Friday, February 25, 2011

No excuses not to love...

This week I met ten incredible, talented young women who spoke very little English. I sat with them and we laughed and cried together... We shared life and practically lived together. I was nervous at first, would I be able to love them, would they accept me? And by the end of the time we had together: each of us had given away a piece of our hearts and the girls truly transformed me and my thoughts. They were all so beautiful and such incredible girls. I was so amazed at how they opened up and how they loved... Ohhh how they loved each of us counselors and how they told us their stories.

I realized that no matter where you are, whether you're in Africa, or you're in Rochester, NY there are young girls and young teens that need to know that they matter and that they are important. And I am so proud of the girls that I met and who they have rose to be.

I realized that by the end of the week, laughter and hugs know no language...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Refuse to do nothing.

The last week or so I have really been struggling with a lot of random things... And as I struggled and the more I struggled... The more I have tried to withdraw. I will find myself not wanting to leave my room for any circumstance.

Last night I went to a bible study and they showed the movie To Save A Life... We didn't get to stay until the end... However, it reminded me why I was so passionate about not letting myself just do nothing with an excuse of being busy or preoccupied.

Then I got in the car and we listened to K-Love, a Christian Radio station and I heard about it again. How we can not do everything but we can refuse to do nothing. I thought to myself, God, what are you trying to say? I know I am failing... I feel distant... But I don't know what to do..

And I realized that even though I don't know what to do... Doing nothing at all is not going to be better than doing at least a little something. Whatever that may mean.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

With Valentines Day coming up....

We had a video played at church today with all of these Valentines and then I heard this song on Pandora today and it made me smile. Just a nice little valentine sentiment.

He packed his bags when he was just 18

To see a world he thought he'd never seen

But he knew when he met her

That she was the girl

He'd been waiting for

And each night they spent talking on the front porch swing

And like it came straight out of a movie scene

But one night she stepped out as the sun began to set

When she got to the porch she found a letter that read

You're the only girl I'll ever love

And I'd do anything not to give you up

If I could only stop the world

When you're standing by my side

See I'm having the time of my life

Yes, I'm having the time of my life

The months went by it was their wedding day

A church on a hill wedding bells rang away

She looked like a princess

All dressed up in pearls

It was her proudest day

And he stood all alone in a darkened church hallway

He got down on his knees and he started to pray

He thanked the Lord for his family and the perfect bride

But he couldn't hold back what he was feelin' inside

And he said

She's the only girl I'll ever love

And I'd do anything not to give her up

If I could only stop the world

When she's standing by my side

See, I'm having the time of my life

Yes, I'm having the time of my life

Forty years went by and she lived most of God's plan

She stood alone in an attic, wedding dress in her hand

And she held an old letter written so long ago

But she'd never forget it

No matter how old

And as she turned to put the dress away

And pack up the years

He was standing in the doorway

With his eyes full of tears

And he held her

'Cause you're the only girl I'll ever love

And I'd do anything not to give you up

If I could only stop the world

When you're standing by my side

See I'm having the time of my life

Yes, I'm having the time of my life

Friday, February 4, 2011

So blessed.

Twenty years old... Wow.

That's what keeps coming to my mind anyways. I think I am twenty: wow! Crazy. I don't know how to deal with it. And it has only been five minutes of this particular day.

I think about what my life has had to offer: I have accomplished a lot... I have a lot left to accomplish. When I reflect on my life... I can think of one thing: I am blessed. SO blessed.

My greatest fear this birthday has been the unknown. I don't have a feeling of certainty. I feel like I am leaving my teen years and I am scared of all of the future things. What could come to be what may not... Opportunities I may miss.

I was also scared that no one would remember. After I deactivated my facebook... I thought no one will know it's my birthday. This birthday has seemed particularly crippling and to be totally honest has mustered up many tears. So I thought if I don't celebrate... It could be a disaster!

Tonight, well, last night... I was so overwhelmed. A few friends surprised me with a party. I didn't even think I would have anyone notice my existance much less throw a party. And I was totally shocked. They passed around a canvas at the party and everyone drew on it... Creating a drawing just for me! It was incredible. I also got beautiful flowers and a clock and necklace... I am so honored that God has blessed me with these friends.

