End of Summer pt. 2

I’m not gonna lie. I began the summer stressed out expecting terrible things to happen. I had a very limited perspective and low expectations for a happy summer. Because of this, all I saw were negative things and was constantly snippy. I acted immature and irrational about a lot of things. Sometimes these emotions were outwardly expressed and sometimes I just wrote about them in my journal. My summer could have been twenty times better if I didn’t limit myself by my expectations. 

Limited expectations creates a limited experience. I am so thankful my God goes above and beyond all things I could think of, ask for, or imagine. He is a big God and has big things planned for my life. 

This summer had a strong focus on trust and joy. In my family, Little Sister is known as the optimistic one. I’m a bit more of a pessimist. That perspective of mine was challenged. Tulsa Best Friend encouraged me countless times and Michigan Best Friend tried her hardest to help me view things differently. I am incredibly grateful that I have them by my side both literally and figuratively. 

The joy aspect of my summer really isn’t as abscure as I’m making it sound. I spent three weeks selling fireworks. I was either working with Michigan Best Friend or Mother. While selling fireworks isn’t my preferred job, I did make a lot of money. With that money I bought myself an unnecessary amount of clothes. (My closet is overflowing, and I’ve run out of hangers.) I attended my Soon-to-be Sister’s-in-law bridal shower. I went out to breakfast with Soon-to-be Sister-in-law. I have talked to all of my friends from college this past week. I found out today that the way Roommate and I want to set up our room is going to work out perfectly (even if we do pinch our fingers every time we open the fridge door). Tomorrow, just about all said friends and I will be going to IHOP for dinner. The best part of this summer was the fact that I published a chapbook. Not to mention all of the things God has taught me and is still teaching me. There really is so much to be joyful about.

Being negative–depressed, angry, just down right pessimistic about everything–was so big the first half of this summer. When it hit me that I was participating in gossip, being mad at people, and just thinking things about myself and others that I shouldn’t have, I knew it had to stop. I had to teach myself to think about what I was thinking about and to think about what I was talking about. It was really hard, because I didn’t want to be disrespectful toward people, but I didn’t want to participate in some of the things they were talking about. The conversations seemed harmless, but it was a lot of talking about other people that didn’t lift me up or the person who (whom? I’m hopeless with that word.) was being talked about.

“Above all else, guard you heart, for out of it flow the issues of life.”    ~ Proverbs 4:23

The moment I read this, my perspective shifted and I knew it was more than just taking action and guarding my mind, I had to guard my heart. 

As I began to learn once again how to guard my heart, along with it came learning to honor God. It went from thinking about what I was thinking to, “Do the things I thinking honor the Lord? Do the things I am saying honor the Lord? Do the things I am doing honor the Lord?” 

It was a process, and surprisingly not a very painful one. It just took a lot of patience and close attention on my part.

Going into this semester I want to continue to carry this with me. I want to be happy all the time. I want to be overflowing with joy that it almost annoys people that I’m as happy as I am. (Because some people really do think it’s not possible to be SuPeR dUpEr HaPpY. Well, I’ve got news for them.) I want to continue to be placed in situations where I’m forced to trust God, and I want to be happy doing it. I want to be at a point this semester when I can’t worry. Not that I don’t have time to worry, I just legitamitaly do not know how because I am overflowing with the Joy of the Lord, and I trust that His ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts.

Semester Goals: It’s gettin’ real ya’all.

As the title says, here are my goals for this semester:

  • Overflow with Jesus
  • Be full of Joy
  • Love absolutely everyone
  • Honor God with
    • all my heart
    • all my soul
    • and all my strength
  • Be confident in myself, because ya’all God created me, and I don’t have time to not live as who He created me to be.
  • Get a boyfriend
  • Go on like a million adventures with Oklahoma Best Friend
  • Study hard
  • Raise my GPA
  • FINISH THIS FINAL FREELANCE PROJECT
  • Sell 50 copies of my book (available for purchase here.)
  • Publish an e-book

“Elizabeth, please tell me that boyfriend one is a joke?”

… No. That has been my goal since freshman year. *Insert any cry face you can imagine* I’m not desperate. (Maybe a little.) Okay, maybe I was desperate sophomore year. Okay, maybe I was desperate last semester. Okay, ya’all I’m semi joke. Still, let me tell you, God knows the desires of my heart. One day I want to be married and the beginning of that relationship begins with dating. I have an ideal deadline of when I would like things to happen by, but ultimately I trust God’s timing. If there is one thing I’ve learned this summer it is to trust God. I fail so much, and He always reminds me that I can’t do things by myself. I trust God and His plans for my life. In the meantime I will plow my field and plant a lot of seeds so that I can reap a bountiful harvest.

So yeah. Those are my goals, and these aren’t just things I’m hoping will happen. They are things that are going to happen. I am going to work hard. If I don’t work hard, please, someone slap me across the face with french toast. Imma probably need it a lot this semester. Pray for me! Talk to me! I’ll keep you all updated on these.

What are your goals for the end of the year? Tell me so I can pray for you and push you on too! *GIANT smiley face*

Probably a challenge, but also just something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.

Everything is a choice.

Waiting for a writing idea to come to me, is a choice. Getting up and writing because I need to whether I feel like it or not, is a choice. Procrastinating is a choice. Getting up at five a.m. four days of the week to go to the gym is a choice. Going to the gym a second time with Mom is a choice. Going to the gym a third time with Little Sister is a choice. Finally getting all the Chinese flash cards done is a choice. Binge watching the next K-Drama is a choice. Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit is a choice.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.

~ Newton’s third law

Being happy is a choice. Being angry is a choice. Sin is a choice. Doing a devotion every morning is a choice. Buying that dress that’s on clearance at Burlington is a choice. Saving money is a choice. Prayer is a choice. Cleaning up the bedroom is a choice. Following a strict Korean skin care regimen every single day is a choice. Brushing your teeth is a choice.

Everything we do produces a consequence; good or bad.

  • Choosing to be happy make a person happy.
  • Choosing to be angry makes a person angry.
  • Choosing to sin makes a person feel guilty and full of shame; on the other end, it makes a person feel prideful and defensive.
  • Buying that dress is gonna make a person look hella fly, but they’ll also have less money than they did before.
  • Saving money means they have room for emergencies and mistakes, but they also have a bit more money for a few more dresses.
  • Prayer activates the power of the living God and is a straight line to talking with the creator. It makes a person feel more at peace and trustworthy toward God.
  • Cleaning the bedroom generally means a person won’t trip in the middle of the night on his way to the bathroom.
  • Korean Skin care means perfect, white, creamy skin. No more pimples. EVER.
  • Brushing your teeth every day means having pearly white teeth and no more bad breath.

“Har har. This is great Elizabeth, but this is obvious.”

Sure, but how many of us actually think about the consequences of everything we do, whether it is a daily routine or a one time task? Everything–EVERYTHING–produces something.

I am a full believer in “Your words make your world.” I am also a full believer in “Actions are louder than words.”

What are you saying? What are you doing? What are you choosing?