Monday, January 28, 2013

Messy Mondays!

Every once in a while, someone comes along and says the truth that we're all afraid to voice ourselves. ;) Particularly in regards to relationships. Honestly, sometimes I think we take ourselves way too seriously...not that we shouldn't be careful. After all, we're only talking about the person you're going to spend the rest of your life with. No big deal, right?

But seriously. Why do we treat relationships like one, big gladiator game--waiting for the thumbs up or else...???? Am I the only one who thinks God is more than capable of directing us to Mr. Right? Why do we put such pressure on ourselves to "get it right?" So. In there spirit of Valentine's Day, here's Blimey Cow Productions "How to Be Just Friends in (Nine) Easy Steps!" They also have some very hilarious videos about homeschool stereotypes. And yes, I know what you're all thinking...Blimey Cow? Yep. Leave it to a bunch of homeschooled graduates to come up with a name like that. And they say we're sheltered...;) lol
 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Yes, I'm Still Here. ;)

I realize it's been a while since I've posted. To be honest, I just haven't felt that there's been anything to make it worth my while to sit down and type. And then I remember that that's precisely what this blog is for...to record all the those inconsequential nothings that will make them of some importance later on. ;)

As a matter of fact, a lot has happened since my last post, the most obvious being that I've completely refurbished my blog. Sprinklings of Sunshine. What on earth is that supposed to me mean? And isn't it a rather trivial title for someone who can't stand to be cliche? Probably. But I chose that name for a very specific reason. And not because it was late at night and I was too tired to come up with something clever (although that might have had something to do with it!) I chose this title because at this point in my life, nothing is certain, the future is dark...and frankly, I'm in need of some sunshine. Even if its only a sprinkling here and there. ;)

I want to capture those moments that make life so meaningful. Because we only live once, and a moment once passed is past forever. ;) So...I want to rejoice in the things I have been given, knowing that every day is a gift, and that God is with me through smooth sailing and storms. And if you think about it, what are rainy days but downpours of liquid sunshine? :) Concentrated manifestations of God's love that saturate us in His grace...so that we might thrive and grow?

But enough of my ramblings...a lot of fun things have happened since the last time I posted. For instance, I am now 27 days away from GRADUATING!!!!!! *dances around room* I seriously think that, come February 23rd, I'm going to paint my face blue alla William Wallace and run around my house screaming "FREEDOM" at the top of my lungs! ;)

I also had the good fortune to attend a fundraiser/dance several weeks ago. Initially, I was really skeptical about going because growing up guys never asked me to dance...Don't ask me why. I just know that from Jr. High to high school, I spent the greater portion of every dance (which totals about four) being a wall-flower...or dancing with a girl half my age. lol However, I'm happy to say that whether my warts and hooked nose have suddenly vanished or whether guys are more courageous in college than they are in high school, I had the time of my life!

Which leads me to a very important point. Guys: dancing is not a proposal. It is not a invite to coffee. It's not a declaration of your feelings. It's a dance. It's a social art. And it's good practice in hand-eye coordination. For crying out loud, suck in your breath, wipe your sweaty hands on the seat of your trousers, and go ask a girl to dance! The worst she can say is no. But just as a little heads up, unless you're Awkwardness himself, she probably won't refuse. In fact, most girls would rather stand up with Quasimodo than sit along the wall all by herself. ;) *exhales* Moving on...

I also started (and stopped) a diet that was, by and large, very successful. Even got down to 139 lbs. which I haven't been since I was like--15 years old. ;) But I realized, after about three weeks, that God gave us all kinds of food to enjoy and refusing to eat carbs because they're "bad"essentially makes an idol out of foods that the world considers "good." And Jesus broke bread, right? So. Anyway, I'm off of it now. I guess I still need to learn more about moderation and freedom in Christ. ;)

Other than that, not much has changed. Except for the fact that my family and I started Downtown Abbey this month, which has been heaps of fun!
Can I just say that I really like Mary Crawley? I mean really. I know most people find her uppity and annoying. But I can't help feeling sorry for her. I love her strength, her inner passion--and her sarcasm. ;)
 
