24 October 2008

more joy, more purpose

the times I spent with my friends from church during my high school years were some of the best times of my life. i think back and sometimes i wish i could go back to those days when i'm sitting around on a the weekend after a long week of work. things were so much simpler. then again, we thought there was so much drama. it is difficult being a teenager when you are in it. when you grow up, problems like what classes to take or who likes who in the youth group or if you will have a date to prom seem very trivial. at that time, however, they were the world. summers were filled with fun, camps, the beach, car washes, bang ball, pranking, sleepovers, and just hanging out. these days, the summers seem very much like the rest of the year. we may have a week of vacation but all the other days are just regular. we worry about problems like how to pay the bills and if our lives are filled with purpose. and that is just it, that is the "more."

the struggle then is to find ways to enjoy life now, to enjoy the work we do, to see purpose in it, and to be in the will of God, not to get bogged down in all of the problems we face day to day. if we can find the "more," the hidden joy in the things we do or even the little things we haven't been doing that we need to add into our day, we do not have to live off of the joys of the past, which fade away. life can be so good minus the troubles we face. i'm glad that i have the memories of my years in youth group and all of the lessons i learned. i am also glad that i am living my life now surrounded by people that encourage me to fulfill my purpose and to live every moment with fullness.

to CrossPower, i miss you all and hope you are finding your way. thank you rev for guiding and teaching us and giving us a place to be teenagers looking for the real purpose.

23 October 2008

more to being special

we all struggle at some point with the idea of being special. we all desire to feel that we are special in a way that makes us better in others' eyes. yet there are also those who are labeled special in a way that makes them feel less in others' eyes. people come in all shapes and sizes, with all kinds of different abilities and disabilities--some are slim, and some are more voluptuous; others are gorgeous, ugly, inferior, strong, weak, ditsy, or nerdy. some of us have experienced rape, disease, abuse, betrayal, heartbreak and loss, poverty, tragedies of all kinds--but these things are not what make us special.

the way we look and the things that have happened to us do not define us. God made us all and this simple fact makes every one of us special. our lack of something or our possession of something is irrelevant to who we are in Christ. we tend to view ourselves through others' eyes and question if there is something wrong with ourselves. tragically, we can go through our lives believing lies and that we are simply the girl that has been raped, the guy that gets beat by his dad, or the person with the deformity or disease, that these traumas are what make us special. we become hard, avoiding new relationships, afraid of taking risks or being wrong, getting hurt easily, kicking ourselves over every little mistake, because we've been conditioned to believe that we, of all people, do not have the right to be imperfect. we feel that we are looked down upon because of our imperfections, that they make us less than what God made us to be. but there is more to this.

we need to get to the place where we can stop hiding behind the facade of having it all together and enjoy being ourselves. we are children of God and nothing should make us feel or act less special than this. we are special because of the good He put in us, not the horrible things that have happened to us. we need to tell someone, forgive someone, do what we need to do to heal, soak up every lesson we can learn, and move on, allowing it to make us stronger, tougher, more able to help others and use the abilities God has given us. it is about being tough, not hard.

(inspired by The Wounded Spirit by Frank Peretti, check it out in my books)

me and my blog

i am a perfectionist in so many ways (although you will note i do not like to use capital letters). i have a very busy life. i have very passionate, wandering thoughts. all of these things make an interesting recipe for blogging. i love to write and express my thoughts but i have little time and when i do i want them to come out perfect. however, with little time, it becomes impossible to get my passionate message out just the way i want. so i am learning that blogging is not so much about the perfection of the writing but just simply expressing the message and getting it out there for others to read and hopefully get something from it. this is my hope from this blog, that it will not be another column that complains about the economy or gossips about celebrities or even talks about what shoes to wear (even though i love shoes!). i hope that when reading this blog we all realize there is more to this...there is more to life than the bad things that happen, there are little things out there to cheer us up in the day, there are people around us that we can lean on and that need us, there is a God that loves us and we live and breathe for with every moment.

so, i am projecting that in this blog there will be a variety of subjects. there will be days when i write about the little things that got me through the day and the way i see the world. there will be other times when i write about a tragic day and my search for the "more." i may start out with posting some old writings from my myspace (for those that are not "friends"). but i hope in reading this you will enjoy it and that in seeing my ups and downs we can remember there is more to this.