I'm leaving for a few days. Will be back Sunday. Taking the laptop, but I'm not so sure if I'll be able to hack into someone's wireless or not. I'll sure try :D
Will be in Boise for orientation (woo.) ;) Nah, it should be all right.
If you could pray for safe travel I would really appreciate. Love and prayers to you all!!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I'm leaving for a few days. Will be back Sunday. Taking the laptop, but I'm not so sure if I'll be able to hack into someone's wireless or not. I'll sure try :D
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
So my problem is the following...
I read a LOT. And by the end of a good book, my lower back and bum are completely SORE from laying down in one position for too long.
Am I the only one that suffers in this way? It's killing me, and all I want to do is go running or walking or swimming or something. But apparently it's late at night and normal people don't do that. Pfft. Normalcy :-P
Speaking of books (as if I wasn't the one that brought up the subject) I've been reading memoirs lately. I've fallen IN LOVE with memoirs. If it were possible for me to marry a genre of writing, I would do it. I think I just finished my seventh one in the course of two months. And when you consider all else that I've been reading, that's a lot of memoirs to have on one's plate. Anyway.
I may have mentioned this before, but I'm a listener and I LOVE to hear about people's lives. So when you throw my love of reading in with learning about somebody's crazy upbringing, current thoughts, or current adventures, I scream with joy :D (which is also probably why blogging is so appealing.) Tonight I finished up The Glass Castle. Jeannette Walls had one of the craziest upbringings I've ever heard of. I was captured by all of her adventures, drawn into all of her indignities, and cheered for her triumphs. I wish all authors that chose to write memoirs could do it with her flair, but alas, not all are so talented. Anyway, it was a delicious read and if you can handle offensive language that is scattered here and there and a few uncomfortable scenes then I would recommend it.
That's pretty much all from me today. I went on a walk with Casey, tanned, had three meals today (never happens because of work,) vacuumed the inside of my car (that's a horrid chore,) ran errands, paid bills, and read :-D It was a good day, but definitely uneventful.
Love and prayers to you all!!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
I'm sure I'm not the only one who ever day dreams about Heaven and what it will be like when we are all together, am I right? That being said, I think I caught a glimpse the other night.
This past weekend I went out and spent the night at my cousin, Grace's, house. I typically have a blast whenever I go out there. She was the sister I never had when I was younger. We grew up together as much as we could and when we weren't together we were on the phone creating the best memories. Her parents, my aunt and uncle, were the ones that got me my first Bible and took me to Church for my first time (and my second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. ;)) Their oldest boy, Erik, was the one who baptized me last summer, anytime I see Daniel walk into Staples my day at work is tremendously better, and Kevin (paralyzed from the neck down but way better off than most paralysis patients), he teaches all of us what true faith in God is like. Then there is their oldest, beautiful child Jen, married and living happily in Minnesota. She never fails to send me cards on important occasions filled with encouragement. So, to say this family is special to me, would be an understatement.
There was a moment, when we were all gathered in the family room, watching an old western movie and making fun of it (come on, they're funnnny!) when I understood what true contentment and fellowship is like. To be sitting and doing really nothing special, but to be so happy... that's beautiful. The only thing missing from the picture was our Lord and Saviour, but really, He was there in spirit.
I yearn for Heaven with my dear family. I yearn for Heaven with all of you. And I deeply yearn, with all of my heart and soul and body, for Heaven with my King.
And yet, as always, I know there is work yet to be done on this earth. Therefore, I shall continue being content with my tastes of Heaven, God will give me enough to sustain me =)
Monday, June 23, 2008
When people are asked to describe me I don't think that I have ever been called prideful. It is not an adjective very many people think of when they first think of me. (At least, not that I'm aware of.) But, I'm here today, to admit how very prideful I am. And how very sinful that fact is.
I just devoured Blue Like Jazz, if you've never read this book, you may want to look into it. It's one man's non-religious thoughts on Christian spirituality (his tag-line, not mine.) It convicted me in many ways, and pretty much throughout the whole book I felt my thoughts resonating with his. My head would shake in agreement, my heart would race at the injustice of something he had faced, and I would laugh along with him at some of the obvious hypocritical things we as Christians do.
This post could potentially be very long if I were to explain every part of the book that I loved and if I used all the quotes I wrote down in my journal. But, this post must specifically be about my pride, as much as I would like to never think about it.
