Sunday, December 7, 2008

Quick note

hey, a quick note on that last post. i'm not trying to be a baby about all of this, and i understand that it's a natural stage of life. i just was feeling rotten and needed to vent some of it out.

So yeah...not being fatalistic or a cry baby...just getting emotions out so i can work through them properly.

love you all!!

Not a Dry Spot on My Face

As Brandon and I always sang every year, "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat..." My parents always had something new or different for us as Christmases as home would go. It was still new, but in a different way when Brent and Brandon went off to college and we moved, and that was hard enough for me. I'm wondering how I'm going to stand this year. It's already been hard enough. Advent stuff is going on at churches, the school is decked in Christmas decorations, they just had their Christmas party, Christmas songs are everywhere, and yet I find that I can't sing them. This year we add a family member to our Christmas celebration as Lacy will be joining our family in May. I couldn't be happier about that, she truly is a blessing and TONS of fun. I can't say I'm liking the other changes though. The realization that now not only do I have to share my brother with another girl, but I have to share him with a whole nother family with their traditions and celebrations. Our holidays will never be the same. Did I waste the time that I had with my family? Brandon also has an amazing girl friend, which still makes me laugh since we, as a family, always gave him grief about the girls in his life. Now that I'm facing the differences with Brent, I wish I would have kept my mouth shut, as if that would have done anything to keep Brandon from finding this amazing girl, so i could hold on to him as my brother for a little longer. Did I miss the best years of our lives? Did I close my eyes to them? Or am I just going through the wonderful process of letting go?

For a short time my family will all be together at the beginning of my Christmas break, but then we start separating and going our separate ways. I admit that I've been trying to find something for me to do during Christmas after people start leaving, so that it doesn't seem so empty at my house. I'm not sure I'll be able to stand it. Even with just Brent gone. I've never handled uncontrollable change well, and this is no different. I want so much to be happy, because I know this is all a natural part of life changing and perhaps getting better, but it hurts so much.

During church, I have to admit I really didn't hear much of Pastor Allen's message on peace (perhaps I should have listened better). I was thinking about the celebration of Christmas. How can I feel like I'm losing so much and still celebrate the same way. It's been about whatever we do, doing it as a family. If it was traveling to New York, Ohio, Chicago, staying home, caroling, being in Christmas productions, hosting the Christmas party at camp, whatever we did, we did it as a family. The was the one tradition that never changed. That was the only real tradition we had. I know I'm probably overreacting, because we WILL be together for a good while. I just can't seem to shake this feeling of loss. It didn't hit me when Brent and Brandon went to college, when Brent got a girlfriend, when I left for college, when Brandon got a girlfriend, so why is it hitting me now. The happy time of the year, and all I want to do is cry at the changes.

I did have a random thought as I was sitting in church today about the Christmas season and Mary. I looked at the way that I celebrate Christmas. The times that I always considered celebrating were those times that we had a group of people, family, friends and we were singing Christmas songs, eating Christmas food, playing games, sitting around and talking, catching up, etc... I lost myself during the singing thinking about the "first Christmas" as they call it. Some could argue that the first Christmas had a big party, singing angels, lots of people (the shepherds), the hosts of the party (Mary and Joseph), and the life of the party (Christ). But what does it say in Luke 2:19, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart." I know many who have made so much from that one sentence. I always looked at and thought that it was sort of a strange thing for her to do. I would always figure that she should have been rejoicing, after all, she was just a part of one of the biggest miracles in the history of the world. So in my thinking about it today, I wondered if our culture, even Christian culture, even in my own mind, if I've partied Christmas too much. There definitely nothing wrong with Christmas parties, even with the idea of celebrating Christ with many people as the shepherds did. But I wonder if I've missed part of the glory of Christmas, by never being quite and "treasuring up all these things and pondering them in my heart." I've never just sat during the Christmas season and lost myself in thoughts to and from God about his sons birth; I always just figured with the year after year stories and celebrations that there would be nothing that I could miss in all the season. The Lord has been opening my eyes through Old Testament History that no matter how many times I hear or read even the most basic story in the Bible, there is one more thing he can show me.

