But it’s so appropriate that in the very phase of your life in which you have reoccurring days where you feel you have come to the very end of yourself, you have this amazing joy to be found in the fact that you feel this way because the Lord is changing and growing you...
I am not stagnant! Praise God!
I spent a bit of time this summer feeling completely unmoved and unreached by the Lord…these “dry spells” are the absolute worst…I’ll pass, no thank you. But then of course when I ask Him to work in my life, I feel the growing pains and complain about that too! Will I ever stop my whining? Even though I feel as though I’m asking the Lord for strength every ten minutes, I am overwhelmingly grateful that I can feel the Lord moving me, teaching me, growing me. I absolutely refuse to go through the hard stuff and come out on the other end looking, feeling, acting the same. I refuse to be the same person. Working through the difficult things will not be in vain! I am so blessed to have a God who gives me enough strength for each day…it reminds me of the story of the Israelites wandering through the desert in Exodus…they whined for food and the Lord provided…but only enough for each day. This way they had to rely on Him each morning when they woke up to provide again. When they tried to hoard food, He literally rotted and melted it away! He gave them exactly what they needed for that time period and made sure they had to rely on Him in the same way the very next day. I have seen this in my own life – every morning the first thought in my mind has to be surrender and relying on Him for my strength for the day. And He always provides! Each day concludes with me lying down to rest with the last bit of strength He has given me, and then it starts afresh in the morning. He has certainly taught me the very essence of needing Him and relying on Him.
So today, I encourage you…
If you are feeling growing pains, embrace them! It hurts, yes, but the end result will be a stronger more mature child of God.
If you are feeling stagnant, pray for growth! My aforementioned words may not make you jump at the chance to feel pain or challenges, but nobody wants to stay in the same place forever.
If you are enjoying a time in the clear when you have seen the fruits of the Lord’s work in your life and are able to experience some peace, relish it! And keep pursuing Him…just don’t let yourself revert back to who you were before…let the growth produce a lasting change!
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
these boys are coming to visit me!!
one of nashville's most wonderful traditions is "live on the green"...perfect way to celebrate the emerging chilly weather and enjoy some great music.
(did i mention it's FREE??!!)
this week our ears will get to enjoy the loveliness that is band of horses. thank you nashville!
he looks like such a hillbilly when he sings, but it's oh so endearing.
Feel like I've been going nonstop for this entire month and I just want to go somewhere that's not here (Portland, anyone??) and be a bum and explore and eat good food and drink good coffee
and not work and not do school.
Is that too much to ask? Probably....dangit.
(also a bridesmaid!! - check out the fantastic dress we get to wear!)
It's my goal to learn to compartmentalize my life so I can still do
fun and spontaneous things without worrying about work and school.
Let's hope it can work!
p.s. I have a surprise for next time...and its name is Higgins...
I prefer gray days over sunny ones
I love scarves, tights and hats
I prefer hot coffee over iced
...oh yeah, and who can forget that fall is just plain beautiful?!
(Nevermind the dishwashing and mopping…I pretend those parts don’t actually exist).
The most interesting aspect of my job, however is not how many Beets are in the Beet muffins or how long we bake a cake for, but the fact that you have 6 hours at a time of uninterrupted thinking. Being in your mind for that long can be dangerous – I’ve been told that one girl actually quit because it was “too much time to think” – but I’ve grown to appreciate it more than anything. Something that has been on the forefront of my mind for quite some time is the concept of love and its image verses its truth and reality. My boss and I got on the subject and both agreed that a wonderfully realistic, although overused and underappreciated view on love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. When you actually read the words for what they are, it changes entirely. It transforms into a painfully real picture of what love is supposed to look like in contrast to the way we often picture it in our idealistic minds.
It does not say:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
“Love is perfect, love is sunshine and happiness. Love is never annoyed, never frustrated, always easy.”
Surprise! Love is not what it seems to be from the outside looking in. Is it wonderful? Is it a gift? Absolutely! But it is also a daily choice - another nugget of wisdom from my boss. Love is not easy, but those who have committed to love one another wake up every day and choose to love that person. “It is not self-seeking”…shoot! “It is not proud”…dangit. It is patient, hopeful, and it “always perseveres.” Upon reading these words I saw how much I fall short. If it were a checklist, the result would be dismal…
□ Is not envious
□ Is not boastful
□ Is not proud
□ Is not rude
□ Is not self-seeking
□ Is not easily angered
…you get the picture.
Maybe I’m the only one who needed to come to the realization that love is not perfect or easy, but let me tell you it changes everything. This verse gives us a difficult standard to uphold, but I believe it's the aspiration and attempt to emulate it that counts. If we all made the daily choice to aspire to love in the way 1 Corinthians tells us to, our relationships would certainly look quite different. Whether you’re loving your husband, girlfriend, family, friends, there are many people to whom we say “I love you,” but very rarely do we even attempt for it to look like it should. Above all else, it makes me so thankful for the love lavished on us by our Savior. Our declared love for others may fall short, but His is everything in this verse and more. His love is perfect.
In the light of this newfound reality, 1 Corinthians takes on a whole new meaning. Read it today with new eyes.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Sounds lonely, right?
It always surprises me how afraid people are to do things on their own.
Some are understandable: eating out, shopping.
Others are slightly absurd: doctor's visits or hair appointments.
I enjoy being around people, especially those I love.
I like having company at a coffee shop or a hand to hold at the grocery store. These are all good things.
But I find that it feeds my independence in such a lovely way when I do things on my own. Being forced into this mindset may have jumpstarted it (stuck in Boro on school breaks or visiting random cities), but I have grown to cherish stopping at a coffee shop to read by myself, getting pedicures on my own, or even going to a movie without a companion (yep! I'm proud to say, I've done it). Sometimes you need to breathe, be with yourself, hear yourself think. I found this video and wanted to share it and encourage any and everyone to be alone every once in awhile. Don't be afraid of it. I'm convinced it's good for your heart.
- Reading, reading, and reading
- Baking to my heart's content at my favorite Nashville coffee joint
- Jumping off of cliffs...no, really...
- Loving, loving and loving the amazing people in my life.
Another thing that has been almost annoyingly present lately are the ants in my pants that I've been battling. These silly little buggers come around without fail at least once a year. I usually can find some minor change to make that will appease them for the moment, but with this being the first year in my entire college education that I will be returning to the same school, the ants are gettin a little crazy! What to do, what to do...I often say that it's a good thing I don't follow my impulses all of the time, because my life would look nothing short of chaotic. I know that I must stay put for now...for now. My wild fantasies of travelling around the world or up-and-moving-wherever will have to remain just that...wild fantasies. I'm going to be ignoring these ants for just a bit longer, and then hopefully someday I'll have the freedom to indulge them to my crazy heart's content.
In the meantime, here are some things that have inspired me lately...