Monday, April 28, 2008

[My Life in a Nutshell?]

Dr. Cadle gave me the following prompt: Completely off the subject, you've been tagged for a meme. Why? Because we all need more writing fun right now. See Can your sum up your life in just six words? (a meme) to see how, then as a part of your post, tag at least six others.

Writes, sings, paints, and lives grace.

Translation: I live in a world of creative expression and the yearning to convey the beauty of the grace I've been given that I could never earn or be worthy of. Yeah. It blows me away.

Did you read this? Then--haha!--tag, you're it! Leave a comment with the link when you've done it... I want to read. *snicker*

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

[When I Am Weak, THEN I Am Strong]

Monday I did okay. I woke up, made some coffee, had some quiet time, and the rest of the day I held out against my addiction and even ended the day in good spirits. Yesterday, though, I woke up late and didn't have any time to "spare" for God to start out my day, and by five, I'd fallen into old habits. Today, I got up, made some coffee, had my quiet time, and while the temptation has nagged me all evening, I've been able to say no and find effective distractions.

If I had any doubts about whose willpower gives me the strength to face each day, they're gone now. Without my allowing God to be my strength, I have no willpower of my own.

II Corinthians 12:7b-10 (TNIV): Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Pet temptations remain present in my life. My migraines show no sign of fading. The same loneliness that plagued me at 12 years old still plagues me 12 years later. All my prayers have received the same answer:

Child, I know your pain better than you know it yourself. I cry harder than you do when your tears fall. You're my daughter; I take delight in you. You must trust me, though; this pain and trial remains for a reason. I love you too much to take away that which will shape you into the creation I mean you to be. A day will come when you will see My purpose; you will understand that your suffering has brought you nearer to Me. It is only when your strength fades and you allow Me to move in you that you can grow. Until then, if you will acknowledge your helplessness and give Me your will and desire to do everything for yourself, your life will become one that glorifies Me, and I will fight for you. I have not forgotten you; I'm right there with you, shielding you from the Enemy's deadliest darts. I love you, my child, and I want you to know that no one fights harder for you than I do... including you.

It's amazing how many times I can learn this same lesson for the first time, over and over again. I continually strive to regain that control I surrendered, and I continually fall flat on my face in self-loathing and sin; continually, I surrender, and suddenly, though the pain remains, somehow, I'm able to withstand the onslaught.

When will I ever learn?

Monday, April 21, 2008

[She Sings!]

Download O Love That Will Not Let Me Go.wma

It's not often I record something and feel halfway okay with it. Feel free to listen. It's not my best nor my worst. :)

[Praise Him in the Morning]

My heart feels like it could burst with joy.  This morning, for the first time in well over a year, I woke early (intentionally) to spend some time in the Word, prayer, and praise.  I set out to spend a half hour focused on Him, and I ended up at somewhere around 45 minutes and could have gone on, except for the fact that I have to leave in an hour for class.  

My heart has been yearning for this submersion in His presence, and somewhere along the way, I'd lost sight of that.  This morning, listening to and singing this song (from the video below), I knew His presence, and I cried.  Why did I listen to Satan's lies?  How did I allow myself to be sidetracked by what will never really matter?  School is great and all, and it will help me make my way in the world, but ultimately, all joy stems from my identity in Christ!  All peace is found in Him, and one day, whatever degree I've earned on this earth will mean nothing, but all my life spent in devotion to my King will fill my heart with joy as I stand at His feet and sing praise before His throne.  No greater joy will I ever know than this; no greater joy could I know and survive to tell the tale.  This is my heart's desire!

Monday, April 14, 2008

[Farewell to Innocence]

I realize I've not written in quite a while, and that's rather shameful of me. I've either been on the run or trying to beat a cold for the past month, so writing has not been a priority. Even now, I'd rather not, but I feel the need.

Those of you who have known me for some time will probably realize the significance of this day. Fifteen years ago today, my parents walked into my third grade classroom, whispering with my teacher, Mrs. Porter. Mom cupped her hand over her mouth and Dad looked unusually teary-eyed. Somehow, I knew the news could not be good. It wasn't. Just after 12:30 that day, my mom and their only daughter breathed her last as they held her hand.

Today is my black day. Today, I cancelled my class (entirely honestly due to a worsening migraine), and I imagine I will stay home tonight and simply email my paper to my professor. I don't want to try to be social today. I've already burst into tears once, and I would be very surprised if it didn't happen again, and when it does, I don't want to cry in front of anyone.

She was only two years older than I am now--she was 26. Her body was worn out.

I can't really articulate the way I feel today without something I say being potentially misconstrued, and I don't want to have to explain myself. Just know that while I rejoice for her peace and presence with the Lord (there's no place better to be), the fact that I missed getting to know her better than a flighty nine-year-old can know her mother will always break my heart. I miss her, and I miss that I didn't get to know her.

Fifteen years ago, I grew up in a split second. Afterward, I tried hard to make up for it by holding on to fantasy as long as I could (I still cling to it to this day), but it couldn't change the fact that my innocence left me that day.