BREAKING NEWS

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*Trips on the red curtain as I move to take center stage* Quickly catches myself and straightens the imaginary crown on my head. *waves fancily* “Hello my lovely readers and strange narrator. Here is a quick recap of what has happened since we met.” *crickets from the empty audience* “Haha! Of course I’m not really going to talk about the past three months. More like the past week. Let’s get started.”

This is week has been disorienting as heck. I had some intense spiritual battles Monday and Tuesday night (nightmares and dissociating) and I’ve been scared to go back to sleep since. So what have I been doing? Binge watching Parks and Recreation. *naturally**as one does* ALSO I–the healthiest person alive–have a cold. I feel betrayed by my own body. It’s kind of annoying, but whatever. It’ll end soon.

I’ve barely been getting my posts up for the blogathon, but I have done them. I think I have missed one day. If I’m wrong, correct me. I’m not upset about it though. I’ll be happy to buy Tae dinner. Which, speaking of Tae, he redesigned his blog! Go look at it! I’m about to go do that. He’s amazing and if you’re interested in travel, you need to read what he’s writing about.

I finished another book. (It’s actually a book I bought last weekend on my birthday.) The book is Ryan Higa’s How to Write Good by (you guessed it) Ryan Higa. It was actually really good and inspiring. I’ll put a review of it up eventually. I’m about to start another book Autumn Princess, Dragon Child by Lian Hearn. It is the second book in the series The Tales of Shikanoko. Look forward to another beautiful cover.

Monday will be the start of dead week. (It’s crazy to think I have two weeks left before I move into this most beautiful mansion.) Surprisingly, I’m not stressed at all. I know God has things under control. As I keep reminding myself, His ways are higher than my ways, and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts. Already two classes have ended. I’m studying hard for Spanish, and I should be studying more Chinese. Things will work out. I trust God.

Keep me in your prayers as I will keep you in mine.

I love you all! 么么哒!

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Celebration of Discipline – Book Review

This was honestly such a good book. (And if I’m being completely honest, I finished it at the beginning of January. Oops.)

Richard J. Foster so excellently takes the reader on a journey of spiritual maturity all while keeping it–as Pastor Beth Jones would say–basic. It was easy to understand, instructional, relatable, and very simple. Foster explained fasting, prayer, solitude (or silence), simplicity, celebration, and other disciplines in a way that made it easy for new and old Christians to begin inserting in everyday life. I suppose “easy” isn’t the right word, as we are talking about discipline. Any discipline is difficult and takes commitment (which really is a discipline in itself). I loved the book so much, I can guarantee you I annotated the pages. I underlined whole paragraphs, wrote notes in the margins, and exclamation marks in areas that really meant a lot to me.

One of the best things about the book is it is completely scripture based. It is not Foster’s ideas or opinions, but what he has seen in his life, in others’ lives, and read in the Bible. Jesus is Foster’s prime example, and he mentions him a lot.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is trying to do monthly resolutions, better their life, or just needs a new revelation from the Lord. As I said, this is good for the new Christian and the “seasoned” Christian. Get it. Annotate it. Tell me what you think!

My Forest

I am really pushing it on this one post a day thing.

Here is a poem I wrote at three in the morning back in December of 2015.

 

Green dollar bills

Silver nickels

Copper pennies

Rusted leaves

Dying trees

Where soul isn’t currency

 

I sold my heart for a little bit of love

And I traded my mind for little bit of trust.

All I had left was my soul

Covered in dust

Blackened by bruises

Hours of untamed lusts

Hidden in corners

Covered by night

Untouched by light

Breathing

But not living

Hoping

But not dreaming

Slowly

Losing

Sanity

 

outdated

over-rated

Just say it

Metal buckets

Molded books

Fraying shirts

Ripped hems

Muddy boots

Broken hearts

Shattered glass

Shredding statements

To pretty nothings

 

I am nothing

Not worth keeping

Not worth selling

Not for petty green slips

That forfeits morality

pays for pleasure

gives a sense of stability

making for silence

That creates cruelty

 

No longer

I will not listen to your kisses

I will not bed on your roses

I will not willingly lie to cover your inconsistencies

I will not compromise my worth

For your sake of guilt

That you built

On zero monetary value

 

Take your green bills

Silver nickels

And copper coins

Ruin your leaves

Kill your trees

But sure as hell stay away from my forest

I grew it from broken pieces of mismatched hearts

I watered it with mismatched blood types

And I built it with scattered dreams

Cracked trust funds

And my own damn hands

 

I’ve already lost my heart

And I’ve already lost my mind

I will not lose my soul

It cannot be sold

I will fight with desperation

Searching for restoration

Grasping for redemption

In a place of desolation

 

