Friday, June 15, 2012

Good Enough.

"Well, that was embarrassing," he laughed. 
I kind of laughed with him, cringing inside as I agreed. "Yeah..."

And for once - it was embarrassing. He happened to be someone in a position of authority that I had reallllly wanted to impress... but between my bumbling awkwardness and incredible penchant for bad luck (*ahem* even though I don't believe in luck or fate), I had managed to mess up the situation to the point that I considered never coming back. But I had nowhere else to go and so forced myself to return the next day thinking *shrug* I have no sense of shame.

But THAT for sure isn't true. The next few days were something akin to Torture, Light, as I caught snatches of people talking about what had happened when I walked past them. But I pushed through, trying to work my way up from Idiot Ground Floor.

Other people would ask me how my day went and I would try to reply with something positive, all the while thinking Every single person in that place considers me an absolute moron and can't wait until I leave. I'm just annoying them all and none of them think I can actually do this. 

Of course, all this was right on the heels of several weeks of banging my head against a wall because of frustration over my GPA, which took kind of hard hit this past semester - which I can blame on nothing but my lack of discipline. (Yes, Physics and Biochemistry are hard classes, but I should have done better.)

Then it suddenly hit me. 

My self-worth is based on my perception of other's opinions of me.

Not even their opinion. Simply what I THINK is their opinion... which may be colored by things such as my current GPA, how much sleep I got the night before, etc. etc. etc. 

It's not like I have not at least partially realized this before. I started the following blog post last winter:

Idiot, idiot, idiot.

You would not believe the number of conversations I walk away from thinking that.

And no, I'm not meaning the other person. 

Why did I say that? And they're going to think...

Then, one day last fall, it suddenly hit me. Is that what God thinks when He looks at me? 

Um... not according to His Word... 

(for the sake of time, I am copying these from here)

• I am a child of God.

But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children … (John 1:12).

• I am a friend of Jesus.

I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father (John 15:15).

• As a child of God, I am a fellow heir with Christ.

And if children, then heirs (namely, heirs of God and also fellow heirs with Christ)--if indeed we suffer with him so we may also be glorified with him (Romans 8:17).

• My body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me.

Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you (1 Corinthians 6:19)?

• I am chosen, holy, and blameless before God.

For he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world that we may be holy and unblemished in his sight in love (Ephesians 1:4).

• I am redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Christ.

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace (Ephesians 1:7).

• I am a citizen of heaven.

But our citizenship is in heaven--and we also await a savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ … (Philippians 3:20).

• I have been chosen of God, and I am holy and beloved.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience … (Colossians 3:12).

Yeah... Something slightly different from Official Idiot there... And if God wasn't hiding His face every time I opened my mouth, why was I? So I started trying to catch myself, and each time that little refrain started up again, I would look at whatever had just happened again and remind myself that it wasn't that big of deal - because it never was. 
Somewhere along the line I had just started 
coloring every interaction I had with others by some paint-by-number chart that showed me lacking in some way.
Why, I'm not sure... I suppose I could look at certain people in my life and guess at why I started doing it... but that would do nothing more than give me an excuse for it, and I don't want an excuse. I want to stop doing it. And I was stopping it - that bit anyway. 

But the deeper part, the part that I've been realizing more recently, the reason I was judging myself so harshly, didn't change. One tiny compliment can make my entire year - but a hint of criticism completely destroys me. I've always been a bit of a perfectionist, and missing perfection hurts - getting others' reactions to my imperfection more than hurts.  

And it wasn't just that I found it incredibly easy to beat myself up after the smallest faux pas, or got defensive or despondent at criticism. It also meant that when I wasn't perfect, I couldn't move past it. 

If I got gas for the car and messed up writing the check and had to ask the attendant for the date and what gas station I was at exactly... I wasn't going to hand her a tract afterwards, because I didn't want her to think Christians were morons. Etc.

That's what started getting my attention. I started thinking about what John the Baptist said:

He must increase, but I must decrease.
And I realized that I was trying to increase, so that He would increase. I was going at it backwards.

Was I really not wanting Him to look bad when I didn't give someone a tract? Or was I just trying to leave as quickly as possible because I was already embarrassed and didn't want another opportunity to mess up?   

For probably the first time in my life, I realized I was willing to have every ability I was proud of (even when I struggled with thinking none of them were that much) taken away from me, to become absolutely nothing if it would glorify Him. If my failure, or inability to reach perfection, was what was necessary to glorify Him, then so be it. 
I had to stop fighting to reach my own standards of perfection. 
Because my standards don't matter. Only He does.

Then I read this quote of Oswald Chambers, and somehow it seemed to just fit what I was thinking about.

"Our calling is not primarily to be holy men and women, but to be proclaimers of the Gospel of God. The one thing that is all important is that the Gospel of God should be realized as the abiding Reality. Reality is not human goodness, nor holiness... but Redemption... Personal holiness is an effect, not a cause, and if we place our faith in human goodness, in the effect of Redemption, we shall go under when the test comes."  

