Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Journal of Procrastination {Day 2}

A fill-in-the-blanks for those days when inspiration eludes me

Date: Thursday, September 29, 2011

Time: 2:30 p.m. (On the nose!)

Thought/Quote/Verse/Idea for the day: "Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." - Matthew 6:8

I got up at: 6:00 a.m.

I am listening to: Heart of a Volunteer from the Pearl Harbor soundtrack by Hans Zimmer

I most recently ate: Lunch: Leftover ribs and chicken, egg noodles, peppers, and a chocolate malt ice cream bar for dessert.

I am currently working on: A blog post? Lol... nothing much really.

Comfort food/beverage at the moment: Water, I guess. I've been drinking enough of it...

I am looking forward to: my friend's movie/game night/ sleepover/shopping trip tomorrow

I am reading: nothing. But I just finished A New Song by Jan Karon

I am memorizing: Matthew 5 and Psalm 51

I am thinking: about my upcoming class and what it will entail and how often God is faithful

Plans for the day: Good question... I might go grocery shopping with my mother, help my sister finish a Nancy Drew computer game, write that dratted last part of Holly and Ivy...

In my hair: a barrette on the side. I got scalped on my last haircut - at least, that's what it felt like... :)

Most recently wrote: a letter to a friend

I am thankful for: music, friends and Hebrews 13:5

I am wearing: a denim skirt, a short-sleeved grey shirt, and my key necklace

Latest gift listed in my notebook: "peace"

Christian self-help book I am currently reading: Diamonds In The Dust by Joni Eareckson Tada

My surroundings: still my desk and basement. I don't move my laptop much...

I am craving: the middle of November, when this class will be over. Haha...

I should be: writing, if anything

Tomorrow I will: help my mother bake desserts for our birthday party on Saturday, go to a movie, game night and sleepover

Book I am contemplating reading next: I'm not sure. Something exciting - if I have time

Random fact about myself: I have a stuffed black lab named Jimmie that I still sleep with when my little sister doesn't take it

The weather is: actually nice! Warm with sun and blue sky

Any library books at the moment: Nary a one!

Movie(s) I watched within the week: The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and The Wilderness Family (old family favorite...)

Indignant about: my ipod consistently losing all my ratings. Oh the headaches of modern technology!

Random movie/book quote that's running through my head: "You might have mentioned that a bit sooner!" - Peter - The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

Scratchy pen or smooth pen: scratchy

Last thing I threw away: a plastic bag. Inspiring!

Last book I bought/received: The Sacrifice by Kathleen Benner Duble

I am wondering: why I have to grow up. It's not what I thought it would be, but it'll be fine with God at my side.

Song stuck in my head: If We've Ever Needed You by Casting Crowns (only because it's playing through my earbuds right now...)

Most recent crazy plan: dropping out of my college class and becoming a stay-at-home daughter (that one didn't go over very well...)

Under the clip: post-its with college info and boy names that start with "B"

Random Spanish word (courtesy of my English-Spanish dictionary...): hipnotizar - mesmerize (don't think I'll be using that one anytime soon)

I learned today: many, many things. I couldn't begin to list them.

Picture-thought: Movie I'm seeing tomorrow! 

'Till next time,

Sunday, September 25, 2011


I've been neglecting my blog lately and I am sorry. The truth is, I've been living in a sort of gray fog lately. School is starting in a week and I am terrified and nervous and desperately afraid.

It seems really pathetic when I think about it rationally. It's only six weeks. Most of my friends are stuck in school for four years. I know of quite a few people who have done this already and passed with flying colors. The textbook is the size of a pattern book at Jo-Ann Fabrics (very small for a textbook) and it comes with a study guide and dvd. The first week I have one class and the following three weeks I have two a week. I've heard that this class is no big deal, and I could go on and on. These are all things I've been telling myself for the past month.

It's irrational. Why am I so afraid?

It's something new. It's something different. Being homeschooled, the closest thing I've ever come to a classroom setting is Driver's Ed. And tests and I don't get along very well.

When I become afraid about something, I don't go by halves. I blow my fears out of proportion and make these things become far more terrible than they really are.

Am I the only one who does this?

I think not.

Everyone assures me I'll be fine. Yeah, that's not very comforting. On the surface you know it'll be all right, but when you dig down a little further you find your fears again and you assure yourself that everything is NOT ok.

