I know, I know. I am so lame, but I have been waiting like 3 years to say that I am feeling 22.
Anyway, let’s move on to today’s post.
Look at the above picture of Taylor. Doesn’t she look disappointed at the measly 3 cupcakes that she has? I mean, sure, she is only one person, but doesn’t she deserve lots of cupcakes? Ariana Grande has lots of cupcakes.
And, I mean, sure, you were born on oneday, but you are unique! Your birthday celebration should last for at least seven days! Here are some ideas to keep the celebration going all week long!
Enjoy Sunday brunch with your friends.
Eat cake and ice cream with your family to conquer Monday.
On Tuesday, get a free drink at Starbucks.
Eat free fruit from Sheetz with your lunch on Wednesday.
Thursday is for a long supper with your closest, dearest friend. (We always stay at Chick-fil-a for several hours because we talk so much. In fact, we were so busy talking that I forgot to capture a picture for the blog.)
On Friday, grab some more birthday freebies and join a casual volleyball tournament (or a whatever your favorite sport might be).
Finish out the week with a relaxing swim and a birthday present (green tea) from the YWCA.
I must admit that I am far from being the most optimistic person in the world, but today I spent my part of my commute in utter amazement. It all started with a statement that someone made at Bible study last night. (I wish that I could type in such a way to show their inflections and sarcasm)
When we get stuck in traffic, we grumble, “There’s too many cars out here.” But, um, HELLO! What are YOU driving?! Is THAT helping the situation at all?!
Why not change your perspective a little?
I had to laugh because it is true! If I find myself in afternoon traffic, I unconsciously assume that everyone else is in MY way, but (HELLO!) they probably want to get home and change into comfortable shorts just as much as I do. And my beloved car, Corrie the Corolla, is just adding to the chaos.
Today, when Corrie the Corolla found herself surrounded by dozens of automobiles on Peter’s Creek Parkway, that statement from last night flashed through my mind. Suddenly, I was amazed for several reasons:
There were literally hundreds of people, all on the same road, and all with different destinations.
We were in pieces of metal moving at 55 mph.
There were colored lights that told us when to go and when to stop.
We didn’t have to walk or run or skip or crawl to our destinations. We had CARS.
What’s more, my fingertips are hitting plastic buttons right now, and words are exploding across the world wide web.
When I want to eat something, I can reach into another piece of metal and find food that is perfectly cold. Or, if it is too cold, I can put it in a box that will heat it up.
To talk to my brother or parents, I tap a glass screen and, suddenly, I can hear their voices.
Maybe I am too simplistic, but I think that life is wonderful when we look at it with wonder.
I looked at my mom, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “I know that it is going to be a challenge, but if I never do hard things…I, well, I will never do hard things.”
In that moment of redundancy, I realized the truth; if I continuously choose the easy way out, I will never grow.
Let me tell you about the hard things that are ahead of me in 2017.
I will be a student teacher at a fifth-grade public school for the first sixteen weeks of the year. I will have 30 students, and I will be coordinating with three different teachers. I will write unit plans, teach every subject, and grade papers. That is going to be hard.
From May to August, I am a promotional media intern at Pine Cove Camp. As such, I will conduct photo shoots, write articles, and create videos. I will be on my own to find subjects for my stories, film interviews, and complete all the projects. That is going to be hard.
After I finish the internship, I will look for a full-time job. I will determine what I want to do with my life (ha ha…I may never figure that out), find job openings, fill out applications, submit resumes, and WAIT. That is going to be hard.
And when I find that full-time job, I will probably move away from my parents. I will leave the house where I have lived 21 years. I will take down all of my paintings, pack up my Fiestaware, buy furniture, and decorate my own place. That is going to be hard.
But despite all of the hard things that I have ahead of me, I am looking forward to 2017. I know that through these hard tasks, God will show himself faithful. I will lean on Him for strength, and I will watch as He orchestrates His perfect plan.
It seems that in December, we click the “fast forward” button on our already busy lives. In addition to scheduling parties, concerts, and family gatherings, we join thousands of shoppers at the mall so that we can find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. We also manage to find the time to decorate our houses with trees, tinsel, garland, lights, ornaments, and figurines.
Why do we smash more activity into our busyness? Because it is Christmastime!
But what exactly is Christmas?
When I asked Google about Christmas, I found some poetic results:
wrapping, and sticking, and envelope licking
tree decorating and staying up lating
shopping and bopping and parties non-stopping
stocking filling and lots of good willing
While those answers might sound pleasant, I think there has to be more to the most expensive holiday in the USA than “Monopoly cheating and quality streeting.”
