Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Most Incredibly Annoying Sound in the Universe... The Whine of A Mosquito



Picture me... however well you know me...
Having survived the first two weeks of college, seated in the hallway, reading my physics book, and trying to have my music to drown out the sounds of people walking by. Still, I generally glance up when people walk by me; I can't help it.
It's a rather quiet hallway, thankfully, and studying is going better than usual.

Just then, someone goes by and then stops. When I look up, he asks me if I'm in one of his classes.
And yes, I recognize him as someone I had worked a problem with earlier in the week.

He says, "Yeah, I thought so... Ok, this has been bothering me. Because...
because you look weird."

And I'm like *jaw-drop*
"Uh....."

(I'll say right now it was a very awkward conversation, and I'm sorry for my part in that... I was just kinda surprised and didn't know what to say at all. LOL)

"You do."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Um, where did you go to high school?"

And I'm immediately thinking Oh, no! I knew I was going to give home schoolers a bad name! So I mention the high school where I did AP, and then reluctantly choke out, "And last year I was home... schooled..."

He's like "You what? I knew it!"

Whereupon he told me that he had been home schooled, and I stuck out, but he didn't mean negatively. And then he walked away, totally embarrassed, and I sat there, totally embarrassed
(Which made me laugh later - stereotypical unsocialized home schoolers y'know.)


But, you know what?

For one thing, it was like, ok, just say right out that you've been home schooled. Apparently people can tell - this is not the first time people have asked me if I was home schooled, just the first time at college.
(Does that happen to all of you? Please tell me people ask you about if you're home schooled all the time...)
So now I feel bad for not wanting to admit it. (Although it was not about home school making me look bad, but about me making home school look bad!) :)

But the really big thing is,
I had just been thinking about school so far, how big the classes were, how little chance there was to talk to people, and how easy it was to simply mix with the crowd and disappear. I felt invisible.
(Not that I really minded at all (actually kind of liked it), :) it just seemed like I wasn't mattering all that much.)

And it was like God was telling me that, no, people are noticing what I wear, what I say, and how I act.

Which surprised me, but also really encouraged me.

Because simply by being myself I am standing out, and can make a difference where I am.

And I am realizing the truth in this statement:

Isn't that brilliant? :)

So, I'm off to more whining - not in the sense of irritating people to no end, of course. (Purposefully anyway.) ;)

But - to make an impact! For God.

Join me? :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Banned Books Week

It's that time of year again...

So, just where do you stand on book banning?

Personally, I'm more in favor of book burning, but maybe that's just me. XD
(Just kidding... Although you've got to admit, if you're trying to make a statement, burning is a lot more attention getting than banning.)

Now, I don't like things being banned. Especially books. There were reasons it was against the law to teach slaves to read...
But, in America, books are no longer exactly able to be "banned." Basically then, the way I see it, all Banned Books Week can really be is a way to call attention to books that parents/teachers/etc, have tried to get removed from their libraries.

Which, in my opinion, is an entirely different thing from, say, governmental banning.
Since, after all, I believe parents can and should take charge of their children's reading material, I really don't have that much of a problem with it. The books are still printed and for sale, and if someone really wants to read them, they can get them. (Besides, it seems to give a lot of free publicity! You'd think authors would be glad...) :)

But. Onto the point of this post. You know what this week always makes me think of?
What's the most banned book in the world?

One they hardly ever seem to mention on library signs... even though it is illegal in 52 countries and apparently portions of it cannot be displayed on courthouses even in America.

Shouldn't that get a little more publicity?

The fact that people are tortured for having this book. Are desperate to have it. Need it!
should get a little attention, don't you think?

So perhaps... if you see anything this week mentioning banned books... take the time to pray for those who do not have a Bible?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Light




My brother got a solar-powered flashlight last week! 

He was excited, anyway. 

But of course...

Solar power is so cool! :)



I get impressed whenever I see one of those flashing signs. :)


There is just something so utterly brilliant about using light to make light...






Wow. What more perfect illustration could there be for being a light to the world?

