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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

a loving father?

Do our lives reflect the conditions and beliefs of our hearts? I believe they do. A person who truly believes that God is sovereign might remain stressed. A person who truly believes in a loving God may have no peace. However, a person who is certain that He is in control, AND that He is loving and good, will have a sense of peace that will leave the world dumbfounded.
How precious is this? 

"He delights in the welfare of his servants."
"The young lions suffer and want, but those who trust in the Lord lack no good thing." 
"The mountains may depart and the hills be removed but the love of the Lord endures forever."
"Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases" -Psalm 115:3
"I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted."-Job 42:2

Monday, December 8, 2014

If I have a daughter (inspired by wildergrace.wordpress)....

Dear daughter,

I am nineteen, sitting in Inman Perk (one of my favorite spots), drinking a dirty chai tea, finishing up some statistics studying, and thinking of you. I have some advice that I want to tell you while I remember what it's like to be "young" and technically a teenager for one more month. I've learned so much this past year...or maybe I could say that I've experienced so much this year. I'm not sure how much I've learned yet...I leave for Italy soon and am hoping some reflection/listening to Jesus time will bring about wisdom.
For now, this is what I've got:

1. as boys begin to pursue...
-be honest.
-be vulnerable.
-be open.
-be kind.
-remember that (as tough as they seem) boys are more scared and often more sensitive than girls. When they fall, they fall hard. Be careful with their hearts.
-don't compromise your values, or sacrifice the little quirks that make you unique (if he tempts you to, then he definitely isn't the right one)
-Don't make excuses for a boy not pursuing you like a man. His job is to pursue. Don't give him the opportunity to do less. (I would not suggest texting or calling him first)
-choose a man, not a boy. Your dad should teach you the difference.
-Don't dwell on why a guy is or is not pursuing you...take things as they come and for what they are. You are not in control. Do not manipulate. Trust Jesus.
-Lastly, know who you are. This is perhaps my most important point. A man (the best man in the world) can not be your worth. He cannot show you your value. He cannot speak in those quiet moments to your heart. He cannot promise to always be present.
-oh, one last fun fact, men are clueless. Completely and utterly clueless. Shockingly enough, they also cannot read minds. Be honest. Be vulnerable. Be open.

2. as life happens...
-cursing isn't classy, neither is kissing boys in bars (unless you're in Ireland for for your bachelorette party)
-Avoid boy bands and new country...it's a slippery slope towards having bad taste in music (stick with James Taylor, the Dixie Chicks, George Strait, and select Tim McGraw songs {alternative bands, and folk music are fun} )
-love your family. Friends and guy friends feel like they'll be there for forever. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. Most of them won't. Family is forever.
-you have one body, take care of it. Eat right and work out. I went through a phase of hating my legs, because they are so muscular- I ceased all physical exercise. Stupid. If you have legs like me, enjoy them. Beat boys in foot races, and, when you're older, rock the heels.

3. As you seek after Jesus you will screw up. Know it. Accept it. You are not supposed to be the example. Jesus is the example. People will see where you turn when you fail.

That's all I've got. It's a lot. It's everything I wish I was doing better. The list could/will continue.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

the struggle is real.

