Thursday, September 23, 2010

It Is Well

"Thankfulness is not a trick to ignore the pain in reality, rather, it keeps worry from interpreting life through a faulty lens."

I recently read this quote and not only did it make me smile, because I know the person that posted it is struggling with feeling joyful in a time of need right now, but it was refreshing for my own life too.

Why is it so easy for us to become caught up in worry? Worrying about the things that are going on around us, the things that aren't going on around us, the things we need and don't have, the things we want and don't have. Worry about how things will work out. Worry about if we are doing the right things. There are a million things people worry about- some not worth worrying over, and other that are extremely worth worrying about.

That's one of the downsides of having a personality that is so focused on the future. My top two strengths on Strengths Quest (a pretty valid personality assessment, even if Point Loma does hammer you over the head with it) are Futuristic and Focus. I'm a dreamer. I'm always looking ahead, always imagining what's next, what could be. When I do finally see what I want, my focus kicks in and I go for it, one step at a time.

Okay I got sidetracked. Small window into my personality. The point is, or was, that it's easy for me to worry about what's to come. To stress over it. To feel hopeless and frustrated when I can't see what's next, or feel like I can't control what happens. I think most people struggle with this though.

And that's where the beauty of needing God comes in. We don't want to be needy or dependent, and yet, isn't that how God created us? To completely and utterly rely on Him? In the good and the bad. Not only are we created to be utterly dependent on God, but dependent on each other as well, even though so many people don't want to. It's not always easy to admit that we can't do things on our own, and rely on another person. And yet we are called to be a people that loves others and provides for those in need. And isn't relying on another person still easier sometimes than relying on God? On the promise that God will provide for us? And the promise that God hears our prayers, cries, and petitions?

I sometimes become numb to the power of prayer and the awesomeness of how God truly HEARS and CARES about what I'm lifting up to him. And that he promises to answer me. Not necessarily in my way or my timing. But that's when I remind myself that I don't know the whole picture. I need to remind myself that God works all things for good.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
-Romans 8:28

Lastly, I love this hymn that speaks of how God desires us to be at peace and have the joy of His Spirit no matter the circumstance. Viewing these lyrics with the quote that I started this post with in mind, it reminds me that I'm not called to manipulate my emotions, rather, I am called to not submerge myself in the worries that cause me to view the world in a way that I shouldn't, and to remember that I am and will be loved and cared for by my creator.

When peace like a river

Attendeth my way

When sorrows

Like sea billows roll

Whatever my lot

Thou hast taught me to say

It is well

It is well with my soul

Thanks for reading my blurb, my thoughts and personal reminder to myself to be thankful and not allow worries to affect the way I view things.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall- A Fresh Start

Hello (all of you 3 or so people that read my blog), I am BACK! It's been far too long. I suppose when life gets busy, blogging is one of those things that sits on the back burner. However, I was recently inspired to start blogging again by my best friend's blog that she just created. It's just so therapeutic! So, here is a little catching up, through pictures...

It's starting to feel like fall. Although the weather here (here being back home in Glendora, where I am now living) seems to be mood-swinging from hot to cold, I can tell it's starting to become fall. You can just feel it in the air. It's a time to start new again. Time for cozy sweaters, fires in the fireplace, yummy-smelling candles (although that's kind of all year for me...), walks outside in the brisk air with the few leaves that change color here in California. I've always been a summer girl, but I love fall more and more each year!

Fall Candles.
Every year growing up, when it becomes fall, my mom puts out yummy, fall-scented candles, has fires in the fireplace, and brews apple-cinnamon cider on the stove to make the house smell good. So these candles always remind me of fall in a nostalgic, comforting way.
Post-College Photoshoot Sesh # 1.
This is my lovely sister Cheri. She willingly obliged when I asked her to be my model because I want to continue using my camera and working on my photography skills! I'm nervous that now that I'm out of school I'm not going to make time to do all the creative things I love to do, so I am MAKING myself do them. Photography is quite high on the list. This photoshoot was a lot of fun and ended up with a fall/fashion sort of vibe. Isn't my sister gorgeous?!

I now have a job (and feel very blessed!) that requires me to make lists, lists, lists! So it's a good thing I am naturally obsessed with making them. I don't know how people get by without them. then again, I do have a pretty bad memory...

To expand on the job, I was recently hired to be an Administrative Assistant at Glenkirk Presbyterian Church. More specifically, I'm in charge of all the publications they put out (weekly bulletin, devotional, brochures, advertisements, etc.), a lot of the website stuff, and other such projects. It's such a good fit as a first job for where I'm at in life right now- it's full-time, it's VERY close to home, all the people I work with are great, and it's allowing me to use the skills I attained in college. It's a good stepping stone for now.  

At this particular stage in my life, a puppy isn't the best idea. But I can't wait til I can get one in the next stage of my life! I am dying for a French Bulldog puppy or Boston Terrier puppy. This little guy is a French bulldog, and I love his coloring! In general I'm more of a big-dog person as opposed to a small-dog person, but these stout little guys are so flipping cute without being annoyingly small and yappy (Sorry to the people that like those kind). 
This sumer I had the amazing opportunity to go on a short-term mission trip and serve in Israel. It was by far the best trip I've ever been on so far in my life. We stayed half the time in Nazareth and the other half in Jerusalem. We put on Vacation Bible school, served the church through various work projects, put on kid's festivals in very poor communities, helped at an orphanage, helped at a disabled home, and other similar things. We got to build amazing relationships not only with each other (the team) but also with people living in the places we visited. Such an amazing culture shock, my first of it's kind. 

In our spare time, we were able to visit amazing sites from the Bible, sites central to the life of Jesus. We were able to se some of the tension of Israeli-Palestinian conflict first-hand. And very excitingly, I was baptised by my dear friend and team leader Dr. Smith (for the first time besides my baptism as an infant) in the Jordan River (where John the Baptist baptised Jesus)! The entire trip was so full of amazing experiences. I would love to share them with you if you are interested at all. Just let me know!

That's it for now! There will be more to come soon...