Friday, February 17, 2012

Blue Book cont'd

"We come into the world with a longing to be known and a deep seated fear that we aren't what we should be. We are set up for a crisis of identity. And then, says Frederick Buechner, the world goes to work:
Starting with the rather too pretty young woman and the charming but rather unstable young man, who together know no more about being parents than they do the far side of the moon, the world sets in to making us what the world would like us to be, and because we have to survive after all, we try to make ourselves into something we hope the world will like better than it apparently did the selves we originally were. That is the story of all our lives, needless to say, and in the process of living out that story, the original, shimmering self gets buried so deep that most of us hardly end up living out of it at all. Instead, we live out all the other selves which we are constantly putting on and taking off like coats and hats against the world's weather.
Think about the part you find yourself playing, the self you put on like a costume. Who cast you in this role? Most of us are living out a script that someone else has written for us. We've not been invited to live from our (own) heart, to be who we truly are (or were created to be), so we put on these false selves hoping to offer something more acceptable to the world, something functional." The Sacred Romance

"... I am never more truly myself than when I have given myself up to God. My actions are never more authentic than when they are the Spirit's actions through me. I am never more genuinely human than when I am most godly. The more harmoniously God lives within me, the more freely I live." James Houston


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blue Book

This summer many of my friends had a devotional called the blue book. I was recently given one and it is wonderful. It's a daily devotional, including weekends (which alot of times I take off) with a weekly topic. It has a weekly verse, a daily verse, and excerpts from books about the topic. This week the topic is "who are you?" Here are two profound excerpts I read this morning that really spoke to where I currently am in life:

The Christians identity and value do not reside in the fragile order and tenuous control that she or he imposes on life. Identity and value are found in a vital and living relationship with Christ as Lord. This relationship liberates Christians from dependence upon their little systems of order and fragile structures of control. Not that believers live without order or control, but they are liberated from dependency on those systems and structures for their sense of self. -M. Robert Mulholland Jr.

We were not made to be alone. We were made not just for relationships, but to become people "in Christ," relating to God. As we abandon ourselves to God, moment by moment, our significance and identity will be in his hands; they become his responsibility, not mine. -James Houston

WOW! These both just spoke to me. I have always struggled with defining who I am. I debate between whether I'm an extrovert or an introvert, whether I like animals or not, if I'm a quiet person or loud.... I have always daily analyzed myself so that I could tell the next person I meet my character traits. Recently, since I have a job interview next wednesday (prayers appreciated), I have been overwhelmed by all these things I gave to do to prepare so that I can get the job... I need to stop, focus on who I am in Christ, and trust Him to place me where I am needed for his glory. All I need to do is keep my focus on Him and he will take care of the rest. Such a good reminder... God is good and he always knows what we need to hear.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Blessed by the Lord's provision

This week has been busy. Busy with moneymaking! So thankful. If this could be life and I had benefits, I'd accept it for a while, but alas I must keep searching for a full time benefits plan.

A friend from church out of her own initiative asked me last Tuesday if I wanted her to put on Facebook that I was looking for babysitting jobs. I of course said that'd be great and ten people wanted my information!only one has contacted me, but another contact from elsewhere called me for three days over the next two weeks. Currently I'm working my moneymaker. I also got called to sub on Tuesday at the school where I taught my beloved 2nd graders. I just got off the phone with a teacher who needs me next week, a job passed to me from my good friend, Joshua Barefoot.

I have been feeling the Lord's provision so much recently. I described money above, but I feel so connected at my church. I love going there and I meet new people every week. I am working in the Sunday school and tomorrow I start a mentoring relationship with an older woman. So thrilled to see what God does through that. At small group, which i have with my friends libby and nicole, the other day we reflected on how refreshing it is to get involved at Grace. It is an open and loving environment and it is the first time I have felt this comfortable at a church. Ever.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


It has been a while. Besides two needed getaway trips to JMU/DC and NOVA, I have been leading a pretty lazy life. I told myself this time last year, give or take two weeks, that I was experiencing my last college winter break. A month of being off, with no stress and time with family. Well I lied to myself... this year I have managed an even longer one! It has been a challenging time for me. I welcomed it at first, needing time to catch up on sleep. But that is all I have managed to catch up on (and well I quickly joined The Hunger Games obsession)! Today I am attempting to motivate myself and actually put to use all this free time to more important things than catching up on all reruns of all my favorite childhood shows.... and I am blogging.