There is a common thread among all people between the ages of 18 and 25. We're all wondering, "what is my purpose?" and "will I make a difference?" and "how will I make a difference?" and, lastly, and perhaps the most terrifying, "who am I going to spend the rest of my life with?"
We search and we beg God and we plead with others to speak some profound word that will forever change the course of our lives and send us flying with blinders on into a specific career path. We crave direction. We say things like, "God if you'll tell me, I'll do anything you ask, just tell me what your will is. I'm dying here." We don't want to look back, or get distracted, or feel confused, or second-guess. We want to know and we want to know now. It's funny how our world has managed to make almost everything instant. Elevators. Text messaging. Drive-thrus. Coffee. Snapchat.
We can be entertained in an instant. We can eat in an instant. We can communicate in an instant. But we can't decide our future in an instant. We can't know what the future holds. We can't predict other's actions. We can't know how those decisions will affect us.
Here is my challenge to myself, and to all those other "young adults" out there: don't worry about it. Today is all we have and today is all that's promised. Tomorrow is as unpredictable as the wind, and yesterday is as irreversible as that terrible decision to kiss the boy in your economics class with the massive ego and terrible fashion sense. It's done. Finished. Scrub your lips, wash your hands, and move on.
Know where you've been. Know the type of person you want to be and trust Jesus to help you get there. But, for heaven's sake, don't worry about the future-about where you will be from 9 to 5 in the next four years. Live this day. Notice the beauty in it, recognize the messiness, and rest, knowing that He's more concerned about the direction of your life than you are. If you are trusting and waiting, He won't allow you to miss anything worthwhile.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Daniel Fast: Day 1

Major headache, no energy, and feel angry at people for glancing my way. Let the detox begin.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

weakness.

When we're young, it is easy to believe that life progresses as we direct it. The longer we live and the more we experience, we quickly realize that control is nothing but an illusion that quickly collapses, specifically when "bad things happen to good people." Then, we begin to have this sneaking suspicion that life is merely a series of events strung together. Then we live longer, and begin to see patterns. I haven't reached the pattern-realizing stage, but I know people who have. I sat with my grandmother today as the rain pounded the on the windows of her small house. She told me stories of how the "good Lord provided." At first, a felt this was a random monologue comprised of unrelated tales. The stories resolved into tidy endings: endings that, I believed, were simply the byproducts of good fortune. However, as the stories multiplied, I realized a constant theme of faithfulness. Money arriving just in time to pay for my grandfather's caregiving, or the house note, or the grocery bill.
Money was never an issue, until Larry began to show signs of dementia. As he declined in mental stability and his brain succumbed to the damage it received through years of playing professional football, his business decisions became erratic and irresponsible. Friends distanced themselves, confused by my grandfather's actions. The mansion on the river was soon repossessed, forcing my grandmother to find ways to support both herself and her husband. They lived in show houses for almost three years, moving at least 5 times within that time span. At 55 years old, Kay took two college courses to learn computers so she could be an effective administrative assistant and pay the bills. She struggled through the difficulty of her new job. Larry followed her there most days- confused and angry at his inability to provide. Social situations were often unbearable, and resulted in an awkward explanation of my grandfather's condition.
"Eventually, it becomes an adventure-you wake up every morning excited to discover how He's going to get you through another impossible situation."
My grandmother then explained how she'd be up in the most of the night, changing grandfather, only to wake up early to arrive at her minimum wage job on time.
"Somehow, we made it. Barely. I never asked for help unless someone asked. Someone always asked when my situation was most desperate, and then I wasn't too proud to tell them."
Larry Morris died on December 19, 2012.
His life will be a reminder of patterns and design- through life's greatest hardships and most confusing, unfair, and unspeakable tragedies, there is not only hope, but purpose.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

often afraid.

With sweaty palms, heart racing, and a knot in my stomach, I walked to the goal. I had been chosen. My position was center midfield, but when shoot-out time came, I was goalie. Of course. The best time to play goalie. Penalty kicks. I hated them.
I reflect back on the time I played soccer with regret. I never gave it my all. Events in 2009 forever scarred my little ninth grade mind. I feared failure above all else, and, consequently, for the next four years I refused to perform to the best of my ability. I was constantly afraid that it wouldn't be good enough. It was better to know that when my 75% wasn't good enough, it was only my 75%. Being a member of a relatively "successful" family and my Dad's incessant questions about my future didn't help the situation. 
Today, I sit and wonder if I've been doing this on my spiritual journey. What role have I allowed fear to play in my walk through life? 
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."1 John 4:18
How often do I fail to love! To truly love yourself, others, and God himself, fear must be annihilated. Love, in its purest form, is selfless. It is aware, but unconcerned with the possibility of failure and rejection. Love plunges headlong into the deep end. It is honest when the truth is uncomfortable. Love encourages, without fear of appearing uncool or being unappreciated. Love refuses to be indifferent, even when others are. Love sacrifices for the benefit of friends, family, and enemies. Love leaves it all on the field. The only way this can become a reality in our lives is if we can grasp that we are truly known and irreversibly accepted by the One who perfected love on the cross. Only from that place of security can we draw the strength we need to love. No reserves. No retreats. No regrets. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