I was failing, time after time, because I was depending on my success in being completely on top of everything and doing exactly what I should when I should (and judging my success based on what others thought of me) BEFORE I could proclaim the Gospel. Instead of remembering that only one thing is needful, I was focusing on everything but.

"As long as our eyes are upon our own personal whiteness, we shall never get near the reality of Redemption... 'What I want is anything God can do for me to make me more desirable in my own eyes.' To talk in that way is a sign that reality of the Gospel of God has not begun to touch me; there is no reckless abandon to God. God cannot deliver me while my interest is merely in my own character."

I'm memorizing Colossians 1 right now, and this verse has got to be one of the most amazing in the Bible.

And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Read that again. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross made me unreproveable in the sight of God. My self-worth is determined by Him... and He said I was worth dying for. At that point, what else matters?


Redemption is the only Reality. Jesus Christ Himself has already determined who I am and what I am worth... over and done with. No more question about it. The only question is whether my focus is on Him. Because He is all that matters. If I succeed, if I don't, it doesn't matter, so long as He is glorified. 

The devil will do anything he can to prevent that, and if he can catch my ear with his whispered You're not good enough, and prevent me from sharing the Gospel by so doing, he's accomplished his goal. 

Matthew Henry's commentary on Proverbs includes this:

"Eager readiness to believe what others say has ever proved mischievous. The whole world was thus ruined at first. The man who is spiritually wise depends on the Savior alone for acceptance. He is watchful against the enemies of his salvation by taking heed to God's word."

Wow. Did you ever stop to think what the first temptation really was? What were the words that made Eve take the fruit?

For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat...

By eating the fruit, she would become wise... implying that right now, she wasn't wise. Her eyes weren't opened. She wasn't good enough. 

That's what ruined the world. 

In the fear of the Lord is strong confidence.
If I fear God... if my focus is on Him alone... if Redemption is my only Reality...  I will have confidence. My mood won't be dependent on how much those around me like me or dislike me, or what they say about me. Satan will not have that weapon to use against me - I am good enough because God made me, saved me, and He is perfecting me according to His plan and definition, not mine. 

The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: 

 The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; 
to whom be glory for ever and ever. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Of Shoes, Kpop, and Stories...

Welll.... this week was fun. :D I got up at 6-something am on Saturday and met up with my dearest and amazingest adopted sister-friend, who happened to be passing through town, and we talked life, stories, and publishing for a couple hours until she had to leave. :( I'm still wishing I would have woken up at 5am... 

Later I went shopping with my mom - we tried on a ton of things and amazed ourselves at how expensive and ugly every outfit in the store was... Then my mom got some make-up and I sniffed all the perfume bottles at the counter, because I was childishly bored, and then tried out the Angel perfume because I liked the name. Other than that though, there there was seriously nothing worth buying in the entire store. Except these shoes, which I brought home with me. ;) Aren't they cute? 

Then I packed a ton of of stuff, most of which I will not need, and Sunday I headed out of town (leaving everything I probably will need of course). The fog was deliciously thick... and I spent my 3-hr & 10-min drive singing along to Kpop and planning out the epic climax to my current WIP. It was awesome.

Eventually I arrived at my destination - my home away from home, which happens to be my Grandparent's house. My grandparents were suitably impressed with my amazing shoes, and we talked the entire evening about life, stories, and publishing. 
My great-aunt did a write-up for some historical society and sent it to my grandpa, so we read through the list of families she had compiled, and my grandpa told me about the people...

 like the man who robbed the bank, and was caught before he'd left town because he had held the door for the librarian as she came out of the bank and she recognized him... 

and the man whose son was killed in WWII, who lived alone in a tiny, uninsulated shack, countless baby buggies hanging from the ceiling, where he got them nobody knew...

the man who was sent out by his brother to guard the pulp lumber from thieves, only to become so frightened when he actually had to pull a gun on one that he started throwing up... 

Haha, and those of you whose grandparents had to walk to school and back uphill both ways? My grandpa had to fight his way home from school every day! Only when he neared home, my great-grandma would come and lay around her with the broom to get rid of the other boys... and remembering her, I can totally see her doing that. LOL

I hadn't quite realized it before, but my grandpa was one of two boys his age in the entire town to attend high school (8th grade was pretty much it for them). I asked him why HE did, and he said it was because he loved to read. They used to call him The Professor when he was little... which, if you knew my grandpa, is completely laughable, because he is a hunting/fishing/4-wheeling/snowmobiling/boating/conceal&carrying every-bit-the-outdoorsman. But he read every book in the schoolhouse and wanted more - so he went to high school... and then into the service... and then to college, where he met my beautiful grandmother. :) 

Which all made me realize how often I've seen him reading over the years... and then it suddenly hit me. If he'd stayed there and taken over his father's logging business as expected, I wouldn't be here.
I was born because a little boy in a tiny, dirty, and extremely poor backwoods town filled with Kentucky migrants loved to read.

