December 2009 - further up and further in

Thursday, December 31, 2009

the end of a decade

Thursday, December 31, 2009 0
the end of a decade
Wow. Today is the last day of 2009. It seems like only yesterday I was welcoming in the new year... and now I'm welcoming in a new decade. Life is going by so fast, and it's almost bittersweet to see how much everyone around me is growing up. My younger brother has already passed me up at age 10. My younger sister is looking more and more mature every day.

I've formed some friendships that have lasted a year or more. When I look back it feels like it's been much longer than that, yet I wonder where the time is gone and how it is that I've known them so long.

I know that I myself have changed, although these changes are less obvious. One thing I am happy about is how much closer I feel to God than I did at the end of 2008. My ears are more in tune to His voice, and I'm more excited to learn more about Him and His plan. And I love Him more, if that's even possible.

I don't even know the word to describe what I feel right now about how fast time has gone by. It's not sorrow, but maybe it's... wistfulness? I am very excited to see what this new year will bring however, especially since I can't wait to grow deeper in my relationship with Jesus.

So, on that note, goodbye 2009. Hello 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the lady at the library

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 0
the lady at the library
So... there I stood, three books in the crook of my arm, and a library card wedged tightly in my other hand. It was time to pick up my holds at the library, and I waited in line so I could check them out. The books in question were The Inheritance by Louisa May Alcott, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, and Big Fat Paycheck--a script writing book--by Colton Lawrence. But that is not important. What's important is who checked my books out.

If you know me (which I hope you do), you'll probably have noticed that I take an interest in the unusual. I notice nearly everything, even the unnecessary or mundane. So it isn't surprising that I was standing in the library on this particular day wondering which of the three librarians would check my books out for me. I seemed to notice one more than the others, and was pleasantly surprised when she called the next person up to the front. The next person, was, of course, me.

Again, if you know me (which I hope you do), you'll probably definitely have noticed that I am rather very shy. So it struck a little lot of terror into my heart when I heard a quiet voice whisper in my heart, You will share Me with her today.

"What, God? No! You know I've never led anyone to Christ! Much less some random librarian that I don't even know. I can't believe you're asking me to do this," I protested. (Honestly. That is more or less what I said.)

Okay, don't freak out. Just ask her how she is.

I can do that, I decided. I stepped up to the counter and set my books down.

"How has your day gone so far?" I asked, smiling as warmly as I could.

"Good, good," she responded genuinely, her eyes smiling. "How are you?"

"I'm okay," I responded.

"Great. These books are due on January 20th."

God, how am I supposed to lead her to Christ when she's handing me my receipt? I questioned.

You did share Me with her, He said.

It was only when I walked out that I understood. I had shared Christ with the librarian just by noticing her, and by attempting to brighten her day. Suddenly my favorite quote took on a whole new meaning:

“Preach the gospel always – and if necessary, use words.”

We are always sharing our faith, whether we realize it or not.

in the valley

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 0
in the valley
Every one of us has our downpoints. It's a fact of life. We can't have mountains without valleys, and unfortunately the valleys tend to outnumber the high places. Life is all about growing deeper in our relationship with God, and learning to cling to Him when things get rough... although it's never easy.

The different paths God has placed each of us on are truly incredible...but they can be incredibly difficult sometimes. I don't pretend to be very experienced, but I have had several experiences that have proved God's faithfulness again and again.

It's only easy for me to see the purpose of those experiences now that I'm out of those particular valleys. When I'm in the midst of rough times, my perspective can be (and usually is) very different. I can't see the full picture. Even on top of the mountains, I may not understand. What I do know is that God is in control. At those times where we can only guess at what He's doing, the only thing we can hold fast to is that he does have a plan.

If you're reading this, you're most likely a close friend of mine or a family member, and you're going through struggles too. No matter how big or small your hardships may be, they are there. You may be in a mountain or a valley, but regardless, our troubles never completely disappear.

I've noticed that in blogging, most of us (myself included) only write about when we're on the mountains. I personally am a naturally reserved person so I don't feel comfortable sharing about most of my struggles. Then I realized that's withholding a whole other side of my life, and that "honest blogging" is a very rare but needed thing.

I decided yesterday that I want to try my hand at writing honestly, but I know it's easier said than done. On this blog, I've created a more private environment where I can feel more comfortable saying what I mean. While I won't gossip or say anything that I might regret, I will be more honest and open about what's really happening in my life.

I only know one, maybe two honest bloggers, and I appreciate their posts more than they know. I don't know about anyone else, but I really do want to read the honest and authentic posts about reality and hardship, because they help me see that I'm not alone. By reading this blog, I hope you'll get a greater idea of who I am, and I hope that maybe you won't feel so alone either.

This is my true journey... further up and further in.