Friday, October 23, 2009

Stepping out into what God has called us to do.

It's been a while, I know. It usually is, isn't it?

I got accepted! And when I had plans to leave next August, it looks like God may want me there sooner. A few weeks ago I got an email from the school telling me that they're opening a new class in January. The more I've thought and prayed about it, the more I think this is an opportunity God has opened up for me to just jump at it.

I'm so excited.

So right now I'm just working out the logistics.

Goodbye Missouri, Hel-lo Massachusetts. ;)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ya Gotta Have Faith

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!
Isaiah 65:24

Tomorrow is a big day. I have my phone interview with the Hallmark Institute of Photography in Turners Falls, MA. I've been praying for this for months. Trying to seek God's provision for my life, where He wants me. So if you think about it, pray for me. ;)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When I Come To Die, Give Me Jesus

Tonight I went to our cheap-o theaters with my adopted family to see "Night At The Museum 2" which was hilarious as the first. I love movies that make good sequels instead of making those "hey, the first one was a hit so let's make a low-budget sequel that people will simply go see because they liked the first one and hope this one will be just as good but won't be" sequels.

When I came out I had missed a phone call from my mom. I already knew why she had called, so I returned the call right away. She told me that Papa John had passed away a little while ago. It was really peaceful and the nurse was already there along with everyone else. I feel horrible that I can't be there right now, but I am glad that I decided to make the trip up there to see him one last time. I wish we had more time with him to get to know him more. But even when I was up there I got to visit with him and learn more about him. He told me about his life growing up and his siblings. I'm really glad I was there.

But like I said before, I hate goodbyes. And my hate for goodbyes only reminds me of Christ's promise that we as believers never truly say goodbye.

I'm eternally grateful for everyone's prayers and support. My job's for allowing me to take off time to visit my grandpa. And thank you very little to the coffee shop that I just quit because they couldn't find the decency to treat me like a human being amidst it all and more. That, my friends, is a perfect example of a goodbye that I welcome with open arms.

Congratulations to Papa John for his return home to the Lord!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breaking Free

I just made an unexpected trip home. My grandpa isn't doing too well. Cancer has spread all over his body and I think that's the last time I'll be seeing him until God decides to take me home. I'm glad he got to spend the few years with us that he did (he's my step-grandpa), he's truly a great man, and it just reminds me that time is too precious to waste. But I hate goodbyes. Most of them anyway. I hate witnessing others in pain and not being able to do anything about it. I can't even imagine what they must think or feel. However, without goodbyes God would be limited from doing a lot of things that change allows Him to do.

Speaking of change, nothing is the same back home anymore. My sister's married. My brother and sister in law have a new house. My cousin has moved. My mom is now remarried and lives out in the country. I love the place, it was so nice to be out in the middle of nowhere with an open field and trees and space to breathe away from the city. I love small towns. Or really, I love country when it's near a city. I get so stressed out in Springfield with there being over 160,000 people and hardly any space that hasn't been industrialized.

I went through the rest of my boxes while I was there. I'm going to attempt to sell the majority of it on eBay. It was strange going through my boxes. I can hardly believe that girl was me. And it's only been 3 years but so many things can change in a short amount of time. Like my habit of blogging. I used to do it at least 3-5 times a week and now it's hardly ever. Granted, I started writing on paper (which is kind of backwards, but I've always been a little old-school) and so much has changed I feel too vulnerable just putting everything out here. My thoughts have been such a mess since my dad died it's been taking me a very long time to get them back in order. But hey, I'm getting there.

For example: I realized going into college I didn't really have a goal. I just went into music because it was all I really knew. Why? Okay, this is going to sound incredibly ridiculous, but up until I graduated my only goal in life, honestly, was to succeed in our high school Show Choir. No joke. I was hoping I could do it forever, but I knew it had to end sometime. I mean really, who does Show Choir as a career? That's right, no one. And I love music, but I don't want to teach it, I don't want to be famous...so where does that leave me? Being in choir for the rest of my life? That won't get me anywhere either.

