09 December 2009

O Holy Night

Well, I'm now on Christmas break and thoroughly enjoying it! It's very nice to be home and not have homework to do. Although, it's a little odd to actually have free time! I've gotten back into playing the piano, especially Christmas carols, and am really enjoying that. One song I've been playing a lot is O Holy Night, one of my very favourite Christmas carols. I thought I'd post the lyrics here for you all to enjoy. :)
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd And the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope The weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks A new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts By His cradle we stand.
So led by light of A star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men From Orient land.
The King of Kings Lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials Born to be our friend.

He knows our need, To our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us To love one another;
His law is love And His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break For the slave is our brother;
And in His name All oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy In grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us Praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.
His power and glory Evermore proclaim.

25 November 2009

A Post of Thanksgiving

I just realized that yesterday's post was a bit depressing and thought I should strive to give a bit more about the positive side of life as well. :)

Although this semester has been rough in many ways, I am just as confident now as I was when it began that I am where God wants me. School has been a blessing in many ways this semester. I've enjoyed all of my classes even though they've been challenging at times, and I've made lots of new friends who I look forward to getting to know better next semester! :) God has also been using the struggles He's sent me this semester to help me grow, and while growing is at times painful it is a good thing!

On this day before Thanksgiving, I am, indeed, thankful for so many things in my life. I'm thankful for friends and family who love me, pray for me, and encourage me. I'm thankful for our soldiers who are willing to sacrifice their holidays with family to defend our country. I'm thankful for the opportunity to go to school, get an education, and study the things I love. I'm thankful for professors who are willing to work with me when I need to spend time at home with my family. And, most of all, I'm thankful for a sovereign God who loves me and is working all things together for my good and His glory and for the wonderful love He has displayed through His son, Jesus Christ. I'm thankful that He is patient and kind with our frailties and loves us no matter what. He is, indeed, an Awesome God!

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with much love and many blessings!

"In everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

24 November 2009

Life's Craziness!

Well, it has been a full month since my last post, and what a month it has been! Truly, I think this last month has been one of the hardest I've struggled through in my life emotionally, mentally, and even spiritually. School has been more challenging this semester than it has been in the past, and when you combine that with other events taking place in life I've just been absolutely exhausted!
As of now, I'm on Thanksgiving break, almost to the end of the semester! After break, I have one week of classes left: 1 final paper and 3 final exams. Fun stuff! Anyhow, I'm sorry for neglecting my blog this past month, and will try to be more consistent with it over Christmas break. For now, I'll leave you with a song that has really been resonating with me lately:

Hold My Heart
by Tenth Avenue North

How long must I pray, must I pray to You?
How long must I wait, must I wait for You?
How long 'til I see Your face, see You shining through?
I'm on my knees, begging You to notice me.
I'm on my knees, Father will You turn to me?

One tear in the driving rain,
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart

I've been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye.
But if there's no other way, I'm done asking why.
I'm on my knees, begging You to turn to me
I'm on my knees, Father will You run to me?

One tear in the driving rain,
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart.

So many questions without answers, Your promises remain
I can't see but I'll take my chances to hear You call my name
To hear You call my name

One tear in the driving rain,
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?
One life, that's all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You're everything You say You are
Won't You come close and hold my heart.

Hold my heart, could you hold my heart?
Hold my heart.

24 September 2009

Ramblings on Various and Random Aspects of Life

Soo... I am discovering the joys of being an English major. Namely, papers galore! Right now I have four large papers I'm working on formulating in addition to a short essay due on Monday. I must admit, I love studying for papers and doing the research, but actually writing them is a bit stressful at times!

I just finished writing a research paper on Abigail Adams and am working on another on Harriet Beecher Stowe (or, possibly, Catherine Beecher. However, information on her is harder to come by!)for an advanced American History class I'm in. Additionally, I am beginning to do research on Anne Bradstreet's struggles with doubt as depicted in her poetry for my American Literature I class, trying to formulate a topic for a paper relating to the linguistic history of the English language, and starting to formulate ideas for a large paper comparing Christianity to other world religions for my World Though Class (side note: the topics for just any and all of these major papers could change at any time since they are still in the very early stages). Fortunately, my experiment in time management is going well, and I've had a lot more time for studying this week. Yay! :)

Additionally, I'm getting involved with a couple of Bible studies here on campus. One (the one I've already gone to) is on the Bible and Pop Culture, and in it we're learning how to be discerning and evaluate the culture and entertainment around us from a Biblical World view. So far, it's looking very promising, and I'm very excited about it! The other study is meeting for the first time tonight, and in that one we're going through the book "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" by Donald S. Whitney. That one looks like it will be pretty great too, and I'm sure I'll be picking up on all sorts of fascinating things to share with those of you who occasionally read my blog.

I have some other things I'd like to post on soon, things which are a bit more musings and less ramblings, but for now I've got to head to Bible study!

