Monday, March 29, 2010

"Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery..." - Jane Austen

Last night (after three grueling flights), I arrived home in Seattle! Ross and Melissa picked me up from the airport, bless them, and then took Josiah and I out for a spontaneous dinner at Kidd Valley. For anyone who knows me, my life always needs more spontaneity!

The wedding in North Dakota was absolutely beautiful! I cried the entire time - no joke. The trip overall was fun, most especially, spending time with classmates I rarely see. However, I did learn a few things on the trip:
1. North Dakota does not believe in recycling or prohibiting people from smoking indoors
2. Montana really does go on forever
3. Some people will do anything to get the bride's bouquet--including rip it out of my hands (lol)
4. I have the best brother-in-law in the world
5. Not even medicine will cure my motion sickness

After trying to prepare myself for the first day of a new quarter, the tryptophan kicked in and I crashed. And then, like a bad omen, I woke up late! My first class was at 8:30 and I didn't wake up till 7:45. Thank goodness my parents are letting me use their car this week while they are in Arizona, otherwise, I would have missed the first class entirely. I was just kicking myself that, after spending money on a plan ticket in order to be in class, I oversleep.

But, Jesus is sovereign. My classes went well overall. My french instructor is rather strict, but I suppose that's a good thing for a language class. The only other class I had was Greek and Roman Public and Private life. It's so interesting! I love love love classical studies, especially regarding the Greeks. While doing the reading for class tomorrow, I nearly started crying: I want a minor in Classical Studies sooooo bad. But alas, I've plum run out of credits. I'm barely going to be able to take all the classes I need for my two majors. I just wish I could do it all! To add insult to injury, a girl I met in french class today is actually getting two majors and a minor... I'm so jealous. But i'm sure it will be alright.

But today, Jesus made my heart smile. Some of you may know that I have been on a spending freeze since January. The Lord told me I could not spend any money on clothes or make-up until I had all my money for Spring tuition. This has been super hard and I've nearly caved three or four times. But this entire time I've had a little store credit for my fave consignment store, Crossroads. But my balance was only $4.74. But today, I went in there to see if I could find something fun and useful for such a small amount. After not finding much in their accessory department, I browsed the "half-off" rack. I found this adorable, pull-over vest that is just so perfect. The total rang up at 4.65! The rest of the day I was like, "Jesus loves me! Jesus loves me!" The day was made beautiful--despite the nasty rain and wind!

Really quick, check out Psalm 102 in the message. I can't get away from this. The title is: "A prayer of on whose life is falling to pieces, and who lets God know just how bad it is." Hah! I've def had days where I could write something with that title. But the psalmist writes, "Yet you, God are sovereign still, always and ever sovereign." Woah! I just love this verse. I don't think it really works this way, but I've kind of felt that God's sovereignty is my special revelation. I get it. I have to remind myself of it. But it's one of those things that I "know in my knower." After walking through two rounds of cancer afflicting those I love and countless other tests of my faith--I can clearly see that "God works all things together for good." I have been in this phase where I can almost hear God saying, "I told you so." I just keep realizing, "Oh, duh! You do know what's best for me." I'm realizing more and more and more that what I would have chosen for myself would have been detrimental. He so knows best! When I read Madame Guyon's chapter on "Abandoment," my heart jumped up and down, testifying that, "YES! This is so true!" She writes, "You must accept everything... as having come from your Lord." Amen to that! This Psalm just echoes that. God is good all the time. Whatever is happening right now, rest assured in this: He knows what he is doing!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Just discovered a new favorite artist: Kerry Muzzey. Check out his work on "Hole in a Paper Sky" on iTunes. Woah! Good stuff! He also did the music for the LXD trailer. So beautiful!

I love when this happens, when I find new creativity, the world becomes a new place!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I remember being in 9th grade and hearing a fiery, young Dustin McCuen speak in chapel one morning about being a pioneer and a trailblazer.

I made up my mind that day that I officially hated those two words and that I refused to ever be a pioneer. The very word scared me. I even hated most of the Little House on the Prairie books because it was "pioneer literature." Pioneers did scary things and lived really (to be quite honest) dirty, humble, poor lives. I never wanted that life.

Then, during family camp of 2007, the Lord gave us one of the most impacting words I've ever heard in my life. Pastor Dutch Sheets spoke on being a Hebrew-one who crosses over, one who blazes a trail, one who is a pioneer.
If you'll permit me, I just want to list the 14 attributes of Hebrews that he gave that day:

  1. They are forerunners and pioneers; and they are willing to go into the unknown
  2. They have to leave some people behind
  3. They go by faith
  4. God gives them a promise and a dream
  5. They live a life of decisions
  6. They build altars--the place where things die
  7. They are warriors
  8. God makes covenant with them
  9. God gives them a mountain
  10. They are given the finishing anointing
  11. They understand there are lines they cannot cross
  12. They know there will be multiple crossings
  13. They know the breath of God
  14. They have to go through several levels of the river of God's Spirit
When he shared at Family Camp, it just wrecked me. The Lord said so clearly, "Why do you keep denying the way I made you? Why are you denying your identity? Look at yourself in the mirror and tell me that you are not a pioneer!" It was a very tough thing for me to settle with, but I did settle with the Lord, "I am a pioneer."

And now I've been seeing more of what that means. It doesn't look like sod houses, dirt floors, and covered wagons. For me, it looks very different. But I've been embracing it and I see now so clearly that I am a pioneer. I'm not afraid of that identity any more.