Jesus said, "
I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
"

and He also said, 

"
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. " 







Think about solar panels. 

What makes those flashing stop-signs work?

The solar panel is somehow working hard enough to squeeze out enough light to save lives? 

Or is the panel merely channeling the energy from the sun? All it has to do is work as it was created to - keeping itself facing the sun and turning that light into another form that will grab our attention. 

That's all we need to do! 
Work as we were created to - keep ourselves turned towards the Son, the source of all light and power, and allow Him to flow through us and get the attention of those around us, so that their life might be saved. 

It's so simple... yet the minute we start thinking we are shining our own light or forget where our focus must be, we are nothing more than a flat piece of black plastic, accomplishing nothing and less than nothing, perhaps even becoming a pollutant in the environment, causing more harm than if we had never been there.
If we allow clouds of sin or busy-ness to get between us and the Source of our Power, it will not be long until we die slowly away, without light for ourselves, let alone for others. 
Sometimes, though, we cannot see Him working around us - it is pitch black. Then certainly those who do not know Him need too see Him more than ever, and that is why He placed us where He did - that those around us might see Him in the black confusion of their lives. And He put us where we will get enough light to last us as long as it will be dark, too.

If we are always before Him, keeping away the things that would block Him, we will shine brightly for Him, even when it is black around us, showing His light to the world.

Am I brightly shining, or am I merely a random plastic square attached to something for no good reason? Am I daily being renewed by Him, and then sharing that light with others? Or am I continually being filled, yet never shining myself? How much light am I using for Christ?


Seeking Him,

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Writing...




As I mentioned in this post, I've been having a little trouble with my current story. Right now I have twelve people whose lives need to be tied together and wrapped up for the story to end.

Let's just say... every time I sit down to type, my head starts spinning. :)
I suppose when I begin editing I may need to change some things so that it is not quite so confusing... but right now the complicated mess that all my characters have somehow gotten themselves into simply amazing.
It could be that I'm trying to end the story too soon (although it's already nearly twice as long as I thought it would be).
Or maybe I've just gotten too attached to too many people and some of them just need to disappear.
Or perhaps the storyline itself is too complicated.
Or it could even be that I'm just way too easily confused and my characters are doing fine and I simply need to let them continue on. :)
???

But anyway, the other night I was puzzling over it, wondering what exactly what going on and how I was supposed to get to the next scene and what was going to happen when I got there...
when I thought of God, the Author and Finisher of our faith - the Author of our lives.
He is writing History itself!
I'm having trouble with twelve people in one story - He has been directing and controlling every life since the world began!
I don't really know what's going to happen next in the story- not only does He know what's next, he knows the entire ending and how the world will get there!
My characters surprise me, confuse me, and mess with my plot - His characters can do nothing that He does not already know about and cannot use in His perfect plot.

Have you ever noticed something tiny, that suddenly made you realize how absolutely incredibly astonishingly big our God is?

Can you try to comprehend His infinite knowledge in knowing and understanding each and every person on this entire earth?
In creating each one with a different heritage, a different back-story, a different personality, a different fingerprint?
In keeping track each moment of their every thought, of how each story intertwines with the others, the consequences of each small action, and bringing all these millions upon millions of stories together into an ending that has already been written?


It's incomprehensible.


But isn't He amazing?


Seeking Him,

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why I'm Going to College

Short answer:
Because I can.


Long answer:
See 20 pages of explanation below.
(Which also tell you a bit of what, when, and how, though not where.) ;D









Ok, now that you know I'm graduated, you might be wondering what I'm going to do next.
(Probably not, but just in the very slight chance you are…) :D

I wondered that for a long time too.

Every year I just did the next set of classes, adding in flying, horse training and riding, ski team, ski teaching, volunteering at nursing home, etc., as I could. But I knew that at some point I wasn't going to simply move up a grade. I actually had to figure out what I was going to do. (And if you know me in real life - wait, blogging is pretty much real life with me… ok, if you know me in person - you know decision making is my absolute favorite thing. Not.)