So I've been searching for that niche. That thing that I feel is what God is calling me to do, that I won't be doing for the wrong reasons and just..fits. Yeah, it's taken me time to decide and test the waters. But while I was home and talking to my grandma (my dad's mom) she said something that soothed every bit of my worries about me not deciding while all my friends just jumped into their careers: A lot of people get stuck in the idea that you need to get started early and stay in the same place in order to be successful. But how are you going to reach your full potential if you don't test the waters to figure out what exactly it is you're meant to do? And think of all the experience you get with so many different things along the way, how could that possibly NOT help you? There's a reason God puts you through it, and it's okay to be different from the mold.

Thanks Grandma, I'm glad I have your support.

So here is my hope: I have an interview next month. A very important interview that can determine my entire destiny. That will cause me to relocate (Moving back up North, yay!! But no, not back up to Michigan), focus, and go in a completely new direction. Thus my getting rid of the majority of my things because I'm trying this new thing where I embrace the fact that part of my calling is to be a drifter. (haha..that's a joke. Or...is it?)

In other news, school starts back up in a few weeks and I'm moving out of my apartment into a cutesy little town home with this lovely widow that I'll be helping to take care of. I'm pretty sure she's very close to what I'll be like when I'm elderly. Love company, and spend my free time shopping and going to the Opera. Oh, and I'll have a cute little hypoallergenic dog, too.

That's about it. This is longer than normal but hey, that's why I should update more often.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You're here, In my heart
You're the light, that guides me through the dark
You walk beside me, when night seems cold
Each time I fall, your arms are there to hold

You walk beside me
Giving strength I've never known

And I am not alone
You walk beside me
I am not alone

You're here, in my mind
I talk to you, and all my fears unwind
I know I'm loved, for who I am
You make me want to be
the best that I can

You walk beside me
Giving strength I've never known

And I am not alone
You walk beside me
I am not alone
Wherever the road leads

And I rely on your patience
When I face the unknown
And because of you

I am not alone
You're always right beside me
I am not alone

In the sun, in the rain
Through the good times
And in all of the pain
You are always right beside me

I reach out for your hand
I know that you understand

I am not alone
I know, You're right here.

('I Am Not Alone' - Natalie Grant)


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Isaiah 26:3

Yesterday I was skimming over my old handwritten journals. It's kind of embarrassing how dramatic I get sometimes, geeze. But wow. I've gone through about three journals with shaky faith. I look back and wonder, how could I? I'm so self-absorbed and whiny. I actually annoy myself sometimes. What happened to the faith I had when I first started writing on paper? Minus all the ridiculous theatrics. I was just trying to be like Anne of Green Gables and Audrey Hepburn.

But for about 3 years I've been soul searching in all the places in the world, but not in the one place I know I will truly discover my purpose; In Christ. I've been so stupid. So selfish, so stubborn, so ridiculous, so blind, and again...so stupid.

But something's changed. I surrendered. Completely again. Forget myself, forget people, forget this world. I want my God and only my God. My life has been so empty and aimless for far too long.

It's different now. God is opening doors for me, I almost hear His voice again. He's loved me so much more than I could ever deserve. I deserve for Him to turn away from me forever, but He's here. He's been here. He's the friend, the parent, the lover, the confidant I've been searching for to trust with my joys and sorrows. He knows my heart. He knows me, even when I don't know myself.

And I'm sorry. I'm so desperately sorry for all my mistakes, for failing Him so miserably. It's not His fault. He hasn't moved. It's all my doing. All my self-infliction.

But change is finally here.

Friday, May 29, 2009

You don't alter Vera Wang to fit you, you alter yourself to fit Vera Wang!

Hahaha, so I love taking those online qiuzzes to fill time and procrastinate. Vera Wang has this fragrance line called "Princess" and there was this quiz to "Find Out What Kind of Princess you Are!" How could I pass something like this up?? Check out the results I got:

You're a...BOHEMIAN PRINCESS. After the party, Bohemian Princess stopped by the coffee house where she worked to perform a spoken word reading. She read a couple of her poems and unbeknownst to her a publisher was there listening. He was so impressed he gave her a book deal on the spot and sent her off to Paris to write poems and be inspired. While there she met and fell instantly in love with a famous French poet. She continued to write, donating much of her money to charity. Because of her talent and philanthropy Hollywood did a movie version of her life and she lived happily ever after in Paris on the left bank, knowing how to live right.

