Although there are some things in my life that are uncertain right now, I have exciting news to share. I have been accepted to teach English as a second language with an Korean English Training Camp this summer! My job will start in July and go until mid-August, and I am so pleased to have this opportunity. I can also use it for my internship, so I will be making money at the same time. The students will be coming to my college, and staying in residence there, so I won't have to move anywhere.
I am so grateful to God for giving me this experience. I am just kind of nervous, because I will have to plan lessons and activities. But depending on who the other teacher will be, I'm sure we can work together to plan it out.
The sun is shining warm through my window, my eyes are burning from the sting of fresh air, and I have hope for a summer filled with new experiences and opportunities.
Oh, and did I mention that I serve the best God ever?!
I have wanted to watch the movie "Saved" starring Mandy Moore for quite a while now. Let me tell you, my suspense and anticipation for the movie was shattered tonight. I had heard that it was supposed to be a parody about how the world views Christians, and so it was. I could have waded through the reality of life, that people do swear, and smoke, and joke about real life things. This does happen. However, the ending did not sit well with me. The basic premise, when all was said and done, is that God is accepting of us all, that we can keep sinning because He will forgive us no matter what. Yes, God does forgive us. But we still need to take responsibility for our actions, and we are not supposed to make excuses for everything we do. I was rather disappointed in the movie, but I guess I shouldn't have expected very much.
Aside from the movie, however, Jake and I once again put our culinary genius to the test, and whipped up a fantastic dinner of spaghetti. While we made that, we also put a cake on in the oven. It was wonderful, and my belly is so satisfied, my heart is so full...
I was really hoping it was going to be a warm spring day, but there was still a bite in the air. I wore my sandals, hoping upon hopes that my feet would not fall off. Soon God will bless us with warmer weather...
How do you tell your stomach to settle down in response to eating two pieces of cake, two cookies, and a whole bunch of mini eggs after about 30 days of not eating any refined sugar? (with the exception of a few slip ups)
I was so excited to eat cake yesterday, that I went a little bit overboard. I actually felt sick from eating so much sugar. But oh, when I saw those mini eggs...with their crispy, sweet, and candied exterior, and a center of epic milk chocolate goodness, I couldn't resist. I popped one in my mouth, and relished the pure joy of the taste as it coated my tongue. How delectable! And to think, they only make them at one time in the year. Ah, the joys of eating sweets!
This morning Amy came to church in Jake's stead, and I took her over to the bookshelf as we were waiting to leave. I noticed the movie "Fireproof", and had wanted to take it out before, but the disc was not inside. As I was telling her I had no idea who to ask, the man standing directly behind us said "Me. You have to ask me." I thought, Wow, what perfect timing! Seriously, God has the most amazing sense of time. So I am looking forward to an evening with Jake, watching Fireproof and eating homemade cookies.
Yesterday was my 6 month check-up in London for my ICD. I could not find a ride, but I took the Greyhound instead. The whole way there I sat with a sweet old lady who told me all about her family and life. I told her that once I got to London I was going to take the bus to the hospital, and she insisted that her daughter would drive me there. I was skeptical that her daughter would want to take a total stranger, but she did! I was able to get into my appointment earlier even though I was scheduled for an hour and a half later, and I saw one of the doctors who was helping me in my recovery last year. Because my appointment finished so early, I had time to go to Fanshawe to vsit Katie! I haven't seen her since November, and although we only spent a couple hours together, I can say that it matou saudades em mim (was a great blessing to visit with her). I miss her so much, and I hate that I am separated from many of my good friends by distance.
I felt like God totally orchestrated the whole morning. It was a beautiful blessing to be able to get a ride to the hospital, have another older lady help me get to Fanshawe, and to visit Katie. He is so wonderful, and it's the small day-to-day miracles that remind me of how much he cares.
Today I baked up a storm and hosted a surprise wedding shower for Mel and Nate, along with two of Mel's good friends. It was a lot of fun, and more people came than I had originally been thinking. I was really proud of guys dorm, because they gave Nate more than $145 towards tools! What a gift :)
I am listening to Ivete Sangalo, a Brazilian singer, and reminiscing on times spent in Brasil listening to this music. It's been far too long since I went to Brasil...I think it's about time to go back and enjoy some rice and beans, and speak Portuguese all day long :)
It was 10 months ago that Jake Rivers asked me to be his girlfriend (rather, I said "yes" and then he asked me). I have not regretted one single day. I love you, Jake!
Thank you, Lord, for your wonderful blessings in our lives!!
