Beauty from ashes

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a] 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor. – Isaiah 61: 1-3

Month: April, 2013

Drive

Was told that I will be going to NY today a couple days ago to help D with pick up stuff he bought. Basically be a translator.

Woke up begrudgingly and tired this morning at 6am. Not early, but slept late and had a tiring Sunday. Trip started out fine, with D asking about some things. Noticed I was answering him with a tone. I prayed then that I wouldn’t do that. Honestly, it has become so natural and a part of me, that it just comes out. I pray right now too that I will continually watch how I say things and say them out of love. I think about the sad things where I used to follow him everywhere and how I used to look up to him so much, and now, how the pieces have fallen. How far we are. I know that, that happens with age and such, but it I suppose I remember that time as a happier time, and I refer now to a “dark” time.

Although I thought of this as just a duty/chore, I was reminded that even though my dad is so task-oriented, this is how he spends time with me. Father-daughter time. Even though we weren’t talking much, but even just being there was a sign of affection, just doing things with/for him, meant something. I agree. I also was thinking, there won’t be more times like this in the future. School, but not just that, but also he’s getting older. So us driving to get something would be minimal (not that there has been many times in the past).

I guess this is one of the few recent times, I felt some sort of loving emotion towards him. I felt like there weren’t many times that I just pray for him, so I prayed that he will find Christ during one of the times where we just were listening to our own music. Even though we weren’t talking or anything, I could tell that indeed I am loved.

I also just noticed how much he has aged. And M too. I guess I’ve either blinded myself to it, or just haven’t been observing, but they’ve both aged so much I feel like. D with his thinning hair that seems to be less and less..when it used to be use thick and full of hair….seems to be in such a sad state right now. And M, just the wrinkles on her face and how her face just seems older in general. Maybe its me finally noticing what I’ve failed to notice before.

I was wondering yesterday when I’ve become so blinded to everything. I used to be so observant, could tell the slightest differences. But now, I’m so oblivious and careless about the people around me. Sort of saddening, because all these things, subtle and major, have been happening, but I feel like I’ve blocked them out, been immune to them. Maybe its because of things that happened in the past, maybe I just grew out of being so observant. Whatever it may be, I hope that I continue to observe what is in front of me. Because I feel like one day, everything will pass me by and I won’t know what has become of what has happened.

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Ironic

I guess due to talks about this recently made me remember and think how ironic it is my group of friends go the same school as the ones that lived in the same apt 20 years ago. When I heard that just a couple of years ago, there was a sort of anger/bitterness, maybe moreso than if they were individuals with different occupations. “Why didn’t they help him? Why didn’t they do something? Didn’t they know something was wrong?” Those are still questions I ask today, but really, in a situation like that, there’s no one that can be “blamed” and even if there was, that’s not how it should be done. I wanted to blame that person-girl, the people living in the apt, the people around the person on a daily basis, even the person telling me the stories, or whoever. But I guess there’s a part of me that wanted to, because I think I blame myself. I didn’t realized that until recently when I listened to Welch talk about guilt. I still blame myself- maybe not on a regular or obvious way, but deep somewhere, I blame myself. I believe its my fault and MAYBE just maybe, if I had done something else, some things would have turned out differently. It’s stupid and silly to think like that, I know. But sometimes I can’t help it.

It’s ironic that I’ll be living in the same area that person lived 20 years ago. The same city.

Its done.

Its done. :] 

D-day is tomorrow

I’m trying not to think about it, but of course, that’s impossible when its looming over me…

But I think this past week, I’ve been leaning towards one school 

I asked a friend, “You think I’ll go there when my heart is in that school?”

He responded, “Academically, it might be there, but everything else is in Philly, maybe not necessarily in Penn”

I agree with that. My heart isn’t with Penn, even at this moment. But Philly? Heck yeah. Although there’s always a part of me that wants to get out, travel, see more of the world, there’s a big part of me that sees the brokenness and the need in Philly. I’m not saying I’m here to fix something or anything, but my heart does go out to Philly- probably cause I lived here all my life and I bleed Philadelphia. 

I want to go overseas to do missions, but for now, there’s always a calling to be missional where ever you are. God called you to that place and He put you there for a reason. Make roots, plan on staying for awhile, and spread the gospel. 

A part of me does feel like Michigan is in real need too, so I’m torn. Where is God calling me? I guess my decision is pretty much made. So I just need to commit and be happy with it, not because I will be able to succeed through my own strengths, but because He is in control, in the driver’s seat, thank goodness, because if it was me, I’d crash. Where ever I choose though, I’m happy knowing that He is going to be sovereign over me, even when the going gets tough. 

 

Happiness is determined by…?

Haha another post. Usually I’m thinking of a bunch of things, so when one thing gets hashed out, another one pops up to take its place. 

So I have exactly one week left before I make my decision. This past weekend was actually nice because I wasn’t going crazy/analyzing/overthinking and was able to relax (my mind at least) in regards to school.  

