You Learn It

Wow, okay, I am officially really bad at updating this on time. Anyway. Brief little post to get us through to next Sunday.

How many times do we get stressed out over little stuff? How many times do we let little things that go wrong get to us? I see it a lot on Facebook. “Today was so rough” or “Everything went wrong today”. It’s so easy to just let the little things pick at us. But forget, for a moment, all the standard things people tell you and let me tell you a story.

My family teases each other. All. The. Time. If we aren’t teasing each other, that’s when you know that something’s wrong. So, as a little girl, my whole family would tease me. Constantly. And I would get so annoyed! I was little; I couldn’t come up with these fabulous comebacks! And if, perchance, I did get one in, someone else had a better one to shoot me down. Oh, I got so frustrated. I cried sometimes. I threw fits. I got furious. It irritated me. Anyone wanna guess what I do today? I deal with it. Sometime between now and then, I learned that it wasn’t going to stop and I got tired of getting frustrated. The best way to deal with it (and get teased less, “coincidentally”) was to just smile, nod, and walk away. Let the have the victory and get them back later (may I just say that particular revenge is so, so sweet). But also? My family will congratulate me when I nail a particularly good comeback or insult (yeah, it’s that kind of teasing a lot of the time). And I know that if anything big happens, the jokes will disappear (or maybe not) and they will have my back like no one else. So the jokes. Let them roll off my back. It’s best for everyone.

Aaaaand let me tell you another story. I walked into the student center on the college campus. Down the stairs, straight ahead, and there’s Starbucks to the right. I get in line and order my drinks. I pay, then go to the end and wait. But when my drinks come…one of them is wrong. I tell the barista and she apologizes. You know what I tell her? (I bet you don’t). “It’s okay, I won’t die.” Wait, what? I see her startled glance at me, and then she chuckles and hands me my correct drink. “Sorry again” she says, and I shrug and walk away. It’s become my refrain of late. “I won’t die”. Getting frustrated isn’t going to change anything. And it’s a good habit to look on the bright side of things. I remember one rainy day recently when my friend who had hip surgery, I, and one other girl was waiting for her mom to pull the car up. I said: “I’d say look on the bright side, it could be raining, but…it is.” Sure enough, she cracked a smile.

The point of all these tales? Just slow down. You won’t die, whatever happens. Stressing solves nothing. The best course of action is to just take care of the problem and move on. And tease people constantly (but only if you’re willing to be teased in turn. And only if you’re not really hurting them. And…nah, just kidding). It makes life a lot more fun. And of course, if you do start getting frustrated, God’s there.

CHALLENGE TIME!!! I CHALLENGE YOU….to thank God for something different every time you get frustrated, worn out, or angry. And don’t just say the words, conjure up the feelings in your heart. Just for a minute.

Big Bang Theory

Hey! Another post so soon, yay! (Or so I’m sure you’re all saying). Well, guess where I was this morning? That’s right, Physics class! We had a Fun Physics Thursday (usually we have fun Physics Fridays every other week or so, where all we do is watch Bill Nye videos) and we watched a video (not Bill Nye) about the Magnetic field surrounding the Earth.

The first thing that caught my attention was when they described the magnetic field, how it comes out from the South pole, surrounds the earth (blocking solar winds from the sun) before going into the North Pole. Then, as the video continued, they started digging deeper. They described how clay has magnetic particles that hold magnetic fields pointed all different directions, but when fired, the magnetic fields are erased by the heat and when it’s taken out they attain new magnetic fields that align with the direction of the Earth’s magnetic field and record the intensity of said field. They described how lava does the same thing when it cools, recording magnetic information from the Earth. They described how scientists learned that the magnetic field has switched directions many times in the past, and how it might again very soon. They described how dangerous solar winds could/can be. They spoke about how part of what is generating the magnetic field (they think)) is an amazing cycle of electricity through the earth’s core, that produces the field, which produces more electricity, and so on so forth in an endless cycle. They went into all of this detail, and all I could think was, How amazing is our God.

