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Best Tutor Ever

April 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Once upon a time there was a girl who’s greatest bane seemed to be Algebra. After several years of being defeated by it, a determined adventure was started to make it through to the end. It was an adventure that wasn’t taken alone as a tutor came along side the student and worked for three years (with only one summer off) to accomplish that goal. Algebra 1/2, 1, 2, Geometry and some Trig. were all conquered. After all of that, there came a day when she stepped out of the home that she entered so many times and knew that she wouldn’t be returning for any more adventuring classes. The battle was won.

For anyone who is wondering, my math tutor is the best tutor. ever. And a great traveling companion, friend, and mentor.

Patience

October 26, 2012 Leave a comment

–  Another blast from the past that was hiding out in the draft box… –

Patience is rather illusive at times. However, it does not take long to realize that it is most definitely important to learn and cultivate.

One definition of the word “patience” is as follows: an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness; quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence

Sounds like something really good, right?

In 2 Peter 1 there is a list of things that we should be sure to work on. Faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity. In. That. Order. If we have those things, we will not be unfruitful, but if we lack them, we will be blind and “cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

Obviously, this thing… This patience… is important.

I think patience is tied closely with trust and contentment. Generally, it seems like the times I’m most patient are the times when I let go understanding that God has everything under control, trust Him with the outcome, and am content with where I am at right now. In Jeremiah 29, there is a promise that the Lord has plans for me that are not of evil, but of peace, to give me a future and a hope. So why is it hard to be patient, trust, and be content?

It seems like a lot of the places in the Bible where patience is mentioned, it is with a promise attached. Check out Hebrews 10:36, Psalm 37:7-9, Galatians 6:9, James 5:7-8 (really like this one), Isaiah 40:31, Romans 2:6-7, and Romans 8:24-25 for examples.

Patience is one of the fruit of the Spirit. Patience is to be done with joyfulness – see Colossians 1:10-12

Nobody says patience is easy… Nobody says it comes to us naturally… Nobody really says what patience IS, what it looks like, how you know if you “have” it. Maybe it’s the peace that comes after letting go of something you really want and trust God with it. Maybe it’s the process of waiting, but not just sitting around doing nothing. Maybe it’s something like being content.

Sometimes I look up synonyms to get a bigger picture of a word that I’m thinking of. So, here are some of the synonyms for patience are: calmness, composure, constancy, diligence, endurance, equanimity, even temper, forbearance, fortitude, grit, humility, long-suffering, moderation, perseverance, persistence, poise, self-control, serenity, submission, yielding…

Seems to me the times to be patient are the times when it’s hardest to be. During times of waiting, strain, provocation, danger, stress, excitement…

I don’t go for the idea that patience is a passive (I’m-just-waiting) kind of thing. It seems like it’s actually pretty active. Suppressing restlessness? Steady perseverance? Diligence? You can’t really do those things with the twiddling of thumbs and staring at the ceiling. Ok, so maybe you can be diligent to stare at the ceiling, persevere in the twiddling of thumbs as they ache from the repetition of such an activity, and suppress the restlessness that will no doubt be present in that situation…

According to Elisabeth Elliot, it seems like patience would be “keep faith and wait quietly”:

“Few of us enjoy having to wait for something we want. It is human nature to desire instant gratification, and it is divine nature to do many things very, very slowly. Growth is always imperceptible. But the farmer exercises long patience in waiting for his crop. He has done his work and is assured of the result, hence he waits quietly. He is at rest because the outcome (barring disastrous “acts of God”) is certain. If we could simply remember that this is true of everything–that God’s purposes are slowly being worked out for his glory and our good–we would, like the farmer, keep faith and wait quietly.

Lord, take from us all fretting and hurrying and teach us to rest our hearts in the “ultimate certainty” (Jas 5:7 JBP).” – Elisabeth Elliot

And since I like to be somewhat random:

“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.” ~ Matthew Henry

Categories: Life, Writing Tags: , , ,

To Feel Again

October 4, 2012 1 comment

– A post from quite some time ago that was just discovered in the draft box… –

“We wouldn’t choose the story that God tells in our lives, but God knows better. He weaves the dark shadows into our stories so that the light of His grace and mercy shines brighter.” – Pastor Toby Sumpter

It would seem that I can think best when I have to write something out and even if the end result doesn’t really seem to make sense (most of the time), it still helps me figure things out.

This is going to be about many threads of a story, but the main reason this has been going through my head is because of a great talk with an older brother and one, little, five letter word: “Trust”.

