Tuesday, December 30, 2008

But I WANT It!!

Sometimes I feel dumb when people ask me, "So, what do you want to be when you get older?" I feel dumb because I'm really not sure what I want to do...as far as a professional career goes. I enjoy music, and that's what I'm majoring in right now, but I don't have a "passion" for it.

Quite honestly, the only "career" that I know I want is that of a wife and mother. Ever since I was a kid, that's been my one strong desire. And now that I'm 18, that desire is stronger than ever, especially since, technically, I'm old enough to be in a serious relationship (although at this point, I know for a fact I'm not ready for one! :-)

I often talk with my mom about my desire for romance and marriage, and about the struggles I face as a college freshman surrounded, not only by guys my age, but also by other girls who have their own boyfriends.

It's not just romance, though. I'm developing other desires as I grow and mature. Desires for more independence. I want to "do things on my own," like get a job, go out with friends, etc. However, my parents (and God) repeatedly remind me to trust in His timing and plan, and to not rush into things based on emotion and impulse.

For no particularly profound reason, I recently decided to start reading through 1 Kings. Chapters 1-2 tell the story of Adonijah, David's oldest surviving son, and of his desire to be "independent." He wanted his father David's throne, despite the fact that God had given that throne to his younger brother, Solomon. So, behind his father's back, he crowned himself king. With lots of friends cheering him on, he held his own coronation ceremony! He even performed the appropriate religious rituals and sacrifices.

When David found out, he held his own coronation ceremony for Solomon. Adonijah, realizing the trouble he was in, got scared and decided to submit to his brother's authority. However, he eventually resumed his quest for power, and as a result, Solomon had him executed.

What a lesson! Adonijah desired to be king. He desired to be independent. Yet his rebellion and persistence in resisting God's will cost him his life.

This story challenged me, and it reinforced what I've been taught for a long time: God's timing and will are best. If I push for what I want now (romance, independence, my own way, etc.), I will certainly regret it! It doesn't matter how many friends I get on my side; Adonijah had plenty of outside support. It doesn't matter what religious motions I go through to justify my rebellion; Adonijah made the required sacrifices to God. Getting my way in opposition to God's way is always sinful.

What if I decided to push for romance...and got my way? I would probably end up in a stressful relationship that would divert my focus from my present callings of being a student and a daughter. I could place myself in a dangerous situation that caused me to compromise my purity and end up married to the completely wrong guy!

What if I decided to force my independence...and got my way? I could end up holding a job with a horrible atmosphere and many potentially dangerous influences that could pull me down spiritually.

It's scary, but it's true! I'm so thankful that God is using His Word and my parents to warn me and to impress these truths into my mind and heart.

help me to pursue Your plan and purpose for my life.
Help me to focus on Your will for me,
and not to pursue my will for me.
Thank You for Your promises to meet all of my needs,
and thank you for the truth that if marriage
is a part of Your plan for me,
and if gaining a little more Independence
is in Your will,
You will provide all that is necessary!
I love You!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day Fun...

We had a very relaxing Christmas Day, just hangin' at home! Here are some pics we took while out on a Christmas evening walk...

Dad (being goofy) and Mom.

Mom and my somewhat normal brother :-)

Me and Dad

Being manly...er...taking out the trash! :-)

Caleb showing off his trash-tossing skills...

Too true!! :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Undeserved Forgiveness

"Forgiven" by Thomas Blackshear
May I always keep this image before me, Father.
You have chosen to love me,
the one whose sin helped nail Your Son to the cross.
You chose to send Him to earth,
sacrifice Him in my stead,
and place on Him the horrible and unfathomable punishment
that should be mine:
seperation from You.
This sacrifice should cause me to cringe with horror
at the very thought of damaging my relationship with You.
Keep the Gospel before my eyes.
May it control everything I
and think.
Forgive me for treating Your sacrifice so carelessly.
Thank You for Your undeserved mercy
and incomprehensible love.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

What a Head-ful!!!


What a semester! The whole 4 months has been nothing but one big learning experience (that's why I've had trouble keeping up with you guys...)!

So...what has God taught me during these last few months?

1) College takes DISCIPLINE! Thankfully, I have some natural organizational skills. However, I don't know what I would do without Mom to help me lay out a schedule, focus on completing homework, and distract me when I need to be distracted! :-) My Dad is there to proof-read papers and to cheer me up when I am stressed (which is all too often!).

My brother...well...he provides the comic relief!

2) Staying in tune with God is vital. Keeping up with my devotions has proved especially difficult lately, especially with the never-ending homework, time-consuming piano practice, early morning volleyball workouts, church twice a week, precious family time, late study-nights (no all-nighters yet!)...I am ashamed to say that I was not as consistent in the Word as I should have been, especially during the first few weeks of school.

I realized early on what a difference it makes when I miss my quiet time. I began to see myself giving into temptations more easily. I saw how much harder it was to stand alone in a crowd.

Over and over again, God reminded me that a busy schedule is not an excuse to stop spending time in His Word! In fact, it is the very reason why I must stay in His Word!

Thanks to God, I have grown in this area. Yet, I still have a long ways to go. Praise God for His never-ending patience!

3) I must rely on God, not people. As I started the school year, I had high hopes of developing at least one tight, godly friendship. I am realizing that those expectations are not always realistic. I have made some new friends, but for various reasons, my schedule included, it's been difficult to develop close and godly friendships.

My mom and I have had many long talks on this subject, and I am slowly realizing that I need to trust in God's plans and timing. I need to draw close to Him and not place my hope in human companionship, not even that of other Christians.

4) I am so thankful for my family! I am meeting so many different kids with so many types of backgrounds; sometimes their stories amaze me! I praise God for how He has blessed me with a safe home, godly parents, and a wonderful church.

5) I am so thankful for church family. I especially want to praise God for my friend Courtney. We met when I was only 7 years old, when her family started attending our church. We've been friends ever since! Over this semester, I've grown to appreciate her more and more. She is a godly, talented young women who is striving to honor God and is always there for me when I need to talk about "stuff."

I am seeing more and more how difficult it is to find solid, godly friends. God has blessed me so much through Courtney!


There is a boatload more to learn, and I am somewhat excited--somewhat apprehensive--about what God's going to teach me next semester!

Right now...I'm just enjoying my BREAK!!

Cookie baking, Christmas shopping, room-organizing...
and lots and lots of SLEEPING!! :-)