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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Another year older, and maybe even a little wiser, though I have ended the year with more questions than answers. I turned 24 on Christmas Day this year, and I am still shocked at everwhere I have been and everything I have done in those 24 years. It will never cease to amaze me what can all be squeezed into just one year—memories and new understandings fitting in day-to-day life like packing peanuts. Last December I graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in English. I moved back home in the beginning of March, went to the San Juan Islands in April, became single in May, went to Dallas, Texas in August for a Mary Kay Convention for the second time, took a road trip to Alabama where I saw friends I made in Italy that I hadn’t seen in two years, and flew to Wyoming for the first time in October to visit my best friend. I even wrote a new song on my guitar about a friend comforting another friend in pain. Recently, my favorite thing has been receiving a VHS player for my birthday. I have three boxes of VHS tapes in my bedroom closet that I was finally able to take down from its dusty shelf. So I spent a lot of the weekend watching old Christmas movies like Annie and Anabelle’s Wish, as well as rediscovering how many Disney movies I have on VHS. If they were unbreakable, I would have been tossing them all in the air to let them fall around me like some would do with money.

I ran my first 5k this year and made a lot of new friends that have become a big part of my life. I have felt the pain of missing loved friends more deeply this year than I have in a long time and discovered that a broken heart truly feels like your insides are cracking in every nook and cranny. I cried a lot more this year than I have in previous years. But that didn’t make it a bad year. I drank too much coffee, spent endless hours listening to music, and slept in too late too often. But I made it through another year with my loan payments up to date and no broken bones or sickness. I’d say I’m doing just fine.

This year has taught me that every single one of us could be better communicators. Especially when it comes to listening. In the midst of wanting to jump in and give our opinion in a conversation, we forget that listening is a significant part of communication. Why should anyone listen to us if we don’t take the time to listen to them? Are we really so prideful that we think what we have to say is more important than what they have to say? You don’t have to agree with the person, but that doesn’t mean you won’t learn or rediscover something. My goal for next year is to also have more conversations that are important. That sounds a little arrogant, but it’s not meant to be. I simply mean that we have too many conversations that are surface-level because that’s what’s comfortable. But there is so much to discuss and discover when we take the extra step to talk about deeper things than the weather. Getting to those topics can be tricky sometimes, so it takes some practice.

I could also use a little more practice when it comes to bravery. For the past two years, I’ve wanted to take my guitar to the nursing home sometime in the week before Christmas and sing Christmas songs to the elderly who may not get many guests if any at all, and maybe even stick around to listen to stories of those willing to talk with me. But I have been afraid to go alone because I have stage freight. I am insecure about my guitar playing abilities since I make mistakes while playing in front of people even though I don’t make mistakes when I’m by myself. But I also have a soft voice, and I don’t know how many would even be able to hear me. I also don’t talk to many people I don’t know. It’s always been hard for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger, even when I want to.

I’m filled to the brim of my glass with love today that I don’t know how to give it out any faster. I’ve been telling a lot of my friends and family the past couple days how much I treasure them, and I find myself in tears most of the time while writing to them. I think that’s partially because of the fact that my monthly gift arrived this morning. But the other half is truly because I feel blessed beyond words. I don’t know what this year would have looked like without them. There are so many hugs yet to give, so many experiences yet to occur, so many people to meet and stories to hear that part of me feels like I’m wasting time sitting here writing this. However, I’m only human, and there are days my glass is tipped over, kind of like how I’d like to flip over the tables of customers that test my patience. But thankfully those days are limited. Emotions for me tend to be overwhelming because they hit me like a train, and sometimes there’s not much I can do to hold them back. I found myself crying quite a bit at work this year, no matter what I told myself to calm down. But I will take those days if it means I can love people more deeply as well.

Only God knows what will become of me by next December. But I’m excited to see where I’m led.

 

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I was reading in 2 Corinthians today and I came across a verse that I feel like writing about. Please don’t let that scare you away. Maybe you’ll find it interesting.

2 Corinthians 5:6 says “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord.”

Paul was just talking about how we are confident not in ourselves, but in God. No one can stand against God, so if He is on our side, no one can stop us.

Anyway, this verse hit me because for a moment I was confused. It seemed like it had been saying that we shouldn’t feel happy here. Now I have a different look on it.

This world is not our home. It is a waiting place until we reach our real home. Some will call theirs heaven, some will call theirs hell. We aren’t supposed to want to stay here. The more comfortable you are with the world and do what the world does, the farther you allow yourself to be away from God because this is not the world God wants for us. We allowed Satan to take over so we have allowed chaos to happen to us.

A friend once told me, “For those going to heaven, this is the closest to hell they’ll ever see. For those going to hell, this is the closest to heaven they’ll ever see.” God wants people who want to be with Him. He’d never force someone to be with Him, which is why there is Free Will. The absence of God is hell. It’s not that He wants to send people there; it’s that they wanted to be on their own, and you will find yourself falling into more and more holes when you don’t allow God into your life. There will always be a space that you can’t fill because it’s a space that belongs to God, since we are made from Him.

Everyone will have some sort of suffering or trial in their lives. Multiple. But your faith isn’t tested when your happy and living well. It is tested through trials to see how you handle situations when there are bumps in the road.