Anyway, when I was thirteen I wrote out what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to have lots of children, fly a helicopter, and be a doctor.

Wings somehow won out over blades, and I decided I did not want to spend half my life in school.
(There were times when I wasn't so sure about getting married and having lots of kids, either, I must admit. ;)

In the past few years, though, as I really began to look at what I could do, I found there was not much I could imagine actually doing. I considered horse training, but I didn't want to get hurt. (Yes, I am a wimp. Don't tell, please.)

In fact, the only thing that sounded even remotely interesting to me was being a doctor.
I hate and despise being sick with a passion, so perhaps being able to do something about sickness was part of it. Getting a co-op biology teacher who was a doctor (she also did a lot of research on brain development, which fascinated me) might also have had something to do with it. My great-grandma moving in with us when I was 17, then myself moving in with my grandma when she got cancer, both might also have had something to do with it. Another factor might have been people saying, "You'll never be able to be a doctor!" to me all the time, when I gagged at the sight of people washing chicken up for supper. Watch me! :) Despite my stubborn reaction, though, I kind of agreed with them. Besides taking half my life in school, being a doctor would be icky.

Then when I got Rio it was like a lightbulb went on. I did not mind the gaping wound in her leg at all. I bandaged it every other day, gave her shots, bought her supplies… it didn't gross me out at all. She was my horse! And I realized…

I actually could be a doctor.

But all that time… Of course I was praying about all this, and one day when I was like I'm going to be 30 years old by the time I can actually DO something with my life! I suddenly thought wait. How old was Jesus when He started "doing something" with His life? Whose life was it, anyway? If God wanted me in school for 8 years, would I be better off not in school? I don't think so…

Still. Where would I go? How would it be payed for? Was that really what I should do? Should girls even go to college?
To tell the truth, I would have been somewhat relieved had we decided that they shouldn't. It would have been so much easier… because what we did decide was that "going to college" in the typical sense, was something that no one should do. Going to a college for a degree in a field that requires it, living at home with your family, and making sure you know what exactly you're there for, though… that is what I feel called to do. God has different plan for each person, and what may be wrong for one person to do may still be His will for another. Personally, I think college is stupid and a waste of time, :) but culturally, you cannot do certain things without a college degree. There are ways around that, but somehow a lot of people don't want to go to a doctor who went to school on-line. :P
As to should women be doctors… the answer to that should be obvious, though of course the important thing is what God wants a particular woman to do, not generalizations. :)

But basically - you have to go to college if you want to be a doctor. And if that's what God wants me to be...

I found a small college… in a beautiful town… associated with a medical school… that offered a special program that would cut out a year of school…
and I asked God, that if He wanted me to go there, He would make them accept me and offer me a big scholarship. (Like Abraham's servant - he asked that the girl he was supposed to find would give him a drink, and then offer to water all his camels too. I copied him instead of Gideon. :) If that didn't happen… back to the beginning.

I applied to two schools, one that sounded kind of nice and then the one with the program I wanted. The 1st one never even accepted me. My ACT scores were lost and even though I sent them again and in different ways, they did not receive them. The other one accepted me, asked me to be in the honor's program, and promised me the biggest scholarship they could. (And they promised that only because of a note written on a recommendation form for something else. My mom called the school and asked if she could send them that form and they said sure - and then notified me about the scholarship. Had any of that not happened...)

However, my dad wanted me to go to college, but he agreed that sending me off on my own was not the best idea around. The school that accepted me is about 2 1/2 hours away and in a different state than my parent's house, though, and there was no way I was staying in the dorms. (NOT something I feel called to do, shall we say! My two cents - you better feel very strongly that God wants you there before you immerse yourself to that level.) But freshmen are required to stay in the dorms unless they live with their parents.
Since we had actually wanted to move across the state border for a long time, so we started looking for a house. And also trying to figure out how that would work - my dad's job is not portable, and he could not exactly commute 2 1/2 hours each way every day! Soon (before we had that quite figured out) we found a beautiful house, on a river, next to a waterfall, with a pool and a big yard, in the same city as the college! We went through it several times, finding more and more to like about it. It had been for sale for about 3 years, so we figured out an offer and called the realtor. While we had been talking about it, however, someone else bought it. After three years without an offer, someone from South America came up and bought it, just like that! The realtor said, "That was not meant to be, you guys." We had to agree.

