October 29, 2012

Mini-Series: Insulin is Not a Cure

Hello everybody! I just wanted to let you guys know about this next month of November!!

Nationally, the month of November is recognized as....

Type 1 Diabetes Awareness Month

So, naturally, I must include this in my blog. From November 1st to November 30th, all my blog posts will be related somehow to diabetes. Diabetes has been a huge part of my life and has formed so much of who I am today. The story behind the title of my mini-series is pretty self-explanatory. Insulin is not a cure. It just keeps me alive. Many say, oh, well, people can live with diabetes, they have insulin! Sure, that's true. But, it doesn't take away the fact that I have an incurable autoimmune disease, that my immne system attacks my pancreatic cells.

This is not for me to tell you my sob story, I'm way past that. This mini-series is so I can create awareness, and hopefully make diabetes a little more real for you. Feel free on facebook or wherever to share my posts; the more people that are exposed to it, the bigger difference we make! Most of you reading my blog know me personally, and I'm just hoping talking about this disease hits home a little harder for those of you reading this. My life has certainly been affected by it as well have many lives around the world. Some of you know people who have type 1, or are very close with somebody who does. Here, I can afford a little insight. I will be talking about some stories and some of the things diabetes has made me realize during my life. People know about diabetes, but do they really know what it's like? I thank the Lord you don't exactly know what it's like, and I pray you never will.

And, if I have any diabetics out there reading this, I hope you find some encouragement through these upcoming posts. I do my best to try and see God in every situation. It's hard doing that when dealing with something like diabetes, but He is there, whether we see it or not. I'm very excited about this next month. I can't wait to share with you guys and hopefully I'll make an impression! Let's just power through.

"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits - who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion..."
-Psalm 103:2-4

October 23, 2012

Sunlit Eyes


"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them and try to follow them."
-Louisa May Alcott
Comparisons. Guilt. Incomplete. Degradation. Hopelessness. These are words that come to mind when I think about feelings of negative self worth. We all experience it, don't you agree? That fleeting thought that maybe if you just do this, everything would be alright. If you just had that one thing, everything would be alright. If you just had that one friendship, everything would be alright. If you just looked that way, everything would be alright. If you just had that one relationship, everything would be alright. If you could just make it better. If only...
These lies are fed to us every day. I've dealt with them and have known plenty of people who have. My self worth is not determined here on this Earth. Your self worth is not determined here on this Earth. What are you trying to control? I'll be honest, I've tried to control so many things in my life. Well, if I'm going to be honest with you guys....
If I only received a higher grade on that test, I wouldn't be in this situation.
If I only had hair like that, I wouldn't have this problem.
If I only knew what I could do, this wouldn't have to happen.
If I only had a boyfriend, I could be happy.
If I only had shoes like that, maybe I'd fit in a little more.
If only I was their type, my life would be better.
What would I have done differently with my life if I wasn't a type 1 diabetic?
If only my personality was more extroverted, I wouldn't have these insecurities.
If I only could prove myself, people wouldn't underestimate me.
If I only would have paid more attention, I could have prevented things from happening.
I've had every single one of these thoughts; many I've had multiple times. You're not alone. What does this sound like? I'm playing the "If only..." game. These ideas and lies we are constantly fed directly relate to our self worth. If you've felt these, you either feel dejected and worse about yourself when nothing happens, or you strive to fix it. We talked about this in my bible study yesterday. It's so incredibly easy, for girls and guys, to diminish their self worth based on what this world "says" you should be. If you're struggling with something personal, it's so easy to see your self worth reflected in that.
What if we went around concentrating on the self worth that God sees in us? He counted you worthy enough to die for you, surely he sees worth in you. The worth we attribute to ourselves on Earth means nothing. This worldly self worth we are constantly fed is a lie. My self worth is not determined here on this Earth. Your self worth is not determined here on this Earth. Our self worth is found in Christ. He is the only one who can tell us what we're worth. By accepting worldly definitions of self worth, we are putting words in God's mouth. And, really, if you think about it, how ineffective is that?! Really ineffective. You are loved and cared for by the God of the universe. He gives you everything you need to overcome something. The struggles we go through on Earth are definitely a show of our faith, but self worth is a different story. We need to find our self worth through Christ. I encourage you guys to see yourself through God's eyes - a loved son or daughter of Christ. Your highest aspirations through that sunlight should be related to God.
"It rises at one end of the heavens and makes it circuit to the other; nothing is deprived of its warmth."
-Psalm 19:6