It’s not pretty

But it’s all I’ve got

And I will fight for everything I have

With everything I have

I will fight

Treasure Hunting

I was out in this place called Brick Town the other day. I was with a group of my friends, we had just gotten done with a retreat, and decided to go have some fun and take pictures. While we were there we came across some wonderful murals. This was one of them, and when I was filming it for my snapchat story, I saw this guy and waved to him. When I saw him I wanted to take a picture of him in front of this wall. When I was on my over to him, I just had this thought of “I found the treasure.” I didn’t think much of it, asked the guy if I could take his picture then I prayed for him, and walked away. A couple of my friends had seen and patted me on the back. I was flustered because I didn’t think much of it, and it was awkward for me to be praised like that. I didn’t do it for recognition. Even now, I’m not telling you for you to praise me. Rather, Matthew tells us not to let our left hand know what our right hand is doing. The Gospels tell us not to be like the pharisees standing on the street corners proclaiming what we have done. I actually prayed a lot about whether I should just delete the photo instead. But as I was thinking about it, I was reminded of this thing I know several churches do called ‘treasure hunting.’ A group of people or several groups will gather and pray. Sometimes they will get an image of a person, a place, or a small word from God and then they will go out and look for who God is leading them to. As I was thinking about that concept, God just whispered to my heart, “He’s my treasure. You found my treasure.” This really spoke to me because I was beginning to get upset at myself for not asking him for his name. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure if it was a man or woman at first. I didn’t go out planning to pray for someone or take pictures of strangers. I didn’t pray about it before hand. I didn’t ask God to lead me to someone. This whole thing was spontaneous to me, but as I prayed about it afterward and thought about it further, I realized that it was exactly what God had planned. You don’t need to set a specific time to go treasure hunting. In fact, it should be a lifestyle. Everyday, as christians, we should be intentional about finding God’s treasure. So many people are buried, and we are meant to bring them to the light. Who knows what treasure you will find today. It’s all about intentionality. Live Heaven on Earth, and love with the love of God, and you’ll see victory and miracles everyday.

Welcome to 2018

I’m not going to bother much with a recap of the year. You know most of it by now anyway. I made new friends. I lost old friends. I made even more new friends. I cried. I laughed. I learned a lot from God and my school. In the end, here I am still alive, still kicking, ready for more.

To be honest, I haven’t done much planning or vision casting for 2018. I’ve been focusing on spending time with my family and enjoying them as much as I can. My plan was to just roll with whatever comes my way, continuing to love God and grow closer to Him. Since Thanksgiving break, I just came to the conclusion that I only want God’s love and I just simply want more of Him.

Therefore, the resolutions I quickly came up with are mostly abstract and can be interpreted however an individual wants. Please feel free to join me in them if you do so desire.

1. Learn the daily act of worship.

As I was praying about this, God said, “Keeping your room clean, is a good place to start worshiping me daily.” It brought me to the question of are my actions worshiping God?

2. Pray for a specific person every month.

I got this idea from seeing a post somewhere that said to pray for my future husband for 21 days. I thought that was a good idea, but decided to take each individual month to pray for a specific person. January will be for my future husband and then February I will pray for another friend.

3. 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12(KJV)

Out of this passage, I understood that for me I need to love everyone, study to be quiet, do my own business, work with my hands, and walk honestly toward everyone.

4. Chinese – I don’t necessarily know what this looks like right now, but that’s alright. I have a page idea for my bullet journal to help me learn more Chinese.

5. There is a fifth resolution, but I’m not sure what it’s suppose to be. A friend recommended I make it “To drink more tea.” I figured why not, so I’m going to try to drink more tea this year.

What are your resolutions? If you need someone to help you stick to them, just let me know. I’m here. As the cliched saying goes, this will be your best year yet. God is always with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. I’m always praying for you all, my dears.

With much, much, much love, Elizabeth from 2018, new and improved (or about to be).

Trust is an ongoeing decision.

Before I type anything to make a new blog post, WordPress tells me, “Share your story here….” My story about the last two weeks is long and really isn’t worth sharing. There is probably a lot I could tell you, but rather I am going to leave you with a short encouraging note.

Do you all know the sotry in the Bible about the disciples on the boat in the middle of the storm while Jesus is sleeping? Well, I feel a bit like them. I’m shaking Jesus’ shoulders, begging him to wake up and stop the wind and waves. What does he do? He turns over and says, “Nah, you should take a nap too.” I say, “Great! We’re gonna drown.” (And because Jesus is funny,) He says, “The only way to walk on water is by looking at me.” I reply back sassily, “That’s like combining to different Bible stories, but okay, whatever.”

There is always an end to a storm, whether that is Jesus stopping it or whether that is us tying ourself down to the rail so we don’t get blown off the ship while the storm rages on and eventually peeters out. We pray that the storm stops before it can get really nasty, and sometimes Jesus does “wake up” and calm the wind and waves. A lot of the time, though, we think God is late. We went through the front of the storm, the eye of the storm, and now we’re in the worst part, the tail of the storm. However, God is never late. His timing is always perfect. What we might call premature, is on time. What we might call late, is on time. 

In each part of the storm (the beggining, the eye, or the tail) it is our choice to trust God. Sometimes we have to choose it several times in the beggining, several times in the middle, and several times near the end. Trust isn’t a one time decision. It is ongoeing. We choose to choose it everyday. 

You can tie yourself down and freak out, or you can nap. And think, even if the ship does go down, you can still walk on water if you look at Jesus.

“Dude, if the ship is going down, I might as well go with it. I don’t want to live through a storm anymore. End it while I can.” Harhar. Sure, but you’ll never know what you could have had if you stuck it out and had a little faith. God doesn’t allow us to travel through stormy seasons just so he can have fun watching us struggle. He wants to watch us grow, and with growth comes rewrad. Who knows, maybe this is the rain you need to water your dry ground.

My advice? Choose trust.

Quick Tip 8

1. “It was a time where when people talked about one another.”
‘Time’ is not a place. It cannot be a ‘where’ it must be a ‘when.’

2. “It’s a situation where in which no solution seems possible.”

For this second example, ‘where’ is a little more acceptable, but for it to be absolutely correct ‘in which’ is the way to go.

Quick Tip 7

“Piece of dialogue.” He said. 

** Okay, honestly, if you do this in your writing, don’t. Just stop. For your sake as a writer and for all of your readers, avoid it. 

The correct way to write that sentence is: “Piece of dialogue,” he said.

Replace your period inside the quotations with a comma and make the capital ‘H’ a lowercase ‘h.’

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*