Saturday, February 25, 2012


I feel strange when I'm nervous.  The really funny thing is that the strange feeling doesn't start in my stomach, it starts in my hands.  They feel sort of weak and strangely hollow.  This feeling moves up my arms, clutches at my chest and then wraps itself around my stomach until I feel entirely engulfed in fear.

This is how I feel before speech rounds.

I know, I know.  I've done this for four years, shouldn't I be used to it by now?  Yes, I should be, but I'm just not.

I recently figured it out, though, and now I almost enjoy this feeling (almost).  See, I feel hollow and weak, and I am.

I am hollow and weak.

But maybe I'm hollow so that He can fill me up.  Maybe I'm weak so that He can be my strength.

"He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things."
~Psalm 107:9

"The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble."
~Psalm 37:39

Over and out,


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reality Check

I used to think that I would be all grown up by the time I was seventeen.

I thought that I would have gotten my act entirely together, have everything figured out, be a great role model, have figured out exactly what God wants me to do with my life or at least have my drivers licence.

Reality check.

I will never have my act entirely together.  I will never have everything figured out.  I will never be a good enough role model.  God can keep His plan for me secret as long as He wants and I'll never have my drivers licence.  (Okay, that last one is a lie... believe it or not, I've been working on driving recently and I sort of almost enjoy it now!)

I guess I used to look up to people my age as being these all-knowing fountains of wisdom and purpose...but now I'm there.  I'm now a Senior in high school.  I'm one of the people I used to think had everything under control, and guess what?  I don't have anything under control, and I never will.

The more I realize that I am not in charge of anything, the more I love it.  

God just reminded me of this at the Olympic Qualifier about a week and a half ago.  My first round of Apologetics was pathetic.  I don't even know what I was saying.  I could see the confusion in the judges eyes and I myself was utterly was DREADFUL.  I came out of that room literally thinking, "what was I even saying?!"  I probably blasphemed at some point during that was that bad.

But then in the end I got sixth in Apologetics.  Certainly not from that round, I'm absolutely certain that I got eighth from each and every judge in that first round.  But God chose to use that horrendous failure of a round to remind me that I really don't have anything under control.  He is in charge.

God has been teaching me so much through Apologetics.  Some rounds, I'll be a tad bit confident, and my presentation will turn out like that one (although that is the worst to date), but other times, when I step down and allow God to be in control, He speaks through me and helps me to actually make sense and touch people's hearts.

I may be seventeen, but I don't have my act together.  It's been an interesting reality for me to recognize, but I will never have my act together.  But now that I know this, it's almost like a weight being taken off of my shoulders.  God is in control.

God is in control.

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."
~Proverbs 19:21

Over and out,


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Not About Feeling (Re-post)

In honor of Valentine's day I am re-posting a post that I wrote about love awhile ago.  Here you are:

I’m going through quite an interesting chapter in life right now. I feel strangely…numb.

I just had the most amazing school year and speech season ever followed by my best summer yet. At each speech tournament I could feel God’s presence right there every second and it was almost like a weight. It felt so good to be nearly crushed by God’s presence, by His glory! I could never adequately explain it to you. I felt the same indescribable feeling of God’s presence at debate camp. I have grown closer to God in the past 7 ½ months that in the previous 16 years altogether.

Now I am going through quite a different thing. I’m not feeling God right there with me every second. I’m not hearing His voice speaking to me as I read His word. This really got me thinking, though. Love isn’t about feeling “in love,” it’s an action. You love someone by putting them before yourself, by working to please them, by paying attention to them and spending time with them whether you want to or not.

Love is not about feeling head-over-heels, madly, passionately crazy about someone. That’s what Hollywood thinks, but feelings don’t last and that’s a huge part of why marriage is nearly obsolete right now. Feeling is what love has become about.

I recently watched the movie, “The Last Song,” and quite enjoyed it. Boys, it’s quite a chick flick, so you wouldn’t like it, but I thought it was sweet. Anyway, at one point the “guy” says to the “girl,” “No one makes me feel like you do.” and us girls’ hearts melt into puddles of sentimental goo. But really? How selfish is that? He “loves” her because of how she makes him feel?

And then it struck me. That’s how I’ve been treating my relationship with God. He made me feel amazing for 7 glorious months and now I don’t’ feel amazing anymore. I was loving God because of how He made me feel. I am SO selfish!! That is not what biblical love or biblical faith is based on.

1 Corinthians 13 describes true love beautifully, as only God can describe it.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

I just read Hebrews 11:1-3 which says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
The chapter goes on to say, in verse 6, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”

Have you ever seen two people who are in love? I mean truly, unselfishly in love? If you’ve ever seen that you know that they are constantly trying to please each other and make the other person loved and important. “ And without faith it is impossible to please him.” 1 Corinthians 13 tells us not only how we ought to love other people but also how God loves us, and how we should be loving God. Now Hebrews 11 tells us how to please our Hero, by having faith.

Love is not about feeling, it’s an action. Even during this dry, desert-like season of my life I can be loving God, I can be pleasing Him, I can have faith in Him.

Over and out,


Friday, February 10, 2012


I find, particularly in speech and debate, that when I am confident I fail miserably, and when I am nervous out of my finite mind I do quite well.  God is quite skilled at making us realize that He is in charge, His power is what gives us success and we are absolutely NOTHING.

I finished my Illustrated boards (for a speech with visual aids) the night before I left for this tournament at 4:45am.  I memorized the first point in the car.  The second point came together the day before the tournament started, and I attempted to memorize the third Thursday morning...which didn't work.  I read from my script and it was 13 minutes and 52 seconds long (the "max" is 10 minutes).  Last night, in the shower, I managed to finally pound it into my brain.

This morning, for round two, I stumbled my way through it without my script.  It wasn't too dreadful, but it certainly wasn't what it ought to have been.

Then God decided to show off.  I so love it when He does that.  I can't even describe the third round.  I felt like God was standing there, whispering my lines to me.  The boards cooperated, the judges were responsive and I was, once again, stunned by what God can do when we have nothing to give.

That speech was not memorized.  I kid you not.  It was barely, very roughly, sort-of-kind-of, maybe could be considered memorized.  Like, I should never have competed with that.  That certainly didn't stop God, though.

Honestly, I'm not just saying this, I could car less if I do well.  I won when those judged were writing down the websites that I ask them to check out.  I won when they were shocked, nodding along, and laughing at the funny part.  I won when I came out of the room and knew that it was God; I did nothing!

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, 
my power is made perfect in weakness.” 
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly 
of my weaknesses, so that the power of 
Christ may rest upon me."

~2 Corinthians 12:9

Over and Out,