Sunday, December 19, 2010
I distinctly remember on my way home from work one summer day just crying in my car (like several times before during the summer) and thinking "You know you are on God's plan when you are not on yours anymore." You see, my work was the same place I had been all during college-I went back to graduate school. AND, accepted a graduate assistantship position in the same office I worked during my undergraduate years. It was a great place to work, but this was definitely not the plan for after graduation.
With one semester done in graduate school, I must say being on God's plan is the most difficult, yet rewarding thing I have ever done. Contrary to what people might think, allowing God to lead your life comes with pain-and I've certainly experienced that during this time of my life. However, I live by the words of John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." You see, even through the pain, I believe God still has a plan for my life, and He has allowed for some amazing things to happen throughout this time. Here are some examples:
1) Church Family-I grew up in church so the concept of a church family is not new to me. What is different is how it is approached. They are here to encourage and support you, and to laugh and share memories with too. There is a certain comfort is just having a chat with someone who believes the way you do and you can completely be yourself. Also, I have noticed that we all have different things we have experienced through life. We should be here for each other.
2) Missions- During the past several months, I finally accepted a call to missions. God had been tugging at my heart and telling me to do this for awhile now, but sometimes, quite frankly, it is easier to stray. Thankfully, I obeyed. Although I'm still trying to figure out where God wants me, He keeps showing me everyday of how we must move beyond our church walls. Our local communities and states need to hear the love of Christ too. I'm excited to see where He leads me!
3) Family- Yes, I'm also living at home. At times it is difficult, I'm not going to lie on that one, but it has been such a blessing to be able to do things with my family that I have not done in a long time. It is nice to spend more time with my niece and nephew too. And, just like a couple years ago, we are minus one family member as they are serving overseas. Although I don't wish that on anybody, it does keep things in perspective.
I'm not sure what 2011 is going to bring. However, I'm looking forward to what God brings our way. I'm still trying to follow God's plan, and I truly believe with Him, all things are possible.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
John 19:30 shows us the 3 words Jesus said before He died on the cross more than 2,000 years ago: "It is finished." With this, we have been offered a gift and we must choose either to accept it or not. However, I have to say why not take God up on His offer? This is a gift that keeps giving and giving. Christianity is not a ticket to being perfect because we aren't, and are not capable of perfection, and it isn't going to relieve you of adversity in your life, but it will give you hope. God also offers mercy and grace and like I originally said, eternal life.
I have been thinking about this post for several days in light of a family friend's mother/grandmother. In my head this post runs on and on, but thoughts have seem a little fleeting right now. Sometimes fewer words are better.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Human love fails. Ever since our ancestors ate the forbidden fruit, we have been incapable of being perfect. Yes, that means even you are not perfect. As humans, we do not have the capacity to truly love another, let alone God, like God loves us.
For a little while now, I have been struggling over how or why does God love me so. We can quote the scriptures saying how much He loves us and we can tell others about His love and how much He loves us, but how often do you stop and actually let that resonate within you? I know God loves me, but sometimes I wonder why. I am so unworthy of His love and grace and mercy, and yet he bestows it on me time and time again.
However, tonight maybe something else clicked. What is true love? If God is love then shouldn’t love be a relentless, ever-pursuing relationship? Since God is love, isn’t love forgiving, compassionate, and just? Isn’t love a best friend and isn’t it a love of few words yet a never-ending thirst to hear what you have to say and be a listening ear?
If God calls you to be married, I assume He creates this type of love into your humanly relationship-as much as possible since we are mere humans. Therefore, I should stop trying to satisfy a want for love through human interactions and let the Lover of my Soul just do His work. Allow Him to pursue me and me pursue Him. At the right time, God-willing, He will make known the human love relationship He has intended for me. God is love. His example should be our example in life. We will still fail because we are humans, but the True Love is right there waiting for us and that is where I find my peace and hope.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Well, that is the truth. They are now Americans and American soldiers themselves. Many of those have been serving as interpreters in Iraq and as allies to our armed forces. So obviously what we are doing in Iraq is for the good. And, I think this teaches us an important lesson-sometimes what we are "fighting" against is only an illusion, sometimes the best and most productive way to combat enemies, is to befriend them-maybe they don't necessarily want to be our enemy, we just make them that way.