21 September 2009

Life Means So Much

So, lately I've been musing a lot on how to spend my time more wisely. Since coming to school, I've found that my tendency to just kind of piddle away my life (especially in computer related ways) seems to have gotten worse. Afte two nights of being up way too late writing last minute essays combined with the sermon I listened to yesterday about making wise choices with our time. I have decided that something must be done. Action must be taken. Therefore, to attain this end, I wrote out a list yesterday of things that I'm going to give up for the week and things which I am going to purpose to include in my weekly schedule. One of those things is writing at least once, maybe twice a week in this blog. :) Other things include more exercise, Scripture memorization, a more disciplined schedule of Scripture reading and prayer, and a more regular study routine (hopefully resulting in no more 3 a.m. papers!). On a final note, I'm going to leave you with a song by Chris Rice (one of my favourite artists). May you all have a blessed week and spend your time wisely in service to Christ. Remember, He gave His life for us. How will we spend the precious time He's given us?

Life Means So Much - By Chris Rice
Everyday is a journal page
Every man holds a quill and ink
And there’s plenty of room for writing in
All we do and believe and think
So will you compose a curse
Or will today bring the blessings
Fill the page with rhyming verse
Or some random sketchings

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Everyday is a bank account
And time is our currency
So no one’s rich, nobody’s poor
We get twenty-four hours each
So how are you gonna spend
Will you invest or squander
Try to get ahead
Or help someone who’s under

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

Has anybody lived who knew the value of a life?
And don’t you think giving his own
Would prove the worth of yours and mine?

Teach us to count the days
Teach us to make the days count
Lead us in better ways
Somehow our souls forgot
Life means so much
Life means so much
Life means so much

04 September 2009

The Mouse Who Wished to be a Bluebird

This is a fable I composed for a class here at school which several friends expressed interest in seeing. It's not super high quality stuff. It didn't take me long to write, but it's kind of fun. So, for your reading pleasure, here is the story of the mouse who wished to be a bluebird! :)

The Mouse Who Wished to be a Bluebird

A young mouse sat on the sill of an open window staring out at the bluebirds hopping about on the lawn. She admired their beautiful, bright blue plumage, their lovely, curving, graceful wings, and the sweet, musical little chirps they made as they talked to one another. “Why can I not be more like them?” She mused to herself as she turned to catch a glimpse of her own reflection in the mirror behind her. What she saw staring back at her was a pretty little mouse, but it looked nothing like the birds she so badly desired to emulate. “I must be more like a bird! I must!” She thought resolutely as she studied the image before her. “They’re so beautiful, and everyone always admires them. On the other hand, no one ever pays me any attention at all.”
With a new determination she turned back to the window and studied the little creatures hopping about on the lawn before her. What could she do to make herself more like them? First, she concluded, she would need to be blue. There was some blue paint in the study; she had seen it there the day before. So, she quickly scampered down to the floor and across the room to the study where sat a small can of blue paint with which the lady of the house had been painting her garden bench. Without a second thought the little mouse dove into the can of paint (which was about as tall as she was herself). She came up spluttering, and, after several failed attempts, finally managed to pull herself out of the can, dripping with bright blue paint. She then scampered out the open patio doors and into the garden to admire her new, blue reflection in the pool and to allow the paint to dry.
As she hurried along the path, she realized that her movement did not resemble those of the birds either. The birds did not scamper, they gracefully hopped from place to place on only two feet with their heads up, shoulders back, and chest out. Therefore, the little mouse determined she would imitate this posture. Standing up on her back legs she attempted to lean forward and hop, imitating the shape and motion of the birds on the front lawn. Her small body, however, was not built to balance in such a position, and she went tumbling head over heels onto the gravel walkway, mixing dirt and small rocks into the still wet paint coating her fur. She was, nevertheless, resolute to imitate her idols and continued to mimic their movements as closely as possible as she moved across the yard, collecting ever more debris in addition to various small scrapes and bruises from her many falls. Finally, she made it to the still, small pool which was her destination and looked in. As she did, tears welled up in her eyes. Rather than the smooth, blue coat which she had so hoped to achieve, the paint was drying in little clumps throughout her fur, and the initial bright blue color had been much muted by the dirt and rocks it had acquired in her falls. Her stance, meant to evoke that of the blue birds in the front yard, simply looked silly, and her little limbs ached from the awkward position and the many falls resulting from it. As she buried her face in her hands and began to sob she heard a kind voice behind her.
“Why, whatever happened to you, my dear? And why are you crying?”
Surprised, the little mouse turned to see a chipmunk (a good friend of her mother’s) standing behind her. With a bit more coaxing, she had soon poured out her sad little story to the creature (although the relation was a bit interrupted but the occasional sob). As she finished, the chipmunk wrapped her in a tight embrace and kissed the top of her small, paint-matted head. “You silly little goose,” she said gently, “Why would you ever want to be like a bird? They can neither see in the dark nor sneak into the pantry at night to enjoy a tasty bite of cheese. They have no sense of smell and cannot hold anything in those useless little feet of theirs. Just think of all the things you can do that they cannot. Wash that paint off of yourself and take another look at that fine, warm velvety coat of yours. You are truly beautiful just the way you are.”
With the chipmunk’s help the little mouse did just that, and when they were finished she looked at her reflection in the pool and realized the chipmunk was right. She was beautiful just the way she was, and, suddenly, she had a terrible craving for cheese…

Moral: Like so many young people, girls especially, in our society today the little mouse does not realize how beautiful and how special she is just the way she is. Like them, she wishes to be something she is not, something she never can be. For the little mouse, this something is a bird, but for girls of today it is the airbrushed supermodels they see staring back at them from magazine covers or the digitally altered actresses they see on their television screens. Perhaps they, like the mouse, just need a loving friend to remind them that they are beautiful just the way they are, that a healthy, content person is a beautiful person whether they be a size two or a size twenty.

