Friday, December 30, 2011

...And Who Am I To Think Otherwise?

In 59 days I will be a "Mrs." ...Incredible, right? I am so very excited; time has flown by faster than I ever could have imagined!! If 200 days went by this quickly, then I can only imagine how fast the last 59 will go, ahhh!

Anyways, there is a LOT of stuff that needs to get done still. Wedding related, life related, etc., etc. And I know myself. Sometimes I get overwhelmed, because I'll sit there, and I'll stare at the circumstances, and you know what happens? The longer I look at it, the bigger it gets, the bigger it seems, and then I begin to feel crushed and perplexed and frustrated... My emotions go haywire and I start to freak out and I think I just can't handle it and I wonder where in the world is God working in this? and why me? and why can't it just go easy for my like in such in such person's life? and on and on and on and on and ON go the questions and complaints. Then I hole myself away and bawl my eyes out and sleep and sleep, and bawl my eyes out again, then I vent to the Favorite and then, THEN I do what I should've done at the very beginning--opened up my Word, poured out my heart to Him in prayer, and let those burdens go from my heart and shoulders to His.

It's really quite unfortunate that this is the case, but by no means do I desire to purport myself to you guys like some kind of perfect Christian who isn't in need of some serious growth. Because clearly, I'm not! But amazing things happen when you really confront the truth about yourself instead of just ignoring flaws like they'll just disappear over time. (Trust me, they just magnify!)

Now, to switch gears for a sec...James is such an awesome book, man! I love it. As I'm writing, I just opened up my Bible to chapter 1, and there are like fifty billion sticky notes with stuff written on them from that chapter alone! Not to mention most of the verses in the chapter are either circled or underlined. All that to say that this is a well read chapter in my Bible. Even still, I think this is a good time to go over it again!

Now I'm no Bible scholar, but as I read there are three main things I can pull out that James predominantly talks about in chapter one: Trials (v.1-12), Temptations (v. 13-18), and Adherence to the Word (v. 19-27). ALL of it is good and convicting and essential to the life of a believer, but I'm gonna focus on that last one, adherence to the Word. You know, for a while I was in complete denial that I'm the type of person that lets life circumstances affect my emotions and relationships. I think I got really good at hiding it from myself by saying things like, "Oh, I just learn to adapt quickly," or "I'll be okay," or "Things could be worse." Now all of these things are actually true, but deep down I was using those cliches to smother this fear and doubt that this time the change would be too much for me, and I won't be able to handle it, that things could only get worse from here.

My relationship with the Favorite has played an integral role in me admitting that what I believed about myself was not actually the case. (I mean, it's always easier to think better of ourselves than we actually are, right?) Well this is a rough comparison, I'm gonna reference the section where James talks about how we are not merely to be hearers of the Word, but also doers.
Anyone who listens to the Word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
Now that was me. Just as though I were looking in the mirror to see if there were any flaws in need of correction, I was confronted with the fact that I really don't trust God with situations (I'd just allow them to overwhelm me until I reached some sort of breaking point). But upon realizing there was something wrong, you know what I would do? Walk away, and completely forget that there was ever anything wrong and in need of fixing. Is the problem gone because I ignored it? Absolutely not! If anything, I am worse off than before because those sins and doubts and lack of trust begin to fester and grow and swell into something uglier and even more self-destructive than before.

Thank God the scripture doesn't end there! I don't have to muddle through my life with false truths about myself and a lack of faith in God. James continues by saying,

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.

There is so much freedom in allowing God to show us what's real about us and to transform us from the inside out!! I stopped letting what God was saying to me go in one ear and out the other; I stopped and listened, then I acted upon what He was saying.

So now, back to all the gazillion things I need to get done between now and the wedding day. Why sit here stressing my little mind about what could be and what might happen and so on? If it doesn't fall under the parameters of what God says in Philippians 4:8 (thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous, praiseworthy), then I need to cast down those imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Christ! As I actively DO what God is telling me in order to have better responses to life's situations, the unhealthy and, dare I say, sinful habits and negative responses I've grown accustomed to begin to take a backseat go in the trunk go out the window!