I don't know really where I was going with that, but I thought it was an interesting thought. Something I might try this my extra time at home.

I'll be home hopefully by supper time on Friday the 12th, and I can't wait to see my parents (even though I just saw them on Thanksgiving). Then having the rest of my family joining us. I pray and hope that I'll put aside my sorrow and hurt and enjoy the blessing of a close family that the Lord gave me!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


"I'm guilty." echos in my mind just like it does in KJ-52's song about judgment of our lives in which Christ will take our blame before the father. Tonight was one of those rare nights where I just sort of spill whatever wants to come out of my mouth. I stepped on some toes rather firmly. I later (like 2 minutes later) apologized because I realized what I had done. As the night wore on and we had more conversation, we came to the realization that I was sticking my nose in a place where it shouldn't be unless it is as a Christian sister who is concerned, not as a Christian sister confronting. I went back to doing my homework, and I just can't concentrate. I realized that exactly what I spoke up and accused her of, I was doing in a different area of my life, just secretly.

Lord I pray that you will help cleanse my mind of the pollution that I have put there. Guide my heart back to fellowship with you and those whom I have wronged!

The Lord works in mysterious ways. When I think I'm the most in touch with Him, I'm humbled the most, with the realization that I'm such a sinner incapable of doing right!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pity the Worms!!!

So, this isn't the greatly anticipated 3rd part to my series, but it was time to write again. I figured, while I was awake with this new found energy, I could put it to good use. I should probably explain how I got to the point where I am sitting here, listening to music and writing a blog at 12:46 on a school night.

I've been here at school for 3 months and have had yet to really get truly homesick. Now, yes, I've missed my family. I've even had the occasional, "I want to go home" moments, but true homesick where I just think I'm going to cry, scream or throw myself out a window hadn't hit me until Friday. I was planning on going home this weekend, then in a series of strange events it didn't seem like it was going to happen. After a day of letting that digest, I got really depressed. I ended up in my room bawling for about a half hour. Colleen then sat me down and looked me straight in the face and said, "You are going home this weekend or I will hurt you." She told me that she wanted me to leave at 3 and we started the search around the school for someone to come home with me.

As it turns out, everyone I would ask would be busy with the SAME paper. I finally came to the realization that I was going to have to brave the 4 hours in the car alone. Colleen and set up a pact that I would call her every hour so that SOMEONE would know that I was still alive! Some might ask at this point why I didn't just call my mother every hour, since she was the one that I was dying to see. The point of the visit was for the fact that I was homesick, just as much as it was going to be awesome to try to surprise my parents. I departed at 4, an hour after I expected to simply for the reason that I had some previously planned "dates" (meaning planned events) that I couldn't get out of. The whole trip up, I was getting a huge headache and planning different situations for surprising my parents. I arrived after an uneventful trip to an empty house and waited for my parents to return home. We had a very joyful reunion and short planning session for Saturday then all hit the sack.

Saturday was pretty much an unplanned, organized day; pretty typical for my family. Woke up to GOOD waffles made by my dad, then spent the morning running around with my mom and sitting at the senior class bake sale FREEZING to death!! After an AMAZING lunch (did I mention that I LOVE homemade food from my mommy?!?) my mom and got out the Christmas decorations. Now, before you freak out because we did Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving, we have reasons for it. For one, it's snowing all the time anyways. Secondly, the stores have their Christmas decorations up, why shouldn't we. Thirdly, on Thanksgiving break time will be short to put up decorations and there really isn't any other better time when I could help. So, that being said, on with the description of my weekend. Lydia (I love that girl!) joined us for supper then her and I headed with Katie (Love that girl too!) to Marika's for a movie and socializing time! The evening sadly had to come to an end, and I went to bed.

