Lesson Planning, Cooking Fails, Climbing Mountains, Tower Sight Seeing, and lots and lots of shopping.

Really, I think I should have just titled this “A Little Bit of Everything” or “I’ve Done it All.” I think those are perfectly acceptable short blog post titles. Do I use those? No. Who ever wants to use such clickbait titles. *cough*literally every smart blogger in the world*cough* Hehe.

SO! *turns and whispers to myself* “What have I been doing lately?” “Ugh, this is why you need to write a blog post every week.” “Okay, but I don’t, so what did I do?” “Well…, what’s the first thing in your title?”

Honestly…, I’ve only planned one lesson, and camp starts Monday. *insert two laughing cry faces, a legit crying face, and one more laughing cry face, then add #mood just to stay culturally relevant* (Wait.. Is “mood” still a trend in the States?) *facepalm* #BIGmood

Yeah. So a part of the lesson planning is cooking though. So the kids I’ll be playing with and “teaching” (It’s more important that they have fun while speaking English. I only teach until I lose their attention. Haha.) do an activity everyday, and most of those activities are cooking. One thing my Mate and I are trying to do is cook a dessert dumpling. So far, it’s failed every time. It has tasted good every time, but when we cook the dumplings, they all burst open and the fruit filling spills out every where. So that was a thing. Everything else I think my Mate has tried has been successful. I go in to the club tomorrow to work on some experiments and do some more cooking. I’ll let you know how that goes.

As for climbing mountains, Yes. I did climb to the south peak which was the highest peak of 华山 (Hua Shan Mountain [literal: Hua Mountain]) HOWEVER I freaking did it like a boss because I had a sore throat and didn’t cry once. Although, I was also super dehydrated. Oh yeah, and my blood sugar dropped. *waves hand in dismissal* Eh. I’m alive still. In all seriousness though, the mountain was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. All last week I was in Xi’an on vacation. I saw this beautiful Chinese dance performance; saw the Terra Cotta warriors. I even saw these beautiful towers called the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Everything had such a beautiful story and history, but nothing compared to those mountains. Looking over the edge of the south peak, being above the clouds, breathing air that wasn’t tainted by pollution, and just existing for one moment drenched in sweat with my calves screaming at me, and my lungs practically pushing it’s way up my esophagus (I was coughing a lot), I felt like the Tower of Babel was pointless. Why waste the labour on building, when one can climb a mountain. I think that’s as close to Heaven as I’ll ever need to get before I die. It was refreshing. For a moment, it was like I saw what God saw when he created the world, and let me tell you, it was good.

I briefly mentioned the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower. Those were beautiful, and told a lot of Xi’an’s history. They were tall and beautifully painted. I took a ton of pictures but non on my iPad or Computer that I can share. *sad face* However, when I was at the Drum Tower, I got to see this beautiful music performance. It was wonderful. I love traditional Chinese music.

As for the shopping… let’s say I’m out of money.

STORY TIME:

I’m walking down the Muslim Quarter of Xi’an where all the shops are. I see this beautiful set of Panda chopsticks. I, obsessed with pandas and chopsticks, run forward excited. The lady of the shop sees me as her pray and jumps forward, ready to strike. I suddenly realize my mistake in showing too much interest in her wares, and worry that I won’t lower the price any. She says, “You like? Forty-five kuai. Just for you.”

I cringe inside. That is far too much money for just a pair of wooden chopsticks–no matter how beautiful they may appear. I can by anything in her shop off of Taobao for way cheaper. I can feel my smile fall and walk away.

“Wait!” the lady yells. “For you, forty.”

I wave my hands at her. “No, it’s okay. I don’t want to buy them.” What a lie. She knows I want them.

“Fine fine. Thirty.”

“No! Really, I don’t want them.” How much must I lie to this predator.

She waves a paper fan at me. “Just for you, twenty-five.”

“Thank you, but really, I don’t want them,”I continue to shamelessly say to her.

“Fifteen!” She yells. “Final offer.”

