Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Years Lessons Part I

Hey guys!
     Last time, I posted right around the beginning of the new year with a few lighter-hearted lessons I've learned. I also promised some more, more serious lessons that I have learned to come in the future. Before I begin, though, I must warn you: Just because I have learned these lessons this year does NOT mean God isn't still teaching me them. I have noticed that God tends to have to constantly remind me of what I already know! Because otherwise I "unknow" it . No, that's not a word, but it is a fact, so I'm writing it down anyways.

     In fact, I think I should change my wording from, "Things I have learned," to, "Things God has taught me." 'Learning' implies a level of seeking that I simply cannot take credit for. Even though I have been seeking the Lord, I certainly am not responsible for the great things He is doing in my life. Thus, I will title each lesson as "Things God is teaching me."

     Thing # 1 that God is teaching me: Work is Not a Part of the Curse: I'm gonna be honest guys: sometimes I really don't want to study biology. Or my Bible. Or do Scripture memory.  Or even cook breakfast. Or...anything that requires the least bit of effort. Sometimes, sleeping in till noon, doing absolutely nothing active, curling up under a blanket and gorging myself on gummy worms sounds way more appealing than doing school. And I honestly used to think that the point of work was to get it over with so I could do "fun" things. 
     But I was missing something. Work is not a result of the fall. Work is not God's punishment to mankind because of their sin. Before Adam sinned, God gave him responsibility, and lots of it, as indicated in Genesis 1:28:"And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

     Umm, replenishing and subduing the earth sounds like quite a bit of work, yet this command from God was given way before death entered the world! As I have realized this, I have begun to see the reward in hard work. Sometimes, I get really exhausted, but I have found so much pleasure in giving my best effort in school, chores, and just trying to serve God. I fail so is incredible how many times I can fail in a given day. The more I actually put my full effort into things, the more I realize just how weak I am. Because my best effort is not nearly as strong or impressive as I've always imagined it would be. Although this is hard, I think this is good, because it reminds me how small and insignificant my efforts are in comparison with the glory of God. I am thankful that God doesn't measure my worthiness by my strivings, but rather by the sacrifice of His Son!

Thing #2 that God is Teaching Me: Being Single Right Now isn't a Punishment, It's a Blessing: 
     Guys, maybe it's just me, but even though I've been brought up in a Christian home doesn't mean I've been influenced by the world. One of the biggest untruths I had believed for a long time was that "Having a guy interested in me will make me more valuable/acceptable." And, last year, as I saw several guys get super interested in one of my girlfriends, I began to wonder if something was wrong with me. I never really flirted with any of the guys I knew, but I honestly wanted attention, and to be noticed like my friend was.  There are a couple things wrong with this mentality: '

1) It is selfish. I wanted attention, and I wanted to feel valuable. When I was in social settings, instead of looking for who else might need attention, I was seeking it.
2) I was seeking to find my acceptability in places other than Christ. That leads to destruction EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.
3) It is too early for me to have a relationship with a guy. Some people get married earlier than others, but I knew I was not spiritually mature enough to enter into a serious relationship with anyone.
4) Rather than focusing on my already-existent relationship with God, I was fantasizing about being fulfilled by a relationship with another guy.
5) Instead of rejoicing in the fulfillment Christ promises through relationship with Him, I was seeking human attention to be fulfilled.

     Recently, I listened to a sermon on singleness that really changed my perspective. The pastor talked about how both married couples and singles face challenges...single people tend to be lonely. Married couples have to constantly work on their relationship to keep it strong, etc. Challenges and suffering are a part of life, and they are a blessing, as Paul writes in Romans 5. To try to avoid pain is both unrealistic and unbiblical. While I am not to invite as much pain and suffering into our lives as possible, I can't simply try to avoid painful things because they are unpleasant in the moment. Some of the greatest lessons God has taught me in life are through the hard times, and this is a theme I have heard in many other people's lives as well, both in Bible characters and in the lives of my friends.