03 September 2009

I Want to be Moved

I love Ginny Owens. I love her sound and her style, but most of all I love her lyrics. I feel that she is so honest in what she writes, and much of it resonates with me at different points in my life. Today, I was listening to some of her music when I came upon this song which seemed to strike a chord in my life. Don't we all have those days where our feelings for Christ seem to be dead and gone, our passion feels cold, but the cry of our hearts is to be on fire for Him, serving him with an all-consuming passion? I know that I do, and this song just seems to put my feelings into words:
This road is winding, narrow and steep
And I can't keep walking with frozen feet,
My spirit is not willing;
My heart is cold as ice;
Thaw out my convictions;
The passion's left my life

I don't wanna be a flame
I wanna be a raging fire!
Tired of my will, my way,
Your calling's higher
Oh, I know it's time I stopped running from the Truth
So I'll stand here still, until I'm filled
I wanna be moved
I wanna be moved by You

Wanna be a rebel with a Holy cause,
Stand against the Devil and hold up my cross,
You have a mission for me; a reason why I'm here,
To radiate Your glory, with sweet songs to Your ears

31 August 2009


Wow! It's been almost a whole month since I last posted! lol. Sorry about that to anyone who's been checking in with any sort of consistency. :) Well, the last month has been a pretty busy one for me, but I'm currently sitting on my new bed in my new dorm room writing a new blog post on my computer (which is not new, in case anyone was wondering!). It's nice to be back in class again. Although, I think my school load is going to be quite a bit heavier this semester than it has been in the past, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what that's going to look like and how much time it's going to take. I'm excited to be studying and learning new things, and eager to see what God has planned in my life this semester. (According to Facebook, I'm either getting married or dying, but I prefer to think that Facebook is wrong. lol.)

It's amazing to look back at where I was two years ago and see where I have come from there. I'm at a place I never would have imagined myself. However, I do feel that it is where God has led me, where He has placed me, and I am content in that (at least most of the time. There are those days where I simply say, "God, what are you doing with my life anyhow?" and occasionally even those days when I think "Are you really even there and listening to me at all!"). Looking back simply reminds me how very much can change in such a short time, and causes me to wonder all the more what my life will look like in another two years. Where will He be leading me then?

Anyhow, I'm going to go work on writing one of my many papers, but I will try to post a bit more regularly on here, even if those more regular posts are just random musings (like those above).

02 August 2009

My vacation to Michigan was wonderful! We went kayaking, hiking, canoeing, and shopping in the beautiful forests of northern Michigan, and I got to spend some wonderful time with Tamara and her family. We ended up staying a bit longer than we had planned in order that Tamara could have more time with her grandmother, which was a good thing. The road trip was lots of fun too. We had two days up there and two days back and both directions we read aloud to eachother and listened to books on tape (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Elizabeth Gaskell, G.K. Chesterton, Edgar Allen Poe), did crossword puzzles, played games on her iPod touch, and just generally had some good girl-talk time. :D On our way there we stayed at a little bed and breakfast in Hannibal, MO, the hometown of Mark Twain and Molly Brown, and on our way back we drove through St. Louis and saw the arch. All around, it was an incredible trip. Everything up there was soo picturesque, and I hope that one day I can visit again. :)

Now I'm back home, getting back into the groove of life here, catching up on e-mail, facebook, etc. (we didn't have any real internet in MI), and getting ready for school to start back. I'm very excited for school to start, looking forward to a new school, new classes, and hopefully making lots of wonderful new friends. I'm getting to the point where I'm really ready for classes to start, excited to begin learning all sorts of wonderful new things, and looking forward to seeing what God has for me on this path He's been leading me down!

06 July 2009

My Anxious Heart

I have a confession to make. I am a stresser. I stress over all sorts of decisions, big and small, and oftentimes allow that stress to steal much of the peace and joy which I might otherwise find in life (not to mention my health!). This is something which God has been dealing with my on quite a bit the last few months as I've been struggling to make some important decisions (as well as some not so important ones, lol.) In my quite times with Him He's given me verses like Psalm 37:7a "Do not fret," and Philippians 4:6, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let you requests be made known to God." My mother has addressed this issue with me as well, telling me that I stress too much over everything. So, I'm working on it. Although, it's certainly not easy. I feel like my conversations with the Lord have been going something like this:
"Father, I'd really appreciate your guidance on this decision. It's stressing me a lot, and I need to decide. I have a deadline!"
"It's alright. Just trust in me. You've told me my request, now wait for me to answer it."
"But, Lord, I have a deadline!"
"Yes, I heard you."
"But, but, the deadline's soon! And it's an important decision!"
"I know. Don't worry. You'll have your answer when you need it."
So, we'll have this conversation for awhile. Then, I'll begin to think I may have an answer, and I'll start stressing over that.
"Are You sure that's the right decision, Lord? I don't know... The other option looks pretty good too. Are You telling me this, or am I just thinking it on my own? Is this guidance from You, or just my own thoughts and emotions and feelings, etc. playing tricks on me?"
Fortunately, He is faithful and patient with me. He does give me my answers when I need them, and, slowly but surely, He is shaping me and teaching me, calming my anxious heart. :)
Thus it is that I have made some big decisions lately about my school, living situation, etc. which will likely have a significant impact on my life in the next couple of years, and I am excited (though still a bit nervous as well) to see what He is going to do with it all!

