Friday, August 10, 2012

Don't fret about the future

Well. Here I am again! So sorry for the long, long absence. I've had a very busy spring and summer, and I didn't make blogging a priority, so it didn't happen.

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my future. What am I going to do? Should I keep doing what I've been doing? Should I pursue something else?
If I ask myself too many questions, I often find myself worrying about it all. Stressing out about the unknown. I like spontaneity in life, but I also like to have some idea of what's going on, and what I'm supposed to do.

When I was younger, I would fantasize about graduating from high school, meeting the man of my dreams, marrying, and then having children. I imagined(and hoped) that I'd be married and have a few children by the age of 23. But that's not what happened. I'm still single, and taking care of other people's children, instead of ones of my own.
So what happened? If marriage and raising children is such a wonderful and important part of life, why hasn't it happened to me? I've asked myself this many times over the last few years.
And then I remember a very critical thing:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." -Isaiah 55:8, 9 ESV.

Even though my hopes and dreams may be nice, God's are so much better. Mine are about what I want,  and what I think is right, but God's plans are about what's best for me and those around me, and what will bring glory and honor to Him. The funny thing though is, God may fulfill my hopes someday, but I can already guarantee that it won't be in my timing. It'll all work out the way He planned from the beginning. 
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." -Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

So where am I going with all this rambling? Am I saying I should just sit around and wait until God audibly tells me what I should do? No. Am I trying to advertise that I'm single and available. Absolutely not. =P Am I saying that my life thus far has been wasted because my dreams haven't come true? Not at all.

I know that my life hasn't been wasted. I've been able to do many things that, had I gotten hitched straight out of school, never would have happened. I've learned and experienced so much through those things.
Although God doesn't speak to me in a voice, I know that He will guide me, either through His Word, my parents, or other godly adults, or He'll bring the right thing to my doorstep. ;) Or by all of those.

My hope is that through reading this, you will be encouraged. And if you've been struggling with shattered dreams, that you'll realize that sometimes those dreams aren't God's plan. That He will give you new, better dreams; ones that He will fulfill. 

"Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."  -Psalm 37:4 ESV

So to answer my original questions, I have no idea. But that's okay. God has it all figured out, and He's in control. =)

One of my little sisters and me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just One

As I was eating a few conversation heart candies this evening, a phrase written upon one of them struck me unpredictably hard. It simply said, "just one". Knowing that it was most likely referring to a boyfriend/girlfriend, or a husband/wife, I commented on the fact that it would be hard to eat only one piece of candy. Haha. So funny. :-P
But then I thought further about those words, and the item upon which they were written.

Just one. Written on a piece of candy. Often times, handsome guys, or gorgeous girls are called "eye candy". And sadly, quite frequently many people who acquire that term don't have "just one" girlfriend, or boyfriend. Or even when they are married, their spouse isn't always the only one for them. They welcome, or even encourage attention from others of the opposite sex, instead of seeking it from their spouse. (I'm not saying that this only happens to the amazing-looking people, sadly it is common with all sorts.)

But how does this happen? How do people get to the point where their spouse(or the one whom they hope to be their spouse in the future), suddenly isn't quite enough anymore? I have a theory that this is similar to eating candy.

When you eat a piece of candy, it usually tastes good, and makes you happy. Then you want more, because you remember that taste and pleasure you received from it. If you're not careful, you'll end up eating far more candy than you should have.

The same goes with people. If we are attracted to someone, and if spending time with that person makes us happy, then we want it to continue. We want more. The problem comes when we seek those attentions over those of our own spouse. We should never rely on people to whom we are not married to bring us happiness and companionship.
And if your spouse just isn't making the grade, then work on it yourself! Find out what makes them happy, and in so doing you should be able to find joy and happiness for yourself, too. And the companionship you desire.

"Oh, yes. You are one to talk," you might be saying to me right now. Yes, yes I know that I am single. So I've never experienced being married. But I do know that your closest friend of the opposite sex, should be your spouse.

And getting back to the "eye candy" stuff, I know that as a single person, if you allow yourself to be enticed by just any(or every) fabulous person, you are in for trouble. Before marriage, you should get used to the idea of only having one person from whom you seek your happiness and companionship.

I do have to admit that I don't have this all learned yet. And I need to be satisfied in "just One" right now. He is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Maybe someday He will bring a guy along that will put these thoughts to the test.

[Sorry that this was so long winded. I just had to get it out. And please excuse any false ideas that I may have voiced. If you noticed any, or have any insight or input into this, please leave a comment on the blog. Although I moderate comments, I readily welcome them.] =)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It is not all about me.

I've been realizing this more and more lately. It is not all about me. It never has been. And never will be. Even on special days like, when I was born, my birthday parties, and my graduation party, it never was all about me.

This entire life, from beginning to end, is about God. God chose to create this world. Even though He knew all the sin and sorrow with which it would be filled. He chose to create me. Even though He knew I would be born in sin, and that I'd live a far-from-perfect life.

And that's where the story becomes amazing. God chose to create me-not for myself-but for His glory. To call me His own. I am His daughter. Not because of anything that I could ever do, but because of His grace and mercy, through the work on the cross.

So all this life, everything I do, it's not about me. No, instead, it is about God. He's the One who chose to give me life, and to redeem me from destruction, by giving me eternal life. May the way I live, be a reflection of the joy that is mine through that redemption. =)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sleepy Thoughts and Kids

Since I didn't write last week, and I'm not quite asleep yet, I thought I'd write a quick post.

Life is so precious. I have a sweet reminder of that fact, sleeping next to me. She's my cousin's daughter, who is also like a little sister to me. And although it can be hard to share a small, twin size bed with a two year old, I really don't mind it so much.