     Eventually, I would like to get married. I don't know if this is God's will for me, but it is definitely a desire I have. However, until I can be completely content without a boyfriend, I do not believe I am mature enough to enter into a relationship with one. After all, if  I enter into a relationship with another human expecting fulfillment, I am not only going to be sorely disappointed, but I am making that relationship an idol. If I am not fulfilled by Christ, then I obviously am not making Him a big enough priority in my life.

That's all for now. Part II for "New Years Lessons" is coming soon! (i.e. within the next month or two...and that may be optimistic).

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Year In Review {Highs and Lows}

          Hello, frien...errr, stranger! I would like to say "long time no see," sarcastically, the way you would address a friend who you had seen hours, or at most, days before. However, the only way I can use this phrase is literally, since my last post occurred on, *face of shame* April 19th. I was going to pull out my calculator to do the math, but then I realized that I really don't want to know how long it has been.

        I figured that, since it's been a while, I would give you an overview of this year's highlights and not-so-high-lights (also known as low-lights...profound, I know).

Highlight #2 --Finally getting my driver's licence! Can somebody spell FREEDOM? (Thank you Chloe, for enlightening me as to how to include gif's in your blog post--copy and paste are magical things)

(Just play along and imagine this is me, kay?)

(And...if we're being more realistic...)

Lowlight # 2-- Driving into the mailbox minutes after Mom told me she thought I was ready to take my drivers test.

(Needless to say, I didn't take my test that week)

Highlight #2-- Getting a Summer Job! At a food science lab, nonetheless! I was shocked! And delighted! And--terrified.
Reaction GIF: excited, happy, Amy Adams, Enchanted

Lowlight # 2--Realizing that just because I had a new job did not mean I was instantly good at it.

Highlight # 3--Making it through Senior Night without crying.

Lowlight # 3--Playing the winning team at pool play at nationals.

Me in the backrow:

Highlight #4--Getting accepted to Kansas State University...!!!

Lowlight #4--Realizing that college costs money.

That's all for now, folks! A more "reflective" blog post is also in the making. :) 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

10 Things I Love about Summer!

I am a future-oriented person. It really can be a weakness, because I tend to look forward to or dread things in the future rather than staying focused on the present. However, it is appropriate (and fun!) at times to think about big picture plans and events. And one of the "events" that is coming up is the change of seasons. 
Summer is coming (Don't shoot me for saying that as soon as spring finally arrives... it's what I do)!
With it are many things I am looking forward to:

1.) Summer camps--We're still discussing which ones I'm going to (Worldview Camp, King Solomon Camp, CYIA, and Camp Good News are all in the mix) but each camp offers fun fellowship with friends as well as a potentially deeper relationship with God. 

2) Lemon Ice Cream--enough said!
3) Reduced School Load--Math will probably continue through the summer, but I am especially excited about physics and piano being done. 

GUYS!!!  Our cat just gave birth to three adorable kittens (And they're alive, which really surprised us!) right as I was posting!! I'm sure Natalie will post pictures within a couple hours, so I won't bother. :) Nothing to do with summer, but pretty exciting! 

Back to the post...

4.) Smoothies--okay, I'll confess these are kind of a year-round thing here, but still... I'm pumped!

5.) Non-stop Athletic-Shorts--These may or may not be a year-round thing at my house, too...guys, these Nikes are my absolute favorite right now! Now, can these please go on sale or something? 

6.) (I'm losing my train of thought as I stair at that beautiful pair of Nike shorts... really for the sake of a coherent post, I should delete that picture...the beauty of those Nikes is alluring/distracting.) 
Let me scroll down a ways to eliminate this distraction

Ahhh, much better. I can finally concentrate!

7.) Summer Volleyball Practices--Honestly, the practices are even more fun to me than the games! I love when you finally know who is on what team and your role on the team. Then, the team can gel!

8.) The Smell of Sunscreen--Mmm. They should make a candle that is sunscreen-scented! That and doughnut-scented. Mmmm! I would buy ten!