I like to be in control, to know exactly what I will be doing and exactly when I'll be doing it. I hate uncertainty, change and new experiences.

So yeah. Just in case my blog posts are nonexistent or very dull, it's either because I'm studying like crazy or my mind is so full of worst-case scenarios that I can't think of much of anything interesting to write about.

Sorry, guys.

'Till next time,

P.S. Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sweater Dresses!

My crafty sister (not to be confused with me :D) made these amazing sweater dresses for Felicity and Alix. I got to pick out (and buy) the yarn and then she did the rest! I think she's going to be selling these on her Etsy shop Larkspur Crafts ( if she ever gets around to setting it up. (That link does not contain any interesting information as of yet, but this is an advertisement so people expect something to click on)

Anyway, I saw them sitting at my desk and decided to dress up the girls and have some fun! Here are the results:



<3 Sisters <3

'Till next time,

Monday, September 19, 2011

Not Your Ordinary Post (thank heavens!)

To avoid the horror of letting this blog become a lame repetition of fill-in-the-blanks, I suppose I should come up with a post before I lose all my readers.
Unfortunately, since I don't really have anything really deep to share right now or even something rather trivial that I want to delve up...I must force myself to stop emptying my recycle bin for fun and crack down on getting something readable out here.

What can I talk about?

There's always the weather to fall back on. The polite, dinner-conversation opener. But it's raining (which I adore) and that's about all I can report on that subject. In fact, I'm not even sure if the sky has gotten up the guts to rain yet. It's probably just gray and moist.

New topic?

I think yes.

What have I been doing lately? Now that is a multi-faceted question. Whenever people ask me what I've been doing I always say "nothing much" for fear that I might actually have to come up with something I have been doing that would be even remotely interesting to them.

Remotely interesting or not, I might as well spill the details. It can't be much worse than no post at all.

I hope.

I guess the most exciting thing that's been happening to me lately is that after eighteen years of frustration I'm finally falling in love with God. (It actually hasn't really been eighteen years, but ever since I realized that there was something missing between us I've been struggling to find out what) It's been an amazing experience, one I sometimes thought that I would never have.

My college course starts in two weeks (there, I've written it!). Orientation on October 3. I am still not even the slightest bit excited, but as the inevitable comes closer I become more resigned to the fact that I can't stop it from coming. I assume that I'm either in Anne Shirley's calm "depths of despair" or that I'm beginning to realize that there's really not that much to be afraid of. I suppose thinking up escape plans is not going to help either. One has to face the music when one has already paid the piper tuition.

My dad recently had surgery on his foot to remove a broken sewing needle. With three daughters who sew in the house, we aren't running DNA tests to see whose fault it is, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't mine.

I'm currently reading a book called Blue Night by Cindy McCormick Martinusen. Apparently, it's part of a series (fancy that!). I stumbled across it while I was wandering aimlessly with the intention of looking for a Liz Curtis Higgs book. (It's amazing what you can find when you get your sense of alphabetical order turned around and end up in the wrong row!) It's a sort of strange book about Nazi treasure, kidnappings, WW2 resistance groups, kidnapped husbands and blue tiles and it's set in the 2000's. I'm still trying to make sense of it.

Holly & Ivy is almost finished but Jamie can't find the last piece she wrote... And now that she's hit the end of it, she says she has a new idea which she might start work on if she can get rid of an annoying case of writer's avoidance. It has a very lame title right now, so she's going to hold off announcing it until she comes up with a better one. I don't have much faith in her abilities to do this.

Other than that, I'm doing things pretty much as normally as the next person. And I'm boring myself with my recounting. So, with such an inspiring post, I shall take my leave and go finish my book. :)

'Till next time (which will hopefully be more worthwhile than this...)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Journal of Procrastination {Day 1}

A fill-in-the-blanks for those days when inspiration eludes me

Date: Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time: 10:09 a.m.

Thought/Quote/Verse/Idea for the day: "I've always been in the right place and time. Of course, I steered myself there." - Bob Hope

I got up at: 7:36 a.m.

I am listening to: my sister practicing her clarinet, the dehumidifier, and my mother teaching my little brother

I most recently ate: Breakfast: asparagus quiche, vanilla yogurt, and a homemade eclair *ahem* Healthy...

I am currently working on: Nothing really. I'm mentally pounding out a first segment of a first chapter...or maybe a prologue. I'm not sure yet.

