Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Give Thanks

Since I wrote a little bit about having a thankful attitude, I wanted to reevaluate and share some things that I am feeling very thankful for this week.  

God's forgiveness. My brother gave a talk at church about how generous God's forgiveness is, and I'm so glad that He is so merciful.  How wide, how long, how high, how deep is His love for us!

Our brand new nephew, Max.  

My husband. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed when I think about all the things I appreciate about Daniel.  I don't know how to tell him enough how much those things mean to me. Like how he wakes up at 6 am with me and makes me breakfast and lunch for school. Or how he surprised me with a giant bag of Cheetos this week.  Or how he rubs my neck when I have a headache and makes me a refresher to drink.  Or how he just redid our bathroom... new tile, new paint (with the help of my brother), and a new toilet! Doesn't it look pretty?  

Four day weekends!  Ahhh... so enjoyed having a four day weekend. We went to Apple Hill and enjoyed beautiful weather and FALL! 

Our blue and white comforter. Ok, a long time ago I posted this about how much I love blue and white. Lo and behold, here is the gorgeous, gorgeous quilt my parents gave me.

What are you feeling thankful for this week?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Do Everything Without Complaining

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. Philippians 2:14-16

In my Bible study last week, I stumbled upon this verse. I have found this especially hard to do lately.  Like I've mentioned, school is extremely overwhelming for me and it's easy for me to grumble about it. A lot of my classmates spend a lot of time talking about how hard school is, and I often jump right in. Sometimes, I even start the complaining! But really, this verse is telling me to cut that out. That doesn't mean I shouldn't care about their troubles, but instead of joining in the complaining, I should be shining like a light.  Not complaining doesn't mean that you don't have difficulties or trials, it just means that you refuse to indulge in them.  I find that often, in my own struggles, a little positive thinking and a thankful attitude are all I need to feel better.  Not to say that all troubles can be overcome by positive thinking, but I think it can do a lot of good in any situation.  

To the world around us, a bunch of positive thinkers will stick out.  It's innate to complain, so if we stop complaining and have a thankful attitude, people will take note.  Maybe it will even give us an opportunity to share God's Word with them! I'm going to try hard this week (and every week!) to be a more positive thinker.  

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Take My Life

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 thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is think own;
It shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At thy feet its treasure store;
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for thee.

We sing this hymn often in church, and every time we sing it, it hits me very powerfully.  Do I really do this? Do I really let God take control of my life?  It's not so hard to give God control of some things, but everything... that's a lot harder. I don't mind giving my feet to God sometimes, but couldn't I do with them what I want sometimes?  Is there a 50/50 here? Or even a 70/30?  

We know there isn't.  God wants our all.  He wants everything we do, everything we say, everything we think, everything we have, to be given to Him.

And really, wouldn't we rather everything we have be in His control, our all-powerful Father, then in our own weak and mortal hands?  

Teach me to give it all to you, Father.

Monday, October 13, 2014

A Big, Happy Family

I talk a lot about my family and how wonderful they are.  But this weekend was my *new* father-in-law's birthday, and I thought it might be a good time to mention my now-expanded family. Even though Daniel's parents live in Canada, I was blessed to be able to spend a significant amount of time with them before we married. Besides several short visits, they graciously allowed me to live with them for two months in the spring. Because I couldn't work, I was there all day long, every day, but even that didn't phase them. Vikki fed me every day and every so often Gregg would bring home a few of my favorite treats... Cheetos, Lucky Charms, or chocolates.  #Imsohealthy

They were ever so loving and generous with me, and I'm so thankful that Daniel has such wonderful parents to add to my family.  With all the stories you hear of awful in-laws, I feel very blessed.  Daniel's brother and sister are both married with kids and they have also been very generous with me whether it be letting me stay with them or making my wedding invites (thanks Naomi!).  Like any family, we can have our differences, but I'm glad for my big family.

Happy birthday, Gregg! Now that you have a blog post about it, you can't ignore it (;

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

A Loving Sacrifice

Ever had something you are dreading hanging over your head?  Maybe a painful surgery, an unpleasant meeting, or even a really hard test.  Whatever it is, whether it be months or weeks away, it seems to be a dark cloud over you.  You might not think about it often months out but you might feel the weight in the back of your mind.  Then, as it gets closer, it is on your mind more and more.  Sometimes you just can't wait for it to come so that it can be over.

Now, think of Jesus.  Jesus, who knew all his life the horrible death he would die.  I don't know if he knew exactly when, but he knew it was coming. He knew the agony he would face.  Talk about a dark cloud hanging over your head.  His whole life he had the weight of that on his shoulders.  If I can get upset just thinking about a dreaded meeting, I can't even begin to imagine how Jesus must have felt.  

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them,“Sit here while I go over there and pray.”  He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” (Matthew 26:26-28)

I'm not trying to compare any of my trivial difficulties to Jesus' death. I'm simply trying to bring some perspective to my own life.  Jesus wasn't superhuman.  As we know from reading the accounts in the Garden of Gethsemane, it did not come easy to Jesus.  As the hour drew near, Jesus was in intense anguish.  He needed his Father, and he needed his apostles. He had to go through it, but that doesn't mean it was simple. It makes me all the more thankful for the sacrifice he made.  And thankful to our Father, who gave the ultimate sacrifice in giving His own Son.  That is the ultimate display of love.

 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Keep On

Posts around here have been few and far between.  It's not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last! Daniel and I are settling into married life, which is quite a change (but a change that we love!) I also started graduate school for Physical Therapy at the beginning of September (one week after we got married! Crazy).

Now I must say, graduate school is not a change that I am loving. The first week of school was extremely tiring for me, and though it has gotten better, it's still a major adjustment.  I wouldn't say it's very different than doing my undergrad, but at a lot faster pace.  I do have Mondays off, which I am very thankful for, but other than that I am at school all day. I miss my husband a lot! We have lots of tests and we have to maintain an 83% in all of our classes to pass.  

All in all, I've been feeling very overwhelmed. I know that it's probably not true, but it feels like everyone else in my class has got it all together. Then there's me, who doesn't have a clue what our teachers are talking about, struggling to keep up. In a way, I think it's a way of making me realize I can't control everything. During my undergrad, I didn't have to work all that hard to get good grades. School just came easily to me.  Now, not so much.

Life experiences like this make me realize how much I need to rely on God. Trying to be the best on my own robs me of joy and brings only frustration. Rather, I have been trying to come up with some ideas to help me.  Such things as having "study periods" where I focus only on studying, instead of distracted studying. This allows me to study intensely and then give myself a break.  Daniel and I always make time to spend several hours together in the evening, including doing Bible study.  I've also decided to take Sundays off from school to give me a day to refresh and focus on God and my family. It may sound counterintuitive, but we all need a break to recharge and refocus.  

I pray that doing these things will help me to keep my priorities straight! Thanks for listening to my struggles. What have you been struggling with lately?