Monday, September 28, 2009

Desires and Delight

"The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."
Zephaniah 3:17

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this. . ."
Psalm 37:4-5

Have I ever before thought about the fact that the Lord delights in me? Honestly, I haven't. And now that I am, it puzzles me so very much. What is there in me that is delightful? Out of all the beauty He has created, why would the One who is mighty to save take note of me, much less find pleasure in me? And yet, He does. Pause, and think about this. Does it make your heart soar? In His majesty, the Lord of all chose me.

How is it that I do not delight in Him in the same way? Last Sunday, the sermon was about how our God wants to fulfill the desires of our hearts, every last one of them. The speaker stated that every desire we have begins in God - granted, they can be twisted into pervert, and sinful things, but the roots of every last one was created in our hearts by our Heavenly Father. He wants to make those desires come true, so very much!

But we, in our foolishness, try to fulfill our desires in our own way. It doesn't work, and God has to crush those desires, so that we don't harm ourselves. I hate it when God does this in my life, and my plans don't turn out the way I had hoped. More often than not, it causes me to question Him and His goodness. How utterly ridiculous of me!

If only I could learn to give my desires to Him in the first place, and ask Him to fulfill them for me - then, my focus could be on delighting in Him, and remaining in Him. I wouldn't spend time worrying about how the things I wanted would happen, if I truly let that be up to Him. My faith is so small, Lord. I must admit that I doubt your ability to fill the desires of my heart better than I can. Would you take my desires, every last one, and fill them in your amazing and beautiful way? I realize that many of these secret wishes won't be brought into completion on this earth, and that's okay. Bring my gaze to you, so that I can delight in you and allow you to have your way with my desires, each and every day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Little Joys

I was sent an e-mail by Truman today with a health survey to take. As a good citizen, I felt as though I ought to do so, although I really, really, really didn't want to.

The first question was "In agreeing to take this survey, you are confirming the fact that you are a student enrolled at Truman State University and are 18 years of age or older. Select yes to begin the survey."

I clicked no.

It said "Thank you. Your survey is complete."

Ahh. 17 is such a refreshing age to be!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The SAB!

I'm on the SAB!!!

Wow, I'm so excited, it's hard to type. This evening, I heard a knock on my door - I got up to answer it, and a group of about 30 people were standing in my hallway shouting, "You're on the SAB!" That was about an hour ago, and I'm still excited (and if you know me well, you know how hard it is to get me excited!).

Let me back up a bit. In coming to college, everyone I talked to encouraged me to jump right in and get involved. They said it made all the difference in their college experience. I decided to take their advice, and went to the student activities fair with my eyes wide open. The only thing that really caught my attention (besides CCF, which I had already decided to be a part of) was the SAB - Student Activities Board. They are responsible for planning basically all the events that happen on campus, from comedians, to drive in movies, to concerts, etc. You know - it's the group of people who are the first to arrive, and the last to leave. Who put in countless hours planning, preparing, setting up, cleaning up, all so that other people can have a good time.

Well, needless to say, this sounded basically amazing to me. The board is only made up of 35 students, so it's very selective. They had a pile of applications on their table, so I figured it couldn't hurt to fill one out and turn it in. I almost forgot about it, and ended up turning it in at the last minute - I also forgot to check the posted list to see if I had an interview, and got an e-mail asking if I was still interested, because I'd made the first interview round. The first interview was on Friday night. I wasn't nervous a bit, since I really hadn't done any kind of interview before, and didn't know what to expect. I think, however, that had I not been otherwise distracted, the fact that attire was "business casual" should have clued me into the fact that this wasn't going to be a cozy little chat.

Boy, was it intimidating! Sitting in a conference room on one end of a long table, with 6 people at the other end of the table looking at you. . . I'm surprised I formed words at all. They asked some really interesting questions, thought-provoking questions. By the time I left, I was shaking. Some one should have told me that I should have been nervous!

Saturday morning, I checked the posted list, and saw that I had made the second interview round that afternoon. That surprised me. But I went, once again, in business casual attire. It was a group interview, so definitely not as scary as the first one. I walked out of there entirely uncertain of how I'd done. I knew that they were taking 6 new members, and that there were 12 of us who made it to the second interview. They said that they'd contact us sometime on Sunday to let us know.

9:00 pm rolls around, and I hadn't heard anything, so I logged onto the Truman website, found their page, and sent an e-mail asking if maybe I'd missed something, and was supposed to do something else? Shortly thereafter came the knock. . . and the rest is history. :) The president of the board asked what I had been thinking, since I hadn't been contacted, and I told her about the e-mail. Her response, "Oh, that's terrific! You would, too."

