Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Needing Less

Hello all.
I have been doing some thinking and I came to the conclusion that I am a flawed person (obvious statement). Let me explain...
I think I mentioned a while ago that it was a resolution of mine to focus less on material things and more on what's important. I find myself comparing what others have (or look like) to what I have (or look like). It's a worldly trap and one that I tend to fall into from time to time.

A wonderful woman from church wrote a blog the other day about comparison. I wanted to share a few things from it.
"The main problem in my opinion, is that when we compare ourselves with others we are competing against can you trust, be open, and live in true fellowship with someone whom you're (consciously or not) competing with?"
She is dead on with that statement. I may be the only one, but this is something I definitely struggle with.

I figured the only way to fight this was to find truth in God's word and focus on it. This verse practically fell into my lap one week when I was doing my bible study...

"Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Col. 3: 1-3)

Man, that hit me hard. So I wrote it on a notecard and stuck it on my dashboard in my car. I'm not going to pretend that this is easy--it's not. Wanting what we don't have is in our sinful nature. But I won't give in, I will continue to fight and repeat what is truth.
I came across another quote the other day that fits perfectly with the topic.

There are two ways to get enough: one is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.
-G. K. Chesterton

That's my goal. Focus on things above and desire less.
It won't be easy, but I truly believe that by living simply, God will be revealed in more ways than one.

My apologies for the super-long post. This is something I'm really passionate about. I don't think it's addressed enough.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Good Life

Wow, I have been slacking in the blogging department. To be honest, I didn't feel inspired enough to write a blog. But alas, here I am! Inspired, finally.
It was a good weekend at home and I made a lot of plans to follow through with some of my resolutions. Let me tell you about them...

One of my first resolutions is to paint again. I haven't touched a brush yet. I miss it so much and I'm a little scared to start up again (it's been so long!). However, I am going to try and take a class at prairie winds this summer--keep your fingers crossed that they have an opening.

The YMCA is offering a yoga class almost every morning of the week so I definitely plan on attending that. I have always wanted to take a yoga class so I'm really excited to finally do it. Anyone want to join me? :)

I finally found my summer bike! Since GI is quite small and I work somewhat close to my mom's house, I plan on riding my bike everywhere this summer. I suppose you could call me "green." I'm really just trying to save money on gas (and I've always wanted a cute vintage-looking bicycle). You can bet your bottom dollar that there will be a wicker basket on the front, as well.

Lastly, I have fallen in love with Nebraska. Wait a second--back up. Let me re-phrase: there is a tiny bit of Nebraska that I will admit I like. As I was driving to central city, I was in awe of the green everywhere. The storm brewing in the background only made it better. Don't get me wrong, I still plan on leaving the state as soon as possible, but while I'm here I might as well enjoy the small beauty it has to offer.
My wise boyfriend once told me "if you can't be happy here, you can't be happy anywhere". My stubborn self tried to fight him, but I knew it was true. I hate when he's right.

Have a splendid week,
Friday, April 16, 2010

The Bible!

Following the one-year bible is tricky.
It can be easy to treat it like homework especially when you get a few days behind. Because of Florida, I am about 11 days behind. I started to catch myself skimming each day just so I could get caught up. I am pretty certain that the bible is not meant to be skimmed. So I sat myself down at The Mill and slowly read each day.

A few things really caught my attention, but I'll just share one today. I'm currently in the book of Luke and I am sure I have read this a million times but for some reason it really stuck this time. Jesus was speaking to a large crowd and he says this:

"But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also... If you love only those who love you, why should you get credit for that? Even sinners love those who love them! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, why should you get credit?...You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate."

Luke 6: 27-36

To me, this passage is all about humility. Most of the time, I go through life thinking that people owe me something. I only show love if it has been shown to me and I definitely don't show strangers or enemies love. The dictionary defines humility as this: the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one's own importance.

This sounds harsh, but we as humans and sinners don't deserve love in the first place. The fact that God willingly gives it to us anyway is absolutely mind-blowing. I overlook this fact all the time.

I want to stop keeping score. I want to put out more love into the world whether I get it in return or not.
Sunday, April 11, 2010

Afternoon in the Park

It was a beautiful day today so Tru and I decided to take the bean (Coco) to Pioneer Park for the afternoon. Since it was a Sunday afternoon, the park was loaded with lincoln locals. Going to the park gives you a sense of community. Everyone smiles at each other when they walk by, couples are snuggling together in the shade, and kids are flying their kites. When you're at the park, you're there to relax--not worry about what's coming tomorrow. I think it's a time when everyone is truly living in the present.
Coco still hasn't mastered the art of walking. She gets tangled in her leash every few steps and walks way too fast. Truman and I were laughing at how she would be a terrible show dog. Most likely she would get disqualified for humping her component (she's at that stage).

