Thursday, December 27, 2012


Trusting God is complex sometimes.

I was thinking the other day about trusting God with my life. I wanted to say, "Okay, Lord, no matter what circumstances come, that's okay because I know You have a plan."

That isn't a bad mindset, but it can be warped. I was looking at hard situations in my life and giving them over to the Lord, saying I trusted His having a plan in them. But then I noticed something going on in my heart. I wasn't exactly trusting. My heart held more of a ... resignation.


There's a bitter flavor to that word. It can carry the emotion of going along with something against one's will.

I don't want to be resigned to God's will. I want to embrace it! I want to look back at times I didn't understand God's work and say, "Thank You, God. I know You are working things together for my good." (Rom 8:28)

Now, I'm not saying we have to be exactly thankful for all hard times. What I'm really trying to say is that I don't believe a true heart of trust is one of resignation. It is one of embracing the path God leads us along, even when it is painful. It is one of embracing the wisdom and love of our God and not allowing bitterness or doubt to live and grow in our hearts.

What I'm trying to say is that I've experienced resignation.

And I want something more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Let's Do It

Since I finished work, I'll admit, I haven't really known what to do with myself.

I thought this break would be just what I'd need and that I'd be enjoying every minute of it. Instead, I just want to get back to college! I want a reason to get up in the morning. And as funny as it may sound, I'm really happy that I'm so bored.

Leaving college the first time made me doubt some things about myself. But now my boredom is proof in itself-I'm more ready to live like an adult than I'd realized! I need work to do. I need a schedule and a goal and something to concentrate on. It's so ... reassuring.

Now I'll just need to be reminded of this when I'm trying to figure out how to get all my work done in college! :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

What Remains Constant

I hope that when I hit next summer, I'll be able to look back at this year and say, "You know what? I made it!"

There have been a lot of changes for me this year, and I'm sure the same is true for many others.

Once I was thinking about how many things in life change. We live in a constantly changing world ... but God never changes.

When I think about that, I realize how wonderful my life really is. Yes, life is uncertain. Yes, I could lose everyone and everything I care about. But the best thing in my life will never, ever, ever change. My God will always stay with me.

I live with His perfect love.

I should overflow with thankfulness every day of my life.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Last I checked, Christmas is coming up fast. Really fast!

Here's my problem. I only got done with my job on Friday, so I haven't gotten to shopping until, well, the past few days. I currently have four gifts. I'm not sure how I'm going to get the rest by Christmas Day.

To those of you who manage to work and shop and do all sorts of other things ... this paragraph is a salute to you.

Moving on, I wish I could think of something special for all the people I care about, but sometimes it's hard. I'd love to be one of those people who makes gifts for others, putting in time and care and making something personal. But, this year at least, I didn't get there.

The funny thing is, all of this comes on the heels of me stressing out over the amount of stuff I have. Why do I have so many books? purses? shoes?

I guess I'll have to admit I don't understand the whole "stuff" thing. I know God blesses us, and I believe enjoying those blessings is okay. I know that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). I know that there are poor people around the world who can barely get by while I'm over here in the United States stressing over the clutter in my life. And I also know that we're supposed to be focusing on God's gift of Jesus during Christmas.

How do we balance all this?

Frankly, I don't know. But I have a couple ideas where to start ...

First off, I think some Bible study is in order. I need to find out what God really says about possessions and His blessings.

Second, I think I need to just relax a little about Christmas shopping. In the long run, I don't think possessions are as important as how we view them, and focusing so much on stuff shows something is off.

So ... what are your thoughts on "stuff" this Christmas? How can we give special gifts and still focus on Christ?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Each Day Isn't a Story

I love stories.

I've been reading two books over the past week or so, one which I finished last night, and the other one that I finished just a couple of minutes ago.

I love beginnings, where I can see the conflict set up. I like endings that satisfy. Endings I can believe and that fit with the rest of the book.

I also enjoy the middle of the book. I'll admit--when I'm reading mysteries, I'm the type that tries to figure out not where the story is going, but where the author is going. I look at the writing strategies they use and try to figure out what tricks they're trying to pull to keep me from catching the clues they drop. I get mixed feelings of pleasure and annoyance when I'm right. I like knowing I'm right, but really? He/she let me see through his/her little games and guess the end before I got there? How ... un-mysterious.

Anyway, all that said, I realized the other day that life isn't like a story. At least, each day isn't. I've been trying to think of things to blog about, but I haven't been able to find some nugget of wisdom or poignant moment to share. No occurrence has leapt out at me as the perfect blog topic.

