What you don't know...

Dear you (InterWebs)-

First off, today I am thankful for days that are gray and equally as thankful for the sweatpants that allow me to fully enjoy gray days, even if they do not accentuate and flatter my figure quite as much as it deserves.

(btdubs - i know this doesn't make it right, but i feel like if i admit to stealing most of the photos i put in my blog, i'm not quite as awful)

Anyways - there's something that is far greater than rainy days and sweatpants I wanted to share today.

And that is the fact that God knows your innermost thoughts and desires, even when you don't. I decided to blog about this while jogging ( with a soft j) today.

{Explanatory Digression}
I like to pray while I run. This is for many reasons:
a) Running is boring. I have to multitask so I don't die of sheer boredom and then go eat something instead of running that last mile
b) I'm a horrible pray-er (someone who prays...?). I figure that while running my mind is finally searching for something to do, so why not converse why God?
c) I always forget to charge my iPod.
{End Digression}

So today, while running, I tried to explain to God that I'm trying to give my heart to Him, and I know I have desires getting in the way, and would He kindly help me with that? And then I went off track (not literally, mentally) and wondered if I was really giving my heart to God. How do I know if I'm truly being honest with God when I say, "Lord, YOU are more important than anything else"?

You see, I'm the master of self-deceit. I can sell myself anything. I can convince myself that what I'm doing is morally or ethically right, or I can just rationalize my bad behaviour like a pro. And knowing the extent of my own self-deception, I don't trust myself anymore. Whenever I try to make an important decision, I end up wildly confused and am constantly second-guessing myself. It's a whirlwind of conflicting thoughts and condemnations. What am I doing? Is this right? But now it feels wrong. Should I be doing this instead? But I'm still not certain if this is the right thing to do. By the end, I've gotten myself so twisted and turned around that I'm on the brink of tears, lost and hopeless.

And then I began to think about this verse.
Matthew 6:8
...for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

God knows. When my emotions and fickle thoughts and prayers leave me muddled, confused, heart-broken and weary, God knows what's going on. I may not be able to sort through my own mess and deception, but God can see down to my core -the evil and the good, He sees the things I'm don't know I'm hiding, He knows the things I'm trying desperately to give up to Him.

And that makes me want to cry with relief. My FATHER knows what I'm really about, deep down. I don't need to try and convince Him of anything. I may not trust myself, but I can certainly trust that the Lord sees through the lies I can't.

If your heart has ever wrestled with thoughts like How saved am I? Do I believe ENOUGH? Am I so muddled and lost that I don't know how muddled and lost I truly am?, find peace in this verse.

1 John 3: 19-20

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.

1 John 3 is one of those life verses you should write on an index card and stick on your bathroom mirror.

My bestie Marcia showed me this music video. I love it more and more with each passing day. (If you are not a fan of interpretive dance, I PROMISE you it gets better after the first minute or two...I am not an interpretive dance fan either.)



Step 2

Happy Blogging Step 2: Blog when you are happy. Actually take the time to sit down and blog when you're feeling good. I generally sad blog because I want someone (the internet counts as a friend, right?) to listen to meeeee. Well now my friend, InterWebs, is going to listen to me talk about the good things going on right now.

First of all, new rule: I have to say something for which I'm thankful EVERY TIME I BLOG.


Get it??? Oatmeal + peanut butter! YUM. I'm so impressed that I was I able to load these pics. I'm really not very technologically inclined.

Also - I'm thankful for instant forgiveness (I could have made a cheesy segue from instant oatmeal to instant forgiveness, but I DID NOT. )
I'm one of those people that never forgives myself. God, however, is not like that. When you pray sincerely for forgiveness, the Lord doesn't "need a little time to think about it". He forgives you. Right then and there. Is that not weird? WEIRD IN A GOOD WAY. When I pray for forgiveness, I tend to pray about 7 times for the same sin. But guess what? God forgave me after the first prayer. I tend to limit God by my own perceptions of myself and humanity. Because I take so long to forgive myself, God must too. I must FEEL forgiven before I actually am, right? In the words of Jim Carry as the Grinch, WRONG-O. No. If you don't "feel" forgiven, that's on you. Get past it. Get over it. You've repented, and God's forgiven you - messy, broken, stubborn you.

Holla - lujah!

