Saturday, January 29, 2011

marley? is that you??

For any of you who has seen the movie Marley and Me, you can get a glimpse at what my weekend back home has looked like so far. I love it. Nothing like coming home to a baby golden retriever who is 110% puppy. Since I pulled up to the house yesterday (ahhhh such a blissful feeling) and saw this little guy rolling around in the ground like he was a pig in a mud pit, it has been a constant mix of hilarity and distress as it takes two of the three members of the family and lots of "No, Maverick!", "Off, Maverick!" to get this little punk from thinking the unfortunate third member's socks, slippers, pants, hands, etc are his chew toys. And attempting all this with your eyes close? near impossible...but necessary. one look at that little guy's face and you become putty in his hands and suddenly, losing a shoe or foot doesn't seem so awful anymore.
note: puppy teeth aren't as cute and harmless as one would think.

but then, he sleeps...
and I'm reminded why this is on my christmas, birthday, general wish list:
sigh...totally called a wish list for a reason. for now, I'll just stick with my empty fish bowl since apparently I can kill 5 goldfish in the span of two months. The last one was a fighter though...
Baby steps. Someday my dream might come true, but I should probably be able to either 1. afford it or 2. be okay living off of beans and rice and selling my plasma every month.
This daydreaming completely reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3. You know, the "time for everything" chapter. A chapter full of the promise for desires when they're unreachable, the promise of weeping and sadness along with joy and laughter. Read it. I promise you will be encouraged. In fact, here's the first part to get you started-
 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:  2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

While I don't see "a time to buy a lab and a time to be puppy-less" listed....I think it brings enough for me to be challenged by already.

Monday, January 24, 2011


In addition to the other 7 books i'm reading, Captivating has also won a special place in my heart. It is the woman's Wild at Heart. thanks to the Big Guy, I always seem to pick up this book in times where I need it most. It explains my heart. My feminine heart. One frustrated by the romanticism it possesses. One full of desires, insecurities, pain, and beauty. It is a wonderful comfort to have this explained to you and reassure you that your heart is normal.

"Your feminine heart has been created with the greatest of all possible dignities- as a reflection of God’s own heart……the story of Eve… We clearly haven’t learned its lessons- for if we had, men would treat women much much differently, and women would view themselves in a far better light… Adam steps forth, the image of God. Nothing in creation even comes close. And yet, the Master says that something is not good, not right. Something in missing… and that something is Eve…She is the crescendo, the final astonishing work of God. Woman. In one least flourish creation comes to a finish not with Adam, but with Eve. She fills a place in the world nothing and no one else can fill…And she, too, bears the image of God but in a way that only the feminine can speak. What can we learn from her? God wanted to reveal something about Himself, so he gave us Eve… Eve is created because things were not right without her. Something was not good. …Something is missing? What could it possibly be? Eve. Woman. Femininity. Wow. Talk about significance." 

This blew me away. Never before have I so intensely felt the need for my existence. 
The book goes on to describe how God created us, as relational, life-giving beings and how, through the fall of man, this can lead to all sorts of bad news. It also marvelously tells that each and every one of us has beauty. Every single person. this is just a very insignificant summary of the book, so I would just encourage you to read it! you boys aren't off the hook, it's a wonderful insight to the fragile, magnificent heart of women. 
"We desire to possess a beauty that is worth pursuing, worth fighting for, a beauty that is core to who we truly are. We want beauty that can be seen; beauty that can be felt; beauty that affects others; a beauty all our own to unveil."

I am loving the revelations this book is bringing...God made us in His image, so our desire for beauty is essentially a reflection of His desire. He wants to be pursued, fought for, etc.
Just like me.

"The vast desire and capacity a woman has for intimate relationships tells us of God's vast desire and capacity for intimate relationships. In fact, this may be The most important thing we ever learn about God--the He yearns for relationship with us. "Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God" (John 17:3). The whole story of the Bible is a love story between God and His people. He yearns for us. He cares. He has a tender heart."

Yearn- 1. have an intense feeling of loss or lack and longing for something
            2. be filled with compassion or warm feeling
syn. long for, crave, desire, ache for, hunger for.

He YEARNS for me.
this is a line in a movie where all the girls go "awww". and it's being said to me. and you.
soak that in.

