Thursday, May 3, 2012

Well, I'm Back

Last Tuesday marked my last day of my first year of college.  (Sorry for my lack of updates during that year... ;) )

I have grown SO much through that year - I don't even know where to begin.  I love how God has taken me, this small, timid girl on this journey from my first day of school, to my last day as a freshman.  My first day at school went smoother than I had ever expected.  And by my second day, I made a life-long friend.  I've gone through many ups and downs through this first year... insecurities, and victories.  My main concern was getting good grades so I could keep my scholarships - the only way I can go to a private Christian university.  That was the most scary thing about it.  But it really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be.

Looking back at my last post, anticipating college, I have to laugh.  Nervous?  What is there to be nervous about?  The faculty at my school are wonderful - caring, knowledgeable, professors.  Once I found all my classes, it was easy to find my way around the school, and I made it to every one of my classes on time.  The students there are wonderful too!  That was another concern I had.  Would I find any friends there?  Would I be accepted?  But I felt like I fit right in from the first day.  And I really think that God was watching over me, putting me in key places, sitting next to the right people in my classes.  The friendships I've made just by being at the right place at the right time have been just a huge blessing in my life.  And I hope that I have been a blessing to them.

What about classes, you ask?  Well, little homeschooled, determined me made sure that she did all her work on time, and did it well.  It got stressful sometimes, and there were times where I felt like giving up.  But I did it!  I was able to understand everything I was supposed to do, and I did it.  Probably my most stressful class was English Composition, because I felt like I was never done with my papers when I handed them in.  There was always something I could improve on.  While I never got a perfect grade on a paper, I am satisfied with my grades.

My major classes, while I only took two this year, were also a cause for stress.  I kept wondering if this was the right major for me, and if I was competent enough, had enough training in this area.  But by the end of the year, I really feel like I'm where God has called me to be.  And I really do enjoy my major.

So through all that, I can see how much I've progressed in every area of life.  I'm stepping out and doing things I never dreamed of doing before college.  This summer I'm going on a school trip to Europe with some other students and a professor from my school.  It'll be the farthest I've ever been from home, and the longest I've ever been away from my family. But it's something I felt a peace about doing.  I"m looking forward to seeing how God moves on this trip.

So that's a brief summary of my first year of college.  Hope you weren't too bored with my ramblings.  :)


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Hello again everyone!

I'm sure you've all noticed the new blog layout; I thought I'd address it so you're not distracted about it for the rest of the post. :)  I decided it was time for a change, especially since the old layout hid some of the links and buttons and such.  I may play around with backgrounds more.  I definitely want to keep the banner because it fits me so well.  Just need to find a good background to go with it. 
Anyway, that said, on to my post. 

I start college in two weeks.  As the first day approaches, there are so many "lasts" I will have to face.  Last day playing violin in the youth group's band, last day helping with the preschool at church, last violin lesson with the teacher I've had since I was 10, last days of free time. But there will be so many firsts! First time in a classroom setting since first grade, first friend I make in college, first chapel service as a college student... 

It's the biggest transition I have made in my life, and the only way I'll make it successfully is by keeping my focus on Jesus, the One Who never changes and is by my side no matter what happens. Only He knows the unknown, and with Him there's no reason to fear.

But it's all rather bittersweet.  I'm going to miss my violin teacher so much.  We've become close friends over the years and made it through some tough times together.  And the thought of a new teacher whom I have never met is a bit intimidating. 
And all the things that I've been a part of... my part in them is ending.  I'll miss seeing all those beautiful 4 and 5 year olds at church twice a month.  I'll miss all the free time I've been enjoying this summer.  I'll miss the times I've been able to have with my sister.  I am commuting to college, but I don't think I'll have much time for anything but studying.  So I'm going to adjust and be flexible.  One of the books I've been reading is called "Fearless," by Max Lucado.  One chapter talks about how when you're going through a storm, or a situation that throws you significantly off-balance - to keep your eyes fixed on the pilot - on Jesus.  He is the light that lets you see what the next step is.  He's the point of reference when the rest of the world is shifting crazily.  And He is the One Who will keep you steady in the midst of a world falling apart.  So for all of us who are going to college or through a big transition, I pray this: Jesus, I know You're going to walk us through this.  Give us gentle reminders throughout the day of Your presence, and strengthen us to pursue excellence in everything.

When I tell people I'm starting college I get mixed reactions. 1. "Wow!  Are you excited?" 2. "Ooh are you nervous?" 3. "You really don't look old enough to be a college student."   (That last one scares me. Lol.)

1. Yes! 2. I'm trying not to be. 3.  Yes, you're the 20th person to say that this month.  (Maybe I'm exaggerating, but really... it's starting to get annoying.)