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I went to the grocery store today, with only intentions to buy multivitamins. Praise the Lord, they were on sale for $5, almost $4 cheaper than normal! I stocked up and bought two, which should last me for almost half the year. Then I just kept shopping and bought all my groceries. On the rainiest day since last week.
I drudgingly began the grueling trek home, and my fingers soon burned as the weight of the bags took their toll. I was just about ready to give up when a guy from school pulled over and asked me if I wanted a ride. I didn't have far to walk, but my arms were aching so I gladly accepted. He was such a godsend, and I was very encouraged. There are some Christian guys I know who will not stop and offer to give rides when they full well know we(my roommates and I) are struggling. I was grateful to him for being a kind gentleman and stopping to help me. Jake was very nice in feeding him dinner in response and thankfulness :)
It's almost been exactly four years since I started this blog, and I haven't regretted one moment. I love writing, and feel my creativity flourish even more when I blog, as opposed to writing with a pen and paper. Praise God for His amazing gifts He has given to each one of us!
Today was a full and busy day, but at the end of it all, I can look back and praise God for coming through on things that I had been worrying needlessly about. I also found out that, after this semester, I only have one more course and my internship left, and I am finished! That means I can graduate next year! Praise the Lord!
Tomorrow, my beloved Jake is returning after being gone all week. I am sure we will find some time to hang out and catch up on all that we missed. It's so different trying to convey feeling and events through text. Frankly, I dislike it muchly. So all that to say I believe it is going to be a great day :)
Have a good evening, or week-end, if I don't blog again tomorrow...
Last night I dreamed that Jake and I were in the jungle, with a friend of ours and an elephant. I dreamt I had to give Jake a really long needle, and our friend was giving me a crash course on how to administer.
Shades of things to come perhaps?
Just for clarification's sake, I feel that many of you may be confused and possibly even disturbed by my last post. To allay any fears, I have not "swung over to the dark side". I have merely been forced to rethink and establish my beliefs on those issues according to what I know of God's Word. I believe that in order for me to understand what my position and role as a woman of God entails, I must read what He has to say and discern from his Holy Spirit. He will guide me as I go along.
It's a big world out there, and I have much living to do yet before I "get it". Perhaps I will never get it. As long as I am living under the direction of God's Words, He will never let me down.
I am being serenaded by Laurie on the piano, titillating the keys with her gentle touch and fantasia. Listening to her makes me think of a magical forest where dreams come true....
Soothed by the strumming of serenity saturated strings, I sit in silence, seemingly sullen in my speculative state. Much is on my mind tonight, and it seems to be brimming over at the edges, full to capacity. Maybe someone should slap the "overweight" sticker on my forehead, because there is nothing more that could possibly be crammed into that tiny space.
This afternoon I spent in quiet solitude, reading a book my dear friend Ruth-Ann gave me for my birthday. The title and some of the content is highly disagreeable in many circles, to the point that I myself have shouted out loud at the page in hopes the auther will understand that life simply isn't like that. It is called Womanly Dominion by Mark Chanski. Yet another reason I am frustrated. It is written by a man. How could he possibly know what it means to be a godly woman? However, he lays his arguments out strategically, analytically(his manly roots show), and yet biblically (although skewed in some parts, I find). Three chapters in, I disagreed so much I put the book away for two months. Last night, a rare inclination to read found me immersed in the pages once more, wading through thoughts about God's design for women, the lies we believe, examples from women in both the Old and New Testaments, and our roles as wives and mothers. Nine chapters later, I am stunned, surprised, and shall I say, speechless. I believe my worldview is changing. By jove, I think I've got it! I will have to think some more on these things. However, his basic premise is that women are not fulfilling their God-ordained mandate to be godly women, loving, engaged wives, and mothers of greatness. He unpacks Biblical scriptures that show how women need to step up to the plate and accept their roles as women of influence. One of his arguments I am struggling with is this: women cannot be full time mothers and work at an outside job. It simply cannot be done. He has made exceptions for women who are, unfortunately, single mothers being both the "breadwinner" and "helpmeet" (both his terms). It is not for lack of understanding that I struggle with this concept. It is this- I have always wanted to have some sort of career, some way of serving God with the talents he has given me. One of my professors at school has also stressed this many times, that I need to tap into those gifts. How I want to! And yet, I also want to be a wife and mother, a woman who can love and serve alongside my husband as we serve God together, and a mother who will train her children up in the ways of God and love them wholeheartedly. I see Chanski's point- how can I have a full time career and be a mother? I cannot. I will not be the best woman I can be to my husband-I will not be the best mother I can be to my children. They need someone who is present for them and someone who is keeping everything running smoothly. I will not be fulfilling my womanly mandate. And this is where I struggle. Whereas at the beginning I balked at some of his ideas, I am starting to understand his point.