Years ago, I experienced what it was like to trust someone and have that trust broken, again and again and again. I learned how much I can hurt, so I built a wall. I would do my best to never let what I was feeling show. I didn’t want people to know and it would appear that I was rather successful. I seem to have convinced myself that if I don’t feel, I can’t hurt like that again. But you can’t live through life without feeling. Believe me, I’ve tried. Convincing yourself that it doesn’t matter, that you don’t care? That’s totally not true and, most likely, it’s affecting you. a. lot.

In the past year, those unhealthy walls that I built have been coming down. Slowly, painfully, one piece at a time, God is pulling those barriers down and healing. I couldn’t tell you exactly when it started, but I think it was probably about the time I began to stop looking at the pain and started looking to God to help me through it. To give me the strength I needed, because there is no way I could/can do it by myself. Probably about the time I really started to learn to be thankful.

To feel again. It’s strange to have to *learn* how to feel. It’s frightening. It’s hard. Once you have felt that pain, you don’t want to feel it again, but you miss out on so much if you don’t learn to feel again. Yes, it will hurt, but the blessings will outweigh the pain.

Perhaps someday, I will learn to know what I am feeling and how to put that into words to explain to someone else. But I think I will first have to learn how to identify what exactly I am feeling to myself… Most of the time I don’t even realize that something is affecting me (or at least not how much), or if I do, I don’t know *what* it is. The times when I know that something is affecting me and what it is, I generally don’t know how to explain my reaction, my feelings… Not even to myself. My feelings aren’t logical. I can’t always sort them out. Maybe part of the explaining is to not be ashamed of what you are feeling or why. To not feel silly when you talk about it. I think I generally express my feelings in non-verbal ways rather than trying to put it all into words that are confusing even to myself.

You might be wondering what any of this has to do with the word “trust”. To be honest, I think that’s the next bit that God is working on teaching me. Trust is a scary thing when you really think about it. That little word mean so much. It can be defined as the reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. God has been teaching me to trust Him. Now He’s taking that wall down and teaching me to trust the people that he has put into my life again. Yes, it will hurt. Yes, I know how much it can hurt. Yes, it is worth it, because it hurts more to not. I wasn’t built to hold it all in. I wasn’t built to hide. I wasn’t built to be that strong.

Categories: Life, Writing Tags: , , ,

“Why Me?”

August 17, 2012 2 comments

So often, the question of “Why?” is negative. “Why do I have to go through this? Why is everything so hard for me? Why… why… why? Why me?” We don’t understand why everything is “going wrong” for us. However, we are to be thankful in all things… and sometimes it should just hit you to ask “why?” Why am I this blessed? Why not someone else? Why is God so good to me when there are others who deserve it more? Why did God make that sunrise so beautiful? Why is there that tiny, detailed, beautiful flower that most often would be overlooked? Why is there peace in the quiet of an evening? Why is it that my Dad can reassure me in a very few minutes that I’m doing ok and what is right? Why do I have such wonderful and true friends? Why are all these promises for me? Why am I this blessed? Why me? And then marvel in God’s grace and goodness, and be thankful. God is not stingy. He does not want to hold back in blessing us. Sometimes we go through hardship, but that is how we view it with our limited view. Someday it will all make sense, but today is not that day and we just have to trust God. Believe that our God is a giving and gracious God. One who loves to bless. Our minds should be blown away when we ask “why me?” by all of the blessings we are given and how good our God truly is…

A Scramble Of Thoughts

July 31, 2012 Leave a comment

A lot has been going through this head of mine lately. Sometimes it’s a confusing web of thoughts that are all tangled up together, other times a clear thought will stand out. I’ll try not to take you into the web as I haven’t figured that out yet.

What I have discovered is that one of the most difficult things for me to do is to trust. If I had to try to explain why, it would be something along the lines of having trusted and having that trust broken years ago. Knowing how much I can hurt makes it harder to be vulnerable again. However, I can’t live life not feeling, not trusting. I have to trust God.

“You become more like what you believe.” Hang on just a moment and I hope that will clearly tie into what I’m about to say. As I was thinking about trust and how hard and (yes) scary it is, I began to wonder if when I don’t trust, it’s because I don’t really believe that God is trustworthy. And that, my friends, is both ridiculous and wrong. God has proven over and over that he is worthy of my trust. So, why do I hesitate? What makes it so hard? Why do I fear to trust? God is faithful. God is good. He wants us to trust. He won’t give us more than we can handle with His strength. God is bigger. God is great. He won’t leave you alone. So, since God is trustworthy, then so should I be. I should also know and be able to trust Him. And you know what? I think I have finally gotten to where I can say that I do. God has said He is trustworthy. Far be it from me to believe that what He says is a lie. That is just plain wrong.

