Saturday, December 25, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Verbo Caro Factum, est et Habitavit en Nobus.

I was sitting in a patients room yesterday and I read the entire book i am not but i know I AM by: Louie Giglio.
It was... A good reminder.
At one point in the book he went through a word by word analysis of Verbo Caro Factum, est et Habitavit en Nobus. Or "And the Word became flesh and dwelled among us."
He talked about the word Became and how God had mentioned that he was the great I AM which in the Hebrew word used was to BE.

He also left the reader with a captivating thought:

" He didn't send a note, an e-mail, a check, a cosmic event, a mandate, or an image on a toasted cheese sandwich. When God came to man- when BE came - BE became flesh. The God of the world in a body like yours and mine. Why does that matter? BEcause you can touch flesh. You can identify with flesh. You can wrap your arms around flesh and feel its heartbeat. You can hear the voice of flesh and it will bleed. You can nail flesh to a cross." (Giglio p. 66-67).

After reading this book I realized I am small no really really small. But the reminder is that I am part of a bigger picture and in that I am able to see that I am known by name by the creator of the universe. Incredible.

Why is it a good reminder? Because it's easy to think that this is just another cliche season... Another time to just make sure all the tittles are over the i's and the t's are crossed (tittle is the formal word for the dot over the i). It is also easy to get bogged down with thoughts of the future. And your story: it's easy to be so focused on the immediate or upcoming situations weather it's weight loss, or a test result, or a biopsy... That you forget that the great I AM is watching out for you. That God has your best at his heart and He would never let you go... Sure, it's easy to get caught up in those things... So we need to constantly remember who we are... We're small. He's
BIG and He's got it under control.

If I need a reminder of why I should trust Him... I can look throughout history... I can see that there has never been any cosmic disturbances. He has provided for the trees, the birds, and He is going to provide for our every need. It may not be the idea or the plan we had for ourselves. But at the same time: we must remember... Everything in the end will point to His glory which is ultimately the best gift of all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Brave... The few.

I found it rather peculiar how easy it was to get into my specialist the other day.

As I talked to her at my appointment... I was sure to draw this observation to her attention.

She told me I was part of the brave and the few.

Most people refuse to come in with the holidays nearby. The schedule fills around January as everyone prepares for self-help, and maintenance. She told me how no one wants to hear they need to go on a diet, or they have something wrong just before celebrating the holiday's with family.

It's this facade they put up: as if not going to the doctor's will somehow make the season less "stressful". I found this observation extremely intriguing.

Who knew you could be brave for going to the doctors before the holidays?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Love.

Many of my friends are getting engaged or married... Or are in  very serious relationships... And it seems to be a topic that is tossed around a lot.

Today was my first day back to work since Thanksgiving break. It wasn't easy getting up at 5:00 in the morning and love was certainly not the emotion I felt toward my job.

However, I observed a patient and her husband and I have learned a lot from my elders... It is interesting, I find myself amazed at how society has shown me increasing divorce rates, lack of desire to care for the older generations, and everything is about time, and convenience.

As I listened to the woman's doctor talk to her husband she explained the skin breakdown issues, and how she felt maybe it would be best for his wife to go to the nursing home... He had been taking care of his wife and she had dementia quite bad. I thought about the things we had discussed in the classroom at college in my Human Behavior Class back at school...  I pondered the case not realizing the woman was talking about my patient at first.

Then, later on, I went to the room and the husband was content at the bedside, spoon feeding her a strawberry milkshake. Wiping her mouth, caring, providing for her.  When I entered the  room: he stood and made his way over to me at a brisk pace with a concerned look on his face. He told me that her roommate had said that his wife had been crying and he wondered if that was true. I hadn't heard anything about it so I said no...  However, the nurse quickly corrected me, saying in fact, she had been crying. Her roommate had been talking with her about her husband and she had began to cry because she missed him.

His eyes filled with tears, and he smiled a little, we all knew that he had missed her too. He brushed her hair back tenderly and said how he had missed her too. He promised her that he would get the nursing care they needed and he would bring her home. He was attentive, and in love. He told me how his bride had only grown more beautiful as the years had passed. The laughter lines soon never faded and how no matter how bad things have gotten, he has found himself more in love today than he was the day they were married...

I was astonished... I found myself realizing, that no matter what society shows us, we are able to come in contact with others who have proven them wrong. I hope some day all of my friends who are married today, will someday be able to say their love has only deepened and become more true... Something better than they had ever imagined. The visible truth of how things were originally intended, the blessing of the marriage.It was most certainly a blessing today, being able to see them in love.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'll let my stomach speak for me

Aren't these pie in a jars great?! You can send a homemade pie as a gift without the hassle of making the pie.
Since I have really started to enjoy making pies... I think this would make a great mass quantity Christmas gift idea. :] Also lots of opportunities to perfect my crust making abilities.

source: acupofjo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Final Countdown



It's the final stretch. By Friday, I will be done with another semester of college and only three semesters until I graduate! Incredible. This song came to mind with the thoughts of being done. I am sure next year this time it will really feel that way as I enter my last semester as a college student. :]

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Our Deepest Fear

Yesterday we had an Oral Interpretations chapel and in that chapel we listened to original poetry written by our peers along with scripture, and poems that had been published and were famous. Among the poems was:
Our Greatest Fear —Marianne Williamson

it is our light not our darkness that most frightens us
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,

talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of

God that is within us.
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people

permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.


When I heard the poem I thought to myself, how strange... I don't know if that is truly my deepest fear.

Last night, I was talking with someone and he said something that struck me. It was something I have said before and something I have heard before. He said: "I don't like talking about myself".

Now, I was raised that when asked a question you must answer it. However, sometimes it seems as though when asked multiple questions about yourself... The feeling of being unveiled or revealed is scary. Or that you have an over inflated ego going on and on about yourself. To the worlds standards it seems conceited.

I wondered as he said that: back to this poem. Perhaps this is our deepest fear that when we are unveiled we will then be powerful we will influence more than others and what if, society isn't ready for that? Or perhaps it's just the opposite: what if then in those moments of liberation you yourself find, you are not achieving what others thought of you. Our fear is in the judgements of others or the process of what's right and wrong. Is it not?

Just something I have been thinking about. What is our greatest fear? Who are we deep within our core? I find it interesting to say the least.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Depression.

This word has been tossed around a lot lately in my life...
It is used to describe feelings, people, situations I have been far removed from, situations that are up close and personal...

No matter what: there seems to be a common trend: they don't know.

When I was listening to someone reflect how his friend had committed suicide: he kept saying... I don't know how he got to where he was. And I don't know how it could have gotten so bad... He was totally miffed.

Those affected by the depression often are quoted saying: I don't know how to get out of this, and I don't know why things are they way they are or I don't know why I think the things I do.

Afterwards, there is the recollection of good times and the desire to retreat to the comfort of those wonderful days. However, there is no way to return to those particular days and they continue to wonder where they went wrong.

Depression is peculiar to me. I don't understand it... It makes me sad though, because I can't explain it or totally grasp it and I wonder sometimes if it's just something that has no answer.

bRING CHRISTmas to Africa

If you remember last year I posted this post. About getting caught into a life of motion.

Anyways, this year I got an e-mail from the With This Ring campaign again this year. They are at it again to propose a new tradition and thought with engagement and marriage.

