Thursday, February 18, 2010

Age of Discovery.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my age, and the place I'm at in life. What I've realized is that right now, here in this place, is the perfect time for God to be molding me more and more into what He wants me to become. Now, this is not saying that in a different time of life God can't change me or that I won't change, but there is something significant about being my age. I've been told over and over again that the ages between 18 and 22 are when you change the most, and I definitely have to agree with that. I am most certainly a completely different person than I was when I was in high school. While there are aspects of who I was that I sometimes wish I could get back, for the most part I am completely satisfied with who I am becoming. I am falling more in love with my Savior every day, and He is shaping and molding me more to His likeness.

I think too many times I take where I'm at for granted, and I don't stop to think about the amazing opportunity that God has given me. Here I am, at a world-renowned school where I am blessed to be learning from some of the best professors out there, and yet I still find room to complain about life and my classes. Yes, there are definitely a few useless classes out there, such as Lifetime Fitness and Self-Defense (well, obviously self-defense is not useless, but the class is). But even my good classes I've found room to complain about. Yes, some of the professors require way too much homework, but it's ultimately my choice how I decide to respond and what my attitude is. I chose to go to this school. I put in the time and effort to apply and be accepted here, and yet I always forget that. Why can't we just be satisfied completely in the places we are at? I guess that's just what happens when we have to deal with our fallen nature.

I should also be thrilled at the opportunity to change in so many different ways at this age. And while I am excited about it, there's still a part of me that wishes that there wasn't such a whirlwind around me all the time. Sometimes I just wish that I could just be. Does that make sense? Instead of constantly looking inward at myself and wondering why I do the things I do and why I am the way that I am, I just want to be myself and enjoy life. It's a good thing to be introspective though, I think. If we lose the ability to do that, then we have essentially lost the ability to allow God to work in and through us.

The college years are so crucial in shaping who we are to become later on in life, and I think that it's very important to be aware of that. Who are we setting ourselves up now to become later on in life? Are we self-focused, or are we others-focused? Are we organized in getting things done on time, or do we procrastinate until the last possible moment? Are we good stewards of our time and money?

Most importantly: Do we pursue our own happiness and desires, or do we fully pursue our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? What is it that we are pursuing now that will affect us later in life? Too many times we are so "in-the-now" and present-focused that we do not look to the future and realize how our actions now will affect us later on.

Trust me, I am first in all of these mistakes and screw-ups. I am far from perfect and have messed up so many times that it would take me forever to explain them all to you. But what I do know is that I do desire that my God would change my heart to become more like His, and that He would break me in such a way that I have to fully fall into His arms. He has already done this so many times, and I am so grateful that He is showing me more and more who He is every day. I can only hope and pray that I will continue to pursue Him and His righteousness for the rest of my life.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Curious Thoughts.

Hm.. I've been seeing a few things in the past few days that have really interested me and made me think. Well really it's just one thing, but I've seen it in multiple locations. These are pictures, especially on facebook and as profile pictures, of individuals singing praise music.

I, being the critic and cynic that I am, have found this really interesting, and it has caused me to wonder what the intentions are behind putting pictures up like that. I know that we should be willing and able to worship God in a public setting and do it unashamedly, but what is to be gained by posting a profile picture of yourself, raising your hands and singing?

I want to believe that the intentions are pure and right and good, but there's also a part of me that sees that and wonders how much of the intentions were from pride. Though we may not admit it and may not even know it consciously, is there part of us that wants people to see how "spiritual" we are? Call me cynical - that's fine. It's just something I have trouble with seeing the good intentions in.

Like I said, I want to believe that people have the right attitudes about it, and they just don't know how it might come across. But part of me sees those pictures and thinks that the person is saying, "Look at me, and how much I love Jesus. Aren't I so great?"

I don't know, maybe that's being too critical. But I definitely think it's something to think about. While it shouldn't be our main focus, we should be aware of how we come across to those around us, and that the things we do, while they may not seem like a big deal to us, could be perceived very differently by others.

Those are just my random thoughts for the day.

