Friday, February 28, 2014

Living in the Moment

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One day this week, God taught me a lesson through one simple mistake; I forgot my umbrella. Now to many of you, this may not seem like a big deal, but for me it was. I live in the Pacific Northwest, the area of the country where it rains about 90% of the time. I also attend a school where I must walk from building to building and out to my car which is usually parked far away in the north 40 :)

When I arrived at work and realized my mistake, I was frustrated with myself and started to complain inwardly as I walked across the parking lot with the drops falling on my head. 

But suddenly, I heard that still, small voice say, "Trust me."

In that moment, I looked up at the sky and instead of seeing an annoyance, I saw beauty and grace. As the raindrops ran down my face, I reveled in the fact that the God of the universe loves me. I stood there and marveled in the notion that my God is so big, he sends water falling down from the sky. 

Can we step back for a second and realize how amazing that concept is? When I was in second grade, I did a report on the water system and let me tell you, it is incredible!  To think that the water somehow falls down to the land and flows either above ground or below it into a lake or a stream and then is evaporated back into the sky. Then these water droplets create big fluffy white things that we call "clouds," and when they are at exactly the right place at exactly the right moment, these clouds turn back into water drops that fall onto our trees, our flowers, our crops. Our God is awesome! 

Later in the day, it just got better. When I was able to step out of myself and my worries, I saw the beauty of God and his creation all around me. Instead of hurrying from class to class concerned about when my next paper is due, I walked in the rain, singing praise to the God who was sending it to me. Because in that moment, I didn't care if the rain messed up my hair or ruined my makeup. I was walking in the presence of my Savior and nothing else mattered. Since that day, I haven't brought my umbrella to school. I don't know if I ever will again. Something so simple changed my entire outlook, and I want to keep it that way.

So today, I encourage you to find one thing that you could change or give up in order to live in the moment with God. He loves us immensely, and He only wants us to respond to his love. If you only take a moment to look, I can guarantee that you will see his mercy and love all around you.

 Let's praise him today.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Sunshine Award!

I have been nominated for the Sunshine Award by Abigail over at Journey of a Lifetime. Thanks so much, Abigail!

So basically, how this goes is that I will answer Abigail's eleven questions, then write 11 of my own and nominate some other bloggers. I'm already thinking this sounds like a ton of fun!

Okay, here goes!

First, I have the questions that I am supposed to answer:

1. What is your most-used item of clothing?

My boots. Hands down. Pretty much all winter long I wear a pair of black leatherish boots, since I live in a very rainy area and flats just won't cut it.

2. What is your favorite quote?

Hmmm... well, if a Bible quote works then my favorite quote and life verse is Galatians 2:20.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself up for me."

Otherwise, my other favorite quote would be from Olaf from Frozen, 

"True love is when you put someone else's needs before your own."


3. If you wear nail polish, what is your favorite color? 

This is a very good question. You see, I personally love to wear nail polish, but circumstances in my life are making that very difficult. I play piano, so my fingernail polish chips; I teach swim lessons everyday, and so it just peels off. Difficulties aside, I really like a sparkly silver or gold color on my fingernails. 

Something like this :)

4. If you had to choose, would you rather read a book or watch a movie?

I  have to go with a book. Movies can be great, but there are certain books that are more exciting and interesting every time I re-read them. And cinematography just can't top the imagination. 

5. Do you have a favorite hobby? 
YES! Bible Quizzing!!!!

At this point, some of you may be confused and wondering what  I am talking about. If you are one of these people, please go hereherehere, and finally, here. Hopefully that helps :)

Bible Quizzing is an amazing program where I get to memorize and then compete on God's word. Not to mention the fact that I get to hang out with some pretty awesome people...

6. Can you play an instrument? If so, what is it? 

I play the piano!  Thanks to my wonderful parents for keeping me in lessons when I little, I am now in my tenth year of piano. It is now a blast to play! So if you are early in learning an instrument, I encourage you to keep it up!  It will get more fun as you go along. Currently, I love the music of The Piano Guys, and I just finished learning their song, Waterfall. Here is the video of the guy who wrote it playing the song. 