Comfort food/beverage at the moment: homemade cappuccino

I am looking forward to: taking my PaperbackSwap book to the post office. :)

I am reading: Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

I am memorizing: 1 Peter 1 and Psalm 51

I am thinking: about how difficult it is to teach my brother when he's in a lazy mood...My poor mother.

Plans for the day: Post Office, reading, maybe do a little writing or something

In my hair: a pollyanna with my favorite barrette

Most recently wrote: the first few sentences of a novel I just thought up. :D

I am thankful for: fall weather, and God, who daily bears my burdens

I am wearing: a denim skirt, a short-sleeved blue shirt and black flip-flops

Latest gift listed in my notebook: "grey skies, heavy with rain"

Christian self-help book I am currently reading: Captivating by John and Staci Eldredge (though I'm thinking it's not going to be very Christian - or much help)

My surroundings: my overcrowded desk and outside of that, my basement

I am craving: a cozy chair, an open window and a good book (I think I shall fulfill that craving presently... :D)

I should be: hmm, doing nothing, really. I suppose I could open up my college textbook and start reading it, but why get ahead of myself?

Tomorrow I will: play frisbee for sure, other than that, it's a little hazy

Book I am contemplating reading next: Don't Shoot, It's Only Me by Bob Hope

Random fact about myself: I used to keep a spreadsheet of (almost) every book I owned complete with author, where I got it, price, rating, date I finished it, and # of pages. Yeah, I had a lot of time on my hands then...

The weather is: Last time I checked a little overcast, but I think the sky is cloudy and blue now

Any library books at the moment: 3, actually.

Movie(s) I watched within the week: Despicable Me and Little Women

Indignant about: losing the complete last segment of Holly and Ivy that I had all written out. Ugh...

Random movie/book quote that's running through my head: "Oh, do somebody go down quick; Mr. Brooke is acting dreadfully, and Meg likes it!" - Jo (Little Women)

Scratchy pen or smooth pen: smooth pen

Last thing I threw away: Excellent question. I think it was my yogurt container...

Last book I bought/received: The Mill House by Paul McCusker

I am wondering: how I could write like Louisa May Alcott

Song stuck in my head: it's impossible to have a song stuck in your head when you have a sister practicing upstairs, another sister practicing the piano right behind you and a brother who is being impossible with his schoolwork. Just saying...

Most recent crazy plan: going on a shopping spree at the mall

Under the clip: a library list and post-it with college info

Random Spanish word (courtesy of my English-Spanish dictionary...): Microbio: n Microbe (never would have guessed that one...)

I learned today: that I don't have good quiet times when I don't get up early. I've learned this lesson many times.

My dolls, in their "appropriate" denim skirts:

'Till next time,

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Prepared for Disillusionment?

Dis-il-lu-sion: the condition of being disenchanted

All my life, I've been prepared for disillusionment in my faith. I would read books, read the Bible, pray, memorize, highlight, underline, and scribble entry after entry in frustration-packed journals.

It seemed that no matter what I did, no matter how hard I tried, no matter what I read, or how long I prayed, disillusionment would always come. My soaring worship of God lasted only a moment, my commitment to remain steadfast lasted - if I was lucky - a week, my aspirations to get to know God better would crumble and turn to dust and I was left again with that haunting knowledge that I had failed God again.


The wonder, the excitement, the joy was gone.

What I didn't realize was that God was never gone.

That's what I realized today.

That God is never gone.

Even those months - years sometimes - when my Bible reading became a perfunctory act, meaning less and less each day, fulfilling less and less each day, become more of a drag than anything else. Even when I cried in frustration and desperation, reaching out for a God whom my imagination had sent far away, a God who I thought had turned his back...

He was there.

I just never realized it.

But today, when I felt the impassive reading, the skimming over words without really taking them in, the uninspired prayer, I became afraid.

I found that I didn't want disillusionment anymore. I wanted to still grasp and hold the joy I've been feeling, to revel in the steady knowledge that God was holding my hand, to capture the excitement of reading His word where the verses would speak to me like they never had before. I didn't want to let it go.

I didn't want to let it go.

But I could feel it slipping through my fingers and I felt helpless to stop it and desperate to keep it.

I prayed with Psalm 47, but the words had no meaning and my prayer had no power, no inspiration. I cried out to God. I didn't want to just grasp the marvel for a moment and then see it slip through and shatter on the ground. I didn't want another set of months full of apathy. I didn't want to have Him turn again into the God who doesn't care. The God who doesn't hold my hand.

