroverted (according to that one ENFJ test thing I recently took, I'm about 51%) I've always had an introverted side... but I've never been introverted to the point where it was almost what felt like 95% of the time. So that kinda freaked me out.

Not sure who's reading this, but if you are, I would love prayer for the next month. I want to have the right attitude and let go of any doubt or discouragement I may have and I want to be a channel of the love of God to these kids. I don't want to go through these next several weeks at camp, shutting down and not being open and available. I know these thoughts that I've been having are not from the Lord and I am trying to take every thought captive to God... Cuz HE is the One I need to look to. My identity is found in Him. My strength lies in Him. I am at the point, where I am realizing (yet again) HOW WEAK I am without Him. And I'm fine with that reminder. I never want to forget how dependent I am upon my Father and my Source. :)

I want to spend the next few weeks being a woman at rest, and being content in who He has made me to be. I don't want to be stressed out and striving. Being introverted is ok as long as it's not debilitating and taking away what I should be doing at camp. I want to trust and relax knowing that as long as I FULLY SURRENDER and have a willing and obedient heart, God can do ANYTHING cuz He's such a big, powerful, and mighty God. I'm SO blessed and thankful to be under His leadership. No matter hard and stretching it may be, I am ready for a heart change!!! :)

So who knows what the next month has for me, but I'm open to whatever God has.
Not my will, but YOURS be done, Lord. :]

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I am excited for those of you who are sending me all sorts of fun mail! Love you all! :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

HONEY ♥

Hey hey hey!

Tomorrow morning bright and early, I will be heading out on a little Eugene adventure. I will be a senior camp counselor at Camp Harlow for the next several weeks! I won't be able to call, text, or email hardly at all....

A few of you asked for my camp address and were interested in writing me and sending me all sorts of fun mail stuff! :)

and I would LOVE THAT!!! It will be so so fun to get letters. There's something so great about real letters versus texting and email. If you write me, I will try my very best to write you back! 

So if this is you......

Write it out to "Honey"

3850 County Farm Road
Eugene, OR 97408


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Becoming Eve ♥

Fallen Eve demands that people 'come through' for her to fill a void.

Redeemed Eve is being met in the depths of her soul by Christ and is FREE to offer to others, FREE to desire, and WILLING to be disappointed.

Fallen Eve has been WOUNDED by others and WITHDRAWS in order to protect herself from further harm.

Redeemed Eve knows that she has something of value to offer; that she is made for relationship. Therefore, being safe and secure in her relationship with the Lord, she can RISK being vulnerable with others and offer her TRUE SELF.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to NO ONE, not even an animal. Wrap it careful round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. 
But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless- IT WILL CHANGE.
It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...
The only place outside of Heaven you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers of love is Hell."

(C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves)

Every time I re-read that quote by C.S. Lewis, part of my heart wakes up again. Last night at the Ruth study, we learned about Yare (greek word for fear), which means "to intellectually anticipate evil."

I was really convicted by that because we are not supposed to live in fear.How often do I live my life out of fear- letting the past hurts and regrets dictate my future. What kind of life is that? A selfish and sad one. Plus living in fear shows that something deep down in my heart doesn't trust that God is bigger than that. It shows that somehow I am not trusting Him to take care of my heart so I have to do it myself. And that's really dumb! He has NEVER let me down.
God is too gracious and too good for me to keep living with "old tapes running through my head (quoting my wonderful mentor)."  Today, I am consciously making the choice to take every thought captive to my Savior and my Redeemer and let Him reveal to me what is true while getting rid of the gunk.

No matter how cruel and awful life gets, I don't ever want to live a life of self-preservation. I don't want my life to be all about me. How empty is that? That's not the life we are called to live. I want to live life abundantly; falling in love with my Maker, and being poured out to bless and love others. Jesus is that never-ending fountain that I must drink of first, in order to channel it out towards others. You can't give what you don't have- We must be filled up in order to pour out.

He offers living water to all who are thirsty. What are we waiting for? :)


Monday, May 3, 2010

Top 10 Reasons Why I LOVED My Extended Spring Break!