There was a time, when I was in highschool, before I became mature, that I never wanted to get married. Well, I did (I mean, what young girl doesn't want to?!). Yet, I wanted to do things. I wanted to get out there. I wanted to do my career. My agenda. What I wanted to do. It was all about me. I was purely selfish.
Now, as I am dating a fabulous, God-fearing man who wants to serve my God just as I do, my thoughts are changing. I know that we will need to agree on what we do, where we go, and prayerfully consider where God is leading us in this journey. It's not all about me. It will be about us and God. I told him only a few months ago that I would die if I had to be a stay-at-home mom and not use the gifts God gave to me. I told him I wasn't like other girls out there, like my sister, whose goal has been all their lives to be a wife and mother.
And yet, after reading this book, my eyes have been opened up to the necessity of being a holistic wife and mother. Of being someone who is present in all activities, or, as Chanski refers to her as "the hub of the home". It makes perfect sense.
I'm not saying that I am throwing my ideals and goals out the window so I can become a perfectly happy "stay-at-home" wife and mom when it comes the time. I've got a long ways to go yet. However, my eyes have been opened to the realization that if God is leading me on this trajectory, with all his plans for my future laid out before Him, and if He was the one who gave me these gifts and talents, would He not incorporate them into my life somehow? Would He not allow me to, perhaps, teach ESL from my home, or allow me to minister to other mothers (from other cultures, ethnicities, languages) over a cup of tea as our children play together? Is He not the One who planned out my days and knows every hair on my head?
What reason have I to worry, to fret, and to let other people's expectations of me (including myself) dictate my life? God is the Author of my days, and I must continually strive to live a godly and holy life as a single woman now, and to be content with the lessons that He is teaching me now. If it is in His Will that I should get married, and one day have children, then I will need to learn how to be a godly wife and mother, and be content with whatever position He has in store for me.
I feel like I have been let in on a huge secret, one that could transform my very worldview. God is so good in His blessings to us. He teaches us things, and stretches us in ways we may never imagine or dream.
Please leave a comment if you have any questions or would like to start a mini debate over this issue. I am ready for it. I know it is highly controversial in this society, and so I would like to hear your thoughts and opinions.
The furnace is off, the sun streams through the window, and yet my hands still freeze. Poor circulation is my nemesis right now.
I started reading in Ezekiel this morning, and was amazed once again at the way God used that prophet to preach to the Israelites about his judgment on them. I was so mesmerized that I read 6 chapters in a row. It was a lovely morning, and since I was basking in the sunlight from the living room window, I decided to keep going.
Today was a day full of mixed emotions, and I believe I am still recovering from some of the things I have been thinking and praying about.
I have not been enjoying these raining days that we have been experiencing. I know my attitude and mood is greatly affected by the weather, and I have been noticing that I have been quite negative in my heart.
The rain, however, is not to be fully blamed. With a lack of spending time in God's Word, I feel my spirit decline and my heart become heavy. Sometimes I don't feel like I should be around people. Although I may appear to be cheerful, it is merely a facade for what goes on underneath. What goes on in my mind and heart is purely sinful, and the thoughts that spring forth are not what God intended for one of His children.
Please pray for me, that I will persevere. I can feel my desire for doing homework waning, and I feel miserable. I want to be a godly woman.
I was reminded in church this morning that our lives are a statement of glory to God. It's a hard journey along the way, but we need to stay focused on the process. According to 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, there are four things we need to remember:
1.) We must remember who we are (v.1), and that is servants of Christ functioning as free people
2.) We must remember what we do (v.1), and we have been entrusted with responsibilities and a stewardship that encompasses others around us.
3.) We must remember the standard of evaluation (v.2), and stay faithful. This is what I need to remember. There are two attitudes that can destroy faithfulness, which I know I must watch out for:
a.) a critical spirit (Mt. 25:24-30)
b.) a lazy spirit (Luke 12:42)
In order to avoid these, I need to practice daily routines and continue to persevere in growing with God
4.) We must remember the goal (v.3-5). We want to hear Jesus tell us "well done, good and faithful servant".
This was very profound to me, and I hope it made you think also.
Friends, let's not just think anymore. Let's do. Let's walk in the path of our master.