I love watching kids sleep. Especially after they've been naughty, or wild, or just plain acting too much like a kid. ;) Seeing them so peaceful and quiet, is soothing, and helps me to remember that kids aren't always such a handful.

But at the same time, I'm pretty sure that if kids didn't act the way they do(running all around like crazy, singing the same song a hundred times a day, changing outfits every couple hours, etc.), we would miss it. Wouldn't life be boring if all little kids acted like adults?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fortune cookies and Life

Hmm. It's Friday. The day I try to get out a blog post. And I didn't have anything specific in my mind about which I should write. So I looked through recent pictures in iPhoto. And this picture popped out at me.

Really?!? It will?

I know that fortune cookies don't influence our lives at all. But what if this was true? What is my wish? And even if I have one, am I ready to be content and happy, even if it never comes true? Maybe God has something entirely different from what I want. Am I so stuck on my wishes and hopes that I blind myself to God's direction in my life, and instead try to achieve the things that I think should happen? Do I just somewhat loaf around since nothing seems to be happening? Surely whatever I'm doing right now couldn't be exactly where God wants me to be. Or could it?

Is it really so hard to grasp that no matter what happens in my future, today is my life. What I do today, is what makes up my lifetime. Tomorrow never really comes, because we were created to live in the present-not living multiple days at a time. Instead of worrying about what I will do on tomorrow's today, I should enjoy living each moment. And whether or not my wishes ever come true is not the important thing. Doing everything(even mundane tasks) in a God-honoring way, and treasuring each day and minute, is of far greater value.

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Ball Gown: From a Childish dream to a Reality

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved fancy ball gown dresses. The ones that are like real princess dresses. Or the kind the women wore in the era of Gone with the Wind. I dreamed of wearing such a dress, or better yet, to have one of my own! I thought that it would be quite grand to go dressed in such a regal gown to a party, or a dance.

However, as I grew into my teens, and then early twenties, I rarely thought about such elaborate dresses. The desire was pushed to the far corners of my mind, and quickly collected dust. Occasionally, the thought started to spring forth again, but I deemed it as silly, and squelched it once more.

Then an opportunity came forth which rushed my once beloved dream to the surface yet again: a Ball! Not just any old dance, but one in which the girls were expected to come dressed in the very type of gown that I had once longed to have. There was a problem though, for I signed up about a week prior to the occasion, leaving me no time to find a pattern for, much less sew, a dress. So I went with the simpler option, and rented a dress. Amazingly, the first one that I took off the rack, fit well and I really liked it. So clad in the rental dress, I attended the Civil War Ball, and had a marvelous evening. However, I was a little sad, when I had to give the dress back.

Last year's dress that I rented.

That was last January. This past fall, I schemed with a friend about each making our own dress for the Ball this year. We planned early, bought the fabric in October, and I even started sewing mine in late November/early December. However, we were both quite disappointed, when my friend found out that she would not be able to go to the dance, due to another event that she had to attend the same day. I was disheartened by the knowledge, and even considered not attending myself. But when I looked at the dress that I had already started, and remembered the fabulous time I had last year, my decision was quickly made.

So I continued with the sewing. It was somewhat difficult, since I mostly made up the design for my dress. There were times when I just wanted to forget the whole thing, because it wasn't turning out how I wanted. But my cousin's wife graciously helped me with the fitting, and with remaking the crinoline so that it would work just right, and it was all finished before I had to leave for the Ball.

My ball gown. A wish come true!

Adorned in my gown(yes, the very sort of dress that I had longed for as a child!), I attended the Civil War Ball with some friends. Once again, I had a grand time. However, this time the dress I wore was mine. It wasn't one that I would have to return as soon as the dancing was finished. It wasn't like Cinderella's, where as soon as the clock struck midnight, the magic disappeared. Yes, I know that I made the dress, so of course it's mine. But I felt honored that God allowed my childish wish from so many years ago to be fulfilled.

God doesn't grant us all our wishes, like a fairy,
 but periodically He choses to fulfill some.

I think that if I'm ever having a super rough day, I'll put on that yellow "Princess dress", and ponder the love of a God who chose to give me one of the desires of my heart. Quite sure that it will easily brighten any dark day. =)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Zippers, Beauty, and Kindness

There I was, quietly sitting at my desk, taking half of the zipper out of my yellow ball gown, when I realized something. And that thought made me want to write a blog post. However, since I didn't previously have a blog, I put down my sewing project, and created one(something that I had once said I'd NEVER do. Ha.).

1 Peter 3:3-4
"Do not let your adornment be merely outwardarranging the hair, wearing goldor putting on fine apparel— 4rather let it be the hidden person of the heartwith the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God."

This verse was what popped into my head as I worked on my dress. There I was, steadily working away at something to make me look pretty on the outside, but it wasn't exactly making me beautiful on the inside. I can recall a few times that I got upset with the kids, because one or more of them stepped on my dress, or touched it with dirty hands. Also since I have a deadline of when I need to get this done(so why am I sitting here, writing a BLOG post?!?), I haven't quite been the picture of helpfulness, or kindness lately.

Is it possible to dress beautifully, and yet still have a beautiful, loving, gentle heart? Yes, it is. However, it's not something that just happens. I need to work on it. Kindness, gentleness, and all that, don't always come naturally. Even to someone who adores children. So I will be thinking about how I can work on it in the future, as I put this zipper back in, and finish this gown. =)

Oh, I'm sure some of you(if anyone actually reads this!) are curious about this dress now. Well, that's a post for another day....