Since tonight is the end of my "Extended Spring Break," I only thought it was appropriate to list off all the wonderful things about my 6 weeks of break (no job+ no school= blissful little adventures every single day)

1. God is SO stinkin' GOOD. By His grace, I am whole again. During the first couple weeks of my break, I was having a hard time. I did some "soul searching" and took time to seek His face and figure a bunch of stuff out about myself and life, and He honestly does do "exceedingly abundantly beyond all that {I} could ever ask or think." He has and is continuing to clean out the closet of my heart. He gently started chipping away at things that needed to go to make me more and more into His likeness. Not fully there yet (obviously), but I am excited for what's ahead! Lord, I continue to lay down my agenda and my plans in exchange for You and Your Kingdom. :)

2. I picked up running again. I can run an hour and a half non-stop, but have been running about an hour regularly cuz I get bored after a while... Unless I had a reason to train. Half marathon? People keep asking me, maybe one day I will give in. Until then, it's just for fun and to clear my head and something about being outside makes you come alive!


3. Girlfriends. I have had more time to finally get together and spend quality time with my girls, which is a nice change for students pursuing the medical field. Your life goes down the drain.So it was wonderful being able to do whatever I wanted!



4. Reading. I'm a nerd, and I have had time to read. I am reading Mere Christianity, Crazy Love, and Captivating (again). I am almost done!


5. I got inked! I have two tattoos and I couldn't be happier about them! I got "free" on my wrist to represent the freedom I have in Christ. Also something that was continuously on my heart was "It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE. Stand firm, then and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)"
It's a reminder now that I have the choice every day to be obedient and faithful to the Lord. I don't have to walk back into my old way of living. I can shake off the chains that once bound me. I am free. I also got "my joy knows no bounds" on my foot, which represents all the joy the Lord has given me. Depression and anxiety is no longer a part of my life. That part is dead and He has given me more joy in my life than my body can contain!



6. REST. In one sense, I had a few weeks where I could sleep in and take my time in the morning. In another sense, my heart is at rest. Because of God and His goodness, I am SO content with life and where I am at. I feel refreshed and recharged just in time to start CNA stuff.


7. I went on a RAD beach trip with my BFF and other wonderful older women of the Lord. Learned a lot from watching them and spending time with them. Got to eat a ton of chocolate and dessert (which is always good) and stay up late talking.


8. New friends. Which I am always down for. Met two rad guys at the Lodge a few weeks ago, and have been hanging out every single day ever since usually till 3-4am. Coincidentally (or not) enough, we all ended up having the same "extended spring break." They start their jobs tomorrow and I start my CNA tomorrow. Hello, responsibility. It's been a while. :)

9. Learned/Still Learning that sometimes the best things come in the most unlikely places especially when you are not looking for it. God has a way of surprising you.


10. Probably the BEST reason that I loved this time off: I am learning that God absolutely LOVES us more than I could ever understand. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Why do we hold onto control instead of giving it to Him? He has never steered us wrong and given us any reason not to trust Him. Once I gave my dreams and hopes to Him, He took them and showed me that He can do so much better with the dreams He's placed in my heart than I ever could. I just have to be willing to let go. 


Alright kids, I should be in bed now since I have to wake up and be smart tomorrow! Have a fabulous week! :)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Portrait of an ENFJ (Me!)

ENFJ: "The Giver:"
Extroverted (1%)  iNtuitive (12%) Feeling (88%) Judging (11%) =Extroverted Feeling with Introverted Intuition

-I am slightly more extroverted (51%) than I am introverted (49%).
-Primary mode of living is externally based. I deal with things based on how I feel about them
-Secondary mode is internal, where I deal with things by my intuition.

-Have excellent people skills (more so than any other type)
-Understand and care about people, and have a special talent of bringing out the best in others
-Main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people.
-Focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others.
-Because ENFJ's people skills are so extraordinary, they have the ability to make people do exactly what they want them to do. *Muahaha... just kidding. :)
-Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

-Global learners. They see the big picture.
-ENFJs are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance.
-ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs.Conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly than those of NFP.
-ENFJs know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people.
-ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

-ENFJ's are so externally focused that it's especially important for them to spend time alone
This can be difficult for some ENFJs, because they have the tendency to be hard on themselves and turn to dark thoughts when alone.
-ENFJ's tend to be more reserved about exposing themselves than other extraverted types. 

The ENFJ may feel quite lonely even when surrounded by people. This feeling of aloneness may be exacerbated by the tendency to not reveal their true selves.
-Have definite values and opinions which they're able to express clearly and succinctly. These beliefs will be expressed as long as they're not too personal.


Although they may have strongly-felt beliefs, they're likely to refrain from expressing them if doing so would interfere with bringing out the best in others. 