9.) Tans-- I'm sorry, but I really do like them. (No, that is not at all ironic to put under my love of sunscreen.) 

10.) Weekly Grilled Chicken--Mom doesn't grill much in the winter (something about standing outside in the snow and trying to cook raw meat...) but in the summer she makes it on a regular basis. It just makes me happy!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Comment Post

You know what has been driving me crazy??? Our silly computer won't let me comment on any google/blogger blog! I mean, really? I have to read all these wonderful posts without being able to tell people that I really enjoy them by commenting on them!
You know what else is going to drive me crazy (and will probably be really, really good for me?) No internet for two weeks, starting this afternoon. None, nada, zip. Hence, the reason I am posting on Wednesday right after class rather than Monday 10 minutes before the deadline. Even though no internet will probably be a good thing in some respects, it means I have to get any written assignments printed out TODAY, since our printer doesn't work without the internet. I may be cramming in a cover letter this morning, folks!

Back my original topic: I want to comment on people's posts, but the kid computer is rendered useless when it comes to commenting (unless you have a wordpress blog) Therefore, I will attempt to comment HERE, instead of on the actual blogs, about how awesome your posts are. (See, I did them alphabetically because I love you all!)

 Anna: Your posts!!! You already know that your "people posts" are my favorite. You do an excellent job describing people, and making them "three dimensional" in writing! You pin-point exactly what makes each person special and always amaze me by how well you capture them. Not to mention your random every day posts, which have made me laugh, (think your fun lists) mourn, (think the end-of-the-volleyball-season-post) and everything-fun posts (which make up the remainder of the posts I didn't specifically mention).

Avery: I am enjoying your posts more and more! I admire your willingness to share from what's on your heart... that is scary, especially on something more public like a blog post! I loved your "Lies of the World" post because it truly challenged me. Realizing that many of the lies I believe are grounded in the even deeper lie that "I need attention!" was an eye-opener for me!

Bethany: Your most recent "Bucket List" post is so fun! Touring a castle and starring on the Amazing Race? Can I come with? Sounds waayyy more exciting and creative than my list. Your posts are ones that always seem to make my day happier. I have been amazed by the wide range of topics you cover in your posts. None of them feel the least bit repetitive... well, other than the fact that I always enjoy them!

Chloe: You are one of the most creative bloggers I know! I love your random but always-enjoyable posts! Your posts are so engaging. My favorite "type" of post are your, "Curious, isn't it?" posts because they're jam-packed with randomness and entertainment. You cover a wide range of topics with diplomacy and

Jerica: Your blog doesn't show up in my feed, so sometimes (gulp) I forget to read it. Shame on me! I'm missing out! I went back to your blog just today and was amazed by how it keeps looking more and more professional! Some of my favorite posts were the photo-shoots or Kendra and the rest of your family. Also, you're SAD about biology ending? Wow, that is great! What is your secret to such a great attitude? Because honestly, even my favorite subjects are ones I'm ready to be done with the end of school.

Laurel! I am still getting over the (very exciting) fact that you have a blog! I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts and hearing about your life from basketball to lists to random updates. I love how your "voice" comes through in your writing. I'm also especially excited that now your posts can include volleyball if you'd like, because you came to practice and we're practicing TOGETHER! The thrill is too much for me! :)

Mary Frances: I know you have a Wordpress blog (which means I can actually comment on my computer) but I decided I could still "comment" publicly here, too. :)
Your blog is for one thing, beautiful. The format is really cute, and the writer of the blog? Even more so. :) I love your beautiful pictures of food and your ever-engaging writing style that ranges from deep to hilarious.

Mrs. Mann: I love how you are posting more frequently! I was so happy to find you posted twice quite recently! I especially loved your inspiring list, and the JOY with which you view life. You seem to find the bright side in some of the most annoying circumstances! I know you have a baby, teach two classes, and are basically a very busy person, but when you get time, don't stop posting. :) Your posts are some of my favorite!