nothing clever

So... I re-read my last post and was a little shocked. I may have been a little dramatic, but whatever. Exaggeration makes for a better read, right?
Got back from Seattle around 12:45 this morning. I have orientation tomorrow at my new school. I may change my major from nursing to international affairs with a minor in Arabic. Maybe. I don't know, but I have to decide in the next six hours. It's 3:45 and I can't sleep.
Basically, life is still full of decisions.
Getting the sense that this process of consciously trusting Jesus will never end. I just hope it gets easier!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Deborah

"Can you hear me?!"
"Are you okay?" 
"My name is Anna. I have some medical training. Would you like help?"

These were my words as I assessed "patients" during wilderness first aid training. The key word here is "some."  It was lunch break during the second session of a two session training seminar, and I drove the short distance to Taco Bell. We had an hour, so I brought in my Bible to do some reading. I sat down in the nearly empty restaurant. A man sat down in the booth in front, facing me. Another man set to my left, his eyes locked in my direction. It was silent, except for some obscure punk-rock band playing softly in the background. Needless to say, it wasn't really my scene. I noticed some tables outside, so I quietly slipped out of my seat and made my way towards the door. 
A woman asked me if I had a light. 
I noticed her wrinkles, overdone makeup, and frizzy hair, and then politely replied that I did not. 
I took the table next to hers.
"How are you today?" 
She looked surprised.
"I'm fine. How are you?" 
"Doing well...so what's with the suitcase?"
"I just bought it from a thrift store. I'm hoping to move soon." 
The conversation progressed. Then, there was a pause.
"Tell me about your faith." 
"Oh...well, I'm a Christian. God holds me together. He carries me through the days." 
"Cool. So what's your story?"
Deborah then told me about her childhood. How her mother loved Jesus, and how her father did not. He was a hard worker, she said, but he drank, gambled, and cheated on her mother weekly. When she was in school, her teachers asked her why she kept falling asleep in class. She told them it was because she was afraid her father would kill her mother while she was sleeping. She would come home from school to the blood they had tried to clean up. She has memories of her Dad grabbing her Mom by her hair, and beating her in the face repeatedly. 
Her 63 year old hands quivered as she wiped her eyes.
"But I know the Lord loves me. I know my Mama is in heaven, and I hope my Daddy is too."
There was a dignity to this woman. I knew she had a hard life, but she woke up, did her make up, bought herself a suitcase, and took herself out to lunch. 
My lunch break was over.
I prayed with her before I left, and gave her my devotional. 
We parted with tears in our eyes. 
A forty five minute interaction and I will never be the same. I can't wait to see her in heaven...a string of little moments. That's all we have. Little moments that make up the story of our lives. 


Friday, June 13, 2014

summer lovin'

Arnold Palmers, boiled peanuts, front porch rocking, magnolias booming, and lots of physical labor- summer has officially arrived in Chestnut Mountain. Most of my days are spent driving a truck or riding my horse.
There is something so refreshing about going back to the basics. I didn't realize how complicated my life at school had become until I came back home. There are no complicated relationships. Friendships don't take work. Church isn't even a decision. Noise is minimal. This was exactly what I needed. Although I still have no idea what I want out of life, somehow that feels okay here. Yes, the simplicity of home is a beautiful thing. I am relearning to appreciate a blue sky, a random thunderstorm, a pair of solid levi jeans, a next-door neighbor's consistent wave, and easy Christ-centered relationships (that I'm beginning to realize are very rare). Thank you, Jesus, for all the simple joys. May I never forget to notice.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

new favorite quote

"By trying to grab
fulfillment everywhere, we find it nowhere." -Elizabeth Elliot


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Doubt.