I am totally impressed by the idea of starting your marriage out serving others in need with a bind of love with your future mate. So this is a really neat concept to me and is definitely a worthwhile cause. I felt with the hustle and bustle of the season it was important to take a moment and reflect on those who are less fortunate... May we each not get lost in the "busyness" of the season that we lose the sight of our true gift.




in closing this is a video that has profoundly impacted me and my life of ministry... I hope that the days where I have seen poverty first hand, or seen the sights of pain from others that they will continue to jar me to a point of discomfort... May we never forget and be forever changed by the radical love of Christ.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Psalm 73:26

There's a peace I've come to know

Though my heart and flesh may fail

There's an anchor for my soul

I can say "It is well"

(Chris Tomlin: I Will Rise)

I have had a lot of little things that have been going on in my life lately that have built up and added pressure and stress. Things that I don't really understand but are there. In the process of comprehending life, and the meaning of why, I have found myself wondering what God is doing and if HE could possibly be there... I look around and I see the apathy of my brother's and sister's in Christ, and I have been discouraged when I have noticed they don't seem to be smiling. I don't understand their quick tongues, and their harsh hearts. Then when I looked deep within my own heart I found myself bitter, and hurt, full of pain and anguish as I had started to take in my surroundings and let the pain of their words consume me to unknowing and undeserving people. Victims of my own heart's demise.

I had been hurt and I didn't think it was possible that God would use my wounds and pain to help anyone. I felt like I was withering away in time and agony; and in response: I just wanted to be alone. I felt like I was more of a hindrance to those around me than anything that could possibly help them. So I began separating myself from my peers thinking it was for their best interest.

Anyways, today my perspective took a 180. I found myself opening up to an old friend and upon doing that I realized I was harming myself for the preservation of others. I started examining my soul; and opening my ears. I also found out that someone very close to me's sister was passing away (she is elderly so it makes it a little easier to bear). However, that thought came to me and struck a cord within me as I began wrestling with having an eternal perspective: and thinking about death, and what that means in the scheme of eternity.

A few other series of events happened and then I got a phone call that made me examine things in my heart further. I began thinking about all the pain, hurt, and evil in the world. I began thinking of how hurt my heart feels when I hear of injustice, or pain. I thought, why Lord, why is there pain?

Then I got a text that came to me as a surprise kind of... The woman I babysit for's father had passed away and I was asked to babysit. Without missing a beat, I knew this was what I was supposed to do tonight. So I committed and drove over to their house. When I got there it was uncanny how easily the baby went to sleep and then as I was tucking in the older daughter she began asking for her grandpa... It surprised me a little: as I thought about how every other time I had tucked this little girl in.. She had never once requested her grandfather's presence. At first I began to say you just have to go to bed and it's okay, mommy and daddy will be home soon. However, I realized that she, in her little five year old world was feeling pain too. So I quickly consulted a friend on what to do. He offered simple advice; creating something that would captivate her mind and distract her from her pain.

We created a perfect world: one of candy for dinner, and unlimited time with mommy and grandpa. We created this picture of something beautiful and special unique to her. In those moments at her bedside; I got to experience the awesomeness of childlike faith: her open surrender to something larger than herself. In her perfect world she only saw the things at face value. She did not see the criminals or crime or the pain so there was no need to wish it away. For the only thing she could grasp were the things that brought her joy. I grasped for a moment: Matthew 19:14 where Jesus said: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." It was amazing to me, a bible lesson at the bedside. In a split second I felt as though I saw the heart of God: this love that surpasses understanding. For a child would hug a stranger and a criminal all  the same as they hug their own parent. They express this unconditional love. It's no wonder that Jesus saw such great things in such small children. Faith is that simple act.

It gives me a reason to smile, it reminds me why I am here: because though my flesh may fail, words may fade, paper can be burnt, computers can crash... Our world is only conditional. We only have this moment we live: However, we have such a great reason to say: it is well with my soul (this link is worth going to because it has the awesome story behind the hymn it is well with my soul). And for this I have a reason to smile. I have seen God move in many ways in such a short time.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mom hugs and Doctor's appointments...

Well, this weekend I have found myself in the familiar setting of doctor’s offices... I got more blood work done and a possible diagnosis of lupus, and Poly-cystic Ovary Syndrome.


They want to get the results of another series of tests before confirming... It was so obscure being back into the hands of the medical field... Friends at college have been saying to me lately do you even still go here? It's almost a twinge of pain that comes along with the question as I remember the long months in the hospital through High School. I trust in the Lord that the pain doesn't last forever... The light at the end of the tunnel is coming and it's just a matter of when. Until then I continue to wait on His faithfulness.

Then tonight, as my mom was getting ready to go to bed she told me to come over and give her a hug, with much reluctance I got up and gave her a hug. She sat there and embraced my body close to hers... She hugged me like she has for the past nineteen years holding my body and just embracing the moment. She told me how when I was younger I used to sit on her lap and pretend she was my chair. We laughed as I used to be called the family "lopper" and I used to love to snuggle...

I got teary as I thought, mom hugs are a finite resource. You cannot get unlimited supply of these wonderful embraces and her love is truly sacrificial toward our family. She is truly incredible... Tonight I can go to bed knowing that my mother loves me, there is so much unknown but there is the known also and that's what I am holding onto tonight. I have an eternal perspective and I am holding onto the fact that my mom's hugs are only a glimpse of those my eternal father will be able to yield.

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. Maya Angelou

Home for a few days!

Top Chef- Desserts only Quads edition.


This would be the winner of the pie category of the Top Chef competition made by yours truly, it was an awesome competition... My RA convinced me to enter and boy am I glad I did! Three other girls on the floor and myself added recipes with everything from chocolate chip cookies to Oreo truffles. It was a really neat experience adorned with descriptions fit for the menu at a cafe.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Que Sera Sera



I thought this was a fitting video for my post today. As I have grown, everyone always asks me what I want to be when I grow up... I wanted to be a doctor, I wanted to help babies.. The list goes on and on.

When I got to High School we did a "Life Map" We posed our future as we would like to see it unfold and one of my goals was to write a book... We have always had a whatever will be, will be, attitude in our family. Letting the future unfold with God's plans for our lives. Well, as of Sunday my manuscript will be finding it's way to the publishing house. I am finding myself one step closer to having a dream of mine unfold... As for the rest of my life: Que Sera Sera!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

He sought to conquer the physical limitations placed upon him by a three-dimensional world (and if Time is the fourth dimension, that too was his province).- John L. Parker

Things have changed quite a bit... I continue to work at life with all I have got but sometimes: even that, doesn't seem like enough. I have been trying to find how I can do all that I can and become a better person.

The past two days I have found myself back into the routine that I find most comfort in: being able to go out and run in the afternoons. There is something about coming back from a run that is feeling accomplished, knowing that there is something more and being able to feel like I can go out and achieve it. I started running again on Monday and I am feeling pretty good... I would like to really just ease into training and train through indoor track.

Right now: I am just taking things moment by moment, and day by day. Trying to get caught up in school work and mentally trying to keep myself sane. It's in the moments of doing core in your room, all alone, and really striving to get better: even if no one else experiences it, but yourself: that I am finding my greatest happiness and fulfillment.

It has been cool seeing my body recover and feeling totally restored. I have found that I absolutely love running and pushing myself to it's limits... Running, unlike anything I have ever come in contact with is something where you can experience your best days and your worst days and still go back for more. I have found that it's the closest thing I can get to how I felt when I was sick, in the sense that it's delayed gratification, steady constant commitment, and a true love for something larger than yourself. I am so excited to be running again.

We will see where it takes me! Continue to pray as I am still working hard at getting caught up with lots of other things...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Disconnect... To Connect.



Maybe instead of being extremely productive and getting things done to a point of over efficiency... We should really focus on where we are connecting our time and how we can connect with those around us! Really neat simple commercial that speaks volumes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Longing for Friendship

The devotional I just recently got in my e-mail made me think... And made me realize maybe the feeling of loss of friendship isn't that crazy after all...

