Tuesday, October 11, 2011

When I was Sixteen

You know how every once in a while something will really hit you hard even though you've known it for ages? That happened to me on my birthday, which was the day before yesterday.

I was writing a song about how we are constantly changing and how God is always the same and it sort of smacked me across the face. =)

My sixteenth year was absolutely incredible. I grew closer to God than I've ever been before, I got to know dozens of wonderful people, I flew across the country, I competed at Nationals, broke my nose, was in my second wedding (well, not my second wedding, but...you know), attended a phenomenal debate camp, started writing poetry and songs, started learning how to read music and play the piano, I found out about modern day slavery, I spoke to my city council, I got an awesome job. This has been a terrific year!

My birthday morning I was feeling sort of melancholy. my sixteenth year, the most wonderful year ever, is over.

Then, as I was writing that song, it really hit me. God was the same during my sixteenth year as He was when I was two or nine or fourteen. God was the same then as He will be this next year and He'll still be the same when I'm twenty one and forty seven and ninety, if I live that long.

God didn’t get better this last year. He didn't love me more or show more interest in my life when I was sixteen. God was the same and He is the same and He always will be the same. He is the same now as He was when He, "was hovering over the face of the waters," (Genesis 1:2) He is the same now as He was when Mary, "gave birth to her firstborn Son and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn," (Luke 2:7) and He is certainly the same now as He was when I forgot my whole speech and He gave it back to me, one line at a time.

I may not feel Him the way that I did at the Emerald City Qualifier, or at Nationals or at Debate camp, or in front of the City Council, but He is right here holding me every step of the way, and He always will be.

"Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting You are God."
~Psalm 90:2

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
for His steadfast love endures forever!"
~1 Chronicles 16:34

"Jesus Christ is the same
yesterday and today and forever."
~Hebrews 13:8

Over and out,


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Real Meaty Stuff...And Some Goals =)

I made my first pot roast last night!  Thank you, Ree Drummond of thepioneerwoman.com, for the lovely recipe.  I did add potatoes to mine, though.  What is a pot roast without potatoes?  And thank you, Heavenly Father, for helping it to be even better than barely edible!

In the past month I have baked my first two whole chickens along with my pot roast, all of which turned out quite nicely.

It's funny, I thought that I knew how to cook, and I do...sort of.  But my list of meals that I can cook well is...well, rather short.  I mean to fix that, though.

I can just see my husband someday asking, "Hon, didn't we have pot roast two nights ago?" to which my reply would be, "Oh, that's right...well, I'll make spaghetti again!"  I can almost hear his disgusted groan. 

That will not be reality.  No, sir, not for this blogger.  I shall work hard this year at broadening my horizons in the kitchen.

This got me thinking about readiness, though.  "And, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace." (Ephesians 6:15)  Readiness is such an important thing that it is actually a piece of the armor of God.  That's big! 

It's so easy to forget that the time that I have right now is preparation for later in life.  During my "teen years," if I listen to what He's telling me, God is working on preparing me to be a godly wife and mother someday.

That is a sobering thought.  Each day I am doing things that contribute to my future, whether they are good contributions or bad.  It makes me want to re-do a whole lot of days that I've wasted.

Goals are good things.  If you don't know where you are going, how are you going to get there?  Yes, goals are good things, and God is so good at helping us to achieve the goals that He puts on our hearts.

So, here are some goals that I am hoping to achieve during this school year:

  • Finish reading the Bible all the way through
  • Read Wayne Grudem's "Systematic Theology" from cover to cover
  • Read at least one Dickens book :::Shudder:::
  • Learn to cook at least fifteen new meals well
  • Learn to sew...something...anything
  • Learn to garden without wanting to rip my hair out
  • Finish learning to read music (Update!  It's coming along nicely!)
  • Write the music for at least five of my songs (Update!  I have finished the lyrics to nine songs!)
  • Actually graduate (which might be hard with all of this and 5 speech events and debate...oh dear...)
  • Memorize at least one book of the Bible
  • Learn to budget well while food shopping (which isn't exactly one of my goals, but my parents actually want to trust me with the food money for a month along with meal planning and cooking...I am terrified, to say the least)

Well, that's all for now,  at least, that's all that I'm willing to share on the world wide web.  =)

Over and out,


P.S  I just changed the commenting settings on this blog, so now all of you lovely people can comment, even non-blogger users!  Happy commenting!  =)

Wow, I write the most random, disconnected posts...      


