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.