A Recipe for Relationships


10 Nov 2010

Micca Monda Campbell
"Because he loved him as he loved himself." 1 Samuel 20:17b (NIV)
So many people today are looking for meaningful relationships, yet so few actually find them. My mother use to tell me to count myself lucky if I had just one "close friend." That's because close life-long relationships are hard to come by. Since we are becoming an increasingly private society, it seems that fewer people than ever actually have life-long intimate friends. Still, the desire for this kind of relationship is not only sought after, but necessary.
Women are naturally drawn to other women. In fact, a girl's first experience with heartache may have been over a lost "best friend" rather than a "boyfriend." Women value friendships. When they are lost, we grieve; not just over the friendship itself, but also for the secrets shared, the trust given and the acceptance enjoyed. If betrayed, the pain runs deep causing us to wonder if intimate friendships are really possible.

When I think of a biblical example of real friendship, the story of David and Jonathan, found in 1 Samuel 19, always comes to mind.
Jonathan, son of King Saul, was David's closest friend. The King despised David because he was growing in popularity and because God had anointed David to be king. These facts enraged King Saul, and he commanded his aids and Jonathan to assassinate David. But Jonathan loved David; therefore he would not betray David.
Love isn't the only fruit of true friendship. A real relationship consists of sacrifice too.
We discover in this story that Jonathan stripped himself of the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his armor, his sword, his bow, and his belt. Jonathan was the potential heir to his father's throne, but we see him sacrificing his future for David as he literally gives David his place as king.
You and I learn from this action that true friendship means a willingness to sacrifice for each other in love. It's the ability to put another's needs, desires, and wishes above those of our own.
Loyalty is also a mark of true friendship. We're told that Jonathan went to his father and spoke well of David. Jonathan also stood up to his dad and said, "Dad, you're wrong about David. He hasn't done anything against you, in fact, everything he's done has helped you." A true friend is a loyal defense before others; one who won't talk about you when you're not around. True friends stick up for each other and are ready to defend when others attack.
Finally, intimate friends give each other complete freedom to be themselves. In an intimate friendship, you don't have to explain why you do what you do. You're just free to do it.
When Jonathan gave David the sign that t hings were not okay in the palace and that his dad was going to kill David, the two were forced to say goodbye. The text tells us they wept together.
When your heart is broken, you can bleed all over a friend like this and she'll understand. She won't try to comfort you in your misery or tell you to straighten up. Intimate friends let each other hurt and they weep together. If your friend needs to complain, you will listen. Intimate friends don't bale, they stay. They allow you to be yourself no matter what 'self' looks like.

If you're looking for a Godly recipe for relationships, look no further. Mix together love, sacrifice, loyalty, and freedom and you can create an intimate friendship that lasts a lifetime.
Dear Lord, help me to be a friend like Jonathan. Then, bless me with the same. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Not really sure what to write...

I found myself praying and thinking the past few days and I guess, I have set up a lot of thoughts about my future. When I graduated from High School: I felt invincible. I really wanted to live my life completely apart from everything else I had known before. I didn't want to be sick and I didn't want anyone to know that I was sick or that there was anything different about me. I was sick of having people know me.

Upon going to college I knew people knew about my sickness and stuff but they didn't know it all... And that was great for me... People heard words without context and they found themselves okay with dealing with me because it hadn't effected the immediate presence.

Then: I found myself in a new place slowly it seems like everything has crept up into the playing field, people know me with the seizures, they have grown apprehensive and slowly I had my labels back... Defeat never hit me so hard, until I wasn't able to run on the XC team any longer after training in the Spring and Summer, and then a good portion of the season this fall... I felt like I had really grown passionate about something and finally I had something back into my life and it was helping me cope a little... I still felt lonely, and I still knew there was a lot to work out but it helped a lot being able to go out and run and face things with God.

When the most recent seizures occurred, I found myself off the team, alone a majority of the time... And well, just plain feeling crappy. I wasn't sure what to do with my time, I was exhausted from the stuff I had gone through physically, and life had most certainly changed as I had known it.

For the first time in my life: I have been faced with something that I couldn't just attach to a situation and find a good thing and pull myself up and over it... Slowly the silver linings of clouds were just smeared into the mess of everything else that was going on. I guess now more than ever I am finding that I am growing with God again, and I am waiting on Him... Was the three year plan really because maybe, I wouldn't be able to make it through this year? So I will actually just be getting done with everyone else? Is there something more to my life than what I will ever be able to imagine? I don't know...

Lately, there has been a lot of questioning... Not in my faith, but what next what now? And how much longer? It is going on six years of having adversity in my life on a grand scale like it has been... And in that six year stretch... I have really found a lot of highs and a lot of lows... But I question the low today and wonder if it's the lowest I have ever been... If you're out there and reading: I would ask that you pray for me as I begin to sort things out with my medical situation and everything else...

I apologize for the "depressing" post... I hope that in the end, if you have felt this way, or do feel this way: you can find the comfort in knowing, it's okay to wonder why... Wonder how much longer... And know that walking by faith sometimes is not walking blindly totally but just talking with God. I mean look at the Psalms!

I close with this:

Psalm 40


For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;

he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

3 He put a new song in my mouth,

a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see and fear the LORD

and put their trust in him.

4 Blessed is the one

who trusts in the LORD,

who does not look to the proud,

to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]

5 Many, LORD my God,

are the wonders you have done,

the things you planned for us.

None can compare with you;

were I to speak and tell of your deeds,

they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—

but my ears you have opened[c]—

burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.

7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—

it is written about me in the scroll.[e]

8 I desire to do your will, my God;

your law is within my heart.”

9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;

I do not seal my lips, LORD,

as you know.

10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;

I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.

I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness

from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;

may your love and faithfulness always protect me.

12 For troubles without number surround me;

my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.

They are more than the hairs of my head,

and my heart fails within me.

13 Be pleased to save me, LORD;

come quickly, LORD, to help me.
14 May all who want to take my life

be put to shame and confusion;

may all who desire my ruin

be turned back in disgrace.

15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”

be appalled at their own shame.

16 But may all who seek you

rejoice and be glad in you;

may those who long for your saving help always say,

“The LORD is great!”
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;

may the Lord think of me.

You are my help and my deliverer;

you are my God, do not delay.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Oh I should be doing homework... but..."

That's my latest catchphrase...

I should be doing homework... but....

Anyways! This week has proven to be quite stressful as the mid-semester stress comes piling in. I am excited to say that I might be taking on another job: taking care of the sticky fingered milestone striking, toddler type! After spending almost a whole semester as a student caller here at school, for admissions and finding how boring it is to say the same script time after time... I thought I might be up for a challenge:

Thus jumping on the latest posting of a babysitting opportunity.

More recently, my friend and I went out to cupcakes this past weekend, a blog post to come after I upload the photos to the computer...

While out we discussed the topic of having children... She has been married for a few years and we discussed how many people seem to pressure newly weds with the dreaded question of when are you going to bring the sticky faced children into the world. It's funny because even more-so now I guess: I think about a girl I was working with in the nursery at church and she had only been married six weeks when one of the women from the congregation popped the question: "So when do you think you'll be having one of your own?"

I am very thankful that in my life of singleness; people ask me about plans and my future but never buckle me down to get married or relationships... Well, unless you're my family! But that's a whole different story.

It makes me wonder, why is it assumed that after you get married, or even just have a boyfriend (after a certain age!) no matter what age you are: you lose the identity of being a student, worker, having goals, and desires, etc. and you're forced into this idealistic culture of popping out kids and adding to the human race.

Friday, October 22, 2010

It happened.

Waking up this morning, I called the health center to make an appointment... They made the appointment however, right during one of my classes so I skipped class, and headed right over...