If you would like to read about an American citizen from Iraq, please go here and look on the current edition of the Ft. Jackson Leader on page 2. It educated me, and I hope it will you too.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Some days when it becomes just a tad too hard for me to take another step without uttering God's praises, I am reminded of this verse. It is all too easy to get wrapped up in the day to day distractions and fast-paced whirlwind, that I fail to stop and thank God for already planning this day and this moment. Over the past couple of years when the only emotion I could think of was to just cry, God reassured me that He made this day. He planned every little detail and He was carrying me through until the end. Although this verse has comforted me many times before, I started really saying it when my brother was in Iraq. Then I said it when my little brother left for Basic, despite the brokenness that had overtaken me. God gently reminded me He was the One in control. He knew what was going to happen and He had already planned that moment. He knows how to restore your brokenness, and I know He is the Ultimate Healer. I only say this because I have experience it. I guess it wasn't a huge surprise when the K-love verse of the day on Thursday, Aug. 12, was Psalm 118:24. This was also the day of Tim's Basic Training Graduation. Even though there was pain to begin with, God also planned the day for celebration.
Lately, I have been praying for God's strength cause I know my strength is not enough to support me. I know that nothing of me will ever be able to compare to what God can do through me. In a time of uncertainties, excitement, and questions, I will stand on the promise that God created this day to be a part of His plan. Remember you always have to go through this day to get to the next. That doesn't seem profound, but it is a forgotten reminder. Though in life we are scared and fear and are broken, God has planned a day of celebration if we just keep on fighting. He wins, therefore we win.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
When my niece, Mia, was born, my grandma changed the words just a tad to say, "Jesus loves Mia this I know..." and well it has always stuck with me. Every time we get the chance we take Mia to church with us and we try to take her to Awana's on Wednesday nights. Awana's is a children's program, for lack of a better word, used to equip children with studying the Bible. The other night Mia was staying the night with us and she ended up sleeping in my room. I think I have figured out why she does this-I let her stay up as late as she wants-but then again I don't mean to digress. We have always read stories to her so it is only natural that she loves reading. But, here lately, she absolutely loves to make up stories-this girl has a great imagination! Sometimes we share "little girl" stories. My dad started this tradition with me and we have used it with her. The thing is she not only likes to hear them, but also tell them herself. However, last night, she had her Bible and wanted to tell me a story. She kept saying it was a pretend story, therefore I absolutely had no idea what I was about to hear.
She started by telling me about Jesus. And, how He is alive. She said He was nailed to a cross in both of His hands and feet and thorns were placed on His head. He was put in a tomb, but the guards were scared of the angel, she said and He is now alive. I am standing back pretty amazed at this point, thinking how did she know any of this! I think the pretend part came when she started flipping through her Bible, looking at the pictures, and relating what she figured them to be. She said God wanted us to share, to help others, to pray, to be nice, to do what your mom and dad says, to take care of the Earth and build community (I later figure this one is from Disney or something cause oh my goodness wow), etc. I think the beauty in this though, is that God really does call us to do these things. Although she was explaining what she thought it to be from a picture, we really are called to do each of those. Later, she asked me my first tough God question-If Jesus is in Heaven, and we can't see Him, how do we really know He is real?
Honestly, don't we all ask that question some time in our lives? We can talk the talk all we want, but when are we actually going to start living like God is alive and He is coming back again? Now, she is 5 years old, so I figure these questions will start coming, and we did talk about believing in Jesus and that He loves her. She knows that, but it is kind of an exciting time, ya know?
A couple of weeks ago, I sit in on her Sunday School class to fill in for the teachers. There was only 3 girls, and as we sit around the table discussing the lesson for the day, eating our pretend play dough goodies, I asked them how we could help others. They were great at coming up with answers, then my precious Mia said, "We are lucky." I don't think she knew the extent to what that meant, but it blew me away. I literally had tears in my eyes. Yes, we are so blessed and lucky. Despite the grief, troubles, and tribulations, we are so blessed beyond our imagination.