This afternoon I found myself crying out to God as I felt so confused... I sat crying at my desk listening to countless worship songs surrounded by His love. I just felt like I didn't understand what He was doing. I conciously know that He is more than enough for me. However, deep in my heart for some silly reason this afternoon: I doubted that. I prayed and prayed that He would show me His love and passion and show me His love. Tonight, I saw that as the community came around me. I was blown away by the kindness of my friends.

Tonight, I continue to point up though. As my life continues to drive on, I know that the only reason I have gotten my chance at life is because I have a God that's totally in love with me. A God that has paved the way for me. I am so blessed. I point up tonight because a few years back I didn't dream of living. I thought my life truly was going to get cut short... I thought that was it... Maybe I wouldn't even get the chance to finish high school now I am looking into the face of graduating college in a few more semesters...

I am coming to realize tonight, that I cannot fall into the worry of growing old... I can't worry about those things. However, I must embrace these days, the days of growth, of life... Because when I die, I will not be able to live any more. However, I don't know when that day will come and an accumulation of days on a calandar don't necessarily mean that life is over it just means I have spent a little more time on earth than others and less time on earth than some. I must embrace this beautiful gift God has given me... And that's truly what my life has been. A gift. A beautiful, and incredible gift.

Tonight I give thanks for the tangible things in life:
- My family
- My friends
- The ability to go to college
- The opportunities I have been able to embrace

And the not so tangible things:

- My freedom to express religion
- The ability to walk
- The God that loves me so much.

Tonight I say thanks God, for being my creator. I hope this is another year I am able to look up. And I say thank you for being a friend. :]

Embrace life. Do not fear death.

Now off to bed at exactly: 12:20. Cool!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The only good thing...

My birthday is quickly approaching. It's less than twenty-four hours away.

And I wanted to share something super cool that I learned a few nights ago. While I was reading, I found out that I share a birthday with this man:
Now you might look at this photo and go: I am sorry, who? That looks like an old photo of my great uncle- Bob! Sorry, it's not! It's actually Dietrich Bonhoeffer. How cool is that? This man is someone that I have really found totally influential and incredible. He took the level of Christianity and being a martyr to a real level. I was so blown away to see he and I shared a birthday. You can read more about him here. I don't usually support Wikipedia but I thought it would give a ncie summary of his life. He's an incredible writer and one of his well known works is: The Cost of Discipleship. You should definately check him out.

After reading that I decided that Februrary 4th is a pretty great day to be born.

I share my birthday with other incredible people such as: Rosa Parks (known for not moving to the back of the bus during a period of segregation) , Clyde W. Tombaugh (discovered Pluto as a planet. don't worry Clyde, Pluto will always be a planet in my book), Josiah Quincy (president of Harvard), Bug Hall (Alfalfa in Little Rascals remake), Betty Friedan (women's rights activist), Ray Evans (remember when I posted here with the song Que Sera Sera? Well, Ray Evans wrote that song! So cool.).

Those are just a few of the incredible and influential people that share a birthday with me... I have some pretty big shoes to fill!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things were going so well...

Today I got this annoying little notification on my e-mail account that basically told me my inbox was too full.

So I pressed the little advancement thing to see the end of my account. Upon doing this I began a marathon of deleting old e-mails... When I was doing this I saw the many schedules I had received. My weekly training logs. I thought wow. I was living the dream! At the beginning of this year I was doing everything I had ever wanted to. I was on the Cross Country team at school, I was doing really well in my classes, and I was running just about every day. I had connected with some really awesome people...

What could possibly get me hung up right? Wrong!

The beginning of this year was the hardest yet... I had a horrible beginning to the semester despite the fact that it shouldn't have been trouble at all. I was focusing on myself and it caused a lot of inner turmoil. I just wanted to rely on myself... Hmm... Well, despite everything being "perfect" it didn't end with a perfect picture time dropped ending. However, it has taught me more, and above that: I really believe that it gave me a friendship that wouldn't have happened otherwise. God is so cool like that.

So Praise God for the not-so picture perfect ending.