7. What is your favorite movie? 

Hmmmm... this is a hard one. I think I have to say The Sound of Music. The music, costumes, storyline, and pretty much everything else are simply perfect. "The hills are alive...." 

8. Have you ever made soap? 

Nope. But I have made candles... and my mom made hand lotion! (Never mind... I was reading this post to my sister and she reminded me that in fourth grade I did make lavender soap. So YES! )

9. What did you do before you read this blog post? 

Haha I watched the new Blimey Cow Video!
Silly Youtube wouldn't let me embed the video, so you can see it here

10. What is your favorite color? 

Blue! Any shade works!

11. What is the best thing you ever did? 

Well, I think it was listening to God and following his plan this last summer. You see, I kind of had my summer planned out. I was hoping to volunteer at this awesome camp and put off working till the fall. It was going to be beautiful. Then, right before I was going to turn in my application for this camp, I got a phone call with an interview from a job I had applied for 5 months before. Within the same week, I was given several opportunities to reconsider a competition that I had decided in my little brain wouldn't work. So in the end, I took the job and traveled to the competition, both of which provided some incredible opportunities and built amazing friendships. My summer did not turn out like I thought it would, but it turned out how God knew it would, and it was so much better than anything I could have planned!  

So... 

Now I have to ask 11 questions. 

1. What is the hardest class/subject you have ever taken/studied? 
2. Do you sew/knit/crochet? If so, what was your last project?
3. What is your favorite out-of-the-ordinary food? (i.e. I really like Chinese noodles.)
4. If you could have lunch with any literary character, who would it be and why? 
5. What person in your life has really impacted you? 
6. If you were going to have lunch with the queen of England, what would you wear? 
7. Hot dogs or hamburgers? 
8. If you listen to audio dramas, what is the best one you have ever heard? 
9. What is your favorite form of worship? (Singing, praying, listening to teaching, serving, etc.)
10. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
11. What experience in your life drew you close to God? 
 Or
11. In what way has God really revealed himself to you? 


Now, here are the bloggers I am nominating! (Drumroll Please)

Cassie and Rebekah over at Calico Sisters









I had so much fun with this award and I hope you enjoyed it as well!  

Blessings on you all!





Friday, February 14, 2014

You keep using that word...

... I do not think it means what you think it means.

And no, I do not mean the word "inconceivable." Rather, I am speaking of another word used quite frequently this time of year:

Single.


Doesn't it look so lonely out there by itself? Every year around the time of Valentine's Day, all the people around you suddenly attain new labels. Usually they fall into three categories: single, "in a relationship," or married.

At this time of year, girls (and I suppose perhaps boys too but I can't speak from personal experience :) start to become more aware of their "single" status and perhaps begin to bemoan their lack of a significant other. In fact, some have even started calling Valentine's Day "Singles Awareness Day" (S.A.D.) in a, well, sad attempt to boost their ever-lowering self esteem.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that "they're doing it wrong." Because this is my real point: I am not in a relationship or married, but I don't think I can call myself "single." Here's why:

If I lived on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific ocean without a bird or rat to befriend me and without even a Wifi connection to reach my online buddies, then I could perhaps say, "I am single."

The truth is, that scenario does not describe my life at all!  I am constantly surrounded by a loving family and friends who care about me.

More than that, the God of the universe loves me more than anything I could imagine! Going back to our deserted island example, I believe that I could be on an island like that and still not be "single" or alone. Why? My God is with me everywhere I go.

As it says in Romans 8:38-39

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, or depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."

That pretty much covers it. So today, if everyone around you is romantic and sappy and handing out roses, don't turn to S.A.D.. Instead, turn to God and let his love fill you and satisfy you. Because, honestly, if you are not satisfied with his love, no relationship will satisfy you either.

(Brownie points to whoever picked up on the first quote from The Princess Bride and the second quote from Blimey Cow :)