Sunday, March 21, 2010

a heavy heart

Tears stream down my face- I am completely emotionally overwhelmed with God's love for me. 
I'm worrying worrying worrying about my life. My tendinitis, which keeps me from practicing the music that I love so much and want to make a future of, my summer plans, my grad school plans, whether or not I will actually pass my Swahili class (thats a big one...)...and the list goes on.

I can not do this with out Him. Can't. No way, no how, it won't happen. 

My left arm is giving me pain as I type this, so it will need to be short. 

I'm writing for as much of a reminder to myself than to any one else who may read this. I have a God who loves me. He thinks I am beautiful and wonderful, and He created me for His pleasure. 

A thoughtful friend pointed out today how Isaiah says God has our names engraved on his hand! Another friend brought up the perfect image of a middle school writing "I love ___" on their hand. They write the a specific name on their hand! They don't care who reads it, and they may even stare at their hand daydreaming about this so-and-so that they are so in love with. It is raising my spirits just to compare this image to our God. Our God that will never leave or forsake us. He has our names engraved on his hand! Tattooed, carved, whatever! Its permanent. We're there, and He is watching us so in love. 
I am very grateful for my friends who brought this image to my mind, and my heart yearns to live thankfully for my great and awesome God that has my name on His hand.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

well done.

I am now thoroughly convinced that working out contributes to my brain not functioning correctly. Like yesterday, I feel completely distracted but now to add to that, I feel incredibly lethargic as well! I am about to tell you a true story that supports my theory:

One dark and very chilly night (*cough* tonight)
I was driving home from the gym, 
which we lovingly call the "slc", 
after a very enjoyable workout with very enjoyable company.
As I pressed the down on the gas pedal I thought to myself,
"oh man, I can already feel the burn!"
I was a little disgruntled by this thinking that tomorrow
might not be very lovely in the leg/back region.
Then I realized that the heater was on full blast at my feet.

The end. My theory is correct.

:) I am very pleased to be on Day 5 of my journey to purpose. 
Today,  I was reminded of how our life on earth will be reflected by our future lives in heaven. Constantly we are being tested and tempted and tossed around. I'm thinking of a story that I heard once (or possibly read in one of those obnoxious "fwd:" emails) about a special test. A group of students went to their college class all studied up for a big exam, only to find that the location of their test had been changed. The students were required to trek across campus to meet the professor. On the way they were stopped by several different people (I don't remember the descriptions exactly) all needing help of some kind- money, food, help across the street, ect. The students were so focused on the fact that they might be late for their test that they completely ignored the plea of these needy people. When they finally reached the new location of the test, they found all the individuals who had tried to stop them on they way waiting for them there with their professor. The professor was saddened that all of them had failed his true test, which was a test for their hearts, on selfishness. 

Wow- how often is God saddened by my many mistakes? I don't even want to think about all the times that I have passed up on helping someone out to satisfy my own wants or needs. Life is so full of trials! Every decision we make! This thought is daunting- almost scary to me! I hope that I will be able to make decisions in my future that will make my God proud of me. I am so unworthy! Yet God still loves me and gives me an unfathomable amount of new beginnings. For that I am infinitely grateful. 

A beautiful scripture from this chapter was Matthew 25:21:

Well done, good and faithful servant!
You have been faithful with a few things;
I will put you in charge of many things.
Come and share your master's happiness.

It is my prayer today, for myself and for you, that we will be able to be welcomed into heaven by God with his loving affirmation "well done!" "You passed the test, come and celebrate with me!" Oh, to dwell in the house of the Lord forever :) That is what we have to look forward to! An eternity with our Lord, whom we have failed so many times and who loves us so so much. What have I been entrusted with on this earth? As I think about the gifts and talents I possess, I realize that the use of these are tests from God. How will I use them? That is an every day, every hour, every minute decision that I will need to make for the rest of my life! Thank you, God, for your forgiveness and the chance to dedicate my life to you! 
I hope I am constantly reminded of this :) -P

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

living in the light of eternity

I'm not feeling very inspired today. As a writer at least. Normally I get all excited and have a billion different ideas floating around in my head at once, but today I guess I am distracted. I worked out for the first time in who knows how long- maybe that is a contributing factor? That is one of my resolutions too, by the way. (Along with my resolution glass of milk which I have in fact still been drinking!)