How amazing that he would come up with such a system to protect us. How amazing that he could and would create something with so much power like our sun, or like stars exploding millions of light years away. How amazing that he would create so small a detail like magnetic fields in clay for us to discover later. People occasionally talk about how amazing He is for creating the plants and animals, but let’s think bigger…and smaller. There are 950,000 known species of bugs, 7.77 million known species of animals, 298,000 known species of plants, and 3 VERY basic types of rocks. In all of those, there are a shocking amount of cells, and each particle of cell is made up of innumerable atoms, which contains even smaller particles like electrons…and for all we know, THOSE could be made up of a huge number of smaller particles. All of these exist on one planet out of nine in our solar system, which exists on just one little branch of a galaxy we call the milky way. This galaxy contains between 200 to 400 billion stars and 100 billion planets. Scientists can only estimate that there are over 100 billion galaxies…and that just by counting galaxies in a particular region and multiplying that by an estimated number of regions. And we can measure atoms, we can see galaxies. And ONE GOD not only created all of this, but gave us the ability to (eventually) see these things ourselves. And who knows what we’ll discover in the future? The world is only about 6,000 years old. Let me say it again.

HOW AMAZING IS OUR GOD!!??

One more thing (about the title of this blog post). The most popular theory about the creation of the universe is the Big Bang Theory. How do you think the universe would react when God commanded it to be? And if anyone asks? Yeah, I believe in the Big Bang Theory. God spoke and bang! it happened. Anyways, have fun chewing over all that! Ciao!

Stop Sign

Okay, no this doesn’t have any symbolic meaning or whatever (the title, that is). This is just because I’m doing a brief thing since I’ve forgotten to post for like 3 Sundays in a row.
Something I just figured out today (dunno why it took me so long, apparently I can be pretty dense) is about love/romance/that stuff. For those of you that have read my previous posts, you know what I struggle with. And it gets worse when I’ve been reading/hearing/watching anything romancy. Unfortunately, I have to conclude that this is because that is something I lack. To put it plainly: I really really really want someone to love, who will love me back, and with whom I can share the rest of my life in a godly fashion. However, I am quite possibly one of the least romantically involved people in current US culture (FYI, I’m 16, and yes I realize love should not be one of my current concerns). But my realization of 10 minutes ago is this: God won’t give me someone to love until God is the King of my Heart. Which actually made me pretty depressed, since I struggle enough with just keeping my relationship with him more than half-alive. It seems SOOOOOOOO impossible. And maybe it is. But that’s my revelation of the night, so make of it what you will. Ciao!

Jamie Grace

Hey y’all! Okay, no, I’m not country. But I do use y’all upon occasion. This week I wanted to talk about Jamie Grace.

I’ll say this upfront: I really like Jamie Grace. I like her music, and I like the way she’s crazy and real and has no problem sharing that with her fans. Okay, onward.

Have any of you stopped to listen to her lyrics? Let me put a few of them below:

Little girl dreams

Are bigger than they seem

I’m thinkin’ ’bout the future in my daily routine

Here’s from a different song:

I get to know you more and more

And make every single day about you

I wanna live like I can’t afford

To spend another second without you

Something from the first song struck me: am I thinking about the future daily? Am I thinking about what I want to be able to tell my husband, my kids, and anyone else? My thoughts about the second song run along those lines too. I’m not living my life right now like that verse described.

For those of you that have read one of my first posts (I forget which one), you know that I struggle with masturbation. Those first lyrics are from a song called White Boots, and it basically talks about abstinence and uses as an analogy about white boots and a white dress. And not abstaining from sexual intercourse is getting them dirty. I can’t help but think that my boots are already dirty from masturbation and quite honestly, I regret that. I really wish I’d be able to go into marriage with white boots.