Upon arrival back to my room: I decided to crawl into bed and "rest" for a few moments.

An hour later... I was still resting.

That's when I decided that I was going to make an active effort to get ready for the day because I had a meeting to head off to later on in the afternoon.

I took a nice relaxing shower and ventured into my room to assemble my outfit for the day, hours after the typical person may have found this journey to their wardrobe. It was nearly 11:00 in the morning. (This may seem peculiar to the outsider, but I am convinced it's considered acceptable on the college campus.)

ANYWAYS that's when it happened.

I got a knock at my door. And the dialogue went something like this:

wardrobe: Victoria: in a white bathrobe with a towel placed neatly on her head appearing to still be wet from previously mentioned shower.
Jillian: in a typical fall jacket with scarf loosely placed around the neck and college student ambassador name tag placed upon the collar.


Jillian: "Hello! It's Jillian!"

Me: "Oh hey Jillian come on in!"

Jillian: Oh! I have a tour here to show your room!

Me: *fumbling with clothes and ripping off towel that was placed on my head* "Oh no! Uh, I just got out of the shower... Uh... Oh man.

Jillian: Do you need a few minutes?

Me: Oh yes please. *please go away and go to another room and let me crawl back into the warmth of my sheets*

Jillian continues on a conversation outside my room, about bathrooms and dorm life buying me some time.
Me: *opening the door now dressed in a t-shirt and sweatpants but still apparently wet from shower as previously mentioned lacking glasses or corrective eye wear* Hello! Welcome! Here is my room! I am so sorry! Today is just an off day...
*scurries to the hallway that the students have been in hoping to avoid another awkward encounter with the students!*

Jillian: Sorry! Usually her room is much cleaner than this!

And as they exited I had one last extremely AWKWARD encounter with the tour students!

Folks, here at Roberts, we offer lots of services however, this is not one that is usually frowned upon!
What a day!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I trained... for this.

The last few weeks have been struggle after struggle it seems and so very...

confusing.

It seemed like as the events have played out, I have handed in my uniform and the thing that I was involved  with here on campus. I have found myself thinking a lot about this past season and the past few months... All of the training, dedication, and hard work that has gone into the team this season.

As I have thought about that two things come to mind:

Dropping time and divorce.

The first seems quite obvious in a sport like Cross Country... You strive for the peak of your season and the coaches have had us training our bodies so that the peak of our season would be in these upcoming meets. Unfortunately, I will not get to run in those meets and it has felt a little defeating as I have had to back away from something I truly love. I feel like I will never know what could have been and in a lot of ways I feel like I am mourning the loss of the end of the season. As my team mates tear up the course "in a Godly fashion". I am forced with finding a life outside of running.

I feel like this now brings me to my second point:

Divorce: as I have had to face the team as a whole and tell them all of the decision to quit training... I feel like it's the classic break-up. No really, it's not you... It's me. It's actually, well, my body. I know, I have noticed you guys got a little uncomfortable with the whole seizure thing... I just think we should take some time to heal. And ending each talk I say, I will be around campus, you'll see me... Lets remain friends!

However, when it comes down to it: I am missing the end of the season. I can pray for my teammates but I still miss them. I put in the training all spring, summer, and most of this season and it just seems weird. Sitting out the part of the season everyone talked about. The part that is supposed to be the most rewarding.

So for those who desired an update, here it is. This is going to be tough, shedding the practices for free time and trying to make use of it in a productive manner.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Me.

I don't really know what to write.

However, I have delayed the updates to the Internet long enough and now I feel it's only right to write.

I have been disappointed in how things have ended up. I am tired, and weak still... However, I did make the journey back to college this weekend. I got to enjoy the company of some good friends and got to see our Cross Country Race this weekend. I haven't started training again, and I honestly don't know if I will be training or racing again this season...

I am also back on seizure medicine.... Which is almost a feeling of defeat as I feel like: why? Why me? Why today?

But: when it comes down to it:

I am here. I am alive. It's me updating again.

I will update again, soon.

Monday, October 11, 2010

A post from a friend...

Hi! Just a heads up: this is NOT Victoria. This is her friend, Michelle (aka Shorty).  Unfortunately, Victoria is in the hospital, so I'm being the blogger for the day.  This past Saturday, Victoria was in PA for another cross country race when she collapsed during the race, had a seizure, and was taken to the hospital. From what I've heard, she had several more seizures on the bus ride home and was taken to a hospital in Fredonia. What I really don't like is the fact that I wasn't there for her. Any other time, I would've been there...  I've NEVER missed a cross country meet... but instead, I was home sick with pneumonia. Gah.

Victoria was transferred from the hospital in Freudonia to a hospital in Buffalo, which is where she is now. She is VERY discouraged and can use any bit of encouragement you can give her!  We've been texting back and forth all day, and she says that there is a possible diagnosis of JME, which is a seizure disorder.  PLEASE be praying that the doctors will be able to correctly diagnose her and that she will be able to return home ASAP.  She's also asking for prayers for strength (physically, mentally, spiritually, etc...), accommodations to her limited diet (I'm a fellow food allergy friend, so I understand). She's also very nervous about the expenses, so be praying for that too.

For those of you who have absolutely no idea who I am; Victoria and I pretty much became friends through our illnesses.  We've both been sick for a VERY long time, and there are a lot of times when we feel like we're the only one's who have any sort of understanding of what the other person is going through.  We're going through different battles, but she is always there to encourage me when I'm sick/frustrated/depressed, send me nice notes, and even bring me to the ER when my body decides to be explosive.

So... yeah. Victoria, you're awesome. We're praying for you!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Separating

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:37-39

I am finding myself in a peculiar place... Somewhere I had been accustomed to being but slowly had gotten apart from. I am finding myself back in the limbo back where shades of black and white are now just another shade of grey. I am getting poked and prodded as we try to discover what is going on with my body. I have suffered fatigue, weight gain, and some tests that are abnormal with my Kidney's.

I am walking in the head knowledge that the Lord has my back- but tonight nothing can explain my heart other than the words heavy. I don't understand the purpose behind trials enough... I see the growth in the end but I cannot explain the tragedy and pain of feeling so helpless. I find my body needing rest and my thoughts wondering what could I have done different?

So this morning: I found myself fearful as I found myself approaching an all too familiar scene: going for blood work the final test before the hopeful diagnosis.

I find hope and I proclaim with not only my lips; but with my heart nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God.

Despite wondering why I know the how is through His mercy and grace and strength.

Closing with a song

Beautiful.

perfection in a bouquet of flowers
I just wanted to share these flowers that my mom got for me. There is something so awesome and so unique about the atmosphere flowers bring. I like to think that God took a special paintbrush and hand painted each petal. :]

Saturday, October 2, 2010

How far are we willing to go for a friend?

Recently we were in chapel and our student leadership group for a student led worship service did a topic of "throw down" and surrendering your life...

As I wrestled over the topic through chapel, I found myself thinking about why we go to the extreme nature of saying: I would take a bullet for you. This idea makes me think of how it's almost like I would take a bullet for you because there is no societal norm that would lead me to think this would ever be something I would encounter in daily living. Each day we wake up, we don't wonder: will I die today taking a bullet for a friend?

I think it's easy to say and almost convicting to say I would take a bullet, but I don't have time to hang out... If we aren't making the daily sacrifices of spending time and sharing life with people; what is the significance of taking a bullet for their life?

I guess that it makes me wonder how many verbal bullets we are willing to stand up for- the social and linguistic bullets of daily life. Just a thought.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Decisions:

Every day we make decisions that mold us, and make us who we are.

