Sunday, May 24, 2009

there's always something.

So as I write this post today, I am reflecting on what I have done today. Well, for starters it is Sunday. So the first thing I did today [besides the obvious of getting out of bed and getting ready] is that I went to church. In all honesty, my heart was not as cheerful or joyful as it should have been. My attitude in the last several weeks has not been the greatest. I'm still "transitioning" to life as a college graduate. With that has been the fact that I am now responsible for myself. I need to find a job. A. real. job. Ok, so that is a given, right? Well, for me, that is one of the scariest things that I have to do. Yes, there are scary things in life. But for me, right now, and in the place that I am, it is the scariest thing. First because of the fact that the economy is so bad. Jobs are not being "handed out" or as available as they once were or might have been. Second, I have very little experience. I have never had a real job per say. I worked at a day camp for a summer and have babysat for years. I also was a "nanny" last summer, but I really do not have real work experience. So my fears are based on the fact that I have to be bold, take action, and go put myself out there in the real world. I have to hand in my "not-so-impressive" resume [in my opinion] to employers who are looking for the best of the best. People that are go getters and have the exact qualifications, specifications, licenses, experience and so on and so forth. The fear comes in right here. For those that know me well, I am shy...introverted....don't talk much[well depends on the setting]...and to be honest do not have a whole lot of confidence. Satan uses these weaknesses so much to his advantage. Right now, he is winning the battle. Ok, so back to what I did today. I went to church. Well the service starts and proceeded to go like any other service on any other given Sunday. I sat with the people in my Sunday School/Bible Fellowship/Life Group class...whatever you want to call it. But then of course what did the sermon have to be on today? None other than happiness. Dr. Corts, our pastor, asked the question "Are you happy?" Hmmm....well let's see. No, not really. There are a lot of unanswered questions in my life. I really am not where I want to be...socially, physically, spiritually. I have a lot of things that I am wrestling with. My problem, I have strayed very far from where I should be. I have not been relying on the Strength that I should be. It's been all about me. My strength. My fight. My battles. My temptations. My struggles. My pain. My unsatisfaction. Everything has been all about me. I am not happy with decisions that I have made in the past few days, weeks, months, and even years of my life. And it is all because I am a very selfish, independent, prideful human being. I also am lazy. That is evident in more than one area of my life. It is not hard to pretend to be happy. Yet, so many of us do pretend. We put on the mask everyday that we are happy and have it all together and nothing is wrong in our lives. Yet, there are very deep issues and a lot of pain and struggle. I have yearned to have an intimate relationship with someone where I can feel absolutely free to express everything that is on my heart. Someone who can help to keep me accountable. The funny thing is, that is something else that scares me. If I did have that, then someone else would know about how truly and incredibly broken of a person that I am. So I have been leaning on my own strength and not allowing God to help me deal with the struggles that I have or to even seek someone who can be that accountability partner. Someone to help me, encourage me, challenge me, and live life with me. I know that I have been missing out on so many things because of my own failings. The passage that Dr. Corts read today was from Psalm 84. The part that stuck out to me the most was this:

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Wow. So don't you just love how you always hear exactly what you need to hear. Just the right words are prayed, sung, or read from Scripture. How amazing to me that this has happened at so many times in my life when I have really been feeling down, and knowing that I am not living where I am suppose to be living. So this "happiness" that Dr. Corts was talking about was not the happy--I have this kind of car, job, success, family, etc. It is the happiness and joy that comes from being blessed. The blessings that come from God when we are living the way that He has called us to live. Ok slap in the face. No wonder I have not been feeling the "blessings". Ok, not that I ever have deserved them. But I do still have the blessings of a wonderful family, friends, church, and so much more that I cannot even count. But my view of happiness has been very misconstrued. My lenses have been very foggy, and dirty. I have been so easily lead astray because I have been searching for something that will make me happy.