I'm excited for a couple opportunities this upcoming year. 1) To work with the bed babies in the nursery during sunday school. 2) To help with AWANA's on Wednesday nights. Both of these have to do with children, and I think it is important to start mentoring as soon as you can. Yes, babies are a little difficult, but you can be the smiling, comforting face to the parents when they come in too. I asked myself a question earlier on about how did Mia know this stuff? Well, it is because children soak up a lot of information. They are a sponge. And, they love to tell what they have learned. To have faith like a child is a wondrous thing...maybe we should all revisit our childhood sometime.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
However, it was right around two years ago, I learned he would be going to Iraq for a year. Yes, I have always supported the troops, but this year that he was gone, I learned a little about what it meant to be "Army Strong." Although I do not want to be considered in the same bracket as those actually serving, I also recognize that friends and families of soldiers can be classified under this umbrella of being "Army Strong." Often when things were difficult or I just felt like I couldn't take it anymore, I thought of my brother across seas. Here I was complaining about my day, when even now I still do not know what he went through. Perhaps it was the excessive heat, therefore, Bryan would get to work before the sun came up and didn't leave until the sun went down, and maybe skipped lunch because it was just too hot to go outside in fatigues. Or, maybe it was the dust storms that you can't even see in front of you. Or, it could have been doing your job only to see your fellow American soldier lying dead in a building too close for comfort. These are just a few of the stories, and I honestly don't know much more because Bryan's Army world is much of a "don't ask, don't tell" philosophy. But, possibly the most incredible part of this is that even with these things above and more, he never complained about what he was going through. In fact, if it wouldn't have been for Tim's and my senior years, he wanted to go to Afghanistan. Simply thinking upon what my brother might be enduring in the day, gave me some sort of strength to make it through my days while he was gone. I figured my little things failed in comparison to what he was facing-and he wasn't even grumbling!
Since then, although he is back, I still think about our armed forces serving here at home and overseas. They will never know it, but they give me strength. Likewise, even though I have many uncertainties and am a little emotionally drained, I think upon my little brother back in South Carolina. Every day is a different day with a different task until he starts his AIT, which he doesn't know when that will happen. That means, once he starts AIT, he has 10 weeks of that, then he gets to come home for a couple weeks. This means since he hasn't started, he is uncertain of when he will see his family again, and the same goes for us. He too, is giving me strength that he will never know.
I can't end this post without writing about my ultimate source of strength-Jesus Christ. He settles me down and gently asks me, "What is your finish line?" These giants that seem to be in my way at times (and now) are only going to be here for a little time, although it may seem like they are stationary. If Christ is my finish line, He has already defeated those giants.
By the way, I just ordered an "Army Strong" wristband. Our strength alone is not sufficient..
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Most of us have been told for many years, it is all about a relationship. I am not talking about love relationships, but more of the type you possess in a work situation. My philosophy has always been if you work hard to form those relationships, then the other person will in turn reciprocate those same type of characteristics you possess. Some of these could be as simple as listening to the mundane aspects of your personal life, doing what is asked of you and get it to them on time, being polite, being punctual, being willing to do what no one will do and maybe even when no one asks you to, etc. I feel like there are several more, but you get what I am saying (mostly because you have heard these too). Perhaps, this philosophy does work 73.2 percent of the time, but something is lacking to achieve the full 100 percent.
However, in this dog-eat-dog world, we are focused on what is in it for us. How unfortunate! In one action, all of the "trust" you have built up in this "relationship" can be torn away. It can come from one person or it can be association with one or many people. I live in a constant struggle of wanting to maintain the peace with everyone around me and wanting to let people know what they did is not right and call them out on their wrongdoings.
Polite honesty seems to be the underlying theme in all of these. Although I believe I am honest, maybe not honest enough. I probably don't do that just because I don't want you to hate me. But, are we really serving any justice by sweeping it all under the rug? I will be supervising two students in about two weeks. I can't imagine it being unbearable, but I am going to try this honesty thing-not sure if they will like it, but it will be better than me keeping it all inside and be frustrated at the end of the day if something is not done that needs to be done. When you are honest, you do not have to be rude. I feel like when you are honest, people know they can go to you and receive the truth and confide in you, therefore they trust you. You are building a relationship, and maybe we need a little more polite honesty in our lives to reach that 100 percent.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This is the first Sunday after the youth in our church returned from Falls Creek, the largest Christian youth camp in the U.S. I always look forward to this service because it is just an amazing sight to see the students come forward during invitation time at the end of service. If you are not sure what an invitation is, it is commonly used in Baptist churches at the end of service to allow anyone who has made a decision to come forward before the church. It is not like floods of students come forward, but several usually do and when the Spirit moves, it is an overwhelming experience. An invitation to me is a testament of total surrender and an act of obedience. However, during this invitation I had another feeling come over me. As the congregation was singing (and we sang for awhile) it was like a choir of angels was singing over the people who came forward to profess the decisions they had made during camp or even right this morning! Yes, we had a little boy who accepted Christ as his personal Savior for the first time this morning and he was bawling...such a precious sight to see!
This time it reminded me we have to be encouragers to those around us. Us singing was a way of support...I have never thought coming before the church was easy. And, it reminded me of the angels in Heaven praising God and singing over us as we keep step-by-step, sometimes crawl-by-crawl moving forward through life.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Hebrews 12:1
Whether it is the church or family or friends, we need to encourage others in their walk with Christ. We need to unceasingly pray and believe that God is God and He can do far greater than we can. Nothing is impossible with God! It says that in Luke 1:37...check it out! Anyways, I encourage you that our God is a faithful God and he is just and He loves us so much. He is constantly pursuing us; delight in Him today!