Last year during finals week, I made the decision to take the plunge: change my major. Despite the encouragement of many to tough out nursing there was a small still voice within me that said it wasn't it. My passion was deeply rooted in listening, and spending time with others. I wanted to serve, and I just didn't feel like nursing was going to be the thing that fulfilled that longing. After a semester of discomfort and prayer... I took the plunge, I switched my major.

The honeymoon phase is over and I am totally immersed within my major. I spent this past week during what could be considered as our first trial if this was a relationship. I had three tests this week in my Social Work Classes and I was totally committed to studying my butt off for them. As I put in the time and effort of studying until early morning hours and rising early again, to see the sun rise alongside me...

I found that one thing remained true: we're both still committed. So each day I still enjoy waking up and going to class and listening to lecture after lecture about things that soon I will be able to set into motion. I have found, this is my passion. I am excited to see where God takes this, however, more than that: I am thankful for the peace this has brought me.

Monday, September 20, 2010

just some fun...

just a few photos from my Sunday afternoon bike ride!



<>
Hello there! When humans do this, we call them photo bombers...However with this little unique addition of the little tan goat who could say the photo was ruined?!
and that "grass is always greener on the other side" mentality still rings true.
Something about the face of a goat makes me laugh...
Happy Monday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

in one month

I have found myself at the bottom of the bucket and slowly looking around to see that I can pull through...

This year the transition felt like trying to climb through a brick wall. I felt like constantly I was running back and charging full speed into a wall. I can't explain it any other way. Walking around on campus, I have found myself wondering what the purpose of this journey could be... Could it be that I am socially inept? No, I was told by my pastor I could have a conversation with anyone. It's not that.... Still stumped.

I have found myself slowly picking up the broken pieces, however, in the midst I have also found myself blessed. If it hadn't been for the confusing week that I had, feeling incredibly lonely I wouldn't have found the refuge I had within my church here at school. From taking on a youth leadership position at the church, I have found myself finding a new community of people to connect with.

For a few years now, I have been stumbling with the idea of Youth Ministry, and Ministry... My role as a woman, and what it would mean for me. Last year my heart was totally broken for the youth and I continued to feel totally passionate about pouring into the youth around me. Making relationships is something I have found myself desiring to deepen and just getting to know others beyond the surface faces. Last year, I had a friend, that challenged me to do that... Dig deeper into myself, find the things that made me who I am... But also find the things that hurt me, things that made me cry, and things that I was still suffering with. My scars and wounds... I had never had someone pry into my life and dig deep but as they did, I continued to pour out the pain and misery...

Anyways, this year... I have found that now I am feeling refreshed from the wounds but still trying to tackle my greatest passion: service of people, most importantly: youth. Upon starting back to school, I set out on a voyage to find my church here, find my place of ministry as a "helper". I just wanted to be a little behind the scenes person, just something, anything, to pour into the kids and make them realize how incredibly important they are: to me, but most importantly God. It seemed like it was a tall task to look into, however, it was my passion and I was willing to go at it with everything I had.

I talked to the youth leader, and before I knew it, I was going through an informal interview to get the opportunity to be a part of the youth leaders team. I was humbled to say the least... Now, today, I have found myself encouraged by the leadership they have at church and my role as a woman, as an equal... It has made me wonder, with my gift of leadership that God has given me, could I take on the idea of some day becoming a youth leader, or even a youth pastor?! The idea of living a life in ministry in that sense excites me: However, I believe right now, I must wait and see.

So, in one month, in short:

I have connected.
I have felt at a loss; but certainly am not lostI have reflected; but am not walking back

Now, I am moving forward... Excited for the journey ahead.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Expectations

We all have expectations on different things... From the first day of school, to how hard a class will be, to what it's going to be like when we finally score our first job. We have ideas in mind for the expectations of how we are meant to be treated, how fun something is going to be, and even down to how our friends and professors should treat us.

So it is to no surprise, I had expectations about my first race.

After learning lingo and suffering a week of bad dreams I finally got to meet the challenge.

The expectations went something like this:

The bus rides would be awesome, a lot of fun and hanging out with awesome people. I would laugh lots and get to know my team "family" better.

I was going to come in last place and I would be so exhausted no matter what and I would forget my uniform and take the wrong route.

Among other things I just was very jittery about this first race. However, much to my surprise the expectations and the actual happenings were very different to say the least. In my head, I had created a trip that would be disasterous... And well, it wasn't so bad.

I found that when you race you just go: you stick with what the coaches have told you and it's totally on your own from there. I also found that your coaches won't disown you even if you feel like you did awful, and I was so grateful for my coach saying I did well even though my time felt so very slow.

My favorite part of the race was getting to encourage and cheer on the guys (they raced after us). And hearing the word of approval from the coaches.

My least favorite part of this race was feeling like I could have done better, but didn't because of my poor planning skills for the race in terms of how I balanced out my paces.

For the future: I expect to drop around 3-4 minutes total this season and I hope to reflect God even more through my running and rely more on Him.

For those who are keeping track: today's time was: 30:01. (We had scheduled paces to make, which I was making until I started looking for my partner and slowed down considerably and this race was taken at a workout pace. Slowly we will begin speeding up and getting more and more like race speed)

All in all, I was not in a wheelchair, I did not just walk this race, I ran it!! And I am going to improve.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Twas the day before my first Cross Country meet and all through the dorm...

I went on my run in the morning when it wasn't too warm.


I could continue on with my rhyme but that will take too much time and I must begin packing and studying before we head out this evening. However after a week of nightmares about various things pertaining to this race: I am here getting ready to run with my friends on the team. In a lot of ways this is something I have put a lot of time into and it's crazy to see it come into fruition.

As I have worried so much about coming in last and my constant anxiety of being the worst, I have found some truth from the encouragement of those around me... Some valid points were made when I realized that I had to be in a wheelchair less than a year ago and I had to learn how to walk again. I need to remember how awesome and blessed I am to even be running. I think lately I have been forgetting the blessing I do have and I have been so consumed with my comparison to how I could be going so much faster.

I enjoy the satisfaction of delayed gratification and I have been able to come quite familiar with it over the years... It's just crazy to think as I look at my "Bucket List" I am noticing more and more check marks dispersed. Things I never thought I would ever get the opportunity to do again coming around... SO COOL!! Anyways, as I try to remember that it's not about how well I do but the reflection of Christ through me- in some ways it makes it worth it.

It's in God's hands now and I gotta stop talking so negative!! So from here on out, I don't suck! I am going to do great.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

When People Let You Down....

Well, I was checking my e-mail from the last week and this devotional came up. It's funny how God has the perfect timing in all things... I have been really struggling with my transition to college and what my future looks like and how to honor God in the midst of my personal sorrows... Needless to say this devotional spoke to my greatest aches lately:


Melanie Chitwood

"Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:8 (NASB)

Disappointment feels like a heavy rock sinking to the bottom of my spirit. I've felt disappointed in many situations – a business opportunity that didn't pan out, a writing door that didn't open, and a relationship that broke my young heart.

The heaviest disappointments for me, however, stem from people. And not just any people; people who I'm closest to. People who turn out to be not at all what I hoped they'd be, or not who I thought they were.

I know I'm not alone in wondering how to deal with people who let me down. Just this week a friend said with a choke in her voice, "I wish my mom and I could be closer, but I don't think we ever will be." Another woman said with despondency, "My husband and I just don't talk." I've heard the edge of bitterness in women's voices as they vow never to trust again because of a friend's betrayal. And most of us have swallowed the hopelessness that comes with a broken heart, "I thought he was the one."

I've tried different ways to handle disappointments in relationships. One way is to ignore the disappointment, to shut it in a box and hope the lid holds. Another way is to gloss over it with a quick statement such as, "People will let you down, but God never will." True, but does this really help me process the hurt?