On a separate note, I am leaving on a nearly two week vacation to Michigan on Wednesday and while there will have very little internet capability. Therefore, I will likely be neglecting this poor blog even more than usual, but maybe I'll have some fun things to post from my trip when I get back!

21 June 2009


I recieved this poem as a gift from my grandmother when I graduated highschool. Similar to the women of the Bible poem I posted previously, it has always challenged me in the way that I approach life and the obstacles which I face in the course of it. So, I thought I would share. :)

by Rudyard Kipling

IF you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

To My Daddy

I am, in so many ways, my father's child. From my love of mathematics to my passion for reading, my eyesight to the curve of my little toes, I resemble him in so many ways in both my personality and my physical appearance. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of laying in my bed at night while my father told me bedtime stories as only he could (My friends will testify that he told bedtime stories like no-one else. They were all jealous!) or reading to my from favorite series such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Old Yeller, or Little House on the Prairie. He did, truly, instill in me a passion for Literature for which I will be eternally grateful.

As I sit here pondering things to tell you about my daddy, I truly can't come up with what the most important things to let you know are, his sense of humor? the way in which he can bring the Proverbs to life like no one else? The devotion he displays towards his family? The fact that I know he would do anything to protect me while still desiring me to learn and grow on my own as a young adult? The way in which he protects our country as a colonel in the air force, preparing to deploy to Iraq for six months? The love he displays for my mother in so many ways? The way he mentors the young men under him at work? The desire he has to reach out to young men, disciple them, and help them to grow? None of these things really seem to capture him, although they are all important aspects of his character. So, I suppose I will just have to say that my father is a man whom I truly admire and love, and I am so very happy and blessed that the Lord chose to place me in his family.

I love you, Daddy, and am so grateful to be your daughter! Happy Father's Day!:)

09 June 2009

Conversations Overheard: Lemons and Lemonade

This past week I helped with vacation Bible school at my church. I was an assistant in the first grade class (we had roughly twenty-eight first graders) and really enjoyed my time with the kids. Frequently, when you're around children that age you'll hear a conversation or two that makes you giggle, and this week was no different. The one that stands out to me the most was between about three or four little girls during snack time as they were sipping their lemonade:

Girl 1: "Do you want to know something about lemonade?"
Other girls: "What?"
Girl 1: "You can make it without powder!"
Other girls (wide-eyed): "No!"
Girl 1 (speaking with the air of someone who has discovered a great secret) :"Yes! You use lemons."
Other girls (obviously shocked): "Wow,! really?"
Girl 1 (nodding wisely): "Mhmm, and it takes a whole bunch of lemons to make. You have to squeeze them and squeeze them and squeeze them!"
Other girls (in awe): "Wow!"

At this point I had to walk away to tend to something else, but the memory still puts a smile on my face. :)

02 June 2009

Women of the Bible

Sorry. I know that once again it's been awhile since I posted, by life, even in the summer, can be a rather time-consuming thing! :) That said, I am formulating a couple of posts in my head and will hopefully have them up sometime soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you all a poem which was given to me by a dear friend several years ago and which has been a great challenge and encouragement to me through the years. Lately, especially, I have been praying a lot about the kind of woman which the Lord would have me become, and He has been bringing this poem to my mind frequently. Therefore, I have elected to share it with you all and hope it will be as much a blessing to you as it has been to me!
Like Deborah,
I will serve the Lord in power and speak His Word without fear.
Like Esther,
I will intercede for God's people before His throne.
Like Abigail,
I will humble myself to wash the feet of the servants of the Lord.
Like Sarah,
I will respect my husband and his ministry to the Lord
Like Hannah,
I will dedicate my children to the Lord.
Like Priscilla,
I will explain the way of God more perfectly to those who are seeking.
Like the Shunamite widow,
I will trust God in the day of adversity.
Like Lydia,
I will be a worshiper of God and open my home to his ministers.
Like Tabitha,
I will always do good and help the poor.
Like Joanna,
I will use my wealth to support the ministry of Jesus.
Like Mary, the mother of Jesus,
I will hear the word of God to me and answer, "Be it unto me as you have said."
Like Mary, the sister of Martha,
I will know the voice of Jesus and hear His words.
Like Mary, the mother of Mark,
I will make my home a haven for the followers of Jesus.
Like Mary, the Magdalene,
I will keep at the feet of Jesus and love Him unto death.
~ Anonymous

17 May 2009

Spiritual Lessons Gleaned from a Severe Case of Poison Ivy :)

Well, I'm finally finished with school for the semester. Yay! In fact, I'm finished at this school for forever. I have graduated and am preparing to transfer to a new university in the fall, exciting stuff! Beyond that, I haven't really decided what to blog over... I've considered the spiritual object lessons I've gleaned from my little brother's poison ivy (there are at least two. Don't you love it when God teaches you things even where you don't expect it?), I've considered a post on my summer plans (which aren't terribly exciting at this point), and I've considered a post on the wedding I attended last night (It was beautiful!). I think, however, that I'm going to go with the Spiritual lessons I've gleaned from my brother's poison ivy.