Here is my favorite praise and worship song right now.....Came to my Rescue....enjoy!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
In a recent turn of events, the "World's Strongest Army" has kind of decreased on my awe factor. I went to bed last night troubled by a few things regarding the Army, and instead of writing a hateful blog directed toward the Armed Forces, I shall look at some of the positives of our army.
1) Cpt. Thompson: This man told my brother if he ever got deployed, he would go with him. When Bryan was given orders to complete a year in Iraq, Cpt. Thompson kept his word. In fact, he sent back his own orders of going somewhere in the U.S. and asked to be deployed to Camp Victory, Iraq. He had to do this twice before he was given orders to be deployed to Iraq. This was his 5th tour overseas. I don't think I could have the strength to do this. It makes me think two things: 1) Integrity and honor still exist in the world and 2) It is good to know people out there like this are serving our country. Someone who would risk their lives to join their "brother" in a foreign place and keep their word.
2) My brother: OK, so I realize I am completely biased on this one, but when he actually decides to talk about the army, he only has good things to say. Some of his last words to Tim when he left to go to Basic was "it will be fun." Ha...really? And, yes that is basically what came out of my mouth the second after Bryan said it was fun. And, to my surprise, Bryan really meant it. In fact, the only album on his Facebook is titled "Good times" and it is of his days in Iraq. I also asked him why he didn't want to become a drill sergeant and he said cause they can't get deployed and he wouldn't want to put himself in a situation where he couldn't get deployed. Once again...seriously? But, he is serious. Like Cpt. Thompson, I am thankful for soldiers like these who fight for our freedom...and this really is life and death.
3) OK ADT: This stands for the Agribusiness Development Team and it is through the Oklahoma National Guard. I recently received an e-mail from someone who is in the 1-45th OK ADT. We had sent them a ton of crayons earlier in the year and was wondering if they needed more or if the new group would be continuing the project. Here is an insert of what I received.
"Not only does it give them something to color but it helps improve their language skills. The children also always ask for writing utensils for school. They always want to show us their notebooks that they practice writing English in. Most ask for anything to write with crayon, pen, pencil, anything so they can do their homework and practice English because the can't take their utensils home from school."
This is real life of what is happening outside of our country. We take for granted the choice of things as silly as which pen color to use when these children are hungry for anything they can get. We live in such luxury.
These are the first thoughts that popped in my head. I am thankful for the troops and people out there like this, and I know there are many more than what I just mentioned. Hoorah!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I used to think of myself as one who made goals, but somewhere along the way I have lost that part of me. Perhaps it was during college when all of a sudden I really didn't know what I wanted to do when I "grew up" and didn't what to think about it. However, the fact is I still don't know what I want to do, but I realized today going through life without goals is not very fun...or at least for me. Most of you have heard of the S.M.A.R.T. goal system; well this isn't the place for that today! :) Some of these may even be more like bucket list type goals, but here it goes:
1) Pursue Christ: "I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands." Psalm 119:10
Growing up in church, the three most commonly used ways to have a relationship with Christ is 1) Establishing a quiet time and adhering to it; 2) Prayer; and 3) Going to church. Although those are all great ways to connect with Christ, and trust me I need to work on them, I don't consider them to be the only ones. Pursuing Christ needs to happen everyday...and everyday you don't go to church! I believe pursuing Christ entails being more like Christ. He fed the hungry, healed the sick (which this one might not pertain to me hehe) loved children, and hung out with people we wouldn't think about today, to name a few. It is having an attitude that is Christ-like. You know it kind of brings a whole new meaning to "but the flesh is so weak." Pursuing Christ is an everyday act of obedience to follow God's plan and allow Him to lead your life.
2) Prioritize: I have often told people my priorities are faith.family.friends. But, c'mon! If you know me, I feel like "school" should go in that list somewhere because that is what my life was for 4 years! Often, it was much higher than those others. Although I don't believe it is a bad thing to have school as a priority, it is also important to strive to really prioritize your life. If I say those are my top 3 priorities, then I need to work on them everyday to make them apart of my life...not just something I say because it sounds good.
