Friday, August 28, 2009

These are a few of my Favorite Things

I've moved, unpacked, started school, and cooking on my own again. I've discovered a few things for the first time and some things that I just forgot from last year, and here is my list of my top ten favorite things in my life now that the semester has begun.

1.) The fact that I'm finally all moved in. I love decorating and so actually having it all come together and barely spending money on it just made my whole month! We used stuff from our houses and Gav's family's fabric from their fabric store.

2.) The fact that we don't care that we have empty picture frames all over the apartment makes me happy.

We have one picture in one frame and all the rest are this strange man and woman looking at a book. I think the man looks like a Chan.

Here we have a missing lamp shade along with a missing picture in the frame.

And the missing pictures in the frig magnets.

Last year I accidentally left empty picture frames in my living room all year long and didn't realize they were still empty until I was moving out.

3.) My third favorite thing doesn't sound very nice, but it's the truth. I'm so excited that the swine flu is going around and I haven't gotten it. I'm not excited that poor roomies Gnat and Beal have had to suffer through the fever and cough, but I feel like this is the first time in about a year that I haven't gotten sick when someone else is sick. Maybe my immune system is actually returning! It's a miracle in itself.

4.) Asian Toasted Sesame salad dressing. I could probably do a commercial for this stuff just because I'm such a fan. I now love eating salads for dinner. Or snack actually. Or snack and dinner. And we ran out of cereal, so I may even have a salad for breakfast tomorrow :) . I eat the salad purely for the dressing.

5.) The fact that I truly believe that it's okay to wear my favorite comfy clothes every single day to class. I realized that I automatically go back to the same clothes every year when school starts. For some reason, there's no looking cute for class in college for me. My complete wardrobe is as follows:

Pretty simple. I've got my assorted colored t-shirts, Nike shorts, and podiatrist-recommended tennis shoes that I wear day in and day out.

6.) Classical music and black out blinds. When the neighbors get loud, I can use these two things to sleep, but really I love that I have a need for these two things now. I have lively neighbors. But really, that's good. It's nice to be able to go right outside my door and talk to some lively people. And when I get tired I can just come on in, blast my classical music, and usually fall asleep.

7.)Sugarland. It Happens. Everyday America. The two songs make me happy every time I hear them.

8.) Outdoor adirondack chairs. I love sitting outside. Especially around here, I can stay entertained for hours just watching people. And this weather has been perfect.

9.) A Perfect Mess. By Lisa Harper. The book somewhat defines my life. Each chapter focuses on a different Psalm, and they are all incredible. Just the book I've been needing.

10.) My first indoor closet. I don't have a closet at home. And I definitely have never been able to walk in a closet that is my own. It's revolutionary. But, problem is-- I'm going to have to get more clothes to fill up my closet. Not sure how Dad will feel about that problem.

So there they are, my top ten favorites. It's the little things in life that can be my favorite. Truthfully, I get more excited about the salad dressing than the big closet. The empty picture frames make a great conversation starter, and wearing workout clothes today got me some Adidas promotion job because I looked 'fit'... It was totally the tennis shoes though. I know I didn't look fit exactly. And, after the guy offered me the job, I tripped while standing.

Anyways, take a look around at the little things in life and discover the little quirky things that you really appreciate. There are probably more things that you'd think.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Let's Put Things into Perspective

This is something that I wrote a few months ago and that I just remembered about and I just wanted to post it tonight for some reason. Isaiah 53 hit me hard one day and here, I copied it but changed the we's to I's because that's just how I like it.
3 He was despised and rejected—
a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief.
I turned my back on him and looked the other way.
He was despised, and I did not care.

4 Yet it was my weaknesses he carried;
it was my sorrows that weighed him down.
And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God,
a punishment for his own sins!
5 But he was pierced for my rebellion,
crushed for my sins.
He was beaten so I could be whole.
He was whipped so I could be healed.
6 I, like sheep, have strayed away.
I have left God’s paths to follow my own.
Yet the Lord laid on him
the sins of us all.

7 He was oppressed and treated harshly,
yet he never said a word.
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter.

8 Unjustly condemned,
he was led away.
No one cared that he died without descendants,
that his life was cut short in midstream.
11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish,
he will be satisfied.
And because of his experience,
my righteous servant will make it possible
for many to be counted righteous,
for he will bear all their sins.
Christ loves me so much that He went through all of this just for me. Yes, His death was horrible and beyond anything I can even fathom. But I often forget, he endured pain his entire life. It wasn't just one day. It was an entire lifetime. I go through small trials and get down. I get sick for a few months and think my life is ending. I think God doesn't like me because I accidentally get a terrible terrible haircut and get my eyebrow skin waxed off in the same month... But, I mean, really??

God's own perfect Son went through these same things. Well, okay, He probably didn't have to get his eyebrows waxed every single month. But, His trials were much worse, to say the least.

Why in the world should I think that I wouldn't go through any trials if Christ, God's own son, the only perfect being to ever live, suffered more than I can imagine? Like, if I think that little bit of wax ripping off my skin is painful, how much worse would a big leather strip with sharp objects in it ripping off my back skin be? And that wouldn't even be for my benefit (thinner eyebrows). 

So many times, I look at things totally wrong. I know I don't understand what is going on-- what His plan is. He's teaching me to just trust Him. But it's so hard. It's so hard to see the big picture... When I'm focusing on myself, looking at things in the complete wrong light. When, sometimes, I just don't want to get out of bed. When bad things keep happening to me, one after the other. When I know where I need to be, but I don't know how to get there.