We explored the park for a while and then found a spot to relax. Moments like these are the ones I will remember. Napping on a blanket, discussing our future together, and enjoying the beauty that God has created for us.

To me, nature is a sign of hope. We all know that the darkness of this life is consequence of the fall, but it's encouraging to know that despite our sinful nature, God has still given us a sense of peace through his art. I'd like to think He's giving us a preview of what's to come.
I plan to spend many days like these this summer.


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Going Barefoot.

It's funny how things work out sometimes.
When I wrote down my list of resolutions in December, I didn't know much about TOMS One Day Without Shoes. Naturally, I just love being barefoot and thought it would be fun to try and go a whole day without wearing shoes. As I become more educated about the TOMS organization, my passion for them continues to grow. Since I needed to go one day without shoes and today just happened to be the annual One Day Without Shoes movement, I figured it was the perfect time!

As I left the parking garage and started on my trek across campus to class, I started to become unsure of my decision to partake in this movement (and my own personal goal). I walked through the crisp April morning air and slowly felt the numbness take over my soles. I knew at that moment that this wasn't going to be quite as easy as it sounded.

It was at that time that I realized why exactly I was barefoot. I was putting myself in these kids' shoes (for lack of a better term) and it was hard. The pebbles were hurting my feet and the grass was wet and muddy, but what separates me from those thousands of children is the fact that I had a pair of shoes tucked away in my book bag that I could put on whenever things got too rough.

I take shoes for granted every day. I take the well-supported sole of a shoe for granted every day. My appreciation for TOMS and what they stand for has grown so much within 24 hours. I walked out of my microeconomics test this morning and instead of stressing "did I pass my test!?" I was worried about finding the parts of the sidewalk that the sun was shining on! It really puts things in perspective when you take yourself out of your element for a while.

So, this is proof that I went without shoes and I hope it inspires you to either buy yourself a pair and support this cause, or just simply appreciate how fortunate you truly are.

Cheers to tomorrow being Friday,

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Resolution Update

I wanted to update on how I'm doing with my resolutions for the month of April.
It's only the beginning, but I feel I have done a decent job thus far.

I currently have four wonderful pen pals. Because I was in Florida for two weeks, I'm a little behind on my letter writing and need to get caught up.

Easter was a beautiful day. Some of it had to do with my new floral dress from Stella, but mostly it was celebrating the resurrection of Christ and spending it with family. I spent most of the day with the Faehs at their gorgeous home on the river. Truman took me for a ride on his dirt bike and then we rode bikes through the woods--I would say that counts for spending time with nature. We were lucky enough to have a somewhat warm day with no wind (which rarely happens) so we took advantage of it.

Yesterday I spent some quality time with the sis. She and her friend came up to find a prom dress. This was exciting for me because I love to dress my sister, but we have very different styles and tastes. We ended up finding this gorgeous one-shoulder light blue dress. She'll be beautiful.

That's it for now.
Sunday, April 4, 2010

Crazy Heart

Goodness, I am on a roll with my music resolution.
I bought another album yesterday--soundtrack, actually.

I had been wanting to see Crazy Heart for a while and when I saw that it was playing at the Grand (for $3.50) I had to go. There are many things I don't like about Grand Island, but one of them isn't the downtown theatre. Unfortunately, Grand Island shuts down at about 6 p.m. every night so grabbing a cup of coffee (that isn't Starbucks) isn't an option, but there's something about seeing a movie in that old theatre that makes me feel like I'm somewhere else.

The movie was fantastic. Everything I love in a good flick--solid acting, great soundtrack, and a good story.
I have never been a fan of country (I hate it, to be honest). Johnny Cash was about as country as I could get. But this movie swayed me a bit. Don't get me wrong--I still loathe the twangy country on today's radio stations, but the old blues-inspired country is something I can't ignore.

I really recommend that you see the movie and download the soundtrack. If you like southern music you will like this.

Though my music list seems to keep getting longer, I need to hold off on purchases for a while. I shall start focusing on a different resolution for the next few days. Cooking, perhaps?


Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Welcome Wagon

I have been doing a pretty good job of buying music as much as I can. The new additions are Hem, She & Him, and The Welcome Wagon.

I was reading Relevant magazine one day and saw that The Welcome Wagon had recently come out with an EP following their last album.

The Welcome Wagon is an acquired taste for sure.
I love them.
The band consists of a pastor and his wife with a hint of Sufjan Stevens (he helped produce it) and his style definitely shows. What I love most about this is that it's great worship music. They have taken old hymns and created a new style (and added my beloved banjo).

It is so hard to find christian music that fits my taste.
The Welcome Wagon is an answer to my prayers.

Need a good song to download? Check out "There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood" by The Welcome Wagon.


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