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'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.