3) Serve others: "You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13
Volunteering has always been a big part of my life. I love it, and I most definitely have a passion for it! Throughout my collegiate career, I have had the opportunity to do many service projects, and I am thankful for each one of them. However, now is the time to start doing on my own without student organizations or such. For example, I think I want to volunteer at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. Oh, and maybe Habitat for Humanity..hey, Mike was there last time, maybe he will be there again ;) Who knows what is in store, but there are always ample opportunities to get in the community and serve others. I have been blessed by being able to eat and walk and have shelter...why wouldn't I want to give others a little bit of comfort through these efforts as well?
4) Be adventurous: OK, lets be honest, I am the least adventurous person you know. But, I want that to change. Life doesn't have to be planned out minute by minute! Hiking, road trips, new foods (not Fear Factor style though), etc. are a few things I had in mind. If you have any ideas on this goal, let me know...
5) Make goodies: I have a fascination with cupcakes and cakes that look like they came from a bakery. Well, I am going to do it! Wouldn't it be fun?!? I want to make delicious goodies just so I can say I did it! Who knows, it could become a hobby!! And, I feel like this is a little vintage ;) Yippee!
6) Don't be perfect: We were made perfect in the beginning, but after the eating of the apple, humans were sinful. Although we should strive for perfection, it is not attainable, only in Christ. So, I should not stress over being perfect, but rather praise God for His grace and mercy. Also, I am talking in all aspects of my life...it doesn't have to be perfect. God already knows what is going to happen in my life, and I will trust Him, even when it is difficult.
These goals obviously cannot be attained within a certain amount of time, but rather striving for them everyday. So, what are your goals? Have you thought about it lately? We get so caught up just going through life, we forget what is important to us. Make it a point to spend time for yourself so you can be fulfilled as well. Lets see where this journey takes us!
Photo attribution: Click Here
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
1 Cor. 1:31
God has given me so many reasons to boast in Him lately, and I must tell the blogger world! (Even if no one reads this haha) It seems that scripture is taken on a new meaning anymore these days. God is truly speaking and showing me new promises each day. I want to share a few of those with you.
"Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4
In Webster's Dictionary, the word 'desire' means to long or hope for. Likewise, 'delight' means to have extreme satisfaction. I have always thought this verse was about me, self. If I wanted something, God was surely going to grant it to me. But, truth is that this life is not about me at all! And, God does long to give you the desires of your heart as long as it is in His will and His plan, not yours. AND, and, look again at the word 'desire.' Desire is more than just wanting something, it is something so deep down, something you yearn for, and sometimes maybe something you honestly didn't expect. That last part may not make sense, but see if you can understand this. I don't always go about saying everything I long for to everyone who passes by, and often not to even my closest friends and family. But, at times there is something deep inside of you that you have put off for so long and when the time has come, and in God's plan, he will grant you that desire. Sometimes you almost forget it is there. In Matthew, God says He has numbered the very hairs on our head. Don't you think He cares about our most intimate details of our lives such as our desires? I think so! I won't go into detail what brought this about, but I have to give God the glory for showing me He does care...even in the things that may not be a big deal, it was a big deal to me.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake , I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Cor. 12:9-10
God has once again shown me His timing is perfect. I have thought about writing this specific blog for a couple of weeks now, but I just haven't until tonight. God showed me His strength again today and the need for us to draw near to Him in times of suffering. Part of the lyrics by Francesca Battistelli in "Beautiful, Beautiful" states "But even perfect days can end in rain." Every time I hear this song, those words stand out to me like bright flashing lights. This made sense again when, after a decent day at work, I entered my car and within 5 minutes received a text message saying my high school English teach had passed away. Mind you, I was on my way to Vacation Bible School and had to be strong for everyone around, correct? So my on and off again crying spells led me to the church parking lot where I fixed my makeup and headed into the church where I went to my mom's room to hand her my keys. Right then, I broke down. I had prayed for God's strength to get me through the next couple of hours. I realized when I was crying that sometimes God's strength comes through other avenues such as my mom. He allows us to completely fall into His arms, broken and hurt. You see, that is His strength to me. It isn't about being the tough person, but surrendering yourself to Christ and His power.
I sat through the funeral today of my beloved teacher and did fairly well. However, I noticed the pain and hurt of her grandson and daughter. You might expect it from the daughter, but the grandson is a 'manly soldier' who could not hide the pain. And, I felt so little. I have always been one to want to help stop others from hurting, but sometimes you are helpless. You see we all have hurt, and it doesn't all come in the same package. Sometimes it hurts at times more than others and sometimes you may just feel numb. But, speaking from experience, God is the Ultimate Healer. His strength is incomparable to what we can do alone. I can't say that it is always easy, but I have no idea how I could go through pain in my life without the hope of Jesus Christ. Allow His strength to be your resting place today, friend.