-People love ENFJs. They are fun to be with.
-They are typically very straight-forward and honest.  
-Usually exude a lot of self-confidence, and have a great amount of ability to do many different things. 
-They enjoy being the center of attention, and do very well in situations where they can inspire and lead others, such as teaching. 
-Face-to-face relationships are intense, personable and warm
-Their genuine interest in Humankind and their exceptional intuitive awareness of people makes them able to draw out even the most reserved individuals.

-ENFJs have a strong need for close, intimate relationships, and will put forth a lot of effort in creating and maintaining these relationships. They're very loyal and trustworthy once involved in a relationship. 

An ENFJ who has not developed their Feeling side may have difficulty making good decisions, and may rely heavily on other people in decision-making processes. If they have not developed their Intuition, they may not be able to see possibilities, and will judge things too quickly based on established value systems or social rules, without really understanding the current situation. An ENFJ who has not found their place in the world is likely to be extremely sensitive to criticism, and to have the tendency to worry excessively and feel guilty. They are also likely to be very manipulative and controling with others.

-In general, ENFJs are charming, warm, gracious, creative and diverse individuals with richly developed insights into what makes other people tick
-This special ability to see growth potential in others combined with a genuine drive to help people makes the ENFJ a truly valued individual. 
-As giving and caring as the ENFJ is, they need to remember to value their own needs as well as the needs of others. 

Jungian functional preference ordering:
Dominant: Extraverted Feeling:
Auxiliary: Introverted Intuition
Tertiary: Extraverted Sensing
Inferior: Introverted Thinking



Taken from Personality Page

If you are interested in knowing yours: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp  
If you take this quiz, leave a comment and let me know what you got! It's fun! :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

BEAUTIFUL LOVE.

This blog entry may be too transparent for my own good, but I felt compelled to write it. I'm not sure why just the idea of blogging seems so counter-intuitive for me. I have a hard time volunteering information about myself and my personal thoughts unless they are little things like "Does my hair look good today?" "No, it does not."  That sort of thing...
I guess part of it is not knowing who reads this (or if anyone reads this), but it always touches my heart when people tell me they were blessed by some little blurp I threw out into cyberspace and called it a blog. But I guess, at the very least, no matter how exposed I feel, it's just good for me to throw it out there just for my own benefit to cleanse my cluttered mind. :)

Right now, I am re-reading Captivating. I read it years ago, and it had an entirely different meaning on my life then when I was in a relationship than it currently does now, as a single person. It speaks to my heart in a different and profound way.

"A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she's loved... Cut off from love, rejected, no one pursuing her, something in a woman wilts like a flower no one waters anymore... The radiance of her countenance goes out, as if a light has been turned off."

Can I get an AMEN? Or... maybe it's just me. :]

This could not have described my heart (a couple weeks ago) any more if it even wanted to. In short, I closed the door on a guy situation. Needless to say, I entertained the possibilities in my head, but there was no way around the fact that we are just not good for each other. If I can't share the most important thing in my life (The Lord, My Maker, My Savior... it could go on and on) with the potentially most important person in my life... How could that work? Even though my foolish heart wanted to do otherwise, the Spirit was leading me to obedience... to keep this door closed.

Lord, I CHOOSE You. I CHOOSE obedience. So I let/am continuing to let this go.
Savior, keep saving me.

And there is something to be said about the wrong people pursuing you... Because they are not right for you, it doesn't open up your heart the way you would, knowing it was right. It's not supposed to work. So therefore, it doesn't. Not in the long run.

Through this weird situation, the Lord has shown/is showing me that even though my heart felt like it's "wilted." It's because I have placed importance on man. Our value as people is not dependent upon what people think of us. It's not up to them to decide what you are worth or if you are beautiful or not. As His children, we automatically have infinite value because we are marked by blood. There is Someone that is ALWAYS pursuing you, dear heart (whoever you are that is reading this). I don't know about you, but I know how quickly I forget that.

"The beauty of a woman is at first a soulish beauty" the same way "the strength of a man is at first a soulish strength- a strength of heart." It's something that comes from within. It's something that comes alive when we are at rest in the Lord; when we are content in His leadership.

Why are there so many romance novels, movies, and good ol sappy country love songs? Because we were stinkin made for a Great Romance! But Jesus, Himself, is the ONLY ONE who can offer it consistently and deeply. It is not until we have fallen in love with the Lord and given Him our WHOLE hearts that we are able to truly love another person. A relationship then becomes two givers giving to each other; two servants looking for ways to serve and bless the other person, and not two takers; two selfish people.

