Thursday, December 29, 2011

Favorite Posts from 2011

This being the final Thursday in December, and thus the last week in 2011 (already?!!), it is now time to let me know which of the blog posts over the past year were your favorites! :) I'm going to make another little sidebar link list of them...

Oh, and you can also tell me why you liked them... if you want to... * smiles invitingly *

So... comment away! :) And thank you for reading!

Thursday, December 22, 2011


Just a note: this post is rather different from most of my posts. I feel a little weird saying this here... especially since I'm not completely "out" yet (you'll understand more when you read it). But God has been impressing on me the need for being real and not trying to keep up an illusion of... not perfection, but of... being "good", I guess-- and this is part of that. :)

Before I really started getting to know God, I was in this dreadful state of being caught between two worlds: sick of this earth and all its troubles, and not really wanting heaven, either.

This world seemed to have very little good in it... I had very few real friends, and most of the friends I did have were far away. The political and economic world is a mess; which bothered me greatly. (you may not realize it, but I am and pretty much always have been interested in politics.) I saw immorality and hurt and sin everywhere, including in me. I felt alone in my desire for something more than simply being a "nice girl."

I was on the verge of this thing they call "Adulthood", at eighteen... and yet I felt like neither a child nor an adult. On one hand I was more childish than others my age--and on the other, I was much more mature.

I was trapped. Trapped inside myself, trapped between two worlds: wanting neither. No one noticed, or if they did I never knew they did. I myself hardly realized my dilemma: I lived in it.

Thinking, always thinking. Wondering if anyone else struggled like I did. Wondering where I fit in this world. Wondering what my life would hold. Quietly. Holding it in.

Wanting to know God--but He seemed so far away. Wanting to do right, but failing again and again. Wanting to fit in. Wanting to be noticed. Wanting close friends.

No tears. Just quiet, restless, incessant thoughts.

A heart that pretended to be soft, but was hardened.

Slowly, slowly... He broke through my walls.

Friends, prayers, books...

His word.

Real, not imagined pain.

Bringing me to the end of me.

Breaking me to the point of tears.

Holding my hand.

His glory.

His love.

He brought me out... is bringing me out.

And now I have hope for here. I still see all of the horribleness of this world. I still see the wretchedness of my sin. But I see something more: I see God's hand, over it all. I see God working, in and through me... and in and through those around me.

And not only do I have hope and joy for here, on earth, I now long for the day when I will finally meet my Savior face to face... when I will be able to see Him, hear Him, feel Him. When I will no longer have the sin... when all the troubles of this world are gone.

Finally, I am beginning to be... in this world, and looking forward to the next.

No longer trapped.

Free, in Him.

P.S. I know I know... you were expecting a Christmas background. :D I couldn't find one I liked... and Christmas in Florida is pretty green anyway. So I figure this works. :D

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Why Do You Read This Blog?

I'm curious. I'm always curious, but this time I'm curious about something in particular. Something you can help with. And, as you may have deduced from the title, I am wondering why you read this blog.

Is it because you're my friend? Is it because you collect blogs? Is it because you like the content? Is it because you learn things? Or because you're entertained? Is it because you believe similarly? Is it because you believe the complete opposite and like studying the other side? Is it because you like poking fun at my posts? :D Is it some other reason I haven't thought of yet?

There, I think that was a pretty thorough interrogation...

Oh wait, I have more questions. Why don't you comment, if you don't? Do you like the weekly scheduled posts? Or did you like it better random?

I've been putting more effort into it over the past few months and had a result I don't particularly like... less comments. :'( Which, I guess, is okay... since I can still hope you read them and get something from them, and I benefit from writing them.

However... it is more fun if I get comments. So I guess I'm... asking you to comment more. Especially on this post, since if you don't comment it'll be quite useless... ;)

Yes, I'm one of those pathetic bloggers who beg for comments. :D I know it's hard to comment on blogs sometimes because you don't know what to say or don't have time or whatever, but I'm not terribly picky about what you say, so when you get a chance in your busy blog reading lives it would be lovely. :D

P.S. Oh! Suggestions of any kind (except like... about college or cutting hair or things like that... :D I guess I should specify blog related suggestions) are also very welcome!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Counted Worthy

Recently I was attempting to do something nice for my father, and it was accidentally construed by a sibling of mine to seem like something quite different and not nice at all. I was quietly very frustrated and hurt… here I was trying to do something good, and I could tell it was being viewed as something wrong.

And then I realized something: This happened to Jesus all the time. And I was amazed and so thankful to Him, and grateful for a chance to understand even such a small bit of what He experienced. Seriously… He never did anything wrong (while I regularly do wrong), and over and over was accused (And even killed!) for things He did not do. o.0 (In my case, shortly thereafter, we got it all straightened out and no harm came of it.)

This is something I’ve been learning more and more, and it is so helpful… I think I started doing it when I read in the Hiding Place where they are standing in line, unclothed… and they realize that Jesus was humiliated in the same way. And Betsy says, “oh, and I never thought to thank Him!” (or something like, I don’t have the book with me. :( )

Somehow… it helps, knowing that He went through all these troublesome emotions and situations. And it helps when you look at your pain and realize how much worse His was… and that He did it for you, out of love. He didn’t have to experience that pain. He didn’t have to subject Himself to that torture and humiliation and false accusation. And yet… He did. For you. For me. For His father’s glory.

Sometimes you’re lonely, in the middle of a crowd… no one really understands you. You have a quiet ache that no one sees… no one cares about. Just think of Him: He had such a horrible weight on Him, knowing all that would come… and no one understood. No one could understand it. Even surrounded by so many followers, He was alone.

Perhaps you’ve loved someone and you love was not returned… just think how His heart breaks over the millions who totally reject His love.

And on and on it goes…

When you are suffering, remember to think about your Savior and what He went through for you.

Several good things are accomplished through this… one, your suffering will be put into perspective. :P Two, you will be so much more grateful to Him. Three, you will have an example to follow of how to deal with your hurt. Four, you will be distracted from your own little problem and your eyes will be on Him… which is always a good thing. :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Reckless Abandon

What do you think of when you hear that phrase? Probably something drastic, right? If you're a Christian, you might think of something like going off into the jungles of Africa... or vowing to live a life of self-sacrificing poverty... or choosing to be single forever... or something like that.

As I was washing dishes a while ago, and then again more recently, I was pondering this...

We are called to live with reckless abandon-- to Christ. We are to completely abandon our "selves": our desires, our dreams, our hurts, our thoughts: everything that is our "self"... completely.

That means... counting all of this world as nothing: that you may gain Christ. Actively choosing His will over yours. Leaving your life, your family, your loved ones, your future, your job, your stuff--everything--in His hands. Trusting Him to take care of the details... even if you don't like the outcome or can't see how it will "work out".

And that can take any number of forms... sometimes what self wants is to do something big and drastic and noticeable... and what God wants at that time is for you to be taking care of a little sibling. It doesn't always involve going off to the ends of the earth and getting yourself killed... Sometimes it means being still before your God. Sometimes it means speaking in front of a big group of people when you'd rather be anywhere else-- doing anything else. Sometimes it means giving up a hobby you love dearly. Sometimes it means getting rid of some clothes.

And sometimes it does mean giving up all you know and love and going wherever God calls. Sometimes it does mean literally giving up your life for Him.

It's willingness to do whatever He asks, mixed with utter trust that He knows best.

Because... He is worth it. So much more than worth it.