In other news... I am realizing just how blessed I really am. God has brought me through the darkest time of my life, and things are just so good right now. I know they won't always be, and there are still some difficult things going on, but I just feel so satisfied and content in my life right now. Even though classes are so busy and just absolutely ridiculous, I'm still loving them, and loving what I'm learning. I'm really excited to use what I've learned once I graduate. I'm also realizing more and more how great of a man my boyfriend is, and how blessed I am to have him in my life. This past Valentine's weekend was wonderful, and I'm just looking forward to seeing how God continues to work through us. We just worked it out last night to where I can go to Minnesota at the end of spring break to see him, and I am SO thrilled about that. It'll be so much fun to see where he comes from and why he is the way he is.

I also feel like I have the desire again to fully pursue God, and that's such a relief. I crave my time with him in the mornings, and I am completely enjoying learning more about him. I'm in the middle of memorizing Romans for a class right now, and it is so, so much more than just memorization. I have been so edified and so encouraged by what I'm memorizing, and it has just been so great.

God is so good. Really, He is. He is revealing more about Himself to me every day, and I am completely enjoying taking it in. God really does bring renewal and refreshment after struggles, and He reveals Himself in a new and wonderful way all the time. It's so true that when we seek Him, we will find Him. He will not hide from us when we are in our distresses and our troubles. It may be more difficult to see Him, but He's still there, and maybe even more present than ever.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mm... Yes.

So, I decided that now was an okay to update you all on this man in my life. We haven't even become facebook official yet, but I didn't want to wait to talk about him. :D

His name is Eric, and he's a senior here at Moody, majoring in Biblical languages (we both share a nerdy love for Greek). I had seen him around campus before, but we officially met when a group of us went dancing last semester. I only danced with him once, which was a huge bummer because he was really good. I had also always assumed that he had a girlfriend, so I didn't really think much of it until my friend Emily told me that he was actually single. Even so, since I didn't know him, I just thought, "hm," and moved on.

So now we come to after Christmas break. A girl from his home church, Heather, just transferred here for the spring semester, and she just happens to be my neighbor in the dorm. Because I was there early as part of the orientation leadership, I got to know her and hang out with her. The first weekend back on campus, after lunch we all decided to go to Jewel, so the new freshmen could go grocery shopping. She told me that she had asked one of her friends from home, Eric, to come with us because he wanted to hang out with her. I will admit, even though I didn't know him, I was a little excited that he was coming along because he had already made a good first impression with me. So that was the first day that we actually talked. Afterward we played Dutch Blitz with 4 of us, and I felt bad because I REALLY sucked at it. -51 points is not a way to impress a guy, that's for sure. :)

So time went on, and we hung out with him a couple more times, studying and just hanging out. Then one night he asked me if I wanted to go to Berry Chill (a frozen yogurt place in the city) with his bro/sis. I ended up not being able to go because of homework, but that was okay, because he asked me to go just the two of us just a couple days later. Funny story, actually. His asking me was supposed to be a joke (which I didn't catch), so it was a little awkward how it happened. But that's okay, because it obviously ended well. :) He and I went on the date and had a great time, and spent the rest of the weekend hanging out. Since then, we have been hanging out and spending a lot of time together, having some really deep and good conversations. His love for God is absolutely evident, and he is such a leader.
This past weekend and week was Founder's Week for the school, and so we had the week off of classes. Mom and Dad were in town because Dad was on a business trip, so they actually got to meet him! :) And Eric told me that it was after spending time with all of us that he officially decided that he wanted to be in a relationship with me. He was going to wait until Sunday to ask me to be his girlfriend, but he decided (thankfully) that the rest of the week would have sucked if he had done that, so instead he asked me on Wednesday night. :)
It's only day 3 of our relationship, but I am so incredibly excited about everything. This has definitely been a God-thing and so totally unexpected, and we're both looking forward to seeing how God decides to use this relationship. We're definitely holding it with open hands, and we want God to work in and through us the way He wants to.
I know that I said that I wasn't going to get into a relationship this semester, but it's obvious that God has orchestrated this, and I don't want to do anything that is against what He wants. I'm sure that I'm also speaking for him when I ask for your prayers for us and our relationship. We want to put God first in everything and have Him at the complete center. We don't want to focus on ourselves, but on Him alone.
Thanks. :)

Thursday, February 4, 2010

God's Timing is Impeccable.

So, I'm not going to give many details right now, but I would just like to declare to my blog that.... I have a boyfriend. :D

I may give more details later. Maybe. But we just became official last night, so I want to see what happens first. :)