I'm on the "Research and Development" committee, fondly known as RAD. I'm really, really excited about this, but it's going to be time consuming. There is one weekly meeting with the whole board, and each committee meets weekly as well. The events, of course, take so much planning, and staffing. And also, each member is required to have 1 office hour during the week. I'm nervous and scared, but SO excited! Pray that this would be one more way God would use my life on campus!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Psalm 139:23-24

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me, and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Isn’t this a scary thing to ask of our Lord? Do we truly wish Him to see the honest state of our heart? To know those anxious thoughts, those things in our lives we are not willing to surrender and trust Him with? To reveal those ways we are being offensive to His commands? Being transparent is a challenge. It’s hard to admit that we aren’t perfect, that we need God to lead us in His ways. And it’s hard to surrender, when we know it will mean cleansing and a change of direction. But I so want to follow in the ways everlasting! I want to be given life by the Lifegiver, the Lover of my soul, and I cannot do that unless I allow Him to know my heart and work in me as He would.

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Compromise only satisfies the dying part of you."

Stellar Kart

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Chemistry Prof

Quotes from class last week:

Regarding the use of Excel and spreadsheets -

“We aren't about the cosmetics, but the deep beauty of truth.”

Discussing dry erase markers -

“When I was a kid, these things were toxic. It's good that my mom told me to stop smelling them, because otherwise, I probably would have gotten high and died. I just loved the smell.”

He gave us the dimensions of a book, and had us calculate the mass. Apparently, the dimensions were rather arbitrary, because after we figured it out, he looked at it quizzically and said -

“This is probably an unrealistically fluffy book. Stewart Little could take a ride on this thing and he'd float right up.”

Saturday, September 12, 2009

3 Weeks

Well, here I am - 3 weeks into my college adventure! Some moments, it seems as though I've been here forever, and yet at other times, the hours seem to drag by. Don't you hate that?

Academics: Classes have picked up quite a bit, and I now have homework. Yay! I'm taking Chemistry 100, Biology 100, Pre-Calc, and Dimensions of Professional Nursing, 14 hours total. For the most part, I enjoy my professors, although my Chemistry prof is a little eccentric (more on that later). I think that this semester, overall, shouldn't be too challenging, although I'm finding myself very rusty on some of the basic algebra things we're reviewing in Pre-Calc. But that's what studying was invented for, right?

Socially: Wow, there is so much to do at Truman! Everyone always said to me in my pre-being-a-student-here days, that the events on campus made up for the sleepiness of Kirksville itself. They were right - the activities fair on the Quad totally overwhelmed me. Some of the things I've done so far have been. . .
2 times a week Pilates class at the Rec, as well as doing lots of running/elliptical/biking. Some of the girls on my floor are pretty into getting exercise, so we go nearly every day.
Swing Dance Lessons! I've only been able to try this once, and didn't really get the hang of it, but it was fun going with other girls and laughing at ourselves together.
Games - I've been to one men's soccer game, and one football game so far - and I'm really looking forward to seeing some volleyball soon. So far, they've only had away games.
Theatre productions - A friend from my nursing class and I go to these whenever they come up. The first one we saw was called "Murdered to Death" and it was great - a spoof on Agatha Christie-type murder mysteries. It was fantastic! And then last week, we saw a production put on in a black box theatre. The plot was deep and thought-provoking and the acting incredibly solid.
Reading - the library here is full, and I've had the pleasure of reading a book, simply for the sake of reading (something I hadn't done in far too long!). Okay, so I realize this isn't social, but anyways. . .
Walking - to and from classes, to and from lunch, to and from the Rec, and even just for the sake of taking a walk! It's a great way to have conversations with people, both casual and more serious.
Farmer's Market in the downtown square. It's really cute!
Java Co. - cute coffee shop in the square.
There are so many other things going on that I haven't mentioned. It really amazes me that, if I wished, I could have a totally full schedule when I'm only planning things for myself - I'm used to a family of 8, which quite naturally means a busy life. Social math however, states that if you minus 7 people, then add moving away to college, the end result is the same.

Spiritually: This almost goes along with social life in many ways. There are many, many Christian organizations on campus, and it's almost too much of a good thing. I've been mostly doing things with the CCF group, but I also plan to check out the Lutheran Student Fellowship, and a friend of mine has invited me to Campus Crusade for Christ. The CCF here has been such a blessing for me! They have Sunday morning and Wednesday evening services, as well as small groups and miscellaneous social events throughout the semester. The services have been great - since the speakers are specifically addressing a college audience, I find that everything they say isvery (if not easily) applicable to my life. I've joined a Ladies' small group called "Live Like You Were Dying," and I'm looking forward to the encouragement and accountability of that. Several upperclassmen have befriended me, and it's been a lot of fun getting to know them and spend time with them. This past weekend was the fall retreat - very refreshing, and a great opportunity to get to know more people on a little deeper level. There are over 200 students involved in CCF, so it can be a little challenging to develop relationships in the larger group settings. Personally, I've had so much more time for pursuing God on my own - and I find that exciting and scary. Exciting, because isn't this what everyone dreams of - extra time to spend, just on God? Scary, because there isn't any excuse of "being busy" to blame my poor spiritual life on. It's been a learning and growing experience, and I pray that it continues to be so.