I realized that when I was looking to other things and other people, of COURSE, my heart was disappointed, hurt, and restless.

But these last few days, I have asked the Lord to open my eyes to see all the ways He does romance me; to look for Him in the most unusual, unsuspected places. He is bringing me back to a deeper love for Him than I have ever had before. This is uncharted waters for me because I have never been a follower of the Lord and single at the same time. So it's easy to say He is your First Love when you have someone holding your hand through life on the side.

"I stand now in this risky place of vulnerability, with a bleeding heart waiting and praying. Every day I must CHOOSE to lay down my defensiveness and ALLOW the healing balm of Jesus to attend to my wound and allow him to be MY God, MY Strength, MY Defender."
 
 The Lord is more than willing to clean and disinfect our hearts just like he healed the leper (Mark 1:40). That is a physical picture of our spiritual reality. My spiritual reality. So, in this new season, I REFUSE to be led and governed by my emotions. Lord, I want to be governed by Your Spirit. I want to live every day with passion, love, and grace. I want to live every day for the Lord. Life is too short to live selfishly. It just leaves you jaded, empty, and lost. Anyone who has tried that can testify that a selfish life is an empty one.

Needless to say, when my head and heart connected; understanding and grasping the DEPTH and REALITY of the love of MY Maker, My First Love, and how He pursues us, I started to come back ALIVE.

"But this same woman, who everyone thought was rather plain and unengaging, becomes lovely and inviting when she is pursued. Her heart begins to come alive, come to the surface, and her countenance becomes radiant."

Whoever you are, wherever you are, you are BEAUTIFUL. You are LOVED. Not only by me, but by the Defender of Your Heart. The One who knew you before you were ever born. Live for Him. He will NEVER let you down. EVER.
 
KNOW (REALLY know) you are pursued by the LORD, and let your heart come to experience abundant life!

He really IS "able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)." He will bless us with something far greater and reward us for our faith and obedience. Not to mention we will have a deeper love and appreciation for who He is.

"We love because He first loved us." 1 John 4:19

Lord, You are MY First Love. Recapture my heart.

 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Welcome Love, I have made a place for you here. ♥

Today is a beautiful day, and life has been looking up. Thanks to the Lord, and to a change of perspective. Life it too short to think that every day is the worst day in the whole world. It's not. :)
Every single day is a beautiful opportunity to make the most of such a big adventure!

So I decided I would kick off today with listing the little things in life that make me happy:
1. Being able to sleep in and take my time getting ready, which most likely includes: Sitting by the fireplace in my big squishy chair with a big cup of coffee in one hand and my Bible in the other.


2. Walking around downtown- Night or day- and discovering new, fun, little places, and meeting all kinds of interesting people.

3. Camping with friends! Or anything outdoors, really!

4. The feeling you get after working out or going for an hour long run. Then you feel like you can eat anything you want. or take on the world. Either works just fine. :]

5. When you are standing in line, ready to pay, and some sweet guy in front of you pays. haha don't worry, I'm not one of those girls that expects this, but it's such a sweet surprise when it happens. There really are nice guys out there. Thank you, Mr. Nice Stranger! Wherever you are!

6. When you are thinking about calling or texting someone because they have been on your mind lately, and they beat you to it, because they were thinking of you, too! :)

7. Meeting new people that you instantly feel super comfortable with. You don't need to pretend to be anything other than what you really are. You don't need to pretend to be super happy all the time. They have seen you at your worst, and they still just want to spend time with you.
Probably one of the sweetest things one of my friends, Erin, did for me was when I was in the BIGGEST FUNK of my life... Like SO down and out, she put down whatever she was doing (which was probably more important) and just sat with me in that moment. She didn't say a whole lot, but just her being there, holding my hand- her presence spoke more than words ever could.


8. Dessert, which is always a good idea. Especially, anything with chocolate or raspberries.Or the dessert-like breakfasts! Yum!




9. Big rings and accessories. I love fashion, but not in the typical trendy magazine sense. It's so fun to make your own style for your personality. Especially vintage shopping. gets the best of me. every time.

10. Having two wonderful big brothers. God has graciously brought them into my life and I don't know what I would do without them. They keep me out of trouble, and I keep them in line. It's a very functional relationship. I stinkin love my family. :)
Bryan- Funny how I met this kid. By a Divine appointment. We were in religion class together, and now we are lifelong friends and family. I love making friends in the weirdest ways and in the most random places.