So find someone to spend your life with, make a family, find a job. . .but don’t think that this is the best it’ll ever be. I am not afraid to die because where I’m going will be better than this place can ever be. I hope you find the same hope as well. 

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I found myself watching these music videos that made me cry today without really knowing how I got there. You should listen to them too; they have great messages:

-“If Nobody Believed in You” by Joe Nichols
-“I’ll Wait for You” by Joe Nichols
-“This Ain’t Nothin'” by Craig Morgan
-“Don’t Laugh at Me” by Mark Wills
-“Didn’t Have to Be” by Brad Paisley

It makes me sad that the word “love” is starting to mean something physical rather than something real.

It makes me sad that some are willing to step on others to reach the top of the food chain first, to make jokes that hurt the other person, or to feel superior over them and get their way.

It makes me sad that the teenagers who aren’t ready to be parents are raising a large portion of a future generation. There are T.V. shows like “16 and Pregnant” as if we are encouraging it.

It makes me sad that the pressure on academics, sports, jobs, etc. can get so rough that as people continue to tell each other that he or she isn’t fast enough, isn’t strong enough, isn’t smart enough, each of them begins to believe it. Why would they have faith in themselves when no one else has faith in them?

Watch your words. Watch your actions.

Be encouraging and give someone the boost they need. When you say “I love you,” don’t say it out of habit. Really mean it. Wherever someone is at in their lives, there is a reason they got there. You don’t know what they’ve been through. 

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No one should be forgotten.

I think that once we die, we think that we will simply become another snowflake on the ground among the rest of the dead. But I think we need to remember that we are remembered by those who matter.

Do you really need to be remembered by someone who only knows your name? Sure we can name off presidents, famous serial killers, famous inventors. But does it satisfy you to simply be remembered by your name? If they would actually become so interested to look up information, all they would know are facts. They would never know you, so wouldn’t you basically be “forgotten” anyway?

After a time, everyone who knows you will die too. But just because your name may not come up in conversation anymore, that one day tears will stop falling for you, that people will pass by your gravestone to get to someone else’s because no one knows who you are anymore, doesn’t mean you have been erased.

All of us leave a little piece of ourselves when we leave. No matter how small, or even how meaningless it may be to some people, we have all left our mark on the world. The world will never forget your presence, even if the people may.

For me, I do not feel the need to be remembered because I have faith about where I will go once this life has passed. I know that it will be more beautiful, more loving, and happier than this world could ever be. I do not care to be remembered in a world of death and destruction from which sin has taken over.

I will be patient for my death, but I am not afraid of it. But I also won’t waste my time.

Start leaving pieces of yourself in the minds of your friends and family. Leave pieces of advice that you have learned or pass on something that you treasure to someone whom you know will keep it safe and will pass down to others.

Trust me, my friends. The white lights of heaven will make you forget about everything that ever happened on earth. You are remembered by God, and He matters much more than any human in the world.

You will never be forgotten.

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We all believe in something, whether that there is a God, that there is life on other planets, or that dogs are colorblind…but i think we all need to figure out what it is that we believe in so we can find other opinions and new information and maybe get a new perspective on what we think we know…

Feel free to add your own “I believe.” I’d love to hear what you think!

–I believe the sun only sets on those who give up

–i believe that music is a faster cure than conversation

–I believe you never truly feel alive until you do something that is out of your comfort zone

–I believe words hurt as much as stones. Even those who try to tell themselves they don’t affect them

–I believe you should read more books than the amount of movies you watch because true imagination is what you make in your head as you are reading, not what is showed for you on a screen

–I believe that once one side of the light fixture goes out, it’s only a matter of time before the other side goes out, so don’t wait for the light to die. Change it so you are never forced into darkness

–I believe a pillow is the best cuddle buddy when you are alone

–I believe pictures are memories that even the alzehemiers won’t lose

–I believe Disney movies give kids something to believe in

–I believe we cannot be helped if we do not want to help ourselves

–I believe the lazy should make themselves take the stairs, for we all need to be pushed in the right direction sometimes

–I believe God tests us to see what we have learned, if we have learned anything

–I believe people want to be mad at God for their problems because it shifts the focus off of them

–I believe the Sabbath Sunday was created for us as a reminder that we are not immortal, and need to take a break even if we feel we don’t have the time

–I believe we all need to learn our limits, for too many of us overwork and overstress ourselves and it is breaking up our families as well as the happiness that can’t get a hold of us because we dont stop moving

–I believe that even though the clouds may cover the sun for a period of time, we are reminded that the sun will shine again if we have patience

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It takes a little faith.
Doesn’t matter how many you plant,
you need to sustain it
put in the elbow dirt
and nurture it to get a blossom.
Over time rejections will come
mistakes will happen
but spray some Round Up and press on.
Rain will attempt to drown it
Sun will strive to bake it
but only after it’s tested can it bloom.

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Sometimes shadows only disappear until you bring them to the light. But, what I think we sometimes forget, is that the shadow doesn’t always disappear, but instead just MOVES. When you fix one struggle, another is going to pop up. Guarenteed. But the awesome thing is, is that you are in control of the light. A shadow is as see-through as glass when your light is bright. But when you dim that light with worry, fear, frustration, and anger, the shadows become blacker than the bottom of the sea. If they come, then it is possible for them to go away, but only if you make them. No shadow can defeat the light, so why are you running scared?

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