Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm attempting something this week that I've attempted before, but I've never been completely successful at it. So far, today has gone OK. That is only by God's grace. With each day that passes, however, I know there will be stronger temptations to quit. I'm committed to making it through Friday, though, and I know God will help me do it. I'll try to post throughout the week and share with you what God is teaching me. I definitely want to post on Saturday or Sunday, because I'm confident I will have at least one thing to share. Because God is awesome, generous, kind, loving, wise, a most excellent teacher, etc., I supsect I will have more than just one thing.

Already, God has placed someone in my life for whom I am truly grateful. She is an answered prayer. She is helping me put some things into the right perspective. She's helping me grieve and grow. Tonight, she reminded me that I cannot control anyone else's actions. Through God's grace, I can work on my own life, but I cannot do anything that will change someone else. Sure, I can impact someone, and I can pray that God will intervene in someone's life, but I am not responsible for how that person responds or acts. That's a liberating thought. :O)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"Hollered" vs. "Hurled"

Back in September/October, I started tutoring a little girl who is in the third grade. We get together once a week so I can help her with her reading. At first, I wasn't sure if she liked me, and I wasn't sure if I was really helping her much, but we stuck it out. Over the last couple of months, I have seen more and more progress, and she seems to like reading more and more. It's been awesome!

I feel I must share with you a happy, yet honestly almost a little sad, moment I had today while tutoring. My tutoree really enjoys the Junie B. books, and we're now reading our second one, Junie B. and a Little Monkey Business. In this book, Junie B. uses the word "hollered" a lot. The little girl I tutor is from Vietnam, not the south, so she isn't very familiar with the word "hollered." For weeks, every time she came to that word, she would say "hurled." So, instead of reading something like "I hollered" or "she hollered," she would read "I hurled" or "she hurled." I always corrected her, but I giggled a lot inside when she said the wrong word. Is that mean of me? Anyway, after a couple of tries today, she started saying "hollered." I was really proud of her for getting it right! I will, however, miss my inner chuckles ... I know, mean, right?

Earthworms: One Good Memory and One Not So Good Memory

I saw two earthworms in the parking lot at work today. Those two earthworms brought to mind two very different memories.

I'll start with the Not So Good memory:

During my time at North Greenville, I learned that a lot of rain equalled a lot of earthworms. I was walking across campus one evening during a particularly rainy period of time. It was REALLY rainy, so that meant there were a TON of earthworms! There were so many earthworms that I had to jump all over the place so my feet had somewhere to step that there wasn't an earthworm! GROSS! I almost cried! It was a horrible experience, but I'm sure I experienced personal growth from it somehow ... I'll get back to you on that one. :O)

Now the Good memory:

When Joel, Shana, and I were growing up (well, I was pretty close to grown up at this point), there was a Sega in our house. One of the games we enjoyed playing was Earthworm Jim. It was awesome! I miss that game! Throughout the game, Earthworm Jim would yell, "HAM!" We thought that was great! So we would yell "HAM!" from time to time. It was awesome! Then one day, we realized he wasn't saying "HAM!"

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring Feels Different

Have you ever noticed that spring FEELS different? Of course, there is the obvious atmospheric difference because the temperature is warmer, but there’s more to it. Spring feels different to me on a lot of different levels.

My pants feel different. What? That’s right, my pants feel different. The way the material feels on my skin is different. This isn’t the first year I’ve noticed that. It could be because I’m wearing sandals rather than boots, but the difference is there nonetheless.

The air around me feels different. I notice this particularly in the evenings, but also on spring afternoons. Maybe it’s because it gets dark later, but the air feels different, lighter maybe, when I’m sitting in my apartment on spring evenings. It feels less oppressive, more hopeful, like I could actually accomplish something if I chose to.

My bed feels different. Perhaps this can be contributed to the temperature difference. I haven’t started wearing different pajamas, so I don’t think this is the same as my pants feeling different. My sheets actually feel different to me.

Perhaps I’m just different in the spring. Maybe I’m coming to life. I feel cooped up, oppressed, even depressed in the winter. I thrive in the spring. It is a time filled with new life, hope, and possibilities. It is an ever present reminder that I once was dead in sin, but Christ gave me new life. Maybe that’s why I feel different. :O)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Still Chillin' in Conway

I had so much fun with Amy this evening! It was really refreshing to be with a friend and spend the evening laughing. One of the things I love about being friends with Amy is that I laugh almost nonstop when we're together. She's going to post some pictures that we took while we were in Walmart (we spent 2 hours in Walmart!). I'll swipe one and share it with you.

I mentioned that Shana and I are taking pictures in the morning. I also mentioned that I suggested that we go watch the sunrise over the river. Shana was totally up for it! Then she had a great idea ... watching the sunrise over the ocean! So, I'm planning on picking her up between 6:15-6:30 so we can watch the sunrise over the ocean! If I get some good pictures, I'll share them with you.

Chillin' in Conway

I'm in Conway for a couple of days hangin' out with my grandma. I surprised her last night. She had no clue I was coming for a visit. She keeps asking me why I'm here. I'm trying not to take that personally ... :O)

Before I got here, I was really upset about some things. After chatting with my aunt, I'm a bit more at peace about those things. I thank God for that peace. I know He is in control of all things. I just have a tendency to lose sight of that.

I'm having dinner with my friend Amy this evening. I'm really excited about that, because I haven't seen her in a long time. I've known her since I was in high school, and God has seen fit to maintain our friendship, so it will be really good to see her.

Tomorrow morning, my sister Shana and I are going to practice our photography. I'm not certain yet where we are going. I would like to go to Brookgreen Gardens, but I don't want to pay the admission to get in! So, we'll find somewhere equally as exciting and likely a little more creative. She asked me to text her and tell her what time I want her to come over in the morning. I told her 6:45 so we could catch the sunrise over the river. She hasn't texted me back ... haha. :O)

Just a side note: my sister Shana is one of the most awesome people in the whole wide world. I'm so grateful for her. She is praying for guidance about where God would have her go to school in the fall. If you think about it, please lift her up. I know she would appreciate it. Thanks!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Desert Song by Hillsong

I really love this song, so I thought I would share it with you. :O)

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that's within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it's way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I'll stand

All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I'm filled to be emptied again
The seed I've recieved I will sow

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bittersweet Moments

About 9-10 months ago, I made the difficult decision to leave my last church. That church had been my home for almost 4 years, so it certainly wasn't easy leaving. While I have a total peace about my decision, and I'm very grateful that God has led me to a new church home, I have experienced several bittersweet moments of remembrance lately.

Valentine's Day brought about the first wave of bittersweet moments. Every year, the kids of the church and I would make Valentine's Day cards to give to children in the hospital. I loved doing that with them. I really missed doing that this year.

The onslaught of Easter propaganda brought about the next wave of bittersweet moments. Every year, the kids of the church and I put together Easter baskets to donate to the United Way. I loved doing that with them. I really missed doing that this year.

Yes, I miss a lot of things - a lot of people. But that doesn't change anything. All of the reasons I left still stand. So, during the bittersweet moments, I smile a little and keep going. God has a lot in store for me. I know it. He is sovereign, wise, loving, and kind. He has a plan for my life, and He will use all of the experiences of my past to enhance my future. My future rocks, because it's in the hands of Almighty God. So I'm thankful for the bittersweet moments. They remind me Who I serve.