So this weekend, when Rick Pino sang Pioneer, the Lord did something so deep. He awoke something, and I'm not even sure what. I know the song, especially the last verse makes me want to bawl. But I feel like it is deeper than tears--it's an affirmation of identity and of destiny. It is a warning and it is a reminder. The lyrics seemed to me like the lighthouse seems to the sailor. The words keep haunting me:

What you have done others will do
Bigger and better, and faster than you
But you can't look back, you gotta keep pressing through
There's a wilderness pathway, calling you

Pioneer, pioneer
Keep pressing onward, beyond your fear
Only the Father goes before you
To your own frontier
You're a pioneer

But that isn't all. The other morning, I was reading the Psalms in the Message (fave!) and I came across this in Psalm 84:

And how blessed all those in whom you live,
whose lives become roads you travel;
They wind through lonesome valleys, come upon brooks,
discover cool springs and pools brimming with rain!
God-traveled, these roads curve up the mountain, and
at the last turn—Zion! God in full view!

I was just amazed!
I know that this is all coming for a reason. I feel as if a "wilderness pathway" is just around the corner, waiting for me.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today I...

... celebrated my first day of Spring Break!
... painted my toes pink to usher in Spring
... took a gorgeous walk in a t-shirt
... enjoyed the warm breeze playing with my hair
... wore flip-flops for the first time this year
... got a blister for the first time this year :-/
... looked at our outside thermometer and it 70!
... read a few chapters of Jane Austen <3 nbsp="" p="">... smiled multiple times today thinking about Sydney
... wished that every day could be this beautiful :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

So happy today for two very good friends, Jordan and Sydney! Sydney is one of the most beautiful, precious souls I know. She and I worked at Office Max for nearly a year until last August, when she left for school. On the volleyball courts of Juanita Beach, we said goodbye. And I had not seen her since. Not until today.
I had been greatly anticipating today. Not only did I finally get to see her again, but I got to celebrate with her as Pastor Trout announced the courtship of Sydney and Jordan!
As excited as I am, I'm also dedicated in bathing them with prayer as courtship is very new to her and their relationship will be somewhat long-distant. Oh! But I am so overjoyed for them tonight!!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

this is my kind of dress! i just love it...

I love how this dress is soft, but intentional.
I also think that of all the floral prints i've seen before-this is far and away the most attractive
And I love that she went with something non-traditional for the academy awards!
Anyway... just loved this and wanted to share :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Do you have those people in your life that you could just talk to for EVER! I'm not even joking. Like, one time Natasha Cunningham and I talked for 10 hours straight--and it wasn't enough! I could have talked for another 10! I don't know if this is a gift or a vice. But, anyway, I just find incredible when I find those other people who I have to pry myself away from.
My writing professor is one of those people. She is so incredible! I get around her, and all of my passions for literature start going off like fireworks. We see eye to eye on so many controversial English topics, which is rare. But more than that, there is just a common fundamental respect for what literature requires.
Today she and I got to talk for 2 and half hours! haha... it was insane. I was pretty much ready to sign up for 6 years of grad school on the spot. It was like she flipped my "inspiration" switch--which I need, going in to finals week!
And I was able to share how I feel. Something that I am becoming more and more aware of is the way the Lord is changing my heart about Literature. Before this quarter, I would see stuff that I disagreed with or frustrated me, and that's where it would end: with me being frustrated. But after this quarter, I feel completely different... Now when I run into something in the department that I think is "off," this little voice inside whispers, "Samara, what are you going to do to effect things positively?" But it's different than it ever has been before. Before, I would have thought, "I have to fix this!" Now, it's more of a realization that, "Wow, I can offer a different answer. I can 'be the change I want to see.'" (thanks Jessie for always reminding us) I am just realizing that I do have something different to offer. And I'm seeing now that it needs to be offered. And that's exciting.

So, yes, that was my day. It was pretty nerdy... but I thought it was rather fun =)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Matthew 23:12 in the Message:

If you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.

there it is. this verse has been messing with me. why is it so hard to be simple? why do we make it so hard? why do we compare ourselves when we were never meant to be the same as someone else? why can't we just learn to really truly trust Him?!
one of the songs i've had on repeat lately:

What joy, what joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord!
What peace, what peace for those whose confidence is Him alone!

and that is what i want! i've had moments where i've been there. i've touched that peace. but then all the old insecurities come back to whisper lies in my ear. but then just the other morning i read this:

I'm hurt and in pain;
Give me space for healing, and mountain air.

tehe! i love that last part.
and that is what i need right now because my finals week is a week early this quarter-which does mean 2 weeks of spring break-but it also means a lot to do for this next week:
- 5 page paper on the significance of costumes in Merchant of Venice (ok, not gonna lie--i'm actually excited about writing this one :)
- 2-3 page analysis on Things Fall Apart
- A French composition
- A whole set of French homework
- A French Quiz
- A French Final
- A reflective essay
- An English Lit final

all of that between now and 8:30 next Saturday morning!
but I think it will be alright. like always, i just need His grace!

one last thought - you know when life can be really hard but it's so okay because you know He's up to something? that's how i feel. so i can be at peace.

ok. i'm going to go grab my slippers because my little toesies are freezing! and then i'm going to start into that list. and i'm probably going to bed early. that's a sweet thought.
sweet dreams to all of you!

bon soir! ;)