Sorry Hollywood, you have too big of shoes to fill.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

4 hours til take off...

the semester officially starts in 4 hours. EEEK.

this girl has been up since 5.
yes, in the morning.
before the sun and 98% of the human population are up.
not only that, it was an intentional wake work out.
yes, i'm feeling okay and yes, i'm crazy.
it was actually so refreshing...even with a restless nights sleep i was bright-eyed and bushytailed when my alarm went off at 5:15 (ok maybe a slight exaggeration). i met a couple friends and it is so much more motivating when you aren't there by yourself! i actually really enjoyed getting up that early. 1-the rec wasn't jammed packed. and 2- now i have a couple hours before class to just relax (or starting tomorrow, do school). it's a new year. new semester, new classes, new friends, and new memories. i am so excited to see what God has in store. i brace myself for some challenging, uncomfortable times ahead, but thank goodness for His strength and power.
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline."
thank You, for early mornings, and new beginnings. Rid me of every fear and anxious thought about starting this crazy semester, and give me me a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

fluffy post

this post really doesn't have much if you are looking for something inspiring and thought-provoking, you're better off going here or even here.
i just knew i needed to write something before i went the whole day with yoga being the only productive thing i did. (yes, blogging is productive in my opinion.)
i'm sitting here watching my beautiful friend madeline pack up her room as she prepares to move to austin this weekend for her new internship. so sad. the past two weeks of being temporary roommates have been such a fun blessing. lots of laughs and memorable girl time. God is doing amazing things in her life as she leaves college and enters "the real world". that stage of life seems so far away from me. i picture myself in college forever. the reality is that i have only have 2 years left and if they go by as fast as the last 2, i better start shopping for big girl clothes. scary.

on a different note, the last day of yoga is tomorrow and i'm actually getting kind of depresssed about it. i have learned to really enjoy it and i'm tempted to go be one of those people and buy a dvd so i can do it at home during the semester. plus, i feel like with my new goal to work out 5 days a week, yoga can be a more relaxing and easier workout on chosen days. which, on that topic, i refuse to call it a new years resolution because that always sets me up to fail. instead it is a personal challenge i'm setting for stop being lazy, stop making excuses, and learn to love being active and healthy. i know i am capable of it because i've been at that place before. it's funny though, i've noticed how when one part of my life is disorganzied, everything becomes chaotic and i go into hibernation mode. the lack of activity, eating horribly, sit-and-stare-at-my-computer-all-day-mode. this has gotta stop. i've been down this road before and it did not get me anywhere. i am gluten-free (foreign phrase? click here), so i'm already limited to what i can eat. problem is, i have trouble following the diet since i don't have horrible symptoms. however, i always forget how great i can feel until i go awhile having self-control. i've come a long way, thanks to Him, but i still have multiple times where i do not treat my body as a temple (thank you, 1 Cor. 6:19 for that conviction...). SO, as my 2011 challenge that is my goal. Not to lose #lbs, cut out sugar, run 7 days a week....but to search and pray about what it looks like to honor God with my body and let that be my guide, not society or fitness magazine.
so much for a fluffy post. my ramblings always seem to win over my blog intentions.
i've officially put off studying pretty much all day, i think it's time to glance at the review considering the test is tomorrow morning. highlight of the day: babysitting the apel kids...check out the cutest family ever. Praise God for the innocence and carefree spirit of encouraging.

"And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart."- Ezekiel 36:26 

Monday, January 10, 2011

prone to wander

yoga update: still loving it. did inverted poses today (shoulder stand and head stands) it feels cool to do, but when i saw other people doing it, it just looked freaky...i don't think our bodies are supposed to bend that way.
now on deeper level..

some of my most beautiful times spent with Jesus are on my roadtrips home. it's either 3 hours of me and my fleshly thoughts (otherwise known as satans playground) or 3 hours of uplifting, entertaining podcasts and music. Past experiences have shown me that the latter is such a better use of my time, even if i get weird looks from other drivers as they see me jamming to my "jesus loves me" playlist.
but yesterday, as i was leaving the dallas winter wonderland, the hymn "Come Thou Fount" (David Crowder great.) came on. i've sung this song so many times without fully grasping the lyrics. i am focused on the first verse but then i find myself just mumbling the words i know.

i'm singing to my Daddy, my Love. sure, there are times where i have trouble focusing during worship time in church (my ADD brain takes over). but that PLUS not grasping the full meaning of the song? that's so rude! i would not want someone who loves me to sing me a song without paying attention to the lyrics. just like i would not, in order to show my appreciation and love, go to my parents and belt out Beyonce's "All the Single Ladies" (yes mom, that example's for you). it has no meaning. so to be in my car yesterday and realize that i had no clue what i just sang, was sobering and embarrassing. Is God really up there smiling at and delighting in my half-hearted attempt to worship Him?
Matthew 15:8
"These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me."
My true desire is to lay my heart down at the feet of my Savior during worship...not keep it from Him.
Which brings me to the verse in "Come Thou Fount" that i very clearly understood and related to:
"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above."