My six year old brother has poison ivy very badly. Currently, it is on the underside if both arms, on his abdomen, on his neck, on his cheeks, and all around both eyes (one eye is practically swollen shut by the poison ivy!). It is really quite sad to look at, however, I do have limited sympathy for him, for two reasons. First, he was relatively sure it was poison ivy when he picked it up. You see, he is one of those children who really doesn't comprehend the fact that he can be injured, despite the fact that he is on a relatively routine basis. He was out in the woods on our back property playing with some of my older siblings when he came running to my sister (12) with a three-leafed plant in his hand. "Look, Kay! Is this poison ivy? I think it's poison ivy."
"Yes, Layne, I think it probably is poison ivy, but I'm not really sure."
"Ooo... Look! I have poison ivy in my hand! I can rub it on my arm and it doesn't hurt me!"
"Layne, you should probably put that down."
"Hmm.. Okay!" and off he runs. Now, as I said, I've drawn a couple of Spiritual lessons from his experience. The first is that frequently we place ourselves in tempting situations because "I can handle it. It won't hurt me." However, frequently those situations do end up hurting us, sometimes in ways we don't fully comprehend until sometime later. Thus, Scripture tells us to FLEE temptation, not to flirt with it.

So, you might be wondering what the second lesson I've gotten from my brother's poison ivy is. Well, he did (obviously) eventually develop the poison ivy rash. However, initially it was only a patch on his arm (where he'd rubbed the plant, go figure!). However, despite the warnings of multiple others - myself, my mother, my father and other older experienced people (O, yes I'm experienced! you should have seen my poison ivy last year! I know what I'm talking about here!) - he itched. Now, something many of you may not know about poison ivy is that once the rash appears the oils of the poison ivy have actually bonded to the molecular structure of your skin. This means that, although you cannot spread the rash to other people, you can quickly spread it ALL OVER yourself if you itch, and he itched. Not only did he itch, he itched then rubbed his eyes which means that now he has poison ivy all over both eye-lids (it's quite a sad sight to behold). Now, what spiritual lesson did I learn from this? Sin spreads. Once you have a sin in your life, that sin takes hold, and it is extremely hard to get rid of it on your own. You might think you know how to handle it, you might think that itching it feels good, it helps to relieve the pain, but really you need help. You need to seek out and listen to the advice of your spiritual elders and mentors, you need to saturate yourself with Scripture, and you need to seek the help and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Because, once you've fallen in to a particular sin, you're usually far more drawn to do it again. It is, so to speak, bonded to your DNA. Satan has a foothold and, given the opportunity, he'll be more than happy to take advantage of it.

Thus, these are the deep Spiritual lessons I've gleaned from my brother's poison ivy. That, and some slightly less Spiritual lessons as well. Namely, if you see a plant you believe to be poison ivy, don't pick it and rub it up and down your arm. It's really not a good idea at all. lol.

10 May 2009

Of My Mother

She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
"Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:26-31

Yesterday was Mother's Day, a day we set aside for showing our mothers just how important they are in our lives and how much they mean to us. Therefore, I wish to post today about my wonderful mother, a woman who has given her entire life to serving her Lord, her husband, and her children. Throughout my life, she has been my caretaker, confidante, mentor, and friend. As the verses above states, she opens her mouth in wisdom, and the teaching of kindness os on her tongue.

Thank you so much, Mommy, for all that you've taught me over the years. I love you so much!

03 May 2009

A Quote

“Although, dear Lord, I have no feeling of confidence in Thee, I know all the same that Thou art my God, that I am wholly Thine, and that I have no hope but in Thy goodness; therefore I abandon myself entirely into Thy hands.”
~ St. Francis de Sales

Another busy week. I must confess, I am very much looking forward to school being out. Only two more weeks until summer! Yay!
In the meantime, I wanted to share this quote with you. It is actually one I found on another blog a year or two ago which greatly helped me during a time in my life when I was really struggling spiritually. It is my prayer that it would be a blessing to you too.

In Christ,

26 April 2009

Glory Giver

I'm so sorry for my neglect of this blog! My only excuses would be 1. School has been very busy and 2. life outside of school has been quite busy too. I don't really have time for a full blog post tonight, but I wanted to share the lyrics of one of my favorite songs with you all and reassure you that I will be attempting to blog a bit more frequently with at least one blog post a week. :)

This song always reminds me of who I am in Christ and of the fact that He, and He alone, deserves all the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

Glory Giver
by The Annie Moses Band

I am a bride waiting for her first kiss
I am a child dancing in the river
I am a worshipper basking in the bliss
Of the glory of the glory Giver

I am a saint dressed in robes of pure white
I am a jewel set in finest silver
I am a follower walking in the light
Of the glory of the glory Giver

I am a pearl purchased at a great price
I am an heir chosen and delivered
I am a miracle bursting with the life
Of the glory of the glory Giver