I look at the beautiful box. I ponder if I should actually get them. There is no need to feed my collection (or addiction depending on how you look at it). She continues to insist that the offer is just for me, as if I know she doesn’t say that to everyone. “Fine. I’ll take it.”

I walk away a happy customer.

THE END.

I did so much bargaining like that. I loved it! I ended up with a pair of chopsticks for me and a friend, a keychain for my sister, a new glasses case for me, a bottle opener for my father, a thimble for my aunt in Indiana who collects them, two Chinese children’s books, and a Terra Cotta Warrior coin for a friend. I loved all the shopping I did.

After shopping, on Friday, I couple of my friends and I wandered into this beautiful park. We found a place with a bunch of lotus flowers, and took a ton of pictures. We sat down in this beautiful pagoda/gazebo where we were able to sit and listen to the birds. It was a nice place to cool off from the sun. It was especially nice when a man came in and played the Chinese instrument that only has one string. The whole thing was like a fairy tale. I didn’t want to leave.

Then we took a plane back to Wenzhou, and I ended up not only with a cold but also an ear infection. So here we are, present day. I’m tired, taking as much garlic gel capsules as possible, and just chillin’. (I say that after I had a super busy day today.)

I took a taxi to a Starbucks to meet one of my Chinese professors who is visiting China for a couple weeks. We got to go shopping, got our hair washed and styled (NOT cut), then we went to Wenzhou University to advertise ORU. I made a lot of new friends, but with the ear infection, and my body trying to repair itself, I was exhausted and ready to cry by the time dinner ended.

Tomorrow, I’ll have most of the day to chill, and just mentally prepare for camps.

I thank God everyday for supplying all of my needs and bringing me here. His timing is perfect. I’m still reminding myself of that about several things. But really, this place is home to me. I love Wenzhou, the city, the food, and especially the people.

Prayer Request:

1. I’m actually still working on financial aid and student loans with ORU. It’s hard to do form China, and it’s even still hard for mom to do from Michigan (because ORU is in Oklahoma). Please pray that everything gets worked out quickly and smoothly without any stress or hassle.

2. Please pray for healing! and for continued health in my body and everyone else I work with. (Especially DT right now, as he is experiencing pain from a kidney stone.) Please pray that everything is cleared up by Monday when camp starts. We have an awesome God. I was nearly crying in pain on the plane from the cabin pressure and the infection, and the Lord reminded me how he healed the guards ear that Peter had cut off. God was like, “You’re not even attacking me! Haha. Of course there is healing blessed to you.” It has been given, I have received it, and now I wait for the manifestation of it. I am calling it into being as though it already is.

3. Camp! We are expecting failure. I’m new. I’m not going to be perfect. Please pray that the failure is fun though. “Whelp! These dumplings failed.” *takes a big bite* “But it’s still delicious!” I say as all the kids look at me oddly. Please pray that things are Safe and Fun and IF the kids learn then great.

I can’t think of anything else at the moment. I trust that you will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit as he guides you while you pray.

Thank you for your continued support. I really appreciate it.

再见!

List of weird things I have eaten in China:

  1. Cow’s neck
  2. Pig’s brain
  3. Some sort of bug
  4. Spicy Mango (not “weird” per se, but my Host gave me a weird look when I said it.)
  5. Scorpion! (Okay! Funny story with this. Eating Scorpion was like the one thing on my bucket list to do in China. So I get the opportunity to do so, and it just taste like cajun popcorn. Wonderful. THEN, the guy who sold it to me and my friends, was like, “Pay me twenty bucks, and I’ll eat a live one.” So we paid him, and MY DUDE ATE A FREAKING LIVE SCORPION. Then my Korean friend allowed a scorpion to run on his hand. I ate one, but I wasn’t adventurous enough to touch one.)

Yup. Bye!

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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

Semester Recap

“So, Elizabeth, now that you’re back. How was your semester? We’re all curious since you quit communicating with us.”

Yeah, I am so sorry about that. I’m back now. I’ll be keeping in touch with everyone pretty regularly since I’m on break. I can’t guarantee that’ll carry on into next semester, but I’ll try. Now, how did this semester go? It was the worst semester I have ever experienced.