It is so frustrating how prone i am to leave the God i love. how humbling to know He is always there awaiting my return...i'll never understand.
i'm feeling like this entry was a little scattered but i'm distracted by the hype of a runaway stabber a couple blocks away! first this morning there was a robbery at the mcdonalds by campus....then later tonight a guy stabbed someone at that same location. thank goodness for friends who like to have sleepovers.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,  clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." Colossians 3:12

Friday, January 7, 2011

book therapy

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."- C.S Lewis
Cheesy? who cares...this quote is a beautiful image that suffering brings us to Him more than anything else, so that His glory may be revealed.
the past couple months, my desire for reading has increased tremendously. not too long ago if i asked someone what they like to do in their free time and the response was "read", i'm sure i would smile forcefully and nod but inside i was so confused, yet also jealous. along with yoga (see post below), people who read are classy. i always wanted for my perfect day to consist of tea, books, and a comfy couch, but usually it was spent on facebook, in malls, etc. NOW i can say that reading would be a huge component of my perfect day. God has so graciously brought books like Knowing God, Counterfeit Gods, and Crazy Love (along with the Book of all books) to fill my mind with truth, encourage continual growth in my walk with Christ, and leave me hungry for more of Him and more literary pleasures.
Last night I was reading Counterfeit Gods, an amazing book on the evil of idolatry, when I got a kiss from God (a phrase my mom uses for when we experience something we feel was specifically for us). Tim Keller said that "sometimes God seems to be killing us when he's actually saving us." This seems dramatic, but who can honestly say they have never felt the despair of losing something or having an event change their life completely? and who, in that moment, can look up to Heaven and say "Thank you, God. Thank you for saving me, even if right now I don't necessarily see what from."
not me.
but it's true isn't it? that in that time, we are not equipped to see the big picture. we argue and reason with God that we know what is best for us. Proverbs says that "A man's heart plans his way; but the Lord directs his steps." and does He not promise to know the plans He has for us, to give us a hope and a future (jeremiah 29:11)? So why then, do I continue to beg God to give me my way? It's so challenging to just sit back in relief and remember that while things aren't as I expected, He is redirecting my steps towards His beautiful plan for my life.
Even as I write this, I think back to other seasons of my life where I was so confused and upset that God's ways were not mine, and now I'm overwhelmed with thanks. Now I see what I was blinded by then. Max Lucado put it perfectly when he said "God promises a lamp unto our feet, not a crystal ball into the future." 
God doesn't want me to question Him...I think it's safe to say the all-powerful, all-knowing, Creator of the Universe who chose me and loves me has my life under control
Thank you, Abba. Thank you for times where you bring me to my knees in submission to your will, for it is far better than any plan of mine.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


it's been two days since i've been back in aggieland. two things i realized in just this amount of time:
1. yoga breathing is not easy- okay. 2nd day of yoga and it's actually going really well...easy i'd even say. i'm pretty flexible, so the poses we have done so far haven't felt too awkward (although i definitely don't look like the instructor). and i feel classy. i always thought people who did yoga were classy, and now i'm one of them :] BUT, the breathing....i'm horrible. i can't do it correctly. while i have mastered breathing in and out of my nose, the whole "relax and extend your stomach and then contract on exhale" thing is impossible for me. if i focus so much on the breathing, i can't do the pose and if i focus on the poses, i don't breath properly. and from what i know about yoga, breathing is like the most important thing. hopefully this will get better with time because it is relaxing so i can only imagine the benefits when i can do it correctly!


2. there is no place like home- i am so grateful for my time at home. my parents were a continual comfort and encouragement to me. i struggled with loneliness a lot this last trip home and although i did not see it then, i believe that was God's way of providing me with sweet, intimate time with Him. i learned more about Him and what He wants for my life in this moment. it's been two days and already my Jesus time has decreased, my mind is filled less and less of Him, and it's unsettling how little amount of time it takes for Satan to pop up more and more. I am fearful because i know what happens when i'm not filling the bulk of my day in the Word or with uplifting books and podcasts(if you haven't read Knowing God by J I Packer....go buy it NOW....incredible). I need Christ. All day. I have a hunger for Him that i have never experienced. it frustrates me when i think about how in two weeks i won't have hours of free time. i want to just spend the whole day with Jesus, undistracted by anything else. I know that is not realistic, but spending time with Him every day is. Just how a couple days of not being home unsettles me and makes me long for it again, so does my soul after a couple days without pursuit of Christ. The benefit of the latter is that I never have leave. in my sinfulness and stupidity, i just choose to.
it's funny how God chooses to use earthly things to open our eyes to our need for Him and to how much greater He can give us.

Matthew 7:11
"If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

I ask for neverending growth and hunger for my Savior. I ask for continual molding and shaping of my life to reflect His. I ask for comfort and security when my frequent feelings of loneliness and longing come.

Revelation 3:20
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me."