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Monday, February 25, 2013

Old Life

Do you ever look through old journals, emails, letters or other personal things that you had written two, four, five or even ten years ago?  I do.  Not often, but every once in a while I'll come across an old diary or notebook and flip through it.  It's interesting to do that.  To read something that I wrote years ago; to get a glimpse of who I was then - a glimpse that is more and more enlightening as I grow older and have the perspective that age and time brings.  As each year passes and I grow closer to the Lord and He opens my eyes more to the sinful nature of my own heart, it becomes more and more humbling to read personal things that I wrote in high school.

I recently

Monday, February 18, 2013

Valentine's Day and Contentment

This last week was Valentine's Day.  Or, as many of my Facebook friends like to call it, Single's Awareness Day.  Honestly, hearing people call it that has always kind of cracked me up.  Every time I hear someone call it that my first response is: wow, bitter much?  Seriously.  What is so wrong with being single?  Don't get me wrong, I want a relationship just as bad as the next girl, but when that relationship comes, I know I am going to have to give up some of the freedoms that I enjoy now if I want it to work.  And that's the way it is supposed to be.  In order to say "yes" to one thing, you have to say "no" to another.  And people, do you honestly think that once you are in a relationship all your problems will go away?  If you do, you might want to re-assess what you expect because I can guarantee you that they won't.  

I am only 20, and I don't pretend to know a whole lot or have a bunch of wisdom or experience to offer the world.  However, the longer I live and the more people I meet the more convinced I become that one of the keys to living a happy and fulfilled life is contentment.  Choosing to be content wherever it is God has placed you will give you far more peace and happiness than wishing for your life to be different.  One of the biggest lies we tell ourselves is the "if only" lie.  As singles we tell ourselves "if only I could find the right person, then I would be happy and content".  Then we find that person and get married and then we want kids.  Then we want the kids to grow up.  Then we want grandkids.  It never ends.  There is always going to be a season of life that looks more appealing than the one we are in right now.  If we are constantly looking ahead to that time, we will lose the joy that is offered in our lives right now.  That is why contentment is so important.  
I am not saying that it is wrong to want and even look forward to a time when you have that special person in your life.  If I said that, I would be a hypocrite, for if I were to be completely honest, I would have to confess that I desperately want to get married and raise a family.  If that is all I ended up doing with my life, I would be thrilled.  The fact of the matter is however, that this is not going to happen for quite some time as I am quite single.  What I, and everyone else who is in this season of life, need to remember is, this season is not going to last forever and it offers us the opportunity to do things that we won't be able to do when we am no longer single.  
Singleness offers the freedom of only having to balance the schedule of one person - me - which allows me to be flexible and available to serve in my church, in my school and in my workplace.  Once I have a significant other, I am not going to be as flexible because he will need to take a place of priority in my schedule. 

As I walk through the seasons of life that God leads me in, I want to be flexible and open so that He can use me.  If I spend my time wishing that my life were different, daydreaming my time away, He can't use me, for I have made myself unavailable to Him.  It makes me sad to see so many people who are discontent with where God has them, for they are robbing themselves of the joy that could be theirs if they only chose to satisfy themselves in Him and what He has given them.  I pray that He will keep  me convicted and content so that He can use me, and I hope that is the prayer of my friends as well.  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thankfulness and Stress

I've been really convicted lately about thankfulness.
 I think it started when I heard this quote: "What if you woke up today with only the things you thanked God for yesterday?"

 It is so easy to go just through life, go through the motions every day things, so stuck in the routine that if someone asked you why you were doing something the only answer you would be able to give is "cause that's just what I do."  That happens to me sometimes.  Particularly when I have a lot on my plate.  I do the opposite of what I should do.  What I should do, on those days when I have so many things on my mind that I cannot possibly function, is

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Place of True Freedom

This is a piece I wrote for an English class my second year at junior college.  After we had read Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels", we were assigned to write a satirical essay.  This is the product of that assignment.

The Place of True Freedom

Walking home from work one night, feeling depressed at the state of the world, I saw a sign saying that a man who knew the secret to fixing the world’s problems was here tonight to share his knowledge with us.  Curious, I ducked into the theater where he would be speaking and took a seat.  The man came out to the podium set up on the stage and began to speak.  I leaned back in my chair, eager to listen to this marvelous man who held the secret to a peaceful and contented world.  This is his speech.
On Politics and Policies 
A Treatise on How to Make Our Country and World Safer and More Fair.
Our world today is filled with injustices and hatred.  People are fighting in the streets; children are going hungry while the big-shot CEOs are buying new cars and bigger houses; businessmen and policymakers are showing favoritism when they make decisions.  This is absolutely not right.  All humans are created equal.  We are all brothers and sisters in this world and as such we must join together and help each other, refusing to show favor or preference to one group or another.  If we want to make our world a better place, we must embrace unity, tolerance, justice and freedom.  Everyone must be free to express themselves without fear of censor or ridicule.  All are entitled to have freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom to do and think as one pleases.  We must have freedom from