Sarah, Me, and Josh (on the right)
Sarah is now in HAWAII! She is going to do great things there and learn lots about herself and about the Lord. I have know Sarah for years, and its so cool to see her change and love the Lord!
and Josh, you are a rad brother. So glad I have you and Bryan to look up sketchy guys and be willing to show up at their doorstep and scare them. :o)

11. My sister makes me happy! Especially when she is home for breaks! Love her! I couldn't have asked for a better sister/friend in life. I love that we are so close in age that we go through a lot of the same things together or one of us went through it a little bit before so we can give each other advice.

12. Being in a roomfull of books. Barnes and Noble and Powells... I could stay there for hours. I'm a total nerd. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Don't look ahead, just run to me; each step will find the next one recklessly."

Just got back from meeting with my wonderful friend Carolyn.
A lot of things made more sense, and at the same time... I am a little bit more confused. Now, I have even more things to think about. Which is kind of hard on 3 hours of sleep. Nothing is very clear at the moment. :)

We talked a lot about life n stuff. She very rightfully suggested that I may be putting too much pressure on myself... Somehow, I have it stuck in my head that I am 21 and therefore, I supposedly need to know exactly what I am doing with my life, and map out some sort of game plan with very little wiggle room. Very little room to enjoy life and being young. I don't necessarily mean that in the reckless sense, but it's just so weird that we always operate and plan for the future at the expense of the moment we are given here and now. What if that future tomorrow never comes? Then we would have wasted our present, living in vain for the future. I want to redeem the time, now. I want to live for what's really important, and not out of expectations and what people think I should do or be to become successful in the eyes of the world. What is that anyway?

Honestly, if it were up to me, and time and money were not an obstacle, I would be content working at a coffee shop and being a camp counselor. Not forever, just for now. I got offered a job at a coffee shop yesterday, and I am very tempted to take it. The only thing holding me back is things that I think I should be pursuing for my future. There is always such a disconnect between who you want to be and what others expect of you; what you want to do and what you think you should do.

Anyway, I am a little conflicted. I feel like I have to instantly jump into working in a hospital and getting a ton of experience before nursing school... which I am a little uncertain of too. I just feel like once I get a job at a hospital or start nursing school, I am forced to all of a sudden skip a phase of life and become a full blown adult. It's not that I'm afraid of growing up, I'm not. It's just that I've had to grow up really fast as it is already. So I feel like it makes more sense to take my time, enjoy life and this new season, and really figure out who I am. 

Lately, I have been craving different. Probably because for the past 3 years, I have had so much stability in life: I had the same job, I was on the same career path in school, I was dating the same person, I had the same group of friends. Not a whole lot was different. But now I am stuck in between two stages of life. I have been branching out in so many different ways. Reading books that I wouldn't normally pick up, listening to different genres of music, hanging out with different groups of people. Basically, I am just living outside of my comfort zone. Supposedly, until about the age of 25 your frontal lobe is not fully developed. So I guess if that theory is correct, I have some soul searching in front of me.

But I guess now, while I actually have time for myself, is the best time to re-evaluate life and what I am doing. This morning at the 6am study, we were encouraged to think about what our gifts are so that we can use them to the fullest measure instead of trying to be something else.

Not sure why I am pressuring myself to grow up any faster than I need to... I'm 21, and I should be soaking up and appreciating every moment. . Man, life is such a weird and wonderful journey. Once you think you have life figured out... You realize, you don't. Not at all.

Not sure if this even made any sense, and if you have made it this far, congratulations. I will make you a cupcake.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Cutesy Little Cottage Bliss

This is where we slept and stayed up late girl talking it up. :)
Our cute little cottage. When I heard "beach house" I thought we were gonna be roughin it all weekend so I didn't even bring things to shower. I was wrong. We were spoiled. :)
This is the other house where the older gals stayed.
Our weekend getaway/ birthday adventure consisted of:
1. Lots of surprises- the best one being Ash's face when we all popped out of the stairwell.
2. LOTS of chocolate and dessert. I was in Heaven. :)
3. Laughter, games, and other sillyness.
4. Late night conversations and girly confessions.
5. Wonderful advice from the older gals on the trip. One of the best things to keep in mind- If you see an attractive, "exciting guy," mark him and avoid him, and give the seemingly boring nice guys a second glance. They may end up being perfect for you. hah :)
6. Walks on the beach
7. Buying salt water taffy and more sugar than was necessary.
8. Shopping at the cute little outlet mall and getting rad deals! I got a ton of stuff for under $20 all together. It almost felt WRONG that it was so cheap! But hey, I'll take it!
9. Singin in the car, listening to sappy country love songs. Perfection.
10. and last but not least, wonderful friends. wonderful company. :)

