Thursday, August 20, 2015

The heart, the timing, and the long road ahead

"And you've been waiting and praying for the right one to come
Watch the rising and the falling of another setting sun" -M.Kearny

I finally finished the Return of the King today. I kicked in some major speed reading so I could finish it before school starts next week. What a bittersweet moment reading those last few chapters. I've never been one to read "romance" novels like most girls...even the ones that have CHRISTIAN slapped on the cover to make it seem religious. They aren't healthy, at least not for me. The Lord of the Rings series, though, was a gem to read. Lots of adventure and excitement. A truly incredible story that I will always treasure. Of course there were two love stories thrown in. Aragorn and Arwen. Faramir and Eowyn. I'll be honest...I thought they were sweet. It wasn't overload love story too, just a snippet. 

Even little love stories like that can still get to me. They make me wonder if that will ever happen to me. Is it even possible? I've never felt it. And I'm not expecting Faramir to waltz up and be infatuated with me. Just a love story on earth. Do things like that even exist? Typically I'll laugh it off and tell myself, "there's no way that will ever happen to me!", when inside I will still feel a little discouraged. Truly, I'd love to experience a love like that one day. That day just seems like it never comes. 

I always have to remind myself, however, that I'm still young. Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it never will. God is calling me to be patient and be satisfied in Him alone. Even though its hard to see my friends in relationships and not be jealous, I know that if its God's will for me to have a relationship one day, the right man will come at the right time. It may take years. It may take months. It may take days. Okay I don't know about days right now, but you get the point.

Regardless of if and when I ever have a relationship, I know what God has called me to He has called me to live. I am created to glorify Him, to use whatever talents He has placed in me to enhance His kingdom and spread His amazing love. Right now, for myself, that means going to school and studying to be a teacher. It means volunteering with my church and spreading the gospel and God's love with all my abilities. It means learning, working, and growing closer to The Lord. 

I am waiting and praying for the right man to come. Oh yes, I pray for him every day. My life, however, doesn't start as soon as I get married. My purpose is not found in a relationship here on earth. No, my purpose, my life story, the meaning of my existence is found in my Heavenly Father. I will always have days where my heart is restless and impatient, but in those times I must remember where my true treasure is. My treasure is the One who can satisfy my soul and still love a broken, sinful girl. 

To have a love story with a guy one day here on earth would be an awfully wonderful adventure. I'm handing God the pen to write that love story though. I think back to stories in the Bible where God's people tried to solve their own problems and satisfy their own desires without the Lord. Not one of those plans worked out too well. Instead, I choose to trust the Creator. I have to ask myself quite often, "How could I ever think that the God who created the earth, the stars, mankind, and love itself would not write an incredible love story for my life?". There is no reason not to trust Him. Even if I don't get married, I still trust His plan will be an incredible adventure all the same.

There's a lot (a whole lot) more that I could say, but I'm going to shorten it to two statements. 1) The love stories we experience on earth are a mere glimpse of the greater love story God has written for His people. 2) I want to encourage anyone in the same boat as I am to wait, to pray, and to trust in The Lord and His perfect timing.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The new season approaches

New seasons of life are indeed scary, but oh so exciting. I still cannot believe I am starting college in a matter of days. As this new season approaches, I'm getting a lot of mixed emotions. We as humans get so comfortable with the familiar, and when a new season comes, it hurts to let go. It's natural. My high school years were truly amazing, good days and bad. I wouldn't trade them for the world. Now, I step into a world of unfamiliarity. The funny thing is, I'm not actually stepping very far. I'm not going far away to school and moving into a dorm like all my friends. In fact, I'm actually going to a university I've grown up being on. My dad taught there. My track team practiced there. My parents are both alumni there. It's in my city. Sometimes I wonder why I chose the university that I did. I could have taken a huge leap and moved away...but I didn't. I don't think it was fear or anxiety of being far away from home that was a deal breaker in my choice. I actually love being far away from home without my family when I get the chance. A big part of it was money. Financially, this really was the best choice. I can't quite explain the main reason why I chose my college, though. It wasn't my dream school. I didn't even think about going there. When the decision needed to be made, however, I knew it was where I needed to be.

I think because I'm not going along with the modern trend of going away to school that people don't really see my transition as that big of a deal. To them, because I'm still under my parents' roof I'm not really experiencing independence and the passage into adulthood and college. For a while...I believed them. Then the new season starting getting closer, and I knew things were going to change. Will I be experiencing independence? You better believe it. I don't have the same relationship with my parents that I did when I was younger. Just because I'm living in their house does not mean they are by my side every minute. They aren't making decisions for me any longer. They aren't telling me how to spend my free time or who to hang out with. They are not telling me how or when to study (but I'm really thankful when they give parents are pretty brilliant). They aren't telling me how to spend my money. They expect that if I want to live under their roof for free, I will be responsible, respectful, and mature. My parents have trained and disciplined me my whole life to be able to have this new freedom but use it wisely, no matter how near or far away from home. 

So, yes, though I am still living with my parents, I will still have to be just as independent and adult-like as someone who lives in a dorm in another state.

I don't know what God has in store for the next four years of my life. Its the great unknown, and anything could happen. This is where I begin to become the person the Lord has created me to be. And that excites me. It's a new chapter He's already written and I know its going to be good. The possibilities? Endless.

I love my city. I love my home. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my school. God planted me in this place for a reason. If I'm being honest, I'm glad I'm not leaving just yet. I can't wait to see what this new season will look like in the same place I've always lived.

I wave farewell to my sweet season as a child and warmly embrace this new season as an adult. Even though it's not quite that sweet of a transition sometimes. More like nausea before the sickness.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

The art of the undistracted

I want you to think back to the last "deep talk" you had with someone. You know, one of those talks where you open up to someone else about the things going on in your life or the things that your feeling. Or maybe someone else opened up to you. Either way, those talks are the ones you remember. They make an impact. Anytime I have one, whether its with my best friend or my mom, I become closer to the person I'm having the conversation with. There is something so special, so unique about those moments. So you've got your "deep talk" memory in your mind, right? Okay, so lets take that memory and imagine the person your talking to is on Instagram the whole conversation. They occasionally nod and say "yeah" to whatever you're saying. They don't even make eye contact with you when they look up from their phone because  the TV is on too. You'll probably get uncomfortable trying to open up to them when they aren't even paying attention to you. All the "deepness" of this conversation is gone forever. Poof. No more. Pretty depressing huh?

Being distracted is so easy. In fact, too often it becomes second nature to us. Our culture is ADD. 

What's sad is that the more distracted we are, not only by social media (although that's like 95% of the problem these days), the more we mentally and physically aren't able to have those "deep talks". We loose the closeness between each other. The worst part? We even loose our personality, living mentally in another world. 

So you've thought about what the receiving end of a distracted conversation looks like. You would probably feel a little hurt, and even more annoyed with the other person. After all, it's rude of them. It shows a major red flag of immaturity. So why would you think it's okay for you to be distracted like that?

 It's simple logic. When you are not paying attention you are most certainly, without a doubt, no questions asked, missing something. You might have missed something someone had to say. Maybe you missed what someone was trying to show or teach you. Either way, you missed out on a opportunity to make your life meaningful, no matter how small a way. 

So my friends, I am calling you out today to turn off your phones, your TVs, your computers, and your radios and do something meaningful. Respect others, cultivate relationships, be creative, be who you really are beyond the screens and other distractions. When you put away the distractions in your life, you will discover what it's like to really live.