I originally drafted a post about the etymology of the word Christmas (Christ + mass) and how that is associated to what Christmas is, but I realized that Linus from Charlie Brown explained it better than I ever could.
Christmas is not a season of bustling bodies and predictable presents.
Christmas is not a month of extravagant parties and family feasts.
Christmas is not long days of travel and competitive board games.
Christmas is a moment that changed all other moments. Christmas is the birth of Jesus.
Three years ago yesterday, I entertained the notion that I should start a blog.
Entertaining a notion, like entertaining a baby cousin or entertaining a pack of hyenas, is a dangerous thing to refuse to do. If you refuse to entertain a baby cousin, the baby cousin may get bored and entertain itself by wandering off and falling down a well. If you refuse to entertain a pack of hyenas, they may become restless and entertain themselves by devouring you. But if you refuse to entertain a notion – which is just a fancy way of saying that you refuse to think about a certain idea – you have to be much braver than someone who is merely facing some blood-thirsty animals, or some parents who are upset to find their little darling at the bottom of a well, because nobody knows what an idea will do when it goes off to entertain itself.
Three years ago today, I let the notion entertain itself, and (somehow) this blog was self-created.
Today I am taking WIAW back to how I did it week one: showing my daily spiritual and physical food for a whole week. I was convicted last Wednesday morning when I read this statement from the Proverbs 31 Women website: “When I refuse to nourish my spirit with God’s holy Word, I suffer the ill effects of spiritual malnutrition. When I do not have a consistent healthy spiritual diet, it’s difficult to understand spiritual things and to behave in a manner worthy of my calling.”
Last week, my spiritual diet was starved, and I was struggling to show love and grace as a result. Just like I get “hungry-angry” when I don’t have enough physical food, I can get “hangry” without spiritual food. But a healthy diet of spiritual food can help me season my words with grace.
Here is the spiritual nourishment I received this week along with pictures of random afternoon snacks.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-6
This passage left me wondering, “Do I live up to the life to which God called me? Am I humble, gentle, and patient?” After quickly deciding that I am none of those things, I dedicated my day to humility, gentleness, and patience.
Snack while preparing to present a lesson in my Teaching Bible to Children class: oatmeal in a jar
Thursday, October 6
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-12
Jesus gives every believer spiritual gifts. Our calling as Christians is to use our spiritual gifts (with humility, gentleness, and patience) to build unity through encouragement and accountability.
Snack at Chick-fil-a with my best friend: “Ice-Dream”
Thursday afternoons with my best friend always provide the relaxing conversation I need.
Friday, October 7
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-16
As we use our spiritual gifts to build the body, its members will grow in maturity. Rather than being “tossed to and fro” by false teachings, Christians will be conformed to the image of Christ.
Snack at work: Apple and Kind bar
Saturday, October 8
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-24
Using our gifts to build Christian unity stands in stark contrast to how the world lives. Non-Christians harm themselves and others without feeling shame. Paul reminds the Ephesians to stop living as they lived before they placed their faith in Christ. Now that they are in Christ and maturing, their lives should reflect Christ and be characterized with goodness and holiness.
(Part of my) Snack while taking a mental break to watch the rain: Peanut butter + pumpkin + cinnamon sandwich
Sunday, October 9
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 4:1-32
The Christian is constantly in the process of conforming their life to look more like Christ. Because Christ forgave sinners, we should forgive those around us and “not let the sun set while we are angry.” Additionally, we should change our language to be uplifting to those we encounter.
(Part of my) Snack between church services: Lemon Cream Pie Quest Bar
Monday, October 10
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 5
As we grow to become more like Christ, we should imitate his love. Rather than talking to others with spiteful words (which is so easy for me to do–especially when I am hangry!), we should be “children of light.”
Snack x2: Sheetz Oatmeal Craisin Cookies
Tuesday, October 11
Spiritual Food: Ephesians 6:1-9
Not in the way of eyeservice as men-pleasers; but as servants of Christ doing the will of God
How often do I perform good acts with hopes of being seen by others? Yes, it is good to do these things, but I should be doing them to serve Christ, not to make others see me.
Snack while taking pictures of travel trailers at RV World: Premier Protein Bar
For the sake of authenticity, I must tell you that I only shared one afternoon snack per day. Sometimes, I eat two or three afternoon snacks.