Mar 31, 2011

Food for Thought

I have an app on my ipod touch that I gives me a daily C.S. Lewis quote; I read this one yesterday & it really made me think, so I thought I would share =)

March 30, 2011
Your real new self (which is Christ’s and also yours, and yours just because it is His) will not come as long as you are looking for it. It will come when you are looking for Him. Does that sound strange? The same principle holds, you know, for more everyday matters. Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it. The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day, and death of your whole body in the end. Submit with every fiber of your being and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him, everything else thrown in. ~C.S. Lewis

Mar 26, 2011

Spring Break!!

Hello there everybody! Do you remember me? I haven't posted an update in a while, but I am still alive. Haha! And it's Spring Break! So I've been enjoying a week at home with my family.

This past month at school has been exhausting, but very, very good. I have a lighter workload than last semester, but I have been sick quite a bit. Actually, I've had 10 days all together that I was too sick to leave my dorm & had to spend the day in bed. I went about 72 hours on 6 hours of sleep because I was too sick to sleep, even though I took nyquil every couple of hours. Sounds miserable, huh? Well, it was, but the Lord really, REALLY taught me about his sufficiency even in that overwhelming circumstance, & He also taught me some things about myself that He wants to change. I look forward to sharing those lessons with you later, but for now I'll just catch you up on this past week =)

Spring break came just in time! As soon as I was well enough to get out of bed, I had to hit the ground running and catch up on everything I had been unable to do for the 5 days I was sick.  Tuesday I had a midterm, Wednesday I had to give a speech & powerpoint presentation for a literature class, and Thursday I had to catch up on about 4 hours of music practice & get everything ready to go home. HOME!!! Yay =) Lol, anyways. Friday was the day! Me & several of my fellow Chetek-ians packed up & loaded up for the trip back to Chetek. Since my car died earlier in the semester, a family friend made the trip to Northland to pick us 3 girls up.  I had planned on catching up on some more reading & homework on the four hour drive home, but the sleepless nights caught up to me & I ended up sleeping most of the way home. That was actually the longest I had slept at once all week! It felt soooooo good =) As soon as I got home, my mom & I got back in the car & drove down to the Wisconsin Dells to spend the weekend with my sister, Amber, & her family. She & her husband just moved into a new house, and it is beautiful! Me, my mom, Amber, & my niece Bri all went shopping on Saturday & had sushi that night...while watching Finding Nemo. I felt a little weird about watching a movie about fish while eating fish, but I got over it! Haha =) Because my sister & her husband own 2 restaurants in that area, it is really hard for them to get away, so it was SUPER nice to spend a few days with them.

I finally got home on Monday, & slept...a LOT!! I think that when you are super busy, you don't notice how tired you are until you have time to slow down...then it hits ya! I spent the day relaxing, and I also played piano for almost 4 hours....crazy I know! But I have a beautiful baby grand here at home & sometimes it is really nice to just sit down & play for fun since at school I have to be very rigid with practice time & the material I study. Tuesday & Wednesday I got to spend a lot of time with my mom, which is always wonderful. I have been blessed with a godly, wise, amazing mom & I am SO thankful for her! We got to do a lot of shopping this week, which is something we don't get to do too often, so that was a blast! I also got my hair cute & dyed, it turned out SUPER now I want highlights! Lol =) We got a snow/hail/slush storm, so church was cancelled Wednesday night...I was bummed about that because I LOVE my home church & I really don't get to go there very often anymore.

Thursday I got to spend some time with my other sister, Rebecca, and her daughter, Tatym. Becca & her husband went out to eat Thursday night, so my mom & I babysat Tatym. She is eight months old & absolutely ADORABLE! I have missed out on seeing her a lot since I am at school, so it is always fun to spend time with her. On Friday, my mom, Becca, Tatym & I went out to eat with my grandparents, and that was really a blessing to see them again. Then that night, my mom & I went to a restaurant called HuHot, which is delish! It is a Mongolian grill with a healthy & yummy selection of food! It is definitely one of my new favorites =)

Today I finally got to satisfy my craving to go swimming & do the butterfly! I did about an hour of lap swimming & now my shoulders are killing me. Although I work out at school, we don't have a I'm definitely out of swimming shape! Lol. I'm going to have to work out A LOT to work off all of the food I've been treated to this week....oh boy. Hahaha! I also got to see my good friend Cody. I taught swimming lessons with him every day this summer & I hadn't seen him since December, so it was great to catch up.

All in all, spring break has been AMAZING & I am going to miss being home so much! Tonight I get to hang out with one of my best friends & watch a movie, then I need to pack to go back to school. We'll be heading back soon after church tomorrow...time to get back into the swing of things! I'm so thankful for the refreshing time off & I'm looking forward to finishing out the semester. This is just kind of a "catch up" post, especially for my sister since I know you always want me to post more. Haha! I hope that you all have a great weekend =) Take care!!

Mar 9, 2011

He Is Jealous For Me

I was going through my music locker down in the practice rooms & came across a notebook with songs I've written (or started to write.) So I thought I would share one of them with you all =) I never finished it so this is still the rough version, but I started writing it last semester around November when I was going through a difficult time. I hope the lyrics will be a blessing to you.

He is loving to me
In times of great pain, although I can't see
He mingles my tears with His own blood of mercy

He is jealous for me
When I've turned away, my idols blind me
He gently strips away that which steals His glory

In times of great agony, when all hope is lost
The one thing I can trust is in the hope of His cross
His hands that hold me are scarred by love and glory

When all is unclear and I am undone
You draw me to You, though I try to run
You shelter me in Your grace and mercy

He is pleading for me,
Not just when He died upon that tree
But even now He's beside the throne saying
"She's mine Father, please forgive her."

He is yearning for me
Not because of who I am, or what I have done
But because of who He is and what He has done
He is Love, and Love never fails

In times of great agony, when all hope is lost
The one thing I can trust is in the hope of His cross
His hands that hold me are scarred by love and glory

When all is unclear and I am undone
You draw me to You, though I try to run
You shelter me in Your grace and mercy

Mar 3, 2011

Fearfully & Wonderfully Made

Need some humility with a side of encouragement topped off with a healthy dose of awe? Watch this video by Francis Chan:

WOW!!! Now consider that the same God who created all of that, has this to say about you:

"I have loved you with an everlasting love..."

The same God who created all of that, sent His only Son, for you:

"Who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. "

...but why?!

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. "

I am blown away by this!! How could the same God who created the universe have also made me; loved me; and ultimately died for me? What a privilege to know that God knows us intimately & cares about me & you---just little specks in the universe. In Psalm 139, David was equally awed by this knowledge:

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
  You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
  You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
  Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
  You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
  If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
  If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
  even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.

For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
  I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
  My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
  Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
  If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

Beach Heart no. 2