One morning in my quiet time I was pouring out my sadness, anger and disappointment about a close relationship. As the tears slipped down my face, I begged God to show up. What do I do with all this? Show me and I'll do it because what I've been doing is not working.
Clear as a bell ringing in my spirit, Jesus said, Grieve.

Really? I questioned. I remembered that Jesus knew all about disappointment – Peter's denial, Judas' betrayal, and the disciples falling asleep during His anguish before His crucifixion (Matthew 26). I remembered people in the Bible who were well acquainted with people they loved letting them down, such as Joseph or Job. I felt reassured that Jesus wouldn't misunderstand my sadness as a lack of faith.

So I cried, feeling every ounce of the disappointment. I told God all the things I wish were different about this relationship, all the things I thought this person had done wrong, and what I wish this person would do differently.
After the winds of grief subsided, I was done. Grieving was the bridge I had to cross to move beyond the disappointment. On the other side I found myself in a place where I could embrace the relationship for what it is, not what it's not.
On the other side of grief lies a place where we can consider how to respond to the person who disappointed us. There are a number of possible responses. Sometimes we need to talk to the person or get godly counsel. Other times we may need to create healthy boundaries, or we may need just to let it go. Only after we've allowed ourselves to grieve, however, will we know how to respond to this person in the way that God wants. Then the words, "People will let you down, but God never will," will be truly comforting, not just empty words.

Dear Lord, I'm so thankful that when it feels like no one else understands, You do. You understand about being disappointed in people but You loved them in the midst of that. Lord, I want to follow Your example. I'm thankful You know this sadness is a part of healing from the pain of disappointment. Give me guidance in handling this -I trust that You can bring good out of this. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Application Steps:
Be honest with yourself as you consider someone who has let you down. Have you grieved over the disappointment? Take time to be alone, to be sad, and to cry if you need to. Let go of bitterness, anger, hurt and unforgiveness. Then ask the Holy Spirit to give you discernment about what to do next in this relationship.
Reflections:

Have I unsuccessfully tried to deny that I am hurt or angry by this disappointing relationship?
Is it possible that I've depended on this person more than God?
How does God what to use this disappointment in my life?
Power Verses:

Psalm 42:11, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (NIV)

Psalm 94:19b "When I was upset and beside myself, you calmed me down and cheered me up." (MES)
Lamentations 3:23, "...Great is your faithfulness." (NAS)
© 2010 by Melanie Chitwood. All rights reserved.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Incredibly Blessed

As I was out on my run this afternoon. (Spoken like the true runner I am slowly becoming... Where when I have "OTR" days *other than running* I actually miss running,  The hours of 4-7 where practice is placed into my schedule feels totally right to run in no matter what the temperature outside is. My love for running only deepens when I feel the twinge of pushing myself beyond comfortable and into "FIRE". It's true... I was out on my run and have finally gotten the experience to say it casually as if it happens daily, because, well it does!) I finally got some of the fruits of being able to say I am improving a little... As I ran with a group of girls I started to realize it wasn't me getting passed EVERY time but it was me passing some of the other girls. I was actually surprised because I felt like it was easier than usual to break out into my run even though I had picked up my pace a little.

In my head, I realized I had been longing for this day for awhile, a day when I didn't feel like I had to force myself to drag a heavy body across the black top. I felt good, like actually felt good. Which is hard to explain when even though I felt alright on most other days I still felt kind of drained and just weak. I didn't realize those were the feelings until today, when I was out there and I was able to feel faster than usual.

Anyways, I pray constantly when I am out running- like if I am silent, chances are, in my head I am singing "Yes Lord, Yes Lord, Yes Yes Lord!" or reciting I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me... Or reviewing the lyrics to You are my All in All as this is our team song this year and I have been nervous that I won't remember the lyrics when we sing it as a team at the meets.

So anyways, as every single day I seem to get into my routine that I will go out for my run and I will just continuously pray to God to shine through my running and whatever that means that He will use me. It was to my great surprise when I stayed with everyone.

Then I passed where I usually chose to turn off and leave everyone else and then the next turn I saw everyone else pass by and I had a girl on my team behind me still and then I was pretty close to some of the other girls... The girl behind me said hey, I am going to go this way... And as I continued to run towards the other girls, I looked back to the other girl and I thought no one should run alone: and I ran back to be with her... I was humbled by the opportunity to pace another girl and to encourage her as she ran. I remember how so many times I felt lonely as I took those other turns and stuff and then as we were running I knew she was having shin pains and I was able to pray for her... I was humbled that God could use me, the girl who felt like maybe the experience on the team would just be making sure all the other girls felt good because they weren't' the slowest...

It transformed my view a little into realizing, sometimes it's not about the speed of the run (as much as my coaches have already stressed that to me, it's so hard to apply when you have everyone and their brother passing you.) but it's about the encounter you have during that run. No matter how much I pray during my runs, and how much I know I am right when I say I cannot run on my own, but I run through the strength of the Lord... Today, getting to pray with my sister in Christ, was far more incredible.

I continue to be amazed by God and His work within my life...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

God continues to move... Or... Keep me moving

Well, I was feeling greatly encouraged after my last post and looking forward to God's movement within my life. I have been really encouraged and excited about this upcoming year at school and getting involved in the local church.

After feeling a little rejected by some friends at school because no one needed a ride to the church I was planning on attending this past Sunday, I really felt that I still needed to go. I prayed God, if I am meant to stay please make the ministry opportunities apparent to me and show them my servants heart. A little apprehensive about going to the church alone, I got up my courage to head into the "narthex" also known as the lobby of the church. Upon my entrance 30 minutes before the service, after about 10 minutes or so inside the building and walking around. A lady walked up to me and said, I see you're looking at our Nursery ministry! Would you be interested in helping?!

I kind of laughed to myself, as I realized my prayers were getting answered in a very direct fashion. Needless to say, I left Sunday with an application to help in the Nursery, and speaking even more to my passion for the youth... I had spoke to the youth pastor and I was set up for an appointment on Wednesday to meet with the youth pastor! I was very excited to say the least and extremely hopeful of what God has in store.

Monday I found myself typing away a blog post of blessing and encouragement just to be surprised by Tuesday morning. I got a phone call from the endocrinologist from back home regarding some test results after a grueling afternoon of classes I got the return phone call with the test results... Needless to say, something is going on with my kidneys and they will need some more test results before they can give a definitive diagnosis. It was something that totally blindsided me as I had been feeling half-way decent most days... I couldn't really imagine anything was wrong. However, I have found this as yet another blessing from God in the sense that I know He trusts me and I am humbled to be able to grow closer to God through yet another trial.

I know that God's love is a perfecting love, not a protecting love and He will perfect me to an eternal being reflecting more of Him on a daily basis. What does this look like for me? I have no idea, I don't know what the future may hold but I do know that God is in control. And through this I am greatly encouraged by the doors that have been held open for me by the greatest gentlemen of all, God, my Father.

After last night, I really wanted to put another post up and update along with just share my excitement for this year and getting to know yet another new, youth group. I will be serving on Wednesday nights at their youth group and then Sunday night's at the Youth Pastor's home for a Senior High leadership group. I am so blessed to be brought into their church family and really got to have an awesome talk with the youth pastor and his wife last night. Feel free to check out his blog here! He's an awesome brother in Christ and I am excited to see God work through him.

Monday, August 30, 2010

God is my first love.... Right?

So I have spent time reflecting over the past few days... As I enter school it has been an interesting transition to say the least. I have found that there are so many threats to my delicate love and life that I am living for Christ.