We're only on season one (yes, I know--shockingly behind), but we took our time due to some reservations regarding objectionable content. Suffice it to say, this series does have two or three brief scenes that need to be skipped in some early episodes. All in all however, we are enjoying the upstairs and downstairs lives of Downtown's inhabitants--and sighing for the fact that we can't afford servants! :) lol

Hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The House Retreat 2012

Just got back from an amazing time up in Twin Peaks! I don't know what the weather was like last weekend, but up there, it was snowy and cold. Beautiful, though. I can't remember the last time I was privy to a winter wonderland! :)
 
I went up with the college group from my church. Course, as I've been attending a different church from the one my family goes to, I didn't know a single soul. But I was super excited to hear that Ben Courson would be teaching, so in the interest of getting questions answered and spending some time with Christians my own age, I went. ;)
 
The theme of the retreat was on sacrificial worship. You have no idea the kind of things God did in my heart, but one thing He kept impressing upon me was my need to be broken. That instead of putting up walls to protect myself from pain, I must relinquish control of my heart back to Him. A living sacrifice, as it were--or as Ben put it: "staying on the alter even when the going gets tough."
 
I thought I'd copy down my notes from his talk on the fruit of the spirit. He put the "fruit" in such perspective...I don't think I'll ever look at Gal. 5:22-23 the same way again. I'd encourage you to read through it and see what needs tending in your own orchard. ;)
 
The fruit of the spirit is...
 
LOVE
agape--unconquerable benevolence
 
JOY
a holy optimism
 
PEACE
a calm delight; inner tranquility or repose
the size of your problems are only as big as the backdrop you're comparing them to
 
PATIENCE
courageous enduring
 
KINDNESS
thick-skinned and tender-hearted
to be thick-skinned against your own needs and tender hearted towards the needs of others
 
GOODNESS
virtue equipped at every point
 
FAITHFULNESS
trustworthiness and reliability
 
GENTLENESS
always angry at the right time and never angry at the wrong time
 
SELF-CONTROL
self mastery
when the Spirit controls your life, he enables you to control yourself
 
And then one quote that really spoke to me..."Jesus gave his hands to the nails and his heart to the spear--lived a flawless life and died a felon's death."
 
Wow! I came away feeling so humbled at the majesty of God. So incredibly insignificant and yet so exceptionally empowered by Christ who lives in me. ;)
 
Here are a few pictures. Sorry they're blurry, I took them with my iPod.
   
 
My roommates: Melanie, Lucy, and Caitlin
 Chapel (with Nanci smiling in the foreground). I used to dance on this stage when I was just five or six years old. Who would have thought I'd be back all these years later?
My happy, peppy roommate. The first time I met her, I thought Rapunzel had walked into the room!
 
Old friends and new ones...Jordan, Ben, and guy on the far left whose name escapes me at the moment. *bites lip*
We stopped for Mexican food on the drive back. So good!
Time for another photo op!
Who's idea was it to pose for pictures in freezing cold weather?
On the car ride home...
Snow makes me happy! ;)
 
Hope you guys are having a great evening...or is it morning? lol
 
Lots of love,
 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 everyone!
 
Whew...just two days into the new year and already God is doing some amazing things! Have you ever wondered what the purpose of the Body of Christ truly is? I've never been able to put a finger on it. But today, after three encounters with three different people, I feel like I've been touched by the hand of God.
 
Maybe that's what He created us to be communal beings...so that in our daily interactions with one another, He could minister to us. As a friend of mine once put it, "That hug from your husband or word of encouragement from a friend...that's God touching, talking to you." What a beautiful image that evokes!
 
Today God used a coworker to confirm His work in my life. He used a very close friend to sharpen my faith. And He used another close friend to soften my heart towards the possibility of love.
 
I can't explain the peace that surrounds me at this moment. Much as I want to flaunt my vocabulary, I'm not even goin to try. ;) It's enough to know that the Lord sees and hears our silent prayers, the heavy hearts, the tired minds...and He brings exactly what we need at the precise moment we need it.
 
A friend of mine rescently confided to me that a lot is going on in her life right now. I said, somewhat jokingly, that when it rains it storms. 
 
Today, I feel completely engulfed in a storm of contentment. It may only last for a few hours...until something comes along to turn my focus elsewhere. But in the meantime, I will take those encounters, those answers prayers, and turn them back to praise.

Love to all,