I am leaving you with a picture of my niece and me at VBS this year...
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Much like we wait for important phone calls, I believe our Heavenly Father waits for us to call on Him. He is eagerly waiting to hear our voice. How often do you sometimes go before you talk to God the next time? I can't honestly say I have a perfect prayer life...that is something I definitely want to get better at doing. The truth is that He does answer when you call on Him. Sometimes it is not always what you are wanting to hear and then other times he blesses you beyond measure. Amy Grant has a song out right now called "Better than a Hallelujah." To me, this song shows us that God doesn't want you to just come to Him when things are going great, but even during the darkest times of your life. When you are completely broken and call to God, He enjoys that more than someone who always "does the right, Christian things." I think this shows that you recognize God truly is the only One who has the power to save and is God.
God really is just a call away. He is waiting to hear our voices.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Too often we get so busy we don't stop and thank those around us who are trying to help us. This is a prime example we need to be more cautious sometimes when we hand out work for others to do. A simple "thank you" can go a long way. Hey, you might even through a "please" in there too, which could earn you some brownie points :) Just be appreciative...even in the little things.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
My brother as you know is at Basic Combat Training in Ft. Jackson, SC. We received a letter last week telling us what his mailing address is, but it also said their captain maintained a Facebook group. She had on there what the exact name was, but for some reason it took me a really long time to actually find it, but I did find it! It has been fun to see pictures of my brother as he is going through this experience. It is also cool to know what they are doing basically each day. This group also can bring together friends and family of the soldiers going through the same regiment. They can talk and it serves as a place to encourage (or destroy --sorry for such strong language) people. My mom, an avid non-Facebook person, recently signed up herself just so she could see what is happening.
You might think it is crazy, but it is good to see him. When Bryan went through training we had absolutely no idea what to expect. Now, we get to see Tim kinda go through the process. Most of the time the pictures aren't necessarily of him, but they are his group. This might even be a little more humbling than just showing up for graduation. You never forget what they are doing and why they are doing it. You see the struggles from others, but you see the excitement as well. Something I have noticed is that although it is the soldiers really doing the work, the armed forces is a family business. Being a soldier is not a 8-5 job. Thank you Facebook for giving people like Tim's regiment a place where people can come together in this experience.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Ephesians 6:7 (NIV)
Right now, I feel like I don't know where I belong though. This verse of serving the Lord, not men is really speaking to me now. It is a really tough verse if you are really trying to live it out. I try not to question why I am doing a certain task being asked of me. I mean that is just who I am, but at times it is difficult. Details are not necessary for this particular blog, but a challenge for you is to live out Ephesians 6:7 in your own life. Difficult for sure...
Monday, May 31, 2010
I admire those who choose to fight for our freedom. They leave their family to go to a place where they do not know anyone and take orders from sergeants every single day. They get mail, but they do not have much time to write back. This is most likely the same day they are allowed to make phone calls. Home sickness is almost not really an option. After basic training, they go through AIT at either the same base or another that allows them to get training in the area where they will be specifically serving during their time in the service. They do have more freedom now, but still... After all of this, which is about six months, they just have to wait for their orders. It all depends on what area they went into. Bryan was an Army Reserve so he came home for a bit before he was sent anywhere. Right now, it is HOT outside. I can't even imagine doing physical training or just spending all day outside. I honestly just can't imagine...
Today, on Memorial Day, we honor those who have served our country. Not only the men and women in uniform, but also the families and friends of these soldiers. Today, my family said goodbye to another family member, my little brother, as he left to go to Ft. Jackson to begin his time in the Army.
Our flag is flying high today, and I promise you we will continue flying it until he returns. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with him as he begins his journey. However, this time it won't be just six months, but for at least the 3 years he enlisted. Today, I am reminded of how blessed and proud I am to have 2 brothers serving in our armed forces. I am reminded of how much our armed forces have sacrificed to give us freedom. I am reminded of how much it hurts. And, I am reminded of how hard it is to put others' feelings above your own.
Thank you, Timmy, for serving our country. Thank you for being brave. We love you and can't wait to see you soon :)
Saturday, May 15, 2010
I am in a weird place. I just graduated from college with hopes of a job, which I still do not have. And, most of the jobs I am finding are not around here, but in other states. Sometimes I think it would be good to get experience in a place completely different than here...Away from the place I have always known. A chance to start anew. I mean, I have had it pretty good, but isn't there always things you wish were different about you? And maybe, by yourself, only you, you could truly start living for you? For me, I feel like I am a horrible Christian example. My parents showed mercy today in a way I don't think I have ever physically seen by humans. I won't go into details (and no it wasn't to me) but I couldn't help but think, what a God thing!? I want those type of gifts..unconditional mercy. It is a day like this, you can't help but live in the moment. Living in the moment means you are all there though. Every little bit of you is giving it all to that one moment. Emotions-happy, sad, guilt, laughter, frustration; Words-kind and uplifting, nothing to tear down; Actions-a hug, something unexpected.