05 April 2009

Thoughts on Darwin

"I had been lying on a sunny bank & was reflecting on the strange character of the Animals of this country as compared to the rest of the World. An unbeliever in everything beyond his own reason, might exclaim "Surely two distinct Creators must have been [at] work; their object however has been the same & certainly the end in each case is complete".— Whilst thus thinking, I observed the conical pitfall of a Lion-Ant:— A fly fell in & immediately disappeared; then came a large but unwary Ant; his struggles to escape being very violent, the little jets of sand described by Kirby (Vol. 1. P. 425) were promptly directed against him.— His fate however was better than that of the poor fly's:— Without a doubt this predacious Larva belongs to the same genus, but to a different species from the European one.— Now what would the Disbeliever say to this? Would any two workmen ever hit on so beautiful, so simple & yet so artificial a contrivance? It cannot be thought so.— The one hand has surely worked throughout the universe."

“…sublimity of the primeval forest, undefaced by the hand of man … Sublime devotion the prevalent feeling. 16th: Started early in the morning … pleasant ride and much enjoyed the glorious woods. Bamboos 12 inches in circumference. Several sorts of tree ferns. 17th: …Twiners entwining twiners — tresses like hair — beautiful lepidoptera — Silence — hosannah — …”

These words were written by a young theologian and naturalist upon his first trip to South America. I find them both beautiful and inspiring, very similar to words I would pen under similar circumstances. They cause me to wonder what happened to this young man who was so evidently inspired by creation to see and worship it’s Creator and designer. You see, this young man was Charles Darwin. As I was listening to a podcast the other day (Speaking of Faith with Krista Tippett. It’s not a Christian podcast, but it is one I enjoy and find thought provoking), I realized that I would like to know more about Charles Darwin the man. What was it that transformed him from a young man heading toward a clergy position in the Anglican church to an agnostic naturalist? What can we learn from his life? These are questions and ideas I hope to explore further at a later time.

03 April 2009

The Silly Things They Say

Hey all!
I know I have been quite tardy about updating my blog this week. I will try to do better, but no promises since next week I have three tests, two papers, and a speech due for my four classes. :)
I do, however, have several idea roiling around in my mind which will hopefully find their way into blog posts sometime soon. For now, I'll leave you with a "theological" discussion which I had with my four year old brother, Naithen, the day before yesterday. To set the scene, allow me to explain that he was on his bed for being unkind to his younger sister, and I were trying to explain to him why how he had treated her was wrong.

Naithen: "But I am sad because we are all going to die." (He wouldn't be changing the subject now, would he?)

Me: "But, Naithen, you don't need to worry about dying because if you love Jesus you will just go to be with Him when you die." (Alright, this may not be the most theologically deep or accurate conversation necessarily, but keep in mind that it was being held with a four year old)

Naithen: "Yes, but my body will still be dead."

Me: "Well, that's true, but eventually Jesus will raise it up and give you a new and better body."

Naithen (getting rather excited at this idea): "Yes! And maybe He will even make me a dragon or a bucking bronco!"

At this point I had to leave the room top restrain my laughter before returning to dealing with the issue at hand (the mistreatment of his little sister).

24 March 2009

Living a Life of Worship

For the Christian, worship is coexistent with life. The Christian does not go into the "temple" on the Lord's Day; he takes the temple with him. . . going into this place as many temples gather at this converging point, because life is already an expression of worship. So, you see, the game on the tennis court, acting in that play, their artistic expression, the musical expression, your brilliance in your studies, your relationship with your family, the exhilaration of a game can be a legitimate expression of worship in your life. - Ravi Zacharias

"God has made me for a purpose - China. But He's also made me fast, and when I run I feel his pleasure." - Eric Liddell

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31

God has given us each so any gifts, and I believe far too often we take those gifts for granted, seeing them simply as things we're good at rather than as gifts which God has given us to use for His glory. Therefore, my challenge for myself and for my readers is to discover those gifts which God has given me, to diligently seek the ways in which I can use them to glorify Christ, and to truly give my best in all I do, living my life as a living sacrifice to Him.

21 March 2009

Apologies and Anthologies (Okay, not actually, but it sounds neat!)

Sorry I've been so neglectful of my blog this week. It's been spring break here in my neck of the woods, and I've been busy doing all sorts of fun things with my family (grass sledding, dress-up at a historic fort, and a picnic with relay races among them). I've also been a bit short of topic upon which to blog... A problem I still haven't seemed to solve. So, this post will be about books.
Even before I could read myself, my parents delighted me with reading of The Chronicles of Narnia, Little House on the Praire, and A Wrinkle in Time. Once I could read myself, I began with the Boxcar children series and gradually worked my way up to more challenging works such as The Lord of the Rings, C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy, and the books of Jane Austen. My list of favorite books and authors is an ever-growing one which is already far to long to list. Yes indeed, I am a hopeless bibliophile. So, I have decided that a fair amount of the musings on this blog ought to reflect that passion. Therefore, I will try to make regular posts on what I am reading and my thought on it.

The book I'm currently reading are:

Ladies in Waiting: From the Tudors to the Present Day
by Anne Somerset.
So far this is a fascinating nonfiction historical work by a gifted historian whose previous work on Queen Elizabeth I I have read in the past and enjoyed. It does address the less than wholesome atmosphere which permeated the royal courts of Europe as well as discussing several mistresses of the king, but does not go into inappropriate or graphic detail.

