Monthly Archives: May 2011

Oh finals…

Standard

…I extremely dislike them!!

I am sick of studying. I have been either starring at a computer screen, studying for biology or preparing what I am going to say for my presentation tomorrow for a total of 10 hours today alone…and that is just as of now. These study “parties” tend to go until midnight/1 AM…I don’t know if I can study for that much longer…but I really should!! I will take a break for until 11 PM and then it’s back to studying for a few more hours tonight.

Good bye and I’ll be back when finals are over, or if I just need another break.

Freshman year

Standard

So I am less than a week away from being done with my first year of college. I can’t believe how fast everything has gone by, but how slow it has been at the same time.

When I left San Mateo, I had no idea what I was coming to, in fact I had a very different perception of Forest Grove than what it actually was…and expected something a lot different than what I found. I came here knowing one person, sort of. A few weeks into the year I heard of this thing called PCF and how they were having a beginning of the year BBQ. Coming into this year I honestly had no intention of finding a church and really trying to make connections with one. I had sort of given up, the past year had thrown me through a loop and I wasn’t sure I was ready to take the jump again. But there was something leading me to go to this BBQ, so I checked it out. I was greeted by Michelle, and quickly pulled in and introduced to other students and the pastors. They invited me to church with them on Sunday, and I said yes…that Sunday night I found myself sitting in a huge house filled with people and this undeniable sense of family and love. I knew that this was why I had been brought to Forest Grove, I knew that I wanted to be a part of this family.

I continued going to Refuge on Sundays, and quickly was involved in a small group, and attending the Wednesday night gathering they had on campus. These things have changed my life. I was seeing church, God, in a new way…and actually feeling like I could try making steps to have a relationship with the Lord that I had heard about my whole life and tried so hard, for so long, to find. I felt like I had the support here to do that, not only to pursue that relationship but would be supported when it was hard and I wanted to give up. This has held to be true to this very day.

And these are the people who have not only challenged me in my relationship with God but in daily life. Eating new foods and trying new things.

I have memories of conversations in the attic, in my favor big comfy chair, on the swings, walking down random streets of Forest Grove, in a basement, at Maggie’s Buns, Starbucks…and even a garage. These are all conversations that have had a purpose, either me or the other person has made a point to seek the other out and has been purposeful in the conversation…even if that just means sitting there in silence when I don’t know what’s going on.

One of the biggest lessons that I have learned this year has been that it’s ok to ask for help. I seem to have it engrained in my mind that asking for help is a sign of weakness; it’s admitting that I can’t do something. But what I have taken from this year is that the admitting I can’t do anything more on my own isn’t weakness, it isn’t giving up…that asking for help when you know you can’t do something on your own is better than trying to do it all and failing. I’ve realized that asking for help is just basically denying my pride and not letting it control where I stand and where I’m going.

 It’s ok that I don’t know what’s in front of me all the time. This analogy has been one that I have constantly been reminded of this year, and have had to challenge myself with many times. I am standing on the edge of a cliff, and there is a roaring ocean below me, I am supposed to jump off of this cliff. The cliff resembles my current situation, where I am at the moment in life; the ocean is the world, and all the unknown that I am stepping into; the step off the cliff that I am supposed to take is representative of me trusting God. Trusting that God will not let me fall into the ocean, but that he will catch me and carry me away. Real trust is jumping. It doesn’t mean that it’s not scary or hard, but that I have faith that I will be caught. This has not been an easy idea for me to grasp, and it has most definitely not been easy stepping off the cliff. But in the times that I have, God has shown up and carried me through.

 

As these last few days are coming, I am standing on another cliff. Going home will be a step, leaving the life that I have made here and the family that I have and going home to an unknown situation.

I don’t know what the plan that God has for this summer is. But I am being reminded to enjoy the time I have, friends and family. But to pay attention to what God is showing me and trying to teach me at the same time.

I cannot sum up everything that has happened this past year in just a blog…my life has been changed, that’s the most important part. I cannot thank everyone enough who has been a part of this change, who have been the ones with words of advice and wisdom when I am running around like a chicken with its head cut off, hugs, smiles, love, support and encouragement. Everyone says that the friends you make in college are the ones you keep forever…well I sure hope so.

Can we all stay friends forever?!?! I love you guys!

it doesn’t come from me

Standard

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.

Take my will and make it Thine
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is Thine own
it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord I pour
at Your feet its treasure store
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.
Take myself and I will be
ever, only, all for Thee.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for Thee.

