Sunday, October 30, 2011

If You Don't Hear From Me...

I'm spending November trying to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.
Check it out!
www.nanowrimo.org

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why Me?

NOTE: This includes a closer look into my mind and heart than I think I've ever posted. Some of what I say may shock people, my own thoughts certainly have shocked me, but it is a look at my life, and a discussion of the question "Why me?" that has been resonating in my mind for a couple weeks now. 




Why me?
I was thinking about that simple question the other day.
There are so many contexts to which it can be applied.
Why was I fortunate enough to be born in the country, day and age that I was?
Why am I able to go to the wonderful college that I am?
Why have I been blessed with such wonderful mentors, professors, and friends?
Why do people see wisdom and grace in my life?
Why me?
But, one area that stuck out to me is why have I not been more destroyed by the cards that life has dealt me?
When I tell people my story, the pain that I have had to walk through, many of them have cried. Many people don't understand how I've come through a lot of what I have, and honestly, I don't know either.
I walked through the divorce of my parents, which included so much more than any of you will ever get to hear about or understand, and lead to a long string of self-image, and self-confidence issues that I still deal with, though on a less intense level, to this day.
I've dealt with depression most of my life, a thorn in my side that part of me views as a blessing. I could see myself becoming a very arrogant, know-it-all if I didn't struggle with this one dark corner of my own mind. It keeps me humble, but it is still a struggle that I am conscious of on a daily basis.
More recently, I lost my step-father, a man after God's own heart who took my brother and I both under his wing and loved us as his own children. He passes away suddenly, unexpectedly, leaving all of us in shock, grieving, and, at least for me, questioning God's goodness. For a little while, I wasn't sure how I could continue to worship a God who could allow such a man of God, someone who was making such a difference in people's lives, to leave this earth. Honestly, I was mad at God for a little while. The question would run through my mind, You could have healed him, so why didn't You? 
Then there was the case of Jon. I loved him. We were supposed to get married next summer. I put my plans and my life on hold for a year so that I could be with him. But, my dreams, my plans, my life with him was dashed on the rocks the day our relationship ended. It was so sudden. It didn't make sense to me for a long time. It hurt more than I had ever imagined it. It sent me spiraling for almost a month, a spiral downward that it took a weekend away at a lake with my church family to break out of.
So, why is it that when people talk about me, they tell me I am wise beyond my years when I feel stupid just opening my mouth?
Why do they see a strong woman when all I can see in myself is weakness and frailty?
How can people describe me as a mature woman of God when I cry like a little girl when something hurts?
Why is it that my worship leader says I have a powerful prayer gift when I doubt my own relationship with God; the efficacy of my prayer life?
Why have I not been destroyed but rather seem to have flourished through these hardships?
I guess all I can say is that God has a plan, and somehow He's making me stronger.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Puritan Prayer

No poor creature stands in need of divine grace more than I do,
And yet none abuses it more than i have done, and still do.
How heartless and dull I am!
Humble me in the dust for not loving thee more.
Every time I exercise any grace renewedly
I am renewedly indebted to thee,
the God of all grace, for special assistance.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Worship



video

Breakthrough in worship came in my life shortly after I returned to the Lord. I really walked away at the age of 17 after several years of walking with the Lord, and what happened was that when I finally returned to Him, He captured my heart again. I began to learn about worship, I began to worship Him again, but it was a stage, a process I've been going through where I've learned that really true worship doesn't necessarily happen at church, worship is a lifestyle. For me, it is wonderful to worship in the congregation, but worship is also, and more importantly to me, obedience. As you combine joyful surrender and obedience, your worship of God becomes genuine, heartfelt relationship. You go before Him, and just tell Him how much you love Him and you are so grateful. Worship is now exactly who I am. It is just an outflow of where He's... what He's placed in me, what He's done in me, and how He lives through me. And just being a light. Worshiping Him in everything that I say and do, and making sure it's something that would please Him. 


This is a video of my step-father, David, speaking on worship.
I stumbled over it while cleaning out folders and files on my computer.
We played this at his funeral.
Joked that David would be the person to speak at his own funeral.
When he said that worship is a lifestyle, that it was how he lived, it was true.
I think that anyone who interacted with David was able to see that everything that he did in his life, he wanted it to reflect God's goodness and love. 
I watched this over and over today, partially to hear his voice, partially because the message is so good. 
We need to live our lives in worship to God, using everything that we say and do as worship.
David was such a good example in my life; I can only hope that I'm making him proud. 
And one day, I hope to marry a man who was the wonderful, Godly qualities that he possessed, qualities that you can see peaking through this video. 
I love you David.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sharing is Caring

Today I re-discovered something about myself, something I feared had been lost with my ex-boyfriend; something I thought he may have killed in me.
What I re-discovered was how much I love giving people things, blessing them by showing them how much they mean to me with just a simple gesture.
This afternoon, I was craving apple cider and doughnuts.
I so wanted this fall sensation that I coerced a friend of mine to drive me to Wegmans so I could enjoy this luscious fall wonder.
But, when I got there, I decided that I was going to buy an entire gallon of cider and a dozen doughnuts. 
I wanted to share it with people. 
It seems like such a simple thing, but the look on my friends faces when I walked up to them with cider and doughnuts and asked if they wanted any warmed my heart. 
I found myself smiling when thinking about how much enjoyment they got out of something so simple.
All I really did was show them that I care about them and wanted to share something wonderful, no matter how simple.
I hope I can show them this more often. 