Patriot Hearts: A Novel of the Founding Mothers
by Barbara Hambley
This book caught my eye as I was meandering around the library the other day, and I haven't read enough of it to give any sort of opinion yet. I simply find this period of history and Abigail Adams in particular fascinating and am curious to see what this author will do with their stories.

Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home
by Richard J. Foster
One of my goals during the Lenten season was to deepen my prayer life. So far, I don't feel like I'm doing a great job. I suppose I need to be more disciplined in setting aside time each day to talk with the Lord. However, I have heard his book recommended multiple times as one of the great Christian works on prayer, and I am working my way through it slowly and thoughtfully.

I also told my dear friend/roomate/honorary sister that I would read Don Quixote with her, but so far I haven't actually started on that one. :) (btw, you should definitely check out her blog. Recently she has been writing a really funny series on the many quirks of my four year old brother.)

16 March 2009

A Fire Truck?

So... Random musing of the day...
Driving home about an hour ago from some errands I saw a U.S. Navy fire truck driving down the highway. Now, answer me this, what is a naval fire truck doing in the middle of Oklahoma when the nearest naval base is in Ft. Worth, TX?

The Beauties of Spring

As I sit here typing on my keyboard I can hear the birds singing outside, see the lovely blossoms on the redbud tree, the leaf buds on the rosebush, and just the right amount of steam rising from my teacup. Yes, it is spring. I'm pretty sure that spring is my favorite time of year. The weather is pleasant, neither too cold nor too hot. The trees and flowers are just beginning to bud out, producing dabs of color to the drab winter landscape. It is also the season for rainstorms, and I love rainstorms.
Today, to celebrate spring, I think I will work on putting up my winter clothes and pulling out all my lovely, pastel spring and summer frocks. I hope that you too will enjoy the loveliness of spring this day.

13 March 2009

Stirred once again by the story of how you loved me...

Seems that life's become so complicated
I don't think it was meant to be this way
I find myself so distracted
Caught up in the chaos of each day

When did I stop asking for your wisdom?
As if your words were meant for someone else
Why do I choose to second-guess you?
Oh I only frustrate and confuse myself

I just wanna love you, Simply love you
The way it used to be
When your love was new to me

I just wanna love you, simply love you
To hear what you say and live every day
Like you asked me to
I just wanna simply love you

Many times you spoke of us as children
Childhood seems to me so long ago
You say I can trust you like I did then
If I give you my hand then
you'll lead me home

I just wanna love you, Simply love you
The way it used to be
When your love was new to me

I just wanna love you, simply love you
To hear what you say and live every day
Like you asked me to
I just wanna simply love you

Oh...to fall on my knees
With the fresh disbelief
Stirred once again a the story
of how you loved me

I just wanna love you, Simply love you
The way it used to be
When your love was new to me

I just wanna love you, simply love you
To hear what you say and live every day
Like you asked me to
I just wanna simply love you

- "Simply Love You" by Ginny Owens

This is one of my favorite songs. It seems to echo the cry of my heart in so many ways! Just yesterday I received a text from a friend whom I had been praying for for quite awhile saying that she had finally surrendered her life to Christ, laid her burdens down at HIs feet, and accepted Him as her savior. I am so thrilled for her, and the joy and passion of new Christians is always so refreshing. At the same time, it is convicting, reminding me that I don't have the same passion, the same love for Him that I did when I was first saved. I want to be "stirred once again by the story of how [he] loved me," rather than being so easily caught up in the chaos of each day, losing sight of Him and His love.

09 March 2009

Do You Like Having So Many Brothers and Sisters?

I love babies. I love the way their smell, snuggles, and coos. I love pretty much everything about them. However, I have never been one of those girls who absolutely had to get her hands on somebody else’s baby. Maybe that’s because I’ve always had one of my own to cuddle. Every two years since my birth, my mother has presented me with a new baby brother or sister to adore (though some have been easier to adore than others). When people discover how many siblings I have, the conversation tends to go something like this:
“Wow! Are you Catholic?”
“Wow… Your mom must be a pretty amazing woman.”
“I think so.”
“Do you like having so many brothers and sisters?”
“What’s is like?”
“Umm…. Busy but fun.”
Now, I’m never exactly sure how they expect me to answer the “Do you like having so many brothers and sisters question. “No! I can’t stand it.”? To me, it’s just life. I love each and everyone one of my siblings and can’t imagine what life would be like without them. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have a baby to come home and snuggle after a hard day of school, or a nosy little two year old princess to give me instructions on how to color pictures or to insist that I dance with her through the kitchen or admire her new pink dress. My life would certainly be very different without my quirky four year old brother whose antics so frequently bring a smile to my face and provide so many laughs with my friends and family. Not that it’s always easy. When you have four little boys ranging in age from ten to four who have been cooped up in the house for a couple of days and who, in consequence, are literally bouncing off the walls ( Which, by the way, can hurt if you do it wrong.) Yes, it’s exhausting at times, but that doesn’t keep me from lying in bed every night and thanking the Lord for the wonderful family he’s blessed me with. :)

04 March 2009

All the Way My Savior Leads Me

All the way my Savior leads me;
Who have I to ask beside?
How could I doubt His tender mercies,
Who through life has been my guide?