October 21, 2012

One Night Out of the Year

Hey everybody!

Well, Halloween is just around the corner! I can't say that it's my favorite holiday. I don't do super well with horror movies, freaky costumes, and I've never been to a haunted house! I don't think I could handle it...It's a fun holiday, but not my favorite. Anyway, I have a couple fun Halloween stories for you, then something I think is important to always remember.

So, Madison and I were pretty little, my parents were walking with us as we were going trick-or-treating. I don't remember our costumes. Anyway, we walk in front of this huge house that is pretty dark except for a couple porch lights. Somebody or something was sitting on the porch bench, not moving. So, seems sketchy, right? Well, Madison and I go up anyway. We get like halfway or 3/4 of the way up the sidewalk and the thing on the bench suddenly just moves and gets off the bench. Madison and I, believing that the figure was not alive, just get the daylights scared out of us. Now that I look back on it, the only thing I think I can remember about the figure was that it looked like it was wearing a huge, black gorilla costume or something haha. But anyway, Madison and I were scared stiff and just went running back to our parents! Awww haha.

Ah, Halloween...as much as I do not like admitting this, I was a huge girly girl when I was little. I was a fan of the princess costumes, the bride costumes, and the pretty outfits. My love for Disney princesses has not faded, though haha. Anyway, I remember being a bride for like two or three years in a row, I loved that costume. And, Madison and I had awesome, legitimate princess costumes. The skirt of my navy blue dress was just one big poof with a sparkly, gold star for decoration. I LOVED it. I seriously felt like a princess in it. I had a complete outfit with my jelly shoes and my gold, sparkly tiara to go with it. Also, I was a flapper for a couple years...that was fun, although not my favorite costume. I also was a girly cat for a couple years...that has all stopped. Meanwhile, Madison was also a princess for a couple years with me, then she liked the witch costume haha. But I usually liked being the damsel in distress. Obviously, not anymore haha. Good times.

At a Halloween party with some friends a couple years ago, we decided to watch Paranormal Activity I. I hate horror movies, so I was a little skeptical about all of it. But, hey, I figured that I was in a group of people and I could just make fun of it the whole time and be fine, right? Wrong. I was pretty freaked out the entire movie. Afterwards, I laughed at myself and told myself it was fake. I was fine until I left that night. I was walking back to my car in the dark when the feeling in the pit of my stomach grew to a knot. I started walking a little faster and unlocked my car from where I was so I could see the lights. I got to my car and literally threw the door open and got inside and immediately locked it. My heart rate had increased. I took a deep breath and tried to just laugh at myself. It was just a movie, not real, and I was being ridiculous. Nevertheless, I checked the backseat and stuff before I started driving home. I blasted K-Love the entire way home. I got back home and went up in my room. The lights were on, but I just kind of stood there looking around my room for a little while. I tried to go to sleep that night, but I was having difficulties sleeping. I even had Lulu (my dog) with me so she could maybe bring me some comfort. It wasn't working. Every little sound I heard, I turned towards, half expecting to see some sort of evil thing. I even prayed once or twice so I could have some peace and just know that really, nothing was going to happen. Needless to say, I didn't get a whole lot of sleep that night. The next two nights, I still felt the after-effects of watching that movie. It wasn't necessarily that the movie was scary, it was the idea behind the movie....