"I love to give to charity, but I don't want to be charity. This is why I have so much trouble with grace." -Don Miller excerpt from his book, Blue Like Jazz.
I LOVE that Jesus died for all of the world's sins. It amazes me, it leaves me aghast, it challenges my tiny little brain and my brain is never able to wrap itself around that fact. It's such a beautiful event. No other true story is as beautiful as that. I love reminding people that He died for all of our sins, no matter how big they are. But I constantly fail to remind myself. I have begun to realize that I think I am above this gift of life. Obviously, I repent. I have also obviously, given my life over to Jesus and I know that only through Him I am saved from an eternity spent in hell. But do I appreciate this gift as much as I should? No.
As I was journaling about this part of the book last night I realized something about myself. Because before I was saved I never murdered anyone, or robbed a bank, or anything like that, I think my sins are not as big, do not need as much grace. How naive is that?
Matthew 5:22 says "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good for nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool.' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell." (NASB)
And before this Jesus talks about how murder is quite the sin. You can not compare two sins. A sin is a sin no matter how you try to dress it up. And any sin of mine is enough to send me into the fiery pit of hell for ETERNITY no matter how "small" I may think it is.
God has shown me how very prideful I am and I am praying that He will humble me before men and make me the meekest of all creatures. I am no greater than an ex-murderer. I would do well to remember that.
Mark 7:21-23 "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, PRIDE, and foolishness. All these things proceed from within and defile the man." (NASB)
No longer do I want pride to come from my heart. I want a humble heart. I desire it with all of me.
Running after His (non-prideful) heart,
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I've always loved the game of tag :D Blogging tag is even better. Miss Mackenzie tagged me to answer a few questions, so here's the rules and here are my answers...
Here is what I (and whoever else I tag) have to do:
- Answer some questions from whoever tagged me
- Link her to my blog (she's already there!! :D)
- Tag six more other people and comment on their blog to let them know!
Ok, the first question.
Who is your favorite author and why?
This is hard one for me. I absolutely adore reading. If I have to choose one I would go with Melody Carlson, because her books were instrumental to me choosing to follow Jesus. Also, I really love how all of her diary series are so relevant to many young women my age. I can relate with them and Ms. Carlson isn't afraid to put the girls in tough, real, situations.
Who was your first favorite author and why?
My first favorite author was definitely Ann M. Martin. She wrote the Baby-sitters Club books and I absolutely loved and adored them. I still have a few of them on my bookshelf. Very cute books :D
Who is the most recent addition to your favorite authors and why?
Recent additions? Totally Brett and Alex Harris :D because they challenge our generation to Do Hard Things and I love that! Oh! And my aunt Pam. She just came out with her book, Song in the Night. I love it.
If someone asked you who your favorite authors were right now, which authors would pop out of your mouth?
Melody Carlson, Alex and Brett, Jenkins and LaHaye, Pamela Thorson (:
So... I tag..
Yay, how fun! :D
Often in my life, okay constantly... I struggle with what God has in store for me. I have a feeling it's something big, and boy do I ever talk myself up.
"Yeah, I'm going to follow God's will for my life. I'm going to let go and let God. I will do whatever it takes to pick up my cross and follow Jesus." And of course my list of big talk goes on.
This past weekend, while out in the beauty of God's creation I finally GOT IT. What exactly it will take and what it will mean to give my LIFE over to God so that He can work through me for the furthering of His kingdom.
Being out in the beauty of God's creation makes you realize many things. One such thing is that we are so small. Compared to the mountains of His earth, compared to the billions of people, compared even to some of our dearest friends and family we can feel small. But another thing that you realize is that as small as you are, the Father created you to be just as beautiful as the mountains, just as precious as the other billions of people, and just as special to your friends and family as they are to you.
And then I realized that if God can use other people, if He can create and move mountains (figurative and literal), and if He can do good works through and in the lives of family and friends, then why not me? I can not be afraid anymore to step out in my fear. I have to realize that if I wait for the day that God magically removes any of my fear or anxious feelings I will be waiting until I die. I'm just going to have to do it. And the everlasting, most-loving Father, will be there to guide me. I just have to be running after His heart.
So as I step out into the world, it's with the expectation that I am going to push myself out of my comfort zone. I am going to be the young woman of God I am supposed to be. I'm going to walk the crap out of my talk. I will give back to the world, starting now.