But it is something I can’t put aside for forever, since I do only have a week left. 

One thing that has been on my mind about this is about happiness. My own happiness and my parent’s happiness. 

I guess this might sound silly, since my own happiness should be first and foremost since this is MY life, and in the end, I’ll be the one dealing with my choices, not my parents. 

But my own happiness does stem from my parent’s happiness as well. At the moment, this is how I feel. I feel that I might be happier at Umich. The chances seem pretty high, but at the same time, I’m not sure, it could be true, it could not be. There is a part of me that does feel like I’ll be unhappy at Penn, but that’s also in the realm of “I don’t know”. Honestly, I’ll still be “happy” wherever I go, just the level of happiness might be higher at one place over another. 

But then for my parents, I know they will be happier for sure if I go to Penn over Umich, for various of reasons, some a bit silly. 

But in the end, I want to make my parents happy, which I think in turn will make me happy. I think there has been a part of me that felt like I have disappointed my parents. So this could be a selfish motive in my part to feel like I’ve finally given them something to be proud of me for. Haha, this makes it seem like my parents are never proud of me, they are. They’re supportive and encouraging, but sometimes I think its to make me feel better and maybe even themselves. But to see them truly happy (when it comes to me), I think that’s still something I haven’t seen yet. I don’t blame my parents for that, maybe blame myself for that. For lacking in so much. But if I were to sacrifice just a little (not even that much) to see them be happier? I think its worth it. 

But I think this is where it gets a little tricky. Let’s say I am very unhappy at Penn for some reason. Then I think the blame will be on my parents. I think I’ll start to resent them and blame them for all the unhappiness I am feeling. I actually had a bad dream about this, where I was crying and blaming them for this very exact reason. My dreams mean nothing, but I think that is definitely one fear that is on my heart. That if I choose Penn (even if it wasn’t for them or for their happiness), a little part of me will blame them if I don’t like it. 

So this decision is just something so hard to determine….

the past

The past continually haunts, at least for me. Specifically my college past.

I was stupid, immature, and naive. Heck, I’m still those at the moment, but I would hope that I am a bit more mature, smarter, and less naive then back then. So I’ve done stupid things, and things that I regret, but the past is the past and that’s just the way it is. But the past doesn’t necessarily stay there though, right?

We all judge from the things we’ve already done. It makes sense. I do it too. “Remember when she did…..? Wasn’t that the girl that used to….?” It’s a double standard. To be on the receiving end of it is frustrating. I’m not that person anymore, at least not to that extent. If I could go back and change things, sure, I would. But what’s done is done. I would like to go back and apologize, but a part of me feels like I’ve let time slip away too much for me to go back now. Also fear of man, how that person will react when I do apologize. Will they laugh it off? or take me seriously and genuinely? Will they just shrug it off since all they remember is the college me?

It’s so hard to leave that part behind. When I think that it’s behind once and for all. Something pops up…could be big or little. And then I get frustrated again. Frustrated at myself at the way I acted/spoke back in college and then frustrated at those people that keep my past alive, for them to either believe what they’ve heard and make quick judgements  and for those that have seen, and think that’s all there is to it.

Maybe this is a struggle for me to let me see how my own quick judgments I make on others can be hurtful and frustrating, whether they’re good or not. For me to look at the plank in my own eye and to reevaluate how I look at others, how I judge others, and think that’s all there is to a person- their first impressions or outer appearances. But the inner conscience of everyone has so much more. There’s happiness, hurt, sadness, struggles, joy, love, kindness and so much more. That to every human being, there’s more to them than meets the eye (cliche I know, haha). But my own views of them stops me from getting to know another sister/brother because I feel like we’re too “different” or that I won’t get along with them. But who really knows that from just impressions?

Instead of getting frustrated/angry at myself or others, my own outlook on others needs to change. First impressions usually don’t live up to what they were in the first place, so why let them control on whether I want to get to know them or not? Obviously this is easier said than done. It will be a struggle that will probably be with me for most of my life, but I hope that every time this happens, I will be less judgemental / less selfish in my motives with the help of prayer and through the love that Christ has shown me.

I think of the scenario if Christ was living among us now. If I didn’t know Christ, would my first impressions that I currently act upon, have me push Christ away from me if I were to see him today?  Would I see Christ in rags and hear him preaching about a savior, would I scoff and brush him off? Making my own ridiculous judgements upon Him? I would hope not, but in that situation, it scares me to think that my own actions could lead to unseen consequences.

Marriage and the single girl

Marriage and the single girl

Eight lessons on how to steward singleness that Marci Turner wishes she would have known in her pre-marriage days.

 

“Single girl, training yourself for marriage is really just discipleship: intentionality, service, accountability, submission, repentance, hospitality, and community. If your singleness lasts longer than you’d planned, take heart that you are ultimately becoming more and more like Jesus.”

Amen

 

Good read in light of all the marriages that seem to be happening these days..