Sunday I rose a little sluggishly, so the amazing french toast was scarfed a bit and I just rushed for the rest of the morning to get over to the church for praise team practice. I never notice how fast I lose my ability to sight read when I don't use it. But it was a fun adventure. I then was worn out by preschoolers in my mom's Sunday school class. Church was amazing!

I love my dad's preaching! The Lord uses his words in my life so much! He spoke in Ecclesiastes and it so much so spoke to me. Whether it means anything to you or not, I'm going to give you the actual notes.

Text: Ecclesiastes 5:1-5:7

I. Approach God's presence prudently. (Guard your feet!) - Eccl 5:1a

A. God knows the heart/motives/reality of the hearts that come to worship Him. - Isaiah 1:10-17

B. Responses to God's presence:

1. Confession

2. Repentance

3. Expression of your faith

C. Reactions from God:

1. Cleansing from Sin

2. (I missed this one...the power point skipped it)

II. Listen attentively, never rashly. - Eccl 5:1b

III. Speak cautiously, never hastily. - Eccl 5:2-6

A. Revere God for who He is. - vs. 2-3

B. Make good on your promises to God. - vs. 4-5 - Duet 23:21

C. Understand the price of a broken vow to God. - vs. 6-7

1. It is sin

2. Excuses are not acceptable

3. Loss may be brought upon us

So What?


"The fear of the Lord is a state of mind in which one's own attitudes, will, feelings, deeds, and goals are exchanged for God's"

- John MacArthur

As I was thinking about all the "When I grow up I want to be..." I found myself making promises to God. Nothing "serious" or so I thought. I just told Him things like, "If you show me what to do this week or reveal something this week I'll do such and such." Half the way through the sermon this morning, I knew the error of my way and was totally convicted. Let me tell you what, being stuck in a car for 4 hours alone, give you lots of God conversation time.

I arrived back at the school after driving through 6 snow storms (only one of them was bad enough that I couldn't see 3 cars ahead of me and I didn't go over 30 mph). I spent some time socializing around then headed down to do my laundry. Through the night I made a couple mistakes and took some teasing too far that led to some rather large tension between me and one of my best friends. So much so that at 11 I decided to go sit in a stairwell and wait for them to come and let me explain, which I knew they wouldn't do. I had some compassionate arms hold me and say a prayer that I'd be able give it up to God, then came the real kicker. God took this situation where I was so broken knowing that I had done this without meaning to and now had no way to fix it at all, and He used it to his advantage. He brought the right person with the right topic on mind to challenge how I thought about the whole situation. We talked until curfew (midnight) and I decided it was time to get some thoughts out. Now I find myself pretty much fully awake, so I think it's time to do some homework.

Thanks for listening to me ramble!

Monday, October 27, 2008

When I grow up I want to be... Part 2

In my searching and thinking about my life/career goals and the next step for my life, I was challenged by a friend to think of anything that I've wanted to do ever. This is not an exhaustive list, but it covers the main random ideas.

Learn to dance (anything but ballet)

Travel in the USA

Travel in Europe

Perform in a community theater production

Stay in a cabin on a mountain

Perfect singing/acting ability through coaching

Fly in a plane

Spend time on a ship

Live in an apartment complex or rented house with a group of friends

Go backpacking

Walk in a Life Walk or for another cause

Participate in a social cause event

Learn to massage

Have a makeover

Do a makeover on someone

Learn to cut hair

Go snowboarding

Overcome shyness

Travel with no reserves

Settle down with a family

Learn not to be dependant on money in a money dependant world

Disappear to the world for a time

Build something (building) in relief efforts

Get a tattoo

Live on an island

Go on a road trip

Own a fix it house to rent out until I choose to live in it

Learn to play the violin

Shave my head

Now bouncing once more off the saying about God caring less about our happiness and more about our holiness, I know that doing something just because I want to do it isn't the right idea. I still pose the question, are the emotions and desires that I have totally humanistic, or can God work through those? I know this list means absolutely nothing in the view of my life on earth or in my eternal life, but what if when doing something off of this list, I allowed God to guide me? Would it then be the right plan for my life?