Then I realize, the thing wrong with all of my thinking is the I's. It's not about me. It's about Christ and me. He has it all under control. I just have to trust Him. I can't worry about it simply because I can do nothing to help the situation. I want to stay in bed, but Christ can give me something to look forward to each day. Bad things happen to me, but Christ went through much worse and He is there for me to rely on and for me to talk to about it. I know where I need to be, and Christ will get me there in His perfect timing.

My prayer is that I will be reminded of all of this throughout my week at Recruitment. That I will remember why I'm living. I'm here not for me or my sorority or my reputation, but for Him and His glory. And the awesome thing about it is, I don't have to do it on my own. He is there holding my hand. And when I go through hard days, I can go curl up in His lap because He, of all people, well, maybe people isn't the best word there, but He does understand.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Lady with Purple Hair does make a Difference

Time to go back to school! Well, actually, rush! I'm headed out in a couple of hours. What an incredible summer it has been. I've never in my life had a summer that passed so quickly.

My cousins and sisters--Merd, Mars, Lars, Lone-- and I made a list at the beginning of the summer of random things that we were going to do before the summer was over so that we would never run out of ideas of things to do. The summer went by in such a flash that we didn't even finish our list of 15 things.

Here are some of the pictures:

We jumped into the river downtown. Mom and dad and my aunts and uncles said we couldn't go to Fripp Island, our family vacation, if we jumped in because they thought that was so rebellious. But we evaluated the danger and decided we were willing to take the risk, and it was well worth it. The river was calmer than the 3 foot pond in my backyard and we didn't even get sick from the water. All that worrying on mom's part for nothing.

We dyed our hair blue as one of the events. Mine never really showed up too well and then everyone else's ended up fading to gray. Now they look like they have a gray streak of hair in their pony tails.

Having a fun school year is going to be hard to beat the fun that I had this summer. But, I really think I can do it if I put my mind to it. I'll only be in college once, and I have to remember to have fun and not concentrate too much on my classes, right? Grades, they don't really matter in the long run.

I'm just going to take millions of vitamins and try to sleep regularly (though that might be hard living with Gav and Gnat because we'll be having so much fun all the time) and hopefully I'll stay healthy! Getting through a month without a virus will be a feat for me! And I will be thankful for any bit healthiness that the Lord gives me!

If I've learned anything in this past year, it's sympathy for people who aren't well. I really feel for people who are sick because of my sickness. I know how it is to lay.sit.rollover.lay.sit. in bed for days. And now I can see that God will use that experience in my life to glorify Him through me relating to other sick people.

And secondly, I've learned acceptance of all types of people and their spiritual gifts. The other day, I found myself defending the curbside preacher who was yelling at the top of his lungs. I used to think those guys were just horrible, turning people away from Christ because they were so annoying. But now I believe that the Lord does use all types of people in all types of ways--even those guys. I mean, Merd was saved by the lady with purple hair and fake eyelashes on TV. Do you know which one I'm talking about? Who would have thought that lady would actually impact someone's life?

So anyways, I think that now I have a more open mind after my year-long bumpy ride, but I am hoping that the Lord will use me to glorify him through experiencing those tough things and that this year will be easy. That's probably not really the right thing that I should be praying, but it's true. All I want is a fun, easy year. In my new apartment. With my awesome roommates and friends next door. With my family safe at home. And that I will be able to stay up in Collegetown having fun over most weekends!

So here's to a great upcoming school year for me and for all of you!
(It's sparkling grape juice, of course!)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DO you know me?

Lynette Kraft at Dancing Barefoot on Weathered Ground wrote a post and challenged us to write ten interesting facts about ourselves and link it back to her. You can read mine and if you want, you can check out other people's interesting facts back on her blog!

1. I have moved all of my stuff 6 times, going on 7, in the past 2 years and I'm still not good at it at all. I moved my room from upstairs to downstairs, then back upstairs a year later. And I've moved to college, back home for the summer, back to a new apartment at school, back again for the summer, and now I'm packing back up for my new apartment.

2. I think I like making curtains. I know I love making pillows. These are my current curtains that I'm working on. I've done three panels, have one to go. And yes, they have lining. This is a huge milestone for me, it's like almost professional except the crooked hems.

3. I make up my bed perfectly every morning right when I get out of bed as I'm half asleep. I'm not sure why I do that, it's just habit now and it makes it so much easier not to worry about it later and I can't get back into bed after I get up.

4. In middle school, I was macho. I was huge compared to everyone else and I beat boys in arm wrestling. This is not a joke.

5. I will have 7 cousins, plus my sister with me at college this year. It's going to be so fun!

6. I haven't bought a dress for a formal or the Cotton ball since I've been in college. I'm all about the borrowing.

7. Monogramming is my favorite decoration.

8. I started driving four-wheelers when I was 5. That sounds so redneck. I think my dad just really wanted some sons and didn't get any, so that wasn't going to stop him from buying us four-wheelers, along with dirt bikes, guns, and knives.

9. My dad owns a hardware store where I used to work in high school sometimes, like only one day a week. But I got fired. By my own dad. I didn't know anything about the hardware and I dreaded going to work. My dad fired me in a nice way though. He said, "You can either keep working and I will quit paying for any of your stuff or gas or clothes, or if you quit, I'll just give you money." .... I must have been really bad.

10. I have been going to Fripp Island for 20 years. (That's my whole life, but it just sounds so long to say 20 years. I really can't believe I'm that old.) Fripp Island has to be one of my favorite places on earth. It's the perfect size, the perfect vacation feel, and has the perfect people (my whole family is there when I go). These are the girl cousins at Fripp around my age, except Elle.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

What has Mel been doing?

My hobby has changed from card-making to pillow-making. I made 3 pillows all by myself.