Happy Birthday Ash! -One of the best friends a girl could ever ask for! You  are beautiful! Thank you for blessing my life in a special way! Here's to you, darling! ;)
 
Super cute mirror. Needed to be documented.
On the drive home back from the beach.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Mind Detox

Earlier today, I went for a run and you know those days where you just stop and look at a simple tree or flower, and it just strikes you differently, somehow.While I was running, I couldn't help but think that I breeze past so much that I forget to appreciate the simple beautiful things in life.
This weekend I promised myself to go on what I am calling a Mind Detox. I am going to do a lot of reflecting and reevaluating. I am not going to be on facebook for a few days and getting rid of some of the gunk in my life that I have carelessly let in.
"Watch the little things; a small leak will sink a great ship (Benjamin Franklin)."
Going for a run was so cleansing. A mix of fresh air and rain... Letting my thoughts run with me, and sorting things out.  

What in my life needs to go? What is holding me back?

Today, I realized I take a lot of things for granted. I don't ever want to do that. 
Not a lot in life is guaranteed. We are not guaranteed second chances at things. We're not even guaranteed tomorrow. Friends, family, and people we love aren't fixed constant things in our lives. Things happen every day that no one expects could ever happen. Sickness, death, heartbreak... I don't say this lightly. We are only given one life here on this earth. Am I living it with meaning and purpose? Am I LIVING at all or just letting life happen to me? 

I am a big believer in the fact that your past experiences shape who you are, but you are not doomed to a certain fate. I don't believe in using your past as an excuse to act a certain way. There comes a point in your life when you realize you are an adult and you can change if you are willing.
Something else I realized: People aren't always going to understand or agree with decisions you believe are right. People are always going to have their opinions. I don't want to be enslaved to the fear of man. I want to care primarily about what God thinks, and if I'm ok and at peace with things, then it shouldn't matter. Here's to letting go of caring too much about what other people think.
Here's to life. and REALLY LIVING. ♥


photo credit: Abbie Kirpatrick. She's awesome. :)
 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Confessions of a Semi-Frequent Insomniac:

  1. I am not perfect AT ALL. But if I'm going to believe something, I want to try and believe it with my whole heart. There's no point in dedicating your life to something you don't honestly believe in yourself. it's just empty religion.
  2. I have moments of impulsion. Moments where I don't want to feel predictable. Sometimes it's fun to wear something people would never expect you to wear or do something no one would ever expect you to do!
  3. I am emotional. Meaning, I am very in tune and self aware of how I am feeling. I used to think this was a bad character trait until my trip to India. One of my friends had told me it's good to express yourself and not hold it in. I don't cry a lot, but now if I want to cry, I'm going to just go for it. :)
  4. I am a straight-shooter. I hate the word "blunt" to describe this. I feel like there is a tactful, loving, and kind way to be open and honest with someone if you feel it's your place. I hate it when people just word vomit awful things to people and excuse it as "bluntness." No, that's just RUDE.
  5. I love passion. Even if it's misguided, I would take passion over apathy any day. What is the point of life if you aren't really LIVING?
  6. I try and be relatively healthy and work out, but when given the opportunity, I will 99.9% of the time, make an exception for french fries and dessert. Or a milkshake. Don't judge. I will eat something that tastes bad, but is good for me. I will eat something that is bad for me and tastes good.
  7.  I love questions. I have an open heart. Sometimes too open. I love meeting new people and getting to know them on a deeper level. There's only a few things I won't tell you. But there's not much personal stuff I will volunteer unless I get asked.
  8.  Sometime in my life before I settle down, I would love to just travel. Just go somewhere- anywhere. I love learning about other cultures, beliefs, and different ways of living. 
  9. I don't worry about things I probably should worry about. Taking the max late at night, going for midnight runs, and leaving my bags unattended... I need to be better about that.
  10. I am a sucker for a depressing love song. Or reading a tragedy. 
  11. Something about fireplaces makes me so happy. Love wearing slippers and wrapping myself up in a blanket- curling up in a big chair, reading next to the fireplace with a latte.
  12. I hate it when guys are passive. Especially when they expect girls to ask them out.
  13. I love honesty. I will respect you, no matter how presumably shocking it may be. I will always take the truth over what you think I want to hear. 
  14. I am such a cheese. There is so much freedom is admitting you're not cool. :o) You can now do anything you want.