Another crazy quote that popped into my head this evening, "The best thing about life is that it begins again tomorrow." Today may be difficult, but tomorrow is another day. We don't have time on Earth to blame, to be upset at, or to disregard others. God tells us I don't know how many times to not be afraid, to not fear, to not be discouraged...He is going to take care of us. I know who wins in the end. My God is my hope for every moment and day to come. I stand only because of Him.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
I just left a class discussing teamwork and a question was posed if we think we are good team members. After everyone talked, I wondered to myself, "Do we do this to ourselves?" We can talk all we want about other people not getting along with other group members and how not everyone contributes equally. But, what about us griping because it is not being done our way? Or, what about us only getting along with a small group, not the whole group? If you were left on the outside or your ideas weren't being considered, would you still want to be apart of this group? I highly doubt it. It is so easy to pass the blame to someone else, but what we need to do is start being a team player ourselves. We can all contribute something, but we can't contribute the same thing--which is good because that would be a dull conclusion. In addition, we all see things differently, different perspectives perhaps, and that can greatly enhance our ideas. I know it is difficult to get along with people who are not the same as us, but we will have to do it the rest of our lives. This is not something that ends once graduation day comes. Sometimes we will get in great groups, and sometimes we won't. However, maybe if we step back and see why things aren't going as great as it should, we can see we are probably apart of the problem too.
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
As a communications major, I have been taught to ALWAYS keep my audience in mind. Actually, not just keep them in mind, but design and write towards my audience. Recently, I am starting to wonder if this is even necessary. Although I feel like I have trust issues, I have noticed I am typically really trusting of people. We are designing sponsorships for a specific project I am apart of and our upper project officials do not want to do what our client wants, but what they want for the project. Here is my problem with this. 1) Our project is only a small fraction (our project) in the whole circle (sponsorship we are designing). Therefore, we have different audiences although our project does not see this. 2) After asking my opinion on the issue, since I have worked for the whole circle for the past three years, we still proceed to differ. I understand if you do not want to use my opinion, but please do not be rude to me. 3) If you do not design the way your client is wanting, ultimately they will remove their sponsorship. It is not a big deal to the whole if their sponsorship is a part of a fraction. And, if it is the back cover, you do not want to lose that money. So, why would you not listen to the whole or bad talk them?
I realize sometimes you have to design something, which may not be exactly what the client had in mind in hopes they will like your design. However, you are still designing for that client, so unless your idea is genius, you might as well do what your client wants. This is not building relationships, which I have heard so much about. Or, at least this would not build a relationship with me.
Sunday, February 28, 2010
But, something I have always thought about and still do, is by working for a not-for-profit organization. No, there is not much money to be made, but I have the heart and compassion to serve individuals. A representative from the Ronald McDonald House spoke to a conference I was attending just last weekend, and I once again confirmed my willingness to serve in this capacity. They much raise close to a million dollars a year to function...just in one office! Essentially, she is an event planner, but she also gets to give back every single day. What a feeling that would be!! In addition, I just read a story about a mother who lost her son from DIPG. Just One More Day is an organization that is intended to help fight DIPG and provide a support group from families affected by this disease. Reading this definitely brought a tear to my eye, and I automatically wanted to learn more.
These are just 2 examples, but there are so many not-for-profit organizations out there. So, if you are reading this and know of any opportunities like this, please let me know. Your heart needs to be in your job, or it will be 'just a job' for as long as you work. I do not want that with my life. Take home message for you--Look for ways you can help out local not-for-profit organizations in your area!
Monday, February 22, 2010
Friday, January 8, 2010
I have always believed everything happens for a reason. Yet, often I am wondering 'Why?'
Millions of people had the opportunity to watch the BCS National Championship game last night against No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Texas. Although I am a die-hard Oklahoma State fan, I have been raised to appreciate the Longhorns, mainly from my dad. All Christmas break, (besides the OSU game), I was most excited to watch this Texas team to become the No. 1 team in the country. I felt like they had the better team, yet most were choosing Alabama to pull away with the victory. The winningest Quarterback of all time, Colt McCoy, would play his final game and be the hero. He deserved it.