Now, this brings me to what I really want to talk to you guys about. First of all, just a quick note, girls, be careful with costumes. Just because it's Halloween and it's one night out of the year does not mean you get to be immodest and suggestive with your costumes. Anyway, I heard this in a sermon a while back, and I definitely think it's important. Halloween is a fun holiday with candy, cute costumes, and parties. We commercialize the holiday, you know? It's not quite as serious with the scary costumes and the evil associated with the holiday. When I watched Paranormal Activity, it was just a stupid horror movie. But, I believe in the devil and I believe that he is quite powerful. He doesn't have more power than God lets him have, but that power is not to be reckoned with. Demons exist in the Bible. Yes, they flee from God, but they exist and look to cause trouble where you are at your weakest. Halloween is a holiday that makes evil playful. It's not. Yeah, the Paranormal Activity movies may just be for entertainment and may be somewhat exaggerated, sure, but the idea behind it is not fake. It's very real. I'm not saying don't have fun on Halloween haha, it's completely fine to dress up and have fun, I'm just saying be careful with stuff. I know people who have played with ouija boards and stuff like that just for fun, or deliberately tried to invoke things like that...I, personally, don't think that is smart. To each his own, but I just want to try and bring awareness that Halloween is a holiday that is associated with evil, and the evil in this world, supernatural or not, is really not something to be messed with. Don't make evil playful. It was never meant to be playful. Thanks for reading!

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."
-Ephesians 6:12

October 15, 2012

No Longer A Religion

It makes my heart hurt when I hear people talking about Christianity like it's just a religion, like it's just a phase, like we're just a group of hypocrites. In a class today, we touched on the topic of the secular versus the spiritual. Some cultures divide it, some don't. What do you do? Do you divide your faith with the rest of your life? Do you categorize your Sunday morning in the "spiritual" category then carry on with your "secular" category the rest of the day?

My belief is that the secular and the sacred should be intertwined. Your faith should be influencing your actions. Isn't that what Christianity teaches? Incorportate God into your everyday life. Use your faith to guide your decisions. People should be seeing the difference in you! There should be no distinction. In a previous blog post, I talked about Christianity being a change of heart, not just a change in behavior. That change of heart should be noticeable.
It's not just my religion, it's my life.
It's not just a phase, it's a commitment.
I am not a hypocrite, I am a daughter of God.
Reality check. What do people see in you? If they don't know you have faith, you need to start showing what you believe. It's not enough to just believe it and move on. Show people. Encourage people. Be God's message of love to people. My beliefs have influenced many a decision in my past, and I'm so thankful for that. When people ask me for a reason, I say my faith is a huge part of who I am and what decisions I make. It breaks my heart to see people scoff at Christianity. We get so caught up in our churches, in our youth groups, and we fail to see the other side of our sheltered life. We forget that other people just don't pay attention anymore because they think it is a joke. I want to change that when people meet me. I want to be influential in showing others what God has continuously shown me throughout my life. He has given me hope, support, and a genuine faith. It's scary to be that message of God, but He calls each and every one of us to be it. Prove them wrong. When they denounce Christianity, they are basically laughing at God. Does that bother anyone else? BUT...please don't get me wrong. Prove them wrong with love and with humility. I'm not trying to encourage a 'holier-than-thou' attitude.That's the last thing I want to encourage. It just makes my heart feel dejected when people roll their eyes at Christianity and those who believe it. We should be making a difference, we should be living our faith. We should be making people wonder what is different about us. I try my best to live my faith. I'm not perfect, but my life is my relationship with Christ. Beat the stereotypes. Live for Christ, not for your religion. It'll make a world of difference.
Questions? Thoughts? Let me know!
or...leave a comment below!
"So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lod, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ."
-Colossians 2:6-8

October 10, 2012

I Believe...