The first question is asked by people who know me well and have the utmost confidence that I WILL succeed in college.  They've seen that I work hard and am strong in my faith.  They're the ones that really help me see that college is an adventure, and that I will have fun even in the midst of all the hard work.
The second is asked by well-meaning friends/acquaintences.  I never know what to say to that. "Um, not right now, but once it gets closer to the first day, I'll probably be nervous."  But y'know... I don't even want to anticipate getting nervous.  I don't have to be.  Excited, focused, energized... that's what I want to be on the first day and throughout the next four years.
The third is asked by people who just found out my age.  I've been told that I look younger than my age since I was around 11.  But then there is that rare occasion when someone says I look my age or older.  (I like those people. Lol!)  But every time someone says that, I wonder if I'll fit in in college.  Will people see me as beneath them because I'm short and look younger?  Will I always be looking up at people, trying to change my appearance to be accepted?  Or will I accept that God made me this small and use it to be a comfort to others in the same boat as me?

I think I'll choose the latter.

So anyway, those are my rather disorganized thoughts about college.  And to those who will join me in this new and exciting adventure, welcome aboard!  Let's keep our eyes on the Captain of the ship and not weary in our faith in Him.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


This morning I was listening to a Christian podcast.  The subject was dating, and how the process of breaking up destroys confidence. 

But then... isn't that one of the reasons some people date?  To build confidence?

To have someone express interest in you.  To enjoy the little quirks about you.  The way you laugh, catch phrases you use... to have someone that appreciates you for who you are - not just what you can do for them To encourage you and build you up. And you in turn do the same for them.

But then if something happens, and you break up...

That whole world is shattered.  Confidence that was built on shifting sands is destined to fall into despair and self-doubt.  Confidence built in someone else's view of us is so dangerous, so finite.  When our whole view of ourselves depends on what one individual thinks of us, what will we do when the day comes and we don't meet their expectations?

We begin to question our identity.  All of the sudden, we aren't on top of the world anymore.  Because we have lessened in their eyes, we are insecure in ourselves.  We are no longer good enough.  Our support has been pulled out from under us, and as we fall we frantically grip the air for something to stable us.

This post really isn't about dating.  It's about who we place our trust in.  How we see ourselves.  Who we really are.

Have you ever wondered that?  Who am I, really?  What defines me and makes me myself?  It's sobering, especially if you don't have a ready answer.  When we change with every gust of wind, aiming to please everyone but pleasing no one, it is so easy to lose sight of our identity.  Is that person in the mirror me, or is it the person I'm trying to be for others?

"On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.  All other ground is sinking sand."

The world is so confused.  They have no fixed point of reference.  No firm foundation.  And when we lose sight of the rock on which we stand, venturing out into the ways of the world, we are soon caught in the same trap.

To really know who we are, we need to know who HE is.  To have confidence in ourselves, we need to have confidence in Him.  Without Him, we fall.  With Him, we stand strong through every storm.

Once we understand what He has done for us, we begin to realize that our identity is not found in someone else's view of us, but in how GOD sees us.  Our Maker is the only One who can truly define us.  Not the mirror.  Not our friends and family or even enemies.  God and God alone.  We are no longer dependent on sand to hold us up, but the everlasting firm rock of Christ's love for us!  We are self-sufficient in Christ's sufficiency (Phil 4:13, AMP).

So how DOES God see us?  We all know this verse, but to rebuild our foundation we must go back to the basics.

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." - John 3:16

First of all, God loves us SOO much more than we can ever fathom.  So much so that He gave His ONLY Son to die for us, so we could be with Him!  How amazing and crazy and passionate is the Father's love for us!

Next, He made us with His tender love and mercies.  Psalm 139 shows us that God knows all the details of our life.  He has our whole life planned out, and He saw the dark valley we would be in, even before the foundation of the world.  We are His, and He is ours.  He sees all the people we have and will impact.  We will never know until we get to Heaven just how many people we have blessed.

There are so many Scriptures that demonstrate His wonderful love for us.  1 Peter 2:24 says, "He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right.  By His wounds, you have been healed."  He died so we could live.  Now that's love.  To give up all your rights, and everything good that belonged to you so that the other person could have it.  And He did all that for the least of us.  And it's when we meditate on that - on JESUS - that we can truly look upon ourselves with pure eyes and see who we really are.  Suddenly, we aren't looking for the next compliment, or person to fulfill us.  Our relationship with God is more than enough and sustains us through our darkest hours.  We focus more on Him and less on us.  He must increase and we must decrease.

So if this post was for you... take His love to heart.  Realize that even if the people who should be loving you look down on you instead, that the Father cherishes you, and loves you above and beyond what you could ever grasp or imagine.  It's not just words.  It's not just Violinist4Christ who's saying this.  God says it over and over again in His Word.  And He is longing for you to read His love letter to you, and to run to His embrace.  Won't you taste and see that the Lord is good?