All the way my Savior leads me,
And cheers each winding path Itread,
He gives me grace for every trial,
Feeds me with the Living Bread.

He leads me, and keeps me from falling.
He carries me close to His heart,
And surely His goodness and mercy will follow me.

All the way my Savior leads me;
O the fullness of His love!
O the sureness of His promise
In the triumph of His blood.

When my spirit, clothed immortal,
Wings its flight to realms of day.
This my song through endless ages:
"Jesus led me all the way.
Jesus led me all the way."

He leads me, and keeps me from falling.
He carries me, close to His heart,
And surely His goodness and mercy will follow me.

He leads me, and keeps me from falling.
He carries me, close to His heart,
And surely His goodness and mercy will follow me.

All the way me Savior leads me.
All the way my Savior leads me.

- From "All the Way my Savior Leads Me by Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, and Fanny J. Crosby

We're singing this song in choir right now, and it is really resonating with me as I'm really struggling to make an important. I've put a lot of prayer and stress into this decision without really seeming to get any clear answers. This song remind me that Christ has promised to lead me, that He is aways beside me even when I don't feel like He's anywhere around. I can put my trust in Him, knowing that He will not fail me, and that, so long as I am trusting Him, all will be well with my soul.

03 March 2009

Lessons From Ballroom Dance

This semester I’ve been taking a ballroom dance class with my brother and a couple of other friends. I’ve really enjoyed the entire class, but last night we learned the East Coast Swing which was, by far, the most fun dance we’ve learned. (I must admit that my favorite part of it was the fast swings, I was wearing a skirt that twirled just right when my brother swung me, and it was so much fun!) In the process of learning the basics of ballroom dance, I’ve learned some important concepts which can be applied to our walk with Christ:

1. In order to dance well with your partner, you have to know the steps.
- In order to effectively serve Christ, we must be spending time in His Word, getting to know the things He has said and learning the guidelines of the “dance.”

2. It is important carefully follow your partner's lead. This means being in-tune to the movements of his hands and body so that it takes only the slightest pressure for you to respond in the correct direction.
- We must be in daily communion with Christ, in-tune to His voice and His leading so that we will recognize the leads which He gives us.

3. You never quite know which step your partner might lead you into next. You know that the step will be one which is part of that dance and which goes with the music, but you don’t know exactly which one it will be.
- This is pretty much a combination of the ones above. We know that Christ will never lead us into a step that is not part of the dance that does not align with His Word. However, within His Word there is a lot of freedom for the individual believer. We can also rest confident in the fact that it is not our role to lead, simply to be in-tune to Him, trusting that He will lead us into the correct steps at the correct time.

4. Sometimes it is hard not to take the lead, but two people cannot lead at the same time.
- Either we control our lives or He does, both cannot be true. As Scripture says, “man cannot serve two masters.”

5. Properly following means leaning on your partner, you have to lean back into the support of his hand, trusting that he will not let you fall. Otherwise, he cannot lead you correctly.
- We have to be willing to lean on Jesus, even when it makes us feel insecure, like we’re going to fall. We have to be willing to surrender that control and security in order to follow Him more fully.

By no means to intend to imply with this post that I have these things mastered. In fact, writing it has been pretty convicting for me myself. I don’t rely on Him nearly as I ought to, and I often struggle with wanting to control my life and the direction that it’s going. However, my experience has been that just when you think you have it all figured out and know exactly where you’re going is when something happens that turns all your plans upside down. These are the times when we have to learn all over again the importance of relying on Him, day by day.

As I was writing this post, the chorus of a song kept playing through my head. So I looked it up and it turns out it was DC Talk’s “What if I Stumble.” I actually don’t recall ever having heard the entirety of this song before, but the lyrics do go right along with what I was talking about. If I post them here now, this post will be forever long, so I'm just going to post the chorus, but I would suggest you look up the rest of the lyrics. They definitely provide some food for thought:
What if I stumble?
What if I fall?
What if I lose my step, and I make fools of us all?
Will the love continue if my walk becomes a crawl?
What if I stumble, and what if I fall?

01 March 2009

First Post...

Hmm.... Let's see... I really don't know where to start.

I have finally decided to join the blogging world, and it is my hope that this blog will be a blessing not only to me, but to all those who read it. Here I hope to post tidbits from my daily life, issues I may be struggling with, things the Lord has shown me, and other things upon which I may be thinking.

There's not a whole lot to tell about be up front that isn't already in my "about me" section. I love to learn and am always on the lookout for interesting new subjects to research. I have a passion to learn about various events and people in history, especially about women, I suppose because I feel that I can relate and empathize with them better. I also love to read, and am always on the lookout for great new books. Generally, I tend to be a pretty quiet, reserved person, but if you're willing to put a little effort into getting to know me you'll find that I enjoy talking to my friends about a variety of topics. I also love to travel, though it's something I don't get an opportunity to do very often. I love both places rich in history and those rich in natural beauty, places where I can soak up the wonder and majesty of God's creation.

That's all I can think of for now, but I look forward to posting more soon!