But each day isn't a story. God's taking all of our days and little moments and shaping them into something bigger as a whole. Each day won't necessarily make sense by itself, or have a satisfying resolution. Though it might be fair to classify some days as having cliff-hanger endings ...

So I'll keep posting here, even when I don't have answers and I don't feel I have a complete story to tell. But as each little piece fits together, someday the bigger picture might just become clear.

Someday, Lord willing, I'll look back and be able to say, "There it is! That was my story!"

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saying "So What?" to "What If ..."

"What ifs" are awful. They make us feel awful and sometimes act that way too.

Tonight I was thinking about my job and struggling with "what ifs."

~What if I have to work drive through for a while tomorrow? (Stressful!!!)
~What if I don't like next week's schedule?

You know. Those sort of worries. And on the list went.

But then I realized that "what ifs" aren't worth it!

So I sat myself down and wrote out all my "what ifs." They ranged from work to college to my future. As I wrote, I was giving them to God. He's bigger than my worries any day!

So what if I have to work drive through?

So what if my future plans don't work?

God will still love me. He'll never leave me. He'll always be faithful.

Enough of my worrying.

"Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." (Joshua 1:9)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Little Victories

I'm excited.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the book I'm currently "writing"--but I haven't been writing. Right after returning from college, I blamed stress for my lack of creativity. I said I didn't have enough emotional energy. And then I continued using that excuse for a while after coming home ... I mean, upsetting situations like leaving college don't just disappear over night, right?

Lately, I've been trying to realize that, hey, I'm okay! I'm home. I have a job. I have plans for next year. I don't need to hang on to that stress.

So I had another reason for not working on my book. I was working through another revision of my last book, as I want to get back to work seeking an agent for that one. My plan was to focus on one book at a time, and my current book wasn't the book I was going to devote time to.

But lately, I've been having trouble getting the name of my current main character out of my head. I missed her story. I was tired of revising the other one.

So I broke down, and I finally wrote a new scene in my newest book.

And I'm excited.

I haven't written a successful scene for this book since before or during my college experience. It feels so good to be back at it!

Little victories can be more important than we think. They can be part of God's shaping us into the people He wants us to be.

Have you had any little victories in your life lately? How could God be using them towards your future?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It's Complicated ...

How often have I said--or thought--that my life is complicated?

Sometimes it's true ... but other times, not so much.

So here's the update about my college decision: I'm going to Bible college. In January.

I'd thought that making this decision would be complicated, but as I prayed about it, I realized that the facts about my situation are clear-cut. It makes total sense for me to go. So what was really holding me back?

Like I said in my last post, I was afraid.

I don't want to relive what I went through during my last college experience. But when a path seems to be God's will, fear is not a good enough reason to say no.

Today I read through the first chapter of Joshua in my devotions. "Strong and courageous" is how I'll have to be to face my fears. But I don't have to make myself be strong and courageous. I don't have to calm my fear on my own.

My God will help me.

Maybe that's why I think my life is so complicated sometimes. Maybe I think it's complicated because I think I have to solve my problems myself.

I'm glad that's not true.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stepping Forward

Mixed emotions.

That's how I feel when I think back on my few weeks at college. There were good times. I met some cool people, and I learned a lot in such a short space of time. The memories make me sad, though, wishing things hadn't turned out this way.

So it makes sense that now, on the verge of another life-changing decision, I'm hesitating a little bit.

On my dresser is an acceptance letter from a Bible college, the same one my brother attends. I got it a few days ago.

But I haven't sent my reply yet.

Though the classes I'd take there wouldn't be towards a writing degree, they would grow my knowledge of the Bible and its Author. I could get through some college and learn how to handle all the work. I'd have time to think about my writing plans. It all makes sense.

But I am afraid.

I don't want to stay here working fast food, though I'll admit that I've learned quite a bit in that environment too. I have to take a step forward.

But I'm not positive it's the right step.

In the midst of all this wondering and second-guessing, I know what I have to do. I have to pray some more, and then make up my mind. Once and for all.

Tonight. Tonight I'll have a talk with God. And if He wills, I'll have my answer.

I want to move forward.

Have you ever been afraid of a decision you had to make?

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to devote to writing this post. But since it's the weekend after Thanksgiving, I think I'll share five things that I'm thankful for.

1.) My family. I was blessed to see many of them for Thanksgiving!
2.) My church. I learn so much there, and the people are great.
3.) My friends, most of whom have been with me for a very long time, through thick and thin. (And tie-dye and lemonade ...)
4.)  A (sort of) new friend. :-)
5.) New beginnings. The start of a new blog, the start of a new chapter of my life ... who knows what else?

Hopefully next time I'll have longer to write, but for tonight, I'll just leave you with a question. Hope to hear from you!

What are you thankful for?