Ok, so now onto the rest of my day. Well I ate lunch at home with my family after church. Well I skipped Life Group. We talked about what the Bible is. We listed off several things like infallible, inerrant, God-breathed, practical, convicting, etc. That in itself challenged me to seek to have more of a hunger for God's word. Something that has been seriously lacking in me for a while. Ok so back to the rest of the day...well it was basically lazy. I hung out and watched a couple of movies, ate some dinner, then after the second movie was over, Dad turns off the tv. Ok, so when Dad turns off the tv and the whole family is downstairs, that is your clue that it is time for a oh so wonderful[not] and the greatest part of my life[yeah right!] and the oh so dreaded--"Family Meeting"[scary music play here with a scream of horror] Yes, another family meeting. We've been having quite a few of these over the past several weeks and a lot more in this past year than we've ever had. These are always the time to be serious and have the talks about finances and spiritual matters. Those two things are probably the most two talked about things in my house. My parents, mainly my dad being the main speaker and leader of these meetings, with mom interjecting things from time to time and Michael and I looking at eachother with those faces like "how long is this going to last?" The main theme of our past few family meetings has focused on how our family is going to do things in our lives to 1) Honor God and 2) Serve others. It is safe to say that every important thing in the eyes of my parents happens to be that our actions are always seeking to please God and to live a life that is being completely and totally surrendered to Him. A life that is driven and led by Him. These talks are more so for my brother, but they always have merit in my life and are also directed at me as well just for the sake of my brother not being in the lime light all the time. Although, with me being older and having more life experience these things have already been instilled in me over the years and I have already gone through high school and college. But I am always included and put in the spotlight/hot seat. So this particular family meeting centered around how we are going to live our lives...particularly this summer. I have been thinking about my summer and what it is going to consist of a lot lately. I have been more concerned about finding a job and having fun. But there have been some very subtle hints at things in the past couple of weeks of some particular areas in which I could get involved and use my gifts and talents to serve others. Well one of these areas happens to fall under music. My absolute favorite thing. Yet, right now, I do not feel like using it in the capacity that I have been given. First of all because I miss what I had at Campbell and want to use my gifts in a setting more like Monday Night Bible Study. Second, because I am one of three people in the choir who are in their 20's. I am probably the youngest or next to youngest. This should not bother me, but it is. I long to have more people my age in the adult choir. So this is my struggle now. I either need to find another way to use my gifts of singing somewhere else or suck it up and sing in the adult choir. Which I know would make a lot of people happy. But I just am in the "rebellious" stage of not wanting to be told what to do because I'm no longer a child. I mean I'm 22 after all. Well onto the other possible areas of service. I was given the opportunity to work with the 2's and 3's in the ESL class at the church that I practically grew up in, Calvary Baptist Church. It only consisted of watching the children[there were only 2....they were both girls and from Egypt] But what precious little girls that they were, and how that gave me the longing to be around those people who are different than me. Those that are from a different background, culture and those who speak a different language. This is something that I have missed from having the opportunities to go on mission trips to other countries. I absolutely love being around people who are believers and being in a worship service with them. Hearing God praised in another language, hearing the Bible in another language, and listening to the prayers prayed in another language is such an amazing experience. It helped to broaden my horizons and open my eyes to how big God is. I had limited Him so much, yet now my eyes have been opened and I'm so thankful for those opportunities that I had. So working with these two little Egyptian girls raised the question in me whether I want to possibly pursue working with ESL. Even though this puts me in a somewhat awkward position and out of my comfort zone. I would just have to get over the uncomfortableness that I feel about going back to my old church and just let God use me.

So here is where I stand. Sunday is coming to a close, and I have a lot to think about tonight. There are a lot of things that I need to work on. I need to get my focus straight and figure out where it is exactly that God would have me be...for my job, church, and service to others. I need some purpose and meaning in my life. Why not it be doing things that I love and be doing it for something so much greater than myself?

For those of you that took the time to read this, thank you.

Peace and love.

Friday, May 22, 2009

so i mentioned this has been a year of firsts?

