Saturday, January 21, 2012

Full Life

Once again, school comes like the foreseen blizzard, hiding my time somewhere in the flurries, and I am unaware as to where it could possibly have went to. Okay. That maybe made no sense. I'm pretty tired. haha :) BUT ANYWAY, I wanted to get in a post really fast. The pictures show some of the last moments of vacation before I came back to Multnomah as well as the beginning of a new semester.

Day 15: It snowed the Sunday before I left! So beautiful!

Day 16: Two of my friends from church met Briana and me at Shari's before we left . . . good to catch up and laugh. :)

Day 17: Yes, I made Valentines already. haha :) I LOVE Valentines day . . . trying to get ahead. :)

Day 18 is the sad photo. My sister left me for college on Wednesday. I love her a ton and miss our laughs, but I'm really glad she can be where she's supposed to be right now. She still faithfully remains my better half. ;)

Dad took me out to breakfast after we took Briana out to the airport . . . so early! but good to have time with him.

Day 19: On Thursday, I went with my mom to her Bible study, and at the end, I went out into our church's gym. There is this empty stage. I have so many memories of this place. I become Mary again when my feet hit the black floor and my nose smells the old hay that used to cover the floor.

Same day (fitting for the two to go together . . . semi-bitter memories need something sweet) I had a mini pumpkin still from fall that I really wanted to try to carve, so I carved out Joy on one side.

Day 20: It was SO FUN to see my roommate, Clarissa, when I got back! Sweet reunion!

Day 21: It was so great to see roommate BETHANY on Saturday! I love this girl! Both of my roommates are such gifts.

Also, that day, I got to spend some time in the school's prayer chapel . . . one of my favorite places. Jesus and I have had some deep heart to hearts there. He is good.

Jesus has given me such a full life. I see this in these pictures. It is good to remember His gifts. :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Will You Hold My Traveling Cases?

January is speeding by. Somebody should give this month a ticket! It's going by way too fast. :) It has been full though . . . several memories thus far. :)

So far, I've been able to take at least one picture each day! Not all of them are very impressive but hey. :) I'll share some of them at the end of this. I should apologize. The picture part is a little more diary-like, and normally, I kinda stay away from the detailed activities of my life on this blog. It may not interest you too much. That's okay. Feel free to just keep scrolling.

Recently, I finished Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place. One of the best books I've ever read. I'm hoping to share more on that later, but for now, can I leave you a quote I read from the book?

Here goes:

He [Corrie's father] turned to look at me [little Corrie], as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor.

"Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?"

I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.

"It's too heavy," I said.

"Yes," he said. "And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you."

And I was satisfied. More than satisfied-- wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions --- for now I was content to leave them in my father's keeping.

Later, as Corrie went through the living-death of the concentration camps, she remembered this moment of her father carrying the suitcase and realized that she had to give over the heavy burdens of the not-knowing, the not-understanding to her heavenly Father. She could not carry it on her own. I desire the faithfulness that God put in Corrie. I have my own traveling cases, my own questions and places of not understanding. Some of the things I don't understand really aren't even about me. I don't understand why God's people have to be so harshly persecuted in North Korea. I don't understand why God's precious kids are dying in Africa while I have more than enough. These burdens are heavy, and my first reaction is to turn to God and tell Him, "I don't understand!" But I think that's only half of the solution.

Even my not-understanding needs to be surrendered to Jesus. He can carry it. I love that Corrie said that there ARE answers to the questions, but we may not be strong enough to carry them now, so Jesus must for us.

And He will.

May You be blessed with that today. You are alive for a very special reason, friend! May you trust Him today and let Jesus carry you and your "traveling cases." He is strong enough.

Week of January 8th in Pictures

Item crossed off of bucket list . . . put coins on a train track with cousins. So fun! It's the littlest thrills that make me happy.

Our good family friend, Jim, took family out to eat after church on Sunday. So kind.

I got a little bit of paperwork type things done this week . . . got my schedule written in my planner, started a book, finished a volunteer app.