  15. I am not addicted to coffee, I just can't get enough of it! ...if that makes sense. hah. There is something SO good about a cup of coffee. 
  16. I have big hopes and dreams. If life gets the best of me, I try not to let it get me down. I refuse to become bitter and jaded.
  17. I'm usually easy-going and comfortable around everybody. But when someone acts awkward and nervous, it starts to make me feel awkward and nervous. The only exception is if I think a boy is really cute. Then until I open up, I'm just a shy mess.
  18. I'm both a morning person and a night person. I can stay up till 2am (sometimes even later, which is gross) easily or I can flip to waking up at 4/5am. After 3 years of working at Starbucks, I can be flexible in my sleep patterns.
  19. I am borderline overly-affectionate. with girls. Especially big hugs and holding hands. I have just had too many people come in and out of my life unexpectedly. People that I thought would never move, have moved and left. Now, I want to appreciate every single person for who they are and love them as much as I possibly can. We're not guaranteed anything or anybody. We may not have tomorrow. Love today

      Basically, I'm crazy. :)
      There's more, but we'll save the other confessions for the many more nights ahead where I can't fall asleep.



        Monday, March 29, 2010

        Sunday in Corvallis

        Yesterday was perfect. Probably just what I needed. I woke up at 7am, and hit the road and headed to Corvallis for the day to spend time with family, and got to hang out with one of my best friends last night, which was so good for me. Lately, my head has been in the clouds. There is this one particular thing that has been on my mind. My head has been so clouded lately, that it's a little concerning to me. I don't remember the last time I was so back and forth on something. Usually, I am pretty decisive and stick with it. Now, my head and my heart feel a little disconnected.

        If anyone out there has any advice on how to smack some decent sense into someone, feel free. I'm open to it. :)

        I got to hang out with my little cousins. Here's Kayla. She's a little sassy frass, but after years, she finally decided I was worth hanging out with. She used to hate me before. Why would anyone hate me, honestly??? ;)

         There she is again. In her own little world.



        Here's me, lil K, and my 14 year old cuz: Christina.


        Even though it was just Corvallis, it was nice to get away from here for a day, get fresh air, and spend it with my cousins that I don't see a whole lot.

        I'm in this new, weird, exciting chapter in my life where: a. I don't work, and b. I don't go to school. So, basically, I'm a nerd right now. But it's only for a month until I start CNA stuff. But I am excited cuz for the past 3 years (especially the last year where I was taking a RIDICULOUS amount of school) I hardly had time for anyone or anything else, really. Of course, I would try and make time, but even then it felt like time was so limited.
        So now, I am trying to take FULL ADVANTAGE of this time. I haven't moved out yet, and depending on the interview this week and the job possibilities, I may not even move out for the next few months at least. When am I ever going to have a month of basically whatever I want to do without responsibilities?

        HOPE YOU ALL HAVE A BEAUTIFUL DAY! DOING WHATEVER IT IS YOU ARE GOING TO DO! :)

        Tuesday, March 23, 2010

        I'm a Child.

        What do you do when life doesn't go the way you planned for it to?

        That is a question that I've been wrestling with all day. Looking back on my life, if I were to have written my own story (with a fresh clean slate) I would have written something completely different for myself. Maybe not fame and fortune, but I would have loved a life void of pain, suffering, and heartbreak.

        Now wouldn't that be nice? Kind of. But that's yet to come (in Heaven), but for now struggle is important in the process of growth and maturity: "After you have suffered a while, he himself will mend that which is broken (1 Peter 5:10)."

        If all the struggles and sufferings were eliminated, we would not grow any more than would a child. Our Heavenly Father wants to see his kids grow up.

        The name of God I got at the Women's All Night In Prayer (for what God was going to personally be for me this year), was "Father-Daddy." I am realizing more and more how God desires to be my father. My PERFECT Father. A Father that never has and NEVER WILL fail me.
        Tonight,I feel like child... going through moments of rebellion. I'm stubborn and fickle- surrendering things to the Lord, and a day later, trying to take it back; insisting that my way is best. But my patient, ever-loving, all-knowing Father knows best and has my best in mind. He wants me to grow up and trust Him.

