Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Rich Young Man

16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 And he said to him,“Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” 21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
(Matthew 19:16-22)

When I read this passage, I was always really frustrated with the young man. I mean, c'mon,  he has already worked for his whole life to follow God's instructions, but he is not willing to give up this last thing. 

But recently, I was reading through a book my sister had called "Made to Crave." (Really good book by the way). The main point of this book is that in our lives we often turn to things other than God to satisfy us in one way or another. When this happens, and something either takes more of our time than God or becomes more important than him, it is sin. There was even a portion by Timothy Keller about how sin can often be simply turning good things into idols.

Personally, I tend to see sin as a black-and-white issue. Lying is sin. Stealing is sin. Selfishness is sin. Those kinds of sin are all associated with "bad" things. Pretty straightforward, right?
However, I am only recently starting to realize that there is another kind of sin that involves making a good thing too important, too big. Simply put, I can make such a thing an idol. I firmly believe that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. 

So upon reading and studying this, I started to do some prayerful consideration of what things in my life might be taking God's place in one way or another. 

The first thing I considered was my time. Maybe you can relate, but I never seem to have enough of it. I tried to think through whatever aspect of my life is taking more time than the time I spend with God. 

The second thing I thought about was parts of my life that may hinder my attentiveness to God's will. My youth group leader recently talked about "looking for ways that Jesus may be asking us to be a part of his story." As a follower of Jesus, I need to watch out for ways that he may want to use me on a day to day basis. 

When I thought through both of these things, one potential idol came to mind: the internet.    Now, it is not that any of the things that I do on the internet are "bad." I enjoy blogging, reading the blogs of other Christian young ladies, and recently, pinning things on Pinterest. The problem comes when these activities are taking too much of my time and energy. While my time on the internet can certainly be restful and enjoyable, I started to wonder what God could be doing with my life if I changed my habits a bit. 

What if, instead of blogging about how God is working in my life, I first spent time in prayer thanking Him for His love and guidance? 

What if, instead of reading about the latest scriptural doctrine controversy, I delved into the Word in order to learn more about the God I serve? 

What if, instead of reading a blog during my free 10 minutes at school, I looked around and considered who God might have me minister to? 

What if, instead of watching Blimey Cow videos with my brother, I took the time to do a Bible study with him? 

So, my friends, all this to say that I am going to be taking a break, and you won't be seeing me for a while. For the month of May, I am going to take a break from the internet as much as possible. I don't see this as a forever thing, but rather as a way to take a look at the big picture of my life and my priorities. 

I don't want to be like the rich young man. I want to be willing to give up whatever Jesus calls me to. This will be a challenge for me, and I am well aware of that fact. I will need to rely much on the Holy Spirit's power to not fall into the trap of "just this once." 

So I would encourage you to evaluate what your "great possessions" are. Jesus wants your whole life, all of you, not just part of it. What is the one thing you are holding back from Jesus today? 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

1 Button-Down - 3 Ways | Day 3

Today is the final day of the 1 Button-Down | 3 Days | 3 Ways challenge. I made it!

Shirt: Same as before
Dress: Made by me :)
Shoes: Target? $10-15
Earrings: My sister's

I had a practice for Bible Quizzing today, and so I got to hang out with all my friends for several hours. If you don't know what Bible Quizzing is, I would encourage you to go to our District's website here. It has a lot of information, but if you are in our area and want to join we would love to have you!

I put my hair in foam rollers last night, and the curls didn't turn out quite as nice as I had hoped, but after switching to a ponytail I liked the look. 

 I hope you enjoyed this challenge!  Please be sure to go check out the outfits other ladies put together hereherehere, and here!

Friday, April 4, 2014

1 Button-Down - 3 Ways | Day 2

Hey everybody!

I am back again with outfit #2 of the 1 Button-Down | 3 Days | 3 Ways challenge.

This one is a bit of a different style from yesterday. My sister said that it had a "business-woman" look to it.

Shirt: Same as yesterday — still don't remember where I got it :)
Skirt: Maybe Goodwill a few years ago. $5-10
Belt: Came with a dress my sister bought (from Ross)
Necklace: Won it during camp at Fort Nisqually
Shoes that you can't see the pictures: Payless $10

I thought that with this post, it would be fun to do a sort of Awkward and Awesome post, so here goes!


- Trying to walk in heels. I just can't get this skill down :)
- Coming into your room to find your dog curled up on your bed and refusing to get down.
- During lifeguarding practice scenarios, rescuing someone who you weren't supposed to. Yeah, it gets awkward when you pull someone out the water and flip them on to a tube when they weren't expecting it :)
- Along the same lines, practicing pulling someone out of the pool and onto the deck. I mean it's one thing when the person is unconscious, but quite another when they can feel you yanking them out...
- Singing "Let it Go" at the top of your lungs, matching the exact tone of not the original version, but of this one.
- Not speaking loud enough in class, so that your teacher thought you said that you made your own hummus out of nuts and dried fruit (no, actually I said "trail mix")
- Jogging to a class from the extreme opposite end of campus, and arriving out of breath right as the class is beginning. 

- The start of a new quarter!  New classes, new people to see, new homework to do...
- A small ASL class. Since it's ASL 6, all of us in the class are really committed to learning this language and there are only twelve of us, so it makes for a very casual and friendly atmosphere
- Muppets Pandora!  We have been using this channel for about a week now, and it is a great mix of Disney, Muppets, and occasionally even Schoolhouse Rock
- Great West Practice for Bible Quizzing. For those of you who read my post from last year, you will know that the trip for Great West is one of my favorite-est things ever, and it is my last year in the program this year so I am really looking forward to it. 
- Sunshine!  
- Sparkly fabric for formal dresses. I am working on sewing my formal dress right now using this pattern

There's my outfit for Day #2! See ya'll tomorrow!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

1 Button Down - 3 Ways | Day 1

Do I have some exciting news to share with you!  

During these next few days, I will be participating in a blog event hosted by some lovely ladies whose blogs I have been stalking for a good long while. The four blogs are: The Boyer Family SingersFresh ModestyBramblewood Fashion, and Creations by Callie. These are some of my favorite blogs, and I would encourage you to check them out!

Anyway, the event I am participating in is:  1 Button Down | 3 days | 3 ways. 

So the idea is that for this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I will use the same button down shirt, but styled in three different ways. Sound fun? You can join us and get more information using the button on the sidebar of my blog. (I guess I should have done an announcement earlier this week..... bummer :)

Here are my pictures from the first day of this event!

{Expect random ramblings intermixed with these photos}

This navy blue/grayish shirt is the button-down I will be using for this challenge. 

Shirt: Had it for forever; no idea where I got it. 
Sweater: from Costco, maybe $15-20
Dress (Under the shirt): from Ross (I think) $10-15
Shoes: Bass during an 80% off sale for $15
Headscarf: Sash from the dress

Kinda a pricey outfit, but I have had all the items for a long time.

 God has been  blessing us with beautiful sunshine lately. I love to walk from class to class with the sun shining and the birds singing in the trees. Spring is such a wonderful time of year. 
Thanks for sticking with me, and I will see you tomorrow with outfit #2!