I would ask that you all could be praying with me and that you would (if you feel led, otherwise do not worry!) keep me accountable to this. Ask me the hard questions. What am I doing lately to further His kingdom? Have I given all control to the Father, or am I trying to hold onto something? How is my Bible reading going. Time with God in general? How goes doing "hard things?" I'm honestly doing it. I'm far from ready... but God's grace will cover me.
Friday, June 13, 2008
"You can't understand light unless you understand darkness, because that's where life is most often lived...somewhere between the two. It's messy and it's beautiful all at the same time." - Bebo Norman
As breaths go by, minutes slip through my fingers, hours rush on, and days turn into months I realize something... every hard part of my life, every lesson learned, every time I'm living in the darkness, it's for the good of who I am becoming. Some lessons must simply be learned on your own, we must make our own mistakes. Sure, it's great to learn from those who have gone before us, but if you never made one mistake, how would you ever truly learn?
It's true as Bebo wisely says, most often we are living in between the dark and the light... in between the horrible and the wonderful, the falsehoods and the truth. And I realize that my journeys into the horrible, dark, falsehoods are what shape me the most. Don't get me wrong... if I could constantly live in the light, the truth, and be wonderful at all times, I would. But I'm pretty sure if that was happening, I would be in heaven, and I know my time on earth is not yet done. But truly, the experiences in the dark - the screw-ups, the "poopies," the 'uh-oh I need a band-aid', these are the things that allow God's mighty power to shine through, it's where we fall flat on our faces and worship/praise/cry-out to/ the King, for we are powerless to do anything else.
During these seasons, amongst the rubble and debris, amongst the mud, this is where God picks us up, places us on His lap, and begins cleaning us. These are the moments we are vulnerable and most open to learning. As He cleans us up, He teaches us. And if we have any sort of brains, we listen to our Father. Then, with a few bruises and a new understanding we get "back up on the horse" and ride off into the sunset. Only to repeat the process soon-after.
This is not bad, it's beautiful. That is not to say, sin-away! God will always clean up after you. No, no dear sisters and brothers, let us not abuse the gift of grace. But the innocent mistakes, the lessons that we must learn, these are what God can use to show others His grace and love.
So... I'm climbing up out of my mud puddle and I'm hoping others will see that, yes I failed. But God is there for me, His arms open wide. And as I come crawling to Him, He will lift me up into His loving, sovereign arms and clean me up while telling me what I did wrong and how to behave next time. My lesson will be learned. And God's glory will be shown through my weakness. This is probably the most humbling part of the whole situation, God uses us in our worst moments, for the glory of His kingdom. I've seen it done, I've experienced it, it happens. It's exciting!! I love that about God. Everything is always the opposite of the world. And it's the best!
I took a walk down to the river
And I laid my burdens down
Before the Taker and the Giver
And I am finally found
Bebo Norman - I Know Now
Thursday, June 12, 2008
So life has been crazy, as you well know. But I have a feeling it's going to slow down. At least enough to where I can be on here long enough to read and comment your blogs and maybe write a few of my own. ;-)
I've been pretty down in the dumps lately (as you may have gaged from Casey's blog) and confused about a lot of aspects of life. Some, I don't really care to talk about as I'm still coming to terms with it all.
Then there is this whole summer of limbo. I'm no longer in high school... but not yet in college. I'm just here. Waiting to say good-bye to friends, praying that I will meet new friends in college. Waiting to say good-bye to my family while trying to enjoy every minute I do have with them. Trying to spend time with people that matter most, while not shunning the rest of my friends.
It's an odd and unattainable balancing act. As soon as I think I have a handle on one thing I drop something else that I'm juggling and it shatters around my feet. Then, not only am I juggling 85 different things, I also have to tip-toe around all the shattered things on the ground. I seem to be making a mess of my life. But I'm beginning to realize I just need to give it all to God, stop being such a control-freak, realize that I am His child and He will clean up my mess and help me learn my lesson if I just relinquish whatever control I think I have.
To say the least, I do believe this will be a summer of growth and change if I just open my mind and heart and soul to God. Most importantly...