"A faith is a necessity to a man. Woe to him who believes in nothing."
-Victor Hugo
I believe in a lot of things in this world. I believe in miracles; I believe in love; I believe in wearing sweatpants in the winter; I believe in making good decisions; I believe in identity; I believe that a teddy bear can make everything seem more bearable; I believe that tea is better for you than coffee (even though I drink coffee); I believe that people have good in them; I believe in staying in and watching movies all day in bad weather; I believe in getting lost in a good novel every now and then; I believe that hiking in the mountains is one of the best experiences in the world; I believe in the power of just a smile; I believe that vegetables have nutritional value; I believe in the power of transformation; I believe in God.
I believe in FAITH.
Who are we in this world without faith? Who are we without believing in something?? You say you don't believe in miracles. What do you see around you every single day? Do you stop to appreciate the beauty in life? You say you don't believe in love because you were hurt in the past. How did that help you develop? Do you know what person God has in mind for you (PS - no, you don't)? You say you don't believe in wearing sweatpants in the winter. My only question: who are you? Hopefully you believe in making good decisions. Hopefully you believe that you have a unique identity. You say you don't believe in teddy bears making things better. Have you ever hugged one and just cried it all out? You say you don't believe in the power of transformation. Have you read 2 Corinthians 5:17?
You say you don't believe in faith. How do you get through life? Faith has healing powers. Faith keeps you going when times seem impossible. Faith is the glue that holds things together. Faith is a continuous journey that helps maintain your focus. I believe faith is a priceless gift that is given to us in a world full of scattered ideals. I don't want to know where I would be or who I would be without my faith.
Questions? Thoughts? Let me know!
Or...leave a comment.
"Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen."
-Hebrews 11:1

October 4, 2012

Take Me Through the Sand

Hello my friends!

Boy, has God pulled me through these past three crazy weeks, and blessed me along the way!!!! I want to thank you all who have helped me get through everything and with all my stress! My tests and such have all gone well!! Thank the Lord! Guys, my A2 test went well, which is super exciting, and hopefully I'm on my way to clinicals next semester! :) These important tests that just ended yesterday all went relatively well. Thank you, Lord for giving me the gift of knowledge when I needed it and the endurance to manage my emotional/school stress these past three weeks! Now, I have fall break to look forward to!

Also, guys, Les Miserables was AMAZING. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I'm still pretty much in awe that Phil took me to go see it. You know, I didn't care where we were in the theater, who I sat next to, all I cared about was that I was seeing Les Miserables live!!!! It was a beautiful production. I will never forget it and I only appreciate it that much more.

I can't even tell you guys how much lighter my heart feels. God has just pulled me through. I didn't know how I was going to survive these last three weeks. Surely, something would go awry. It just shows that you have to trust and you have to know that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. I've thought about that lately...the statement that God doesn't give you more than you can handle is kind of an oxymoron to the theme of my blog. My theme is the poem "Footprints in the Sand". Isn't that when God carries you because you can't handle things anymore? When you see one set of footprints in the sand, that is where God carried you? Well, you would never see only one set of footprints if you could handle everything God gave you, right? Wrong. I think we don't know how much we can handle. I think we give up. We are presented with a situation and we just crumble and don't know how to go on. We immediately lose our trust in God's timing and God's plan. We say we can't handle it. We say how could God ever give us something like this in our lives? We give up. That's what happens. That's when God picks us up and says, "Ok, I will help you get started again. I am always here." I think God puts us in those situations as well to remind us that we can't do anything without Him. He is there supporting us through thick and thin with things that we can handle, but believe we can't. It's good, it gives us an opportunity to lean into God and realize how vulnerable we are. But as humans, our spirits can be so weak, I know mine can, and we find it easier to just give up. That's when that one set of footprints shows up. I know my journey for the past three weeks has been one set of footprints. And here I am, in one piece, because God pulled me through. I hope you guys have an awesome weekend. Thanks for reading.
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
-Psalm 73:26

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