There are a ton of unanswered questions in regard to how some pretty important details are going to work out for the wedding and life after the wedding. However, I know my God, and He is the first and the last, the beginning and the end, and before I was even formed in my mother's womb He knew me and knew I'd be getting married in February 2012 and that I'd face situations and struggles outside of my control. This same God who knows all this also has ALL power to work all these things together for my good! That's what He said He'd do, so who am I to think otherwise?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Holiday Week and Sore Feet

Sorry I've been gone so long, guys. I just could not seem to work up the motivation or the energy to write a new post. (Something I'll be working on for 2012 ;) hehe.) These past few weeks I've been working a ridiculous schedule at work. I've been a sales associate for Things Remembered (TR) for almost two years now (I do sales, managerial, and engraving duties), and this job has definitely made Christmas the least anticipated season of the year for me! Sounds sad, right? Maybe if you've ever been a sales associate during the holidays, you understand. TR engraves items for customers same or next day, and any items that customers choose to pick up the next day have to get engraved overnight. Big deal, you say? Well, overnight typically means that a shift that would normally end at 11:00pm extends til 8:00am the next morning! Alas. Sleepiness. And soreness. Nothing like standing over an engraving machine for 10+ hours! Thankful for the job, even still. Well, now that Christmas is here, I can officially say that the holiday craze is over (at least for my store), but my sleep schedule has been all out of whack! So here I am, 6:15 in the morning, typing a blog post! In spite of the time, I'm glad to be getting one done. :-)

Anyways, MERRY CHRISTMAS! everyone!! Today is also my younger sister's 19th birthday, so a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY shout out to her! My family, including the Favorite and my brother in law, had a Christmas Eve birthday celebration for Erin so we could all be together for it, and it was So. Much. Fun. From the delicious food my sis and her husband baked from scratch, to singing along to the Sound of Music, to dancing the Cupid Shuffle to finishing off the night with homemade pound cake and homemade fried ice cream, it was an all around fantastic night!! After we left their place at like 2am, we got our Christmas tree. Better late than never, right? Well typically my family gets it closer to Christmas anyway, so this was no new phenomena, hehe. I was knocked out in the car during most of the tree buying process, except for when I was ever so rudely awakened by gusts of cold air swirling into the car as my dad and brothers tied said tree to the truck :-/ Even more...excitement...followed when we got home... But I won't share those details on here, not yet. Haha. But yes, it's now only 6:31am, and it's already looking to continue being a great day!

In other news, today is the two month mark for the Favorite and I's wedding day!! So incredibly super excited!! It's crazy how quickly time has flown by, and thinking about it in terms of days (62 days!) makes it seem all the more close. There is still so much prep to be done, but slowly but surely it's all coming together.

Hmm, let's see what else I can update you all on... Well, I have been cooking alot of random yummy things lately, and if you couldn't tell by the word "yummy," they've been coming out delish! Fried fish and grits with seasoned tomatoes, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, country fried pork chops, and more! Yum yum yum. I took some pictures, so if I can find them perhaps I'll share :-)

Ya'll familiar with Pinterest? Well, I am new to it and already absolutely in love with it! It has so much amazing cool stuff on there that I want to try! What's really cool is that I found out about it around the same time my bestest and I began discussing how we can become more Proverbs 31-ish in the new year, and we've both seen on the site that we can really put to use! Excitement! Actually, there are more details to come about this; I'll probably share in a New Year's post!

Life is good though, really. The Lord has been so gracious and faithful to continually, by His Holy Spirit, remind me of the things He's been teaching me in His Word, preaching, articles, and other formats. I have got some MAJOR stuff to work on though!! Like it says in James, the Bible really is a mirror, and it is a constant fight to kill my flesh and keep on looking into that mirror and make changes as the Lord leads instead of going away and forgetting what I really look like before Him. The Christian walk is a constant battle, and I'm working on keeping my armor on every day!

Well, this has been quite a smorgasbord of a post!! I could hardly ask you to provide as many snippets of your life from the past few weeks as I've just provided you with, so I'll end this with one question that I'm asking myself also:

What are you doing this year during this Christmas season to really make Christ known to those around you, to set you apart from Christmas celebrations as the world knows it? 

Hmm... Food for thought!

Enjoy your Christmas, guys! :-)