Anyways -

I talked to the South Africa study abroad people (I will just call them "the people" because they're through a third party and I don't really know what else to call them). I get an automatic grant because I go to a public university! It's not huge, but it definitely helps alleviate some costs. And classes DO transfer credit towards my major. I have hope!!!! Onward and upwards: tomorrow I will be calling the study abroad office and sweet-talking my adviser. Let us hope that this will go somewhere (like....South Africa!!!).

Also - I will be mentoring a little girl during my time here at the Dubya. Well, I'll be meeting her tomorrow to see if she's a good match. Shout a prayer out (all one of you readers...) for me - apparently she is a bit of a "mess." I don't know what that means...does she not shower? Will she set my apartment on fire? I don't know. All I know is I'm super excited to have a little friend :) Elementary schoolers are in love with absolutely everything. Everything's fun when you're 8! I hope it works out.

So. Other than that - today was normal. I got yelled at again at work. I didn't really do anything that merited being chewed out. People just like to yell at me because they need someone to yell at. I've been thinking about putting a coin jar out - every time you yell at the co-op, put in a dollar.

Imma be rollin in mad moneyzzzzz.

I should go running now.... 3 miles? (And by 3 I mean 1.5).



My life is here today...berserk tomorrow.

So. My dad keeps telling me I've gone loopy. I always associate loopy with ladies who wear chunky jewelry, pea green frumpy cardigans, and have 3 cats, one of which is hairless. I wear tie dye and green nail polish and have two rats - I'm sure that's close enough. That's right...it's two rats now. Mariella is blind, albino, and a genius. She also pees like Seabiscuit, so beware.

Back to the start - my dad thinks I've gone bonkers because everything in my life right now is topsy-turvy. I take what I've done and flipped it all backwards. I've been rethinking my major, my co-op, my future, my life in general.

I want to get rid of my double major and stick with MAE. But can I handle it, really? And this means I will be sacrificing certain scholarships I've gotten through the industrial engineering department. And I don't even know what I should do post-graduation.
Honestly, I want to do engineering for a Christian mission organization. In Africa. AFRICA. But am I doing this because I feel led? No. Brittany wants to travel so she'll throw the God card.
And will I live in Africa for forever? Do I want a family one day? Will I want to consult? Will I regret giving up ISE?

And, since I was "strongly" discouraged from ditching my third rotation for a EWB trip to Uganda, I have decided that perhaps I should study abroad NEXT fall at the University of Cape Town. Issues: It's mega-expensive, I may not be able to get class credit over there (thus deferring graduation...again), and it's *technically* only for sophomores. But rules are there for bending, right?

My car died the other day. It's been bandaid-ed right now, but I don't think it'll last for too much longer. I have to start researching buying cars. I really want a station wagon, maybe a Subaru? I'm not clued in enough to maintain my own car - so it's definitely gotta be reliable. And cheap. Life costs a lot. Between 5+ (ok - 6) years of college, apartments, food (and of COURSE i'm too snobby to buy regular food...I'm obsessed with the ridiculous stuff that costs $. I mean really, why do I have to buy Greek yogurt? Is yoplait not good enough?), automobiles, oil for my oil sucking automobiles, rat play pens, etc, how will I ever afford anything???

Then there's always my personal demons. My temptations, my desires, my wants, and everything that pulls me away from God.

Good night. When life hits, it hits hard, doesn't it?

In looking through this blog - I realize it seems rather depressing. And really, I never blog when I'm ecstatic. When I'm on fire for God, when I think things are going well, when life makes sense, when I'm not scared or worried or on the verge of (or in the midst of) tears, I don't blog then. I promise I'm not always like this.

I need to start happy blogging.

For instance - I could have blogged Saturday morning. On Friday I was super busy at work (and being super busy = super important, yes? I choose to believe so...) I woke up in my old bed at home with an autumn sun streaming through my window. Fall is my absolute favorite season. Home is becoming one of my favorite places. And my sister's obnoxious wake-up call makes me laugh so hard.

Happy Blogging Step 1: Count your blessings.

Today I am thankful for my family. I love them all. They are giving, "passionate" (ie don't make 'em mad!), vulnerable, hard-working, and strong. They are hilarious and smart. They are truly blessings. Exhausting and frustrating blessings.

Philippians 3:13-15
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
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