Monday, October 27, 2008

Cliché as it may seem...

So I just got home yesterday from an amazing Fall Conference with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. This was my 4th and final time on Fall Retreat and I was vary happy with it -- a good memory to keep forever. We heard from our speaker, Mack Stiles, about throwing away your life for Christ. He's a missionary living in Dubai. What a cool guy! And an amazing heart for God :) He was full of wisdom and insight and I'm extremely thankful he flew to the States to share his heart with us. We also, of course, had a bonfire, a dance party, some candy, some apple cider, the guitars and vocal chords were in full swing all weekend, little sleep was had, and many rounds of 'stupid ninja', 'big booty', 'nerts' and 'guesstures' were played. It was an amazing time of fellowship with the other UMD students as well as my good friends at GWU. I love them all dearly and look forward to these trips more than words can describe. There's just something so invigorating about being in a place with so many other believers, just learning and discussing deeper spiritual things with one another.

As always, it was full of challenges and thought-provoking conversations with my brothers and sisters in Christ. I could probably talk for hours about all the things that were going through my mind this weekend, but I think the main thing that sums it all up was what I wrote in my own personal journal for my Saturday morning quiet time. I guess I'll just type out verbatim exactly what is in my journal. The question for the morning was basically this: What is your alabaster jar? How can you break it? (This came after dicussing Friday night the woman who broke an alabaster jar full of the essence of nard -- very expensive and precious, probably her dowry -- and poured the oil on Jesus' head. She humbled herself before the LORD and gave her 'life' away for the chance to be with Him). This was my answer...

Control. I want to take control of my own life, which actually never belonged to me in the first place. I need to, as cliché as it may seem, 'Let go and let God.' He knows what I need. His plan for my life is flawless. Why do I keep insisting on trying to make my own? Of course, my plans may be in line with the LORD's, but I certainly have not been spending enough time alone with Him lately just listening to His words to be sure of that. It's time to shut my mouth and open my ears and my heart.

Song lyrics playing in my mind during this answer:

Make my heart Your throne
Make my heart Your throne
'Cause I've been ruling kingdoms that are not my own
I bow down at Your feet
I am Yours and Yours alone
So make my heart Your throne
Verse that comforted me this weekend:
Jeremiah 29:11 -- "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
There was so much more to this weekend than that, but it all came down to giving up my life to live a new one for God's will. I came away with a renewed spirit, one that deires to align itself more with God. Easier said than done, of course. But hey, I'm trying.

Monday, October 13, 2008

"What, I have a Blog?!?"

So, Danielle is over at her worship team co-leader's apartment (a.k.a. cell phone dead zone) and he is looking at his computer and says, "Wait, you have a blog?"
Danielle says, "What, I have a Blog?!?"
He explains, "Uh, yeah, it's pink. You ARE the 'Dani' who commented on my blog, right?"
Danielle, still confused, "ummm, sure. I mean if it's pink, it must be something I made. And I DID comment on your post the other day."

So, in an effort not to waste such pretty pink Web space that came out of nowhere, I'm going to start writing some things.
Okay, so here it goes...

I have no specific theme to my blog, just like my brain. I am one of the most random people you'd ever know, ergo, so will be my blog :) Today, I think I've been thinking a lot about little joys in life that keep you going through the insanely long, rough, complicated, confusing times of life (which, as an overly-emotional, overly-involved, extrovert, I have many of). Today's list of "little things in life" is in no way the end of these thoughts I have. I'm sure many more blog postings will have about this same set-up. But here is a first rough sketch:

It's the Little Things in Life:
  • Sunshine
  • Acoustic Guitars
  • Really soft grass (especially when barefoot). Check out Ludwig field at UMD.
  • The way the sun illuminates through my hot pink curtains to make my whole room glow with happiness.
  • Unconditional friendship.
  • Unconditional love.
  • Grace. (Okay, so that's not a little thing. But it's such a small word. Amazing.)
  • People who walk past you and are smiling at seemingly nothing. It's so contagious :-D
  • Instrumental bands. (Check out Explosions in the Sky)
  • When you get an email from someone you weren't expecting and your heart JUMPS in excitement.
  • Feeling needed.
  • Hitting higher notes than you thought you could while singing.
  • Acceptance for who you REALLY are.
  • When things are NOT "easier said than done."
  • A five year old saying "I love YOU more, times one thousand and... THREE!"
  • When you can tell that someone 100% gets you by the eye contact you have with them. Like they're staring into your soul. Ooooo, spooky ;) But still, pretty cool.
  • When God shows you in a small but glaringly obvious way that your plans for your own life are hysterical next to his perfect ones FOR you. This happens too much to give specifics.
  • Laughing so hard you can't breathe.
  • Laying on McKeldin mall while listening to Sigur Rós and the little helicopter leaf thingies come twirling all around you at the apex of the song :) Perfect.
  • $1 CDs.
  • Visits from friends that make you feel like you again.
  • Really cold water when you wake up at 4am needing it badly.
  • Being okay with letting go and having 80's and 90's throwbacks without shame. This happens almost constantly if you're me.
  • People affirming your writing (especially when you're a journalism student).
  • Holding babies against your chest, when they bury their little heads into you and listen to your heartbeat, and then rocking them to sleep. Beautiful.
  • Seeing people, especially couples for some reason, praying over their food in the diner/food court.
  • Being uncontrollably giddy. Or, ummm, at least "above blase," which I am, "95% of the time" as my good buddy Jake JUST told me on AIM. Hmm, excellent to know.
  • Realizing you actually DO know a lot of sign language.
  • Bright pink daisies.