It's funny- I finished reading the entire Bible on April 31st, and now I find myself doubting like crazy. All I know in this moment is that Jesus is either nothing or everything. He can't be in-between. He either demands no attention, or all attention. No devotion, or all our devotion. I have to be either hot or cold. Why is it so difficult to trust his goodness?


peace amid the wandering

I went to Jamaica (reminded that loving Jesus is literally the most important aspect of life).
My sister is married (now I have a weird sense that my husband could be anywhere...kind of creepy).
I decided to finished school in five years instead of four (which is currently making me feel like a failure at life, but whatever.)


Everything is happening so fast. Why does life fly along like a kite in a hurricane? It isn't this easy breeze in a hot air balloon that allows you to appreciate the moment or your surroundings. It is a whirlwind of confusion that moves at warp speed. So often I find myself walking around like a chicken with its head cut off (such vivid imagery... Why do we use that phrase?)
Perhaps these events aren't racing by, but maybe I'm failing at slowing down.
I am now deciding to return to waking up an hour early to make myself breakfast and listen to what God has to say to me for my day. Otherwise, I know I'll continue on this self-absorption trajectory that tends to result in destructive thought patterns. I'm not perfect. I never will be. I'm not worth all these endless thoughts, but He is.
Jesus once said that our relationships with those we love most should look like hate in comparison to our love for Him (paraphrasing of course). I can't imagine this ever being reality in my life, although I pray that one day my heart will be consumed with that sort of devotion. In light of His sufficiency, I can be content in spite of my glaringly obvious imperfections.




Wednesday, May 7, 2014

reality

Life is a painful, beautiful, emotional roller coaster that leaves us gasping for breath, dying to find a sense of purpose, someone to love, and someone to love us back. Thankfully, we can strap on our seat belts and rest, because nothing surprises Jesus. In fact, we know that he uses all the good...and the bad for some great purpose we will get see one day. Some days I wish I could see the blue print as I'm crying out for understanding in the midst of seemingly unbearable rejection and circumstances. He is enough-always enough. My doubt does not change His sufficiency.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Conundrums (what a great word)

I'm sitting under a portico, watching the rain fall and drinking a cup of coffee while listening to some girl talk about her problems with birth control.
Today I felt a sense of panic when I thought about working in a hospital all day. I hope this is normal during finals week. I don't mind hard work. In fact, I think I've been a hard worker all my life. I just don't like working for something I'm not sure I want to earn.  A wise person once said to "get trained for something you can use, not your hobby."

Joy is a choice. This I know, but why is it that so often my dreams seem in direct conflict with what is expected? I guess all this deep thought is pointless, because here I sit, outside Social Sciences waiting for history class to begin. No matter how badly I want to break the mold, I know I will go to class. I will apply to nursing school. I will graduate. Why? For whom? I'm not entirely sure. I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Alvin

There is an incredible human being on Kennesaw State's campus. If you came here, you probably wouldn't recognize him. You'd walk up, order your eggs, and be slightly surprised when he asked, "how are you?"
But, after a while, you'd get used to that as well, because he asks you every morning.
You would notice his name tag that says "Alvin"
You wouldn't know that he runs a homeless ministry.
You wouldn't know that he used to be homeless himself.
You wouldn't know that he loves Jesus deeply.