I, Bohemian Princess, promise to always express myself in an original way, to remember to eat organic, be sure to go to graduate school and/or live abroad, never forget to support my friends in their jewelry, pottery and/or writing endeavors, and to always wear Vera Wang Princess.

I especially like the parts about the coffee shop where I work and always eating organic. I found that hilariously ironic!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

There Is Freedom

Then the time came when the risk it took
To remain tight in a bud was more painful
Than the risk it took to blossom.
-
Anais Nin

This was perfectly timed. Imagine that, God knows what He's doing. As much as I wish to be completely invisible most days, I sense God slowly nudging me in another direction.

Be strong and courageous.

But God, I just want to live my life without people acknowledging my existence so much. If I'm invisible, my self-esteem doesn't get knocked down a couple notches every time I leave my home. You see what I'm saying?

But I have something more.

But I'm not capable. I'm a magnet for disaster. I never do things right or say the right things..I can't even come into contact with a single flight of stairs without falling down them or have a coherent conversation with a stranger without babbling or embarrassing myself in some way.

I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.

...Okay you have a point. Sigh. Alright. Jesus, take the wheel.

---------------------

And that is the gist of my convos with God as of late. Finally, I'm letting Him win. Not that I was winning before. I was just trying to win and failing miserably, causing this game to last longer than necessary.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ladies Choice

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
Psalm 139:14

I've never been very confident in myself. Granted, some of that comes naturally by simply being a woman. Feeling inadequate in so many different ways. And no matter how many times people try to tell you how they see you and how God sees you, it won't really sink in until you make a choice. Until God shows you Himself. It isn't anyone else's job to make you discover a clear view of yourself. At least for me, I've completely closed the door and bolted it shut. You know, that door that allows you to base your feelings and self image off the way other people see you. I want God to show me Himself. I want to believe it whole heartedly, to see the reasons why He would choose me. And because I need to choose Him. No one else can do that for me.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

...Okay...

  • Last weekend had my sister's wedding back in Michigan. Caught the bouquet..okay, well...slid into it, and received $500 for my wedding that does not exist! I can let it sit in my savings account and build interest for a while :)
  • This week is the last week of classes. This weekend I'm throwing Tristen's Bachelorette/Lingerie Party, it'll be great fun.
  • Next week is finals. I'm also moving into my apartment next weekend!
  • I start Summer Classes May 5th. I'm so excited to have an excuse to go out and shoot photos! I want to begin working on a portfolio this summer. Yep, we'll be opening for business in no time.
  • Tristen and Brandon's wedding is in 2 weeks!!
  • Relay For Life is in 3 weeks!
  • I have carpal tunnel and some other issue. :(
  • Here's the kicker, my mom's getting married. In June. She just informed us today. Hmm...
Hence my lack of keeping up with anything these days.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Season

Sometimes we must be crumbled so that wildflowers may come up where we are.

Friday, March 13, 2009

There's Dissonance in the Universe

Concert Choir tour was AMAZING. I already miss everyone. I can't even begin to name off all the barriers God has broken through this tour. I've been hiding away for way too long. I've forgotten how precious and important my friendships and relationships with other people are. That's what's been missing this whole time. It was refreshing and I'm so glad of it.

I think it's pointless to have a middle name and never use it. So, everyone needs to call me Lis Ann from now until forever. Tell me your middle name and I'll use yours, too. ;)

I'm thinking of starting a team for the Relay For Life this year. I've been inspired to be a Team Captain after witnessing so many wonderful people I love and admire be affected by cancer this year (or even just in the past couple months!). I know I'm donating a luminaria in memory of my dad. I really want to do this. I want to get over myself and start using the tools God has equipped me with to make change, and God knows that cancer has had a huge impact on my life, so I want to "celebrate, remember, and fight back" with others who have also been impacted by cancer. In the morning there will be a 5k, so I FINALLY get to do my run for a cause! I suppose that'll suffice for having to miss the 10k last summer. :)

I don't really know what to say. I'm moving on Sunday, so tomorrow is all packing. I'm happy. Very happy. This will be good. It'll be temporary but that's okay, there's change, and I need change.