        God calls us to be Child-LIKE in our faith. Not Childish. :)

        10 things I am specifically thankful for from God, my Father-Daddy this week:

        1. Protection- It has been SO evident that He has been protecting me from things that I do or don't realize are harmful to me.
        2. Provision- He is always ENOUGH.
        3. Comfort-(2 Cor 1:3-4; Ps 34:18)
        4. Prayer- He is praying for me (and you!), specifically.
        5. LOVE- The God of the Universe, Creator of the whole world loves us! Should I say more? :]
        6. Patience- I am crazy, stubborn, foolish and impulsive at times, and the Lord (My Dad) is so patient. His mercy remains.
        7. Direction & Guidance- Realizing my plans stink... and His way is best.
        8. His loving discipline- Sometimes, I just need to get a wake up call. :o)
        9. He is always up- If I am having a hard time sleeping, I can curl up on my bed and spend time with him; ask him questions, tell him what's going on in my life, and he CARES. (1 Peter 5:7)
        10. He is sympathetic- Sometimes when no one else in the world can understand exactly how you feel, My God can. My Dad can. :)

        Friday, March 19, 2010

        Welcome to my Blog!

        Why hello whoever you are!
        I thought I would start off by introducing myself... Seemed only fitting. :)
        I'm Jess!

        I am a student: 
        *First and foremost, I am a student of Jesus. He is the Lord of my life, Lover of my heart, and my Master and King. I love waking up every single day, knowing that I am loved by my Creator and learning new things about Him and His heart for us. He's so great!
        *Secondly, I am student of life and experiences. I love to travel and learn about different cultures and people... and learn from mistakes. Hopefully, I learn them quickly and don't make multiple mistakes over and over again... But I am a work in progress. Thankful for the Lord's grace and patience with me!
        *Thirdly, I am a student of miserable (and sometimes wonderful) textbooks. I am currently at PSU. Hoping to be a nurse someday. I just finished all my nursing prerequisites.Honestly, if nursing school wasn't SO competitive, I would totally nerd it up and just go to school forever if I could! Well, you know what I mean. I would just have so much fun learning, but just the idea of competing among thousands to get a spot, makes it so stressful. 

        A few random quirks:


        *I am an affection lover? I am convinced that touch is one of my love languages. Sometimes I just feel the need to hug people or hold their hand... even if I met them within minutes. Don't worry... I realize how strange this is.
         *I am a hand liker? Love to talk with my hands. I notice people's hands.
        *I am a closet nerd.I LOVE to read and learn new things. I find school so fun! Minus the moments of stress!
        *I am introverted. I promise this is true! People don't believe me until I explain since it seems so unlikely. I am an uninhibited introvert. I draw a lot of my energy from being alone. I value and need my alone time, but at the same time I don't have a "social handicap" or a hard time hanging out and being with people.
        *I am a sock LOVER. Don't even get me started. I love socks so much in fact, that I must wear them to sleep. Even in the summer.
        *I am not the best at drinking. Whatever that means. I don't like the taste of wine at all, but part of me wants to make myself "acquire the taste" just cuz wine is so classy. haha :o) I am starting to think that even one drink triggers migraines for me. Or maybe it's a conincidence? Anyone know??
        *I am a fashionista? One of my friends calls me a fashionista. I just thought that was so hilarious. I wasn't completely sure what that meant, but apparantly google search told me that a fashionista is "not to be confused with someone who is an obsessive trend follower. A real fashionista is someone that is dedicated to unique or high fashion clothing." Hey, I can dig that (Thanks Bryan)!
        *I am an ex-barista. I just quit working at Starbucks (after 3 years there). It's a completely different experience being on the OTHER side of the counter after working there... and I realized, I hate it. Part of me wants to jump back there and help or something... or maybe I just feel out of place being a customer after I know everything that goes on there. So now, I am a coffee convert. No more Starbucks, if I can help it. I am going to local shops, and realizing... hmm there is actually better coffee out there! Thank goodness I got out of my bubble before it was too late! 
        Speaking of too late, it's almost 2am. I should go back to writing my final paper!

        P.S. Not sure if anyone will ever read this, but if you are reading this feel free to say hello on here, so I can find your blog! :)


        Hope you all have a beautiful, wonderful weekend! ♥