After hours and days and weeks of looking and not finding, my dad decided he did not want to sell the house. We would keep our house and rent a place near the school for me to stay. He would stay at our house, take care of our chickens, cats, and german shepherd, go to work, and then on weekends either we'd go there or he'd come here.
So we started looking at rentals. And found a little house only a few blocks from school, with three bedrooms, reasonably priced, and unlike every other rental we looked at, actually livable. The renting agency later told us that, of all the people they have working through their agency, the owner of this particular house was the nicest person, and her house was clearly the best rental around!

Everything worked out, we moved in, and here we are!

We even found a Christian school just down the road where my younger brother can take several PSEO classes, making teaching easier on my mom and giving him a head start. :)

I mention all of the above, just because that is how it's been - everything fitting together and falling perfectly into place before us.

Each thing that has come up has simply worked out, and looking back it's like everything in my life has lined up in this direction. It is so special to be following God, to know that He has a plan, and that He works everything out for good. To see Him working in my life over the past few years has been so cool. :D

The funny this is, after all that, my future is still up in the air. I don't know how I'll do in my classes, what college will be like, if I will ever get accepted into Medical school, what God wants me to do after that… but I know that even if He does not want me here in three months, right now I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing, and it is good.





*edit*

So.
I finish typing all this up, right?
And then I meet the people who are renting the house right next to me.

One of them is a girl who took 1 year of PSEO
(which I pretty much have the equivalent of),
came to this college
(which I did),
majored in Biochem
(I'm in Biochem/Molecular Biology),
went to summer school
(which I'm hoping to do),
and was accepted into Medical School after 2 years in college!!!!!
And she said to come on over if I had any questions or needed help with my classes or whatever.

Can you believe how God puts things together?

Isn't He amazing?

Friday, September 3, 2010

So... yesterday I'm sitting at my desk, catching up on the world after being without internet for four days (minus Sunday, which day I happened to be packing and moving, and the two hours I was on-line on Tuesday - I walked a mile for wi-fi that day).


Finally just beginning to feel re-connected, when I am invited to go for a walk.

A walk.

Ok, so it might be interesting to explore the neighborhood.

I need the exercise.

But I have e-mails to answer, blogs to catch up on, physics to read...

Well, fine, thirty minutes, max.


Off we go.

Down the sidewalk, past the houses...

I hate walking in town, but this isn't too terrible.

My little brother manages to lose himself before we've gone a block, but before we've gone four he has caught up to us, red-faced and panting...

Cross a busy intersection.

The sprinkling rain turns into almost-rain-drops and then dies away again...

Cross another busy intersection.

There's a path up ahead, winding down beneath overhanging trees.


dark

green

cool

rippling water

red rocks

wending path

waterfalls


it's a little bit of paradise, hidden between the houses and roads


it's a wilderness inside the town...


it's so beautiful it almost hurts




To think I nearly missed seeing it because I wanted to be on my computer!


We ended up walking for about an hour, and I was kicking myself for not bringing a camera. (I'm going back, don't worry!)



Thinking about it tonight, I realized something.



I'm sitting here, perfectly contented with my life, quite busy, quite happy, and I don't need to be bothered, thanks.


But God is saying "Come walk with Me. I want to show you something."


And I put it off, find more reasons why I really don't need to, and even though I know there could be a few benefits... why bother?


I have no idea what I'm missing. All He wants is for me to give Him my life, all of it. To follow Him to the end of the earth and back. It will be like nothing I've ever seen. It will be a journey filled with such incredible wonder, glory, majesty, and beauty that I cannot imagine it. It will be to walk side by side with my Creator, my Savior, my Lover, my Lord - to serve Him and know Him and love Him.




What is holding me back from this?








Seeking Him in wonder,

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