May 31, 2012

A Warmed Heart

Hello all,

I am writing this blog with a warmed heart tonight. I just got back from Colorado. I went to visit for a few days. I saw some friends who mean the world to me and was able to give them tangible hugs! Some I didn't get a chance to see, but you can only do so much in two days. I'm back now, and waiting for summer school to start on Monday. It was just a nice couple of days back there. The weather was wonderful and I was able to appreciate the beauty of the Colorado Rockies once again.

As you can see from my last blog post, I've been somewhat stuck lately. I've been stuck in everything. Texas, school, friends, and just feeling like I'm separated from what matters most to me. I'm not referring to Colorado here, but between things like being away from my twin and barely being able to salvage what is left between my dad and I,  things have been rough.

These last few days my trust was somewhat renewed which feels great! Things may not be exactly the way I want them or the way I was expecting it to work out, but it's exactly the way God wants it to happen. In church last week the pastor was talking about, as Christians, we see that some of our behaviors are not pleasing to God and we say to ourselves, "Oh, well I'll work on that." But, there is no way to change that behavior without changing the heart first. Change the heart, and the behavior should just follow naturally. As a follower of Christ, our heart should automatically be in the right place, and the behavior just follows us around. That is the change people notice. That is the subtle difference that sets some of us apart. Not that one person is higher than the other, because we aren't, but the glow that surrounds the heart of a believer is impossible to extinguish or match with something of this world.

I was visiting an ex-neighbor while I was in Colorado, he has known me since I was just a baby, and he told me about the straight and narrow path situation. We are all sort of familiar with it, but it just hit me anew. You know, we all want to take the beaten and easy path sometimes. We get so tired of trying to watch our step on the narrow path, that's what makes it hard. And we all fall off the narrow path and end up on the other road sometimes. No matter how far down that easy path you are, it is always possible to get back up on the difficult, narrow path. Nothing is technically easy anymore in this world. I've definitely fallen on that beaten path innumerable times. I cringe at my own weakness sometimes. With everything that has been going through my brain and that has happened to people close to me, God just reminded me these last couple of days that the narrow path is His path. The narrow path is the safer path in the long run. The narrow path will be the path that leads us to the best outcome (check out Matthew 7:13-14).

Basically, the whole thing just gave me hope. It gave me hope that God is still working in everything, that He has not forgotten anyone, and that He works in His own time, not ours. I felt some sort of reassurance in just being still and feeling Him with me. He has not left me, nor has he left those dear to my heart. That should be the most encouraging of all. :) All in His timing, not mine.

Thanks for reading.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
-Psalm 139:23-24

"As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man."
-Proverbs 27:19

May 25, 2012

A Teardrop Meant For Home

I don't know what it is.... I don't know whether I'm just PMSing or if things have finally built up to my limit or if I just need sleep, but gosh emotions have a way of creeping up on you. It's rather inconvenient. This feeling of homesickness just spontaneously combusted in me tonight. I mean, it even brought me to tears once I knew I was just alone in my new room.

I miss home. I miss the house that doesn't belong to my family anymore in Colorado. I miss my few close friends back there. You know, I hate the fact that I have to think about where I would stay if I went back home. I don't want to stay with my dad and staying at a friend's house just seems so weird and unnecessary. I don't need to inconvenience them, especially if I have a parent living there.

I miss the mountains. I miss the ridiculous weather and the random thunderstorms that happen in the afternoon during the summer. I just feel helpless really, waiting around here to go to summer school. I miss just getting in the car and driving to meet people somewhere. I miss my family being in the same state. I miss my room. I miss my backyard. I miss Colorado.

Things certainly aren't the same anymore. Hopefully this nostalgia is all just temporary. But I just needed to vent. It's not a very happy night for my turbulent thoughts.

God, what in the world are you doing? Please help me trust you.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3:5-6

May 21, 2012

Desperate Times Call for... Faithful Prayer

Hello Everyone!!

So I have a request for you guys. My grandpa is not doing very well. He has literally had nine lives...he had his first heart attack at 53 and now he is 89! Talk about staying strong. But, he really is not doing well now. He has cancer now with a legitimate plethora of other medical concerns. :( He has a lot of stuff going on. No need to give too many details but please pray for him. He is in pain from what I hear and he keeps wanting to hang on to take care of my grandma who has Alzheimer's. He has been married to her for over 60 years and he wants to stay strong and care for her when he is in pain himself. It is just a rough situation, and he just needs prayers. So does my mom and the rest of my family. It's a tough time, but just please pray for my grandparents, for God's will to be done. It will be really hard if we lose him :( because we are all close with them. But it may be better so he doesn't feel any more pain. One good thing, though, is he still has his sense of humor and a motivation to get better. They have both defied expectations. My grandma is in her 90's and my grandpa is not far behind. But who knows what will happen. Just asking you guys for your prayers! Thanks. :)

I hope you guys are doing super well. I am liking living in Texas although I really do miss all you guys in Colorado. That's all I have for today.