I took a few moments to read over past journal entries and private thoughts of my own that I have had over the past year. One year ago, today, I was entering classrooms for the first time and learning a new way of life beyond my own comprehension. I was the first child in my immediate family to go away to college so soon after High School... I was diving into deep water that was most certainly above my head and beyond what I could imagine- yet I was treading fast and hoping and praying that I would swim. Over the past year I have battled greatly with so many things and I have really tried to seek God more- however, I still did whatever I wanted.

I hid behind quoting the right scripture at the right time and even more-so- I found myself using quotes that I agreed with, but wasn't living out. I was all for a genuine life but I was hiding behind a big velvet curtain. And I was letting my life get filled with things that weren't leaving adequate quiet time for God. I was in the world's sense, "cheating" on God. I would give Him my time when I was ready and I dealt with many major issues in my life. However, I still let man take a place in my heart that was only designed for God...

I don't think anyone could have told me what I was doing was ever so wrong because even though it was- society still accepted me and it seemed like it could be "right". I always thought about God's love as a bunch of things compiled together and I sang songs, and still do sing songs about how "He is jealous for me". but, in essence, I have to challenge myself and wonder how much I believe that and how seriously I take it... God took the time to create me as a person and He takes such great interest in my life... However, I have taken advantage of His love. And I will be the first to admit it... We talk about grace in church and how it's like an ocean and all of this wonderful stuff. Yet, I have trouble finding time to pray, do devotions, or even be silent before my creator.

Last year I was "in touch" with God but it is summed up best with a quote that I found at the beginning of the summer: "Natural gifts such as personal charisma, mental brightness, emotional strength, and organizational ability can impress and motivate people for a long time. Sometimes they can be mistaken for spiritual vitality and depth. Sadly, we do not have a Christian culture today that easily discriminates between a person of spiritual depth and a person of raw talent." I was a person that was using my natural gifts more than relying on my faith in Christ or looking to Christ for guidance... I was putting my desires forthright most of the time and it's scary when I wasn't called out... It was an easy lifestyle to live in other than the fact that I was an absolute mess most of the time. I had my blinders pulled up over my eyes and I was greatly confused.

However, as I reflect, I also realize that truth is so vital to our lives and when we uncover the situations of our past with truth we are able to slowly see God again... I fear that so often I put my God in a box. When really he is larger than the expanse around me and He is absolutely jealous for me... Jealous for my silence and waiting for me to listen. So as I have learned... I have also realized God does impossible things through ordinary people being willing and ready to listen to Him and receive His love. This summer I have learned how to do that more and in closing, Here I am Lord... Send me.... I am waiting

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

... I am yours what does that make me?, Aimless wandering or so it seems, Here I am send me.

The summer is coming to a close and the title of this post is the thoughts that run through my mind as I drive to work and home from work on a daily basis... That's right I am driving now!

Things have changed a little bit from the beginning of the summer and I can only find myself labeling this summer as a summer of growth... As I continue to seek God in my life I also find myself seeking His will and passion and just praising Him for all that has gone so well.

I went from wheelchair bound to running and working on my feet all day. I am finding my stressors to be those of a little more complexity than some of the ones in my past. Now, not framed by the medical world but those framed with the emotional, and spiritual battles of every day life. My body is still adjusting to the expectations I hold from my mind and slowly things are falling together.

I have learned a lot from my summer job and I don't just mean the basics to the job, holding an expertise in phlebotomy, sticking people for blood sugars, doing blood pressures, and other various tasks of my job such as the impending doom of the morgue and the excitement of a colostomy bag.

Yes, I have learned skills, and I have acquired a lot of ease in high stress situations... But I have also learned a thing or two from my patients about Faith, Love, and Happiness. I have been able to see families mend together over the bed of a dying family member, and I have seen them rip at the seems... I have had to walk into rooms where the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife and on the other end of the spectrum there are those who sit in absolute joy over their new-found life. I have learned from the mistakes of those I encounter, and I try my hardest to be a listening ear... With a world with marriages in the grips of absolute destruction, I have seen people who have been married 68-70 years and who are still happily married!

I have acquired a fear that my values for marriage may be lofty and silly by some but after observing so many happy marriages, it doesn't seem so impossible after-all.

This summer, I continue to chip away at my bucket list through getting my license... And I have learned how to practice grace and patience through my ministry outreach in our hometown at the youth group. I have found true joy from my running and found that much like being a Christian takes patience and endurance to focus on the preparation just as much as the final product.. Running is the same way. I have found God in interesting places like at the bedside of a combative patient to the voice of an out of key singer.

I have found that it's not about God's lack of presence, but more our lack of vision to God.

At the end of this summer, I am looking to say to the Lord, Here I am, send me! I have grown in confidence, and passion for the Lord... But I have also learned that no matter how bad it gets here I still have eternity.

I know this has kind of been a hodgepodge post but I wanted to post something, as I pack up my things into the car and prepare for yet another journey... As I enter my first year on a team (Cross Country, and another thing to check off my bucket list). Starting the 22nd, I will be joining them at school to go to camp and experience the team bonding and building. I cannot wait! Yet, I am a bit apprehensive of what it has to hold! Prayers are welcome, and I hope to update more as I have internet regularly once again!

Monday, August 2, 2010

"Lyme Away"

On Wednesday I will be cutting my last pieces of Lyme away from my body. Well, I won't be but a surgeon will be!

My body slowly is getting used to this new lifestyle of no longer being ill and I have been feeling awesome! My runs have been going well and it is a new found opportunity to get alone with my creator. However, I have found that the last thing within my body that really screams my old sickness and arises many questions is my port. Many question why do you have a port? And as of Wednesday I can finally say I am totally IV free! Which is a huge step.

I cannot even begin to approach the things God has been doing within my life lately- I find that still among the lows of the summer God continues to reach out and pull me through. I have found new sickness and heartache and sometimes the greatest pain lately has been within my heart from looking at the world around me. I am humbled to be within the life that I have lived and I know that I am truly blessed with all that I have.

God continues to have His hand on so many things including the book that now finally should be going to print by December at the very latest and may be already getting looked at by a bigger publishing company! God is totally good.

May I never look back to the past with sorrow but with great joy knowing this is how far I have come. (Sorry about spelling if there are any problems, I am currently typing from an older computer that lacks spell check! :])

Thursday, July 15, 2010

We have a WINNER and.... a $100 donation

So I figured with my mother as my witness, I would draw the winner a few hours late... Sorry about that I had a doctors appointment awhile away from my house today!







Anyways: Here are a few photos of the order of events that happened:



First I wrote every name and comment number on a piece of paper....


Then I said DRUMROLLLLLLL.... And reached up and picked a slip of paper. My mom witnessed me and agrees that I only drew one sheet and read the first sheet I got!



And the WINNER IS: MARK Z.!!!! He's a friend from school! Congratulations Mark!

We raised a total of $100 for the cause, I am donating around $45 on top of all of the comments we got plus ordering 2 t-shirts one for me, and one for Mark!! Thank you all for your support.... Please pray for the family as they patiently wait for the adoption process to go through.

God Bless!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I believe

"Do you believe what you believe is really real?"

The past few weeks the word believe has been popping up in expected and unexpected places... Dictionary.com gives these definitions of believe: to have confidence in the truth, the existence, or the reliability of something, although without absolute proof that one is right in doing so: Only if one believes in something can one act purposefully. Or a. to be persuaded of the truth or existence of. b. to have faith in the reliability, honesty, benevolence, etc.

It's interesting a patient stated to me: I believe. He talked about how when it comes down to the line on faith and what he believes it's that he just believes in God. There are so many complex natures and things that everyone talks about and how we have all of this theological jargon that we talk about. However, when it comes right to the line: What matters most is that we believe.