~Take My Life

Upon the hill on Calvary
He came from Heaven’s throne
Our fallenness and mercy meet
Where blood and water flow 

What grace divine what selflessness
That Christ would bear the weight
Our proof is scarred on hands that bled
That we were worth every nail 

And all the praise and glory to God
We sing Hallelujah sing Hallelujah
For the King has carried the cross
He is risen from the grave

Beyond the tomb to holy skies
He rose in victory
And bridged for us the great divide
His life is our liberty

It’s Your love
It’s Your love
It’s Your love
That has saved me

It’s Your blood
It’s Your blood
It’s Your blood
That has cleaned me

~ It’s Your Love

We sang these two songs last night at our last PCF gathering. I’d had a rough day, and was pretty drained when I came into practice. But as we were singing these songs, I really took some time to listen to what the words were saying and they reminded me that I don’t have to do this on my own. That everything comes from God. I had been going through the day being really discouraged about some stuff that was going on with school, and seeing the weight that I place in things like grades be shattered…it was being taken away, because that was where so much of my time, effort and focus had been spent. There was a chunk of time where I couldn’t help but freak out and focus on how I was going to change this…but then the lyrics from one of these songs popped into my head

 “Take my silver and my gold
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as You choose.

Here am I, all of me.
Take my life, it’s all for Thee”

This is a hard thing for me to accept, but it has taken this shake to redirect me and evaluate where I place my value. Do I find it in grades? Amount of friends? Appearance?  there are countless things that I could find my value in…but all of them have proven to fail.

“What grace divine what selflessness
That Christ would bear the weight
Our proof is scarred on hands that bled
That we were worth every nail “

Realizing that the last line of that verse is true for me has been essential to me growing this year, Jesus died for me. And yet, I place so much value and stress so much over things that I have no control over, and in the long run don’t matter. For all I know there could be a purpose in me not being the top of my class, and I’m beginning to be okay with that. It has been a lesson that has been in the making for years, and now I am finally beginning to see a glimpse of it. That doesn’t make accepting it any easier, the journey is still going to be hard, and sometimes it will hurt. But it gives me hope. I was reminded tonight of just how much God has provided for me this year, support and encouragement when I need it and people to walk along this journey with me. People to be there when I don’t know which way to turn, when I’m walking the right direction, and when I fall. Being reminded of these helps me get through the times when I don’t know what’s going on.

Encouragement

Standard

This song reminds me of how much God loves me. and it takes me down off the pedestal that I find myself on sometimes. This song makes me think of one specific night while we were on one of our mission trips to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. We were there to be doing relief work after Katrina. There was one very special night that I will never forget. The family of us who had embarked on this trip together gathered around in a circle, and were presented with one of the most humbling experiences of my life. John 13:1-17. Just as Jesus did for the disciples before the Passover dinner, we washed eachothers feet. This was a night full of submission, to one another and to God. Emotion filled the night, humility, respect, submission and love.

Have I forgotten what really trying to put this into my life means? This song reminds me of what God has done for me, and calls me to submit.

Oh kneel me down again
Here at Your feet
Show me how much You love
Humility

Oh spirit be the star
That leads me to
The humble heart of love
I see in You

‘Cause You are the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
You wash the feet of the weary
Embrace the ones in need
And I want to be like you Jesus
To have this heart in me
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King

Oh kneel me down again
Here at Your feet
Show me how much You love
Humility

Oh spirt be the star
That leads me to
The humble heart of love
I see in You

You are the God of the broken
The friend of the weak
You wash the feet of the weary
Embrace the ones in need
And I want to be like You Jesus
To have this heart in me
You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King
You are the humble King

You are the God of the humble
You are the humble King

 

Dear Life,

Standard

Please slow down! I am very excited to be able to go home and get a break from school and the work that comes with it. BUT, there is so much that needs to be done in the 16 days before I leave Forest Grove! and I am not ready to be thinking about the idea of going back to living without all of this around me, what has become normal for me. I know that God will be with me wherever I go, I am trying to remind myself of this as much as I am forgetting…but it is very challenging. But more than this overwhelming realization of everything that I have to do in these next 16 days, is the reality that my life as I know it, my family, will in a sense disappear for 3 months. I don’t like this one bit, there is a lot of anxiety in this and many questions racing through my head. Yes, many efforts will be made to keep connections running and growing through this time, and the accountability and growth will continue…but the idea of not seeing these friends almost daily seems like such a foreign concept to me. I have gotten so used to living like this, so closely and openly with so many people…I almost can’t imagine anything else. There is a great deal to say about your friends when you can call them at any time of the night, and even if they’ve had a long day themselves they will be there to talk through whatever it is. Random hang outs and movies. Conversations go beyond the scope of “Hey, what’s up?”

I don’t know if any of this makes sense, some of it may be repeated, there may have been stuff left out. The next 3 weeks will be full of emotions, finals, papers, ups and downs, laughs, smiles, tears, good-byes and hello’s. So I am sure that there will be many more of those.