-->my 22nd birthday celebration!
ben, brad, me, morgan, kim
miranda, kristin, virginia, matt, darrena

well let me just start by saying, 2009 has been an incredible year so far. one that has had its share of incredible highs as well as those inevitable lows that come with being an imperfect creature. yes, i am not perfect! surprise! ha, didn't you already know that already?

ok all joking aside now.

--Ben's 21st birthday partayyy! ;)

2009 has brought me a lot of opportunities to experience new things. some of which i never thought i would ever do before. then there were those things that i knew were coming, and had been looking forward to for months, no years. my graduation from college being the one thing that i knew was going to come whether i was

"ready or not...because here i come"

ok, so the beginning of my senior year i had the great expectation of graduation. i was actually looking forward to it. because in my opinion at the time i was ready to get out of the in my eyes and please excuse me but hell hole of buies creek. i was sick of the small town, there is nothing to do here, and tired of a lot of things that i had been dealing with and drama and crap and just all the stuff that i just brought upon myself because of my imperfect, broken, fragile human condition. i was also ready to move on to the "next stage" of my life. whatever that might have been. my dream since i was a little girl had always been to graduate college then follow that up pretty soon after with a wedding to the man of my dreams. la de da here comes the bride all dressed in....? hmmmm. do you see something wrong with this picture? ok, i sure do. well i am no where near that dream, so it's on to another one. second of all, who came up with that plan? answer: ME---remember that imperfect person i keep referring to? yes, me. me. me. me. it's all about me. it's always been about me. yes, well i've since flushed that dream down the toilet. i am sad though in a way. the "fairy tale" life that i thought i would have, has yet to come to a happily ever after. but this is one thing i must deal with. my plans are not HIS plans. and i have also yet to meet any guy who i would deem as marriage material. or atleast one who would be right, compatible, absolutely perfect in every way, who has the dreamiest eyes and can sing his precious little heart out and....oops. ok. back to reality. i ramble. and get very distracted.

--casey, alicia, me, and trey at the homecoming game
so here i am. yes, this is very jumbled. i am sorry. but this is how i think at times. i'm a college graduate. i have the intention to look for a job that has decent pay and benefits and one that will hire me with the very little experience that i do have. i have what some would call impressive transcript but the BS of my degree could amount to a whole lot of bs. not that i do not think that all of the hard work i put in during my time at campbell means anything, but let's just face it. when i decided to switch from the very prestigious trust management program to the ohsohumble child development program, i did not
do my research. yet, i do know this. there are very perfect reasons for me not doing that blessed research. i just would not realize it until a lot later in my college career. God had other plans for me at campbell. some of those i see why i was meant to stay, and i'm sure others will be revealed in time. i did make some good contacts with certain professors, but mostly with those i worked with at cooperative extension. i am very grateful for that experience. i also had a great time getting to spend time with a very special friend, alicia. my partner in crime. she had to help keep me sane during those very irritating times at internship where we were made to feel like dirt. and also while in class, kept class lively and made it never a dull moment. laughter was always the best medicine. i'm so glad i had a friend like that to help me through. haha. :)
["I love bein' around you. You make it easy, it's easy as 1,2- 1,2,3,4 There's only 1 thing 2 do 3 words 4 you- (I love you)"]
so now i sit here. it's a friday night. i live at home with my family[mom, dad, brother, 3 dogs]. i'm very blessed to have parents who are not going to kick me out. the job market is pretty tough right now. so i have to make a lot of decisions in the near future about where exactly i want to work and also this whole graduate school thing. man, i had wanted to be done with school forever. i just can't get away. :)