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

A New Year...A New Adventure...

Oh the thrill! I went to speech and debate club last night, the third meeting of the season, not expecting anything too abnormal...I was pleasantly surprised =)

I moseyed my way over to the Platform room and talked with an alum friend and one of the mothers about my new persuasive idea. I had had an outline, the skeleton, of my speech for about a week, but I was totally stuck. I'm telling you, starting a speech is just about the hardest part of public speaking. I knew what I wanted to include in my intro, I knew what I wanted to talk about, it was just a matter of actually getting it on paper.

Well, it happened last night! With most speeches that I've done I've been dreadfully stuck and then I'll have an epiphany moment and it all comes at once. I had that lovely light bulb go off in my head after I got home last night...and I stayed up until shortly after midnight writing the introduction and part of my first point.

If you haven't competed with speeches before you can't possibly understand that moment. The moment when you know you've got it. That glorious feeling of picking up a pen and writing out sentences which then form paragraphs which then form an introduction, a first point, a second point and finally a third point and conclusion.

Words are powerful things. I cannot possibly describe to you the feeling of knowing that God is speaking words through you. It's sort of like when you're so happy that you get a lump in your throat and almost cry...only so much better. Oh, how glorious!

I went to sleep last night thoroughly giddy. It has begun! A new speech season full of new adventure and new lessons and new challenges!
"Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!"
~Psalm 98:4-6
Over and out,


Monday, October 3, 2011

Can't Control Myself...

I have come to realize more and more that I really can't control myself.

There.  I said it.  =)

It seems that the more that I try to control myself the more I find my mind wandering, words slipping out that are anything but graceful, my eyes rolling...I find that my attitude sort of disintegrates when I'm trying to be in control. 

2 Corinthians 11:3 says, "But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ."

So often I find my thoughts dwelling on things that are not of Christ.  Most of the time I'm not thinking of things that are really "sinful," but when they are taking a higher priority in my life than Christ, they become sinful.  My thoughts are constantly being, "led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ."  Webster's New World College Dictionary defines "Pure" as, "free from any adulterant; unmixed."  The "unmixed" really got me, what would unmixed devotion to Christ look like?  Oh, it would be glorious!  To have thoughts, dreams, desires, aspirations, words, actions that all show an unmixed devotion to Christ would be...Is there an adjective that could describe that kind of beauty?

A dear friend and I have been praying over the phone together nearly every day for the past few months and I have found that the more she prays the Armor of God and the Fruit of the Spirit over me the less I think of things that I ought not, the less I say things that I end up regretting and the less I have a bad attitude in general.  I won't lie, I still have a horrid attitude far more than I wish to admit, but it's getting better, and I know it's not me.

I certainly don't believe that we are God's little puppets, but I do believe that without Him we don't have the strength to accomplish just about anything meaningful and lasting.

John 14:16 says, "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever."  Isn't that amazing?  The Lord knows so well that we are not strong enough or wise enough to be able to do much at all by ourselves, so He gave us a helper, the Holy Spirit, to live with us and guide us.

He wouldn't command us to, "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil," ( Ephesians 6:11) if there was no way for us to do that.  He gave us the Holy Spirit, our "Helper," so that we can, "Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  (Ephesians 6:14-17) 

He is who surrounds us with His truth.  He is who covers our hearts with His Righteousness.  He is who protects our feet, makes them ready for everything that He calls us to do and gives us His all encompassing peace.  He is who makes our faith strong enough to, "extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one."  He is who protects our thoughts, our words, and the things that we hear and see with His glorious salvation.  He is who gives us His word and trains us to use it for His glory.  We can do nothing without Him, and we can do anything with Him.

I do not have the strength, the will-power, the wisdom, the...ummm, anything to protect myself from the evil one, much less fight back.  Oh, but He does! 

For so long I have lived in fear of giving up control.  Now I realize that I didn't really have much control over anything anyway.  Now I am filled with awe and wonder and joy at the thought that the God who created the universe, the God who created microorganisms and black holes in outer space is the same God who is my helper. 

So, I don't have to control myself, I simply have to let Him control me, to work through me.  Somehow surrendering non-existent power isn't as hard as I used to think it would be.  =)

Over and out,


P.S. I know, I changed the blog again...I'm still in the process of a re-design, but it should be done soon and then I'll let it be for awhile  =)