“Oh no! How?”

Just a bunch of crappy stuff happened. It was bad. I cried a lot. I called my mom almost everyday. However, despite all of the bad stuff that happened, I survived.

“Explain to us what you mean by you ‘survived’?”

God pulled me through. Most of the time it felt like he was dragging me through the semester. Honestly, if I had just gotten up and followed Him, I could have avoided being dragged through mud. Resistance toward God is almost an automatic guarantee of getting dirty. At least if you willingly follow Him you have a chance of avoiding the rotten fruits being thrown your way. Haha. With that, I mean to say, God never left me. He was always there, faithful and full of grace and mercy. I remember calling my mom and all she would say was, “Grace upon grace, baby. Grace upon grace.” I got so tired of hearing that, but I needed it every time.

“Were there any good moments this semester?”

Oh, of course! I got to help one of my friends find her wedding dress, and I was able to watch another friend (my roommate actually) get engaged. I reconnected with a friend from last semester just by the simple fact that we have learned how to listen to and pray for each other. I made some really good new friends this semester. All of my professors were sweet, gracious, and respected me like I’ve never seen done before. I got–I think–all Bs this semester. Maybe one or two Cs. So, yeah, no this semester wasn’t all bad. There were definitely more good things than bad things. I think, those few bad things were just big, while all the good things were small.

“What was the most defining moment this semester?”

It was probably over Thanksgiving break. I was trying so hard to connect with God and pray and nothing seemed to work. I was praying every way I knew how, and it was boring and stagnant. Then I was reading in Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster about the “dark night of the soul.” It was really beautiful, and I’m not going to fully explain it here, but basically it was like, the dark night of the soul is when we feel we are drawn away from God, but really it is what draws us closer to God because it is when we realize that nothing but God can fully satisfy us. The book said it so beautifully as, “God lovingly draws us into the dark night of the soul.” I feel that I have been drawn into that. And then, Friday before my parents picked me up, I finally went into the Prayer Tower. (It was like the first time in probably two months.) I did a quick recap of the semester with God. (It was probably twenty minutes.) When I left this girl said to me, “I feel like I should tell you, that God has heard your prayers and He has answered them.” I smiled and said thank you. When I walked away I was like, “What prayers God? I haven’t prayed in so long.” But, it was comforting to hear that. It was reassuring to be reminded that I wasn’t alone. Like, I knew God had never left me, and I knew (know) that God is good and always faithful, but sometimes hearing it out loud is nice.

“How did finals go?”

Really well! It’s the most I’ve ever studied. Haha! Now, let’s see if I can carry that studying in to next semester.

“Now that you’re home, what are your plans for Christmas break?”

Relaxing. Haha. Actually, I really want to spend a lot of time reading, maybe writing a little, and meditating. I want to be in a good place mentally and spiritually for next semester. Physically will follow all of that. I want to spend a lot of time with my family because I miss them, and after this break I don’t know when I’ll get to see them again.

“Are you excited for Christmas?”

Honestly? No. I’m not normally though. I just really like shopping for people, and I can’t wait to give everyone their gifts, than I’m ready for Christmas to be over. I am excited to see Brother and Sister-in-law in though.

“Do you have any New Year resolutions?”

Not yet, but I’m sure I’ll think of some soon. Do you have any New Year resolutions? I’m currently taking ideas.

“Any semester goals?”

Not to be rude, but no new friends. Haha. I’m happy with who I have, and I’m set for the rest of my college career. Also, I just want to study and really focus on myself. (Ugh, that probably sounds selfish, huh?) I want to focus on my mental health next semester. That’s what I mean. And as far as academics? I just want to study Chinese. Literally, Chinese is becoming my life.

“Before we go, Elizabeth, any final words?”

God is good all the time. If you can remember that, you’ll be just fine.

“Well, you heard it here first folks. Elizabeth is home on break and still kickin’ it thanks to the redemptive love of God. Let’s keep cheering her on and praying for her. We’ll see you next time Elizabeth decides she isn’t going to neglect her blog and followers.”