My reading from the fourth chapter of "The Purpose-Driven Life" had a very important reminder. Life here on earth is a very temporary and imperfect practice for eternity. To me, this is one of those "duh" statements that I have always known, yet once I really sit and think about it, how does it impact my day to day life? I am proud to say that part of my life I feel that I have really spent with this mindset. Living for God. Having a purpose that is not my own. Unfortunately, of college world, I cannot say the same. From todays reading, I would really like to take this lesson:

"The closer you live to God, the smaller everything else appears." -Rick Warren

Less self, more God. I think this is something that I will struggle with this semester, but I think its good to struggle with tough lessons sometimes. To me, struggling with an issue is a sign that you are aware that there is a problem. Although this isn't the ideal state to be in, it sure is better than living for yourself. I wish that I could automatically be thinking of God instead of myself, and that I automatically made every decision in my life according to God's plan. I feel like I used to be in that place, a very good place. But at this place in my life, I will put up a fight, and struggle to live my days as a dress rehearsal for heaven! -P

hope now.

"I don't know all the keys to success, but one key to failure is to try to please everyone."

Oh Rick Warren (author of "The Purpose-Driven Life"), you know me too well!
This quote comes from  Day 3 of my journey. Although it hits home, I found something else in this chapter that I would like to share with you. This passage found in Jeremiah, chapter 29 verse 11, may be familiar to you- here:

"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".

I find it easy to fall into feeling guilty of my far from perfect past, to worry about the uncertainties in my future, and to focus on matters of little consequence. Right now, I want to focus on God's control of my life. He clearly says that he already has plans! Why am I trying so hard and worrying so much about what is to come of my life? I am promised hope and a future! Promised not just no harm, but that I will prosper if I keep my focus on him. God, help me focus my life around you!

As a musician, my thoughts often process in the form of song. Sounds a bit unreal to some, but I know some of you know what I mean. Phrases that I read or hear automatically bring related music to my mind.The song that comes to mind to me right now is one of my current favorites. Maybe I should blog someday about the strange musical way my mind works. That would be interesting to try to explain....I digress.
Addison Road- Hope Now

Have a listen! This music is inspiring!- P

Monday, January 11, 2010

the art of losing myself

Talk of purpose is everywhere! Everywhere it seems- now that it is a focus of mine.
Funny how that happens.

"Your will above all else,
still my purpose remains,
the art of losing myself
in bringing you praise"

This is a lovely song if you are not familiar with it. "From the Inside Out" by Hillsong.
I urge you to watch/listen!

Consume me from the inside out, Lord. What a powerful prayer! This song brings so much emotion to my heart. Every part of the lyrics has a special meaning to me. Being consumed by God, completely. Oh, how I wish I had the mental and emotional capacity to focus always on God instead of myself. Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades. Never ending! God's glory goes beyond all fame. When I sing this song, when you sing this song, let your heart cry to bring him praise! My soul aches to bring God glory with my life. So many times I have failed. So many times I have gone astray and my life has been the opposite of a witness for my Lord and Savior. Every morning, every new day, I want to wake up with this freeing mentality of losing myself so I can truly live for Christ! Free indeed :) -P

You are no accident.

It is not fate
nor chance
nor luck
nor coincidence
that you are breathing
at this very moment.
-Rick Warren

So begins Day 2 of my journey.
God is love. He created me for fun, for love, for expression, for beauty. God was not lonely and in need of a companion- he is the trinity-he has all he needs. The Bible tells us that God is love. Its not simply that God is loving, or that God has love for us. No, no, no! God IS love. This is how I should live my life. Love! I like this:

"I have carried you since you were born;
I have taken care of you from your birth.
Even when you are old, I will be the same.
Even when your hair has turned gray, I will take care of you.
I made you and I will take care of you."

This passage comes from Isaiah 46: 3-4. My favorite part is God's reiteration of "I made you and I will take care of you." Silly humans, get this through your head! He didn't set the world in motion and step aside to watch us scramble around, frantic and helpless! God, of love and all things new, is carrying us through life until we are old and gray. What a happy image :) -P

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Beauties, aren't they? A wonderful reminder of how frail and lovely life can be.