Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Familiar Costume

I unleashed a common, human habit today: get angry too soon and realize your place too late. I have been on my sister's case lately about what she spends her time doing and not doing. But as I pondered/boiled over the amount of time she spends on her phone, with her friends, and on her computer...(which do not get me wrong, are popular among most American youth, including myself)...I realized I only saw right through her "lets spend the evening together" because I also wear the same costume of sin. I do not believe that any of her favorite pastimes are sinful (within reason), but when you neglect other responsibilities and priorities, sin is involved. As I vented to her about how much time she spent with others and not with me...I realized not so long ago, I too was using the..."I'll hang out with you while I think about everyone but you" card. Heck, like I said I still wear the costume. I think today I just learned another lesson... certain sin is easier to point out when you are familiar with it. You can spot Satan hiding in behavior and speech. I also uncovered a frightening but important fact...when you think you have mastered Satan and his ways...he has mastered you. Never think you have Satan figured out...he'll use that against you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A Summer Beneath the Redwoods

"I'm terrified."
These were the last words of my journal on May 31, 2008, the first day of my journey to California. This summer God blessed me with an amazing experience. I was privileged to work at Camp Harmon in Boulder Creek, California. Camp Harmon is a special needs camp for people ages 5-65 with a wide range of disabilities. God showed me how to humble myself, while having an unbelievable amount of fun. And though I could go on and on about what I did there..and share some pretty amazing stories; I really want to share what God taught me through it all. Looking back to the last words of my journal, I truly see how God has begun to mold me into the Woman of Christ He wants and intended for me to become.

July 25, 2008 6:50pm
So now as I close this road of my journey, I look forward to the next that follows. I can't explain my experience and its impact. I will never be able to thank God enough for this summer nor will I ever forget this summer or its impact. I have learned to live in the now. To appreciate creation and the importance of taking care of it. I know now that nothing is mine and your will and God's will can never pan out together. You can choose who's will you want, but choose wisely. I learned the importance of quiet time with God and how empowering and rejuvenating it is. I found me and know God has given me the strength to continue on my journey. I have learned how to be myself and intertwine my faith with fun(something I am still working on), I learned how to evangelize in other ways. I eat healthier, I learned don't sweat the small is life and you can't spend it all worrying...just live. I have learned how annoying "costumes" are to yourself...don't pretend. Just because you change your clothes doesn't mean you are a different person. Don't let petty things dictate your lifestyle or your purpose. Don't rush! Let life go and relax, don't get worked up, it's wasted energy, but do stand when you feel it's the best decision. Old friends mean a lot and you may have only a few, but they really mean a lot...they matter. "Friends" shouldn't be over has more meaning than it usually carries in the era of internet communication. Don't waste something. If you have the choice to sleep or meet one extra people, they all impact you in some way, whether it is just triggering a thought. There is a connection your mind may have never made or you could have influenced them in some way. Talk to everyone, be friendly, don't pressure anyone. Be patient. LISTEN God talks. There are many ways to communicate, other than talking. You can do it! Spend more time listening and less talking (something I also am still learning.) See places. Don't fear anything, except God and his overwhelming/amazing power, but don't be arrogant. Give back to your family, they also are important. Pray harder and don't judge anyone who does or doesn't have your beliefs. Don't doubt people. Let God know you're weak, no one else. Life is too short to be jealous. I'm still learning about selfishness. Some of life's best lessons begin with an afternoon of tears. Don't be too extreme with words. "One day at a will all be great." Don't live your life to regret it. Focus on the Lord and when you are doing something, focus. I'm still learning the idea of hard work. Answer only to the Lord. Chill is a good thing. Your home is a big part of you, but not too big. Be overzealous with your faith, be mindful of anything else you choose to be overzealous in. If God doesn't want you to feel a certain way (and you want His will) you won't feel it. God watches over you...even if you don't think He is... Don't dwell in unhappiness...even if it may be easier. DO NOT pity yourself...what a waste of time. Smile and get others to do it too. If you are feeling down think of the Lord, dance, and sing a goofy song. Spend time talking with friends. Build relationships. Never think you won't see someone ever again. Be mindful of the words Never and Always. If you feel uncomfortable with something, find comfort in it (within reason). Grow up...its okay a little bit. Love on people. Some of the best teachers never went to college. Drink water, it's good. Run to Nature. Be independent but not too independent that you shut the world out. Psalms are amazing. A little dirt really won't hurt you and germs...well we all have them. Smells...they are just funny. Cherish the familiar and find excitement in the unfamiliar. Compassion goes a long way. Don't try to change what you do..and if it's right, positive results will come from it. Look for the good...ignore the bad.

Thank you Lord. I love you as a Friend, a Father, a Creator, a Protector, a Provider. You have blessed me with something great and I am so looking forward to what my future holds. Praise be to God! Amen