I need to
Monday, June 9, 2008
I'm sorry I haven't been on! I'm sorry I haven't been commenting any of you back or commenting your blogs. I've been much more busy than I would have thought, which is good and bad. I'm still praying for all of you and read your blogs when I can even if I don't comment. I'm hoping to get back on here soon and actually write something of substance as well as comment your latest blogs! I love you all!!
Posted by SamanthaMarie at 10:46 PM
Monday, June 2, 2008
Thursday was the end. The last day of school. The last day of high school. The last day of public schooling. The last day I wouldn't have to pay a penny for my education. The last time I would walk the halls of my beloved high school as a student. The last time I would venture into that world as a student to my teachers. From now on, during visits, I will refer to them on a first-name basis... awkward (maybe I just will always call them Mrs. Yarno, Mrs. Snider, etc. :))
I woke up, with not much anticipation. I did not feel different. I wasn't overly excited. I just was. I was happy to be done with school (although it felt like just another year under the belt.) I was excited that I didn't have any tests. I was excited for graduation practice. But other than that... life wasn't much different.
While making my breakfast I was treated to my annual end-of-year-note from my loving father. Telling me how proud my mom and he are of me. He also gave me five dollars for a coffee, what a lovely man :-)
Drove to school and floated through first hour. But then second hour arrived and by the end I was an utter mess. My second hour teacher is like my mom. I have been through a lot with her. We have fought like mother and daughter, gone to dinner like mother and daughter, laughed, cried, and shared with one another for the past three years. She gave me a bracelet that I will always cherish and I will continue to keep in touch with that lovely woman. Then, I continued on to third hour and floated through that.
After third hour was the Senior barbecue. But Rebecca and I decided to be rebels and skip out :) We went to Mandarin Pine instead and had yummy egg rolls, fried rice, chow mein, and almond chicken. Way better than burgers :D Plus, it gave us time to ponder our last day, think about the past year, and wonder about what was to come. I began the school year with her, and ended it with her, it was fitting.
Then came the ever traumatic graduation ceremony practice. First, I need to explain five things.
1.) My high school has a tradition of allowing you to walk with whomever you want instead of coming in alphabetically. You can only walk up to four people in a group.
2.) David is my best guy friend and we had planned on walking with Heather and Rebecca.
3.) Heather is not really a friend of mine anymore... but she didn't have anyone else to walk with, so we let her walk with us.
4.) Jeffrey is Rebecca's best guy friend and didn't really have anyone to walk with.
5.) I've been having problems with David lately, and on Thursday he said that if his friend Marina didn't have anyone to walk with he was going to walk with her. (Which upset me.)
So, we get to the venue and we are told to get in our groups. Everyone is pretty much standing there looking at everyone else, trying to figure out who was going to be kicked out of the group. So I made a snap decision, told David to walk with Marina and her group and then Jeff could walk with us. I instantly regretted my decision and spent the whole practice upset that I was walking with Heather who I don't even particularly care for instead of David my best friend. I am a poopy person for so many reasons. But I gave it all to God, got over myself, and was able to be happy with my group in the end.
I got my hair cut Thursday, it was nice (:
My grandparents came into town! I absolutely LOVE them. We went out to dinner. Ate at Applebee's, had a lovely time visiting and catching up.
And that was pretty much the sum of Thursday.
What I learned from that day...
1.) High school is not really the end, but merely a beginning. On the horizon are so many opportunities, so many places yet untraveled, so many lives yet to be met, so many experiences yet to be had. So, if you ask me if I'm sad, I have this to say. Not really, because I know there is so much more to come and for that I'm joyful. I can look back on my high school years, proud of my growth and happy about the friends I made, but the past is the past and I need to live in the present :)
2.) Sometimes life will not go the way *I* had planned. I need to learn to get over that. I also need to realize that my attitude and how I react to things affects the people around me, so I need to be careful, especially as a representative of Christ.
3.) I love my grandparents =)
I survived! I graduated! I came! I saw! I conquered! ;)
Anywho, I will be posting a series of blogs that will be labeled...
This is because...
1.) I'm so creative that I decided to use the days of the week ;)
2.) So much happened each day that I wanted to break up the amount of writing so that you can read at leisure and it isn't all one huge post.
But for right now, I have to go write some thank-you cards and eat some yummy leftovers.
LOVE YOU ALL AND HAVE MISSED YOU BUNCHES!!!
Posted by SamanthaMarie at 11:54 AM