*Performs some sort of dramatic bow, probably with a hat, while a band plays, and confetti falls everywhere. Then this dramatic red curtain falls covering everything.*

Loving Her is Like a Random Simile

I cringe so much just thinking about this. For one of my classes, I had to write a bad poem. Naturally, bad poems should never be shared with the world, nonetheless, here is mine for all too see. WARNING: your eyes will hurt after reading this.

Looking at her was like looking at the sun.

The stars were hung in her eyes.

She was stuck to my shoe like gum.

Tasting her was like tasting my mother’s cherry pies.

I swear this girl had my heart on the run.

I should have seen her lies.

 

She was my bane.

I was hardly sane.

I should never have gone back.

It was like a never ending heart attack.

Now she has me trapped.

I’m practically kidnapped,

And I don’t want to leave.

Penuel

Penuel is the name of the floor I live on in my dorm. It is also the name of the mountain where Jacob wrestled with God. The name Penuel means “Face of God.” Jacob named the mountain that because it is where he saw the face of God and was spared.

Why do I mention this? Because I keep fighting God at every turn. You remember that last post? Yeah… I’m still telling God no. I’m much more reluctant about it, but no is still no, and God is still expecting a yes.

Just recently I am beginnnig to fully understand how much of a superiority complex I have. Before you roll your eyes or sarcastically gasp, let me clarify, I have always know I’ve had a superiority complex. I know I’m pridefull, and I know I think I’m better than everyone. That doesn’t go unnoticed by me. I just didn’t realize how deep that complex went until I looked around one of my classes and thought that everyone there was stupid and I was better than them.

God has been telling me to seek Him. All I have been doing, and quite frankly, want to do, is seek out my own gain.

Recently my chaplain said:

We have to surrender the surrender.

That hurts. I feel like the one thing I still have control of is what I give and what I don’t give to God. All the while God is holding out his plate asking for more of the pie I cooked. I’m running low and I’m not happy. I want to keep hold of something, or at least I want something in return. So often I feel like I seek God and I seek God and I seek God and I seek God and I seek God and I… the process of seeking goes on forever.

“God, I’ve been in the prayer tower every day! I’ve been seeking you! I’ve been quoting scripture and living in your throne room! Where is my reward for my faithfulness? Why haven’t I seen your faithfulness?” And all I hear in return is, “Seek me, it’s coming.”

What the heck does that mean! I’ve been seeking God. I’ve been on my knees. I’ve been raising my hands and dancing as an act of worship. What more can I do.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes; fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

~ Proverbs 3:5-8

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

~ Matthew 6:33

Delight theyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him and he shall bring it to pass.

~ Psalm 37:4-5

They kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

~ Matthew 6:10

I listened to a message by Steven Furtick tonight and he said, “Trust and time are inseparable because trust takes time.”

Seek God. Trust God. Do it again. Seek God. Trust God. Repeat. It’s a lifestyle that doesn’t end. Trust in the Lord and He will direct your paths. Seek His kingdom and all things will be added unto you. Delight yourself in Him and He will give you the desires of you heart. Seek His will not your own.

Do you know how hard that is? That means catching yourself in every decision and trusting that God is leading you and guiding you. That is knowing that you can’t but God can. You can do all things through God who gives you strength, and all things are possible with God.

So often I ask myself, “Elizabeth, are you in God and are you with God?”

All I have to do to answer that question is look at the outcome of my situations.

I am such a prideful human being. But I have to understand that I can’t live off of the confidence I have in myself. My confidence needs to reside in the goodness of the Lord.

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

~ Psalm 27:13NIV

Where is your confidence?

I know, I’m probably speaking to the choir, but this is everything I’ve needed to hear, and I’m still hearing. Now it’s just a matter of listening, getting it through my thick skull, and acting on it. As hard as everything is, and as tired as I am getting, both mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, all I know to do right now is to keep seeking God and trusting Him. There is nothing better I can do. I have seen His faithfulness before, and I will see it again. I know my God. He is my Daddy.

Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Of if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

~ Matthew 7:7-11

When you don’t know what to do, do what you know. I heard an old youth pastor of mine say that before. Right now, I know how to wake up, go to class, eat food, and enter into the prayer tower. It is a monotonous routine, but I know my God is not boring, and I will see Him in the land of the living. There are no shortcuts. He is not going to take me around the Red sea through the land of the Philistines. Rather, He will split the sea, so I can walk right throught it. My God is faithful, and I will see Him on Penuel in the land of the living.

Therefore, I will remain confident, not in myself, not in my ability, but in fact that when I am weak He is strong.

My Life ft. My Stupidity

I came to college expecting so much, and I am still expecting so much. I am expecting God to move powerfully. This first week, however, was like fighting Goliath. On Thursday, last week, classes began, and my thought was, “What could possibly happen in the first week?” Let me tell you, apparently everything can happen in the first week. It was like a silver platter full rotten food was handed to me, and I had a choice to eat the rotten meat and bug infested fruit or I could staple a return to sender, and go eat at SAGA (the cafeteria here on campus, which probably isn’t much better.) I’ll be honest, I took a bite from a few of the apples given to me.

Just within the first week I have found myself resisting God. Pray? No. Read the Bible? No. Worship? No. I want to sit here in anger, and do things my way. I don’t want to reach expectations. I don’t like being told what to do. “God, why don’t you just sit on the sidelines? I’ll take care of this. I can do it so much better.” Okay, stop laughing at me. I know what I did wrong, but my story isn’t over. So, when everything goes kaput after I take control, I throw my hands up and say, “What the heck, God!” All I get is the same response. “Yeah, what the heck Elizabeth?” Alright, fair point. Everyday I try to bring my own plans for my future to fruition, I fail. Let’s be real. I woke up on Monday and said, “Yes, today is going to be a good day.” And like a friend of mine said, it was like a narrator was right behind me saying, “Today was not going to be a good day,” in that deep, slow, ominous, somewhat comedic voice. (That was a rotten apple with several worms.)

Why am I so afraid of admitting that I can’t do something and allowing God to have the first and final say about things? Why am I so afraid of surrenduring and relinquishing control when I know how good and great God is? Well, I think this comes down to the fact that I’m afraid of admitting my feelings to myself, anyone, and God. Being honest is a hard thing for me to do when it comes to confessing how I really feel.

“Okay, Elizabeth. Wow. Take a deep breath.” 

Yeah. It’s a lot. Despite all of that though, I do trust in God’s goodness. I know that despite everything I am feeling, I will see the goodness of the Lord.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭27:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

And despite all of the things that have happened in the first week, there were a lot of good moments too. Thursday night was campus worship, I did something Friday night (not that I remember), and Saturday night was Partiestival which was a blast. Sunday I went to the Aquarium. It was my first time there. I really enjoyed it! I took pictures of all the fish and put it on SnapChat. Monday is not worth recounting. Most of the week is not worth recounting. Thursday night was interesting. Roommate and I were up until 3 in the morning praying and witnessing to each other. Friday night I saw the movie “Dirty Dancing” for the first time. I fell in love with it! I love watching dance movies or musicals. Saturday I spent all day with a friend of mine whom we will call Charlie (Female). Sunday I didn’t do much accept study for ages and get all my homework done. And now here we are: the beginning of week two of classes. I am trusting this week to be a hundred times better. There has been a lot of self discovery in the past week. I’m still thinking about a lot of it, and trying to journal about it.

“Wow. You’re busy. When do you have time for anything?”

Good question. I’m not sure. Because of how stressful the first week was, I’ve already gone crying to my chaplain. (Let’s be real, I didn’t cry.) Chaplain told me that I need to find time to rest and relax. This week I plan on finding time to read and to perhaps watch an episode of T.V. on occasion. Because I am so busy and can barely find time to relax, I am scheduling posts to be posted without me having to write everyday. I can just do it all of my writing at once. Some of the the things coming up are “Quick Tips” about writing by the one and only Professor Gogan. “Quick Tips” will be posted every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I am on the search for quotes that I think say a lot, and those will go up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I thought all of you would like those. I will have a few short stories coming soon, and I will continue to do updates on my life, but that might only be once a week now. 