Of course, something else that I like about Jamie Grace is that she’s single and really wants to be married but is (seemingly, anyway) so so good about waiting on the Lord. Whenever she does marry, the Christian single community will lose a valuable ally. But I also can’t help but think that she took that desire to be married and let it pull her closer to God. She freely admits that she longs to be married, and a good majority of her songs are about it, but it isn’t an unhealthy obsession. In fact, it really seems to be healthy. A line from another one of her songs describes it well: “I don’t mind saying how I feel/As long as I stay true and keep it real”. And she does. She keeps it real, and she doesn’t blow it up into something it’s not.

Of course, for all my praise, she’s not perfect. I may not see them, but she has imperfections. I think it’s important to not be delusional about that. But I also think that we can learn a lot from her.

Red Letter

Hey guys. This won’t really be a run-of-the-mill post, exactly. This is going to be a letter to a friend I have now, and friends I may have in the future. It expresses some of my thoughts, as me, and might give you guys some insight into stuff too.

Let me explain the original situation first. Flowers were donated to my school today. I got two bouquets and managed to get one for a friend who was away today due to health issues (I basically go to a boarding school. See my page for more info). She came back this evening, and I gave her her bouquet and let her pick some flowers from my two – since I had two. She knocked the flowers out of the cup, we went to the bathroom to take care of the mess. While coming back, to warn her about my flowers sitting in the entryway to her room, I said “Watch out for the pretty ones.” Now my letter will explain the rest.

Friend,

I’m sorry. I realize how that sounded, but I didn’t really mean my flowers were prettier. I was trying to come up with something witty, something better or more intelligent than “watch out for those”. Mine were blooming since they’d been in water longer, so prettier just popped out. I got nervous, a little. I don’t think you understand. I know how awkward, crazy, and/or insensitive I sometimes sound. But I don’t know what else to do. Really I just want to make sure you’re still my friend. I’m so so so socially awkward. You say you are too, but let’s compare for a minute. We are both in our junior year of high school, our first year at this accelerated school. We live in the same wing of the same floor. I am healthy, you have a host of health problems. As we walk around, a host of people come up to us. Any given moment, any given place, it’s plausible for someone to come up and say “Hey, how’s it goin’?”. You say you don’t like to talk to people, but you go around and you know so many people. You know what’s going on in their lives, you say hello, you’re so involved. Maybe you don’t like talking to them all the time, but you still don’t understand. Because as you say hi, I don’t even know them, nor do they know me…and we live in the same building and have all school year. You talk to people and ask them for help and anything else. You hang out with them, and not only with them but with college students too. You have so many friends, and how many guys have/had crushes on you?

I have two people I basically ever talk to, and that’s you and my roommate. How do I tell you you’re the only one who ever invites me anywhere? I’m not dumb. I value my personal relationships so so dearly. I know more pros and cons than you do, I know the power of those skills, I know the technique behind them. I just can’t do them. It’s so natural for you. You build a relationship with ease in 5 seconds that I can’t build with all the effort in the world in 6 months. I know, I know, you don’t like talking to people, you prefer to be alone…you still don’t understand.

Did you know that without you, I would never leave my room except for classes, meals, and, when spring comes, volleyball all alone on the outside court? Even when I’m so bored I could scream, so tired of my room, it’s better to be there and on a screen than out watching everybody having fun with a friend and not approaching me, or worse…scaring away someone who does approach me. Even volleyball. I can play volleyball outside for hours with people passing and not have one person approach me, but the instant you come out six people ask if they can play too. You don’t understand.

I get it. I know my limitations. Most of the time I remain completely level-headed. But occasionally I don’t. I get nervous that my odd humour will make you think I’m too weird, that my tendency to laugh to much might make you think I’m trying to hard – or an idiot – or that I might laugh at something you don’t think is funny and you end it. I know it’s unreasonable. But what if you did? What if our relationship just slowly faded. I can’t laugh over Starbucks with God, much as He’s my Savior whom I love. If we stopped hanging out, I’d be stuck in my room, asking myself what I could have done better. Wondering if I’ll ever get another friend. I’ve made four close friends my whole life, and you’re one of them. .