Relationships: This has been the hardest thing so far. I miss my friends and family in Rolla so very much. Often, I just wish I were home with them. But that desire is just about my comfort and security, and I need to realize that it's not what God has for me right now. He has given me new relationships, here and now, to use for His glory, and I'm excited about that. The girls in my hall are really fantastic - they have their quirks, but overall, we get along great and love being a "family." I've gotten close to 3 or 4 in particular, and really enjoy the chance to get to know them better. Community style bathrooms definitely take getting used to, but it's also a good place to catch up with girls you don't see as often, even if it's just a "Hey, hope you have a great day!" We haven't yet proved the existence of boys on this campus, but I'll keep you posted if we ever do. :) Just kidding, there are guys here and I think I now officially have met. . . four. I do find it challenging to be around primarily peers all the time - sometimes, I long for a little person to hold close, or a home school mom to talk with. My roommate is amazing. Those of you who think I'm neat - she's neater. Those who might consider me a good cook - she's better. You think I mother people? - she's worse. Scrapbooking, and anything crafty - she owns face. Blair is Blair and she is amazing. If you ever send me cookies *cough*, you should add a note that says hi to Blair.

Food: The cafeterias are really good, definitely no complaints there. Except maybe for the fact that they have dessert available at every meal. I've used the dorm kitchen twice, once to make cookies and once, spaghetti. I've gotten involved with the food ministry for CCF so I don't go into complete withdrawal from lack of creating delectable delicacies. I am not going to disclose my current weight, or a comparison of that number with my weight before August 22nd.

So yeah! That's my life right now, or at least what the past 3 weeks have looked like. I'd appreciate your prayers, because I know with total confidence that they are what has kept me going thus far. And please, feel more than free to send me prayer requests of your own - I'd love to know what's going on in your life, and lift my thoughts of you to the Father on your behalf.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

22. Oh, Monopoly, How I Despise You

I failed. You may recall that on my packing list from this summer, one of the items was to "complete a monopoly game with Zeke." Well, I played a monopoly game with him this past weekend, but we didn't really complete it - he allowed me to forfeit. I probably would have won, but after nearly 2 hours, it was just too much. We had pretty equal numbers of properties/houses/hotels, and I felt like we just kept switching money. Eventually, I suppose one of us would have gotten out of luck, but then you have the fun of selling off houses and mortgaging properties, and that just takes a ridiculous amount of time. So I forfeited. But I'm still counting it, so there.

Thank you, my brother, for allowing me to be lame. Someday, perhaps I will discover the same love for monopoly that you have. Or, more likely, someday . . . you will be a Realtor.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

I was blessed to be able to catch a ride back home to Rolla for Labor Day weekend (thank you SO much Sam!). We met up with my family in Jefferson City, and I hopped in the minivan to head over to Camdenton, where I got to see the Rolla Royals’ first volleyball game! Here’s Abby, my favorite player.100_5915And the whole team, with Coach Sarah, after the game. 100_5929

The girls have come such a long way from the first years of our team – it’s great to watch them play!

Then Saturday, we had a BBQ with a few friends – and with homeschoolers, a “few” friends always turns out to be around 50 people. What a great time, though! I have found that it matters very little to me just what we do when friends come over – I just so love being around them. Here are the lovely mothers – each of these ladies has been such a wonderful role model for me, and it was so nice to see them again. 100_5936

Of course, volleyball was played. Thanks Dad, for fixing the net. You know, it wasn’t long ago that I was incredible uncomfortable playing volleyball. Now, I guess I just enjoy my friends so much, I’ll do anything for them. :) That, and I’ve gotten used to everyone laughing at me.100_5937

Cute girls! Oh, I miss kids so much! College students aren’t nearly as interesting.100_5938

Ashley, enjoying a turn with the Quakkelaar’s new baby. So adorable! Us older girls were discussing that holding small babies was rather dangerous for us nearly-adult aged young ladies. :) Too tempting.100_5939

And here, we have the largest poker game/fullest living room award! What a great group of people to spend time with – Thank you, Lord, for fantastic friends. 100_5941

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Camera

So, I just realized several days ago that my blog posts from here on out are going to be terribly boring - namely, because I do not have my own camera. I'm definitely going to invest in one soon however. So many things happen around here that require documentation - things like a group of girls from my hall doing an aerobics video together in the lounge, guys making little paper crowns to decorate their room doors, our kitchen fridge covered with magnets, etc. And of course, the mandatory 17-18 photos of my desk, my bed, my roomie's desk, her bed, my dresser, my window, my towel rack, etc. - you know, all those parts of my dorm room that look exactly like every other dorm room at every other college in America. Memories I'll want to have from college.

But a decision must be made. Do I spend the extra money and get a good camera, and then invest my time (maybe even take a class, since there are two offered here) into learning how to use it well? Or, do I buy a small camera that doesn't require any extra time on my part, and that I know I will use on a regular basis? I'm so torn - and I want a camera soon, before the memories are lost forever.