Thanks for your prayers, and, as always, thanks for reading. :)

"Even to your old age and grey hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you."
-Isaiah 46:4

May 14, 2012

Moving Forward...In More Ways Than One

Hello Everyone!

Well, summer is here. It has been a crazy last couple of weeks! I'm sitting in my new room for the very first time typing this! I mean, it's my first blog post that I wrote in my room. Quite frankly, my room looks like a hurricane hit it. I have stuff everywhere. I guess that's what you get when you just move in somewhere. I have most of my clothes unpacked and put in my closet and drawers, it's just the question of where to put everything else. Ahh!! I can stand a sort of messy room, but when it's this messy it just drives me nuts! Anyway, I love the new house. It's weird that only my mom and me are living in it right now. I'm going to help my mom with pictures and stuff tomorrow probably. But, the house is great and it will definitely be a new adventure this summer. It's nice having family nearby also. I just need to learn my way around. More updates will come soon as we start really settling in. But, tonight will be my first night actually sleeping in my new room and new house! We'll see how it goes!

Yesterday was Mother's Day. I want to wish all the mothers out there Happy Mother's Day! You guys really do a ton of work that we take for granted sometimes. I love my mom, and we've had our ups and downs, and although she's not my biological mother, she may as well be. :) I mean, she raised me, taught me my values, and helped shape me into the person I am today. So, thanks for all you do mom, and thanks to all the other mothers out there for doing what they do!! :) Make sure you tell your mom something you appreciate about her!

So, I was at church the other day and I keep forgetting to blog about this, but in churches you always see in the upper left or upper right corner, the sign language interpreter relaying the message to the people who can't hear it. I mean, they are always there, but do you ever find yourself getting caught up watching the interpreter? I do, all the time. It's interesting to see them sign things. I have a brief history of sign language, I learned some signs for some songs and all that jazz. I don't really remember them anymore, but I can sometimes recognize it. I just think it is really cool that those interpreters devote their time to relaying those sermons. Also, I think it really exemplifies the fact that anybody can grow in their relationship with Christ. Not that I never thought everybody could, but it's just kind of a cool thing. Just a worthy observation...

Alright, guys, well, back to unpacking the never ending boxes. I'll keep updating you guys and let you know what's going on with me in my first summer in Texas! Yes, the heat is already getting to me. I hope you guys have had a good beginning to summer! Here's to the end of my first year at TCU!
Thanks for reading.

"Not that we are sufficient in ourselves, to claim anything for ourselves, but our sufficiency comes from God."
-2 Corinthians 3:5

May 8, 2012

Personal Message To My Looming 4 Year Nursing Journey Ahead

Okay nursing've made your point. Quite effectively. You are not going to be easy. You're going to give me a run for my money. You're going to be difficult. You're going to test me to see how far I can go. You're going to watch me fall. You're going to push me. You're going to stress me out. You're going to watch as I just crawl through every finals week. You're going to watch me spend inexhaustible hours fighting for those grades. You're going to watch as I learn that failure as well as success is not always black and white. You're going to make me wish at some point that you were easier. You're going to make me cry. You're going to make me laugh - in desperation. You're going to try my patience. You're going to watch me panic over details. You're going to see me struggle.

~ ~ but you forget some minor details ~ ~

I don't shy away from challenges.
I will get right back up again if I fall.
I am never alone.
I know all about diabetes - you've got nothing on me. So don't try.
I have friends here who encourage me daily.
I work for what I get, and you bet I will work hard.
I am GOING to be a nurse, gosh darn it!
There's more to nursing than book work.
I already love my career.
I have abs of steel.

I also have a God who will never forsake me or leave me helpless.

Take it or leave it. I'm here to stay.

"I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me."
-Psalm 16:7

May 6, 2012

It Builds Character...

Hello world!!

The light at the end of the tunnel....
Finals. The one word going through everybody's head. I know. It's been going through mine too. And you are in dire need of a study break if you are actually reading this. Or perhaps you are just procrastinating. I just needed to take a break and share a few things with you guys that have been on my mind lately and to give you some encouragement for finals week!!! (whenever your finals week may be)

So, I have been off my pump successfully for about two and a half weeks now. And, yes, please don't panic, I have been taking insulin shots. Otherwise I wouldn't be alive right now haha. Anway, it has been one of the most refreshing things I have ever been through. I did not realize how much my pump was on my mind subconsciously. Sometimes I almost freak out because I'm like, "Oh my gosh...where is my pump?!?" And then I calm myself as I realize I am taking shots instead. And it's quite freeing...I can wear clothes I normally would not wear. Like I wore a dress to church today. If I had my pump on, that would never have happened. This whole giving myself shots thing brings me back to the past. But it's a good thing.

