Memories

annie-spratt-71677-unsplash

Memories are shifty things. They’re from your perspective and a lot of the time can’t be trusted. For example, my family has moved around a lot. We lived in the trailer, moved to Grandma’s house, went to the apartments, lived in the duplex, moved into Grandpa Willsea’s house, and then we moved into the house my family is in now. At the time we lived in the trailer, my family owned a pizza restaurant. In my memories, we lived in the pizza restaurant before we lived in the trailer. Like, I know we didn’t live in the restaurant, but I don’t ever remember being in the trailer because we were always in the restaurant. I asked my mom where we lived while we ran the pizza place, and when she told me the trailer, I didn’t believe her at first.

The whole reason I’ve been running back through all my memories is because I’m trying to find my earliest memory. Right now I think my earliest memory is from when we opened the pizza place and I went on a delivery run with my dad. It was late at night and I remember the man at the door giving me a wad of cash. (At least, that’s what my memory says happened.) I remember sitting in the car with dad and thinking all the money was mine and had been given to me. Although, now that I know my family lived in the trailer at the same time we had the restaurant, I don’t know if that really is my earliest memory.

Through doing this, I have begun to remember a lot of things I thought I had previously forgotten. It’s been fun reminiscing on all the things from my childhood until now. Even more amazing, is seeing how much God has redeemed me from my past. I remember having many anger issues growing up, but I only remember very few moments of when I was angry. I know there were many more, because I screamed and yelled my way through middle school and most of high school. The fact that I don’t remember many of those moments, I think, goes to show that my mind is healing itself and that God is redeeming me.

To think, all this started because I began watching a Turkish show that started with the main character recalling her earliest memory.

Now, let’s create some dialogue. What is your earliest memory?

么么哒!

Advertisements

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.*

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! 

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?

Let’s just say life doesn’t exist.

“Elizabeth. What the heck? You’re horrible at updating. What’s going on?”

Absolutely nothing is going on. That’s what. My life is one of the most boring thing ever. That and I’m lazy, and I really hate coming up with titles for these things.

You want to know what’s going on in my life?

I’m binge watching “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo.” I got an iPhone 7 today. I downloaded so many language apps and (unashamedly) all the games I’ve been dying to play. I’m dealing with stupid emotions. I got a new dress which I’m in love with. Aaaand yeah. That’s literally all that’s happened since firework season ended.

BOOOORING.

However, tomorrow I get a new book. It’s my super belated birthday gift.

“Elizabeth, did you finish “Whispers of the Fallen” yet?”

…….nooooooo….. BUT this is a book of poems so it’s okay. I’ve been dying to get this book. I’m hoping it’s still on the shelves in Barns N Noble. I can’t remember what it’s called, but I’ll recognize it when I see it. I’ll show it to you all tomorrow.

MMmmm, yeah. That’s all I have to say. See nothing.

Next week, be prepared for me to be speaking fluently in Spanish and Chinese.

“Fluently?”

Well, maybe not fluently, but I’ll certainly have words memorized. Hehe.

Speaking of languages, the other day I rewatched the first episode of “My Amazing Boyfriend” without subtitles. (It’s a Chinese Drama.) I didn’t understand half the words they were saying, but I did pick up on some words. I’ll continue watching it without subtitles. Now I need to find a Spanish drama to watch. There are a few on Netflix I can choose from. Any suggestions?

Okay. That’s it. Bye bye! 再见!

Q&A because it’s easy.

“Dude. Have you read your blog posts? The Grammar sucks.” Unfortunately, I know. I read some of them a few days ago and wanted to shoot myself.

“Do you even reread them?” Would you believe me if I said, yes?

“Have you been working?” At the firework stand.

“No, like have you been writing?” Ha! I wish. I’ve been working at the firework stand everyday from 11a.m. to 9p.m.

“How long will this last?” I will be working at the fire work stand until July 5th.

“Everyday?” I’m hoping to get Monday off. If not the whole day then part of the day.

“What do you do there?” Sell fireworks. Also I read a lot.

“What do you read?” Look at my book reviews.

OH! You know what I should do? I should create a TBR (To Be Read) List. Once I organize my bookshelves I’ll do that. Perhaps that’s something I can do Monday. Ooh. Now I’m excited.

Speaking of books, I have a wonderful announcement coming soon next week. No, I haven’t written my book. I’ve hardly written anything. (That is so sad. I really need to work on that.) Whatever this announcement is, I’m excited about it, and it’s hard for me to contain.

*** I really can’t focus on this. It’s taken me an two to write this much.  I keep getting distracted by the T.V. One Tree Hill with Dad.

I’m still looking for stuff to motivate me in Chinese. If ya’all have any language learning tips, let me know! I’m always trying to find more. I’m reading Cheese in the Trap (Webtoon) and a few of those inspired me. (I’m actually really wondering why I never read it earlier.) Seriously though guys, help me. Motivation. Inspiration. I need it all.

么么哒!加油!(I say this as much to myself as I do toward you.)