All you'd notice is a smiling stranger who stands resolutely joyful despite a seemingly monotonous occupation. I think we would all do well to take his advice-- "you have to learn to look for God in all the little things."
Every smile.
Every face.
Every struggle.
Every doubt.
Every worry.
Every uncertainty.
Every soul.
You see, there is little bit of God in every person. He created humanity in his image, and if you look closely, you can see glimpses of His beauty, though often tainted by the ugliness of sin.
If you took the time to look, you'd see God in Alvin.
He uprooted a glaringly obvious flaw in my character, and I will forever be grateful. He reminded me that I fail to truly see people. I fail to take the time to invest in every person my path crosses. So often I rush through my day, my thoughts racing ahead, leaving no room to notice the present and the people that surround me.
I've been made aware, once again, that true joy can only be found as you live in the moment, cherishing every opportunity by intentionally striving to make an impact.
Today I'm feeling thankful for the example of this faithful Jesus follower.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

distraction

I don't mean for this to be a depressing post, but even as I write this I know it will be, because I can't imagine how to end in a positive way. Lately the only time I take to write freely is when something is wrong, or I feel too weak and discouraged to speak my thoughts aloud. In case some poor soul is reading this, I apologize. You should probably stop reading at this point, because I'm about to continue.
Humans are funny--we all have a need to feel loved, but deep down we know we cannot be loved until we are truly known, and so we begin a quest. It's a quest to be heard, and understood, and, ultimately, loved. If you don't have this sense of need, there is most definitely something wrong.
The question is, "what do you do with this seemingly bottomless pit of desire?"
For me, the answer has become painfully obvious in the past few weeks.
Once again I find myself reminded (in not such a fun way) that Jesus is the only one who cares to know every detail of my life, and loves me perfectly despite knowing all the gritty details.
 People will leave, stop loving, stop caring, stop being, but He remains.


All I know is this- if I had the kindest, most caring, selfless, and overall best human being as a husband, that pit would not be filled. It may be for a week, a month, maybe even a few years, but he would fail. Regardless of when he let me down, the questions would become:
 "where is my hope? Where will I find my love?
Yes, I have been distracted. I have been seeking for love in all the wrong places. I have sought to be known by boys. I have been selfish. The truth is, the more I think about me, the more dissatisfied I become. I'm ready to listen, to care more about others than myself, and to rest, once again, in the arms of Jesus.

There I know I will find purpose beyond temporary pleasure. I'm so glad He's waiting.

Monday, March 24, 2014

a quick update

My schedule is crazy and I have every reason in the world to be stressed.

I have...

-A chemistry test on Wednesday
-A world history midterm on Wednesday
-An english paper due on Wednesday
-A political science paper due on Wednesday
-An interview for a job on...you can guess

I also have no idea where/who I'm living with next semester. I booked a plane ticket for Miami on a day I have a test I forgot about and haven't prepared for (U.S. History on Tuesday).

...But I'm choosing to trust, and it's been a weird-awesome experience. God already gave my professor a merciful spirit and he's letting me take the U.S. test after spring break. I look forward to relaying how He carries me through this trying time in His faithfulness.  I want to be able to look back on this time and His provision. He is faithful when we rely on him to provide for all of our needs.

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

things I've learned in February

-boys are confusing
-when you go running by yourself late at night you get yelled at by obnoxious fraternity guys and break your ankle
-joy is a choice
-loving can be difficult
-community is necessary
-family is a worthwhile investment
-apologizing goes a long way in relationships
-it's easier to preserve your pride than to pursue experiencing/accomplishing something great by being vulnerable
-I should be vulnerable
-chocolate wins. Every time.
-flowers improve mood
-boys are sensitive
-being kind is a struggle when you're scared
-be kind anyways
-discipline is impossible without the right motivation

Saturday, February 15, 2014

questions

Do you know what you believe? And if you know, do you care enough to investigate further? And if you believe and investigate, do you live it out?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

"When I am faithless, He remains faithful."

Today, I'm very aware that Jesus is so much better than anything else. When this feeling flees and hard times inevitably arrive, I hope I will continue to remember the One who never leaves nor forsakes. He is the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

wise words from unexpected places

"We accept the love with think we deserve."

-The Perks of Being a Wallflower

"The opposite of love is indifference."