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Unknown Lovers

I envision our day
Beneath the willow
Arms softly sway
To the beat of the earth
Drumming softly 
Your face I do 
Not know quite yet
You stand where a
'Nother once stood
Unable to withstand
The breaking wind
I may not know
The shade of your
Skin, or the colour
Of your eyes
But you are coming
This beautiful place
Somewhere unknown 
Beyond the reaches
Of my mind's eye
Will come alive one
Day with our love
The ground will breath
A great sigh of
Relief when finally
Unknown lovers
Have been wed
Till that day I 
Will wait with bated 
Breath for the one
Who can stand in
The crashing waves
Handle the wind
Unknown lover
I beg of you
Please, do not come
For me, but wait 'neath
The willow

Friday, October 7, 2011

Moving

So, as many of you have noticed, I've been working on a project on this blog that I've been calling "100 Days, 100 Ways".
I'm only 4 posts in, and it's already been a  very healing process for me.
But, I had a realization the other day.
If I continue this project, it will ultimately overwhelm the "Nothing is Real" blog, and the concept that I've been trying to stick with here.
I was faced with a dilemma that I didn't really want to deal with, but had to.
I could either revamp "Nothing is Real" to focus more on "100 Days..." or I could create an entirely new blog, a different entity, that could be solely dedicated to my "100 Days..." project.
This would allow me to keep "Nothing is Real" focused on my thoughts and feelings on "life, love, and God" as I so aptly put it when I made it.
So, I gave in, and created a new blog.

I present to you "100 Days, 100 Ways"!
http://onehundreddaysonehundredways.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 3

100 days, 100 ways...


Today I am thankful for:
Catching up with my girlfriends in a coffee shop.
The break in the clouds to let the sun shine through.
The fact that I have a job.
Awesome scarves.

A thought for today:
I realized the other day that I have a tiny crush on someone.
A fairly normal thing for a girl my age, but it was a major thing for me.
But, today, as I was walking through the library, I had a realization about this. 
This little crush is helping me grow and heal.
The fact that I am even able to look at a guy and see potential, that I am not completely complacent towards men, that I can hope for a future with someone, is huge for me.
So, I realized today that even if nothing happens with this guy, I am thankful simply for the presence of his cute face in my life every once and a while. 
Because, if for no other reason than this, he has helped me realize that I will, and do, have the ability to love someone, and that it should not be wasted simply because one boy did not want or deserve my love. 
I rest in the hope of a brighter tomorrow, a day full of love, and a cute man to someday share it with. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 2

100 Days, 100 Ways....


Today I am thankful for:
The amazing group of women I get to meet with every Monday and the encouragement they are to me.
The growth and healing that I am going through day by day.
The warmth and love I receive from friends and family.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

100 Days... 100 Ways

I had this idea today to chronicle 100 days on my blog.
I want to include a picture of myself, and a way that God has blessed me that day.
I think it will be good to see how I grow and change over time, both in thankfulness and in how my face reflects it.
If this goes over well, I may continue for a year, but I want to start with a smaller goal to start out with.

Day 1:


I'm thankful for:
A new hat on a cool, rainy day.
The opportunity to worship with my church family this morning.
A wonderful lunch with Josiah, Andrew, Jess, and Brenton.
Sitting in front of a fireplace, and having it warm my back.
All the hugs I receive on Sundays.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Little Things

It's the little things that brighten my days.
Tiny specks of light that appear in otherwise grey days.
They glitter and sparkle, draw my attention from the bleakness.
A new fall jacket
The changing of leaves
A part in a friend's play
A warm cup of coffee on a cool day
The crazy curls and waves that now adorn my head
A hug from a friend
It's when I can see these lights, when I can divert my thoughts from dimmness and drabbery, that I can let my own light shine through.
I guess I can only hope that I can be a little sparkle, a little bitty light, to someone I love on a bleak day of theirs.
That those tiny joys in my mind can congeal together to shine just a little brighter through my eyes.
A girl randomly handed me a card on the path today.
All it said was:
"Optimism can be so tiring and difficult, but it is worth it. CHOOSE joy today. Happiness is found in the little things."