I was kind of talking about this in my last post, but I am slowly realizing that even though I still am an introvert (big time), I want people to know about me. I want them to know who I am and what has changed my life. I've changed in some things since I left for college. I've grown as a person and have dealt with things I had been pushing down for a long time. I suppose that's one reason why I now have a blog, and for those of you who actually read my blog, I appreciate it. It's good for me, it's almost like keeping a diary only it's public. I really try and tell how I feel. Without the truth, there is no growing or discoveries. I tell you the good with the bad, but it's all been honest. I just feel like the people reading this right now actually want to keep up with me. And I appreciate that! :) My life journey only will last so long, might as well tell people about it!!

There was an awesome church service today. It was quite eye opening. So, we all know that verse - Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." Okay, well it's a really great verse, and very encouraging in hard times. The thing about this verse when we read it, though, is to immediately think to a time in our life where things did not work out for the better and we automatically assume God is out to get us. That is a very selfish outlook on our part though we may not think so. Think about it. God works for the good of THOSE who love him. He doesn't work for the good of "your material happiness". He doesn't work for the good of "those who follow the rules". Of course He will always provide for your security and He wants you to be happy, but those trials we go through may be for the benefit of somebody else. What do we get out of it? The youth leader was saying that those trials are to make us more like Christ. The crucifixion was not for the good of Jesus, obviously not, it was for the good of all past, present, and future believers. In the end Christ was glorified through the crucifixion, but the whole process was obviously not what Christ wanted. But, he went through with the will of Heaven anyway. So our trials down here may not be what we want, but there is a difference in how people react. You can react one way by blaming God and saying it's all unfair, or you can pray and complete God's will. Through you, through your trials, you may touch somebody's life. That could lead them to Christ or could provide some desperate hope that they may have been looking for. The youth pastor gave an example of losing a loved one, and the question 'how is that working for good' is answered in that person was in heaven, first off, and another person came to know Christ because of it. I would much, much rather go through a hard time if that meant saving someone else or being Christ's example. That verse is great in hard times, but reading it in context with the rest of Romans 8 puts it in a whole new light. And out of your hard time, you may be more like Christ if you trust in Him. You may bring someone else to Christ who is watching you closely. You may grow in your faith. Through those not so ideal circumstances Christ is working in the world, through you. That's an awesome thought. And, as I like to say, our greatest blessings are a result of our greatest trials.

On that note, good luck with all of your finals!! Hopefully these lighten your mood a little bit during studying!....

Thanks for reading guys! Best of luck for the end of the year!

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it."
-Proverbs 4:23

May 2, 2012

Time Just Knows How to Fly

Hello all!!!

I hope your weeks have been not too stressful! If they have, well, I'm very sorry, but you're almost done!! I cannot believe I am almost finished with my freshman year of college!!!

Where in the world did the time go? I don't feel old enough to be a college sophomore. God has blessed me with so many things this year. He has brought some incredible people into my life and has helped me realize how much I can really take. My faith has strengthened this year so much. It's probably from being away from my home, my twin, and the people I depended on at home. I have stayed very close with some of you, and I'm so thankful for that. I'll always have a piece of home with me. Through experiences here at TCU, things going down with my dad, not swimming for the first year of my life, and adjusting to being away from my twin, I have learned a lot about myself. I suppose that sort of thing happens in college often. I've learned how I handle stress, not always very well, and I've learned how to give things up to God. Being alone and not having a parent breathing down your neck really makes a difference. I feel as if I've really grown into my faith. I've noticed how God is at work in my life and I appreciate the little things more. I would not have gotten through this year if I didn't have the strength that God continuously gives me. I've grown into the person I am and I am happy with it. This summer will be a new experience. I'm excited to see what God has planned for me, and I hope I have enough strength to go with it. I have so many more things to learn, but this year has certainly had its lessons for me.
Something awesome happened when I was working out in the rec center this morning... I was stretching, just getting done with some abs, and a guy and a girl ran by on the track, the girl lagging behind a little bit. The guy turned around and said, "Don't quit! Come on, don't give up!" I mean, how cool is that?! I just thought it was the nicest thing ever. That sort of encouragement should be given every single day.

I wrote a letter to my dad the other day after another bad conversation. It's a good five pages long explaining why I am upset with him and how I feel about our current relationship. I express myself better in writing. It keeps me honest. I suppose that's one reason why I started this blog. But, I haven't sent this letter to my dad yet. I think I want to though. It's not mean, it's just telling him my point of view. My goal is not to change him, but just to let him know that he has an upset daughter. So, that's a bit of news in my life.
For my Colorado friends... I may be home sometime in May because my summer school classes do not start until June. So, I will let you all know if and when that will happen. I'm not sure yet, so don't go making any extensive plans :P.

In church at the beginning of the week, the pastor was telling us that the Holy Spirit prays for us. Think about that. It basically blew my mind. God prays for us?! It just shows that we are always going to be taken care of (see verse below). Well, those are all the ramblings I have for you guys. But, one thing that this year has taught me more than anything is that there is always hope and despite this unstable life, I'm always going to have one stable thing in my life - God. He will always be there and He will not falter. Relationships come and go with friends and with people you meet, but He never fails to be there. 
Thanks so much for reading!

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God."
-Romans 8:26-27

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