May 28, 2013

Guiltless Joy

Hello everybody! I hope your summer has been going well so far!
So, I do apologize for the delay in writing another post. The fact is, I've been experiencing a bit of writer's block lately. I just haven't heard anything or thought of anything lately it seems worth blogging about, until this morning in the shower!

Have you ever felt guilty for getting your way? For example, when Madison and I were younger, we got in fights, like most siblings do. It was usually because we disagreed on something or wanted something our way. Well, I would argue and argue until Madison saw the light. Then, once she caved in, I would suddenly feel guilty. I would try and appeal to her and say, "Oh, no, it's okay, we can do it your way." I always felt like I coerced her into agreeing. And it was the same way the other way around. It's the same way with some things this summer. I am going to Disney World this June with my mom and Madison. I am so excited and I know that I've wanted to go for awhile now. But, once my mom got the reservations and spent the money, I felt guilty. I know she isn't made of money and we don't have a tree that grows money in the backyard. I'm over that now, but it's that first moment when you realize things are going your way that you feel guilty. I wonder if I'm unique in feeling that way.

Sometimes, it's the same way with my faith. At times I feel guilty when I'm happy. Not in the sense that I want to be miserable, but when everything seems to be going my way, I stop for a minute and ask myself if I took a wrong turn or if I missed something God was trying to teach me. For some reason it's worse during times like summer. During school, when I'm busy with my nursing stuff or when I fall into bed exhausted at night, I feel happy and I don't feel guilty about it because I see everything God is blessing me with. But, during times like summer when I have much more free time on my hands and I don't have school to worry about, it's easy for me to fall into the guilt trap. This is coming from the fact that my summers feel a whole lot different than my summers in Colorado. My friends don't live 15 minutes away from me. I have to apply for a new job. My living conditions have changed drastically. It's easier to rely on God when I'm struggling with something. But, I am happy. I can use all of these excuses to make something wrong with my life when there really is nothing wrong. I enjoy the time to myself, and it's nice having a break from school, but I miss that never-ending busy feeling. When I have time on my hands, my brain wanders. I start wondering where there is strife in my life and what God may be trying to teach me. Is this making any sense? I start wondering about things that are going well like relationships with friends or being able to fully relax, and I wonder if I'm just making myself happy on a human level. Am I being selfish? Am I disregarding God? Am I missing something He is trying to teach me?

It's a weird feeling, I know. I get frustrated with myself sometimes about it. I'm like, "Why can't you just be happy, Morgan?! What's wrong with being happy? What's the harm in giving yourself a break?" I feel guilty that I'm happy with worldly things, when I'm not giving back. I don't know if you guys struggle with this at all, but I wanted to look up some scripture because I struggle with this during the summer most of all.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one ccan fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil - this is the gift of God"
-Ecclesiastes 3:11-13
"A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit."
-Proverbs 15:13
"When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Threrfore, no one can discover anything about their future."
-Ecclesiastes 7:14
"You who are young, be happy while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment."
-Ecclesiastes 11:9
Well, gosh, this is interesting. Here I am trying to look up a variety of verses, and the ones that stuck, out to me were mostly in Ecclesiastes. I need to work on being happy in the right things. From these verses, there is nothing wrong with being happy on this earth. God has given good and bad times and they are all meant for my and your greater good. No evil comes from God. He wants us to be happy in the right things. I need to work on this just as much as some of you. If you feel that God brought a blessing into your life, enjoy it as that blessing. If I feel that God brought something into my life as a blessing, I need to accept it as such.

May 3, 2013

Meet Michelle + Finals Encouragement

Hey guys,
So, there is someone I'd like you to meet. This is Michelle. This is my birth mom! And below is obviously Madison and me. If you don't know this already, Madison and I were adopted at birth.

Wow. Crazy, isn't it? We both look so much like her! I had this revelation this past week and it's been so exciting!This is the only picture I have of Michelle on my computer thanks to my sister, Danielle. I've been thinking about these pictures all week and it's crazy to think that we look so much like our birth mom. I mean, I don't know what else I expected, but we never really knew Michelle, so I guess it just kind of came as a surprise. Madison has her eyes I feel like. I have her hair haha. Anyway, I just got really excited over it and wanted to share with you guys!
**Disclaimer**Of course, my mom now has always been my mom and nothing can change that :). But, sorry mom, you do have blonde hair haha!
Anyway, I know we are all stressed about finals coming up!! I have a little cheat sheet for you guys. I got it a long time ago and I'm not sure from where, but I'm just going to copy it on here and I hope it helps the stress a little bit!

The 5 P's For Handling PANIC

(Worry, Depression, Stress, Fear)
PRAY: Give your problem to God every time it starts to even enter your mind.
PRAISE: Thank Him for all the positive, good things in your life and praise Him for this worry because it is one more opportunity to trust Him and see Him work.
PEACE: Claim His peace for yourself - He already promised it!
POSITIVE THOUGHTS: Fill your mind with thoughts that are good, pure, true, and positive. Focus your mind on GOD, not on the circumstances causing the worry or problem.
PRACTICE: Practice the 4 P's every time worry hits you. God's peace truly comes when you are obedient to do what he says.
I hope this has helped a little bit! Good luck to everyone on finals!! You can do it :)
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent of praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
-Philippians 4:6-9

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