Anyway, I have a paper to write for Jane Austen!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Alchemy

My new Western Digital Harddrive is scheduled to arrive today. I'm pretty excited..it'll be nice to free up a LOT of space on my laptop so I can actually get some work done! It's always telling me it's running out of space and I'm fully aware of it. I just have so much to save!

I've been fighting a cold for the past couple days. I've been at the point during the beginning of it where I can sing really high and it makes me sound really good in choir. I love those days, I feel so cool. Then it takes a complete turn around and I end up sounding more like...a bass. When you're a first Soprano, this permits a bit of difficulty.

The other night Tristen, Nicole, and I went out for some wedding-planning fun (for those of you who are not familiar, it isn't MY wedding. Tristen, my best friend, is getting married May 8 ;) ). It was such a good time (regardless of my embarassing moments that they found hilarious enough to tell the whole world), I really need to do that more often. Sometimes I get so caught up in all the seemingly serious things in life, when I finally let myself do something like this, I realize how incredibly uptight I can be. I just don't want to forget to enjoy life amidst all the seriousness of growing up on your own.

God is good. Have I mentioned that lately? I look at the course of events over the past few years and where it seems my future is headed and I can't help but thank Him for this journey. I feel like things are finally taking a turn-around, and I'm so glad. I know that as time passes I'll see more reasons why God put me through the things He has at such a young age. I have some incredible people in my life. I never would have made it through any of this without them. I'm really grateful.

Class time.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Albert

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

Albert Einstein echoing my thoughts.

Although I love learning, knowledge is such a vast subject, but imagination is universal in the sense that it is universally expected to be different from person to person. Knowledge is knowledge, and people may be expected to act upon another person's knowledge, but when you're acting upon your imagination you're limitless. Yet, knowledge itself can be different from person to person in the sense that each person has knowledge about different things. So I suppose it would be safe to say that knowledge itself can not be expected, although it very often is, to be universally the same.

My fate is being decided and I'm excited and terrified and giddy and amused and curious and a million other things I can't identify. This is one of those moments where ignorance is bliss and all I have is the knowledge that God has my best interest in mind.

It's positively glorious. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Slksadjalkdjaodi

So basically, I don't know what I want in life. But yet, at the same time I do, but I'm afraid to pursue it for God knows why. I think a lot of things have served their purposes in my life and now it's just kind of time to move on. You know what I mean? Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to get out of being this confused little girl and actually be sure of something for once. I just become so timid and scared because I want to be cautious, and I am to the point where I'm too cautious and end up going nowhere. But it's partially that God has transformed me so much in the past couple years I'm still trying to discover who this person is that He's had me become. I can honestly say that the person I was in high school and even my first year and a half of college is a completely different person. I feel no connection with her. It's like some distant memories that happened to another person and I just so happened to be there. But there are some mornings I wake up and ask myself, "Who am I?" It's been this struggle I've had for so long, because deep down I know the answer but I forget. Partially as a result of attempting to keep the peace. I have some amazing friends who, regardless of how exhausting it must get when I can't answer the question myself, repeat the answer back to me over and over again. I honestly do appreciate them. They always see my self-worth when I can't because I'm swept away by a whirlwind of confusion for one reason or a trillion.

So my destiny. Photography. I want to get serious about it. It's the first career path I have been able to look at and say, I could totally do that and be successful. There are so many things I've done my entire life that I can actually apply to a business such as this. Does this mean I leave Evangel (again)? I don't know yet. I just discovered they added a photography minor this year and sent them a message asking for more info. Basically right now it's taking a lot of prayer.