I think that’s about it. This semester I have 18 credit hours. I’m in two language classes (Chinese 301 and Spanish 101), assisting in one (Chinese 101), and showing up for another just because I can (Chinese 201). I love all of my classes this semester. I’m happy I am given the opportunity to get into the swing of things before I start my work study. (I think I’ll have about ten hours of work mixed in between my classes.)

Okay. That’s all. I’ve given you an semi-clear update of the past week. 

我爱你!加油!再见!Fighting! Good luck! I love you guys! 

Success or Fail?

This week was actually really good. I didn’t meet the goals I set…, which is horrible since I go back to college next Sunday. But I did get some writing done. I did do a little bit of reading, but not nearly as much as I should have done. After I’m done writing this, I am going to do some more editing and study some Chinese.

I found this really cool app/website called Coursera. It has a bunch of online courses available to take whenever. There are a ton of categories to choose from, and you can pay for the class or audit it. There is also some financial aid for those who can’t pay for the class.  While auditing is a great option for those who can’t pay, it does mean that there is some course work that can’t be accessed, but I still think it’s really cool. For me, someone who is super busy during the school year (and holds up a facade of business during the summer), the best part is the fact that it’s online. I can take the classes at my own pace, and learn on my time. Since I was homeschooled, I love this type of class/learning setting. It’s very comfortable to me.

It’s crazy that I’m down to my last week of summer before I go back to school, but I think I’m ready. I still feel there are some things that God is teaching me, but I know when the time comes, God will have completed the work He started in me at the beginning of the summer. One of those things, that will probably go with me into the semester, is I want to learn what it means to love God with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my strength.

I want to be able to love God to the fullest. More and more I am learning that it means not focusing on me but on God. It’s hard, but just in the few days that I’ve been quoting Deuteronomy and praying about it, I’ve learned a lot. It’s hard to pray that, then go do something and remind yourself that it’s not for you. Everything should be done all for the glory of God.

I’m loving it though. It’s amazing just how much more joy and love pours out of us for other people as we focus on God. The more of us we give up, the more of us He fills up. I would much rather be filled with God than with myself. I’m flawed and mess things up so many times, but He is perfect. In my weakness He is made strong, and that’s all I want.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  – 2 Corinthians 12:9

If I had to sum up my summer with God (even though I still have a week left) I would use the word trust. All summer God has taught me how much I need to trust in and rely on Him. I can’t do anything without Him, and He is still teaching me that. We’ll see what I have to say about all of this next Saturday. Haha.

Well, like I said, I plan on doing some editing and studying tonight.

再见!加油!Fighting! Good luck! Good bye!

 

**All in all, I think this week was a success.

 

Habits Vs. Addictions

Habits are not Addictions. Like wise, Addictions are not habits. They can not be broken or overcome in the same way. I want this to be made very clear.

“Oh, I’m so addicted to coffee!” No, you are not addicted to coffee. You just have a habit of drinking it every morning. Besides, you wouldn’t be addicted to the coffee as much as you would be addicted to the caffeine. If you go a few days without drinking coffee and start experiencing withdrawals, it’s because of the lack of caffeine that your body got used to having.

To break a habit, just don’t do whatever the habit is for roughly 21 days. Habits are mindlessly done. A habit is making a cup of coffee at six in the morning while you’re still half asleep. It’s an action you’ve done and completed so often that you don’t even have to pay too much attention to what you’re doing.  Unless you accidentally pour orange juice instead of creamer into your coffee, then you better wait a few more minutes before you make your drink.

Breaking an addiction takes focus, will power, determination, and a whole lot of forgiveness and grace from God. Although, it should also be made clear that not every addiction is a sin. You could be addicted to caffeine. It doesn’t mean you have fallen from grace and lost any chance you had at forgiveness (Honestly, you could never fall from grace. You can always be forgiven.). It just means that too much of a good thing became a bad thing.

My addiction example will be pornography, because that’s what I know.