-The Lumineers

Saturday, February 1, 2014

rivers, woods, and mountains

Is it possible that we're actually closer to God when we're surrounded by nature? Maybe not, but I know it's therapeutic for my soul.


Friday, January 31, 2014

the beauty of reality.

Today I will put on cover up because my face is currently littered with blemishes. Thousands of girls will take pictures of themselves and edit them until all flaws are virtually invisible. Instagram filters will romanticize their surroundings. The finished product will express a confident woman with incredible skin, a bright smile, and great hair who does amazing activities in her spare time. Beneath the facade is a little girl who is trying to be seen and heard and loved. Men will take pictures in the mirror, flaunting whatever muscle they possess, hoping to be noticed and respected.  In one hand-held device we have the ability to glorify and flaunt a life that we don't live. This kind of power is scary. We can easily live two lives. One is relatable, the other intimidating. One offers hope, the other encourages envy. One has the ability to be bold and confident, while the other is a means of gathering courage and confidence from the affirmation and appreciation of other people. 
The point is, we desire perfection. We seek after it like gold. At times we can avoid vulnerability by showing only the best version of ourselves, while the messiness of day-to-day living remains hidden.
I don't own a smart phone, and this is not because I'm cool and too hipster for trendy gadgets like iPhones. It's because I don't believe I'm strong enough. I fear my tendency to seek acceptance from the wrong places. 
Striving for perfection is my attempt to be good enough---an attempt to be self-sufficient. 
Imperfection necessitates God's intervention. As Christians, we should be the most vulnerable of all people. 
 If Jesus is so dear to our hearts, then what gave Him that place of importance? Yes, it's the very word we hate--imperfection. 

There's no hope for a hurting world in fake lives. So let's be real, Christians. Let's stop hiding behind perfect pictures. Let's not hide our blemishes, hurts, scars, and our struggles, for those drew us to Truth--the very pains that led us to the cross where Jesus gave us His perfection in exchange for our belief and surrender. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

song of my thoughts

this pretty much sums up how I'm feeling about God and someone else in my life right now:

...kind of dramatic I know. I don't feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest like the illustration above^^ Just to clarify.

striving to rest



A repetitive theme in my life is the inability to rest. My mind is running on high alert. I'm trying to slow down. The moment I sit still, I think of a million productive activities I could be doing. It is truly exhausting. I don't think it's normal for rest to require discipline and work. Learning to lean on Jesus, and desperately searching for a way to accept His grace. I want so badly to feel like I've earned it, but the reality is that I cannot earn His favor. I simply must accept and rest in the mystery of His delight in me as His daughter. This I'm finding to be very difficult.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

another day

"His mercies are new every morning." He is as faithful as the dawn. 

Sunday, January 19, 2014

hello?

Air force or civilian life?
Stay where I am or move colleges?
Nursing or law enforcement?
I have so many questions and so few answers.
I often wish that God would thunder down a loud, unmistakably clear answer. In that case, no matter how ridiculous it sounds, I know I would do whatever He asked. As it is, it would seem that He remains silent--I know He cares less about what I do and where I go than He does about the posture of my heart, but I would really love some specific direction right about now.
Do you ever wish God worked like an ATM?
Do you ever treat Him like one?

...I do sometimes. 
Unfortunately and thankfully, He doesn't work the way I sometimes beg Him to. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

fate

So there I stood, in the sandwich line, contemplating white or wheat when a voice spoke up from behind me:
"Is this the only place to eat around here?"
I turned to find a  tall man with a military haircut and a very confused look on his face.
I smiled.
He smiled back.
"I just arrived here. This is my first semester at school."
Next thing I knew, we were seated outside, eating our sandwiches together, and I was telling him everything freshmen know about my University...which, as it turns out, isn't much.
"...so are you religious?"
My head snapped up from my almost-empty bag of chips.
"um...I wouldn't call myself religious. I'm more...spiritual."
"but you're a Christian?"
"Yes."
The conversation progressed and I began sharing what I know about my faith. He would ask questions and relate painful stories about combat in the war, and I would answer and listen carefully to the hurting man's past.
Two questions he asked stuck out in my mind:

1. What about the people stranded on an island who've never heard about Jesus? Do they just go to hell? What's the deal with hell anyway?