And then, He turned my attention to a verse I had underlined on the other page.

Be still and know that I am God...

I tried to grasp it, I tried to struggle against the disillusionment that was creeping in and then I realized that it was that simple.

He is GOD.

And I realized that the years of disillusionment had been of my own making. They had come because I had failed to fight for what was important. I had allowed joy and peace and...God to slip through my fingers because I had been too lazy to fight for them. To unimpassioned to grasp and hold on until they gave me blessing, like Jacob did at the ford of Jabok. I had let it go before it had time to ripen. And in doing that, I had lost out on the fruit it gave.

What a fool I was.

But a fool no longer.

This time, I'm going to let go. I'm not going to just brush the fruit with my lips and then throw it away. I'm not going to be content with a mere slip of a blessing. I want the whole fruit. The whole blessing. I want to know Christ and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11) I want to press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (Philippians 3:12b). (What an honor it is to know that He took a hold of me for a reason!) And I am going to fight to keep what I had already attained and I am going to attain more. I'm not going to give up. And with that resolution comes peace. Because with God at my side I know that I can fight and I know that I can win.

Determined to fight, I prayed another Psalm. Psalm 50. This time I prayed it out loud. And as I read the verses, paying attention to what they said, I felt almost as if God Himself was reading the words to me. I could hear His voice in the words, His vow in the promises, His power in the judgments - and I knew that He was there.

He is God.

He is alive.

And He is with me.  

And the fear fled and the disenchantment faded and I felt strong and whole and loved again.

Before God, darkness flees.

Fear is darkness.

And disillusionment is a part of fear.

'Till next time,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

God,I have a secret...

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; 
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place..."
- Psalm 51:6 - 

I stumbled across this verse while I was praying with Psalm 51 this morning. It really struck me in a way that it never had before.

"Surely you desire truth in the inner parts..."

God wants to know our deepest secrets. And He wants the truth. Actually, He doesn't just want it, He desires it. There's a difference between want and desire. A difference, perhaps not so much in a dictionary definition, but more in the way I interpret the words in my head.

Want denotes a God who demands. Desire gives me a picture of God asking for, wishing for, me to confide the deepest, most intimate secrets in my heart.

God desires to know.

I may argue that He already knows my secrets, my problems, my worries that I bury deep and hide from the world. After all, God sees into my inmost parts. My heart and my soul. He sees the things I don't even want to admit to myself. So if He knows, why does He need me to tell Him?

The answer is simple, really.

When I tell a friend a secret, it creates a bond between us. We both have the knowledge. Dividing it in half, so to speak. I've always found it a relief to unburden a deep, dark secret to a friend. It makes the burden less, the emotions less, and, in certain cases, the humiliation becomes less as well.

Sharing a secret with God creates the same bond. Tell God the most intimate secrets of your life. It may be hard, you may feel foolish, you might not even be able to get the words out at first, but tell Him anyway. He wants you to have the confidence to share everything in your heart. Just because He already knows doesn't mean He won't listen or doesn't want to hear.

He desires truth.


The inmost things.

He says: "Come unto me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

He is gentle and humble in heart...

He won't hold your secrets over your head. Constantly reminding you of the failure you've admitted to Him, the fear you've confided in Him, the worries you can't seem to shake.

Instead, He'll take the burden of those secrets and give you instead His burden - which is light. Joy, peace, love, forgiveness, humility. And you'll realize more and more that He is able to understand your struggles. And that He is more than able to help you overcome them. Problems don't get solved by pushing them out; shoving them away in dark corners and never alluding to them. Problems are solved when you confess, with truth and repentance, that you have them and that you don't want to hold onto them anymore.

Telling God your inmost secrets enables Him to help you overcome the fear, embarrassment, worry, ect. that accompanies them. When you lay it out between you, leaving every detail in the broad openness where you both can see it, resisting the urge to hide it back again, and keeping it at the foreground of your mind, God will have infinite opportunities to give you peace. To show you things in His word that you never realized. To comfort you when the enormity of it gets overwhelming.

It opens up opportunities for Him to just be there.

To hold you, help you, and comfort you.

Don't hide these things away. Putting them out in the open, whispering them to your Savior with honesty and candor - this leads to blessing and to a greater understanding and intimacy with your Father in Heaven. 