One thing I've realized like...yesterday: I originally came to Evangel because I wanted to ground my faith. I was originally looking at attending NYU for Arts but felt God calling me to Evangel in little Springfield, MO. I was afraid that if I went to a secular school at that time, I would not have survived spiritually. But I've just realized that I've come an extremely long way. Getting this job downtown has helped me realize that I am ready to work as a Christian in the secular world, and perhaps that's why I've been so stir-crazy in this little bubble I've been trapped in. I'm ready to expand my resources outside of traditional ministry. And this is something I never thought I would be able to do, but honestly it doesn't taint me in the slightest. I feel completely confident when I'm not around other Christians that they won't affect my way if thinking, and if they do, it's only so that I can better understand them. But I have a strong enough foundation that I can take something such as photography and apply it to both worlds. It's awesome.

Ahhhhhh

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I'd most certainly recommend them to a friend, however, I do not pride them in being suitable for myself.

God has a plan. If God had not foreordained the course of events but waited until some undetermined condition was or was not fulfilled, His decrees could be neither eternal nor immutable. We know, however, that He is incapable of mistake, and that He cannot be surprised by any unforeseen inconveniences. His kingdom is in the heavens and He rules over all. His plan must, therefore, include every event in the entire sweep of history.
Loraine Boettner, “The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination”

I honestly don't think I could be studying a novel such as "Sense & Sensibility" at a more prominent time. My struggles as of late are such that have left me completely torn between two worlds. I am praised by one side for being so creative, while at the same time being scolded by the other for not fitting into the cookie cutter processes this world supposedly calls for. Why can't you observe both? I think it's perfectly possible. And as long as my motivation is to please God, where can I go wrong? It's just difficult for me to accept that God would create us as emotional beings with hopes, dreams, desires, and feelings so that we can suppress them to be successful in this world.

This world is not my home.

So why strive so hard to be a part of it? I'm book-smart and I have common sense, but even my common sense will tell me that God designed me as a relational-oriented person as oppose to a task-oriented person (although there is a hint of that within myself...or that could just be OCD) with full intent. And who am I to put a price-tag on His blessings?

I understand there is a goal that is to be reached and I will not always be completely satisfied with the necessary means of reaching that goal. That's fine. That's acceptable. That's reality. But to be chided for [finally] finding the courage to pursue one's interests specifically so that they may actually put their gifts and talents to use instead of frantically seeking things in places they'll never find them seems unreasonable.

I let go of it, told God where my heart was and that I couldn't decide if I was right or wrong or both. And this time I really gave it to Him. I fasted for it. I prayed about it constantly. I had to force myself to stop worrying. And what happened? Even though I was willing and opened doors to do the "sensible" thing against all that I felt and desired to do, God gave me what I wished for.

I'm still unsure of several things, but at least I can say that God hears me. And He does indeed care about the things I care about. As long as my ultimate goal and motivation is geared toward Heaven, I have nothing to lose. Because apart from God, I am nothing, regardless of what this world claims priorities should be. I'm very glad that God does not look at us as statistics.

We want to taste and see the plans you have for our little lives. Plans for us to prosper, far away from harm. You will come and answer, when we pray to you, our God. Plans to give us hope.

You'll be found by us when we seek you with all our hearts.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Who is to mark time? And how are we to outrun it?

"Why didn't you go to art school?"

...Why DIDN'T I go to art school?!

I guess the more obvious answer to this would be that God called me to work in women's ministry. And I learn better on my own. I also suppose that you don't necessarily need a degree in art in order to be considered good. Where as a woman in ministry (especially a single woman at that), it helps to have a degree (and a pastor for a husband).

Speaking of which, I was looking at the job offers outside of the Theology Department this morning and most of them required the individual to be married. What if you're called to singleness?? What if you're single for the mere fact that you're actually setting yourself apart and trusting that God is going to bring the man of your dreams into your life and lead you into a pure, God-glorifying relationship? I would think if that were to happen during the course of a single person's time as, say, a Youth Pastor, it would be a GREAT example to young people about God's original intent for relationships and marriage.

But I'm just a single girl trying to go into ministry.

Thank God for Etsy. ;)

Friday, January 2, 2009

See ya in April.

I got a camera. I can hardley express my total excitement to finally pursue something I've been interested in for so long.

I now have the power to capture memories. Feelings. Beauty.
Time.

I'm heading back to Missouri tonight! I'm eager to start school again!

Happy New Year!