Today I am going bridesmaid dress shopping with Mel and her other bridesmaids. I feel elated to be involved in this time-honoured tradition-standing up as a witness to say that I approve of her marriage with Nate.
But my beloved sister is getting married!!! (well, one of the two beloved sisters, of course). It seems like the engagement period has flown by, and has just gained acceleration pedals in the past couple months. I am excited for her and Nate as they are on this journey towards beginning their new life together. However, I know that from here on out, things are going to change, and it may be hard to get accustomed to those changes.
We always knew she would be the first to get married, and so she will be. Praise the Lord for giving her the desires of her heart, to first be a woman in love, a married lady....and the rest will come soon enough :) I am also thankful to God for blessing her with a handsome and godly man, one who desires to know everything about her and is truly in love with her. I will feel blessed to call him my brother-in-law :)
I am sitting here, with the full knowledge that I should go to bed, as I have to work early in the morning. And yet, for some reason, I cannot. My stomach has a case of the nervous butterflies.
My week-end was filled with wonderful moments, and my heart is full and overflowing with warmth and so much love.
On Saturday, Ruth-Ann came and visited me. She had never seen my house before, so I was eager for her to finally be ushered into my "home sweet home". We had a great day together, catching up, sharing laughter, and enjoying the beautiful day as I showed her around the "downtowns" that are in my city. Although our time was short, I can safely say that it was much appreciated and definitely needed. I miss spending time with her, and am always glad when it feels like old times.
I spent all of Sunday with Jake. We went to church in the morning, and listened to a challenging sermon from John 13:1-17. Pastor Dave challenged us to become selfless like Jesus, when he washed the disciples feet. He reminded us that when we become humble and think about others, we can more fully demonstrated Jesus' love to them. It was also communion today, which I haven't had a chance to take in a long time (not because I haven't been right with God, but just missing the service when it comes around).
Jake made me lunch, and then we went for a walk outside, in the gorgeous sunlight. It was delightful to reminisce on our summer last year, as we went back to where we used to go on those balmy evenings, wearing flip flop sandals and flirting shamelessly. Not to say that there was no flirting yesterday- I dare say there might have even been more :) But definitively less mosquito bites by the river. Yes, I say, it was a lovely walk and an altogether blessed day.
What do you think heaven is going to be like? I have been thinking a lot about Jesus' return lately, and what it's going to be like to worship him with all the people who have ever lived! How will I be able to speak in His presence? I hope he lets me play in the orchestra- I will be so honoured to play my French horn for His glory...
I feel truly blessed to know so many people who love me. Sometimes I wonder why. I certainly don't deserve the love and support that I receive from many of my friends and family. And yet it is there, and they are there, with open arms.
Lately I have been thinking back to when I had to go in the hospital last April. The one year anniversary is coming up on the 4th. I notice deeper relationships I have with some people because of that. I also notice how more people care. I notice how much more at ease I am to talk about it. I notice how much more grateful I am for life, for the air I breathe, and for the mobility I have in my body. God is so good, you know? I feel like so many times I have messed up, or life has messed me up, and even though I don't deserve to get a second chance, God stretches out his arms and says, "Here's the crappy situation, but take these blessings. Learn from this, but have my love and grace. Your life will be changed, but you need to grow. Let me love you. Let me teach you the hard way, but let me love you." I feel SO incredibly blessed, looking back on this past year. So much has happened in that time, so many good things, some bad things, but God has been present the whole time. Without Him, I am nothing. He is my strength, minha forca. All glory and honour be to his name.
Makes me want to write and sing praises to God for creating such a beautiful light.
And to think that Jesus is the Light of the World, and we are all little lights created in his image!
I am feeling nostalgiac, longing even more for those warm spring days after being teased with the warmth of today.
Days where coats are not subjugated to inclement weather, nor are mittens the victims of the cruel frigid winds of winter.
Days where the air smells fresh, and the ground is covered in puddles, and every step I take is full of energy and excitement.
Yesterday I found a channel on iTunes radio that plays only sounds of birds tweeting. Hesitantly, I began to listen, afraid I would become bored and simply annoyed. Instead, I found myself enraptured, conjuring up pictures of languid mornings sipping green tea on a cottage porch, drinking in the cool of the morning...dreaming of crisp, spring dawns, unable to move from comfortable, clean sheets and a heavy comforter, with an open window carrying the sounds of cheerful birdies on a soft, cool breeze...imagining myself lying there, being lulled back into a light sleep as I smile in blissful contentedness...
And this is why I love spring...
Praise the Lord for days like today, that make the snows and doldrums of winter a little easier to bear.