It is a hard stage of life to be post-grad, employed as a sub in a horrible economy. I have been eligible 3 days now- no calls and no success on job shopping. I hit refresh on my browser 50 times in which the same message appears: "There are no available jobs at this time." I have experienced feelings of loneliness, laziness, abandonment, failure, fear, BUT amidst it all God has provided and I have been more thankful than any other times in the past. Simple ways of providing money, like a random babysitting gig last Friday or subbing for my PM Kindergarten class next Tuesday, have caused me to continuously praise God the entire day. One of my dearest friends, Paul, encouraged me last Friday after the babysitting job while we were hanging out. He said that it was so refreshing for me to be around that night because I was so joyful, something he hasn't seen in a while.

I have been reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is not my favorite style of writing, so it is hard for me to absolutely love it, but the premise is something I need to learn badly. She challenges you to experience daily thanksgiving and recognition of God's gifts in everyday life; to practice being fully present. My prayer is that as I continue reading, my heart would be softened to live out daily thanksgiving. There are so many things I take for granted along with so many seemingly small ways I find God in everyday life that I usually let pass me by. How much deeper my love for the Father and recognition of His love for me would be if I could recognize more often His presence daily.

On that note, today is a day of conquering a big to do list including: organizing my job portfolio, asking questions about applying for teacher licensure, applying for teacher licensure, and asking for reference letters (biggest cause of anxiety right now). I have been putting these off, because I have been so uncertain about where I want to end up... I need to start somewhere and I need to trust God with the plan. Perhaps that will be a post for a later time.

Friday, December 16, 2011

“Do you know what hurts so very much? It’s love. Love is the strongest force in the world, and when it is blocked that means pain. There are two things we can do when this happens. We can kill that love so that it stops hurting. But then of course part of us dies, too. Or we can ask God to open up another route for that love to travel.”
-Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

Thursday, December 15, 2011

saying goodbye...

I AM OFFICIALLY DONE WITH UNDERGRAD!  Now I am an adult, except I do not yet have a job with benefits, which I could use right about now.

My second graders made me cards. Here are a few excerpts that should brighten your day:
-One boy drew a picture of a dead person and wrote RIP. I went over to him and said I am not dying, I'm just leaving. He says "that's me." So I clarified, "Oh, so you're dying because I am leaving?" His answer: "Yes."
-"Miss Wilson you tech us so much stuf that I think I am going to isplowd with nolig at school."
-"go buy and happy birthay miss wilson."
-"I love you Miss Wilson"

There are definitely students you feel like you try harder to be patient with and there are those that you desperately want to help. It is so great to look back over the past 8 weeks and feel like I made some sort of impact. I was frustrated with this class often, because it was filled with know-it-alls and I felt like I never truly gained their respect, constantly having to tell them to be quiet, but I will miss them and I have grown to love each of them. One boy I could not stand at the beginning became so dear to me the last two weeks. Another boy showed great improvement while I was there in terms of behavior and showing that he does get it. He gave me the longest hug goodbye- from the classroom to the buses- and my heart melted. I have such hopes for these children and I hope and pray that they will go far in life. I was able to write them each a letter and I tried to encourage them all by telling them to keep doing their best. I expect one will be a fashion model/actress, another a navy fighter pilot, a football player, and a translator. Maybe one will be a president... he did dress as JFK for celebrity day.

It is the relationships that make all the hours and the little pay worth it... I can't wait.

P.S. The little pay won't bother me at first, because I could use any pay....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I may not understand, but He does

Last semester I was obsessed with a verse in a song- "I lean not on my own understanding, my life is in the hands of the maker of Heaven... I give it all to you, God, hoping that you'll make something beautiful out of me."
A wonderful friend here just recently discovered this band, United Pursuit, thanks to another dear friend. I listened to it Friday night with her in a car as we both had tears in our eyes.... I need to listen to it daily.
It is sad how disappointed and unfaithful I am when the things that I see as good and honorable to God are not brought to fruition. The thing I prayed about last semester in relation to this song is the same as the thing I pray about today.... but it has been settled, yet I still hope in it, and not in Christ's plan.

It is something I will daily have to present to the Lord, to protect my heart and to trust in his promise. It is hard.

The same Advent devotional I have been reading discussed God's plan of salvation through Jesus as being an eternal plan, thought of before the world was even created... how long did that take? And my life is so much shorter... I think I can wait. But I can't. But I should be able to.... oh how much is revealed to you when you are not surrounded by likely circumstances of single, jobless friends. Patience, patience, patience.