Natalie: You don't read my blog anyways, so I'll just tell you in person what I love about your blog. :)

Savanna:  Last in the alphabet but certainly NOT least, Savanna. :)Your personalities post was SO fun! You explained them all so well, and it made me rather in awe of how much time probably goes in to planning your characters. I still remember doing OYAN with the writing class and being amazed and overwhelmed by your detailed-ness. :) Also, your blog and general is a fun read because I get to hear your opinions, hopes, and thoughts--quite a privilege from someone as wise as you. :)

Monday, April 7, 2014

{Bucket List} Part 2

Mmm, bucket lists make me so happy! Here are a few additions I'd like to make to my previous post. :)

More to do on my bucket list...
Poach an egg the REAL way. You know, dropping it into boiling water rather than into the little poached egg tins my mother has. Those are not the same thing!

Camp out on the trampoline. I've tried at least twice, and after several hours of everything but sleeping, I always come inside... obviously I value sleeping more than coolness! And then consequently feel like a wimp.

Successfully hit (or spike, depending on your terminology) from the backrow during a volleyball game. Not a standing spike, the real deal. I don't think I've ever successfully done a true approach in a game and gotten the ball over the net. Yes folks, there is a reason I am confined to back row!

Make one Giant Clump of Puppy Chow. Thanks to Anna Keeley, I can now get small clumps of puppy chow rather than none, but I would love to fit a whole batch of puppy chow (preferably pumpkin) into one clump. Talk about delicious!

Try Some Classes at the Gym. I've always wanted to take a spinning class or a Zumba class!

Walk on Stilts. Apparently my genes aren't okay with my height aspirations, but there are other ways I can attain my (literally) lofty goal!

Convince my Dad that I'm not Cut Out to be an Engineer! Seriously, every year, K-state has an open house, and this year in particular my dad was convinced that I should do industrial or chemical engineering. Apparently, he doesn't want me to waste my "problem solving skills" (Hah!) on dietetics. Oh dear. It didn't help that my career test gave one (out of like 100) possible career of chemical engineering. So yes... my dad says engineering or food science are his top two picks. We shall see... even IF I could handle the math, I'd be working with inanimate objects... objects that don't talk. That would get old so quickly! My dad thinks I should start out in industrial or chemical engineering, and then, in his own words, "If you hate it, you can switch to food science." We shall see!

Ride a Merry-Go-Round and Scream my Head Off. Okay, that doesn't sound nearly so mature in words... oh well!

Share the Gospel on a Daily Basis. A little more serious than the merry-go-round scheme, I know. Right now I am helping with a Good News Club at Fort Riley, and it has been so rewarding. Kevan Meyers from CYIA was such a great example of evangelizing almost daily, and I was so challenged by his example! In some ways, this sounds so terrifying, but at the same time, there are people all around me whose souls are dying! How selfish it would be to keep the Good News to myself!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Week In Terms of Pinterest

I love Pinterest because it supplies visual interest (pictures) without me having to upload them. Uploading pictures would probably be easy-peasy if there was anything easy about technology. Seeing as how I still haven't figured out how to use my i-pod, (a Christmas gift) I am sticking to copying and pasting pictures from Pinterest (I really hope this is legal).
First off,I finally got around to studying for the ACT this week, and this dialogue struck me as especially funny, considering I have spent several hours this week trying to figure out the difference between a cosecant and a secant. Ugh.
I wish I were half that witty!

Another occurrence from this week is the accumulation of clothing on my floor. I am running out of creative ideas for outfits... so naturally I threw all the clothes on my floor in hopes of fresh inspiration. Instead, I only attracted the attention of my mother, who has banned me from working out until I clean my room. Probably because she is scared of tucking me in at night?

Legos like a boss
Now granted, mom no longer has to come in my room to spank me, but I must confess that the trek to my bed in the dark has become rather hazardous.
And then there's this one, which is 100% accurate. (So accurate in fact, that my I a friend send it to me on Pinterest).