Our human nature brings us to wonder about so many things and we doubt that we are good enough, do we have what it takes? Are we right? However, when we believe what we believe is really real, sometimes the answers and the supernatural intercedes for the inadequacies of the here and now. It's kind of convicting because it's rare that we're really forced to live by faith. Matthew 6:25-27 states: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

In our culture currently, we are not forced to wonder where our food comes from and so often we just rely on our own strength or it is given to us. However, when we are forced to put it in God's hands we typically resist and try to take it into our own hands. As I work with patients every day I notice that when people cannot control their health they quickly try to control other circumstances that they can. For instance: one patient used to tell her roommates what to do and would yell at them for doing things that bothered her. Not because she was angry at them- but because she had lost the control of having her life in her hands, and now, she was looking around trying to control her outside circumstances. We worry about what tomorrow brings, or the upcoming years- instead of looking to what we have right now and what that is.

What does christian life look like when we believe what we believe is really real? Would we give a little more to others trusting God will provide for us if we ever don't have enough? Sometimes I feel like we live with surplus with a fear that we will not have enough at some point... I don't know, it still makes me wonder, what about those who don't have enough right now?


Make sure you comment on the post below if you want a shirt! :] I will be drawing names soon!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hello Blogging World

As you know, I am a sucker for causes especially with little kids and for justice. My heart has been so broken this summer for people and humanity and I saw this post over at one of my "followers" blog's and thought I would share it with you. If you comment on this post, I am going to do a little giveaway and give one of these shirts away through a random selection... It's a good cause and something I am passionate about! So take your chances. I will post who I am getting the shirt for in exactly one week on July 15th. In addition to buying the shirt for one person, I will give $.25 for every comment that I get on this post!

God Bless!

Victoria

UPDATE:

The following rules and regulations apply: YOU can only comment once, However, you may share this post with friends or family and have them comment as well. In order to win the t-shirt, I will need you to provide your e-mail address so I can get your address to mail your t-shirt to you. So please check back on July 15th in order to get back if you don't have a blogger account that displays your e-mail address. If no one claims the shirt within 48 hours I will draw a new name granted, they have not supplied an e-mail address. If I have an e-mail address obviously they will just be directly contacted. If you don't want to win the shirt, you CAN post as anonymous. There will be no anonymous winners. So remember to post your name and I would prefer last initial, or some sort of identifying feature to your comment... So I am able to know it's you! This is all on the honors system, and I am very excited about donating. The reason I did $.25 is because I am hoping that it goes over really well. However, I do have a minimum donation set already if it does not get a ton of comments! I am willing to give my whole paycheck if it comes to that! :] God bless!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Blessed.

All I can say, is that God truly has blessed me with an incredible support system and amazing friends and family. Tonight my heart and life is overwhelmed with love! Sometimes it just takes a little opening of the eyes to remember how truly great life is... Happy Fourth of July! May you all remember the little freedoms and love that you have been given!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Healing

I have been reading a lot and just totally enthralled by God's goodness and I think it's about time I write a post of a mini testimony of what has gone on in my life over the past year or so...

Last year in April, I became deathly ill with sepsis a blood infection that harbored within my port. It was during that time I decided that I would never be healed and God just didn't have that within his plan for me. I was okay with that because it seemed like every prayer service I had gone to I went with the hope of being healed and had nothing in return. I had fallen into a rut that I deserved this healing after being sick for so long.

Then after I got out of the hospital, I was walking with my walker and I had still been struggling with blue/purple legs and difficulty walking. It was during that time I found myself completely submitted to God and just realizing I would live out my life in submission if it was God's will for me. A few days of being out of the hospital, I was invited to a BBQ at a Pastor's house with a worship leader. We all sat around the table and talked about God, and what is going on in our lives and the worship leader talked about his life of not going to college and serving the Lord. I was impressed by his testimony of God's faithfulness. He took interest in my story as a 18 year old young girl, looking pretty healthy on the outside but walking with a walker... I told him as little as possible and tried to dismiss the questions. Truth be known, I was getting uncomfortable and wanted to leave.

Well, as we moved to the living room the boys pulled out their guitars and we went into a time of acoustic worship. I sat on the sidelines of worshipping God and feeling confused. After I had posted this post a few months earlier, and had been in belief that God could and had healed me I felt totally lost and confused when I got sick again in April and I felt as though something had been robbed of me. My confusion was great and I felt as though I was serving what might have been a powerless God. Then the man came over to me and said I would really like to pray for you would that be alright?

I shrugged saying yes, because I felt as though I could take any prayer I could get even though in my heart I didn't think God would even think of healing a girl like myself anymore. I felt unworthy and unloved. Robbed of a miracle... And just at my most desperate time when I had totally sunk into whatever God would have for me and whatever He wanted to do in my life... He showed me that when I submit to Him He does provide. The man laid hands on my legs right where the coldness started and heat returned to my legs! He prayed and prayed like I had never seen before and soon my legs felt more normal than ever. Then when he quit praying he looked up to me and took both of my hands in his. He said, lets see what God can do! With a little hesitation as if to think, God, I do not want to look foolish or make you look bad if I should stumble and fall and am not healed...

I was nervous as to what this could mean. In just a few moments, I took steps with little to no assistance and then I was walking! I was walking without anything at all! As I walked, I knew something was different and I didn't know what it could possibly be. I kept walking around and thinking something is different. That's when I realized, I was walking without any pain at all. It felt heavenly, or the most heavenly I had felt on earth. My body felt like it was brand new and I couldn't believe it. I had been healed by the great and powerful God that we all talk about but don't expect to do miracles. We say God can do these incredible things, yet we do not show others what He can do and we fear actually expecting a miracle. I was healed by the Everlasting God.

As I went to the doctors they started noticing that I was doing better un-explainable amount better. My specialist told me, never have I met a girl in all of my practice who went to death's door: knocked at it, opened it up a little and peered inside, then slammed it shut and walked away as though nothing happened. My heart was beating regularly, my body was functioning at all of the ways it was intended to... And to be honest no one knew why or could explain what had happened.

Then I began to be fearful of sharing my testimony of healing in fear of being mocked or misunderstood and I fell silent. However, a year later, I have lived the life of a healed girl. The more I have discerned God's will for my life and prayed the more I believe God is at an awesome work within my life. There have been times when I have fallen or struggled but today, more than ever, I believe, and know within my heart that I am Lyme disease free! This summer, I have finished taking all of my medicine and went from a girl who was taking 50-60 pills a day and doing IV's to IV free with an empty pill box. My IV antibiotics went off to a third world country this past week to send healing to the people there... I am truly blessed and astounded by the work God has done within my life and in the lives of those around me.

I have found that sometimes we put God in a box, and we make the God we serve a reflection of man instead of us being a reflection of God. I am starting to realize that it's not about having a fallen earth while we're here but it's about bringing God's kingdom to earth. It's about realizing that we're built to expect the supernatural and to begin praying and seeing the supernatural happen here on earth. What is in heaven can be, and should be here on earth. I am a blessed daughter of an incredible King! And I intend to continue living out a testimony of that because most of all, I long to reflect God and his goodness.

Today my life looks pretty average to most... I am working full time and I am running on our college Cross Country team. I am striving to get good grades and do everything I can to glorify God in my every action. However, inside me and those who know my whole story from day one, I can say that God has done an incredible work in my life and the only reason my life looks pretty average today is because God did something pretty supernatural in my life a little over a year ago. And that to me, has been the best gift I could have ever been given.

I felt it was about time that I posted my true and honest testimony on here.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God" Romans 12:2. May we truly be transformed in our lives to pray for the supernatural and live knowing that we serve a God that is greater and His will is powerful and healing.