I didn’t mean that my flowers were prettier. It was that tiny, tiny niggle of fear. I’m not desperate. I’ll restrain myself and avoid torturing myself too much. But it does scare me. I can see myself all too easily having no friends as I grow older. Or having the one best friend, who’s so close I call her my sister, but being far away and so we can only call, and I’m stuck at work or my house all day. I can operate in society now. It used to be much worse. But there are times when I just can’t quell the panic at the idea that I might be stuck alone. I’m independant. I’m an expert actress. You’ll never see any hint at this in my face. But being alone? You have no idea. Wondering if you’re just staying with me out of pity or compassion? Yeah, that happens. You say you’re an introvert who likes being alone. And I’m telling you, you have no idea.

Catchup

Ugh. Cheers to my bad memory and bad timing. How long has it been since I’ve posted? Two weeks? Anyway, I’ll be seeing what this post is about as I write, so here goes!

Jeremiah 17:7 says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.”

Isaiah 40:31 says “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Malachi 3:10 says “”Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

Hm. Am I the only one seeing a pattern here? Guess I know what I’m talking about! To that extent, though, I think I should talk about what’s been going on in the past few weeks.

My friend here at school (the one with the nonprofit) has been having problems with her hip. It hurts her so much that she is currently using a wheelchair to get around. My brother went in Thursday to get a new VNS (his hospital stay in December was because of an infection that happened in the surgery site after they replaced the lead, he ended up having the whole thing taken out) and it went well. I’ve been struggling with my previously mentioned sin. School has been stressing me out.

Maybe I just need the reminder that I need to trust in the Lord and work on growing closer to him. It’s true that my relationship with him has been backsliding. I hate to admit it, but…I was ignoring that. I still don’t want to face it. I don’t want to have to put in the extra work required to grow my relationship with him. But how can I not? I heard something interesting today in the youth group. One of the leaders mentioned that he’d seen videos of former witches turned Christian, and that they said that satan has a number of devils assigned to every person on the planet, and only them. They are charged with watching us go about our lives and studying us, getting to know us and where we are weakest, what can be used to trip us up. Doesn’t that make sense? We know – I know – that satan is trying to trip us up. He wants us to sin. So doesn’t it make sense that we would be studied to that effect? I don’t know if that is true, but I know that he is trying to make me fall and that he knows my weaknesses. For goodness sake, I’ve indulged in them enough. It’s like waking up. I know I’ll feel better all day and tomorrow too if I just get up, but I choose to keep dozing anyway. Actually, when it’s put like that, I feel like an idiot.

I guess the Bible puts it plainly. I need to hope in the Lord. If I do, I’ll receive strength and blessings. If I don’t, I WILL come to ruin. What about you guys? What do you struggle with? What has a hold of you?

Thankfulness

Hey guys! I’ll make this brief. When was the last time you took a step back and looked at your life? Especially when it feels hard and uncertain? I was thinking about this today. My brother was in the hospital over Christmas break. He had 6 surgeries in as many weeks. My parents were stressed. My other brother hates doing homework (surprise surprise) and the workload for my family went up because of the hospital stay. But this morning? I started thinking. During prayer requests, people were praying for all sorts of things. Cancer, broken families, stress…my brother was in the hospital, but he’s not about to die. My family has issues, but I know I can always count on them if I need them because we all love each other. Even the little stuff – I have a DS, a tablet, a smartphone. My family has a nice TV. We’ve had 2 Xbox’s, one of which just broke recently. Right before it broke? We got a working Wii & 3 games for $50. We have two laptops and my mom has an IPod. My dad had a tablet before it broke. We have unlimited WiFi. And thinking about it, there are times where in retrospect I can SEE God providing for us so we’d have food & clothing. I have a friend who’s really more of a sister. And you know what? As I’m typing this I’m sitting in my dorm at one of the top high schools in the US!

My family has been so blessed.
I have been so blessed.

Now, I really just want to pray for those who need blessing. Those who have broken families. Those who have no materialistic things. Those who are absolutely exhausted with life. I want to pray for them because I have more than enough. My cup overflows. If you ignore your troubles right now, if you take a step back…does yours? Is it REALLY that empty?