Thursday, August 29, 2013

Of Attitude and Sleep

It's hard to explain.

I've been thrilled to be back in college with my friends and the familiar places and people. I've been glad that I have another chance to learn more about God. Despite all that, lately, my attitude towards the classwork has been awful.

God is good, though. Last night I started giving Him my emotions and my trust for this semester. And this morning I woke feeling way better.

Life gets overwhelming pretty often, and the truth is we can't handle our problems on our own. Not God's way. The way we deal with problems and being overwhelmed is hugely important: will we give things to God or try to handle them on our own?

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
(Psalm 18:2)
P.S. And for the record, getting a little extra sleep can help one's perspective too. Just passing that on. :-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

This Is Family

I'm back at college. Arriving this time was so different than coming my first time. I came back to places, policies, and people I was familiar with. I came back to a great set of friends, too.

I came back to family.

While I will miss my parents while I'm here at school, I have people here who I love and love me too. And you know what I think?

That's exactly how it was meant to be.

Our brothers and sisters in Christ are truly family. The bonds rescued sinners share are strong. And yes, we're sinners; we fail each other just like members of an earthly family. But still we can love one another and grow in Him together.

I'm so blessed that God has made me a part of the family.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."
(I John 4:11)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Adventures

I'm excited about the future.

That may not sound that important to you, but if you knew how things have been lately, then you'd understand. Since leaving my first college, and perhaps even before, I've let the future intimidate me. The choices that needed to be made and the uncertainty of the results were overwhelming.

The future is still unclear for me. An upcoming writing conference, new college semester, and a harp student all lie in the next few weeks, so close I can feel them approach. But guess what?

I love my life. And I'm looking forward to the days ahead.

God is good. And I think He's teaching me more about contentment, and the trust it takes to face unknowns.

The journey is marvellous.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Forgetting Something?

I forget things sometimes. Like things I was supposed to do. Occasionally I'll leave out a word in the middle of a sentence in my writing. Very annoying.

But all that has nothing on what I've noticed myself forgetting lately. Sometimes I'm forgetting to pray like I should.

Praying should be like breathing. An integral part of my life. But lately I've been forgetting.

How does this happen? How do I go from this summer, when I learned so much about prayer, to relegating prayer to a short time in the morning and a few times I might think of it throughout the day?

I have a couple of theories. First off, dependency on myself. At home, I sometimes think, I can do this. I can manage my life. Lies. At camp, I knew I wasn't strong enough to serve like I should. Granted, the temptation to attempt self-sufficiency was at camp too, and sometimes I fell. There, though, I was reminded pretty often that I wasn't strong enough to handle things. Here at home, those reminders are fewer. With God's help, I have to remind myself.

Second? I think I may have fallen to the temptation to procrastinate. It's not like I look at a challenge and decide that, clearly, prayer isn't necessary for the situation. But it's easy to think that I don't have time to devote to deep prayer. I think that I'll do whatever it is I'm doing now, and next time I pray, I'll have a serious talk with God about it. Foolishness. I may not have time for a long prayer session right then, but I can still pray!

In life, we'll inevitably forget some things. But forgetting to let prayer saturate our lives isn't okay. It's not only displeasing to the Lord, it's devastating to us.

By God's strength, I'll again allow prayer to permeate my life.

I must.

"Pray without ceasing."
(1 Thessalonians 5:17) 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Right now in my writing life, I'm trying to get ready for an upcoming writers' conference. Honestly, it's sometimes a bit of an intimidating prospect to think of going somewhere with so many other writers. What if this shows me that my book isn't good enough? I'm not good enough? Will I be able to stay calm when presenting my book to a literary agent?

There's work to be done in advance, too. I'm preparing a book proposal customized to each of the agents I requested to speak with. I'm also trying to get more of my book through a critique group so it's more polished before I present it.

A while back, it would have been easy to throw in the towel and decide not to go. That it was too hard. But I'm glad I didn't, because I'm sure all this work will be worth it.

Just like with achieving our goals, our walk with God takes a lot of persistence. Just this morning I was trying to understand a verse I've never fully grasped. I spent a good deal of time fighting with concordances, and still I didn't have a good idea of the meaning of the root word(s) in question. I'm not giving up on this one, though. Tomorrow's a new day, and I'll give it another shot.

The benefits of persisting in our walk with Christ--in our devotions, our prayer life, and our daily dependence on Him--are always worth the work. And when you think about it, it is His strength that allows us to persist.

He gives us the goal and the ability to do it.

What a good God we serve!

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."
(Galatians 6:9)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

God's Been Good

In thinking about a topic to write tonight, I looked back over my blog posts. While I was doing this, I came across a line in one that, well, I didn't exactly know what to think about.

Last December, I wrote a post titled "What Remains Constant." In it, I wrote, "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!'"

I thought about that this summer. This year was a difficult one in some ways. I never expected to leave my original college. I didn't know I'd get certain pieces of bad news that would test my trust in God.

But as I look back over the year, I can see that God has been good. And is good.

This year God took away my plan for college and gave me a better one.

He allowed changes at my camp and I believe they worked to glorify Him and help change my heart.

Through a class, He showed me how to get more out of His Word ... more work but huge benefits!

Looking back at this year, my desire isn't to say "I made it." I don't feel as if I've victoriously conquered a hard road. I feel as if I've been stretched. Refined. And I'm thankful for it. I'm thankful to God for doing it.

As I take another look back, I choose to say, "God is good."

Thursday, August 1, 2013


I miss camp. For any of you that know me, that's not really a surprise. :-)

One of my favorite things about camp is the lack of distractions. In general, I didn't use my laptop during the week. I didn't use my phone--to the point that I kept forgetting where it was! I didn't really read anything but my Bible.

I also love the way God's Word and prayer is a part of the fabric of all we do. Operational staff girls started out their days with devos led by our camp cook in the kitchen. Towards the end of the summer we started having prayer meetings together in the evening. We went to evening services. We read our Bibles. We prayed personally.

Home is different.

It's not that I don't pray or read my Bible here. It's not that I don't pray with my family.

There's just so much distracting stuff.

Packing for college. Thinking about important things going on this semester. Trying to clear some junk out of my room. And starting to wonder about what God wants me to do in certain areas I thought I already knew about.

Undoubtedly, home has more distractions. But it doesn't mean it can't be as simple as camp. I can make the choice for a simple life.

Simply focusing on God ... in each choice and moment.

Simply doing what He's told me to do ... without resisting.

Simply loving Him.

I pray He helps me live simply.
"And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment."
(Mark 12:30)