This, I thought, was a God-thing, because I've struggled with this question more than any other in my walk with Jesus. I told Brent what I had come to conclude without being entirely sure about my answer.
"I think that God can reveal himself through His Creation (Romans 1). I know that God is loving and He desires that all come to know Him. I think that there are people who believe that Jesus is the Son of God that we haven't discovered. That said, ultimately, because we aren't perfect, we're separated from the perfect God. We deserve hell, because we constantly reject God in favor of our own desires. He would have to deny His own perfection to accept us in that state. Therefore, in His great love for every single human life, he sent his only Son to die...and anyone (really anyone) can choose to let Jesus' record of perfect cover their record of imperfection and every sin they will ever commit. It's a story of mercy and grace, not a story of condemnation; all they have to do is believe and take the first step toward following Jesus. To answer his question, I had to answer yes, those people go to hell if they do not choose Jesus. I don't understand it, but I've experienced God's goodness and I know that He is good and He is just. It isn't just that any of us should receive eternal life in paradise. It isn't just that I should have the option. Hell is just."
Brent was a little disconcerted with my answer, and so was I, but I felt a strange sense of confidence that what I said was truth.

2. Isn't Christianity narrow-minded and arrogant? How can you say all those other religions are wrong?

I surprised myself with this answer...it literally came from nowhere.

"It's an awfully small god who's willing to share glory with all the other gods that are out there. I want to worship a God so big, powerful, and worthy that He's unwilling to share that glory with any other. People say Christianity is a narrow mindset, but I think they're being narrow-minded when they claim that one way to heaven couldn't possibly exist."

Every answer was the result of a lot of wrestling with God and seasons of doubting His goodness. Many tears contributed to those conclusions. It was so fun to discuss religion with someone who was open. I have no idea where Brent is right now, but I'm thankful to have met him.

By the way, I chose wheat.

Monday, January 13, 2014

happiness and daisies

My birthday was about a week ago. It was incredibly anti-climatic. Nineteen just isn't a very exciting age. I still can't have a beer with friends (legally) and I can't own a gun. So what can I do? Well, I've been thinking about it, and there are a few things that are great about being nineteen...
1. I get to walk with Jesus one more year
2. I have another year to meet new faces
3. It's 365 days of trying new coffee flavors
4. Another season of new life experiences (hopefully caving and a visit to Ireland)
5. I get to enjoy snow, watch spring arise and the leaves change
6. It's one more year of friendship with some very dear people
7. Lastly, on my birthday I always receive daisies--and very few things in this world make me happier.

Friday, January 10, 2014

hmm

I'm often caught between relationships and adventure. I want to experience life. I want to sky dive, backpack through South America and Europe. I want to climb an impossibly high mountain. I want to take a road trip across the United States. I want to get paid to take pictures, write stories, and travel. I want to study abroad.

...and then I think about it. I think about the relationships I'd sacrifice. I think about the people I'd miss. I think about the value in hard work and learning to be content.
At times maybe I really do believe the grass is always greener on the other side...I should work on that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

back

I had my first day of Spring semester classes today, and so naturally I had to resume my blogging to delay doing anything productive. There in-lies my thought. Is it really counterproductive?

I sat in World History today and was fascinated by my Professor who claimed that we had all forgotten how to think...specifically Americans. Interestingly enough, I had heard that thought only days before at a conference.

I believe that, living in an instantaneous society, we've forgotten how to rest and how to learn. I'm reminded that true learning has much more to do with resting, reading books, and thinking than a grade point average.
I want to become intellectual. I want to care less about grades and more about learning.