If you watched, you know within the first few minutes of the game, Colt was injured. He never returned. Left to fill in for him was freshman, Garrett Gilbert. I had to feel for the guy. I mean, here it is a National Championship game, he was a freshman, and he had to play for COLT MCCOY. Seemed to me like that was a lot of pressure. However, I do believe he gave it everything he had and almost led the Longhorns to a 14-0 season. He deserves much props. But..read on to hear the real MVP of the game.
The final seconds ticked off and the reality sank in; Texas did not win. A reporter stopped McCoy after the game, and asked him what it was like to watch him spend his last college football game from the sideline.
"I always give God the glory," McCoy said. "I never question why things happen the way they do. God is in control of my life. And I know that...I am standing on the Rock."
You see, God is the MVP. God used Colt to further His Kingdom. It was God. God used Colt for His Glory. Many people might be wondering 'Why?' Colt didn't go back in or 'How?' within only minutes of the game, he could get hurt. I have absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind, it was God. Many people are talking about him today. God used Colt to change some lives, maybe to just rekindle the faith they once had in God.
I didn't make a New Year's resolution. But, I am going to work on my wondering thoughts. I will stop asking why and how and KNOW that it is all in God's perfect Will!
McCoy's Postgame interview:
Sunday, January 3, 2010
But, enough about the game. Lets talk about punishment. I applaud the coaches who will forfeit good players so that team rules are adhered to and punishment is given. Believe it or not, OSU is not the only school who has given out punishment to players. Look at Michigan State. They have let go of 14 players this year for various reasons with punishment of violations of team rules being the No. 1 cause. (OK, I honestly wouldn't know anything about Michigan State besides I watched the Texas Tech/Michigan State game last night lol) I remember going to a high school basketball game several years ago, and parents of a team player held signs welcoming their son back to the team and getting to play again. You see this player had been caught drinking, which was a team violation. This certain player was definitely a play-maker and a valuable asset to the team. He was benched several games, but I do believe they went ahead and won the state championship that year.
Players should have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Isn't that what we teach children everyday? There are good and bad consequences.
If a coach lets one person slide, he must let all slide. And, what control does that show over their team? In conclusion, I support Gundy and I support all coaches like him. I am sorry Cowboy fans have started to get rude. This isn't us. "Ever you'll find us, loyal and true, to our Alma Mater, O-S-U."
Saturday, January 2, 2010
1) Coupons--You love them because they get you a discount on your purchase; We love them because they bring you in to our store. However, during the busiest time of the year, please have them ready to use when you approach the check-out. After we have totaled your purchase and ran your card or took your money, we cannot magically go back and credit your purchase with a coupon you just remembered you had. Store clerks will go back and do this, but basically you have to return your stuff and repeat the whole process over, which creates the people behind you to start to fuss and this one makes you look clueless.
2) To All the Guys Out There--If you do not know what to get your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/daughter/etc. please do not come in there and ask the store clerks what to get them. We are not your personal shopper. Once again, busiest time of the year and you are asking us to basically make a decision for you because you have no idea what to get them. Seriously, come in with some ideas and we can go from there. And, if we make a suggestion, don't immediately knock them down cause obviously you have no idea what to get them. Oh, and if you really need help, please do not wait between the time frame of 1-3 days before Christmas because everyone is super, super busy then.
3) Lines-- We all hate them. I promise you the store clerks are trying their hardest. Some may be slower than others, and I apologize for that. But, at this time of year, please realize there is a possibility you will be standing in a line so get over it.
4) Talkers-- I love you are out shopping in our store, and I am sorry for anything horrible that has happened to you over the past year. However, please do not tell me your life story. I have no idea what to say, and when you tell a complete stranger who is checking you out, I kinda feel less empathetic... cold heart, huh? And, if you tell me you are going to the hospital after this and you thought you should get in here because they are having a sale and they probably will put you in the hospital for a couple of days because of pneumonia, please do not even bother coming in.
5) Grumpy-- Holiday causes a lot of stress on everyone. I know clerks do not always necessarily do the right thing. We are probably going to make you mad once in awhile and we will probably mess up once in awhile. But, please let me shake your hand because I have never met anyone perfect before. I apologize for this one as well. We do make mistakes, I am only human. However, I promise to fix it as soon as I know the problem.
Ok, I think that is it for now. Please let me tell you there is a whole new blog to be written about store clerks and how they act and such so this problem is not only about customers. And, I really don't mind what I do and it is fun to help people and see them excited. But, people who do the above---you are the reason I am ready to go back to school! If you have ever had a problem, write it down, I want to hear!