End of Summer pt. 3

The last word I would choose for describing my summer is family. 

As far as I am aware, this was my last summer at home. This is not saying I’ll never be home over the summer months. It means that it will be a while before I am home for as long as three months. Next summer I am attending a wedding at the end of May, shortly after I will be going to China for five to six week. I might come home for a week or two, but then I will be heading back to college. Next year will be one event after another. 

I am very thankful for all the time I was able to spend with my family. In the beginning of the summer Little Sister and I watched a lot of TV together. We tried to finish Goblin (One of the best Korean Dramas) over the weekend I returned, but we didn’t have enough time. Little Sister and I went to the gym quite a bit the first month too. I was practically always in the car with Mom. I went to the gym with Uncle for three (four?) weeks every morning at five. It wasn’t long until mom started going to the gym with me. Dad took me to the movies, and he and I often stayed up late (sometimes until three in the morning) watching TV in the Man Cave. I didn’t hang out with my big brother much, but he did give me some hats. Aunt and I had small conversations here and there that I really enjoyed, and I was able to get her a bunch of new clothes for her birthday. I even went out to breakfast with Soon-to-be Sister-in-law. 

That’s a lot. And while I spent time with everyone, I spent the most time with Momma. She and I were always grocery shopping, always in the car, and always at the firework stand. It was something I really needed. I don’t know what is going to happen this semester. I don’t know what God has planned. I know it’s going to be good, and I know I’m going to be relying on all the time I spent with Momma. All of our conversations and all the times we went shopping together will be support beams that I can fall back on to fill me with energy and courage. 

Honor thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with a promise;) that it may be will with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.    ~ Ephesians 6:2-3

I don’t know about long life (I am still quite young), but I believe I reaped a harvest of favor and love this summer. Whether it was from honoring my parents or simply stepping into a blessing that God wanted me to have, this summer was full of family and what comes with it. While there were a lot of things that happened this summer that weren’t the best, I know I will never doubt the love my family has for me or the love that my God has for me.

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.

End of Summer pt. 1

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If I had to describe summer in one word, it would be trust.

Once again I find myself reminding myself to trust God. The skin on my hands are peeling from being stressed. All of my ‘stuff’ covers the rear window of Mother’s car. Some how we still have to fit three people into the car. There’s still some small stuff that didn’t go in the car. I’m excited and nervous all at once.

I’m excited. I’m going back to college. I get to see all of my best friends. I’ll be living by my rules and not my parents. I can put to the test everything I’ve learned this summer.

I’m nervous. Oh gosh, I’m going back to college. I have to socialize. I have rules? I’m not sure I even knew those existed outside of my parents. I have to put everything to the test that I learned this summer? School hasn’t even started and I’m testing? What if I didn’t learn anything? Oh… what if I forget something and leave it at home? What if I run out of money? What if all my electronics brake? What if….

“Okay, Elizabeth. Breathe. Are you okay?”

Oh sure. I’m fine. Or will be. If I don’t feel ready to leave now, I know when I wake up at four in the morning that God will have done something in my heart, and I’ll be more prepared and ready than I thought I was. I am reminded that I can’t do this by myself. I’ve said it in several previous posts, but where I am weak, God is made strong.

The thing I am most confident in (I really am not sure how much I’m repeating myself here) is the fact that I can’t, but God can. All things are possible with God.

But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.    ~ Matthew 19:26

How relieving is that! When I come to the honest conclusion that I can’t and God can, peace floods in like river and covers every thought.There hasn’t been a time this summer when God failed me. He has never left me. I am looking forward to starting and completing this semester with Him.

 

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.

 

Get ready ya’all.

I am so excited to announce, that I have been working hard at writing.

“What? Really? You write?”

Harhar. Yes. Yesterday. I wrote a whole chapbook (32 pages. Wooooow *hint of sarcasm*), and now am in the process of going through Lulu and self-publishing the little thing. It should be done and ready within a couple of weeks. I’m excited to show you guys the final product. I really hope you all like it. Little Sister is the only one who has read the whole thing, and Michigan Best Friend read part of it.

That’s the most exciting thing I’ve done.

Do I have anything else to talk about? Yes. Always. I’m slowly making my way through The Whispers of the Fallen. I am loving it so much. I’m actually surprised I haven’t finished it yet. I did finish milk and honey by Rupi Kaur. It was so beautiful. (I would like to let everyone know, I just spelled beautiful as butiful. *face palm*) I want to reread it again, but I won’t so soon. I should be putting a review up soon. Maybe I can get someone else to review it too. Hehe. Anyway, be on the look out for that.

**Just had a thought** Why is it, that when I start picking up the pace in writing and reading I lack in Chinese? or vice versa? What is this? Why can’t I just do everything and have a nice productive life? ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ

Ooh! Yesterday, I went shopping, and came home with more clothes than I need. The thought of having to leave some home when I go back to college hurts my heart. I’m so emotionally attached to everything wear. I’m excited about these new clothes though, because I’ve been trying to adjust my style to look like more of the K-Pop trends. I think I did really well with that yesterday. I went to Walmart, Plato’s Closet, Maurices, and Barnes N Noble.

“Barnes N Noble? You can’t get clothes there.” No, you’re right. I can’t, but I did get a cute planner. I love it to pieces already. It’s cute and colorful with different shades of pink and red on it. I’m excited for the semester to start so that I can use the planner to its fullest.

Alright. That’s as much of an update (updete… that’s what I almost put.) as I think is necessary right now. Not unless you all really want to know about me going to the beach on Thursday? Friday? (I don’t remember.) and getting an iPad on Saturday, and how I’ll be going to the beach again tomorrow. (Now you know, and I probably already told you most of that stuff.)

See, my goodbyes and endings to these can’t possible get more awkward.

Fighting! Good luck! 加油!

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?