You can break the habit of looking at pornography everyday. Yay! Good job! That’s a win. However, two weeks later of breaking the habit, the desire to look hits you in the chest like a two ton mac truck, and in your head you’re telling yourself it’s a choice, and you know you’ll feel guilty afterward, and that you really shouldn’t. This is the breaking point of an addiction. It could be two weeks after breaking the habit, two months, six months, a year. The time in between gets longer the more you choose not to look. Each time you say no, is a win. Each time you say yes, doesn’t mean you lost, it just mean you have a set back and a bigger come back to make.

It’s hard. It’s disappointing. It’s rewarding. It’s jumping for joy and texting your best friend that you didn’t look. It’s breaking down in tears at three in the morning because you failed and you hate yourself.

It’s a journey, and it’s worth taking. I don’t know what you deal with, but keep going. I believe in you. I’m so proud of you for taking steps toward being better. Read Hebrews 12. Read Romans 7 and 8. Talk to me. Talk to God. Don’t quit.

Fighting! Good luck! 加油! 我爱你!再见!I love you! Good bye!

 

*** Shout out to my Aunt for putting down cigarettes. You’re a freaking goddess and I love you.

 

My Day ft. Cousin, Little Sister, and Friends

There I was, behind the wheel of a car, slowing down at a green light because I didn’t know where Mezzo’s was. There was a honk. I panicked. I turned right and parked behind Harding’s. Where was the dang coffee shop? I looked at my GPS and face palmed. Mezzo’s was on the left of the road; I was looking to the right. Ugh. How stupid can I get? I turn around, make it to Mezzo’s five minutes before eight, and my friend was already sitting there, scrolling on her phone, drinking an iced coffee. How could I be early and still be late?

I bought my self an iced mint chocolate drink and a blueberry scone. Let me tell you just how wrong this purchase is. I have low blood sugar–and need protein instead of sugar–and I have a gluten intolerance. An iced mint chocolate drink and a blueberry scone are both sugar and gluten. Fabulous. I’m still waiting for the stomach cramps to kick in. *eye roll*

Still, the drink was amazing. The scone could have been better. As for the conversation and the fellowship with an old friend… it was just what I needed to kick off my day. We sat and talked for three hours. It was refreshing to my soul.

What else? Mmm. I’ve been talking to my best friend all day today. I’m hoping I can see her face to face later. (Through FaceTime of course. She’s in Tulsa. I am not in Tulsa. Arg.) I also wrote a poem. I’m proud of it. (Yes, one poem.) Because I’m proud of it, I’ll probably write more tonight.

“Come on Elizabeth. This is surface level. Get deeper.”

Alright. To be honest, I’m failing at a lot of things God has asked me to do. Specifics? Being healthier. In every way possible. Maybe I’m not doing to do bad in the eating area (I’m fasting meat this week; next week I’m going to fast sugar.), but for real, look at me. I ate a blueberry scone. I’m a horrible person. (Nah, I’m just really hard on myself.) However, I haven’t been to the gym all week (mainly because I hate doing laundry, and I ran out of gym clothes). I can do better.

You want more evidence of my failing? My minor is in Mandarin Chinese. I’ve been home for six weeks (seven?) and I’ve learned/memorized three new words in Chinese. Please, take your time. I’ll wait for the horror of that to sink in. See, if you think you’re the king of procrastination (Sorry queen. However you identify) You obviously haven’t met me yet.  *Shakes your hand too vigorously with a creepy wide smile on my face.* “NICE TO MEET YOU!” (Let’s be real. I probably yell it because I’m awkward and don’t know how to have an inside voice.)

Well, there’s two things. I don’t feel like explaining further of how much I am failing right now.

SOOOOOOOOooooooo. What am I going to do? Probably watch more Supernatural.

As my good ‘ole six-year-old cousin would say: Nah, I’m just casting. (Har har.)

*You, my presumed audience, fold your arms and gives me a stare.* Fine, you’re right. I’ll go write. I’ll get things done. I’ll pull myself together. (Imagine that moment in Fruits Basket when Tohru is at work, and she raises her fists up and exclaims some long encouraging line about how she can take care of herself.)

Little Sister in the distance in a high-pitched voice: Fighting!