For now, I think the wall that I put up has been coming down. Slowly, piece by piece, God has been teaching me to trust again. No, this isn’t a sudden thing. It has been a healing process over the past year or so. I think I just lately realized it though. It’s not easy. It’s something that is rather frightening. I think, that the hardest part for me right now is actually admitting that I do trust. Admitting that I can be hurt like that again. But you know what? It’s ok, because I don’t have to carry that load. I’ve got my God and He’s bigger than any of my troubles, worries, doubts, or hurts.

I must say, I have been blessed by friends, family, and situations that have caused me to think and evaluate myself and my desires quite a bit lately. And I dare say those quiet mornings watching the sunrise and the still evenings/nights watching the sunset or the stars silently join each other to form a multitude have been very conducive to thought and prayer. Those times are both peaceful and restful. It’s actually kind of nice to realize that I am so small, but I have a great God. To know I don’t have to worry. To learn to trust again.

 “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.” – Psalm 9:10

“I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” – Psalm 91:2

Goodbyes

July 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Why do goodbyes always come too soon? Are we ever actually ready to say goodbye, to let go?

Whether it is goodbye to family members, close friends, or a chapter in your life, are you prepared to say goodbye or to leave that part of your story behind? I don’t think so… Or at least, I never feel that way.

Sometimes it’s easier to say goodbye to someone when you know when you will see them again. It’s helpful to have memories, pictures and phone calls, but that’s not the same as having them with you. It’s not the same as being able to sit out on the chicken run and watch the sunset going down while you talk about things that you have only thought of before and are just now being spoken and put into words. It’s not the same as sitting in the moonlight, under the stars on the rifle range relaxing together and not even needing words to say what is on your mind because you all already know. How do you do *that* on the phone? It’s not the same as being able to hold each person close or watch their expressions as you listen. I’m never ready for that last goodbye, or see ya. I know myself well enough to know that I start to pull away early when I can feel it coming, but that doesn’t help and just steals some of the time that you have together. Gotta enjoy the time you have, the memories, the pictures, the phone calls… After goodbyes happen, things seem to go back to the same… but you aren’t the same. That time together has added memories, conversations, advise, and so much more.

I don’t know about you, but for me it’s scary to leave a chapter in my story to move on to the next. It’s scary to feel unprepared for something and have to do it anyway. But then, if we don’t take that step out in faith, what would we do? Stay in this chapter forever? Sometimes we have to be pushed into doing something despite the fear. Sometimes staying put for too long, especially if it’s time to move, just makes it so much harder. There is so much that God has planned for each person, but if you don’t take that next step, you’ll never know. You’ll never experience that blessing. Yeah, it’s scary, but God has proven again and again that He’s here. That He’ll give the strength for what comes next. That He’ll heal the pain, the brokenness, the past. Yes, it will be hard. Yes, it will hurt. Give thanks in everything. Look around you. See the beauty? See the blessings? See the promises? Be thankful.

“Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for peace and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord. …”

Letter #30 — Your Dreams

June 14, 2012 Leave a comment

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. – Galations 2:20

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. – Psalm 32:8

06.14.12

My dreams… Huh, that’s a new topic for sure. 
 
For a few years, I was wondering if some of my dreams would ever come true. I would worry about it and not be at peace. Then something happened that changed my whole perspective. Or… several somethings really. No, my dreams have not suddenly burst out of hiding, but I have learned. You see, I wasn’t trusting God with my dreams at all. I wasn’t letting go.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. – Psalm 55:22
 
However, my dreams are no longer my own. My Father holds them in his hands.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. – Jeremiah 29:11
 
Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. – Deuteronomy 31:6
 
I am not prepared for some of my dreams… or perhaps all. Until I am, I will grow. I will trust God’s timing. I don’t have anything to fear. His will will shape mine. No, it’s not easy, but all things are possible with God. 
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. – Isaiah 41:10
 
And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed. – Deuteronomy 31:8
 
Whether you believe it or not, it is so much more easy to trust God with your life than to try to control it yourself. Plus, He does a way better job of it than you ever would. Yes, I still have dreams, but for now, I am comfortable and at peace where I am. Taking one step at a time, finding joy in the people and things around me, spending time with my family, growing, being thankful for what I have and the gifts from my Father… Did you ever notice how the seeds sparkle as they fall from the tree at the park? Trust has been a rather large issue for me, but it isn’t so bad anymore. I don’t have to worry about a thing, and when I start to be anxious, I just have to turn to my Father. 
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7
 
Until next time… 
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
   
      
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