I really had to think about what it means to be a light for Jesus. I'm still not sure I completely understand, but I want this. I want to be His light. I want to be real and let those around me see this Savior who we really do need.

One of my coworkers at the radiator shop! :) Made open-mouth faces at each other each day. I couldn't keep my face open that long though for the picture. Snap-Crack-It! haha Had a fun time.

More of my coworkers. I worked mainly with the woman on the left. Her son is the little guy. He tried to scare me often (and often succeeded). He's a fun little guy!

God's sunsets were GLORIOUS this week! YHWH is incredible! His work stunning.

Dad took us out to eat at A&W one night! Very fun . . . definitely a family tradition, eating out in our town's old-fashioned A&W.

This sweet little girl still calls me "Mary" even though it's been two years since I was in the pageant. Love her a ton. She and her family and a few others came over to our house last week.

Mom and I did it! Three whole miles on the workout video. Woo hoo! :) My belly still may not be flat, but hey . . . working on it! ;)

See those papers on the floor? Yep . . . syllabi and class notes. Getting ready for a new semester ahead and spending time laughing with my sister.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Beginning

It's a baby. Fresh, new, sweet twenty twelve. Only a week old.

I've already made my share of mistakes and misshapen attitudes.

But His mercy is new.

Every morning.

Every beginning.

And I am excited. New Years is still one of my favorite holidays. I know, I know. I'm a nerd. :)

I still need to think of more resolutions and/or settle on the ones I've made, but somewhere I read that it's during the day to day moments where the real changes in our heart occur. It's not the beginning of the year resolutions that change us. Plus, I feel like I can handle monthly resolutions better than yearly ones. I haven't made many spiritual resolutions yet.I have a feeling that the spiritual resolutions need to begin more in baby steps at the beginning of each week instead of the overwhelming beginning of 365 days. I still need to set goals for that though because it's important for me to have goals.

One thing I really want to try this year though is doing something consistently each new month. Plus, I hear that it takes around 30 days(?) to create a habit, SO I could potentially have 12 new habits by the end of this year. Maybe, maybe? :)

Well, for January, I'm trying to take at least one picture every day. :) So far, I've succeeded! I've even taken more than one picture daily, which is saying something because I'm horrible at using my camera.

Can I share some of them with you?

Day 1. The New Year started at our home church. Briana and I were able to play our instruments at church again . . . first time in several months.

Day 2 Family played some games Monday night . . . Dutch Blitz and In a Pickle. I had a good time, and I think they did too. Good to do something as a family.

On Day 2, I also got to see my friend Holly, a friend from high school. That was good, and we got to act like dorks in front of a camera. :)

Day 3 I drove in my job to Riddle, Oregon (South). The sky was THRILLING as the sunset. So beautiful!

Day 4 I went to PORTLAND for my job! Ah, my town. Felt familiar in parts. Will be fun to be back for school in a few weeks.

Day 5 (Yeah, I know. Dorky pic, but at least I got in a picture! lol) I got in a very small wreck while driving for my job. Thankfully, it wasn't my fault and "my" rig only got dented. It was my first accident though. Good reminder that life isn't a guarantee. It's a gift. From Jesus.

Day 6 My family took pizza to my grandparents house. Love them so much. They're so funny. Grandpa dressed up in a tie and mismatched socks just to see our reaction. Grandma sang some songs with us. It was good to be with them. Love them a lot.

Day 7 Briana and I went on a miniature road trip in our small town, trying to discover new nooks and crannies. We went to a cemetery as well. On the back of one of the tombstones was etched "Thank You, Jesus." My . . . cemeteries are interesting places. I kinda like them though. I like to read the words left behind on gravestones. I like to imagine how many stories are laid buried in graveyards, and I like to try to understand what it means to be mortal.

This hasn't been the perfect week for me. I really need Jesus, and I need to refocus. I feel like I've spent more restless, agitated time with Him than real, focused time with Him. Thankfully, He is still the same. He is still working. He is so incredibly faithful. He is gentle and forgiving. I am undeserving.

I'm so glad He walked with me into twenty-twelve. The beginning of a new year has come, and He is still walking near. <3