For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

'Till next time,

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Take My Hand

I'm reading a book right now, what I call a "Christian self-help book", (basically a book that is non-fiction and written for inspiration, teaching, challenging, inspiring, ect.) and as I read, I grow frustrated and impatient at my seeming inability to grasp the deepness of God and to walk with Him.

The author challenges to live fully in the beauty of Christ. To live a life of thankfulness, a life of praise, a life devoted to finding the gifts God showers down every day and opening them, savoring them and thanking Him for them.

It's a beautiful way to live life. Savoring every moment for the gift tucked away inside. Letting your heart overflow with thankfulness to the loving Father who delights in giving you the best.

So why do I find this so frustrating?

I realized the reason this morning, when I was reading chapter six. The answer had nothing to do with the premise of the chapter. Instead, it was a whisper from God to my heart that gave me peace from my clawing for instant perfection.

I am an impulsive person. I do things without thinking, I do things quickly and I always want to do things now.  If I read something that inspires me, I want my life to change now. If I see something that I want, I want it now. I don't want to wait. I don't want to wander. I want to see it, do it, have it.

So, I immediately want my life to change. To savor beauty, to fill to the brim and further with thanksgiving, to show the world the glow of joy that comes when I am truly living a life devoted to God.

And, of course, perfection does not come overnight.

In fact, perfection doesn't come at all.

And immediately I am irritated, angry, jealous. I see others living this way, I see the joy of it on their faces. I see them being everything I want so badly to be.

But for me, the fulfillment seems just out of reach. I brush it with my fingertips from time to time. I feel the surge of joy when I truly enter the moment God has placed in my life for me alone. But that moment is brief, and it fades away. And I forget to enter the next. Then I read more and I am frustrated and afraid and I go on with my life, determined not to forget anymore. But soon I do, and then the feelings return. That I'm not good enough to do this, that I'm a failure to God. Will He give me more gifts if I miss the ones He already gave? Will He bother to reach down and open His hand if I forget to thank Him for the blessings I have selfishly snatched from His palm before?

I feel like an ungrateful child. Unworthy of the attentions of a loving God.

So I form in my mind a God of coolness. I make Him out to be a God who doesn't give when I forget. I see Him watching me, disappointed when I fall. I imagine Him turning away when I rush my prayers. Looking away when I don't do things right. I tell myself that He doesn't care anymore because I've dashed Him into the rocks so many times with my failures. And when I tell myself these things, life goes gray and the sweetness is gone and the joy fades away.

 But then I am reminded who HE is.

And He is not a God that turns away at my failures, who forgets me when I do not pray, who is angry when I fall.

He is a God who forgets my sins and sends it as far as the east is from the west. He is a God of joy who delights in giving gifts, even to someone as ungrateful as me.

He is Love. Embodied. Personified. He is Love and He can be no other.

So I remember this and take courage and try again. Disillusionment will still haunt me. Pride will make me stumble. Anger will make me fall. Frustration will knock at my heart. Unworthiness will darken my soul. I will still feel as if I fall short of the mark I make when I look at others who I see as being ahead of me in this race I have created in my mind. I will still wear myself out trying to be the best. Trying to attain everything I think I should. Trying to be the perfect child I tell myself God will love.

And there it ends. With me, me, me.

I will do this. I will do that. I must attain. I must be. I. I. I.

So where does it end?

Does it end when I am so exhausted that I cry out to God and say: "this is too hard!"?

Does it end when I have frustrated myself to the point of despair because I can never be good enough?

Does it end when I have pushed myself so far towards perfection that I have forgotten the real reason I am alive?

Where, God? Where does it end?

And this is what Jesus whispers in my ear. In the midst of my frustration, my longing, my efforts. When I look at myself and hate what I see. Hate the stumbling, the falling, the imperfection. The fact that I cannot do this. This is what He says:

"Why do it alone?"

I am stunned as I realize with clarity that this is why God is here. This is what He wants.

He wants me to give Him my hand and ask Him to help me walk down the road.

He understands.

He doesn't expect me to be perfect on my own.

He doesn't want me to push Him away and try to accomplish perfection on my own.

It's not something I should do on my own.

It's not something I can do on my own.

It's God who will take my hand and show me the way in His own time. I don't need to wear myself out trying to get ahead. It is God who will remind me to thank Him, like my mother reminded me when I was young. He won't judge when I forget, He won't turn away when I take gifts for granted. He'll take my hand and show me the way.

All I have to do is take His.

'Till next time,