so that is where i am right now. wondering about the future. i wonder what it is going to bring. this new chapter is still fresh, but somewhat uninteresting, scary, and beautiful all at the same time. anything could happen! i just need to focus on the things i need to focus on. and not focus on the sadness that i am feeling for having left something so precious behind. because 2009 brought something wonderful to me. the feeling of happiness and appreciation for my time at campbell. that once opinion of the hell hole turned into a deep appreciation for the little one stop light town that basically consists of a whole lot of something in the what i use to think was a whole lot of nothing. the people and new experiences in 2009 gave me a new taste in my mouth. life was fresh, new, and exciting. still hard though, and i was brought to a lot of new realizations. but i enjoyed every second of the few months i had in 2009 at campbell. may 9th was a sad day. i did not want to leave all the precious people and memories i had made. i did not want to move on and group up. i did not want to face the unknown. that has been my struggle since being home. it's put me in a funky mood. i'm ready to get out of this funky mood and start living my life and enjoying the newness of this chapter of life. i can still think about all the oh so wonderful things and people and memories. but it's time to move on and grow up. even if i'm not ready. time never stops. it's like how when i look back at my life before college. there were a lot of things going on in my life my senior year of high school. and how sometimes i can still look back with a feeling of sadness for what i thought i lost or missed out on. i still think about some things that had meant so much to me...and now those things are gone. just like this last semester at campbell. it's gone. done.

so, what do i do now?

--me, virginia, miranda and diane at napper tandy's for va's 22nd birthday

well, it's time for me to find out.
so as i try to hold on as time keeps flying by, i will keep you updated.
i'm just thankful for everything that i have learned.
i'm grateful for the friends i made while i was at campbell.
i'm so happy for the sweet memories i have.
i will always treasure the time i did have.
i will never forget.
i will move on.

-peace and love

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Song I'd Like to Share

"Beautiful Heart"

A beautiful heart
So lost in her Maker
Broken and thankful
In awe of His grace

Wonderful dreams of what He will bring her
A beautiful heart so in love with Christ

A beautiful heart
That longs to be open
To share all her hopes
And tell of her pain

She needs to be strong, and caring towards others
A beautiful heart dedicated to Christ

A beautiful heart
That’s confident in Him
For she does not seek
The praises of men

A fearless and bold daughter of Christ
Who lives every day to glorify Him

So let this beautiful heart, glorify You

spring 2008

this is a song that i wrote last year. i was inspired to write it during a prayer that was being spoken while the MNBS[Monday Night Bible Study] girls were having our first Thursday night girls' Bible study. there were about 8 of us there. and as we were all praying together the words "beautiful heart" came into my mind just as Abigail was praying aloud for the "beautiful hearts" in the room. we talked about different things, but what meant the most to me was when we went through Proverbs 31.
what a challenge that is to women to be faithful followers of Christ and to live their lives for Him. the example that we are to be for those around us as well as our families. God created us all very different with each his or her own purpose. He gave each of us different gifts to use.
so on this night i came up with these words. i wanted to put them to music, but i do not play any instruments[i am currently learning how to play the guitar, so this is improvement! yay!]. my friend, amber johnson, and i got together a couple times for jam sessions, and i had told her about the song i had written. she herself writes songs and has her own cd. she told me i had inspired her to record because i had talked so much about wanting to record my own cd. well she has done better than i have because she actually recorded, and i still have yet to do so. haha. sometime in the future, hopefully. so back to my story...amber helped me with the music to go along with my lyrics. i was so excited about it. my first song ever that has music to it! now it's a real song! i wanted to record it, so i used my mp3 player to record it. that is the only recording that i have of it. i hope to someday do a better version of it and maybe i will play guitar on it then. i had the opportunity to share it at MNBS last spring[2008] with the help of Amber who played guitar and then helped me sing it. i have wanted to share it with others, so i guess here is my chance. the video i made is a tribute to those who helped inspire the song. i hope you enjoy!
ps. check out Proverbs 31!

it's been a year for firsts--part 1

i'm new at this whole blogging thing. we'll see how this goes.

this is my first blog, hence the "year for firsts"...and just to warn you...i am not a writer. my grammer and spelling is not going to always be perfect. i will try to be a clear writer. sometimes i have the urge to share what is on my heart and mind. this will be my attempt to do that. hopefully it will help with the jumbledness in my head.

i will also share some of my songs. that will be for a later post.

so get ready. you may or may not get blown away.

until then...peace and love.