I feel like in a search for my passions and desires, the things I've desired to do could shed light on what that is. So once again, I ask for prayer.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

When I grow up I want to be... Part 1

As a little girl, I was very much so a girly girl. My career goals proved that. My list went as follows: ice skater, gymnist (those two were smashed when I found my complete and utter lack of cordination and flexiblity), actress, singer and mother. Now while those were nice goals, they didn't really fit me nor my resources nor my anything. Hmmm. So I moved on in life and my next set of career goals were even better: CSI agent, fashion designer (when I have no fashion sense myself), interior designer, author, massuese, cosmatologist or teacher. Those were great too (some of them better than others), but they still just didn't seem to catch my attention or passion. That brings me to the point where I am now. Did I miss God's memo, his urging in my life telling me what to become for all the rest of my earthly days? Did I not seek God's will for my life with enough zeal or passion? Should I even be seeking God's will, or is it more, doing God's will in the situations of life I'm in? Should the better question be what does God want from a Christians life? Or, where could God use me most? Or, where could I learn the most about God?

I know the saying "God cares less about what makes you happy and more about what makes you holy." It is so true, but what if I don't feel like I'm even getting an answer on what is making me holy?

So, here is part 1 of hopefully a 3 part blog on finding the goals for my life. Be praying for me!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ramblings at 2:48

It's 2:48 AM and I'm awake. Word of warning, don't drink a Hot Chocolate/French Vanilla drink at midnight and expect to sleep any time soon! So instead I'm filling my time with something useful, setting up my blog so inquiring family and friends can be updated on my life!

The rest of the school has just switched classes as our block just changed, but as freshman we have another block of Hermeneutics I and Pentateuch. Since I'm not taking any more electives, that means that my classes stay exactly the same. For once I'm glad for the consistancy. We had Jody Reithmiller for Genesis, which is the first half of Pentateuch, and Jody is awesome, no other way to say it! He holds our attention, never backs down from a tough question unless he just doesn't know, and will admit that somethings just DON'T matter in the eternal view of life, so therefore they don't matter enough to get worked up over. The second half of Pentateuch includes Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers. Rex Gutwein taught us in Exodus. Different than Jody, Rex has no powerpoint, or typed up notes like many of the other profs. Rex just talks the whole hour, with many many rabbit trails. Yet another amazing prof. here at school! Now we have Jody once again for Leviticus and I couldn't be happier. Leviticus is a trying book for me, given my tolerance for slow reading, so the animated Jody is what keeps me awake for the majority of the class! (That and the coffee or cappuccino I have most mornings!)

Our chapel today was Pastor's Chapel and we had Joe O'Neill as a guest. He definately reopened my eyes to the spiritual battle that we fight even in our own lives. Here at school, I find myself focussing on what I can do for others and what I want to do here. I constantly commit myself to praying for everyone else: moms are having babies, friends are running away from home, friends are trying to commit suicides, youth groups are being destroyed, people are close to being kicked out because of money, etc. Then, since it is a part of a missions organization, we are encouraged to pray for our missionary partners and for others who send in prayer emails. I feel like all my attention is being up on others' needs and the spiritual battle going on at on the mission field. I found, though, that I was missing a critical part of the spiritual war, the battle over me. If I lose the battle over me, it's more than disappointing. Christ already won the battle for me, all I have to do is let him do the fighting for me, but that requires giving my strength up for His. That means letting go of the "I'm-a-big-girl-now" pride and surrendering myself to be carried on by his strength, peace and guidance.

So, it's now 3:24 AM. I know that I will still be awake for quite a bit while longer, but I figure I should probably wrap up this first blog. I know that it's boring, so very factual, but that's all I have for you right now! Look for the new ones coming out soon!