2 Corinthians 1:10
And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.

2 Corinthians 3:11-12 So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever! 12 Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.

Philippians 3:3b
We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort.

1 Thessalonians 5:8
But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

Titus 3:7
Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”

Hebrews 6:18
So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.

Hebrews 13:6
So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper,so I will have no fear.  What can mere people do to me?”

*All Scripture taken from the NLT unless otherwise noted.  Courtesy of

Monday, June 6, 2011


Ephesidans 4:11, 16 (AMP) "And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us,] some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers."
"For because of Him the whole body (the church, in all its various parts closely) joined and firmly knit together by the joints and ligaments with which it is supplied, when each part [with power adapted to its need] is working properly (in all its functions) grows to full maturity, building itself up in love."

We are the body of Christ.  Do you ever think about that?  To each one of us God has given us a gift, a calling, a place in the church.  Everyone has their place.  I think too often we put ourselves in competition with each other - wishing we were as friendly and outgoing as this girl is, or as willing and able to serve as he is, or to teach Sunday School as well as they do.

But think about it.  If everyone was good at the same thing, there would be so many areas lacking in the body of Christ!  If everyone did acts of service, who would be there to encourage?  If everyone encouraged, who would teach?  We need to find out who God has made us to be - the strengths that He has given to us - and cultivate it. 

We each build each other up.  You know what would happen if your stomach wanted to become a lung, or your foot an ear.  Disaster!  You could no longer function correctly.  The church is stagnant, crippled, unless we each stand up and do what God  has called us to do.  We are closely knit together as Christ's body, with Him as the head.  God doesn't give us the power to do someone else's job - He gives us the power and strength and grace for OUR position.  The key is to find out what that is and focus on serving God with it in love.

C.S. Lewis used this as an illustration.  One day a boy wanted to buy his dad a gift, but had no money for he was too young to work.  So he asked his father, "Dad, could I have some money so I can buy you a present?"  And the father chuckled and gave his son the money.  Could the son take credit for the money or the present?  No, because it came from his father.  It's the same with the gifts God gives us.  Everything good we can do - every good desire, strength, and ability - it comes from God, and we give it back to Him by using it according to His will.  And when our gifts and our callings mature as we use them for His glory out of love, we build ourselves up.  We have joy and peace, knowing that we're doing what we are meant to do.

So don't look at others and covet the gifts that they have.  You might think that if only you could play the guitar like so-and-so, you could be happy.  But if we're not happy doing what we're supposed to do, we won't be happy if we had the best guitar skills in the world.  Our focus needs to be on using the gifts we have  to spread the love of God.  To God be the glory, for all He has done for us! Amen.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I can see clearly now...

...that I have glasses. :)  I'm slightly near sighted, so I recently got glasses - mainly for use when driving at night.  It's pretty amazing at how much clearer and crisp everything looks.  I can read signs for further away than I ever remember being able to read.  And everything looks like an overly sharpened photograph.  Outlines are clearer, flowers, grass, and trees are spectacular... It all just looks that much better with glasses.

So I started thinking... what about my spiritual eyes?  Do I need "spiritual glasses"?  If physical eyes can falter so much, what does that say about how I view people?  I think of that song, "Give Me Your Eyes" by Brandon Heath... if you listen to Christian radio at all, you've probably heard it. :)   The song talks about how people are so much more than face value.  We have no idea what might be going on in the lives of people around us.  The guy we pass on the street might've been laid off.  The rude cashier could have had a recently deceased family member.

But then it goes even deeper than that.  All we can see is the results of the influences and things upon a person. We can't see who they are on the inside - the heart of a person - without investing time and effort in a person.  And even then our eyes can falter.  A habit that they've developed may be normal in their family, but it might be strange or even distasteful in our eyes.  The examples could go on and on.  We often see people at face value - for what we see immediately.  How does God see people?

God sees them as valuable.  He loved the world so much that He gave His only Son.  He gave them a way to be saved.  Even if no one accepted His gift, He still would have died.  Every person is special to Him; He saw every moment of their lives before the earth was even formed.  Imagine!  As He was creating light He thought of you.  And every other individual.  He was there, personally forming each baby in their mother's womb.  His thoughts about us are ENDLESS!  Every person is valuable in His sight.  He loves every detail of their lives, and delights in their individual qualities... even ones we might find annoying.

When we are constantly thinking about how God views the world... when we filter everything we see through His lenses, we won't be so quick to judge.  Hurtful thoughts or even words we might have said no longer seem relevant.  As we seek God, Who is Love, we understand His love for people, and we act as He does.  So whether you wear glasses or not, don't neglect to wear God's glasses.  You might end up seeing something beautiful.