And then there's this one, which I think is hilariously and very applicable to my week. :)
Safe answer
Actually, I ate chocolate (courtesy of Mary Frances's blog) in the form of black bean brownies for LUNCH. Hey, they're full of protein, right? (Or so I tell myself.) And, by the same logic...
Haha, perfect!
Guess who's making cupcakes? (Just kidding... sort of!)
And then there's this one... I found out two weeks ago that my cousin was "in a relationship." And then today, I find out they're engaged!!! Naturally there was lots of stalkin... err, investigating going on to see who the new member of my family will be. :)
:) Sounds familiar!
Lastly, Mrs. Mann, I am DETERMINED to decrease my comma errors in this upcoming research paper. I thought you would appreciate this one:
grammer humor!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lessons from Olaf

Olaf - my favorite character :)
Disney has finally won my heart. And I have to admit, it's about time. From princesses dropping from the sky into the arms of a handsome prince to major "love at first sight" overkill, they've definitely overdone it on cliches and plummeting princesses. 

But a snowman? A dancing, talking, summer-loving, willing-to-melt-for-his-friends snowman? (Sorry, I guess the word, "sacrificial" would have sufficed, too.) You sold me.
Though I'm not an avid writer, I love analyzing characters and people... plots, not so much. I will confess that is rather evident in my One Year Adventure Novel. :)

Anyways, I have to get one thing straight. I am not about to try to emulate this naive but oh-so-precious snowman. At least, not completely. I don't think it's realistic to constantly bounce around the room like kangaroo coffee addict. (Plus, while it was cute when Olaf did it, I don't think I would quite pull it off.) However, Olaf is a well-developed character and I do admire him, fictional or not. Don't worry, I'm not about to try to become a snowman (although that would be "cool," my efforts would be "short-lived." Get it? Okay, so my jokes need some work. Anyways...) Here are things I admire about this fictitious snowman: (and some adorable pictures to go with it)

Olaf Quote Miracle alert! A Disney film shows love in the form of sacrifice rather than in the form of a prince with great princess-catching abilities! And guess what? Olaf is the first-ever- (and probably only-ever) snowman to say these words in a Disney movie. And you wonder why I like him?

Olaf! "Put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!"I love how Olaf is so busy standing up for Elsa, the person in question, that he gets stabbed by an icicle. His response? "Oh, look at that. I've been impaled." This may be over-thinking the situation, but seriously, I don't react well to little blips in my life, let alone impalement. Rather than looking at how small inconveniences fit into the big scheme of things, I overreact to little things. 
Things like running late, bad hair-days, B's in physics, hurtful comments, and volleyball losses. Will these things matter in 10 years? Will I care in heaven that they happened? Obviously Olaf downplayed the situation quite a bit... impalement would usually be a pretty big deal. I tend to "play up" little occurrences in my life to get attention, rather than seeing them in light of the future I have with Jesus. Olaf is fictional. But that doesn't mean we can't learn from him, peoples!

 Olaf has never experienced summer, yet he is looking forward to it! I love that Olaf is looking forward to the unknown! To... change. I hate change. I am afraid of change. Change is scary because it is new and therefore not in my control. Last night we went to a new restaurant! And guess what? I was freaked out because it was new. It turned out to be fine (actually, it was delicious). But I made a fuss because it was not part of my routine. And I was a royal pain because I drug my feet like they were made of lead. 

Granted, you have to draw the line somewhere: Olaf is looking forward to heat which will cause him to melt. Details, details, I know, but still. I don't want to take the analogy too far. (Really guys, I have gone back and forth on posting this because I'm afraid you'll think I've lost it and want to turn into a snowman.)

Some people are worth melting for - Olaf ; Frozen <3Another example of sacrifice. Heart.Just. Melted.>>>>
(Get it??? Heart MELTS. Oh, never mind.)

And now, the REAL reason I instantly love him. Since these are my last words of this post, I will leave you with his first words. Because that seems fittingly ironic.