Okay, okay, I know a lot more went into my existence than that, but.. it kind of makes you think. 

What do you love? 
How is it going to change the future, both yours and others' and people's who have not yet been born?

Anyway... I then spent several days shadowing a doctor at his private clinic (from helping with minor surgery to driving a patient back to their broken down car, I definitely got to see what a rural physician does - it was very awesome. and exhausting. and I want to go back.) 
and studying for the MCAT (*choke* not so awesome... I can only hope I live through it) 
and hanging out with my grandparents (that's always awesome too :D). 

Happy Days...

How's your summer going? :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Matthew Henry

Does it not show contempt of Wisdom's instructions, when people professing godliness, seek excuses for neglecting the means of grace? 

Behold the wretched, empty, unsatisfying, deceitful, and stolen pleasure sin proposes; and may our souls be so desirous of the everlasting enjoyment of Christ, that on earth we may live to him, daily, by faith, and ere long be with him in glory.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I'm the Doctor

Or at least I hope to someday be... ;) But ay-yi-yi...

Did doctors become the new lawyers or something? How did I miss that? 
Anyway, I just about died laughing watching ^.

This, on the other hand, is slightly frightening... 

Oh, yay for doctors...

LOL Did you have any idea there were so many ways of saying a simple phrase? XD

But, staying away from space travel, this just about sums it up:

Any other clips I should have included here?

Monday, June 4, 2012

June Snippets

At that moment, the fate of Korah and his brethren would have been a blessed thing.

- Tam Lyn

He was still a ways off, making his way wearily down between the fallen trees and rocky outcroppings that lay between him and the small hut, when the stillness of the mountain was shattered, a warning bay from the cabin pealing out through the clear air. The wooden door opened, and a grey shadow slipped out, the warning note in its cry changing to one of welcome as it rang out again. 

- And It Was Love

He groaned. “Oh, stupid girl! Though it means she is not utterly without intelligence…” 

“Would you please stop talking about me as if I were not here!” I flashed out. “Because if you do so again, I won’t be!” 

- Tam Lyn

Someone rose to his feet in the back, chains rattling as he did so. Jaden paused in the doorway of the dim log hut, his brow wrinkling in confusion. 

“My king.” Osbeorn’s voice was low, and he bowed gracefully in the shadows, the chains Jaden had heard again clinking cruelly. Stepping forward as far as he could into the thin path of sunlight, Osbeorn went down on one knee. 

But Jaden bounded into the hut, catching his friend’s arm and forcing him upright. 

“How came you here?” he demanded, and Osbeorn smiled a lopsided smile, as if glad to see Jaden yet unchanged, even as he raised one shackled wrist to brush the back of his hand across a bruised and split lip.
- And It Was Love

“It means you have to hurry. Spit it out or I will run you through.” After the turmoil my nerves had been in all week long, they were like to snap at this point. I was furious with him, whoever he was. “Starting with who you are.” 

Rolling his eyes, he bowed low. “Yes, mum.” 

Then he straightened. “As if. I told you. Call me Tam Lyn."

- Tam Lyn

I clenched my jaw. “Mercy and her brother are my friends, and there is no more to it than that. Except that the future Lord Sunderland is already more a man than you will ever be, and it ill becomes you to call him a boy! And lest you put meaning in my words, he has already asked me to marry him and I have already refused.” 

Tam Lyn grinned again. “So that he will the more desperately ask you. Ah, love is cruel.” 

- Tam Lyn

“Elohim Elyon.” He raised his head, catching the last few streaks of golden sun and raising his eyes until he caught the first gleam of the evening star. “I am not half the man he is. I am not worthy to be compared to him – or to Tarian. What can I do with a broken country and a shattered woman? I am not fit for this task – I am not able.” 

- And It Was Love

He still was not sleeping through the night, and I was utterly exhausted. Sitting down in the middle of the garden, I rested him in my lap, holding the bottle to his lips. He drank eagerly, and when it was finished and I sat looking at him in a sleep-deprived fog, he smiled at me. 

“Oh, you are such a –” I swallowed the end of my sentence, for calling him either a princeling or a royal brat, both of which he was, was far too dangerous. 

- Tam Lyn

“Yeah, we did.” Jaime came in the opposite door, heading for the sandwich materials and grabbing two slices of white bread, pushing Dare out of his way. “And we did it awesomely. So deal with it.” 

- The Sons of Bretton Meyrick

Val, Jennie, and Tam Lyn... and Jennie quoting Scripture to answer why they're all in so much trouble...  LOL

check out other snippets here and enjoy Katie's brilliant idea! :)


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